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Poetry
FreeI was just a little girl outside playing with my brothers, like any other day it should've been but the sun caught my eyes in a way that seemed different.If you had been there you'd think nothing of it, certainly nothing worth writing about, but for me,that moment is like a tattoo of a lover's name on my heart,that moment was my extra in the ordinary,despite so many bright summer days, I can't remember a time being more blinded by light,but that's what happens when you mix nostalgia and the extraordinary into any light.Feeling the wind against my faceand the wind beneath my wings,without actually smiling, without actually saying itI was so happyand deep down I knew without knowing that I had wished on that very sun that this life I had would last forever,that was whenI first described my life with my family as riding into the sunlight.I didn't know that a simple phrase, from a girl with her head in the clouds andshooting stars in her daydreams,would be the first time I ever expressed contentment with my life.I carried that phrase with me throughout life and held onto it, it felt so good until it didn't....Despite everything I loved my family, and despite more of everything, I still do.I held onto that "ride" and what it meant like a lifejacket, lost at sea.I didn't want it to end.I always believed we could get back there someday;I told myself I could bring it back, that this could last forever.I tried to prolong the ride,but everyone was getting off;I was an adult that wouldn't get off the kiddy ride.I didn't want to accept that we were changing,If only I knew then what I know now I would have been there and tried as hard as I could to help make that change into a butterfly. But I closed my eyes walking backwards to what is only a memory, a memory seen with rose colored glasses at that.It doesn't exist anymore and if I could take off the glasses for just a moment,it honestly never did,holding onto that when I should've been holding you All of the nights I spent choking on my tears,all the nights where I felt like I was swallowing broken glass,I held onto the thought that we could be what we once/never were; I held onto it so tight until my "hands" were in too much pain, and still after that.Until now,finally off that metaphorical ride into the sunlight, I feel like I have more in this life than most galaxies have stars;Seasons change just like life, but seasons return; some things in life don't,but all seasons, just like lives, at all phases are beautiful.The sunlooks sweeter than it's ever been;I see so much more beautyin a life that's supposed to be a balance between beautiful and uglyand no matter what the story of my life has told so far,right now this page,this very sentence,and every single wordfeels too good to be true But why am I not afraid,when this moment fades?Your past and present belong to the same persona person I want a future withand the future will have many butterflies. The month of June breathes deep into my heart, strumming its strings into that song about you, sacred and smells of fresh cut grass.Forgive the now teary eyed me who was a fool, who chose not to see what was in front of meand left you so alone, even more than I was aware of,but you still find time to think of me.I did not expect my name to come out of your mouth when it did...Some things in life don't return, but the best things never leave.They just change.Like butterflies.I'm not afraid because I know nothing lasts forever,so let me feel this so that if it's all gone tomorrow, I can say "it was a good ride."
She is eating HerListen, I really ain't one to kick the spring in your step Or paint a perfect gift as an obvious trap I know ugly shit paves the way to beautiful things We all deserve love in spite of dents in our wings We all need compassion for our open wounds and our kinks but I fear... It seems some shudder to thinkAbout how no one wants to kill the host Even if they rot their flesh, suck the blood, errode the bone, In their own way they do what they do cause they have to, wouldn't you? How many lovers threw knives at the roof over their head till the whole thing collapses?I bet if fire could, it would weep about the ashes.I mean, what else can I say?I can't just watch an ivy grow and rue the decay, but neither chop down a personLike it's the same shrub gone astrayNot even if I want to save someone from harm that I am watching shedding fiber by the day as love became a labor with a crooked posture and an ignorant smile of best intentions. The back only bends one way and not that far but I don't feel like I can even find the words to throw at deaf ears coasting on such sweet harmonies and little moments of great emotions the she can't stop swaying and dancing to a serenade that can never be loud enough. As she keeps spinning around a weight she can not lift but itches to bare I smell the lactic acid on her and I feel a stone in my gut. I see the day when she'll deglove at the touch and pronounce how much more she'll give up because some trances just become so fucking normal that all you can do is watch as the car keeps crashing so devastatingly slowly.So I'm a helpless lense observing this trip into the basement of the haunted house on fire, Where they smile at each other with lips drenched in honey And they kiss so pationetly that neither could sense the gruesome nature Of the scene She is eating her
Prose
'Priestess of the Lost Colony' First ChapterItaweret moved her final pawn off the last square on the senet board. She straightened on her stool and crossed her arms with a triumphant smirk, victory assured in the game of passing.“By all the gods, not again!” Bek slammed his hands on theebony table, which knocked his two remaining pawns off the gameboard. “There must be some mistake!”Itaweret laughed. “What mistake? That you’ve been losing thepast few times? I keep telling you, Brother, you take these games much too seriously. You act as if the fate of all Per-Pehu depended on it.”Bek narrowed his eyes as his lips curled into a snarl. “I might not be wrong, then. If I am to govern this colony, I must hone my strategic skills. How can I do that when I keep losing to a—a priestess?”Itaweret didn’t take one grain of offense. If anything, his righteous anger amused her even more. “Remember what Father says. You do not need to succeed to learn.”Bek opened his mouth for another retort but stopped, stood from his stool beside the table, and took a deep breath. His mahogany-skinned brow sparkled with sweat from the afternoon sunlight that descended upon the back courtyard. He stormed across the courtyard to an alabaster bench beneath one of the olive trees and plopped down to sulk in its shade.As entertaining as her brother’s tantrums were at the end of every senet game, any pleasure Itaweret felt evaporated when she saw him wipe a tear off his cheek. Not since they were children had she seen Bek show such emotion unless he thought nobody was looking.She walked over, sat beside him on the bench, and laid her arm on his shoulders. “It is alright, Brother. Take your mind off it.”She pointed to the rectangular pool in the middle of the courtyard, which was fringed with papyrus reeds, its blue lotus flowers throwing off a delectable fragrance. “Remember how you loved to chase the frogs across the lily pads? Or how you would dig every morning under the palm trees in search of treasure or old monster bones? I believe the hole is still there.”Bek brushed her arm off. “I outgrew those childish things years ago. I am a man now. And what’s more, I am the great chief of Per-Pehu’s son. I should be off studying anyway.”He got up and retreated quickly to the columned gallery surrounding the courtyard, disappearing through the doorway that led to his bedchamber.Itaweret sighed and muttered a prayer, asking the gods to guide her younger brother to find peace in his heart. Bek looked at matters in the world differently: everything the gods had placed on earth would test his mettle as the future great chief. He even regarded the senet game as less of a diversion and more of a practice of his tactical abilities, should he have to lead the colony’s garrison into battle. Not even the sons of the pharaohs back in Kemet, across the Great Green Sea to the south, would have preoccupied themselves with such uneasy anticipation of their responsibilities.Itaweret couldn’t do more to ease her poor brother’s temper. Instead, she savored the tranquility of the courtyard, listening to the dulcet twitter of black doves nested on the palm, acacia, and olive trees. With the bench to herself, she laid down and basked in the summertime warmth, stretching her body over its length, her figure adding contours to the straight bench back, her locks of tightly coiled black hair spilling down.“What’s the matter with your brother, my child?” Itaweret bolted upright, startled. Dedyet, mother to Itaweret and Bek and wife of the great chief of Per-Pehu, entered from the opposite side of the courtyard. A smile creased across her weathered, middle-aged face, her skin almost as dark as the wig of tightlycurled black locks running down its sides.Itaweret scooted aside to make room. “Oh, he’s a bit upset that he lost another game of senet today. I suppose I can’t blame him.”“You would act the same way if you were in his place, believe me,” Dedyet said. “And while he does need to learn graciousness, your brother isn’t wrong to feel the stress he does. If anything, Itaweret, I think you could stand to learn from him.”Itaweret cocked an eyebrow. “What do you mean, Mother?”“Suffice to say, I’d think the high priestess of Mut would spend her time doing more important things than playing games with her brother. These are troubled times we’re living in, after all.” Itaweret’s smile flopped into a frown. “Speaking of which, your father has an important guest arriving within a couple of hours, and they specifically requested your presence. You ought to put on your best for the occasion.”##Itaweret wasted no time. She returned to her dressing room, washed herself clean, and slathered scented oil over her umber skin to make it glisten. She then focused on her face and hair, combing and perfuming her locks and beading their tips with gold, and lining her eyelids with black kohl. She adorned her neck and limbs with jewelry of gold, copper, and colored stones, and threw on her whitest, most translucent linen dress. Such was the work that went into making any self-respecting daughter of Kemet look presentable for public attention.She strode out, adjusting her collar of gold, lapis-lazuli, malachite, and carnelian as she navigated through a series of painted hallways to her father’s audience chamber. Who had he invited for such a formal occasion? Since he summoned her to his side, the guest was presumably a man. Men always wanted at least one young woman to decorate the scene while they talked politics, regardless of what they were discussing.She could only pray to the gods that the mystery guest wasn’t the sort who demanded anything more from women than visually appealing background decor.She arrived in the audience chamber to find Mahu, her father—and no one else. That was a surprise. Where was the guest she’d spent hours preparing for? Only the clipping of Mahu’s sandals over the tiled floor disturbed the silence within the spacious columned room as he stepped down from his great chief ’s throne to her. He wore his finest jewelry, whitest loincloth, and blackest braided wig, with gold rings slipped onto his long and narrow beard.“You’ve come at the very best time, my child,” Mahu said. His caramel-colored face seemed a shade paler than normal. “I feared you would keep our guest waiting.”“Who exactly might this man be, Father?” Itaweret asked. “He seems to have you as spooked as an antelope being stalked.”“You will see why the moment you first lay eyes on him. All I can say is that he really isn’t one you want to provoke. Please conduct yourself the absolute best you can, Itaweret.”The doors at the far side of the audience chamber parted open with an echoing grind. Mahu hurried back onto his gilded throne, with Itaweret following and then standing next to him. She tilted her head up, her arms straight down, trying to look as regal as possible despite the anxious chill trickling up her spine.A procession of men marched into the chamber, their steps loud and menacing. They were dressed in clanking panoplies of banded bronze armor, which looked like bronze pots stacked atop one another, from biggest to smallest. Such bottom-heavy suits would have invited ridicule normally, but these men wielded spears flashing reddish glints that reflected the evening sunlight. Sheathed broadswords banged along their hips as they walked.The leader of the arriving party took off his helmet of boar-tusk platelets and shook his long mane of straight black hair. A crimson cape streamed behind him as he strutted onto the dais supporting Mahu’s throne. His hazel-brown eyes scanned all around the audience chamber.“Not unimpressive, I must say,” the leader said in baritone Achaean. “It’s not the most monumental pinnacle of Kemetian architecture, to be sure, but I suppose I’ll have to find that in Kemet itself.”“It’s the most a colonial great chief like myself could afford, I’m afraid,” Mahu replied, also adopting the Achaean language for purposes of the diplomatic conversation. “Ever since the Canaanite Hyksos seized the north of Kemet and so cut us off from our mother country, we’ve been a bit stretched on resources.” “Such a shame. It’s almost as if settling down on faraway shores wasn’t so ingenious after all.”The Achaean man’s gaze drifted over to Itaweret, his eyes rising and following the contours of her body. A broad grin stretched almost the full width of his olive-skinned face. “Ah, if it isn’t the lovely Itaweret herself! I see the rumors do not lie. She’s quite the exotic young beauty, isn’t she?”He reached a hand over to stroke Itaweret’s hair. She forced herself to stand still and let him caress it, despite every impulse to back away and slap him senseless.“Who are you, anyway?” she asked. “And what, by all the gods, do you want?”“You haven’t heard of me already? I am Scylax, king of Mycenae. And I’ve come to negotiate the fate of your little settlement here.”Mahu leaned forward, alarmed. “What do you mean, our fate? You’re not plotting anything violent or destructive, are you?”Scylax cut loose a laugh filled with hearty mockery. “My dear Mahu, you do not seem to realize how little all the Achaean people approve of your colonizing our lands. Trust me when I say that I do not speak only for myself, or even the people of Mycenae. Why, if we were to rub out the black stain that is the Kemetian presence here, every Achaean city and village would sing my praises.”He glanced up at a painted relief behind Mahu’s throne, which depicted the pharaoh of Kemet holding a troop of yellow-faced men by their hair while raising a battle mace to smite them. Another row of captives knelt underneath the pharaoh’s feet, ropes tightly binding their arms together. Itaweret could not shake the moment captured in the relief, nor the fact that the captives’ features and attire resembled those of native Achaeans.“After all, it’s not like your colony’s relations with my people have always been peaceful,” Scylax continued. “Consider it a testament to my benevolence that I’m providing you with the option of survival—on two conditions.”He returned his gaze to Itaweret, who retreated a step. The disgust his eyes and words churned inside her stomach burned her with the rage of oil on fire.“I know from your eyes exactly what one of those conditions is,” she snarled.“Itaweret!” Mahu banged his scepter on the floor of the dais. “I told you to conduct yourself the best you could. That’s on behalf of all Per-Pehu.”“Your father gives sound advice, my ebony maiden,” Scylax said. “Especially when I haven’t even named my terms yet. The first is a regular tribute in gold and silver, which I understand you Kemetians have mined in abundance since coming here. The second, of course . . .”The Mycenaean king thrust an arm around Itaweret’s waist and pressed her against his armor, using the crushing force of his massive muscles to suppress her attempts to squirm from his hold. Only Scylax’s superior strength kept her from tearing herself away and pouncing on the lustful brute to savage him with a leopardess’s fury.“. . . is your daughter’s hand in marriage,” Scylax finished. “She’d make a fine trophy for me, wouldn’t you agree?”Mahu’s eyes shifted back and forth between Itaweret and the Mycenaean king. “King Scylax, I would be willing to send you as much gold and silver as you request. Ever since we lost contact with our mother Kemet, we’ve little use for most of it anyway. But I am afraid we Kemetians don’t normally give our daughters away to foreign rulers. It’s not our custom.”“Perhaps you will think differently when you consider that I’ve already encamped the bulk of my army on the plain east of your city. Believe me when I say our action will be immediate if you do not honor my requests.”“Well, in that case . . . as much as I would loathe to lose my eldest child, I’d loathe even more to lose everyone else in the colony that I hold dear. My daughter, what do you think?”Itaweret had no intention of giving anything to the despicable tyrant before her, let alone herself. Neither did she want Per-Pehu razed to the ground, and its people either massacred or forced into chains.She thought more about it. Her father had a point. No woman wanted to lose her freedom, especially a woman with the great freedom she enjoyed, but the freedom of one woman would never outweigh the survival of an entire colony.Nor could one man be allowed to take so many lives and wipe out an entire people because he couldn’t have one woman’s body.She came upon a solution. “No man, not even a king, should feel like a woman owes him her love,” she said. “If you truly desire me, O Scylax of Mycenae, you’ll have to fight for it!”Mahu banged his scepter again. “Itaweret, think about this. We haven’t the strength to go to war right now.”Scylax’s smile suggested he couldn’t have been more amused. “On the contrary, O great chief of Per-Pehu, I look forward to it. We’ll have more sport with a fair fight than merely hacking up helpless citizens anyway. Let us meet on the plain east of here.”Silence hung within the audience chamber. Finally, Mahu let out a frustrated sigh, shaking his head. “I suppose I’ve no longer any choice. Know only that if we win, you will have to leave our proximity empty-handed.”“And if you lose . . . well, I needn’t spell that one out. Dine and sleep well tonight, my Kemetian hosts. You’ll need it.”Scylax and his retainers marched out of the audience chamber, the echoes of their steps taunting the hosts until they could be heard no more.Silence hung in the hall. Itaweret wrung her hands together while absorbing her father’s harsh and incredulous expression. She felt like a child about to be blasted with a scolding lecture.“Tell your brother about this,” Mahu said. “He should know he’ll be leading the defense.”Itaweret nodded and left the room.

Mature Content

Bubs' Adventures: Sail the Seven Seas“SAILOR!” the Captain’s rough voice thundered across the ship. Bubs hurried, and hopped up to the decks as fast as he could. “Yes, my Captain?” he asked, looking up at the Captain. The Captain was about twice as tall as Bubs, with floppy ears the size of swords, and his voice could make the ship itself shudder with fear. “Where is my rum, sailor?” he bellowed at Bubs. He stomped his wooden leg on the deck, barely missing Bubs’ foot.“I- I’ll go get it right away, Captain!” Bubs rushed below decks to get the Captain’s rum. He hoped there would still be enough left. The Captain drank as much rum as the sailors drank water, if not more. He quickly shifted the empty bottles aside until he found a full one, and hurried back to where he last saw the Captain. The Captain, however, was not there. “Sailor!!” he heard the Captain roar from above. Bubs looked up and saw the Captain on the upper deck. He was at the rudder of the ship. Bubs hopped as quickly as his feet could carry him and gave the bottle to the Captain. Then, he quickly went back to work in the galley, where he had spent most of his days since the ship full of bunnies left the harbour. They must have been out in the open sea for a long time now, and still, there was no sign of land. Bubs sighed. He wished to be home, to be with his siblings. He missed them dearly. “Hopefully soon now…” he muttered to himself, picking up a pile of dirty plates that needed to be washed. He gestured one of the galley hands to come over to clean them, and moved on toward the dining room to prepare it for supper. Bubs had been on this particular ship for so long, he wasn’t even sure how he had ended up on it anymore. The last thing he remembered, before being hauled aboard, was his bow-tie sales stand, which he kept in the harbour. Oftentimes, sailors coming to land from a long time out on the sea needed something to make them look presentable to their family and friends, and Bubs’ bow-tie stand had become a hotspot for them. Most of the time, Bubs would sell bow-ties he made at home, but every now and again he would make them to order, if the customer had enough gold to afford such a luxury. Bubs rubbed his paws together. His soft fur had roughened during the trip, and his elegant sailor’s outfit had been ruined by the salt of the sea, as well as the storms they had faced during their trip. He looked out the window, at the dark clouds slowly gathering above them. He knew that another storm was forming, and they were in for a rough day. It was still quite early, especially to prepare for supper, but Bubs knew that if he didn’t prepare early, the Captain would keep him so busy with all sorts of errands, he wouldn’t have time to prepare at all. And that was something the Captain disliked very much. Bubs quickly finished preparing the dining room for supper. Once done, he looked out the window again and saw clouds darker than black had packed together overhead, ready to rain their wrath down on the ship. He felt nerves flutter in his stomach. He had never seen clouds this dark before, so he was worried how bad a storm they would end up in. He jumped when he heard the alarm bells from the decks. This meant all hands had to be on deck, and help out to weather the storm. He quickly rushed up the three-step stairs that led out of the dining room and onto the deck. There he joined the other crewmates to listen to the Captain’s orders. “A big storm is coming in!” he bellowed even louder than usual. The wind had become very rowdy already. “We need everyone to help out right now to take down the sails and secure the cargo below decks! Deckswabbers! You’ll stay up here to help take down the sails! Galley hands! You will go below deck to help secure the cargo!”Everyone scuttled across the deck, eager to follow the Captain’s orders. Bubs followed the cooks and other galley staff down to the storage rooms all the way in the bottom of the ship, below the sleeping quarters. They were carrying many crates of carrots, as well as several barrels of carrot juice. It all had to be secured, since the damage could be terrible if one of the barrels broke. Bubs and the others below decks quickly got to work, pulling ropes tight around the barrels and crates, tying them to the hull of the ship so they would stay in place. Just as they were finishing up, the winds started swooping in even stronger, and the ship rolled so far to the side that they all fell over and were tossed and tumbled about in hull. Bubs quickly grabbed a hold of one of the ropes that held a crate of carrots in place, so he could get his footing back and stand up. He could hear the rain come down on the ship loudly and the thunder rumble overhead. Stumbling and holding on to whatever he could grab, Bubs made his way back up to the decks to learn what the Captain wanted him to do. Just as he made his way up the steps from the dining room, he could hear the alarm bells sound again. “PIRATES! PIRATES!” on of the deck hands called out. “PIRATES!” Bubs felt his heart thump in his chest. Pirates! During a storm! That could be disastrous. He stood nailed to the ground as the Captain rushed passed him, yelling commands to ready the cannons. But before the cannons were ready, the pirates had already boarded their ship. Carefully, Bubs peered around the sides of the dining room. The pirates had swords that were taller than Bubs was, and he shuddered. He wasn’t sure what to do. The storm was still rocking the ship in a tumultuous way, and Bubs had trouble to keep his footing. Then, one of the pirates grabbed hold of the Captain. And even though the Captain struggled, he could not come loose. The pirate’s comrades quickly took away the Captain’s weapons and bound his hands behind his back. When he wouldn’t stop bellowing at the pirates, they put a rag in his mouth to keep him quiet. Bubs had gasped loudly when he saw all this. The pirates had their backs turned toward him, and thankfully, the storm masked the sound of Bubs’ gasp. He sighed with relief when none of them noticed him hiding behind the dining room. He jumped and nearly screamed when someone tapped him on the shoulder. Paws in front of his mouth, he turned around to see who it was. He felt relieved when it was one of the deckswabbers, holding a swabber and bucket.“What’s going on?” he asked Bubs. “Have you been asleep?!” Bubs whispered agitated. “There’s pirates, and they’ve captured the Captain!”“Blasted carrots!” the deckswabber said. “Sssshhhhh!” Bubs hissed at him. “We have to do something!”“Yes, but what?”“Free the Captain, of course!”“Yes, but how?”“I have a plan. Follow my lead.”The deckswabber nodded in reply.“What’s your name?” Bubs asked.“Fergus.”“I’m Bubs.” Bubs had not stopped looking at the pirates while they were talking. “Come on, follow me. Take your bucket. On my signal, you’ll toss it to the other side of the deck.” Bubs slipped into the dining room, Fergus following him closely. In the dining room, Bubs went straight for the swords mounted on the wall. They had been there for decorative purposes, and likely they hadn’t been used in a very long time. He took them off the wall, and looked at them. “This’ll have to do,” he muttered. Then he moved to the other side of the dining room, where a window was open. It was big enough for Bubs and Fergus to climb through, and quietly, they did, ending up a few meters behind the pirates. They were still unsteady on their feet because of the storm, but Bubs was starting to get used to it now. Bubs signalled Fergus to throw the bucket to the other side of the deck. And so he did. With a loud ‘clank’ the metal bucket landed in front of the pirates, making them all jump with confusion and fright. Bubs took a piece of rope, and quickly tied two of the pirates standing next to each other together. They struggled, but Bubs was quicker than them. In the confusion and because of the storm, the other pirates didn’t seem to notice. He was now behind the Captain. He leaned forward to whisper in his ear.“It’s Bubs. I’ll cut you free. Once you’re free, let’s get these guys.” The Captain nodded almost imperceptibly. With a quick slice of one of the swords, Bubs cut the Captain loose and gave him the second sword. Just before the Captain got up, Bubs felt a soft tap on his shoulder. Behind him was Fergus. He had taken a sword from one of the tied up pirates, and nodded at him. Then the Captain got up, and the three of them approached the other pirates with their swords. It didn’t take long before the rest of the crew joined Bubs, Fergus and the Captain in defending the ship. Before long, all pirates were captured and bound together, unable to move. “Ye’ll regret this!” the biggest of the pirates said, watching Bubs with a hostile look in his eyes. The pirates had tied their ship to the ship of the Captain, and the Captain gave orders to his sailors to explore the ship. Bubs went with them, even though he was not supposed to. Curiosity overwhelmed him, and he felt the jitter of excitement in his bones as he boarded the pirate ship.The worst of the storm was over now, and the seas were quite a bit calmer. Bubs felt more steady on his feet when they went exploring, Fergus by his side. He felt drawn to the dining room of the ship, so he headed there straight away. Coming closer to it, he saw a weird and mysterious light coming from the windows, which piqued his curiosity even more. He went inside, and on the dining table, he saw an orb of light, hovering in place. He walked up to it to examine it up close, and it emitted a buzzing sound. The static electricity of it made his fur stand up. “Whoah….” he heard Fergus behind him. “What kind of magic could that be?”“You think it’s magic?” Bubs asked.“Surely! How else would it float?”Bubs stepped up to it even closer, his nose almost touching it. He reached out his paw to gently touch it. It tickled his paw slightly, enough to make him giggle. Then, without hesitation, he placed both paws on it, and everything around him disappeared. The world turned to white, and all he could hear was the buzzing sound. Bubs kicked his feet, trying to find steady ground below him but he couldn’t. He tried to call out, but his voice didn’t work. He was still kicking his feet, and felt that they were getting caught up in something. He flopped his arms about, smacking into something. Then, the white faded, and Bubs saw his own bedroom. He had gotten stuck in his sheets. Had it all been a dream? He stepped out of bed, still dazed from the dream. Then he noticed he wasn’t wearing his pyjamas. He was wearing a sailor’s outfit….
Tournament Round I
Tournament Round II

Mature Content

Tournament Round III

Mature Content

Angst

Mature Content

Disaster Type: Anxiety SpillTerror clenched at my heart. I could feel it’s grip tight in my chest. My eyes oozed what felt like thick black liquid from my tear ducts in the place of tears. I knew it was impossible but it was the only thing that felt real. The black ooze. I can feel it filling up my lungs, suffocating me over flowing up my throat and out my mouth. I can’t contain it, it spills forth onto anything I touch and sprays onto anything I speak to. Once it's out of me it stains like red wine permanently placing events in my timeline that I can’t forgive in the moment. In the back of my mind a cloud of it formed. It was slow and barely noticeable at first but now the only way I can describe it is the shrill scream I want to release when thinking about it. The constant movement and changing shapes, I can hear it cackling wickedly in the most degrading way. Shame fills my cheeks and anger pumped through my body with no one to blame but myself. I turn inward, self destructing, screaming my fury into existence against the blackness as it cackles in reply. My voice seems quiet and empty in meaning but full and loud all at the same time. Until finally the fury escapes my mouth one last time and then I can breath again. My first intake of real air, a single sweet clean breath before I break again. My knees buckle and I fall trembling before the sobs burst from my chest, real pure tears roll down my face following each other, one after another. The ooze finally silent recedes, slinking away into the black room taking all it’s malice with it; leaving me alone with the echoes of my own sobs. Again, empty and alone.
Comedy

Mature Content

Harold the Murderous Starfish[WARNING TO ALL: THIS STORY WAS PART OF A WRITING ASSIGNMENT AND WAS WRITTEN ALMOST ENTIRELY USING NOTES FROM MY TUTOR AND THE RESULT IS A MESS. READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION; I'M NOT KEEN ON THIS ONE.] My hatred of their kind is roiling inside of me even now, secreted as I am beneath the gathering of kelp dancing in this tropical current.Like its counterpoint of love, hate can make the weak careless and self-destructive; as both had done to all of my insipid siblings over the years. Often we had gathered about Mother, and she had stood high on her rock, her thousand legs steady, each of her five eyes staring us down as we sat encircled and awaiting her wisdom.Mother would tell us of our father, if ever even one of us asked about him. ‘Your father’s name, children, was Francis,’ she would begin, her rich voice carrying to the many hundreds of us, ‘and he was beautiful – his epidermis coarse and golden as the sun. He was taken from me, from you, by horrid creatures that play at being a part of the ocean, but do not give her their breath: this air-huffing blight are called “dolphins”. ‘The outright theft of your father occurred not even a week after I had lain your eggs safely under this very rock. Francis and I were off feeding in the seaweed forest when a group of disastrously uncouth bottle-nosed cretins came skulking through the rows – at first, we were unconcerned, as we starfish make poor food for their sort. But they began to harangue us on account of our glorious celestial shapes, and made a cheap game of us; snatching Francis and I up and hurling us about without a care. They cast me down, but carried your faultless father off with them, jeering as the one holding him trailed Francis’ blood from his mouth. I never saw them or Francis again; and you, his children, never saw him at all... And why? Because dolphins are wantonly cruel and impetuous, and we happened to be there.’ I had listened along with them, and now it appears that I am the only one who had taken heed; the words are still in my heart and the passion still stirs.The kelp that currently caresses me at this crucial point stretches out along the step of an incline, gently lifting up toward the beach several hundred yards off; between me and the shoreline, only tender little dunes of the finest, glistening sand and the odd drifting particle can be seen. It is a most beautiful little wasteland. As expected, it was not long before the dolphin arrived onto the scene, blasting echo-location into the sand in the hopes of locating whatever scant prey could be found there – I nearly broke cover then and there, but wrangled myself and waited for her to approach. I had chosen this strand of islands due to the noted frequency of dolphin pods that come through them at this season each year. It’s my first time off on my own, and I am loving iiiiiiiiiiiit! Okay, so maybe Mum and Dad aren’t totally out of line in worrying – I’m still a bit of a pup; but I know I’m up to this: we’re just splitting the pack for a bit to find what food we can as quickly as we can so that we don’t lose out at the feeding-grounds. By now I’ve already evaded orca-pods with the rest of the pack: I can dodge, I can dash, I can turn just as sharp as the big kids.But... Even in this shallow water, the sea seems pretty big stretching off all around with not even one pack-member swimming alongside me... Okay, so I’m a little scared, sure; I’m not a total dingdong. I’m following my instincts through a few narrow reefs when I find this nice, quiet little patch. I send signals into the sands for a bit, but start heading down an incline toward a crop of kelp when I have no luck finding food near the shore. Suddenly, mercilessly, just as planned and envisioned, I must now make my attack, reasoning that the beast was as close as she is going to get before her next breach for air.My plan is perfect: I have noted that creatures from the land have a habit of being supremely loud and obnoxious, and reasoned that springing forward toward her with a sharp, drawn out scream of primal rage – indefinitely sustained via drawing water through my first two valves and out through my back three – that could meet and exceed her species’ own, will cause her to be so stricken with mortal terror that the brute will surely freeze in place, close her eyes, and accept her fate.Ah, but you must wonder how exactly I am to do the invader any harm in the first place? A trifling thing: I have, through much endeavour and careful manipulation, managed to get a rather large rock on top of myself, and coming to a sudden stop at the end of my sprint, pure inertia will certainly take over and hurl the rock at her head with such force that it will shatter her wretched skull and pierce her brain. And from there, my cause and its allies can only grow and grow, until the entire ocean is at last liberated. I suddenly hear this high, piping sound that I first figure is a gull on the surface; but when it gets louder, closer. Then I look up and see a little yellow starfish heading my way at a pretty good speed for a “crawler” (about a yard a minute), screaming and carrying a small pebble on his back. I wait patiently for the creature to reach his destination before asking him what he’s about. That’d seems polite to me. He looks like he’s making for the shoreline, and I figure that what he’s doing must be like a custom among his people, since he’s making such a display of himself... What with the slight white slope up toward the beach, and the bigger clumps of stones, pebbles and crushed shells just before the shoreline, I figure it can’t be an easy thing for him. I feel for him, y’know? Maybe this is the reason there’s so many lines of stuff lined up around the shore? Maybe he’s screaming to psych himself up for the climb, like how I’m trying to focus on not messing up my first hunt right now, but still have the wiggins... As I grow closer to the mammal, I begin to realize, even through my fury, how young she is... Perfect, her death will be all the more demoralising to her kin.Not only has my prolonged scream been a success in drawing the creature’s attention and fixing her in place, but a grimace that has to signify fear is slowly spreading across her hideous features (though I am of course honest enough to admit that, having never had a face, I may be misconstruing the expression). The poor thing’s taking so long in his dash to the shore that I pop up for a quick breach of air, but when I come back down in a different spot, I notice that the little guy seems to have changed his course like he’s been running at me in particular... Dope that I am, I finally understand what’s happening: this is some kind of local welcoming-dance in my honour – I’m so touched that I could just totally die.I’d defiantly be helping the little sweetheart out if I head towards him like he’s coming at me. It seems now that my foe is coming closer, and better yet, swimming along the seafloor to meet with me! Ha! She’s so resigned to her doom that she cannot bear to wait for me!My awesome and well decided upon weapon shall be my trophy of this glorious act! The banner of our cause! ‘TAKE THIS!’ I cry as I come to a hard and immediate stop, and indeed, my missile takes off at the fiend.Only to falter at the length of my arm and succumb to a gentle, disastrous arc before plopping into the sand with an almost imperceptible whiff of displaced sand.The miscreant lets out a gasp and says: ‘Oh wow! Thanksh mishter!’The affronts and impossibilities continue to mount as the wretched thing scoops the pebble up in her jaws and carries on yammering.‘Oh!’ says the enemy, cruelly opting to taunt me by claiming my weapon and lording it over me, ‘Here I am, shupposed to be looking for food, and then you show up! Wait here hleashe! My shishtersh headed thish way with me, lemme jusht go fetch ‘em sho they can she!’And with that, she zips off. Carrying my rock in her teeth. It seems a characteristic of dolphins then, to see that someone or something holds significance to another, and then abscond with them... What had just happened? How had she caused the rock, as vast and heavy as it had been to me, to pass so short and shallow a distance? The implication of the answer was awful, but unavoidable: the young dolphin... Is a witch. Mother had said that they all were, but I didn’t think one so young...I cannot flee my fate; mine are a proud people. I will stand and face my enemies in defeat, so that they are forced to witness the true brand of courage that I represent. They are not welcome, and we will not submit. I scent Lisa and Clara not far off from the jagged reef and blurt out what just happened.‘First, shrimp,’ said Lisa, ‘Get that stone out of your mouth; you sound like a yokel or something.’‘Can’t!’ I say, ‘It’sh a preshent!’ Lisa rolls her eyes at this; she’s oldest and still thinks I’m a stupid little girl. But I can see in Clara’s eyes that’s she totally interested.‘We were actually about to head over to you, squeak.’ Says Clara (she always calls me squeak), ‘Uncle Norm found a slew of clams by the next island, so that’s all the grub we’ll need for now.’ And so, the three of us group up and head back to where I’ve left the little starfish. ‘We should pick up some nice pebbles of our own before heading back Squeak.’ says Clara, ‘It might be that we have to offer some up in return.’‘Great idea!’ I say, having to give a loop-de-loop with how jazzed I’m feeling.‘And you should really run us through the motions of his dance, so we can do it back to him...’ It isn’t long before the terrible thing returns, now with two more of her kind – a veritable coven, and each of them also holding a stone in their gargantuan mouths.‘That’sh him!’ says the foul little witch, indicating me with her grotesque flipper.‘That little guy?’ asks a larger apostle of darkness.‘Yup! Okay Clara, like I shaid, yeah?’ says the witch, looking back at another that is clutching a smoothed rock in her jaws.This “Clara” nods and swims forward, while the witch lowers herself onto the seafloor a few yards from me, holding still long enough for her sister-witch to place the rock down on top of her head.‘Now then, Mishter Shtarfish, you be sure and tell me if I’m doing any of thish wrong, yeah?’ says the sardonic imp, ‘I don’t wanna be dishrespectful or anything!’And with that, she begins to crawl along toward me, letting out a long scream as she approaches, before coming to a stop and swinging her head to dislodge the rock so that it tumbles down into the sand a few inches from the tip of my arm, the smaller of her two sisters giggling through the whole affair.‘Come on girlsh! It’sh kinda fun! And I musht’ve done it right, shince he didn’t shay I didn’t!’But the process is repeated only once more since the eldest witch merely scoffs, spits out her rock, says ‘This is all silly kid’s stuff.’ and swims off when her turn comes to harangue me. Perhaps she is one of the good ones, if there can ever be such a thing.To my great credit, I weather both of these deriding approaches with the utmost dignity – I have to admit that, had I not been undone by the enemy’s witchcraft, I likely would have made just as much of a show dancing about her corpse.The remaining witch-sisters wave goodbye and leave in high spirits, but that first little sorceress cannot resist turning back to me and asking my name.Should I give it? Perhaps I should... Is it not a truer sign of one’s worth to be better remembered by their enemies than by any mere friends?‘My name...’ I say, marshalling all my pride and rancour, ‘IS HAROLD!’ ‘Hi Harold, I’m Zhoe!’ says the beast, ‘And thish ish Clara! Our pack have to move on for now, but we’ll be back through here in a few monthsh! I think my dad would get a major kick out of thish if you and yoursh’ll still be here by then! Shee ya!’And with no more than that, they are gone. I wait a while, a day or so, in case it is some kind of ploy at my expense; but no, I’ve been cast off. Like nothing. As if I hold no power or purpose at all... And some wonder how I hold to my revulsion at their sort? What’s more evil than indifference?I have been humiliated here, but my resolve has been strengthened, and I will move on. And I will fight on. And I will win. I will seek... Larger rocks. Once we’re out of sight of Harold, sensing our way back to the pod through their distant clicks and signals, Clara spits out her rock and says ‘Okay. He can’t see anymore, so you can spit that thing out now.’‘No.’ I say, ‘I’ng kee’ing it!’‘You can’t hold onto it forever you ninny.’ chuckles Clara, ‘Mum won’t let you talk with food in your mouth, you really think she’s gonna let you talk with debris in it?’I sigh and nod, and drop the pebble – the water’s deeper between the islands, there’s a darker blue hiding the seafloor under us and that swallows up my pebble.I’m still smiling, but I’m a bit sad too.Clara nuzzles me and says ‘Come on squeak, let’s go tell everyone about the cute little friend you made.’‘Yeah!’ I say, treating Clara to another loop-de-loop....
Romance
(GL/Yuri) Shoujo Heroine... and Friends Chapter 3Chapter 3: That tastes disgusting! Was Kunie’s desk a mess? Here’s a hint: Masami had to push tissue paper off a chair with one end of her chopsticks. Just like last time, they ate in silence, though Kunie’s voice eventually entered the air.‘So, uh, remember when Sahana accidentally made that innuendo about electrical sockets?’‘Oh my god, yes! How on earth does she spout that stuff without realising the implications?’‘It’s kind of amazing. She’s always…’ Kunie gazed at Sahana’s unoccupied desk before turning the piece of meat in her bento box round and round. ‘Have you acted before? Sahana’s always hilarious in comedy roles. She’s terrible at playing intimidating characters, though.’‘No, I haven’t.’‘I see.’‘Oh, do you like to cook?’‘Not really.’Masami ground her teeth. ‘I see.’Awkward silence is the eye of a storm. Sure, you’re safe for a moment, but to be in that spot you have to become surrounded by a giant mess of terrifying forces.The next day’s lunchtime fared little better but, towards the end of the break, Kunie found a topic.‘Why are you so protective of Sahana? I mean, I am too, but I’m curious about what your reason might be.’‘Oh, that? She’s the only person who appreciates me.’Now it’s time for me to guide you through Masami’s memories via the ever-important flashback.She swore that day that she would kill the tooth fairy and take all their money.Oops, wrong memory. Take two.Masami held out a bowl of spaghetti carbonara mixed with peanut butter and strawberries. Everyone in the Home Ec room turned up their nose at it, but they didn’t leave it at that.‘Ew, you’re so gross!’‘Why would you make something like that? Are you trying to poison us?’‘This is why no one wants to pair up with you.’The teacher warned them about making such comments, but added, ‘But you should really consider making food that’s edible.’‘Look, I’ll give it a go,’ a boy in the cooking club said with a smirk. ‘I’ll take one for the team.’ As soon as the food touched his tongue, he spat it out, tears in his eyes. ‘What in the ever-loving crap! That tastes disgusting! Definitely not edible. Guys, get me some water! Fuck! No wonder no one likes you when you make shit like this.’‘Hey now, let’s watch our language,’ the teacher ordered.‘She should watch what she makes first! She should be following your instructions but instead she decides to go off and make her own stuff. And what’s the result? This… I don’t think we can even call it food at this point.’Masami looked down at the bowl in her hands. She wiped her tears before they could drop into the bowl and sully her creation. Her face was the temperature of a car left in the sun too long and her legs shook as if warming up to run away.Before Masami could run away, Sahana helped herself to a taste of the carbonara. ‘This is actually pretty good. It could use a bit more salt, but other than that it’s delicious!’The shaking stopped but not the tears. ‘You’re just saying that to be nice to me.’‘No way. Look at what I’ve been making.’ Sahana showed her a steak marinated with melted icy poles of differing flavours. ‘We pioneers need to help each other out.’Masami took a bite and felt joy course through her like electricity in a cable. The meat was cooked just right and the icy pole liquid marinade gave it a sweet kick that also managed to not be overbearing. She had never tasted anything so delicious in her life.She never got around to formally thanking Sahana for that day, but she hoped that her protection would suffice.After hearing this story from Masami, Kunie looked down at her hands and realised that she had been absentmindedly pushing her rubbish towards her side of the desk, giving Masami room.‘Wow, that sounds exactly like something Sahana would do. I didn’t know about the weird food combos, though.’Masami giggled. ‘Yeah, maybe I’ll make you something. I’ll go easy on you for your first time.’ Laughter sprayed out of Kunie’s mouth, including some spit. Kunie reached for her handkerchief and wiped the saliva that had touched her face. ‘Real mature. I didn’t mean it that way.’‘Sure, Sahana, sure.’Masami lightly slapped Kunie’s arm and Kunie retaliated by pinching some of her food. The two squealed with laughter as they stole each other’s food, annoying everyone in the classroom. Did they care? No way. Not when they had finally gotten out of that damn storm’s eye and gathered the courage to enter the eyewall.
(GL/Yuri) Shoujo Heroine... and Friends Chapter 2Chapter 2: Break her heart and I’ll break your gallbladder With her laptop where it’s supposed to be, Masami created a spreadsheet. She was sitting straight-backed and straight-legged on her bed.She titled one column, ‘Hobbies’, another ‘Average grade per year’. The third column was for ‘Intentions’ and the fourth was ‘Methods’. Yes, this is very typical teenage girl behaviour, I know. After saving the spreadsheet, she took her laptop to the printer in the study. Her smile patted her back for her. Toyomi’s Friendful page gave little information, and she refused to follow him just to see if he had any secret posts.Naturally, she brought the sheet to school and slammed it on Toyomi’s desk before homeroom. He looked at her like she came in with a rainbow umbrella hat on her head and a wearable sleeping bag on her body. All he could ask was, ‘Can I help you?’ ‘Today at lunch we will discuss your relationship with Sahana and determine your worthiness.’ You can bet your life savings she practised that line on the train ride to school. If you want an instant win, of course. You can trust me on this. I was there.After their arrival, Kunie and Sahana headed to Toyomi’s desk to see what the commotion was all about.Masami whipped her head towards Kunie, who held her hands up like she was facing a police officer.‘Kunie, you can join me. We’re going to learn more about Toyomi Hane at lunch. And Hane…’ She remembered Ukiwa’s order for her homeroom students. ‘...er, Toyomi, you cannot skip this interview. If you do, it shows a lack of care for our dear Sahana. Break her heart and I’ll break your gallbladder. Understand?’Toyomi nodded and Kunie walked closer to him, taking advantage of her superior height. Masami hid Sahana behind her arm, while Sahana looked between the three parties, looking for a way to lighten the mood.‘You know, while walking to the train station I saw this truck for a restaurant near me that had ‘You can’t beat our meat’ painted on its side in big English letters. I was super shocked since it’s not true. Not by a long shot. My mum is an excellent cook and has been beating their meat for years.’First came Masami’s suppressed chuckle and then came Kunie and Toyomi’s open laughter. ‘What’s so funny?’ Sahana asked.Masami and Kunie wrapped their arms around Sahana. ‘Never lose your innocence,’ Kunie said, wiping a single tear from her eye. The tear was from the prior laughter, but Sahana didn’t need to know that.For the lunch interview, Kunie combined her and Masami’s desks, a difficult task given how far away theirs were from each other. They sat together on one side while Toyomi and Sahana sat opposite to them. Sahana’s friends peered at the spreadsheet.Masami cleared her throat with a little cough. ‘What are your hobbies? I believe you’re in the theatre club, correct?’Toyomi nodded. ‘And the student council. I also like baking, sewing and reading shoujo manga. Oh, and I’m a big fan of action movies and professional wrestling.’Sahana turned to her boyfriend. ‘You are?’Masami clicked her pen. ‘Interesting.’ She wrote about Sahana’s surprise in tiny characters in the ‘Hobbies’ column.Kunie gave a quick glance at the sheet. ‘So how do you fit in these hobbies with your schoolwork? What are your grades like?’‘Oh, pretty good. I think I’m ranked 15th this year level.’‘And last year?’‘I believe I finished... 17th?’‘Did you or did you not finish 17th?’ Masami asked with a tone befitting of a bad cop from a movie.Sahana fiddled with the hem of her skirt, looking up at Toyomi and searching for a crack in his expression that could ruin everything. But her dear Toyomi kept the contented smile and patient stillness of a meditating Buddhist monk.‘I finished 17th. I make sure to spend my time wisely. Because of this, I promise you I won’t waste Sahana’s time.’The corners of Sahana’s lips leapt up and she hugged a now blushing Toyomi. I’d do the same if someone said that about me.The smiling spread to Masami, who took note of his words in the space on the paper beneath the spreadsheet.‘Now, speaking of which, what are your intentions with Sahana?’That question got a rare frown from Sahana, who was still hugging Toyomi. Her front arm doubled as a shield for her boyfriend.‘Can we stop this? Don’t you know enough?’Guilt pricked Masami’s heart, but she shook her head. She had a mission and not even the reason for said mission could get in her way.‘It’s fine,’ Toyomi reassured Sahana. Determination burst from his eyes as he looked into Masami’s. ‘I like Sahana a lot and I want to spend more time with her.’‘Can’t you do that as a friend?’ Masami asked.Sahana pouted. ‘Masami!’Toyomi answered with the same look in his eyes despite the jitters I know he felt. ‘To be honest with you, I want to kiss her someday. It would probably be considered weird if we kissed as friends.’Masami raised an eyebrow. ‘Just kissing?’Before Sahana or Toyomi could voice their discomfort, Kunie snatched Masami’s pen and scribbled all over the sheet.‘That’s enough. We only need one more piece of information. How did you ask her out?’Toyomi stroked his chin for a second before heading to his own desk and pulling a bag of chocolates out of his bag. He asked Sahana to hand him the poem that rested in her bag.‘I’m so sorry, Sahana. I had some leftover chocolates and was going to give them to you today when this happened.’ He dropped the bag of chocolates and slid the poem onto Kunie and Masami’s conjoined desk. ‘I recited this and gave her chocolates similar to these. Enjoy.’Kunie started with the chocolates while Masami silently read the poem. The mix of rich chocolate and sweet yet savoury matcha greeted Kunie’s tastebuds with the same friendliness that Toyomi himself possessed. Her eyes popped out in shock and she gulped down several chocolates with a grin.She offered one to Masami, who seemed preoccupied, judging by the tears coming out of her eyes. Masami stood up and bowed.‘Please take care of Sahana for us.’Toyomi returned the bow. He took Sahana’s hand and lead her to the garden outside, where they chatted for the rest of lunch.After spending a few minutes in the theatre club after school, Toyomi headed to the student council room. The president scowled at him and looked at his watch. Meet Atsuji Chinen, a tall and skinny boy with large, round, clear-framed glasses and short purple hair that would not be seen on a real-life student council president. But hey, he’s got to stand out, right? How else are you supposed to recognise his importance?‘It looks like your various… hobbies are stretching you rather thin. Maybe you should consider eating more of your desserts.’Missing the point of that comment, Toyomi looked down at his own body. ‘Do I really look that thin?’Atsuji massaged one of his temples. ‘Just sit down.’Meanwhile, Sahana and Kunie rehearsed a scene they shared. They both constantly looked to Ukiwa for approval but she was busy staring at her phone.Dooru sighed. ‘I guess it’s not the same without The Prince here.’ ‘We’ll survive,’ Kunie replied with a shrug.‘I still don’t get you. Prince Toyomi is a wonderful person. He should be enjoyed by all.’‘I’m pretty sure he’s only able to be enjoyed by Sahana. Does that make her a princess?’‘Wait, what? Do you mean…’ Dooru turned to Sahana and smiled at her. Believe it or not, that smile was genuine. ‘Congratulations. At least someone appreciates him.’ She said that last sentence facing Kunie, who rolled her eyes.Sahana looked at her watch and gasped. ‘I’ve got to get to my other club. I promise I’ll practice at home!’Ukiwa waved her hand dismissively, still looking at her phone. Sahana raced to the Home Ec room. As soon as she arrived, Masami turned off her stove so she could hug Sahana.‘Making something new?’ Sahana asked.Masami smirked and lifted the lid on the pot. The stench of mustard, custard and fish filled the room, prompting the rest of the cooking club to pinch their noses.Sahana grabbed a spoon and had a taste of the broth. ‘Delicious as always. You’ve really outdone yourself.’ She scooped another spoonful and pointed it at Fumie, who gave her an awkward smile.‘Um, I wouldn’t want to take food from you.’Sahana frowned but nodded in understanding. ‘Oh, Masami, thank you for earlier.’ Masami looked at her like a fish would look at a bird toy being randomly thrown into its tank. ‘You know, for looking out for me. Remind me to thank Kunie too.’Masami patted Sahana on the head. ‘I’m sure you’ll be fine with Toyomi. Consider his digestive system safe.’ She grabbed another spoon and sipped the broth she made, scrunching her nose. ‘Unlike mine.’
So, Apparently, I Find Fairies Hot Chapter 8 [END]Chapter 8: This is pretty gayDaniel found Eddie sitting against the wall of the school gym and joined him, a marked essay in his hand.‘I owe you one,’ he told him.Eddie snatched the essay and looked at the score. ‘Impressive. Next time I’ll make sure you get an A, then for the exam, you’re getting an A+. Got it?’Daniel smirked. ‘Yes, Mr Ironpoe. So anyway, You still up for tonight?’‘Yep. We’re not going to fight over this game, are we?’‘Why? You a Bomber now? You said last week you were a Demon-’‘They suck this season.’‘You can’t just change your mind every week. You’ve got to pick a side.’Eddie snickered at him. ‘That’s rich, coming from you.’ He laughed even more at Daniel’s confused face.The meaning of Eddie’s words eventually dawned on Daniel, who added to the laughter and lightly nudged him.‘Hey, only I can say stuff like that. Check your privilege.’The PE teacher blew her whistle. ‘Okay, guys. Today’s Beep Test day.’ Everyone groaned. Eddie took a few deep breaths. The Beep Test. His mortal enemy. His highest score was 4/8, the second lowest among the boys in his class.Daniel put a reassuring hand on his shoulder. Eddie nodded and the two stood up.They stretched their arms and legs before standing next to each other in the line, waiting for the announcer on the CD to quit explaining how it worked and finish the damn countdown.The first beep started. Eddie kept falling behind Daniel, who got to the other end quickly, but seeing Daniel do so well lit a fire under him. He kept running as the beeps became faster and faster, long after he started feeling sick. His vision got blurry but he continued running. Eventually, he stopped hearing the squeak of sneakers coming into contact with the wooden floor and could only hear the beeps that started sounding less like a guide to him and more like funeral bells.Eventually he was an inch away from making it to the end line when the beep sounded. He ran a little past the line like Daniel had suggested to help himself feel less sick. It only helped a little. ‘Ed, 6/9,’ the PE teacher said. Joy rose up Eddie’s body instead of bile. After writing his score down, he leaned against the wall and slid down until he was sitting on the ground, picking up his bottle and gulping the water like a baby feeding on milk.He watched Daniel, who got a 13/8, one beep below James. Daniel pushed away the initial anger coiling around his body and gave James a high five.Eddie congratulated Daniel and told him his score.Daniel wrapped his arms around his waist and pulled him close. He let go after a second, causing Eddie to fight the urge to pout.‘Impressive. Next time you’ll get an 8/3 and by the time you graduate your score will be a 10/2.’Eddie lightly slapped his shoulder. ‘As if I could do that.’Daniel put his arm around Eddie’s shoulders. ‘Even if I say please?’Some of the other students started cooing the couple. Daniel’s shoulders rose, but they returned to normal when Eddie kissed his cheek.After school, they met up in the city and headed to the MCG.Daniel turned out to be a loud cheerer, or at least he was in front of Eddie. Eddie hardly paid attention to the game, focusing on the giant, almost magical smile on Daniel’s lips. He looked like a fairy who’d been released from his cage.

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Recalled to Life Chapter 17 by MisterMistoffelees
Fantasy
Alex's story: full anagrams (TBC)Alex's story: full anagramsby Yurix-----------------------------1- If Ten Death... - The Defiant attacks a squad of Outcriers2- Ride east to Xemdel. - Alex's day with his father3- Nary a mistake. - Resham "meets" Merka4- Shove mask in Riliorn. - After Resham leaves the Outcriers5- Yeah Mr. Seen him at...- Rhea's mission turns to disaster6- Once in ritual, Maria... - A summon turns to disaster7- Share a meal. (x) - Resham shares food with Alex8- Break the chain in Mab Glade. - ???9- Remake lax. - Merka helps Alex fall asleep10- Rhea axle. - Rhea's broken leg11- Aim lance ox. - Monica shows her strength12- Attain hexed elf. - The Defiant speaks to Merka13- Rhea marks me. - Something fishy about Merka...14- Her Ma's hare. - Merka talks about Inaba15- Moniae's charm. - ???16- Resham hint defeat. - Lost duel to The Knight17- Here, a mark... - ???18- A karmic omen... - Something's wrong...19- The dirt-fake name. - Fake IDs20- Heroic mana... - ???21- Heed a faint heart. - Someone's dying22- Hint Monica defeat... - Monica loses her duel23- Make ex-Marsh real. - Find where the Moniae Marsh was24- Heal ex-Marsh area. - Find out what destroyed the Moniae Marsh25- First Hex in Meahendale. - ???26- Heal a Maker Rex. - Help a wounded Rex (???)27- Examine Coal Mark. - ???28- The final Hex in Edare. - ???29- Locate a Hex in Daft Mine. - ???30- Make a marsh here. - Change the land's fate31- Make Archon's Maimer. - a weapon to kill Archons?32- Hear the Mink Master fade... - a man's last wish33- Reach Moniae Marsh34- The finer heart ashamed. - Merka wins, but...35- The Chain Demon Master Fia - ???36- Then-hated Fairie Mark... - ???37- Tame a chained Forest Mink. - Something's controlling him?38- Faith in a nice demon's heart. - Trust the Defiant? or Larxinia?39- Make a Rex share a helm. - ???40- Hex Mink Area's armor lace. - ???41- Examine the Flame-Taker Shard. - Kaina's memories42- Examine Oar-Charm leash. - ???43- Examine the Leaf-Heart Shard. - Leara of Myst's memories44- Examine the Shard in Flamecoin. - ???45- Examine Oar-Charm Lake. - Karsh's home is underwater?46- Examine the Dark-Feal Shard. - Naksha's memories47- Heal ex-Anarch's karma memories. - ???48- Examine the Healer Archon in Fidma. - ???49- A fake Archon meant her hide. - ???50- Examine the feared Archon in Kalim. - ???51- Examine the final Cameo Shard. - ???52- Free a masked Metal Archon at Henixia. - ???53- Make Maria heed the ex-Archon Master. - ???54- Examine the Final Heart. (doc) - ???55- Next leader inside dream... - ???56- He is Volkram Niros. - Resham's soul57- Her name is Sayeth. - Rhea's soul58- It's me, Karyana. - Merka's soul59- I am Luriah's creation. - Monica's soul60- A mage behind the Black Rain... - ???61- Reveal Dexant Korilis' deed in Samshire Manor. - A member of Resham's family?62- Release Rhea's hidden destiny at Rexma's mine. - her true past revealed63- Examine Karyana's dented steel armor. - Real or fake?64- A third creature - Larxinia - lies inside me... - Monica's secret65- Remember Anarki's hidden clan beneath Xaltide Glade. - ???66- Reveal Rhea's monk master (in) Shiyoshi. - training?67- Save the Rain Mink's mask. - ???68- Reclaim the Korilis Manor's savior, Hayi. (Medi) - meet her to learn of the manor's true past69- Grab the Silvermoon Shard's claim in Hiketea Bank. - ???70- Name Hayi's stray Tree Mink 'Asha' (e) - Alex remembers his sisters71- See the Archon Master Luriah in Sayimia. - ???72- Banish Boar-Eye Halcian, the 'Masked Nightmare'. - ???73- Make Siria claim Naturaya's throne. - ???74- Grab a Time-Mana Shard in the Cyan Beak Lake. - Panyus' memories75- Make the Militia Archon bring the Blue-Ice Shard. - Laurinya's memories76- Examine the Lovely Kindred Shard in Samshire Manor's stair. - Lily's memories77- Alex, erase Volkram inside Resham's mind to retake Yad'Ninir.78- Alex, let Monica kiss Resham near Iri Ruin or admit her love and desire.79- To break Lord Karm's invisible mana shield, examine his regenerated hand.80- Examine Lady Karsh's Deity-Tree Shard in Aemetee Marina. - Sophia's memories81- Recreate Larxinia and Maria's desired human home in Shield-Eyes Street.82- Rhea's in danger! Steal a hexed mine inside Beymime's bark. - a magical explosive?83- Reattach Lady Iei's arm and tiara. Use a Skelemender Mix on Rianar. - Centaur tribe's story conclusion84- Bathe Lady Melne in Mink's cider and Ariser Tea mix and break the geas. - free her mind85- Be Maria's guide and take her and Larxinia home: the cabin in Eteri's cradle. - Monica's true past86- Resham, leave Samshire's key as history at Kinin's manor. - Ending Resham's ark87- Master Shiyoshi, heal Resham's mark in Lunaio River at once! - Resham's wounded/poisoned88- Make Maria break the chain. Give Master Shiyoshi a Shellbrand. - ???89- Save the Minks' home in Naturaya or claim Samshire lair - Make a choice?90- Save Monica! Break Maria's halo. Break her saint. Link them. - ???91- Save Merka! Break Luriah's chain and bring Micoi-Soil Mint to heal her - ???92- Strike Ayalee's machine arm and taunt him. Smear his army hair. - How to beat Rianar93- Bring the stray merman to hide in Cyan Beak Lake. Hand him a Nalasi Cheese. - ???94- Bring Hayi and Téa the Mink to Halcala's burial and clear Merka's name - ???95- Reveal Ekiya, Resham's mother's letters and a key, and end Samshire Manor's nix - ???96- Save Asha and let her see Demyan's scar or Outcrier shirt in Rainmaker's Hold - ???97- Reveal the Rex, Moniae and Mink slaves hidden in Meahendale's 'Great Mask Charity'. Bribe Hiro. - ???98- Lead Larxinia and Maria to Shieldhike Beach. Bring Demyan to reverse them. Kiss Resham. - Demyan is necessary to bring Monica back together.99- Change his inner darkness. Heal Time and Destiny. Remake her dream battle in Imexaia Bay. - ???100- Shiyoshi, reveal the Grandmaster's name to break Merka's chain. Heal Inaba in Mimkey. - ???101- Save the mysterious katana-maker here in Shiyoshi's lair. Man or criminal? - ???102- Release Resham and Merka using the Extraction Machine in Meahendale's "Birthday Dial" Bar - the way to split the two souls from one another.103- To get her married, make an Archon Master and a Cabal Demon bride kiss in Silver Hill - Monica's parents?104- Cease Benito Samshire's terror by having Kharamella - a Monia - kill his haunted machine. - Killing his elf body is not enough?105- Beat Master Nakiris - 'The Executioner' - again and reclaim Lady Karsh in Meahendale. - When/How is Nakiris defeated before?106- Break Karimal's memory-stealing chain and make Rhea victorious. - ???107- Break into Dame Kinin's castle. Steal her tiara. Remember Hayi's chain in Haug'Mayi. - ???108- Rescue the boy - him and his sisters. Reveal Karyana's location in Birth Lake. Make him hear Maria again. - ???109- Break in the Samshire Legislate and rescue the Mink, the Moniae, Resham, Larxinia and Maria created by Demyan. (i) - ???110- Save Mystheria and Sheena! Break the Outcriers' blocade and take on Sir Maximilian in Rainmaker Glade. - (missing a 'k' to blockade)111- Save Karyana! Battle Luriah's soldier and resist the Dominion Heir's embrace. Examine her Liege Mark and chain him. - ???112- Seek Kiddo in Meia Rim. Bring her, Melne and Rhea. Give Anarki a reason to stay and believe. Rid his misery. Hand him Alex's BASKET. - ???113- Seek the Anarch's trials, the Defiant's advice and Kiddo's mysterious Hex. Learn Aria in Meia Rim. - ???114- Reach Time's Ark. Break Luriah's heart's chains tying Karyana and remove the Dominion's Time Blade. Release her! - Final battle
Adventure
TMOAAD: Reading Ch. 7 Spread the word7Spread the wordAlastar and Devlin were heading towards the cafeteria for lunch. Just before they entered, Alastar grabbed a latest copy of the EPC from the newsstand just outside. “Anydin’ new?” Devlin asked. “Let’s fin’ out,” Alastar answered, “Lessee here…ah! Here we go,” they both looked at the article:The role of SocietyLife is chaotic. It is defined by nature with the beast in different niche struggling to survive. This struggle created an equilibrium that sustains the cycle of life. Our society mirrors this chaos. Society is made up of different classes of people all working together as a collective for the good of society. The bourgeois took advantage of the chaos by pinning the other classes being the working and the middle class against each other, so they won’t become a threat and overpowered the bourgeois minority. They did this by owning the means of production--depriving the workers the wealth THEY had generated through blood, sweat, and tears. The bourgeoise use their newly acquired wealth to expand their empire by controlling other sectors of society—ultimately creating a bourgeois dictatorship. The state and local authorities are powerless to stop them as they’re on the mongrel’s payroll—thus indirectly controlling them to run our society as they see fit. That is why the proletariat must stop this injustice. Anyone can help by coarse the local government to allow the workers seize the means of production. Each to their needs to each of their ability. Devlin looked up at Alastar quizzically, “Wot dose dat mean?” “Fiona twys to git beasts to have dem git da governmen’ to git da bourgeois to stop opwessin’ da beasts.” “Wot?” “We can look into dis more when we wite da article.” “Gweat idea! We’ll wite ‘bout dis fer our daily article!”As the bell rung—signifying the end of the school day, both Alastar and Devlin left their history class. They were heading down the hall when they meet Ian at the junction, “Hey Ian!” “Oh, hey guys.” Alastar began, “Ian, when we git home, can you pwint copies o’ da pages fwom da book we got fwom Terry. Jus’ enough to wite a coupla articles, coz I havta weturn it in two days.” He hesitated for a moment, “Uh…okay, sure. Just for a little bit. I got homework to do…” “Great!” “Wot ‘bout me?” Devlin asked, “Wot’s da plan?” “You ‘n’ I will interpwet da pages Ian pwinted out, an’ wite da article fer Florry, an e-mailed it to him.” “Soun’s good.” After they got home from school and settled down Ian went upstairs to get The Third Way from Alastar’s room. He then went to the manor’s library to make copies of the pages. Alastar and Devlin soon joined him in the library. Ian finished with one page, “I have one page ready—double-sided. I’ll have more ready soon.” “Dat’s good!” Alastar patted Ian, “Keep printin’ a bunch more to make couppla articles, an’ we’ll be done inna jiffy!” The lead pup brought the paper over to a table where Devlin was at before issuing, “Okay, yer gonna wead dis ‘n’ translate wot it’s sayin’, an I’ll wite it down.” “Sounds like a plan! Okay, let’s see…” What I propose in The Third Way is an alternative to both the proletariat (also known as communism) and capitalism. It is known as The Third Position (TTP). TTP splits into many forms such as, but not limited to; Fascism, National Socialism, Strasserism, and so on. They each have different beliefs and methods to achieve their goal, but what those three have in common is that they are a reactionary movement against the proletariat and capitalism. After reading it, Devlin looked at Alastar with confusion, “I never heard o’ dese forms have you?” “I’ve heard o’ Fascism, but not Strasserism.” “Wot ‘bout dis ‘National Socialism’. Do you know wot dat is?” “Soun’s like socialism dat’s national?” “Den wot’s Socialism?” Alastar tried to have the mindset of Cody, “If I knew dere be alla dese big unfamiliar words, den I would’ve wecwuited Cody into da fold.” He then looked at the word and break it down, “He would have bwoken da word into parts. Let’s see…Socialism’s made up of social ‘n’ ism. ‘Ism’ means doctrine of, an’ social is talkin’ to beasts. So, Socialism means da doctrine o’ talkin’ to beasts?” The answer did not satisfied Devlin, and made him more perplexed, “Why do you need a doctrine fer dat? Dat’s wot school’s fer.” “I don’ know. I’ll lookkit up inna dictionawy.” As the pup went to find a dictionary, Ian brought Devlin a bunch of copied pages, “That should last you for a few days. I have to go do my homework now.” “Okay, dank you f’yer help! If you need help jus’ ask!” “No, I can do this by myself, but thanks anyway.” Alastar returned with the dictionary. He dropped the large book on the table with a thud. The tan spaniel proceeded flipping the pages, “Okay, socialism, socialism, S…O…” He found the word, “Ah found it! Here’s da definition…”SocialismNounA political and economic system were the worker (proletariat) controls the means of production by collective ownership of the community, and/or by the government that oversees the distribution thereof to the masses equally. “Wait,” Devlin called out, “If Socialism is an economic system, den why not call it economicism?” “Well, uh…it sez dat collective ownership o’ da community. So, dat’s pwobably were social fits in.” “Dat makes sense, when you put it dat way…” Alastar changed the topic, “Look we’re gittin’ off track. Let’s focus on writin’ da article.” “Agreed,” Devlin returned to interpret the meaning of the first passage, “So, wot dis article is sayin is dat does ‘Dird Positions’ are united under not likin’ Capitalism an’ da proletariat. Dey’re a weactionary movement.” “Okay…I’m guessin’ ‘weactionary’ means weactin’ in opposition base on contex o’ da word.” Alastar type it on the computer, “Continue.” Devlin looked at the next paper Ian gave him: My version, The Third Way believed that the state is a living entity much like the body. The body consisted of the brain, (government) fist and arms, (military) torso, (economy) and the legs the drive the body, (ideology) and lastly, blood, (the people). All those formed the body, (the state). Blood is the life essence of the body. Without it, the person dies. If he lost some, he will survive nonetheless. The people are the life essence of the state if many people died, the state would still survive. The state is as strong as the collective affluency of the people. If the people are prosperous, smart and well-kept—the nation will reflect that. If the inhabitants are poor, uneducated, and dirty, the nation will reflect that as well. That is why the people of the state must be affluent for its own prosperity. “Dat’s an interestin’ annology.” Alastar pointed out. “Waitaminute,” Devlin reread the passage, “So, da state sacwifices its own people fer da greater good? Soun’s morbid.” “Morbid? Wot dat?” “Dark, gloomy, I learned dat fwom RW class.” The stout pup looked over the passage again, “I don’ know wot ‘affluency’ is.” Alastar flipped over the pages in the dictionary, “It sez havin’ lotsa money, an’ bein’ prosperous.” “Dat’ll make any state stwong,” He pointed out. “Okay, we’re on a roll now!” Alastar continued to type, “Wot does da nex’ part say?” For the people to be efficient for the good of the nation, they must adhere to conformity. In other words, the people are made up of individuals—those individuals are united to work as a collective to achieve a common goal. Unity is as effective when the individuals are the most similar to each other. Any deviation thereof will inevitably lead to friction by various groups. Different groups have different needs, different interests, different ways. DIFFERENT NICHES. That is why there shall be one people, one culture, one religion, and one ideology. Difference is DIVISION. Individualism is DISSIDENCE. Conformity is UNITY. Collectivism is STRENGTH. Devlin pointed out, “Lotsa words I don’ know!” Alastar flipped through the pages to look what conformity is. He became frustrated of the slow—tedious process they were making, “Dere’s gotta be a quicker way o’ doin’ dis…” He scanned the room before noticing the computer, “Oh! Why didn’ I do dis before! I could’ve used da computer dis whole time!” Alastar logged on the computer to look up each word Devlin asked as he read the section. The pup then pieced together what message the article segment as conveying, “…So wot dis portion is sayin’ is dat da state is gweat when da people dat live inside are gweat. And da people are gweat if dere’s no difference between dem. They consider dat unity. An’ if da people work togeder on da same goal, dat is collectivism.” It took Devlin a moment or two to understand the abstract idea, “So, da people are like clones if dey’re da same? We don’ have dat technology, do we?” “No, I dink wot dey’re sayin’ is dat differen’ opinions won’ git inna way o’ deir work. Derefer no disagweemen’s.” “I see…” Devlin then began to understand what the article is saying, “Wait, so, if dere’s no disagweemen’s, den wot happens if dey’re headin’ towards da wong direction wid no one to stop dem?” “Dat’s a good point,” Alastar agreed as he thought of the previous section, and put it all together, “Earlier da paper sez dat da governmen’ is da bwains o’ da body. Does dat mean dey decide wot da people should conform to?” “Dat soun’s like a dictatorship! I’m a fwee beast, I do wot I wan’!” “It also sez dat individualism is bad. Dat conflicts wid bein’ a fwee individual.” “Goodness! Dis book is audoritarian!” “Dis soun’s like cult-like dinkin’ gran’pa use to say, but we need to finish witin’ da article fer Florry.” “Wot do we do? Dis book opposed to our livelihood.” Alastar thought a moment, “Do you wemembered Fiona’s article we’ve picked up at lunch? We could use dat to counter her words.” “Yeah! Dat’s wight! I’ll git it wight now!” After he gave the paper to his brother, he thought of a way to counter her propaganda in his article. When satisfied, he had Devlin looked over the editorial:The Third Way, by Alastar, Devlin and Ian The Third Way is about creating a strong affluent state. The affluency of the nation state is dependent on the greatness of the people that dwell within. A great people meant a great nation. If the nation is a body, then the people are the blood that keeps the body alive. The torso is the economy that keeps the body functioning. Businesses kept the economy functioning. They have their own specialize niches such as clothing, food, mechanics, etc. to provide goods and services for the customers. The consumer purchases the goods and the money is taxed by the government for social services the consumer uses—and cycle repeats. It’s not a struggle, but cooperation. Alastar was satisfied with the results, “I dink dat’s good fer now.” He then e-mailed it to Florry. “Should we call Florry?” Devlin pointed out, “Maybe he c’n tell us wot to do since da book contradicts our livelihood.” “Good idea,” The tan pup dialed the number, “Hello, Florry?” Unexpectedly, Mercer was the one answering, “No, dis is Mercer. Florry’s sick, so I’m running dings for now.” “Oh! Uh, well den…da book we’re usin’ to wite our article, Da Dird Way, contradicts our individual livelihood. But, our deal wid Florry sez we have to continue witin’ ‘bout it. Wot do we do?” “Da deal is to curb the proletariat writings of the EPC, yes? So, you don’t necessary need to use dat particular book to counter it.” “Well, da ding is, I also got a book wepor’ due nex’ Monday. An’ I’m also usin’ dat book as well. I was knockin’ two dings at once.” “I see…” He thought for a moment, “Here’s an idea, I want you to use da ‘bait and trap’ technique by substituting, capitalism with corporatism. Since the writings of the EPC were against capitalism, swapping it would subconsciously win over some of its adherence to our fold in a subtle way widout dem knowing about it.” “Corporatism? Wot dat?” “Corporatism is big businesses dat have a lot of power and money to influence society to deir liking.” “So, it’s like cwonyism?” “Uh, yeah, like cronyism.” “Okay, dat’s a gweat idea! We’ll do jus’ dat, danks!” He hung up before turning to Devlin, “Here’s da plan, we’ll counter Fiona’s anti-capitalis’ paper wid anti-corporatism to convert deir weaders.” “Wot’s ‘corporatism’?” “It’s like cwonyism, but wid big b’inesses.” “Okay, so we convert dem jus’ like we ‘n’ Ian did wid Barry ‘n’ Derry?” “Yea, jus’ like dat! If we start witin’ Fwiday’s article now an’ finish it before tomorrow, den we’ll have da wes’ o’ da afternoon to ourselves!” Devlin hesitated for a moment, “Well, it’s almos’ dinner time, an’ I wanna welax an’ play after dinner.” “Den we should start now since we’re on a roll. Dat way we don’ have to do it tomorrow.” “Okay den…”
Science Fiction
Fedcom Space BattleEagle Nebula July 5, 2091Admiral Ilic felt no discomfort when the ship returned into real space, "Beam space engines don't cause shock waves as you decelerate. I am not sure an old spacer like me is suited for this new age travel.""You are only 48; that's barely breeding age for us, Qualurians. What is the male life span for you humans?" Rala asked."Estimated time of arrival for the Union Fleet is 98 minutes and counting," the LIDAR officer interrupted."Very well open fire if we are at this range we should be able to hit them just as they enter back into real space,""Negative, Sir, we will need to wait 96 minutes. The battle group is 500000km from the point of entry. The Tesla cannon will cover that distance in two minutes," the weapons officer said."Ah, very good," Ilic said, embarrassed he didn't read the manual. "Well then, let's not stand around in their firing line. Move the ships into a circle. Let's stay outside their arrival window but be ready to hammer their location," Ilic ordered as he got used to his layout. "Sir, the locals are contacting us. They just mined the area," the radio officer said."Very good then all hands prepare for battle. Let us evacuate the outer most decks and depressurize them; we have the time to do this, so we may as well," Ilic said, enforcing older battle doctrines."Excellent Admiral, I will see that it is done in five minutes," Rala said, leaving the bridge.98 minutes laterThe Union fleet of over 250 ships emerged from warp space, causing a massive burst of heat to spike across the region and signaling the first wave of the ECF's counteroffensive. A thousand mines set adrift earlier activated their directional thrusters locking onto each ship before firing their main engines into a suicidal collision course with the Union ships.The mines slammed into the ships' hulls, exploding into the massive Trotsky class cruisers. The explosions ravaged the hulls shattering thinly plated armor. The crews of each ship not killed by the initial blasts were sucked into the vacuum of space.Elizabeth watched as several of her ships snapped and shattered into pieces with the crews' remains drifting aimlessly. "Report on what's happening Sidonia wasn't supposed to have a full fleet. Did anyone read the intelligence correctly besides me? Those Swiss bastards lied to me, and will someone return fire on our attacker!" Elizabeth shouted as an explosion rocked her ship."We have no targets to shoot; the radar system is still having trouble with the debris and residual heat!""Then move the ship out of the area before we end up dead, too," Elizabeth shouted.Ilic and his crew watched as the mines worked much better than expected. "How much longer before they can lock onto us," Ilic asked as he watched, waiting for the Tesla cannon connect with a few targets.The ships with the unfortunate fate to be in the path of the Tesla cannons had their hulls crushed ever so slightly before the hull where the beam weapon hit began boiling away. The humans in the way were thrown backward, and their organs were burned alive. Their skin boiled away before the victims' bodies could burst from the boiling fluids. Other ships had their warp rings severed from the hulls.The first line of the Union ships were smoldering ruins; some were even in flames as the oxygen from the interiors bled out into space before shortly burning out. The second line of ships that had been shielded began moving forward. They fired their large turret mounted rail guns and the missiles systems blindly at the ECF fleet."All ships move out of the enemy firing arcs they can only shoot in a head-on arc. Make Beam space jumps to begin flanking the enemy fleet. Stay out of each other's lines of fire. Our onboard computers should allow for that," Ilic said shortly before his ship moved to flank the enemy vessels.All 15 ships entered beam space on command just as the enemy fleet moved their ships into the position to open fire. "The ECF ships they are gone, Commander," Elizabeth's radar officer said just as the ship soon reappeared on the radar screen. Elizabeth headed over to the radar station; she didn't use male simpletons and saw the vessels return. The ECF ships were at the flanks according to the screen, "What kind of insane shit is this?" Elizabeth said, clearly afraid as her ship soon shook as a missile slammed into the flank of her ship.The ECF ships were now at the flanks and turned their guns onto the targets. Every weapon, including the; point defense weapons firing into the remaining enemy ships. The Federation ships began predatorily circling the remaining Communist Union ships. Ten destroyers formed a circle remaining outside the enemy firing arcs as they hammered the surviving ships.In many cases, the frigates rail gun slugs from the federation ships cut clean through the hulls and exited the opposite ends of the Union vessels. The nearest Federation Frigate opposite the Admiral's supporting frigate ship was struck by a rail gun slamming into the 4-meter thick tungsten carbide armor. The slug impact forces had thrown off course as the armor managed to hold."This is the ECS Coleto; we just got hit by one of our slugs. I suggest all rail gun fire cease; those massive ships lack any meaningful armor plate. We are disengaging over," the captain said as the ship began the path of leaving the battle."Very well, ECS Coleto. Radio officer makes sure all rail gunfire ceases our guns are too powerful to be stopped by the communist ship armor," Ilic said as the turn of his vessel nearly pulled him out of his seat."Admiral Ilic, we are in position and hammering the enemy at this rate we can destroy them and not take a single hit," the communications officer said calmly, thanks to the secured safety harness."It's going perfectly but do not get overconfident; they could decide to maneuver against us," Ilic said, hiding his shock as things unfolded without a hitch.The mood for Admiral Elizabeth 049 was one of outright panic as the crew could only watch as the external ship took the brunt of the damage. "Admiral Elizabeth 049 ECF ships are outside of our firing arcs," the weapons officer shouted as the bridge lights began flickering out."Hail the ECF and surrender before they kill us all," Elizabeth shouted.As the ECS Warrior crew began the process of eradicating their enemy, an open distress call began playing. "Alert all Federation vessels. This is Admiral Elizabeth 049 of the CSS Trotsky. I issue an unconditional surrender; please ceasefire; we are outclassed! Ceasefire, please, I am begging you!""Admiral we could use their ship's navigation systems. It could give us access to their entire homeworld and systems," Rala commented."All ships ceasefire alert the IMSF troopers to begin preparing for a boarding action. Com officer hail the last ship the communists have and put their commander on the screen," Ilic said reluctantly as he had hoped to wipe the entire fleet out.Elizabeth 049 appeared on screen; the bridge of her ship clearly showed it had been battered. She was disheveled, and her unnatural light blue hair floated. Her ship was old enough to lack any form of gravity without a rotation section, clearly denoting it as being little more than a colony ship with a few weapons added on."The ship and all on it are yours to treat fairly and with honor. I want to state that nothing I have done nor any communist have done unjust or wrong," Elizabeth said.Ilic wanted to tell off his foe violently but kept his mouth shut. "Alert Federation Headquarters the communist fleet commander surrendered," Ilic said as the boarding party to take over the communist ships.The battle ended unceremoniously for the union fleet as its ships now floated in ruins. The ECF ships kept their distance and sent dropships to capture Admiral 049. No one on the ECF ships celebrated their win. Yes, they hated the union but dying to the void of space was not a fate a spacer would wish on anyone.Houston Texas July 7, 2091, Federation Tower"So we have the butcher of Bounty Admiral Elizabeth 049 as she dubbed herself in custody and their star charts? If that is the case, your rank is Supreme Admiral of the Earth Colonial Space Force," Prime Minster Boyd said, waiting for the Admiral to respond as the beam space communicator had a few second delays."Thank You, Prime Minister, we have concluded their planets limited to 5, but they aren't clustered together. It seems they planned to send their entire fleet to bombard planet earth into submission. I have had the battle tactics documented, and we can even track their ships now," Ilic said."Very good this is a victory in many, many ways. Return to earth with our prize. I must go meet with the Swiss, unfortunately," Boyd said, signing off.
Historical Fiction
Christmas in the TrenchesToday, we’re interviewing Simon Bennington, a veteran of the First World War who served with the British Expeditionary Force near Ypres during the famous Christmas Truce of 1914.So, Simon, what was it like the week before the Christmas of 1914?Up until Christmas Eve, everything was…normal. Or at least as normal as anything can be during a war. Both sides had given up the rapid offensives of the summer and autumn in favor of trench warfare, and anybody foolish enough to stick their head over the top risked a bullet.Knew one chap who went out like that. Conroy clambered out of the trench to pull some poor lad’s body out of the wire. An honorable gesture, but war doesn’t reward honorable gestures. Some sniper caught shot him right through the throat just before he made it back to the trench. Our only consolation in the whole episode is Conroy and the other fellow were now close enough we could collect their bodies without exposing ourselves.Both sides shelled the other constantly. Nothing too heavy, but enough to keep your head down. Rumors said the Germans had brought up one of their siege guns to blow us to smithereens, but you never knew what was true unless you heard it straight from an officer, and even then…*Simon shrugs, then takes a sip from the cup of tea he set out before the interview*Everything changed on Christmas Eve. I doubt anybody fired a shot the whole day. In fact, I don’t even remember a single artillery shell exploding. After weeks becoming acclimated to the constant rumble of the big guns it was…jarring. Aside from the wind howling and our usual chatter everything was eerily quiet. Set my hair on end, it did.What happened that evening?On the night of the 24th, it was still very quiet. Cold, too. We’d had snow earlier in the week, so it was a White Christmas. Corporal Adams and I held the watch when it started.When what started?The caroling. At first, I thought I’d finally lost it. Singing on the battlefield? Ridiculous! Either I’d gone mad or I was dreaming. But then Adams runs up and asks, “Do you hear carols?”That’s when I knew the truth: I wasn’t mad, and I wasn’t dreaming. The Germans were singing Christmas carols!Adams, see, his mother was German. We all knew he could speak it well enough, so I leaned over and asked, “What’re they singing?”“Silent Night,” he says.I hurriedly pulled out my binoculars to scan the German line, and you know what I saw?*I shake my head*They had Christmas trees—real live Christmas trees—in their trenches! With candles and ornaments and tinsel! The Fritzes must’ve lived large over there; I doubt we could’ve fit trees into our trenches, but the Germans always built bigger than we did. Some of their trenches even had dugouts with shutters!By the time Adams and I had digested all this, more singing began all around us. English, this time. It started out slowly, but more and more voices joined in. My singing voice isn’t much, but the moment was so beautiful I couldn’t help but join in. Adams did too. When our watch finally ended, we fell asleep to the carols. German and English alike.What happened the next morning?Christmas Day there was this…festive air, I suppose? Odd to describe a battlefield that way. Private Buckford had the brilliant idea to head out and talk to the Germans. By this time in the morning a bunch of our boys were already out in No Man’s Land mingling with the Germans.We met about five of them out there, and all of us took seats on the rim of a crater. One of the Germans—Karl, I think—spoke fluent English. He wished us all a Merry Christmas, then asked if we’d be interested in trading rations. Cigarettes, alcohol, food…if you can name it, we traded it. Over the next few hours, we traded stories. Nothing about the war. Just a bit about our families back home or amusing little anecdotes from our pasts. Honestly, our Christmas was quite tame.Really? How so?Well, we didn’t play a football match like those Highlanders did. I hear the Saxon regiment they played won 3-2.Our truce held out for a few more days. Then it was back to taking potshots at each other. We didn’t repeat the gesture in 1915. Officers had orders to shoot anyone who tried, and—truth be told—most of the lads had no stomach for it anyway. Too many dead friends by that point.Looking back, how do you feel about the truce?In all honest, it’s one of the best moments in my life. A sliver of peace amidst all the carnage. The Christmas Truce of 1914 taught me a valuable lesson, too.What would that be, Simon?The fact our enemy wasn’t much different from us. They had parents and wives and children just like we did, and they left them all behind to fight for crown and country. Only an accident of birth meant the crown they fought for belonged to Kaiser Wilhelm II instead of King George V.Too many people forget the humanity of their enemies, and when you forget your enemy is just as human as you are, you clear the way for atrocities. We saw it happen on the Caucasian and Balkan Fronts, when the Ottomans butchered Armenians and Assyrians and Greeks. We saw it lead to an even worse war twenty-five years later. Maybe I’m just an idealistic old man, but if sharing my story convinces even one person their foes are…people just like them, I’ll die happy.
Fan Fiction
Another : Necromancer 3,Chapter 3Yasu had been living with the Mikami’s and Koichi for about a week when the post arrived. There was a postcard from Koichi’s dad, a gaudy embossed image of the Taj Mahal at sunset, with a quick scrawl of birthday greetings. It made Koichi smile as he tacked it to the fridge with a magnet. While absent, his father never forgot his birthday. It was about two weeks away, but clearly, his father had sent the card ahead of time to ensure its arrival before the anticipated date, reliance on postal systems being what it was. He had also sent a package that Grandma had tried, unsuccessfully, to whisk away before Koichi noticed, so that the surprise wouldn’t be spoiled. That had made him smile all the more. It was nice, having something to look forward to.“Koichi.” Grandma called from the hallway, “you dropped one.” She walked back into the kitchen, an officious envelope in her hand.“Oh?” The happy bubble inside his chest wobbled ominously as he took it from her. “What is it?”“I don’t know, but that’s the school crest isn’t it?” It was. “Why is the school writing to you?”“I don’t know. I don’t know if I want to know.” “Better that you do.” She looked at him concerned. “It might be very important.” He nodded and took the letter opener Grandma had used to open the bills from the pile of open envelopes. Hesitantly, he drew it across the top and took out the contents.Dear Mr Sakakibara,It is with great sadness that we regret to inform you that the students of Class 3-3 of Yomiyama North Middle School are being asked to repeat the year.Due to the unprecedented number of deaths suffered by the students, in addition to the death of Mr Kubodera, the board of directors has decided that the best course of action will be for the remaining students to be allowed to spend the rest of this year at their leisure and that they return to class 3-3 in January of 1999. There was more, but Koichi had stopped reading. He felt hands on his shoulders, heavy breathing his ears as Takako slid into a frigid embrace. “Really?” She hissed in the manic tone she’d used before she’d been killed. “You get to do it all again, Sakakibara?” Cackling jubilantly, she pushed him away from her “you and that witch can both die together!” Koichi felt his vision fading as he hit the floor with the largest thump.He came to in hospital. “Koichi! You gave me the fright of my life!” Grandma and Grandpa were sat next to his bed. “What happened?”“Found you on the floor,” the taciturn old man said, not looking at him. “Foaming at the mouth. Choking.”The image was shocking, even if Koichi couldn’t picture it as himself, but as a human puppet. “I’m sorry for making you worry.” He looked down at his sheets.“Nonsense,” his grandmother waved a hand at him gently. “Just so long as you’re alright.” “Should I come home now?”“The nurse said that you would be better off here for tonight.” Grandma sounded worried. “Just for tonight, so that you might rest properly. We’re a bit old to be checking on you properly, see.” She smiled to appease him, but didn’t succeed.“Alright. It’s probably for the best.” He smiled at them wanly. “I’m glad that I won’t put you out.”“Don’t be silly! You’re our grandson! We’ll always look after you.” Grandma sounded indignant, but looked slightly relieved in spite of herself. “Now, your little friend rang the doorbell as the ambulance rolled up and we brought her with us. Mei?”The apparition made herself visible by stepping out from behind the partition. She nodded in greeting.“You should take care of her, Koichi.” Grandma scolded gently. “The poor girl was worried sick!”“I’m sorry, Mei.” Grandma heaved a large sigh. “Now we know you’re ok, we’re going to head back to the house. Mei, did you need a lift?”“No thank you.” She shook her head slowly. “I’d like to talk to Koichi for a bit, then I’ll call my mother.”“Ok then.” Koichi’s grandparents stood, bowed slightly and walked towards the door. Mei sat down in Grandma’s now vacant seat. The pair sat in silence for a few minutes.“You got one then?” She didn’t look at him.“Did you?”“Yes.”“We’re going to have to go through it all again. I can’t cope Mei. I’m losing my grip. I don’t think I can do it again.”“Really?”“What? You can?”“It’s unpleasant, but it’s also a chance to see for ourselves how this necromancer works.”“Still with this eighth grader syndrome?!”“It’s not eighth grader syndrome. You cannot deny, Koichi, that Reiko Mikami was alive last year, but had died two years previously. Therefore, not only is the curse of Misaki Yomiyama fake, but the returning of the living dead to the realm of the dead is caused by a completely different source.”They fell silent, Koichi staring at his hands, Mei into space.“We have to go through it all again.” Koichi groaned into his fists. “Again.”“This time.” Mei touched her bandaged eye. “I’m not holding back.”
Biography

Mature Content

Non Fiction
mega-trip report: Salviamega-trip reportWednesday, September 23rd, 2020SALVIA EXTRACT X20 TRIP:I tried salvia tonight, I mean really tried it this time. Last time I got some I was afraid to do it and only took one tiny little puff and concluded it didn’t work. This time I aggressively hit that sh*t at least a dozen times and totally blasted off. Of course I read all the trip reports online first so I’d know what to expect. A lot of them said it brought them to a whole other world, and that they communed with wise, alien beings and all that kind of thing, but my first experience was nothing like that. I recall everything was wobbly. Everything was alive and exuding its own life force. Everything was moving around. Colors and the outlines of everything were very sharp and well defined. I had my laptop open on the table before me, and all the profile pictures on Facebook looked like little windows with the people in them looking out at me. The 3-D effect was amazing! The people were all smiling and moving around in their little windows. I then went to Deviantart and had a little trouble logging into my account, but I finally did and looked at my art in 3-D for a bit. If there was writing in the picture it seemed to be floating above the picture. I remember liking my own pictures although they appeared to me a little stiff and crude, but pleasantly imaginative.  I can’t describe it, the experience had elements of mushrooms, acid and mescaline, but it was completely different from all three of them. At times it took me to a familiar place, Cartoon Land. The Flintstones particularly. I’ve had the same kind of delusion on acid at least once that I recall. I guess I watched the Flintstones a lot as a kid and it left an impression on me. I- I can’t really explain it.  LOLOf course the experience was kind of ruined near the end because I was becoming consciously aware of being trapped by Satanic forces.To be honest there wasn’t really all that much to it so I don’t have a lot to say. While peaking there was something about being picked up in a big bundle of palm trees with stuff spilling out of the sides. I was in the way and Fred and Barney (under Wilma’s supervision) were trying to work around me to stuff the palm-tree bundle into the back of a modern, enclosed truck and I got caught up in the works. For some reason I thought it was Friday or Saturday night, and I kept saying “yabba-dabba do!” a lot. LOL! I don’t know, the whole thing was beyond words. There was a lot going on but I couldn’t figure out what it was. I just mostly got vague, yet rather involved impressions.This post seems rather incomplete and I’m half tempted to do a little more just so I’d be able to share further impressions, but I don’t think I will. When I do it again I’ll just make another post. It doesn’t last too long and I’m undecided whether that’s a good or a bad thing. Only went on for about a half hour for me. Although most of the reports I read stated they had horrible, nightmarish experiences on it, mine wasn’t bad at all, which is pretty remarkable when you take into consideration all the terrible things going on in my life. I suppose I should try drawing on it. That’s definitely what I would have done if I did it back when I was artistically active. Well, I can try but I’m so out of practice I’m afraid my efforts may prove disappointing.CARTOON SPIRITUALITY:Thursday, September 24th, 2020Did salvia a couple more times today. The first time I was determined to get the full effect so I packed the bowl tight and hit it hard and held it in for 45 seconds. I then remember being in my great grandfather’s back yard, only we were enclosed by chain-link fences  (his yard was enclosed by brick walls, though there were a couple of chain-link fences in it) while he was behind me twirling a jump rope around me like an egg-beater, though there was no one holding the other end in front of me. My impression was he was powering a whirlpool of cosmic interference, opening a sort of porthole to the next world for me. I felt trapped in the maelstrom but felt I didn’t belong in it so I struggled to get out. I remember falling out on the right side.I remember there were lots of creatures or little people everywhere. This seemed normal and didn’t bother me at all. To me they seemed like little cowboys, miniature versions of the old corn pops guy from the old Saturday morning kid’s cartoon commercials. I don’t know why I seem to be going back to when I was four or five years old in these trips. Playing on the green lawn in the backyard, my great grandfather, the Flintstones, and old breakfast cereal commercials from my early childhood. I think this TV business may have began when I was six so maybe it’s my mind’s way of trying to escape it? I really don’t know when it started though. It may have been going on my entire life.I came to on the easy chair in the living room. When I reviewed the videotape I saw that after smoking the bowl I went into a sort of trance and after almost a minute I fell over on my right side, landed on the chair next to me, passed out for a few minutes, fell on the floor then crawled into the recliner chair. I seem to recall it was quite a struggle for me to perform that series of tasks, I felt I needed to get away from that whirlpool of psychic energy. Afterward the thought occurred to me that I might have had a near death experience since there was a dead relative, an energy funnel and I was unconscious for a bit, but this was salvia so there’s no way it could possibly have killed me. The twirling egg-beater jump rope was obviously my awareness of the ceiling fan running behind my back.Of course, I felt, I had done too much, so I determined to do it again after an hour or two and to do half of what I did the last time. I was trying to get it just right.This time I felt a heavy energy crawling up my arms into my neck and my hands felt like they had lead in them. I felt all over very heavy though it seemed concentrated on my left side. I remember saying to myself,”I feel like an elephant walking on skinny little giraffe legs”.Then I became aware of those little breakfast cereal mascots lassoing me with little energy vortex lassos, trying to drag me to the ground (then down to hell?). I noticed they always pulled me to the left. One thing I noticed about this stuff right away is whenever I peaked I felt I was surrounded by little people. They weren’t actually people, but some kind of entities, possibly spirits, angels or demons, though I didn’t get the impression that they were particularly good or evil.I just had a horrid thought, what if all those breakfast cereal mascots with their energy vortex lassos pulling me towards the left were actually imps trying to rope me in and hold me down and drag me to damnation? I felt the room was full of them. They were playful entities but I feel they may have been up to no good. Though Satan himself is a supremely hostile entity it’s my impression his imps (demons) are playful creatures, even while doing his work. Interesting that when I did fall I fell to the right. I suppose this was because I was consciously countering their leftward pulling. Also, in light of this, I find it interesting that most of my injuries have occurred on the left side of my body.Though I admit the experience gets progressively more interesting every time I do it I think I’ll take a break for a while.OVERWHELMED BY SALVIA:Friday, September 25th, 2020 I wasn’t sure I should do it again so soon and I hesitated for hours. Spent a lot of time writing because I’ve actually been thinking clearer since I began this experiment. Finally, a little after noon I just recklessly went ahead and plowed over my misgivings and took the plunge anyway.I did it once. At first I was totally overwhelmed by it, but managed to maintain consciousness. Again, I was on a breakfast trip for some reason.Everything was being cut to pieces by the razor-wire jump-rope vortex, even time and space. They were cutting it up like baloney to feed their families for breakfast. (Why am I on such a breakfast kick? What does it mean?) Even though it was my time and space being cut up, they had no intention of sharing it with me. “Breakfast! Morning’s all done, for everybody but me”, I said. Again it was the ceiling fan imposing itself on my consciousness that created this delusion.I also remember that the room I was in tasted exactly like the inside of my mouth. No, I didn’t lick it or anything, I was tasting it with my soul, or maybe my mind (I brush and floss at least twice a day, just for the record).“No. This is my breakfast!”, I remember saying to them. “Get your horses out of here, frogs too, and get your skull off the floor while you’re at it”, then, “Everything’s alive, you’re alive too. Why are you alive?… I don’t understand any of this. Chopping everything up into little pieces. Making something for all your kids, I don’t get it. Explain this to me!… Get down from your horse. That’s not very intimidating, just stop it!”Then I proceeded to have a lengthy conversation with the television people, the ones making my show. I thought it was amusing and clever, but, of course, since I was actually by myself nothing was resolved, but it was fun to watch on the tape I made of it.“I’m still kind of like in the wild west though. I really don’t know why, but I am. I’m fixated on a western theme for some reason. Not a real western theme, kind of like a kid’s TV show 1950s kind of western thing, cartoon of the wild west and stuff like that. It’s really weird. Yeah, so YEE haw. Ride’um cowboy. Giddy yap, Ya know what I mean?”.“Party, party, party till you explode. Till you implode. Till you evaporate or fall into little tiny pieces and get swept away”.I felt I was having a conversation with the entities, so it wasn’t like a proper trip. I was trying to talk to those beings hoping to make sense out of the chaos of the trip. The beings represented things that were actually happening. They represented things that were going on in my life. “Those things were embodied in those beings. I wonder if that’s how your mind works? Like everything you interface with has a personality and you have to figure out how to interact with it. I dunno. You get feelings and impressions from things and people, and, ummm… It’s hard to know a lot of times whether you are understanding things or just trying to force them into some semblance of sense that’s not really inherent or innate in them but that just makes a kind of sense to you”.I must have talked for over an hour. It was a real talky trip this time. I think that was my way of trying to control it. It seems to have worked, too. I actually had an okay time. This stuff seems to stay with me. Not so much mentally, but physically. I’ve felt real heavy for the past couple days. That’s something I’ve not heard any body else talk about.Saturday, September 26th, 2020LAST HURRAH:Well, I think this is the last trip I’ll take on this stuff for awhile. I can’t remember hardly any of it, and what little I do remember doesn’t make any sense. The video tapes were terrible so I deleted them. I basically lost consciousness, walked around like a zombie, knocked a bunch of stuff over and passed out. I guess it’s just not working anymore. The romance is over. Time to go our separate ways. It’s been fun and I’ll always remember it, but it’s over. Good byeI seem to recall the entities were doing things in my home that didn’t concern me and that I couldn’t understand. Just as well since they didn’t want me involved anyway. They were squeezing me into a smaller and smaller place as they took over. It took all my strength to push my way out and force a passage to where I wanted to go. I was overcoming them and fortunately the trip ended and they all disappeared.Good bye all you little creeps!
Comics and Manga
The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand 1 - Page 37 by centrifugalstories
Scripts and Screenplays
ATM Sketch(A man stands in front of an ATM and slides a red credit card into the machine and puts in his number. The ATM tells him it’s an invalid pin. He groans with frustration and then hears a loud click and feels something hard push against his spine. He turns around and sees a masked mugger standing behind him.)MUGGER:Don’t be scared but I’m about to rob you.GUY: (smirks without looking behind him)I know that gun. Is that a .45 semi-automatic?MUGGER:That’s a very good guess. How did you know?GUY:I could feel it.MUGGER:No. Really?GUY:That’s a bit too much gun. Next time I’d suggest a snub nosed .38. Quicker on the draw.MUGGER:That’s a good suggestion, I’ll remember that.GUY:Is there anything I could do for you?MUGGER:I’d like to have all your money, please.GUY:I’d love to help you, but I can’t remember the pin.MUGGER:Oh. That’s alright. Take your time, we got all night.(MUGGER #1 hears a clicking sound and feels something hard push against his spine. A second mugger in a red-yellow mask stands behind the first mugger).MUGGER #2Give me all your money!MUGGER #1 turns around and smiles at Mugger number #2.MUGGER 2:Oh, great. It’s you again.MUGGER:Oh, hi Phil. How’re the kids?GUY:You two know each other?MUGGER #2What’re you doing, you know this is my spot.MUGGER:I got as much right as anyone else.GUY (TO MUGGER #2):Your voice sounds familiar. Did you ever do time in Albany?MUGGER #2Just shut up and empty your pockets!MUGGER:I’m flat broke. I was just about to rob this man. If you wait a minute, I’d be happy to oblige you.MUGGER #2 (sighs)Fine.MUGGER: (To the GUY)Try the number again.GUY: (put’s in the pin)Didn’t work.MUGGER:Are you sure you’re using the right card?GUY:Yes!MUGGER 2:God, we’ll be here all night!MUGGER:That’s a pessimistic attitude. I’m sure the next time he tries the pin he’ll get it. Go ahead.GUY:I got one attempts left, if it’s not right the machine will eat my card.MUGGER:Concentrate really hard, is the number your birthday?GUY:No, that’s too obvious.MUGGER:Maybe it’s your mother’s birthday?MUGGER #2Get off the birthdays! That’s not it!MUGGER:Do you have any money in your wallet you can give us?GUY:If I had money would I be here at an ATM?MUGGER #2:That’s a good point.GUY:I’m sorry, fellas. It’s not going to happen tonight.MUGGER:Oh, that’s too bad.MUGGER #2:Terrific!GUY:I’m afraid you’ll have to rob someone else tonight. Again, I’m really sorry.MUGGER:Don’t worry about it, these things happen.MUGGER #2There’s a cop coming down the street. I’m out of here.(MUGGER #1 and MUGGER #2 run in opposite direction. Another guy comes running down the street and stops in front of the GUY).Guy #2:Excuse me but did you see a man with a red credit card just stop by here?GUY #1:Can’t say that I have.(A cop car pulls up in front of the ATM and rolls down their window.)COP:What’s the problem?GUY #2My credit card has been stolen. I think someone just tried to use it.COP:Sorry, there’s not too much we can do about that.(Guy #1 ejects the credit card and briskly walks away.)
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Are you ready to take the next step? We know you're serious about writing and we are too. For our brave writers who are looking to get their start in the world of professional publishing, we will be gathering up a list with a handful of publications that are accepting submissions each month.

Since we're in the eleventh hour of the month, we're listing publication with deadlines in the next few weeks.

There are countless literary journals and anthologies accepting submissions out there, but a good number of them charge a reading fee. However, since a good many of us are early in our writing careers and often do not have the funds for paying submission fees, we will only list publications that do not charge a reading fee.

We list the name of the journal, the submission deadline, what type of literature they're looking for, and if they are a paying market or not. We encourage going to each website individually to read submission guidelines.




:bulletblue: Publishing Opportunities :bulletblue:

Name of journal: Broken Eye Books
Deadline: June 30th
Media: Fiction
Market: Paying
Website: www.brokeneyebooks.com/submiss…

Name of journal: Organic Lifestyles Magazine
Deadline: Rolling basis
Media: Articles
Market: Paying
Website: www.organiclifestylemagazine.c…

Name of journal: Bare Fiction
Deadline: June 5th
Media: Fiction, poetry, theater
Market: Non-paying
Website: www.barefictionmagazine.co.uk/…

:? What does no simultaneous submissions mean? This journal mentions that they do not accept simultaneous submissions; this means that they are asking you to submit your work only to them and to no one else until they've given you a response.

Name of journal: Track//Four
Deadline: June 6th
Media: Poetry
Market: Non-paying
Website: trackfour.submittable.com/subm…





:bulletred: Our Advice!

While it's definitely tempting to only submit to journals that pay their contributors, it's a slow and tedious process to develop a library of publications that can require making literally hundreds of submissions. We highly recommend submitting to both journals that pay and those that don't, for getting your name out there and having a publication to list on your resume or CV is always worth something.

You may have several pieces published with non-paying journals and though you won't see the money then, there's always the very high possibility that having those publications on your resume will be a key thing discussed at that job interview you're waiting for, or something to highlight in that scholarship application you're working on.

Happy writing and submit with confidence!
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:iconwarriorcatsfan47:
Warriorcatsfan47 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2021
looking for commissionable writers who are interested in writing a fanfic where raksha and rama from the jungle book
decide to explore a cave only to stumble and fall/get stuck in a very sticky platform which makes them helplessly immobile,leaving their chests exposed/visible while a giant spider starts to slowly crawl towards them.one where they accidentally end up stuck in quicksand and struggle to get free only to make their situation even worse or one where they wake up in the middle of a large hot desert only to find that they have been buried under the sand in it with their heads being the only things visible while they start to remember how they ended up in that situation before dying from thirst and the heat after futilely trying to free themselves or one where they encounter a large hungry snake who starts to hypnotize them while they are being gradually coiled up with multiple chapters and a bad ending as a point commission without the use of a donation widget
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WinterSoilder50 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2021  New Deviant Professional Artist
Hi everyone, 

I'm back after being away for 8 years. Within that time period I've gone to college and graduated from university. Now, I'm looking to collaborate with another creative individual on writing a book. I have plenty of ideas but be great to have another creative mind to work with. 
Please if this sounds something you'd be into then DM and we can start to creative a masterpiece. 

Thank you for taking your time to read this. 
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:iconwarriorcatsfan47:
Warriorcatsfan47 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2021
looking for nsfl writers who write stories/fanfics with quadruped feline or canine characters as a request/point commission without the use of a donation widget
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JarrodJRJones Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2021  New Deviant
Wavebreaker - Part 1This is an exert from the Auraali Chronicles; detailing her adventures across the known world and beyond. It is a book cherished by many aspiring Senitan that dream of exploring beyond the shores of their island home of Artemis. After the peace treaties were formed many winters after the Age of Gods, the time for expansion and exploration had begun. She was an exceptional Manipulis, a Senitan with the ability to control wind, and a proficient duellist. Auraali’s ventures became myth, and so too did many of her discoveries held within the Chronicles. These are her tales.“… The Royal Arteminian Navy controls the open waters surrounding Senitan lands. Utilising the gifts bestowed upon them by their Gods, their fleet can move much faster and can endure the violent storms that sweep the seas. I think it would be unwise to invade; our ships would capsize before we set eyes on them. We need allies, my lord…”Came a voice that echoed down a long hallway carved inside the Baneland Mountain range. Zaag, a Thrull, listened intently whilst kneeling over the corpse of a freshly killed guardThe wooden planks of the dock creaked uneasily with each step Auraali took. The cloudless sky above was a classic sight north of the mainland, nothing but the light blue of the sky framing the glaring sun. Rocking by the dock was Bjorn’s flagship Wavebreaker along with two vanguard vessels. Walking up and down were crew packing the boats for a trip to Artemis. Not since the beginning of her journey had she been on a boat. She loved the rock and sway and the constant breeze through her hair. Though the tang of salt was ever-present, it was the taste of comfort for her.She remembers she fought during the Siege of Canal that took place over a hundred winters ago where a corrupt High Lord of the Monastery started to overstep his boundaries. She was one of a dozen manipulis that drove the fleet of the northern assault. By funnelling wind into the sails, they hit hard and fast.She approached the flagship with admiration and awe. The Wavebreaker was over thirty metres long and built with the timber of the great Tre’Lua trees dwarfing the accompanying ships. It was armed with two rows of ballistae, four on the deck and seven below deck covering both flanks of the vessel. Lined with four masts down the centre with a manipulis platform on each one while also supported by two concentra powered rudders in the stern made it easy for any onlooker to be overwhelmed by the speed and acceleration of the mighty ship. Making up the bow opening into a great maw was the face of a lion, based on Bjorn’s hammer Sunderer. In the mouth of the beast was an enormous air powered cannon. Charged by incredible air pressure of a concentra the weapon can launch a twenty-five kilogram ball or grapeshot obliterating anything unfortunate enough to get in its way.Auraali looked up the ramp leading onto the mighty ship, eager to be out on the ocean again, though hesitant. This is a one way trip back home. Against all the doubt weighed against her she pushed that first step.When she reached the deck of the ship she walked over to Bjorn who was standing next to three people while holding a map. From their attire being more impressive then the crew that were sprawled about the ship tending to rigging and packing, she could only assume they were the three ships captains.“… if we stick to this route and pray that our manipulis crewmates up in the nests can handle the approaching storm, we’ll make it there by sunrise in less than a week,” Bjorn said confidently. He turned to Auraali whom he noticed in the corner of his eye and continued, “speaking of manipulis, captains, this is Auraali. We’ve made some arrangements and she will be the leading hand atop this ship for our voyage.”Two of the captains seemed unconvinced, but one turned to the other two and she said, “have neither of you heard of her before? She’s incredible! Trained under Tael himself. I think we’re in for the smoothest sailing of a lifetime.”“Oh, I know who Auraali is, Captain Jorya,” spoke one of the other captains. “She’s the God-sympathiser that left Artemis the moment she could.”Auraali shook and glared at the captain that just spoke.“Watch your tone, Diana. We’re all here today because we have a war to win. Get your head out of your ass,” Bjorn said. He stepped away from the group and spoke in a loud tone, “listen up! I want out of here by the third quarter! Let’s go!”The crew rushed ahead with a faster pace to their work. The horizon was lined by a dark gathering storm. By leaving at the third quarter they would sail just before sunset, and hopefully just making it passed the storm before an interception. Third quarter refers to the time of day. In the centre of the deck on a motion stabiliser was a massive sun dial.Captain Jorya and Captain Dinjargo left to prepare their respective vanguard ships. Captain Diana walked up to Auraali.“This might be his flagship, but this is my crew, and so are you. I don’t care how specialyou are. What I say goes,” Diana said before walking off towards the helm at the rear of the ship.Bjorn walked besides Auraali and placed a hand on her shoulder.“You okay?”“What’s her problem?” Auraali asked.“She lost a lot during the Age of Gods. She hates them more than anything in the Known World. She is right when she said she is the ship’s captain. We both have to follow her orders up here. We’re in her world now,” Bjorn said, leaving her to meet with Diana at the helm.Auraali sighed but looked for the mainmast so she could get ready for the trip, time is passing quickly. But not before grabbing a leather pouch of water and some fruit.–Auraali leaned back on the manipulis nest atop the mainmast and stared up into the night sky. The wind was calm and the waves were gentle so the ship moved in a fairly straight line. The storm was fairly far away still so even less for her to worry about. It was time to relax.The orange glow of torch light and the muffled cheering of sailors along with the tranquillity that the night out at sea brought drifted Auraali away with flickering eyes and rest.A rush of wind awoke Auraali out of her untimely slumber. Not much had changed so she figured she wasn’t out for long. With a yawn and a stretch, she then rubbed her eyes and looked out into the moonlit sea.The dark storm that swelled with wind, rain and thunder swiftly approached them.‘There’s no way that the storm could have come to them that quickly… unless.’“That’s no storm!” Auraali screamed. She leaned over the nest and shouted, “pirates incoming!”Diana and Bjorn stepped towards the rails that looked over the deck from the helm.“Pirates?” Diana muttered. She picked up her telescope, extended it and looked through. The storm was coming headlong for them. Now that it was closer it seemed too compact and unnatural to be a standard storm. She held her breath, waiting for something. Suddenly at incredible speed a dozen small boats shot out of the windy veil and swarmed towards them. She lowered the telescope and shouted, “to stations people, let’s go, let’s go!”She looked up at Auraali and said, “raise the flag!”Auraali nodded, turned and hoisted a flag that was dark red with a white ‘X’ in the centre. Not long after it was raised, the two vanguard vessels too hoisted the same flag. She looked at the vessel to her right, their manipulis on each of the three sails pushing the ship forward towards the incomers. She heard orders being shouted from below by Diana urging them forward to engage. Her along with the other three manipulis on the three masts complied. The acceleration causing the ship to lean up slightly.The small boats seemed to scatter from their formation in uncertainty. The Wavebreaker and her sister ships began to swoop amidst the smaller vessels, ramming them and firing on them with ballistae. The pirate boats sleek design allowed many of them to avoid immediate demise.They were each run by a concentra on a rudder. By focusing the wind into a ball beneath the ship and spinning it a certain way, it projects the slender boats forward with great speed. They were painted in dark shades of black. They all heralded a white flag with a black outline of a boot standing on a skull.A pack of four boats ran straight for the Wavebreaker. Diana was ready to command the ship to steer for a broadside, but noticed Bjorn was no longer with her. She knew where he was.“Press forward!” She shouted.Moments before the approaching vessels went to veer around the ship, an incredible roar shook the boat. Bjorn fired the mighty air cannon with his concentra power. The power of the shot created an incredible wave of water and shrapnel enveloping the attackers. In an instant they vanished.To their left, Diana looked in shock. Captain Joyra’s ship was being boarded by four of the ships that latched on with spikes and hooks. She could see the crew locked in combat with onboard halberds and swords. She looked up to Auraali and shouted, “raise the ‘V’ flag!”Auraali turned to the flags and hoisted one of similar design to the one prior but with a white ‘V’ instead. Moments later Captain Dinjargo’s ship rushed over to aid.Auraali leaned over the nest and yelled down to Diana, “why aren’t we helping them?!”Diana looked up at Auraali but didn’t say anything. Her eyes were of focus and frustration. Auraali regretted asking, the captain surely knew what she was doing. The ship felt like it was turning and saw Diana steering the ship right and towards the storm.‘It’s no storm. That means…’Auraali smirked. This Captain doesn’t mess around. She pushed onwards into the sail. The Wavebreaker rushed towards the storm.“Auraali!” Diana shouted. “Time to show me what you can do!”She jumped on top of the sail. She closed her eyes and locked onto the flow of the wind around her, tapping into it and bending with it. Thrusting her arms forwards, she ripped her arms quickly to her sides, tearing the storm open. As it dispersed and crashed into the waves below, a huge deep black vessel lurched out towards them. It shared the same white flag with a boot standing on a skull the smaller ships had.Diana recognised the ship instantly. “Captain Franz, the Headhunter…” she muttered.Before she could issue any commanders a hail of arrows rained down on the Wavebreaker, including ones launched by bow and by ballista. The manipulis, Auraali included, projected waves of wind upward towards the projectiles, veering them off course. Though not all of them. The manipulis on the front mast was hit by three arrows, knocking him off the nest and crashing into the deck below. A ballista bolt directly pierced the main sail and into the mast, sending it tipping over like a tree being cut down.Auraali quickly turned to jump out but her head collided with the yard arm of the mast behind her one, knocking her out cold. The mainmast crashed towards the back barely missing the rear mast. Auraali laid slumped over the edge of the boat,, her nest cradling her.Another loud roar shook the boat as Bjorn fired the cannon again into the attacking ship as the two got closer. Though the cannon caused some serious damage on the pirate’s ship, the shaking of the boat knocked Auraali off the nest and her unconscious body sunk into the water leaving a trail of bubbles.Bjorn raced up to the deck ready to be boarded and saw the main mast was shot down. He dropped his hammer and ran over to the side of the helm where it crashed but couldn’t see Auraali anywhere. He turned to Diana who was steering the ship.“Where is she?!” He shouted.She turned to Bjorn and looked him in the eyes but didn’t say a word. Bjorn knew what that gaze said. Without a thought, he turned to where the nest leaned over, leaped over the edge and dived into the water.Beneath the waves in the dark there was no sound of war. An overbearing crashing of waves above drowned out the chaos that took place above. He held his hands together and pushed outward creating an air bubble for himself. He then moved the bubble downward in desperate search for her.There! He could see a trail of bubbles and a dark shape looming further away. He pressed towards it as quickly as he could. When he was close enough he reached for the body and pulled it into his bubble.His relief was overridden by despair. In his arms was the body of a pirate. He projected another bubble outside of his and put the body into it letting it rise to the surface.Deeper he swam down. Dark unintelligible shapes and bubble trails leading nowhere made his search more frantic. He began to hyperventilate and choke on emotion as the truth of the situation started to set in. There was nothing around him. No sign of hope. No sign of life. No sign of her.Auraali was gone.
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