Odyssey Propulsion 6
Odyssey Propulsion 6
We want to especially thank an elite core of Odyssey II writers:
Those deviants truly embodying the spirit of the project by continuing to create and submit next chapters – no matter the story’s refusal to go along with their proposed direction. The zeitgeist is a powerful force, but the artist must know when to sail against the been-there-done-that. And our writers, artists and poets have been doing that week after week. So many artists and writers continue to send in wonderful material week after week.
We have decided to extend the writing deadline for the last chapter to December 31 and we're
WhitewashWhen you're five years old you set a promise in the dark, your sister's ice-queen eyes witness. Millie is sitting straight-backed against the headboard, face wide and earnest, and it seems as if the world has heaped itself on her shoulders, or maybe it's the strangeness of midnight.Whitewash5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"We can't make our wills or anything like that until we're eighteen," she says fiercely. "But I might forget this by then."
In later years you will find time to reflect that you're not as whimsical as Millie; young, you only think then that you could never forget something this important. But you can't argue with the three-years-older she holds above your head (the wisest bestest elder sister in the world.)
Your love for her borders on hero-worship, and looking back, you sometimes wonder if that's healthy.
The door bangs shut. "Jodie!"
How strange, the way it works: your hand is frozen to the table in the way it should have been on the phone, but that was minutes ago and maybe it was delayed-reaction, becau
97. Safety First"It's never going to work." Jude argued as they walked towards the lot Al had specified.97. Safety First3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Pessimist." Charlie accused half-heartedly, "We don't know that it won't work. And that's better than doing nothing."
"I disagree." Jude said mulishly, staring at his ragged sneakers as he walked, nearly knocking into Charlie, who had abruptly come to a halt in from of him. He lifted his head, a protest already formed on his lips, before the sight in front of him cut his words off.
"Wow." Charlie let out an appreciative whistle.
"Understatement." Jude said, staring wide-eyed at the sleek and luxurious vehicle in from of them. "I thought Al said we were getting a
"Well, I'm not complaining," Charlie said, bouncing up to the door and running a hand over the silver and black polish, "I've always wanted to drive a hovercraft."
"Admitting you haven't driven one of these before is not the way to inspire confidence, Charlie."
"And off we go!" Charlie yelled, ignoring him and practically vaulting in
The Descent :: Prologue“Death twitches my ear;The Descent :: Prologue3 years ago in Drama More Like This
‘Live,’ he says. ‘For I am coming.’”
IT BEGAN WITH a tug at his navel, and suddenly he was being thrown up into the air. The icy wind sung in his ears as he sailed, like ephemeral music curling around his thoughts. When he finally reached the pinnacle, he exhaled, watching as his breath clouded and crystallised in the air.
There was an annoying pulse beating at the back of his eyes, like the percussion of war drums, and his vision blurred. Then there was a sharp, hot pain in his throat. Drops of blood burst before his eyes and fanned out like delicate red tendrils. He gasped for air, but all he could do was gargle. Tiny red bubbles surfaced and stained his lips.
It felt as though he was being pulled in another direction—out onto the edge of something terrifying, over a cliff he couldn’t climb out of. The music in his ears changed, its final notes becoming shrill and tinny. The beating of the war drums
birds of a featherbirds of a feather5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
You find her, at last, in the woods, deeper than she or anyone else ought to go. It's uncharted territory, still, dangerous even to people like her. You walk into the clearing and understand the thuck--thuck--thuck you've been hearing, because there she's standing with the splitting axe and a tree and tears running haphazardly down her face.
You're there in two sharp strides, putting your hands on the haft of the axe and shoving until she stumbles back a step, and you plant yourself between her and the hapless tree. You can feel the raw wound in its trunk against your back.
"What are you doing?" you ask her raggedly, because you've been searching a long time and you can't understand why she'd come out here, alone, with the wrong kind of axe and not a thing else.
"You don't understand," she says, wrenching the axe away from you, and you start back. It may be the wrong axe but it's heavy still, and you've seen that glint in an angry molig's eye before. Closer than you ever
islandsoneislands2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It’s cold in her house and still she feels herself burning up. It’s in the unnatural skip of her heartbeats, in the restless race of her blood. Everything is on fire.
She wants to run a hundred miles or sleep a hundred years. She wants to kiss someone, kill someone, wants to devour someone whole. In her head, words are twisted up in thoughts are twisted up in stuttering uncertainty. She is humming with confusion; she can hardly speak.
The brightness of the day comes as a shock to her--when she steps out of the coffeeshop she walks into the sun and marvels at the strange flow of time.
It's only much later that she startles awake in her bed and remembers that it's all due to the simple fact of daylight savings, that it is not some magical hiccup that takes this one day and turns one of its hours into gold. But she thinks that Daylight Savings was Sunday, and she went to visit an old friend on Sunday night—ducked into the house a
82. Can You Hear Me?"What about now?" Liz says in a almost indiscernible whisper, the softness ruined when she begins to giggle soon after. She had never quite understood the expression 'laughter bubbling up', but lately she felt full and happy, and she was laughing before she really knew what she was doing. Rich grins back at her, his softly glowing green eyes moving fondly across her face.82. Can You Hear Me?3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Still yes." He murmurs into her ear, his smile tickling her skin as he places a kiss underneath.
"And now?" Her voice is softer still, barely audible to her own ears.
"Yes." His lips brush up and down her neck almost curiously. "Though it behooves me to tell you, Elizabeth, that in such close proximity to you this is hardly a legitimate experiment, nor will the results be satisfactory."
"Hey, buddy, that's not pillow talk."
"The meaning of that phrase eludes me." He says, his arm shifting around her waist with purpose and pulling her close on the sheets.
"You can't use that excuse every time. You knew what 'friends w
EPIC: Robin breaks a heartRobin's watch was over--she was turning to wake the next sentry when there was an ominous rustle, and she whirled with sword drawn.EPIC: Robin breaks a heart4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It was only Commander Rad coming to take her place. His massive sword was buckled over his shoulder, but he was otherwise unarmed and unarmored. "Hello," she said, relieved, and stood up to stretch. "Thanks for waking up on your ownI always feel bad kicking people awake for watch."
Rad's face creased into a smile, and Robin was surprised to find that he was almost handsome when he wasn't being hostile. His features held a boyish charm that had always been buried behind the eagle mask. He came to stand by her and stared out into the dark for a long moment. She waited for him to say something, but nothing seemed forthcoming.
"Is Andais always at war?" she found herself asking. "Do you always have to be the Commander?"
Rad turned slowly to face her. "Yes," he said after considering. "It is. I do. Andais is good. Others are evil. There is always a war be
EPIC: fifty scenes projectEPIC: wherein Robin and Matthew (fantasy buffs, mortal enemies, and sudden heroes) embark on a quest that inverts, averts, subverts, deconstructs, and generally wreaks havoc on the many tropes and cliches of fantasy fiction.EPIC: fifty scenes project2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
word count 337
Robin closed the door against the groaning protest of its warped frame and came to stand over the foot of the bed. “I don’t think we can trust them,” she said, crossing her arms tightly.
Clearly, Matthew had never heard that keeping eye contact when speaking was polite, since he ignored her attempt to meet his eye and flopped backward onto the bed. “Judging by how very blond the prince is, I think you’re wrong,” he said, sprawling out over as much of the bed as his four limbs could occupy and kicking her thigh in the process. “I think they’re Good.” The capital letter was evident in his tone.
Sonnet 4 for my grandmotherSonnet 43 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Her flowers, softly pressed against her palm,
have lost their quiet gift of sunlit breath
in lieu of gentle summer's song, this psalm
hushed now by looming mute of living death.
The owl's lonely mating cry rings out
against the fjord today, and still I find
her shorn cloth adorning my clouded route
home. Roughly textured skin of night confined
my skin; however, the small trestles built
from earth to hidden light behind the moon
guide me to her in sleep. Her petals lilt
toward my lap, hold me until the room
becomes a slowing top. They fall the way
she falls. The dark blends calmly into gray.
A ParenthesisYou were (a parenthesis, that pausedA Parenthesis3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the daily, mundane stuff
a bundled breath
of fresh joy,
and borne in the wonder
Gasping and grasping,
'til in quiet you laid
and I, my Child,
lie in quiet, still
And now, that is all you are,
and still so much more.
The Order of Sublime SimulacraKamon woke to the sound of bells and saws. The ceremony must have started hours ago; there was invigorating yellow sunlight outside the gauzy curtains. Kamon's Self was intoning eight o'clock, eight o'clock with all the insistence of a song looping in his head.The Order of Sublime Simulacra4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Flesh brain, he thought, you should have caught that alarm. Sometimes the flesh was louder than the devices supposed to make it properly quiet. The flesh insisted on the persistence of the Real. This was exactly the type of lesson that the brothers were supposed to learn, and Kamon hoped that relaying to the abbot how thoroughly he had learned it might lighten the inevitable punishment that came from reminding himself of himself. (Of course, that punishment would still be severe. He was going to arrive at the ceremony so late--)
On the orders of his Self, Kamon moved blearily out of bed and into the shower. (Rules For The Sanctum Three and Four, said his Self. Wear a clean robe. Wear a clean body.) Li
Mo-Tu'Mi Tribe: Meet Jallah The dense jungle was seemingly the same all year round, hot and humid. But there were still seasons, subtle though they were. Different flowers bloomed, animals would come and go, and life went on. It was these "off" seasons that allowed the tribe of jungle women to rest up a bit. The water was the right temperature for swimming, most of the sharp-toothed and clawed beasties were following the herds of fat and slow plant eaters, and food was gathered to prepare for the months where the meat would be easier to gain while fruits were not. It was an important part of life... one Yumira was not exactly fond of, and she reminded those around her of constantly.Mo-Tu'Mi Tribe: Meet Jallah3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Yumira was a tall tribeswoman, long in limb and thick in her curves. Her purple hair laid over her left eye in its usual mysterious manner, and she treaded, making her large rump peek out from her too small loincloth as she went.
Not So Perfect Ch.5Not So Perfect Ch.52 years ago in Drama More Like This
Friend of Exo
I wake up to find that the entire apartment is silent. Which is odd since it’s been two days since BAP has been spending here without leaving me alone.
Himchan seems to become a lot more protective of me since Gummy had accidently kissed me. He even visits me at work. I tell him to stop seeing me here since he seems to draw attention to himself. I mean people may think that he’s my boyfriend which is disgusting. He’s my cousin not my boyfriend but only my important clients know that and my boss. Therefore, when people ask me if Himchan is my boyfriend everyone laughs, as I say no. He’s just a close family friend, AKA my cousin.
Today I don’t have any appointments but I do have classes around noon. I look at the time to see that I’m okay.
I have to get to school since I ha
The Unexpected Arrival 39 (Parent!Lock)"Twenty-four minutes late home," Announced Sherlock as Hamish and John entered the flat. He glanced up at the pair and shook his head, "What did Hamish do to be kept behind?"The Unexpected Arrival 39 (Parent!Lock)2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
"Hamish," John said, "Do you want to go and see if Mrs. Hudson needs any help in the café?"
"So you can talk about me." Hamish remarked, but turned to walk down the stairs nonetheless.
"A classmate was saying some very horrible things to him," John explained, "About him not having a family." Sherlock's expression darkened, anger flickering in his eyes, but he remained focused and put his finger to his lips in thought,
"But Hamish was in trouble. What did he do?"
Sherlock smirked, "Should I have a chat with his teacher?" He asked
"Sherlock since when do you 'have a chat'?"
"By 'have a chat' you mean shout at her."
"I know, I was being sarcastic."
"Don't use sarcasm, it doesn't suit you." John, unsure whether his own last remark was meant as a joke or not, hesitated awkwardly.
fairgroundsfairgrounds5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
We make our farewells at the fairground, and the ferriswheel spin of our days and nights grinds to a cold and silent halt. But, you promise, we will have one last ride. One last day to ourselves. One last day to remember.
And in the crushing golden haze of summer's dying days, we leave our regrets with the sullen ticket sellers, the sullen customers, the sullen children squirming in the heat. We laugh past them like the summer breeze and pretend to be happier than they could ever be.
We enter the raw cacophony of it together. Our brightly pasted smiles belong instantly, wholly, to the savage relentless pursuit of amusement that ebbs around us. We are drawn inescapably into it, absorbed by the press of hot hungry bodies. In the crowd your hands find me as they always have, but a couple slides snakelike between us and you slip from my side. The people swallow you, accept you as only another booth in their endless milling quest for fulfillment, and in the glow of their shining faces, I lo
The F.U.N Song!FThe F.U.N Song!2 years ago in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
Is for friends who do stuff together.
Is for you and me!
Is for anywhere and any time at all-
Down here in the deep blue sea!
Is for frolick through all the flowers.
Is for Ukele-le.
Is for nose-picking, sharing gum and sand licking-
Down here with my best buddy!
Geiger's CourierAs I walked, the blue of the desert sky began to fade. I pulled my hood over my head, even though my machine body needed neither protection from the sun nor shelter from the wind. Simply put, I didn't like the feeling of the unending void above me, looming, watching, infinite. I knew I shouldn't have such feelings, so I ignored the rationale and allowed my hands to move as they pleased.Geiger's Courier2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I adjusted the leather strap. The sky was pale. Gray. Stars blinking into view, I refused to meet their eternal gaze. As I walked I was dying. As I walked, I was not yet born.
But as I laid my feet in a careful pattern, one in front of the other, I didn't notice. Day, night, it didn't matter, for I'd been given the unenviable position in life of a courier, and I neither knew nor cared for anything else.
Not yet, at any rate.
My body was a vessel for my vague sense of self, for I was water gathered between shaking palms, a cup half-filled, a fleet lif
GoldenCatch you when you fallGolden2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Pick you up and stand you tall
Stroke your face down to your chin
Turn that frown into a grin
Wipe away those cruel tears
Fight back against your fears
Hold you to me and claim that right
Turn you away from the dark and into the light
An embrace to sniffle into, a shoulder to cry on
Here's the pair of shoes you never got to try on
Step into them and stay out of the seamy side of life
Away from the trouble, free of the strife
Just turn to me and cry
Turn away from depression and defy
When it all seems too much and you seem too little
When all your dreams become too brittle
I'm here, whether you want me or not
Never gonna leave you, perish the thought!
I have strength enough for both of us
All I ask for is your trust
Come to me and be beholden
Come to me, I'll make it golden
Peacetime Songs or EuthanasiasI wanted a war-time melody for the aching ears of all the people who silently protest the military efforts of our time; a song to soothe, a flood of words in which to drown our battered hopes, for their mercy. So I conjured in my rib-caged eye the images of war,Peacetime Songs or Euthanasias3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the open minds of fallen soldiers, spilling New York and Los Angeles, Moscow and Baghdad onto the streets of anywhere; their mouthing wounds elevating cries into the city stench of gunpowder blackened buildings; the look on their eyes when the true meaning of damage and collateral crashes into their fleshy souls, begging in curses, wailing arms at them for a redraw of the cards: You instead, not my little boy! But every soldier is a little boy,
and as I saw them huddled beside Humvees, warding cold deserts with divine stories of mundane happenings at hometown proms, repeating to themselves this weapon is lighter than a wrench; as I saw them mourning for the friends that wouldn't recognize them, returned, victorious shells, I re
CharlieWe're all just kids playing a part. That's what it boils down to.Charlie2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I'm the kid who gets to play hitman today. The other kids, they're playing guard. Hands in their pockets, feeling up their guns. Makes them feel big. Calms them down. A security blanket in a holster.
That's what it boils down to. Dressing for the part, having the right props. If you're running around in your street clothes, you're a thug, a hood, a gangster. You put on a ninety-dollar suit you picked up at Ross, and all the sudden you're a mobster, a wiseguy, paisano.
You're still just playing Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, Thugs and Mafiosi.
Rule of three. Say it enough times, and you'll convince yourself of it.
Look at yourself in the mirror, jacket and tie and shoulder holster. Tell yourself, "I'm a badass." Wash, rinse, repeat until it sticks. Get into character and stand around, chest puffed out, one hand on your gun, one on your cock.
Repeat the lines you learned watching other people pretend t
on old sanzu - absolutely true fictionlast fall i stole my friend down by the tama river. we sang. we danced. we skipped dead fish like rocks and watched them get swallowed by the undertow. we got sick off of bad chinese food and went skinny-dipping and then a week later she drowned herself.on old sanzu - absolutely true fiction2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
her uncle was a yakuza, i think, but he really just wanted to be al pacino or something. anyway, she loved him a lot. maybe that’s why she went down the way she went down; cement shoes. not real cement, but it was the same idea. she had two cloth bags with yellow-painted cinderblocks inside, and they were tied to her ankles like the prisoners’ chains from o brother where art thou.
in my mind’s eye i can see her, limping dreadfully close to the edge of the current, her left hand gripping at her breasts through a loose t-shirt. kneeling by the wastelands, elbows in the gravel, crawling forward out into the water. angry like a dermis under wool, all teeth and salt and sand. sleepy, submissive, sublimated.
It's never too lateYou will have been dead fifteen years tomorrow,It's never too late3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
and yet not once have I visited your grave.
I was always busy; there was always time
to see you, to make amends. And yet, I feel
it's all a sham. I could make time, but I fear
the truth. It's easier to believe my lies.
If I went, I'd see your plot, see how you lie
untroubled, beneath the soil. Your tomorrows
ended many yesterdays ago. No fears
to face, no debts to pay. No decisions grave
to weigh your brow. Not like your son. How I feel
the heaviness of this life. There's too much time
and not enough. Lives end every day. It's time
to stop hiding from the pain. My future lies
along a path you've helped me walk. I can feel
your touch in everything I do. Tomorrow
is too late, sometimes. It shall not be graved
into history that I gave into fear.
For too long I feel I've lived a life of fear,
of caution, of safety, and, and yet such times
I had. Oh dad, you'd be turning in your grave
if you saw the choices that I made that lie