[WP] You are the super villain that defeated the super hero and conquered the earth. You walk out onto your balcony to law down the law for your new subjects. You are greeted by a massive crowd and genuine cheers.
With a final explosion, Righteous Man fell from the sky, plunging two stories into the cement sidewalk. Jack Ringall stared, panting for breath. He had finally done it. He had killed Elantra’s guardian hero. Now, nobody would protect Elantra’s goody two-shoes, with their permanent smiles, their unending charity and irreprehensible lifestyle choices.
A city without crime? Without drugs? With only generosity and kindness? Jack gagged at the thought.
A crowd already gathered around the superhero’s corpse. While Righteous Man had been given powers at birth, Jack had only what he could create. Which ended up being a military exoskeleton propelled by rocket fuel and housing the latest in modern-day weaponry.
Jack grinned. One point to man. Zero points to God. He stepped off the skyscraper, fell hundreds of feet, and slammed onto the ground by Righteous Man’s dead body. “Your hero is dead!” he screamed at the startled pale faces around him. “Feast your eyes on your new God!”
And they did. They stared with such intensity that it sent chills down Jack’s spine.
“Can we smoke cigarettes now?” a voice came from the crowd.
Jack sifted through the men and women, looking for the voice, but he found none. “Uh… sure. I don’t give a shit.”
The crowd erupted in cheer and applause. Jack’s jaw fell open. He scanned every face he could find, but all were filled with jubilation, some even crying with happiness.
“Hey!” he snapped, shutting them up. “You’ll have to worship me! I demand money and precious stones… and women too!”
“So you don’t care about pre-marital intercourse?” another voice came.
“What? Why would I care about—”
Jack couldn’t even finish his sentence. He was drowned by cheer. A couple in front of him immediately locked faces. He could see their tongues dancing in each other’s mouths. He cringed and looked away.
“Stop!” he fired his cannon into the air, its boom like the crack of a whip. The crowd silenced. The disgusting couple stopped sucking each other's faces.
“You will serve my every will!" Jack roared. "You will be my slaves until you die. I will let crime rampage. The fire of my evil will spread to every home within the city.”
“But what are your thoughts on pornography?”
Jack’s breath caught. “What the hell is wrong with you people?”
A stillness settled between them. Even the birds had the decency to shut up.
Then, the same voice called out, “Guys, I think he’s good with it."
And once again, the crowd erupted in cheers.
/sub/jraywang for 2+ stories a day, continuations by popular demand, and more!
First there was the scream. Then the silence.
The long colorful cape was now covering most of his body, red stains slowly seeping into the fabric. The other man in the room stood there panting, and stared blankly ahead. "It's over," he mumbled.
The battle had been long, drawn-out, and devastating. Entire districts of the city had been reduced to rubble, and the casualties had been stacked up until they all amounted to nothing more than a rising counter.
He had seen and felt what people thought of him for as long as he could remember. When he was young the long stares, feeling their eyes on him until he finally passed around the corner. As he grew older the stares had changed into quick glances, but he noticed them all. The curiosity that kids challenged him with had been nothing in comparison to the looks of disgust and fear adults gave him. He'd never been their favorite, and he vowed he would never become their favorite - rather, that he never wanted to be their favorite. Their shallowness, misunderstanding and prejudices had turned him into what he had become. And today he had become the victor, but he didn't feel love or happiness. All what was left was a calm, an inner silence. "It really is over", he mumbled again.
The lines had slowly blurred. Good and evil. His opponent had become as much as a tyrant as himself. What price would he pay to ensure victory for the sake of doing what was "right"? He had overheard the questions afraid citizens asked each other. "At what cost?" His own predecessor, a lesser villain, had finally been defeated, but not before the people's champion had crashed his aircraft right downtown in an occupied office building. Before that, the destruction of half the country's farmland. And he'd disappear again, waiting for another villain to challenge him. An invite that never went unanswered. All the people had wanted was no more super villains.
As he slowly moved over to the body he couldn't help but feel contempt. Super villain, they'd branded him, all because he wanted to put an end to the hero. The antagonist, the antonym, the evil to his good. But his escapades had finally been put to a stop.
As he took the cape from the heroes' body and walked over to the glass doors, he inhaled, and pushed them open. The mass of people that stared at him, as he displayed the cape above his head, were silent. He could see the conflict on their faces, he could feel the restlessness in the air, as they waited for him to speak. He leaned into the microphone they had placed for the victor and simply said: "I will hold myself to my promise".
An ease rippled through the crowd, and a joyous eruption of sound resonated. Men and women hugged each other, little children cheered, as he added: "No more. I'll allow you guys to elect an official. My deed is done."
He could still hear the clapping, the chants, as he left the balcony and towards silence. He'd held his promise. No more super heroes.
that last voice was perfect. I can imagine a totally dude bro saying that
Oh my gosh I laughed so hard at this. I love it.
[EU] Oompa, loompa, doop-i-di, doo, Mr. Wonka, this is a coup!
(well. That exploded with upvotes and mysterious gilding. Loving the posts guys! Surprised nobody from /sub/grandpajoehate has done something about Joe being the cause of the insurrection or something)
Oompa, loompa, doop-i-di, doo,
Dear Mr. Wonka, this is a coup.
Oompa, loompa, doop-a-da, dee,
Since our demands weren't met you must flee./
What do you get when conditions are rank?
Back-breaking labor while Willy makes bank.
Minimum wage is repulsive and wrong
As we make chocolate all day long!/
...I'm so freakin' sick of it/
Oompa, loompa, doop-i-di, doo,
Hundreds of us and just one of you,
Oompa, loompa, doop-a-da, dee,
Now we all own this damn factory!
Marx approves it
A hundred frowning orange imps danced around Willy in the company that he had built from the ground up. They tapped atop the bridges overlooking chocolate rivers, spun around truffle trees, and romped through fields of candy cane flowers.
"Oompa, loompa, doop-i-di, doo. Dear Mr. Wonka, this is a coup," they sang.
Willy glanced at the little swirling goblins and pressed his lips together. "A coup," he said and clapped. "How wonderfully inventive."
"Oompa, loompa, doop-a-da, dee. We demand OSHA immediately."
Mr. Wonka forced a grin on his lips. "If you're unhappy, let's talk this through. I'm sure I can address all your concerns."
"We've already tried negotiating, now we're here to take everything."
"Let's not be rash now," Willy said. "After all, the Immigration's Agent is coming next week."
That shut up those rusted tiny devils. "Immigration's?" one said and was immediately met with the sour gazes of his peers. Their song was a show of unity and strength and he had just broken rank.
"Why yes." Mr. Wonka stepped to the Oompa who had spoken out of line and patted his head. "Immigration's. I've tried to stop them, I mean, most our profits go towards government lobbying."
Well, most being used very loosely. But Willy Wonka would sooner eat his own fudge before admitting the real numbers.
"You cannot scare us so with your empty threats, you depend on our labor but treat us like pets," they sang in unison. "If you do not leave of your own free will, we will fill your lungs in chocolate spill."
But Willy only chuckled and continued ruffling one of the Oompa's green hair. His smile dropped and he grabbed the Oompa's head. The Oompa scampered against his iron grip but couldn't escape.
"Listen you little orange bastards. You think you can run my company? I'll let you! Good luck getting past the Immigration's Inspection. Oh and on the off-chance that you do, remember that SEC filings are due at the end of the month and be sure to fix the books because I've haven't been reporting any of your damn wages because technically, none of you exist. And on the off-off chance that you make it through all of that, our stockholders are pissed because production's down and are two chocolate kisses away from sending a corporate raider to fire all of you and replace you with other illegals that complain less, dance less, and don't even speak god damn English!"
The Oompa's stopped moving, even the one Willy had seized by the temples.
"But how else will we support our families?" a voice came from the crowd. This time, nobody turned to reprimand the Oompa.
"What are you looking at me for?" Willy crossed his arms and glared at the midget. "You're the boss."
His orange face faded into a pale peach, mirroring the other Oompas around him. "My daughter's about to go to college."
"Well then," Willy snarled. "I suggest you make up for lost production time from all your damn protesting! Get back to work!"
The Oompas scattered back to their posts. None sang. None danced. It was perfect.
"Welcome to America, assholes!" Willy screamed. "You want rights? You want to unionize? Exist in this country legally!"
/sub/jraywang for 2+ stories a day, continuations by popular demand, and more!
Now we all own this damn factory! Now the workers own the means to production!
Socialist Oompa-Loompa society, you could make a book out of that
[WP] When Earth discovers FTL travel, the world never unifies into one government. When new species make contact, they are surprised to learn that the twenty strongest empires in the galaxy have their capitals on the same planet.
Four-ten seven spores. No. Four-ten eight. Four-ten eight.
I must stop counting them. They will not multiply. They will not increase.
Four-ten eight spores. The last four-ten eight in the galaxy. Maybe the last that will ever be. If I don't find them stable land...a saline pool...the proper nutrients...
This ship is not space-worthy. It should no longer fly. But still it splits the black. Still it carries me and these last spores off to...nowhere perhaps? Where is safe? Where might I...
An alarm whines. Two switches flicker - blue to white to blue. This is one of the Ring God ships. Stolen. I haven't the slightest idea what any of these sounds and sights mean. Bita would have known. Bita planned it all. And of course Bita died in the escape. Of course.
We die so easy. I had never recognized just what a silly, frail species we were until the Ring Gods arrived. I have moments - hateful, passing moments - when I think they're right for what they've done. How could any thinking thing be as weak as us?
The ship shudders. Instinctively, I reach out to shield the spore pods. But there is nothing for the longest time. Just silence, and stillness. After ages, a voice squawks through an intercom I cannot locate. It's gibberish. Nothing I've ever heard before. It speaks and waits. I speak back.
"I don't understand," I say.
It speaks. I speak back. And again, and again. Finally there's a whir and a ping and a voice comes through - it sounds highly filtered, as if coming from some great distance, but the language is my own.
"Do you understand me now?"
"Yes! Yes, I do!"
"Open the door, please."
Open the door? I remember the button Bita pushed as we dove abroad. A red button, near the entrance. I push it and things happen. Air hisses. Gears grinds. A door opens.
There are things standing there that I do not recognize.
"Perpetual translator," says one of the things. "Comes in handy way out in strange waters. Who are you?"
I tell them. I tell them where I've come from. I tell them about the Ring Gods. I tell them about the spores. I ask them to take me to their planet. The spores cannot be sowed in space. Time is running out. The rest of us are dead. All dead. All dead and time is running out.
They change as they listen. Take different postures. Pull back from me and my stolen ship. They stop looking at me. They only look at one another.
"The Korean Federalist Alliance does not intervene in the conflicts of unaffiliated planets," says one of them. "That is...our policy. We will gladly fuel your ship and offer whatever maintenance you may require, but after that we must ask you to continue on."
"They'll die," I say. "I'll die. You have a planet? Why can't I go there? There are only four-ten eight spores and myself. That is all. You will not notice us."
"It cannot be done," says another. "You must leave before this cycle closes."
"There are stasis waves in your ship," says another. "Those will buy you more time. I'll show you."
They show me. They will not say any more about their planet and why I cannot go there. Others with weapons linger nearby, watching, waiting. The weapons are familiar. Similar to those used by the Ring Gods.
I go. I don't know where I'm going. And time becomes a void. A blankness.
I awake and the ship has stopped. The wall thrums. The door opens without my command. More strangers. Something different. Something new. Where have I gone?
"hgk ygkh hjkyu hh oyhkuh test language code test language code do you understand do you under..."
"Yes," I say, frightened, hovering over the spores.
"What are you?"
I tell them. I tell them what I am. I tell them where I come from. I don't tell them anything else.
"And those?" They point at the spores.
"Members of my species," I say.
One comes forward, snatching a pod out of the tray. My flesh turns foamy white in rage and anxiety. One of them strikes me in the ninth joint and I collapse to the ground.
"This is an alien?" says the one holding the spore pod. Another grabs the pod and tosses it to the floor, before raising an appendage and grinding the pod into dust and glass.
They turn back to me. "Your ship crossed into Rus Territory. And this ship...where did you get it?"
"I stole it from the ones who killed my people," I say, hopeless, full of despair. They choke and sputter and shake their heads.
"Ah," they say. "Ah."
"I'm looking for a home..."
"No," they say. "No."
They tell me to leave Rus territory. They do not tell me where that is, or what that means. They only deign to fix the door they've broken and drop my ship back into the black of space.
Four-ten seven. And me. I turn on the stasis waves. I sleep.
When I awake, they are standing over me. They talk. They ask me to speak. Language is learned.
I do not know these ones either.
"Why are you in this ship?" says one.
"I stole it from the ones who have exterminated my people," I say. Hopeless. Hopeless.
They look at one another. Shake heads. Speak softly.
"Do you know where you are?" says one.
I do not.
"American space," says one. "Do you know America?"
I do not.
"This is our flag - our emblem," says one, pointing at a patch on his shoulder. It's a familiar emblem. I see it nearly every time I open my eyes.
"Our ship," says one.
"You aren't...you aren't the Ring Gods."
"I bet we don't look much alike anymore, do we?" says one. "Given the call number on this ship, we're talking about an expedition force from...what? Eight hundred years ago? A thousand?"
"At least," says one.
"A lot changes," says one.
"How long have you been out here - all alone?"
The Ring Gods. Here. In the ship. Ancestors. But still...
"Will you kill me?" I ask.
They shake their heads. "No. No. We would never..."
"That was different, there. Wherever you came from..."
"Expansion of the strong."
"I need stable land," I say. "A pool of saline. Certain common bacteria..."
"What for?" says one.
"To live," I say. "To sow what remains of my people."
The heads are still shaking. As if they never stopped.
"That's not for us to decide..."
"We have processes for these things..."
"It's possible, of course, but only if you do things the right way..."
"It will take time, certainly..."
"I do not have time," I say. "We are nearly extinct."
Then, "We will gladly give you fuel."
"And food, perhaps, if we have what you need in adequate supply."
And when they have given me what they have to give, I close the door. The ship drops into space. The spores are dull. Gray. Dust brown.
I cannot bring myself to activate the stasis waves just yet. Perhaps later.
The next twenty seconds were some of the longest Agrutu ever experienced.
"Fire back at them, damn it! I'm bringing intel to you!" he yelled into the crackling communicator, as he dodged the latest barrage of pulsar shots from the Chinese starships hot on his tail. Agrutu felt his skipper shudder under his tentacles. She was technically a leisure craft, certainly not designed for high-speed intergalactic chases. "Give me some cover!"
The American starships, wrathful leviathans that they were, merely continued bobbing peacefully on the other side of the border. Agrutu could tell that their weapon systems were primed, but it seemed that the selfish bastards were not going to lift a finger to help him.
He was on his own.
"We see you, Agrutu," came the calm, disembodied reply, "we'll be waiting for you if you make it over. All the best."
"Hey, wait, wait -"
A single energy blast caught his skipper on the wing, tearing it off effortlessly. Agrutu closed his eyes, held on tight to his controls. This was the moment of reckoning.
He felt his skipper shudder as he crossed the border, and the automated message was beamed directly to his mind.
"You are now in territory controlled by the American Empire. Please ensure all passage tokens are ready for inspection. You are hereby reminded that smuggling of any Class A restricted items is a capital offence. All passengers... "
He had made it. He was safe now.
"Untentacle me! I am on your side, you ugly monkeys! I'm here to see High Commander Leighton, he can vouch for me!"
The energy restraints bit into him, and as much as he struggled, Agrutu found no relief. He could tell that the soldiers were too low down the food chain to understand the import of his mission, and his only hope was that they had enough presence of mind to summon their ranking officer.
Once he had all that cleared up, once the transaction was completed and the Americans paid him for the intelligence he had smuggled out under the Chinese Dynasty's nose, he would be made for life, just as he had been promised.
Still, he couldn't shake the feeling that he had leapt out of a solar flare only to land in a collapsing nebula.
"You are Agrutu?" said the man with pepper hair, whose entry into the room brought a certain electricity to it. He wasn't as tall as the others, or as strong, but Agrutu could clearly see that this one oozed power.
"Yes, yes! And you're Commander Leighton! I recognise you from the holograms! Listen, I'm on your side! Just check the cache on my skipper! Fifty oolabytes of hard Chinese intel, straight from their main servers!"
"How did you get your tentacles on those?"
"You guys recruited me, don't you remember? Your agents contacted me, and I agreed to help! So please, let me go, give me my credits, and I'll be on my way!"
It had seemed almost too good a deal back then, but the Americans had kept to their word most of the way. Agrutu was just another alien, one of dozens who had been employed to assist with maintaining the vast administration of the Chinese Dynasty. Then came one of the humans, slightly different in colour and shape than the humans he had been used to, and it was there that the deal was struck.
And the more Agrutu learned, the more he was stumped. It turned out that the human race, at the apex of the galaxy, was itself made up of twenty different rival factions, all hailing from their home planet Earth. Never before had the galaxy seen such diversity in represention, such lack of homogenaeity.
It was in that cauldron of competition between the different human factions that spies like Agrutu found their calling.
"You should be treating me better," spat Agrutu, turning purple with anger. "I risked my life for this, and all you can -"
The room fell silent again, as a second man, equal in stature, entered. This man, Agrutu was intimately familiar with.
"Commander Xi? What..." Agrutu's mouth hung agape.
"Ah, so you were the one who was undermining our systems. Took us some time to root you out, and at much cost too."
"But why... I thought you... all hated each other..."
"We don't like each other much, that's true, and from our long history there were times you could even say that we hate each other," said Commander Leighton, after tipping his head slightly in the other Commander's direction. "But once we escaped our home planet, saw what spoils lay in the great beyond, it turned out that our hatred was misplaced."
Commander Xi smiled, baring his teeth.
"As he said, we learned that the only thing we hated more than each other, was other species."
This is excellent. You really made the protagonist seem alien in the way it perceived what we humans were doing and saying. And you really made us seem alien through its perspective; how confusing it all must have been to meet an inhomogeneous species. Saving this.
Are you saying that humanity isn't actually twenty different empires, it just looks that way to fuck with people? Or is it just that there's a lot of back-channels to deal with filthy xenos trying to steal from one faction to sell to another?
[WP] Instead of ageing, everyone in the world gets younger and younger. Your parents eventually reach 18/17, and you have a hard time, as a 48 year old child, keeping them from living a rebellious and wild teenage lifestyle.
"Mom!" I screamed and tucked away the wines they had once spent years collecting. Only the bottles remained.
"Oh shush," Eleanor, my mother slurred. Now she preferred the name Ely.
My dad giggled beside her and grabbed an empty bottle, eyeing its last drops.
"No, no." I snatched the bottle out of his hand. "Guys, you have work tomorrow. How are you supposed to go in like this?"
"Oh we have work everyday," George, my father, groaned. "And it's always the same damn thing. Live a little Sals."
"That's Sally," I said. "And you won't have work everyday if you keep this up."
"I'll drink to that." He pulled a flask from his pocket and swung his head back, swallowing a massive gulp.
I snatched that one too. "Mom, dad. You have work tomorrow and I have school tomorrow. C'mon."
"Sals." George pushed himself up, suddenly serious. "Sit." It wasn't the slurred words of a drunken teen, but the calm and steady voice of a father. I did as I was told.
"When you get to my age, you'll realize that you've spent your whole life trying to draw between the lines. You spent decades coloring in the picture that society had told you to draw and while its a pretty picture, it isn't your picture."
My eyes widened. Somewhere deep within his intoxicated, teenage brain, my father was still providing me the wisdom of his years.
"I'm not saying you should throw away the picture completely, but venturing a bit outside the lines isn't bad, in fact, it's what lets you own your picture. Do you understand?"
I nodded. "Yes, dad."
"Look," my mother said, Eleanor not Ely. "Everybody has regrets. Its inevitable. Me and your father, we have a lot of them because we never explored and now we're just trying to make up for lost time. We may seem crazy to you, but what's truly crazy is how hard we kept to our little bubble, never seeing the world beyond it."
I pressed my lips together and nodded again. "Yes, mom."
"So in that spirit, me and your mom are going to head out for a bit to experience the world," George said.
Then, it hit me. "Hell no! You're just trying to get into the party the Assisted Living Campus is hosting tonight!"
"Sals, c'mon!" And George was once again slurring his words. "It's the biggest party of the year. It's themed! Corporate Hoes and CEOs."
"I'm the corporate hoe," Ely giggled.
"No." I redoubled my efforts to collect their alcohol. "No, no, no. You are on lock down tonight, mister."
"Why are you always such a hard-ass!" George shouted.
With the last of their alcohol in my clutches, I stomped out of the basement. "Don't even try to sneak out!" I screamed and slammed the door behind me.
"I hate you," came the muffled voice of my father. "I wish I was never born!"
I exhaled a small breath and brought his flasks to my mouth. I would need a little bit if I was making it through the night.
/sub/jraywang for 2+ stories a day, continuations by popular demand, and more!
I really don't know how you do it, but every one of your stories is delightful.
"She broke up with me, Michael," dad said, as he walked in through the front door. His words and expression betrayed no emotion.
"Oh, God. I'm so, so sorry," I said, my voice shaking. I thought I was prepared for this day - ready for it - but I realised in an instant, I wasn't. I would have to find a way to be strong now - for him.
"What's the point?" he asked. No tears. No anger. A genuine question.
"Of what?" I asked, struggling to hold back my tears.
"Of... anything, now. My life...sixty years of happiness are over."
"I'm so sorry, dad," I repeated. "But, this had to happen eventually. You must have known that, right dad?"
I regretted saying it as soon as the words left my mouth. How could I be so fucking insensitive, when he needed me the most?
"Not to us. I... I mean I knew I'd never leave her. I thought maybe... we were different. You know, sometimes you hear stories of people who stayed together until they were kids, and they end as neighbours... and... ah, I don't know." His head dropped and his body deflated like a punctured balloon.
"You've got the memories dad. You'll have them to treasure for the next eighteen years. She can't take those from you. No one can."
"I was so fucking naive, Michael. She left me for Stephen. Can you believe that? Guy's an asshat. Smokes weed, wants to get into art college. Jesus, he hangs out late at night drinking a bottle of vodka from a paper bag."
"Maybe mom is just, frightened? Her life, it's coming to... you know... a crossroads. And she's never experimented. She's never known anything different to you."
"Why does she need anything different to me?"
We were silent for a few moments as dad just stared at the floor.
"Her and Stephen, it won't work out."
Dad looked up at me.
"Come on, you know they won't. And you, dad, you were the love of her life. Nothing can change that. Not separation, not youth - and sure as hell not Stephen."
"I know. I just, oh God. I already just miss her so fucking much. She was part of me, you know? Part of my being. Of what made me, me. There's just a hole, now. And it's swallowed everything. Hope, joy - everything. I'm empty."
"I'm sorry, dad."
"...it's like, she dragged a knife down my heart and even if it heals, there will be a scar on it for the rest of my life."
"Sorry. I just want her back. That's all."
"Maybe she will come back. Sometimes, they do come back, for a bit."
"...maybe," he said, but I knew he didn't believe it.
"There are good things coming up for you, dad. Some people love the next few years! You can retire. No more responsibilities. Pocket money. Plenty of time to play your favourite computer games."
"I don't like games."
"Oh, you will, dad."
"So... what? I do nothing with my life for the next 16 years until you put me in diapers and get me a nanny, and then - that's it. No fucking thank you."
"You've still got me," I replied. "I'll love you - and mom - no matter what happens."
"I don't think I can do it."
"Oh, dad," I said, unable to hold back the tears any longer. "It'll get easier, I promise."
I walked over to him hugged him tightly. He buried his head into my cardigan, and he cried. His body shook as he wept, and I felt his warm tears fall onto my chest. I gently kissed his head.
He pulled away and wiped his eyes.
"One day at a time, okay?" I said.
He smiled and nodded at me, before walking up the stairs.
I heard his bedroom door slam.
"For both of us," I said quietly.
My paternal grandparents have died within minutes of each other. Cute little things, wrapped up in cotton blankets side by side, their skin smoother and more delicate than it has ever been in their long lives. Tiny hands intertwined one last time.
My parents break the news to me as I am tending to the garden. Both wearing skinny jeans and oversized tshirts, their hair full and colorful, their skin bright and healthy under the glare of the sun.
Dad looks a bit devastated, and Mum seems ok, if not indifferent; she's brought out her phone and is rapidly typing something, probably a text to Heather or Julie.
"Wow," I say, "I'm sorry, Dad."
He shrugs and whips his fringe from his forehead, effortless, graceful, reminiscent of some androgynous rockstar. Dad stands there staring at the begonias that line the sidewalk, hands deep in his pockets, a slight slump in his posture. Then, slowly, zombielike, he walks back into the house.
"Yeah?" She doesn't look up.
"Your boss called. He said you haven't been to work in more than a week."
"Yeah, I know?"
"Well..." I'm trying to sound reasonable and not scolding or anything, because if she gets a hint that I'm trying to reprimand her, she'll go ballistic. She'll scream at me, swear at me, tell me that I don't get her, that I don't understand what it's like.
"It's the right thing to do," I say, cringing at what's about to come. "Going to work, I mean."
She looks up from her phone with narrowed eyes. She approaches me, arms tense by her side as if poised to pounce on me. I cower. Then, thoroughly surprising me, she hugs me, and for so long that, at some point, it feels like she's not going to let go. When she pulls away, she ruffles my hair, and looks down at my dirtied fingers in hers.
"Take a bath afterwards will you," she says with a hint of exasperated maternity, and then she stalks off, muttering a verse from a popular rap song, whipping the hair out of her eyes like dad.
They're going out again. Dark jackets and sweatpants and heavy make up, cologne and jewelry and teenage anticipation. They've both been drinking, which isn't bad for Mum because she's still of age. Dad is 17 now but he says he wants to "release". I don't blame him and so I don't object. He's been quiet the whole day, wandering aimlessly and silently around the house like some confused phantom, lingering on close doors, eyes blank, staring.
I stay at home and cook dinner. I feel lonely. It's about time I looked for someone and started a family. Mum and Dad have been asking me when I'm going to bring a girl home. I have yet to tell them I'm gay. Maybe tonight when they come home from wherever they've gone.
It's midnight and I'm at my typewriter, producing a report on how to best take care of petunias, when my phone rings. The person's tone is grave, heavy. I can hear sirens in the background, people talking in hushed voices, sorrow clearly floating over them like some dark, forbidding cloud.
[WP] You are immortal, but no one knows. You are given a life sentence in prison, and you laugh thinking about the confusion to come at the end of your sentence.
It took them twenty years to notice I wasn't aging and report it to some relevant authority. Twenty years, three wardens, four cell blocks, forty-one sessions in solitary.
"Why is he so tan?" the lead physician said to the transfer agents.
"He came in that way," one them replied. "Twenty years ago."
The physician's name was Elizabeth Torvald, and I became her life's work. I was held in a high-security medical facility for forty years. She took skin samples, blood samples, hair, saliva, semen, you name it. As technology evolved, her team performed full-body scans and genetic analyses. By my count, Dr. Torvald's team created about thirty potential vaccines for death, and all of them failed.
She refused to retire until she was eighty, when they forced it upon her. That's when she ordered the full vivisection. That's when I killed sixteen of them.
So back to prison I went. This time, it was a triple-supermax secret prison in a converted mine. It was located ... somewhere. In America, I think. There were only a handful of prisoners there, and we were all kept in solitary confinement.
For the first hundred years, I made friends with guards and their replacements, who were often their own children. They were all military police. We played lots of poker.
For the next hundred years, they attempted to keep all prisoners in some sort of drug-induced stasis. Five of them died, but it had no effect on me. I was wide awake unless I didn't want to be. This was the century of nanomedicine, and I was repeatedly pumped full of invisible machines to map every pore and corner. Nineteen different scientific teams tried to discover the secret to my longevity, with varying results - some gave up, others went crazy, and one team destroyed itself convinced they'd discovered immortality, each trying to steal it.
After three hundred years, my tan began to fade.
In the fourth century, they stopped feeding us. A guard would come through about once a year for a cursory inspection. He never looked me in the eyes. The only two left were a female prisoner and me. She had been down there for about a century, and had clearly lost her mind. We could see each other through our transparent doors, but we couldn't hear each other. She took her clothes off and scratched her arms bloody for six years straight. She began to wither, at first slowly, and then quite rapidly. After seventy years, the fingers of her left hand fell off. Not long after that, she was a pile of bones.
In the fifth century, I was alone. There were loud concussions far above me, so powerful the whole mine shook. Nuclear, maybe. Not long after that, the power began to fail.
In the sixth century, I lived in the dark. I napped a lot. The prison grew cold and damp. I guessed that there must have been a filtration system that kept the humidity low, maybe a pump system to siphon out subterranean water. Those had failed.
In the seventh century, the walls began to crumble. After a decade of trying, I managed to pull a leg off of my bunk. I scraped at the walls, and sometimes at the edges of the door.
In the eighth century, after one hundred fifteen years of scraping and digging, I broke through the cell wall. It was stone, and behind it was a flooded passageway. The water had been eating away at the wall for some time.
For two years I swam, lost in the dark. For two years I drowned, over and over again.
Finally, I found a passage to an iron landing. There was a ladder that led up to a rubble-filled chamber, and from there, a sealed blast door.
I don't know how long it took to get through the blast door.
When I got outside, the first thing I did was sink my toes in the grass. There was grass everywhere, and trees, and evidence of life. Deer prints, droppings of horses. I could tell that there had been roads here once, but the grass had devoured them. I spied the faint outline of a wide road heading east, and decided to follow it. I wasn't sure where it would lead, but it would give me time to work on my tan. I knew that a rare steak was too much to ask, but maybe I'd find a beer along the way. Maybe a cigar, a new pair of shoes, a day in the sun.
Give a man enough time and he can build anything.
I wasn't sure how to start this story. It was between this and 'give a man enough time and he'll go bananas and do really weird stuff'. Not much of a ring to that second one, so I went with the first.
Anyway, the first thousand years weren't that bad. I pretty soon realized the warden was also immortal, and he realized the same about me, and we became friends.
"Can you, like, let me out of prison when everyone in the world dies?" I asked, those first few years. "That technically would count as a life sentence, right? And no one would know cause everyone who knew I was sentenced to life would be dead already."
"Sorry," the warden said. "Rules are rules."
My luck, right? The only other immortal person on the planet is my warden, and is a goody-good.
So he made it his mission to ensure that my life sentence was served. In his defense, immortality is insanely boring, so I guess I became his project. Something to do. Fill your days. Life makes no sense. It doesn't matter. Anyway.
After the fall of the Roman Empire things got boring. The warden would visit me often and we'd play cards and games and talk about politics and world affairs.
"What do you think of this feudalism thing?"
"It's a fad. Won't last."
"This Renaissance stuff is really strong lately, right?"
"Kids. It'll pass."
We'd talk about people. Celebrities.
"What's up with the Newton guy, huh?"
"Oh, please, give me a break. Gravity…. Yeah, invisible forces pushing and pulling us. Sounds like religion to me."
"This Napoleon guy sure looks like he means business."
"This Black Plague thing is really something, huh? Hope we don't get it."
"Tell me about it. Here, I brought you a pet rat from the sewers."
"Aww, that's sweet."
And so on and so forth.
After the Third World War there was a brief period of seven thousand years when we didn't speak (he took the aliens' side while I remained faithful to our kind the humans).
(To be fair, the aliens were right, with their whole 'universal-peace' project, and we exterminated them for no good reason.... but, like... I'm human, you know? What was I supposed to do.)
(I do feel guilty, though.)
We became friends again after the explosion of the sun, on the interstellar living facility.
"How many people live here?" I asked. I wasn't allowed to leave the facility prison, so I didn't know how many had escaped Earth.
"About a million."
"Wow… that's like… Greek Empire numbers."
"We sure shrank."
We started on the Project around the end of the Seventh Age (mankind started counting time in Ages instead of years on account of the whole sun-exploding business). Worked on it all through the remaining days of mankind and the Others. All living things perishing around us. The warden started spending more and more time in the cell with me. He slept there often.
When all was cold and barren and lifeless but for us, when all was dark but the light inside my cell and him and I were all there was left gliding through the void, we finished it.
Minutes to go until the end. Heat death. Complete nothingness. The end of the world.
Me and the Warden. And our project.
A tiny little sphere, floating between us.
"You think it'll work?"
"We worked on it for billions of years," I said. "It better work."
He looked down at the model universe floating between us. All the same programing, the same coding. Helium, carbon, matter, energy, the forces… gravity, electromagnetism.
We built a universe inside that cell. And it floated between us.
"Hey," the warden said. "It's deterministic, right? This universe?"
Outside, the universe blackened and darkened and the light inside the cell grew dimmer, and I could feel myself and the warden fading, slowly, finally. Life is a joke.
"So change the setting at the big bang, just a tweak. Can you do it?"
Silence. Darkness. Empty. We were dying at last. Horribly. Beautifully. Dying.
"Yeah. Change what?"
"Make it so when there's life…" The warden smiled. "There'll be two immortal dudes."
I shook my head. I smiled at the warden. Then I tweaked my universe and set it in motion, and all was dark and the world ended.
And then it was born again.
More of me emulating way more talented authors at /sub/psycho_alpaca =)
The thought of drowning over and over again really sucks ass.
Part 1 | Part 2
The oldest man in the world sat behind bars, his wrists cuffed together and feet chained to the floor. Officially, he was 140 years old, though that was because his doctored birth certificate had him born May 28th, 1870. Unofficially, he was around for the birth of Christ, though when he had told the police, they didn't believe him. He chuckled wondering how long he'd have to wait for them to finally see the truth.
He had been given a life sentence for murder. Multiple murders to be exact. At court, he had looked at the judge straight-faced and asked, "what's the big deal?"
Human lives came and went. He had seen empires fall in flame. He had fought in wars back when they raped and pillaged. Now, someone had caught him killing just a handful of men and suddenly it was the end of the world.
Humans--what an irrational species.
There was talk that he would get the electric chair. Any day now, they claimed. It would be the most publicized execution the world had ever seen.
As a testament to human irrationality, reporters from all over the world had flocked to his jail cell. A 140 year old man behind bar with the convicts? Such cruel and unusual punishment! They had taken one look at his age and thought it meant anything more than just a number. And so he had shown them how irrational they truly were. He had picked the youngest, brightest, most energetic defender of his--a young girl that wore lipstick too bright and perfume too sharp--and strangled her in front of their cameras.
Now, he was something of a celebrity. It was Marilyn Monroe that said something along the lines of--the only thing worse than being talked about is not. He would know. He had been there popping pills next to her when she had said it.
"Hey asshole," came a familiar voice. It was Randy, the guard hired solely to look over him. Randy clanged his nightstick against the cell bars and peeked through. "Today's the big day, I even brought you your last meal."
He tossed a porcelain plate through the bars. It broke and shattered on the floor.
"Sorry, asshole," he said, never taking his eyes off his prisoner. "I was hungry. The steak was good though, cut rare, just how I like."
The prisoner looked up and smiled. No matter how Randy taunted him, he still held the trump card. "Sorry about your daughter," he said. "But her perfume was suffocating me. No hard feelings?"
Randy shut up, his face burned purple. For a second, it looked as if he would unlock the cage and kill the old man himself. Instead, he gritted his teeth and walked off.
"I'll be back in five minutes to take you to the chair. Better start praying."
The prisoner laughed. Pray? To what? But poor Randy, the man thought that some chair with some wire would kill the old man. It was foolish. With a smile, he picked up a porcelain shard and slipped it into his pants.
The most televised execution in the world would soon become the most televised escape in the world. Or perhaps the most televised massacre in the world. He couldn't decide which sounded better.
/sub/jraywang for 2+ stories a day, continuations by popular demand, and more!
[WP] Lycanthropy is a real disease that perplexes everyone. One interesting fact about it is that it isn't restricted to wolf forms, but can extend to bear forms, bat forms, panther forms and a few others. The rarest of them all is dragon form, which you have been diagnosed with
Edit: Well this prompt exploded
Yay for me I hit 5000 karma... and it's going up still...
"Don't be so glum, Jack. It's really quite a special condition."
"That's exactly what it is. A condition. A disease."
"It's a shame you can't control it, Jack, I'll give you that. And we don't know what your trigger will be. That could make it a tad inconvenient. But a dragon, Jack! We always imagined we were dragons when we were little, remember? Now you get to be one!"
"Easy for you to say, Anna. You've had your form under control since you were ten."
Anna swished her tail lazily beneath the tree branch that supported her. Jack paced beneath.
"You know the Ministry will be after you," Anna said.
"Of course they will be. And I refuse to become a weapon for their deluded cause."
"They would help train you, at least. Get your form under control."
"At what cost? Killing innocent people for territory? Absolutely not. Maybe I should just go live deep in the woods somewhere where I won't hurt anyone."
"And what will that accomplish? Dragons have wings, in case you forgot. You'll be able to fly from wherever you are to wherever your form wants to go."
"I wonder," Jack said, "what will happen to my mind."
"Well, you know it depends on the form. Wolves can barely control themselves, but I'm just a panther with a human mind. It depends on the person, too, how much willpower they have."
Jack shuffled his feet. "I feel like it changes day by day."
Then he started breathing heavily, then coughing. He fell to his knees, his breath coming in ragged gasps.
"Jack?" Anna leapt down from her perch and went over to him.
She was about to put her paw on his arched back when bony spikes shot through his shirt along his spine. He threw his head back and let out a bone chilling screech. His arms and underarms snapped open to reveal scaly wings with claws at the end. He was a snake molting, a chick hatching. His skin was bloody where it tore, it hung off him in tatters. He grew. Soon he was ten feet tall, twenty, thirty. He towered over the clearing, narrow eyes blazing with the fire inside his belly. He let out a screech that ran for miles and put shivers into everyone who heard it.
Anna cowered behind the tree, looking up at Jack, looking for something to tell her he was still there, inside.
"Jack," she said as loudly as she dared, "can you hear me?"
Of course I can, a voice in her head said. I can hear everything now. Your voice, the voice of the trees and the birds. The heartbeat of the world. I understand it all now. They tell me to rule over them, to protect them. I intend to.
"W-what does that mean?"
I have tasted true power, Anna. I can feel it in my bones, in my dragonfire. I can't be content as a bystander in this feeble world anymore. I must dominate it. I am destined to dominate it.
"You're being delusional, Jack. Don't you remember what we just talked about? Your mental state..."
Of course I remember. But my eyes are open now - my real eyes. Goodbye, Anna, for now. I have work to do.
He beat his wings down and the air buffeted the clearing. He rose into the air like a fearsome vessel from the depths of the sea.
Anna called out as he flew away: "Where are you going?"
There was no response, and she thought he hadn't heard her.
Then the voice in her head spoke:
To the Ministry
Edit: Wow, this blew up! Thank you all so much for the kind words and support! This is my most popular story EVER!
I've created a subreddit so I can share the forthcoming Part II that you all are demanding :)
Subscribe to /sub/xilead to read Part II (when I get a chance to write it, I'm sorry!) and all my future Writing Prompts stories.
I'll post my backlog as well. Hopefully there will be some original stories soon as well.
The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures is going to have to work overtime on this one.
You might think of dragons as noble beasts, defending realms, or guarding towers with princess' locked inside. Perhaps you think of them as cute little creatures with big round eyes and pointed tails. That is not so. They feast on blood and fear, and their taste for child-meat, in particular, is insatiable.
Did you know that dragons have a frontal row of fangs meant for tearing and ripping a child's flesh away, and a row of blunt teeth behind for masticating and releasing all those delicious flavors?
Hm? Oh, a dark ale, I think. Thank you.
My name is Agni, and I am what is commonly referred to as a werebear. You might ask: what is a werebear, and where did the name come from? Well, that is all thanks to Susan Garthwaite - a werewolf. Susan contracted the first case of primal-morphistation at the age of seventeen. On nights around a full moon - a night either side - Suzan would explode into a wolf like creature, that at the time, was referred to as a werewolf. Suzan, given the unfortunate distinction of the first primal-morphistation case, was prodded and poked by doctors for the rest of her rather short life - until one day, the doctors tragically poked too far.
Susan might not have stuck around for long, but the term werewolf, unfortunately did. Hence, werebear was given to my condition. Strangely, the dysfunctional nomenclature did not carry over to weredragons, and instead we simply refer to those people as dragons.
I'm sorry, I'm boring you with history that you're no doubt aware of - but I don't stop by many places like this, and having a drink and telling a tale is something I can't resist. So, where was I? Ah yes, dragons - thank you.
There is some truth to those old dragon myths and tales. They have an armour of almost impenetrable scales, that also serves to disguise their black hearts with its iridescent shimmering. Children just can't look away. Candy from a baby. Breathing fire is an exaggeration, but their bite is poisonous and will paralyse a man within twenty seconds. Treasure hoarding? Well of course, they like money but they tend to prefer souvenirs from their kills. A rattle, perhaps. Or a teddy-bear, or a locket. I've seen them keep enough artefacts from a single child to put royal shrines to shame.
Ah, you've heard the legends of the dragons already? Have you heard too of their cunning? No, not many have, but it should never be underestimated!
Another beer, and I will tell you my purpose for being here. I must say, your musician is excellent! It's not often you see a fiddle player any more. There's something so... whimsical about it, don't you think?
I am here because I have been chasing a dragon. Ha! No, not that kind. A real dragon, and it has migrated towards the safety of these hills. Calm down, please! - your children are safe as long as I'm here! As I said, I am a werebear, and my teeth are one of the few things that can rip through the scales of a dragon.
This one's name is Kalama, and from the darkness I see falling outside your windows, I would suggest you have but two hours until she turns, and her hunt begins. You will see my eyes are already turning the tell-tale red of the werebear.
Yes, quite right to call your children inside.
Money to stay here and protect you? But I must be on my way to hunt the damned beast!
That much? Well... I can hardly refuse it. And, I suppose I might end up saving lives. Very well, I accept.
Do you have a cellar room here? Good! Gather the village children and bring them there, within the hour. I can keep them safe, as long as they are together. Then, keep that door locked until the moon falls and the morning sun rises. Already I feel the first twitch of my morphistation begin - and so will Kalama!
Yes this cellar room is perfect.
Leave us now, I will guard them - have the men watch the doors and windows upstairs.
Good, it is locked firm.
Hello there, sweetheart, that's a lovely doll you have.
It would make for a wonderful souvenir.
If you liked this, please come check out more of my stuff on /sub/nickofnight
Thanks for reading!
Dr. Montoya entered the room, clipboard in hand. "You're a were-dragon," he said bluntly.
I chuckled, "that's funny. You're funny, doc." He didn't laugh.
"No, it's actually quite serious," he said sternly, "I'd like to keep you for some tests." He was already sending word to his friends over email. "It may take a few days."
That's what the other doctors told me. Tests. More like experiments. They learned in the end that you can't contain a dragon...
Almost immediately he received a reply on his computer, and as he read it, his eyes began to bulge with terror. I can almost guarantee they are telling him to sedate me, that he should've when he first found out. They're telling him that he shouldn't have tried to get famous off of someone else's incredibly rare "misfortune." Lucky for me, I've learned to control the transformation, I no longer need to be in danger for the beast to come out. Now, I am the danger.
I stood as he finished reading his letter. I'm not sure if he knew what was going to happen in the next few seconds -- his last moments -- but he knew that i knew. The transformation is almost instant, the heat peels paint from the office walls. Without hesitation, i exhaled a fire of a thousand suns. The other patients were merely collateral damage. I was saving myself. I didn't care about the innocent. I cared about surviving.
As the building burnt to ash, I spread my wings and took flight in a random direction, hoping to find a new town. Again. Hoping to find a place where i can live in peace. Again. I'm not a wild animal, i need civilization and to be social. I just want the human experience without fear of someone coming for me.
Dr. Yam entered the room, clipboard in hand. "So, uh..." he paused, trying to find the words, "You're basically the healthiest person in town." He looked at me, unconvinced. "I mean, you have to already know. There's no way you don't." He almost sounded proud as he say in front of me. "How do you want you handle this?"
I was shocked, he didn't inform anyone. He was legitimately curious how i felt. "I think," i stammered, "i think I'm going to like you Dr. Yam."
(I HAVEN'T ACTUALLY WRITTEN IN 10 YEARS, BE KIND) also on mobile so sorry for lack of formatting.
[WP] You have a superpower where the harder a solid is the easier it is for you to break. Diamonds crumble to dust under the slightest touch but mashed potatoes are virtually unbreakable.
Being born with the ability to crumble and pulverise even the hardest of objects in the world, it really came as a surprise when I found out that the most effortless tasks requires the most effort for me to do. Meet my bane: soft objects.
"Mom! I'm going over to Emilia's for dinner to meet her parents, so I won't be home till late," I said, while scrambling for my car keys and adding the final touchups to my hair. Faded shave with an undercut, coupled with a neat backcomb the likes of David Beckham and Marco Reus would be jealous of, I was sure to charm Emilia's parents off their seats as the suave and handsome boyfriend that was in tandem with their gorgeous and precious daughter.
"When is my turn to have her over for dinner? You have been talking about her for ages and yet I can only picture her as a hot lady with an ass to die for and a killer rack. I can't even put a face to her name! Do bring her over soon, gosh, just thinking about having her over for dinner really excites me! I wonder how many children..."
"Mom! Please! As promised, I'll bring her home soon enough, but I gotta go now so see you later!"
"Remember to be EXTRA careful around their expensive China vases and diamond rings when you shake their hands; and most importantly, remember to use... er herm...protection," Mom said, giving me a wink.
I rolled my eyes and gave her a smile. What more can I say to a Mom that witty?
I was greeted by Emilia, flanked by her parents, at the porch. She gave me a tight hug, and I returned it likewise. Hands shot out simultaneously and I was careful to scrutinise them before wrapping my fingers around the parts that avoided those diamond rings. After the formalities, I was invited inside for dinner and boy must I be lying if I said that the food wasn't good. In fact, it was lovely and different flavours worked in symphony and tantalised my tastebuds after every bite, begging for more.
Of course, the hardest part of the dinner was trying to cut the soft chicken that was immersed in the heavenly broth, it took a whole lot of teeth baring and muscles straining before I managed to slice off a teeny piece of meat. Did I just say hardest? God almighty, when Emilia came to serve her special mashed potatoes that were soft and creamy, I was left mouth agape.
I had to feign ignorance and avoid the mashed potatoes or I would be deemed as a failure for not even being able to make an indent in it. So, when Emilia served it, my first reaction was that of question and puzzlement. "What's that?" I asked.
"Er... mashed potatoes?" Emilia's dad said.
"Oh, never heard of a potato, looks pretty good."
They shot me an incredulous look and we went back and forth about not hearing and eating a potato before.
"Enough is enough. You're fucking with us. Admit it," Emilia's dad said.
"Sir, before today I never heard of a potato. I still don't know what a potato is, other than some kind of food. I don't know what to tell you."
That's when her dad started yelling at me, and Emilia started crying and went to another room, while her mom kept saying "what are you doing?".
Her dad asked me to get out of the house and I told him that I didn't deserve to be treated that way as I had not heard of a potato before, and he didn't seem happy to hear that.
Back home, I'm telling Emilia that I really don't know what a potato is. The only solution to this problem is for them to buy into the fact that I didn't know what a potato is.
Not that I wanted it, but I really hoped that I wasn't born with the power to break hard objects and cower at soft ones. In the end, the only thing that I managed to break with my power was to break up with Emilia.
I set my phone down and called you a mother fucker once I caught on to the story. Really well done!
I THOUGHT WE WERE DONE WITH THIS POTATO BULLSHIT KEVIN!
But seriously, 10/10 story.
Same! As soon as I saw what is a potato I knew.
[WP] Two famous reporters are getting married. But Clark is having trouble explaining why a billionaire, a diplomat, a P.I., a CSI tech, and a test pilot from different cities are attending the wedding.
Basically Superman has his wedding but the Justice League show up as not very inconspicuous guests.
Clark shifted nervously in his shoes. He was never one for dancing and the reception, as he knew was custom, called for the bride and groom to have their first dance together. He made it through the ceremony, relatively unscathed, but this was something else. He looked at himself in the mirror, then adjusted his tie. "Goddamnit, why did I go with yellow? I have such a nice black tie at home."
"Well, Mr. Kent, yellow represents happiness," a voice broke in from the left. Clark turned, ready to face whatever stood in the door, but was more surprised than anything. Bruce Wayne stood smiling in the doorway in a neat black suit. "How'd the ceremony go?"
"Fine, Mr. Wayne," he said. "What brings you all the way to upstate New York?"
"I heard two famous reporters were getting married," he said and walked inside. He looked at Clark in the mirror, his curl dominating his forehead and he smirked. "You look good, old friend."
Clark smirked, then said, "Thanks. Lois know you're here?"
"I'd hope so. She invited me," Bruce shrugged, "Well she invited Batman."
"Been a long time since you donned the suit," Clark said. "How many years has it been?"
"Five, at least." Bruce brushed a hair off of Clark's shoulder then turned to him, "You nervous?"
"Can you tell?"
"C'mon, you've danced before. It's nice and easy," Bruce said. He adjusted his bowtie in the mirror. "I'm surprised I beat everyone else here."
"Everyone else?" Clark said, a lump formed in his throat. Then, through the doorway that Bruce had appeared from, Diana Prince and Arthur Curry walked inside in their finest formal attire. "What the--"
"Don't look so surprised! Did you really think we'd miss your wedding?" Diana said.
"Well, the fun half at least," Arthur added, "No offense, Kent, but that wedding ceremony must've been a drag."
"Lois' choice, not mine." Then he smirked, "I didn't think you'd all come so I didn't bother--"
"Lois handled all of it," Bruce said and held out an invitation. "She actually sent it to the Hall," he laughed, "does she know we don't meet there anymore?"
"Some days I like to fly," Clark said, smiling. "or go to the Fortress. It...it calms me." He took the invitation and examined it. Written neatly by Lois was an invite to her and Clark's wedding, addressed to every member of the Justice League.
"Ah, well, you're lucky one of us still goes there," Bruce said. He turned to Arthur and Diana, "Still have bills to pay on that apparently."
Arthur laughed, "I am sorry but Atlantis needs me home. I spent far too long away."
"And since the wars are over, Themyscira is my home. I only ever come back to handle my diplomatic mission," Diana said. Then she turned to Clark and smiled, "And of course, I would never miss the wedding of a good friend."
Clark smiled. Arthur said, under his breath, "Missed my wedding."
Bruce laughed, "Yes, well, you didn't tell any of us you were married."
Clark looked at Arthur, "You...you married?"
He nodded with a slight smirk, "Yes. Well, the King needs a Queen."
There was a silence, followed by the chuckling laughter of four heroes. They hugged and embraced each other and then Clark turned back to face himself in the mirror. "I hope I'll make her happy."
"You kidding me? With that tie?" Arthur said.
"I thought black would be better."
A bolt of lightning flashed inside the room, followed by the halt of another well-dressed young man in a black suit. In his hand, he held a black tie and placed it in front of Clark, "Bruce contacted me on the way over. Said you wanted black?"
Clark smiled, "You know, I could've flown over to my house real quick without breaking and entering."
Barry Allen shrugged, "Wasn't a trouble at all. Besides, I kind of like the yellow."
Obligatory, thanks for the gold stranger!
/sub/blankpagesemptymugs for more of my work, or consider following my profile!
"Sir? We just apprehended and removed a man claiming to be a pilot from the establishment. When asked, he failed to present any form of ID or invitation. It seems he was a distraction though, and some unauthorised guests have snuck in - we've got one of them in our hands right now."
"Hm, that's odd." Clark remarked, ushering the guard away with a dismissive wave of his hand as he looked behind him. Clark nervously adjusted the collar of his suit as he surveyed the crowd, his gaze resting on a bulky, dark-skinned man being held up a plethora of guards. He felt compelled to check out the commotion before he was lightly tugged on the arm by Lois, Clark giving her a sidelong glance.
"Honey, you seem tense," Lois said softly, her hazel eyes looking into Clark's.
Clark cleared his throat. "Honestly, it's nothing. Nothing at all." His eyes tore away from her to refocus on the scene. The bulky man had burst through the guards, and upon closer inspection Clark's sensitive hearing could pick up how his feet clunked heavily against the floor. He could feel each clink and creaking cog of the man clad in iron. Clark rubbed at his temples. Cyborg. "Give me a moment, sweetie."
A light wind swept the chamber as he moved over to where Cyborg was, attracting the gaze of the bumbling crowd as Superman tightly coiled an arm around the other man's neck. From a distance it would've looked like a friendly, welcoming gesture. But Superman had Cyborg in a vice, pulling up his face to the man's ear. "It's fine, I know him," he said to the guards gathering around. Exchanging a few uncertain nods between each-other they dispersed back into the crowd, leaving Superman with some room to talk.
"Victor, why are you here at my wedding?" He asked brusquely, cutting straight to the point.
"Well, we thought we'd show up to surprise you, Supes. Old friends; we couldn't leave you hanging on your special day."
Clark raised a brow. "We?"
"Oh shit, I shouldn't have menti-"
"Clark." Superman felt a firm pair of hands on his back, and spun around to see a muscle-bound, tanned man grinning at him, his mouth lined with milky white teeth. Built like a statue, and likely with the fortitude of one, his suit could scarcely contain his barrel chest. The man's handsome face was marred only by hard eyes that focused on Superman intently.
"Arthur," Superman said curtly, bowing his head despite the panic beginning to grip him. He could only pray that it hadn't joined the party amongst the other members of the League.
"You're finally getting married, I see." Aquaman grimaced as he looked about the humble establishment, his brows furrowing. "Not quite on par with Atlantean ceremonies - surely you could've used the League's funds to get somewhere a bit more grandiose."
Superman drew up close, his voice a low hiss. "We're supposed to be undercover, goddamnit. We can't afford to host a damn gala."
Aquaman seemed disappointed for a moment. "Oh well, I just popped in to say hello and show my face. Bruce says hi by the way. He should be around."
Superman's face tried to maintain an expression of impassiveness, but he felt his head begin to swim at the divulgence. He almost didn't want to ask after the others. "A-and... Diana?"
"Should be with him, I think." Aquaman turned on his heels and began to walk, leaving the floor wet in his wake. Superman would've pursued him if not for the loud crash that suddenly sounded from across the building, preceding a ripple of screaming throughout the people in attendance. Within an instant Superman was on the case, his x-ray vision piercing the source of the disturbance before moving over to it. Sprinting - not flying - as he had to blend in, as inconvenient as it was.
A man was lying on the ground in a heap, bleeding profusely and his arm bent at an impossible angle. He groaned, squirming on the ground through throes of pain. Over him was a tall, foreign woman dressed in a flowing red dress, her eyes looking down at him with contempt.
"All I asked for was a dance, aghhhh," the man howled in pain, struggling to get up and promptly falling back down again.
"It is Amazonian tradition that a man does not ask for a dance when he wishes to mate. He draws his sword for battle, and wins the woman's favour through combat."
"Wha-?" Before the man could comprehend the rejection, the woman was off, pushing firmly through the crowd. Nobody bothered to stop her, not after what she'd done. One man stumbled and tripped at her feet as he tried to avoid blocking her path, and was met with a withering glare as the woman carefully stepped over him. She was about to make it to the door, her arm outstretched to open it, before a hand on her shoulder from Clark made her halt. She reached over and grabbed it, attempting to crush the Man of Steel's grasp before recoiling from confusion.
"You can't break steel that easy, Diana."
For a moment Diana turned to face him with the same expression of contempt, but soon the creases of her expression eased as she recognised Clark, quickly throwing her hands around him and letting out a slight squeal of joy.
"Oh, Clark! I didn't recognise you - I'm, so, so sorry about your guest. He wasn't anyone important, was he? God I hope not."
"I don't think so. I hope so anyway. You really should be a bit more like Bruce, Diana. Flaunting your powers is a poor idea."
She gave him a joking punch in the chest, breaking away from the hug and rustling her hair. "Ah, you know how I feel about men approaching me like that."
Superman raised his hands in mock surrender, cracking a slight grin in spite of the situation. "Trust me, I know. Speaking of which, do you happen to know where Bruce is? I heard he's here somewhere."
Diana opened her mouth to speak before Superman heard someone clear their throat behind him. Superman turned to see one of the guards with a nervous expression on their face. "Um, Sir, we can't seem to find your bride-to-be. She went missing with some man who preposterously claimed to be a billionaire."
Diana's mouth was agape as her and Clark met eyes for a moment, their brains slowly grinding to the conclusion they were mutually dreading.
"Shit," they said together, beginning to run.
"Hey, Clark," whispered Jimmy as they stood at the altar. Music was playing and the eyes of everyone in the church were awaiting the entrance of the bride.
"Yeah?" asked Clark, poking his glasses against his nose. Lois kept telling him it was a bad habit, but it calmed his nerves. And this was the biggest day of his life. Except, maybe, for landing on Earth, but that happened when he was a baby.
"Why is Bruce Wayne at your wedding?" Jimmy asked quietly, subtly moving his eyes toward the well-dressed businessman in the crowd.
"Uh, Jimmy," said Clark softly as Lois entered the room. "Is this the best time?" His bride to be walked slowly, one foot at a time, down the aisle as the eyes of the crowd followed along. Murmurs of how pretty her dress was were followed by shushes.
"Sorry, CK," Jimmy shrugged. "Was just curious."
"I know Bruce," said Clark, smiling when his eyes met with Lois's. "I've interviewed him before."
"Oh," said Jimmy. "Who are those other people he's with? Other billionaires?"
"Jimmy," Clark said, rolling his eyes. "I'll introduce you at the reception."
Jimmy tilted his head in thought "So you know them?"
Lois reached the altar and Clark kissed her on the cheek, followed by a whisper in her ear. "You look amazing."
"Not so bad yourself, Smallville," she returned.
"Clark," Jimmy whispered, poking him on the shoulder. "The tall Amazonian women, is she single? I think I have a shot-"
Jimmy's words were interrupted by a sharp stare from the bride. "Nevermind," he said. "I'll ask later."
Want more Superman stories? Check out /sub/dcfu!
I love how Bruce figured out he was nervous about dancing. World's Greatest Detective! And that ending was great :)
[WP] Finally medical technology has reached the point where humans can survive to be over 200 years old. It is at this moment that humanity discovers as a species we have a 200 year pupation period.
Dr. Arelkas shook her head in response. She didn't understand why Mr. Patel insisted on asking her such questions when he was perfectly capable of looking through the glass and seeing for himself the condition of his father.
The Chrysalis took over the entire bed of the room beyond the glass. It was golden in color, almost like the color of desert sand, yet it was smooth and rippled.
"How long has it been?"
Dr. Arelkas bit back a sigh, "Forty-eight days. There have been no changes for forty-eight days. I said I would keep you informed should anything change."
Mr. Patel ignored her impatience and put his hands on the glass, "He's a stubborn old man, you know? He could stay in there for a year if he felt like it."
"There is nothing else you can tell us about him? He never worked at a nuclear reactor? Never experimented with moths or anything?"
Mr. Patel shook his aged, bald head, "That asshole? Never. Construction worker for seventy years, then he retired, then construction foreman for another forty years. Hated doctors, hated medication, hated fast food. He hates a lot of things. It's basically his hobby."
"Wonderful." Dr. Arelkas sarcasm with as thick as her glasses, "So we'll have a grand time once he-"
Dr. Arelkas felt the spit dry in her mouth as she saw the chrysalis crack. She punched an alarm on her phone and rushed out of the room to get into her biohazard gear. Mr. Patel jerked back from her mad dash. He shrugged, and turned back to the window.
It was only a minute or two before a whole flood of doctors and scientists crowded into the room. There wasn't a single pair of hands in the room that weren't covered in blue latex.
The chrysalis cracked open even further, then again, and again. Mr. Patel pressed his nose against the glass and let his eyes widen as the golden stuff fell off in jagged shards and a pair of wrinkled, ancient hands appeared.
"Get...the hell... out!"
Mr. Patel smiled at the voice of his father. The bastard really was too ornery to die.
"Can't a man take a nap without some kind of interruption!" The hands grabbed the sides of the thing and a torso soon appeared, "I told Raj that I was NOT to be disturbed by... oh damnl! There's a lot of you bastards. Get the hell out! Shoo!"
"Mr. Patel," Dr. Arelkas approached the chrysalis and dodged a half-hearted blow from the old man, "You've been in that thing for forty-eight days now."
"Woulda been ninety if I'd been left in peace!" The old man kicked his legs free of the shell, sending shards flying into the nearby scientists, "Outa my way! I need to piss!"
"Sir, you're exhibiting behavior unheard of-"
"I'm pretty sure I've had to piss before. Now scoot!" Patel swung his legs out of the chrysalis and hopped down onto the floor.
Suddenly, there was a lot of space around him. He frowned, glared, and smacked a smaller doctor with one of his newly-formed wings.
"If'n you're not gonna move, I'll piss on this guy here." Patel shook a finger at the doctor he'd knocked over, "Now git!"
"But sir!" Came at him in a couple variation, "You have wings!"
"Why do you think I have to piss so bad?" The old man grumbled and shoved the two nearest people out of his way, "Goddamn Redbull."
This is perfect
It wasn't supposed to be a joke response, it just ended up wandering over in that direction...
The first to live to 200 was the billionaire who had invented this medicine. He had hosted a grand party, invited all the news crews, and just as he was giving a speech about how humans had surpassed even God, his body crumpled to the floor. His back split. And in front of a thousand terrified guests and a billion more watching from the internet, he had climbed out of his own back, re-emerging with horns on his head and a red tail.
The first demon had been born. Since then, every person to hit the age of 200 had undergone a similar process. Though some re-emerged with feathered wings of pure white. It turned out, in our obsessive scientific drive, we had only proved the old texts true.
No longer were there countries and nationalities, only humans, demons, and angels. Though never before had the world been so split apart. It was as if all the divides between race, gender, class, and nationality, had been shoved together into a single categorization—angel or demon.
“Do you think it’ll hurt?” Miriam squeezed Alex’s hand. She felt his nervous breaths on her lips.
They lay together atop a motel bed. The babysitter had Carrie and both had taken off of work for an entire week just for this moment. Their friends used to call them the most convenient couple ever because they shared the same birthday. In fact, they shared nearly everything.
They were the high school sweethearts that everybody had said would break up in college. But they had outlasted college, graduated together, and walked the aisle. Neither could remember a single week where they hadn’t at least seen the other.
Alex returned her squeeze. “I heard it actually feels good.”
Miriam grinned. Both knew how gullible Alex was. “Heard from who?”
He chuckled. “The internet.”
“Well, I promise that it won’t hurt.” She leaned forward and gave him a quick peck on the lips. “Do you believe me?”
“More than I believe the internet.”
Electricity coursed through Miriam’s back. Her body tingled in waves. “Do you feel that?”
Alex rested his forehead atop of hers and closed his eyes.
Bone cracked. Miriam clamped her teeth shut and squeezed the bed sheets. She had to be brave, for Alex’s sake. Still, a yelp escaped her as her body was consumed by a sharp and stabbing pain. Two arms wrapped around her head and pulled her in. Alex’s heartbeat pounded against her ear and despite the pain, she smiled.
When she opened her eyes again, the pain was gone. She stood up and looked down at her husk and then at Alex’s. Both had promised that they would reveal the other’s form at the same time, but Miriam already caught the tips of her wings from her peripherals. She could feel them too, like an awkward third arm. She chuckled. It had been a bad plan.
“Alex?” she called. “Are you in here?” Perhaps he was in the bathroom.
Alex’s husk opened its eyes. “Miriam? You’re an angel! That’s what you wanted.”
Miriam stared as his husk got off the bed.
“Oh, shoot!" it said. "I wasn’t supposed to tell you until you were ready, sorry.”
It wasn’t his husk, it was Alex.
He caught her staring and furrowed his brow. “What?”
“You didn’t…” Miriam’s throat tightened, cutting off her words.
Nobody had ever heard of a human living past 200. And if she knew anything about angels and demons, neither would be very happy to have one so old.
“I didn’t what?” Alex asked cautiously. “Miriam, the Inspector will be here soon to ID us. Am I an angel?”
Miriam shook her head.
“Well…” he pressed his lips together. “We can make this work. We always have. I mean, I’m still Alex and you’re still—”
“No Alex,” Miriam whispered. “You’re human.”
/sub/jraywang for 2+ stories a day, continuations by popular request, and more!
You are Death. On the last day of the Universe, all the lights are gone, and you have one more soul to usher into your realm, before the doors close forever... It's none other than your oldest opponent, "Life". [WP]
Ending the lives of people had always been a monotonous process to me. Yeah, I guess, at the start it was fun, but it gets boring after a while. People aren't always open to the thought of travelling across a new world, but I guess, it's inevitable isn't it? You had seen so much - the father who 'left his kid and a wife at home', the enthusiastic twenty year old entrepreneur who had 'so much left to live for'. They begged me for another chance - just another opportunity to live, but unfortunately, I'm not anyone's friend. I was just here to collect and move on.
So, as the people who crossed the door between life and death began to slowly decrease, I knew it would only be inevitable that my collection would soon be complete. Billions turning into millions, a million turning to a hundred thousand. Thousands into hundreds. And soon enough, hundreds into one. The final one.
It was a pure white room we met in, like an enclosed box with the walls painted white, with a door where souls took their corporeal form to travel across to the realm of an impenetrable darkness - my realm. Life slowly paced into the room, slowly closing entrance door behind him. His own corporeal form was one that I had expected - he wore an old, frail look, dressed in a white robe, blending in perfectly with the pure white surroundings. It had seemed that my counterpart had aged well.
"Have a seat", I told Life, pointing to the two chairs and the table I had set up for him. "We should talk".
We sat in silence for a few minutes. He had a look of deep thought, as if he was preparing to say something, reconsidering it, and thinking of something else. I didn't mind. I had waited countless years, and I can wait a few more minutes. He had no purpose himself anymore - the last human had passed many, many years ago. I couldn't call Life my enemy. I let him do what he needed to do - to let people live, for people to enjoy the charm that is called 'Life'. But the call of the realm on the other side was more enticing.
"Death", he softly sighed, as he weakly leaned across the table. "You've won your game, my friend".
I smiled, only for a longer silence to follow.
"Death. What makes you so enticing? Why do people not enjoy the call of life - to live, to feel, to breathe and to love?", Life questioned.
"With your gift, Life, you only bring people into trouble. Into a world with pressures, standards, unfulfilled dreams. Do you remember when we played cards for the life of that thirty-two year old father who died in a car crash?"
"He was an accountant, highly successful one, as you may know. He had three lovely kids, John, Daniel and Melissa - I still remember their names so easily. He had a lovely wife who he loved dearly. You wanted him alive. I know you felt for him. But in reality, all those 'good things' were just stresses to him. If he had never lived, Life. He would have never had to worry".
"I understand, Death", he softly said while sighing, his forehead crinkling under the wears of age - possibly, the wears of his own existence.
"It's best for you to get going now, Life. It's time for you to see the other end, and to follow the pathway everyone you have tried to save has crossed".
He stood up, slowly pacing towards the abyss on the other side. I opened the door for him. All he had to do was just step. And it would be the end, and I would have finished with my purpose.
He stood staring into the other side, then finally spoke, saying "Wait, Death. What could I have done better? To make people want me more than you. To make people want to live".
I sighed. "Life, you fool. You were always under my control. All your efforts were always fruitless. There was nothing you could have done. And you know why?".
"Death brings meaning to life".
He nodded, as his body took the form of a soul, and finally entered the abyss.
Hopefully you guys managed to read whatever I could think of and write here! This is my first time writing for a writing prompt, and I don't usually write much other than what I am obligated for school, so I might have just not made any sense. If you guys can provide any feedback, it would be wonderful!
She looked out over the abyss and saw it was beautiful. There was no more stars, no more planets or galaxies spinning in the sky. The gods in the sky and even time itself had fallen to their knees for her. She was the ultimate keeper, after all, obsessed with what the end would bring her. In her state, she was almost giddy with excitement, with the thought of what she was about to do. She felt like a child on Christmas or a teenager finally asking their date to the homecoming dance. If she had been human, she would have been dancing with joy at the end of all things. She could see the little blip of light just out of her reach on the horizon. That's where she would find him, waiting for her like an old lover.
He sat with his toes in the stream, his little oasis all but empty, the babbling brook the only sound in the universe. He knew that soon she would come and they would finally be together forever. He had waited for this day for as long as he could remember, knowing that she would save him till the very end. It was poetic, in a way. Terribly sappy and clichéd, but at least at last they could finally embrace, even if she had to devour the forces of the universe to get to him.
Cupping his hands together, he breathed gently into them, a small field mouse now sitting in his ebony colored palm. He smiled at the tiny mouse, knowing that this was the last life that he would ever create. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up and he turned his eyes towards the other side of the creek, his heart practically jumping out of his chest when he saw her in her beautiful black dress, billowing in the breeze of the cosmos. She was just as beautiful as the day that he had set eyes on her. How cruel they had to stay apart for so long, only to meet at the edge of the universe.
"Hello, Dahlia." His voice rumbled like an avalanche spilling over the mountains, "Long time."
She nodded slightly, her bright blue eyes staring at him as her pale hair brushed past her pink lips, "It's good to see you again, Lazarus."
He stood and put the field mouse down into the grass. The little creature took one look at Dahlia and jumped into the water. Not knowing how to swim, its poor little body was instantly washed away by the current. A few moments went by and suddenly, a tiny nose poked out from beneath her dress. She stooped down to pick it up and it licked her nose, making her smile. "I missed you." She admitted, the mouse disappearing into a puff of smoke, "It's been..."
"12 trillion years, give or take a billion," He said with a laugh, "But I guess everything must end. Even me, my dear."
She smiled sadly, and nodded, "As much as I wish it didn't have to be this way, but it was the only way I could get to you. I couldn't wait any longer."
"Did you like the gifts I sent to you?" He asked, wringing his hands nervously.
"Of course! I think the elephants were my favorites," She admitted, brushing a strand of loose hair behind her ear, "So majestic and strong. Where did you come up with those?"
"I wanted something big to impress you," He responded, taking a step into the water that had now slowed to a trickle, "Did it?"
"Of course! Everything you made impressed me." She said, reaching her hand out to him. He took it and felt as if he was touching an electric socket. His body instantly convulsed and his heart ceased to be. The world was fading as Dahlia pulled him in and for the first time in eternity, finally found the other's embrace. "I love you, Lazarus. Thank you for waiting."
"I would have waited forever, my Dahlia." He gasped as their lips connected. The light on the horizon faded and like the beginning, everything went to black.
EDIT bless you kind Redditor for the gold! You humble me, truly!
DOUBLE EDIT Good lord, you guys are the best! Thank you so much again for the gold!
I love the way they greet each other in such a civil way. Accepting of each others role. It's a beautifully written piece, and the last couple of lines blew my mind!
I found it so wonderful. It really gave me the feels. I was always taught that Life and Death are lovers; life sends death gifts, and death keeps them forever.