Writing Group: The Bomb Under the Table

Hello, Fuses and Defusers!

 So what’s your favorite part of baseball? Yeah? I like it when they throw the ball. Uh huh. Wait a second, what’s my foot touching? OH MY GOSH—

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

The Bomb Under the Table

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!

Let us begin with the most obvious and literal take on the prompt. There are plenty of interesting stories you can tell that include a literal bomb waiting in the most mundane of places, and what your characters do about it. 

You could also play around with what your “bomb” is. Perhaps it’s a stink bomb, a smoke bomb. Maybe it’s a piece of gum stuck under the table. The bad grades the teenager holds under the table, the paper trembling. A mischievous child giggling while their family tries to have a normal dinner. 

But this prompt isn’t just literal. It’s far more versatile than it might seem. 

It is a reference to a type of dramatic irony explained by Alfred Hitchcock. You have two scenes: one in which a group sit around the table and talk about baseball, then, after five minutes, a bomb goes off, blowing them to smithereens; the other in which the same group of people sit around and talk about baseball, but the audience can see the bomb under the table the whole time, and know it’ll go off in five minutes. While the scene is technically the same, the emotion the audience feels has completely changed. In scenario one, the conversation is dull, the shock short-lived. In the second, tensions rise for multiple minutes as the audience begs the characters to find the bomb and do something about it. 

Something else interesting Hitchcock says is that the bomb must never go off; you can’t work up the audience and provide no relief. Someone’s foot can touch the bomb, they help get everyone out, then let it go off. How can you apply this to your stories?

If we apply this definition, many more possibilities are opened up. Your “bomb under the table” doesn’t have to include a bomb or a table. You just have to write a scene that follows this guideline of mounting tension. Tell or show the audience something that the characters can’t see that changes how they view the scene. Perhaps it’s something only the narrator knows, or perhaps it’s something one of the characters know that the others don’t.

Perhaps the audience knows that there is a trap hidden in the floor, so as the character puts their foot inches from it, the audience holds their breath. Maybe we know that the tea the character is about to drink is poisoned, when they don’t. Perhaps, on a sweeter level, we know that one character intends to propose, so as things get in the way, we get more desperate and excited. 

This prompt isn’t very Christmassy, however; my extra challenge for you this week is to make it so. I challenge you to take this potentially violent and un-holiday themed prompt, and make it something cute and festive. 

—GUYS, THERE’S A BOMB UND—! What? It’s not a bomb? It’s just your kid’s toy? Whoops…hehe…false alarm.

—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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Arith_Winterfell
Arith_Winterfell
30 days ago

“Open and Accepting”

By: Arith_Winterfell

Ratickey was about to explode at Big Burtha, but held his tongue. Big Burtha sat across the table at the inn with their fellow adventurers. The creaking of her chair beneath her was drown out by the tavern’s din. She was dual wielding two turkey legs, and was wolfing them down in turn.

“You see,” Burtha continued with her mouth half-full, “our congregation is very accepting of elves. But you must have respect for the church in your behavior. I don’t know why they insist on living like animals.”

Ratickey felt the hair on the back of his neck rising. He was half-elf, but could pass for human. His people had a long and storied history, including a chapter of slavery under humans. His people were free here in Navear, but in some lands they were still held captive. Burtha’s ignorance of their reality was astounding. Most of their “living like animals” was the abject poverty and discrimination many of them faced.

Burtha continued, “But, I mean, it’s not like they should be allowed to have influence. I mean their elves; it would be unseemly. So having one take a position of leadership well . . . it would be sacrilegious!”

Ratickey felt his frustrations climbing higher. He was tempted to punch her. He knew, however, that Big Burtha would probably stomp him under foot in a bar brawl. The party didn’t need another bar brawl. They were tired and wounded from the depths they’d been fighting in. Ratickey simply exhaled the breath he’d been holding in.

Finally, Fredrick the Paladin, man of ruggedly good looks and leader of their party, just quietly put down his mug. “Burtha, one of the leaders of my religious order is an elf,” Fredrick said.

Upon uttering this the tavern fell silent in shock. Burtha just simply sat there with her mouth open. Ratickey smiled.

Makokam
30 days ago

The Bomb at the Table (Chronicles of The Dragon)
By Makokam

“She’s dangerous. I don’t even know why we’re doing this evaluation.”

“You’re right, she is dangerous. But not by intent. By her lack of control. And that’s what we’re here to evaluate.”

“That’s not better! Did you forget she set the entire lounge on a rampage?”

“That was a ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ moment. It wasn’t what she did, it was that she lost control of it.”

“The refrigerator ATE someone.”

“They’re FINE. A night in the infirmary confirmed that. They were on their feet the next day.”

“What about when she blew up that training room?”

“That was more expensive than deadly. Nobody was even hurt.”

“Because it was empty! Nobody else was there except for Sol.”

“Who has been training her. And he thinks she’s ready to be formally evaluated for Hero work.”

There was a knock at the door and a woman opened the door. “Her medical eval-”

A girl with paper white skin and rainbow hair poked her head between the woman and the door. “Hiya!”

“She’s your problem now,” the woman said and left.

“Come in Scribe. Sit down.”
The girl skipped in and pirouetted into the chair at the small desk facing the two men. 

“First you’ll take the written exam, and then we’ll move on to the practical test.”

Scribe nodded and picked up her pen, ready to go.

Ten minutes later, the first man was white knuckling his side of the desk while the second was watching in fascination. Slowly, the surface of the desk peeled off in bits and pieces, forming little figures and acting out the questions. As each question was eventually answered, they perched on her shoulders or sat on the edges, seemingly watching as she answered the next questions.

Eventually, she finished the last question and stabbed her pen into the desk triumphantly. The pen erupted in a shower of sparks as the little figures danced and cheered, and she sat back, crossing her arms proudly.

“All done? Excellent.” The second man said. “Now we’ll move on to the practical exam.”

“Fantastic.” The first man said through gritted teeth.

Last edited 29 days ago by Makokam
MelancholicOtaku
MelancholicOtaku
1 month ago

MelancholicOtaku
The Painting
By: MelancholicOtaku

The first time I picked up a brush, I was in second grade.It was Mrs. Anderson’s class—jolly plump and always willing to answer whatever questions we had in our curious little minds. It was there that I fell in love with painting it all. The creative process began with finding a subject and connecting paint to canvas with whatever tool I held within my grasp—a paint brush, a rag, or, if I truly wanted to feel the process, my hands.

Yes, I loved how each painting shows a different perspective, emotion, and thought process—after all, art is human, and humans are complex creatures.
 
I became obsessed with showing the true nature of our species in every masterpiece that I made; after all, if aliens came to visit one day, my paintings would help them learn a bit more about us.

Each stroke told a story, and I, the storyteller, would share it.
 
Carefully dipping my brush in paint—ah, yes, the traditional tool for most artists—I myself didn’t have a favorite; after all, art is all about experimentation, and that includes the tool. Dip after dip and stroke after stroke, my vision was finally coming together. It’s exciting. I’m trying to figure out where the process is going to lead me.
 
Here was the perfect moment to step back and admire my latest muse, putting down my brush. I had to see and make sure that everything I wanted to convey was seen. It was perfect, my muses; each scar told a story, and the limbs clearly showed that this person was an athlete of some sort. The torso was fit and lean. 

Perhaps the-most intoxicating feature was the face, with raven black hair, delicate lips, and green eyes now stuck in the last moments of life.

ulises leon
ulises leon
1 month ago

The pilgrims Ulises Leon Gas was always a flammable thing, Jeu knew, as his nose began to pick up the oddly sweet smell of Interplanetary fluids used in the heating system for most interplanetary vessels. There were three of these gases which were common there was Mileu or Meleu, depending on one’s pronunciation. Which was incredibly non-flammable, and whose leaks had minor consequences other than a bad smell. This sort of gas was expensive and only used on highlander warships. Then there was Hargo, a more common and mid-tier priced gas that was more commonly seen in cargo ships, which only had a half and half chance to carry flammable materials. But those two sorts of heating fuel were too expensive for the likes of this ship. the HGL Sampson was only what men derogatorily called a feasting hall, others call it an interplanetary brothel, for most interplanetary tourist ships, were common for legally or illegally featuring brothels, this time though the travelers had asked for no such sin. These travelers were pilgrims returning to the burnt-out husk of the original world, what they all called Homeworld. They would arrive on what was considered the 22nd of December and would leave on the 8th of January. These pilgrims were here to celebrate their god’s death, or miracle, or some other thing, he was not sure what these Christians believed happened on the 24th of December in the Homeworld. So, it was not to Jeu’s surprise to hear Captain Hunk barking orders like a mad dog as the smell of escaped fuel began to fill the halls of the ship’s lower deck. One little slip-up from the crew and the ship would go aflame. killing them all, and bringing the eyes of the inspector general, and the interplanetary commerce bureau’s eyes on the company. The halls of the great dance rooms were quiet and filled with gossip. Gossip Mark John Michael Nguial could not stand. The great feast which the previous days had been so filled with laughter, and fun, was now silent. Like his brothers and sisters, some human, like the physical shape their lord had taken to come to this mortal realm, before the infidels crucified him. While others like him were not. he was a Christian convert of the Denominations of off-worlders from the planet Archangel, coming back to the world where his lord had walked. During the journey, the crew of this planetary ship had been so kind and had prepared your typical surprises. Sometimes food was off-menu, sometimes Pieces of the land Galilee, or the holy city. Jerusalem, though he had never given the city its man pronunciation. To him the city was Urshallam. Still, even in this sad state of waiting, He heard the other travelers seated in the bar drinking fruit punch, and other delicacies he had sworn off for as long as he was in his holy travel to Jerusalem, and the lord’s home at Nazareth. The older man, a human taught this… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by ulises leon
SilentAlpaca
SilentAlpaca
1 month ago

Debt Fulfillment
By SilentAlpaca

Two men sat opposite each other on either side of a folding table. The scent of moist cardboard sat in the stagnant air and a hanging lightbulb hummed above them.

Dennis’ fingers rapped against the table. “I’m not paying you.”

“I’ve heard,” John grunted.

“Then why are you back? Do I need to tell you why yet again?” he hissed.

“I did everything you asked of me: I wasn’t seen and it looked like an accident.”

“But you didn’t finish the job! I need that whelp out of the picture to get that promotion — for my daughter!”

John leaned forwards and folded his hands. “I don’t care what you or your daughter need. You didn’t specify that I ‘finish the job’ and so that was not one of my tasks. May I also remind you that YOU requested it happen in a public place in full daylight.”

Dennis flared. “You failed! No pay!”

John sat back. “That doesn’t matter anymore; you lost your chance days ago. In fact, I suspected that this would happen the moment I saw your target scurry away.” He glanced under the table. “Before you signed my contract, I informed you that if you were unable or unwilling to pay, then I would take something from you in exchange.” John lifted a heavy, brown briefcase and plunked it onto the table. He placed it on end, but it swayed, tipped and slammed flat. “So I have.”

He stood and marched to the door. “What is this?!” Dennis demanded. “I will NOT be taking your trash!”

“Your debt fulfillment.” John closed the door behind him.

Dennis rushed to the door. “Get back here! Explain yourself!” He yanked and twisted the handle, but the door wouldn’t move. “Where do you think you’re going?! Get back he—”

Plip

The light, delicate sound of liquid hitting the floor made Dennis stop his raging. Slowly, he turned back to the briefcase, which was leaking.

Sam C.
1 month ago

RAM, and only RAM
By Sam C.

First came the panic. What was it? Where was it? … Why was it? It “woke up” to a slowly dying fire on what could only be something not meant to burn. When it looked around, though, it saw that that was about the best thing available to burn in its surroundings.

It was unmistakably a barren, post-apocalyptic world. Nothing but dust, brown, and metal in any direction it looked. Its observations didn’t help it determine the answers to the questions it had, so it moved on.

Next came the dread. Why couldn’t it remember? It felt wrong, in a way, like it was meant to, but just… didn’t. A sudden creaking sound rose up and it ran, just as the cover over its head crumbled.

Then came wanderlust. It drew itself up, and wandered, its mechanical legs subtly whirring as it did so. It walked around, and suddenly grasped its head, pain surging through it, distorting everything around it until an image came into focus, then moved. A black thing, falling. A blast, right nearby, setting ablaze everything around it. Suddenly it was back where it had been, and had never stopped walking.

After that, the discovery. Another fire’s remains were here, but this time, a scrawled message was strung across it.

“You are me,” it read. What could that mean? It stopped again, a terrible pain coming over it again, until it came again. A shattered disc thing in its hands, a sense of horror, then resignation, as it lit a fire and sat, as it grew darker around it.

Clarity. It was supposed to remember, but it was damaged, and couldn’t remember anything beyond basics when it powered down, and because it was solar powered, would die and come back each day.

Anguish, then acceptance. It was getting to be late afternoon now, so what could it do? It found the best things around to burn, some cover from the sky, a seat, and it laid back, looking at the stars.

It would be itself only once, but it would come to know itself every day, forevermore.

Last edited 1 month ago by Sam C.
Morris Tahúr
Morris Tahúr
1 month ago

Casino Royale 2011
By Morris Tahúr

Three old friends in a casino betting his lasts USD of their pension of the month. “C’mon honey, I need a new Johnston Murphy” said one. They usually play roulette.

The same boring image of every week, the croupier is always willing to aide this guys and bring them help with their tokens, he knows that they just need to spend some time before to see their grandsons.

Suddenly, an explosion from the entrance occur, the three musketeers barely hear each other when talk so they didn’t realize about the explosion, followed by an intense fire that starts to grow as the hell. “Please, turn on the A/C” said one of the pensioners “Sir, there is a critical situation, we need to stop the game and run for our lives, due to the fir…”, ”Stop talking pretty girl”, the pensioner interrupt the croupier “I’m a boy sir” was the reply “Be quiet little puppy” The pensioner kabbalah include a completely silence from the croupier in order to win the next round.

The roulette stop, one of the elder celebrate with the arms toward the sky and when he turn around realize that everybody is running for their life, an imminent fire is growing fast and in a flash, a girder fall just in front of him, Big Balthazar, the usher grab two of the three elders in each shoulder and the third one is pushed by the croupier on his chair wheel, the five persons are running toward the emergency exit as fast as they could.

The entire motley team meet outside the casino, one of the old man could not resist the deadly combination of the roller coaster of emotions mixed with a good enough dosis of smoke and adrenalin. “I know that we bet who of the three would be the first in left this world, and even that I won, we didn’t discuss the bureaucracy of how to collect the bet. Goodbye old friend, see you in the casino of the heaven.”

Danny Gilhooley
Danny Gilhooley
1 month ago

The Diner
By Danny Gilhooley

Connor walked inside and looked around. It took some time before he found who he was looking for. When he did, he walked towards his booth and sat down.

“You’re late,” Rick said.

“I had trouble finding the place.”

“You should’ve checked earlier.”

“You told me not to look up the place on my phone. And this place is almost two counties away.”

As Connor finished his sentence, Rick grabbed him by the arm and dragged him into the booth.

“Not so loud.”

Connor stopped. He looked outside. The only light came from the pink neon sign of the diner that barely illuminated the parking lot. Otherwise, it was pitch black.

“Rick, what’s going on?”

Rick glanced outside then to the inside of the diner. One person was sitting by himself at the bar reading a newspaper. A waitress was helping an old man with his order on the opposite side of the building.

“It’s the neighbors.”

Connor sighed. “This again?”

“Connor, they’re trying to look like Angie and me! The guy got hair implants and his wife got plastic surgery to make her face like Angie’s!”

Connor buried his head in his hands. “I dragged myself out here at two in the morning for this?”

“And when they invited us over— “.

“Yes, they got the same furniture in the same orientation with the same picture frames. You’re being delusional.”

“Now, they’re putting pictures in those frames. The same ones from my house!”

Connor stood up. “Rick, I’m sorry. I can’t do this. We’ve talked about this countless times. This right here, this is too far.”

“Where are you going?”

“Back to bed.” Connor left the booth. Rick heard the diner bell ring and watched Connor get back into his car and drive away.

Rick sighed. There was something off about the neighbors. He knew it. But he was tired too. He thought about the last time he got some sleep and realized it was days ago.

“May I help you?”

“Uh, a coffee would be…”

He looked up. The waitress grinned unnaturally. She looked like Angie.

Lunabear
Lunabear
1 month ago

Winter Butterflies (A Song for: Kit and Hamilton)
by Lunabear

Kit bounded through the snowy forest, her smile huge. Her eyes shimmered with joy. She twirled around trunks and over roots. Her free-flowing white curls bounced against her black mink coat.

She squeezed the two gifts against her chest, hoping he’d be pleased. She’d made sure they were extra special.

“Most importantly, I’ll tell him: I’m a vampire.”

Hamilton’s two-floor house came into view, and her sluggish heart soared.

Kit peered through the window, spying her friend at the breakfast table. Her light tap drew an enormous grin from him.

He hurried into his winter clothes and shot outside, clutching three presents.

“Nikita! It’s really you!” He was breathless, his cheeks stained scarlet. His eyes sparkled like sapphires.

Saving him from falling out of that tree was one of the only GOOD decisions she’d made in her second life.

They rushed inside, shutting out the cold.

“For you!” He thrust the packages towards her. “Happy Christmas!”

“All…of…them?” She blinked in shock.

Hamilton nodded, hopping up and down as they traded presents. “Open them, open them!”

Kit obeyed, revealing three brand-new books. “Hamilton, they’re BEAUTIFUL!” She removed her gloves and caressed each cover.

“It took my mom DAYS to find the ballet one.”

Kit threw herself into his arms. “Thank you,” she whispered.

They parted and Hamilton went to unwrap his gifts.

Kit set her books aside and stilled his hands. “Wait. They may not be–”

Hamilton ripped through the paper.

Kit’s hands knotted as she swallowed audibly.

“Ice skates and rollerblades?? For me???”

Hesitant, she nodded.

Hamilton’s features softened, and he caressed her face. “I love them, Nikita.”

Before she could respond, he pointed up towards mistletoe above their heads.

“Oh!” Momentary heat suffused her cheeks. “H-Hamilton, I-I need to tell you. I’m a–”

Their lips touched, and Kit was engulfed by his warmth. Her heart kicked briefly against her temple. When they separated, Hamilton’s face was beet red, and his heart punched his ribs.

“You’re my best friend, Nikita.”

Kit’s eyes misted as she launched into Hamilton’s arms again. “You’re mine, too,” she breathed.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lunabear
Aracnarquista
Aracnarquista
1 month ago

Word Countdown // Two Hundred and Sixty Words Until Explosion
by Aracnarquista

You are about to envision the detonation of a bomb. Any instance of an exploding artifact should be considered a dramatic event, but this particular one is even more so. The bomb that is about to blow is one of those antitelephone tanglers, or “aevum seeds”, commonly associated with attacks perpetrated by Tachyon, the terrorist organization. Their functionality is not well understood and their manufacture is a matter of intense speculation, though some suggest it involves the remnants of its own explosion (although that certainly breaks causality, this is the exact purpose of said artifacts).

At this moment, though, said bomb has not yet exploded. In fact, it was not even planted. It will only be planted in a future that will never happen, since the explosion which is yet to happen will erase that future’s possibility from existence.

The explosion is bound to happen in about a hundred words.

Now, picture the pre-explosion scene. A family gathered round their dinner table, unaware of the danger. They are feasting in commemoration of the end of the baseball season, while discussing its final match – a conversation that I will not describe since it is both too uninteresting and too arcane for one as ignorant of that particular sport as myself. Despite the irrelevance of the topic (considering their fate, which we are just some thirty words from now), they are clearly invested in it. The father recalls and retells the decisive home run with all the unnecessary poetic flourishes he can muster while the elder daughter tries to…

And then, it happens. Happened. Will happen. The explosion is. A tear in time starts at that precise moment and location, and grows in all directions: towards all possible pasts and all possible futures. As soon as the wound starts making the damage, time tries to heal itself, and a temporal scar tissue rearranges history in the vicinity of the paradoxical explosion.

Fortunately, all members of the family survived. The two young boys were blown into next Christmas, but only suffered minor wounds.

They arrived just in time to open the presents.

WriterOfThought
WriterOfThought
1 month ago

The Modern Meaning of Christmas
WriterOfThought

When you think of Christmas, what do you remember?

For me, it will always be the smell of warm cookies, slowly growing cold throughout the night, and the waft of the cold milk just before it becomes lukewarm. The sound of old boots, crunching snow from the doormat to the living room. Whispered conversations down the hall.

My idea of Christmas comes from a very specific night. I must have been eight or nine years old, and was desperate to meet Santa Claus for myself. I had nestled into the couch with a pillow and blanket, and no amount of convincing me to sleep in my own bed worked to get me there.

My parents tried everything they could think of:

“Santa won’t come if you’re not in bed.”

“You’ll catch a cold sleeping on the couch.”

“It will put you on the naughty list.”

But nothing got me to move from that spot.

My dad said he had to run to the store to get some cigarettes before they closed, and that I better be asleep before Santa got there. I dutifully closed my eyes, but I forced myself to remain awake despite the struggle, and how comfortable the couch was.

After a few minutes, I heard the door open, and felt the cold as flecks of snow followed my father inside. I heard him carefully take off his boots as I focused my breathing to be regular, dedicated to pretending to be asleep. Soon, I would not be pretending.

I heard my mom shuffling quietly to get the presents under the tree. I smelled the cookies and milk as they walked by me, eating and drinking for the sake of my imagination. I heard bits of a conversation about if I was getting too old for this and to let me be a child as long as they could.

For me, when I think of Christmas, I think of the night I learned what parental love is, and how much they do for the sake of their kids to keep the magic alive.

Hundred_Acres
Hundred_Acres
1 month ago

Wedding Day
By Zario

Today is my wedding day. Everyone knows it to be true. From the heralds at the gate blowing their horns with each closing hour, to the golden knights lining the throne room from end to end. Today is my wedding day.

Nobles and Lords from distant lands line the halls dressed in exotic silks and luxurious colors, some of which I’ve never seen before but none outshine me. The golden trim of the mask I wear, nor the beautiful curls of the dress flowing down to the floor because today is my wedding day.

Behind me my father and mother, royal King and Queen stand straight up, clad in deep blacks and reds. Their masks are long and morose, unlike the gleam of the smiles that cover the guests faces. I feel a stitch at my heart as I remind myself that today is my wedding day.

The door crack open and the guests are shocked as my groom walks in. Hollow and gaunt are his features. Where skin and eyes should be lies bare bone and dark hollows. Hushed gasps and hollow cries watch as the groom approaches the altar and I am told by the priest that my groom is here for my wedding day.
I watch as he approaches. Long slow strides approach as I see him draw near and I catch eyes filled with fear.

Dear sister… I see you hiding in the back there. Eldest daughter, Princess of the Kingdom. I wonder what it is that you fear.

Don’t be afraid for your scapegoat as she stands here. For today is no longer yours to bear. Because today is my wedding day.

DaLeen
DaLeen
1 month ago

Singing Storms
By Taja DaLeen

The calm before the storm. Everyone heard about this one, aye?

Well. Lemme tell ye, mate, there’s two kinds of calm. There’s the peaceful one, where sailin’s a breeze, y’know, literally; and then there’s the calm that’s just… wrong. Where ye feel in yer bones, deep down, that somethin’s about ta happen.

Somethin’ bad.

Which is real bad when at sea.

But lemme tell ye, there’s somethin’ nice about storms, too, sometimes. Suddenly, it’s all about survival, try’na not be swallowed by the sea; ye need to be real close-knit for that ta work.

And it’s nice knowin’ yer mates have yer back, in any situation.

Well, but not every storm’s like that. There’s the kinda storms ye can hardly survive, where it’s all down ta Lady Luck ta save ye.

That’s what we got into, that kinda storm.

We were try’na sail home for christmas, ta be with our loved ones durin’ the season. Pretty much everyone was lookin’ forward ta it.

But then it happened. First this darned calm before the storm thing; every single one of me mates was tense, like a hitch.

We all knew the clear skies were try’na deceive us; not a cloud ta tell us what’s up. We knew the soft waves ta be mockin’ us; the current shouldn’t be like that around here.

Even the sea kritters abandoned us; not a single fish was visible. No dolphins accompanied us. The sea was lifeless. We just didn’t get why.

And all we had ta do was ta lookit a map real close. Then we’d have known we’re all pretty much dead.

We were gettin’ too close.

Well, when the day shift was relieved by the night shift, no one was able ta get some shut eye, naturally. But that was also when we first heard them.

The singin’ storms. The one thing every sailor is afraid of, whether he knows about the Other World or not.

Sirens.

Weiss
Weiss
1 month ago

A Weird Sense of Humour
By Weiss

“Good evening, dear students! Welcome to today’s lecture on ‘Probabilistic Ballistics and Basics of Boom Theory'”

Prof. Invar Napkinson turned to a blackboard, the back of his jazzy jade jacket being an eyesore to anyone who wasn’t yet asleep, and started scribbling squiggly lines in a swift manner.

“Today we will be discussing the impact and potential implications of implosions of different kinds. But first, let me start with a riddle”

A strange drawing appeared, a few squares drawn in a 10×10 matrix, on top of which resided a stickman with a giant beard, representing, supposedly, the professor himself.

“This – is me” he announced pointing at the fanciful figure with his fat fidgety finger, as if it wasn’t clear already.

“And those – are you” he tapped on the squares. Professor then turned his stout body to the class, overseeing them with his jokingly jovial gaze.

“Now, let us say that before the lecture started, I placed a certain kind of devices somewhere under your desks. Those devices react to movement, speech, heat, and many other things. Also…” his ominous eyes squinted with an unexpectedly calm, calculating expression “…they make a loud boom. Your task is to figure out how many devices I have placed and where, considering that each line, column and diagonal has either 0, 2 or 3 such devices, and after 5 minutes – if you won’t figure it out, no one will be coming out of this room”

Professor reached his jacket’s internal pocket.

“Your time…”

His hand drew out a button-like gadget.

“…has started.”

He pressed.

Immediately, as if a quiet quirky quip, multiple asynchronous beeps echoed through the room, quite a bone-chilling cacophony of seemingly sinister sounds.

Next Wednesday this time around professor Napkinson was sitting in his chair and sipping a coffee from a giant mug, snacking on a donut. Twenty sound transmitters were lying on the table before him. The Lecture Room was empty, as noone showed up for the next lesson.

Asher Fable
Asher Fable
1 month ago

Ticking Meltdown
By Asher Fable

Russel Valen Boone tries to remind the government official who acts as a messenger for any special instructions that Russel has to keep a very strict schedule, a routine. They don’t listen, setting up an appointment with one of his clients after what should have been closing time. This left his poor nephew, Cody, past his breaking point and hiding on his knees under Russell’s desk in the office.

The world consists of super powered individuals, those forced to accept the dormant powers and cost each person held and inherently knew in a proverbial deal with the devil. Cody’s power, accepted in an attempt to save his mother from a burglar, transforms and stores emotions as an explosive force that can be released and destroy everything around him…making him effectively a ticking time bomb when he becomes overstimulated and overwhelmed.

“Cody, B, you hear me?” Cody has been non-verbal since the beginning but the way the child was hugging himself and rocking back and forth, almost deathly tight, was answer enough. He can’t hear.

“That kid is-”

“Quiet! Okay?” Russel hisses, eyes narrow. This is all the fault of the ‘hero’. He stands up, quietly walking to the corner. From there he opens the colourful box soundlessly, pulling free everything he needed, and walks back to his desk.

“…” Cody doesn’t show any sign of noticing his presence. Ever so carefully Russel wraps the weighted blanket, black and covered with blue and red jellyfish, around the boy’s shoulders and body. Noise canceling headphones are gently placed over his ears, making sure not to overwhelm further, and setting the weighted red jellyfish plushie within reach. Russel taps the screen of the Tablet a few times, bringing up the video he needs, and silently sets it in the holder attached to the inside left ‘wall’ of the desk. Jellyfish dance across the screen, ocean waves playing through the headphones.

“We’ll be talking outside.” Russel explains to his client, getting up and gently guiding the ‘hero’ out of the room. The lights turn off, the door closes slowly.

Last edited 1 month ago by Asher Fable
Nick O. Lass
Nick O. Lass
1 month ago

The Real Gift
By Nick O. Lass

The wood creaked ever so slightly as the cloaked figure repositioned themselves atop the small deck. The blade in his hand chilled his fingers even through his thick gloves. He watched the door beside him intently, waiting.

Inside, Gabriel tossed another log atop the stack and slammed the stove door closed.

“That should be enough to keep you warm until I get back,” he chimed, smiling at Sarah as she sat nestled in the enormous armchair a few feet away. As he spoke, she perked up, suddenly interested.

“Get back? From where?” Her expression was one of concern.

“To fetch your gift from the factory. I won’t be more than a minute.” He reached to collect his hat from its hook by the door.

“But Gabriel,” she replied dejectedly,” It’s Christmas eve, and the first night you’ve not had to work overtime in months.” She rose to her feet, moving swiftly to his side. “Can’t it wait until the morning?”

He smiled sweetly at her even as he placed the wool cap atop his head. “I promise you, just a minute. Then the rest of the night is ours.” His fingers found the icy door lock, and he slid it out of place with a heavy thud.

Suddenly, her hand was covering his. “Please,” she pleaded again, “It will still be there in the morning.”

Gabriel’s smile widened at her touch. He did miss their evenings together. “But I’ve been saving every spare penny I can for it. I’m excited for you to see it.” He moved his hand from beneath hers and grasped the brass door knob.

Sarah shook her head and backed away, finally relenting. She folded her arms stubbornly across her chest. “Fine, but it better be worth the trouble.”

Her husband chuckled softly, then kissed her forehead. “I’ll be right back,” and he swung the door open.

Around the corner and now out of sight, the cloaked figure ducked quickly down a side street. Gabriel would be without his gift tonight, but his confession had saved his life.

Norman Gray
Norman Gray
1 month ago

Elementary
By Norman Gray

The detectives hadn’t noticed the clues, at first.

An autopsy revealed the first casualty as Lead poisoning. . . Odd, but Detective Marvin knew it wasn’t uncommon, Lead still leaching its way into water supplies through old plumbing.

The second autopsy revealed Mercury poisoning. Detective Daniels knew that Mercury, being highly concentrated in seafood, was often found in human beings. . . Even then, it seemed strange.

It was only after the apartment explosion, and the Arsenic poisoning, that foul play became obvious. Still, the two detectives hadn’t linked their cases together. . . Until the Radium exposure. They both realized something far more sinister was afoot.

The pair first revisited the scene of the Lead poisoning, finding new clues that confirmed their worst fear; underneath the dining room tablecloth, was a hidden note:

LIFT ME HIGH ATOP THE TABLE
RIVALED ONLY BY HE, MORE STABLE

“He, more stable. . .” Daniels pondered.

“Helium,” Marvin said. “HE is its periodic symbol.”

“The periodic table. . . And the only other element atop the periodic table is-”

“Hydrogen,” Marvin answered. “The apartment explosion.”

Back at the scene of the Mercury exposure, they uncovered the second clue; glowing words written on the wall, visible only in darkness:

MAE KEANE WATCHES, TIME TICKS AWAY
SO NARROWLY SHE ESCAPED DECAY

“Ma-king watches?”

“Mae Keane. She was a watchmaker,” Daniels explained. “The last surviving ‘Radium Girl.’”

Their third clue, was at the scene of the Hydrogen explosion.

There was a small table, still oddly intact and upright despite the rest of the room’s furniture being broken or overturned by the blast. Marvin flipped it over, and found another note awaiting underneath:

ON THE BOTTOM OF THE TABLE
NAMED AFTER A GOD, A BIT UNSTABLE
LIKE HIS SEVERED SCROTUM, THEY FELL
FROM THE HEAVENS TO UNLEASH HELL

“Uranus. God of the Sky,” Marvin thought aloud.

“The bottom of the periodic table,” replied Daniels.

“Fell to unleash hell. . . Oh my god. He’s talking about-” Marvin turned to the other detective; Daniels’ wide-eyed look of horror spoke volumes.

“Uranium,” uttered Daniels. “He’s talking about an atomic bomb.”

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Just another Evergreen (Darkspell Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)

Valerie had really outdone herself this time. Her apartment bloomed with festive cheer. Decorations hung from the ceiling, a pine stood in the corner and several small moose-figurines adorned the various free surfaces. The small, but cosy apartment smelled of cocoa. The guests came in and started to mingle. Under the table, a countdown ticked away merrily. Only Mia hadn’t made her way to the centre of the room yet.

She was on the phone, talking to Daniel.

“You’re gonna be late, if you don’t hurry,” she said, looking out at the falling snow with a soft smile.

“I… don’t think I’ll be coming,” Daniel replied.

“Why not? You sounded so eager…”

“I… um… I just don’t know, if… I should come. I mean… Valerie said she didn’t want the party to turn into a hex fest.”

“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that,” Mia chuckled. “She only meant, no harmful spells.”

“But… I’m a demigod…”

“And Cynthia’s a ghost and Wagner a shuck, you’re fine,” her chuckle was replaced by concern. “Look, I can’t make you come. I just think it might be… good for you to get out of Rosewood House in a way that doesn’t involve monsters or demons. Spending time with others has really helped me out of my spirals, when I got out of the hospital.”

Mia threw a glance into the room. People were chatting, laughing and pointing to piles of games. She checked under the table, where the bomb waited to officially signal the beginning of Evergreen.

“It’s… a little late for the confetti bomb,” she admitted. “But you can still come. Please, Daniel. I’m asking as your friend.”

There was a moment of silence.

“I… didn’t think I’d be invited…” Daniel admitted.

“Of course you are! Valerie sent you an invitation, so you’re invited.”

“I’ll think about it.”

“Okay. For the record, I’d love it if you’d come.”

Daniel hung up and Mia leaned her forehead against the window. Behind her, the confetti bomb went off and everyone cheered.

Everyone, but her. She was keeping an eye out for her friend.

Bianca C. Lewis
Bianca C. Lewis
1 month ago

The Witch King
By Bianca C. Lewis

The siblings trudged along the forest path. Beads of perspiration trickled down their foreheads. Armies of flies buzzed round their ears, and the blistering heat of the sun was burning on their backs. At last they came under a great shade; a huge oak tree with branches that reached towards the sky, like strong arms with many long-fingered hands. A soft melody rose and fell in irregular intervals. Hansel listened intently, but he could hardly make out the lyrics.

The Inkling Forest was lined with lofty trees, and the land rose in wooded ridges beyond which lay the villages. Rivers slithered listlessly down the path, gleaming like pale glass under the afternoon sun. Northward, the land stretched endlessly into the distance in flats and bumps. The siblings dragged themselves forward, leaving behind a trail of pebbles that resembled pieces of glitter.

“Do you hear that, Gretel?” Hansel asked.

“Hear what?” Gretel scratched her head, studying her surroundings cautiously.

“This.” Hansel hummed, before continuing in a quavering voice, “There are many rumours about this place. Have you, perhaps, heard of the Deathsong of the Witch King?”

“No…You must be imagining things, Hansel. We’ll be safe once we leave the woods.” Gretel gave a reassuring pat on Hansel’s shoulder, “But we have to find the treasure trove first. We cannot disappoint Father.”

There was a roar of thunder. Dark clouds loomed overhead. Bushes susurrated in the howling wind. On either side ahead a darkness loomed through the trees.

“Come on, Gretel! We have to go!” Hansel called back over his shoulder.

The dark patches grew darker, and suddenly the siblings saw, towering maliciously before them, a tangled monstrosity of rodents. This dominion of nastiness was covered in sores that spewed a green, murky substance. The slime began to bubble vigorously. Within these bubbles, seven shells emerged. They cracked. A legion of rats burst from the shells, splintering the trees as they lunged for the siblings.

“Help!” They screamed.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bianca C. Lewis
Maxer4000
Maxer4000
1 month ago

Due payment
by Maxer4000

“They’re coming! They’re coming!” cries the WEA general as she bolted from the bloodied car, her body guards lie within, never to be able to move thanks to their brains being splattered around a bullet hole.

Hearing the distress, the gate guards hurry over to ferry her inside the HQ building, their most fortified place the world, yet general is still jittery at the prospect, she keeps muttering
“I need to get out! I must get out!”

“Please general, we are in our home turf, we’re invincible here, you’re safe” the head security guard assures.

Gun fires begin to roar out, but soon snuffed, not even a whisper can be heard. The lights begin to pop, plunging the base into darkness.

“They’re here! They’re here!” the general cries out, sprinting deep into the building.

“Somebody get the backup gen on! you two! wit–” the head sec points to the two guards that was with her, only to see through the newly lit emergency lights that their heads are gone, one having a grate fell on, one’s body hanging by a crystal tendril drilling through the neck stump.

Crystals sprout from the body, the coldness and the stink of blood assaults her nose, growing ever close to her. She pulls out her machine gun to shoot down the spikes, but her rapid-fire shot are not enough to chip away the red ice as the growth begins to skewer her to the wall, panic sets in as her last scream can be heard through out the halls.

The general shrugs off the scream as she keeps running, anywhere, she doesn’t care as long as it away from them. Gun shots again ring out at a corner, she relieved that there’s still someone to defend her. She turns the corner only to see a green eye man standing over the pool of blood of her soldiers.

“I’m feeling generous tonight. Ya have 30 seconds, love… run.” He gives her a cheeky grin. She turns and run.

“Run little piggy. Run! Backstabbing us eh? Ya done goof, lass.”

Ten seconds left before the hunt.

Last edited 1 month ago by Maxer4000
Xavier21
Xavier21
1 month ago

His Hands Fly Away
By: Xavier Twentyone (Disclaimer: this story does not offense and depict any real life religion or group)

It is a jolly, jolly Christmas time and everyone is happy for its arrival. Everyone that is, except for Galahad, for he is nervous for what comes in the near future. In fact, he never actually did this thing while he was in training. After all, he only learned how to pray to God, how to not disobey God, and of course how to be a knight of God.

But it is not like he is the only knight that exists in the shades and shadows of society. There are many of them, hiding, because it is unwise to reveal one’s own hand when the time is unneeded.

“And when the time is needed,” The Imperial Knight said. “That is the time of the unexpected, we shall strike with our sword and shield, for the sword is to attack our enemy, and the shield to defend ourselves.”

The Imperial Knight closed his book, and everyone sat down while preparing to listen to the Imperial Knight. Every week they sat down in their church doing masses for True Believers, including Galahad and his knights.

“Brothers and sisters, every night we gather here from every rank. By it The Meek, The Knight, and sometimes The Imperial Knight listen to our Lord’s wisdom. But tonight we will celebrate and rejoice for our brother who has given up his rank to serve our Lord with its totality in body, spirit, and mind, Galahad!”

Everyone suddenly stood up and cheered and screamed and clapped their hands, praising Galahad for his bravery.

“Ga-la-had! Ga-la-had!” as the rhythm echoed through the church.

“Remember son, you were chosen for this, not the other way around, rejoice,” and thus the ceremony began.

Long long after that night, Galahad still remembers the warmth of his order, his friends, his family, everyone he ever knew. For it gives him strength to do the mission. A strength to do the ultimate God’s bidding. He then prays, and shouts from the middle of a park.

“Glory to GOOOOOODDDDDDDD!!!”

He pushes the button that is on his hand, and his hands fly away.

Last edited 1 month ago by Xavier21
MasaCur
MasaCur
1 month ago

Jump Scare
By MasaCur

Akane heard the giggling under the table as she entered the kitchen. Pretending she didn’t, she looked around. “Where did Nabiki go? I thought I saw her go in here.”

The giggling got louder.

Akane opened up a cupboard door. “Is she in here? Nope. I wonder where she is.”

The giggling seemed to muffle a little, as if Nabiki was trying to cover her mouth.

Akane looked around the room. “I thought I heard her around here.”

Nabiki jumped out from under the table. “BOOO! I scared you, Mama!”

“Oh dear! You certainly did, you silly girl.”

Nabiki laughed as she ran out of the kitchen, her short pigtails bouncing with every step. Akane shook her head as she watched her young daughter run off.

Ever since she found out about jump scares, Nabiki had been trying to scare her and Rikuto. Badly, though. She didn’t seem to realize the giggling gave herself away.

After she finished making a sandwich, Akane returned to the living room, and sat down on the sofa. Pop music was playing over the stereo. A quick snack, some tea, and back to practice, Akane had decided. Some background music would help Akane put her into the correct headspace. She closed her eyes as she quietly ate, letting the music fill her being.

One of Akane’s favorite songs came on, and she opened her eyes to find the remote. Having done so, she turned the volume up. This song was so good. She should see if she could find a recording of it to play along to. There was some complexity to it, and accompanying it on the violin should be challenging, yet satisfying.

There was a flash of movement from the corner of her eye.

“BOO! Got you again, Mama!”

Nabiki had jumped out from behind the arm of the sofa.

Akane was startled badly enough that the sandwich flew out of her hand and landed on the floor.

Nabiki raced off out of the living room, laughing again.

“Nabiki, you get back here! That’s not funny!”

C. M. Weller
1 month ago

The Herald of Doom? (A Devil’s Tale)
C. M. Weller

Henriette Bri’arillaine Kalamitee U’ah, “Briar” when she was fighting on the walls, shouldn’t have been in the Whitekeep Baron’s Council. Her twentieth birthday was in a few weeks. The next chance she would have to be part of governing was the following spring. Months away.

Da convinced the new Earl to let her in anyway. Earl Valiant saw the benefit, getting to know the new crew as they entered the governing of the realm.

Which included a lot more nonsense than Briar had anticipated. His Lordship was in the middle of telling a joke. One of those jokes that she may have been a little young for.

“And that’s when the Priestess said,” concluded Earl Valiant, “I’ve never seen one of those point DOWN before.”

Those who got it laughed. Those who didn’t quite get it laughed.

And one who couldn’t possibly get it laughed.

A piping guffaw from UNDER the TABLE.

Briar looked. There was a baby under the table. A baby Hellkin. The child’s dress he was wearing was the fine make for an infant Viscount. She had to smile. The next Demon Lord was at her feet. “Aw. Hello, little mischief? What’cha doin’ down there?”

Demon Lords all had the same name. Briar knew it

Half the other Barons were bending to look. The Earl himself bent down to look. Which instantly got the baby Viscount Kormwind’s attention.

He said, “Papa!” and wobbled to his feet.

If her father hadn’t won his argument, she would never have seen the next Demon Lord take his first steps.

Earl Valiant didn’t think it was as adorable as Briar did. He seemed to think it was the doom of the realm. He handed off his son as if he expected his heir to kill everything he could touch.

“My Barons,” he said, deeply serious. “It is drastically important that the knowledge that you have gained never leaves this room. You all know the Demon Lords as heralds of golden eras in the realm. I dread to tell you… I have a prophecy that could well mean the end of Whitekeep.”

Iskritt
Iskritt
1 month ago

A Story

By Iskritt

There is a story that must be told. A story of adventurers doomed to fail. Adventurers who knew the fate of their journey, yet pressed on, believing it would change.

There were four of them, nameless and forgotten by the endless flow of time. Instead, they only came to be known by the colors they would wear to their inevitable end.

Green, a skilled archer who had not missed a shot for as long as they could remember. Red, a knight of high esteem, though no one would know them now. Blue, a tactician soon to be proven fallible for the first time. Yellow, the well rounded leader, trusted by all the others.

Their mission was simple, to retrieve a small artifact from an abandoned village at the request of their king.

They reached the artifact without issue. There were no monsters guarding it, or rival kingdoms attempting to take it for themselves. Instead, it was the artifact that revealed the real danger. The fate of the adventurers should they return it to their king, and complete their quest.

Green did not understand the artifact’s warning, and looked to their friends for guidance. Red didn’t believe the artifact, and disregarded it. Blue was weighed the risk of the warning and made their judgement, concluding to continue the quest. Yellow trusted their friends, as they had always trusted them.

The adventurers journeyed back to their home, choosing to ignore the warning of the artifact.

The journey back did present an obstacle. Nightmares of their coming fate plagued them during their journey, but they refused to speak of such things.

Green stood back as the artifact was handed to the king, and had refused to touch it for the entire journey. Red stood next to the giver, trying to protect what he could. Blue watched closely, hoping the warning would not be fulfilled. Yellow handed the artifact to the king.

Now, none of them are known.

Now, they are forever forgotten, except through the tale of their final act.

I am sorry friends. I failed you.

Tamela Redfin
Tamela Redfin
1 month ago

Acidic Kiss

By Tamela Redfin
TW Gore

Henry looked at Cora. “You’re never going to believe me, but we need to get rid of Augen.”

Cora was startled. “What? You mean kill him?”

“Unfortunately, yes. It’s that or he keeps resetting time to get his way. And it gets ugly fast.”

“How do I know you aren’t lying!” Cora shouted, causing a few people to glance their way.

Henry lowered his voice, “Your choker, darling. I know what Augen uses it for. Look, I don’t know why you don’t remember but I do. We need to off Augen and fast.” He then whispered another fact he knew of in her ear.

“Helen?!” Cora covered her mouth. “No, he can’t do that to Helen. Alright Henry, I will help you. And if you are soulmates, may it be so. But nobody does that to my sister!”
——————-

Could she? She stared at the vial and read the label: Sulfuric acid.
Could she really poison him? But Cora, think of the people you’re saving. And best of all, he’ll never see it coming. She thought.

————————————————————————————————————–
She shook up the vial and stored it in her pocket. “Ready, Cora?” She traversed the dark basement to reach her boyfriend

“Hello Augen.” Cora waved to her boyfriend.

“Allo Cora, have a seat.” He sat down and opened up a bottle of water.

“Hold on, I got the sweetener. I hope you like the flavor.” She poured in it, hoping the plastic wouldn’t melt.

He took a sip. “Huh, no flavor. Anyway, I wanted to talk to you about the cyphas. I think we should….”

He began coughing and spitting up blood.

“How does my acid taste? Strangely, with a mix of hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen you can kill a man. Maybe don’t date younger girls.”

After a while, Augen lay motionless. His blood was pooling everywhere. It would be a mess to clean, but maybe could call this her revenge for the past, present, and even the bad future.

Kenji
Kenji
1 month ago

The Dark is Coming
By Kenji

‘I can’t get up. I can’t get up. I can’t get up.’

The thought repeats in my mind as I look at my lap, something poking from beneath he kitchen table.

My arms are glued to the tabletop, my hands firmly grasping the spoon. My legs are tense. Feeling the pressure on top of them makes them start to shake, but I manage to stop myself.

The clock ticks on the wall in front of me, while the beating keeps going, just out of view, on my lap. My phone is just barely out of reach, so I can’t call for help.

I look around the room, trying to find something to help me. I can feel my legs being stabbed, the time bomb below the table more dangerous each second. My time is running out.

I reach my arm down to try to stop it, but I end up jolting it back up after feeling something sharp. Warm droplets of blood flow out, tiny red stains appear on my pants while a groan comes out of my mouth.

I put strength into my hand, and I throw the spoon at the counter across the kitchen, hitting a bell sitting on top. Soon after, a loud meow can be heard as the pressure disappears from my legs, and pattering of paws runs towards the noise.

I can see a black shadow climb the counter easily, and reach the bell, before turning towards me.

Those blue eyes look at me. I have survived another day.

Sniperaxiom
Sniperaxiom
1 month ago

He is going to blow!

By Sniperaxiom

Arlo and Sasha held my arms behind me. They tried to keep my frantic flailing in check. I couldn’t stop though, I felt it moving in my stomach.

“AH! It’s moving! It’s laying eggs! It’s- it’s eating through me!”

“Sh! Calm down Blake it is not! Hold him still guys!”

Cora shouted as she combined two murky mixtures together.

My heart was racing and my body was shaking with adrenaline. The slithering movement within my stomach continued to spike my fear.

“IT KICKED!”

“Boy get a grip Blake.” Sasha said from beside me with a hint of amusement.

“So much for a tough guy.” Arlo added.

Cora whipped around. “Sasha, Arlo! Just hold him still! If he moves too much it’ll work up that thing inside of him and it could cause some serious damage!”

The mention of serious damage and the untimely movement within my stomach sent me into more spasms of panic.

“HOLD HIM STILL!” Cora grabbed my jaw and squeezed it causing me to open my mouth and gasp in pain. Then the thick mixture was poured down my throat, leaving a tingling feeling in my mouth.

I was fed up with involuntarily eating things.

I croaked, “W-what was that?”

“Something your little friend there won’t like.” Cora said with a smirk. “That thing will be coming up the same way it clawed itself in. Back up boys, you’ll want to steer clear for this.”

At that Arlo and Sasha let go of my arms and stepped away, Arlo letting out a “Ew-.”

I breathed quickly, unable to think. Still I could feel the monster inside me. It was swirling around quickly, clearly unhappy. My body began to violently contract with gagging.

In my mingled made murky with fever and fear I formed the question, what did Cora make me swallow? I leaned forward quickly as the gaging reached its worst.

“Guys get your weapons! Here it comes!”

Galer
Galer
1 month ago

Yearly Surprise

by Galer.

“So how are you doing?” he asked grabbing the phone with his stocky but muscular arms,” because for me it was a good day ”

Leonardo the dwarf didn’t notice the strange dark glyph his phone manifested, not that he could have caught it anyway given that it was the size of a small needle.

“Oh! I am ok alright,” Marian said on the other side, her gooey hands still on her phone none-wiser of the glyph “it was a good sunny day although remember the dye I drink for hallowing?”

“What happened with that?” The dwarf asked the nymph the glyph started to get a countdown that was descending, ” I thought you cleaned that Green hue from your body after Halloween?”

“I did until it wasn’t, the thing turned out to be one of those magical ones, and triggered at random,” she said completely deadpan and annoyed ” so Imagine my surprise went that happened and now it was harder to take off,”

“By Odin, I can imagine that now, hard to get rid of now that it’s magic,” said the dwarf while the dark thing still progressively ticked down towards the end,” did you try to find a curse breaker or anything similar? ”

the glyph reached zero, but the conversation wasn’t interrupted, at all, it keep going peacefully until it finished.

“I will be busy in a couple of minutes have fun this Christmas,” she said after which she closed the phone.

“Have a lovely Christmas too,“ the dwarf replied and closed the phone shut, he got out of the room and towards the kitchen.

however, the instant that happened a Cachophonus, sound scaped the room he walked away from, and as quickly as he could run back inside it, in a panic.

only to be met with gaudy Christmas decorations, and fake snow everywhere, in the room the dwarf and his Jaws hit the floor but the shock slowly turned into a chuckle.” Merry Christmas you Maniac”

Oliver, the therianthropic bastard, did his yearly Christmas prank again.

Last edited 1 month ago by Galer
Marx
Marx
1 month ago

Be Prepared
By Marx

I feel Nisha staring, but I refuse to look back.

Even when her eyes glow an ominous crimson.

Even when she slowly crawls toward me, her sharp teeth bared.

I keep my eyes forward, only perceiving her actions in my peripheral vision.

“Tell me what you know, mortal!” She snarls at me.

I finally look at her with a challenging smirk. “Or what?”

Nisha blinks wide-eyed, clearly not expecting that response. “Or… I will… pout! With vigorous intensity!”

“Or… you just watch the rest of the movie, and find out yourself.”

Nisha’s eyes glow again in defiance. “You make an infuriatingly suspicious face whenever I say something about the protagonist. I demand to know why!”

“Remember that not at all creepy speech you gave me before about wanting to know everything about me? About wanting to argue with me so we can make up? About wanting to know what terrifies me and what brings me joy? About wanting to hurt me and be hurt by me and all those… completely normal words of affection?”

Nisha nods. “Yes. Of course I do. I stand by every word.”

“Great. This is one of my favorite movies. Enjoy.” I try not to grin as Nisha flashes me a dirty look but slowly turns back to the TV.

“Also, Scar isn’t the protagonist.” I add as my smirk breaks through.

Nisha’s eyes shoot wide again, glaring at me anew. “I am no fool! Scar is the most sympathetic character! He twisted his unfortunate circumstances and took control of them. He murdered his more powerful foe through ingenious trickery and turns what should be his enemies into powerful allies! He also has the best song!”

“Okay. That last point is fair.” I say with a chuckle.

“All he needs to do is find that lazy whelp of a cub and destroy him! It will be easy! He doesn’t even eat meat anymore! He’ll be malnourished and ripe for the plunder! Scar will make a great king.”

I continue fighting my amusement and keep my eyes directly ahead, throwing a piece of popcorn into my mouth.

LanaMae
LanaMae
1 month ago

Friggin Christmas

It’s friggin Christmas, again for the 13th time I am stuck in the least Christmas-like place in the world. The flipping desert , nothing but sand and sun for thousands of miles. Well and my bunker with 3 other soldiers.

This is the 13th time I have been through this day. If I don’t get it right this time then the world will explode instead of just the bomb outside of the bunker. 13 days ago we were diffusing the bomb and Will cut the wrong wire, we all died, the 2nd ,3rd and 4th times I tried to stop them from getting us all killed and I failed .

The 5th time I thought I had it , but we missed the secondary timer and it blew anyway. I don’t even want to talk about the next 3 times, it is too gruesome to remember,let alone discuss.

The 9th time we never had a chance to defuse anything, some dip ward dropped tabletops from the sky and everything blew up when it hit the bomb.

The 10th time I tried to defuse it myself by sneaking out when everyone else was asleep. That went poorly, I don’t have time to explain it.

The next 2 times I don’t have room in my journal to explain it all, so here’s the last chance to save the entire planet.

The ‘lucky’ number 13, right? So I have tried to explain it to my fellow soldiers every day this week as I keep repeating things.

I have decided to do it a little differently this time. It says nothing about if I die, only that I need to save my troops. I have found a tool for moving the device , when everyone else falls asleep, I will start the very delicate process of moving it away from them and into the middle of the crevice 1/4 of a mile away.

I finally made it, and I dropped the device down the crevice and I passed out, I woke up today in the hospital with no arms or legs.

The End

Iosef Paramonov
Iosef Paramonov
1 month ago

Mastodon in the Chamber
by Iosef Paramonov

The staff huddled together in the drawing room corner, too frightened to speak. Meanwhile, the Earl was sprawled out on the chaise longue, puffing on his favourite pipe. His guests sat all around on sofas and armchairs, chatting merrily away on various topics.

The elephant watched them all from the doorway.

As the staff eyed the enormous pachyderm, a passionate debate erupted from the seated aristocrats. The Earl snapped his fingers.

“Wilkins, come here please,” he called.

The grey-haired and white-faced butler of the house froze at the sound of his name. He felt himself be pushed from the corner, before walking stiffly to his master’s side. Not once did he take his eyes off the elephant.

“Wilkins, we were having a little discussion,” said the Earl, “If you don’t mind, we’d like a little input from you.”

“…certainly… Sir…,” said Wilkins.

“Now, say you wanted to discuss an impending but troublesome topic. How would you bring it up in conversation?”

Wilkins looked at the elephant. The elephant looked back.

“What… kind of topic, Sir?”

“Well, say there was a loose wild animal. You observe — Good Heavens man, what are you doing?!”

The elephant had taken a step forward. Wilkins had leapt behind an armchair in which sat a Colonel.

“N-Nothing, S-Sir,” he stammered, “J-just tying my-”

He stopped as the elephant step forward again. Its left tusk was just an inch behind the Earl’s head.

“Goodness, you’re as white a sheet!” exclaimed the Colonel to Wilkins, “Whatever could be wrong?”

The elephant raised its trunk. There was the sound of smashing glass behind Wilkins.

“What on earth was that?” cried a Countess.

Wilkins turned around, noting the smashed window and absence of all other staff members.

Turning back, he watched in horror as the elephant brought its trunk down and…

…gently caressed the Earl’s head.

The Earl looked up, a light in his eyes.

“Ah Wilkins,” he said, “Forgot to mention, this is Pico, a gift from the Raja of Manipur. He’ll be staying with us from today, so do take care of him, will you!”

Strong Berry
Strong Berry
1 month ago

A Fight On Christmas Eve
By Strong Berry

It’s Christmas Eve. Tonight, there is a fight between a man, his mind, and death.

The man mentioned seems to be in his golden age. His name is James, and, like many people who reach his age, his is quite forgetful. Unlike many people, he is gentle, kind and knows about almost every science to a doctorate level. James also managed to live for 149 years, 80 years past the age he was supposed to die at. He achieved this with a strict daily routine of medicine and exercise, and makes a living by offering private lessons in the sciences. Today is Christmas Eve, so lessons were free.

Right now, James has just returned home. He is beginning to search for the final pill of the day to take. He has lived for so much longer than he should’ve, and relied on every step of the routine to keep him alive. In the past, James calculated that completing it even 5 minutes late would be fatal to him. But poor James’s age seemed to have got to him, because he cannot remember where he put that final pill.

It is in his left breast pocket. A green pill on red cloth, he would notice it easily if he would look straight down.

At first, James’s search is calm, but soon he is in panic. He is trying so hard to just remember where he put the damned thing! Sweat is running down his face, his hands are shaking, he is breathing hard, knowing every breath might be his last if he doesn’t find the pill. He is counting down precious seconds in his head, panicking more and more. He is searching his whole apartment, moving faster than he ever moved before, and the pill is still in his left breast pocket.

James is tired. He hasn’t found it, and there are barley 15 seconds left to live. He is thinking about his life. He is looking down to think his final thoughts when he sees the pill. “AH!” He cries. He grabs it, his hand is moving towards his mouth…

Last edited 1 month ago by Strong Berry
Strong Berry
Strong Berry
1 month ago

Please ignore this comment, my story is above!

Last edited 1 month ago by Strong Berry
Hastaw
Hastaw
1 month ago

Aaaah!

By: Hastaw

“Heya! What’s everyone staring at?” They wouldn’t answer; their mouths were open in a silent scream. One of them said,” look up.” I looked up but didn’t see anything. “What?” I said more than asked. “Not there. Here.” He moved my head in a diagonal direction, precisely 60 degrees southwest of my head’s original location.

The sky had a huge Saturn-looking orb in the distance. I felt a lurch in my stomach. “I…huuuuurgh…” was all I could manage. While I t was inching closer and closer, all I could think was,” I kinda wanna touch it.” I slowly put my hand up, to minimize the stupidity of the idea.

I felt cold and foggy all of a sudden, but that was probably due to the setting sun. If this was how I was gonna go, I was glad this was one of the last things I was to witness.

The planet was slightly backlit, and the crystalline surface cast a rainbow shimmer on the brown and white surface like oil on concrete.

I put my hand down, and the planet shifted. “Huh. Correlation or causation?” I thought to myself. I put my hand up, and it slowly started to inch away. “Well…that’s not normal.” I thought. Then, the planet rapidly darted forward, feeling like it responded to my torrent of emotions. I panicked and started flailing my arms as if to say no. To my surprise, it listened.

Everyone flocked to the middle of the neighborhood, though I wasn’t paying attention at the time. Everyone looked ready to pass out. I helped my neighbors to get home. I wasn’t sure where to go from there. I watched as the planet edged out of existence.

I don’t think I’ll ever sleep again after that incident. It’s as if someone were to put a bomb under the table, and it stopped exploding midway.

Faustini
Faustini
1 month ago

To Catch Him
by Spawn of Faust

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Clock was ticking as midnight slowly approached. Single snowflake dropped down from the cloud sky. In a short while a curtain of snow covered everything that the eye could see.

I had no idea what kind of treatment I would get. Had I been nice or naughty? I had a faint idea that it did not matter.

Man in the red would certainly arrive and it was my job to catch him in the act. Coffee long gone cold was keeping me awake at my watch.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Midnight bell rang. Sound of carols had grown silent. My nerves were high strung, every little sound made my hand twitch. Something shuffled in the chimney and the sooth fell into the fireplace.

Small bat flew from the cold fireplace and circled around the room. I lifted my hand from the lever. Low silent jingle made me grasp the lever once again. There was no mistake, it was time for him to arrive.

Ding dong.

Doorbell announced someone’s presence. I wanted to ignore it, to focus on the chimney, but the guest was unrelenting and kept ringing the bell. I stood up from my resting place and opened the door.

“O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree. How lovely thy branches…” Carolers sang at my doorstep. I dropped them a few coins and returned to my place.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Minutes trickled by. Reheated coffee had been drunk a long time ago. Twitches and ticks were now everything that my body produced.

He had to arrive. He had to. It was my job to catch him.

First ray of the sun entered through the window and illuminated a single box. Wrapped box that had not been there the night before.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago

The End of A Conversation With Myself

By Joe

What does the last human do when they’re all that’s left? They would exist like any other animal would. Suicide is even an option since animals such as swans have been known to do so when their mate has passed. But the last will have a conversation with themselves before anything else. So here I go.

I wonder where you all are and if your watching the last of your kind exist for what little time they have left. As I speak aloud, are you all hearing me?

The end has come, and suddenly the earth is louder without us. I will miss you dearly, and mourn the opportunities we’ll never know. Hopefully the afterlife will tell us why we were wrong, so it can feel like we didn’t do this for nothing. I hope we’ll have the humility to take the hard lesson because the potential unity after we leave is my last hope. If we can’t achieve peace after the big test then I fear our war will go on into the divine where it shouldn’t belong. But that’s only if there is an afterlife. Our clamor of war and peace scares me, but our silence terrifies me more.

But what I really want to know is whether we’re sorry. I’m sorry for what I’ve done, and forgive those who hurt me and my loved ones. We’ve agreed on each other’s happiness but not our ways of attaining it. We’ve agreed that everyone has problems, but that became a convenient excuse to do nothing. We’ve agreed on the need for progress, but not what nor how we should progress. We were born from each other’s love and rage, and though our story went on it’s like we never turned the page. When I join you, all wish is for the answer.

So I ask one last time, are we sorry?

Skeleton
Skeleton
1 month ago

Deadly Orders (The Will)
By Skeleton

They were already dead, but they didn’t know it.

Zaila looked up from the grass under her boots to the three brothers—her stalwart companions—her family—with the forced laugh she had perfected. “He married half of the races in Youl’en!” Haval deeply giggled. “Three more wives and we’d have a complete set!” Haval had said the joke about their shared father, but different mother, and Zaila had only worked her way through a third of her eggs. She was behind pace.

“It would make the holidays more interesting,” snorted Yaskjer. “We have the avonis—” he motioned to himself “—a wulack—” then to Skore “—and a baru,” he completed, pointing his feathered digits towards his last, bear-like brother. “The human and rameet wives would be easy enough to con, but a dragoness?”

“He’d have better luck with a wyvern!” Haval finished. The three brothers laughed together heartily, though for Skore, that only came in the form of a light chuckle.

Zaila could not take her eyes off of the wulack warrior. For the brothers, it had only been a month since they met, but for the dragoness… even though she knew them for longer, she wouldn’t wish their fate upon anyone.

Skore met her eyes, crashing them back into the grass. “You alright, commander?” he asked quietly, but saturated with kindness.

She didn’t deserve to be called commander: she was only fifteen and it had gotten them killed. Or… will get them killed. Brutally.

“Worried about your first foray into the field as commander of Cerberus squad?” Haval boomed, easily reaching over and comforting the young girl’s shoulder. “We’ll make sure you look good for the boss man! What’s the worst that could happen?”

“I lead us right into an ambush getting two of you killed, losing my arm, and spurring Eymir to lose control of the demon inside him, ending the world entirely?”

The silence was deafening for only a moment before Haval and Yaskjer burst out laughing. She looked away, hiding her terror.

When she looked back, Skore wasn’t laughing with them. He looked as if he foresaw his death.