Writing Group: We Never Truly Change (PRIVATE)

Hello, Shapeshifters and Sentient Statues!

It’s been so long, my dear. All these years…and you haven’t changed a day. You’re still as beautiful as the day I lost you. Because….

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

We Never Truly Change

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

This prompt is far broader, and more applicable to real life philosophies than a lot of our prompts are. As such, I could see lots of more realistic stories for this prompt. Someone’s bad habits or attitudes destroying a relationship. Someone breaking up with their significant other because they thought they could change them, but they couldn’t. An addict returning to the needle or the bottle because they don’t believe they’re capable of being better. 

Or you could go more positive. Maybe someone has positive qualities and habits that help others around them, and it’s a relief that they will continue to remain compassionate. Maybe a relationship is going well, and, as the couple sits on the couch, they bask in the joy that this will be their lives together forever. 

You could also write about history, and how it repeats itself, or how “war never changes.” The prompt could refer to the human race as a whole repeating the same mistakes over and over. 

Yet, at the same time…humanity always seems to find hope and compassion in the darkest times too. We always seem to get back up after we’ve been knocked down. 

The prompt will likely make people think of, well…people. But “we” doesn’t have to refer to humans. Maybe in your world humans change, but the speaker is not, in fact, human. Maybe they are a god, tired of how Olympian life seem to be a cycle of lust and drunkenness. Your character could be a cat, wondering why their owner bothers trying to teach them not to knock stuff off the counter when they both know they’ll never learn. Maybe they are a sentient coaster, lamenting that its lot in life is to catch the condensation from glasses, wishing for more. 

You could even go for more of the idea of the “Some Things Never Change” song from Frozen 2. Maybe your character ponders on all the things in their life that remain the same, even when it feels like things are falling apart, or moving too fast. 

Heraclitus once said that “the only constant in life is change.” Perhaps you could take this prompt in this direction. Maybe we never truly change…in the sense that the only thing we ever seem to do is change. You could even take this idea in a more fantastical direction—perhaps your character is a shapeshifter, and the only constant about them is that they are never the same creature twice. 

As for challenges, I once again have two for you this week. 

I personally believe people can change, and it is an important beautiful thing when we do. If my username is any indication, I love reading about characters struggling to find the light. Characters who fall into the darkness, and then climb up again through a path of change. I’d love to read stories this week that use the prompt to refute the premise and show that, even when it looks like we aren’t capable of true change, the capacity for change lies within our darkest hour.

The second is the same challenge I had for Christmas: this prompt is not very Valentine’s-y, and I would love to see you guys make it related to Valentine’s Day in some way. 

Please keep in mind that Valentine’s day (at least to me) isn’t just about romantic or sexual love. It’s about love, in any form. The Greeks had many words for love, referring to friendship, familial love, self love, longsuffering love, unconditional love…. You could write about any of these loves to celebrate the day. You could even use this prompt to remind yourself that you don’t need to feel sad just because you’re single. Especially if you have no interest in writing anything romantic, I’d like to see you tackle some of these other forms of love in your stories as a celebration of Valentine’s Day. 

Or, if love is too big of a topic, you could write about a Valentine’s party down the street, or mention your character seeing heart balloons in the window. You could even write about how your character doesn’t like Valentine’s Day and laments the fact that the day never changes. 

This prompt has great potential for some very dark and depressing stories, and I’d really love to read some fluffiness this Valentine’s day! 

I know you may have a few more wrinkles and scars, but you’re still the same person I always knew and loved. You may travel the cosmos, die and go to hell, or decide to take up a side job as a dragon, but, when it comes to those who love you, how much can you truly change in our eyes?

—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!

  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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jesse fisher
jesse fisher
7 months ago

Step forward, not back
by Jesse Fisher

Cheers filled the air as the party fully started in earnest. As best anyone could tell a year had passed since the two children were born, both of the parents had a grin on their face. The nanny had set up the nursery for the party knowing that it would be a small affair.

The masked eel felt a bit of pride in it all, aside from seeing an old friend happy and having a life that neither of them would have seening coming. She still remembered first meeting the cranky wolf demon in one of the many places that monsters gather.

He was such an edgelord, talking about the negatives of the world and how it was just a huge joke and pain was the only thing to feel alive. That was what drew her to him, a fine wine of negative that could make her fat.

He still acted like that, the mask of a grumpy hell spawn that hated anything good or pure. Yet here he was being a father and caring person to a group that he found. Granted he did work with a bar god and from what he talked about there was like a party or something going on that would cause him to not need a mask.

However, given the family trips and the willingness to just go with them showed the change. All this made the nanny wonder.

“What about me?”

She did enjoy being around the kids when their parents could not watch them but she was still just an emotional feeding eel monster. What would she do later, go back to being a therapist? The toxic emotions may be too much for her to take as the last one was near black out on the flavor.

A glance to the party and emotions from it allowed her mind to move on. There was cake to be had.

9 months ago

Ghost in the Machine
by VulpesRose

It’s been five years since the massacre at the resort on Draylon IV. Thousands were killed and the levels of toxins in the biodome won’t dissipate enough for any organic being to enter for at least six more years.

You might expect the resort to be a graveyard, a horrifying memorial untouched since the tragedy unfolded. A place of sadness. But you would be wrong. Because there are other beings at the resort, beings whose daily lives haven’t been much disrupted by the death of all of the guests.

Early on, officials gained access to the resort’s security camera feeds to try to learn what had happened and in the vain hope of locating any survivors. They watched as the robotic assistants who kept the place running carried on setting the tables, cleaning the pools, and fluffing the pillows.

After some initial clean up, the robots have continued their day to day activities with one slight adaptation. Since the robots were all programmed to have a minimum number of positive interactions per day, they have begun to use the resort facilities themselves. They sit at the bar and lounge by the pool, performing a facsimile of what they had observed. A pool robot will sit in the restaurant, and a waiter will bring him a bowl of soup that will remain untouched until the waiter returns to clear the table. The waiter will then sit by the pool while the other robot brings him a towel.

All attempts to remotely alter the programming of the robots have failed. A proposal was made to destroy the solar batteries outside the biodome that charge the entire resort, but it was quickly abandoned due to being poorly received by the public. So these robots continue to serve and are now served in return.

A livestream of the security feed is available to watch, and millions tune in to watch the robots make the best of our absence. Many report that they seem happy, but many also recognize the strange humanity in their actions. In the face of insurmountable obstacles, they carry on.

Norman Gray
Norman Gray
9 months ago

No Crime Like The Present
By Norman Gray

Vicky used to have very specific tastes. . .

She only liked things that didn’t belong to her. Which made buying her gifts a bit of a challenge.

Mayhew kept Valentine’s Day simple, bringing her roses and chocolates, expecting little more than a kiss in return. But Vicky had other ideas.

“I got you something.” She handed him a wooden box, with brass latches.

“What’s this?” He asked, noticing its weight as he held it.

She grinned. “Go ahead. Open it.”

He popped the latches, lifted the lid. . . And was dumbstruck.

It was a Gyrojet: An old-timey ‘space pistol’, designed back when the cosmos was lawless. They were rare. Really rare.

“How did you find this!?”

“Oh, I have my ways,” she said, with that devious look in her eyes.

He hadn’t held a gun in years. Staring at the pistol filled him with a bittersweet feeling of unease, and excitement. . .

Mayhew should’ve been the last man, on or off Earth, to ever fall for Victoria. Their professional relationship was inappropriate to begin with, and he’d known that he was playing a dangerous game even back when he wore a badge, and she wore an orange jumpsuit.

But her gift begged the question he couldn’t bring himself to ask. He looked her in the eye, trying to get a read on her. Sometimes it felt like that smile was hiding a secret; as if the old Victoria, the ‘real’ Victoria, was lurking just underneath, begging to break free.

(Is there something wrong, Detective?)

His ears perked up. “What?”

“I said, is there something wrong dear?” She asked.

“No,” he replied. “No. It’s wonderful. Thank you.” He kissed her lips.

His mind raced. (You’re still a thief. . . Aren’t you, Vicky?)

(‘And deep down, you’re still a cop. . . Aren’t you, Mr. Mayhew?’) He imagined would be her answer.

He’d known what he was getting himself into. But as he savored her lips, time seemed to come to a standstill, and nothing else mattered in that infinite, blissful moment. . .

He had no regrets.

9 months ago

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

“Do people ever change?” Mazylas asked.

Vienas sat quietly, mulling over the question. Her deepest belief, a resounding negatory, was held from her tongue by doubt. In the holy city, where once men and women had striven to become epitomes of themselves and their patrons, change was inevitable and pointless. Why change except to be more of the same?

But her doubt was based on experiences that removed her from that past by more than twenty years. Experiences of Padas becoming more than a fisherman who worshiped the sea, who was a father in his own right, a better parent and provider than even the Sun Goddess. These ideas warred within her.

“Is amelioration change?” Vienas asked.

This conversation would take time. They sat and shared water as each thought and responded.

“I think amelioration must be necessary for survival,” Mazylas said finally. “I don’t think it would count as true change.”

“Amelioration is not adaptation.”

“Adaptation assumes physical survival, but both can only be measured in the future. Once they have been completed.”

“Yes,” Vienas said. “I hadn’t thought of that.”

“I want to know if we can change unnecessarily. Without a need to change.”

“We are fickle in luxury.”

“I wouldn’t know.”

“Your life has not been as hard as it might have been. Your father is a very good man and always has been.” And a revelation; Vienas understood all at once why she was asking this. She closed her mouth firmly, lest she speak.

“I see you understand me better than even my husband,” Mazylas said, her voice sharp with pain.

“Has he hurt you?” Vienas asked slowly. Her hearing in the library was uncanny. “We are alone.”

“Brolis is petty and sometimes cruel, but he’s never hit me. His words are sufficient for him. I worry about our children.”

“You should talk to your father—.”

“No!” Mazylas’s breath was shaky. “I just need to know how to make him change. What will cause him to be more like Father?”

Vienas shook her head.

“Help me, please.” Mazylas was near tears. “Mother.”

Last edited 9 months ago by RVMPLSTLTSKN
9 months ago

Sol’s Lament
by vellichorian

Sometimes, I like to imagine what the humans think as they set their clocks according to our eons-long game of lovers’ hide-and-seek. What stories would they tell if they knew that our movements across the sky are not simply inexorable examples of fortuitous cosmic physics, but our attempts to see each other despite Gaia’s efforts to keep us apart? I have watched the little people evolve and grow from few to many, to create and destroy, and yet they follow our cues and rely on our stability for their very survival.

For millennia, I have cherished every glimpse of my dearest Luna over her sister’s shoulder in our endless chase. I fantasize about the day that she will abandon Gaia to revolve around me instead, so that nothing can come between us ever again. But, no, she insists that her responsibilities are too great to abandon. And so, she persists along her path, managing the tides and marking the passage of time. I admire her familial dedication, even though it prevents our companionship.

Luna has told me about the civilizations her sister carries. The humans have created pinpricks of light to mimic my glow, and those have multiplied until they resemble the stars. She always reassures me that no matter how much light they manufacture, they will always need me in order to thrive. Which reminds me of another thing I adore about my darling Luna. Even on a day when I’m feeling dim and dull, she always reflects my best back to me. She shows me how brilliant and nurturing I can be.

Someday, I hope that things can change. Someday, I hope Gaia will no longer require her little sister’s constant attention and care. Someday, I hope Luna and I can be together. Until then, I follow my love’s path until the next eclipse, when we can gaze on each other with unobstructed views. I covet those seven and a half minutes when I see the side of her that no one else knows, and we can pretend we are the only bodies in the universe that matter.

9 months ago

A Leopard Cannot Change Its Spots
By MasaCur

Ryan glanced at his watch for the third time since he had arrived.

“Come on, Becks, we’re going to miss our reservation if you take much longer.”

“Just need a little more time. I’m trying to look my best,” Rebecca called from her room.

Ryan rolled his eyes and threw himself on the sofa. He pulled out his phone to check his social media updates.

A few minutes later, Rebecca emerged, wearing a cocktail dress and a shawl wrap.

Ryan glanced at the time on his phone. “We should still be able to make it. I’ll call the restaurant from the car to let them know we could be a couple minutes late.”

“You’re serious? You’re not going to say anything? And you’re going like that?”

Ryan looked down at how he was dressed. Collarless long-sleeve shirt, his good jeans, and a blazer. “What’s wrong with it? And say anything about what?”

Rebecca rolled her eyes. “Look at how I’m dressed. And then how you’re dressed.”

“I dressed. For me, this is dressed up.”

Rebecca inhaled deeply, closed her eyes and rubbed her temples. “You know, I was hoping that today, just today, you might be at least a little romantic.”

Ryan shrugged. “I got us reservations. I put on nice clothes. I don’t know what you wanted from me. And speaking of which, if you want to keep arguing, we’re going to lose those reservations, and then forget about getting in anywhere nice to eat tonight. Everything’s booked up for Valentine’s Day.”

“You haven’t even said anything about how I look.”

Ryan shrugged. “You look nice.”

“Nice? That’s all you can say?”

“Nice isn’t good?”

“I spent hours trying to get myself to look good for you.”

“Thanks, I guess.”

“I don’t know why I should have expected you to be different today.” Rebecca crossed her arms over her chest, glaring at him.

Ryan could only shrug.

“Why am I even dating you? Why did you even agree to date me?”

Ryan had to think about it. “I guess I was hoping I would change too.”

Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
9 months ago

Reunion (Life of Madness)
by Lee Strangely

Up on that hill, the dark, dilapidated house was like a shadow to the town below. The grey skies outlined its crooked stature, perhaps a bit too well. Maddy simply stood there, her fist still hovering inches from the door. Despite how it looks, she’s not afraid. A dark scientist who instilled fear in others since childhood wouldn’t be afraid of anything as mundane as a conversation… Sure, it’s been a while… Seven years isn’t THAT long…

Her gaze occasionally turned to her car, each time being met by the same vacant stares from Buford and her dried up, equally lifeless, father. The two living corpses didn’t have –or were really capable of having– any thoughts of their own, but inside Maddy couldn’t help but imagine them probably internally shouting, “GET ON WITH IT!”

In a single jolt, her motionless body suddenly reanimated itself.


“Go away,” a man inside grumbled.


“Go away! he shouted as the door opened. “I don’t want any visitors, whether they be dead or…” he trailed off with widened eyes, “…alive…”

The space between her excitement and his surprise was quiet.

“Maddy?” he muttered.

“Shiloh,” she smiled.


“You’ve changed a little…”

“You’ve barely changed at all.”

Silence returned…

“You… you kept your hair,” he said, admiring its black and white color.

Her hands unknowingly gravitated towards her hair, “Yeah, I liked it… Looks like you grew yours out.”

“Oh, I just hadn’t gotten around to cutting it, yet…” he replied, “is that your oversized coat from high school?”

“I grew into it…”

A look of confusion began permeating his face as his attention gradually drifted towards the car behind her.

“Oh, my bad,” Maddy apologized, “I almost forgot…” She pointed to the car, “That’s Buford… and in the back is Dad.”

“Your dad?”

She waved to the car, ignoring the question, “Hey Dad!”

The mindless stiff vaguely mimicked her motions as he slumped against the glass.

Shiloh, awkwardly waved back, “Didn’t he die?”

“Eh… we’ll fix that.”


“Oh Shiloh, I’ve missed you,” she hugged him tight, “we’ve got work to do.”

9 months ago

Bianca and Callisto (Students of the DiamondBridge Academy universe)
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

Bianca was a child prodigy and not ashamed of it. She did not hide that she was taking calculus classes at the age of twelve, and she always made a point to act incredibly mature. So Callisto was rightfully surprised when, one afternoon, Bianca screamed at the top of her lungs in pure frustration.

“Woah! Sis!” Callisto darted out of her bedroom. “What happened?”

“I can’t do this!” Bianca wailed. Tears rolled down her face, reflecting the light of the almost-setting sun through the window. “I’m not ready to do this!”

“Do what?”

Bianca tried to fight past Callisto towards the stairs. “Let me go!”

“Where are you going?!”

“To lock myself in the basement until tomorrow morning!” Bianca squirmed past her older sister, bolting down the stairs.

“Bianca, wait!”

Too late. The door to the basement stairs was already screaming open on its aging hinges. By the time Callisto scrambled down there, Bianca was a ball of tears and sobs in the back corner.

Comforting instincts kicked in. “Shh, it’s gonna be okay, you’re gonna be okay…”

“No, no I’m not,” Bianca said between sobs.

“What’s going on?”

“Look.” Bianca removed a hand from her bundle of limbs.

The fingers were stretched, clawed, monstrous. A splotch of fur decorated the back of the palm.

“Your first shifting full moon…” Callisto whispered.

“I’m not ready. I’m—I’m scared.”

“You have nothing to be afraid of!” Callisto said with a forced smile. “It’ll be over before you know it.”

“Are you sure?”

“Of course I’m sure!” A forced laugh. “I’ve been doing this for, what, four years now? Soon you won’t even sweat it.”

“I d-don’t want to lose control,” Bianca murmured, sniffing. “I don’t wanna hurt you.”

“You won’t hurt me.”

“How do you know?”

“Because pack recognizes pack. Family recognizes family. Mom and Dad never attack me when they shift. We’re still us under there, y’know? Will you still be Ms. Calculus Genius Bianca, doing derivatives while howling at the moon?”

Finally, a sob turned into laughter. Callisto breathed a sigh of relief.

She hated lying to her sister.

9 months ago

Stoking the Flames (Illusions of Heroes)
By Gerrit (Rattus)
CW: Violence

The shield smashed into Emrys’s upper lip, dropping him to one knee. He spat a glob of blood on the ground, surprised to not see any teeth along with it. The Knight Arcane before him chuckled.

“What’s wrong? No more fight left in you?” The hulking man brought his shield arm back for another strike.

Emrys pushed himself back up, just in time to catch the shield with both hands. He felt the battle-fever rumble in the back of his mind, desperate to take over. Emrys fought it down. He was through giving in to this rage the moment things got difficult.

“They’ve called you Emrys the Furious. Where’s your fury now, whelp?” The Knight’s taunting only aggravated the gnawing in the deep recesses of Emrys’s mind.

As Emrys struggled to maintain composure, the Knight raised his other arm, sword held high above his head. The edges of Emrys’s vision darkened. He was too weak to keep fighting it.

As the sword came down, aimed for the crown of his head, Emrys spun on his heel, twisting his opponent’s arm around to rest on his shoulder. The sword sliced through the air next to Emrys. The tattoo on Emrys’s wrist flared, filling him with strength. With a sudden downward pull, using his shoulder as leverage, he snapped the Knight’s elbow.

The Knight let out a pained yell, cut short as Emrys twisted and drove his fist into the man’s chin. He felt bone crunch beneath his fist, saw the life fade from the man in seconds. The man crumpled to the ground, and Emrys fought to hold on to what little control of himself he still had.

Deep breaths pushed the battle-fever away, clarity returning to Emrys as he panted to catch his breath. He looked at the body crumpled at his feet, a knot of disappointment forming in his gut.

So much for being better. He was still little more than a vessel for the cursed rage swirling inside of him.

9 months ago

Eternal Frenemies (The Will)
By Skeleton

She had to prove herself to her family—she had to. This human child was beneath her, even if the mask it wore scared her a little. Maybe then her father would see her as he did her half-siblings: with adoration, if at all.

Ericka’s heart beat fiercely as she stepped forwards out of her pack of ne’er-do-wells and misfits, her paws lunging forwards to push the white-masked, black-cloaked human boy to the dirt of the road. “Piss off, monkey!” she spat, the anger of her empty heart selling the curse. “Go off into the woods and die!”

However, the boy said nothing. He stood calmly and brushed the dirt off of his clothes.


The rage bellowed inside the wulack huntress at the sign of defiance. She gripped his collar and wound her other fist back, pinning Eymir’s head between it and the stone wall. He did not fight back, but his legs almost gave way.

Ericka wasn’t having it—she held him up against the wall as she barraged the man’s face and stomach with blows meant to kill. “You killed them—you butchered the one family that loved me!”

“They used you—like the puppet—you were bred to be,” the man spoke through the blows, his black blood splattering against her fist. “You were blind to it because you wanted to be loved.”

She wasn’t having it at all. Ericka backed off and drew her weapon.


She was going to end this, right here, right now. The spear in her hand was once the symbol of her people, but now it was something else: a symbol of her resolve.

“You know that won’t kill me, right?” the Sufferer taunted, motioning to her weapon. “How many times have we had this dance?”

“As many times as it will take for you to realize that I’m the only other person who can understand the fear of being immortal,” she stated. The Sufferer’s expression soured. Ericka’s hardened in determination. “I’m going to stop you here, Eymir, because you’re my best friend.”

The monster scoffed. “What a horrible reason to die.”

Lari B. Haven
Lari B. Haven
9 months ago

While is not too late for second opinions
By Lari B Haven.

A scream echoed through the west wing of the manor.

Jack felt Grey’s ghostly hand pushing him back to bed even as he barely woke up from the nightmare.

“The void, it swallowed her.” Jack mouthed.

“Oh Jack, you babbled like a madman.” Grey, his clone, replied. “If I were you, I’d be worried.”

“If you were me, I’d be less of a jerk, Grey.” Jack retorted. “How is she?”

“Stable. Your obsession is safe despite the high fever.” Grey rubbed his temples, right under the calling sigil on his forehead.

“She is not my obsession, Haven is…” Jack felt that coldness in his chest.

The glacial energy running from his fingertips, and feeding the sigil. His double hid pure contempt.

“We used to argue more, Jack. You’re never one for listening to reason, despite being so proud of your logical thinking.” Grey kept one finger on his forehead. “You stopped calling when she arrived.”

“Is this jealousy?”

“A reflection asking the one holding the mirror to make better choices.” Grey stopped and poured some tea. “Do you want to be pampered by your ego? I’m not him.”

“I only need you when I’m in danger. Not for pep talks.” Jack took the teacup for himself.

“Of course.” Grey smiled. “We only appeal to logic when it’s convenient. Guess what? You are the danger here.”

“Grey…” Jack growled.

“Unchangeable. The ways you hurt yourself, though…” Grey sighed. “Fear and affection are very much alike if you’re not paying attention. You’re not loving her, you’re making her a prisoner. While the void consumes her mind; a fate way worse than her departure.”

“She is forgetting about her home. I know that.”

“Then listen to me, Jack. Fever is the first sign.” The clone broke his sigil, returning to the ether again.

If she couldn’t do it alone, he would have had to do it for her. He would let her go. Even if it broke his heart, he would need to force her memories to return by making her forget everything about him.

9 months ago

Forever In Debt to Your Priceless Advice
By Marx

Daisy frowned as she picked up the heart-shaped box. “Will… I know you’re part incubus but you don’t strike me as the… Valentine’s type.”

Will responded with a loud, booming laugh. “Oh, don’t get me wrong. It’s a commercialized holiday invented to trick stupid people into buying stupid things and doing stuff they should have been doing all year anyway. That said, I think you deserve a happy one. I assume you loved Valentine’s Day when you were human?”

Daisy forced a smile as she fiddled with the small candy box. “You’re… not wrong. Me and Jasmine would dump whatever arm candy we had for New Years after a week, max. From there, it was like fishing. We’d make ourselves the bait and see who could reel in the best new fish.”

Will made a face but did his best not to judge. “What did the winner get?”

Daisy shrugged. “Bragging rights. We’d rarely agree on a winner anyway. It was more the fun of the day and ridiculous things we’d ask them to do. I’d infamously insist that we eat at an ice cream shop for dessert. Keep in mind all the ones at home were closed during the winter, so they’d have to take me out of town for it.”

She sighed and offered the box back to him. “You should give this to Rhea. She’d love it.”

Will chuckled and pushed the box back. “Rhea only celebrates the day after Valentine’s. Or as she calls it, Half Off Candy Day. That way she gets more.”

Daisy paused, taking that in. “That woman is a genius…”

“Come on.” Will chuckled, offering Daisy his hand. “Let’s get some ice cream.”

Daisy smiled and accepted it. But then she immediately thought to her previous Master. She’d managed to escape the demon’s clutches, but Jasmine was still enthralled, as it were. Daisy shuddered, remembering the horrors of how he chose to celebrate the romantic holiday.

‘I guess… I win this year…’

She felt bad for even thinking it, but thoughts don’t always behave the way you’d like them to.