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Alrighty!

In celebration of me reaching 1,000 posts, I'm kickstarting an idea some other Sharders and I came up with. We were originally going to do it in November, then moved it to December, but everyone forgot.

So now, we're starting it here.

For each day of January, there will be a writing prompt. This will be supplied by me on some days, though for others, I may let other Sharders come up with them later. This isn't very structured, you see... but I think it will be fun.

Prompt for January 1 is as follows:

The Cycle Resets

You can write anything based on that prompt. Start your post with the date, and re-state the prompt, to avoid confusion. Keep your story relatively short, and spoiler it.

Discussion is allowed and encouraged! Share compliments and positive critiques on other's writing.

We also need to figure out who is making prompts for future days, or if we want to make a list. As new prompts are added, I can probably come back and add them to this OP.

But for now, let's start with what we have!

(And while I'm not doing this in the OP, feel free to tag people you think might be interested.)

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This seems quite fun! I don't know if I will have a lot of time to write for the next couple of days, but after that I'll certainly try and do the prompts when I find the time.

It's also probably good I didn't write today. All my ideas were either cliché high fantasy troupes or horribly horribly dark. 

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This sounds really fun! I'm not much of a writer, but maybe I'll give it a shot! 

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Posted (edited)

Jan 1st, 2023 - The Cycle Resets

Spoiler

It had been ten months since Johd had died.

He could only suppose that he had asked too many questions, discovered too many secrets. He should have known better than to go poking around in the upper levels of the government. When he had secured his position as the secretary to the Chief of Legislation, he had gotten excited, then carried away. Dreaming of uncovering corruption and exposing it to the world, he had received the opportunity to change the future of a country. He only made it halfway.

Now, Johd Carth was dead, tragically losing his life to a gas explosion in his home. There had been no body, of course. His wife and children had grieved him, the Chief Governor had given a speech in his honor. Nearly a year later, a dead man was weaving baskets from palm fronds on an island in the middle of the world's largest ocean.

He wasn't alone, of course. Dozens of dead politicians, journalists, and activists lived on this island, nicknamed Gedgerland after a poor old man who had succumbed to illness a few months before; the island's only true casualty thus far. Other than that, project SSFIS was a resounding success for their captors, a way to exile political enemies without the need for a high-security prison or the guilt of assassination. He assumed that if and when this facility was discovered, they would simply claim that it was for protection, and any injuries or death would be just be unfortunate accidents. They made sure to stay as uninvolved with the islanders as they could, only occasionally delivering dried foods and hefty loads of drinkable water.

Johd finished weaving the basket, and added it to a pile of his complete handiwork. He had only finally nailed down the method a week or so ago, but they were already proving plenty useful. Another man, Pent, walked up to Johd's workplace on the hill that dominated the center of the island. His sunburnt skin and short, stout frame made him look like an angry character from a cartoon, with facial expression to match. "You seem to be having a fine time," he remarked haughtily.

"Hardly. This isn't as easy as it looks."

Pent scoffed. "Sure, it must be a real pain to lounge in the shade while the rest of us have to go bake in the sun looking for more food and working construction." The man had a bothersome penchant for fairness, no doubt a leftover from his time bickering in court pre-death.

"It's important work. We've been carrying food and water with just some big leaves until now. This will be an improvement."

The former lawyer looked like he was going to make a retort, but something out on the ocean apparently caught his attention. Johd followed his gaze.

What in sandy hell is that?

A large ship, larger than any Johd had seen come to the island before, was on the horizon and approaching fast. "Pent, when was the last time we got a supply?"

"Just eight days ago. That's..."

"Too soon," he finished. What could this be about? People down below the hill were beginning to take notice, stopping their work and staring at the oncoming vessel.

Only minutes had gone by by the time the ship arrived. It loomed there, a side of black-painted metal facing the shore. The ship flew no flag, nor did it bear any markings. It floated in the waters, like a steel demon come to haunt them. Many began to retreat away from it and up the hill, made nervous by the ominous presence. Others stayed, fascinated.

Then, the ship opened up.

Massive metals panels swung out, revealing... something he couldn't quite make out. He thought he saw workers inside, manning some sort of machinery. It couldn't be a

Before the thought could finish running through his head, it was pierced by a bullet. Johd was dead—truly dead—before he hit the ground.

---

Perrence was among the first six people to be taken by the dastardly project SSFIS. He could hardly believe that the government he had served for the past decade would do something so outrageous. Or, maybe he could. He had discovered some revolting secrets during his last few days before being taken.

With no choice in the matter, and no way to resist, Perrence watched resentfully as the ship that had taken him to the island retreated. Then, he and the others got to work. There was much to be done. Too much to take the time to question why there were sheets of ash under the sand.

Too much to remark on the disturbed areas of the forest on the hill.

Too much, even, to notice the dried patches of blood on the rocks.

Thank you for indulging my sleep deprived self and his storytelling efforts. I hope you enjoyed it.

Edited by Ookla the Inverted
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Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, Ookla the Inverted said:

2022

Pretty sure you mean 2023 here... :D

Also, wow that's a disturbing story. In a good way.

1/1/23 THE CYCLE RESETS

Spoiler

She sat. Alone. Upon a rock.

Well, not just alone. Alone means simply by yourself.

But she was not simply “by herself”.

She was lonely. So lonely. She was alone and lonely.

No one had loved her. She had appeared out of the misty forest, alone and friendless and parentless.

She knew nothing of how life was supposed to go. But one thing she did know: People were supposed to have friends.

People had friends. People they spoke to and interacted with.

And she had no one.

Was she a person?

Yes, a voice whispered inside her. People have hearts that break and mend, and break again. I am a person, for nothing that is dead feels and hurts. 

How can I mend my own heart?

So she set out to find a someone. Another someone that she could love, and that could mend her broken, empty, and lonely heart.

She wandered the earth for many years, searching. She searched and searched, finding that, in some part of her that functioned despite her lonely soul, she loved to explore the earth. She saw many things that brought her small bits of joy.  And one day, she stumbled across a small child. A baby girl. Alone and friendless and parentless.

This will be my someone. The someone that will mend my empty, lonely heart.

So she picked up the small child. And, not knowing why but feeling that it was right, she rocked the baby back and forth, letting words, notes that sounded comforting fall from her mouth.

Lullaby I sing to you

My first lullaby

Sleep now, before I’m through

This first lullaby

I love you, till death do us part

Hear my lullaby

Be my someone, mend my heart

Sing this lullaby

And the child grew and cried and laughed and giggled and snuggled, all with the first lullaby echoing in her ears.

But, as all beautiful things must end, so this did. The baby, like her mother, had to go. She felt the wanderlust that her mother had, and though she knew she’d feel the emptiness her mother had, she left. 

And she wept.

But she felt bits of joy, for she knew that the one she loved thought of her daily. And the young girl promised to her mother and to herself that she’d find a lonely child, mend her broken heart, sing the first lullaby to her.

And the cycle would reset.

 

Edited by Shallan Stormblessed
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It's a bit early, but here's the prompt for January 2nd:

An Old Relic

Would anyone like to do the 3rd?

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1-1-23: The Cycle Resets

Spoiler

Nameless wandered the slopes of a broken mountain. To most, the scar of such a catastrophic event would have been awe-inspiring. For him, it was mundane. Once, the Shattered Peak had pierced the sky, scattering clouds and proving insurmountable. Obviously, that was before it had blown itself to pieces. Legends spoke of years of darkness when the oppressive clouds of dirt and ash choked every plant exposed to the elements. Most of those legends were exaggerations, but the results of the ancient eruption were still echoed in the incredible stones scattered around the base of the Shattered Peak. 

The sights were not what had drawn Nameless here, however. He was here on a mission. Today was precisely 32 years after he had been born. He wasn't quite sure what made that number significant, but he understood it was important. Weeks ago, he had parted from his family, receiving tearful hugs and well wishes. Despite their well wishes, however, he had been plagued by storms, politics, and shady businessmen. And yet, he had arrived precisely on time. Nameless shook his head as he thought about his ill fortune. 

"Blasted luck. It's as if the world didn't want me to leave early," he grumbled to himself. "If I had known that, I would have stayed a few more nights at that nice inn."

To say his journey had not been smooth was an understatement. After a tiring walk from his innocuous little village to a small city, he bought a mule to make travel easier. Of course, it would vanish in the middle of the night to find water, along with most of his supplies. As he went out to find the traitorous animal, of course a storm would roll in. Crossing borders, haggling prices, being robbed in his sleep, a storm at sea, all things that had delayed him so that he arrived for his death exactly as appointed. 

His musings filled his mind until he reached the lip of a crater where the mountain peak once stood. Looking into the crater, he saw a bright column of light in the center. Nameless ran to the light, slowing as he neared it. The bright yellow light filled his vision. The pillar rose several times his height. He took a deep breath to calm himself and began walking towards it. He stepped foot into the pillar and—

You're on time.

A booming voice filled his mind, shaking the corners of his consciousness. Nameless couldn't identify anything about the voice other than it was something beyond mortals. He hesitated, stunned by the power of the voice. 

"I...I didn't really have a choice," he stammered. He couldn't help but feel tiny beside that booming voice. 

Indeed. Do you remember why?

"Something to do with a cycle? I...I think I'm supposed to keep it going or else...something."

Something indeed. This world is beautiful and lush and is also tearing itself apart at its seams.

"And I have to stop this...tearing?"

Can, not have to. You could choose to return, your memories and body intact. Break the Cycle, and watch your world begin to crumble.

"I definitely won't do that. If I continue this Cycle...I die, right?"

Your mind will be reborn, but with faded memory and a new body. If this is death, then yes.

Nameless reconciled himself with the fact that he would essentially be dying. But it was to save the world, no?

"I'm ready," he said.

32 more years of peace. Enjoy this next Cycle, and this time, give yourself a name. 

This is like my first ever bit of creative writing ever; please tell me what I can improve on!

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The Cycle Resets

Spoiler

"It was one man, did you know that?

"One man changed the course of history and reset everything. The little scumbag.

"Of course... he was broken. Most of them are. He couldn't live with what he'd done, who he'd harmed. So, he thought, he'd make it so everything would restart.

"Fool.

"In doing so, he killed everyone except for ten families. He also happened to destroy the planet and remake it in minutes. 

"He made one mistake, however. 

"He hadn't calculated the price.

"That man is immortal now, living with his guilt. He tries to escape it, running as fast as he can.

"That man tells his story to others, trying to show people the moral of his story.

"There is always a better path. There is always a better way.

"Of course, the world is nearly ripe for destruction again. The man can see the cycle beginning. Just like they told him it would be like.

"They being the-" the words the man said next seemed to be in an ancient tongue. "Well, I suppose you couldn't understand that. Almost no-one can. You have probably guessed that I am the man. Your world is doomed, my friend. Unfortunate you can't do anything about it, you being a rock after all."

The rock didn't move, tough crowd. Perhaps someone else would like his story. The man stood up, adjusting his cloak. He had a deep breath of the air and muttered something in an ancient language. Aloud, he said, "perhaps this won't be so bad... maybe I'll actually die."

He smiled to himself, as if he'd just said a magnificent joke, and wandered away.

 

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14 hours ago, The Bookwyrm said:

It's a bit early, but here's the prompt for January 2nd:

An Old Relic

Would anyone like to do the 3rd?

I can take the prompt for the 3rd. Might take me a bit before I have time to write and catch up.

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Posted (edited)

12 hours ago, Odiumiumium said:

1-1-23: The Cycle Resets

  Reveal hidden contents

Nameless wandered the slopes of a broken mountain. To most, the scar of such a catastrophic event would have been awe-inspiring. For him, it was mundane. Once, the Shattered Peak had pierced the sky, scattering clouds and proving insurmountable. Obviously, that was before it had blown itself to pieces. Legends spoke of years of darkness when the oppressive clouds of dirt and ash choked every plant exposed to the elements. Most of those legends were exaggerations, but the results of the ancient eruption were still echoed in the incredible stones scattered around the base of the Shattered Peak. 

The sights were not what had drawn Nameless here, however. He was here on a mission. Today was precisely 32 years after he had been born. He wasn't quite sure what made that number significant, but he understood it was important. Weeks ago, he had parted from his family, receiving tearful hugs and well wishes. Despite their well wishes, however, he had been plagued by storms, politics, and shady businessmen. And yet, he had arrived precisely on time. Nameless shook his head as he thought about his ill fortune. 

"Blasted luck. It's as if the world didn't want me to leave early," he grumbled to himself. "If I had known that, I would have stayed a few more nights at that nice inn."

To say his journey had not been smooth was an understatement. After a tiring walk from his innocuous little village to a small city, he bought a mule to make travel easier. Of course, it would vanish in the middle of the night to find water, along with most of his supplies. As he went out to find the traitorous animal, of course a storm would roll in. Crossing borders, haggling prices, being robbed in his sleep, a storm at sea, all things that had delayed him so that he arrived for his death exactly as appointed. 

His musings filled his mind until he reached the lip of a crater where the mountain peak once stood. Looking into the crater, he saw a bright column of light in the center. Nameless ran to the light, slowing as he neared it. The bright yellow light filled his vision. The pillar rose several times his height. He took a deep breath to calm himself and began walking towards it. He stepped foot into the pillar and—

You're on time.

A booming voice filled his mind, shaking the corners of his consciousness. Nameless couldn't identify anything about the voice other than it was something beyond mortals. He hesitated, stunned by the power of the voice. 

"I...I didn't really have a choice," he stammered. He couldn't help but feel tiny beside that booming voice. 

Indeed. Do you remember why?

"Something to do with a cycle? I...I think I'm supposed to keep it going or else...something."

Something indeed. This world is beautiful and lush and is also tearing itself apart at its seams.

"And I have to stop this...tearing?"

Can, not have to. You could choose to return, your memories and body intact. Break the Cycle, and watch your world begin to crumble.

"I definitely won't do that. If I continue this Cycle...I die, right?"

Your mind will be reborn, but with faded memory and a new body. If this is death, then yes.

Nameless reconciled himself with the fact that he would essentially be dying. But it was to save the world, no?

"I'm ready," he said.

32 more years of peace. Enjoy this next Cycle, and this time, give yourself a name. 

This is like my first ever bit of creative writing ever; please tell me what I can improve on!

Wow! That's really cool, great job! I love the implications, super interesting! A very nitpicky bit of constructive criticism: The phrase "booming voice" is a teensy bit cliche? And that is a description, although it says Nameless couldn't describe the voice?

That's all I can find.

Edit: AAGH I was going to quote your story, @Thaidakar the Ghostblood but then I clicked Submit instead of Quote.

It gives me Wit vibes, and it's very mysterious. I very like it.

Edited by Shallan Stormblessed
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6 minutes ago, Shallan Stormblessed said:

Wow! That's really cool, great job! I love the implications, super interesting! A very nitpicky bit of constructive criticism: The phrase "booming voice" is a teensy bit cliche? And that is a description, although it says Nameless couldn't describe the voice?

That's all I can find.

Edit: AAGH I was going to quote your story, @Thaidakar the Ghostblood but then I clicked Submit instead of Quote.

It gives me Wit vibes, and it's very mysterious.

lol

thanks, I was thinking about hoid when I wrote it.

I love writing stuff like that... maybe I'll make a follow up with the relic one

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The cycle resets 

It kind of branched slightly away from the topic, but I think it still fits. 

Spoiler

“The world is a very big place, you know. And there are other worlds, bigger worlds. There are galaxies, stars so big you can’t begin to fathom their size.”

“Daaad! Just get to the story already!”

“All right, all right! But we don’t need to worry about those other worlds, those other stars, the lives that we can never live. Because here, now, we have our own lives, our own stories, our own plans. And do you know what else we have?”

“The tree!”

“Yes. We have our tree. In the beginning, there was one tree. It was tall and majestic, an oak too old to belong in this new world.”

“But that doesn’t make any sense! How can a tree be older than the world?”

“Ah, my son. This was no ordinary tree. You see, it heard. It felt. It knew the way the winds blew. It knew when a storm was coming and when it would be sunny for days. It knew when to uncurl its deep green leaves, and when to pull its branches tight against the winds.”

“Daaad. Trees can’t move their branches like that! Duh.”

“You’ve never seen a tree like this one. It came from another world, another place. And before you ask, no one knows how. But it was here nonetheless. And it had seen things, beautiful things, terrible things. It had witnessed marriages and wars, births and deaths. So it was that—”

“C’mon Dad! Get to the good part!”

“Very well. When this tree came to our world, it was very old, and it began to worry that it would have no children, no one to keep its story alive.”

“And so it made a seed!”

“Yes. After many years of trying, it was finally able to create a single acorn.”

“And then there was a storm.”

“Then there was a storm. A huge storm, one the tree hadn’t seen coming.”

“The winds! Tell me about the winds!”

“The winds were harsh and cold, and they blew in thick sheets of rain and hail—”

“Dad!”

“Not that kind of hail, my son. It tossed huge boulders about like paper. Lighting flashed, and when the sky finally lightened, the tree was broken, uprooted and charred. It died alone, far from its home.”

“But the acorn!”

“Yes. The acorn fell from the tree’s loving branches to the cold, hard earth.”

“But it grew anyway, right Dad?”

“Yes. It grew tall and strong, just like the tree that came before.”

“And that’s why our world is the best. Because we have the tree.”

“We have the tree.”

“Dad, why do you always tell this story? It’s so sad, and there’s no monsters or anything.”

“Because this is a story about you. About your mother. Your mother is that tree.”

“She wasn’t a tree! And I’m not an acorn!”

“No, but she was an angel from far away. And someday, you will grow big enough to visit these worlds and plant more seeds.”

“I think I’d rather hear about aliens.”


1/2/23 An old relic

Spoiler

“A rock. I was a rock, once. I’ve been everywhere. Inside volcanoes, in the bottoms of the ocean. I’ve floated on the winds as dust. I’ve grown into trees, been surrounded by the sap. As a matter of fact, I’ve been the sap.”

Bair grinned at the old man’s stories. He was 10 now, too old for such nonsense. But the travelers liked it, and that meant that the inn got lots of business. But Mother and Father whispered about him. ‘Been here for 20 years,’ they said. ‘Never aged a day. Never claims a name, never seems to sleep or eat or relieve himself.” Bair knew they were just pretending for the travelers. After all, people all got older! His little sister Izzy wasn’t a shriveled up baby like she used to be. And when old Mrs. Grassbalm had fallen down and not gotten up last year, well, everyone just said she got too old. So he knew that people didn’t just sit around not getting older. And besides, all people had to poo!

“Hey, you there,” The Old Man said, and Bair realized that all the patrons had gone to bed. It was just the two of them. “Tell your parents they won’t be seeing me again.”

Won’t be seeing him again? But he had always been there! He was as much a part of home as Mother and Father and Izzy and cousin Aaron! “Where are you going?” He asked curiously.

The Old Man shrugged. “I don’t know, kid. It might be time for me to move on.”

“You mean die?” Bair asked, shocked. People never talked about dying out in the open like that!

“I’m old, sonny.”

“Not that old!” Bair protested, though in truth he had never seen anyone with so many wrinkles. The Old Man smiled, and as he did, he began to change. His beard started to grow, his fingernails and toenails lengthen. His now rotted teeth began to grow pointy, and Bair flinched back. “What…what are you?”

The Old Man considered, his pale blue eyes glittering. “A relic,” he finally said. “A relic of a better time.”

“How can a person be a relic?”

“A relic is something old, something created in a different time. Something that can’t be recreated because it’s from times long ago.”

Bair looked at him, innocent eyes bright. “When there was magic? And dragons?”

The Old Man gave him a kind look. “I’ve met dragons. I’ve lived in their lairs. They aren’t nearly as incredible as the stories say.”

Bair frowned. “How can anyone live that long? It’s impossible!”

“Nothing is impossible, Lad. I would know.” 

Suddenly, something occurred to Bair. “Don’t you have any friends? Everyone needs to have friends!”

He smiled. “Kid, my friends have been dead since before your grandparents were born.”

Bair stepped forward at that and wrapped his arms around The Old Man. “I’ll be your friend.” 

The Old Man smiled again, eyes shiny and wet. “Thanks, son. Go to bed now.”

Bair did as he was told. When he woke up, The Old Man was gone. He thought of him often as he grew, but he never saw him again.

There you have it! First two prompts. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, but unnecessary insults will be met with Hoid-worthy verbal assaults.

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Posted (edited)

Prompt for Day 3:

A treasured curse

@The Wandering Wizard, you can go ahead and do day 4 whenever you want.

And I know I haven't been writing my own stories based on these prompts, but hopefully I'll get to it sometime. I'm glad everyone else is enjoying it!

Edited by The Bookwyrm
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Posted (edited)

Since I just got back from a trip, these will be short.

1/1/23:

The Cycle Resets:

Spoiler

Gardel didn't like his life. It was boring, the same thing every day, all day, all the time. An endless cycle, repeating and resetting for all of eternity.

Wake up.

Do chores.

Go into town to trade.

Go back home, more chores.

Make a meal.

Little bit of rest.

Go back into town for a meal at the Drooping Vine.

Mope while nursing a large mug of Oakleaf Ale.

Go back home late.

Sleep.

The Cycle Resets.

1/2/23:

An Old Relic:

Spoiler

Myra leaned down, picking up the small, translucent orb. It shimmered cyan in the reflection from the water. This cave had been discovered a few weeks ago, deep below the surface of the sea, a small pocket of air and life and lore.

The orb shimmered more as the water lapped against the shore of the rock. Then a pulse of light was emitted from the center. Then another. A rhythmic light show, deep underwater and underground.

Myra realized soon that despite the hum the pulse made sounded chaotic and sounded as if there was no rhythm, there was a rhythm. The pulsing sounded in tandem with the lapping of the water.

Myra stared in awe. Then an idea occurred to her. She turned towards the opening into the sea, held the orb towards it, and... willed the water to gather around the orb.

Nothing happened. Myra frowned. Then, the surface of the water began to ripple. it came up in a stream, then began to gather around the orb, which began to shine steadily with a light blue light. The orb was overtaken by water, which gathered around it and Myra's hand. Myra let out a victorious laugh, and released her mind.

The water splashed down, and Myra put the orb in her pack.

Quite the relic.

1/3/23:

A Treasured Curse:

Spoiler

My curse is nothing else but that. A curse.

Despite what she says, despite her calling it a 'treasure,' I know what it is.

A curse.

"Hey," She said, "Look at me."

I look up from my book, staring at her. The fire crackles in the fireplace, and it's warm flickering light is enveloping and soft. The muffled quiet of the library is peaceful, and the gentle thunder of an approaching storm rolls ominously outside.

She tilts her head, smiling, and I blow a loose strand of hair out of my face. I raise my eyebrows questioningly,  then go back to my book.

"It's not a curse," She mutters, and I slam the book shut, leaning back.

"By the Name of the Priest, Amara," I say rather loudly, "It is! Can we not bring it up again?" I cover my eyes with my hands, groaning. The thunder groans with me, outside. That's probably my fault.

Amara puts her hands up defensively. "I'm just saying!" She says, "It could be used for so many good things."

I glare at her. "And also so many awful things." I say.

She leans across the table, placing her hand on mine, "I think you know, Lilly, just as much as I do, that it would do more good than harm." She says.

I lean in, "And you know, just as much as I do, that anything it could do that's good would devolve into something dangerous. What could start as a simple rainstorm could turn into a typhoon!"

Lighting flashes outside the window, and thunder cracks. Loudly. Amara's eyes flit to the window, and I catch a split second of shock and fear.

"See!?" I say, gesturing to her, "Even you fear it. I'm leaving."

I gather my things, shoving them in my satchel, as near constant thunder echoes outside, a reflection of my frustration.

That's my curse. Influence on the weather. I've never used it for bad, either accidentally or on purpose, but I know it could happen, so I try to keep my emotions in check as much as I can.

But sometimes, it doesn't work, and this happens.

"Lilly," Amara says, standing with me as I begin to walk towards the door, "Lilly, it's a treasure."

That's when I snap.

"No it's not!" I roar back, turning around and on the edge of tears. "It's not a treasure and you know damn well that if I don't keep it in check, it is going to end badly. For so many people."

Lightning crashes outside, and Amara stares at me in shock. "I didn't want to be born with it!" I shout, "I didn't ask to be followed by the rain, the wind, the storm, for my entire life. All I wanted was for it to go away, to look up and not see the clouds gathering over my head. Do you know how long it's been since I've seen a clear sky, a gentle, rolling, blue sky? Do you?"

Amara shakes her head. "Years," I hiss, "Years, because of what this curse has done to my mind. The anxiety it causes, the clouds that follow me because of that."

Amara stares at me. "Lilly..." She says, and reaches out, but I smack her hand away.

"Talk to me when the storm blows over. You'll know when," And I stalk out of the library, up to my chambers.

This is fun :D

Edited by CalanoCorvus
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Posted (edited)

Hrm. I had much more time then a thought I would have and a really interesting idea for the first prompt. So, umm, stories:

1/1/23: The Cycle Resets

Spoiler

A sharp crack of wood sent Traton's practice sword tumbling from his hands. Wiping the sweat from his face, he trudged over to retrieve it. 

Sazain watched him with a critical eye. He was all hard lines and salt gray hair. And the person Traton hated the most in the world right then.

After Traton had his sword and had correct his stance, Sazain spoke one word. "Again."

Backstep. Parry. Lunge. Ripo-

Traton raised his sword a moment to late and Sazain's wood blade crashed into his side. 

"Again."

Backstep. Parry. Lun-

Traton suppressed a groan as his foot caught on an upraised stone and his sword tumbled from his fingers. Traton could feel Sazain's condescending gaze drilling into his back. Traton looked up to the merciless sun that had already climbed high into the sky since they had started this morning.

Traton had been told that he had been chosen for exceptional skill, and that he was blessed with the tutelage of Master Sazain. Now, he felt like the village tribute. Sighing, Traton corrected his stance.

"Again."

Backstep. Parry. Lunge. R-

"Again."

It became a brutal dance, Traton slipping in and out of focus as they preformed the flurry of attacks.

Backstep. Parry. Lunge. Riposte. Press the adva-

"Again."

Backstep Parry. Lunge. Riposte. Press the Advantage. Feint. Disarm.

Traton blinked out of the motions and walked over to pick up the fallen sword. With a shock he realized he still held his sword.

With wonder on his face Traton spun to Sazain, wordlessly gesturing at his sword.

A slow chuckle spilled out of the old man as he went to pick up his sword.

With a droll smile he spoke to Traton. "Did you feel that?"

Traton nodded excitedly. 

Sazain chuckled. "Well let's see if you can do it twice."

"Again."

1/2/23: Old Relic

Spoiler

Two people stood at the foot of an ancient stone door.

"Kassie?" Donovan stood stone still as he stared at the door.

Kassie looked up from her map and brushed an errant strand of hair out of her face. "Yeah Donovan?"

"Do you know how long I've waited for this? The thousands of people that have died for this chance?" Donovan asked.

Kassie blinked. "Umm, no?"

Donovan nodded absently. "Well, we made it." Reverently he began to push back the stone door. "We are the first people in over 10,000 years to see-" the door fell back to reveal a stone pedestal in an otherwise empty room. "The Legendary Chess Puff." Atop the pillar were a few vaguely orange specks.

Kassie flipped over her map. Giggling she poked Donovan. "It says that the Legendary Chess Puff has a shelf life of only 5 years." Kassie raised a hand to smother the laughter bubbling up. "Who would have thought?"

Donovan was not amused.

1/3/23: Treasured Curse

Spoiler

Alice spun to face Derek, with one foot already out the door. "Are you finally happy?" Her mouth was set in a hard line.

"Alice, don't go. We can talk about this." Derek pleaded.

"It's past that point. You've made your choice." She said bitterly.

Derek reached out a hand, a hopeless look in his eyes. "I was trying to build out future."

A fractured laugh slipped out of Alice. "And you did it. Your finally rich Derek. You only had to lose your family to get it."

"I..."

Alice sighed. "Will's in the car. I don't know when...if we're coming back. Goodbye Derek." She slammed the door behind her.

Derek slammed his fist against the closed door, letting out a guttural roar. Slowly, he slumped towards the ground, body wracked with heavy silent sobs.

He was finally happy, surrounded by a life of hollow luxury. 

 

Edited by Mr. Misting
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1/3/23 A Treasured Curse

Spoiler

I grinned, leaping off the side of the building, twisting into a roll when I landed. It had been a fun assassination. Tipping my hat to the shocked merchant above, I strolled down the street, quickly losing myself in the winding alleys of Gubbin. I knew I was alone when she appeared. 

"Hello, Traitor," I said.

The spirit glared at me. "Trickster," she acknowledged. I smiled when she used my chosen name. That made her glare harder. "You're a monster," she said, just like always.

I raised an eyebrow. "Who, me? Please, Traitor, remind me who it was that cursed me."

"I was giving you the chance to use your life for good!" She protested, grimacing as she floated through a short wall.

I shook my head at her. "You didn't, and we both know it."

She let the illusion melt away, like she always did. Even after all the years I'd known her, the ease with which she dropped her mask still filled me with awe. "Fine," she spat. "I was doing my job, paying a debt, and fulfilling an oath. I cursed you as badly as I could of my own fee will. May I go now, Trickster?"

I grinned. She'd thought haunting me a good idea, back when I'd killed her. I'd changed that as easily as I had her curse. "All right, Traitor. But you'll be back, and will continue to return for as long as I live this cursed life." She disappeared, and I smiled with satisfaction. Yes...she'd thought her curse a smart one. But you didn't outsmart the Trickster. Even the youngest street rats knew that. Someone had hired her, someone I had duped long ago, someone she had been in debt to. She had done well, playing the part of the lover perfectly. Make him hurt, her orders had been. When he believes you love him, you will betray him and curse him. You will learn his weaknesses and use them to craft a curse that will make him hurt. She really had done well; I hadn't realized until we'd known each other nearly a year that she was tricking me. But I found her employer, and learned of what she was to do. And so I had acted, preparing a scam so perfect, it would grant me a boon rather than a curse. I smirked as I strolled the streets of my city. It was my city, because of what she had done. My precious little Traitor. I had pretended to long for death, faked depression, and she had believed. When, one night, I had claimed to her that I looked forward to my death, that I would bring it to myself sometime soon, she had eaten it right up. 

And then had come that day. The day she cursed me. The day I killed her. She gave me immunity; immunity to sickness, to injury, and even aging seemed slow. I had barely aged in the last three years, which added to the rumors I worked so hard to cultivate. She told me that I now had the chance to do something good, to be better. She said there was no reason to fear, no reason to long for death now. It had been foolish of her. I was not afraid. I never had been. I had killed her then, and her ghost had showed up barely a day later. I controlled her spirit now. She was just another element in my crew, if a less natural one than the rest. So was my curse. Together, they made me nearly invincible. I ruled this city. The street rats and the scum, the bars and the markets, all mine. And thanks to her, they would be for a very long time.

I treasured my curse.

 

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8 hours ago, The Bookwyrm said:

Prompt for Day 3:

A treasured curse

@The Wandering Wizard, you can go ahead and do day 4 whenever you want.

And I know I haven't been writing my own stories based on these prompts, but hopefully I'll get to it sometime. I'm glad everyone else is enjoying it!

Heh, I still need to get to mine :P, though I'll probably work on something else first.

Here's the prompt for tomorrow, it's a bit longer and is different than Bookwyrm's prompts

Prompt for Day 4:

Write a scene or story from the perspective of a spirit speaker, who is from an indigenous tribe on a forgotten island. Currently the island is being slowly overrun by invaders from afar off place who seek to settle your island. You must seek a spirit and ask for it's help in removing the invaders from the island. Be warry in which spirit you approach, not all are willing to help and not all will help fast enough for your troubles.

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Ooh, more elaborate and specific...

And I see the source of inspiration.

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Posted (edited)

1-2-23: An Old Relic

Spoiler

For as long as I can remember, my father has devoted his life to a small metal box. Every day, he would return to his makeshift workstation and pick at the box. Despite his long hours at the dig site, he still labored over the box. His supervisor had allowed him to take it because they said it was worthless. No valuable new technology, no rare materials, nothing. "As useless as the dirt it was found in," they had said. And still, my father worked on decoding the runes etched in the metal, he worked to safely unlock the box, and he wore gloves to prevent the oil of his hands from corroding the box or its contents. I remember how he struggled to find time for me, so instead, I made time for him.

I began by helping him find tools he hadn't the time for. As his aging hands shook, I would help him perform the minute measurements and notations his research required. Soon, he gave more and more of his precious research to me. The inside of the box, I learned, contained a long scroll of some kind of paper. Engraved on this paper were the same minuscule runes and symbols from the outside of the box. 

"This," he told me, "is a story. These boxes are books, and these scrolls are their pages. This paper is worth nothing, and yet these words...They are worth everything."

It was then that I knew that my father had identified this box as something important. His supervisors were fools, seeking material wealth, while he sought to find something greater; knowledge. Years later, even as I mourned his passing, I thought about what that book could contain. I needed to finish my father's legacy, to find what secrets this old book, this old relic, contained.

3 months later

Only now do I realize my foolishness. My father had not found something powerful. He had not found something dangerous. Instead, he found a diary. At first, I was furious. My father had wasted his life translating the life of another, someone hundreds of years gone. Later, however, I realized my father could already read this ancient script. The runes on the box's exterior were the title, a preamble. He had spent barely a month reading the stranger's story.

What, then, was he doing those years after? He had been writing his own diary. The original diary had barely used half of the scroll. My father had written his own diary, engraving his words into the paper. He taught me the script so that one day, I would find his words and read them. He wrote of his love for me, his passion for stories, and the dreams he would never see to fruition. As I read his final words one last time, I wept and buried the box in the same dig site, now long abandoned. Before that, though, I spent many nights copying the runes, line for line. I copied his priceless stories, his grandest dreams. The relics he had left for me. 

1-3-23: A Treasured Curse

Spoiler

hi. my names lyli. a lot of people say im cursed. one in a million, the doctors said, one in ten million, a hundred million. imagine being born to 2 of the most powerful magical families and being an utter failure. i was born with bright purple eyes (lotta people say their "piercing". i like the word keen.) meaning i dont have any magic powers. none that i control anyways. been called a lot of things. lyli, for one. also ugly, abomination, handsome, cursed and disgrace which all very well and good. but there's one that everyone uses. i like it. unique. yup, im unique

sometimes i just disappear. thats my "curse" i can go invisible but usually not when i want to tho. i can control it better usually when im suuuper scared or angry or something like that. sometimes it just happens tho. once my family couldnt find me for a week. it was funny at first but then it got kinda scary after a while. made me really think i was cursed and like half ghost or something. but even after all that, i wouldnt give away my "curse" for anything. i like it. i like being unique. kids at school wear fancy stuff, think theyre unique but they aint. anyone can wear a fancy ring or necklace or suit. i sure did! but not just anyone can steal five of auntie glindas favorite cookies without her knowing. not anyone can escape an awkward conversation. not anyone can peek at the teachers answers sheet. (just because i got caught doesnt make it any less impressive) only i can do that. im unique

so there. im not cursed. id say im positiviely absolutely blessed. stupid purples eyes cant change that. this "curse" of mine its my treasure. and their aint no one telling me different. 

These prompts are SUPER FUN!! it was also really fun to write in this super duper loose and informal style. tell me what you think about it!

Edited by Odiumiumium
grammarly fixed my grammar :(
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1/4/23:

Spirit Speaker:

Spoiler

"Communer."

The Communer looked up from his meditation. "Ah, Wenisi," He said, "Welcome. The Spirits said you'd come, seeking help."

"Yes, Great One," Wenisi said, bowing and kneeling, "The offlanders are growing in number, overtaking our beaches and soon our lands. Which Spirit shall defend us?"

The Communer thought for a moment, then closed his eyes, doing as his name said. Communing with the Spirits.

"The Ocean Spirit, the Sand Spirit, or the Grass Spirit could help. But they all say that the better idea would be to use the Sky Spirit."

"The Sky Spirit? Skia? She is powerful." Wenisi said.

"Indeed," The Communer said, nodding, "Which is why she was suggested."

Wenisi thought for a moment. "Is she willing?" He asked.

After a moment, The Communer smiled. "Very."

 

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Posted (edited)

communer sounds like a cool dude.

edit: oh wait sorry i thought this was doomie's story thread sorry lol

Edited by Szeth's Facepalm
ehhhhhh 700th post
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1/4/23, Spirit talker person and also lots of other words I don't want to write:

Spoiler

Listener scrambled through the woods desperately. A spirit. She needed a spirit. 'Leave, and don't return until you have found a spirit who will bring safety to our people,' he had said. A threat. He had threatened her! She spoke with spirits, communed with gods, and he threatened her! She took a deep breath, still running. She would deal with him later. The people were more important now anyway. Seeing a faint blue haze ahead, she stopped, calling to the spirit. "Can you help us?"

It turned, and she saw an elk-headed man. "There is no safety here, child." He called. "The only thing left to do is run...run from the hunters...run for your safety...run, or be killed..." He continued mumbling as he drifted away. Listener cursed. She had to find another one. She started running again, over trees and through bushes. She froze as she stumbled into a peaceful clearing. A spring bubbled in the center. A woman sat upon a tall rock next to it like a queen lounging on a throne, her translucent skin and blue glow proving that she was a spirit.

"Tell me your need, child," the spirit said, spreading her hands regally.

Listener bowed; that was usually the best response to these kinds of things. Some of the spirits were less than sane. "Great One, our people are in danger. Only you can save us. There are outsiders taking our land, our food, even our people."

"I know, child," the spirit said. "These outsiders plague our island, and must be removed."

Hope flared in Listener's chest. "So you'll help us?"

The spirit gives her a condescending smile. "Oh child. You don't understand, do you?"

"What don't I understand?" she begged desperately. "Please, we need your help!"

"I know you do," the spirit said coldly. "But if you cannot do anything for yourselves, the spirits cannot help you."

"What?" Listener gasped. "But that's what the spirits are for! To help us when we can't do anything ourselves!"

"Make use of your name, young one," the spirit says darkly. "Listen. You know nothing of the ways of spirits, for all the years you've spoken with us." And then she's gone, drifting away on the wind. Listener bites her lip. Listen? I listen. It isn't my fault the spirits are so temperamental. She sets off again, but all the spirits she encounters leave quickly, and none say more than the first. And then she finds the old woman. She's hunched over, wearing a cloak several inches taller than she is. 

"You need help, child..."

"Yes!" Listener nearly shouts, to desperate to care that she should have done as the other spirits suggested. 

"I can help you. Listen carefully...."

 

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Posted (edited)

I am giving today's prompt because I am.

Prompt for Day 5: The chickens got their way...

Edited by InfiniteInsanity
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Posted (edited)

Hmmm I have a good idea for Day five but can't quite start it now

Had more time than I thought :P

Spoiler

The chickens got their way, so I sold my farm.

The cows got their way, so I got no milk.

The ducks got their way, so I got no pond.

The cats got their way, so I have no where to sleep.

The pigs got their way, so I have not dry ground.

The dogs got their way, so I am a stick.

Good day to you all, I am a stick

 

Edited by The Wandering Wizard
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