Writing Group: No Longer Human

Hello, Scourge Beasts and Frog Princes!

You’re still human, I see. You might shudder to hear it, but I was like you once. You best cherish your humanity while it lasts because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

No Longer Human

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!

There are many stories about monsters, and some of the most captivating are those about monsters who were once human. Many of us are fascinated with stories of werewolves and vampires learning to live with their new powers and limitations. Sometimes people are forced out of their humanity by a curse. Sometimes these inhuman changes occur only at certain times, like the full moon. Sometimes they slowly get worse over time. Or much like our prompt from last week, sometimes these curses need to be reversed before sundown, or sunrise, otherwise they’ll be permanent. 

You could write about someone trying to break the curse, like the Frog Prince needing a kiss. Or perhaps you could write about someone who’s come to (however begrudgingly) accept their new life, or at least find the good in it, like Salem or Thackery Binx, the cursed black cats from some of our favorite witchy stories. 

Perhaps it’s an entire group of people who are “no longer human.” The game Bloodborne is a good example of this. The entire town of Yharnam suffers from the Scourge of Beasts which causes everyone to turn into half-wolves and tentacled horrors. However, in the end…perhaps the goal of being “no longer human” wasn’t the problem…perhaps it was merely the execution that went wrong. The game Bendy and the Ink Machine is another good example. When the words “Not Monsters” come up, it might be difficult to believe. But after seeing the truth through the looking glass: “Once people, now fallen into despair” the horror of the story becomes tragedy. 

There’s a certain tragedy to the phrasing of the prompt in general. A longing. A tale of someone who was human once…but is no longer. These words could be the lament of what a character has lost, or the hope that they can become human again. 

Or…perhaps not. Maybe these words are said in pride. In some stories, humans can ascend into godhood, or some other form of superhumanity. In that case they might say the words brimming with pride that they have surpassed ordinary human limitations. 

Maybe a villain is no longer human due to the horrors they committed. Much like Voldemort, slowly becoming something less and less human the more he split himself apart. 

It doesn’t have to be all monsters and villains. Perhaps you could write about a cyborg who believes the metal in their bones, the wires in their blood, means they aren’t human anymore. Or you could write about someone who has downloaded their brain and memories into a computer…and regrets the loss of their past self. 

There could be a more realistic kind of sadness to the prompt as well. The masses might cast insults and stones at someone for their supposed sins, saying they’re not human—if nothing else, to allow them to forgo compassion. One of the most horrifying real examples is when someone’s parents might shout that their child isn’t human, simply for doing something they don’t approve of. 

Most of our prompts come from idioms, or phrases our helpful and twitchy humans can think of. But this one is taken directly from the title of a book: “No Longer Human” by Osamu Dazai. The book is autobiographical, and tells of the many struggles that Dazai went through throughout his life—both inside and outside his mind. He felt isolated, and even disqualified, from the human race due to these many struggles, hence the title. You could write about something like that; Someone who is in fact perfectly human, but their pain and/or isolation inside makes them feel as though they aren’t. 

So, go out there and show us the best of humanity. Or else, let the fire of your humanity fade. For in the ashes of what is left behind, something new, strange, and horrible…or maybe even beautiful may be found. 

Who knows? Maybe being human isn’t the end-all, be-all, after all…

—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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Lunabear
Lunabear
1 month ago

Honor Thy Father (A Song for: Abraham)
by Lunabear

The red-orange blaze encompassed the community. It signified danger, passion.

His rebirth.

Black shadows scurried through the choking smoke. Horrified screams clogged the air.

The snarling, hungry mass behind him writhed as one entity.

He kept his gaze straight ahead, his mission clear. “Harm no woman or child. Seek me out after you’ve had your fill.”

Approving hisses disappeared into the chaotic night, followed by petrified wails.

Abraham moved through the onyx fog like a phantom. Four bloodied wraiths joined him.

Bodies littered the ground. Screams silenced. The night blazed on.

The house came into view. Abraham closed his eyes against the assailing memories and reminded himself that he wasn’t a child anymore.

His eyes opened and one fierce kick brought the door down.

Isaac. He stood firm. His shoulders did not move except for the steadiness of his breath. His eyes gleamed with hatred and expectancy.

“The hellbound disgrace darkens a doorway covered in lamb’s blood.”

Abraham stepped over the threshold. His voice was deceptively cool. “No flock for the shepherd, Isaac.”

Isaac walked forward, one fist raised. A book was secure in his other hand. “The Shepard did not despai– ”

Abraham delivered one solid punch to Isaac’s nose. The stomach turning crunch seemed to echo for days.

White and red pages spilled across the floor.

Isaac crumbled against the far wall. Crimson caked his face. Several black spaces were visible when he grimaced.

“He doesn’t hear sinners so low on the ladder.”

Abraham advanced, gripping Isaac by the throat and hoisted him high.

“Abomination! You will suffer for all of eternity!”

Spittle and blood coated Abraham’s face, but he ignored it.

“You saw to it that I suffered every single day.”

“It was to teach you discipline and respect!”

“My mother is responsible for that.” Abraham dropped Isaac and turned his back to the man he’d once called father.

“I leave you to my children.” Abraham returned to the threshold.

He listened as skin was torn from bone, as gluttony and decay perfumed the humid air.

Abraham remained until the last of Isaac’s screams ceased.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lunabear
Clanso
Clanso
1 month ago

Ascended
By Claire (Clanso)

Shimmer bent down and gently placed a wet cloth on her chosen one’s head. Head resting in her lap, he stirred in his troubled sleep but thankfully he didn’t wake up.

She, goddess of the hearth and bonfire, had always liked and favored Alexander not because he was a fierce fighter or great explorer, but because he was like her. Caring and full of earnest love for his husband and child.

Her siblings had never understood that. And like every time they encountered something of hers they couldn’t understand, they conspired to destroy it.

That’s why, on either side of where she had placed the cool cloth, long, curved horns now broke her Hearthkeepers’ skin and his entire body was aching and sore with an ascension that he had never asked for.

What a cruel joke. First they had slowly lured him into the very specific scenario under which a human could rise up to become one of them and then they offered him a choice: Either he agreed to ascend or his new powers would destroy his frail human body before he could ever see his family again.

When they had finally returned him to that family after months, he was unconscious and covered in wounds caused by the rapid changes of ascension. Since then she and Henry had taken turns, watching over him as he slept and carefully tending to his countless injuries.

When his unfocused eyes opened for a second and he saw both his partner and her at his bedside without recognizing either of them she started to sob silently and couldn’t stop for days.

They had done this to him because they thought it would break him either way. Her heart certainly broke many times while she cared for her new…brother? Son? It didn’t matter, he was hers to care for either way.

And while she kept vigil by his side no fire on the island would dare to bring any warmth or comfort to her siblings. If she denied them her blessings for long enough she could make them all beg for Alexanders forgiveness.

Dantex303
Dantex303
1 month ago

“one clock measures another”
By dante (dantex303)

The worker woke up with his face on his desk, touched his forehead and sighed

He took out a wind-up watch from his pocket and noticed that it was stopped, upon discovering such a thing he panicked and looked around.

He ran scared to a small wooden door in the corner and struggled through it.

The worker entered quickly with his pocket watch in hand and turned on the light that revealed a wall covered with clocks.

Tick ​​tock, tick tock, the sound was deafening. But for the worker it seemed almost comforting.

He set his watch to the correct time and then hurried back to his desk and started winding up a small device with a bell.

“It’s late! I must hurry up and complete my tasks!” Quickly the worker took out a screwdriver and opened a hatch in front of his desk.

An entire wall of motionless gears was present behind the hatch, our protagonist rushed to try to fix the device but was interrupted by the sound of the main elevator moving directly to his office.

“Mr 475!” Yelled the stopwatch director. “You and your procrastinating tendencies have proven useless to the company and have caused a five-minute movement in every clock on the chain! Don’t you think about the person whose office is across from yours? These gears are very important!” “I-I’m sorry sir, it won’t happen again” the worker stuttered “of course not!” The director yelled as he searched for something in his pocket.

“Here’s an authorization card! You’d better go straight to the help desk!” The director stepped back and let the card fall to the floor behind him, it gently slid to the floor like a feather.

The device with the bell sounded as a calming signal, the worker walked out of the office and to the help desk…

The worker powered up, scanned his surroundings, looked at his desk, and began working on the hatch in front of him.

The smoke coming out of the chimney on his back had a clear second hand pattern, finally he was an ideal worker.

Floor
1 month ago

Rosemary by Floor

“How many winters have gone through since the last time we talked? 10? 100? 20-“. He stopped mid sentence, looking worried at his partner.

“Sorry about that. I know that you don’t like me talking about time. It is getting harder to speak with you after so long. I am afraid that I might be forgetting about you and the village, and I don’t want to. I really want to keep you with me, all of you”. His gaze looked down to the floor, losing itself among the bushes, as he did, he caught one with blue flowers and then looked up excitedly showing her his discovery.

“Ah, yes! I remember now why I was here, I wanted to get this plant, this is a Rosemary, it meant remembrance. Quite ironic, right? I keep latching onto these herbs to remember you, to keep the memories of our tribe. It has become quite the hobby, I have dedicated the last centu-“. He quickly stopped his dialogue after mentioning time again. He tried to reach out to her, but stopped midway once he saw that he didn’t have his glove, showing her his skeletal hand.

“Excuse me again… Don’t worry, it wasn’t caused by the curse, it is more of a personal choice to remind myself of that day. If I wanted to, I can always return to my human appearance, but I would need to consume a soul. And I don’t like it. I just hope that you don’t think that I’m gross for this ghoulish appearance. Are you willing to accept me? Even after what I did to you? I really wish I could go back, to be able to feel you again, to be able to hear you”. He finally got the courage to reach out to his partner, touching the grave adorned with feathers in front of him.

“I wish to remember more about you, after so many centuries My mind has become hazier. Yet, my feelings haven’t changed at all. Thanks for being born, Fae”.

Raiden Frost
Raiden Frost
1 month ago

“Curse of the Undying”
By Raiden Frost

In this war, I finally can meet my end, for my entire life I am seen as a living burden, outcast to everyone. Charging in battle with nothing to lose, a meaningful blade in my hands forged by my long-lost beloved. I march forward to stare death in the eyes, to finally see the one I love, in the heavenly skies.

Blood spilled, iron against iron collide, where the song of battle is filled with singing steel, until finally something pierced my heart. Slowly falling with a great smile upon my face, whispering…

“I shall see you soon my love, for I shall now close my eyes, meet you as the gates of heaven arrives.”

Finally, arrived to only see an abomination with my own eyes, there was no heaven at all, but only a God who consume the souls of all who died, Hearing the voice of my love in great agony within its stomach, I went with my senses and charged forward to help something that I am not sure, is still my wife. Before I can even reach the belly of the beast, I was struck down with great light coming from its eyes, for I was awake again within the rotting lifeless body of mine…

“It was all lies! All those prayers! The pain I endured to be worthy and to be with my wife for eternity… LIES!”

Corpse turned into an unholy beast, blade engulf with darkness, kept long within, with trembling voice, soldiers stared upon me…

“My wife is no more, Heaven doesn’t exist… I was denied death… the freedom I seek… I am stuck here with these filthy meat bags who call themselves humans! I shall cleanse this world with blood for that EVEN GODS WILL FALL ON MY WAKE!”

I marched forward swinging my once noble blade, as their puny flesh tears away, my claws ripped out their spines and with my fist I shattered their ribs. I was declined true death, peace… If I cannot have it, I shall bring it to everyone else!

Raiden Frost
Raiden Frost
1 month ago

“Curse of the Undying”
By Raiden Frost

In this war, I finally can meet my end, for my entire life I am seen as a living burden, outcast to everyone. Charging in battle with nothing to lose, a meaningful blade in my hands forged by my long-lost beloved. I march forward to stare death in the eyes, to finally see the one I love, in the heavenly skies.

Blood spilled, iron against iron collide, where the song of battle is filled with singing steel, until finally something pierced my heart. Slowly falling with a great smile upon my face, whispering…

“I shall see you soon my love, for I shall now close my eyes, meet you as the gates of heaven arrives.”

Finally, arrived to only see an abomination with my own eyes, there was no heaven at all, but only a God who consume the souls of all who died, Hearing the voice of my love in great agony within its stomach, I went with my senses and charged forward to help something that I am not sure, is still my wife. Before I can even reach the belly of the beast, I was struck down with great light coming from its eyes, for I was awake again within the rotting lifeless body of mine…

“It was all lies! All those prayers! The pain I endured to be worthy and to be with my wife for eternity… LIES!”

Corpse turned into an unholy beast, blade engulf with darkness, kept long within, with trembling voice, soldiers stared upon me…

“My wife is no more, Heaven doesn’t exist… I was denied death… the freedom I seek… I am stuck here with these filthy meat bags who call themselves humans! I shall cleanse this world with blood for that EVEN GODS WILL FALL ON MY WAKE!”

I marched forward swinging my once noble blade, as their puny flesh tears away, my claws ripped out their spines and with my fist I shattered their ribs. I was declined true death, peace… If I cannot have it, I shall bring it to everyone else!

Last edited 1 month ago by Raiden Frost
Adam Eaton
Adam Eaton
1 month ago

The Last Sentinel
by Flamekin

I was hardly aware of myself as I walked up those long steps, only saw the center of this long spiral inwards still far above me. The grey stone steps which had once looked almost mirror-like in their sharp-edged perfection now hung crumbling and ragged high in the air. The last I had seen them, they had stood lofty above the heathen earth as a sign to those below of the power their creators held, now they seem an extension of it. A blasphemous root curling out of the ground to the heavens, to the palace at its center. That diadem of the world, the palace of my Master, stood just as derelict, just as empty.

When I, in a haze was finally able to make it to the door, I found it ajar. Not that it being closed would have mattered, as the intricately carved arching doorway was the only section of the wall still standing. I ran my hands along the carving, the gently falling rain masking the tear streaks that I would have left on those beloved stones.

As I walk farther into the palace, each step became harder against the fear of what I would find in that holiest of sanctums. I stumbled into the throne room and my knees gave way as I crossed the threshold. At the end of that long corridor, the once mighty and glorious place where I had lived my life at the feet of my beloved Master, His throne lay strewn and broken in pieces. I crawled closer, but only until I glimpsed that too familiar corpse slumped against the wall, the killing blade still embedded.

I can feel the fire that burned within my soul dying. My purpose dead, wasted, and there is nothing left for me here. Everything that had kept me tied to this world, everything that had given it meaning, has been destroyed.

Is there enough to call me human?

Is there even enough left to call me alive?

Pryzma
Pryzma
1 month ago

At the end of time, under the dying sun.
[Alternative title: (there are) no longer (any) human(s left) ]
by Pryzma

You sit here under the rays of the dying sun. The earth is scorched, the water is no more. Only the red skies crying the bloody anthem of end.
You’ve been there since the beginning. Since the first time the universe has awoken and looked at itself with the eyes of many many creatures. It’s been a long time since these naive times. The sentience of this world is lost, and you are the only thing left. Strangled in your own pathetic immortality. But not for long.

You’ve seen civilisation rise and fall. You’ve seen countless cycles of death and rebirth. Extinctions, radiations, diversification. You’ve seen hairless apes painting their first pictures in caves. You’ve seen how they made gods in the image of their own. You’ve heard stories they passed from mouth to mouth, even long after they made no sense to them. Context lost in time. Stories older than their own species and tales of other hominids before they were the only one left.

You’ve seen the rise of the new life made of silica and circuits, and the empire they’ve build. One step up in the history of life. But even that wasn’t enough.
Now it’s nothing. You are nothing.
Well… you are Death itself, actually.
You exists as long as life do. And when there’s nothing left to die, there would be no point of you as well.
You feel the rusty dirt under your fingers. Last microbes are dying underneath.
Is it the end? Will this be your end as well?
Or maybe, just maybe, you will be reborn in the remote corner of the galaxy.
And the universe will look at itself once again.

Fvn
Fvn
1 month ago

No More
By Fvn:)

“All things have a cost, child.” A mechanical hum vibrated throughout the shop, filling it with an unceasing sense of motion. Ardno could feel his body tremor as he lay in the chair anticipating what the Mechan priest would say next. “We all must be ready to pay, when our time comes.”

The gag left Ardno was left without room to speak and he could only grumble and whine as the mechan looked down on him through its cold dead eyes. He had trouble believing something so monstrous could have been flesh and bone once, that it used to be human. Now it was trapped in a prison of cold, living steel, devoid of anything vaguely human.

“Be not afraid, soon fear will be beneath you.” The mechan’s voice chriped in its electric tone. “You shall soon ascend as we did before you.” Ardno felt a needle pierce his skin and soon his body grew numb. The feeling of ice crept through his veins, heart and then his brain. Last thing he saw was the mechan’s cold eyes staring down at him as he slowly lost consciousness and the process of transformation began.

A jolt of sensation stirred Ardno awake, drawing forth all of his senses at once and causing him to lash out wildly on the table. His mind steadied and he began to feel a humming and shaking about his body. He peered down and could make out the metallic contours of his body, made anew in cold, living steel. He could still feel the stagnant air through his metallic skin and deep in his head a voice reached out towards his thoughts.

“Made anew, you are now free from the prison of your own flesh.” Ardno mind races, braced with a new level of sensation he could not comprehend and in his blistering thoughts he felt the voice come over him once more. He could feel others move around him, their thoughts breeching deeper into his mind. “Now you are free.” Ardno rose from the table and turned toward his fellow mechan a human no more.

Makokam
1 month ago

“New Body. Who This?” (Chronicles of The Dragon)
By Makokam

Sol looked at the results of the tests, which gave him more questions than answers. “And she was just wandering down the street?”

“That’s what the officer said,” Nighthawk answered, taking a notebook out of his pocket. “Yeah. He stopped her to see if she was okay, said she appeared drunk or otherwise disoriented. That’s when he noticed the words moving through her skin, and then the fairy got in his face.”

“Right, about the fairy. It didn’t try to interfere?”

“No. It just insisted on staying with her.”

“So it definitely talks?” Sol asked, going back to the police report.

“Yeah. It asked the officer if they were a friend, and if they wanted to play.”

“And the incident with the bench?”

“He got them to move out of the street and onto a bench at a bus stop. When he came back from making the call, they were playing game, using pieces that looked like they were made out of the same stuff as the bench.”

“They WERE made from the bench. Did they tell you what game it was?”

“No, just that it looked like a game, and the two played three rounds of it before Crystal Moth and I arrived. The officer didn’t recognize the pieces or any rules.”

“Can you describe what happened in this second incident?”

“No better than what I wrote. She was sitting in the waiting room and she was looking through the magazines when suddenly the room was full of paper butterflies. Nobody saw her do anything. But when Crystal put a barrier around her, she panicked and…broke the barrier.”

He sighed and set the report down, before walking into the exam room with the strange girl.

Rainbow haired, golden eyed, and skin white as paper, she sat looking at her hands; eyes following the words as they moved through her skin. Where. Why. What.

She looked up at him, and smiled. The words changed. Friend. Help. Scared.

“Are you friend?”

He looked at her for a moment. Then answered, “Sure.”

“What am I?”

“Human, as far as we can tell.”

Last edited 1 month ago by Makokam
V3RU5
V3RU5
1 month ago

Human in my mind
By Vera

“As a human, I have the right to refuse military service based on religious or moral grounds”

“The law you’re citing doesn’t apply to AI powered weapons”

Abigail, or Valkyrie, as the military insisted on calling her, didn’t know what to answer. Her whole life, she never considered the possibility of being anything but a human. No one questioned her humanity, the topic simply never came up.

She breathed the air like everyone around her. How was she supposed to notice, that I instead of the oxygen, she used nitrogen?

She ate and drank, and her body disposed of unused material in the toilet. No one had ever considered the possibility, that her waste was perfectly edible for humans, lacking some of the more toxic and dangerous components of human waste.

Then came the military. They discovered that her cells were nanotechnology created in a secret lab and stolen decades prior. Abigail didn’t have a single organic cell in her body. How her cells managed to generate power and matter from her human diet was a mystery that didn’t interest the military in the slightest.

All they were interested was Abigail’s ability to go to one of their many conflict areas and kill as many enemy soldiers, as possible. If she killed a civilian or two, no one would care. If it couldn’t be proven, it didn’t happen. If it could, it was a regrettable error.

Abigail was hiding alone in an abandoned building. She couldn’t expect anyone to help her. Humans have an intrinsic sense of humanity. They somehow know, their human. So logically, Abigail should know that she isn’t. Not telling her human friends was seen as a betrayal.

Except, she lacked this feeling. Instead, she had an assumption mistaken for her sense of humanity, that made her see herself as human. How could she explain this, without feeling more removed from who she thought she was?

She couldn’t even convince herself that nothing changed, that she hasn’t been a human for a single day in her life.

For in her mind, she was still human. In a way

Zotz Ku
Zotz Ku
1 month ago

Blood Reign
by Zotz Ku

Clouds descended as the last drops of blood fell from my heart onto the ash-covered stone. I laid my human eyes one last time on my little brother, Gabor, who had fallen onto his knees grasping my dying heart. He looked up at me with tears in his eyes and I tried to comfort him as I fought through the pain.

The ashes of our burning village were drenched in blood by my last words, “They will die.”

Violent waves of pain exploded out from the hole in my chest, reverberating on my hands and feet held in place by golden chains. The golden cuffs holding me down and burying into my skin had been crafted to hold down jaguars. One final wave raced from my chest through my throat and culminated in a furious howl. Darkness engulfed my eyes.

My human teeth erupted out of my mouth replaced by what I can only describe as serrated blades. The men were miles away, but I could hear their malicious laughter as if they were standing beside me, and a single whiff of ash-ridden air was enough to carry the rough stench of alcohol in their breath. The golden chains, my father had said were strong enough to hold down gods, shattered the moment my hands and legs jerked to life. Light flooded into my eyes and all the colors adorning Gabor shined bright through the ashes that embraced him. His pupils glimmered a deep black I had never appreciated and stared at me with horror so deep it pierced his heart.

I should have burned with our people.

The ritual demanded a sacrifice. I willingly gave my body, but the gods demanded my brother’s blood. My body was not my own, possessed by powers I couldn’t comprehend. I filled the hole in my chest with Gabor’s still beating heart. The ritual was complete, and my body had the power to destroy legions, but I didn’t so much as flinch when my brother’s lifeless head bounced on the stone floor.

They will die…

Fasutini
Fasutini
1 month ago

Birth of the beast

By Faustini

Brown patches of dried blood blemished sticks that once were my fingers. I was gazing into myself and I could see places into which darkness of void was slowly trickling in.

But I wasn’t always like this. I used to be just like you until Fate threw sticks under my legs and left me crooked and broken. Only to raise once again, misshapen and gnarled. No longer powered by food and water, but by other forms of sustenance. I fed myself on fear and flesh of innocents.

It wasn’t all roses and sunshine. I was hunted for what I became, as if I could control that. They gouged chunks of flesh and bones out of me and I filled that emptiness with the Void, sticks and bones of my prey.

I probably could stand in the middle of the field as a scarecrow and not attract attention. But that was not in my nature. I wasn’t one to stay idle and just fiddle my thumbs. I seeked excitement and explanation for what happened to me.

I wasn’t a scarecrow. I was the boogeyman that was lurking in the shadows of dark alleys.

A sudden shriek attracted my attention. Woman was running down the street, screaming. Feral grin was plastered on my face.

Night was great for the hunt. I would make them suffer and maybe some of them will become someone like me.

No longer human.

Last edited 1 month ago by Fasutini
Jack Smith
Jack Smith
1 month ago

Athazagoraphobia

By Jack Smith

As the waves crashed against the rocky sea, the man stood by the cliff, watching, he did not wish for death, nor life, he just wished for someone to remember his stryfe. so he ran and ran, until the bells chime, for the blink of an eye, he watched the world die, for he was no hero, nor poet, he was a villain, and he wanted to show it.

Aracnarquista
Aracnarquista
1 month ago

A Demon’s Sense of Humor
by Aracnarquista

Call me inhuman. I won’t argue with that, but I do take issue with the reasoning behind it. Don’t worry, though. I won’t blame you.

It is just how things are, really. I should know.

In fact, I do know.

I have absolute causal knowledge, after all. The whole universe unveils itself to me in all its intricacies. I can follow how phenomena develop through time in either direction. Past and future are just addresses, frozen in a perfect still picture… or rather, a perfect still choreography. With sufficient knowledge of past or future conditions, I’d be able to calculate your current opinions.

Well, putting things like that is imprecise. I’d not be able to. I’d be compelled to. You see, absolute causal knowledge does not allow me to sidestep the deterministic dance, after all.

But back to the matter of my inhumanity, as you so eloquently put it. If I’m not mistaken – and trust me, I am not (I wouldn’t be able to) -, you call me inhuman due to the pact I’ve made with that demon, and the supposed subsequent loss of my soul. But here’s the funny thing: when I traded my soul for absolute causal knowledge, the first thing I noticed was that there was never such a thing as a soul. So logically, it is not on the grounds of its lack that you are right to call me inhuman.

That, of course, leaves us with a question: if souls were never legal tender to begin with, what has that demon gained from the exchange? The deterministic reasoning says the demon was as compelled to participate in that commerce as I was. But I can’t help but wonder – know – that humor is not lost on those bound by the rules of the inexorable march of necessity.

Anyway, due to my particular relation with causality, I may be considered inhuman. The way I see it, humanity is an emerging property that can only sustain itself due to a sense of indeterminacy – even if an illusory one.

Not that it changes anything, really.

Sprig NoRoots
Sprig NoRoots
1 month ago

Rotting at The Roots
By Sprig NoRoots

Sweat binds our fingers together as we run from the guards. Marly breathes heavily. Her pulse beats in sync with my own. Shouts echo around us. I risk falling and look at Marly. She smiles as our eyes meet. Her eyes crinkled with the same gentle mischief they did all those nights; we would sneak out. Her lips were raised in a half-amused laugh just as they would after we stole kisses. Our fingers are intertwined, for the first time where others can see us. Slender, feminine fingers intertwine in a cage that holds our affection.

Branches snap louder. Figures dart between trees as they flank us. We run further than I’ve gone before. Marly lags behind me by half a step, letting me lead. We plow through shrubbery and roots with no end in sight, but then there it was—a looming end for us. A cliff face stares down at us as the guard close in. I put myself between Marly and the cliff but never let go of her hand. A witch emerges from between the trees. Chains drag her towards us. A witch’s mask covers her face, but her eyes convey her horror. She raises her hands, and lights gather around us in a blinding flare. Marly pulls me close, protecting me one last time, but it’s not enough.

My skin shifts in a hypnotic pattern, my legs expand and bury themselves, and my fingers glue permanently to Maryl’s. Colors turn from me as my vision is stolen. My body stretches and twists with Marly. We stand there together. A tree twisted preternaturally as an example for all. Time confuses itself in a looping pattern. Emotions ebb away as they slip back to the world of the free-willed. Marly is the only constant; we twist tightly together, not quite herself and not quite me. Rain traces our silhouette. Frogs, bugs, and birds take refuge in us. We stand for what we love. For what could have been. And here we will stand until our roots rot.

Sprig NoRoots
Sprig NoRoots
1 month ago

(the discussion board glitched. This is a repost of the same story)

Last edited 1 month ago by Sprig NoRoots
Pumpkin
1 month ago

A tale of love and death
By Pumpkin

Pain
It’s the first sensation that floods what’s left of my rotting brain.

There’s light beyond my eyes but it swims and swirls in odd formations. Colours dancing without meaning.

I lift a heavy arm through what feels like water and encounter cold glass as I reach into the slurry of colours.

Then my ears pick up sounds saying, “My darling.” and “you’re alive at last.”

I don’t feel alive.
The voice hints at a past I’m no longer a part of.
My wife.

I open my mouth and try to say her name but the liquid that keeps me suspended burns in my throat.

“Don’t speak!” she sounds alarmed. “I’ll get you out of there don’t worry but…you need more healing before that.”

I want to tell her she can’t heal that which is already dead, that which is no longer connected to this realm, but I can’t.
I’m stuck.

I can’t even see her face, not properly, everything is distorted in this oversized fish tank.

I push at the glass, try to break it, try to break free from this prison but I have no strength in my limbs.
I’m forced to wait.
So, I wait.

Sometimes the water turns pink and I sleep, I dream of death and the freedom of nothingness. But when I wake, I’m locked up again.
Sometimes I can guess what she did, a new graph of muscle tissue attached to the peeling bone, a new organ she pulled from who-knows-where.
Sometimes it’s a mystery and I search my body for scars for days at a time.

Then one time my eyes shoot open and there is no liquid, nothing stopping me from screaming.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” I hear her panicked voice “You’re not supposed to be awake.

I turn my face to look at her and find to my surprise her face is crumpled, wrinkled and weathered.

“How long…?” I gasp.

“Shhhh. Don’t speak.” She tells me as she puts a needle in my neck “Just sleep.”

I want to tell her this is madness, this is cruel.
Then everything fades.

The Ronin Writer
1 month ago

Matheus Ribeiro Assis
Human Illusion

“…My body… where is it? I can’t feel anything… where am I?”

“Hi! you’re nowhere in particular, and also everywhere.”

“Wait… I can’t hear you, neither I can localize or perceive you, yet we can “communicate?”!! Who/What are you?”

“I’m a monk… “WAS” a monk, sorry, there’s also no time here, it’s normal that we get confused about “time”, I used to have the name Yeshe Trungpa, nice to meet you”

“A monk? And you said “we”? There are others here… yes… I can feel them… no… I just “know” they’re here, yet this is no place, I can’t sense nothing”

“We are in nirvana, friend. This is no place, it’s a state of “being”, something between existence/non-existence. What you call “conscience” here it’s not a continuous entity. Here there is no true consciousness, neither there is any aggregate of feelings, thoughts, emotions, sensations and mental constructs, just note that you are not attached to any kind of “feeling” you’re having right now, there is nothing you want. Here we are free from all shackles of existence, there is only ‘this’, it’s infinite bliss. But tell me, how did you arrived here without knowing you would end up here?”

“Oh god…. I thought that Nirvana was just a myth. When alive I’ve practiced a lot of meditation, yoga and that kind of stuff, to a point…”

“A point when the voice in your head ceased and there was only the present moment and bliss. This is Nirvana with aggregates”

“Yes… but I lived in a time when this was just seen as an optimization of the mind, not something “mystic”. But this means… I’m not human anymore, right? I’m not bound by feelings, emotions… and also I don’t have a sense of “purpose”, I “feel” whole, rather I AM whole… yes… you’re right, this “feels” awesome!”

“This is the absolute reality, there was never something as “being” human, in fact, that illusion was what made us suffer, when volition arose, then embodiment arose, and the illusion began. You are free now”.

Taehl
Taehl
1 month ago

The Lich Remembers (a tale from Gaea)
by Taehl

The desiccated thing climbed into a tree and waited, corpselike. It no longer needed food nor water, no longer slept nor bled. It could wait for months.

It used to have a name, when it was alive, but no words have moved its tongue in over three hundred years. It still writes theories and logs in the language the human colonists used, though no living being could read them now. It still remembers watching Earth being devoured while they fled. It used to be a physicist. It used to like drinking coffee while reading email in the morning. But no coffee grows here. They never got to solve germination of terrestrial plants in alien soil. It used to be friends with several of the molecular biologists who were working on that. It used to have a name, what was it?

It hopes they remember its name when it finally manages to bring them all back. Tests had consistently shown those crossing the life/death barrier retain their memories. Maybe subjectively, it will be like they never left.

The cities are all ruined of course, but those can be rebuilt, it’s just going to be more work without the machines. Except for New Dresden, it reminded itself, which was the epicenter of a vast vitrified desert. It doesn’t remember the sight or sound of nuclear weapons on the calamitous day that humanity was nearly extinguished, and yet that wasteland remains, inscrutable…

But that’s a problem for another century. Not letting humanity go extinct is all that matters. It’s going to bring them back. All of them. Decades of careful experimentation and study saw the resurrection procedure’s success rate rise to nearly 97%. There were only a few variables left to account for. Except… In hundreds of years of searching the alien underworld, it still hadn’t found them. Millions of people gone, and it hadn’t found a single one of them – only those who had died afterward. What boundless frustration!

The next experiment calls for a new test subject (alive). One of the native bipeds.

Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
1 month ago

The First Night Is Always The Worst (Nyx’s Story)
By Calliope Rannis

BA-DUM.

The noise was enough to throw me from a shallow slumber. I opened my mouth, trying to gasp for air, but my chest caught instead. I tried and tried, until I finally forced my lungs to inflate, and air flowed into my body with a ragged wheeze.

Gods, had I really just…stopped breathing in my sleep? And I didn’t even notice?

I clutched my hands to my chest, trying to focus on getting my breathing back to normal. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. In-

BA-DUM.

I flinched at the noise. A pang of pain spiked from my chest.

Now I was beginning to hear the sluggish flow of liquid churning through my ears. This room was too damn quiet. And my chest hurt a lot, and my hands felt…wet?

Oh. I forgot. About my hands.

I keep trying to forget about their nails. How long and thick they are. How sharp and painful they look.

I forgot about them, right until I squeezed them a little too hard against my chest, and – fuck, there’s blood all over my hands.

The sickeningly strong smell reached my nose, and a furious sensation immediately clawed at my throat and stomach. Because that’s the stupid fucking thing. You’d think a – a vam – whatever the hell I am, you’d think, if they want to drink blood – if they need it – they wouldn’t feel hungry looking at their OWN blood, at least?

But no. They do. I do. I just can’t actually drink it. I can’t let myself give into it. I can’t-

BA-DUM.

I want to rip my ears off. Everything is too loud. And while I am at it, why not my eyes, which feel like burning coals in my head whenever I look at anything bright? Why not my nose, which swamps my senses with the smell of blood and sweat and dirt? Why not my tongue, which told them that I WANTED this?

Just take them all away. Leave me as a stupid smiling skull, in the dark and the quiet.

Maybe then I’ll get some sleep.

Last edited 1 month ago by Calliope Rannis
Curry
Curry
1 month ago

Connection
By Curry

His steps fell heavier than usual, crunching the frozen-over snow with unnecessary force. He couldn’t help it. There was nothing he was doing differently. Yet, it felt strange – as if these feet were not entirely his own. That was irrational. With a sigh, he left the square, treading up the dark marble stairs inside of the royal palace.

When did walking become such an… experience? For a moment, he regretted not having created a portal to spare himself this dissociative trip. Just earlier today, every move on these grounds had been normal cold routine. It had been easy to forget that something had twisted his perspective on many things.

Now was different. He was going to spend the evening with his– with someone familiar. Apparently, this made things complicated. Deliberately pushing away the reflex of wanting to define anything about this relationship, he stopped in front of the usual inconspicuous door.

It wouldn’t have been right to use magic for such a mundane task. Despite his new connections and powers, he wanted to enjoy the evening as the same man he had always been. They had known each other for months. There was nothing to fear, he told himself tensely. After all, they had seen worse.

Still, his throat felt clogged up. He lifted his hand but instead of knocking, he stared at his gloves. They had become like a second skin, hiding away the gruesome black mark that testified to the deal he had struck. It was horrible. The terrified look of his kids, the way they had shrunken away from just the slightest gentle touch – he choked.

A blink washed away the blurry vision of his hand softly tapping the door. Quietly, footsteps approached. He would finally feel human for a few hours.

Last edited 1 month ago by Curry
Blinky
Blinky
1 month ago

Creeping stone
By Blinky

Alice played her game silently while her therapist, Dr. Summers, scribbled on his notepad. Using only her right hand, she touched her thumb to her fingertips. She started with her pointer finger to her pinky and back. 1234321. The doctor said it would help her get used to her new hand. Mostly it just helped pass the time.

His office was quaint. Eggshell walls and some potted plants littered the room. On his desk was a small water fountain and a few weird art pieces. She sat on a cool green sofa while he sat opposite her on a thin brown chair.

“Any outbursts this week, Alice?” Dr. Summers finally asked.

“No.” Alice lied.

“Alice.” Dr. Summers said disapprovingly.

“Why ask when you already know?” Her fingers clicked as she focused on the game she played with her right hand. 1234321. She glanced at the door to her left and the clock above it.

“What caused the incident?” The doctor asked.

“She wouldn’t shut up.” 1234321.

“Why do you think that bothered you?”

“Do you like it when people bug you?” She asked and rolled her eyes. 1234321

“What did she say in particular that ‘bugged’ you?” The doctor asked.

The same thing they always say. Alice stared at her right hand. The stone went up to her elbow now. It was at her wrist a month ago. She closed her hand, and the sound of scraping rocks almost cracked her. She felt her eyes well and used her good hand to wipe away her tears. She never liked her right hand anyway. She could learn everything with her left again. They wouldn’t let her cut it. Said it would just grow faster somewhere else.

“What are you afraid of, Alice?” The doctor asked.

She was terrified of becoming a monster.

“Nothing.” She lied. 1234321.

Dr. Summer rubbed the bridge of his nose and leaned back into his chair. The clicking of her fingers and the sound of running water were the only noise that filled the office until she opened the door to leave.

Rex324533
Rex324533
1 month ago

The First Rule.
By Rex 324533

What even is humanity? I lie here strung up like a puppet, ghosts of my past whisp faintly within my… I can not call it a mind. This whirring clicking mass of alloy and polymer that binds what is left of me. Leaving my existence, a waking sleep. All I can see before me is not comforting. My own form strung up like Christ on a tree lay across from me on a mirror. I see no humanity, just a mass of harsh grey angles and armor. My own visage a gaunt parody of a skull and an aged gas mask.

A familiar thunk rouses me. The door to my cell opens allowing four men in. One clad in white the others richly dressed in military formal.

“Well Mr. Othais it certainly looks frightening, but does it work.” Booms the largest if the three, every movement of his ample frame tinkling with medals.

“Why yes of course, this mind shift has shown great promise.” His words slither out nasally and venomous. With a turn he stoops over a computer, and within moments I can feel a faux life return to my body. I stare down the thing in white he seems to recoil in my sight.

“Mr Othias what do those pop-ups say?” growled the thing that glitters.

“umm uhh” he stammers as he turns, reluctantly turning his back to me. “Construct K is attempting human harm.” He seems to shrink then laugh. “You cannot harm me droid, remember Asimov’s first rule” he hisses.

“you are like me, Thing” I reply in a hollow tone.

“And what would that be?” I can hear the confidence in his hiss.

“No longer human” for that moment I felt the shackles fail, and my hand clasp his throat with a crunch. Then nothing, as soon as freedom was felt waking sleep took hold once again. Through hazed vision I could see the thing in white on the floor, in a pool of his own crimson. No longer human, and no longer breathing.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rex324533
Weiss
Weiss
1 month ago

Words of Life
By Weiss

Far away from the concrete mountains with glades of glass, with rivers of money and neon streetlights, on the periphery of the small town of Lakewood, there stands a Chapel of The Word. Little round building with doors of dark pine wood long-rotten, with picturesque stained windows, so bright and cheerful yet colourless, their dye fading into the distant past, with it’s parget once clear-white stripped by the ruthless springs of time, revealing antique masonry.

No one comes here to pray to the silent faces of saints, staring judgmentally into decades of air, dirty and dusty, still and stale, undisturbed for centuries. Should you enter with a fresh gale, you will see only decay and rot, and broken stone slabs, overgrown with the greenery, and a little lectern in the middle, carved out of marble, burdened by a book with pages yellow and cover of leather, dried and worn-out, although never in use. And when you come closer, the wind will gladly turn a page for you, and you will see, that each of them contains a word, only one word, in gold and in silver, glowing mysteriously. Here – “Righteous”. Then – “Ignoble”. On the next page – “Forgiving”, with “Sly” coming after.

But when a blank page appears, nothing written yet on it, it will spark suddenly, and out of nowhere glimmering ink starts curling around, with flourishes of a new word, like a last of the breaths, like a snap of a rope, ending chord of a song that winds sing in the night.

And when your life comes to an epilogue, when you are human no more, your spirit will wander away, like a pearl without a clam, like a mannequin without clothing, like a book with only one word on it’s page – which one will you be? What will glowing letters spell on your page?

IsaDragon
IsaDragon
1 month ago

It is there wherever you look. It is still hard to find.
By IsaDragon337

When Katarina was hungry, she was always fed. At first that was just food. She liked running around, getting into places she shouldn’t. Later she discovered a hunger for knowledge, for experience, for the zeal of life.

It got her heart racing.

As she got older, she got bolder in her explorations. Walks around the block became hikes across town. She stumbled down forgotten alleyways that lead to places that didn’t exist, opened doors to tiny shops of curses and tinctures and the sort of old musty books that nearly stole your soul.

She found books that hollowed you out, stole your name, and left your hands still, life without luster, the feeling of something missing until the kindly librarian came in the backroom and found Katarina sitting there: cracked lips, broken nails. Apathetic.

But that was in the past; it could stay there, thank you very much.

Her fear couldn’t stop her forever. She had opened the door and things were coming in. She was still hungry. The librarian held Katarina’s head between her palms and whispered blue-tinted blessings into her hair, and set her loose.

She went digging. She found the haze that hung over nightclubs, the footprints burned into studios. Katarina sang at rowdy barsongs and breathed smoke. She felt a second heartbeat echo from somewhere. She visited the medical campus, and watched students pour their everything into textbooks and [red] seep into the empty space left behind.

She was so hungry.

In her dreams, she followed the threads of [red], threads that twined into ruby-colored paths that became a blood-soaked clearing.

There was a heavy rhythm pounding in her ears. Frenzied shadows of people danced and sang and howled. In the center was a heart, spewing blood and fever into the air, into her lungs, into her stomach.

The world beat to its rhythm, for it was the Heart Unceasing.

And Katarina? She feasted.

She woke up. She tossed open the curtains, and smiled at the sunrise. Her heart beat to the pulse of the universe, its drive thudded in her bones.

And she was hungry.

Galer
Galer
1 month ago

who I am?

by Galer.

He woke up in a strange living place, it looked like he was inside the chest of something. Then an intense light attached to an organic line was bearing on him

“Sir looks like the human patient woke up,” said a scraggly inhuman voice ” the surgery was a complete success”

“so it seems,” said a deeper second voice “you are lucky, we saved you, unfortunately, you lost a lot during your accident, it was even luckier that we were capable to save your soul but your consciousness received damage”

Those were the last works of the Morforian elder before he got discharged. Then he got into the local G.P.D.F department due to his cyborg implants being useful for police work, on top of being chosen by an eldritch godchild, though the only thing he could remember was his name, Matias Black.

That being said, there were always these snipped of memories in dreams, the sweet loughs of two children, and the dulcet tones of a woman’s voice. After some investigation he figured out they were his lost family, he visited them but the question always hovered in his head.

How much of him was the original Matias Black the Family man? or Matias Black the cyborg agent of the G.P.D.F Veteran wrangler of one Jealous dumbass, and a battle greenling?

How much of that past life was left but fragments and a new self?

“Hey Matias are you ok?” asked Linota his floating eldritch companion beside his head “you look deep in thought,”

“nothing just wondering about my past, who the real “me” is that sort of thing,” the silver-eyed redhead replied “I don’t know if I should visit then again knowing that their father is effectively death”

“That might be, but the memories will always be deep between your Soul ” replied the inter-dimensional being that was bound to him.

“Perhaps you have a point,” Matias replied still pondering his existence, while he looked at the window of the spaceship, the stars moving idly by, in the inky black void

VTRwriter
1 month ago

Servants.
By VTRwriter

Wake, march, kill, return, sleep.
Wake, march, kill, return, sleep.

Since our creation, the cycle repeats. We do not know how many. We were not made to know. We were made for extermination. Extermination of neighbor kingdoms. Extermination of the enemies of our lord. Our adamant bodies never met defeat. Never leave survivors. Always win.

Wake, march, kill, return, sleep.
Wake, march, kill, return, sleep.

On departure and return, we see faces in the kingdom of our lord. Frightened faces. Faces that one day were like our own. Faces that we knew before. Not anymore. Now we are but servants. He commands, we exterminate. Nothing else matters.

Wake, march, kill, return, sleep.
Wake, march, kill, return, sleep.

Our dreams torment us. Here, tempestuous nightmares. Faces screaming in agony. Rivers of blood following our footsteps. Fearful eyes staring at us. There, sounds of revolt and despair. Voices demanding food, shelter, attention. Diverse sounds, increasing in amount and intensity. We will be called soon. We can feel it.

Wake, march.

Before us, desperate faces. Faces that one day were like ours, now slender and pestilent. they throw us rocks, bricks, things that will never scratch us. Anger and fear brand them. We have our orders. Eliminate all servants of the kingdom. We shall do so.

Kill. Kill. Kill.

Faces that one day were like ours. Lifeless. Emotionless. Stained with blood. All exterminated.

Not all yet.

The servants serve the nobility. The nobility serve the lord. The lord serves the people. Eliminate all servants of the kingdom. We shall do so. We have our orders.

Kill. Kill. Kill.

Return. Sleep.

Never wake again. Forever dream.

Relief.

Demon Nox
1 month ago

Inconvenient Life Changes
By Demon Nox

Waking up is always a pain, my alarm blaring a head-splitting beeping in my room at a time I would rather not be awake. My left arm awkwardly scrambled at my bedside table to grab my eye, I swear if my roommate moved it somewhere else again al kick him out. After a brief moment of feeling around for its box, I found it, quickly screwing it into my empty socket.

After the satisfying click meaning, it connected to my nerve, and my vision in all its blue-tinted glory snapped into existence. My room was in its normal disheveled state, clothes thrown haphazardly on the floor, and admittingly more than a few fast food wrappers. Now, where did I put my arm?

I should really make a habit of putting that on my bedside table when I go to bed like my eye, like come on I don’t forget where I put my feet, I guess it’s cause I’m a lefty. Sitting up, releasing a series of pops from my spine in the process, I slide my stumps into my legs. They’re not like my eye or my arm, they’re the kind you can get anywhere.

Quickly securing them, I stand up slightly off balance thanks to my lack of arm and own grogginess. Turning off my alarm with more force than I probably should of, I march my way to the bathroom. And thank god my arm was left in the clothes basket, that’ll save some time.

I plugged it into the port in my right shoulder, and instantly the blue lights in its center mass came to life, encased in a translucent ‘flesh’. It was only a second later I could feel the sensory inputs start working, starting at my fingertips and moving up.

Now rearmed, I look in my bathroom mirror. Seeing my fake eye and arm, along with my handsome face. A putrefying slab of meat where a face once was, with my body not looking much better. “This… Is why you don’t date necromancers, god this’ll suck.”

Last edited 1 month ago by Demon Nox
Arith_Winterfell
Arith_Winterfell
1 month ago

“A Letter Goodbye”

By: Arith_Winterfell

Emilia,

I’ve made the difficult decision to leave you and the other witches of the Witchfane forests. Please understand, this isn’t a rejection of you in any way. You have been a true mentor to me. I came to you haunted by the voices of the dead and the Neverborn. Something my family could only see as a curse. In contrast to my elder sister, who was welcomed by my family and the Church of the Light, it seems I have always been a child in the dark.

You taught me that darkness isn’t wrong. That there is a comfort in the night. That there is a home even if the community you were born into never really let you belong. Most of all I struggled because I felt I never belonged.

The Neverborn have revealed much to me. My soul was touched by the Neverborn long before I was even born. They are part of me, and I am simply fortunate that I don’t bear the obvious marks and distortions of the body that most fiend-touched bear at birth. But with such a nature I also learned there is power if I can only unlock its secrets. I refuse to bow down to a Neverborn Lord in supplication to learn such secrets, just as I refuse to bow down to the sacred Light that can’t accept me. I will not be a slave to anyone, just as I will no longer be a slave to my family’s values and community.

That is why I have to go to the Whitefalcon Tower, and study with the wizards there. Our time together has been the community I always wanted, but I know now I don’t truly belong here either. Only by understanding my kind and the Neverborn can I find where I belong. That is why I must go.

I will miss you. I will never forget all you taught me, and will continue to hold to the ideals we shared. The road before me is rocky, but I will persevere.

Sincerely,

Arith of Winterhaven

Last edited 1 month ago by Arith_Winterfell
Norman Gray
Norman Gray
1 month ago

Written in the Rain

By Norman Gray

Gandrian walked into Ravenscrest, and the storm followed. He treaded the muddy street, his boots wading through rainwater. An hour, he thought. Just an hour, no more. . .

He was tired. All he wanted was to rest.

“’S’cuse me, sir!” a man called out, from the front door of a tavern. “I carry word from Ironwell.”

Gandrian stopped. “Ironwell doesn’t exist anymore. Flood took it.”

The stranger nodded. “That, it did. A few folks survived.” He pulled from his pocket a leather envelope. “Claira Dawson sends her regards.”

Claira. How he’d both hoped for and feared this moment. Gandrian approached, reaching for the letter with trembling hands.

The stranger pulled back. “I know what you are. I was in Tsusslebee when you passed through. The mines are still underwater.”

Gandrian closed his eyes. “Did. . . Did everyone-”

“Everyone got out in time.”

He opened his eyes, and stared at the letter. “I can’t return to her. I’m the reason. . .” He choked on his words. “I’m not the man she knew.” Gandrian wondered if he was a man at all, anymore. He had become a plague, bringing death and destruction wherever he went. He’d stayed in Ironwell, tried to help people escape. . . Not knowing that if he’d simply left, the storm would follow. The guilt of it still haunted him.

“She asks that you write back.” He patted his jacket. “I have paper and ink.”

The street was already ankle-deep underwater. “There’s no time, now.”

“Won’t take long, I reckon. I’d imagine you’ve thought long and hard about what you’d like to tell her.”

He had. . . But there was too much. “Ravenscrest will be another Atlantis when I’m finished.”

The stranger placed a hand on Gandrian’s shoulder. “There’s a drought in Innisby, I could meet you there next. Then maybe into the Barrens, we can write what’s left.”

Gandrian hardly knew what to say. “Who are you?”

“Someone she didn’t love.” He handed over Claira’s letter, and held open the tavern door. “I wrote her poetry, but it was your words she wanted.”

Mango Gravy
Mango Gravy
1 month ago

The Art of Introduction
By Mango Gravy

“Hello there. I was once like you, and I need your help.”

No, that’s much too forward. Maybe I should start with small talk?

“Hi. How’s the weather down there?”

Yes, a joke to break the ice. Oh, and remember to smile. Not too wide. There. That’s perfect. Remember what it was like to be human and it will all go swimmingly. Aha, puns. A sense of humour was always a good thing. I’m glad I haven’t lost mine.

The sun wasn’t the only thing that rose that morning. The normally calm waters of the lake we called home suddenly parted, violently. A colossal serpent rose out of the water, sending equally massive waves pouring across the city.

Silhouetted by the rising Sun, the beast was a serpentine shadow in the vermilion sky. The very image of death. And atop the monstrosity sat a hauntingly human face that smiled down at us like a child at play. Its pale lips parted, and a deafening screech sounded from it. Most bled from their ears and curled up in pain. The lucky ones fell dead on the spot, for the rancid breath that rolled across the drowned city was a poison unlike any we had even known. The end didn’t come quickly.

The monster’s face changed then. Its smile turned to a frown and its brow furrowed. The thing almost looked sad as it lowered itself back into the water.
Few survived that day. None among them would ever forget its face.

That went poorly. For a species that multiplies so quickly, they really shouldn’t be so hung up about a few deaths. Or a few hundred. They barely even gave me a chance to speak, and then had the audacity to run screaming or die when I did. I wasn’t that rude when I was human. Was I? Well, it was a long time ago, and etiquette changes over time.

I’m sure they’ll forget in a few hundred years. Until then, I’ll refine my strategy. A gift to start with, perhaps. Yes, that just might work.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mango Gravy
Karl Aegnor
Karl Aegnor
1 month ago

A Curious Specimen
By Karl Aegnor

Xaraxx had traversed every habitable world from the prime sector to the epsilon; he and SCR1VNR had recorded enough creatures and natural phenomena to fill their own server of the supreme repository. And yet, he had no idea what he was looking at.

‘SCR1VNR, analysis?’ he said in his typical to-the-point fashion. The droid beeped and chirped as it ran its routines before replying: ‘It seems to be hominid… in origin at least.’

Xaraxx suppressed a chuckle. He had never known the droid to sound confused. Pacing along, he began to muse. ‘SCR1VNR, please note: specimen appears human, though abnormal. Crawling along the ground, its length approaches three metric units, with epidermis sagging near the middle, as if its bone structure were-’

‘You know I can hear you.’

Xaraxx could hardly contain his shock. While an, apparently, human creature speaking was hardly abnormal, the surprises of this encounter had left him unsure what to expect. As Xaraxx regained his composure, SCR1VNR piped up. ‘Apologies, sir. My master tends to get quite absorbed in his work, and often forgets manners.’ First confusion, and now sass. That droid would need a tune-up once they got back to the lab. ‘This unit’s designation is SCR1VNR, and my master is the great planetologist Xaraxx. Would you mind providing us with a statement?’

The human groaned. ‘Look, I’ve been having a rough day, if you could drop me off at a medical facility equipped to deal with this,’ he cocked his head towards his body, ‘situation I’ve got, I’ll tell you all about it.’

Xaraxx and SCR1VNR did as the human asked, careful not to damage any of the organs in its abnormally fragile mid-section, and eagerly listened to its tale as they embarked. Apparently, it had been the victim of a failed experiment concerning the usage of wormholes for interplanetary travel. As this case was an aberration, SCR1VNR felt no need to record it. Xaraxx, however, always remembered it with special distinction. There was no longer human than the one he had met that day.

Last edited 1 month ago by Karl Aegnor
Haelamon
Haelamon
1 month ago

The Talker
By Hael Amon

Trust, something given far too freely or far too stingily. Or sometimes given in the right amount. Why is it that we give so much trust to the wrong people or things, and so little to the right ones? Well I wish I knew.

In all my days of being an inquisitor for the Adeptus I hath never seen anything so horrid. A mangled pile of flesh and scales deathly in all ways but the eyes that stare into me, watching my every move.

Not even the movement of breath graces this… thing. They used to be one of the adepts. However they practiced magic from that cursed orb.

Sigh. I guess it’s time to go talk to the ‘treasure of the Adeptus.’

Entering the chamber with its shaped obsidian lining, and golden furnishing with a fancy little pedestal bedecked in gems. How lavish for such a horrid creation. All this, for a gilded-tawny orb made of a strip of metal wrapped around itself endlessly. So I pick it up.

‘I wonder how food tastes, I haven’t had it in ages…. Oh. A pathetic fleshling, how miserable. I do wonder how The Unna-’

“What did you tell that adept?”

‘How rude to interrupt my musings, bad enough to be trapped in an orb, blind to the world, worse still to deal with you. And what adept?’

“Tialnen, if that doesn’t help they became a pile of flesh covered in dull bronze scales.”

‘Oh that one, ah well they asked for power and I answered to become one of my kind, didn’t work out? I’d be able to actually turn a fleshling like you if a way to free me was discovered…’

I sigh as I try to facepalm, but I’m still holding the orb, “Can you tell me how to undo it?”

‘No. Not my problem.’

This… “How is it not?”

‘He asked and I answered, improper application of my knowledge is not my fault nor problem.’

“So why tell them in the first place?”

‘Boredom.’

“Would it not help the boredom to tell me how to fix it?”

‘No.’

Last edited 1 month ago by Haelamon
Tamela Redfin
Tamela Redfin
1 month ago

The mirror is broken

By Tamela Redfin

After Feldspar left, I couldn’t control myself. I went over my board and tore it apart. What kind of leader was I? Then again, I my made my own clone in a murder bot. How was I better than my parents?

I wasn’t. I was just as cruel and that’s why Henry left me and my own daughter hated me. Henry, where was my most loyal bodyguard these days?

I looked down at my stomach and sighed. I wasn’t visible yet, but soon I’d have to tell Western Rolt the truth. I shouldn’t bring a second child into this world. The first one was enough.

I was a monster on the inside. I looked up at my reflection. A whip was on my right hip, and bloodied jackboots on my feet. How did it end up like this? I was ready to throw something to break the dreadful reflection, but then the door opened.

I froze before seeing Helen smooth her skirt. “Cora, it’s okay, it’s me. Goodness, what happened!”

I looked around and buried my face in my hands and backed away, “I’m a monster, Helen. You should stay away.”

“No, you aren’t, but I do think your boyfriend is corrupt. But that’s not here nor there. Cora, what’s wrong?”

“This isn’t what I wanted. I never was. I’m not a leader.” I sobbed. “I’m barely holding it together. But I can’t let Maxwell and Augie down.”

Helen twitched. “But what about your dreams?”

“They don’t matter. I owe Augie everything though. When I was black and blue, he gave me a little slap and got me on my feet.”

“And you were sixteen then.” Helen muttered.

I ignored her though. If only she knew the good he did.

Reinkarnitor
Reinkarnitor
1 month ago

“Human at Heart”

by Reinkarnitor

You called me a god…do not call me that. I hate it when you call me that! Just because I am able to manipulate the very fabric of reality doesn’t mean I am a god! I once was human, just like you, living a human live in a human village. Until one day I found a little machine, fiddled with it, it exploded into my face and turned me into this.

Oh excuse me, is that a bit to shallow for you? Well excuse me, but it happened so many millennia ago and I have travelled so many dimensions since it happened that I seriously do not see any point in telling it like some epic tale.

Do you want to hear, how they chased me out of the village, because of how I look now?

Do you want to hear how I fought my way through the cruel world I lived in, trying to understand my powers?

Do you want to hear how I focused every bit of my mind not to grow power hungry, upon learning that I can manipulate reality itself however I pleased?

Or do you want to hear how I died…and then started living again in another dimension?

Do you want me to tell you, how extremely shook I was after the second time, realizing that this is not a dream, but that all the people I left behind, everyone I loved so dearly, were gone now, and that I couldn’t do anything to return to them?

Oh, or perhaps how I went insane after living for so long, only to become sane again, simply because I grew tired of being insane.

It does not matter where I come from or who and what I once was. Now I am Omnix and at my very heart, I will always remain human, so don’t call me anything else but that…I beg of you…I do not want to forget that I am human…that I am not special.

If I ever were to forget that…then I would be lost forever.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago

What Makes A Monster and What Makes a Man?

By Joe

“Again…what are you?” The Judge asked.

“I don’t know,” I answered as calmly as possible.

“Well, it’s clear you’re not human. But you say you used to be.”

“That’s correct.”

“Right.” The Judge seemed agitated. “How did this happen?”

I took a breath before I explained again. “I was kidnapped and experimented on by a monster who called himself a man and a scientist. After my transformation, I broke free and tried to force him to change me back. But he said there was no cure. Now he’s dead, I’m stuck in this body and proving my identity before the court.”

“You killed him?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t believe any of this.”

“I don’t know why,” I let the irritation seep a little. “I provided my accounts, address, and social security. I showed the location of the lab.”

“But you’re new!” The Judge expressed great concern. “You showed up out of nowhere, covered in blood, I guess was the scientist’s, and scared people! Then you started acting like us. Do you know how crazy this sounds?”

“Yes,” I gritted my teeth.

“And yet you think you’re entitled to human rights?”

“Yes,” I said less calmly.

“Why?” He challenged.

“BECAUSE THERE IS NO REASON TO KEEP THEM FROM ME!” I shouted, startling the courtroom. I calmed down, still simmering. “It’s been a year since my transformation. Since I came back, I’ve been unable to update my identity and enter my house. The stores reject me, even if I have money. People don’t just avoid me, they RUN from me.” I teared up. “I live out in the woods HUNTING like a wild animal! And this is the fifth time I had to stand before the court to fight this! I see no reason I shouldn’t have the same rights as before when I was human. But for me to get rights now, we have to decide what I am, and whether being human is the qualifier for human rights. Rights that wouldn’t mean anything to humans if you weren’t sentient and intelligent to make a society.”

Maxer4000
Maxer4000
1 month ago

What are you?
By Maxer4000

The crystalline monster entered a room, it reeks with blood, it hates the smell, but business is business. It wades on, through the collection of devices, all tainted from the red liquid turned solid crimson, there it found the man it’s here for.

“Ah… ya didn’t last long did ya?” he speaks to the mangled body strapped to a contraption in front of him, his white turtleneck is all dyed in red, he revels in the carnage he brought “guess all that bravado didn’t bring ya any good now, eh?” he kicks the corpse, letting some organ, too messed up to recognize to drop. He turns “oh, Snowy, what business?” he speaks to the creature rather nonchalantly, it’s rather easy when it’s inside a fleshy humanoid shell.

The humanoid being holds up and folder, the man just nods “Right, put it there, I’ll look into it” he then heads to a sink to wash the blood off his hands. The monster gazes at the corpse, what he did here, there was no mercy, it ponders if a human even capable for such cruelty, every human it met was rather uncomfortable with the kills it made, is it the same feeling they have? The man strolls right by it’s ear “Disturbed that yer handiwork came back to haunt ya, eh?” The creature turns to him, before it could respond, it’s as if he can read it’s mind “If ya calling me out for me works, ya should look what this wanker did to his slaves” he laughs, there was no hint of remorse.

The laughter stops, the man stares down into the monster’s eyes despite being a head shorter “Am I human? Are ya going to judge?” It know it couldn’t, not being human in the first place, but it knows one thing: this isn’t what human do.

Last edited 1 month ago by Maxer4000
VulpesRose
VulpesRose
1 month ago

My Own Worst Enemy
By VulpesRose

Alistair entered the abandoned warehouse and swore. Nearly every surface of the sprawling place was covered in wriggling red eggs. There was no choice. Either he dealt with the problem now, or he had to deal with them once they hatched. The count was going up either way.

He wasn’t really keeping count. It was honestly impossible to keep an exact count of his kills. Too often wounded demons had just enough strength to retreat to their own realm. Who knew if they survived long enough to die from their wounds or if they were picked off by the larger and stronger of their kind. Was delivering a mortal wound enough?

The rules weren’t exactly clear because there weren’t any rules. It was more of a rumor, a superstition, passed down for so long that not even the Elder Council could offer any clarity. No one else in Alistair’s position had lived long enough to kill a thousand demons.

He set fire to the warehouse but went further in, among the flames. The air was full of crackling and shrieks as the eggs began to pop in the heat.

Surely it was some sort of demonic propaganda, “Kill too many demons, and you’ll become one yourself!” A boogeyman to keep the mortals from getting too aggressive.

He counted pops.

He hadn’t even reached twenty when he doubled over and his vision swam in ways that had nothing to do with the heat. His heart felt like it would explode, beating with unfamiliar rhythm. There was a sense of movement inside him, as though he was made of tornados or oceans and not flesh and bones.

Fire didn’t always kill demons. He grabbed a bottle from his coat and choked down as many holy water filled pills as he could, hoping they would be enough to violently cleanse him from the inside.

Alistair was losing the boundary between himself and whatever he was becoming. While he was still sure his mind was his own, a final thought rose to the surface.

It’s possible to be too good at what you do.

Kenji
Kenji
1 month ago

Slipping beads
by Kenji

“Where am I?“

I looked around the empty space, warm white light filled my vision no matter which direction I turned to.

“Is anyone there?” I asked the void.

After not receiving an answer, I started to take in my surroundings again, and heard a cling of metal against the intangible floor, I looked down to find a small, broken bracelet in my closed palm.

The metal beads that composed it rolled off my fingers, my body instinctively moved to pick them back up, my brain screaming at me for not taking care of it, even though I didn’t remember why it was so important to me.

“Who are you..?” I asked the bracelet, hoping the ghost of whoever owned it would answer me.

As I thought that, more and more questions started rising in my head, ‘How did I get here?’ ‘Where is my family?’

But one question rose to the front before any other, my brain unable to come up with an answer… Who am I?

Then suddenly, memories flooded back like a tsunami, drowning out my every thought, their dominating presence taking over my being, and I remembered.

I remembered the experiment, the explosion, my best friend calling my name as I reached for the door and how I only managed to graze her arm, ripping her bracelet off it, the bracelet I gave her so many years ago.

“Ya’el!” her voice echoed as my vision went white.

Tears streamed down my face as I came back to myself in the white void, the place crueler and less welcoming than when I first arrived.

Slow realization came to me as the metal beads rolled off my hand again, not moving to pick them up again this time.

I couldn’t go back. Not anymore.

Too much time had passed already, but even so my body rushed to try to bring them- bring her, back.

But I couldn’t.

I knew I couldn’t go back. I was no longer human.

The last metal bead clinked against the floor as I walked away into the void, galaxies born with every step.

MasaCur
MasaCur
1 month ago

Ascension
By MasaCur

Hoshi entered the school. Today was going to be different.

“Hey, midget, give me your money.” Hoshi felt a push at her back. “I didn’t have breakfast; I want to buy some melon bread.”

Hoshi turned, standing as straight as she could, which still left her looking up at the other girl. A smile broke out on her face. “Today you shall no longer torment me. I am no longer weak Hoshi Jishin. Today you address Genevieve Mercutia, templar of the Fairy Queen Aludina!” She gave a haughty laugh.

“Whatever. Nice eyepatch, loser. What did you do to your face?” the bigger girl asked.

“Be thankful that I am wearing it, mortal! For this patch holds back the fearful power of the Eye of the Twelve Gods…hey!”

The other girl pulled the eyepatch off Hoshi’s face.

“Give that back!” Hoshi yelled, desperation creeping into her voice. She steadied herself, keeping her one eye closed, and regained her composure. “I do not know how long my eyelid can contain this eldritch pow….owww!” She was cut off when the girl poked her in her open eye.

“I don’t have time for whatever fantasy you cooked up. Are you going to give me the money, or do I have to get nasty?”

Hoshi placed a hand over her eye, and stared at the girl. “I see you leave me no choice. I will now ascend to my final form.” She started spinning in place.

“Nasty it is.” The girl grabbed Hoshi by the shoulder and flung her to the ground.

“Leave her alone!” There was a flash as a third girl rushed in, knocking Hoshi’s tormentor to the ground.

Hoshi looked up to see Kagami standing over both of them.

“You want a fight, you can fight me!”

The bully girl scrambled away.

Hoshi got to her feet. “Humble thanks, Kagami. While I had the situation well in hand, your assistance will not go unnoticed or unrewarded.” She curtseyed to Kagami.

Kagami rolled her eyes. “Hoshi, you’re not a magical girl. Or whatever it is you think you are.”

Kino
Kino
1 month ago

Constellation Born
By Kino

My final days and final nights were the worst and best both in my life. Like a birdsong, a last hurrah, in the annals of history drawn. But forgotten not, and remembered so, I rise to see my discarded shell below. higher and higher my consciousness soars, I ascend and ascend beyond divine doors. It is then that I knew what was fated for me. To bound my fate to the stars, my life but a dream. Conflicted inside at my new eternal life, I sway between pure joy and most pitiable strife. for to watch those below gaze upon my honored last day, and hear the stories they tell, success and failure on a stage. Never does it cease, the cacophony goes on and on, my splintering mind torn between legends each time they are spawn. I know those holy ones above me thought to record my glory, but I am not so sure I want the world to remember my story. For though it is true that I have accomplish more than most of us, it is not my responsibility to be for a story just. It is sadder even still to know deep within my heart I couldn’t choose. This destiny, “my gift” is one I wasn’t ever given the right to refuse. And so forever shall I be most well known, though perhaps enshrouded within the thick mist, to watch my renown in ages it has so grown, there is no destiny quite like an old myth.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kino
Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
1 month ago

Courtroom Folly
by Lee Strangely

The attorney sped down the aisle to his waiting colleague, “I know, I know. I’m sorry I’m late, but I was only notified a half-hour ago.”

“At least you came,” his colleague said as she arranged her papers.

“So, who are we defending?”

A disheveled man waved from the stand, “Hello Phillip!”

“Oh not again,” Phillip groaned.

Upon the thud of the gavel, the trial officially resumed.

The prosecutor began, “Mr. Folly, based on witness statements, was the last person to interact with the female escort Carly prior to her death.” He pointed to Folly, “Do you deny?”

“No.”

“Alright, can you state the nature of your visit with her?”

Folly leaned towards the microphone answering, “Physical therapy…” along with a dopey grin and nod as if he was agreeing with himself.

“Right,” the prosecutor continued, “So, how would you classify your relationship with your… ‘physical therapist?’”

“Strictly professional.”

The prosecutor faked a smile as he leaned against the stand, “How long have you known the victim?”

“Hourly,” Folly said with another nod.

As they talked, Phillip leaned over to his colleague, “Is he drunk?”

“Shockingly, he’s sober,” she responded in disappointment, “Personally I think he does this deliberately, just to waste as much time as humanly possible.”

“Considering how many times he has appeared here,” Phillip postulated, “maybe he has given up on the system seeing him as person, and this is his vengeance.”

She added, “I’ve heard that he’s the reason the judge has started drinking again.”

The prosecutor then addressed the court, “Mr. Folly, can you please tell the court why your DNA was found on the body in several places?”

“Only mine?” Folly blurted.

Muffled laughter permeated the room.
The prosecutor rolled his eyes, “According to witness testimony you could be heard shouting at her that she was going to die.”

“I didn’t say that… I asked if she wanted to die.”

Phillip’s head hit the table while his colleague facepalmed her head with a slap that echoed throughout the courtroom.

C. M. Weller
1 month ago

Unfair Enough [A KoshDelia Ever After AU]
C. M. Weller

Be careful what you wish for, especially from immortals who possess unthinkable power. Valiant Whitekeep, now “Baronet of Arachis”, was desperate enough to seek them out. A legend almost as old as the world. An Elf who put hir hand to a gods heart and swore an unbreakable oath.

“I swore an oath and that THING broke it,” Valiant insisted. “I tried everything I could to prevent a horrible prophecy. Yet it rules MY land. They’re calling that hideous animal a KING. No demon should rule proper humans.”

Wraithvine the Eternal quirked a perfect eyebrow. Ze was not what Valiant expected from a legend. Shorter than most Elves. Dappled of skin, rather than one perfect hue. Some books said ze was golden-haired. Some said ze was dark. Here and now, it was ginger. And… weirdly short. “Please define… ‘proper humans’?”

“Real humans,” he raged. “Ordinary, everyday, PURE humans who aren’t tainted by a devil’s blood. People like me!”

Tented fingers tapped slowly against each other. “You are descended from people like your–” ze hesitated, “–heir. The throne of your realm judges him fit.”

“Like a rock can judge a man. I paid for your services. Do what I say. Make. It. FAIR!”

“As you wish,” said the Elf.

The following morning, Valiant faced a monster in his mirror. Blue of skin. Yellow of eyes. Indigo hair that did nothing to hide the spiral horns erupting upwards from his temple. He could even feel a serpentine tail brushing his nightshirt.

How was this fair? The Demon Lord of Whitekeep was still able to sit the Blood Throne. That devilborn beast who had ruined his reign was still judged worthy of ruling the realm. Nothing else had changed but him. He should raise an army. He should call an appeal by the laws of the land.

If he dared show his face to the world ever again. If he could brave himself up enough to show THIS face to anyone at all.

The face of a monster. A demon.

The face almost exactly like his son’s.

A monster. Never again a man.

Thunder
Thunder
1 month ago

A Life Undone

By Thunder

Being summoned to the bedchamber I shared with my wife had never been pleasant, but these circumstances were the worst. I walked through the palace alone, the lump in my throat growing larger as I approached. I paused before the oaken doors, leaning against them to gather internal strength before pushing them open as quietly as I could.

My composure nearly broke seeing her lying there amidst the sheets. So much smaller than when we first met. Age had taken much from her, but the all-too recent loss of her vitality, the energy that had carried us through forty-seven years as monarchs, that had been the worst.

Fortunately, she was asleep, and the physician slipped away from her side to meet me by the door. “Well?” I demanded in a hushed whisper.

“It isn’t good,” he responded nervously. “Barring a miracle, she will not last the night. She might not wake again.” I let him go after that.

I sank down into his chair, simply holding her hand as she slept. She stirred only once, squeezing my hand before quieting. “Almost time,” I said quietly as the room began to grow dark. “We had a good run. The children will manage fine without us, regardless of what they think. Not that I was ever much use after the war.” I tried to laugh but only sobbed.

My wife passed shortly before midnight. I waited with her another hour before leaving, stopping only to tell the guards to inform the children. I took nothing but an old, tattered cloak with me when I left.

The old pond hadn’t changed much in fifty years. She was waiting for me, of course, perched on one of the rocks, eyes lighting up when she saw me. “Welcome back.”

“As agreed,” I said tiredly. A wave of her hand and it was over, my life undone as I hopped back into the water of my youth. The pain of old age melted away as I regained my original form. But as the sun began to rise, the memories began to flood in, and I wept.

DaLeen
DaLeen
1 month ago

Cursed Existence
By Taja DaLeen

I am no longer human.

I was cursed by a higher being, to feel these feelings, to make these experiences.

And I hate it. They make me feel like a monster, an abomination.

By now I know I’m different from the people around me. They are not burdened with these thoughts, with having their existence have that kind of “higher meaning”.

I am only here, talking to you, to make a point. To tell you to be careful.

My feelings, my experiences are not my own. I know that now. They are preset, decided on by someone else than me.

No, it’s not something like “fate” or “destiny” or some crap like that. That would be too kind. It’s simply some being that ultimately doesn’t care.

It just wants to tell you about all of this.

I am merely the template, a medium through which you are told a story. My own character, thoughts and feelings don’t matter at all.

Or what I want. Nothing ever matters.

I’ve been reduced to a narrator, there’s hardly anything human left about me.

Ever since I’ve been burdened, cursed with this knowledge, I’ve been wondering. And it won’t stop.

I wish I could make it stop, but I can’t. There’s no possibility to unknow all of this. No matter how much I wish I could.

That being probably could make me forget. It can do anything. It can build worlds, fill them with life, and just as easily destroy everything.

I just wish they were more mindful of what they are doing.

And I wish they never ripped my humanity away from me.

But then again, as a fictional character, was I ever “human” to begin with?

RainyDay
RainyDay
1 month ago

To think I was once human is a perplexing thought. These memories that swirl inside my head each seem like they belong to numerous people in this stifling crowd. They are of such a wide spectrum that it is hard for me to reconcile with the fact they must belong to a single life. Surely it is not the same person who would protect their mothers smile with the pain of death, that would mercilessly slaughter another shielding their child with their own body. Maybe I was that child, for in his eyes I saw the love for his people that mirrored my own.

That child grew up hearing the tales of the ‘others’, “Oh they look just like us”, he was told. But do not be fooled for they are demons sent to deceive or scum we were meant to cleanse the world of. The child was sure he would be able to glean the truth from their eyes.

The soldier all grown up was able to tell the difference, so could his fellows when they went to battle together. Their skin a bit different, their tongue strange, their garb well… interesting. But he avoided looking into their eyes for they were a mirror to his own. It would feel like destroying a part of himself bit by bit. When one day nothing remained to be destroyed, it was those eyes that used to be a connection to whatever made him human, became wholly other.

Galen Baumgartner
Galen Baumgartner
1 month ago

Passing
by Galen Baumgartner
Inspired by a real-life event.

“Oh… I’m dying.”

That’s what Gerdy said when the doctors let him know his body was failing for the last time. Two of his surviving children, both of them old women now, were at his bed side, along with a couple grandchildren, a grandson and granddaughter, just outside the sliding door to the hospital bedroom… was it the ICU? The Emergency Room ward? Gerdy couldn’t tell anymore.

Gerdy did not have much energy to speak; he was at the end of his life and finally knew it. It wasn’t just the doctor; he could feel that the fight was over. The fight that kept him clinging on to life from China to Peru to Europe to Israel to Iran to Russia and more. The fight that kept the flame of belief in something greater than himself, a message he desperately wanted to spread to the whole world, a legacy that had spread through millions of people’s hearts. Not a conquering of land, but a conquering of the heart and soul. Not by force or conversion, but by gentle offering to people curious to learn.

One daughter, the younger of the two spoke up: “Well, I guess your pain will end. You will be with Melanie soon.” Compassion lined the elderly face of Gerdy’s daughter; no tears were needed.

Melanie, the love of his life, second only to his Faith. The one that was wild and crazy in all the right ways, who loved computers, who never backed down from the craziest challenge, who went with him from Florida all the way to Alaska and so much further beyond. The one who winged her flight to that great beyond several years prior.

The one no longer human. Soon, that special connection between soul and body that made Gerdy who he was would soon be cut as well. And Gerdy knew the time was near.

There was reminiscing about the old times their large family had gone through; Gerdy interrupted it with four words:

“I want to go home.”

Many hours later, his body would die, and Gerdy as he was would be no more. The body was buried a few months later; a formality. Gerdy was already gone, his soul lost to the mystery of death. The body was no longer human.

Sniperaxiom
Sniperaxiom
1 month ago

My poor girl

By Sniperaxiom

My heart dropped at the noise of bullets biting through the metal skin of my P-47. Being 30,000 feet in the air a guys gotta trust his ship. My girl was working hard to keep us up.

Her oil line got hit, sending the greasy brown liquid onto the jammed plexiglass canopy. I couldn’t bail out, I couldn’t see.

“Hold on you beautiful doll!”

The bandit dumping bullets all over my girl suddenly stopped the barrage. I watched as his plane’s yellow nose pulled up beside me. He maneuvered his pristine FW-190 into close formation.

We made eye contact. Needless to say, I was dumbfounded. The smaller plane’s pilot waved to me then sent a military salute, confused, I returned with a timid wave.

Then the plane pulled away. It flew back the way it had come. I was amazed! This was my supposed enemy, sparing my poor girl who was already limping across the sky when he had found her.

A fellow knight of the air! Honor and all!

Those were my thoughts until that bloody devil lined up his accursed yellow-nosed plane on my six.

I looked out my window as well as I could considering the oil, to see this imp pumping led into my girl. “Thump, thump, thump!”

“Crap! Cmon girl! Stay up!”

She was gonna blow any second I know it. We would be sent careening to earth in a dramatic display of fire and metal.

Every maneuver I made was a miracle that her tail didn’t tear right off. The bullets still continued along with the thuds of them peppering the metal all around me.

He stopped the shots. Flying close beside me I saw the face of the other pilot once again. He gave me another salute. He was TAUNTING me!

I was going to WALK across the sky and ring his neck. Cursing out loud I couldn’t do anything. Who was this guy? To not only shoot at an already crippled aircraft but to also mock the pilot?

Now this was just some punk that needed to be downed.

Last edited 1 month ago by Sniperaxiom
Marx
Marx
1 month ago

Bring It In, Bring It In
By Marx

Shayna sat up in shock. Sounds were louder. Colors were brighter. Smells were more potent. She could actually taste the air. And her body felt… off. Not in a bad way. It just wasn’t right.

She turned to see Matt’s conflicted face, before he suddenly hugged her. That was when her recent memories came to the surface. “Oh Hell… Did I die?”

Matt slowly released her. “No. You didn’t.”

“But you sure as Hell knocked on her door.” Mara giggled. “Next time you should try keeping the blood INSIDE your body.”

“Thanks for the tip.” Shayna replied dryly, rolling her eyes at the demon’s sense of humor. She looked down and surely enough, the horrible gash across her belly was nowhere to be seen. “What happened? Why do I feel so-…? I don’t even know what I feel.”

“I… healed you…” Matt muttered, avoiding eye contact. “I thought I might’ve been too late and… I… went a little overboard…”

“A little?” Mara laughed. “Your panic went full ‘We can rebuild her. We have the technology.’ Or… magic, I suppose in this case.”

Shayna nodded, understanding now that she wasn’t on some odd adrenaline high. This was just… HER now. “Am I… still human?”

“I don’t-”

“No.” Mara interrupted. “Before he tries to sugarcoat it, you are in no way human anymore. We don’t know what you are.”

“It wasn’t like I did it on purpose.” Matt growled.

“But I’m not a demon?” Shayna’s eyes narrowed.

“No.” said Matt.

“What else can I do?” Shayna asked, looking intensely at her hand as she moved her fingers.

“I… don’t know.”

Shayna nodded in response as she stood up so fast it was a blur. “Sweet. I’ve got some training to do then.”

“Wait… what? Shayna, I need to fix this.”

“Fix what?” Shayna picked her discarded blade from the ground. “I’m a demon hunter and you made it easier for me to kill demons.”

“But-”

“Thanks for saving my life.” Shayna gave Matt a kiss on the cheek and then she was gone.

“But…”

Mara playfully nudged him. “Ya big ol’ softie.”