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Writing Prompts Week #11

11 days ago

Last week's rankings are as follows: 
1) mizal, 2) Puddle, 3) Nycto, 4) Wizzy, 5) Minnie, 6) Still, 7) Hook 
I loved all of these ^_^ thanks for all the great stories! :o

The winner of each week's writing prompts gets to pick one of next week's writing prompts. It has to be either a plot idea, a picture, or a quote, and I have to approve of it. So this week, if you win, please PM me when you have thought of something ^-^ 
Idea was thought of by @mizal . 
Here is this week's writing prompts ^_^ 


1) There's a story in Ireland, about a white cat that appears before you die. Write about either why the white cat appears, or what happens after your main character sees her.
2) There's a statue deep within the forest.
3) “She disappeared within the forests seven years ago - one day she emerges, covered in moss, with her head still filled with fairy secrets and whispers.”

Stealing the tagging list from Axiom, and tagging everyone that has expressed interest in the past. Please inform me if you don't wish to be tagged to this anymore. 
@WouldntItBeNice @Steve24833 @JJJ-thebanisher @bbshark @Bucky @mizal @FrankIevatus @TheNewIAP @Romulus @TacocaT @Crescentstar @Mayana @Zulutrader @MasonJarGuzzi @Ogre11 @malkalack @Charaxes @eshspoyeofdoom @RoyalGhost_007 @StillWatersRunDeep @temporaryaccount @ISentinelPenguinI @Drew8521 @Orange @LickReborn @ZagHero @Gemini4Ever @Bannerlord @Taylor_Boulet @Madhattersdaughter @MrMustachio @firegrill @WizzyCat @CaptainHooksDaughter
@Saika @Iavatus @MinnieKing @Claw2k11 @Nyctophilia

As always, anyone is free to join- not just the people tagged, and there is no time limit nor word limit. You can go back and do any of the writing prompts at any time, and you can do as many writing prompts as you wish. 
If you want criticism, you can ask. 
Have fun, everyone ^_^

Writing Prompts Week #11

11 days ago
'Write about anything from Irish history, folklore or mythology that is NOT a leprechaun. Write about leprechauns only if you're cancer and creatively dead inside.'

I was kind of hoping the second part would be included verbatim. But it may be a moot point now that the competition's been removed...

Writing Prompts Week #11

11 days ago

Oh. You meant.

Sorry. I was. I don't know. Yeah. That's the first prompt. @Endmaster can you edit my post?

Writing Prompts Week #11

11 days ago
Noooooo, I loved the first prompt, tempted to write about it

e: Saving it in case the Reaper sweeps in before I can finish writing

There's a story in Ireland, about a white cat that appears before you die. Write about either why the white cat appears, or what happens after your main character sees her.

Writing Prompts Week #11

11 days ago
LOL, I wouldn't make him edit it, it was sort of a joke prompt anyway. There's a lot of interesting Irish folklore out there though, even with the small amount of browsing I've done. Is the white cat one a real story?

Reminds me of the Pangur Ban poem, though that was just a normal cat. I guess monks writing poems was the closest thing they had to youtube videos back then.

Writing Prompts Week #11

10 days ago

It's an actual story.

If I can find it again, I'll link it :)

Writing Prompts Week #11

6 days ago

So can we write about anything Irish or just about the white cat?

Writing Prompts Week #11

6 days ago

"Write about either why the white cat appears, or what happens after your main character sees her."

For prompt one, this is what you have to write about.

Writing Prompts Week #11

10 days ago

As soon as the first thread was deleted, I started making a parody of  Tain Bo Cualigne with site members, where End was a Dullahan and Steve was a leprechaun who yelled about potatoes and bowler hats whenever he got pissed off. Then I realized that reading Tain Bo was an excruciating process, and parodying the whole fucking thing would be an arduous task I don't think I was prepared for.

Writing Prompts Week #11

11 days ago
I have a feeling @bilbo would have fun this week if she only logged on more often...

Writing Prompts Week #11

11 days ago

Fuck it. I don't care if i'm tired. I just want to get it out of the way this week.

Prompt Two.

There's a statue deep within the forest. The first time I ever saw it was when I was eight, and I was having one of my 'adventures' in the forest near my fathers cabin. I was cutting through some vines with a dull stick which I pretended was my pirate sword, when I saw it. It was a stone statue, and appeared to be a sculpture of a woman. She looked like she was meditating.

I was scared. At that age, I had thought it was a real person sitting in the woods with vines and moss growing around them. But, as I grew older, I forgot about that statue. Until when I turned eleven, my father told me about the statue in the woods and how his grandfather had made it. I found this hard to believe, since the statue looked ancient, but there was no way of knowing since grandfather had died the year before.

I kept thinking about this, and decided to pay the old statue a visit. I hiked in the woods for about an hour looking for that thing, when I found it again. It was just how i'd left it three years ago. I stepped toward it, not worried this time since I knew it was a statue. The pedestal the statue was positioned on was placed next to two other shorter, smaller pedestals. I sat on one.

I was never close to my grandfather and only saw him two times. At my birth, and at his death. But somehow, I felt as if I had a part of him marked in this statue in the woods. I was a lonely kid, with a whopping zero friends. I found it sad, but I began to talk to the statue. Ask it questions as if it was grandfather. I didn't get any response, but it's not like I expected any.

I kept visiting the statue day after day, and began to value it as a friend. It was like a link between me and my grandfather, I could just... feel it. I knew he was listening and I knew he was there. He was always near the statue when I visited. I just never thought this was how i'd bond with him.

When I turned fourteen, I began to make friends and visited the statue less often. I took my friends to see it, but they just said I was "retarded," and "pathetic." Some friends they were. Even after I told them about my grandfather, they just wouldn't quit yelling "this faggot talks to statues!" at school. It's odd. In high school, friends got distant from me until they weren't friends at all. They were just... bullies.

After this incident, I no longer thought of anyone as a friend, really. I just didn't want any friends. I saw friends as people who could betray you, and I knew the statue wouldn't do that. It couldn't, in fact.

On my sixteenth birthday, I visited the statue again. But this time it was different. The moss and vines around the statue were nearly gone, and it looked almost new. And every time I said something, I could swear its facial expression changed as if it were thinking about what i'd said to it.

The kids at school just got meaner and meaner. Every time I walked home, someone would yell, "oh hey, there he goes to fuck that statue again!" and then laugh like they were so hilarious. I just couldn't take it anymore. The next time a kid did it, I spun around, ran toward him as fast as I could, and smashed my fist into his nose. The other kids clapped.

The kid got a nose injury, and luckily didn't press charges. Although i'm not sure he would have been able to even if he had wanted to. But I didn't want to worry about any of that. I continued growing older, year after year. My life reminded me a bit about the book, 'The Giving Tree," replace the tree with a haunted statue and add bullies.

Before I knew it, I was in my twenties. The statue was pretty much a once every month or two visit now. I couldn't spend all my time talking to a rock. I wasn't a lonely kid anymore. Besides, I felt as if my grandfather had stopped coming. I didn't sense him there. It was like he didn't care about me.

I stopped visiting the statue for good. There just wasn't a point anymore. I had a job now, and I needed to do it.

Life pushed me and threw me down and smacked me and snapped my limbs, but I managed to get through it. Through life, things change. My decisions changed. Many years passed by and I didn't even take a look at that statue. I didn't search the woods. It wasn't special.

My death drew near in all the years i'd lived. Saying goodbye to everyone you love before you're even gone is awful. It's as if you're telling them you're already dead and mourning youself with them. I decided I had nothing else to do. I needed to say goodbye to my grandfather.

I wandered the forest. I had forgotten were the statue was, but I kept up my search. Hours I was in those woods. Being an old man really slows you down. Eventually, I found the pedestals in the forest clearing, and I looked at the statue. The years had not been kind to it. It was coated in moss, one of the arms had fallen off, and there was a crack in the head. I could feel him here. I could feel grandfather.

"Grandpa..." I whispered. "I know we haven't seen eachother in a while... I missed you. I thought you left."

I knew he wanted to respond but he just couldn't.

"My life is almost over," I continued. "Maybe i'll see you up there."

The statue smiled.

Three days later, I died. And now i'm up here.

With grandfather.

And we still visit the statue.

Writing Prompts Week #11

11 days ago

*Yawn* Edit lock. It's late. Goodnight folks.

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago

Nice midnight entry. :D It made me sad. *sniffle*

 

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago

Thanks it took me forty two whole minutes

Half of that was fixing the spelling errors while I was half awake xD

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago
Kind of surprised at the direction you went with this one. If you really did rush this out while tired that's pretty impressive, I think your writing has been improving.

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago

Thank you! ^_^

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago
It helps that I really REALLY like the Giving Tree.

Writing Prompts Week #11

6 days ago

Don't we all? xD

Writing Prompts Week #11

10 days ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 3/17/2017 12:49:50 AM

There’s a statue deep within the forest. They say that if you approach it upon the Hour of Reckoning at the last night of the full moon, every month of the year, then you will receive a blessing from Lord Vashkir himself. They say that if you come to the statue bearing gifts, perhaps the odd sacrifice, then your sins and transgressions will be forgiven at the start of each pilgrimage. They say that if you pray at the statue for thirty days and thirty nights, then you will know eternal life at the side of Lord Vashkir, witness to the suffering of all mortals.

I’ve never managed to find out who “they” are, or how they seem to know so much. For some reason, I’ve also never thought to doubt their words. That’s what happens when you’re young and naïve: you start believing everything you hear, every little thing.

I wanted to believe when I stumbled off the beaten path, forced out by followers of Lord Vashkir who pelted me with stones. Sinner, they cried to me. I wanted to believe when they stabbed me with their spears, kicked and beat me until the blood coated the forest trail. Sinner. Sinner.

When they left me for dead, I could only crawl to the statue and pray. Pray to Lord Vashkir to forgive my sins, though I knew not what I had done. Just shrunken eyes, broken teeth, and shattered fragments lodged inside my skull; a bleeding cry ringing through my ears with nothing short of sordid malice.

Sinner. Sinner. Sinner.

The stones had cut into my knees, and I clasped the bottom of the statue with the last vestiges of strength which remained to me. I could not speak. My tongue was bloodied and the words would not come. Yet I mouthed the incantation, over and over again, believing that it would happen if I kept trying, believing in everything that they had told me.

Praise Lord Vashkir. Cleanse this sinner. Grant me life.

I prayed and prayed and still the suffering would not cease. The statue remained deaf to my pleas, as silent as I was; the Hour of Reckoning came and went, and Lord Vashkir never spoke to me. I was confused at the thought that he seemed not to care. Had I done something wrong? Should I also have brought gifts of my own, then? Our lord would never abandon a dying worshipper, a cripple, an outcast from our village. That’s what they said. They grilled it into our minds since birth, every day of our lives. We based every single action around this, and still…

Was I supposed to bring a sacrifice? Had I not done enough?

Please, Lord Vashkir. Help me.

There was a flap of wings from high above, and I raised my head hopefully at the faint sound. No. It was not him. Just a black bird settling upon the top of the statue. Birds and nothing more. I sighed and continued to pray in the same restricted position, no longer able to feel my legs.

Another bird settled next to the first. Such silence in the middle of this dense, dark forest with nothing but the holy statue for another; it arced through me more painfully than my wounds and closed in on me with a crushing wave of despair. I heard a third bird land, then another, and another.

With a chill, I stared up at the vultures circling around me.

I was not the one to receive Lord Vashkir’s blessing. I would never receive anything more than what my fellow villagers had given me. A sacrifice was required for each pilgrimage, just a simple sacrifice to purify their livelihoods and take them just a little closer to the empty promise of eternal life.

It’s always anticipated that the one chosen as a sacrifice will be one steeped in sin, perhaps someone who will not be missed. Someone who is hated.

A vulture dug into my shoulder with its talons, and the pain made me scream out in my mind, though I no longer had a tongue to cry out with. I did not even have the strength to fend them off. This time, I could feel the gaze of Lord Vashkir upon me, watching silently as he accepted the sacrifice given to him. He appreciated it. Perhaps it delighted him, consuming the life of one driven out to the statue in a desperate effort to placate his insatiable appetite.

The darkness wrapped around me and the pain forced me to close my eyes, sensing the vultures drawing closer. I no longer praised him. The words of a sacrifice meant nothing to Lord vashkir. You need to feed a god, or he will devour more than you can control. Feed or die.

Claws and talons tore into my flesh, plucked out my eyes, and shredded my carcass in front of the statue with nothing short of ravenous, unadulterated spite.

Praise Lord Vashkir.

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago

Edit Lock. And nice :)

 

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago
I don't know where you wandered in from but if this is your first account it's pretty refreshing to have a newbie who isn't cancer. You've been contributing some nice stuff to these threads.

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago

Lea?rned fast, man. He learned fast. xD Yeah, @Saika love your stuff.

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago

This is my first account, yes. And thanks, I'm glad you like my writing.

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago
I kind of want to punch your avatar in the face, though.

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago

His avatar is indeed punchable.

Writing Prompts Week #11

10 days ago

Writing Prompts Week #11

10 days ago

I will read it on my trip to states. :0 Of course, I'll read the prompts too.

Writing Prompts Week #11

9 days ago

and now prompt #3

She disappeared within the forests seven years ago. One day she emerged, covered in moss, with her head still filled with fairy secrets and whispers.

Clara was unrecognisable to me. I remembered the days we had spent together, dancing under the pale blue moonlight before the rains came to wash all trace of our innocence away; climbing the roof of the school to sing where no one would hear us, sharing dreams born of naivety which would never come true.

I remembered the night she disappeared, and the tears which claimed me and enshrined my heart with grief for many long years. I remembered the search conducted by the wardens and the “Missing” posters put up everywhere. We didn’t get disappearances like that, not here, not in a peaceful hamlet like ours.

I remembered the torment that her parents went through, especially when the wardens found the corpse of another seven-year old girl not far by the lake. Her parents gave everything for Clara. That’s the kind of people they were. Her mother hung herself less than a week later, unable to cope.

It wasn’t until nearly a year later that the wardens admitted that the body might not have been her. There were rumours of similar disappearances happening in neighbouring villages. That’s when the accusations and the victim-blaming started, distrust and resentment festered, and nobody wanted their children to play in the forest anymore. Not after Clara.

“Juliet,” she sang, dancing in front of me on tip-toes. Her eyes were wild yet full of hope and life, life which burned so bright that it made me feel weak to gaze upon her. “Juliet, Juliet, Juliet…did you miss me? Did you?”

I just stared at her and wished that she had never come back. Moss clung to her skin like a hidden predator, and she was wearing some kind of strange clothing which looked like it had been fashion by leaves and twigs. She had to be a ghost. An impostor. Yet she spoke like Clara, smiled like Clara, danced like Clara…

She was my Clara.

“Please,” I whispered, unable to say anything more. “Please…stay away.”

She shook her head and laughed, dancing as if nothing else mattered. As if nothing else mattered except the two of us. I felt my eyes close, unable to look at her for a moment longer, and I felt her lips graze my cheek for a fleeting instant.

“I’m sorry, Juliet,” she breathed. “I’m sorry I couldn’t come back. I…I don’t think I am back. I just wanted to see you.”

She couldn’t know what had happened since her disappearance. I didn’t have the strength to tell her. I would never have the strength to tell her.

“You’re right,” she said, her voice growing weaker. “I should stay away. I’ve been with the spirits too long, Juliet. I walked too far, and they took me. They changed me, forever. I don’t feel…I don’t feel safe being here anymore…”

I opened my eyes to see that Clara’s body was shining with a vivid greenish hue. The leaves and moss were moving, ever so slightly, coiling together across her flesh. She blinked once and twisted branches clenched over her eyes, whispering to me. She kept on dancing even as her skin turned green and moss grew on her feet in front of me.

“You’re not here, Clara,” I said. Block it out. It hurts too much. “Please. Don’t come here.” She had already died once. I didn’t want to watch it happen again. “We’ve moved on Clara. All of us.” There’s nothing left anymore.

She laughed and then there was only silence.

When I opened my eyes again, she was gone. The wind wrapped around my hair, warm and comforting as I stood there in isolation.  A pile of leaves, twigs and moss lay at my feet.

I stared at them for long moments, feeling the tears welling up anew. She wasn’t here. She couldn’t have been here. She was your best friend. It’s just delusions and guilt over again, a vicious circle of blame and self-hatred which never really stops. The two of you were always together. Just imagining that I could see her again, just once, like I see her every night in my nightmares. You were the one who dared her to go deeper into the forest, far away from the safety of the trail. Even when I started hallucinating, Clara acted exactly like this, too. It should have been you, Juliet. You killed her. YOU. KILLED. HER.

I reached down to touch the leaves, but in a second they were all scattered away by the wind.

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago

edit lock. :)

Writing Prompts Week #11

9 days ago

Yaaay, I'm so happy! I'm going to give this another go. The prompts are so mystical this time! I'm going with prompt 3 again.

++++

 Duck, on his tiptoes, peeked into the well to see why his bucket had made a thump instead of a sploosh.

 “Hello.” The girl at the bottom of the well whispered. The sound echoed off the sides of the walls and came out like the voice of a ghost.

 Duck squinted into the dark and could barely make out the waifish figure sitting in the black. The light of high noon glinted off her hair and eyes, both light and milky. She stared up at him blankly. “Sorry for’a dropp’n buck--ettes on your head, Miss, but I do say you ought’a skitter outta the well’n all.” He pointed to a speck in the fields. “This’a belongs to Mr.Mangeeve’s establishment, and I don’t think he takes’a kindly to ladies lyin’ in his wells. I could pull you up’r maybe.”

 The girl sat in silence, bucket sitting empty in her lap.

 “I did not mean to disturb you, Miss.” Duck, feeling a little intrusive,  scratched at the fluff at the top of his head and attempted to grin. “If you could’a please scoop some of that’r water there, I would appreciate I kindly.”

 There was a sound, and the rope jerked a bit. Duck gave a wild grin and began hoisting the bucket up, listening to the sloshing with a feeling of pleasure. He enjoyed this sort of work. Normally, mysterious ladies were not found hiding in unnatural and dark places, but for Duck, this was simply a pleasant surprise. Duck though anything was possible.

 The country boy had his mind gears a grindin’. “Say,” He said, talking loudly so she might hear. “I can’t help but ask, about why’r at the bottom of the place and all, y’see.” There was slosh at the bottom of the well, and then silence. He hoped she hadn’t gone away. “I do get awful curious, I admit. I just do wanna know too many things, I’ve been tol’, but I just can’t help myself. My mind gears get a grind’n and I just dunno when to stop with it. Of course that don’t mean I’m’a very clever, no siree...It’s all just’a fluff up there. They call me Duck. I got’s fluff on top o’ my head y’see, an’ I sound a like duck for some folks.”

 “You don’t sound like a duck.” The voice said.

 Duck’s face lit up like the sun, and so he continued on. “Oh, why’ thank you Miss! I s’pose that I’m alright if my voice always sounds like this, it’s al-right with me.” His face came into view from the bottom of the well, a small grinning white blotch against the blue sky. She watched him. “Will you tell me why your’a lyin’ there, Miss? I am awful curious.”

 She found herself speaking without thinking. Her lips were a light blue. “I fell down here. I was dried up.”

 A laugh exploded down the walls. “You was thirsty so you threw your whole self down?”

 “...Yes.”

 “You are a curious lady-person, Miss. You could’a got real hurt.”

 “Yes.” She moved her hands down to her ankle, which had been twisted in the fall. A shiver ran through her. “Do you know of the Bugge in the forest?”

 “There are lots’a bugs in that there forest.”

 “No. The Bugge. Have you seen it?”

 Ducks grin turned into a thoughtful frown, accompanied by a wrinkled forehead of the utmost effort. “I mean, I haven’t seen anything in the forest, y’see...Most nobody is allowed to go a wander’n there much atall, with that girl gone a miss’n so longs agos. It frighten’d her poor folks. Have you been to the forest there?”

 “That’s where...The Bugge. It’s still there. In there.”

 “The forest?”

 There was slosh sound and a whimper, as the had tried standing on an wobbly ankle. She pressed it to her thigh, praying that the water would somehow heal her. “...I angered it…It’s still there...”

 Silence, except for her heavy breaths. The white splotch disappeared from view and then, a second later, appeared with the bucket. Empty. Duck’s clumsy hands fastened the end of the rope to the bucket with a diligent knot.

 “You just got water.” The girl uttered weakly.

 The bucket fell down into the darkness with a satisfying plop, Duck listening intently for any other farm boys or townsmen who might be nearby. “I’ll try’n pull you up.” He called down into the black. “I don’t see any other folks about, but I think it t’would be better if we kept you outta the sights, y’see.”

 “You…”

 “I can’t leave a Miss like yourself all by their lonesome down in the dank. An’ other boys use this too, so...You do sound like you’re in quite a rumlbe’a trouble, Miss.” He saw two glassy orbs staring at him from the bottom of the well. Milky, light, and wondering. “I don’t know about this’a buggy thingum, but it do sound likes the bad sort of business.”

 He knew he would never tell Mr.Mangeeve, as Mr.Mangeeve hated the forest more than anybody else. “The place is full of vermin, root to tops.” He’d said, smoking his cigar. “Don’t you boys ever go in there, don’t you ever wonder about it, and God help you if you drag any abomination out of that place.” Duck had never lied before, but this was good lie -- He was helping somebody, and it was an injured girl. The most harmless thing in the world. He hugged the rope tight and listened.

 There was slosh, and a weight on the bucket.

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago

Edit Lock. I'm a bit tired atm... What's happening in the story? I feel like I'm missing something.

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago
Just pointing out they've technically still got a few days and might have left these open for a reason, that's why I was holding off on replying.

Puddlebunni, this was a strange mix of hilarious and creepy. I'm disappointed you decided to just randomly jump to the girl's POV a couple of times there though, it ruined any speculation about her and weakened the overall story IMO.

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago

>~< good point. I usually signify that I'm not done though. :S

 

Writing Prompts Week #11

5 days ago

  Thank you so much for your feedback! And next time, I'll try write down when I'm done (or maybe just post when I'm actually sure...?)

  I agree with y'all, now that I read it again. I wasn't exactly sure what I was doing this time, I mean, I just wanted to add a lot od slang in there! I didn't know it was hilarious or creepy at all. I'll keep the whole perspective thing in mind, too. Thanks!

Writing Prompts Week #11

5 days ago
I was reading it as the kid being cheerfully oblivious while chatting up some potentially Sadako-like ghost girl down in a well and then pulling her out. Though like I said, that interpretation got muddled somewhat with the brief switches to her POV.

Writing Prompts Week #11

9 days ago

So, you’re probably wondering, how exactly do a locksmith-turned poacher and a an alcoholic exile become deeply embroiled in an international conspiracy to kill off the Royal Family? Okay, I wasn’t wondering that either. I mean, it seems pretty straightforward, I obviously seduced the Princess-Queen with my stoic charms and rugged good looks, but I’ll have to bring you up to speed.

 

You see, the whole reason I got there is due to shady faerie business practices. Fae are well known for waiting at various points in the woods to ask travellers for tolls. None moreso than Dogmen. Now, you’re probably asking, “Ferdinand, you’re a strong and mighty guy, why don’t you just fight them off?”. Well, you see the obvious reason is that I’m morally opposed to it. And I’ve certainly never tried fighting off a toll gang because I wanted to eat my meal in peace and they wanted to take my soup-dipping bread away… Even if I did, would you like to fight someone with arms about as long as their legs? Or someone with sharp teeth who can fit your forearm in their long-ass dog mouth? Didn’t think so.

 

Hell, I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Dash. Dash Ferdinand. Yeah, I know, two first names. I've heard it all before. Look, I didn't choose my last name, my dad did. When grandpa is the town drunk, there's not exactly a family profession to name yourself after when they start taking second names in the census, and I'm sure as hell not gonna be another Smith.

 

Anyway, where was I? Oh, right. It was my next big break. Last break didn't really work out so well. But this break would, I was sure of it. See, if I managed to get to the middle of the woods, there'd be this statue of the princess. Cecelia of Oria. Well, not a statue, it WAS the princess Cecelia of Oria. She used to party in these woods all the time a few decades ago, but of course the king had to go around pissing off dark wizards during that whole Paladin Inquisition thing. Most people legally aren't allowed to talk about that incident, due to the treaty/lawsuit that went down, but I'm technically an outlaw, so I'll get to the meat and potatoes of the matter: Dark wizards turned the princess into stone.

 

Now, when you hear the story, it's always like the dark wizards are a bunch of assholes. They probably were, I'm no historian. But honestly, their actions were a blessing to me. The people on the throne these days were grandkids of her younger siblings, which means if someone were to, say, bring her back, she'd be the queen.

 

That's where I come in. I'm a locksmith, I was repairing the doors on what turned out to be an underground cult to Xkrcchnr, who's ostensibly some sort of holy octopus that bends timespace. I figured, "Hey, magic items are really valuable, maybe I could pawn some of the shit they won't miss and die a rich man?" I guess they did miss the blue glowing ball on the altar that reverses time on people and objects. In fact, they sort of bribed the whole garrison to pin my hands to the town announcement board and take the thing back, but I was already one step ahead of them, because I set the building on fire, exposing the basement for the deadly octopus cult that it really was!

 

Long story short, it was the Paladin Inquisition all over again. The town guard still want to chop off my hands, and the surviving octopus-worshippers want to chop off my everything, so I decided to get in good with the Dogmen by paying all my tolls entirely in poached venison. Now nobody comes after me, because they know the Dogmen would be pissed, and nothing could be said to convince them I'm in the wrong, because they highly respect accomplished tradesmen and accomplished thieves. I was both.

 

And soon, I'd also be the legendary man who saved the queen from her imprisonment in stone and charmed her into possibly pardoning all my crimes. Then I could finally pawn this fucking blueball thing for millions and possibly even get some land and titles! Actually, fuck that. You think millions, you only get millions. I could make myself immortal and sell my youth-bringing services in perpetuity! I just needed the queen to get people to stop trying to kill me first.

 

One problem. There were a lot of tolls between the forest outskirts, where all the best game was, and the middle of the woods, where the Queen was. I would not be able to carry enough meat to the middle of the woods from the outskirts in time, so I would need someone to finance my way in. That's how fae make the big coins right there: They constantly tax and prank you to the point where you're just sick and tired of solving their riddles and avoiding their tricks, so you're forced to pay an authority figure a lot of money or worship to earn their respect and gain safe passage through everywhere. Luckily, dogmen were the only people I had to buy off. Unluckily, that meant they could ask a much higher price.

 

I decided, I didn't have much to lose in the first place, so I just brought the next buck I shot up to Big Toll Point, and I'd make my proposition then. It was along King's Road, so of course there would be a lot of Dogmen taxing people there. Any so-called officials who came after me would be utterly outnumbered, and I'd be free to sell the Dogmen my poached deer openly.

 

Now, the Dogmen have a very strange idea of trade. It's not straightforward in the least, but you get used to it. They sit up in their trees to hoot and screech at travellers coming in as a warning, and people in wagons untie everything they don't need or planned to give to the fae as they passed through. Then the Dogmen quite literally swing by, snatch everything up that isn't tied down, and let the person pass through without being harrassed, trapped, robbed, etc. Sometimes, if the "gift" is especially generous, they'll leave "change" on the wagon in the form of various gifts that are perceived to cover the difference between the cost of passing through unbesmirched.

 

Thing is, since the Dogmen have a monopoly on fae offerings in this forest, they sure don't have to leave change that often. This made the forest of Egerport effectively one of the richest states in all of Oria. I had already paid the King's Road toll a few days over yesterday, (Lots of blackberries and a small heap of ferrets.) so this buck was all mine. That is, until I decided to sell it. I already knew where to find the kind of person I was looking for. You always find the most interesting types at fae taverns.

 

The nearest pub was a little ways off the King's road, and you had to squeeze past a few thickly growing trees to get there. This was probably because it was the closest thing the Dogmen had to a permanent structure, so if you were trying to invade, (Or worse, get in without paying any tolls,) They'd be able to swiftly catch up and forcefully relieve you of your arms and nose while you were stuck there trying to get in. I mean, unless you’re better at climbing than the Dogmen are. (Quick tip: Nobody fucking is. You’d better learn how to fly.)

 

Anyways, I was haphazardly attempting to drag the deer into the tavern. Technically, the tavern doesn’t allow outside food inside, but since humans don’t eat raw meat, it’s not outside food to me. So, I get to hold mini-auctions at the Tavern for any big animal I can get through the wall of trees. See, that’s what other species call a ‘stupid human trick’.

 

I brought it to the Bartender and asked, “Hey, barkeep! Do you know any strapping ol’ hounds who can help me get to the middle of the woods?... By, uh, convincing the toll gangs to lay off?”

 

“Try Clownface over there...” said Barkeep.

 

“You asssshole! My name’sh fucking Gingerbeard. If you call me Clownfashe one more time, I’m gonna shmarsh everyone in the room!” Whoever it was seemed to mean it, so I turned to see whether or not it’d be healthy to stick around to get smashed by the guy.

 

He was big, even for a Dogman… But he was nowhere near big enough or sober enough to smash a room full of Dogmen. I breathed out a sigh of relief, all I had to do was hide under a table and wait it out.

 

Clownface was a fitting enough name for him, though. He had a starkly blue-and-white face, as opposed to the usual black and brown muzzles of the Dogmen you usually see around the forest. Best thing of all, though, was that he had a bright red nose that bulged out at the end, like a Clown’s nose. I suppose Gingerbeard was fitting enough for him too, because the entire lower bit of his chin and the front of his chest was covered in orange hair.

 

“Where I come from,” Gingerbeard growled, crunching down on some of the fermented apples in front of him, “My colorsh are a sign of great masculinity!”

 

“Yeah, well where we come from, your colors are both hilarious and unfortunate.” Barkeep said.

 

I had to shrug and nod. It was true, after all. I decided to clear the tension by offering free goods in exchange for a little help.

 

“You seem like a big, authoritative guy who can order other faeries around, right?” I said, laying the deer out in front of him on the table, “Would this be enough for you to cover me for a round trip to the Princess Memorial?”

 

“I don’t know where that is…”

 

“Oh, but I do! We’ll be fine.”

 

“I don’t have any authority around here! I’m a. Uh… Immigrant.”

 

“Exiled for tossing his chieftan off a cliff, more like.” Barkeep said.

 

“Oh fuck off!” Shouted Gingerbeard, pounding the table.

 

“Hey, hey, it’s fine! That’s exactly the kind of reputation we need to get past all the toll gangs on IOUs!” I said.

 

“IOUs?” Gingerbeard was incredulous of my genius. We’d only just met, “How are we gonna to pay'em all?”

 

“Well, Gingy, I’ll let you in on a little secret.” I leaned in and gave him a whisper, “I’m gonna save the Princess!”

 

“You’re insane.” Gingerbeard frowned.

 

“And you don’t have any other options, because you’ve been here for days running up a mile-long tab.” Barkeep said, “So honestly there’s no better way to get your ass out of here. I mean, this is the guy who stole the entire altar from a cult of Octopus worshippers! Right out from under a dragon’s nose! Surely he knows what he’s doing.”

 

I may have exaggerated my version of events to keep the taverngoers interested...

 

“Fine… I’ll do it. But there’d better not be any monkey business!” said Gingerbeard.

 

“What the hell is a monkey?” I asked.

 

“Funny, that buck you now own is just enough to pay your bar tab.” Barkeep nudged Gingerbeard’s shoulder as he moved in on it.


So that’s basically how he and I started our quest, and things only got better from there! I mean, not really. Sometimes things got way, way worse, but… Hey, it was all coming up Dash for a good while there.

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago

Edit lock.

 

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago
I would like to see this continued.

And damn, the thread seems popular this week. Not sure the thing I'd started scribbling up is going to cut it anymore with the amount of competition.

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago

^-^ I'm sure your story will be competent.

 

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago
My dragon story for the last thread was pretty weak IMO, it's way too easy for me to fall back on generic fantasy trash. There's some good prompts this week but I'll probably wind up doing the same thing again and at the last minute, I've been kind of preoccupied with RL stuff and my CYOA.

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago

Oh, yeah, definitely. The original plan was to keep this story going through whatever the next week's prompts are.

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago

Ooh. Nice :) Expecting to win so you can pick a fitting prompt?

Writing Prompts Week #11

8 days ago

Bff! If I had plans, I wouldn't have written this for the prompt thing! In fact, it'd be another 22-page google doc. xD

Writing Prompts Week #11

5 days ago

I promised myself I'd finally try one of these things. I'm not really happy with the result, but here's something for prompt 3: 

I had been dreaming again tonight. The same old dream I’ve had for some time now. I guess it’s more of a memory than a dream, actually. Or at least I’m pretty sure that I didn’t just dream it up the first time.

You see, about a year ago, I took a stroll through the woods outside our house. By myself, to clear my mind. In hindsight, it was a quite beautiful day, with sunlight streaming through the leafless branches, while the forest floor shone with vibrant colours. But I didn’t really notice at that time. There were so many thoughts crashing through my head that I barely knew where I was walking.

My son, you know. My wife had been gone again all day.

The paths were barely trodden that day, and some of them were so concealed that my feet plodded along on instinct, somehow managing to stay clear of potholes and snags. I don’t know how long I walked, how far I came, before my sorrows and fears caught up to me. Before they came bellowing out in a wail that sent the few remaining birds off scampering towards safer lands down south. Adrenaline rushed to my head, and the ground came rushing towards me as my eyes started tearing up. Before I even realised, I was lying on a bed of freshly-fallen leaves.

I noticed the woman long before she lay a gentle hand upon my shoulder. She rustled over the carpet of leaves like the warm winds of an early spring, and the air around her filled with the scent of fresh moss after mild, summer rains. She spoke to me in whispered words, her voice creaked and cracked like a weathered oak, and the haze of emotions briefly lifted from my mind.

But as she helped me back up on my feet, I could not help but wonder at how young she looked, and yet so old. She looked as if she had barely outgrown her twenties, but her eyes… It’s difficult to explain. Her eyes pierced through me as if, to her, I was not standing there. As if my whole life, my whole… me, was but an insignificant fraction of the world in front of her. No matter how hard I tried, I could not break away from them.

Gazing off into the distance, she asked me about the pain I felt, about the doubts and fears that I had kept stubbornly hidden from the outside world. She asked about little Jack. I tried to answer her, wanted to ask her how she knew, but she lay a moss-covered finger on my lips, and bade me not to speak.

She spoke no further, but stared at me, knowingly. Only then did I notice that the shadows of the trees had started to lengthen. That vibrant autumn colours had slowly faded to a dreary black. A cold wind blew through the barren forest, and whispered through the fallen leaves with a thousand chattering voices. Whispered with promises beyond my wildest dreams.

The woman had removed her finger from my lips. Her weathered hands now lowered one strap of her faded, moss-covered dress, to show the line of scars that covered her chest. Perfectly straight lines, flanked by staple-like dots, that cleaved her rib-cage. I knew then what that woman came to offer me. What the voices, now whispering through the ring of ivy-leaves on the young, yet ancient, woman’s head, were offering me. And the price they asked.

I woke up inside my home while the sun was still shining, with tears streaming down my face. If not for the dried mud, and faded autumn leaves that caked the bottom of my shoes, I would have convinced myself I had been dreaming.

My wife brought Jack home for good that day. I still remember how he came running towards me in his hospital gown. The broad smile on his thin face. The hoarse laughter of a voice weak with disuse. How healthy he looked, despite his bald head. How fast a year can pass.

I had been dreaming tonight, but I was woken up by the wind, whispering through the dry branches of the trees outside. Soft footsteps echoed in the room next to ours, Jack’s room. I ran there as fast as I could, my wife yelling after me in her sleep-drunk state, but all I found was an empty bed, and an opened window.

Moonlight streamed through the barren forest outside, as one, final gust of wind whispered through its leafless branches. It smelled like fresh moss after summer rain.

 

Writing Prompts Week #11

4 days ago

Saika was the winner xD. Still waiting on topic choice.

Writing Prompts Week #11

4 days ago

While you lot are at that, can anyone think of / find a good summer writing prompt? I need to write two/three somethings about summer for school, and I already used poems for all of my spring prompts because I'm lazy.

Writing Prompts Week #11

4 days ago

Summer Boat Trip Gone Wrong

Writing Prompts Week #11

4 days ago

Ooooohhhh *cackles*