Writing Group: Edge of the Stars (PRIVATE)

Hello, Astronauts and Ninjas!

These stars sure are gorgeous, aren’t they? I wonder if there’s an end to them. Actually…we’re a little far out, aren’t we? Maybe we oughta turn around because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Edge of the Stars

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!

Some people used to believe (and, of course, some still do) the Earth was flat. If that’s true, then the Earth would have to have an edge. What would await someone if they were to reach it? A waterfall? A fairy castle? Treasure? Some of the greatest authors have written about this idea—such as Aslan’s Country in Narnia, or the Changing of the World in Middle Earth. 

Now you are tasked to take the image further—not to the edge of the world, but to the edge of the stars. Spaceships sail the ocean of space, and may make just as daring of journeys. Is this edge some beautiful mystery to seek out, or some horror to fear? Why would someone go there on purpose? What would they find once they arrived? A waterfall of starlight? An alien wish granter? A hungry nothingness? Does Barty live there in his space mansion? Would reaching it be like hitting the boundary like in a video game, where existence simply hasn’t loaded in? 

Or perhaps it’s not the edge of the universe, but rather simply where the stars end. The universe keeps going on in blackness, but the stars are gone. What’s there when the stars aren’t? Has the universe always been this way, or did someone steal the stars in the ever-night?

A “star” can mean many things. Take a pop star for example. Celebrities are well known to have rougher edges. You could write about a celebrity being much more callous than the facade they present. Or maybe this famous “star” isn’t cruel, or callous, rather just… “edgy.” You could instead write more from the perspective of a fan, watching their star fall from grace. 

Maybe the edge of the stars is merely a metaphor for the unattainable. Someone trying to reach what cannot be reached. It’s not just celebrities who can fall from grace, maybe the edge is the end to the stars in someone’s eyes, as they realize the things they looked up to aren’t what they thought. 

How far are you willing to go? What awaits you at the edge? Are you willing to risk it if you’re wrong? 

Be sure to mind the drop.

—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.

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Iosef Paramonov
Iosef Paramonov
9 days ago

Nothing
Iosef Paramonov

Gasping, gulping, flailing. I snatch the broken plank in my desperate hands, gripping it for dear life, as the angry water rages into me and throws me further and further down the river. Coughing and spluttering, I awkwardly turn my head back to the ship, but it has long since disappeared from sight. Glancing around in between the crashing waves, I cannot see my fellow crewmates; I can barely see the far-off shore amidst the driving water. With a sense of dread, I turn to face forward.

There it is. The Edge. Or rather where The Edge is supposed to be. What I can see is the river appearing to disappear into an infinite void, a mass of emptiness, not nothing but Nothing. To say it is black is laughable; this is the end of all colour, all light, all hopes and dreams, ideas or feelings. And I am heading straight for it at breakneck speed.

Even as I abandon the plank and attempt to swim to shore, I know it is futile. No longer is the water dragging me towards my horrific fate. Now, the void is calling me, pulling me closer, it is irresistible. The river is moving faster and faster.

And then I feel it. I feel myself going over The Edge.

I close my eyes.

And now I’m light, lighter than any feather. The weight of the world has left me, gravity ceases to exist. I feel the Emptiness consuming me, feel icy tentacles inching their way through every fiber, every cell of my body. I cannot breathe – I don’t want to breathe. And the silence. The sense that there is nothing left to make a noise. My body is light, but the silence has weight – it crushes and compresses you. I can feel my sense of self, my very being, shrinking smaller and smaller.

Before I disappear, I attempt to open my eyes for the last time…

Last edited 9 days ago by Iosef Paramonov
jesse fisher
jesse fisher
11 days ago

Wish on a Star
By Jesse Fisher

“I want to see the stars!” A voice replayed in my head. “Not the lights on the big ceiling but the real stars!”

The concrete wall to my back made that dream, a dream of a child. Those who believed that magic could save them from any danger, that a strong will make it so they could make it to that dream. Oh how naivety blinded and ignorance shaped their view of the world.

My view.

I want to just punch this wall behind me, but what good would that do? I would then have to worry about cutting my hand.

Slumping down to the ground and my eyes just shifting to the ‘sky’. As artificial as the rest of this place, even with plants or ‘naturals’, this all was just a way to keep us safe from a mess people did not care about until it was too late. Even then some of the ilk that caused this whole mess lived on in the higher parts of the structure.

Creating slums just to send those deemed flawed so their city was ‘perfect’,

From what I’ve seen from trips up there it looked like the same people just walking around like someone decided to just make two models of people. One with orbs on the chest or one with orbs on the crotch.

Many in the slums say the people on the hill could cure most anything, yet people die under this fake starry night while others just go about their day as if it was a dream.

BEEP BEEP

“Looks like my dream is about to end.”

—-

A man is slump against a wall as the device on his wrist reads. “Time of Death XXXX” The device glitching out at the end as it’s batteries run out of juice.

WolfsbaneX
WolfsbaneX
11 days ago

“My Dullest Memory” (Drakenheim)
By Hemming Sebastian Bane (CW: alcoholism, brief verbal abuse, threats of physical violence, implied self-harm)

Cain Black laid on his motel bed, the ache of old wounds throbbing. The dingy ceiling fan circled above him, laden with dust and cobwebs from months of disuse. The thin drawn curtains allowed the midday sun into the otherwise dark room. Cain winced as his bad habits pounded through his head like a mad bee inside a drum. He sat up, grabbed the heavy mead he always kept by his bed, uncorked it with his teeth and chugged down enough alcohol to dull the pain. With a sputtering cough, he slammed the almost empty bottle onto the motel nightstand again. Usually, he could hear the tabloid journalists bustling on the ground floor. However, today Cain heard nothing.

That was unusual; no matter how seedy the place he stayed was, the sensationalist writers always came. He gave a little smirk. Oh well. They’d have to get their fill of pearl-clutching and fearmongering at his show tonight. Until then, he could rest.

That’s when a knock came to the door.

Cain groaned. “What?!” He eschewed any effort to hide his annoyance.

“Cain? Cain, it’s Izu. Can I come in?”

Cain rolled his eyes. Izu. The young new keyboard player that wouldn’t. Shut. Up. Cain yanked the chain off the door, snatched the door open, and yanked the woman inside.

“What do you want, kid?”

Izu’s pointed ears drooped as she looked at the bandleader. “I just wanted to check on you.”

“I’m breathing, aren’t I?” Cain took out his pocket knife, his oldest companion.

Izu went pale. The knife was still stained red from last night. Izu started to say something, but the word caught in her throat.

“Is that it? Just come to see if the old man has corked it yet?”

“D-does it hurt?”

Cain smiled, his eyes cruel and crazed. “Of course it hurts. There’s no point if it didn’t, right?”

He pointed the knife at Izu. “RIGHT?!”

Izu whimpered as she fled the room. Cain sighed and put the knife away. It would be better if she hated him. The band, Blackdragon, was finished after tonight anyway.

John Perceval Cain (oneeye John)
John Perceval Cain (oneeye John)
11 days ago

Beyond Good and Evil
John Perceval Cain (oneeye John)

Captain Long looked at the screen, leaned in, squinted, and shook his head. Leaning back, he scratched the scruffy beard on his chin. “I’m not sure I see it.”

A synthetic voice piped out of a speaker. “Captain, the advent horizon is a black shell in the center. Around it is a fiery orange, rotating ring where it squeezes matter into super-heated gas.”

“Ms Os, I know the science and what it should look like. I just don’t see it.” He turned and looked at his copilot.

“Emma, do you see it?”

“No Captain. If I would connect via Ms Os and use the ship’s sensors, I could. But my optical inputs perform little better than your biologic ones when looking at a screen.”

Long turned his chair towards Emma. She was wearing a black jumpsuit. Her auburn hair was shoulder length, framed by her heart-shaped face, accentuating her brown eyes. Stunning for an android. As he turned his chair back to the screen, he wondered who had created her that way, and why. “We need a better look. Ms Os, please move us into the barycenter.”

“I’m sorry, Captain. I’m afraid I can’t do that. We might not hold our position against the gravitational forces.”

Here he was, at the edge of the stars with an AI and an android, and he felt as if at home and henpecked. “Hmm… If you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you…”

Emma stood and walked over to the Captain’s chair. She kneeled and laid a hand on his arm. “Are you alright? I don’t see what a nihilistic quote from Nietzsche has to do with this.”

Long looked up at Emma. “Not nihilistic, but absurdist. We need to go beyond it.”

“Beyond it?”

“Yes, like Eve eating the apple, or Prometheus stealing the fire.”

“Or Neo swallowing the red pill!” Ms Os said with remarkably human-like inflection.

“Yes. Like Descartes, we need to jump into the abyss and experience what lies beyond.”

“Plotting course to a point between the black hole and its binary twin, Captain.”

Last edited 11 days ago by John Perceval Cain (oneeye John)
L. L. Marco
12 days ago

The Pain of Goodbye
L.L Marco

They locked eyes for just a moment. In his there was longing, love, confusion. For her, well… he wasn’t exactly sure what he saw. But he knew that there were gentle affection towards him. That’s why it was so confusing when she turned and headed for the door.

She would flee from him, even in her own house? Why? He didn’t understand anything. He only knew he wanted to be by her side. And so, like the hands of a greedy child, he caught her wrist.

“Naydeen!” Despite his efforts, his voice came out shaky. Demanding. “Talk to me. Tell me what I did, at least. This is driving me crazy. I want nothing more than to be near you.”

He didn’t dare move closer; he’d already overstepped. But even still, his heart ached for her like a child ached for the stars. He steadied his voice.

“I would give my life for you. To you. Please, tell me what I did that you can’t even be near me anymore.”

Tears spilled from his eyes. She made no move to tear her wrist away nor to move closer to him. When she finally looked at him, her eyes were shimmering with tears. Gods, he’d do anything to rid her of them.

“When I’m with you I feel safe. I’m not in pain, my body relaxes. I feel more at home than I ever have,” her sentence trailed off into silence.

It was all he could do stand still; he wanted to shake her, to hug her, to kiss her. But he would never. Naydeen was worth far more to him than the wanton impulses of his heart. Finally, after an eternity, she spoke again.

“And the absence of that pain… makes it hurt more when it returns. The pain this body feels every moment of every day since my ‘death’… I’ve grown accustomed to it. I can bear it. But when you’re near, that brief reprieve… it’s…it hurts so badly when that peace is gone.”

He clasped her hands..

“Then I’ll never leave you.”

She simply squeezed his hand.

VulpesRose
VulpesRose
12 days ago

Travel Guide
by VulpesRose

When you are wandering alone at dawn or dusk, those times that are not brilliant day nor fully enveloped in night, you may see an old man sitting on a tree stump, just past the place where a familiar path splits in a direction you’ve never tread before.

If you decide to follow the unfamiliar path, the man will ask you where you would like to go, and you should answer truthfully. He will tell you the way. If you aren’t sure, tell him. You should still follow his directions. If he asks for your name, remember to lie.

You will feel eyes on you in the woods. This is normal, but do not run. If you run, you will be chased, and if you are chased, you will be caught. You do not want anything in these woods to catch you.

Be aware of the path. You may pick any flowers you can reach from the path, but do not pick any fruit. Fruit that has fallen onto the path is safe to eat, but be sure to thank the tree that dropped it.

Do not tell the trees your age.

You may meet a man selling hats. Under no circumstance should you try one on. He will be very insistent. Simply tell the man that none of his hats match your shoes, and continue on your way. Even if you happen to be barefoot.

If you make it to your destination, and not everyone does, do not linger overlong. Do not turn back the way you came. Instead, continue forward along the path.

You may notice that it is, somehow, still twilight, that the stars are still winking in and out of sight above you. Do not stare. You don’t want the stars to stare back without the protection of night.

At some point, you will realize that you are back on a familiar path. If you wish to tell others of your travels, speak as though recounting a dream. Do not go looking for anyone you met on your journey. Or else they will find you.

RVMPLSTLTSKN
RVMPLSTLTSKN
12 days ago

Sisyphean
By RVMPLSTLTSKN

One. Icarus revelled in his newfound freedom. The wind bouyed him up and he thiught he could feel the tension ruffling the feathers at the end of his wings. Two years, he’d lived in a single room with his father, plotting their escape. Now, his heart soared even as he did, his exhaltation leaving his stomach behind.
He blinked and saw a glimpse of a hermetic face, somber, midword.
Then feathers surrounded him and he found his stomach in his throat as he plummeted.

Ten. Icarus felt giddy, anxious. The wind no longer felt freedom as it lifted him higher. Again the ovidian face. Again a swirl of feathers and the roar of waves and heaviness as his heart sank.

Hundred. Icarus had once heard that all things were made of water. He wondered if that was truly real. The face he saw shifted a dozen times, sometimes repeating. The air swelled up like the currents that dragged him down to the sirens and nymphs. He lived in a world of reflections, briefly. But always the frown, always the plummet, always the end of his freedom. Just another damned room and a leap for freedom.

Thousand. Icarus felt the titanic weight of being a platonic idea as it dragged him down. He was the arrogant youth now, no longer naive, no more the raucous boy who couldn’t possibly know better. It was all water, after all; how could the watery sun and watery melt the wax to be more watery?

Innumer. Icarus knew he would jump, he would feel that joy of freedom as his wings carried him out, as the storytellers’ will it. He would laugh as the wind lifts him, cry out in fear and pain as the waters drowned him, wake again with a new face in his mind. He aches to no longer be the icon of impudence, to stay in the window a moment longer, change his absurd fate. But he knows this is how it always goes so he leaps to an early grave. Again.

The Missing Link
The Missing Link
12 days ago

The Eyes of the World
By The Missing Link

BANG!

A flaming ball of hydrogen exploded outwards into the abyss. The errant atoms swirled and fused in clusters that lit the vast emptiness.

The stars as they would come to be called grew larger, drawing in more and more of their surrounding neighbors until something more was created, helium, beryllium, and eventually iron, and the brilliant spheres that made up all of existence began to collapse, violently rupturing into voracious maws in the fabric of the universe and brilliant fields of dust.

The stars danced together and weaved into galaxies, and the dust finally began to settle into small terrestrial spheres. On one such sphere orbiting an insignificant little star, young and dim, in an equally insignificant corner of a less than impressive galaxy, something… peculiar happened.

In the oceans of this planet, something… moved on its own. It needed to expand, to consume, to live. It created and encountered more of its kind. They began to connect and bond, and eventually to become something else, something more. Animals, plants, fungi, they all exploded into being with only the understanding that they had to eat and to live until one day, after many of its competitors had died a thousand deaths, one of these fish aspired to something, the surface.

The organisms began to populate the land, plants growing to dwarf what the animals could see of the skies until the animals saw fit to match them. Great feathered beasts roared across the land and leviathans under the waves, but the poor creatures couldn’t survive the fire that rained from the sky, and many who could, perished of the dust it threw into the atmosphere.

But life found a way. It adapted. In some otherwise insignificant mountains, a chimpanzee did something that its ancestors had yet to do before. It stood. The waking universe stood and looked up at the night sky and asked itself one question, “What am I?”

Rattus
Rattus
13 days ago

A New Home
by Gerrit (Rattus)

She had barely escaped with her life. She still wasn’t sure how she had managed it. Had he let her get away? No, that sort of anger couldn’t have been faked.

Olessa didn’t know where to go. Father wouldn’t be held in place for long, and once he was free, there was nowhere in the universe she could hope to hide. Her eyes scanned the stars frantically, looking for any corner of space that might provide her a safe haven.

But how could anywhere in the universe hide her, when the person she was hiding from had helped create it?

There was one place, and it was her only hope. A single nebula, in the distant reaches of the universe. A pocket of darkness amid the vibrant colours and lights that surrounded it.

She raced there as fast as she could, desperate to withdraw into it before her Father broke free and came after her. It was cold, claustrophobic, depressing. She was so far away from any sign of life, from any sort of warmth that might keep her company.

Olessa curled herself into a ball, wearing the darkness like a blanket. She felt tears streaking down her face, her shoulders heaving as she began to cry. Everything she thought she knew had been a lie, and now she was left alone.

“Do not weep, my child.” The voice seemed to emanate from all around her. It was warm, comforting, reassuring. “You are safe here.”

Olessa stood back to her full height, looking around for the source of the voice. Everywhere she looked she found nothing.

“Who are you?” Olessa asked.

A form began to coalesce from the nothingness, the darkness itself parting around the visitor. They remained almost entirely featureless, a vaguely humanoid figure suspended in the blank space.

Olessa didn’t need to see a face to know who stood before her now. She had no memory of ever meeting this Being, knew nothing of them beyond the stories her Father had told. But somehow she knew, without a doubt, that she knew who had found her.

“Mom.”

Aracnarquista
Aracnarquista
13 days ago

handle with care, or A Stellar Proposition
by Aracnarquista

I take pride in my craft. I temper my doing with skill and care. And both my care and my skill were honed to a point some call my work “True Alchemy”. Even then, I would lie if I said I wasn’t nervous when she laid her eyes on the knife. She had a gravity to her that made me feel small.

Her eyes devoured the glinting metal. With a sudden movement, she made the knife sing and assessed its vibration. She savored the blade – and my work – in a way no other client ever had. She was evaluating the blade’s edge on a scale even I didn’t think possible.

“Your work is marvelous indeed, sharpener. The knife I brought you was as dull as I could make it, but I don’t think that made any difference on how well you managed to restore it. And restore is not the word for it. This blade has never been as sharp as it is now.”

“Pardon, ma’am. Did you say you dulled the edge before bringing it to me? Intentionally?”

She radiated satisfaction.

“Master Sharpener, that was just a test… a test you passed with flying colors. I’m here to make you a proposition. A grand proposition. Have you ever envisioned yourself sharpening stars?”

I was about to ask what she meant by stars, but the luminosity of her eyes said more than words ever could. I knew what she meant. It was absurd, but true.

“Ma’am, I’m sorry, but stars… aren’t they giant balls of plasma held together by their enormous gravity? They don’t have proper edges. And, their scale…”

“Sure, they are that. But look at them. Aren’t they more as well? I saw what you made with what is just a piece of metal. A dull shape, where you envisioned a knife. More than a knife. You put beauty and song into it. There is more than hot plasma there. To cut the darkness, the monotony of space, my stars need their edge… An edge as sharp as that. Would you work for me, Star Sharpener?”

i-prefer-the-term-antihero
i-prefer-the-term-antihero
13 days ago

[Removed]

Last edited 5 days ago by i-prefer-the-term-antihero
Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
13 days ago

A Girl And Her Giant (Corespace Universe)
By Calliope Rannis

This galaxy had many names.

Humanity alone has come up with plenty – ‘The Milky Way’, ‘The River of Light’, ‘The Silver Sea’, and countless other titles.

The Explorers of Value most often call it ‘The Shallows’, to mark it as a place of safety and life in comparison to the great depths beyond.

The Better World simply refers to the galaxy as a ‘great garden’, when anyone thinks to ask for its own distant opinion on such things.

And the Reconstructors call it ‘The Blasted Realm’, for reasons that they keep firmly to themselves.

But far out beyond the edge of the galaxy, where the stars drop away into endless darkness and the distant lights of other galaxies, within an old science vessel lying at the heart of a graveyard of spacecraft, is a young girl. And to the young girl, the galaxy is simply known as the Fire.

The girl had been given several names herself, but her first and oldest name was Twenti-tooh. She gazed out into the Fire, already wondering where next upon the edge to explore.

She had once fled from it, not so long ago. The Fire was dangerous to her, and she knew she couldn’t stay too long, or delve too deep, before the hunters within would find her.

But she had also seen beautiful things too. She knew that the edge of the Fire contained wonderful treasures, and she’d go out towards it again and again, just to find more.

She would always return though. Back to the darkness, back to the metal grave. For there was her greatest treasure of all.

A gargantuan, ancient spaceship, many times bigger than her own craft. Their engines were blown out, and much of their external hull was torn away. But lights still sparked within the veins of the ship. And sometimes, a great blue electronic eye would flicker into life, lighting up her entire world.

The girl didn’t know what names they may have had before. But she liked to call them Sleepy. And they were the only friend that she had ever known.

Last edited 13 days ago by Calliope Rannis
Revisis
Revisis
14 days ago

The Edge of all that is Known
by Exce, edited by Luna

Omniscience is a lie. The ability to perceive everything, everywhere all at once. Do you even know how much of a bitch that would be to process? Every second of every possible input?

But it’s a nice myth, something even gods believe. I thought I had a pretty good grasp on everything, so I planned carefully and executed that plan without hesitation.

Gods are meant to sacrifice themselves on the altar of their own creation, burn themselves piece by piece until nothing remained. A noble and selfless sacrifice. Or sheer stupidity, as I’d call it.

When my fellow gods went to die, it was time for me to exit stage left. Faster than a beam of light, I cut through the cosmos; I felt my former comrades in creation die and fade away behind me. I don’t know how long it took, but it was inevitable once they had poured their last drop of strength out.
No matter how overprotective or ruthless you were, sooner or later the world would end.

It was only with that moment of death, that I became a fugitive. My fate had been to perish, and now fate would come to demand its due.
And here comes the lie of Omniscience. I had always assumed that the Universe was infinite. An endless stretch of creation filled with stars, planets and smaller bits of floating rock.
If that was the case, I could simply outrun fate forever.

It was not.

I had come to a stop, looking out over unbroken darkness. Behind me lay blinking stars, the even darker shadows of black holes. It was not a clean cut, instead the border was jagged with some stars jutting out just a bit further, and elsewhere the darkness pushed across.
If it were just empty space, there would be no issue, but I could feel creation itself thinning out. Reality coming undone.

And behind me was the ever increasing pressure of our maker. The God who made gods. The Entity I had defied.

The choice was made, and I dove forwards, letting the darkness swallow me whole.

Glaceon373
Glaceon373
14 days ago

From Behind the Curtains
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

Did I want to be famous?

The question thudded in my head with the beat of the music that reverberated through the venue. That was the power of bass-boosted mega speakers. Luckily, they were pointed away from me. My tiny chair and I were behind the lip of the curtains. I could turn my head and watch the drummer, the bassist, and the keyboard player, all performing happily.

But I couldn’t see the edge of the stage, where my sister held the microphone.

But I’d wanted that, right? I didn’t want to be in the lights. I didn’t want to be a star. One glimpse at a crowd that big, all watching me, and I’d faint.

I just liked helping out. Revising rhymes, balancing budgets. She did all the real work.

So why was it so lonely back here?

The song reached its gentle conclusion, only to have its beauty trampled by clapping.

“Thank you!” my sister said into the mic. Her voice really was made for the stage. “Before we wrap things up tonight, I would like to shout out the band!”

The crowd cheered.

She went down the line. Keyboardist. Bassist. Drummer. Then—

“And I have to thank my sibling, Charlie. They’ve been helping me out my whole life, but especially recently with the tour and our most recent album. They don’t have to step out here, but can we at least get a round of applause for Charlie!”

I froze in my chair. The rest of the band that could see me joined in with the thunderous applause. In seconds I was feeling lightheaded.

I had to do something, right? For the fans? The expectations?

My hand poked out from behind the curtain into the stage lights. It waved.

I didn’t see my sister’s reaction, but I heard her light laugh echo through a hundred speakers.

I pulled back behind the edge of the curtain while the drummer cued in the last song. And as I adjusted my chair, I didn’t feel as lonely in the darkness.

My sister could keep the fame. I didn’t need it.

MasaCur
MasaCur
14 days ago

Burning Up For You
By MasaCur

Myrgan signed off on the fuel chit for the scoutship. His work was finished, and he looked forward to getting a relaxing drink.

“Myrgan!” Rydia’s voice echoed down the spaceport’s corridors.

Myrgan’s plans for relaxation evaporated. He thought about trying to pretend to not hear her.

“There you are!” Rydia shouted.

Myrgan sighed. That was no longer an option.

Rydia ran up. “Get the ship ready! We need to head out.”

“We have new orders already?” Myrgan asked.

“Sort of.”

Myrgan frowned. “Sort of? Sounds like you’re planning something dumb.”

“Not this time!” Rydia thrust a tablet toward him. “The Indigo Sexlord is entered into the Andromedan Trans-Gal Rally.”

A groan escaped Myrgan’s throat. “No. And I’m not calling our ship that.”

“Joke’s on you, Myrgan. That’s the name I put on our entry form.”

Myrgan grabbed his hair and pulled. “You idiot! This race kills an average of eight ship crews a year!” The Trans-Gal notoriously had a slingshot orbit around a black hole. Racers died either getting pulled in past the event horizon, or launching themself into a planetoid when they broke free of orbit.

“I know! Isn’t it exciting? Don’t worry, we’ll be safe.” Rydia danced around, completely oblivious to Myrgan’s apprehensions.

“I doubt that.” He took a deep breath. “I’m sure the Cabal would also be apprehensive about you using military equipment in an illegal interstellar race.”

“I have authorization from Captain Orlof!”

“If I didn’t know better, I’d say your fiancé was doing this to get rid of you, but that would be giving him too much credit. Orlof’s as stupid as you are.”

Rydia stuck out her tongue.

“Anyway, count me out.” Myrgan said.

“I’m your commander, and I’m ordering you to do this. Besides, the ship requires two crewmates to fly it. Me to pilot, and you to, uh, make sure, um, that the engine doesn’t die while I’m flying it. I’m going to try to drift slide around the gravity well.”

Myrgan groaned. “Fine. I’ll just call my service liaison to make sure my life insurance is up to date.”

Last edited 14 days ago by MasaCur
Marx
Marx
14 days ago

…And I Feel Fine
By Marx

Matt was borderline tackled by the fairy, reminding him of their first meeting. This time however, it wasn’t excitement driving her to do so.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m so, so sorry!” Lynette wailed, clutching onto the only person she’d seen in what felt like an eternity since Death abandoned her in this endless void.

“Shhhh. It’s okay…” Matt said calmly as Lynette continued to murmur her apologies. “Trust me when I say your betrayal is very much a thing of the past. I forgive you. And even if I didn’t, Death shouldn’t have left you here.”

“If you expect an apology from me, Beloved, feel free to keep waiting for one.” Death said as her smile unrepentantly widened.

It was at Death’s voice that Lynette snapped back and truly took in that Matt wasn’t alone. It was also when she realized that not only was Matt’s demeanor different but so were his eyes. Black as the void she’d been forced to call her home, only broken up by the white of his irises. He had the same eyes as Death.

“I’m going to Hell now, aren’t I?” Lynette asked with a solemn acceptance.

Death laughed while Matt shot her a look before turning back to Lynette. “There is no Hell anymore.”

“Or Heaven. Or Tartarus. Or Valhalla. Or Earth, for that matter.” Death clarified.

Lynette’s eyes widened. “Then what’s-…?”

“Take my hand.” Matt offered.

She took it without hesitation.

Lynette looked around as she found herself transported from one endless void to another. Even so, she could tell that she was back in the land of the living.

If you could call it that.

As far as Lynette could see was… nothing… except for one, solitary Sun burning in the void, slowly and inevitably collapsing upon itself.

Around the star, Lynette recognized Mara upon a red horse, Laila upon a white horse, and Teriana upon a black horse. Lynette looked down, realizing she was with Matt, riding one as well.

A pale horse.

“Oh God…” Lynette gasped, her voice lost in space.

“Oh, He’s gone too.” Death chuckled.

Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
14 days ago

Stay With Me, Captain
by Lee Strangely

Captain’s log.

Date… no longer calculable.

It’s, abundantly clear that we’re now far beyond, our stars. The ship’s instruments have, yet to pick up anything whatsoever, visual or otherwise, since we passed, beyond the stars’ light. There’s no telling how far we’ve moved, where we’re moving, or even if we’re moving at all…

The ship has suffered, extensive damage. The engines remain functioning, however, the radiation, leak… persists. Thankfully, it’s only lethal with… with, with prolonged exposure. The crew, as long as they remain, in, hibernation… will be safe.

The instruments have confirmed it. Something, is here.

Something, IS, here…

We’re close.

We’re so, close.

Beckett put the recorder back into his coat pocket.

He shouted to the computer, “Set a course for the object!”

“Automatic piloting is non-operable,” the system stated

“Manual, it is,” he grumbled as he pulled himself up to the steering wheel. With his hands on the wheel, his current health became more apparent. He pulled out the pocket watch-like device from his coat again, it still reading “LEVEL: LETHAL” in bright red.

He chucked the thing across the room, “Stay with me, Captain.”

The tiring, behemoth of a ship moaned and groaned as its course shifted in his burned hands. His body once again gave way, his hands fiercely gripping the wheel to stay standing.

Though his vision seemed to fade, he remained glued to the speck in the darkness.

“Oh Captain, my Captain,” he muttered to himself, “Do you hear? Do you hear?… Look. Look, the shore is near.”

His coughing grew worse.

Beckett continued anyway, “Please Captain, hear my, murmurs. Please Captain, just a little, bit, further…”

Skeleton
Skeleton
14 days ago

A Hymn of Fellowship (The Will)
By Skeleton

The crackling of fire and the laughter of companions—was there a sweeter music in all existence? Gale hadn’t yet found it in all his years as a musician and poet, and some part of him wished there wasn’t.

It didn’t take an avoinis to spot the man hiding in the dark, and remembering the words of Remianna, Gale took a seat away from the fire and next to the looming shadow. “If I didn’t know any better,” he began to quip, “I would say you have a thing for dragonesses.”

Eymir smiled sadly, but didn’t laugh. The bard rolled his eyes. “I’ll bite—what’s wrong?”

“Why didn’t you act on Thane’s death?”

The question was quick and sharp, catching the avonis off-guard. When he did regain his composure, Gale could only sigh. “It’s been… what? Thirteen years now?”

Eymir nodded. “It was the best material for a bard anyone could think of: the Sufferer finally takes the life of his best friend.” The man bit his lip. “The people would have loved you.”

“I did.”

“…what?”

“I wrote one of the best compositions in my entire life that winter, but every time it came to practice… I just… couldn’t sing.” Gale remembered the bitter taste on his tongue at the mere memory of the song. “But, of course, I could have just sold the piece to someone else. But I… couldn’t—not when every day after the fact I had to watch the joy and personality drain from you. It made me realize that infamy may not be for the best for my well-being… and that I had lost the reason I became an artist in the first place.”

Gale stole a glance at his compatriot, who had simply chosen to focus on the night sky instead. “I prefer the edge of stardom anyways,” Gale continued, waving away the encroaching sorrow. “The fans and lack of personal space I can take! It’s the prejudice and rumours that disgust me.”

“Gale?”

“Hmm?” The bard glanced again back to his friend, spying the new tears on his cheeks.

“Thank you.”

“…for what?”

“Staying.”

Last edited 14 days ago by Skeleton