Writing Group: Something Wicked This Way Comes (PRIVATE)

Hello, Monsters, Murderers, and Ne’er-Do-Wells!

It’s on its way. Shouldn’t be long now. I think I can hear footsteps. What do you think? Should we run, or stand our ground? Because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Something Wicked This Way Comes

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!

This line originally came from Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth. Out of context, the line conjures ideas of monsters approaching, and the speaker fearing them, but it originally referred to Macbeth himself, a man—who had become a “thing”—whom the speakers themselves had made wicked…

The line was made even more famous by the Ray Bradbury novel of that name. In the novel, a carnival comes to town, riddled with dark, supernatural people and secrets. You could write about something like that—something bigger than one person or creature, but rather an event approaching. 

This prompt has a lot to do with anticipation. The wicked thing is on its way—be it an entire country away, or mere footsteps from reaching you. Either way, it’s coming, and you know it. Or at least…you believe it. You could write about an army miles away, but for which the heroes need to prepare right now. You could write about someone backing up, heart pounding, grabbing anything that can be used as a weapon, as they hear footsteps in their house. You could write about someone who believes something wicked is coming…only for it never to arrive. 

The character’s reaction—before or after the thing arrives—can change the course of the story. Do they run in terror, only to find the monster is always right behind them? Do they stand their ground despite the fear pummeling their hearts? Do they accept their fate—be that fate death, or something worse? Do they appeal to the “thing”’s good side? Or, like in Bradbury’s novel, do they laugh in the face of it?

Perhaps the anticipation is worse than the actual thing. The prompt implies that someone believes that something wicked is coming…not that it’s necessarily true. Perhaps your character is like Rapunzel in Tangled, fearing the rustling in the bushes…only to realize it’s just a bunny. 

You could also take the prompt in the opposite direction. Perhaps it appears harmless…until it reveals itself as wicked. Maybe the seemingly harmless bunny is more like the one guarding Monty Python’s Holy Grail. You could take this idea in a more realistic direction—perhaps someone didn’t want to admit their spouse was abusive, and only now can they admit to themselves that the person they once loved has become something wicked. 

One of the very best examples of this prompt is the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who.You never hear their approaching footsteps; they only approach when you’re not looking at them. You know the wicked thing is coming…because you’re not looking at it. 

Hey, look at me. What? No! There’s nothing behind you! Why would you think that? Okay, don’t turn around. Don’t turn around. Don’t turn around.

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

  1. Text and Formatting

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

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

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

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

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

45 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
jesse fisher
jesse fisher
30 days ago

Chill on the wind
by Jesse Fisher

The chill of the wind was drifting into the valley as the moon rose to its proper place. The rustling of the leaves brought this feeling as several joined the wind to give the chill a solid form. This moved throughout the valley to the village at the heart of it. This wind began to rattle the shutters of every house as many souls grew awake from the noise.

Children awoken by this wind had fear come over them. Something could be rapping at the windows, monsters trying to get in or worse.

Some of the older children recalled old stories that were told around campfires from the camps they all came back from. Of the horrors that would stalk them if they had their lights on or were found outside of the cabin.

The wind still blew as it moved beyond the village to the fields. To the farmers and the ranchers this wind did not wake anyone however the chill caused them to shift and move. Some might have taken this as a sign that harvest was to finish and the cold was coming. Others would have this be the moment that the farm stops and the seasonal habit to start.

The wind moved to the hills around the valley twisting and turning more leaves as a figure stood atop it all. A heavy set being wrapped in furs and leather, the grass dead under its feet and the wind wrapping around it.

“The warning has been sent,” The figure spoke, as the wind moved round it. “And my return is upon them.”

WolfsbaneX
WolfsbaneX
1 month ago

“Feast of Folly” (Garoloch)
By Hemming Sebastian Bane

The crisp autumn air whipped through the center of the village, chilling Diindiisi through her bearskin coat. She rushed to a nearby fire, not caring if the others huddled around it found her strange. Outsider or no, anyone out in this weather knew how easy it was for cold to penetrate skin and strike bone.

They didn’t seem to mind her intrusion. Most of them seemed as though they were summoning the strength to enter the chilly woods. Diindiisi sat on the cobblestone and let out a sigh. One of the men around the fire, a middle-aged man with a kind smile, nodded to her.

The kindness felt put on, but Diindiisi didn’t hold it against him. She did come to visit their village just before Harvestspell. Surely their sect of the Church was busying themselves with storing for the winter and preparing for a feast. Yet there was no one in the street. No merchants selling wares for the big festival. No children bundled up as their parents worked the field. Something was off.

Without warning, a massive drum sounded from the southern tower. Doors of thatch roofed houses flew open and out marched men, women and children. Each one wore a mask made of animal skin and bone. As they entered the square, they began a chant that felt as ancient as the land itself. Diindiisi had never heard a chant like it, the lines weaving together in a chaotic cacophony.

“Legs of two and legs of four…”

“Hide and scale and feather and fur…”

“Horns, antlers, tusks, and teeth…”

“A hoof, a wing, a talon, a claw…”

It took all of Diindiisi’s will to drown out the growing refrain of KILL in the back of her mind. So, the rumors were true. The cult of the Beautiful Kill was speaking to these smaller villages. And she had just stumbled into the summoning of an Archon of a Dark God.

If Diindiisi wanted to damage the faith without hurting the fateful, the Archon had to be killed fast. Diindiisi gave into the inner chant of KILL and howled.

EddySc
EddySc
1 month ago

Like a Rolling Stone (It’s Always Sunny in Olympus)
by Alexsander Edwards

All was calm in the Underworld. Or as calm as it could be, among the thousands of moaning shades, the monstrous three-headed hound, and the ever-groaning ferryman of the dead demanding a raise.

The Lord of the Dead kept himself preoccupied by negating the thousands of requests from shades wishing to upgrade their accommodations to the Elysian Fields as his Dreaded Wife spent her summer days in the surface, trying to convince her mother to listen to her Gothic Metal playlist.

Eventually, the God of the Underworld stopped and took in his surroundings for a moment. Everything was silent. “Dead silent” is how the mortals would describe it, but Hades knew death wasn’t THIS quiet.

He looked up from his desk. Charon was trembling by the entrance, having shut up about his wage, as Cerberus coiled behind him in fear. A figure came in, casting a long shadow across the tiled floor.

“I’m looking for my wife,” its voice echoed across the corridors, sending even the hardiest of shades into a panic.

Hades squinted at the stranger. He could make out a slim figure, holding… something. Something light, maybe wooden? The object had multiple strings, of different lengths and thicknesses-

“Oh shit, a folk musician!” he bellowed, recoiling and throwing himself against the back of his chair.

“I… wanna see Eurydice…” the man said.

“Death is final!” Hades yelled. “No ‘take-backsies’, no ‘undos’ nor anything like that. Now begone!”

“B-but,” Orpheus stuttered, “maybe we can make a deal?”

Hades watched, reaching for his bident, as the pale, thin man readied his lyre.

“I could sing-”

“No.”

“But what if-”

“No!”

“Maybe the words can… make you see-”

“STOP. IT.”

“B-but… my poetry…”

The Dreaded Lord sighed. “Okay, look, if you’ll just shut up, I’ll give you one chance. Take her, leave this place, and do NOT look back, got it?”

The man smiled. Turning his back as to not see his beloved, he waited for her hand to grasp his and then walked off, singing along the way:

“Knock, knock, knockin’ on Heaven’s door…”

“AND FUCK YOU TOO!!!!” Hades yelled.

vellichorian
vellichorian
1 month ago

An Ominous Discovery (part of a larger work)
by vellichorian

Poppy shook Sir Alanzo’s hand and stroked Zeke’s tail where it rested against her collarbone. She felt more confident than she had in a long time. She hadn’t frozen when things got hard; she’d made a plan and followed through. Librarian Weiss would be so proud of her!

Sir Alanzo left to return the stolen money to the townspeople, but she heard a thumping sound behind the wall before she could follow him. She felt around on the stone wall and found a trigger to open a hidden door. Inside a small, dark room was a gangly man with a white beard.

“Thank goodness you found me!” he wheezed. “I thought he would keep me here forever!”

“You mean he wasn’t the wizard from the story?” Poppy gasped.

“No! He had a key like yours,” the wizard pointed to the key hanging around Poppy’s neck. “He was from the Outside!”

Poppy’s thought spun. Adults couldn’t use the keys. But he had. And why would a man want to disrupt a children’s folk tale book? She had to tell the librarian!

Poppy tumbled out of the book and scrambled to her feet. She darted around the stacks to Librarian Weiss’s desk, bumping into a spinning rack of paperbacks that wobbled in her wake.

“That book—it was all wrong inside! The evil wizard on the cover had set fires all over the town. He convinced everyone that the damage was being caused by a dragon. I thought I fixed things, but he ran away, and I found the book’s real wizard was locked in a hidden room. The bad guy had a key. Like this one,” she held up her key.

“What?” The librarian snapped her book closed and leaned forward. “Did he escape the book?” she whispered with urgency.

“I think so. The real wizard said he was from Outside.” Poppy answered, her leg jiggling at the tension in the librarian’s voice.

“Did he have a name?”

“Just The Conqueror.”

“The Conqueror? An anagram for Quor Enroc. We have to prepare. He won’t let this setback stop him.”

Adrian Solorio
Adrian Solorio
1 month ago

The Horizon Seen from the Shore
By Adrian Solorio

Dead seagulls, hundreds of them, dotted the beach. White feathers turned gray with dirt and mud, stood out on the brown sand, like little cotton ball mounds, used and discarded. But for the dead birds, and a pair of men walking the shore with rakes and shovels, the beach was empty. The pair searched for patches of soil, red-layered, mud thick, rich with brine shrimp eggs left after the tides had receded. “What do ya think happened to ’em?” one of the men asked.

“Bird flu, maybe,” said Junior. “Anyway, it’s not our problem. We gotta fill four bags before lunch otherwise it’s our asses.”

Patricio sank his rake into a strip of red soil. “I think it is our problem, no?” He waited for an answer, but Junior had begun raking himself, and didn’t reply. “It’s been a bad harvest this season, hasn’t it?” he continued. “Don’t you think all these dead birds could have something to do with it? The lake is nearly dried out, and there’s not a lot of eggs–”

“Ahhh, enough already, Patricio. Can’t you see I’m trying to work here. Everyday you say the same thing: the lake is dying; there’s no more shrimp; the birds are dying; there’s no more eggs. Maybe you’re right, maybe the lake is dying, but you know what else will be dying if I don’t harvest these eggs? Me! My wife’ll kill me if my kids are starving. I can’t afford to go all Green Peace with you, man. Sorry.”

Patricio leaned on his rake. “What about next year? What happens when the lake is dried out and all the eggs are gone?”

“Oh well! Only thing I’m worried about is my next check. That’s all I’m worried about right now. And once this lake dries up and all the shrimp and birds die–oh well!”

Junior was right. Patricio began raking once again, and as he raked he ruminated. What could they do but worry about their next paycheck? Like Junior had said, the lake would soon be dead, and sadly, their survival depended on it.

MasaCur
MasaCur
1 month ago

Lost in the Fog
By MasaCur

Natalya was regretting her decision. She thought that leading a venture into Mistvale would pay out huge. A lot of monsters lived there, and few adventurers had the courage to set out into the foggy valley.

It quickly became clear why few had attempted Mistvale. The fog was far thicker than any of them had expected. Within minutes, they were engulfed in a soupy haze that left them unable to see each other if they ventured more than a few feet away. Natalya had the party light lanterns, giving off enough of a glow for each of them to track each other by.

After that came the ambushes. Hobgoblins mostly, an easy foe under normal circumstances, but with the thick fog, both Avyn’s magic and Jotar’s bow were almost useless. Furthermore, the attacks would scatter the party, making it time consuming to regroup.

Natalya had Jotar try to track the hobgoblins back to their lair, but as they neared, the attacks increased in frequency and size.

The party was scattered by yet another attack, and after Natalya had slain three of the wretches, she called out. “Everyone okay there?”

A number of assents answered her, so she raised her lantern. “To me! Regroup on me!”

She heard a faint voice call out “Regroup on me.” Was it an echo?

“Who said that?” Natalya yelled.

“Regroup on me!” the voice said again, louder. It was her voice, and it was clearly no echo.

“Nat! Where are you?” Jotar called.

“Jotar, no, it’s a trap!”

“We need to regroup!” her mimic voice yelled. “Rally on me!”

A scream pierced the fog. Avyn!

“Avyn, are you there?” Natalya called out.

“Avyn’s with me. He’s fine!” the other voice said.

Another cry, this one was Jotar’s. After a few minutes, he yelled out. “We’re good! I killed it. You need to see this, Nat!”

Natalya clenched her spear in her hand, and placed her lantern on the ground. If it could imitate her, it could imitate him as well. Fighting down the fear, she took a few steps back. “Jotar, regroup on me!”

i-prefer-the-term-antihero

Monster Mash (The Ballad of the Monsters)
By i-prefer-the-term-antihero (Kaylie Hatch)

Thomas greeted his guests with a bow and a smile, awaiting the guest of honor with a pounding heart.

If the king didn’t show up, he’d be back at square one. Granted, only he’d be disappointed; everyone else would think it was the ordinary ball they were invited to.
When this was over, would they thank him, or hate him? He could have done this privately.

He could have…and ended up dead.

Thomas’ heart sharpened its call when the king walked in, wearing a suit and a nervous smile…He looked so ordinary. So human.

All a part of the facade.

The facade he’d rip away tonight.

Beside him, Lynai looked like royalty herself. Thomas walked up to her, bowing. “You look stunning, Miss Rynsar.”

Lynai curtsied.

It wasn’t just the dress…she looked so happy. It pained Thomas to look at her beaming face, knowing that, after tonight, she wouldn’t be smiling for a while.

But her presence was the only thing that just might keep them alive.

“As for you…” Thomas turned to the king, “I’m surprised you actually wore a suit.”

“It took some convincing. But…” He shrugged. “Fancy parties are ultimately a competition of who can suffer the most, in the most dignified way. I always love a good challenge.”

Oh he would suffer alright. Dignity was optional, though. “I’ll place my bets on you.”

“I’ll try not to disappoint you.”

Thomas smirked. He certainly wouldn’t. “In any case, I’m glad you two could make it.”

“You should have seen how excited he was.” Lynai elbowed her boyfriend in the stomach. “He’s been practicing for weeks.”

“Well—I—!” He cleared his throat. “I just didn’t want to make a fool of myself.”

Thomas laughed, or tried to. It was indeed ridiculous to think of the Scourge of Humanity practicing how to dance.

It was ridiculous to speak with a monster about clothing, dancing…as casually as one might a friend. As casually as he used to…when they were friends.

All a part of the facade.

“Well I hope you enjoy the dance.”

“I’ll try my best,” Savion smiled, and Lynai elbowed him again.

For a brief flicker of a moment Thomas wondered if he had it all wrong. If Savion wasn’t what they thought he was. If the Remus he knew was truly what had become of the monster.

Then he thought of his father’s bloodied corpse, and decided the beast tyrant deserved everything coming to him.

Sylvan (Brickosaur)
Sylvan (Brickosaur)
1 month ago

Something Hallowed This Week Comes
by Sylvan Thomas

Six days shy of twelve months ago, I met up with Skyler to hang out at the library. We had a long, important conversation, in which he talked a lot about his family and their problems. Between the words was… a war, of sorts. A negotiation, in which I asked what needed to be done and how I could help. Family was his priority, and I was asking if I could be part of it.

Skyler’s answer was
a gentle rebuff.

And that was that. The relationship, or whatever we had going on at that point, was over. Still friends, of course, but there was a tacit understanding that we weren’t each other’s future, not to be family.

I felt… strangely okay. I had yearned for this bond, this person, for a decade, yet I could sense it wasn’t right. The versions of us who loved each other in 2012 were gone, and from here our paths would increasingly diverge.

Right after the hangout, I went to meet Jacob to get fetch balls for Cinna and nuggets at McDonald’s. On that outing, he would jokingly propose to me: “If we reach 30 and we’re both still single, will you marry me?” Of course I said yes to conditionally friend-wedding my soulmate-couldabeen. I could absolutely grow to love him. Yet somehow I knew he wasn’t… him. Not my one.

On the bus from Skyler to Jacob, I put my earbuds in. Pulled up Spotify, hit play on Haven’t Met You Yet by Michael Bublé. Beneath the music, I heard a quiet but distinct whisper.

“You HAVE met him, you just don’t realize it yet.
Give it a year.”

Last edited 1 month ago by Sylvan (Brickosaur)
Glaceon373
Glaceon373
1 month ago

Sophie vs. The Calendar
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

The calendar haunted Sophie.

Yes, it was just some paper on the wall. But it taunted her. Leered at her. Insulted her with a judging, eyeless stare.

She turned her back on it. Didn’t work. She walked out of the room. Didn’t work. Took the dog for a walk. Guess what? Didn’t work.

Stupid calendar. Rude calendar. Ever-present, haunting calendar.

Did her mom know the calendar was definitely evil? Of course not. Moms didn’t notice these things because they were busy with work all the time. This calendar was Sophie’s problem, and hers alone.

Time to take matters into her own hands.

Sophie dug through her backpack, looking for a pencil that still had most of its eraser. When she found one, she held it bravely above her head, then marched towards her wall-bound enemy. Brandishing her weapon, she prepared to attack—

“Darling, I’m home! I—what are you doing?”

Sophie quickly turned around, hiding her pencil behind her back and plastering a huge smile on her face. “Nothing, Mom!”

Her mom sighed and plucked the calendar off the wall. “What were you trying to change, dear?”

Sophie looked at her feet. “Tomorrow,” she whispered.

“Your birthday? What do you want to change about your birthday—”

“I don’t want to be a teenager!” She wrapped her mom in a tight hug. “Teenagers are big and rude and mean! I don’t wanna be mean!”

“Oh, Sophie, that’s…” Her mom stifled back laughter. “That’s not what being a teenager has to be, darling. And are you telling me you don’t want cake or presents?”

Sophie’s face lit up. “Presents don’t stop when you’re a teenager?”

Her mother couldn’t keep back the laughter anymore. Soon, both of them were laughing so much they couldn’t do anything else.

Sophie turned her back on the calendar, all her anger towards it long gone.

Rattus
Rattus
1 month ago

Resist the Devil, and He Will Flee
by Gerrit (Rattus)

Narine felt the heat of Hell against her face, and watched the dancing shadows on the walls of the cavern that served as its entrance. The last time she had found herself within its depths, lost within its circles and pits, had been the day she lost her humanity. The day her father had revealed her true nature.

She had sworn that she would never return. Promised herself that she would never again feel its oppressive warmth, or its all-encompassing claustrophobia.

Somewhere behind her she heard the beginnings of a steady drone. The sky, dark as it was, seemed to somehow darken further, the meagre shreds of light consumed by the swarm of flies that drew ever closer.

As they approached they grew louder, until the steady monotone of their wingbeats was loud enough to block even thoughts. The cloud of insects swirled around each other, a hurricane of disease and filth that seemed only to worsen the longer she watched.

At its epicentre was a single figure, walking with back straight and chin raised, as if returning from a great victory.

Or, perhaps, approaching one.

Narine locked eyes with the being, who greeted her with a slight upturn at the corner of his mouth. When he at last stood a mere few feet from her, the din of his entourage was somehow muted, the eye of the storm seemingly safe from the tumult around it.

She had met him only once before, during her previous visit to the realm of which he called himself a Prince. Her Father had introduced him as the Lord of the Flies, one of the greatest generals in the war against the angels.

“General Beelzebub,” Narine said with a shallow bow of her head.

The General dismissed her attempt at respect with a wave of the hand. “Are you sure you’re ready for this?”

Narine’s hand went to the handle of the sword strapped to her back. “Satan’s been sitting on that throne too long. It’s time the crown went to someone who won’t be afraid to use it.”

Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
1 month ago

To Take Arms Against a Field of Pumpkins (Amory)
by Lee Strangely

The sun shined its last, and arguably brightest, light as it melted into the hills beyond. Its beautiful orange-yellow glow permeated the vines and husks scattered around the fields. Down in the pumpkin patch, the two oafs grunted and grumbled as they struggled to move the large vegetables around.

The tall one whined, “I told you they’re too big! We should’ve gone after em earlier!”

“Earlier?!” the shorter one gawked, “Those were puny! It was better to wait for them to grow… Besides, old Crocker would’ve surely caught us then. Trust me… this is… better!”

As they toiled away, a crow silently judged their display from its perch atop a fencepost, occasionally cawing, almost like laughter.

“What’re you looking at?” the tall one sneered at the bird.

“You talking to a bird?” the short one mocked.

The crow gave another caw before turning away. Out of curiosity the tall one followed its gaze. Then he froze.

“Why’d you stop moving you-” the short one froze as he too saw it.

The crow flew off as it grew nearer. Over the hill, a shadow slithered down the road. With the sun shining behind, the figure that followed appeared almost as dark as her shadow.

She turned to the two men, “Can you point me towards Halesburry?”

“D-down the road,” the tall one stammered, “then take uh… take a left.” The short one elbowed him hard.

“Having some trouble?” she asked, pointing to the pumpkin.

The short one could only muster a measly, “ah.”

To their horror she then drew what in the dying light looked to be someone else’s arm. The hand glowed as she pointed to them. The two oafs then jumped as the pumpkin began to writhe in the dirt. It pried itself out like a cork, and proceeded to hover over them until placing itself into their rickety cart.

Close to her face, the hand’s light revealed her mischievous smile, “Thank you gentlemen! You best run, before old Crocker catches you.”

Revisis
Revisis
1 month ago

Driven by a Wicket Wrath
written by Exce, edited by Skeleton Prime

Usually, he would have felt a sense of trepidation at the thought of spending any sort of prolonged time this deep in the bowels of the castle’s undercroft, but in the presence of his whole company of soldiers, those fears felt ridiculously unfounded.

Besides, they had been ordered to shelter there specifically to keep themselves and the Grand Magister alive.

“Close the door!” The shout echoed up behind him and when he spied over his shoulder, he saw the heavy metal vault door swing shut with a deep bang, followed by the scratching noise of bolts being pushed into place.

Quiet fell over the hallway, most of its available surface either covered in barricades decked with shields or heavy crank bows that were strong enough to nail a man to the wall.

The floor jumped underneath his feet, turning into a bone-deep tremor which sent veils of dust cascading down all across the ceiling followed by the concerning noise of cracking stone.
A faint noise of footsteps on the stairs downwards, then the ineffectual jittering of a locked door being shoved.

This was followed by a flash bright enough to burn after images into the soldiers eyes, followed by a wall of hot air pressing past them. Blinking through tears and fading spots, he saw a tall figure step from the shattered doorway.

Firelight danced across red skin, smooth and shining like ruby, and below that the clear outline of blank bone framed in strands of raw muscle. The figure was only clothed in a torn and burned piece of fabric that maybe once had been a trousers. Almost its entire upper body was encased in the crystalline-substance, giving a grisly look onto its inner workings, but the crown of its head and part of its skull was covered in trails of hardened gold.

Even as his heart grew cold in fear, it seemed to fully stop the moment the being began to advance down the hallway, wings of red, gold and white carving a swath of molten stone from the walls with each step.

The crank bows fired.

RVMPLSTLTSKN
RVMPLSTLTSKN
1 month ago

Come The Wicked
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (The Saga of the Deep One’s Wake)

Charn greeted his guests rarely. Most often, they would leave their burdens and return home. Should they glance back, they might spy him standing at his threshold. A masked figure carrying a threshing flail or a flesh-hook, stepping from the gloom.

The guests were poor folk. Ragged. The hard remnants of a softer past. They left their burdens inside the ghoul’s gate. Their dead. Their treasures. Their unwanted children. They expected Charn to take care of these things, to one day return to them, to come to the House one final time.

Charn watched as they left, emerging from the House into the bright moonlight, his porcelain visage glowing dully, the jagged and shattered bottom obscured by blood. Charn raised a hand as they left. No one greeted the House spirit in return.

Charn looked at the burdens they left behind and despaired. Mangled and rotting. Ruined by weapons and infection. It was another reminder of the thing growing on his borders. War. And something else. A self-contradictory epitomization. Ambition and greed, lust and hunger, order and arrogation.

Charn knew now he couldn’t stand against this epitome. His tools were those of a reaper, not a warrior. But a reaper harvests and grows. Charn blessed the fields inside his borders, brought health to livestock and vitality to the people. He buffered the region against the influence of the new god, allowed others passage, and one he let stay in the House and leave.

But the Usurper was still coming, still taking.

The World comes to the House.

Charn knew the Usurper would come too, for that was his fate. On that day, Charn would change, no longer being a spirit of growth, but the harvester to reap what was sown. He would bring pestilence and famine, would consume all that was taken and replant after a season. He would set the natural order of the Usurper right, even if it killed them both.

Until then, he grew and planted and allowed the raids. Inside the House, his power grew too. Waiting, germinating.

Marx
Marx
1 month ago

Sucks To Be You
By Marx

I hate this.

I fucking HATE this!

I can’t see where I’m going. I’m probably just running in circles. All I see are trees.

I can’t breathe.

Everything hurts.

My body screams at me to stop running, but I can’t.

I still hear them.

All around me.

And when I slow down even a fraction, I can feel their panting breaths on my skin.

“Don’t run, food… We just want to be your friend…”

“Our very delicious friend…”

“I like how he runs. We should eat his legs last.”

“Food! Food! Food!”

“He smells SO good! Can’t I have a nibble? Maybe just a finger?”

Something wet and slimy touches my hand and I run faster. I can barely see through my tears.

“By Lucifer’s cage! He tastes even better than he smells!”

“I wanna taste him!”

“Dibs on his eyes!”

“No dibs! There’s plenty of him to share!”

“Share! Share! Share!”

“Awww, is food getting tired? Does food need motivation? I’ll motivate you. I’ll motivate you REAL good…”

I know they’re toying with me. I’m as good as dead. I’m going to spend the short rest of my life being eaten by these things.

So of course, gravity turns on me as well. I don’t know if I clipped a tree or tripped over something, but it doesn’t matter as I go tumbling.

Pretty sure I just broke something.

Like it matters.

I just shut my eyes and let despair have me.

It’s over now.

I should have listened.

I was warned about this.

I want to go home…

I just want to go HOME!

“And what do we have here?” A sultry voice says above me.

“…um…”

“Hi Lady Victoria!”

“…just something we found… in the woods…”

“Is that right?” The voice purred again. “How sweet of you to bring him to me. This gift is much appreciated.”

“…of …of course, Lady Victoria. He’s… all yours…”

“But I thought we were going to eat h- OW! What was that for?”

“Shut. Up!”

I don’t even hear my pursuers slinking back into the darkness as I lose consciousness.

Skeleton
Skeleton
1 month ago

Little Terror (The Will)
By Skeleton

It loomed in the shadows of the canopy—the only hint of its presence was the dull white of its skull. Its claws dug into the bark of a nearby tree, tearing off the thick skin as it stepped out of the mud and into the light. Its obsidian-like skin held the unknowable cosmos inside, and the hollow, black pits in its skull absorbed all before its gaze. The horns piercing out of the top of its head marked it as nothing less than a demon.

Eymir watched Zaila’s reaction carefully. She slowly raised her claws to her own horns and gripped them tightly, her eyes wide. “It’s…” she began, her breath shallow, “… it’s so fucking cool!”

The man gave a hidden sigh as the girl bounced around the little figure in excitement, looking at every detail. It was small, only coming up to about her chest in height, and the nature of its composition left it thin—the only thing imitating any real weight on it being the small cloak wrapped around its shoulders. More than anything else, it looked like a young child in costume. “This is wicked…! What is it?” Zaila asked as she began to knock on its hollow head, listening to the echo.

“A gift,” Eymir simply explained. “Things have been crazy lately, and it’ll keep an eye on you while I’m away.”

“That doesn’t really answer the question, though.”

The man looked away sheepishly and opened his mouth to lie yet again, but before he could, the truth came from behind him with a horrified breath. “It’s… a revenant.” Eymir looked behind to meet the abhorred terror within Remianna’s eyes. Though that sentiment quickly vanished as she began to glare knowingly at her husband.

Before anyone could say anything else, a new voice spoke. “Rem!” The creature—moving faster than any living thing had the right to—leapt into the white dragoness’ arms and began to nuzzle against her neck, humming pleasantly.

“Hello, Shep,” she greeted back, her glare momentarily pausing before she resumed at full force. “Splitting your own soul?” she chided. “You damn fool.”