Writing Group: Let’s Calm Down, Shall We? (PRIVATE)

Hello Berserkers, Fanatics, and Water Molecules!

Oh, alright, alright. I know you all are excited for the prompt. There’s no need to push and shove…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Let’s Calm Down, Shall We?

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

This prompt conjures the image of strong emotions, and a conversation. There are many feelings one might need to “calm down” from. 

The first emotion that comes to mind for me is anger. Words like these, if spoken directly in a fight, would likely do anything but make someone calm. The quintessential “I AM CALM!” fight. You could write about someone who is angry, or otherwise upset, who won’t be calmed, no matter how much the other person tries. Or maybe, the person is indeed calm. Sometimes those who remain calm and collected are much more dangerous than those fuming and shouting.

Panic would be another emotion one would need to calm down from—whether that fear is an overreaction, or well founded. I could hear someone saying this phrase while handing their panicking friend a paper bag to breathe into. Or the words could be spoken gently, as a friend crouches beside another, wiping their tears and telling them to point out the things in the room they can see, and feel, and smell to ground them, and pull them out of their panic attack.

“Calm down” might not be the initial reaction to sorrow, but someone could react to sadness in a way that garners this reaction. It could be a relative blubbering too loudly at a funeral. Or a child wailing because they didn’t get the toy they wanted. Or perhaps a child is crying because of their nightmares and their parent sings them a lullaby. Someone could even be faking tears and told to calm down.

However, the emotions don’t have to be negative. I can think of several ways in which this prompt could refer to excitement. Teenage girls squealing because they got tickets to see their favorite band…or adult men squealing because they got tickets to see their favorite football team. Little kids running around at a birthday party, high on sugar. People at a church shouting “AMEN!” a little too loudly, distracting the preacher. 

But the phrase doesn’t have to refer to a conversation in which one person is upset, and the other is not, either. It could refer to multiple people who are feeling emotional together. Maybe, in the middle of the fight, a couple realizes, in a healthy way, they both need to calm down before continuing. It could refer to two people grieving together. Perhaps your characters are spies who just watched someone they loved get hurt, or worse, and they have to calm down in order to do their job. It could even refer to two people being extremely excited together, like the kids under the blanket fort, realizing they should calm down before they wake up the rest of the house. 

You could even be saying this to yourself. One of the most fascinating takes I can see on this prompt is to write about someone who’s upset trying to tell themselves to calm down. This too could be a good thing or a bad thing. You might be crying and telling yourself to bottle up your emotions and not feel. Or you might be angry, gently telling yourself breathe. As you’re panicking, it may even be a mantra repeated in your own head, over and over, against the rising tide of fear.

My challenge for you this week is to use this prompt to write about something wholesome. There are many ways in which you could do this—whether it be through hurt/comfort, or excitement, or humor.

I will add on to that, that due to my own emotional struggles over the personal tragedy I mentioned, my own emotions are on high at the moment. I am in a grieving process over the death of my friend. I set this as your challenge for the week, not just because I think it’d be a fun challenge—and not the first place one’s mind goes to—but because I may struggle with the more dark and intense stories this week. It’s up to you what you decide to write, you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. But I’d appreciate it if you decided to provide some more positive stories to read. 

Okay, don’t panic. You have plenty of time to….are you hyperventilating? No, it’s not worth getting worked up over. Just take a bit of time and clear your thoughts.

—Pearce, Kaylie, and 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

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    1. Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
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    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).
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    5. Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
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Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.

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6 months ago

Control Yourself (Illusions of Heroes)
by Gerrit (Rattus)

Serennia drew the blade across Emrys’s forearm, blood beginning to pool in the trail left behind. She heard his sharp intake of breath right next to her ear and fought the urge to apologise. He had, after all, asked her to do this.

She took a step back, and watched his eyes harden as he surrendered control. His smile twisted into a scowl as he began to thrash against his restraints. She hoped they were strong enough. Tied as he was to the tree, he posed no threat. If those bindings came loose, however, she could be in trouble.

“It’s okay Emrys, it’s me. You know me.” Her voice seemed to have no effect as he continued to struggle. A low, almost growling noise escaped his lungs.

“Emrys please, listen to my voice. I know you’re still in there.” She took a step closer, hoping that neither of his arms would slip free from the ropes. As she closed the distance he leaned forward, as though he was trying to simply phase through his restraints.

Serennia raised a cautious hand to his face. His skin was hot under her fingers, feverish if she hadn’t known better. She cupped his cheek, felt the coarse stubble against her palm.

“Emrys, listen to me. You’re stronger than this. You can take back control.” She wished she could glimpse into his mind. Only then could she truly understand his struggle against whatever this was. Until then, her blanket reassurances would have to suffice.

She felt the change before she saw it. The heat receded from his skin, back into the depths of his being, or perhaps evaporating into the air. The thrashing calmed, the only sound escaping his lips a shallow pant. She looked into his eyes and saw only the softness they always held for her.

“It worked,” Serennia said, more to herself than to him.

“If anyone could do it, I knew it’d be you.” Emrys smiled, and she felt it in here heart. “Now, could you please untie me?”

6 months ago

Hot And Cold
By Taja DaLeen

She came back to a freezing cold apartment. She was used to it, to an extent, but it was worse this time.

Something was clearly wrong.

Just dropping her stuff, she immediately went to look for her girlfriend. And what she found only heightened this feeling of something being utterly wrong.

There was a huge cocoon of ice in the living room, right where their small couch was supposed to be. Whatever the hell happened to make her ice witch freak out like that, it was bad. Even in the beginning of their relationship the wall had never been this big.

Carefully she knocked at the ice.

“Leyla, can you hear me? Can we please talk? What happened?”

But there was no answer. She was only able to feel the despair and loneliness radiating off of the ice. Her love was probably drowning in her own head again and didn’t hear a thing.

Well, if soft didn’t work, she had other means to break through to her. She probably won’t like it at first, but dealing with the mental health problems of her little witch she learned that sometimes you have to be a bit rough so it can get better in the end.

Even if her heart broke a little each time she had to.

She focused on the power within her, felt the heat deep down, and guided it to her hands, concentrating the fire there to melt a part of the walls surrounding her other half. It took quite the toll on her, but eventually she broke through.

And saw that this darn wall was indeed several inches thick. What the hell happened?

She also saw her love curled up in a ball, sobbing and whispering that she was all alone over and over.

“Hey, Leyla? Honey? Please, calm down, I’m here now. Talk to me.”

She tried to touch her witch, caress her hair, but she slapped her hand away, curling in on herself even more.

“No! Stay away from me! You’ll eventually leave anyway, just like everyone else!”

Though her hand was slapped away a few more times, she eventually managed to embrace her, letting her cry into her shoulder. Anything to show her that the voices in her head were wrong, that she indeed intended to stay, until the end.

They could still talk once the witch calmed down.

6 months ago

“A Traitor Among Us” (Aethryn Setting)

By: Arith_Winterfell

Talin’s hand goes for his mace.

He swings in a wide arc and screams, “Get back! Lies! This necromancer just cast an illusion to get you to betray me!”

“I assure you, there is no deception from me,” I say sternly, “what you saw was Andorloth.”

Islin moves closer to me. “Talin. Before Andorloth died, you said you were going to ask him to finally share the password to the vault.”

Aralyn backs away from both Talin and Islin. She holds out her hands with her palms outward in a gesture of non-violence. “Hey! Hey!” Aralyn calls out to the group, “Let’s slow down here. This doesn’t have to come to blows.”

Islin continues, “Talin, you said he didn’t give you the password. You were the only other person on deck when he was swept overboard in the storm. We only have your word he was swept overboard by a wave.”

Talin looks stricken.

“He – He told you the password. Didn’t he? Didn’t he?!” says Islin, anger rising in his voice. “He told you the password, and you saw the opportunity to keep all the treasure in the vault to yourself. You pushed him overboard so you’d be the only one with the password.”

Talin bolts, charging at Aralyn. He knocks her down to one side as he flees.

With the flick of a wrist, I cast the spell. Talin tumbles face first into the sand, then begins writhing and screaming in agony. Islin looks at me for a moment, nods, and rushes to seize Talin.

Aralyn gets up from the sand and shouts, “He’s the only one with the password. We can’t kill him!”

I sigh, “She’s right. I can’t resummon Andorloth’s spirit for a very long time. If you want whatever is in that vault, you will need him.”

Islin finishes tying up Talin’s hands. Talin lies there shivering and drooling into the sand, still stunned from the Agonize spell. “Great!” Islin groans, “Now we have to drag this traitor with us to the vault and get him to use the password.”

6 months ago

An Error in Judgement (a Behind the Spine story)
by vellichorian

“Repeat the rules,” Poppy prompted as she set the bulky sunglasses on Emma’s head and slid a makeshift cardboard shield behind the lenses.

“One. Keep my eyes closed until you say. Two. Hold on tight,” Emma shook a baggie of marshmallows.


“Be quiet and calm.”


“I get my five dollars back if this VR thing doesn’t work, right?”

Poppy grunted and waved her hand to make sure Emma couldn’t see her set up a book instead of a VR device. She slid her fingers over the book’s title, Professor Squatchie’s Guide to Cryptozoology, and pressed the Dewey Decimal label. A tiny panel opened. She used her magic library key to unlock the book, and the spine swung open like a door.

Poppy held Emma’s hand. “Keep your eyes closed, and jump.”

They spun and shrank to land inside the book. Poppy removed the cardboard and led Emma down a narrow hallway to a room marked with a glittery horn. She opened the door, and Emma stifled a squeal when she saw a unicorn grazing under a tree. She tiptoed toward the animal, one outstretched hand full of marshmallows. Poppy remembered how mesmerizing its pearlescent coat and rainbow mane had been on her first visit to this book, but she was tired of it after charging to lead all the neighborhood girls to meet it.

A second unicorn peeked out from behind the trees, sniffing the marshmallows in the air. Seeing it, Emma shrieked and darted toward it. Both animals startled, rearing up on their back legs.

Poppy grabbed Emma’s hand and dragged her back to the entrance, replacing the cardboard as she ran. They tumbled out of the book, falling onto the grass.

“I want my money back!” Emma demanded, sniffling.


“You said I’d get ten minutes.”

“You didn’t follow the rules.”

A shadow fell over them. Poppy looked up. Her parents and the librarian glared at her, arms crossed.

“Neither did you,” the librarian said, snatching the magical key from Poppy.

“What were you thinking? She could have gotten hurt!” Mom scolded.
“Inside,” Dad finished.

6 months ago

“The Birthday Present”
By Hemming Sebastian Bane

Sally May Brewer trudged into the late winter snow, her beau James holding his hands over her eyes and guiding her with his shoulders.

“Jimmy, what are you doin’? Momma’ll plumb hide me if I ruin this dress ‘fore my birthday is over,” Sally May chided, her giggles undercutting her tone.

“Don’ worry, Sally May. I ain’t fixin’ to do nothin’ of the sort.” James grinned, guiding his sweetheart with tender steps.

Sally May only counted about ten or fifteen steps after they left the porch. Whatever James wanted to show her, it wasn’t too far from the house. She felt some sort of presence, but couldn’t figure out what it was. Suddenly, James stopped.

“All right. I’m gonna remove my hands on the count of three. You ready?”

Sally May nodded, rocking back and forth with excitement.

“One…” counted James.

Sally May held her breath in anticipation. What in the world was this boy doing?


The moment seemed to last forever, as if this moment would change Sally May’s and James’s lives forever.


James pulled his hands away. Sally May squinted as the bright afternoon sun reflected off the snow. Then, she saw it. From the withers down, the creature stood above the girl at six and half feet tall. Its long neck stretched down another three feet as it nudged its long snout into the snow. White down-like feathers covered its enormous quadrupedal body. The creature let out a huff, the mist quickly dispersing in the air.

Sally May squealed in delight. “You got me a khionodon?!”

James smiled as the girl threw her arms around her and squeezed. “I knew you were always lookin’ around the stables at ‘em. So, I saved up…”

Sally May gasped, momentarily pulling away. “James Vernon Young, you didn’t.”

“…And got it for you yesterday. You like ‘er?”

Sally May shook James like a young girl with a ragdoll. “Like ‘er?! Jimmy, I love ‘er!”

James chuckled. “That’s great! Now, you mind lettin’ me go? My sides are hurtin’.”

Sally May smiled sheepishly as she removed her arms. “Sorry, Jimmy.”

6 months ago

A Soothing Conversation (Students of the DiamondBridge Academy universe)
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

Roselyn crested the top of the hill. “Hello?”

“Hey!” Sam waved enthusiastically, then quickly slowed down her motion. “I, um, would you like to sit down?”

“Is that… okay?”


There wasn’t a picnic blanket or basket, no pair of soda cans or a bouquet. Roselyn thought she had shaken any of those ridiculous dreams out of her head, but they hit her one last time before she straightened her skirt and sat down near Sam, not too close and not too far.

“So,” Roselyn cleared her throat, “you wanted to talk?”

“Yeah. I… figured it was a good idea.”

A gust of wind rusted the branches of the tree towering above them.

“I’m sorry!” Roselyn blurted out.

“You are?” Sam responded kindly, just louder than a whisper.

“Yes.” Roselyn stared at the ground. “I made a series of decisions that caused harm and distress in your general direction, all entirely for my own gain. I’m sorry.”

“That’s… an oddly poetic way of saying my arm got broken because of you.”


“And the way you treated me and Jidz after everything we did for you, and totally manipulating Feleron, and—”

“Yes! All of that, and plenty more. I’m… I’m so sorry. For being so goddamn selfish.”

Roselyn blinked back tears.

“… I’m sorry too.” Sam picked a blade of grass and played with it between her claw-like fingers. “I was harsh that night.”


“Still. I was rude. I should’ve just done the smart thing and not gone.” Sam tossed the grass into the wind, and watched it drift about before falling to the ground. “And I’m not going to let you beat yourself into the ground over this. Wanna… call it even?”

“It’s not even. It’s not even at all.”

“Wanna pretend it is so we both can move on?”

Sam held out her hand.

“… I’ll still make it up to you,” Roselyn said as she gently took Sam’s hand and shook it.

“It can wait. Take a break, okay? I think you need it.”

And Sam was halfway down the hill before Roselyn processed she was leaving.

6 months ago

Under Pressure (Chronicles of The Dragon)
by Makokam

“Jonathan?” The black scaled being lunged at him, and Sol telekinetically pushed it down again, cratering the ground around it even further. “Jonathan.” Snarling, it lunged again and he crushed it back into the ground. “Jonathan!”

“Stop- ugh,” Ultima winced as she got back to her feet. “Stop letting him up. Together we can-”

“You sit down!” he said, pushing her back, though far more gently. “I’m not LETTING him do anything.”

He turned back to The Dragon; eyes burning suns, obsidian scales, almost human teeth bared, claws flicking with flame, wings twitching. “I know you don’t want to do this. I can get you someone from death row. You just need to stop trying to kill Ultima.”

There was a “whomph” of displaced air and Runcaster stumbled, not quite sticking the landing of her teleportation. “I’m here! I’m- I’ve got her!”

Scribe looked almost as dizzy as Runcaster did, swaying lightly on her feet. “Heh. That was fun.”

The Dragon went still as its head snapped towards the two girls. Its claws dug deep into the ground, its muscles tensing .

Runecaster looked over at him. “Jonathan… Everything it going to be okay. Okay?”

Scribe’s eyes had gone wide when she saw him. “You’re beautiful.”

Runecaster nudged Scribe. “Go on. Do your thing.”

Scribe nodded and started moving forward, holding her hands out to him. “You’ve had a rough week. Want a hu-” She jumped back as he smashed his face into the earth. Claws tearing at the dirt and rock.

“Jonathan, stop!” Runcaster yelled.

He looked up at her. And after a moment, its wings flared and he leapt up. And immediately was crushed back to the ground. “You’re not going anywhere,” Sol said. Jonathan started to push up, but Sol kept increasing the pressure. “Scribe!”

“Right!” The girl ran over, reaching out with just the tip of her finger, touching him and passing the word “calm” into him. “You can let him go; he won’t fight it.”

Sol relaxed his power, and she wrapped her arms around Jonathan as the scales fell from him like ashes.

Last edited 6 months ago by Makokam
Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
6 months ago

Dead End (That’s the Spirit)
by Lee Strangely

“Come on!” Mort shouted from over the hill, “we haven’t got all night!”

As Clay finally approached the top, his face became white as snow. The jagged collage of stone and metal vaguely resembled a castle, sitting on the ground as a crown of thorns upon the Earth.

“Do we really have to?” he whimpered, “you know, see ‘you-know-who?’”

“Yes,” Mort said, staring at the ground. Feathery carcasses littered the lawn, only increasing in volume the closer to the castle he got. “Uh Clay, mind the dead birds!”

Clay immediately looked up in response… Unfortunately, he did so in time to be hit by another such fleshy projectile. The impact sent him backward, nearly dropping the bag.

“CAREFUL!” Mort shouted.

“Oh dry up, it’s fine! It’s FINE!” Clay stammered, “I got it!”

During all the commotion the doors crept open, the sound of ticking filling the air. The brothers froze. Standing in the doorway, her pale skin lit the land like the moon. Mort’s eyes were locked with the two clocks that stood in place of her eyes, while Clay’s drifted closer to the thin black robe hugging her hourglass figure.

Another bird plummeted from above as she stepped outside, “Clayton, Mortimer, you’re early. Our appointment isn’t for at least another two decades.”

“Apologies, Lady Death, for interrupting your tight schedule…”

“It’s alright,” she sighed, “I have plenty of time these days. It feels like there’s less to reap every year. It’s hard you know… working in a dying profession.”

“Truly a tragedy, my lady… My brother and I are in desperate need of someone talented and wise in the ways of soul-taking such as yourself. It’s ab-so-lutely urgent!”

“Aw, you really mean that?” Death asked.

“I wouldn’t have come if it weren’t true.”

She smiled, “I would be delighted to help you with your predicament. Do come inside though, the geese will be flying over soon.”

6 months ago

Ezekiel 18:20

“Your father said I would find you here,” Rheesa said as she climbed onto the roof. Her son, Aggas, was shaking beneath the light of the full moon. She wanted to get closer to him and hold him, but everything about his body language rejected the idea of touch.

“I didn’t want to hurt anyone,” she could hear him muttering from behind his knees. He still had spatterings of blood on his hands and feet, and Rheesa could hear on his speech that his fangs were still elongated.

“No one ever does,” she responded. Parenting books were never written for vampires. What could one even say in this situation? A frenzy is almost never intentional, to begin with.

“Or at least,” she continued. “I didn’t.” She was following her gut with this conversation. It seemed to work, since Aggas began to peek his red eyes from behind his arms. He silently waited for her to continue, as he couldn’t imagine his gentle mother losing control the way he had.

“Long before I met your father, I was in a very bad place.” The memories flowed through as she recalled the flames she ignited, the villages she destroyed, the lives she had ruined, some intentional, some not.

“What did you do?” Aggas asked. Taken aback by the question, Rheesa leaned back on the roof, now laying alongside her son, and tried her best to remember.

“I looked to the moon,” she said. The one constant in the night sky.

Aggas turned his face to the moon, and Rheesa saw that the frenzy was quickly subsiding. His eyes lost their blood-fueled glow, his fingers released their vice-like grip on his legs, and his fangs shrank back into his jaw. As his shoulders finally relaxed, Rheesa embraced her son, comforting him the way only a mother’s touch can.

“As long as the moon hangs in the sky,” she reminded him. “You’ll always be able to find yourself in the darkness.”

As they climbed down from the roof she looked once more at the moon, and prayed.

6 months ago

No Stronger Mask Than Denial (A Song for: Kit)
by Lunabear (CW/TW: Scars, references to physical abuse and sexual assault)

Sharine traced the scars etched into Kit’s back. His face darkened with each new one discovered.

“Did your Maker do this?” he seethed.

“Yes, but it was disciplinary. I NEED to be better.”

“That’s abuse! Plain and simple.”

Kit’s nostrils flared. She put the room in between them. “He has to! How else will I learn?”

“By him actually teaching you. The bond between Maker and Progeny is sacred. He’s an absolute monster. Making you a vampire without your consent AND scarring you! Who does that?”

“You don’t understand his methods. They’re for my betterment.”

Sharine appeared calm, but underneath was rage. “Repugnant. He’s almost worse than humans. THEY’RE only good when cattle or dead.”

That rhetoric never failed to sicken Kit. “He says that, too.”

“You’re comparing me to HIM?”

“In this regard, yes. I was human once.”

“You WERE, Nikita.”

Her stare hardened. “Supernaturals are capable of the same cruelties.” A memory of a silver-laced whip stung her back. She shoved it away.

Sharine sighed, defeated. He crossed the room and cupped her face. “I pray you can free yourself.”

Brief quietness reigned.

“Why do you hate humans, Sharine?”

“My older sister, Charlemagne. A group of humans took advantage of her kindness. And her body. They discovered she was Fae and used iron to carve horrible words into her skin.”

Kit’s lash line choked with tears. Fae couldn’t heal iron damage.

“They left her for dead. I’m hunting them all down.”

“How many have you…killed?”

“Four. I know where the last two reside.”

“Not all humans are the same. Some are kind, caring. Empathetic.”

“Show me what it was like for you as a human? Please?”

He’d shared his pain; it was only fair she returned the favor. She agreed.

They kissed, losing themselves to their own, special magic.

Breaking the kiss, they moved to the bed. He snuggled her back to his front, resting his chin against the crown of her head. “We won’t be disturbed here. Take as long as you need.”

Inhaling a deep, cleansing breath, she began, “For starters, my name wasn’t always Nikita…”

Last edited 6 months ago by Lunabear
6 months ago

Something There That Wasn’t There Before
By Marx

I’ve known this Old One for only a few days as humans tell time and… I hadn’t realized that in that time I’d forgotten what he is.

He’s shown me nothing but compassion and kindness. More than I would have thought a demon like him capable of.

He brought me back from the brink when I was at my lowest and my most…

…self destructive…

I hadn’t even realized that he’s become my protector.


A warrior angel.

A perfect being created for combat being protected by a Hellborne engine of destruction.

I hate that I need the help, but I am no longer perfect. And ‘they’ know it.

‘They’ made me this way.

So I begrudgingly accept his protection even though he should be my enemy.

I can’t see him that way anymore if I’m being honest with myself.

Even now, as the jagged spikes on his massive fists are covered in the blood of his victims.

Even now, as those who didn’t suffer from that beating burn from the fire that spews from his mouth, lighting the whole area aflame.

Even now, as both those who fought him and those who fled die under the same umbrella of his brutality.

Even now, as he hunts every last one of them to extinction.

Because I know he’s doing it for me.

‘They’ were never a threat to him.

‘They’ just wanted to finish me off.

And now there is no more ‘they’.

As he roars at the sky, shaking the very ground we stand on, I should be terrified. I should be preparing to defend myself when he turns his eyes on me.

Instead, I approach him and wrap both my arms and my remaining wing around him as I say, “It’s okay. You got them. You got them all.”

I hear his ragged breathing slow as he finally realizes he’s out of targets and asks, “…are you okay?”

I instinctively look over to where my other wing should be. I can never return to Heaven like this.

But I don’t care anymore.

As long as he’s with me.