Odyssey II: That Which Can Be Imagined

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Final Thoughts from Clive Barker

Odyssey. I can think of no better word to describe the journey that took place these past few months.

With the prologue, “They’re Mad, They Are,” I began work on a vessel that was not yet ready for sea. And on that holed ship, together we embarked over open waters towards an unknown destination.

What I then witnessed both touched and humbled me. You, the mighty crew of the HMS Odyssey, simultaneously crafted her and plotted her voyage with artistry and grace.  No small feat.

The path we traveled was treacherous, to be sure. But we passed through the eye of the storm, and found ourselves in a new world. It was brutal, brilliant, and inspiring.

Thank you for sharing yourselves with me. You are among the finest shipmates I’ve ever had the privilege to work beside. Make no mistake; we’ve built something beautiful.

Though our paths must now diverge, we will forever be connected by this sweet and terrible ride through the eternal, collective universe of That Which Can Be Imagined.

Odyssey II






Read Prologue

Chapter 1

A Shower and a Change

ARTWORK BY: littlecrow

LITERATURE BY: markmywords85

Read Chapter 1

Chapter 2

The Host With the Most

ARTWORK BY: David-Steele


Read Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Skin Glowing From Within


LITERATURE BY: MelissaBoreal

Read Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Dreams of the Deep



Read Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Techno-Colored Psychosis



Read Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Something Worse than Nobody

ARTWORK BY: littlecrow


Read Chapter 6

Chapter 7

A Man Reborn


LITERATURE BY: demonsweat

Read Chapter 7

Chapter 8


ARTWORK BY: Micha-vom-Wald


Read Chapter 8

Symptom of the Universe

The Vision is Getting Clearer...

The inimitable author and artist, the fantastic Clive Barker, lent his special, brilliant madness to Odyssey Project 2.0 by writing the first “prompt” chapter of our experiment; setting the tenor for what would evolve into a weirdly wonderful and beautiful tale. We were honored by his participation.

For marioluevanos and I, This was our second effort at creating an ultra-collaborative short story fiction, our delirious, inspired version of the “exquisite corpse” salon game once played by the Surrealists. So far this incredible community of creative artists and storytellers have given life to two amazing “monsters”. The Grand Game will continue.

There were, once again, a whole host of minor glitches, particularly with so many entries needing to be read and fairly assessed in such a short time by so few judges (Clive himself was the ultimate arbiter this time).  All of your suggestions for improving this endeavor that have been coming in are greatly appreciated. You all have been writing the rules of the next Odyssey project throughout this process.

“Baby steps” for now, but together, we dream mightily…

Of all the unforeseen collateral fallout surrounding our Odyssey endeavors contest, none has been more heartening than the many incidences of participants branching off from the main narrative of the “chosen” story to continue their own personal vision. Often in collaboration with other writers and artists, they discovered their own preferred narrative vein and finished out their own separate stories. The idea behind this project has always been all about sparking creativity in collaboration, not simply winning a place in the main story.  That so many fresh new stories were born from the deviously germinated seed of a single Clive Barker chapter is precisely the magic we can all achieve together.

Many have been asking about the hard copy publication of Odyssey and Odyssey II, as well as the attendant charitable donations to come from those sales.  I am preparing a separate article for everyone that will go out in the next two weeks which will outline the plans for publishing both works this fall. There will be digital versions as well as hard copy versions. We have also expanded the content to include a full explanation of Odyssey Project with a behind the scenes feature outlining the process and participants from the beginning. I will create a list of the timelines, elements, and structure that we can all discuss in the comments and I will also schedule a featured chat with marioluevanos and I so that we can all talk about it in real time.

Odyssey II



by puzzledpixel

This body,
against the rage of strongest winds
and waves of virulent assaults
will endure.
My feet,
through vicious aftershocks
shall grow roots
and when the eye of the storm
has looked me in the eye, I
will be left standing,
alone, intact,
My life is not my
own and this body,
is only worn.
I am
my spirit, ethereal
Not by anything in this world
can I be touched,
you can not even bend me.
How can you destroy me?

A Subtle Shift in Course

by Beatleyperson

A subtle shift in course
That seemed quite insubstantial at first
Has given way, till you're far off path
And lost in a distant trance
What seemed inconsequential at the start
Has now made your life slowly fall apart
As you watch it crumble and crumple in your hands
You feel yourself loose your grip, and go mad
A certain paranoia sinks through the weary haze
You desperately try and slip away
As it grows into an uncontrollable panic
And you begin to grow drastic
And as the fear begins to grow
A soft voice in your head begins to echo
What did you do to deserve such a fate?
But put it out of mind, because it's too late
You're surly going to die by the hand
That you didn't see, didn't expect, and
The one you weren't afraid of
Brought this nightmare to life
And all of this came to roust
From a subtle shift in course

Inside Out

by portraitinflesh

Nausea, not me:
I boil within
my own skin
is a stranger
flaming and searing
me, not me.

The pain is in plain view
if only I weren’t hidden
if I could see me
would I recognize
or avert my eyes
knowing it has all
been taken away.

Me, not me
not since she,
or it, or them

Me, why me
a chosen vessel
without my consent

I may not have been much
but I’m all I’ve ever had
and now, no
nothing, nowhere.
The skin—my skin—
taken, broken
bruised, flayed
I fade

because of her
or it, or them
I will end;
even my wasted time
is torn away.

I’m tearing now
she-it-they want out.
I want to shout, scream
But my voice is alien to me.

Two of me
from me
of me
but not.
No longer.


by portraitinflesh

what’s mine is mine
to twist or unwind
I know what I hold dear

the end is near
if you had your way
each night you’d erase the next day

the price you had to pay
was far too high,
you ripped apart the sky

no explanation why
other than wanting to play God
you needed no encouraging nod

my ally was odd
even to you, yet she
also betrayed me

I can finally see
the truth you tried to hide
I saw once I died

so I turned the tide
you are out of time
what’s mine is mine

Outside In

by portraitinflesh

Look at the beauty
There is shit everywhere, every
breath drags it into me.

There is beauty all around
The ground under my feet is poisoned
I look up, and the sky is dying.

I see what you cannot
We avert our eyes, our
sighs we bottle up inside.
So much potential, so much
A shell of protection,
we’re so close to breaking apart.

You ignore your treasure,
this precious world, a shining
reflection of infinite possibilities—
you don’t deserve it
and you won’t miss
what you never noticed

Day in, die out
it’s all the same.
No one knows my name,
I’ve grown OK with that.
Life should make sense by now
instead, it drags me down.

A way in, that’s all I ask—
a path to your world, a
chance to taste neglected wonders

I wander through life,
everyone does—
it’s what we do when we don’t dream.

A seam to rip apart;
I’ll tear through you
Something has entered me
You may not make it
but you’ll create it
I feel so empty inside.

© 2013 - 2021 techgnotic
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segura2112's avatar
Wow, is the book out, and why did it take so long for this to appear in my e-mail? Thank You
MarinaBoccuzzi's avatar
Thanks for the experience! Can we do it again?
AusSkyRider's avatar

Reading through from the Prologue to Chapter 8 I felt myself being drawn into the story with anticipation.


Each contributor brought a 'vision' of consistency and cohesion through colaboration to provide an amazing storyline that couldn't help but intrigue and excite any reader.


Brilliant!!!  And the Artwork is amazing and breathtaking.


Well done to all involved.  Your talent is truly AWESOME!!!

orpheus14's avatar
Anticipationists we are!
Absolutely fascinating.
Fa2al's avatar
Wow, amazing
Oblivinity's avatar
This is an incredible collaboration, unsettling and amazing at the same time.
indr4wan's avatar
oh my,, very amazing :s
shadowhand's avatar
omg $marioluevanos, you have really outdone yourself with this journal skin. pretty sure i got drool on my keyboard. :O
marioluevanos's avatar
Thanks I appreciate it :) 
SoundOfRaindrops's avatar
this is truly weirdly wonderful
Willis-Crisp's avatar
Will there be another? :D
Willis-Crisp's avatar
When I first seen this, I was hooping that it was a sequel of Odyssey written by Homer in the 8th century B.C. But then my rationality came back and told me that Odyssey, being the sequel to the Iliad, had finished up the epic, and that any continuation of such an epic would ruin it. Oh well I guess I'll just read Homer's version again.
sleepyowlet's avatar
Actually... [link] :D

Takes place after the Iliad and parallel to the Odyssey - following the adventures of a young Trojan who managed to escape and now has to find himself a home. Try it, it's nice. ^^

It, of course, proves that fanfiction is older than you'd think, but as those things go, this is a good one. ;)
death-g-stalker's avatar
Menarch's avatar
A quantum Conscientius particle capable to be in diffrent places at same time
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
portraitinflesh's avatar
I'm so conflicted right now. I didn't think my poetry would go anywhere, but it looks like it did.

I should feel happy, yet I've been in a very bad place recently. I've lost three sweet companion cats in six weeks, to hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and FIV. I had to say goodbye to the third one just this morning. I think I need a little time to heal before this really sinks in.
Metacharis's avatar
As a person who has lived one tragedy after another, I truly hope you the best. You wrote an amazing piece and I should hope this leads to many more successes in the future. We are all our worst critics, but having such a gift is rare and you are lucky to possess such a talent. Art is truly an extension of the soul and I hope that you get the healing you need to be able to enjoy your gift and the fact that so many people will now know and love your piece.
portraitinflesh's avatar
Thank you. It's just a strange position for me to be in. Three little friends gone so quickly, and then this, and then two other pieces of pretty good news just this week. The good just isn't quite counteracting the bad right now, but with time I'll be able to feel better knowing it was a good part of my life they shared in rather than just mourning their passing.
Metacharis's avatar
I know how you feel. I just came home (I work 4 days a week in another state away from my family and friends) and I lost my puppy Spartacus this morning. On my three hour ride home my husband called to tell me that my puppy Lilith threw up and wasn't feeling well so he took her to the pet hospital. She got parvo and is now in the fight for her life. I am doing my best to help her get better, but it is a very rare thing to survive (and before anyone scolds me, it is the strain that the vaccines do not prevent). I almost lost their mother to the same thing and it is such an awful and sad thing to watch one you love go through.

All this after one of the most successful business weeks that I have ever had. It's hard to be excited and it definitely taints the mood.
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