Writing Group: Wait, You Can Do That? (PRIVATE)

Hello, Bewildered Onlookers and Blown Minds!

We expect life to be straightforward, more or less. We get into our habits when WHAM! Someone flips the script. All new possibilities are open to you! I think it’s time we explored those possibilities, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Wait, You Can Do That?

RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!

When we grow up, we see one world, one point of view: our own. As we gain friends, are assigned groups for projects or get to know coworkers, we begin to hear different ideas. We think to ourselves, “why didn’t I think of that?” Little by little, our point of view grows. We learn about more and more prospects available to us. In turn, we grow as people. We have moments when we ask it and moments it is asked of us. It constantly questions our morals and our beliefs, and we are better for engaging with it.

Take, for example, that one kid your parents didn’t like you hanging out with after school. Maybe they led you to a place you weren’t allowed to go, or they took something they shouldn’t have taken. You ask the question either to yourself or to them. Depending on the answer you came to or got, maybe you didn’t go or maybe you took that thing. That action and its consequences shape people into who they become, what they do, and what they question. It changes lives for good or ill.

Likewise, this question can be used to ask permission. Imagine a scared child approaching a strict parent or a new employee asking something of their new employer on their first day. How relieving it is to have permission, but perhaps some doubt stirs in their chest. They ask the question and either their fears are confirmed or their relief is justified. We are either freed or trapped. We are either shunned or accepted. It’s all because we asked that question.

Maybe the question is used to ascertain ability. You don’t know if Bill in the next cubicle can whistle. You don’t know if Daniel can code in Java. You don’t know if Myrtle can make a mean bowl of eggnog. You never will unless you ask the question. When you have the answer, it can be a linking of spirit, an instant friendship. It can be a repulsion. It can even call from the recesses of your mind a fear that human beings rarely experience.

There are many people that can be asked. There are many ways to ask the question. There are many ways to respond to the answer.

Will you bind lives together or pull them apart with just an inquiry? Will you bring joy, sadness, or something else?

It all starts with one simple question. Go ahead; ask it.

—Pearce

Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.

Tune into the stream this Saturday at 3:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!

The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.

Rules and Guidelines

We read at least four stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and two of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!

  1. Text and Formatting

    1. English only.
    2. Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
    3. Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
    4. Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
    5. Use two paragraph breaks between each paragraph so that they have a proper space between them (press “enter” or “return” twice).
    6. Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
    7. No additional text styling (such as italics or bold text). Do not use asterisks, hyphens, or any other symbol to indicate whether text should be bold, italic, or styled in any other way. CAPS are okay, though.
  2. What to Submit

    1. Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
    2. Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
    3. Write something brand new; no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
    4. No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
    5. Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
  3. Submission Rules

    1. One submission per participant.
    2. Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
    3. Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
    4. You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
    5. Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
    6. Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
    7. You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
    8. Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.

Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.

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WolfsbaneX
WolfsbaneX
1 month ago

“A Porter’s Tale” (Fyndveld)
By Hemming Sebastian Bane

Heavy rain pattered against the window. Thunder rumbled the foundation of the archaic chateau. Porter stood alone in the dark foyer, the clock under its skin tick tick ticking. Its lidless eyes surveyed its station, its form doubled over in a perpetual hunch. The four arms behind its back fidgeted as they extended from their crossed position.

This was a new experience for Porter. No visitors this evening. No hats, coats, or scarves to collect and put up. The spindly fingers twitched in anticipation. Slowly, it stood to its towering eight foot height and issued a bizarre flutey trill as it headed further into the house. Porter glided across the wooden floor, its fleshy, wheel-like feet rarely lifting off the ground, and encountered its greatest trial: stairs.

Porter bent over backwards and got onto its arms, kicking its legs up. With careful grasp, it crawled up the steps. Thankfully it didn’t have anything lading it, so the normally laborious task didn’t take as long. At the top of the steps, Porter held out its inner right arm, back of the hand out to allow the eye riveted into place there to see. It saw it: the alchemical symbol signifying the unity of sulfur, salt, and mercury. The one that the mistress used to identify herself to it and its kin. Porter resumed his hunch and approached the door. With a gentle touch, it opened the door and entered the master bedroom.

In the bed, an elven woman laid beside a patchwork man of her own design, playing with his hair as he… was inactive? Porter was unsure. All it knew was the he-thing had closed eyes and breathed, the latter of which was something Porter somewhat envied. With a start, the woman sat up.

“Porter? What is it? Is there someone at the door?”

Porter trilled a negative response. The mistress’s brow furrowed.

“Then why come up here?”

Porter’s skin clock ticked in the silence.

“You… came up here because you wanted to?”

Porter trilled an affirmation.

“Interesting. I didn’t realize you had desires. I will have to fix that.”

Last edited 1 month ago by WolfsbaneX
John Perceval Cain (oneeye John
John Perceval Cain (oneeye John
1 month ago

Truth is Stranger than Fiction
John Perceval Cain (oneeye John)

The icy wind blew. Minnesota in December could be an inhospitable place. The digital thermometer on the car’s dash read -22 °F. But Jean needed to get home. It was almost Christmas, and she wanted to be with her with family, so she made the 400-hundred-mile drive from her dorm at Winona State University.

The trip normally took about 7 hours. Jean timed it well and avoided rush hour traffic in the twin cities. But it was late at night when she entered the White Earth Indian Reservation. The back roads were curvy and isolated, but she had grown up here and knew the road well.

Jean’s eyes burned from the dry air blowing on her face from the windscreen defroster, and the car’s headlights glared on the snowbanks as she made it down the curvy highway. She skidded off the road in a sharp corner and the car stalled. It was unfortunate, but she was only two miles from her friend Wally’s home, so she thought she’d rough it in her western boots, coat and mittens.

He found her the next morning, 15 feet from his door. The cold weather froze her solid, and she was so stiff he had to place her across the back seat of his car for the drive to the regional hospital.

At the hospital, Jean’s skin was ashen and so frozen they couldn’t initially place an intravenous catheter. Her body temperature was so low, it wouldn’t register on a thermometer. The pupils of her eyes wouldn’t respond to light as the cold had frozen them solid and her heart rate was unbelievably only 12 beats per minute.

After several hours of warming via an electric heating pad, it seemed a miracle had occurred. Jean revived. From literally stiff like a piece of meat in the deep freeze to alive and well.

This short fiction piece is based on the actual story of Jean Hilliard from the January 3, 1981, New York Times.

See: https://www.nytimes.com/1981/01/03/us/dakota-teen-ager-recovers-after-being-frozen-stiff.html

jesse fisher
jesse fisher
1 month ago

Personality?
By Jesse Fisher

Some wonder how a robot can have a personality, like how can a thing that is coded be anything but that which is written.What they don’t know is robots can split themselves to better figure out something.

“What do you mean it is due in less than a day away?” A red coded version acted in shock.

“I mean we did know this last week but you were going on an emotional trip while the rest of us just ran this ship on autopilot.” A violet coded one replied, shaking its head. “We go through this every week.”

“Kinda like this over the color wars, I mean this is kinda a default since how many thoughts are in the W.I.P. room?” A yellow coded one shot in as it moved to another room.

“You’re just saying that because you get out of a secondary job working on it.” Violet shot back before turning to red. “You have been on a near literal rollercoaster the past week.”

“I think we are having an episode.” Red replied as it recalled the last time it had to just sit down while the panic code played out. “Then again they have been doing that a lot.”

“You know we could just drop some baggage.” A green coded one came from another room. “I mean we do that and we have less stress.”

“Can we really do that?” Violet tilted its head. “I mean that baggage is still us.”

“Well we could do a factory reset?” Green grinned, that unnerved the assembled colors.

“Wait, we can do that?” Red said as it hit a silent alarm.

“I mean we could always do that, it’s just none of you had the guts.” Green’s voice turned glitchy as black code began to cut into its green.

“Virus Alert, delete immediately before someone gets hurt.”

The room goes dark.

i-prefer-the-term-antihero
i-prefer-the-term-antihero
1 month ago

[Removed]

Last edited 11 days ago by i-prefer-the-term-antihero
Aracnarquista
Aracnarquista
1 month ago

The source of stories, or T.A.A.P.
By Aracnarquista

“Technology assisted auto plagiarism.”

“…What? I don’t think I understand what you mean.”

So, I explained to her.

“You asked me where the inspirations for my novels come from. Technology assisted auto plagiarism is the answer, at least to where I got the inspiration for “For the Lack of a Candle”. After the success of “The High Priestess of Poker”, I caught a severe case of writer’s block. No idea seemed interesting enough to linger in my mind, and the ones that did… well, I wasn’t making any progress in putting them to paper. I felt empty, and a bit desperate.”

“In dire straits, all exits seem valid. I was reminded of all those stories of great artists that allegedly achieved success through a deal with the devil, and then I searched for my own devil. A technological devil, whose prices were cheaper, but who was no less powerful nor less cunning.”

“Have you ever worked with those very robust predictive simulations? Like the ones used to predict the weather, or model planetary formation, or those that calculate how entire ecosystems may evolve through specific actions? There are some that can do… even more than that. Imagine that someone feeds all my writings to a simulation such as this. Not just my published novels, but also my personal notes, the scraps of text on my digital data trail, the self-censored drafts that never saw the light of day… Imagine that said simulation could then try to predict my next novel, based on these inputs.”

“Now, stop imagining, ‘cause that’s the book you have in your hands. “For the Lack of a Candle” was the output. I read what the program emulated as my writing… and then I copied it.”

She looked at me, incredulous. “Are you even allowed to do that?”

“Well, here’s the funny thing. Technically, plagiarism is the copy of a previous, existent work. What I’ve copied was a future, hypothetical, plausible work. So who’s to say?.”

Maybe I had no hints on where to find inspiration to share. But at least I’ll always have stories to tell.

Last edited 1 month ago by Aracnarquista
Cromillea
Cromillea
1 month ago

Rock Star (Dawn Collection)
By Cromillea

“Hey kid, can you do whatever it is you’re doing a bit quieter? I’m trying to sleep,” the Sunrise King said, nonchalant.

The psychic child was barging through the king’s mindscape, making a mess of his inner archives. He pried open case after case that orbited the slumbering sun. It proved to be an odd, yet effective way to conduct an interrogation.

Streams of memories poured out from the containers and formed glowing rings around the king. The child reached into them to pull out any useful information. Unexpectedly, projections of the Sunrise King began to leap out from the streams as well.

The father and the commander in him emerged to defend their mindscape.

The father pulled the kid away from his meddling and began to scold him. “Young man, what do you think you are doing in a stranger’s mind? I’d like to speak to your parents about this.”

While the father was lecturing the kid on proper investigation etiquette, the commander was thinking of a way to expel the saboteur. He had to protect his secrets and schemes. In desperation, he settled on an unsavory solution.

“Keep the kid there, I need to secure that case!” he yelled to the father.

The commander leapt over trunks and boxes, then he stumbled upon an abandoned instrument case labeled Rock Star. The father understood what he was attempting and shouted, “no, not him!”.

He hesitated a moment before snapping open the guitar case. Immediately, a spirited projection of a teen aged Sunrise King emerged, singing and playing his guitar. The rock star’s song hit like a rogue comet, scattering the archives and disorienting the psychic. It filled the mindscape with a shameless song that overwrote every thought.

The projections faded away as the Sunrise King awoke, invigorated. The song still filled his head as well as his invaders. The overstimulated psychic sat outside the king’s prison cell covering his ears, hoping that it might silence the song inside.

The king said pleasantly surprised, “I can’t believe I used to sing like that!”

VulpesRose
VulpesRose
1 month ago

Coffee Talk
By VulpesRose

As Conner sipped his coffee, he noticed Will kept checking his watch. At 9:37, a young woman walked into the café, and Will smiled.

“Someone you know?”

Will seemed surprised to have been caught, and a bit of color crept into his cheeks. “No. Not really.” There was a pause until he added. “I’d like to though.”

“Oh?” Conner raised an eyebrow. Will was somewhat notoriously single.

Will was now pointedly avoiding looking in both the girl and Conner’s directions. “She’s come in a few times with friends, but usually she sits and reads. I’ve read a few of the books I’ve seen her with. She has good taste, mostly.” He paused and smiled to himself. “She seems sweet.”

Conner took another sip of coffee as he watched the girl in question sit while waiting for her order. She had, in fact, pulled out a book, although he couldn’t make out the cover from here.

“You know you could just go up and talk to her?”

That got Will to look directly at him. The shock on his face slowly faded. “Oh…that honestly had not occurred to me.”

“Do you know what she’s reading today?”

Will finally looked over in her direction and nodded. “Hound of the Baskervilles. Looks like she’s almost done, too.”

“Have you read that one?”

He nodded. “Not my favorite Holmes, but decent.”

“So, why not go over and ask how she’s liking it?”

Will still didn’t seem entirely convinced.

“Hey, maybe this is your one and only conversation. Maybe you’ll chat occasionally about books when you see her here. Maybe you’ll form a book club. Maybe you’ll get married and I’ll give a super embarrassing speech at your wedding about this very conversation. I don’t know. But I do know nothing happens unless you give it a shot.”

Will looked over at the girl again, downed the rest of his coffee, and stood up. “I’m, uh, gonna go throw this away. Over there.” He pointed at the trash can. The one over by where the girl was sitting.

Conner smiled. “Remember; no spoilers!”

MasaCur
MasaCur
1 month ago

Divine Intervention
By MasaCur

Everything went dark. Streetlights, interior lights, even the dashboard. Ramona pulled out her phone, and the screen wouldn’t turn on.

Just as suddenly, everything came back. Ramona glanced up at the traffic light, and saw it turned green. She advanced forward, and then slammed on the brakes immediately.as a woman dashed out into the street with a scream.

Following on her heels was a pale man with thin, wispy hair, running on all fours. Ramona blinked. “Is he wearing…chainmail?”

The pale man pounced upon the woman, snapping and snarling, attempting to bite at her. Ramona sighed, pulled the Glock from her glove box, and exited her car.

“Hey, asshole! Get off her.”

The pale man’s head snapped around. His mouth hung open, filled with jagged teeth.

Ramona kept the hood of her car between herself and the man. She kept the handgun pointed at him.

He bolted toward Ramona, and she fired. He hit the ground.

Seconds later, he climbed back to his feet. There was a hole in the rusty chainmail where the bullet struck, but no blood coming from the wound. And it seemed to be getting smaller.

He snarled a rattle growl, and advanced on Ramona again.

He lurched toward Ramona, causing her to stumble back.

A voice boomed from behind Ramona. “Get back, creature of darkness!”

The pale man gave an inhuman shriek and slunk away.

Ramona glanced behind her, and saw a redheaded man holding a crucifix. He advanced on the creature until he stood beside Ramona.

“Thanks,” she gasped. “I’m lucky you came along when you did, Padre.”

He smiled grimly. “I’m not sure how long I can hold him off, though.” The man looked at Ramona’s Glock, and placed his hand upon it. “Oh Lord, if it be in your plan, bless this weapon, and allow it to vanquish this beast.”

“You think it will work?” Ramona asked.

He nodded. “I’m holding it back with pure faith. I believe this will too.”

The pale man screamed.

Another shot and it evaporated in a miasma.

Ramona gasped. “I can’t believe that worked.”

Last edited 1 month ago by MasaCur
Rattus
Rattus
1 month ago

Laws Are Just Suggestions, Anyway
by Gerrit (Rattus)

“Alright, kiddo. First objective: get inside.” Quentis blew out his moustache as he took a few steps toward the wall. The tails of his jacket flapped against his legs in the breeze.

“And how do you propose we do that?” Johra hadn’t seen any stairs while they were approaching, and walking in the main door was out of the question.

Quentis looked confused. “Well, I was just going to walk in. I suppose how you enter is your problem.” He turned on his heel and strutted to the wall. Johra prepared himself to watch his companion stumble face-first into it, and wondered how much he had drank before offering his services at the tavern.

To his surprise, Quentis walked clean through the stone, disappearing entirely.

“How did you do that?” Johra struggled to keep his voice at a low enough level to avoid detection.

Quentis poked his head back out of the mortar. “I just walked through. Thought it was pretty obvious.”

“Okay, but how? That defies every known law of the universe!”

“Ahh, but there’s the problem. Whoever created the universe, whether man, woman, or sentient spaghetti, was far too trusting. They created all these so-called ‘laws of physics’, but just assumed nobody would break them.

“So they didn’t bother establishing a police of physics, or a judicial code of physics. They just slapped up a big old ‘No Trespassing’ sign and hoped nobody would ask questions.”

Now full of bravado and questions, Johra sucked in a deep breath and marched forward. The impact against the wall was so hard and abrupt he worried his nose might have broken.

“What the hell?” Johra shouted.

Quentis shrugged. “Guess you’re just not a rule-breaker, kid. Just because the laws of physics are breakable doesn’t mean everyone can break them. If I gave you a knife and told you I’d pay you twenty bucks to stab Ms. Withersby, would you do it?”

“Of course not!”

“See? You’re just not a rule breaker.”

“Would you do it?”

Quentis shrugged. “I mean, Ms. Withersby is nice and all. But twenty bucks is twenty bucks.”

Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
1 month ago

Of Rats and Fathers (Life of Madness)
by Lee Strangely

The metal chair was cold, much like the rest of the waiting room. Technically every chair she sat in across the day was cold and metal, but this one was different. The chairs outside and inside the principal’s office were the kind of chairs with that weird minimalist look, and the cushions built into them that didn’t actually cushion anything. They weren’t very comfortable, though Maddy grew quite accustomed to sitting in them.

Next to her was another girl, with dark hair and a dark hoodie.

“What do you think they’re talking about in there?” she asked.

Maddy smiled, “Me.”

They couldn’t understand everything that was being said inside, but it sounded like a very heated argument judging by the volume.

“So why are you here?” Maddy asked.

“Got in an argument with the P.E. teacher… You?”

“I…”

Briefly someone inside raised their voice, “This is different! She terrorized students with a dead rat!”

The girl looked back at Maddy in astonishment, “Did you actually do that?”

“No no-no-no, that’s a dramatic oversimplification… You see, it was really cool, I found a dead rat in the closet during my robotics class. I attached some wires, a battery, a transceiver. You know, just the bare bones, nothing fancy. And I was able to link it up to the remote I was working on, and MAN the movement turned out so much better than I was expecting. I sent him into the locker-room, and I had never heard screams at such high notes in my life!”

“Those poor girls.”

“What girls?”

The office door then opened. Out came a man in a well-worn overcoat and a fowl mood. Maddy went pale upon his entrance. As she started to get up, he grabbed her by the hair.

“Okay I- ow-ow-ow-ow.”

He pulled her along until they left the building.

“Why do you keep doing this to me?!” he hissed, “my work is important, I don’t have time to deal with your antics, every, other, DAY.”

“Sorry…” she briefly noticed the bandage wrapped around his right hand, “Where’d you get that?”

“Work.” he growled.

Glaceon373
Glaceon373
1 month ago

Think Outside the Building (Students of the DiamondBridge Academy universe)
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

“What’s stopping us from just, uh, taking the elevator?”

“The cameras, obviously.”

“Ugh, this is way harder than it looks.”

Sam and Cypress sat in Infiltration/Sabotage 101, desks squished together, puzzling over the group project in front of them. “How Would You Plan This Heist?” the title taunted from pages of fake blueprints, imaginary guard schedules, and a horribly-vague instruction sheet.

“Well, if we can’t use the elevator,” Sam tapped her pencil on her desk, “how do we get to the top floor?”

“There’s stairs here,” Cypress pointed with a clawed hand. “That seems a little easy, though.”

Sam’s batlike ears perked up in confusion. “How so?”

“It—it just does!” A hiss escaped their lips along with the words. “Look, there’s a straight line from the front door to the stairwell, and the stairs come out even closer to the prize room than the elevator. There’s still three cameras, but a suitable disguise would negate that. But that’s way too easy!”

“What’s wrong with easy?”

Cypress looked at Sam, bewilderment filling their lizard eyes. “Everything? Obviously?”

“Are you s—”

“Also we’re being graded on originality.”

“… Oh.”

Good grades had a tendency to stunt ideological debates.

Sam looked back at the blueprints. “Well, if we’re being creative…”

Her pencil hit the page.

“What are you doing?” Cypress asked.

“If there’s moonlight, I can fly up the outside and go through the window.” A crescent moon now decorated the blueprints. “Get up there, lower a rope for you, skip all the cameras. Assuming you’d be okay with that, of course.”

Cypress blinked. “If there’s moonlight, you can do what now?”

“Fly! Kinda. It’s more like the ground is wherever I want it to be. ‘Riding on moonbeams’ is what an old textbook called it? It’s one of those vampiric holdovers, y’know?”

She forced a chuckle, her small fangs catching the light.

A smile caught Cypress’ lips, sliding their scales along with it. “You’re smart, Sam, you know that?”

“Uh…”

A quick glance to make sure the teacher, Mr. Nicklescribe, wasn’t paying attention, then Cypress whispered, “I could use your help.”

Skeleton
Skeleton
1 month ago

Sleepless. (The Will)
By Skeleton

“Did you mean it?”

The dragoness looked over to the black-haired man sitting next to her on the desolate walls of what was supposed to be his home. Eymir had pulled himself into a ball, tighter than any other she had seen. Even though the stars shone brilliantly with the moon, his eyes had no glimmer to them. “What do you mean?” Remianna replied.

“When you said you would help me. Do you have any idea what you’d be up against?”

He was breaking, and she could see the cracks widening. Remianna forced his legs down and used them as her pillow, looking up to the Sufferer with confident eyes.

Eymir closed his eyes and sighed. “You already know I have two traits—that alone is a problem for anyone trying to take me down. Even the most powerful Wills only have one,” he reminded her, but Remianna did not falter.

“The first is… when my essence touches physical matter, I consume it—adding to my mass of pure eleum. I can carry up to ten tons of mass within me, and whenever I consume something, I can recreate it perfectly. If I can touch you through any surface with my essence… I can kill you.”

“But?” Remianna prompted.

“But that’s a simple parlour trick without the second trait,” he continued. Eymir swallowed, preparing himself to reveal the one thing he had never told another soul. “The reason I have such a large essence pool isn’t because of my linage. It’s because… I…”

It took him several moments to get out the truth, his tears acting as lubricant. “…because I take my victim’s core essence—their soul—and add it to my own. It’s why I can’t sleep anymore: they’re all still there… screaming and trying to take control of my body. Especially… her.”

Remianna’s jaw tightened, and Eymir noticed. “Are you sure you want to help me?” he asked.

“I just don’t think a monster would let a woman use him as a pillow,” she quipped.

“You’re insane,” he shook his head in disbelief.

“Maybe I’m just crazy about you.”

Last edited 1 month ago by Skeleton
C. M. Weller
1 month ago

A Pleasant Revelation (Cordelia’s Journey/A Tiefling Tale)
C. M. Weller

Thunder rumbled into Cordelia’s awareness, first. Heralding the feel of a soft, down mattress or the warm weight of blankets and quilts. Hinting at the awareness of some very warm presence by her side. Wrapped around her wherever possible.

The thunder ebbed and flowed like a tide, making her think that there must be a truly unpleasant storm outside before the golden light of dawn sidled into her awareness.

Cordelia put things together. Slowly, since it took her brain some time to accomplish puzzles this early in the day. She was not wearing a single stitch of clothing. Neither was her husband. Oh yes. She had got married, just yesterday. And enjoyed some matrimonial bliss, thereafter.

Cordelia turned towards the weight of her husband. Kormwind Arachis Felbourne Whitekeep, ninth of the name. The Demon Lord of these mountains. Affectionately known to those who loved him best as ‘Kosh’.

Kosh, who had all five limbs wrapped around her as if he still feared she may vanish. Kosh, who had suffered so much just to win this much peace. Kosh, her beloved.

He had drooled on the pillow in his slumber, and his hair was an unsurprising mess. Nevertheless, she could still spot the gold band that was now a part of his left horn for the rest of their lives together. She would never forget that weird look of beatific glee on his blue features, in combination with the scent of searing horn and burning blood.

Tieflings like him got more than a little strange about forming permanent bonds.

Cordelia brushed some of his indigo curls from his face and felt… a vibration? The thunder was coming from HIM!

Golden eyes opened and he made a deep, “Mrrrrp?” noise.

She couldn’t hide it from him. “You were purring.”

His voice still trembled with the noise. “I’m… happy.” His pointed teeth showed, and he was unafraid of their influence on her. “I’m really, truly happy.”

“How long have you known you can do that?”

Kosh loosened one arm to rub his eyes. “About a minute, belike?”

Last edited 1 month ago by C. M. Weller
Marx
Marx
1 month ago

His Royal Highness, Christopher Rupert…
By Marx

“Okay…” Matt began. “Do you still have the glass slippers?”

“They were gold, actually.” Cindy replied. “And no… I lost them over the centuries.”

Matt nodded. “Ah, the original is more accurate then. So, it was the three nights?”

“Correct.”

“Okay… how did the prince not catch you the second time, much less the third?”

Cindy chuckled. “Well… the prince… was something of a… dullard.”

Matt chuckled. “So, that’s why he went with shoe fitting rather than… your face?”

“There were a lot of women there, to be fair. And the shoes were magic. So, I was the only one who could fit them. Well… without mutilating their foot.”

“Oh God… That actually happened?! And the prince fell for it? Twice?! In a row?”

“As I said…” Cindy smirked back. “Not terribly bright…”

“Can you talk to animals?”

“Well… I can… control them. Magic, you know? Is that even surprising for you? Aren’t you friends with a bear?”

“A bear goddess actually. She just prefers her bear form.” Matt was about to ask another question when he remembered why Cindy was actually here.

“I appreciate you indulging my curiosity, but we should probably get back to the matter at hand. So… you sold part of your soul back then for power and now you want it back…”

“Yes…” Cindy sighed. “I… did choose to sell it. And I got what I wanted from it. But… that was a very long time ago. I… just want to be whole now… as selfish as that sounds.”

Matt nodded back. “So… would you prefer me to find your soul fragment and return it to you, or just heal your soul and the fragment would grow back? I prefer the former because the latter ties you to me and-”

“I’m sorry. I… I must have misheard you. Did… you say that you could regrow my soul?”

“Yeah.” Matt shrugged. “It’s not hard for me to do, it’s just-”

“Soul growth is a VERY hard thing to do!” Cindy whispered harshly. “Offering such a thing so… flippantly is not wise. ”

“Oh. Er… duly noted.”

RVMPLSTLTSKN
RVMPLSTLTSKN
1 month ago

The Next Stage
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (The Saga of The Deep One’s Wake)

Osareph met the strangers outside the city, his mangled lip twisting in pain. Behind him, several of his cadre walked imperiously. Even the twins.

The strangers rode horses, a rarity so far from the plains, and were dressed in furs and loose leather armor. Most of them wore hoods, a couple preferring hats.

“Greetings, strangers,” Osareph called. “Why do you come armed for war?”

A woman, large and muscular, nudged her mount forward. “We hunt a killer,” her voice was commanding and accented disfluently.

Osareph’s lip twitched at the thought of his captive. Her perhaps?

“Anyone in particular?”

“We do not know their name.”

Osareph smirked, despite himself, “There is no one here by that reputation.”

Her gaze was piercing, cunning like a club. “We saw your men take her. We want her back, for justice.”

“We have taken No One.”

She nudged the horse closer. “Do not play games with me, little mage.”

There is an aspect of ambition which loves a challenge. Osareph grinned at the foreigner. “That is her name as she gave it. No One.niekas.”

“Give her to us.”

“No,” he said, gesturing to his lip. “She has wronged me, so she is mine.”

“I will take her from you.”

“If you came for war, stranger, I am ready.” Osareph took his knife from his belt, his confidence whetted by years of sacrifices and three dozen souls at his command.

The woman slid from her horse, a long staff in hand. “I will beat you and take the girl. Perhaps your men will have better manners after you fall.”

Osareph leapt forward, blade extended, hand grasping.

The woman stepped back, hand extended. “Hope!”

Osareph felt the familiar sensation of souls on his skin. This spirit bristled with power and anger. A cry for justice and a lameness that kept it from harming him. His defenses, tattoos scribed in bloody and charcoal, burned across his chest and back.

The spirit was no mere soul, the woman was no mage, no woman even.

“You’re a shaman?”

Xe smirked, the spirit manifesting behind xir. “I am Jabil-Tai.”

Revisis
Revisis
1 month ago

A Special Education
by Exce and Edited by Luna

Father’s face was illuminated by the flickering flames of the fire, which had become an oasis of warmth as the day faded away.

He had gotten rid of the hat he wore to keep away the sun, and carried a big thing wrapped in cloth.
Syrae was a bit confused why he was allowing her to stay up so late anyway, it wasn’t her birthday…

Pa seemed to collect himself.
“I wish I could properly teach you all of this, but sadly the toll of my youth has robbed me of much of my strength.” As he spoke he slowly unwrapped the object.

“You are slowly getting older, and as you do your soul will begin to change as well.” That all sounded very ominous, but what really had Syrae’s attention was the massive golden sword sliding out of the worn cloth. She had actually seen that sword before! It usually hung above the mantle fastened to the wall by solid looking metal straps.

Pa took the hilt of the sword almost gingerly, and when his fingers closed it came alive. Fine veins of scarlet began to glow from the hilt all the way up the blade ending at the tip. As it did, Pa seemed to change, tiredness leached away and his eyes filled with an internal glow.
Syrae had an issue deciding where to look.

“Your mother will teach you most of the direct combat applications, maybe the spells if you got a knack for it, but i’m the only one who can explain this part.”
He extended his free arm; instead of burning it began to change. The fingernails grew longer and denser into claws, and the skin hardened until small bone plates formed along his knuckles and across his forearm.

When he looked at her, his eyes glowed faintly red.

“There is a monster in each of us. You just have to learn to express it.”

Syrae had definitely decided where her attention belonged. Having jumped up from her log, she stared at her father even as his magic faded away to exhaustion.

“That is AMAZING!”