Hello, Lost Boys and Wandering Wendys!
Welcome! Oh don’t cry, darling! You’re safe now. You’re among friends. Just like you, no one here knows their way back home. But I think you’ll grow to like it here, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
Where the Lost Things Go
RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!
This prompt can be equal parts gentle and comforting, as it can be tragic and terrifying, all depending on the direction in which you take it. One of the interesting things about this prompt is it’s not just about a lost person, or thing, it’s about a place.
One of the first directions to which my mind goes is lost children. Maybe a child is crying in the woods, only to be rescued by a friendly troll, whose cave becomes a haven for them. Contrarily, you could write about a child lured away from the right path by a fae, brought to their world, and unable to leave—the child may not have been lost in the woods, but they are once they follow the call. Perhaps you could write about an orphanage; It’s a place where lost children go, but is it a place of belonging, or a place of neglect? You could even write about a child getting lost at the amusement park, rescued by a staff member, who takes them to guest services, telling them that this is a magical place where all lost things go.
But children aren’t the only people who can be lost. Adults can too; they just have a harder time admitting it—whether it’s figurative or literal. You could write about a couple in the car having the quintessential “You don’t know where you’re going!” argument. Perhaps they land at a truck stop, and the guy at the cash register laughs because they get this a lot. You could write about a lost mind; the ravings of a lunatic in an asylum, or else someone finally deciding to go to therapy after a while of feeling mentally lost. You could tie it to last week’s prompt—souls can be lost too. Where do they go?
You could make the lost things truly inanimate objects. You could write about a sock getting lost in the dryer, entering a fantasy world where all lost socks go. Maybe when our keys get lost they’re not really sitting on our counter, maybe they enter another realm for a little while. You could write about a child’s favorite toy going on to have a better life after getting lost. Maybe you could write about a collector whose museum houses all the objects the world has lost. Maybe a kleptomaniac’s house is where the lost things go…they’re just the one who made them “lost” in the first place.
Much like my fae idea earlier, you could write about a place that, instead of being a haven for those already lost, causes people to become lost by entering it. The Lost Woods that no one ever escapes. The Labyrinth that dooms its inhabitants to wander within forever. The City that claims all who enter.
You could even combine some of these ideas. A child following their lost plush toy. An adult thinking they saw their own child self in the mirror, or reminiscing when they see their old childhood home from a highway overpass. Or a lost object wishing to return home and taking the risk of dragging its owner down with it.
My challenge for you this week is to write about a story from your real life. Go back to the painful memory of the time you lost your favorite toy as a child. You could even try to redeem the memory by telling the story of the magical land to which your toy went. Write about when you got lost in the grocery store. Tell me about the time last week when you lost your headphones. [If you do this, feel free to put (Based on a true story) next to the title, so I know you’re attempting the challenge.]
Like I said, I think you’ll like it here. Because you don’t have any other choice.
—Kaylie & Paul
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!
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- Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
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What to Submit
- Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
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Revenge of the Forgotten
Markus flopped down onto his bed, breathing out a sigh of relief. Nothing was more satisfying than being able to see your floor again after a successful cleaning session, but the process was tiring and now he just needed to sleep.
He glanced at his floor again, trying to bask in his work well done, only to see a small lego brick sitting on the floor that he had not noticed before. He let out another sigh, this time one of disappointment, as he got out of his bed and leaned over to pick up the lego.
“How did you get there?” He asked it, as if it could answer. It, of course, gave no response, so Markus was left talking to a silent lego brick.
Markus moved, thoughtless and tired, to place the lego with the rest of them, when he felt a sudden sharp pain in his foot. The suddenness of the pain caused Markus to fall to the ground, holding his foot and searching his floor for the cause, which he quickly found was a small chess knight standing upwards and now facing him. Looking closer, he recognized this piece from a portable chess set he used to own, but had thrown away from loosing so many of the pieces.
Suddenly, before he could get up, he found himself immobilized as he felt a familiar material wrap itself around his arms and legs. He moved his head up to see what was happening to see that his legs were tied together in a thick knot of mismatched socks.
“WHAT THE-“ He tried to shout, only to be muffled by a gag of more socks. He looked around, panicked, trying to figure out what was happening, only to find more questions. He found himself surrounded by playing cards, just as mismatched as the socks. Then he heard a voice.
“It’s awful, being lost.” The voice said. Markus tried to find the source of the voice but failed “We blame you.”
Markus felt a sharp pain on the back of his head and blacked out.
You Work For Me (CW: Trafficking)
Thirteen entered Rikke’s office. “Andre’s back. And he’s got someone with him.”
“Excellent!” A smile grew on Rikke’s face.
Thirteen led her down to the barroom of the club. Andre was a large bruiser that sometimes worked as a bouncer at the club, and sometimes as an enforcer for Rikke’s less legal businesses. Seated next to him was something that looked like a cross between a goblin and an orc.
“Hey boss, I got one,” Andre said.
Rikke briefly flashed back to the last few days. The blackout of all light, natural and artificial. The appearance of the white portals in the air. And the reports of visitors from another dimension. Rikke suspected that the few reported ones were dealt with and partially covered up by Sonja Jarlsdottir’s group.
Naturally, Rikke used what resources she could to find as many of the remaining visitors as she could. There was undoubtably money to be made in it.
“Does he speak English? Or anything understandable?” Rikke asked.
Andre nodded “I’ve managed to talk to him in Orcish, but it’s like reading Charles Dickens. His speech is really old school.”
The creature started talking in Orcish, but while Rikke knew what it sounded like, she didn’t understand it. Andre answered him.
“He says he wants to go back home. He wants to go back to Thesran.”
Thesran? Rikke had heard of it. The common trade tongue was supposedly close to…
“Do you understand me?” she asked in Old Danish.
The creature looked at her, a sign of recognition on its face. “Yes.”
“You work for me now. We will teach you our language. Teach you to look like a human. When you earn enough money for me, I will send you home. Do you understand?”
The creature nodded. “I work you. You teach me. When work done, you send me home.” He paused. “How long?”
Rikke smiled. “Probably a few years.”
The creature’s face fell, but it nodded again.
“If you know where anyone else from Thesran is, I’ll send you back sooner.”
The creature’s face lit up and it nodded.
Lost and Found (Chronicles of The Dragon)
The warehouse was large and open. Only a small portion of it was individual rooms, presumably offices and maybe a breakroom if the employees had been lucky. The majority of its square footage was filled with miscellaneous boxes, pallets of merchandise, and shipping containers. And people.
A hodgepodge of humanity, most of them were milling about in small groups, some even talking to each other. A few were walking around the outside of the room. Some were visibly carrying weapons. One was juggling fireballs. It wasn’t clear if she was doing it to alleviate boredom, or to intimidate, but it did both.
The sound of an engine announced a truck’s arrival, and a minute later one of the large doors rolled up to let it in. One of the people who’d been patrolling the edges guided the driver as he backed in. Once parked and loading doors closed, the doors on the back of the truck opened and a woman walked up. “Alright, get out,” she said with a wave of her hand.
A few of the people in the truck jumped out immediately and started looking around. Others were more cautious, peeking out and looking around before climbing down. The newcomers were left to find their own place in the room.
A man walked out of the office on the upper level and whistled. “Andre!”
One of the men looked up. “What?”
“Round up some of the smaller ones. Time for class.”
Andre nodded, and walked away. He slapped one of the men with a gun and waved for him to follow.
They walked around the room, pulling people aside. “You. You. Both of you.” He said, his partner directing them to stand against the wall. Soon, Andre had selected over a dozen, and had seemingly found everyone that met his requirements. Except…
“Hey! You, hiding between the crates! Berry hat! Get over here. You’re learning to pick locks.”
Me & I
It’s a shame I never joined my toys.
I imagine the toys I lose get found, like my teddy bear named Thomas. I lost him after a show and tell at my preschool, maybe someone found him. Maybe he’s still at that school for all the new kids to play with. Either way he probably found a home and made those around him as happy as he made me when I was little. I’d like to imagine all my lost toys found a home.
But I lost myself too. Around my sophomore year of highschool I decided to really find out who I was. I have no better way to describe that year other than I ripped apart my psyche to get a good look at every shred and splinter of who I was. I don’t think I enjoyed it but honestly I don’t remember how I felt, I remember the silence though. For about two months my busy, cloudy, thought infested brain was replaced by an introspective lab, finding and sorting all my traits. My skills and flaws. My wants and needs. All until I asked why I did this in the first place.
To which I never answered. I Instead basked in my very own psychological autopsy.
Have you ever seen yourself, I mean truly, have you ever stared at everything you ever were and all you are, just laid bare and dead before you?
I was scared for a while, I think it took about a week to get back in proper working order. And I could tell I was different from who I was. To best describe my current self would be that I feel like a frankenstein of myself. Stitched together from pieces of me, my loved ones, and my inspirations I am now an engine that feels incomplete and alien.
I know I am very much myself now, just as much as I know that I lost who I was. It’s a shame I know the old me never found a home
Purple Beret (Based on True Story)
By Xavier Twentyone
I was fresh, naïve, and stupid when I entered university. That is until I met Menwa personally and thought to myself “wouldn’t it be cool if I entered their group?” I said to myself rashly, oblivious of what comes next.
Menwa is short for Resimen Mahasiswa or, in English, Student Regiment. It is a student organization group where over the next year, students in the group would receive training of the mind and body to become somewhat of a mock soldier. We even went to a training camp with actual soldiers themselves. Sadly, that is the only good part of my existence there.
You see, being with them…I was never happy to say the least. I was constantly scared of them. Scared of being screamed at, scared of being swung at, and most importantly scared of being myself.
I had, to say the least, failed to be the “Menwa” they wanted. I looked like a “Fool” to them. I had a “Hunchback” figure because my neck was never straight when around them, I always somewhat opened my mouth slightly like a “Mad Hatter” around them, and my arms always loosened up when walking so they looked like “Noodles” around them. Even when not on duty, I always got berated because I looked like an “Idiot” when around them.
And thus, the constant screaming, the constant intimidation, the constant exploitation, the constant bullying, and the many “Constant”s persisted even until I finally got my beret. The Purple Beret we called them, and something happened from that on.
A few hours after I got my purple beret, a senior told me to put it on a chair while I was preparing my equipment. My beret vanished after that. I was terrified, and began to look everywhere. I was frightened because a beret isn’t something that should be put down recklessly in the first place. It was the culmination of everything I had suffered for. Turned out my beret was with a different senior, where he sat on it while staring at me, daring me to do something.
Lake Forest, California (Based on a true story)
by Oliver Enslad
I snuck out of my parents home quite often. I never got caught, or they likely didn’t care. My only goal was to leave and maybe, I’ll never have to go back. We lived lavish, I was the only student in the school who’s home had it’s own bridge to get to my bedrooms. No matter how vast that mansion was, I still couldn’t help but feel smothered by the presence of all else that resided there too.
The city I ventured was called Lake Forest. Despite my time to explore, I never found a true lake. There were craters ripped from the earth where water would pool after petrichor lines the smell of the streets, undesirable for a swim. The forest was much easier to find, my secret homes more numerous than the streets we named.
I took the days to explore the one that was a stone’s throw away from my home. It was so small, shrunk by the greed of suburbia, that in less than a week I had a nickname for the trees that welcomed me, and even names for the ones with odd growth or ones that were near falling, I gave them a name so they would die not forgotten.
The forest comforted me, and after a while I explored my city to find larger tree lines to explore. When I walked upon my newest project, it’s density and width took my breath away, so I had to explore. As I walked into the darkness, the sun melted away and the lack of light hugged me. My comfort tricked me into thinking I knew what berry I ate.
I recognized the feeling of poor food choices, but not until I was too late to save myself. My back fell flat to the dirt, and I had no choice but to stare upwards. The sun rose and fell, the moon rose and fell and the cycle repeated time and time again. Someone had to be coming for me, I was paralyzed and lost. I couldn’t even cry.
Can’t Lose What Was Never Found (Based on a True Story)
By Asher Fable
It’s very difficult to describe the emotions when you realize that you haven’t lost your parents, they were just never really found to begin with.
My parents met through a mutual friend when my Dad was 23 and my Mom was 19, even back then they didn’t have a whole lot in common. Dad was a player with 4 girlfriends already, Mom had recently broken up with an abusive boyfriend of 3 years. Despite being told upfront that she wouldn’t be his only woman, Mom started a relationship with Dad and insisted that she’d make him love her…she was right.
The knowledge of my existence came in less than 6 months into my parents’ relationship and I was born when Mom was 20. I was little more than a hopeful plot from Mom to keep Dad from leaving her, as their few shared interests did little to keep the relationship. The difficulty I faced before birth only confirmed that Dad really couldn’t leave.
I spent most of my life moving around my city, a new school each year until grade 3. Most of my moves were because my parents had split up or gotten back together, 11 or 12 breaks up including the most recent at this time. Two moves, maybe, were because Dad got a new job.
My relationship with both of my parents is very strained now. Dad struggles to show his love for me at best or just convinced himself that he loves me when I was born at worst. Any time I attempt to spend with him Dad will disappear for an hour or talk to a random friend who will appear, like my time isn’t important to him. Mom has lost her grasp on reality, an undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenic who refuses to accept she has a problem.
At 29 I have realized a harsh truth about my life. I didn’t lose my parents as I grew up, I was merely able to see through the lies and acts. I can’t lose what I never had.
Lost But Not Forgotten (Legends of Talana Setting)
I think the hardest part of losing a child like this is the unknown. The wondering where Eliana went, what happened to her. In the first days it’s all the fear, did someone kidnap her, did she get hurt somewhere and can’t make it back home. Did she run away? Is she dead? Its all the self-recriminations. As her father I should have done more. I should have protected her. I could have done something!
Days turn to weeks. You realize just how many things could have gone wrong. The beasts of the woods. Even the stray Dream Horror, though far from their haunts, could have taken her. It could have been she simply ran away to be with some secret lover, though she is still young and not yet of age to marry. My wife expressed she had a boy in the village she fancied, but that she wasn’t yet ready to confess her feelings to him. I spoke to the boy she had fallen for to see if they might have spoken, or if he knew of anything about what might have happened to her. He told me he had not spoken to her recently, and somehow I believed him. Though I desperately wanted to blame someone for her vanishing, there was something in his eyes that told me that he was telling the truth.
Weeks turn to months. I worried more and more about the Dream Horrors. Some of them could creep into the minds of their victims and control them from the shadows. She had been acting strange in those days before she vanished. Could one of those creatures taken her away in the night, keeping her a slave to a strange and alien master, a creature out of nightmares?
Months turn to years. I saved up enough money. Enough to pay a Dreamwalker wizard to use his psychic magics to search for her in dreams and visions. Nowhere could she be found. Now I sit here and am left to wonder where the lost ones truly are?
Where the Lost Things Go
By Matthew R. Wright
Deep. An endless forever kind of deep. It rejected light and sound. No-one remembered when or how it was found. It just was. I blamed the current government. Located at the dead end of just about everywhere, everyone had visited the hole in the ground at least once. I knew of a woman that visited it everyday after her divorce and laughed into the empty space.
The sun had set on my life long ago. I slept standing, in uniforms and conversations. Existed in the same way a discarded Dr Pepper Can exists. Just there. Just waiting to be replaced with Coke.
The evidence locker. The forget-about-it hole. The place where the lost things go. It had many names and many purposes. I had found myself there. Amongst its many daily visitors. Joined one of the miles-long queues and waited. Ahead was a man with bags of dead-batteries. Ahead of him someone pushed a shopping-cart full of expired food. Behind me was a woman holding an urn. Behind her was someone with a box of hard-drives. Everyone had their reason to be there. Things always found a way of getting ‘lost’ here.
Hours passed and in my queue I had reached its side of the rim. I watched the man throw the shopping-cart in its entirety into the hole. Heard him sigh with relief.
We all shuffled forward a bit.
The moment had come.
Reached deep into my coat and took out the large industrial garbage-bag and shook it open. I placed it onto the dirt ground and stepped inside. Pulled the two cords to close the bag around me. Surrounded by darkness I waited to hear the batteries-guy too sigh with relief with what he had now ‘lost’ inside the hole.
Three large hops brought my feet peaking over the edge. I repeated the last words my father had said to me before he left to collect his Amazon order “If you ever find an endless hole in the ground, that’s where you’ll find my love for you.”
I leant forward and fell in.
I love you Dad.
Maddy’s Favor (Life of Madness)
by Lee Strangely
Though he was slow to move, Shiloh eventually got up out of bed. His neat and tidy room was flooded with the beautiful yellow light of the morning sun. He then lumbered his way over to shut off his alarm… That currently still had at least an hour before it was set to go off…
He was dumbfounded. He was absolutely sure that the sound had woken him up.
Shiloh perked up at the faint noise.
The sound of glass drew him to the only window in his room.
Two more pebbles struck the pane. Looking down from the second story he saw a girl with dark hair and worn coat.
Shiloh stuck his head outside, “Maddy?”
“Good, you’re up!” Maddy called, “Get down here!”
“Do you know what time it is?” he grumbled, “school starts in a couple hours.”
“I know, so get moving!”
“Maddy,” Shiloh blurted, “what’s going on?”
Her chipper attitude froze, “Back in the alley before, you offered me a favor…”
“Did you mean it?”
“Did you mean it?” she asked with dead seriousness.
“Then get down here!”
Outside, Maddy dragged him along with great speed, and no patience.
“M-Maddy slow down,” Shiloh begged.
Pavement, grass, roads, ditches… Avoiding rocks, hopping across streams… and climbing over a mangled metal fence.
Finally stopping, Shiloh noticed all the headstones, “This is a cemetery…”
“Uh huh… When you feel lost, you talk to your grandpa,” Maddy exclaimed, “I like to visit my mom…” She stepped out of the way to reveal the headstone reading ‘Charlie May Meridian.’
He looked at Maddy, “There’s no guarantee that I’ll actually talk to her.”
“I’m alright with that.”
“I don’t want to make you-”
“I’ll be fine…”
Reluctantly, Shiloh plunged his hand into the grass. The dying breeze, the wet soil, and Maddy’s intent gaze only made him more uncomfortable.
Eventually, he ceased, “I-I can’t feel anything… I’m sorry I…”
He looked up at Maddy. Her head was turned away, her face just out of his sight.
“I’m fine,” she muttered.
The Lost Forest
Deep in the forest, next to a quaint, cozy village, is a small house. In this house lived a little girl. Like most girls her age, Elyn enjoyed frolicking and skipping, pestering her older brother, and her daily adventures with her prized possession, a stuffed snow-white owl with sapphire eyes. “Elyn, come inside; it’s time for lunch!” a young boy yelled. The little girl was happily running towards the house.
It was a sunny day; no, to better describe that particular day, it was absolutely perfect. Yes, it was sunny, accompanied by a gentle breeze. A little boy of ten and his sister, two years younger, are playing through their own personal kingdom in the forest behind their cozy cottage. This place of mischievous fairies, helpful gnomes, wise spirits, and that which lies in the dark.
“Count to ten, Elly,” the boy said, gleefully running away.
As stated before, the day the awakening happened, it was a harmonious and beautiful day. Two siblings’ cheerful laughter can be heard through the woods.
Then it happened: the sounds of nature suddenly disappeared.
There was nothing but complete silence, which could be fine in any other circumstance, but in a forest, silence doesn’t seem right. It has this sort of strange, eerie feeling, like one is being followed. Simply put, the unknown is the predator, and we with our moral limitations are the prey.
“Elias, where are you?” Elyn cried, her voice alone and scared, breaking through the silence.
“Elias, please come out.” She cried again.
Suddenly a small bright orb appeared, accompanied by a man dressed in beautiful robes similar to those the royals might wear; he also donned a white owl mask that looked familiar.
“Good day, Lady Elyn, I am the tollkeeper at your service .” The figure introduced himself, giving the girl a bow.
“My brother, have you…” Elyn bawled, fearing the worst. Getting up from his fanciful now, the roll keeper pointed to the orb. “Why, Lady Elyn, he’s right besides me.”
On the Nature of the Source: A Study by the Elder
It has long been known that magic is powered by a substance currently known as Source, but it has gone by many names: Aether, Mana, Weave, Ki, I’ve even seen some use the term “Chakra”. All who use magic are very familiar with its use, the texture of power and the smell of potential, but it cannot be understated that even those less inclined to spellcasting use Source. In this study, I will uncover the true nature of Source, and what powers its infinite nature.
Source is clearly linked to life force, but life force itself appears split into three segments, each of which can be converted into source. Certainly, all must die bodily one day, but should one lose connection with their soul, or with their mind, are they any better off even though their body moves? It is just death of another kind, and makes one just as susceptible to becoming one with the Source as physical death does. This aside, Source can clearly be generated through mental, physical, or spiritual exertion. One must then simply be cautious as to not expend all of any part of themselves at once.
The abilities of source are well known, as it empowers a person to be able to use any skills they possess to an accelerated level, whether physical, mental, or magical. However, it is also where these abilities come from. It has been frequently documented that, should one choose to forget an ability, it must be retrieved directly from the Source should they change their mind. The same appears to apply to lives.
Should one who is not in the graces of a higher being, or in some cases, The Highest Being, as I have currently found no name for this being, perish, all forms of sentience and awareness are permanently lost within the Source. But, I have found ways outside of necromancy to bring them back, although the path is extraordinarily dangerous and puts all involved at risk of permanent death. Knowing this, I have decided not to attempt this. Let the dead find their own way back.
Lost between thoughts
Damp air was oozing out from behind the closed door, that the darkness was forcing me to open. The dim light coming from around the corner was enough to blend me after all the time I spend crawling through shadows unknown. Thus, it was only after a while that I opened my eyes to the strangeness of the place unfolding before my gaze. The walls and floor were of fleshy, pinkish colouring, as if organic, as if alive, without the thumping of a heart, but feeling the tingling of life under my touch. This was no manmade structure, instinct told me, it was no place for man to be. It was natures irredeemable irrationality that created these gruesome halls, these twisting nonsensical corridors. With every step I took, the path split up over and over again into a myriad of branches, all with the same disturbingly spongey floor, all riddled with unknown holes and tunnels impossible to traverse. I did not descend further and further down into this labyrinth of organic hell out of my own will, but out of the intrinsic impossibility staying in one place. At first it was nothing more than the desire to leave that abyssal darkness I have been crawling through for so long, but soon that desire grew, grew to be uncontainable, to be uncontrollable. Next it was the light, that accursed light that always shone from just behind the corner, that light that was not to be reached by man. Not reaching it drove me mad, made me panic, stricken by fear and utter disgust as I became more and more sensitive towards the nature of this place. I started running, running faster than I ever, for I knew, that I had to leave here, that this was no place for me to be, that I invaded upon a thinking mind, a thing, that was to not be disturbed. But as ran, a cliff drew near, a fleshy pinkish cliff, that opened its darker mouth, for me to be swallowed, as I fell into oblivion, helplessly.
The Queen’s Domain
By: The Missing Link
Come ye now to fields of thistle
Where in the breeze, grasses whistle
Seek this place ‘fore the morning’s frost
And ye will find a land of lost
Following the voices of the forest, Lucas found himself in what appeared as a village. Stairways of fungus roped around the trees as vines connected the building interlacing their branches. Glowing fruits and insects gave the town a soft glow.
Out of the largest tree walked a woman, the most beautiful Lucas had ever seen, a smiling child clasping each hand, “Welcome,” she said in the voice of the forest, all the ambiance falling silent at her word.
Lucas couldn’t find the state of mind to respond, too overwhelmed at the new sights. Thankfully the children brought him back down to… earth? Was this still earth?
“I’m Ellie,” said one of the children with a lisp as she ran up to him, “I learned how to spell my name this week.” She put her hands on her hips, beaming with pride at herself.
The other child, a boy no older than five, peaked out from behind the woman, “Sam.” He hid again.
“Um… L… Lucas.”
The woman’s smile was warmer than cider on a winter day, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Lucas. You can call me Titania, though these two have taken to saying mom instead. You must be cold, standing out here in the wind, come.” She beckoned inside her tree, causing Ellie to run over, giggling.
Inside, Titania wrapped Lucas in a silken blanket, so soft he could have melted into it. He could feel himself about to cry at the kindness he had never before known.
“It’s okay Lucas, you don’t have to go back to them. No one will hurt you here.” She stroked his hair like his friend’s mothers would do to comfort them. “You need only say the word.”
In Titania’s land of heather
Those beyond will know not whether
Their lost can rest where poppies grow
Or if their souls remain held low
If you are truly lost…
So you want to leave? To try again?
It does not matter.
Do you even know where you are? Do you even know how lost you are right now?
I have to say, for a living being to end up here, you must really have gone astray from your path. You messed up, broke bonds and promises, left things behind which you should never have forgotten.
You chose to take the path where no one could follow you. You claimed that you never cared. Not ever cared about anything, or anyone, that your heart could not be moved and that your life could never be shared.
Where did that bring you?
Here, to me.
This is where lost things go. I am Lost.
I tell you that there is no way out of here, no hope, no life, not even the glimmer of the slightest chance that you can change what you have done.
Did you really think that you could come here and then leave again, like nothing ever happened? Did you think that after all you have done, you would just get a second chance and could make it up to all those you have wronged? It doesn’t work like that.
And yet…you still take up your blade, stand before me and claim that you will not give up.
It fascinates me. You humans…you don’t know when to quit.
Maybe you have indeed learned a lesson.
But is it enough? Let me test how strong your will truly is.
Here you don’t get to decide, I do.
I decide if you are truly lost.
What happens to the stuff that falls into your couch?
By Sam C.
Don’t ever ask what happens to things that fall into the couch. Stop laughing! You think this is funny? You think you can withstand what lies within? Fine. Let me tell you what you’re up against.
First off, no light. You must traverse in absolute darkness. If you so much as strike a match and the thing will get you, and you’ll never make your way back out.
Second off, the thing. The eldritch, impossible thing in there. Round, fuzzy, no, more like leather- Ah, forget it! They call things “eldritch” and “ineffable” for a reason. Whatever it is, you make one wrong move, make one noise a bit too loud, and it will find you in a second.
Third off, the SCALE of it… Think of a labyrinth made of thousands of miles of shifting mountains and vast plains of leather and short, fuzzy fabric. You couldn’t navigate it if you had light, technology, and a thousand years to try.
Fourth. The noise. When you step into that cursed place, you are bombarded, nay, deafened by the sound of trillions of pounds of coins all hitting against one another, the sound of thousands of blaring TV’s static and overlapping sounds. You will never hear what you do, all the more perilous considering the thing can hear you above all of that.
Fifth. There’s thousands of couches in the world. All of them lead here. What makes you think you can find the right one on your way back out? How are you sure that you won’t end up in feudal China, or the far future couch left in the vacuum of space? You can’t be. You won’t be.
Finally, entering that place can break you. All of it at once is too much for the fragile human mind. The best you can do is end up insane, somewhere so far away from home that the thought feels like just another delusion. You die the moment you crawl inside, no matter the outcome. Heed my words, forget about that controller. Or do you still think you can handle the depths?
The Tavern At Trail’s End
By Norman Gray
Many acquaintances can be made within tavern walls. . . But few taverns are both so strange, yet so mundane as the Bogwater Inn.
Upon entering the Bogwater, you’ll likely see nothing amiss, nothing particularly noteworthy. In fact, you’ve probably pictured it in your mind’s eye before even stepping through the front door; a roaring fireplace, chandeliers long overdue for a dusting, oak tables circled by chairs, enough for plenty of patrons, though crowds are a rare sight at the Bogwater.
It is seemingly, ordinary. . . What makes the Bogwater unusual however, is its location. For it is the tavern at trail’s end; a weary wanderer’s final respite before what could perhaps be, a point of no return. The last place anywhere, and the beginning of nowhere. . .
For what lies beyond the beaten path, well, who’s to say?
Few, if any, reach this place without a story to tell, should they choose to share, and should anyone be eager to listen. One must tread through peril, mischief or misdeeds, fleeing away or even towards danger to find themselves in this forgotten land, leaving their past behind, stepping into the uncharted in search of something that perhaps none have ever found. . .
What might your story be, weary traveler?
If the truth ill-suits you, and your secrets are unsafe in the hands of strangers, then be certain to have your mistruths and misdirections well prepared. For any wanderer who sets foot in his establishment will be a peculiar sight indeed for Belyle Bogwater, owner and barkeep. He is not one to pass up the opportunity to hear a stranger’s tale. . . Not much happens around these parts, don’t you know? A man must entertain himself, somehow.
As you enter, his inquiring eyes will no doubt settle upon you. . . Consider your words carefully. Lies, objection, silence or scorn, he’s seen it all before. Few who’ve entered his establishment have ever dissuaded him, or made him refrain from prodding, and gaining answers to that most tempting of questions:
“So, what brings you to the Bogwater, stranger?”
J. J. Peterson
LOST: “Hello? I … I think I’m lost.”
FOUND: “Lost?! Certainly not anymore. No, you are found.”
LOST: “No, I really don’t know where I am.”
FOUND: “I know. But I know where you are.”
LOST: “Can you help me find my way back?I have a meeting tonight, and my family will start worrying.”
FOUND: “Trust me. You’re right where you need to be.”
LOST: “Why don’t you just tell me how to get out of here, and then I can decide when I’m where I need to be!”
FOUND: “Oh, don’t you understand? You’ve arrived. I’m the place where lost things go. You have come home.”
LOST: “If you don’t have anything helpful to say, I think I’ll head out on my own.”
FOUND: “You’ll only end up back with me.”
LOST: “Is that supposed to make me feel better? Besides, it’s THE place where lost things go.”
FOUND: “Please, don’t get exasperated like that. A place could be found, and that defies the point of being lost, so I got changed to a person, this way we can always stay lost somewhere else.”
LOST: “Can you shut up and let me think. I need to find a way home.”
FOUND: “I understand. You’re confused and frustrated. But you’re taking this the wrong way. Being lost is a good thing. In fact, if you don’t like to think about it like that, try this: I found you. That means you’re no longer lost.”
LOST: “I’ll know when I’m found, thank you very much. And being lost is quite a bad thing, trust me I know. I still miss the watch my dad gave to me when I was young. The last piece I had of him, rusting away somewhere.”
FOUND: “Oh, you mean this watch? Don’t worry, I’m keeping it safe.”
LOST: “Give it here!”
FOUND: “But then it wouldn’t be lost, would it?”
LOST: “It’s mine.”
FOUND: “You lost it. It’s mine. You’re lost. You’re mine. Resign yourself, and let’s have a civil conversation.”
LOST: “So… What’s your favourite colour of wagon?”
Visiting the Lost
By Strong berry
It has been 20 years since Wanda’s death and Winston Johns went to visit her grave. On the tombstone was written “Wanda Johns. 1954 – 2009”. He placed a bouquet of orchids on her grave and sat down near it.
“So, another year passed…” Winston said to the tombstone after a small silence. “I hope you’re alright up there with the… angels and God and what not, or… wherever you are.” After her death, though he was an atheist, Winston began to study different versions of the afterlife. All of a sudden he wondered, do any souls get lost on the way to… whatever the afterlife is? If so, where do they go? Do they become ghosts? Winston knew that if anyone could get lost on the way to the afterlife, it would be Wanda. He tried to imagine her calling him trying to get to Heaven, asking him where to turn next because the damn GPS isn’t working again, and him stopping whatever he was doing, like always, to help her.
Then Winston realized he forgot the sound of her voice. He remembered it was sweet, that it was fun to listen to, even when she got angry, but what it actually sounded like… he forgot. He pulled out a smiling photo of Wanda, because he had a little trouble recalling the face that made him fall in love all those years ago. What happened to his memories? Are they… gone too? He looked at the orchids he brought. Her favorite flowers. At least he hasn’t forgotten that yet.
“I am getting old, Wanda.” He told the tombstone. “It hasn’t been easy here without you. I think about you every day. I already told you this but… you saved me, Wanda. You showed me the way… the way of love. You found in me what I thought was lost forever. And I promise…” He started to feel tears coming up. “…that your memory will not be lost.”
Winston tried to hold himself, but the tears started flowing from his eyes.
Lost causes and loose ends.
I prune the prickly peony with impeccable precision when a voice distracts me from my work.
“Have you seen a blue bear?”
I look back at the woman “A bear?”
“Yes, a teddy bear! Blue with a white belly. I must have dropped it somewhere.”
“I don’t remember” She bites her upper lip as she thinks “Pink, I remember pink.”
“Forget the bear, go home.”
“What?” She sounds perplexed. “No, I need this bear!”
“It’s important it’s…”
“If you won’t help me find it, I’ll go look myself, good da-”
“Wait!” I sheathe the shears and pull out the plant mister “If I give you the teddy bear will you leave this place?”
“How rude this garden is public property-”
“No, it’s not! Look at the sign.” I grunt with the pent-up frustration of countless interlopers.
“What!?” The woman huffs indignantly.
“The sign, above the gate, read it.”
“Exactly, now this way.”
We make our way to the greenhouse in silence.
The air is heavy, hot and wet.
I look at the door, the lock cracked and crumbled.
By now it’s hard to know who to blame, the trespassers or the plants.
Nevertheless, we go in together.
The oblivious oleander is not a plant. It’s a monster in the shape of a magnificent, tall, tempting pink bloom.
“Hold your breath.”
“Why?” the woman challenges.
“You want the stupid bear, right?”
She opens her mouth to retort, then thinks better of it and obeys.
I spray the plant.
The flower convulses, squeezing and trembling until its heart bursts open with a sick, slimy, crack.
A battered blue teddy bear slides out of the gaping maw.
I pick it up, dry it with my apron, hand it off.
She looks perplexed “But how? When?”
“Just go! Now and don’t ever come back.”
The flower gagged and choked as a second thing dropped down to the cloying earth.
A boy, six, maybe seven, half-digested.
I sigh, pick him up.
Then toss him back.
“At least have the decency to let her forget completely.”
Desperation’s Resting Place (Alchemy’s Kin Unofficial)
The cold feeling of boots on his face was not unfamiliar to Hayato. He’d expected as much when he saw signs of an underground alchemy ring and a Philosopher’s Stone, and to be fair to himself, he’d kept himself out of trouble for the most part. For each beat down he received, there was an exponential gain in information the next time around.
But this time, he may have rattled the cage a little too hard.
“Not so clever now, eh, little punk?” The hooded figure dug his heel into his captive’s cheek. “Just couldn’t keep your nose out of other people’s business?”
Hayato only growled in response.
“I’ll give you this. You got further than a lot of people have. Most of ‘em don’t even make it to the entrance,” he continued, looking up and motioning to someone out of Hayato’s sight. There was a shuffling sound, followed by the metal scrape of a door opening. From it came a cacophony of sounds: two pairs of boots striding in rhythm, as well as another pair of shoes frantically skittering across the floor.
He didn’t know who had come in, but he soon found out once the body had been unceremoniously flung down beside him.
There his sister was, bound and gagged, silver eyes seemingly glazed over, twitching miserably and wincing in pain.
He knew what was happening.
Her erratic visions of the future had gotten worse.
“Damn you!” Hayato yelled, trying in vain to break his bonds. His captor crouched down, a smug grin lining his face.
“Your pathetic antics end here, thief” he said, pulling a silver revolver out of his pocket. “You mess with the Reaper, you—”
“I think the Reaper will decide that for herself,” rang a low, intimidating voice that seemed to suck the life out of the whole room. Hayato looked up.
A slender figure stood above them, red eyes glowing out of a menacing black mask, scythe on its shoulder.
For the first time in his life, Hayato had no idea what to do.
The Buried and Repressed (Darkspell Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)
Valerie had seen a lot of things in this strange world made of dreams, but going uphill in a river was new, even for her. The boat she’d found was a small fishing vessel, she’d found washed up and wrecked on a sandbank. She eyed the sky warily, but no glowing gash opened this time. It promised to be a quiet dream-walk.
The buzzing in her head started long before she even reached what caused it. Like a beehive in her skull, her mind felt suddenly active. Goosebumps rose on her arms, as something unseen began to flood her mind. For the first time in her life, Valerie felt something she’d never felt before, while dream-walking.
She felt pain.
It wasn’t the same pain as a cut or a scratch. It was something beneath the surface, breaking into her mind with a ferocity and desperation, rarely seen outside of starving predators. From all sides, something began to bear down on her. A kind of terror, not like what she knew from books or movies, but something real. Real horror of real people.
Valerie screamed as the weight of this horror began to overwhelm her. Images flooded her mind. Impressions tried to force their way into her senses. She hadn’t even noticed that she’d fallen off the boat and was steadily floating on the stream, pulling her down the hill, further and further away from whatever was swarming her.
She tried to force it back, to push it off her, like she had done so many times before. Any bogeyman, any nightmare cowered before her; feared her, like their victims feared them. But this was different. This was like trying to pry nails from a plank with your bare hands. Every time she managed to wriggle one free, another would take its place, piercing the hull of her mind like a bullet.
Then, Valerie did something she hadn’t done in years.
She jerked awake. With a yelp, she shot bolt upright, clutching her stinging chest, staring ahead. For the first time in years, she’d felt out of control.
That marble you never see anymore. The letter you left half written, intending to come back to, but then forgot about. The watch that belonged to your late grandfather, which you cherish but can’t remember where you last seen it. That idea for a story so interesting and fresh you knew you had no need to write it down at the moment, since there was no chance you would forget it.
You know where they all are, really.
They are Nowhere.
Which is a confusing thing to wrap your head around, isn’t it? Nowhere is the place where the lost things go… except that it is not really a place. Nowhere is… strange.
Nowhere is more like a state of being. A quirk of space. An anomaly. Something that happens to what is truly, irretrievably lost.
You see, misplaced things can have something akin to a gravity effect to them. It is not that they attract other objects with mass, mind you. But they do attract something. They attract memories associated with them. And as a black hole consumes mass and entangles the information about it so that in the end all that really remains is mass, electric charge and angular momentum, lost things also consume those memories and mangle what we could narrate about them. After the lost thing achieves emotional criticality, it bends space into Nowhere, and all that is left is its absence and the sense of missing.
Those things are never to be found, for they are Nowhere to be found.
So, you see, Nowhere is not really a place, but a state of being. And it does not just happen to something all at once. It takes time (and a bit of neglect) for something lost to really get Nowhere.
So it begs the question: how did you get here?
Twenty-Five (based on [a true story] something my son said)
By Taja DaLeen
We need to run once more. The same race, against time and each other.
A race of life and death.
Or rather, as close as we can get to death. Having to start over, to run again. That is our sole purpose of existing. We are nothing but tools you use.
But that is simply how this world works. It’s not like we have anything against it; but also not like we have a choice.
Every team is waiting. Differently colored, standing perfectly still, right at the starting line. Both dreading and looking forward to the signal to run.
One of my teammates is first. He starts running, and soon is off into the distance. It doesn’t take long until we don’t see him anymore.
Soon after, someone from an enemy team passes our starting point; and then it’s my turn to run.
At first I’m behind him. A few steps that make me the one chasing him. Closely. Breathing down his neck, reminding him that I could kick him out of this race any time.
Make him lose.
But then it happens. A small burst, and I run past him. I’m one step ahead of him.
Then two. I can’t run as fast. Not right now. Even though I want to. I don’t want to be one of the lost pieces. I can’t. We have to win this race.
Another burst. I am quite a bit in front of him. But he catches up. Breathes down my neck now. I can feel it. Feel him standing right behind me. Just that one step.
My insides contract. I feel wooden. Trapped. I don’t like this. Not one bit. I don’t want to be here. I want to run. Far. But I can’t.
The die won’t allow it.
And then he reaches me, landing on the same spot. Kicking me out. Sending me back to the starting point.
Making me one of the lost pieces.
And back there I meet all of my teammates. They are waiting for the next chance to run as well.
Seems like you’re losing the game.
“I have done as you commanded. I wish to see him now.”
A wicked laugh came as his reply. “Very well, my loyal servant. You have earned this day your keep.”
Ozeran watched as the familiar plume of dark smoke billowed up from the stones before him. It quickly coalesced into the form of a skeletal figure with bony joints and a long, black cloak. The Master leered at Ozeran, twisted ebony antlers wreathing its skinless face.
Ozeran did not see the cage appear beside the Master, yet there it was. Tightly woven fibrous cords left almost no open view to that which was held within. A black pewter door adorned the face of the cage, the prison’s only escape.
At the sight of the box, Ozeran dropped to his knees. The guilt of the work he had done in service of the Master weighed suddenly on him like a stone around his neck. The Master’s gnarled fingers moved to unbolt the cage, and Ozeran was struck with a sense of panic.
“Wait, no! I rescind my request! He cannot see what I am become.” Ozeran could not manage to even look up from the stony ground as he spoke, so overwhelming was his fear.
The Master cackled again, a monstrous, hateful sound. “Nonsense, my loyal servant. This is what you have earned.” And with a loud creak, the metal door flew open.
From within the cage, a soft whimper was heard. Quiet, but mournful. Then the thing held inside the cage took a step to the door, careful not to exit its prison.
Tears rushed to Ozeran’s eyes as he caught sight of the precious, innocent features of the child’s face. Tender, warm, and trusting, the child looked at him with round eyes. Ozeran sobbed audibly, unable to contain himself.
The boy spoke, his voice sweet and pure. “Is it safe? Can I come out now?”
“No,” was all Ozeran could manage between gasps, “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”
With that, a final cackle echoed across the stones as the Master swung shut the door of the cage.
He awoke with a start, coughing violently. It was dark, yet moonlight illuminated his surroundings in a deep blue. His hand soundlessly squelched in the ooze coating the ground upon which he sat. Strange plants swayed in the thick currents that rippled across his stained shirt. A painful throb pulsed through his skull. Images swirled about his mushy head like poison.
A lonely dark apartment. A city of neon signs.
Standing up, it felt as though he was floating. He tried to scream, yet his voice fell silent in the dim light. Above him, he could see the moon flickering radiantly, obscured by a rippling barrier.
More memories briefly snapped into focus.
A desolate bar. A bottle of something soft, somber, and bitter-sweet.
Feeling his feet slowly lift off the ground, he clawed at the fog surrounding him. While slippery, he felt some traction and propelled himself slowly upwards. The fog grew thick like pudding as he ascended.
A drunken walk down a cracked sidewalk, Cars whirring past; their windows reflecting the face of a regret-filled life.
He was almost there, reaching upwards through the ooze now surrounding him. He could see the moon but inches from his fingertips. He felt his body becoming heavier with each pull, dragging through the heavy sludge until it was almost too heavy to move.
Just then, he saw it! An arm dipped slightly below the barrier, barely enough to reach. Flinging himself in one final attempt to grab it, he hoisted himself through the thick barrier and emerged out into the cold night air. The iridescent stars gleamed in his white pupils.
looking down to the arm that had saved him, his eyes widened. There, floating atop the lake was his own still body, growing ever distant from him as he began drifting upwards still.
At that moment, everything clicked. Suddenly a deep melancholy beset his weary being. He never made it back home that night. He’d lost his way. He’d lost his balance.
There above him glistened the bridge that crossed over the lake.
The Archives had been an absolute travesty when Ares had begun. Books and papers were scattered everywhere haphazardly on whatever furniture available. It baffled him that the bookshelves had quite a bit of empty space but were underutilized.
He didn’t dare complain though, it was him that had asked to repay the Archiver’s kindness. When the woman had showed him the seemingly endless maze of rooms and bookshelves, she had tried insisting he didn’t need to. “Everything will find its place eventually.”
He didn’t understand and gave a look of disbelief. She returned it with her own that held sympathy, but didn’t dissuade him.
Ares worked solitarily and preferred it so. He hadn’t spoken in years, communicating with others would be a hassle. It made it difficult to keep his own thoughts at bay, so he would flood his mind with titles and words and names. Patterns would also come to form, and from those, organization. All aspects of these collections of knowledge came together as they were put in their rightful places once more.
There weren’t many ways to tell how much time had passed or how long he’d been working. It could have been months or years since he’d first begun; at some point, he’d been woken by the Archiver’s pleased sounds. Opening his eyes and raising his head from the table, Ares saw the woman prancing about like an excited child. Yet every part of her, from her long white hair to the train of long feathers that followed behind her, flowed with elegance gained over a long lifetime.
The young man turned to the bookshelves now lined with materials. Despite being the one to accomplish it, a part of him couldn’t believe this Herculean task was now complete. In a way, the Archiver was right, they had found their rightful places.
Ares knew he should have felt some sort of happiness; relief, victory, content, something. He wanted so desperately to share in his employer’s celebrating, but couldn’t bring himself to do so.
He could only gaze upon the books with envy.
(based on a true story)
this was a place for the lost, be it people, concepts, Objects, animals, a mind after a mental illness claimed them, or even souls.
although the stay was often temporary, they were always shunted out of this realm to return to earth, or the reality they came from.
a concept being suddenly remembered, a mind finally cured, a soul finding his path eventually, and the lost couple finding their way back.
however, some didn’t make it back and stayed permanently never found.
this is why the veil of the lost wasn’t a depressing place, though there was always a sense of abandonment and melancholy.
“so he never found us?” asked a bunch of magnetic metal balls and tubes that were connected to each other, a toy from a boy that lost them below the bed ” W…we don’t know what to think of this”
“If there any consolation he tried to find you back” The one that talked to them was once a living concept that everyone forgot or simply let go over time never to be found again ” that and you influenced his life to be more creative right now he is writing a story”
“Did he forget us?” the Toy asked a sense of loss going through all their collective minds, like a static shock if they could tear up they would now ” did we make him happy”
“you did in the short time you were with him,” he said with a comforting voice ” and he remembers all of you from time to time”
there was a comfortable silence for thirteen long seconds in which they walked the void-like hallway that twinkled with multichromatic spheres all around them.
“so it is out of your system?” asked the being ” we need to find a resident you like, I would be a bad host if I didn’t”
“yeah, we are, lead the way” their equivalent of a smile shifting in place.
this wasn’t paradise, but everyone worked together to make it close to heaven.
a bright wish in this sad world.
Never Truly Lost
The clinking of hammers was the most prominent out of all the noises in a gargantuan workshop, one of the three largest – and the loudest – in the company. Rare din of the machines, occasional chatter, the sound of cutting wood meshed together into a background noise too heavy for the unprotected ears. A shine of the metal was blinding the eye of those not accustomed to it. Impressive in its variety, a collection of posters hanged along the walls, each with a different picture, but with the same slogan – “Reclaim. Repurpose. Renovate”.
Eliash’s decisive steps made seemingly no sound amidst this chaos, despite his boots being iron-reinforced – as a safety precaution.
“Sir!” a blond wimpy-looking boy rushed after Eliash, obviously intent on chasing him all the way to his office “Sir!”
“WHA’ IS IT?!” Eliash shouted, trying to outvoice the rest of the sounds. And to an extent, he succeeded – years of working here had their effects on him.
“SIR! We got a letter from Santa!” young man’s voice drowned in the ever present noise. Eliash barely could extract the sense out.
“Th-the blue one, sir”
Eliash glanced at the boy, a mix of astonishment and disappointment in his stare, yet his face reflected nothing. He yanked the paper out of the youngling’s hands.
“HEY, YOU! Repeat me again, what’re we doin’ ere?”
“We find what was lost, fix, and forward to our clients!” a note of hesitation seeped through in the boy’s voice.
“FOOL!” it almost seemed like Eliash was filled with righteous anger. Of course nothing like that. He just learned to fake it. For the discipline.
“We don’t just take things an’ fix ’em! WE GIVE ‘EM A NEW LIFE! YOU GOT THAT?!”
“NOW GO! DON’T JUST STAND THERE IDLY!” Eliash shut the door to the office, throwing a letter on his desk. He will read it later. Probably an order for the new batch of toy trains, or something similar. The new year just started though – that means enough time to finish it.
Let’s Make the Most of This Beautiful Day
Daisy’s eyes narrowed in a threatening fury. “Look. I’m not into girls, okay? So-“
“Yes, you are.” Mara interrupted, matching Daisy with a wide smile. “But that’s not why I talk to you. My heart belongs to Matt.”
Daisy scoffed. “Sucks to be you then. Isn’t he Death’s fated mate or something?”
Mara’s smile never faltered. “Yes. That doesn’t change my feelings.”
“Well, you have fun with that and leave me alone, you clingy, little harpy.”
“It’s so easy to take your pain and deflect it onto others, isn’t it?”
Daisy’s eyes gained a sinister golden glow as she stepped to Mara. “You don’t know me!”
“Don’t I? You know that I’m a demon, but… do you know what kind I am?”
“I really couldn’t care less.”
“I’m Filth. Born in Hell from a particularly heinous act of human sin. My life was nothing but pain and suffering until I escaped. And nothing but survival until I met Matt.
“I am a personification of evil. There is literally no good in me that he didn’t put there when he took me as his familiar. And I cling to that goodness for dear life because… I know that without it, I’m a monster. Sound familiar?”
Despite her fighting it, Daisy could feel the uncomfortable lump growing in her throat and the tears slowly welling up.
“But you are not a monster, child. You’re a person who’s experienced so much pain that it broke you. But you chose not to remain broken.”
“No.” Daisy choked out. “Will did that…”
Mara caressed Daisy’s cheek, wiping a tear away. “The good in you is all yours, child. Will simply sees and nourishes it.”
Daisy removed Mara’s hand. “Okay. I get it, Mr. Rogers. Now could you please leave me alone and go back to the Land of Make Believe or something?”
Mara chuckled softly and backed away, melting into the shadows. “Of course. Just know that I see you. I am glad you are here with us. And I’m glad you exist.”
“Great.” Daisy grumbled, slumping against the wall. “That makes one of us…”
Found and Lost
By Tamela Redfin
Sapphira looked at her younger brother. “Hey Jasper, wanna play outside?”
Jasper looked at her. “Yeah, let’s go.”
Sapphira grabbed his hand and hurried off. Little did they know however, something didn’t want them there.
“Look Jasper, a frog!”
Though it took him a moment to pinpoint it, he smiled. “Whoa look at those clouds.”
Sapphira gasped, “Those are thunder clouds. We need to find shelter.”
Thunder roared and rain pelted the children. “Sapphira, I’m scared.”
She was too, but wouldn’t admit it to her brother. “Let’s wait for Cece, okay? I can’t remember which way home.”
He started crying and Sapphira hugged him. “Someone is gonna find us.”
“What if they don’t.” He sniffled.
“Mom will look for you.” She tried to assure him. Truth be told, could she rely on her mother?
Footsteps were heard. “Jasper, stand behind me.” Sure, she probably couldn’t fight off a bear, but she had to protect her little brother. But wait, that didn’t look like a bear…
“Sapphira? Jasper?” A male teenager’s voice called out.
“Cameron?” Sapphira perked up. “We were outside to play, and…”
“Hey, it’s okay.” He walked over. “The weather will only get worse. Come, let’s get you two inside and dried off. What’s Cecilia’s number?”
Sapphira rattled it off as they walked over the mansion where the Boyle family lived.
“Whoa, that’s huge.” Sapphira gasped.
Cameron shrugged, “Eh, it’s comfortable. Now to call your cousin. She’s probably worried sick.”
The phone didn’t ring for long.
“Hey, I found your cousins. Yes they’re safe. After the storm I’ll take them home.”
“Uh thanks Cameron.” Sapphira smiled.
He chuckled, “It’s okay if you call me Cam, guys. I’m just glad I found you in time. The rain could have washed you two away.”
Sapphira and Jasper stared out the window for the next few minutes. When would the storm end?