Writing Group: Castle in the Sky (PRIVATE)

Hello Deities, Angels, and Skydivers!

Are you ready to fly? I hope your wings aren’t made of wax, my dears, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Castle in the Sky

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

This prompt was inspired by Revolutionary Girl Utena’s upside-down illusion castle, one of many symbolic elements in the anime. It symbolizes the ideal fairytale ending for the main antagonist. However, it’s upside down because it’s been perverted by the antagonist shedding his godlike persona to become something more devilish. In addition to its true inspiration, it makes me think of several sky lands from popular media. The first thing it always makes me think of is the Studio Ghibli movie Castle in the Sky, about two kids who venture to a mythical land in the sky, all the while trying to keep its ancient technology from falling into the clutches of the villains. I can’t help but think of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and all the ancient sky islands to explore there as well. Also, of course, the giant’s castle in Jack and the Beanstalk. Cloud City in Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back is another strong example. As well as the Air Temples in Avatar the Last Airbender. I’d venture to guess there is a vast plethora of media which include fairy and/or pegasus castles in the sky. And that’s before we even get to the idea of Heaven. 

As you can see, the image can be used in many ways, and is strong enough to stick with one for years. You could easily take inspiration from one or many of these examples, writing about fairytale worlds, and either the quest to reach them, and/or the lengths heroes must take to keep them preserved. 

But, while the image of a castle in the sky might bring to mind a world of fairies and fantasy, it doesn’t have to be that. Perhaps your castle in the sky is a horrifying place, with gnarled black towers, which block out the sun below. Perhaps it houses a horror of eldritch proportions. The inverted castle in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a good example of this. Maybe the heroes aren’t trying to preserve the castle, but rather destroy the villain’s lair. 

You could also take this prompt in a sci-fi direction, especially playing with the definition of “sky.” A castle on another planet would be a castle in the sky to someone looking at it from Earth. Maybe an alien planet is itself a castle in the sky to the child stargazing and dreaming. A space station orbiting the Earth could even be considered a castle in the sky, in a way. 

In another sci-fi direction, in the movie Blade Runner, the rich live above the clouds, and the poor beneath, smothered in smog. Perhaps you could use this sort of idea in your story, where the castle in the sky is a hierarchical paradise. Maybe you want to focus on those who live beneath the castle in the sky. Or maybe it’s the poor who are shunted off to the sky, where the altitude causes sickness, and the paradise is the ground. 

The movie Belle also includes a sky castle, and a lonely beast in need of saving…all within virtual reality. Perhaps storing data in the cloud could be considered a castle of information. Maybe there’s a virtual world beneath the screen of a computer full of palaces of data. Even simply a room full of secret data could be considered a castle, as long as the room is somehow in the sky. 

The idea of a “mind palace” has been popularized by BBC’s Sherlock. Maybe you could find a way to connect the idea of the mind to the sky. Maybe, for someone who always has their head in the clouds, their head is a castle in the sky. Maybe you want to write about your characters delving into someone’s mind, and their secrets physically manifest as castles. 

Maybe it’s a matter of perspective. A castle might only look like it’s in the sky, but rather be in the sea, surrounded by fog. Mount Olympus is a mountain on the ground, but perhaps the ancient Greeks said the gods lived there because it looked like the top was in the sky. Perhaps it’s a projection upon the clouds rigged up by a magician—be they a true magician, or simply a master of illusion. 

There are even real life mirages that look like fairy castles. There is a superior mirage called a “Fata Morgana” which is the Italian translation of “Morgan the Fairy” aka “Morgana le Fey.” The mirage makes the image distorted look higher than it is, and often alters it in many ways, making parts of the image look upside down, to the point where it’s unrecognizable and otherworldly. In the past, it was often described as fairy castles, or false land conjured by Morgana’s magic. I’ve always been fascinated by this idea, and would love to read stories that use it. 

You could play with perspective in another way. Maybe, to a child living in the slums, an apartment looks like a castle in the sky. Perhaps, to an ant on the ground, a spider’s web looks like a castle in the sky. I could see lots of symbolic, animal, and inanimate object perspectives you could use to play with the idea of what is a castle, and what is the sky, with this prompt. 

A castle in the sky can represent a nearly impossible dream that you want to achieve. Perhaps your character has some sort of idealized dream about how things could be, and to another they are just “castles in the sky”—that is to say, not something that can ever be reached, or truly held onto. It’s something on a grand scale that happens maybe once in a generation. Flying too close to something that seems impossible and getting hurt in the process. This prompt can be dark but also cautionary. It could also be more hopeful in nature—a person finding their way out of darkness could be a castle in the sky.

Thinking of our last prompt, even songs could function as castles—with the lyrics as the parapets, and the music carrying it into the clouds. A castle in the sky could be a relationship finally coming to fruition—romantic, platonic, familial, work related. You can look at the sky as a sort of symbolic obstacle; how do you reach the end goal (castle)? And the achieving of the relationship, or whatever else your character is attempting to achieve, could be reaching the castle in the sky. 

You could play with where your characters are as well. Are they on the ground, dreaming of the castle, never able to reach it? Are they on their way to the castle, traversing through the sky? Did they just arrive? Or have they lived inside the castle their whole lives?

My challenge for you is to find something ordinary in the fantastical. This prompt leads one into fantastical worlds. But how could you use it in more ordinary ways? Can you elevate ordinary life somehow? Indulge in the mundane instead of seeking out the grandiose.

Remember, these challenges aren’t mandatory! They are meant to be a fun bonus if you’d like to have a little extra challenge. But, if you don’t want to use them, please don’t feel obligated to!

Stick close to me, and catch the currents! A world of wonder awaits! 

—Pearce, Kaylie, and Felicia

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.
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    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).
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  2. What to Submit

    1. Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
    2. Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
    3. Write something brand new; no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
    4. No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
    5. Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
  3. Submission Rules

    1. One submission per participant.
    2. Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
    3. Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
    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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3 months ago

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Last edited 3 months ago by Alica
jesse fisher
jesse fisher
3 months ago

Lost Realms
by Jesse Fisher

The whirl of the engine could have been the faintest wind as they approached the impossible. The whole airship were gobsmacked by the visural, it seemed as if someone took a chunk of the earth and placed it in the sky. It looked like something spoken of in a fairytale, one that many could not recall if they heard before.

There was one on the ship who knew of the stories related to something like this, and fear gripped their heart as they began to send a coded message to another that knew this as well. However this other person’s drive would squash any fear or any warning past down from long ago.

The messenger only did this because of the reward this other person offered for any information, even if something like this could cause issues.


The message was delayed as the intended recipient as this was during a time of a dinner party that he could not escape from. By then the word was out of this place in the sky, the hysteria swept the world as more learned of this.

“Floating island is claimed by all faith leaders as heaven.” The well dressed man read aloud. “The debate as to which version is correct has spilled onto the streets as cities and countries scramble to deal with this.”

A huff and a groan fell from the man’s lips. His family had always said they came from a land lost to the world and now it had been found. The rage was evidence in his voice but more so there was tiredness.

“Now how to explain the world to them now.” He then turned to the massive library with all the history in it.

3 months ago

An Important Meeting
By Taja DaLeen

The windrunner’s eight hooves rhythmically hit the ground, galloping across the plains of Ba’al.

Asmodis was bored again, and craved some excitement, which was the main reason for their trip.

Well, that and the Ladies would probably be a little… miffed if they didn’t visit them, especially since they knew when they had a reason not to, and when they didn’t.

Once they got close enough to the flying isles they exchanged their steed for an airwhale. Sure, they could get to the Ladies’ home more easily, but this was more fun.

Wasn’t that thrill of feeling the wind on your face that every existing creature strived for? To actually know you were part of these beautiful worlds, to really feel alive?

When Asmodis arrived they were greeted by wholly black eyes seemingly staring right into their soul, seeing everything that was and would be.

It was a weird feeling. And very weird eyes. They had never really gotten used to them, unlike the fact they always spoke right into their mind. Somehow that was easier to handle than the looks.

‘Where is the cake?’

… so that was what the Ladies had been waiting for. Typical.

Maybe that was also why most of them chose to take the appearance of crones, except for two, who looked like little children.

Asmodis held up the bag they brought with them, after which they were ushered into the castle-like structure; this time they obviously were to have their little tea party right next to one of the nine springs that were scattered across the isles.

“So, how are you doing? Still watching everything as usual?”

‘You know we don’t interfere, ever since we took in that girl who ended up having an accident with our spinning wheel. We already talked about this.’

Asmodis sighed.

“Yea… but still. Is smalltalk that difficult for you?”

‘We don’t care about smalltalk.’

Squinting, they regarded the Ladies. Yes, they obviously only cared about the cake.

Who would have thought the Fates would be that much into the taste of human food?

3 months ago

“…With Good Intentions”
By Hemming Sebastian Bane

Clop. Clunk. Clop. Clunk.

The great hall of the Iatrochemistry Institute resounded with the sound of faun hooves on marble. Dust covered the cabinets that were everyday storage for specimens and experiment materials. Silence replaced the bustling nucleus of students in black formal jackets and stark white aprons of yesteryear. Well, silence and the hoofsteps of Perparim Argenten.

Perparim Argenten failed to muster a sigh. Mourning the organization he founded was useless. He knew his idea was a long shot, especially the border tensions ever increasing. His country pushed back the standardization of medical practice to prioritize their own expansion. Perparim laughed, bitterness on his tongue.

The former founder entered his office and stared down at the hills of the Arzlamali countryside. The trees adorned themselves with the autumnal colors, ready to shed their garments for hiemal slumber. A tinge of sadness pierced Perparim’s heart as the dirt path so often trod by eager minds lay bare, save the occasional farmer. His magnum opus, a monument to learning and progress, was abandoned to be shaped by superstition and rumor.

Perparim didn’t want to believe that his ambition was used as a shroud for more malicious means. Now that the Iatrochemistry Institution was shut down, that reality crashed against his calm demeanor like a wave to a sandcastle. His efforts failed. It was that simple. And every serum developed in secret, every formula devised to better weaponize the Fae body against Arzlamal was a cold iron dagger to the back.

Perparim frowned as he pulled out a vial from his formal jacket. It was the first somatic alchemical compound he discovered that was developed. Nasty work. It ossified the imbiber’s skin, resulting in an uncomfortable and painful bony carapace. Perparim threw the solution on the ground. The vial shattered across the floor, the liquid within sublimating.

Vapor. That’s all this place was now. A failed attempt at grasping something lofty. Generations after Perparim would call him full of hubris, he knew it. And this structure would stand monument to said hubris as well as his failure. Just another mad alchemist’s failure.

3 months ago

In the shadow of providence
by Blinky

Benny lay in the golden grass and felt the sun across his skin. He spread his arms out wide and kicked the shoes off his feet. He focused on the steady rhythm of his breathing and the sunlight on his skin.

“Benny,” Someone called. “Your pa’s looking for you.”

He had no pa here.

“Benny,” they called again.

He took a deep breath and choked on it when they threw their book bag onto his stomach. He sat up, coughing his lungs out.

“You can’t keep doing this,” Iris said as she plopped beside him in the grass.

“Doing what?” Benny asked, still catching his breath.

“Disappearing like this. You’re Pa’s getting old, and he’ll give you the shop soon. You can hardly shape a nail. What will you do when he’s too old? You’ve still so much to learn.” She shielded her eyes from the light and looked to the sky. “Why do you come here anyway? We’ll never make it up there.”

Benny eyed the city looming above theirs. Providence. Pa said he would smack the color out his eyes if he ever said that name around him. Said it was a hammer waiting for the right anvil. It moved every so often but had settled over evergreen for the past few years. “We? You’re testing for their school soon” Benny handed her bag back. “You’re gonna be up there high and mighty for a long while.”

She rolled her eyes at him and hugged her bag to her chest. “I’ll never test high enough for that.” She leaned into his shoulder. “You’re gonna be stuck seeing me down here for the rest of your miserable life.”

“Can’t be that miserable then.”

She pushed him away. “Enough of that. Let’s get going. I still haven’t checked your pa’s books, and I need to study.” She stood and held her hand out.

Benny looked to the sun disappearing behind the floating city and felt the shade of Providence creep across his face. “Yeah, I’m done here anyway.” He took her hand and followed her into the city

Fog Wall
Fog Wall
3 months ago

Bird’s Eye View

~Fog Wall

Parking the Graviton Cyclone on the rooftop, I stood and looked out across the massive cityscape. This was one of the highest vantage points in the whole city. 

Walking to the edge of the building with my hands on my hips; it looked like the sun was still setting from up here. Beyond the city’s boundaries, I could actually see the ancient woodlands beyond the barrier.  

The sun shone through the tallest of the trees, some of which rivelled the tower I stood upon. 

“Time to work.”

I walked back to my bike and grabbed my backpack. Pulling out a plasma cutter, I put on gloves and pulled down my goggles.

Turning it on and cutting a small circular hole in the concrete ceiling. Once done, I stomped a hoof down, forcing the chunk to fall into the suite below. It landed on the king bed in the master bedroom, leaving a hole just large enough for me to fit through. 

Setting my rope, I took the plunge. The room was dark. Carpeted in red with spotless white walls and sparsely decorated. “Pretty damn ritzy.”

I checked through the desk and looked around the bed. Keeping a keen eye open for any secret compartment or hidden safe. 

Venturing through the palace-like home, I passed by priceless ancient art, expensive statues and crystalline drinkware accompanied by luxurious liquor. I snagged a bottle or three, tucking them away.

My prosthetic arm was equipped with a flashlight between my knuckles. Using it, I gave the main living space a solid search and finally found it.

A photograph. One that was upside down in it’s frame. A small family photo. I walked over and laid the frame down on its face. That triggered a compartment in the wall to open.

Inside was a safe. Smiling, I opened my bag. It took some time, but it was opened in ten minutes. Insode was what I needed. Several documents and an encrypted hard drive.

“Time to go.”

Then the elevator rang.

“Well, shit…”

Last edited 3 months ago by Fog Wall
Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
3 months ago

Dungeons and Detonators
by Lee Strangely

There was no word big enough to thoroughly describe the blast that now showered the land with blood, scales, and bricks. The shockwaves alone woke up several animals, peasants, and even the local lord.

“What the hell have you done?!” the lord yelled as he hobbled his way to the cliffside, where the mage and barbarian he hired were currently patting themselves on the back.

The barbarian greeted him, “Ah, good morning my lord, we are pleased to say that the dragon has been vanquished! …You’re welcome by the way…”

“Sent him all the way to the heavens,” the mage assured.

“You sent my castle into the bloody heavens you idiots!” the lord barked.

“And thank goodness we came along and did,” the barbarian started again, “those ruins ought to have been condemned.”

“Condemned?! It was ancient, it was an historical landmark!”

“A bloody death-trap was what it was. All those rotting corpses, rusty spikes… and good heavens, those floors were so crumbly we may as well have been standing in a sandcastle. Somebody could’ve died in there!”

His veins bulged, “It’s a DUNGEON! People are supposed to die in it!”

“Look, I’m no interior decorator, and you clearly were going for a theme… but there wasn’t a single brick in the entire structure that you could so much as look at without getting tetanus.”

“Do you think this is some sort of joke?!” the lord spat as he tried to strangle him.

“No sir,” he choked, “tetanus is no laughing matter…”

3 months ago

The Places I’ll Go

“And then in the far east there are these mountains, and nestled between the two tallest peaks it says there’s a kingdom that rises into the clouds!” Juderia excitedly turned the pages of his book to show Rheesa the wonders of the world.

“Oh? And what is this kingdom called?” asked his crimson-haired friend.

“The book says it’s….” Juderia stared at the page for nearly a minute. “I’m not even going to try that. But it says it translates to ‘The Kingdom of the Sun’!”

Rheesa leaned over his shoulder, her hair falling in front of both of their faces. If his skin had been any lighter shade of blue, she might have noticed him blush at how close she was.

“What other interesting places does your book talk about?” she asked.

Juderia quickly flipped through the pages before the hormones clouded his vision, trying to find something that would catch her interest. Instead, he found something that caught his.

“It says here that to the south of us is a great body of water called the Elusian Sea.” He tried to imagine a vastness of water that covered all of the land he had ever walked on, but even that felt too small for how the book described the immensity of the sea. Water that expanded past the horizon and to lands he had never seen sounded too good to be true.

“I don’t.. Like water,” Rheesa said, slightly disappointed. “Daddy can’t go near it, and it makes me itchy.”

Juderia had nearly forgotten with how excited he’d been. There were things Rheesa could not do, with her sharing part of her father’s curse. They’d known each other for so long he had difficulty of thinking of her as a monster like he saw himself.

“I would like to see the sea,” he muttered.

Rheesa looked at him, thought for a moment, and responded.

“I think…I want to see the kingdom in the sky.”

The two sat there, one dreaming of the heavens, the other the deep. Both resolved to grasp what was just out of reach.

3 months ago

The Story of the Castle (Students of the DiamondBridge Academy universe)
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

It was said, centuries ago, that governing bodies must exist only in balance. Many balances, in fact. And it was thought, by most, that the rulers at the time were doing a good job staying balanced.

And then there was a War, and all the balances fell over.

So it was decided, after the War, to try again. A little more unified. A little more flexible. A lot less focus on bloodlines. Well, a little less. They decided, after months of debate on just that topic, to call themselves the Coalesce Amalgamate, because somehow everyone agreed it was the least terrible name.

And it was decided, very quickly, that the best option for a government building was a giant floating castle.

What was there not to like about a giant floating castle? It was defendable from land, because it flew, and it was defendable from the sky, because it was a castle. The castle would be big, and grand, and the newest developments in levitation magic would make it, arguably, cheaper to lift it than to terraform the land around it.

The first council member to pitch the floating castle idea was the first Councilor of Treasures, a one-eyed elf who had lost two fingers in the war and the eye in a smithing accident. Not that it mattered who pitched ideas in the early days. Back then, everyone was so eager to get along after the name debate that the first Councilor of Security was able to quietly arrange permanent ownership of the castle’s real estate for herself, her descendants, and her dog.

(If one had told the Councilor of Treasures that he should’ve seized that opportunity when he had the chance, he would’ve grabbed the nearest pointed object (usually a pencil) and threatened one’s eye, fingers, or both.)

So a castle was built, and levitated, and installed with secured, magically-locked lifts so only Councilors could get in. And it floated in the same spot ever since.

And it has been as secure of a fortress as the original Councilors believed it to be.

Definitely. Mm-hm. Yup. Very secure.

3 months ago

Deep dream dissolution: a reverie of flight and flame
by Aracnarquista

I dream.

I dream of the glass castle and its highs. I dream of its soothing light, and its impossible distance. And the dream cradles me into change.

As I dream, my body dissolves. The one I once was, the one who couldn’t reach to the skies, will be no more. The dream invades reality and guides my transformation. In my slumber, I prepare to reach the skies and the glass castle lights.

My waking life feels almost distant now. Munching on garden leaves, bound to the ground. Even though I was a great climber, climbing was not something I could do without exposing myself. I was slow, and the flying beasts are not.

I could only look at the glass castle in the sky and dream. At night, its golden luminescence seemed to conspire with the pale light of the moon.

Maybe, one day, one of us will reach the moon.

Not me, though. I earn just for my castle.

Past comes in glimpses, in the dream. Almost as fleeting and inconstant as the lights inside the glass castle. Just as those lights become harder to see in the day, the past also becomes more indistinct as the dream progresses. The more my past self dissolves and gives rise to my new self.

The castle’s distant visage was never enough, so I prepared. Facing the dangerous climb was needed, once. Not to reach the castle – not yet – , but to build my dream bed in the heights. To invade the skies where the flying beasts reign supreme, unnoticed, and weave my silk shroud. Then, to infiltrate the kingdom of sleep, where potentiality reigns supreme, and build my new self.

The dream is almost over. My metamorphosis is at an end.

The silk cocoon that cradled my transformation has served its purpose. It is a shame to destroy such delicate craft now, but shedding the past is the only way to reach higher.

To invade the sky, now on wings. Fast, free.

To invade the castle and its flames, now on wings. Beautiful, fleeting.

To dissolve, now in glory. Now, forever.

Last edited 3 months ago by Aracnarquista
3 months ago

A Fitful Awakening
by Gerrit (Rattus)

Lady Hanji stood beneath the roof of her pavilion, watching as the clouds drifted along beneath her. The heavy rains from the day before had left the clouds thin and light, the ground visible in patches between the sea of white. This shelf near the peak of the mountain had become her favourite place when she needed peace of mind away from the busyness of the palace.

Mount Laisan towered over the surrounding range, many of them barely able to peak above the clouds, if at all. The peak had long been the location of the Azure Palace, home to the Tun family. Her ancestors had built it in the decades following the Great Division. A way to spite the Gods, by claiming the very mountains they had used to separate her people. A thing of beauty, born from vengeance.

The soft sound of wings and feathers drew Hanji’s attention behind her. A flock of cranes landed within the palace grounds, nearly filling the gardens. Their long necks rose above the various shrubs around them, no doubt looking for a source of food. The gardeners would be furious if these birds ravaged their careful arrangements.

The only thought on Hanji’s mind was that something had to have driven the cranes to Mount Laisan. They rarely travelled to the mountain in such great numbers, and never during the current time of year.

Hanji’s gaze drifted up, where the cause for the migration became clear. The only mountain taller than Mount Laisan, known as The Father’s Cairn, rose to the west, smoke trickling out of it. Just as Hanji noticed, a rumble shook the ground beneath her. The smoke was billowing out now, so thick it threatened to darken the sun. Lightning cracked within the plume, and the orange glow seeping from the peak was visible even from such a great distance.

He was waking.

3 months ago

The Rainbow Princess (Chronicles of The Dragon)
By Makokam

High above the clouds, high enough that even the largest cities turned to sparkling smudges on the land, flew a shimmering castle of metal and glass.

This castle was the home for the greatest heroes of the world. They gathered together so that no disaster or villain would go unanswered, no matter where or when. Staffed by hundreds, the castle was like a small town. It had places to eat, and gardens to walk through, or sit in, or sleep in. There were places where people could live, and places where people who were hurt or sick could be healed. There was a place for the heroes to train, though some were too great to exert themselves within its walls, lest they destroy the castle.

But hidden and kept secret in the tallest tower, was the Rainbow Princess.

She was destined to be the greatest of all the heroes, but her power was too great and she could not control it. So she was taught by the greatest of the greatest, training her mind and body until she was ready to meet her destiny.

But until then, she must remain in the castle, far above the world. Only able to see a handful of the heroes, and the scientists, and the doctors. Only able to look out at the lines and sparkling smudges across the land below that marked the rest of civilization.

Surrounded by people, yet very alone. So close, and yet so far.


“Your vocabulary is improving.” Sol said, setting the paper down on Scribe’s desk. “But if you’re feeling lonely, you know the only thing you need to do to be able to go to the surface is get control of your powers.”

“I HAVE control of my powers!” She said, lifting herself up out of her chair and swinging her feet under her to squat on the seat as she pouted up at him.

“The accident report I get every day says otherwise.”

Her fingers clenched and the arms of the chair began to smolder under her fingers.

Last edited 3 months ago by Makokam
3 months ago

The Last King’s Castle
By Partran

Both bastion and spire, the vast tower stood mute sentinel above the sleeping world it guarded. To the scant few who still dwelt below, this ancient guardian transcribed an arc through the sky as a star that never stood still. The ragged souls that looked upon it now knew it as no more than a bright and wandering star, regular in its rounds. This forsaken fastness sang as it cut its long, curving flight above the ashen ground far below. It sang a duet with one lonely voice.

A century of men and women had lived their lives in the towers and courtyards of this metal keep when the burning light of the sun had danced across the surface of their world, but the last of the lights both on the world and in the station had gone dark centuries before. Now the glimmering guard against threats from beyond stood silent watch over the graveyard of the threats from below that it had been powerless to prevent. What few still survived amid the ashen and inhospitable lands the ancient castle guarded knew not what the passing star truly was.

“Connecting… Connecting… Connecting…” The sole voice within the castle said, a litany it had repeated unceasingly since the ground had shone like a hundred dawns. One might imagine a longing and loneliness to the endless chant. That modulated artificial voice was all that remained of the people that had painstakingly built a castle from hope as much as steel and wire. It had been with such optimism that the castle’s first and final king had stepped upon its ramparts, but now, in the endless night the castle flew, above the clouds, above the sands, above the ash, above the bones of those who had looked up at its building and felt a boundless hope for the future.

3 months ago

Song as Old as Rhyme
By Marx

“So, humans also have this ceremony in a flying temple?” The Old One asked, looking out the window at the breathtaking sights.

Yelena shook her head with a giggle. “No. Though with humans, it’s usually a holy place. This temple seemed… appropriate. Also, I missed the view from this high up.”

The Old One raised an eyebrow. “You flew us here.”

Yelena smiled somberly as she looked back at her singular wing. “With magic. It’s… not the same.”

He caressed her cheek. “The you I see is the only you I’ve known. And the you I see is perfection.”

“…thank you.” A blush colored Yelena’s cheeks as she looked into the Old One’s eyes. “Are you ready?”

“Of course, my love.”

Yelena took his much larger hands into hers as she began, “So, in human culture, they would say vows to each other now. But we… already did that part…”

The Old One gave a knowing chuckle, which Yelena returned, smiling back coyly.

“So instead… I’ll tell you a story. You know of my fascination with human culture.”

“Yes, of course…” The Old One sighed.

Yelena gave him a stern look in response. “Don’t judge me! I just find them interesting. Regardless… they put meanings on many things. Including minerals they find in the Earth.

“With one, some cultures thought it housed a demon. But later generations saw it differently. That this black stone protected them from the evils of the world by taking that darkness into itself.”

The Old One looked at his pitch-black skin and back at Yelena with a smirk. “I’m not seeing the connection.”

Yelena playfully glared again then continued, “The humans have a name for this stone. It was said to have originated from the goddess of love.”

“I thought you said they originally thought it was evil.”

Yelena scowled before waving off the comment. “Humans are fickle. Anyway… My protector. My Old One. My soulmate. My love. My… Onyx. Do you accept this name I offer you?”

“I do,” Onyx replied.

Yelena grinned from ear to ear. “Then kiss me, my beloved Onyx.”