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?
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!
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- Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
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What to Submit
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Belladonna by Floor
He was lying down, allowing the swift breeze to flow through him. Trying his best to simulate breathing. Contracting his muscles, allowing his chest to expand, to then let it go again. It was nice to feel what he lost so many centuries ago. As he continued imitating life, almost in an alien way, he thought to himself.
-“Would it make others feel more comfortable to see me breathing, or should I stop trying to appear as something I’m not. Whatever answer I choose, it does not change the fact that I shouldn’t be here… Thinking hurts. Maybe I should go back to my task.”
As he was debating what should be his next move, the skeleton took out a blue journal. And as he was glancing over the pages he stopped at an empty one. There, from his cold mouth came the word:
Afterwards, he quietly put the journal over his face. Covering it completely. Then he just let himself feel. He touched the grass below, he tried to get its softness, but his gloves stood in the way. But even without them, he did not feel. He tried to get his right hand to sense the sun’s warmth, but it continued to be cold. Disappointed, he let it fall, defeated, but stopped mid air. Mere centimeters from hitting a small creature. It was crawling around, the way it moved through the pasture, pulling its body forward, he wanted to touch it, but his bones were not as sensitive to perceive the bug once it was close enough.
After some time, he tried listening. By this point the birds should be heading back to their nests. He was able to hear their wings flapping around, the way they touched the branches, and, he felt something else, he heard the chicks chirping once their parents came back. It was the kind of sound to make one lively. And as such, he lifted the book. Stood up, and said.
-“So, I need to get a Belladonna? Then, should we start this quest, shouldn’t we… Fae?”
“Some of these artifacts date to thousands of years before our arrival, the civilizations that produced them long gone,” the guide droned on in her plasticy customer-service tone.
The sheer age of everything around me left me speechless. The torn pages with handwritten scripts readable to no one, the everyday utensils, the carved stone and polished metal stared at me from behind glass cages. These small, mundane items filled the room with their presence.
“Exciting, isn’t it?” The guide chimed. People murmured in half-hearted agreement. Appreciation for pairs of socks in dyes that no longer existed or the inner components of old machinery known as “computers” ran low.
“Just wait until you see this!” The lack of excitement could not phaze her. “The crown jewel of this exhibition is just around the corner.” She turned and slid forward. I considered staying behind. Gaudy, over-hyped exhibitions had a habit of disappointing me.
The crowd stopped just before a small transparent cube. Glass? I began to spin a backstory for it in silence. Maybe it was the first piece of glass ever made, a feat in technology for its primitive age. Or maybe it had been used as the murder weapon against a high-profile politician, back when politics were a thing. Maybe it was a rare material that humans had mined into extinction, and this was one of the last samples left. I shoved my way through the crowd, eager to take a closer look.
As I drew closer, its shape became clearer. It wasn’t glass; the strange dance of light wasn’t there. And inside it was nested a strange object: A bright-green thread, flat and wider at the bottom.
“This,” she began with misplaced pride, “is the last piece of organic matter found on Earth. As you remember, various languages were commonly spoken, only a few of which we’ve been able to partially reconstruct. One common name for this was grass. Fascinating, isn’t it?”
I wondered what would be left of us one day, gathering dust under the scrutiny of thousands of eyes.
All She Needed (Chronicles of The Dragon)
She ran down the hall of the laboratory, looking quickly from room to room. A rapid set of clawed footfalls and heavy snuffling made her dart around a corner.
She did her best to keep her breathing quiet. The thing was big, and strong, and fast, but it didn’t seem to have as much endurance as her. Which was the only reason she was still alive.
It certainly wasn’t the choices she’d made.
Why had she let herself get separated from the rest of her team? Why hadn’t she been more careful with how she’d used her seeds? Why did she keep running deeper into this maze of labs and storage rooms? Well, that last one she had an answer to.
She didn’t have anywhere else to go.
As long as she stayed alive, then her team had a chance to come save her. But that was far easier said than done at this point.
She peaked around the corner.
The hulking thing took up most of the hallway, blocking the way back just by existing, and she hadn’t been able to find another way. Being able to initiate and control literally explosive growth in plants, didn’t help without plants.
The huffing grew noticeably softer, and then the footsteps started again.
She turned and ran down the hall, with the beast in hot pursuit.
“HELP!” she yelled, just in case it’d help her team find her.
Rounding a corner, the hall abruptly ended with a door. She threw it open and stopped. The bright and sterile halls were gone, only a stone tunnel. Before she could think about it, the beast slammed through the wall, stumbling as it went. She started running again.
There was light up ahead. Natural light. She ran harder.
The opening was blinding light, and beyond it was more stone and cement. But there was something else. She could feel it.
The beast roared as it barreled around the corner and out of the tunnel, before going stiff and collapsing to skid across the ground. A single, massive, blade of grass spearing down its throat.
The Girl Who Protects The Grass By: Jayden Everyone in town knows of the so-called “crazy woman” that sits in front of the town park and yells at the people who walk on the grass. Everyone ignores her. They don’t even know her name. People say that she was locked in a basement all her life and when she finally escaped, she was in awe of the lush grass and gorgeous flowers found in the park and vowed to protect them. The problem is, no one had any proof of an abused childhood but that’s because no one has even talked to her. After 10 years of the woman yelling at children, elderly and other citizens and tourists of the town, she was arrested by the city sheriff by a complaint by one of the neighborhood Karen’s. As she was taken in for questioning, a nice cop came into the interrogation room to talk. The cop’s platinum blonde hair tied in a bun and blue eyes gave the woman a sort of calmness rush over her. She felt as if she’s seen the cop. “What is your name?” The cop asked. The woman knew she had the right to remain silent but she didn’t want to get in trouble and felt obligated to answer the questions. “Heather, Heather Patton.” The lady responded. The cop wrote it down on her note pad and continue to speak, knowing that somewhere in her mind, she remembered that name. “Why do you yell at people in the park?” The blue eyed blonde asked. “You don’t understand.” Heather said. She looked down and started to fiddle with her fingers. The cop sat down in front of her and put Heather’s hands in her’s. “Hey, it’s okay. You’re not in trouble. I just want to understand, so help me.” Heather maneuvered her chocolate eyes to the sky blue ones that laid on her. Heather gulped and started to talk. “We walk around and text on our phones, read social media and pay no mind to the beauty that surrounds us. People crush the blades of grass, not paying attention to the bugs that find refuge in their vast forests. The wild flowers that grow within those grasses have immense beauty, but no one notices. I took it upon myself to protect the plant life that people so shamelessly trample.” The cop was almost in tears. She never noticed the world around her. Never “stopped to smell the roses” as people say. She smiled at Heather. “You can go and you and I can talk to the mayor.” Heather was confused for a moment. “About what?” She asked. “About making a law to not walk on the grass in the park.” Heather smiled and got up from her seat. She shook the cops hand and thanked her. “Hey, before you go, did you go to St. Petersburg highschool?” The cop asked. It took a second for Heather to register what was being asked. “Oh my god, you’re… Read more »
No doubt by now you’ve heard from your former colleagues at Edinburgh of my dismissal from the university’s research faculty. They have the scientific community convinced of my ineptitude, labelling me a fraud and discrediting my research in the development of the gamma ptychography microscope. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have not, could not, ever besmirch the legacy you started with your foundational work in gamma ptychography.
The machine was a success. In honour of your first experiments, I had it examine a single blade of grass at scales previously thought impossible.
The first test of the microscope gave images so detailed, I could see the texture of the subatomic particles within the grass. It was incredible; oscillating faintly on the surface of each one of the particles was a tiny hexagonal pattern, perfectly symmetrical and perfectly spaced.
Inspired, I pushed deeper – hidden within the structure of each of those subatomic particles was what looked, unmistakably, like stars. Perhaps unbelievable, but it’s true. Probing deeper again, I found, surrounding some of the stars, clearly designed structures – Dyson spheres! Do you understand what that means? Civilization! As I looked further, I only found more evidence – ships flying between the stars, structures that redirected them – remarkable!
As I sat, absorbing this discovery, a thought occurred to me. I fed the machine data from the telescopes in earth’s orbit and I found the exact same hexagonal patterns surrounding us in space, like a barrier surrounding the universe. I trust you understand the gravity of what that could mean.
Unfortunately, when the other researchers caught wind of my discoveries, they decided it would be better to bury my work, than for the world to suffer the implications.
I’m sending you what remains of my research because of the hope that you still hold some sway amongst Edinburgh’s faculty. I hope that, as they lock me out of my own lab, you are still able to continue my research.
Unlike my peers, I do not fear the truth. Damn the implications, we must finish what was started.
A Single Thread
By i-prefer-the-term-antihero (Kaylie Hatch)
The blade of grass swayed in the wind, trying to stay anchored, hoping it wouldn’t blow away.
That would be one of the worst ways to go; torn up by a particularly strong breeze. It’d seen it before.
The wind carried a few things with it. A leaf, a seed, a spiderling, ballooning. The spider’s thread fell near the blade of grass, onto the flower beside it. It wondered if any of the spider’s siblings would find their way here.
A bird flew by overhead. Maybe that would be how it would go: plucked for a nest, or to get at a worm beneath.
The spider crawled up the flower and created a strand of silk, threading it through its back legs.
The grass thought of the big ones’ paws and feet; bending them, sometimes breaking them, just for a place to walk. Luckily none of the two-stepped had come by in a while. If they had, it would be too late. It’d heard horror stories of shiny things.
But that didn’t mean it was safe. Surely, before long, it would be plucked, or picked, or shorn for a path, a hat, or a game. It had watched so many of its brethren cut down. It was just one blade in a field. It would die worthless. It wouldn’t make a difference to anyone.
The spider tied each end of its web home. To the grass’s surprise, the spider tied the final end to it. The silk was tight, but not too tight. Snug, was the word.
The spider began to create the inner layers of its web. The grass watched as the spider wove each line, creating new clothes for it on each pass by until it created a tapestry of a home, shimmering in the sunlight.
The grass looked at the sky full of untold horrors waiting to swoop. It looked at the ground, full of terrors waiting to unearth. It looked at the spider, waiting for a meal.
The spider, who had chosen it for its home.
Maybe it could make a difference after all.
Life After the End of the World
The last blade of grass in existence is held within a single box of resin.
Perhaps that statement should sadden you. It’s in your programming to care, but as you’ve discovered in the years since your creation, not even the best of science can truly duplicate human emotion. He would have cared. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have made you his heir in namesake, in the futile way only an endling could devise.
Now, that preserved blade of grass at his bedside is yours. All the relics of his lifetime are yours. But when you touch them, you have to contend with the simple knowledge that none of them mean anything to you. While you have memories of meaning, you have none of the sentiment that made him preserve an entire lifetime in a system of wires, metal, and circuitry. Despite his efforts, you are what you are.
The most immediate task is disposal of the body. Once that is finished, you could fulfill his last request as best you know how:
You could live on, semi-immortal, with the knowledge of mankind. You could regrow parts of it. He preserved the seeds, but you could grow them and maintain them with the kind of minute care he never could have managed, especially not in sickness. You could keep them green instead of watching them fade like this very blade into yellow. It would take a bit of effort on your part, but you could. Are they even worth anything when the only one left to see them is you?
You should have asked him these things before he expired three minutes and seven seconds ago.
It only takes one they say, who knew that a single blade of grass would be so devastating to the world. Well kinda , let me explain.
I remember when it started I was out checking the crops, when I noticed something in the southwest corner of the cotton field, there was a single blade of grass, several feet tall that appeared to be growing before my eyes .
I opened the camera on my phone and started to record it. When I stepped closer the grass seemed to turn towards me , in mere seconds I was under attack from something spore-like .
I ran and climbed into the cab of a nearby tractor closing the door. I quickly went, back towards the homestead while calling my neighbors , asking if they had one and to warn them to stay away from it.
Carl put me on a video call and showed me the one in his field. Against my advice he approached it . The spores covered him, transforming him into something ineffable. Like a man, with sharp talons , wings , fur and pointed ears.
I watched him take to the skies ,then the call dropped. Over the next 24 hours more farmers in the area were ‘ transformed ‘There were reports daily from around the globe, astonishing numbers of people being changed.
Where they went after no one knew , well until the 7th day , on that day the skies darkened in every major city in the world at noon. The creatures descended to wreak havoc .
Every human being outside in the cities was either slaughtered or bitten. Those who were bitten mostly died after suffering for days with fevers and violent seizures.
Some transformed into more creatures, over a period of days more people were either transformed or killed, there are a few of us left , hiding in our homes waiting to starve to death or for them to come for us .
A Single Blade of Grass
By Curry (who sadly won’t be able to join the public readings)
With a dry rustle the box slid into his hands. It wasn’t even a wooden one, but one made of those giant mushrooms that were the only thing even close to flora growing on this ice cube of a country. He sighed tensely. They wouldn’t be able to leave anytime soon – or ever.
His hands gingerly placed the vessel on a small table, gently letting the cover slip off. Involuntarily he held in his breath.
In his hands the small wreath lay frail, brittle on its year-old edges, its once jolly daffodils long crumpled into mere knots of fibre. They had been his daughter’s favourite, but now she had become a young lady more familiar with local trivialities than with anything distantly resembling the country she was born in. She probably wouldn’t even remember.
He, on the contrary, knew exactly how her little finger had grasped at the dainty white spues spread on the lush green meadow. The warm breeze was carrying with it the smell of early summer. It was—
He jerked back to reality. Something broke. A quiet stroke brushed the fake wood. Panic welled up in his throat, his eyes jolting back into the box to see what had been lost. His heart sank. A single blade of grass was resting there, cracked and torn. He stared at it, refusing to believe that his last reminder of sunny days came apart just like that.
As if not to wake it from its slumber, he silently put back the wreath and cover, before sliding the box back onto the shelf. He would never touch it again, not even dare to look at it. It had to stay there, even if it crumpled to dust – he just needed to know that there was a place for this memory.
May the Better Shut-in Touch Grass
“Well boys!” said Rudy. “I have done it. I have achieved peak shut-in.”
“Bull,” said Goddard. “We’ve been in quarantine for only three days.”
“I doubt you could’ve gone any further than my new invention, the hogway sub,” said Jeremiah. “A sub sandwich that’s just a log of ham.”
Goddard shuddered. “I don’t know who suffered more from quarantine, Jeremiah for inventing something stupid, or me being entertained by watching him eat it.”
“It’s you. And I’m afraid I got all of you beat,” said Rudy.
“How?” asked both his friends.
“I’m a conspiracy theorist now.”
Rudy’s friends were too shocked for words. But before Rudy could explain himself, Goddard rushed him and carried Rudy out the door, Jeremiah trailing nervously behind. They stopped on the lawn where Goddard shoved Rudy’s face in the grass.
“Guys,” said Jeremiah. “We’re breaking quarantine!”
“I’ll TAKE THE L!” Goddard growled. “Go ahead, Rudy! Say what you REEEALLY feel!”
Rudy yelled out in pain. “Aaaugh! The world isn’t flat or round! It’s actually a donut!”
“Don’t ya think we’d see that? It would be like living on a HALO RING! What’s next?”
“Former President Brush did 7/11!!”
“IT’S UNKNOWN!! Why did you pick the yellow patch in the grass? It’s so scratchy and uncomfortable! I think a dog peed here!”
“I KNOW RIGHT!! TELL US ANOTHER!!”
Jeremiah cried behind them. “Why is this happening?!”
“Because Rudy committed stupid!” said Goddard. “We can’t have more stupidity in this world. SO I SHALL BAPTIZE HIM WITH GRASS!!! Now say another one, Rudy!”
“White supremacy is still deeply rooted in our system!” Rudy cried.
“That was already proven! WHY WOULD THAT BE A THEORYYYY?!?!” screamed Goddard, as he rapidly rubbed Rudy’s face back and forth in the grass.
The trio looked up to see a random passerby.
“What’re you guys doing?” they asked.
“Forget about us. Why aren’t you in quarantine?” Jeremiah stepped back.
“Quarantine? That ended a week ago.”
“What?” The friend trio responded.
“Yeah. We’re good now.”
Rudy raised his head slowly. “Did I win?”
Goddard slammed his face back down.
The Smiling Man and an Unusual Choice
“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.
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.
The door almost fell off the hinges as someone slammed their fist against it.
My shoulders jumped “Yes ma’am?” I asked looking at the gigantic figure “How can I help you?”
She was a spider and according to the medals clung onto her furry chest, a very important one.
“I need a blade.”
“You’ve come to the right place.” I lead her to my wares displayed on toadstool shelves.
She picked up a sword that shifted hue in the light “Flower petal?” She asked.
“Butterfly wing actually. Brought back from the battlefield.”
“I see.” The spider seemed pleased by that “Do you take commissions?”
“Of course, provided you have the materials for me.”
“I’ll be right back.”
She left the room for a second or two. Then returned with a long blade of grass wedged between her teeth.
She dropped in unceremoniously in front of my feet.
“I want you to fold this blade of grass until it is as tough as nails.
Then cut from it two swords, exactly the same in every way. I don’t care how it looks, I don’t need flourishes or decorations. All I ask is that you only use this grass and nothing else.”
I looked out the door, trying to judge the length of the thing.
“I think I can manage that.”
The spider left the shop with two grass swords in her hands.
The shopkeep was nice!
She didn’t expect that from the enemy lines.
She tore the medals from her chest, then tossed them to the general she killed that very morning.
Donning her true colours she rushed into battle slicing and dismantling all in her way until there was no one left for her to kill.
She walked over the threshold into her own camp.
Got an earful from the commandant.
“Something, something, don’t disobey my orders etc.”
She shrugged, walked straight out the back.
To where the earth gets tilled every single day.
She pushed a single blade into the soil.
“I’m back my love,” she told the grave with tears inside her eyes.
“Did you miss me?”
A single blade of hope
Armadra looked up at the sun. It was nothing more but a blob of weak light. He turned back at the fields, illustrated with powerful lamps. They supplied the light and warmth the sun had been refusing this past year. Ever since one of the more paranoid and less intelligent nations decided that threatening aliens with thekr atomic arsenal was a good idea.
Aliens, who had a journey of light decades behind them, the tech to journey insanely long distances in impossibly short time. Threatened with atomic weapons. Their reaction could have been predicted. You threaten me with your weapons, I shoot those weapons. Boom.
Armadras phone binged, signalling a message. It was one of the lamps, it sensed am error. Checking the position, she ran through rows of produce. A week, maybe two amd they can start the harvest, adding much needed variety to their diet. However, the lamps need to glow every day for the appointed 12 hours.
Armadra froze, as she noticed something. There, in the shade just outside the lamp’s range. It wasn’t much, just a single blade of grass. It was small and weak, looked lonely on the barren, grey ground. But it was still grass, growing outside the area where plant growth should be possible. Armadra made a picture with her phone, just to make sure it wasn’t a hallucination. Then the lamp stopped working, plunging the area in twilight.
It didn’t matter. Unlike the previous times when Armadra had to fix a lamp, it didn’t feel like a loosing battle. Yes, there will be another broken lamp. Yes, the clouds are expected to last for another few decades, keeping the land in eternal twilight. Yes, humanity may rely a bit longer on their uninvited guests.
But now, there was a single blade of grass growing outside the lamp’s light. And if a single blade of grass could grow outside the area controlled by humans, there was hope for another. And another. Maybe other plants could grow with minimal sunlight the clouds let through.
Maybe humanity did have a chance to thrive once more.
Using the Grass Blade
The planet Utnahal, unlike Ituante, still held many secrets. There were precisely two types of plants there: grass and tree-buildings, that could be as small as a bird house, or as big as an entire city. These trees grew mostly sideways and hollow, with maze-like interiors full of cuboid rooms and hallways. A perfect world to hide things.
Things like the Grass Blade, legendary weapon of ages past, now in reach of an almost knocked out Ford Jones. An ideal opportunity, since he and Bonnie Croft were taking a nasty beating from Vahan, the Titanium Golem, who was also after the sword. If Ford could only stand up…
Meanwhile, Bonnie, despite many dodges, acrobatics and fire rays, was unable to harm the eight feet tall living armor, who was far too fast for it’s size. After a rain of punches, the golem landed a strike on Bonnie’s stomach, paralyzing her with pain.
“It’s over!” Vahan said, his voice echoing like a hammer hitting steel. “The Grass Blade will go to my master, and none of you will stop me!”
“Don’t count on it!” Jones yelled, taking the golem by surprise and hitting him with the Grass Blade. And again. And again, and again, and again.
But all it did was harmlessly bend against the titanium surface. Like, well, a blade of grass would.
“Huh.” Jones said. “I thought that this would be more climactic, like you being sliced and all that.”
“Honestly, me too.” Vahan said. “What’s wrong with that thing?”
Ford Jones looked at the Grass Blade, that supposedly once sliced a dragon’s head off, looking for any answer. All he found was four words, written with pink pen on the hilt.
Ha ha, too late!
“Oh crap.” Jones said. “We’ve been had.”
“Well, what now?” Vahan asked.
“I don’t know about you,” Croft said calmly, “but I’ll trigger the smoke bombs so Jones and I can escape.”
“Well, I suppose… wait, what?”
The smoke bombs released a thick black fog, completely blinding the golem.
“Argh! Damn adventurers!”
Sneaking trough the fog, Ford and Bonnie managed to escape quietly.
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.”
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?
A Single Blade of Grass
Every Tuesday, at around one-thirty in the afternoon a great tragedy befell the lawn. All its strides and growths it made throughout the week, reaching heavenward, ended with disaster. This has occurred every week, like clockwork. The great cutting has the lawn had been there longer than any living blade had known. It was talked about by the eldest blades as something that their elders had taught them when they were young. This cutting was tragic, yes, but each blade cut short bred new life into the lawn. Detritus, in the form of shed blades litter the ground, decomposing and becoming food for further growth.
This was true of the entire lawn. The entire lawn, save for a single blade of rebellious and hard to reach grass. You see, the lawn was a large creature. An enormous square patch of a being, which stretched from a creek just past the hill, a hundred feet across towards the great void of black stone which formed the boundary between lawns, and another 100 feet across the other axis. Placed in the middle of the lawn was a small hut where the cutter lived, and next to it, a home for the animal that operated the cutter. Between the house, and the shed was an alley too narrow to be fully cut by the mower. In that valley stood a single blade of grass, tall and mighty. It alone laid uncut each week, as it had for its entire life, and its predecessors before it.
But this week, something was different. The animal had put the mower away in the shed as always, but as the grass continued shrieking. Something was different. The tall blade heard a new noise. Unclear of its origin, it swayed idly in the breeze. Assured of its safety. Soon though, the tall blade realized that there was a new implement. A stick which emitted a loud, high pitched whining whir, unlike that of the mower. As it drew nearer the tall blade was still sure. In its final moments, it felt assured.
(originally from Private Group)
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.
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…
birth by a blade of grass.
“So Professor Tomas what are we doing out of here?” asked the gorgon, Luis Navarro, while he adjusted his mask on his face to not let it fall to the ground when the Professor stopped.
They were in a sea of green grass that hadn’t been cut by a lawn mower. ” Luis, you know what I am right?” the professor asked while taking from the emerald sea on his feed a single blade of grass in one of his hands, which coincidentally had a blue tattoo that had the same form as the grass on the ground.
“A Homunculus but I don’t know how it has something to do with aetheric chemistry, and aetheric channeling?” Luis said and he would have kept going if it wasn’t for Tomas interrupting him.
“It has everything to do with it Young man,” He said fondly “my creators wanted to know the limits of homunculus creation, and ….well they succeeded while using an insignificant thing at its core.”
He said the last sentence while still playing with the blade of grass in his hand reminiscing about the past remembering his lucky childhood, even if he was the result of an experiment.
“My fathers would be always, there in my heart,” said Thomas while he stopped playing with the piece of grass and started channeling aether into the grass. At that moment a magic circle appeared around the blade of grass changing the insignificant item into something bigger and better.
It bloomed into a flower before Luis’s eyes although it could be considered an unnatural spectacle, one couldn’t deny there was beauty in it.
“Thanks to the knowledge of chemistry one can channel aether to change the composition of an object, I was given birth in the same way” the professor finished.
“I didn’t know you could do something so beautiful from a little thing like that” Luis said amazed.
“That’s the beauty of the little things in life,” Tomas said.”at birth, they may look small but down the road, they become beautiful.”
Found in memories (Reposted from private group)
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 a precious cargo of memories sails with them.
My Emerald (Dawn Collection) (Private Repost)
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!”
A Field of Razors (Exile Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)
Naerahine stood at the edge of the meadow, watching the blue grass sway in the soft breeze. As a test, she reached out a hand and brushed it. She could feel the sharpness beneath her skin. She winced and pulled back, as blood trickled down her finger.
Not an easy place to cross, especially barefoot. She felt the comfort of the earth beneath her. The rush of power it gave her. The secret to why she’d been so powerful in the arena.
Beyond the grass lay a tree. A tree, with several figures hanging from it like fruit, in thick, steel cages. Even at this distance, she could make out their emaciated forms, starving and sick.
She took one more step.
The grass immediately stood still, shooting upwards, forming sharp razor blades. Her toes almost touched them now.
Her gaze was fixed on one cage in particular, holding a smaller frame. Barely a child. Her fangs mauled against each other.
As long as she touched the ground, she would heal, as long as she didn’t die to quickly. But it would still hurt. She ran.
The blades cut her feet. It sliced at her legs. More than once she stumbled, her hands impaled by the blades of grass. Blood pooled around her, as she felt herself be cut to pieces over and over again.
And every time she got back up. It was only a few paces. But those paces were agony. More than once she screamed, wanting to turn back, wanting to make it stop.
She kept going, until she reached the cage she was looking for. She leapt up and grabbed the steel bars, holding herself upright.
The child in it was slumped over, his eyes closed.
Hurriedly, she took out a stolen key and unlocked the cage, grabbing her nephew, holding him in her arms.
She looked back across the field. The grass blades were still razor sharp, waiting for her. She would walk this meadow again and carry her nephew to safety.
Step by step, she healed, only to be cut open again, by vicious blades.
By Katie Ampersand
And then at sunrise, there was a single blade of grass.
This sunrise wasn’t special, nor was the blade of grass. This sunrise was like many others, as the world that it was viewed from spinned around its own axis once again, uncaring for anything that could happen in it. The blade of grass sat alone for a few moments, but was eventually joined by others.
It wasn’t only blades of grass, though. It was joined by other creatures, like insects, fungi, wolves, trees, and eventually, a particular species began to stand on two of its limbs and look up at its skies. Neither the grass, nor the fungi, nor these creatures themselves knew that they would be calling it theirs.
By noon, not much had happened. These cratures had set up a place to live, but that was about it. They did silly things like this all the time. Setting up structures, giving them names, dancing around them like spirals of ants, careless of their ongoing decay. Some of the other creatures did not complain, though, the food they had was good, and they eventually adapted to this new, softer kind of life.
It was by afternoon that things got weird. They started building up higher and changing the land to their own whims. They decided to have control over the world around them, over other creatures, even over others of their own kind. By night, there weren’t many things that could stop these creatures, except probably the one thing that did.
Their sickness for power led them to control who lives and who dies. Single individuals could wave their hands and so erase the lives of thousands, if not millions of others. It was madness, and ultimately, at midnight, it axed them out of existance. The first few hours of the morning were desolate, silent, and the few traces of a world were slowly fading away in the soft wind.
And then at sunrise, there was a single blade of grass.
Revenge Isn’t Enough
by Cayden R.
A lone, cloaked figure strolled through the barren fields. The remaining fires strike a harsh glow against the horizon. A smoky haze fills the air, ash choking anything and everything it landed on.The figure continues, staking a path in the destruction.
A breeze sweeps across the hellscape, catching on the figure’s hood, throwing it back to reveal a young woman. The ghost of a smile crosses her face as she pauses. Only for a second she stands, before trudging on.
A soothing melody fills the silence as the woman hums a tune. Suddenly, the song stops as quickly as it had begun. The woman stands as still as ice, unmoving. She crouches down slowly, her attention affixed to something on the ground.
A single blade of grass. The bright green stark against the blackened ground surrounding it. Like a lonely island surrounded by a restless sea. The single piece of evidence that anything had lived and grown in this now desolate place.
The woman’s face contorted into a look of pure anger and hatred. She plucked the blade gently from where it lie, before erupting it into a ball of flame. The grass quickly shriveled and faded into ash, returning once more to the ground.
The woman stood once more, a mask of serenity across her face. She continued her humming, the haunting melody once again filling the silence. She made it to the edge of the destruction and once again stood still before looking over her shoulder. A small smile split her lips before she whispered,
“Nothing will be left, is that not what I promised ?”
The Price of Love
By Rislowe (Roy N.)
“I’m afraid I didn’t quite catch that.” Eric froze under Elise’s icy cold glare. “Repeat.”
Eric swallowed before summoning his nerve. “Just teach me this one thing!”
“No means no. No love spells. Give it up.”
“Teaching me to bring things to life is fine, but a tiny love spell is where you draw the line? That’s bullshit!”
“That’s it. OUTSIDE! NOW!”
Eric swallowed his frustration, shooting Elise his own eye-daggers and stomped towards the backyard for another “practical lesson”. Elise’s house sat in the center of a crowded street in the middle of God-forsaken suburbia; a maze of courts, cul-de-sacs and crescents compacted in the outskirts of a major city. Yet when Eric stepped across the aluminum threshold, he found footing by a large vegetable patch and the start of what looked to be a thousand acre forest. Eric trudged onwards to the nearest clearing and Elise followed soon after, stopping for a second to pluck the single blade of grass that defied the odds and grew boldly in her precious garden.
Elise jabbed a finger at Eric. “What is magic?”
Eric sighed: “Shaping the world through symbols, belief, thought, and meaning.”
“And what is this?” Elise held up the flimsy strand of grass.
“A blade of grass?”
“Exactly.” Elise turned and slashed the blade of grass. Eric yelped as an explosion rattled his ears like pealing thunder. The trunks of three oak trees shattered in the direction of Elise’s swing. The remaining parts of the tree trunks groaned before succumbing to their own weight, buckling under their own leaves and branches before crashing to the ground. Eric paled, expecting a lecture from Elise, but nothing this grim.
“That,” Elise began. “Is what you wanted to do to that poor girl. You see those trees? No amount of magic can fix those anymore. We can help graft a new tree, or eliminate them entirely, but once things break they will never be the same. So how would you like your new girlfriend, Eric? Dead or crippled?”
Eric stared at crumpled oak trees and shuddered.
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!”
The ground is soft (Tale of Gilbert)
By Tamela Redfin
“I guess our mission is to get Elenora because Klon Vatti is ein idiot.” I muttered, “Guess he’s never heard of motherly instinct.”
“True.” Corlita replied. “Also considering Feldspar Augen is biologically male, your second statement is also true.”
“I know that, but Corlita, this is a death mission, and are you ready for this?” I asked.
“I was programmed ready.” She answered.
I could see now. She never knew a world outside of one set for her. Poor thing. “Even to touch grass?”
“Poaceae? Wouldn’t that seize up my circuits? Especially if it’s wet.” She looked slightly shocked.
“Not dry grass and given its afternoon in a summer, you should be fine.” I smiled, gently grabbing her hand.
“Positive?” She flinched.
“True.” I smiled, leading her to the patio. “Watch me. I’ll leave the cement in my bare feet.” I removed my socks and shoes, revealing my mechanical toes. Soft crunches could be heard. I encouraged her to do the same with her ratty shoes.
“Fantastic!” She smiled, running to the grassy plains. “Wait, my face isn’t programmed to do that. What’s that called by humans?”
“Oh, smiling. Sometimes, you can defy your programming.” I smiled back. “Now do you feel better?”
“True.” She squealed. “True, true! I feel much better.”
“I’m glad. See you just needed to touch the grass.” I stepped back onto the patio, putting my socks and shoes back on. “Just don’t tell Feldspar Augen we did this.”
“Why not?” She looked curious now.
“He doesn’t like smiling.” I lied, not wanting her to turn me in for overriding her natural programming.
“It will be our little secret, 105, I mean Gilbert.” She winked after turning off her lasers.
Which Weapon Whacks Well? (The Will)
“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 has 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.
Just Beneath the Surface
A blade of grass stuck to her bare shin. She brushed it away as she leaned over to unlace her hiking boots at the door. It left green residue on her skin with the sweat and dirt from the walk. The dogs tore through the apartment, upheaving the rugs in their haste to reach the kitchen. She shook the plastic container, not to tease, but in contemplation, before filling the bowls.
The dogs were siblings, mutts, four years old, and dumb. She watched them a moment with her hands on her hips then tried to gently push the yellow one, nudge it and distract it, but it snarled at her and ate until it vomited and then ate the unchewed kibble a second time. The black one was more sensible, ate, rooted around for crumbs, then slept.
She flopped on the sofa, licked her thumb and rubbed the green stain but only seemed to spread it. Perhaps it was the shadow of a vein. She started to pull her leg up when the yellow dog bound into her lap, too large for it to be sweet.
They went out again before dinner. They walked down the path, followed the creek and stopped at the edge of the woods to relieve themselves. Then they waited, snuffling through the wet grass, pulling at their leashes, and her leaning over to rub the stain.
The stain didn’t seem to be a stain but a splinter. The blade of grass just beneath one translucent layer of skin. Finally, the dogs began to bark, the black one standing behind her, the yellow one lurching. Calmly she unclipped its leash and it bolted after a flash of green eyes.
She turned towards home, giving the black dog’s leash a tug until it followed, first distracted, then happy to lead the way. She boiled rice with a packet of gravy mix and shared this with the dog, then spent the evening squeezing and picking the splinter that only seemed to dig in deeper while the black dog slept.
The green witness.
By Jacob Guillerey
My ears were ringing as the cold unfeeling ground was pressing up against my jaw. My left eye, congealed shut by a viscous liquid, refused to open. As I opened my other eye, the edges of my copper helmet blocked out my vision to the outside world. And a small ray of light pierced through, illuminating a single blade of grass, tickling my nose.
My legs wouldn’t budge, and the weight of another man’s body was pressed upon my arms. Telyord Vredestriidjer, the great warrior blessed by Slaget The Furious, lord of war. Such titles didn’t mean much when your whole body was stuck unmoving. All that was left in front of me was that isolated blade of grass.
It wasn’t much of anything, a small, green, hair thin plant, but I could feel it mocking me. In the middle of a battle that would stomp over an entire land, destroying the life that lived upon it, it was saved by one of the bloodiest soldiers, slowly dying over it.
I could still hear the sounds of the battle, my brothers in arms pressing back against the tide of willing dead men. But I could mostly feel my blood leaving my body. A drop fell upon the blade of grass. As the drop descended upon its body, it revealed the grass’s veins, pumping water and nutrients from the ground. My vision started to fade, and I could now hear the blade’s workings.
A low droning rumble, vibrating through my temple. The strength of its grip upon my nose started to intensify. And before I knew it, I could feel nothing but its touch. Grappling me, slowly drinking upon my forces. But I didn’t mind. I still hope as I talk to you, Ô Küunstäap Audience Of The Dead, that this single blade of grass survived this battle, and, using my blood, repopulates the entire battlefield.
I would be happy knowing that it has become an entire field of grass, nurtured by what remains of me.
The Ruminations of Children
“We’re no different than a blade of grass.”
“What?” Harlow shifted his head to look at his friend. They were both lying on their backs nestled under the shade of a young oak. Gazing up at summer clouds and listening to the wind whistling through the meadow grass. “That doesn’t even make sense.”
Finn sat up and absentmindedly plucked a blade of grass. “Think about it. There’s billions of both of us all living together growing separately, but still as a whole.”
A cloud passed overhead and Harlow watched as it morphed into a child chasing a ball. It fills him with a strange sadness. “I guess, but we have lives, can talk to people, and feel things.”
A moment of silence passed and Harlow thought he was being too hard on Finn. Until he noticed him staring at the grass in his hand. “Everything okay?”
Finn turned, an unexplainable light behind his eyes. “How does it know to grow?”
Finn nodded his head.
“When the soil gets warm, everyone knows that.”
A smile spread across Finn’s face. “So plants can feel. How do we know when it needs water?”
Harlow sat and stared at Finn. He had started to feel foolish about the absurdity of these questions. “It starts to dry out.”
“So plants can talk. Just not in the way we do.”
Harlow shook his head. “But we still have lives.”
Finn lied down again, hands clasped over his chest. “Just because we can’t understand doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to. We are alive. Everything is connected, therefore everything we become is alive.”
Harlow let himself fall onto his back. “But we are human, not the grass.”
Finn’s lifeful eyes seemed to hide a secret that only he knew. “What do we become when we’re gone?”
Harlow stands under the shade of a mighty oak. Gazing up at summer clouds and listening to the wind whistling through the meadow grass. It too is older.
A tear falls down his cheek looking at his friend’s grave. A wistful smile claims his lips. “We become the grass.”
A Job Done Too Well (Cordelia’s Journey) [From Private]
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.
You Were Expecting A Literal Interpretation, But It Was Me…
“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.”