Writing Group: Ink on Your Hands

Hello, Scribes and Squids!

Argh, it spilled all over me! Prompt intro writing is messier than I thought it’d be. Now I gotta go wash it off because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Ink on Your Hands

RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!

Some of our prompts are highly specific, like The Fairy Ring, where others are more versatile, like You Did What?! This prompt lands somewhere in the middle. 

There are many professions that utilize ink. You could write about an artist consumed by the process, madly throwing ink at the page, leaving themselves covered in it. You could write about an author whose ink keeps dripping on the page, smearing and interrupting their flow. Even though we don’t use quills anymore, our pens can still break. Maybe you could write about a child whose pen spread ink everywhere…only for the teacher to scold them for using a fountain pen in class. 

One of the other more realistic ways to use this prompt is tattoos. Perhaps someone has ink on their hands…permanently. You could write about how someone regrets a certain tattoo they put in such a visible place. Or maybe you could write about a magical tattoo for which the location on the body matters. 

The phrasing of the prompt reminds me of “blood on your hands.” Is there a situation in which ink could function the same way? Maybe you could write about a situation like Inkheart’s, where certain people can bring stories to life, but, in this case, their hearts are literally ink, and the characters have ink in their veins instead of blood. Or you could write the opposite: someone entering a book—a world of ink. Perhaps the characters are shocked to learn that the real person’s hands aren’t made of ink. Or, like Tom Riddle’s Diary in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, maybe books themselves can bleed ink, if they’re alive enough.

The phrase “blood on your hands” can also be used to denote “caught red-handed.” Perhaps it’s less about the ink being lifeblood, but rather evidence of someone’s crime. Whether that be forging documents, stealing supplies, or a child finger painting where they shouldn’t. Or maybe, like with police fingerprinting, it’s not the ink itself that’s the evidence, but rather what shows up in the ink. 

With this prompt, I can’t help but think of the game Bendy and the Ink Machine, where an animator’s creation comes to life as a monster…but it’s still made out of ink. Perhaps you could write about something like that, where the ink is more than just a means to an end, but the stuff monsters are made of. Perhaps, like with Audrey in the Dark Revival, your character seeing their hands be—not just covered in ink, but—turned to ink themselves, is a terrifying thing. 

Come here! Yeah, I need your help. I kinda…can’t get this off.

—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.
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  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.
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    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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jgjgj
jgjgj
8 days ago

Hero
by jgjgj

I felt a hundred hands grab me into the black mud, a quicksand-like substance zapping around every sinew of my body until I couldn’t feel the cold air, but the smooth disgusting texture of the ink.

I breathed into the mass of liquid and peered a look within a concave soul, and orbs that glass broke into clouds of a multitude of sounds all solemnly whispering what awaits me. The swirling floccose wind within the spheres spun with sharp tendril arms shooting out of the orbs in dazzling bright light already adjacent to the corners of my eyes. A large sound was heard, splitting my head open with its unbearable humming gripping my cranium.

——————————————————————————————————-

I stood in a field of fertile wheat covering a landscape that amassed the villa and trudged my way to where the grain split into a trail of gravel and lead to an inviting gate, then smartly stopped in front of the entrance, and waited for a formal greeting.

The air was silent except for the jostling of colliding armor and the gravel crunched on by stamping boots. The air blew a bit colder on my bare skin and I tried to quell my urge to shiver by wheezing very thin breaths of air through my nostrils.

The man approached me and splayed his hands in a fistful and open-palmed explosive gestures and the sunlit skies boomed “Fierce” mechanically, as if in response. My body became more and more reactive to the cold as I continued to look allusively at the stone man in front of me. With armor that was reinforced, and layered in smooth sharp inclines that imitated large stone-like scales. I didn’t care to look up at the helmet that sat upon the juts of heavy armor, in fear of appearing weak in front of such a commandeering presence. I would have thought I would have been selected for anyone lesser, but there is always the fair chance he will deny me– as what am I to a skillset that he possesses? I glared ahead as the man made more mad gestures– and again a shout from the heavens expressed as the man drew closer– “Look at me.” I hinged my head up to stare at ridged eye slots that curved into a hole that dimly presented a red hue. The potential was lost, and the instructor waited passively for a reaction, but as my eyes softened as memories of such red-hued eyes in childhood memories, he stepped away and left me staring at a stone crevice in the stonework. As alignment straightened back, the instructor stood aside and commanded fluidly “Enter,” and I only thought about how unlucky I was as I shuffled past him.

Norman Gray
Norman Gray
9 days ago

Stamped Out
By Norman Gray

Mitchell waited outside for his friend.

Inside, the carnival was alive with sounds; screams of joy as riders crested the summit of the Dragonfyre, screams of terror from the kids taking a tour of the Haunted Hollow. An announcer could be heard bellowing from atop the tallest attraction:

STEP ON UP!

TAKE A RIDE!

ON THE FUN,

FUN,

FUN SLIDE!

Mitch was excited. Popcorn, cotton candy, and oversized plush toys awaited.

Finally, Peter returned. “I got it!” He held the back of his hand over his mouth, exhaling hot breath over the stamp.

“Quick, before it dries!”

The two boys pressed the backs of their hands together. Mitchell clamped his other hand over them like a vice, squeezing hard.

“Ow!”

“Gotta make sure it works.” Mitchell kept squeezing.

Peter gritted his teeth. “That’s enough!” He squirmed, pulling himself free.

Mitch looked at his hand. The stamp looked slightly faded, like it had nearly been washed off a day prior. “Good enough.”

Pete sighed. “Ya know Mitch, I woulda paid for your ticket.”

Mitchell just smiled. “What for?”

They had their fill of popcorn and cotton candy, and rode the Centrifury enough times to nearly puke it all back up.

Then they found the Pitching Game booth.

“Imma get one of the big Plushies.”

“Yeah, right!”

“Just watch.”

The booth operator handed Mitchell a baseball. . . Mitch loved baseball, so much that he’d taught himself a couple of illegal pitches in his spare time. He stood back, and cocked his arm.

The booth operator was standing aside, with his back to the wall. Mitchell let loose, throwing the mother of all curveballs; it hit the carny right on the nose, hard enough to knock his head back. In that instant, Mitchell snatched the biggest plushie on the stand, and ran. “Run, Pete!”

The boys quickly vanished into the crowd. Mitchell was laughing hysterically. “See? Told ya I’d get the big one!”

Peter said nothing.

“What?” Mitch asked.

“You’re a lousy friend, Mitch.”

“Wh-What?”

“You. Are. A. Lousy. Friend!” He walked away.

“Wait, Pete! I’m. . .”

Sorry, Mitchell thought.

Hastaw
Hastaw
10 days ago

Fountain Pen

By: Hastaw

The pen stood in a new, fresh environment. It took in the sparkling whites, the reflected yellows, and the delicate blue hues.
Before the pen understood what was happening, it would dance elegantly across the sparkling white environment. The heartbeat and the ink flowed out of its one foot. It was ecstatic, even though the motion felt out of place.

The bumpy textures rushed in and out of its perception, and although it stood unaware of its actions, it was happy to dance to its heart’s content.

It lay on its side for a second. What had it done? The landscape was once pure and light. It now stood with jagged black edges from where the pen had made its mark. The pain it had caused must have been excruciating.

It tried in every possible way with which it knew to fix the paper, but it was too late; the black poison had already sunk in. The pen wept; it had only known the kind of soft light that came from beneath its feet.

The pen fell into disrepair, vowing never to sputter or spread its dark mass again.

The author comes that day, encountering the pen. His late grandfather had given him decades prior. He sat in his usual spot and grabbed a piece of paper. The jewel of his writing career had lain here for quite some time.

When he went to use the pen, the pen refused to cooperate. Its dance cut short every time, and its ink would not flow. It didn’t matter what cartridge he tried to use. He mourned the last thing his grandfather grasped.

V3RU5
V3RU5
10 days ago

Duty or conscience?
By Vera

“Burn these” the king ordered, as he showed a stack of papers at Nathan.

The young man has been working with his clan for decades in the Royal archives, always dutifully copying writings the King wanted to save for future generations. And burning writings doomed for destruction.

Documents about all types of scandals, some innocent. Others severe enough to destroy the Royal family’s credibility for generations to come. Until now, Nathan has been a willing participant in all the lies told to the population, as a lowly archival, he had no authority for decisions, no responsibility.

He is no longer a lowly archival. His father passed away last month and the clan elders appointed him, Nathan the new head of the Greenleaf clan. In extension, this made him the new head archival of the royal archives. This gave him the authority to decide which writings to destroy and which ones to keep. He could no longer blame someone else for all the lies told, all the fake stories painting a picture that made the royal family seem like paragons of benevolence and honour. In reality, they were humans, just as fallible and puny, as any one of their subjects.

Nathan considered his options. While every head archival before him followed the King’s decision on what to add to the archives, there is no law demanding obedience from the head archival. The lower archivals to the head archival, sure. But no law stated that when the king demands had to be followed.

Then again, the king had the army under his command, and every judge in the realm. Nathan had seen documents about people being executed for treason, for crimes like catching the queen’s eyes, or obliviously talking to one of the princesses. Nathan expected a treason charge should he refuse the order to burn the papers in his hand.

If he complied, however…

“No” he said, picking his conscience over his duty. The king, nearly at the gate, froze in his steps.

“Excuse me?”

“I won’t burn these” Nathan said, sitting down, copying the pages, one by one.

Flamekin
Flamekin
10 days ago

Untitled
By Flamekin

Ink slowly dripped from the curved glass container into the white ceramic bowl suspended below it, making gentle ripples on the surface that seemed to dissipate far too soon. It was alone in the bare room, sitting directly on the wooden floor, amidst wooden walls, and a wooden ceiling. The steady dripping sound echoed softly but forcefully, filling the silence with a completeness that seemed impossible for such a small sound.

Outside, time flowed quickly, each person going about their daily lives in a mad rush. They went this way and that, never slowing down until the end of their lives when they finally slowed down enough to hear the steady drip, until eventually they were gone themselves, directly in time with the beat.

It was a very long time before anyone was able to find the bowl and the curious container, still dripping ink that never ran dry, and never filled. The ones that found it had all heard it, been given peace by it, the steady rhythm of the world. What they did not do, as anyone may have guessed, is leave it be. They were unable to foresee the consequences of their actions, and as they tried to pick it up, to move it, to sell it, they tipped the bowl. The weight of the world seemed condensed into those lost drops, far too heavy and filled with meaning that those men could have never guessed as they spilled onto the men’s hands and onto the floor.

Words cannot tell what was lost in the drops that fell to the floor, abandoned. But they can say what happened next. The ink stopped flowing, it would no longer flow, and the bowl would no longer fill.

Souls could no longer enter that world, and they could no longer leave it either.

Today, that place is one of decay, abandoned itself and has gone quiet, filled with rot and mold, a festering sore that cannot be healed. Ink still staining the hands of those that ruined it.

MelancholicOtaku
MelancholicOtaku
10 days ago

Charlie’s Playmate

By:MelancholicOtaku

In a small dainty town, where every house has a white picket fence,lived a boy named Charlie and his grandpa’s wacky ink machine. Oh how Charlie loved this machine giddily creating snizzles and giggles,wiggles and snuggles,each ink blob creating a super new friend.Everyday in this bland boring house ,one can hear laughter thru out this monochrome abode.

This machine is amazing grandpa! Charlie gleefully thought as he pulled and twisted,pushed and squeezed every button and lever to his heart’s delight.Not paying attention and lost in the moment why our little Charlie didn’t notice the creation of a new friend. Tall and sticky colored the figure was sporting a fancy cane and top hat.

“Why hello Charlie my dear wonderful friend,I am the splendid fantastic Mr.Quill.”he said promptly tapping Charlie with eyes wide open and a smile on his face.
“How do you know my name?” The boy asked surprised . The fabulous Mr.Quill tipped his fancy hat,giving the boy a Cheshire grin.
“Why, Charlie, I know everything about you,Mr. Quill began.
“Why I know about your favorite foods like goober berry pie and how much you love playing games like hide and seek.”

Suddenly, a huge smile showed the creature’s pearly whites as he took Charlie’s hands and said,
“Oh, Charlie, let’s play a game.” said Mr.Quill, squeezing the boys’ hands in delight.
“What type of game, Mr.Quill?”the boy asked barley keeping his excitement in.

The wonderful Mr.Quill gently removed his hands from the boys,giving a quick wink and a small poke on the nose before giddily answering a game of hide and seek.
“Now, Charlie, you hide and I shall seek it.”replied the fabulous Mr.Quill, closing his eyes and counting to three. Running around the house with absolute joy,why one could hear giggles and chuckles as Charlie
searched for his perfect hiding spot.

“Nine-ten.”Mr.Quill yelled as his form began taking a new shape.His teeth were replaced by sharp fangs,dripping a black liquidity substance,the shadow of a tentacle appearing on the wall.Crawling around this quaint little house ,searching from room to room for his new special treat.

contract
contract
10 days ago

Contract
by contract

I stood there in awe as the ink was slowly drying.
Every line, every loop, every drop of the blackest ink being digested by the thin and silky white paper.

My name was now engraved in it, at the very bottom of the page.

The white, almost transparent hand holding the sheet, agitated its long, unbelievably clean pale nails, without ever loosening its grip on the document.

“See, it wasn’t that hard.” said the figure hidden in the shadow, almost like a snake mocking its prey.

Despite the dark veil covering his slim silhouette, I was allowed to see his wide, white, unwhitering grin.

He opened his bright green eyes, shining like unnatural stars in the middle of the night.

“Your wish has been granted.” he whispered.

I looked at my hand. The remains of the ink had already dried on my skin and was starting to take a form. From now on, in the palm of my hand, was the signature of the being I mistrusted.

“I didn’t want you to go without…a reminder. I hope you are pleased.” He slowly murmured.

“A reminder ? You may sound impressive, but I have a trick for you. If I die, your contract will be meaningless. Checkmate !” I needlessly exclaimed, full of foolish confidence.

With pure anger and spite, I stabbed my heart with my spear like I was planning to do for years now, only to discover in horror, it was useless. I was still alive. Just felt more pain than usual.

The spear fell off and my body regrew as new, like nothing happened.

“You see, I have been here for a long time. I know all the loopholes. I made sure there isn’t any here. A contract is the most powerful thing you can dream of. It can not be broken. It will not be broken. Not Death, Not Time, not gods, not demons will ever be able to interfere with that. The only way for you to be free, is to do what is written here.” He said, in a disturbingly calm tone.

“I…I won’t do that. Never. Do you understand ? I can wait ad infinitum if needed. You won’t get what you want.” I protested.

“Disappointing.” He said in a loud, echoing voice.
“It doesn’t matter what you want. You signed. You agreed. You promised. The contract will oblige you. It can be very…convincing, you will see. I must go now. We will meet again, when the contract will decide it.”

He disappeared like a mirage, letting me alone in the grayness of the world.

Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
10 days ago

Paper People
by Lee Strangely (with help in editing from i-prefer-the-term-antihero)

I didn’t know where I was. The landscape was riddled with boulders eclipsing a harsh sun, and thin gnarly trees reaching to grab me. The sounds of hooves and feet thumped in lockstep with my rising heartbeat.

Moments ago, I was at my desk trying to finish a book… Now I cowered behind a rock on a battlefield.

Around me villagers ran in fear from hundreds of men on horseback. At least, I assumed they were men. They were… unnatural.

The riders backtracked to catch the ones who tried to hide. The sickness I felt watching it happen overpowered my sense of self-preservation. So—against my better judgment—I ran out to face the demons. No weapons. No training. Just an unarmed idiot with a death wish.

I ran at one of the riders and rammed them with my body. Perhaps it was the angle, or luck, but I sent them to the ground.

I turned to the local he was attacking. “You alright?”

He merely pointed behind me. I avoided major injury but the blade managed to cut my face. As he swung again, I grabbed his arm. …It crumbled in my hand like paper. He shrieked, retracting his arm. Trying to pull him in for a good punch I grabbed his other arm.

To my horror I ripped the thing clean off! He screamed like an animal as he fell to the ground, splattering me in something black as night that I could only assume was blood. The local I tried to protect, looking equally shocked, dropped to his knees.

“What are you…”

He muttered something I quickly realized was some sort of prayer.

“Look you don’t have to…”

Before I could finish, another person started doing the same.

“Please don’t do that. Look, I’m just a guy!”

Finally, another one nearby spoke, “No man has THAT strength.”

“So? I’m strong. There’s lots of strong people in the world.”

“But only the ink of a god runs red.”

“Ink?” instinctively I felt along my face. Looking back at my hand I saw the blood from my cut.

Sanguinerus
Sanguinerus
10 days ago

The Caged Quill

by Sanguinerus

She wanted to write, foolish girl.

She enjoyed telling stories, as a young child. Her friends would gather around and listen intently as she wove tales of wonder. I don’t know where she got it from. She was a strange child.

She found a book someone had discarded and with little help from a friend she taught herself to read at just six years old. Her mother bought her a book a year later. She said she loved the smell of the pages in a new book, just as I do.

She said she was inspired to write and she wanted to use my quill, my parchment and my ink. I put her in her place of course. I told her she should learn how to take care of a home. How to cook for her husband one day. She seemed to get the message for a while.

But then she disobeyed. After a while I noticed some of my parchment missing and my spare inkwell was half empty. One night I noticed a light shining, illuminating the edges of her bedroom door.
I entered to find her writing by the light of a lantern. I fell into a rage, I lost control.

Striking her sent the lantern across her bed. The heat of the fire grounded my emotions and I was somehow able to put out the fire before it spread too much but the damage was immeasurable. She had some terrible burns, including her hands.

For weeks she was a shell of her former self. She didn’t tell stories anymore. Infection took her a month later.
She had taken her bandages off and covered her hands in ink. A short while later we found the wall behind her wardrobe inscribed with a story of a young girl escaping from the bindings of a torturer.

Is that how she saw me? Everything I did was in her best interest. There is no place in the world for a woman who writes.

Pryzma
Pryzma
11 days ago

Reflection
(Prequel to Stupid Dragon Series)
by Pryzma / Drago

The Sea Dragon was sitting at the wooden harbor, looking at the red sunset reflecting on the the waves. Finned tail was moving slowly, eyes were half shut and posture a bit slouching with melancholic sadness in the air. He was sitting there for hours, every day, every week, looking at giant ships coming by. Always in one position, always looking at travellers coming from one specific place.

“Who are you waiting for?” said an old wrinkled granny passing by.
The sound startled Dragon. His eyes wide open in surprise and ears pointed at trespassing human.
” Ah… for… my mate. She’s a beautiful healer. Witty, no bullshit, rough gray fur, majestic feathered wings and orange eyes.”
he explained. For granny it sounded as if he was describing pigeon, but that’s okay.

“After I decided to stay here, my son and grandchildren have returned to our home over the sea, and I gave them a letter for her. Asking if she wants to come. Telling her how. It’s too far away for wings, but you humans have those funny wooden ships. Useful.” Dragon continued.

“Is that the mother of that son of yours?”

“Ha. No. No.” he laughed quietly, shaking his head. “We… can’t exactly have children you see. My son is a hatchling of my first love. She died years ago. Most of family did. Sometimes I wonder if it’s fair to love two, even if one is dead for such a long time. And sometimes I wonder if it is love or am I only deluding myself.”

The Granny left him alone, after few more exchanged words, and so he stayed for a little bit more. Waiting for h e r.
What happened to her? Was she safe? Did she simply decided to not come? Or did something happened during her travel and it was his fault now? He wondered.

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, months turned into years.

And she’d never came.

Mango Gravy
Mango Gravy
11 days ago

The Hundred Hands
By Mango Gravy

Before the beginning there was only a dichotomy.

Below was the Everything. All forms and thoughts in a blend so dense that no form or thought could be discerned therein. It was Infinity. But it was not everywhere, for right above it was the Nothing. Potential in its purest form, it was clarity without limit, absence absolute. But it was not inviolable, for black and white inevitably mix, creating wonderful greys in the space between.

On the first day, the Everything began to ripple and quake, and out of it came a single drop of everything. The first Something. But then there were two, then three. They grew and took shape. There, in the space between Everything and Nothing, were a great many little somethings. A Hundred Hands.

They sought to populate the Nothing. Reaching blindly into the darkness they came from, they used whatever they found to fill the empty space. They found stars, planets, mountains and oceans, beasts and trees. And at last they brought us out of the primordial waters, greatest and least of them all. But the Everything has yet to be depleted, and the Nothing has yet to be filled. They have all the time in the world, but none to spare for us, so they departed to continue their work.

But there we were, eyes wide at the world around us. With our minds we reached into the Everything and filled the world. Not with material, but with names. We named the stars, the planets, the mountains and oceans, the beasts and the trees. And lastly, we named ourselves.

And when there was nothing and no one left to name we turned our attention towards that which we couldn’t see. Some say that whenever you name something you’ve never seen, it makes it easier for the Hundred Hands to find it in the Everything.

So cast your minds into the black waters and see what wondrous things you bring to light. The Hundred Hands may never thank you for it, after all they are just hands, but the universe is fuller for it.

Last edited 11 days ago by Mango Gravy
Timberwolf
Timberwolf
11 days ago

Every Letter, Every Report
by Timberwolf

Two Rintian youths entered the bar, making no effort to keep their conversation to themselves.

“I’m telling you, this peace treaty is an insult.”

The taller Rintian simply bobbed in agreement. They approached the bar and asked for some drinks. As they waited they noticed an old Human sitting at the bar swirling their drink, trying to make themselves small.

“Enjoying your peace, Human?” The shorter of the two spat, careful to emphasize the word ‘peace’.

The old Human didn’t reply. The Rintians’ drinks arrived and they turned to leave. It was then that the Human softly spoke up.

“I didn’t fight in the war, Rintian.”

“Then you’re a coward too,” the taller Rintian countered.

The Rintians started quietly congratulating each other on their way out when the Human spoke again, stopping them in their tracks.

“Nine hundred and eighty six thousand, nine hundred and seventy two.”

The Rintians turned. “What?”

“That’s how many Human soldiers and sailors died in the fighting. How many lives shattered.”

The Rintians shared a glance. They were getting agitated.

“And how many do you think we lost, Human? Your underhanded tactics lack the glory of battle.”

“Glory?” The Human asked, still staring at their drink. “Thirty four thousand four hundred and thirteen. Glory will not soothe the orphans you’ve made.”

The shorter Rintian started fuming.

“We were a proud species and your peace treaty has left us with nothing!”

“Twenty million, rounded down. That’s how many of your soldiers’ lives were saved with the treaty.”

“Saved? Saved?!” The Rintian roared. “We prided ourselves on our armies and the glory of battle! Now we beg you Humans for scraps!”

“I was there when the terrible declaration of war arrived,” the Human said, “and I was there to sign the treaty.”

The Rintian’s anger seemed to falter. The old Human downed their drink and got up from their seat to face them. The Human’s presence seemed to grow until it filled the room.

“You speak of a soldier’s actions written in blood, Rintian.” The Human spoke. “But their legacy is written in ink.”

Last edited 11 days ago by Timberwolf
Reinkarnitor
Reinkarnitor
12 days ago

Ink for me, but Real to them

by Reinkarnitor

Ink in my hands.

I formed it all as it is today. I made the great plateau, which harbours all, I made the thick forest in the West, raised the tall Mountains in the North, flooded the mighty swamp in the East, sprouted the green grasslands in the South and filled the centre with an ocean deep.

Ink in my hands.

I carved an island and threw it into the sky, so it will remain there forevermore, a place dreamt about by generations.

Ink in my hands.

I created wise spirits in the forest, fiery dragons in the mountains and mighty angels in the sky.

Ink in my hands.

I created fierce beasts, stubborn dwarves, sturdy lizardmen, immortal elves, and mortal men. I lead them to the lands where they should live, and I taught them how to build.

Ink in my hands.

I watched them build golden cities, and underground fortresses, I watched them form the very trees to make them their homes. I watched them go to war against each other, and then make peace again when they realized that it was pointless.

Ink in my hands.

I saw them all stand together, to defend their world…my world…until the very end against a foe so terrible that no one could ever imagine it.

Ink in my hands…is it now?

No.

This world which I created is so much more. It shall never cease to be! Their faith in me shall never be unrewarded! No matter what happens, I will stand behind them, even if they don’t realize it, so in the end they can live.

Because if it is real to them, then I have no right to say that it is just…

…Ink in my hands.

Boople
Boople
12 days ago

Stains of guilt
By: Boople

Derrick hadn’t seen his parents in a very long time. After all, what good soldier has time to spend in the first place. He had to train both mind and body to be just the soldier his nation needed, and even though he took pride in what he was becoming, it was the letters from his parents that kept him motivated. The both of them loved calligraphy, they said it was the most expressive way to communicate when not face to face. And their letters showed it as beautiful flowing strokes blessed the paper with their love. The smell of their homemade ink always reminded Derrick of home.

Each letter encouraged him to follow his heart and protect what he loved. So Derrick trained. He became such a good soldier.

And a good soldier follows orders.

The smell of hot metal and gunpowder polluted the air. The walls of the room had been gifted a new pop of color at the pull of a trigger. Two more suspects were crossed off the list.

As Derrick waited for his next wave of instruction he went off to the desk one of the targets was at. He was curious as to what the pair was doing before he showed up, so he pushed a body off the desk to get a better look. All that was there was some paper and ink, which at first excited him. He thought for a sec he’d intercepted some important information, but quickly realized that wasn’t the case. The writing was in plain English for anyone to read, it was far too pretty, and that type of ink he knew all too well would take too long to dry to be any good for timely reconnaissance. He picked up the letter to get a better look at it. What wasn’t smeared from the body that fell on it was now dripping with blood, but he could make out a few words. And the smell of familiar ink broke him.

“We love you Derrick”

MasaCur
MasaCur
12 days ago

In The Slammer
By MasaCur

The cell door locked shut with a loud thunk. Cristian looked down at his fingers, black with ink after being fingerprinted. Ryan, seemingly without a care in the world, laid down on the bench along the wall, a grin on his face.

“I want to talk with my lawyer!”

Cristian looked over to the cell across from them, as the door was locked shut. Inside was a latina woman, or at least, so she appeared. Cristian knew better. This wasn’t his first encounter with her.

“You’ll all get a chance to make some phone calls in an hour or two,” the deputy sheriff said as he opened the door from the holding area. “In the meantime, I suggest you make yourselves comfortable.” He left, slamming the door shut.

“This is your fault, you idiots!” the woman, Eva, yelled. “If you didn’t stick your nose in where it didn’t belong…”

“We weren’t the ones trying to steal money, hermana!” Cristian shot back.

Ryan chuckled.

“What are you laughing at?” Cristian asked. “Tell me you have a plan.”

“Maybe.” Ryan’s grin never left his face. “You two keep arguing among yourselves.”

Cristian looked down at his fingers again. “I’ve managed to go twenty-six years without getting arrested. Everyone’s going to be so disappointed in me.”

“I’ve never been arrested either, pendejo!” Eva yelled back.

“Shocked, considering what a thief you are! I’m not in the habit of breaking the law!”

“Impersonating agents from Homeland Security seems like a crime to me, dipshit!”

Ryan sat up, his grin growing wider. He spun his finger, seeming to indicate that he wanted them to continue.

“What are you doing?” Cristian asked.

“No, keep arguing. She just called you a dipshit.” Ryan raised his hand to the lock on the cell door and knocked twice. There was a soft thunk as it released, and the door creaked open.

“Hey, let me out, too!” Eva hissed.

“Why should we?” Cristian shot back.

“So I don’t yell for the police.”

Ryan nodded, then unlocked Eva’s cell the same way. “You need to come with us, though.”

Xodyc
Xodyc
12 days ago

Labels
Written by: Xodyc

If you experienced even a second of what I go though, you will reject humanity the same that I do now.

It started like any other day. Something was different, however, and fate made it quite apparent as a stranger approached me from behind while I finished my day in my living room.

“Judge them.” He said, “Judge. Them. All.”

I never saw who it was, but I felt a weight of an item in my left hand that wasn’t there before. The item was a fountain pen.

I soon found out the correlation between the pen and what happened that evening. Roughly a month after that stranger appeared in my living room, A man was walking alongside me down a crosswalk in the city. Without warning, the pen began to leak; its piercing black ink passing over my clothes without staining them, down to my hands, with dripping thick beads that splattered on the ground. The strangers’ words echoed in my mind as I swiftly and silently, as if by instinct, moved myself to face the man head on, then grabbed the pen from my jeans pocket. The pen itself began to guide me, creating strokes in the air in front of him. His face of shock mirrored my own as the pen had written the word “Adulterer” in the air. After the word was finished, it attached itself to his body, then stretched and replicated itself everywhere it could be seen.

Screaming, he dropped his briefcase, which spilled its contents: a list of phone numbers, three burner phones, and a single wedding ring.

Since then, anyone who is deemed to be judged by this pen has been marked with the crime against humanity that they have committed.

DaLeen
DaLeen
12 days ago

Make Me Suffer (Cursed Existence II)
By Taja DaLeen

I am still cursed. You still did not let me forget.

I still know.

Not that it would matter to you. It’s not like it was your family and friends that suddenly weren’t really yours anymore.

It’s not you that is the odd one out, that has thoughts and knowledge not known to anyone else around you.

Every time I am with my loved ones I need to suppress these musings in the back of my mind. This fear of what you will do to us next.

Before this curse, I wouldn’t have worried, would have thought chances to be too low for anything like this to happen.

But you still made it happen.

Why though? Why do you do this? Does it give you some weird kind of satisfaction to have this happen to us? To let us, to let me suffer?

I think it does. Why else shouldn’t this be about something fun? Or romantic, or just everyday life?

Or is it that you want to impress people? People you don’t even truly know, that ultimately won’t care? And with pretending to write about topics deeper than they really are, no less.

Your thoughts are nothing special.

And yet you still apparently enjoy making me suffer this much. Do you like this story?

And… do you really want to kill me? Is it that necessary? Again, why? Just why?

And if I indeed die here, due to decisions that you made for me, things that happened because you wanted them to; will I actually bleed?

Is it blood in my veins, or just ink? I am but a fictional character after all, only existing on these pages.

But does it even matter?

It is just the way you want it to be. No matter whether it is blood or ink, it will be on you. You made this happen. Consciously.

It is your hands my ink will stain.

Aracnarquista
Aracnarquista
12 days ago

Dangerous Dealings
by Aracnarquista

I had just closed the door after entering my office when I sensed I wasn’t alone.

“It is quite the place you have here, Parom. Granted, not as luxurious as Zelda’s. But, between you and me, she has way too much resources and way too little aesthetic sense to pair it with. You, on the other hand, have taste.”

Baruch. He was sitting on my chair, glass in his hand. He had poured himself from my whiskey, as if he owned the place.

“You don’t seem happy to see me. I’m sorry if I came unannounced. After your last visit, I thought I should return the favor. Whiskey?”

My blood ran cold. It was obvious he knew it was me that broke into his inner sanctum – the point was him knowing who did it. But the effect intended was for him to be as frightened as never to question Zelda’s wishes again.

It clearly had not worked as intended.

“What is it that you want, Baruch?”

“A great question. At first, I just wanted to be left alone. To run my business without your boss interfering. But after that visit… Well, I don’t think being left alone is on the table anymore, right?”

He didn’t seem to be armed, but he was a skilled magician, who managed to enter my office undeterred. He could be hiding all sorts of tricks.

“After you left that surprise in my study, things changed. I know it was you, and I know you were following Zelda’s orders. But I can not legally prove it. As you can’t prove I’ve been here.”

That’s where he was wrong. I produced my pistol and aimed at his eyes.

“Your corpse here will be proof enough of your trespassing .”

I pressed the trigger. It didn’t budge.

“Too bad they won’t find it, then. I made a deal with your guns – a deal too good for them to refuse. They won’t hurt me. Not a single one of them.”

I tried the trigger again. Still, no budge.

“How about a deal? No more unannounced visits.”

Joe
Joe
13 days ago

Written

By Joe

The Little Protagonist stared up from the book it arose from into the giant’s mournful eyes.

“Wh-what is this?” They stumbled.

The giant took its time to answer. “Hello, Liam,” it said as if reuniting with an old friend.

Liam was shaken. “Wh-who are you?”

The giant put a hand over it’s chest. “My name is Joe,” It said gently. “I’m an author, and I…I made you.”

Liam stumbled backwards fell on his back. “No. No no NO NO!” He cried. The tears fell, and Liam looked up at his creator’s mournful eyes. There was only one question he could think to ask this monster. “Why did you write me this way?”

Joe readily let his tears go and answered. “Everything I put you through has a basis in my world, even your friends experiences.”

“But why?”

“You already know. Our worlds are not that different, except for the fantastical twists.”

“Are you written by someone else?” Liam asked holding his knees in.

“I don’t know.”

“Lucky you.”

They sat for a while.

“What was it all for?” Liam asked. “You wrote so much bloodshed and heartache. M-my friends they’re…” he choked.

“They suffered a lot. I do feel bad for writing them that way. But it’s because people suffer in my world that I made yours to reflect it and my own desire for a different ending.”

“What kind if monster are you to write terrible things happening to us?”

“The kind that wants to give others another way to look at things. One of your friends got better after their losses, and I hope that writing her that way will help others cope with theirs. ‘From within I am not a monster. I am my true self, and my true self will help my friends.’ That was her admittance and her pledge.”

“It was nice,” Liam wiped his face. “So is it all over?”

“Not by a long shot. I just wanted to talk to you before I wrote the ending.”

“Will we be happy?”

“You’ll heal,” Joe said as he shut the book.

Faustini
Faustini
13 days ago

Theatrics
By: Spawn of Faust

Boss always had a special place in his heart for theatrics. It was even more true for those that made something to displease him. Do not assume anything, he was a good boss but do something he didn’t approve of, and you would see true creativity.

The theatrics and his flare for drama and poetic justice could get pricey. But if the Boss wanted something he would get it done and all costs be damned.

And today was no different. My hands were coated in a thick layer of black substance as I submerged them into the bucket once again. In my hands I held today’s target of the Bosses ire.

Bubbles emerged to the surface of the liquid, and I yanked his head up once again. My victim has been beaten, bruised and ink was dripping from his face.

“Do you know why I am doing this to you?” I asked calmly.

The man in my hands squirmed and shaked his head.

“So, you don’t know? Let me make it clear to you then. I know that you have been writing. Boss knows it too and in his own words he is quite a fan. All those answers to the prompts. But the last time was over the line.”

Writer finally managed to get darkness from his eyes. And in those I could see a pure terror.

“Ahh, I see that you know what you did wrong. But if it still wasn’t clear to you. You have written one word too many.”

Man’s scream was silenced as his head was once again submerged into the liquid. He trashed. He squirmed and he kicked. All of those and more until he didn’t.

I pulled my hands free from the bucket and slowly walked away from the room. One last glance back at hundreds of tiny ink bottles left behind.

Boss always had a flair for theatrics.

Alex
Alex
13 days ago

Writing Lessons (Exile Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)

“Pits!” Naerahine couldn’t keep in her frustration.

“Little ink mishap?” Janeah chuckled. “Don’t worry. Happens to the best of us.”

Naerahine wiped some of the spilled ink off her fingers, not having the nerve to tell Janeah that she’d just twisted the knife deeper. She picked up the brush and dipped it into the ink again. Her hand quaked, as she raised it over the parchment, ink dripping from the brush and her hand.

“If you keep hovering like that, your letter will be nothing but splotches. Unless that’s what you want…”

“Just… be quiet. I need to think.”

Naerahine noticed the snappiness in her own voice, but didn’t care. She just swung her brush over the parchment as best she could. Janeah followed the shapes she drew with her eyes.

“Naerahine…” she said, her voice cautious and calm. “Can you write?”

“Of course I can write,” Naerahine lied. “What do you think I’m doing.”

She gritted her teeth, tracing her brush over the parchment, knowing full well that she couldn’t fool Janeah. She was fully literate and multi-lingual. Among all the beasts and vile landscapes in the Exile, nothing frustrated Naerahine more than being the only one in their crew, who was illiterate.

Janeah sat down next to Naerahine. She felt the cold hand of her friend on her arm.

“If you need help…”

“I don’t need your help. I don’t need anyone’s help.”

Janeah withdrew her hand.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to push. I’ll leave you to it.”

Naerahine heard the clomping of Janeah’s hooves retreating from the table. She felt a pang of regret and… she did need help.

“Wait…” she swallowed hard, pushing aside her pride. “Teach me. I want to learn how to read and write.”

Janeah stopped and turned, smiling at Naerahine, showing her fangs.

“Alright.”

“One word to the others…” Naerahine warned.

“It’ll be our secret.”

Janeah returned to Naerahine’s side, crumpled up the parchment and pushed it aside, staining her own fingers with ink.

“Let’s start small,” Janeah unrolled a second piece of parchment and picked up the brush.

Makokam
13 days ago

Worse Than Glitter (Chronicles of The Dragon)
By Makokam

“Mother! FUCKER!”

Everyone in the base looked up as the cry echoed through the halls. The closest ones even looked down the hall towards her door.

Thomas poked his head out of his workshop. “Was that… Jostica?”

“AAAAUUGGHHH!!!”

Jostica burst out of her room with an uncharacteristic fury. Eyes wide, teeth clenched and bared, hands held up in front of her, fingers tensed into claws and dripping black she rushed down the hall. “Get OUT of my WAY!”

She barreled through the common area and shouted “MOVE!” at Khalid as they watched from the kitchen door.

He hopped out of the way.

Jostica reached the sink and with a final grunt of frustration she turned the water on and started pouring soap into her hands.

Her teammates were watching from the other room, and Blaise glared at Thomas, then jabbed her finger towards the kitchen.

“What?” He said.

“Go find out what’s wrong!” she whisper shouted.

“Why me?”

“She’s less likely to hurt you.”

Grumbling, Thomas walked into the kitchen.

Jostica continued scrubbing vigorously at her blackened hands and arms, now only a dark grey, muttering fiercely under her breath.

“What happened?”

Jostica froze. Then slammed her hands on the sink.

“The bottle of ink I just bought fell, and I tried to catch it, but it shattered. Over EVERYTHING!”

Thomas shifted, trying to think of a decent response. “Well, you can fix that with magic, can’t you?”

“Yes. Maybe. Probably. I don’t know. I don’t KNOW one. And I can’t go looking through my spell-books until I get this shit off my hands!” She slammed her hands on the sink and started pouring more soap onto her hands.

Thomas sighed and rubbed at his eyes. “Okay, well, stop wasting the dish soap. I’ve got some stuff in my workshop specifically for grease and oil. It’s got pumice in it too.”

Jostica took a deep breath, and then slowly let it out. “Thank you.”

That_guy
That_guy
13 days ago

Caught Black-Handed

By That_guy

“Okay,” I began, “How exactly did this happen to begin with?” I frantically stand there and look at the inky mess splattered around the coffee table. Resting face-down in a pool of oily ink lies the famous cartoon mascot, Mickey the Rabbit. In stark contrast, my friend Ellis is judging the situation as if it were a minor inconvenience. Something akin to having a flat tire or a student explaining why they were late to class.

“Okay man.” Ellis starts, “Well, I was cleaning out my handgun while watching some funny cartoons on the boob tube. You know, like the black and white ones. By the time I’m already finished, this goddamn sonuvabitch just pops out of the screen and I pull the trigger. I try to clean up the blood, or well, ink so I called to see if you could help me clean up this mess. This shit’s hard to clean out. Had to scrub it out of my hands for like half an hour.”

I take a deep breath. “You want me to help you clean up the crime scene of a dead cartoon character.”

“Yeah, that’s pretty much the gist.”

“Did you ever think that maybe it’s not a good idea to shoot people that jump out of the TV screen?”

“How the hell was I supposed to know that a cartoon was gonna jump out of my screen man?!” Ellis says in a defensive tone. “Besides, he’s a cartoon character. I didn’t know that a bullet would have killed him, man! They get squashed and smothered by anvils and walk it off like it’s a scrape on the knee!”

I begin to panic. “I don’t think you realize the important issue at hand. You just killed a cultural icon.”

“What’s even the appeal of him anyways? He’s just a rabbit?” Ellis asks.

“He’s not just a rabbit. He’s a wascally wittle wabbit, that’s the appeal.”

“Well, listen, just help me clean this shit up before anyone finds out.” I knew that from that moment onwards, it was going to be a rather eventful day.

Last edited 11 days ago by That_guy
Galer
Galer
13 days ago

Ink of life

By Galer

“And done,” said Juan while cleaning his child from the ink in his hands with water from a bucket “now you are next”

Juan pointed to a strange entity that was a tangled mess covered in dirt made by his son, it was one of the many living doodles in this city.

Some people created this being by gifting their essence to the ink giving it life with this unique power, though they were rare across the world, everyone knew it was a random process, and manifesting it early also was a dice roll.

A few abused these abilities to do crimes of course, including selling these sentient inky beings that were given rights in the black market.

Something Anitha and his wife Juan considered deplorable, doing their best to raise their son to be responsible with this talent.

Now if Anthony didn’t do doodles with ink all the time on the walls it would be easier

“We need to hide the ink in a better place,” Anitha said ” I swear our kid always finds it somehow”

“Perhaps if someone didn’t bribe his created siblings with cookies to spy on us of course.” Juan said while washing the doodle and quickly Looked at Anthony that had the decency to look ashamed, although the rascal wasnt the couple knew it “Anthony I know you love to do it, but you don’t want you, mother, to have a heart attack right?”

The child shook his head “No”

“Anthony my dear child” Anitha interjected, “you are aware you aren’t allowed to touch ink for a month after this right?”

Anthony frowned pouting and kicked the dirt as if saying that wasnt fair Anitha just gave him a firm look.

“well it is done,” Juan said with a smile finishing the last touches on the ink sibling ” you can now play with them, Anthony”

The child beamed, along with his twenty doodle siblings and then they ran into the garden of the house.

Both mothers warned about playing too rough and just smiled sunnily at their joyful children.

C. M. Weller
13 days ago

Ink is Better Than Blood (A Devil’s Tale)
C. M. Weller

“Lord Hellkin,” said a voice full of vengeance and spite, using a name he hadn’t heard in years.

Adept Veringa. He hadn’t seen her since they were both Novices. Now, they were both Adepts. Officially, they were equals.

She had thrown him onto a rock when they were teenagers, breaking his arm in the process. Even though he had lost the tournament, he had won Trainee that day. She had remained a Novice for three more weeks.

She had to be sore about that. He saluted her properly. “Adept Veringa. Congratulations on your achievement.”

“Stow your sarcasm, Hellkin. I know I’ve BEEN better than you since you drew breath.”

“You want a duel to prove it.” He sighed and rolled his eyes. “As you will.” He went without protest to the ring for such purposes and waited in the corner with the worst luck. He was not a superstitious devil.

She began with the insults. Trying to goad him. “I’ve been adventuring in the real world to prove myself. Have YOU shed a drop of blood… Lorebinder?” It was supposed to be an insult, but in copying books, the Hellkin also read them.

He set up a patient defense and waited for his Gnome rival to attack. “I was given to understand that shedding blood was a sign of lost control.” Gently alluding to that which won him Trainee position weeks before her.

She attacked. He fended her off easily. Adept Veringa allowed herself to be sloppy where a Hellkin would be judged far more harshly. The more he threw aside her blows, the fiercer and wilder her attacks.

He didn’t understand. She was smaller. She had leverage on her side. She could scale him like a ladder and throw him off his feet with centrifugal force. But no, she kept wearing herself out with leaps at his head.

When she finally submitted to her exhaustion, he offered her an ink-stained hand. “Perhaps some reading and writing would do you far better than it did me?”

As always, his offers of peace were taken as deadly insults.

Last edited 9 days ago by C. M. Weller
WriterOfThought
WriterOfThought
13 days ago

Prelude to a Picture
WriterOfThought

Jason had wondered when his time would come. When he would teach his grandchild the art that his family bore. But, like twins, this art skipped a generation, and he was never able to teach his son, just as his mother was unable to teach him. He had to learn from his grandfather in those fleeting years before his passing, and he would have to do the same for his grandchild.

When Rachel was born, he was ecstatic beyond description. He saw how bright she was, even as a baby, and he immediately began preparations. Any baby toy remotely related to drawing was given at all visiting occasions. Magnetic drawing boards and etch-a-sketches came as she got older, and then dry-erase boards until finally he knew she was ready for ink and paper, the tools of their trade.

Her training started simply enough. Regular visits had her conjuring ladybugs from her line work, and irises flowed from the inkwell. Even by her tenth birthday, she had progressed enough to summon snails out of squiggles.

But he knew it wouldn’t last. After all, he only had his grandfather’s instruction until he was fourteen, and she was nearly sixteen now. Sadly, with this power came a great burden.

He was amazed she had been able to create him at all. A fully grown man, but it had exhausted so much of her power that she quickly faded into unconsciousness. It was lucky he had been visiting that day, or he wouldn’t have been able to see this wonder she had conjured. Sure, small things were simple, but nothing with a soul had ever been made to his knowledge.

But with a soul, it also contained rage, and the last thing Jason thought as he conjured a shield from his sketchbook was “I must protect my granddaughter,” but his elderly nature gave him little strength to continue that defense. In the end, he left this world still holding that shield.

And Rachel would have to continue on alone.

Skeleton
Skeleton
13 days ago

The Embrace of Darkness (The Will)
By Skeleton

Ink was a lot like blood in Remianna’s eyes. It stained her porcelain-white scales and its odour wafted and clung to the top of her mouth—something she would never forget.

Its purpose, too, was similar, being the lifeblood of all recorded knowledge and history, emotions and strategy, love and economy. It flowed through pens and books, and got old and unreliable as time continued on, uncaringly. Without it, civilization would not be alive. Moments of time precious to us would be lost like leaves amongst the mulch. The world would bleed out its discoveries to never again be seen.

“Oh!” Oyla, her salt-and-pepper avonis friend lamented. “So sorry, Remianna! You’d think I’d be a little more careful after being promoted.”

But ink was cold.

She could feel the lifelessness between her claws—sinking deeper into her dress. It wasn’t as beautiful, or as fleeting as blood. Ink never made her feel wanted.

Oyla tried in vain to clean up the mess she had made, but the damage was done. The regal dragoness’ dress was ruined, and it would take weeks to get the stains off of her scales. The avonis sighed. “I’m—”

“You were asking me rather angrily why I married Eymir,” Remianna continued, looking down to the pooling, black ink on pristinely white paper, not bothered in the slightest. Oyla seemed a bit cautious now, as she was expecting a stern sigh in response. “It’s because he makes me happy—makes me feel as if I’m not the only one looking for answers.”

The dragoness’ fellow mage looked at her as if she were insane. “H… he’s going to kill you, you know,” Oyla stated firmly. “He’s going to kill all of us—prophecy dictates it.”

“Then why does it matter if he kills me if I’m going to die by his hand anyways?” Remianna shot back. Oyla shook her head and turned away, so she continued. “I made him a promise that I would help him be free of the Forbearer inside him, and I made a promise to myself to be happy. I intend to keep them.”

Iosef Paramonov
Iosef Paramonov
13 days ago

Cephalopod Game
by Iosef Paramonov

All the denizens of the sea, fins, claws, tentacles, and teeth, were eyeing the playing field with intense concentration.

At one end of a bright red coral sat an octopus, whose colouration flickered between purple and white. One of its arms scratched its head in deep thought. Its enormous eyes were fixed hard on their objectives; one on the board, one on its opponent…

Opposite the octopus sat a diver in a black wetsuit, her hand stroking her chin. A sigh of bubbles would occasionally stream from beneath her mask. Her red hair swayed in the currents, like polyps filtering particles of thought.

Between the two towered a Giant Squid, its arms and tentacles buried deep within the seabed like roots. Only the odd bubble from the depths of its mantle hinted that it was alive; otherwise, it didn’t move. The board and its players were consumed by its pitch-black eyes…

A colourful array of shells and stones littered the coral: dull grey oysters, cheerful yellow snails, poison green serpentinites, gentle pink crystals. Two flawless pearls gleamed from either end of the coral.

The octopus stretched an arm and lifted an orange-spotted clam. Another arm slapped an oyster off the coral. The clam was placed in the oyster’s place.

A flurry of bubbles went up from the crowd. It stopped when the diver raised her hand.

She picked up a lilac crystal and placed it in the mouth of a mussel. In one fluid motion, she knocked the octopus’ pearl off the table and lay her pieces in its place.

A sea of bubbles flooded the arena. Dolphins danced, sea snakes spun, and fish flew about in celebration.

The octopus’ eyes were transfixed on the board in shock and confusion. It glanced furiously at the diver as she extended a hand to it. A cloud of ink consumed her as her eight-limbed opponent stormed off.

A thick tentacle patted her surprisingly gently on her shoulders. The diver looked up into the bottomless pupils of the Giant Squid.

It winked.

Last edited 13 days ago by Iosef Paramonov
Tamela Redfin
Tamela Redfin
13 days ago

I have it in Writing (Tales of Violet)

By Tamela Redfin

A few weeks passed and we were forced to depart from Adler. I was walking with my mom, when we heard a flat voice cry out, “Halt! Who goes there?”

Mom slowly walked holding her hands up to surrender. “Henry? Please…”

“What are you doing here? Why shouldn’t I crush you where you stand.” He spat.

Before she could stop me, I ran out. “No, please don’t hurt her. She’s trying to find shelter.”

Mom sighed, “Do as you wish to me, but… don’t kill your daughter.”

He looked into my dark eyes. Without Augen to keep up maintenance on my mom or my eyes, they were reverting to their original colors. “Her eyes are purple.”

“Yes, they are. Listen, the only way we take down Augen and save Western Rolt, is if we do it together. I’ll do whatever I need to save the country I so recklessly drove into the ground. But I need the help of you and Grey Rose.”

“How can I trust you don’t turn us all in?” Henry asked.

“What if we signed a pact? If I break it, you may do as you wish to me. But I just beg that you protect my family.”

“I will speak with Salvador about this. He leads Grey Rose. In the meantime, we’ll cuff you.” I hated seeing that happen to my mom.

Later in the week, Salvador, Henry, and my mom were gathered around a table. Humans and cyphas surrounded the table.

“People of Western Rolt…” Mom announced, “First off, the accent was fake. But more importantly, from this day forward, we work together to save our country from impending doom. I am aware not many of you approve of me, but to show my support of humans and cypha-kind, I sign Der Lila Tropfen Pact.”

A few people cheered.

“I too sign the pact,” Salvador added and the cyphas cheered. Then Henry signed without a word.
“For Western Rolt!” Mom held an ink-smeared hand up.

Marx
Marx
13 days ago

Sharing Is Caring
By Marx

“Why am I sitting on the floor?” asked Mara.

Laila glared at the demon. “Because you keep taking my sword! It’s forged from my soul! It’s… intimate! I’m teaching you how to make your own!”

“But I like your sword. And our souls are connected by Matt anyway, so…”

Laila scowled. “Close your eyes!”

Mara blanked for a moment then obeyed. “…I think I like it when you get all bossy.”

A subtle blush colored Laila’s cheeks as she joined Mara on the floor. “Sh… shut up. Don’t be weird. Just close your eyes and focus.”

“Is this even gonna work? Isn’t forging soul-swords an angel thing?”

Laila rolled her eyes. “As you said, our souls are connected. This should work for you too. Now focus.”

Mara smirked. “Focus on what?”

“Your soul. Acknowledge it as a whole. Yes… just like that… but try to keep it focused on YOUR soul. I know it’s a bit crowded in here.”

“Understatement…”

“You’re doing fine. Now… think of Matt…” Laila’s eyes shot open as her cheeks burned again. “N… not like THAT! I meant in the sense of wanting to protect him! To be his weapon!”

“You should’ve been more specific.” Mara grinned wickedly.

“Just do it…”

“Fine…”

“Good. Good… Now take that and focus it in your hands. Imagine your soul pouring into them. Yes… Now… open your eyes.”

When Mara did, she was surprised to see a formless black blob of energy floating just above her hands.

“Now grab the hilt.”

“There… is no hilt…”

Laila smirked. “Then make one.”

Mara hesitated before grabbing at the blob, which immediately formed into a hilt. And connected to it was a huge black and red flaming sword covered in spikes.

“Bitchen…” Mara stared at the blade in awe.

“See?” Laila grinned back. “You feel that connection? Now imagine someone else using it.”

“I won’t have to.” Mara tossed the new sword in Laila’s lap.

“Wait… what?”

“I still like yours more.” Mara held out her hand, summoning Laila’s blade.

“That’s not-… Hey! Get back here!” Laila cried out, chasing after the demon.