Writing Group: Something Wicked This Way Comes

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.

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Summit the Dragon
Summit the Dragon
28 days ago

The Squatting ( a poorly written story)
by: Summit the Dragon

“The cat smiled wickedly as he squatted in the corner of the room. He stared at me. I did the same to him. The wicked man, stil in a squat, waddled toward me.
“No no. This story does not work,” said I. I must create a monster that will engulf one’s mind into madness and wickedness. If I write about a man squatting in a corner, it will make people think me a sqortter” (yes that is not a word).
I walked into the woods, for the woods knew me and did not dislike me. I went so I could squat and make peace with my story.
In the dark, squatting, I saw a tree of blood. Blood I tell you. This meant nothing. Only that the tree that is my dead kitty will come and stab me.
“Why are you squatting?” said the half decayed cat.
“Because I can.”
“The half decayed cat squatted with me. We wanted to be sqortters.

This is not wicked. Why should it? The wickedness is not what I am writing about. It is the madness that this will come to make. Sqortters will come and kill all. The sqortters will come and take your life. The sqorttes only want to make use frozen in squatting position and die in the corner that is the freezer for corpses.
I must go now and fulfill my destiny and make people into squatting corpses.
P.s. don’t close your eyes when you go to sleep, I’ll be there, squatting

VENJI THE VOID
VENJI THE VOID
30 days ago

THE SMILING DEVIL
By Venji .A

The light of a morning sun entering the room that I’m sitting in, there with my crew we were relaxing, drinking some tea and coffee as we were waiting to meet The Smiling Devil.

“I wonder why this guy is so famous” one of my crew mate says 

“Said that he has some death related magic ,with it he kill a bunch of people” I answer 

“Well he’s a human so shouldn’t have that much power to him” another crew mate says 

“Well we will meet him soon so we can judge him by his aura” I say then taking a sip of coffee

Then after hours that felt like a day of waiting we all felt something, some of us stood still and others like me jumped up in a sweat, we couldn’t see anything but we felt it and imagine it as a black smoky storm of fire, I could sense a man covered in it walk inside the building and up the stairs.

This feeling was as if my body was being burned and suffocated.

The door to the room opened and the room feld dark ,even though there was nothing to see. It felt as if this sunlight room was covered in dark fire, and we all saw the man with this aura.

Dressed in black jeans and jacket and a dark purple shirt with a perfect face and hair, he could be a model ,but he had this devilfish grin and eyes that had hundreds of sin behind them.

I didn’t know what was more terrifying, his aura or his face and grin.

“Well helloo amigos! I’m Brohel or by my nickname The Smiling Devil” he said in a joyful tone.

“I’m Jack.. Nice to meet you” I say and raise my shaking  hand 

He grabs it and I feel like a cactus was touching my hand 

“Nice to meet me ? Ahahahah not even my mother used to likes seeing my face” he then looks at me with blood thirsty eyes and says while smiling 

“Now let’s get down to business”.

Makokam
1 month ago

A Woman Scorned (Chronicles Of The Dragon)
By Makokam

The city had various alarms in case of emergencies. Alarms set off by tremors, smoke, radiation, temperature change, rifts in space and time, anything they could accurately detect that might get people a chance to evacuate if disaster struck.

Tonight, each and every one of them sputtered to life…then stopped.

Each one would stutter a warning, then stop… and start again.

Those that watched the alarms didn’t know what to make of it. Was something happening or not? Could there be something wrong with all of them at the same time?

The people of the city could feel something was different. Something they couldn’t explain. An unnatural chill in the air. An uneasiness that sank into their bones. A sound at the edge of hearing, sending shivers through their souls.

Across the globe, the few practitioners of magic who thought to set their own detectors for magical activity grew alarmed as something massive registered.

But soon, it became more than a general sense of unease.

They could feel the ground shake. The shrieks and roars weren’t hard to hear. The flapping of wings took a little longer to make out.

Slowly, each person turned towards the feeling. Towards the sound.

Not much longer, the cause could be seen.

The screams of the populace spread through the city like a wave. Their panicked flight shaking the earth.

Soon the city would be overrun. And then the nation. The continent. And finally the world.

And one young woman would feel at home again.

Lunabear
Lunabear
1 month ago

Something Wicked Is Always Here
by Lunabear (TW/CW: Body dysmorphia, scale numbers, and eating disorders)

“98, 99…100.”

Payton stood from the grueling push-ups. His face was sweaty, but his smile was satisfied. On instinct, he glanced at his mirror. Relief warred with despair. Pictures of his friends hid his reflection. However, how was he supposed to know which places needed fixing?

Aba lounged on Payton’s bed, scrutinizing his figure. A grim frown appeared as she poked his love handle. “A mile at least today?”

They both knew it was a demand.

Payton nodded, hiding the gelatinous roll with his arm. His face heated.

“Payton, breakfast!”

Their eyes met, and Aba’s brow furrowed. She shook her head. “Whales earn their food.”

Payton swayed and ignored his grumbling stomach as he headed to take a shower.

***

“Time! 6 minutes, 32 seconds,” Arvin announced jovially.

Payton doubled over, breathless.

“Buffalo can be 42 seconds faster,” Aba sneered in his ear.

“That’s your best time yet!” Dre crooned. “State’s gonna love you.”

“Yeah. I’d be fast too if I were a string bean,” Lial teased.

Arvin and Dre laughed.

Payton’s stomach dropped. How could they be so cruel when they knew he was GAINING weight?

He smiled, too, but his stomach rumbled loud enough to wake the dead.

His friends encouraged him to get food with them. He didn’t want to, seeing as how he did so poorly on the mile.

Payton tried to decline, but they wouldn’t accept it.

“Takeout on me,” Dre insisted.

Arvin whooped while Lial pulled Payton along. “Let’s go, thin mints. You need to eat, especially after that. Gotta keep you healthy, man.”

Aba scowled.

***

Dre’s bathroom scale read 129. Payton had tried to resist but couldn’t help it. He smiled. He’d beat his weight goal by one pound.

He looked to Aba for confirmation. She nodded.

He could FINALLY eat.

***

His friends were eating and laughing.

He sat, his heart hammering. Trembling, he grabbed a slice. His jaw ached, but it was delicious.

Payton’s mind blanked, and he wolfed down food and drink. More than he should have.

Guilt ensnared him. Ignoring his friends’ concerns, Payton hurried back into the bathroom to purge.

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.

Sam C.
Sam C.
1 month ago

An army of a man
By Sam C.

He looked up at the gates and volcanic area around him, then down at his hands… so he was a bad guy after all. He thought he was a noble warrior, fighting a dangerous resistance to the nation’s order, but now…

How could he be so foolish? Of course they were evil! How did it take STANDING AT THE GATES OF HELL ITSELF to realize it? He was one of the executioners! He should have seen the looks in their eyes! They were just citizens, who did nothing wrong but be a scapegoat for propaganda.

He entered the black iron gates. It was what he deserved, after all. He walked through endless miles of brimstone and ash, looking for whatever torture he deserved. He didn’t realize that the landscape was changing until he bumped into a throne of white marble.

“Ah, I was wondering when you’d get here.” He said, looking down at the soldier. “So, you think you deserve Hell, do you?”

“Yes. I’ve done irreparable damage to the world. I’m unforgivable.”

“You didn’t even know what you were doing! Do you think cases like yours are judged by anyone else but by me?”

“Well, no, I guess not,” He mumbled.

“Listen, even if you did deserve Hell, It doesn’t work like that. Until the day you’re worthy, you will be my army.”

“In your army?”

“No, My army. ”

“Well, what do you m-”

*********************************************************************************

He rolled up a battle map and loaded it into a backpack. Standing up to full height, he grabbed a gun and stepped out of the tent into the sunlight. Today was The Master Plan, The Coup, The end of their struggle, and the end of the cycle for him and every one of his men.

Last edited 1 month ago by Sam C.
Gamesolotl
Gamesolotl
1 month ago

Grateful
by Gamesolotl

Sarah could see it now, on the horizon. The apocalypse.
A slowly approaching cloud, acid green swirling violently yet slowly through gray. Silent purple thunder struck the ground below. Sarah wanted to break down crying and run, but terror had its claws around her throat, freezing her in place. Even if she ran, what use would it be? That cloud would eventually cover the entire world. No, they had made the right choice.

Ari panted behind her as she finally joined Sarah on the roof garden of the train station where they first met. “You still won’t slow down for me, huh?” Ari said. Her warm smile made Sarah collapse into her arms, sobbing. Ari soothed Sarah and gave her a kiss on the forehead. “Hey, let’s make our last moments together happy.”

Sarah spread a fleece blanket over the grass mounds as Ari produced snacks from her backpack. In the long-abandoned city, she had somehow gathered coke, sandwiches, grapes, and much more. Sarah knew that her resourcefulness knew no bounds. It had saved them so many times in their 7 years together.
The food was good. Together they laughed, reminisced, and talked about so many things. Eventually, they made love.

After the fact, Sarah noticed a fox peeking out from a nearby bush. “Look at that, How’d she get up here?”
“Woah, it even has your exact color too.” Ari responded, ruffling Sarah’s ginger hair. Sarah offered a ham sandwich to it. Approaching carefully, it politely took it out of her hand. The fox sat down, joining their company. It didn’t seem to mind as their joyous conversation continued. It was eventually taught to roll over, too. It wouldn’t last forever, as at some point the fox licked Sarah’s leg and disappeared into the bushes.

The fox’s departure didn’t spoil the fun, until Sarah stood up. She collapsed immediately. Ari clutched Sarah’s hand. “Jesus, are you okay?”
Their skin was falling off. Sarah locked her slimy hand into Ari’s. The cloud was above them now, a swirl looking down at them like an evil eye.

Purge, Bearer of Wrath
Purge, Bearer of Wrath
1 month ago

Tonic
by Purge, Bearer of Wrath

“My condition?” Qolian’s voice was steeped in disinterest. The two Onieromancers waited patiently. Qolian’s pale lips moved. “How to explain… To humans.” A sigh followed. “So much lost in translation. But. Let me try. Let’s see… An analogy from your world might run something like: The anxiety suffered at the possibility that there might not be sufficient celery…”

“Celery, Emminence Qolian?” verified Binkel, the more bearded of the Onieromancers.

“Mmmm… celery.” Qolian fell to gazing out through the tower window at the impeccable blue of the sky.

There was silence.

Then the slender beautiful face turned to them. “And you?”

The Onieromancers grew animated. “Yes, Emminence!” confirmed the Onieromancer Binkel. “Architects and crafters of dreams, at your service.” Binkel placed a hand on his stomach and bowed. “Amos, if you would…”

The second of the Onieromancers, came forward and opened his purple-robed arms with a flourish. He cleared his throat and began to recite: “A princess of the Western Isles dreams she is the Falls of Esh. The flood of the river fills her. Her mind is a cold and clear and perfect torrent. Her body is one with the ever-falling launch of water. She knows peace.”

Onieromancer Amos changed the position of his arms, seeming to herald the descent of a message from the heavens. “The champion of the Centenary Games dreams he rides the sky wyrm Kalab’sh. The very air pulses with power as he soars through clouds on the back of myth itself. He cries to the sky in joy at his freedom.”

Amos changed position again, gesturing now towards the earth. “A merchant of the inner seas dreams a castle of flowers. His every step falls upon petals. He is surrounded by the abandon of sweet scent and majestic colour. He cries with happiness.”

Amos crouched close to the ground then and was silent.

Binkel stepped forward. “All we need Emminence Qorian, is for you to communicate your desire.”

“I want,” said Qorian without hesitation, “To know nightmare.”

Binkel’s mouth opened. He frowned. His expression caught somewhere between pity and respect.

“I’ll make the necessary arrangements,” he said.

Last edited 1 month ago by Purge, Bearer of Wrath
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!”

Reinkarnitor
Reinkarnitor
1 month ago

Death from the stars

by Reinkarnitor

The horns rang like thunder and told everyone to hide. A voice proclaimed that this was no test, but as serious as things could get. Two guards stood in the control centre and checked the instruments for whatever has caused the alarm to go off in such a magnitude.

“This is impossible, impossible I tell you! Aren’t we supposed to be protected by Zeta-7? Isn’t that the reason why we wasted half of our planets recourses to place that freaking gamma-shield around our star system?” the younger one of the guards said. Although…it was more of a panicked stuttering than normal speech.

“Zeta-7 has been destroyed, why do you think the alarm even went of you brainiac?” his older colleague answered.

All of a sudden something appeared on the monitors, and everything indicated that it approached with alarming speed.

“It already passed our star!”

“Prepare planetary defence!”

“Planetary defence? That thing broke through Zeta-7, you think our plasma cannons can stop it?”

“It’s not supposed to stop it, just delay it!” the calmer of the two said, before shouting the next order into the microphone: “Ready all citizens for emergency evacuation!”

Suddenly the sky was illuminated with a pulsating mixture of purple and red light. The two guards stared out the windows of their control centre and saw…something indescribable.

A mass of raw energy, expanding and shrinking, reaching out and then collapsing in on itself again, vibrating the entire atmosphere stood in the sky of their planet.

“What is that?” the younger asked his senior, who stood next to him with a grim look on his face.

“It’s death!”

The plasma cannons opened fire, bombarding the intruding entity with a hail of ray which would be enough to destroy an entire invading armada. But that thing…they could feel it…it was something else, something elemental, fundamental to the universe.

And then without a warning, it exploded in expansion. No one had time to board an escape vessel, or even scream as a matter of fact.

Just like that, the entire star system…ceased to be.

Norman Gray
Norman Gray
1 month ago

A Stranger in the Darkness
By Norman Gray

The night fell far before its time; it was an unnatural darkness, beyond the mere absence of daylight. . . But Gandrian was no stranger to gloom, and whether it was some new curse placed upon his shoulders or some other force of evil, he saw no choice but to continue his lonesome trek toward Harbourbridge.

He soon crossed paths with a man sitting on a tree stump on the side of the road, motionless as the rain covered him. . . There were few people more peculiar than Gandrian. But this fellow was perhaps no less strange.

“Are you alright, friend?” Gandrian asked, though it was very clear that he wasn’t.

When he finally answered, he uttered something that Gandrian did not immediately comprehend. “I never thought that there might be others.”

It took a moment for Gandrian to understand. . . Somehow this stranger had seen what he had not: The darkness was this man’s curse, just as the storm was Gandrian’s.

He’d once before met another cursed traveler like himself; an old fellow who had spent a lifetime with the rain bearing down on him, never stopping, never finding his escape. It was a grim look into his own future.

But this, a man trapped in shadows. . . It was a peculiar sight.

“It’s forever on the horizon,” he said. “A dawn that never comes. I’ve tried to give chase, but it forever eludes me. It took me too long to understand, or rather to accept. . . The darkness follows me.”

For Gandrian, it was very much the same. The horizon showed a different world; skies unhindered by storm clouds. He suddenly felt awful for being here, as he often did in the company of others. . . His burden was now placed on someone else’s shoulders; a man who’d done his best to isolate himself from the rest of the world, as Gandrian had. “I am sorry. Truly.”

The stranger sat in the rain, looking utterly defeated. “Do you know where it began?”

Gandrian shook his head. “I know the when of it, but not the why. What I would give to know.”

The stranger nodded.

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.

Last edited 1 month ago by Adrian Solorio
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.”

Boople
Boople
1 month ago

Strawberry
By: Boople

Something stirred Greg from his less than ideal slumber. He didn’t know if it was a noise or a nudge, but he did know that his eyes were crusty and he forgot to shower the day before. As he flopped off his couch he felt what he Incorrectly thought was blood roll from his nose and wiped it away.

Through the sleepy delirium and excessive dark Greg stumbled his way to the kitchen to sate his hunger. After tripping over something soft on the way, he flung open the refrigerator door and was greeted by a divine light. At this point his dog would usually come rushing to his side full of energy and fail to sit still waiting for a treat. But not tonight. There was no pitter of paws, nor any hardly suppressed yelps of excitement.

Just the dark.

And some strawberries.

Greg expected to feel more awake by now, but if anything he was more tired than when he got up. And he swore there were other things in the fridge, but he was too exhausted to care, and besides, he loved strawberries. Groggily he gathered the things needed to prepare the delicacy that was quartered strawberries in a bowl and got cutting. When he picked up the first one it felt like nothing was there, unfortunately he trusted his eyes. After all, who wouldn’t. With little further consideration he followed his ever so hungry gut and got to chopping.

*snkt*

*snkt*

It almost felt like something was breathing behind him.

*snkt*

*snkt*

Gosh he was excited to eat these strawberries, they looked so good.

*snkt*

*crunch*

Greg thought that he’d be done cutting by now, but after looking at the strawberries it looked like he hadn’t cut any.

*snkt*

*crunch*

For some reason there was a dull pain crawling up his arm, but he just kept cutting.

*crunch*

*crunch*

Greg felt lightheaded now. He just wanted to lie down and sleep. He turned to his left arm and instead saw only a face not even nightmares could conjure.

The Missing Link
The Missing Link
1 month ago

The End, or Is It the Beginning (Flight of the Fairy)
By: The Missing Link

“Am I really considering this?” Titania thought to herself as she wandered through the unusually crowded streets. Her words back at the camp echoed in her head, “I will not kill my father.”

The crowd fell silent, and she looked frantically around for the cause, almost upsetting her veil. Her eyes eventually fell on a scaffold occupied by a curved block and a hooded man. As the crowd refused even to breathe, a young man no older than Titania was led up the stairs in chains.

A magistrate forced him to his knees and switched on the crystal broadcasting the event. “Xander Kisentra, you are found guilty of high treason and face public execution by beheading.” He almost sounded bored as Xander kneeled in resignation.

Titania gripped the crystal the fairy used to call on in frustration. The prisoner raised his head and looked through the crowd.

“As we are a magnanimous nation, you are allowed some final words.” The magistrate concluded.

With renewed vigor, Xander spoke, seeming almost to be looking directly at Titania, “Regret is inevitable, isn’t it?”

Titania knew that voice. How could she not? It was her fairy up there on the scaffold, the man who had given her the confidence to escape her father, who had saved her, who she could not save.

Xander continued as Titania waded towards the front of the crowd, “I’ve learned something in my months imprisoned. It’s better to regret the things you’ve done than the things you haven’t. It’s unfortunate, my good magistrate,” he smiled, “when someone becomes a martyr.”

The magistrate’s face grew pale as he rushed to shut off the broadcast, but it wouldn’t stop.

“Citizens of Lucrenia, the despot on the throne is destroying our country with frivolous wars. How much do you pay for bread, for clothing? The people suffer for the tyrant’s greed, and he will be stopped. He would even sell his own daughter, and when that failed, he invaded to claim Thryll’s end of the contract anyway.”

A loud metallic sound echoed as he finished his speech, “Long live the revolution.”

Last edited 1 month ago by The Missing Link
WriterOfThought
WriterOfThought
1 month ago

A Clerical Error
By WriterOfThought

The candles were lit, the chalk lined the floor, and the chant had been spoken. Everything had gone perfectly, except for one thing.

Where the demon was supposed to be within the pentagram instead sat a thirty-something man with a white dress shirt and a pocket protector who did not seem surprised to be there.

“Um,” I stammered behind my hood. “Are you Agamemnon the Destroyer?”

“No,” he said. “I’m Greg from Accounting.” His voice was nasally, brackish, and boring. I even pinched myself to ensure that I wasn’t dreaming, but I did not awaken.

“I don’t understand,” I said. “I did the spell perfectly.” I recounted the steps in my head, double checked every piece of salt, chalk, herb, and candle. The entire time, Greg did not move from his spot. He just stood there, observing.

It was when I reached for my second hand grimoire that he finally chimed in.

“Oh, there’s the issue,” he said. “You’re using the fourth edition.”

“What?” I nearly shouted at him in exasperation.

“That edition has a printing error for this particular spell,” he informed me as he began to point at one of my runes that lined the floor. “It prints this mark backwards.”

He began to spin around in his pentagram, observing the rest of the circle, and he found another piece to point to me.

“Make sure when you write your runes that you stay outside the circle, never write them from inside,” he said. “These few ones right here are upside down.”

I was about to stutter out a question of “How do you know this?” But he responded before I had a chance to get the second word out.

“This happens to me a lot.” After a moment he added, “Particularly around tax season and college finals.”

As he showed me the corrections, I fixed the marks in the circle, but with each passing correction his form began to fade. Once he vanished with the final mark, I could have sworn I saw red in his eyes before I restarted the chant to bring about Agamemnon.

Pryzma
Pryzma
1 month ago

INEQUALITY (TW: sexual themes & dealing with trauma.)
Part of “Stupid Sexy Dragon” series by Drago/Pryzma

For uninitiated, there was once a story about the Knight in shining armor and a foul Dragon, who fell for each other. But their relationship was as smooth as sandpaper and as pleasent as nails on the blackboard.

It was inherently unbalanced, althought before they were on somewhat equal footing. When she was well armoured from head to toe, with swift movements of her sword, she posed danger to him. That danger electrified him, drew him to her like a moth to a flame with unhealthy fascination.

Both the Dragon and the Knight perfectly capable of killing each other. But now she realised that to have any pleasure at all, she had to bare herself powerless and vulnerable when he didn’t have to compromise his safety even the slightest bit.

He always carried himself proudly and openly when interacting with her or everyone else — out to the world, for all to see. His claws, his fangs, piercing yellow eyes and hulking mass of muscle hovering over everyone in slick package of shiny, smooth scales. She was risking it all and he was safer in her presence than ever before.

Now as he stripped her out of her armour, both physical and metaphorical, her body tensed and breath quickened while cold shivers ran through her spine. She couldn’t move, she couldn’t scream — petrified like a stone statue in the graveyard garden. Her limbs were too heavy and head too light. Dizzy, paralyzed and wanting to faint at the same time. Chest felt like if a deep black pit was stirring inside.

She heard some muffled words at the back of her head and just nodded along thoughtlessly. Whatever he says, just to come out of this safe. With eyes as wide as golden coins looking straight at the one in front of her but not actualy seeing anything.

A heavy touch on her shoulder and mild pain of claws prickling skin brought her back to reality. Even while her heart was pounding louder than any external sound, a concerned voice with a tint of unease ended the evening earlier.

Last edited 30 days ago by Pryzma
DaLeen
DaLeen
1 month ago

Mirror, Mirror
By Taja DaLeen

Dream on, if you dare. But be careful of mirrors, they might just show you the truth.

They cannot only show you what was and what is, they can also tell what is about to come.

You know what I am talking about. You’ve heard of the prophecy, you’ve seen the possibilities yourself. And while yes, you might be the fairest and most powerful of them all here, it won’t save you.

You will perish. Cease to exist, just like everyone else foolish enough to stand against them.

They know a lot more about magic than you will ever be able to.

Yes, yes, those are all just possibilities. Nothing is set in stone yet. But do you really think you can somehow escape this? When it happens in so many of your mirror pictures? When you even have nightmares about this, waking up screaming?

The world will burn. All of it. Glorious hellfire will rain on blood soaked earth, and cleanse it all from those pesky heathens. And then Darkness will reign, taking its place among the seven at last.

Eternal night will fall, quietly changing everything.

It can only become better, after all. The heathens grew fat and lazy, feasting on peace for too long; this time we will win the war.

This time will be different. We won’t be caught by surprise.

We won’t have to hide anymore.

And no one remembers how to kill what will start all of this anyway. You know what I’m talking about, right? That which will start all of this?

This cursed Red Mirror will be shattered, destroyed completely, and those imprisoned in it will be set free.

Dragons will fly once more.

Oh, it will be magnificent; to see a part of our people, of magic, conquering the sky of this world again, free to roam without fear. With nothing to stop us.

So, do dare to dream on.

And beware the cracking of the Red Mirror.

A.W. Blackstone
A.W. Blackstone
1 month ago

Gingerbread Girls
By A.W. Blackstone

The group of girls huddled in the corner surrounded by darkness. Only a sliver of light shined through the tiny barred window of the metal door.

Amanda, the youngest among them, not yet 13, wailed while the rest consoled her. She was the newest addition to the flock. Jamie had been removed the day before Amanda arrived. With Jamie gone, Felicity was now the oldest veteran. Girls were usually selected in the order they arrived. Once a girl left, she never returned.

They didn’t know what awaited them, but they all heard the distant screams soon after one of them was taken. The frequency with which the girls were seized was irregular. Sometimes girls were chosen within days of each other; other times it could be up to two weeks. Felicity started steeling herself when Jamie was picked a week ago.

The familiar scraping of the rolling pin against the wall of the hall caught their attention. As the sound slowly grew closer towards their archaic cell, the girls hugged Felicity with farewells and warm wishes. She quivered, overwhelmed with sorrow.

The pungent aroma of gingerbread wafted in as the bulky baker swung the door ajar. The “gingerbread man”, as they called him, pointed to Felicity and motioned for her to come forward. He tucked the rolling pin into his belt, like a guard’s nightstick, before grabbing Felicity, throwing her over his shoulder, and beginning the trip towards their destination.

The gingerbread man grunted as he laid her on a metal, bloodstained table. Before Felicity could comprehend the situation, tight manacles locked around her wrists. She froze in terror. Nearby, an old woman was scraping out the ashes of the largest oven Felicity had ever seen. Were those teeth and bones… or was she imagining them in her panic?

“Don’t fret my dear,” the witch said sweetly. “You’ll feed many starving people in the village.” She stacked a new pile of logs into the oven and set them ablaze. Felicity’s head whirled when spotting the gingerbread man holding a sanguine saw. Her screams echoed down the corridor.

jgjgj
jgjgj
1 month ago

Insomnia
By jgjgj

It was the middle of the night, and I had hoped to sleep by 1:00 AM; unfortunately, I was struck by illusive anxiety that egged me on from the corners of my mind. My intrusive thoughts seemed like a type of defense mechanism built to seek out and understand what was causing me so much unease, but the primitive brain only carries generic solutions to the complex issues of the human being. I took meds to help my restless mind, but it only made my wit more counterproductive– and agonizing whether I was building a tolerance for the medication I was taking every night.

I was not quiet as a product of having not much to say, no, I had a lot to say, but I never really had the energy to put myself out there– or anyone to give me a reason to feel comfortable. It was only a cycle of humiliation & self-impudence, as I slowly became the person people saw me as. A self-fulfilling prophecy, so to speak. I was going against people with perfectly grounded and sane lives compared to mine, wouldn’t it be understood that I would only fail against these people’s ‘normal’? No, it’s not understandable, as shouldn’t I have nothing to lose, and they have everything to lose; I have infinite tries, and my situation would still be the same with a new quality and life to it: hope! But, for what reason did I not do this? Why does my mind torment me so much with its constant nagging, as if I was supposed to improve out of nowhere– immediately? Why is the human mind so developed and yet so slow?

Exhausted I move over to grab my phone out of defeat and check my phone. 3:48 AM, I felt the need to cry, but what good would that do me? What good would that do me…

Iosef Paramonov
Iosef Paramonov
1 month ago

Crunch, crunch…
By Iosef Paramonov

A gentle breeze blew through the long grass. Between the sighing blades, a young stag sniffed at the roots of a young oak. A herd had been here not too long ago. He gazed at their tracks which dotted the meadow floor. As he did so, he considered whether or not to follow them. Maybe there would be a particularly pretty doe among them, one he could mate with.

The wind changed direction.

The stag froze. He sharply raised his head. The scent of metal. Bare skin. Fake hide.

He turned to run, but it was too late. The blast tore the air apart, and he was thrown a whole boulder’s width away. Fire bit greedily into his side, as blood squirted out, desperate to escape.

The stag bellowed in shock and agony. He clambered shakily to his feet and limped as fast as he could away. Grass, bushes, trees. As far as possible away.

But the fire was gnawing its way deeper and deeper into his torso. The pain had become so great that the entire right side of his torso had gone numb. As he galloped and galloped over roots and between rocks, his back legs gave way, and he collapsed in a panting heap at the foot of a dead yew. Rotting leaves lay all around him.

Crunch, crunch…

Now he could hear them. Two leathery feet not even attempting to hide their mirthful approach.

Crunch, crunch…

The stag knew what was coming. But even so, he pawed hopelessly forward through the dead leaves and twigs.

Crunch, crunch… shing!

A sharp metallic sound cut through the unforgiving air.

Crunch, crunch….

The stag gave one last mournful wail to the cold, grey sky.

Crunch, crunch…

Last edited 1 month ago by Iosef Paramonov
Karl Sterneman
1 month ago

Blood Stained Winds (CW: Suicide)
By Karl Sterneman

I’ve found myself trapped in a loop of insanity. A long-standing city street covered by the coal fumes of humanity, choking me. Black soot like oil coating the inside of my lungs.

The sky is red. Not red like sunrise on a lonely morning’s dawn. Not red like sunset, at the end of a long, hard day. Red like blood, which we have sucked from the earth with burning hatred and lust for power.

The building walls surrounding me are unfeeling orange brick, and the cobbled street lies flooded with imaginary gore. The end is nigh, not one day more.

I crawl into an alley road, garbage-filled and rusted and cold, despite the blistering heat, and climb a steel ladder hung by dangerously loose and bending nails to reach the rooftop and sit upon the edge.

From there I look for blue, or green, or pink or yellow hues. I see not a speck of colour that isn’t dead, nor a single speck of colour that is not red. The plumes of burning coal shift across the darkened sky and sit like low-hanging clouds over the city. I look upon the city. Orange walls and grey roofs and everything dead except the bustling hoards of people down the principal city streets. Each roof covered in copper piping and emitting its own little black crown.

I simply choke on fumes of blood and smoke created by all selves, me, myself, and I, and you. I look upon the world and know I do not matter, I do not make a difference. The world doesn’t care. The end, now, is nigh.

I stand up on the rooftop’s edge and hold a pose as if I were to fly. Instead, I fall.

Oblivion pierces me as I crash into the world. The sky is blue. The trees are green. The home I just jumped off is a dazzling and shiny white… but it won’t be for long. I rest now, in the hypocentre of the human curse.

V3RU5
V3RU5
1 month ago

Be warned of the curse of evil
By Vera

She stared at the mirror, and a pair of bloodshot eyes stared back. Ever since her ill-fated attempt to leave the safety of the city for the adventure of the surrounding woods, she has been changing. Her once bright blue eyes were yellow and red, the color had drained from her dark, olive green scales leaving them an unnaturally pale grey.

It was scary. Beautiful in a way, but scary. Everyone knew, what to expect. Before long, she will feel an unnatural urge to feed, to kill and destroy. To be evil, like all the others afflicted with this curse. The few humans who venture deep to the south brought their stories, their warnings, and their curse.

She stood in the deserted marketplace. The merchants had left, screaming and flailing with their arms, leaving their stalls unattended. She looked down at herself, pale grey scales showing through holes in her thin shirt. Bones were visible in her thin frame, weakened by a diet of rodents and other small animals she managed to catch.

At last, she felt a strong, irresistible urge. Not to chase after the screaming merchants, not to kill them. Not to destroy their booths even. But to take some warm clothes, some food, and to leave some coins in their place. Is this, what being evil feels like? Do evil humans not destroy, torture or kill, but steal?

For lizards, stealing isn’t seen as evil, as long as it happens strictly out of necessity. Take what you need, but never more. And avoid taking from those, who can’t afford to lose even little. Everyone has a starving bowl sitting at the entrance of his home, food items that don’t spoil for those in need. These bowls were the only reason, she hadn’t starved yet.

She wondered, if these acts of kindness that are so inherent in lizards was staving off the curse’s evil influence.

Maybe, nothing wicked comes her way.

MelancholicOtaku
MelancholicOtaku
1 month ago

The First Time
MelancholicOtaku

The rain oh how you loved the sweet pitter patter of each individual droplet. A smile begins to form on your face, the quiet chill vibe takes over the city, the streets were glistening as you watched the neighborhood kids splash around the newly formed puddles.

Oh how you loved the rain it was beautiful truly breathtaking,hypnotic,the perfect lover . Once again you continue to keep an eye on the scenery below.Kids still playing now joined by a herd of umbrellas going to and fro.

Tis is a wonderful day indeed you thought turning yourself away from the beautiful scene and stare directly into the void that is your reflection. The sight shaking of the physical world gave everything away.
Get ahold of yourself,cursing your lack of wit and confidence,the droplets once again calming your nerves,bringing yet another smile.

Today is the day why yes indeed,the weather for this moment is absolutely perfect. For weeks you have studied every pathway, keeping a close eye on the choose one.Making sure that you studied every bit of information ,after the moment was special.
Taking a deep breath you relax a little bit more ,trying to to come up with a perfect tool,a brick ,a stick or maybe a small shiny sharp object.One that could be easily hidden until the time comes.

Today was a perfect day , the heavens themselves have blessed you for this perfect opportunity,this moment where you and that special someone would finally get to meet.
After all the first time was the truly special.

Last edited 1 month ago by MelancholicOtaku
Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Wicked Demon (Exile Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)

When considering the Exile, many people picture a scorched landscape, covered in bricks and deserts or a vast sea, frozen over or a dead forest, with skeletal trees. And all that is true, to an extent. But mostly, people picture hordes of demons beating and bartering with imps and goblins and the damned, like others would with cattle.

This too is true, if only to an extent.

While slavers do exist in this realm, there is a growing number of demons and cambions, who speak out against such practice. It is said that they all formed around a pale cambion, with pointed ears and surgical marks on her chest and hip.

They don’t fear her as much, however, as one of her companion, the former Lady Eventine.

They don’t fear her for her magical prowess or her skill with a quarterstaff, but more because she grew up in the kind of society, who would have turned a blind eye to the slave trade, on a good day. Because of this, she had not only the capacity to hunt slavers, but to destroy the very system she’d been born into.

Which was exactly what Eventine had set out to do. She didn’t necessarily feel guilty for her origin, per se. Being a part of demon nobility was just a facet of her life and that facet happened to include dangerous magics, blood money, dealings with corrupt officials and impish servants, to use the polite term.

If that made her ‘wicked’, then so be it.

Since she’d been cast out and sent to starve in the woods, however, her outlook had somewhat changed. Now, she didn’t want to join the nobility. She wanted to crush them, on an existential level, like only a true insider could.

Janeah had known exactly how to play to her bitterness. If Eventine was honest, she’d never liked the nobility, not really.

Eventine held her staff, feeling its magic in her veins. She walked through the alleys of the town, her gaze focused on the slave ships, anchored in the harbour.

Time for her to act.

Faustini
Faustini
1 month ago

Did you have fun?
by Spawn of Faust

Music blasted through the night. Lights were flashing in the dark room. Heat was radiating from the people who were dancing on the floor.

Liquid fire burned my insides as I poured it down my throat. Glass hit the bar and I ordered once more.

Senses were growing dull and my wallet was getting light.

I was running my tongue. No topic was sacred, no topic was too shallow to be avoided. And drinks were coming. One after another.

How many people have I been talking to? Don’t know. They just kept coming – exchanging a few words with me, paying for their drink and then leaving me alone with my glass of sin once more.

Pain. Pain struck my head. World ending noise was echoing through my skull – ripping it in seams with every note.

Light found a way beyond my eyelids, searing itself into my retina. I screamed with guttural noise as I was no longer able to hold my stomach together and everything that came in earlier was now finding its way out.

Something touched my back and I freezed over. I wipe residuum of saliva and vomit from corners of my mouth before I slowly turn my head around, not knowing what to expect. What greeted me was unexpected, yet the sight was not unwelcomed. Somewhat nice girl with a cute nose and round eyes.

Sharp turn of my head made me feel uneasy and the rest of my stomach soon found its way out.

I refused to open my eyes to see damage.

Hurricane of fury descended on me.

Sarah Herbison
1 month ago

The Army Marches In

by

Sarah J. Herbison

It’s February 23, 2021. The air is cold outside but warm here in my office. I check Google once more, searching for new information on my sleepless night. Troops have gathered near our borders and have been for months. The news states that it’s just a military training exercise. But I know better. I knew better in 2014 when they invaded our land, ripping it away.

It’s by a monster that fancies himself a tyrant—trying to bring back the old ways. His spies go into the chats in other countries to divide and concur, arguing with the faction to get them too separated to help us. I hope this will fail. I hope they see the tyrant for who he is and stop him.

I hear the siren; my heart beats hard in my chest. I grab my rifle and head to the border. I’ve enlisted with thousands of others and must defend my country.

S. J. Lyon
S. J. Lyon
1 month ago

Moths Everywhere
by S. J. Lyon

I pray that with each shallow breath I swallow, you understand how loathed you truly are.

You are a demon that many wish to never meet. Ancient civilizations have gifted their life essence on pillars of rock in hopes of appeasing your carnivorous appetite.

Such wretched fools! I hope it was worth it. I sincerely do.

Heroes have ravaged and taunted you for eons — never once considering your duty to their fate. For without you — their names would remain buried with their elders. Forever reverberating back into the great oblivion from where they came to never be spoken again.

The maniacal find your persistence seductive. Courting you with offers of their own — you are their raison d’être after all! Your bloodlust is unnerving, yet ever changing!

The gods have graced you with a beautiful face — but, you can be honest with me. You carry many masks — don’t you?

No sense in lying now.

You are the harbinger of perpetual darkness.

It makes sense why you lay beside me. Wires shackling me to a physical form.

Strangely knowing the cruel, twisted games you play with your lovers — I can’t help but tease our love affair! For all those who despised you — I understand you.

Does that frighten you? I can see it does — you pull away from my touch. Why?

Your sickened smile hangs heavy with terror. Why?

Does the idea of having a soul so hopelessly obsessed with you displace your necessity? Moths are everywhere outside my window — all signs lead to you, my dearest.

Press forward — why am I any different?

Inch closer — tangle me in your arms!

Scratch me — burn me — etch me into the epitaph of the universe! Shatter the light within my eyes and have them echo in the night sky!

Do it.

Though wicked by design, I pray you understand how loved by me you truly are.

Haelamon
Haelamon
1 month ago

The Debut of the Century
By: Hælamon

Feeling of chalk mixing with blood on my very hands is disconcerting as the mixture turns to a sludge on the ground in front of me. A mess of lines before me, not even in a circle. A trial of patience, perseverance, and how much blood is in my body to make.

I can’t let them sacrifice her to that monster. Not like mother.

However the moment of truth comes with another wave of dizziness. I feel sick and empty, but at the same time hopeful. An unmarked ritual for summoning a spirit of… something. Never summoned before, but it may help. That is all I need.

The nasty mixture turns black and a hole opens up. A hole filled with eyes, eyes and more eyes. The banging on the door is growing louder.

What have I done?

Then they’re gone. Everything is black, I can’t see nor feel anything.

“Hello there. Do you need some… assistance?” What looks like a well dressed young man in red, glossed back-swept black hair, a cane, and gold rimmed spectacles is looking at a pocket watch. In this void, where they’re the only thing.

“Oh I see, there’s a sword to your throat right now you know? They’re yelling about ‘heresy of the highest order’, seems indicative of a religious organization. Fun.”

I don’t feel anything, I can’t speak but help. Please. They took my sister to sacrifice. Help.

“Quite miserable to lose family to a poor institution ay?” Hearing the sound of their chipper voice fading with their image I feel despair. Are they leaving?

Then light returns to me, and I see… blood. The ritual is covered in far more blood than I could ever hope to hold. Dismembered limbs and plate armor ripped and torn litter the area like confetti.

“I see now, well isn’t that a coincidence, Spirit of Disaster is coming this way. That who they sacrificing your sister to?”

I nod. The regular sacrifice to sate it is nigh. My sister…

“Anarchy, at your service.” With a massive grin splitting its face, I feel despair and hope.

MostlyMarco
MostlyMarco
1 month ago

A Bittersweet End

By MostlyMarco

Lamentar sat still, a plan forming in his head. He knew, based on his previous experiences, that he wouldn’t be successful in killing the Dryad hunting him. He hadn’t prepared enough. Lamentar didn’t even know the Dryad’s life tree. A Dryad’s life was connected to their tree and one could not live without the other. Of course, destroying either would’ve been a monumental task. It would be impossible to cut down a Dryad’s life tree without being harassed by all that nature could throw at him. But it was still easier than killing a Dryad by hand. With music that serenaded you to your doom, unnatural resilience and strength, and the ability to draw your life force from a comfortable distance, facing a Dryad alone was tantamount to suicide. But Lamentar was ready, a wry smile crossing his lips.

The irony of the situation was not lost on him. Decades ago, he had been a monster hunter, indiscriminately taking bounties and lives. A duke, needing new hunting grounds, had hired Lamentar to kill the Dryad protecting the local forest. Lamentar had obliged, razing the forest down, before the Dryad stepped forward, offering to trade her life in exchange for the forest. Lamentar took the deal then.

Now, Lamentar was ready to pay the price. Soon after he had completed the bounty, he heard from his friends that the Dryad’s sister was out for revenge. He had laid low for years, in bustling urban cities, away from nature. It was there he found Nadia. Nadia, a street urchin that had tried to rob him when they first met. Nadia, the girl he raised as his own daughter, who taught him to be better. Nadia, who had a bright future ahead of her, shouldn’t have to pay for Lamentar’s past crimes. But the Dryad had found them. Now they were forced to run again. But Lamentar didn’t want Nadia to live a life on the run. So he had devised a plan in secret. One last deal. He just hoped the Dryad would take it.

Qurtan
Qurtan
1 month ago

Waiting for the dark
By Qurtan

Barin finished his watch and made his way to the interior giving a nod to the guards replacing him. On his way to the throne room, he passed the citizens and refugees huddled together for warmth. Months ago, if you saw Areni next to a Finith the meeting would end with one or both in a pool of blood, now here they are sleeping in the same bed sharing the same food.

Once he’d gotten to the throne, he noted the quiet. Ignoring it he made his way to the steps of the throne and kneeled. The young prince looked at him worse for wear. The prince turned to Barin, and you could see that he had not slept for hours.

“Barin, what… what news do you bring at this late hour?” he started, then jumped out of his throne with panic in his eyes. “Is time, did you see them, no they can’t be here yet?!!!” he hastily paced around the throne. This is too much for this child to handle, Barin thought.

“Calm your highness, it is still some time before they arrive.” he says as he walks up to the throne and puts his hand on the prince’s shoulder. He stops and turns his head to Barin with tears in his eyes and slumped back on his throne.

“How did it come to Barin, why is it that we have to face such wickedness in our time?”

Barin stood still for a moment.

“I don’t know my lord, but now is not the time to let fear take us. The people need hope from their king.” The prince gave a laugh then let out a long sigh.

“What king? A boy not yet tested for rule, held up here while his people freeze. A coward.”

” My lord,” Barin started then they all head it, the roar of thunder and the earth shaking. They looked at each other and both knew, they’ve come.

Barin went out and saw the dark clouds on the horizon and he prepared for the end.

Thunder
Thunder
1 month ago

Dark Tidings(World of Shadows)
By Thunder

The ancient, crumbling fortress loomed over a dark forest of pine. Nothing moved aside from the swaying trees, until a form on the western wall suddenly inhaled.

“Do you think you can hit that bird from here?” rasped a grey-skinned man wrapped in a tattered cloak.

His companion with the bow was silent for a long moment, before his previously motionless chest swelled, coughed out a dust cloud, and in a voice even more disused than his companions, asked “What bird?”

“That one,” the first wight answered, motioning. A large, powerfully-built bird of prey sat at the top of one of the taller trees, eye level with the wall.

“Maybe. Why?”

“It has been spying on us.”

The bowman shook his head stiffly, joints audibly creaking beneath the shirt of battered chain he wore. “We need to get out of the sun. Whatever’s left of your brain has rotted.”

“I’m serious,” his companion insisted, raising an arm. “Every day at noon, that same black bird lands on that tree, or one near it, and watches us until sundown. For six days now.”

“Horseshit. I haven’t seen it before.”

“Your eyes didn’t work when we were alive.”

The bowman was about to retort when the ladder behind them creaked. “The prince. Be normal,” he grumbled to his companion.

Naturally he didn’t, instead spinning in place, one stiff arm raising his halberd in salute. “Hail, Prince Hagen.”

“Am I wearing a crown?” Hagen der Bösartige demanded as he arrived, lifting his hood to demonstrate, no, he was not. The prince’s body was preserved well enough to permit him to look annoyed, a rarity these days.

The halberdier ignored him, gesturing toward the forest. “Lord, we are being spied upon.”

“Ignore him,” the bowman advised.

Hagen followed the halberd and stiffened slightly. “That bird is undead.”

The bowman moved, leaning over the wall before swearing and fumbling with his weapon. Before he could begin drawing back an arrow, the creature shrieked and took off, quickly soaring out of range.

“Dammit,” Hagen said. “I will alert the others; the Grey Company marches at dusk.”

Galer
Galer
1 month ago

The twisted army

by Galer

people feared the march because it announced the battle to come by the mere cacophony of their footsteps

beings of twisted flesh intermingled, with metal walked the streets putting themselves in from of the walls of the city with their skin guns ready to, end the life of any that would dare to trespass.

their armor made out of crimson steel was integrated into their iron bone membrane interfacing with the abominable armor bestowing them enhanced maneuverability in battle, powered by the energy of their souls, along with a sophisticated targeting system.

with their armor adjusting to their tangled bodies that contorted in impossible angles even if some of them have more eyes, feed, muscle fibers, claws, tentacles, and teeth than a human

their twisted bodies being a product of unethical science and magic were made for one purpose, war.

but the project was shelved upon discovery and they, fortunately, retained their morality, while people in the past rejected them due to their profaned bodies, over time they become welcome with warmth, care, and love by the citizens.

nurturing their humanity, until they were capable to return back to society successfully even if some didn’t agree with that.

On the horizon was a huge creature that was a sphere that churned crooked roots of gore, from intersections known to man and unknown to man, connected to creatures made out of its countless victims like a perverse puppeteer.

most of these beings kind were passive, but an anomaly since birth made one of them an entity of carnage and unrestrained psychopathy, that was hellbent on inflicting as much suffering as possible for their own sadistic pleasure.

this one got bored of killing his own kind, which hunted him down and jumped at the opportunity of destroying city after city for his own wicked enjoyment.

and the Twisted army would be dammed if this thing, was let to trample on their beloved home.

they were born from man’s worse nightmares, however, they intended to keep their oath to protect this city.

to their last breath.

Last edited 27 days ago by Galer
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.

Tamela Redfin
Tamela Redfin
1 month ago

The army with forty thousand eyes

By Tamela Redfin

I felt something was off with Reagan. She had to be hiding another thing. But what was it?
Jezebel lit a cigarette. “Ya okay Sapphira? Ya look upset.”

I sighed, “Reagan is hiding something. But didn’t you say you’d give up smoking?”

She stamped out the stick. “Sorry, it’s been hard. Reagan you say? I can figga out.”

“Good. I’d like that,” I replied. “I think we might be in danger and I need to keep my daughters safe.”

“Ah, like a true motha. You’re doin a good job, Sapph.”

****************************************************************************************************
But soon we found out.

“What’s the matter ladies? By getting on Augen’s good side…”

“You’re an IDIOT, Reagan. Do you remember what the man did to you? To Cecilia? To cyphas?” I shouted.

“A woman has to do what she has to do.” Reagan flipped her hair. “Also, Cecilia needed to be pun-”

I scratched her in the eyes. “Shut up! Nobody deserves that treatment. Also, after he’s done, he’ll kill you.”

Reagan held her bloody eye. “I never wanted something like you.”

“Well I like you better when you’re drunk. But listen here Iscariot, if any blood is spilled, it’s all on YOU.” Tears streamed from my eyes.

“Me? I didn’t send the clone army. That was a dirty human.” Reagan winked. Oh I was ready to strangle her.

“They’re coming! The clone army.” Someone shouted.

I could hear a siren blaring. Garneta! Aquamarine! I had to protect my babies. Maybe my mother hated me, enough to betray her entire race, but I would always love my daughters.

There I was, terrified and running for my life in the middle of a war, all started from the lust and lies of my mother.

“Sapphira?” I turned to see a girl who looked a lot like me, but with blue eyes and a prosthetic leg. “I saw two girls crying for you, come quick. I’ll fight off the clones.”

contract
contract
1 month ago

The Answer
By contract

The king offended the gods. It’s not the first time, but it will be the last.
That said, who is to blame ?
Both are full of foolish pride.
But that doesn’t concern me.

I am walking from heaven to hell, from hell to heaven, with the world of mortals in my path.

Witches are going deeper than ever in their forests.
The Sun and the Moon are hiding behind the clouds.
Light is cowering away.
Animals and insects are finding refuge deep underground, in the bowels of the earth.
Water is trying in vain to reach the sky.
The ground is slowly cracking.
The flora is delaying its bloom.
Demons are retreating.

The gods are angry. So they begged me to go.
They are too scared of coming here themselves. They are always scared.
I am not. I enjoy visiting this place.
Each one of my coming is…an amazing experience for everyone involved.

With each step I take, air becomes heavier, darkness grows and stone turns to dust.
With each step I take, peace weakens and love gets bitter.
With each step I take, I’m getting closer to my destination.

Second after second, the distance gets shorter. The wind stops his course. Everything gets quiet. A smell of fear invades the space. Empires tremble. Kingdoms shake.

For seeing me walk, they understand.
They understand where I go.
They understand what I will do.
They understand what I want to do.

I came to answer.
I came to answer the prayers of those whose deepest wish is to die more than anything else.

They ask what is the purpose of life.
I answer.

Aracnaquista
Aracnaquista
1 month ago

Ready or Not, Here I Come
By Aracnarquista

“No, you are not yet ready to deal with the Dragon.”

Laetitia had been assessing my capabilities and strategies for the whole extended training session. I might be tired, but she seemed as sharp as ever.

“And when will I be ready, master?”

“You won’t.”

Her affirmation took me by surprise, and I left my defenses open. Now, I was not hearing her voice conveyed through air vibrations. Her voice was inside my mind.

“If I can get to you so easily, what do you think the Dragon can do, child?”

It was not just her voice. Laetitia was inside my mind. And she was a skilled psychic surveyor. She was looking through my vulnerabilities, leveraging what was hidden (even from myself) that could be used against me. She was my master in the psychic arts, and I trusted her. Still, this was defense training, and my trust was yet another vulnerability to be exploited.

“This is not a place for you to be.” My inner voice echoed through our minds. More than the words, the mental onslaught was enough to expel her presence from my psyche.

That voice, though… I was fearful of the tone of my own inner voice. Hurt, hateful. Ready to lash in anger.

Laetitia’s face didn’t betray any of her thoughts. “You have so much potential, child. But you lack skill and discipline. That is a very dangerous combination.”

Her voice didn’t betray any of her thoughts as well, and I was not so much of a fool as to try to glimpse her thoughts through more specialized means. Not knowing what she thinks after such an intense session unnerves me.

“Master, you surprised me and used my trust in you as a trap. That was clever. But I do trust you. That’s not a tactic the Dragon can exploit.”

“Can she not? I was not lying. You will not be ready for her assault, when it comes. No training in the world would be enough for it. Her attack… it will come from within. You heard her voice today. Your Hatching has already begun.”

J. J. Peterson
J. J. Peterson
1 month ago

Reflections
J. J. Peterson

I turned slowly in a scared circle, surrounded by darkness and the sound of distant shuffling. I have no recollections of how I got here, or where this place is. Only the shadows of reflections that tell me I exist, I have travelled far, and that some wickedness is quite nearby.

Gathering my courage I shout out, but no one responds. So I choose a direction and start to walk. As I move forward I hear a muffled shout, the shuffling stops, and footsteps start to move in my direction.

I freeze in fear, and after a moment the footsteps stop. I wait an age, then continue my journey. I hear the footsteps again and stop. The creature, the great wickedness, following my steps as I do. After waiting a long while, I continue again, but this time when the wickedness starts moving I continue along my straight line.

After an eternity of walking, with the something wicked coming ever closer, I see a dim light ahead. I start to jog, and when the footsteps pick up pace as well, I break into a full out sprint. I soon run headlong into a wall, and I hear my follower, the great wickedness, collapse beside me. I look up from my vantage on the ground and see I am in a great cavern, and bringing my gaze to the wall in front of me, I see my frazzle haired, weary eyed, wicked reflection staring back at me through a dimly lit mirror.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago

Hexism

By Joe

Bison was approaching his Witch friend, unaware that he’ll say something accidentally Hexist.

“Hey, George!”

“Hey, Bison!”

“What’s up my Wicked friend?”

George gasped while Bison put a hand on his own face. “What? Is there something on my face?”

George looked horrified. “You can’t say that!”

“What? Wicked?”

“YES!”

“Why? It’s just a word.”

“Is human just a word?”

“I mean it’s a name for my people.” Then Bison put a finger to his chin. “And it’s used to express emotions…which aren’t exclusive to humans. And expresses how brave we are…and how frightened we are. How SMART we are…aaand how dumb we are.” Bison thought for a second. “Okay, you got me. What does it mean?”

“It’s not just what it…well, first off, it’s the implied meaning that I’m up to no good…but it’s also what it does to you!”

Bison was alarmed. “What it DOES?”

“It’s a hex that activates when someone uses the word in an ignorant context. And you were Hexist in your introduction.”

“Dang, I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was offensive. But what does it DO!”

“You become a toad.”

Bison expressed indifference in his face. “Kind of playing into the stereotype isn’t it?”

“I know. It doesn’t help. But this is how it is until the law is changed.”

“Well…augh!” Bison yelped as his body shrunk into his clothes. Then a toad dug itself out and looked up. Its amphibious face gasped in horror. “Oooh god!”

George knelt down. “Are you okay?”

“I can see more of everything that I can’t see anymore!”

“What does that mean?” George panicked.

“My vision is wider, but everything is blurry!” Bison reached in front of him. “And for some reason everything that’s blue and green is more prominent!”

“But you’re fine?”

“How long does this last?”

“Three days.”

“THREE DAYS!?”

“Don’t worry. I’m prepared for this. But you’re fine right?”

“Other than being cancelled by magic? Yes.”

“Cancelled?”

“OH! I have some SHIT to tell you!”

George brought Bison to his house where he would spend three days in a terrarium talking about Cancel Culture.

Siffles
1 month ago

The Embrace
Siffles

As my eyes flash open, I find myself in my hospital room as the TV flickering as it shows some random cooking show. A cold sweat as I’m unable to move. Glancing to my side, unnaturally embedded into the drywall of my room is a dark elm door. On it is a painting of an angel flying skyward. The moment my eyes land on it.

Confusion fills my senses as the angel begins moving. Soaring towards the golden sky flap of its wings stretching and squashing as it rose towards the iridescent sky carved into the grainy wood. My eyes widen as with a sudden crack, the wood splits through the angel severing its left wing. The saintly being tries to stay aloft but, cannot; It quickly begins cratering to the bottom of the door. The sea below the endlessly swaying back and forth.

The angel disappears into the deep abyss. My mind races with questions, as my blood in my veins. Another, louder, CRACK as the door is forced ajar. Purplish miasma leaking through it. Beyond it, many voices chanting rings out. Too far to hear but as a dissonance of song. Getting closer, and closer, till the words being so piously sung pierce my ears and pin my heart to my ribcage. “Hosanna excelsis sempiterna” the droning hum creeping closer forcing my eyes closed before it goes silent… I open my eyes as the door is wrapped around by long, dark, gnarled fingers pushing it open.

Beyond the miasma piercing white orbs look in at me while fog obscures it. But not for long. A creature with stocky limbs crouches and crawls through the opening and then standing to its full height. Its body reaches the ceiling with no discernable head. But what sung it’s far off melody reveals itself. throughout the chest of the creature lies many mouths all of which inhale and exhale raggedly. Like their voices are sore. It holds its arms out like a Minister speaking to their congregation. My heart stopping as the many mouths uttered more unknowable words to me as it leans down to envelope me. “Dei, quod reliquum est, nolite metuere, et ossa tua liberabit, exspectans.”

loudandclaire
loudandclaire
1 month ago

The Nature of What Follows
loudandclaire

“Is it my fault?” Emile’s voice broke. “Am I supposed to be nothing?”

She kneeled by her son’s side and took his hand. Small and fragile.

“No, little finch. You didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not a trade. And it’s not a curse. It’s an act of nature, no kinder or crueler than the wind thrashing against the sea. It’s up to us to face those forces as they come, and find the strength within ourselves to keep from being pulled under. That’s the true bargain: whether or not we can use the stormwaters to help ourselves grow.”

Sophie saw in her son’s eyes a flickering question, sparked from the embers of instinct, the same instinct of a fox with its foot caught in a trap. She pulled him close, listening to the quiet fluttering of his heart. “It’s alright to be afraid, Emile. It’s not bravery without fear.”

A quiet shudder passed through him. “But mom… I don’t want to die.”

“Who said anything about dying?” She smiled despite the tightness in her throat. “If you want to fly, you can’t focus on how awful it would be to fall. We will find a way to overcome this, together.”

He was quiet then, shadowed by an uncertainty that kept him from looking at his mother’s face.

“…It is hurting you,” she admitted. “I don’t know if it will stop on its own. If it doesn’t, yes, you could die.” She squeezed his hand. “But we’re not going to let that happen.”

“Will that work?”

“I don’t know.”

Those words crashed into Emile, deep and terrible, yet somehow the warmth of his mother’s embrace let it roll over him like water on oil, as if it were the only thing it that could save him. Maybe it was.

“It isn’t how I thought it would be. I thought it didn’t just take.”

“I don’t think it gets to choose. We just have to accept it as it is, and try to find the opportunity nestled within to make ourselves better.”

“Better how?”

“By overcoming all the ways it makes us worse.”

Last edited 1 month ago by loudandclaire
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.”

C. M. Weller
1 month ago

Forewarned and Unarmed (A Devil’s Tale)
C. M. Weller

Gwenydd startled when she saw the boy. Saw everything waiting for him in his future. Too many mushrooms, belike. Too many uses of the Green Mist liquor. It did things to a Seer’s vision.

The boy who would father a king was scrawny and twelve. He was racing though the streets, between people and carts, calling out, “BUCK!” as he went.

He came right up to her. “Have you seen my brother? The Viscount Purity Buckler Integrity Whitekeep? He’s so high, looks a lot like me… Uhm. Might… not… have a shirt.”

She had to laugh. “Hail. Hail, the Earl Valiant the Mad…” such threads he was tangled in! Gwennydd took his hand in hers. “Sire to the Thrice-Sworn King… I can tell you much. Yes. Your brother is on a short path to a bad end. You shall inherit all that is his. Everything. His bride, his crown… his curse. Blazing Stone on the bridal train. A little Kormwind in her birthing bed.”

“Stop it,” he lacked the strength and agility to get away.

Fate compelled her. Made her grip him tight. The threads held them both in this web until the words were said. “This is important, my Lord. You have to hear… Kormwind the nine, changes the line. Thrice makes the oath, truest to his troth. Tight of the purse, he’ll end the curse. When he marries the dead, a crown on his head. Once he swears three, he rules all that’s free. Eyes of fire. Calls you Sire… and then you’ll be Valiant the Mad. None shall share your names for three generations…”

Viscount Valiant Whitekeep finally squirmed free of her. Calling for the guards. Now she saw it. The older Viscount Purity was in one of the bathhouses of ill repute. Fathering the last Fitzwyte to stoke an Elven Master’s ire.

That child would be named Kormwind, too.

And such a harried path for the future king. She’d never be able to tell him. Poor soul. Poor unfortunate soul.