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My Attempt to finally finish a story (Ancient Elantrians writing thread)


Ancient Elantrian

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So. I figured I should have a writing thread, and I have never finished a story before so this is my encouragement.

Behold, chapter 1 of my attempt at an Epic Fantasy novel.

Quote

 

1.

 

 

 

Anakae surveyed the faces in the chaos around him, frantically searching. People around him rushed into their houses, slamming doors shut and sealing them off. The lantern light from the nearby buildings bounced off the shin-deep water, casting a strange light around the crowd of people. He was shoved over and over again by the crowd as people tried to get to shelter before the town sank. Shouts joined the loud splashing of footsteps in the water. Anxiety welled up inside of Anakae, his breath heavy. He grabbed a man who was running past, pulling him face to face with Anakae. “Have you seen my sister?” He shouted above the chaos. “She has–”

“Get your hands off me stranger!” The man shouted, shoving Anakae away, then disappearing into the masses. 

“Wait!” Anakae called desperately. He pulled another person from the crowds, “Have you seen her? My sister? She has brown hair, blue eyes, she’s a bit taller than me?”

“Go home young man!” The lady he had grabbed scolded “I’m sure your sister is fine. The Soulblaze is coming, you need to get to shelter!” She pulled away and rushed into a nearby building, closing the door.

“Flames, Kae!” Anakae jumped as a voice yelled out behind him. He whirled around, then smiled hopefully, recognizing the face.

“Ryss! Have you seen Kheti? She was supposed to come back yesterday but I haven’t seen her!” Please say yes, flames above, please let you say yes! Anakae thought worriedly. 

“I’m sorry Anakae, I haven’t.” Ryss said. Anakae’s heart sank, and he sighed. 

“Where in Ichaii could she be!” Anakae groaned. 

Kheti had left last month to map the Desert of Souls, the crazy girl. No one had mapped it yet, but there was a reason for that! People died in the desert of things like dehydration! How was that even possible! Anakae would much rather stay in the safe and explored lands, where everything was covered in the safe, shin-deep water.

“Kae, calm down. I’m sure she’ll be fine. Kheti always turns out okay, she’s probably sitting at home drinking your best bottle of spiced Toaro that she stole. Speaking of being at home, I’m going to go do that so I don’t have some strange malady inflicted on me by a magic fire. I’d recommend you stop worrying and do the same.”

Anakae sighed, knowing Ryss was probably right. “Okay, I’ll look around tomorrow if she’s not home.” He lied. “I’ll see you tomorrow Ryss.” Ryss nodded towards him and turned around quickly jogging off. Anakae began wading the now-empty streets, still looking for Kheti. She’s going to get herself killed! The Soulblaze is coming, and moon Zamal is here. The temporal moon was nearing its peak, almost right above the crimson pillar, which was reaching towards the heavens in the distance. 

As he gazed at the sky the world began to sink. A squelching noise like a foot being pulled out of mud rose around him as the buildings began to sink underground. Anakae panicked. He ran through the streets, watching the buildings get lower and lower around him. They were at neck height. Now at his chest. The town sank moderately quickly, and the streets were plunged into darkness as the lanterns were dropped lower and lower until they were dipped into the water. Anakae knew the way around even in the dark, and quickly found his now-waist high house. He knelt down to crawl through the door, then saw something out of the corner of his eye. 

He turned over to look, making out a silhouette he would recognize anywhere. “Kheti! You’re here! Come on, the town’s sinking!” The house was just below his waist now, but they still had time, hopefully. Kheti just stood there, staring forward. 

“Kheti? You okay?” Anakae asked, getting nervous again. He stood up and jogged over to her. “Hey, Kheti?” He spoke softly, taking her hand. “Kheti?” 

She just stared forward. Her face was blank and emotionless, her breath slow and rhythmic. “Kheti, come on.” Anakae said. “We need to get home–” he glanced over and groaned. The house was barely even at knee height. There was no way to get inside now. He looked over at his sister for encouragement, but there was none. She might as well have been dead. 

Anakae looked out, and saw the dark red fire in the distance. It stretched out indefinitely  in a short wall originating from the crimson pillar, slowly rotating around the pillar as it neared their town, which was now completely submerged under the earth. The fire was only about waist height, and floated eerily above the shin-height water on a layer of steam. 

I failed. Anakae thought. I’m her older brother. I knew this wouldn’t go well! I should’ve stopped her, she’s–I don’t even know what, but it’s my fault. If I had been there, I could’ve helped her, I could’ve stopped this from happening. Anakae threw his arms around Kheti and started crying. 

“I’m sorry.” He whispered to her. He collapsed onto his knees, and she came with him, not returning his embrace. “I’m so, so sorry. I should’ve done better.” He held tight onto her, feeling tears flow down his face. She just sat there, arms at her side, staring off in the same direction as before. Anakae followed her gaze towards the short wall of fire. 

The world was completely silent as they watched it. The fire was the brightest source of light, the moons and stars barely casting any glow. It approached quickly and tranquilly in the quiet landscape. Most people saw the fire as evil and a curse, but Anakae disagreed. The fire was calm and interesting. To him, it felt alive. Then, as they stared, Zamal peaked. 

When the moon aligned with the crimson pillar, the fire turned a bright blue. The color spread out from the moon, rushing along the wall of fire. A sound like rushing wind grew until it was deafening, as the colorful alteration slowly covered the entire wall. The air and water warped around the fire, getting pulled in by some strange force. As the fire got closer and closer, Anakae pulled Kheti in tighter, trying to get some sense of security from her cold, lifeless state. 

The wall of fire slowly raised in front of them, until it was about a foot higher than the two of them, its azure glow was both ominous and inviting, pulling on Anakae as it approached. The world returned to silence, and Anakae whispered once more. “I’m sorry Kheti.”

The Soulblaze hit. The world around Anakae swirled, and he opened his eyes. He was floating in a giant blue crystalline expanse. The walls shifted as he looked around, acting… alive. Anakae saw water rushing in through the strange crystal walls, and felt wind blowing on him. He floated in that expanse for a couple seconds, and then was forcibly pulled out. He felt sick as he was thrown around the strange blue world. He felt Kheti being tugged away from him, and panicked, pulling her tight, close to him. “NO!” He shouted out into the swirling, rushing emptiness. 

Anakae froze in the air, and the tugging stopped. He looked around nervously, as time ticked on. He sat there in the air for a couple minutes in complete silence. The azure crystal walls pulsed and moved slowly around him as he waited. He breathed in slowly, trying to calm himself down from the stress of all the strange things happening. Then he spoke out into the expanse. “Can you maybe let us out? Please? I don’t know if you can, but if you could, that’d be really nice?” 

As soon as he finished talking the strange world collapsed inwards on him. He flinched as the crystalline walls crushed inwards on him, but he never felt them hit. Instead he heard a loud noise like someone breathing out, and cold washed over him. He gasped as his body surged with energy, and his eyes flew open. He heard Ryss’s voice in the distance and snapped his head in that direction. This time, he felt confident as he spoke to the expanse. “Can you bring us over there, Please?” 

The azure world stretched as Anakae was pulled towards the sound, and spat out into the real world. He was instantly soaked in the water as he was dropped onto his back. He heard a loud yelp and the sound of splashing feet coming towards him, and then Ryss’s face popped up in front of his. 

Ryss grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him. “Flames Anakae! You just went through the Soulblaze! You just went through the sparking Soulblaze!” 

Anakae’s spine tingled, and he smiled. “That was sparking amazing!” He gasped. “I can’t believe what just happened!” 

“Woah! Anakae, you’re on fire! Zamal’s flames, they’re on the back of your cloak!” Ryss said. “Here, I’ll get them.” Anakae heard a splashing sound, and the energy rushed out of him. He barely heard Ryss asking, “Hey, are you okay?” before everything went black.

Voila. 

Edited by Ancient Elantrian
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28 minutes ago, Ancient Elantrian said:

So. I figured I should have a writing thread, and I have never finished a story before so this is my encouragement.

Behold, chapter 1 of my attempt at an Epic Fantasy novel.

Voila. 

are you aware that you posted this twice?

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2 hours ago, Ancient Elantrian said:

So. I figured I should have a writing thread, and I have never finished a story before so this is my encouragement.

Behold, chapter 1 of my attempt at an Epic Fantasy novel.

Voila. 

That was cool!! Nice work, and good job sharing! It can be scary! I’m very intrigued, so you have to keep writing or you can join the club of “people Eddie’s going to hit on the head with a stick unless they write faster”

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26 minutes ago, ΨιτιsτηεΒέsτ said:
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Small sentence coma mistake.

Super good! Epic! I will probably never share anything I’ve written and this is good! Also Ryss…Ryss…That’s familiar…

Jejejejeje…

Ryss existed in this months before I joined the shard. I just robbed his name for TLT cuz it was cool sounding.

37 minutes ago, Edema Ruh said:

That was cool!! Nice work, and good job sharing! It can be scary! I’m very intrigued, so you have to keep writing or you can join the club of “people Eddie’s going to hit on the head with a stick unless they write faster”

Okay, I will write quick so I don’t get hit in the head by the Stick!

(Accidental poetry, lol)

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Chapter 2: 

Quote

Azriaa slumped over in the dark stone cell, her arms chained behind her. She groaned loudly, her back felt like it was on fire. She almost wished it was on fire. If it was, then she could do something to get out of this prison. Instead she was locked up, and secluded away from all fire. Seriously, couldn’t they put any lanterns in here? She had told her captors that unless they gave her the flames of Hatayay she couldn’t do anything, but they had retained her strict ban on any light. So, she sat in the silence trying to do anything to keep herself from being bored. It was so quiet here, it was a miracle Azriaa hadn’t gone insane yet. How long had it been? Azriaa thought it over for a couple minutes. It must’ve been almost six months since… 

No. Azriaa thought. I’m not thinking about that.  

Three months since she had first been hit by the Soulblaze, and felt herself be pulled apart, split into the very things that made up all of existence. She was still haunted by that experience, remembering how appealing it felt, the fact that she could be free to float in the wind, to be whatever she wanted. It had taken every ounce of Azriaa’s will to live to refuse the appeal, and to pull herself back together. She had felt so powerful in the moments following that, she had felt so happy. 

Then the strangeness began. Every time Hatayay’s flames passed, things went wrong. It had started small, with water droplets forming on her hands, or a small shock when she touched things. Then, as the weeks went on things got worse. Her table would change its shape when she touched it. She stood up once and found her chair halfway sunk into the ground. She had even woken up to find her entire sparking bed was fire! It wasn’t just on fire, it had literally turned into sparking fire! Gladly it hadn’t spread anywhere, but she had still been stuck sleeping on the floor for weeks after that. Turns out, that made the perfect preparation for imprisonment.

Eventually Azriaa made the connection between Hatayay and the weirdness, but she still had no control or any idea about what she did. Things eventually got out of hand when her entire house and everything in it collapsed into dust. The day after, town authorities had come in and taken her away. Now she was stuck in this dark cell, alone. At least, most of the time she was alone. 

A glowing blue pillar appeared in the center of her cell. It spun around, then exploded outwards, revealing a person. He was adorned in blue crystal armor. His hair was combed to the point where it looked like a single block of blonde, and his eyes were an icy blue. He glowed brighter than anything Azriaa had ever seen, or maybe it was just her eyes having difficulty adjusting.

“Finally, you’re here, blue sparkle man!” She whisper-shouted. She couldn’t real shout, because if she did everyone would come running.

“I have told you to address me as Zamal or as the Torch of Space, Azriaa the Realitysmith.”

“You do know Zamal is a giant rock in space, right? I hate to crush your dreams of sounding cool, but I’m not calling you that. Also, what in the moons above is a Realitysmith?” 

The sparkle-man sighed, then continued speaking. “Your disregard of my title is infuriating, but I guess that is the result of visiting a world that has forgotten its gods. Now, let’s get onto more serious matters.”

“So, we’re talking about your hair now? I’m sorry, but there’s nothing any person or self-proclaimed giant rock can do to fix that.”

“Disrespectful child.” The sparkle-man glared. “I meant your escape.”

“I am now suddenly feeling sorry for being rude to you. Will you forgive me?” 

Sparkle-man smiled. “Of course I will…” he hesitated, then narrowed his eyes. “That was sarcasm, wasn’t it.”

“Yep! It’s a miracle! You actually noticed something! You should be so proud of yourself.”

“You realize I could leave at any time and you would be stuck here for the rest of your life until the authorities decide to execute you.”

“Well you–” Azriaa slowly fell silent. She thought for a couple seconds, then decided. “I’ll be quiet now.” She whispered.

“Wonderful. I’ve decided now is the best time for you to escape. I can only get you a short distance away from this building, and then you’ll be on your own.” He continued, telling her exactly when things would happen and what she should do to escape in the most efficient manner. He kept on talking about efficiency, so much she eventually decided she had had enough, and cut him off. 

“I understand. I’ll be as efficient as possible, and escape. Now can you go away? My super accommodating wonderful captors will be here any minute now, and I don’t think they’d find it as fun as I do to have a giant space rock talking to me.”

The man frowned, then nodded. “There is wisdom in your jests, even if you can’t see it.” The glowing crystal pillar reformed around him, and he flashed away. 

How on Ichaii can a person survive being that serious for so long? Azriaa wondered. She eventually decided he must actually be a moon, because only a rock could stay that way all the time. Azriaa thought in silence, wondering who the sparkle-man was boring now when the door opened. 

A man strode in, and began to speak to her. “The soulblaze approaches, little demon.” The speaker's face was a bright purplish color, and his nose was the size of both his chubby fists put together. That was an exaggeration, of course, but Azriaa didn’t care. It sounded better than all the other things she had come up with to emphasize the sheer size of the man’s nose. He wore the second largest, fanciest outfit Azriaa had ever seen. If it glowed, it would’ve beat out even sparkle-man’s sparkle suit. “It is time for you to do your devilish magic. We have brought sufficient flame for you to do your work.” He gestured, and two soldiers walked in, carrying lamps full of dark purple flames. 

“Amazing, I’ll be able to torment you all with a terrible curse now!” Azriaa said in her most evilest sounding voice. She had been perfecting that voice over her three month long imprisonment.

“No, you won’t.” The man said, taking her completely seriously. “We have brought exactly enough flame for you to do what we ask. If you do anything other than that, you will be executed.” 

“Strong words for a man who doesn’t understand devil work.” Azriaa replied. “Nevertheless, I shall do what you ask. Bring the flames closer.” 

“Why would we do that?” The man asked.

“Well, I need it closer to me to draw on it for my devilishness.”

“You’ve never needed it that close before.” The man responded, looking at her as if she was lying. Of course that was valid, since she was. 

Sparks, He’s smarter that I thought! Azriaa would have to think through this a bit. “You are correct,” She said, trying to sound like the most convincing devil she could, “but as I’ve been kept in captivity my accessibility to my powers has been… weakened. I will need the flames closer to me in order to cast my spells.” Azriaa didn’t actually know what she was supposed to do each time they brought the flames. All she knew is that it apparently worked every time. 

“As you wish.” The big-nosed man said, gesturing for the guards to come closer to Azriaa. She smiled as they approached. She looked at the fire, then willed a tiny bit of it to come to her. She followed sparkle-man’s instructions as best she could, as she pushed the tiny bit of energy she was holding into her restraints. 

The metal on her hands melted into pools of water at her feet. Azriaa jumped up, then kicked the lantern out of the guards’ hands. It went flying across the room, shattering across the unfortunate big-nosed man. The glowing purple flames burst up, engulfing him. Azriaa stood silently as the guards panicked, running towards the big-nosed man. They began patting him off, but the flames just spread up their arms. Small tentacles of flame began snaking across the floor and up the walls. 

Now is when I leave. Azriaa thought. She turned around, and found a crystalline blue tunnel behind her. She looked back towards the chaos. “Sorry!” She yelled back. Strange. She thought. Why is it so quiet? No one was screaming anymore, and the two guards and the purple-faced man were standing still, in the same position as when they first touched the fire. They stood as perfect as statues–but they couldn’t be, could they? Azriaa looked at Hatayay’s flames quickly creeping towards her and decided now was not the time to look into it. Azriaa turned back towards the tunnel, braced herself, and stepped through. 

I absolutely love this character.

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4 hours ago, Ancient Elantrian said:

Chapter 2: 

I absolutely love this character.

She’s a pretty sweet character. Any scene that starts with someone in a prison is a good one, I’m writing one of those right now :) 

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Chapter 4:

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4:     

 

Anakae walked out of his home to prepare for the soulblaze. Today, Zamal’s flames would appear again. Anakae would be ready. Apparently, last time, when Anakae had left the blue world, Kheti had been left behind. How could I have been so unattentive! Anakae thought. I should’ve noticed she was slipping away and grabbed her! Anakae hadn’t even noticed, until Ryss told him when he woke up after having passed out. That had been weird, Anakae had felt completely fine, and then the next thing he remembered he was waking up in bed an entire week later! 

Now, Anakae was going to jump into Zamal’s flames again, and try to get the crystalline world to bring her back to him. At least, he hoped that would be how it worked. He didn’t understand anything that had happened on that day. He had so many questions burning in the back of his head. Why was Kheti acting so weird? What happened in the fire? Why am I not dead? Why did I suddenly pass out? Is the blue world alive? What the sparks is happening!

The fire would be here extremely soon, though Anakae couldn’t see it over the wall that surrounded the town. The fire passed every week, and oftentimes moons Zamal or Hayatay would rise, bringing blue or purple flames. Uncommonly green flames would be brought by the rise of moon Aybin. The rarest occurrence was the black flames of moon Tesmian, which only rose every two months or so. 

Anakae jogged down the streets until he approached the wall, which was easily three times his height. He quickly climbed up the stairs, until he reached the top. The wind up there blew through his short blonde hair. He smiled, he loved it up here, high on the wall. Then he noticed something. The fire was only a short distance away, they had maybe forty seconds until it reached them. Anakae called out to one of the city guards, and waved him over. 

“Shouldn’t the city be sinking right now?” He asked, confused. 

“Well it…” The guard looked out, and stopped speaking. “Yes. It should be.” The guard’s face paled, and he ran off towards a guard tower. Suddenly a loud, low, mournful horn sounded from the tower, and other towers began blowing the noise around the city. Chaos ensued.

Anakae rushed off the wall, into the city. “Everyone!” He tried yelling over the screams. “Escort yourself to the bunker! The city’s sinking mechanism has failed!” The last time that had happened was… well, never. Most people were smart, and ran towards the bunkers that had been prepared in case of emergencies. There were entrances all over the city, and they should be able to hold everyone. Others were less smart. They just froze. Anakae turned around to see what they were looking at. 

The wall of fire had grown, and was now towering at nearly twice the height of the wall. Zamal peaked, and the fire turned blue. 

 

Azriaa stepped out of the blue pillar into the middle of the town. “Finally, freedom!” She shouted. Then she noticed what was outside. The soulblaze, powered by Zamal, was rising above the city. “REALLY!” She screamed. “Really. I escape prison, only to be in a city about to get EATEN by a MAGIC WALL OF FIRE!” Life is so unfair sometimes. She thought. She looked around. Next to her was another person, a man, probably seventeen or eighteen years old. So a few years older than her. “Oi! She yelled at him. He was just standing there. “Hey! Mate! We gotta get out of here, I don’t care how attractive you find that fire, you should not let it kiss ya!”

“Wha-” The man said. “No, I’m staying. It has to hit me. Why are you staying out here! Run!” At that exact moment the blaze hit the wall. The bricks shook, and there was a loud sound, like an intake of breath. The wall warped inwards on itself, and then pieces of it started disappearing. First one brick, then another, each one bending in on itself until it disappeared. Some people ran off, screaming. Azriaa just stood there, mesmerized by the sight. The man looked over at her. “Run.” He said. “RUN!” He shoved her, but it was too late. The soulblaze was coming towards them quickly. Finally Azriaa started running, feeling the heat of the blaze behind her. Then something grabbed her, bringing her to the ground. The man had tackled her! 

“GET OFF!” She screamed, horrified. Then the fire hit them. She was pulled into a strange world, her body stretched into eternity. She squoze her eyes shut, until she stopped moving, and landed on the ground. She opened her eyes, and saw that the man was standing next to her. She was surrounded by blue crystal, in a giant glowing landscape. She looked around and gasped. All around her was beauty. The land was covered in dense foliage, and had tons of waterfalls everywhere. Suddenly there was a loud THUD. Azriaa looked to the left and saw a giant brick. “Is that…” She said, confused, “Is that a brick from the wall?” 

“Yep. This is… I’m not actually sure where. I think it’s an in-between place. It’s a dimension between space. Zamal’s flames power it somehow, and transports stuff here, like that brick.” The man said. He started walking. “Come on.”

Azriaa jogged over, and started walking with him. “How do you know that?” She asked. “You’ve been eaten by this fire before? I’ve only been eaten by one, Hatayay. That was… disconcerting.” 

“Yeah, I got caught in the open during the blaze a few weeks ago, with my sister. I made it back, but accidentally let her go.” The man said. Then he shouted, “HEY! CAN YOU BRING ME BACK MY SISTER? PLEASE?”

“What was that?!” Azriaa asked. “You sure it’s safe to shout in here? I mean… we don’t even know what lives here.”

I CANNOT BRING BACK YOUR SISTER, REALITYSMITH.” A voice boomed. Azriaa recognized it.

“Sparkle man! You live here?!” She said.

I DO NOT LIVE HERE.” The voice said. “I AM HERE. THIS IS MY REALM, MY FLAMES BRING YOU HERE. I AM THE GOD OF SPACE, ZAMAL.”

“Wait.” The man said. “You’re a… god?” 

Of sorts.” The voice said. “A part of a whole, one of five who make the universe.”

“Oi!” Azriaa shouted at the Sparkle man, who apparently had an EXTREME god complex. “Can we get out of here?” 

YES.” The voice said. There was a WHOOOSH and then they were back in the real world.
“Well. That was stra-” Azriaa started. Then she noticed what was around her. Nothing. This was where the town was, but… everything was gone. “Where’d it go?” She whispered.

The man just stood there, frozen in place. “Oh no.” He said.

Unfortunately all my italics dissapeared. 

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15 minutes ago, Justice_Magician said:

This is awesome! I really enjoyed reading what you have so far!

Also the chapters go 1, 2, 4, is that an accident or . . .?

That's on purpose.

I know what I want to write for 3, but I can't get it written for some reason.

It's essentially Anakae waking up after the fact, hanging out and whatnot, and then at the end of the chapter he realizes his sister is gone.

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1 minute ago, Ancient Elantrian said:

That's on purpose.

I know what I want to write for 3, but I can't get it written for some reason.

It's essentially Anakae waking up after the fact, hanging out and whatnot, and then at the end of the chapter he realizes his sister is gone.

ah, okay, that makes sense!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, so a few days ago I tried to use an AI to make an image of the Nowhere (From Skyward). Unfortunately the AI failed completely. Instead it made four extremely amazing pictures. So I decided that I would write four short stories, one for each picture.

The picture:

Spoiler

IMG_8920.jpg.f178c29e5d25b47740a4bb7b877ab0d2.jpg

And here's the first story so far:

Quote

Zai

Zai woke up in a cold sweat, shaking. Around him everything was pitch black. His head snapped back and forth, as the darkness threatened to grab him, crush him, trap him. He scrambled to get light, never letting his eyes rest in one place for too long. He quickly found a switch on the wall, and he hit it, the lights flickering on. They hummed quietly as he glanced about the empty room. The walls were a cold, metallic gray. The floor was bare except for a small plain pack, sitting next to Zai. No bed, no blankets, no clothes. Just Zai, his grimy clothes, the pack, and the annoying humming lights. This was his part of Haven: A small room, a flaw in the construction. No doors led in or out, just an entrance to the ventilation shafts. It was a small, dark, claustrophobic space, but it let Zai avoid the crowds and the Enforcement. They hated him. 

Zai breathed, squeezing his eyes shut. He shook himself, trying to banish the dream he’d had. One of being trapped… confined… Zai hated that feeling. He stood up, dusting off his pants. They were tight, but comfortable. They weren’t the nicest pants Zai had seen, but they served their purpose. He walked over to the vent and slid off the cover. A warm steam began drifting out. These vents went all across Haven, using steam to generate electricity, regulate temperature, and perform all the other functions that the people of Haven needed. Zai got down on his hands and knees and crawled into the vent. 

Haven. A massive metropolis, all in a single building, it was placed in the middle of a barren wasteland. The only place they knew about that was inhabited by humans. The place was hot, packed, and dirty. Most people worked hard in the factories that kept everything running. They generated bland food, simple clothing, and allowed people to live. Going beyond just living was only for the few rich people. They ran the generators, deep below the earth. These people got nice clothes, large rooms, and were able to gorge themselves on food. A select few, around 20, lived around the city in massive flying machines. Their staff all lived up there with the richest, pampering them. Every week or so the flying homes would be pulled back to Haven by the massive cables that anchored them, to pick up supplies. Then they would be released back out, to float above the city like a condescending parent.

Zai entered the dangerous maze that was the vents. You could easily get lost in the vents, stuck in a tight corner unable to move, or even boiled alive or suffocated by the hot steam. Zai had nearly fallen to his doom multiple times. There were so many twists and turns, all of them looked alike. If you got stuck, no one would hear your cries through the thick metal that made the walls of Haven. Gladly Zai had memorized the path out that was quickest and easiest to maneuver through. He crawled, climbed, and dropped through the shafts until he reached a light. He glanced out through the grate into a large hallway, full of people making their ways to work. He made sure no one was paying attention. Then he slid off the cover, and quickly climbed out, blending in with the crowd. 

Zai was instantly dragged away by the mass of people, a piece of paper in a windstorm. He was lifted off his feet by the massive torrent, and thrown about. Eventually he was spat out into a smaller room. The roof was only a couple feet above Zai’s head, and it was less tightly packed than the hall he had been in a moment before, though there were still a ton of people. Zai kept his head down, holding tightly to his pack. He quietly approached a stand, built up against the wall. Like most shops in Haven, it looked like it was melting from the wall, simultaneously looking natural and so unnatural all at the same time.  

Zai kept his head down, deftly slipping a few ration bars out of a wooden bucket. He was silent, and with the shopkeeper trying to keep track of all the other customers he didn’t notice. Zai dropped the bars in his pack and moved on, stealing a small bottle of water, and a few more foodstuffs. He quietly snuck away. Then a ration bar slipped out, hitting the ground, its wrapper crinkling. The sound wasn’t too loud. But it was loud enough to draw a shopkeeper’s attention. 

“ROBBER!” He screeched immediately. “THAT BOY STOLE FROM ME!”

Zai began running. There were loud footsteps nearby, approaching quickly. The Enforcement. They ran in holding menacing black batons and wearing formal outfits. Their leader saw Zai and narrowed his eyes. They knew him. The one person they never caught. 

Zai sprinted, shoving through the crowds. People shouted, getting angry, but Zai quickly reached the grate. He took off the cover, crawled in, and then closed in behind him just as the Enforcement arrived. Their leader swore, his face red. Zai caught his breath, then continued on his way, going back to his room.

It's not done yet, but I'll finish it soon enough.

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17 minutes ago, Ancient Elantrian said:

Okay, so a few days ago I tried to use an AI to make an image of the Nowhere (From Skyward). Unfortunately the AI failed completely. Instead it made four extremely amazing pictures. So I decided that I would write four short stories, one for each picture.

The picture:

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IMG_8920.jpg.f178c29e5d25b47740a4bb7b877ab0d2.jpg

And here's the first story so far:

It's not done yet, but I'll finish it soon enough.

Ooooo interesting! :)

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