Writing Group: A Single Blade of Grass (PRIVATE)

Hello, Landscapers and Lawnmowers!

There are so many little things in our lives, easy to ignore or pass by. So often we go about our days without paying any mind to where we place our feet. I think it’s time we looked a little closer at what we’re stepping on because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

A Single Blade of Grass

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!

We’re all told to “stop and smell the flowers,” but we rarely manage even that much. There are things even smaller than flowers, even easier to overlook, to ignore, to trample in our pursuits. We walk upon the grass, disregarding any single blade just looking for a little sunlight. We are told “the grass is greener” merely because it is on the other side, when in truth the grass beneath our feet is green enough. Sometimes we’re told to “touch grass” because we’ve lost sight of reality, stuck inside—be it inside our houses, or our own minds. Maybe we, and our characters, need some reminders of these lessons. 

Maybe a single blade of grass can have some use. Maybe it can be the final ingredient in a potion a witch is brewing. Maybe a bird needs the perfect piece of grass to finish its nest. Maybe a child wants to make duck calls in the park. We often see “Don’t step on the grass” signs, maybe stepping off the path will lead to greater consequences than a cranky old man’s scolding. Or maybe it’s greater than that; maybe, like stepping on a butterfly, the death of a single blade of grass can change the course of history as we know it. 

You could write a story about someone who feels sick and scared while flying in a plane, helicopter, hot air balloon, or superhero’s back, who misses the grass. Someone who moved to a desert planet who longs to return to their lush home. You could write about someone who has never felt grass before; like Rapunzel, trapped in her tower, never knowing what it is to feel the ground. Maybe someone had a disease that kept them from going outside, and can now finally take their first step out the door. Maybe someone living in an apocalyptic world finds a single piece of grass, and knows then that life can return to the world.

Or you could write from the perspective of the blade of grass itself, merely trying to live. Perhaps frisbee in the park is a great war to the kingdom of grass, and the single blade is one soldier in the army. Perhaps it has had to watch its brethren mowed down, one by one, fearing its turn. Perhaps it experiences a dramatic death at the hands—or feet—of the humans who don’t pay it any mind. Perhaps it is the only survivor of the greatest battle in the kingdom’s history: a schoolwide game of tag.

A duck call, a sword blade, a metaphor, a last ray of hope, a sign of doom…a single blade of grass. The little things can be more important than one might initially think. Just like a single person can have more impact on the world than their everyday life might imply. 

Now, will you take that first step outside?

—Kaylie

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.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

90 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
WolfsbaneX
WolfsbaneX
4 months ago

“Kamikiri no Monogatari” (Oniyama)
By Hemming Sebastian Bane

A teapot hung above the small irori, the charcoal fire within it warming and lighting the one-room hut. On opposite sides sat two beings. One, the smaller of the two, was a masculine creature with four arms – the two inner ones crossed and two outer ones resting on his knees – two legs, red skin, muscles and two prominent fangs. Across from him sat a being with the head and torso similar to his and the body of a horse. A horn adorned her head along with a short uneven mane. Tears trailed from her eyes.

The four-armed being took the teapot from the string and poured the hot water over two cups with tea leaves in them. He pushed one cup to her and took the other himself, immediately taking a big sip. She left her cup untouched.

“So,” the four-armed being said, “You woke up like this?” He pointed to her hair.

She nodded, looking off to the side wall. “Yes. We anggitay are proud of our hair, so to awaken to this…”

“I understand. No need to go into detail.” He smiled to reassure the anggitay, but she ignored it. The smile faded.

“So, can you help me, great Yukikara?”

Yukikara chuckled, embarrassed.

“Please, there’s no need to be formal here. You can call me Take. And yes, I absolutely must help you.”

That got her attention. With concern, the anggitay faced Yukikara — no, Take — and said, “What do you mean ‘must’?”

Take stroked his chin. “There are two possibilities to what might have happened. The one I hope transpired is an infestation in your inn.”

The anggitay’s eyebrows furrowed. “Infestation?”

Take nodded. “You see, there are insects called kamikiri that cut and eat hair while you sleep. If that’s it, you have nothing to fear.”

“And the other…?”

Take sighed heavily. “The other possibility is that someone has cut your hair to create a wara ningyo, a cursed doll, of you.”

The anggitay turned pale. “How much time do we have?!”

Take smiled again. “As the bamboo sprouts from the snow, no harm shall come to you.”

jesse fisher
jesse fisher
4 months ago

A Blade
By Jesse Fisher

The blue dented robot looked at the green object hidden in a shaded spot. The broken black visor reflected this object as the bot was just confused. The object was just out of place as there has been nothing but dust for as long as it could remember but then again it was hard to track days when the sun almost never sets.

Using as least invasive ways as it could, what point would it be in studying something if it was no longer viable. Its gunmetal fingers opened so smaller tools could study this object. While a part of itself took in the new information another part looked back on the project it had been doing.

—-

The past untold cycles had been turning the ruin into proper shelter, not just from the weather but of something else. It could deal with the crazed brethren that stayed in major ruins, no there was a thing that outlived what made these ruins. Something that might have lost the will to hunt until the blue robot came along. The day was the only thing that kept the creature from catching the bot.

The bot had to give up places when the whistling of the wind died but a tone was still heard.

It could not recall farther as all the new information filled it. It was botany that came up surprisingly, mostly because that function was just used to avoid unneeded damage. However that also means that something could be done in this dust bowl of a world. Plans were beginning, but it did wondered where all this information came from?

It was something to do and the bot needed a new hobby anyways.

i-prefer-the-term-antihero

[Removed]

Last edited 4 months ago by Tale Foundry
John Perceval Cain (oneeye John)
John Perceval Cain (oneeye John)
4 months ago

In the year 2525
John Perceval Cain

Orbital analysis showed the planet shrouded in a perpetual smog bank made up of ozone, particulate matter including sulfur oxides, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides. Therefore, a survey team was sent to the surface of this effectively uninhabited exoplanet.

Science Officer Sally Ride turned on the real-time audio/video feed system on her space suit. “Away team on SOL3R, 25250713T16:15:13.069 Ephemeris Time, starting planetary analysis, we will examine the ground level atmosphere, water, and sample indigenous plants. We will also look for any obvious archaeologic objects on our survey track.”

Commander Solovyev looked around. The planet was rocky and dynamic. At some point, it must have been a veritable Eden. “I wonder what ruined this planet.”

The duo walked onward in silence, looking at the surrounding devastation. There was a stunted, scrub-like indigenous plant covering most of the ground. It was a grayish-black pallid and unhealthy-looking plant which the analyzer identified as ‘Grickle-grass.’

As they as they moved into a small gully, they found a body of liquid, like a small pond filled with a highly viscous and tenacious substance. Officer Ride bent over and touched her analyzer to the liquid, which reported it was made of ‘gluppity-glup’ and ‘scholoppity-schlopp.’

Commander Solovyev walked onward and stopped at a pile of rubble. It appeared to be the remains of a building, though was in an advanced state of decay, with very little identifiable. He rolled a middle-sized stone over and was surprised to find a rusted, dented piece of metal. As he moved his head, and looked at its surface at an angle, he could make out the text THNEEDS.

The team moved on and found a small hill. On its top they found a series of rocks or stones placed in a circle. They walked around cautiously. On the far side, there was a larger flat stone placed on its edge, with the text UNLESS chiseled in it.

Commander Solovyev said, “What do you make of this?”

“Look!” Officer Ride pointed out a single blade of grass growing out of the stones.

Stellar
Stellar
4 months ago

A World Reborn
by Stellar

She awoke to crackling, fear overwhelming her senses. Breathing came harder than usual. She rose to her feet and coughed, bending over and heaving for air.

Her home was aflame.

Orange and reds cascaded over what had become her world, her life… and it was closing in, making the woman feel as if she was wilting.

She ran as quickly as her feet would carry her, escorting the woodland creatures out of their homes and sending them on their way so that they too could live.

It was painfully obvious that she couldn’t save them all. She wasn’t trying to. No matter what effort she put in, some of these creatures, some of the life… there would be loss. All she could do was save what was left to save.

Exhaustion ate at her, and there was so little time left. She dropped to her knees for a moment and scooped out a handful of soil, then got back up and ran.

She wasn’t quite sure where she was when she woke next. Her eyes opened slowly. The world around her had so little sunlight now, soot and smoke flowing in the air over her prone form. Weakly, she rolled onto her back and stared into the depths of what she had lost. The flames had consumed it all… but it was over.

The king got his wish. She, who had stood in his way, lost everything. The animals had fled further on to find peace and a home of their own, but she could go no further.

Her hand fell to her side, still clutching that bit of soil. Dumping it was all she could do before sleep claimed her once more.

Dreams of grass and trees dominated her unrestful state, a nightmarish reminder of what happened that day. She couldn’t escape that fear until her eyes opened and she felt it.

Grass tickled at her hand when she shifted.

It would grow once more.

Rattus
Rattus
4 months ago

The Price of Mercy
by Gerrit (Rattus)

The sun filtered in through the meager windows of the prison, casting bars of light across the ground. Meera had only served two days of her weeklong sentence, and already she was stiff and sore.

She rose to her feet, stretching her arms in an effort to work the rigidity out of her muscles. A few twists sent cracks along the length of her spine, though it did little to remedy her situation.

“Tough, ain’t it?” A voice asked from across the hall. “If you think two days is bad, try being here two months.”

A man sat in the cell across from her, leaning against the back corner. His hair was wild, his beard having grown out of control in his time incarcerated. He hadn’t spoken before today.

“I couldn’t imagine. I’m sorry you’ve been here so long.”

“Compared to the life sentence ahead of me, it’s nothing.” The man let out a strained chuckle. “What are you in for?”

“I refused to kill a civilian for fighting with a guard.” Meera thought she was doing the right thing. She still did. Yet somehow that ended with her imprisoned.

“Bet he died anyway. You regret not just doing it yourself and not getting arrested?”

Meera thought for a moment. “No, not at all. The blood’s not on my hands. I just can’t believe the Emperor threw me in prison because I tried to protect one of his own citizens.”

The man laughed now, though it was still weak and breathy. “That’s the first thing you need to learn about the Emperor. If a patch of grass doesn’t grow right, he’d rather hide it away than take the time to water it.”

“But those are his people!”

“Only the rich and powerful are his people. Everyone else is either a burden or a source of cheap labour. Nobody outside the Central Square will ever be more than that.”

Last edited 4 months ago by Rattus
VulpesRose
VulpesRose
4 months ago

The Smiling Man and an Unusual Choice
by VulpesRose

“You are accused of stealing from the King’s treasury!” The voice boomed in the quiet forest clearing.

“I invoke my right to trial by combat,” the young man declared, sounding bored with the whole affair.

“Very well.” The captain pointed to one of his finest soldiers, and the man strode forward, armor gleaming in the sunlight. “I have chosen a champion for the crown. You are entitled to choose the weapon.”

The young man grinned, and there was something almost sinister in the curl of his lip. He plucked two long, thick blades of grass from the edge of the clearing, walked confidently to the champion, and extended one to him. “Your weapon, my liege.”

The soldiers laughed. The captain did not. “What is the meaning of this?”

“I have chosen the weapons,” the young man said calmly. “Do you doubt that your champion can perform? I have only a single blade of grass.” He cocked his head to the side. “But that will be enough.”

The champion was getting impatient. The soldiers were getting restless. The captain was getting a headache.

“Fine.” The captain moved his men to the edge of the clearing. “Combatants ready!”

The young man pressed the sides of his thumbs together, with the grass between them.

“Begin!”

He raised his thumbs to his mouth and blew. A screeching whistle rang out in the clearing.

The champion stopped. The soldiers stared. The young man listened.

There was a sound from the forest. Something between a growl and a howl and a snarl. It sounded angry. It sounded close.

The young man smiled again.

For the first time, the champion seemed concerned. “It can’t be,” he stammered. “You’re a myth. That thing,” he pointed toward the forest, “is a myth.”

“I’m afraid we’re both quite real,” the young man said, not actually afraid at all. “He’s closer than I thought,” he added, offhandedly. “You’ve not much time.”

They could hear it approaching. Then there was silence. Then there was screaming. And then there was silence again, soon broken by laughter from the young man.

“Good boy.”

The Missing Link
The Missing Link
4 months ago

One Small Step
By The Missing Link

“Is it live?” an excited female voice spoke across the computer, “What’s the delay… oh, I see comments. That means we’re live right?”

A muffled voice responded, but he was difficult to hear.

She snapped her head towards the camera, “Oh, sorry everybody, welcome. We’re sorry for any lag, but let’s begin.”

She turned around, searching for something, “Ah, there it is.” She apologized again to the man behind the camera and took up a stiff voice as she read from the script, “One small step for man, these were the words spoken when we started walking… I mean when man first walked on the moon.”

She paused, trying to regain her composure. The comments flowed down the side of her screen. She had been warned about the kinds of things they would say, but one caught her eye, “You can do it.” She was surprised. Out of all the comments surely screaming at her to get on with it or get someone else in front of the camera, this one stood out.

She put down the script and smiled, confidence and adrenaline surging into her voice, she’d made it here after all, “I’m live from Mars with groundbreaking news,” passion joined the confidence, “After many years of hard work, we’ve done something miraculous this sol.”

She picked up the camera and turned it quickly on the source of her passion. The microphone crackled with the action. And there it was, a simple blade of grass in a glass case, maybe three inches long.

“In my time at university, I never could have imagined this day,” her voice caught as if holding back tears, “We finally did it. Small step after small step, we made it here. We were afraid it was impossible, but ladies and gentlemen, it is my sincerest pleasure to inform you that we have created life on Mars.”

Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
4 months ago

A Glimpse Of Perfection (Alice’s Story)
By Calliope Rannis

Some things in this world are so delightfully simple.

Take a blade of grass, for example. It absorbs light from the sky, and food from the earth, and uses those substances to grow and spread. What bliss it must have, to be able to serve its purpose so easily.

Another great example is the watch. After all, all it does is tell the time. A simpler purpose could barely be imagined. (Well, to me anyway. Most of the local townspeople seem barely able to read the numbers upon the face, let alone comprehend its actual function…)

But in truth, the real beauty of these simple creations is the complexity of design within them. I have taken blades of grass, used my tools to unravel their innards, and their networks of veins and roots are quite something to behold. (If only my lenses could look even closer!)

As for the watch? Well, I build those myself. They start as a mess of freshly-forged parts, and it is my duty to put every single one in its perfect and proper place. A single cog askew, and it’s a useless piece of metalwork. But with all parts working in unity together, that precious higher purpose emerges.

…And yet, the world never seems to appreciate it. The grass is not allowed to fulfil its purpose in peace – no, it is stamped upon by people, gnawed and infested by insects, razed and befouled by livestock, its tapestry of green constantly torn with holes and stains.

And the clocks I install for taverns and other public spaces? Rarely understood, often not even looked at. The only time people seem to pay attention to them is when they chime for the new hour, and sometimes all they say is “pretty music.” Music! I’m creating timepieces here, not music boxes!

I just want to help. To change the world for the better in my own little ways, with just a few simple tools to help us all improve.

But how can I help anything, when the people I try to help don’t understand my work at all?

RVMPLSTLTSKN
RVMPLSTLTSKN
4 months ago

Like The Grasses
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (The Saga of The Deep One’s Wake)

There is an aspect of godhood that humans learn early and in excess: obsession.

Obsession rids the mind of distraction in humans, allows them to see past the mundane aches and pains, past the grassy spikes in their feet, past the niggling thoughts which plague them and focuses them on their desire. Is it any wonder then, how many of them choose each other? That they forget the inconvenient truths of bodily functions and little cruelties, in pursuit of their obsession?

The gods forget things too, as obsession is a mechanism of temporal experience. The toddler is less obsessed than the teen, than the self-styled lover, than the aged thing which crawls like a coat on a stick.

Father obsesses over his children, their city. He watches old temples fail and be rebuilt, children grow aged and flash through their phases of obsession, the cycle of seasons change as fish populations shift in response to fishing practices.

Obsession is a mechanism of time and scale. The weight of memory, of experiences only half remembered and knowledge accrued over a lifetime, or five, or myriad, things are the things gods forget in obsession.

The only constant for Father is his prodigal daughter. She wanders and tales of her return in her stead, but sometimes she brings them herself, whispering them to him in dark temples during nights without prayers. He chews wheat grass, glutenating in his mouth, while he listens to yet another story of The Stranger or The Wanderer or even The Storyteller. This one is about her cruelty. The teller is a man whose own daughter wandered and was found later, planted in mournful flowering things. Father resolves to hold his prodigal to an account when she returns. While humans now number like grases, each one is important. And murder is still wrong, even for gods. Especially for gods. An example must be set.

Cromillea
Cromillea
4 months ago

My Emerald (Dawn Collection)
By Cromillea

Lucian should not have regretted trading himself for his people’s freedom, but locked away in a dark cell, sick and shivering was not helping anyone. The moonkin’s psychic had already invaded his mind once, so he would not let himself sleep again for fear of leaking secrets. Despite his growing weakness, he had to stay awake to face the consequences.

Being caught in the darkness was a profound experience that the Sunrise King never had before; it scared him. The shadows that were so easy to cut through felt suffocating now. It was near impossible to see, but he looked desperately for any relief aside from himself and the void.

His eyes raced to the center of the cell, falling upon a single blade of grass; he fixated on it with wonder. How could anything be growing somewhere so cold and dark?

Filled with admiration Lucian whispered, “my emerald, you are beautiful. My hope, you stand tall, a guiding flag in this darkness.”

The sparkling blade bent towards him. The king was flattered.

“You mean to thank me! You’re the only other living thing in here, it only makes sense that we should get acquainted.”

The grass wiggled with joy as two more blades cut through the stone.

“Oh my,” Lucian said, gazing between the grass and his glowing hands. “I can see my light again! It’s so dim, but you seem to like it.”

Lucian leaned out of his bed offering his light to grass. It graciously accepted his blessing. Then the emerald blade sprung out through the stone wall, creating a web of cracks. Lucian saw daylight and fainted.

He later awoke safe in the kingdom, where an attendant was soaking his hands in warm water and combing the stone dust from his blond hair. He saw members of his Crimson Elite idling by the door. His captain was curiously twilling the grass between his fingers.

“What happened?” Lucian coughed, startling everyone.

His captain addressed the king with a smile and said, “I suppose his majesty has his father’s knack for gardening!”

Last edited 4 months ago by Cromillea
Aracnarquista
Aracnarquista
4 months ago

Found in memories
by Aracnarquista

Oberon and Titania floated among the shapes and strings of code. It was nice to travel in the vast expanses of the old databases of the Ark; surely it contrasted with the limits the Ark they traveled in their fleshbodies presented them. Here, they could mute the hum of the machinery, they could observe the strange dance of active code jumping and reconfiguring cyber-reality in its way… but their real treasure was exploring the old databases.

It wasn’t even the content of the data packages they guarded. The architecture of those ancient nodes was an interesting experience in itself. Frozen signals, electric memories whose translation protocols were lost to the ages, information stored in arcane and obsolete ways from the times of Lost Earth… all those data in stasis formed a museum of forms and sensations that were even grander than the starry void the Ark sailed adrift.

“Obi, link to that and see what I found.”

This was not just code in stasis. It was an entire hypernode with full sensory stimuli. An active one. The timestamps couldn’t be right, though.

“Ania, this is from… before the Launch. Before even the Building Effort.”

“Let’s connect and see what it is.”

And just so they were in a vast empty expanse where just a small green filament floated. They could perceive it as a simulated sensory memory of a plant of some sort, probably a forgotten relic of Old Earth.

Textual information was broadcast to them, entitling the experience as “the feeling of fresh grass”. With it, came a possibility.

Oberon and Titania exchanged a glance before the girl activated the subroutine, and suddenly the void had gravity and a ground from which an infinitude of copies of the green filament sprouted. It smelled fresh, and the simulated wind ruffled the unknown plant and whistled as it passed them.

Their feet touched the grass… and even though her senses were completely in tune with her cyberbody, Titania felt a tear forming in her flesh eye.

Adrift among stars they might be, but they still had a precious cargo of memories.

Skeleton
Skeleton
4 months ago

Which Weapon Whacks Well? (The Will)
By Skeleton

“Now then,” Mobius began with a confident grin, poorly hiding his giddy excitement at training his only apparent sister. “That thing in your claw isn’t a toy. It’s a tool designed to—”

“—kill people, I know,” Zaila rolled her eyes, bringing the sword between Mobius and herself. “Can we just skip to the part where I trounce you? Ericka promised to take over inventory if I could land a hit on you.”

The red dragon raised his brows, but said nothing as he brought out his weapon.

Zaila dropped her guard. “That’s a piece of grass,” she complained, motioning to the insult in the dragon’s claw.

“It sure is,” Mobius confirmed playfully, readying the blade and prompting his opponent to do the same, albeit with more smugness than the red prince.

A moment of stillness. A strong gust rustled the leaves of the canopy nearby.

Zaila lunged and watched as the grass in her half-brother’s claw gleamed a fiery-red the moment it collided with her blade. The instant she realized she had not cut the plant, her legs were swept out from underneath her as the blade was wrenched from her claws. The purple dragoness landed on her back as Mobius began to trot around her, chastising and taunting the girl with the green grass.

“Tisk tisk, Zaila,” he mirthfully remarked. “You really should have seen this coming.”

Zaila shot up from the dirt with renewed frustration. “How did I not cut it!?” she fumed. “It’s just a flimsy—!”

“Any Will worth their salt can enhance physical materials with their life essence,” Mobius interrupted with a comforting smile. “Armour, tools, flesh, nerves, and yes, even grass. It’s what makes a Will faster, stronger, and more lethal than your average highwayman. It’s also what Eymir wanted me to teach you before he returns.”

Zaila grumbled and crossed her arms. “So that’s what he meant…” she lamented. “A sword isn’t a weapon—you are.”

Mobius squeezed her shoulder with his claw and smiled warmly. “I’ll help you with inventory. We’ll train after!”

Zaila sighed. At least her brother was a good guy.

Last edited 4 months ago by Skeleton
Glaceon373
Glaceon373
4 months ago

The World is Gone.
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

The world is gone.

It ended an unknowable amount of time ago. All of the clocks and calendars are atoms and molecules now. There is nothing left alive to try to count the months since its destruction.

The world is gone.

Dust covers a planet that orbits a star. Dust miles and miles deep in the places that used to have miles and miles of mountains. Sometimes wind whips by, lifting flakes of dust into what remains of the atmosphere. They twirl.

The world is gone.

Color left when everything else did. The difference between brown and gray is unimportant. No one is there to attempt to differentiate.

The world is gone.

Oxygen and carbon dioxide float amongst the twirling flakes of dust. They do not enter any lungs, they do not take part in chemical reactions that spur movement and energy and life. They exist. That is all.

The world is gone.

But there is a space where the dust is not so deep. The ground that used to be the world is close to the surface there. Under the dust is soil. Malnourished soil. Soil lacking in worms or bugs or life of any kind.

The world is gone.

Yet something moves in the soil. Water molecules find themselves inside a root system, and they travel up towards where the gaps in the dust create a pathway for sunlight to hit what remains of the world.

It is a plant.

The plant had been decimated along with the world. But for lucky days or months or minutes, it absorbs sunlight. Its broken root system collects the molecular amounts of water. The carbon dioxide that drifts passed sometimes enters its stomata and photosynthesis occurs.

The plant is a single blade of grass.

Eventually, the grass grows taller. Taller. Tall enough to stretch fully into the light. Life reenters the world that had lost it for an unknowable amount of time.

The world was gone.

But it had not stayed that way.

MasaCur
MasaCur
4 months ago

Beatdown
By MasaCur

Jolts of pain erupted in Erykah’s side as she was blindsided by two quick kicks. She staggered back, her head snapping to face her opponent.

The androgenous dark elf advanced on her, arms raised in a fighting stance, taking a few jabs at Erykah to drive her back.

Thirteen. Rikke Farlund’s favorite henchperson. Of course that’s who was sent for her.

Erykah raised her arms defensively, blocking the punches as she retreated away, trying to conjure a spell to her mind.

To their credit, Thirteen was aggressive in closing in on her, not giving her an opening. A flurry of punches and kicks was launched, some even managing to get past Erykah’s defenses. Her opponent was fast. Maybe a little too fast.

“You’re going to have to try better than that, Twelve,” Erykah grunted.

“The name is Thirteen!” the dark elf growled.

“Hey, Eleven, ask me if I care.”

Thirteen planted a kick to Erykah’s chest, knocking her onto her back.

It was just the opening she needed. Erykah’s hands were moving to construct the gust spell. It wouldn’t be much, just a distraction to give herself a little more time, but that might be all she needed.

A rush of air passed from Erykah’s hand, kicking up dust and dirt directly into Thirteen’s face.

The dark elf seemed prepared for it, covering their eyes as the cloud of detritus hit them.

Erykah’s heart fell.

“Nice try!” Thirteen scoffed. They started laughing as they approached, preparing to stomp Erykah while she was still down.

Erykah watched as a fluttering blade of grass entered Thirteen’s mouth. Suddenly the elf gagged, and started choking. Thirteen doubled over in a coughing fit.

Erykah sprang gleefully to her feet, and punched her fist into the palm of her other hand. All thoughts of using magic to fend off Thirteen left her head. Instead, she felt a desire to beat the dark elf in a more visceral way.

“All right, you fucking rabbit. Time to drop some pain bombs!”

Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
4 months ago

Hastenburaphobia
by Lee Strangely

Bright blue skies and a mild breeze made for a beautiful day, one in which Mallory found herself standing in the open doorway for the first time in years. It was momentous milestone, but Cydney thought it could be better.

“Come on,” Cydney pleaded, “it’s gorgeous out! You got to feel this breeze!”

“I… I can feel it from here,” Mallory stated from the doorway she clung onto.

“Mal you have to move past this sometime,” she said as her bare feet paced through the luscious green, “it’s not going to do anything to you. See, I’m fine!”

“They only pick on me,” Mallory whimpered.

Cydney reached over to take one of Mallory’s hands. She then slowly walked away step by step, gently outstretching both of their hands.

“No…”

Cydney grinned before suddenly yanking her out. Mallory yelped as she made contact with the yard.

As Mallory began to shake Cydney held both of her hands, “Come on. Don’t look at it, just look at me.”

Cydney slowly walked backwards, gently pulling Mallory with. Mallory’s eyes jittered about, jumping from Cydney to everything around her. She couldn’t help but smile when their eyes locked. During the slow movement her mouth seemed to shiver, shakily hopping from that smile to a fake look of indifference.

Cydney guided her until reaching a blanket on the ground, where the two sat down. Mallory curled up within the confines of the fabric, while Cydney sprawled herself out. In the heat and her embrace, Mallory managed to feel some degree of comfort.

Remarkably they both managed to doze off. However, something was waking Mallory. It felt like a tickle on her hand. The shiver you feel when something barely grazes you. Looking over, she froze.

Her hand lied in the grass, the thin leaves almost curling around her fingers. She immediately tried to pull her hand back, the blades cutting her as she did. Her teary eyes stared at the plants. They mockingly danced in the wind. In their swaying, something briefly glimmered.

Mallory looked back at her hand. She had a ring…

Had…

Marx
Marx
4 months ago

You Were Expecting A Literal Interpretation, But It Was Me…
By Marx

“Matt… you don’t understand what you’re asking…” Laila murmured, dropping her head.

“Funny. I thought I was just asking you to be my friend. Instead of pretending to be.”

Laila sighed back, wincing at the phrasing. “It’s… not that simple.”

Matt crossed his arms. “Simplify it then.”

“Matt… I’ve been an angel since before Earth was a thing, much less humanity. You’re thinking like a human, but… I don’t have that luxury. I was created to fight for Heaven. And after Death was born, my purpose became to kill as well. That’s who I am. I can’t just… stop my purpose for being.”

“Well, I think your purpose sucks.”

Laila looked up suddenly as if she’d been slapped, the pain of Matt’s words etched on her face.

“I don’t know that Laila. You went out of your way to hide that Laila from me pretty much my whole life. The only Laila I know is sweet. Caring. She’s not the best at hiding her emotions and a bit of a goofball. Personally, I don’t think you could have faked ALL of that.”

“I didn’t fake any of that…” Laila mumbled under her breath.

“Then there’s more to you than fighting and killing. In fact, I know there’s more to you than that because if there wasn’t, you would have killed me already. That’s what a ‘warrior angel’ would have done, right? Because I’m too big of a potential threat to exist if I don’t blindly follow them?”

“Matt… you’re asking me to choose you over… Heaven. Over the other angels. Over a life I’ve been living for eons.”

Matt shrugged. “Well, from what I can tell, it’s either that or you kill me. So, who are you? My friend or an angel?”

Laila’s features turned from conflicted to furious before she grabbed Matt and much to his surprise, kissed him.

Matt stood dumbfounded. “Well, that was… unexpected.”

“I know. We can talk about it later. Now shut up and give me a moment to figure out a future where Heaven doesn’t kill us.”

“Us.” Matt smiled. “That works for me.”

C. M. Weller
4 months ago

A Job Done Too Well (Cordelia’s Journey)
C. M. Weller

Finally, after the debacle with the dandelion, Miss Cordelia Bellarin was ready to rejoin her age-mates in Lithonesse’s courtyard. Matron Stark remained ready for trouble, keeping an eagle eye on the girl. Owing to her four older sisters, she was known to the school, and frequently addressed, as “Miss Bellarin Quintus”. And, thank the gods, she was proceeding rather well.

Matron Stark still kept a hand ready over the Rod of Correction. Just in case the girl backslid and used her servile and common Druidic gifts. So far, so good. She was re-introducing herself to her classmates after so much remedial time in Lithonesse’s dungeons.

All right and proper. Perfect posture. Perfect grace.

At least until she saw something during one of her curtseys. Something that terrified her.

Stark lunged towards the gaggle of girls as Miss Bellarin Quintus staggered backwards in full hysterics. The other students were confused by the display, scattering away from their shrieking age-mate as they spotted Matron Stark’s approach.

Stark put herself between the problem girl and whatever she had fixed her terrified gaze upon. “MISS Bellarin Quintus! Go practice your sidesaddle immediately and remember your breathing!”

The girl worked on her breathing instantly as she marched towards the wooden horse made for such practice. Only then, did Stark attempt to divine what the fuss was about.

A single fragment of green had once more forced its way into the stark, bare environment of Lithonesse. A tiny shard of grass, in ground that was so hard-trodden that it was practically stone. Had the girl unconsciously summoned it? Or was it neglect on behalf of the groundskeeper?

An investigation must be necessary. AFTER the Matrons of Lithonesse allowed Miss Bellarin Quintus to re-acclimate to plants. It would not be suitable to have a lady of high class to have a phobia of gardens, when garden parties were a vital part of the social scene.