The Wackiversary Awards! Submissions Open until July 28th

:wisp_wave: Hello, Wacky Writers!! :wisp_wave:

Can you believe it’s been three whole years of our crazy, cool, creative community?? :wisp_shock:

To celebrate our upcoming Wackiversary on July 30th, we decided to whip up a cheeky little awards show for y’all :wisp_smirk:

How it works: Easy peasy, you submit your story description and the first 600 words as a post on this thread. Joy and I will judge the content and choose one winner each.

What you win: We’ve only got our time and wisdom to offer, so Joy and I will be mentoring our respective winners, helping them out with detailed feedback on the first 5 chapters (or 8k words max) of their winning stories. UPDATE: to sweeten the pot, our very own @CJtheSiteWizard has agreed to design custom book covers for our winners! :heart_eyes:

If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, read on for the full rules and guidelines! :wisp_celebrate:


In a post on this thread, please provide the following:

  1. The title of your story.
  2. The first 600 words of your story (+/- 50 words if the first 600 end in the middle of a sentence/paragraph).
  3. The story description/summary (as you would find it on the back cover of a book).
  4. The link to your story (if it is published).

Please use the ‘hide details’ function (find it under the little gear :gear: icon) for points 2 & 3, just to keep the posts neat and easy to navigate.

Housekeeping rules:

  • We accept all genres, except poetry. Mature stories are okay.
  • The story can be either ongoing or completed, published or not.
  • There is no limit to the total word count of the story.
  • You can only submit your own story and only one submission per user is accepted.

The winning users will be receiving DMs from us here on the forum to claim their prizes. Therefore, all participants must have a Wacky Writers forum account.

Submissions are open starting now, until next Friday, 2023-07-27T21:00:00Z. Winners will be announced on Sunday, July 30th.

Please no chatting on this thread, we are keeping it open for submissions only. Head over here for chatting and FAQs. All non-submission posts on this topic will be deleted.


Who are we to judge?

@JJJ000YYY is our resident bookstore bunny who does professional book reviews and whose stories were featured multiple times on both Tapas and Wattpad.

@alcoholandcaffeine is a professional email writer and avid book buyer, former Tapas Premium author and Wattpad featured, and recently ONC shortlister.

Joy and I will be judging the submissions based mainly on how impactful and intriguing your first 600 words are. We usually take into account flow, scene setting, character introduction, writing style. Good grammar is of course important, as it reflects the quality of the writing, but we won’t be hanging on any typos or other such minor mistakes.

Additionally, we will judge the story concept and title as a whole, how those first 600 words fit into the expectations you’re setting for the reader.


Prizes will be awarded starting Monday, July 31st, here on the forum. Each judge will be working closely with their chosen winner, workshopping their first 5 chapters OR a maximum of 8000 words of the winning story. That means:

  • if your first 5 chapters are shorter than 8000, we can go up to 8000 words.
  • if your first 5 chapters are longer than 8000, we will only read the first 8000 words.

Please note that you can only claim your prize for your winning story. If you win with a short story below 8000 words, the prize will not be extended to any additional stories.

Prizes will be discussed via Wacky Writers DMs and feedback will be offered either via Google Docs, or as inline Wattpad comments (if applicable).

Additionally, the winning stories will be promoted on our Instagram and Wattpad (if applicable) and the winning users can request a custom emoji on the forum :beautifulheart:

And this just in: you can also claim a custom cover designed by @CJtheSiteWizard, either for your winning story or a different one. Only one cover will be awarded per winner.

Nota bene: Joy, CJ and I are doing this voluntarily in our spare time. We are committed to offering you the best experience possible, but we also have our own lives, and might not always be instantly available. In case you have any goals you’re working towards (e.g. The Wattys), we will do our best to help you within the given deadline, though we cannot provide any guarantees to that end.

Lastly, as we celebrate 3 years of Wacky Writers, I’d like to remind you that you can donate via PayPal or GoFundMe to help keep us afloat, follow us on Instagram or Wattpad, and for further questions/chatting, click here.


Happy birthday! I appreciate what Wacky Writers does for the Wattpad community! :heart:

  1. Title: A Realm of Magic and Mayhem

  2. First 600 Words (616– sorry, paragraph would have read wonky):

I often wonder if other people can pinpoint exactly when their lives changed forever or if intricate pieces of events lead up to what will ultimately guide everyone to where or who they’re supposed to be. It’s as if every little detail of our lives is just fragmented mosaics that are artfully woven to create a bigger picture not seen until fate deems it so.

There was once a time that all I ever wished for was to escape the drudgery of a mundane life, longing to escape the small town of Parsons, Georgia, where I was born and raised. I dreamed of a life full of adventure and even danger, like the kind found in various stories I read since I was a small child.

There’s a rather cliché saying about hindsight being twenty-twenty. Perhaps there are reasons that phrases are overused, and stereotypes exist.

I remember when I got exactly what I wanted… When my life, indeed, changed forever.

The summer sun shone in a golden haze above me as I lay on the grass in the backyard of my childhood home. With propped elbows, I read Don’t Call the Wolf by Aleksandra Ross, shifting only to turn the pages or adjust my black-rimmed glasses. My skin itched from the midsummer green grass. A light breeze blew through my crimson hair, as though blazing like fire.

I sighed, closing the book. I stretched my tingling arms as I stood up from the grassy bed where I rested my bones. How I’d love to live in a world with magical kingdoms, dragons, and adventure around every corner. Oh, and the romance. Can’t forget about the romance.

I folded my arms, hugging myself; a habit of loneliness, perhaps. Though I loved the idea of romance and living an extraordinary life filled with magic and wonder, it truly was more of a mindless notion. None of it existed, of course, except in the exceptional minds of the authors who created those worlds to escape to and fantasize about.

Strolling through my backyard, I made my way to the back door of my home and into the family room with its burgundy and gold painted walls. What I loved most about the living area was the eight bookshelves it housed in lieu of a television. I placed the book on one of the shelves, between The Da Vinci Code and Dorothy Must Die, and noticed more new titles added to my family’s library. It always reminded me of how much I hoped to have a vast library of my own one day, like the one from Beauty and the Beast or the Biltmore House.

My fingers trailed along the spines from our collection of books until I found what I was looking for: Treasure Island. I nestled myself on the sectional, cool against my skin. Drifting off into the realm of pirates and treasure, I almost didn’t hear the buzz of my phone.

Snapping the book shut, I grabbed my phone from the charger and smiled at the name before answering. “Hey, Scotty!”

The deep voice of my best friend answered me. “What’s up, Ari?” He didn’t refer to me as “Arabella,” which he only used when he was upset with me. If he was using my nickname, that meant he wasn’t mad. Phew.

I shrugged despite him not being able to see me. “Same old, just reading. I think Mom’s bringing home pizza for dinner if you want to come over.”

He scoffed playfully. “That’s perfect! Now, I don’t have to be mad at you for ignoring the five texts I sent you about hanging out. I’m finally home for the rest of the summer, you know.”

  1. Summary:

The Chronicles of Narnia meets the X-Files, Once Upon a Time, Alice in Wonderland, Black Sun, and Magnus Chase. Welcome to A Realm of Magic and Mayhem…


When Arabella and Scotty, two teenagers from a small town in Georgia, are magically transported to the realm of Atlantiva, they become caught in the middle of a war between elves-the Ljósálfar and Dökkálfar. Little did they know that it’s Arabella’s destiny to defeat the Dökkálfar, however, there’s no guarantee that she or all she loves will survive.


Arabella Layne is a loner aside from her best friend Scotty Denver. She’s always dreamed of escaping the small town of Parsons, Georgia. When a hike goes awry, Arabella and Scotty find themselves transported to another realm. There, Arabella learns of ancestry she never knew she had. A great evil that was long forgotten resurfaces while she navigates her new environment, however, and she’s the only one who can save all the realms. As she embarks on her quest, Arabella soon learns that fate and destiny don’t come with the assurance that she and all she loves will survive.

When Arabella and Scotty go missing, their parents work endlessly to find them. Their only hope is Captain Megan Gomer, an agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. As Arabella and Scotty’s case goes cold, a mysterious man named David offers Megan a chance to keep working to find the missing teenagers through a secret organization within the United States government.

Timelines intersect and new realms are within reach. Arabella must learn to use magic or pay the greatest price: Her life. Scotty, a victim of circumstance, does all he can to protect his best friend. Their parents race against the clock to get to them, not knowing that Arabella’s father has a secret that even he knows nothing about.

As destinies intertwine, one question remains: What is the price of being a savior?

  1. Link:
1 Like

Title: Haywire Ranger

First 600 words:


Chapter 1: Failure Doesn’t Kill Dreams

Sky Falcon was the flickering shadow of his mother’s scorching glory—and nothing he could do would ever change that.

Her heroic deeds were brighter than the sun; his paled in comparison, like the moon’s fragile, quivering reflection on the surface of a lake. She killed phoenixes and saved the city; he tinkered with gadgets which held no interest to anybody. He was a failure—or so he had been told over and over again. A seventeen-year-old who would never pass as anything more than a weird geek and a weakling.

That was why self-doubt settled in him like a thick fog, clouding his goals in life and his determination to even try.

But on the night of May 16th, 2309, things changed.

Sparks of fire bloomed with rage in the dark sky, followed by thunders of destruction—the symphony of death. Ear-splitting roars from foul phoenixes echoed in the city, the Hovering Hive, shaking and shattering every wall, door, and window. Half-eagle, half-robot, those huge cybernetic beasts threatened the city often. But every time that dreadful melody tainted the air, brave soldiers came out to face the challenge.

Like Halle Falcon, Head of the Elite.

Hovering Hive’s hero. The best of the best.

Her movements were swift as she sliced a phoenix’s claw in half with her blue laser sword. It shone with a metallic sparkle which got reflected on the nearby car chassis, windows, and bits of broken glass on the pavement. Like a splash of running watercolour on a black canvas, the fire raged on behind her stunning, athletic physique as she brought it down with a loud crash and sank her sword into the beast’s belly.

Next, she chopped its head off. Blood splashed on her face.

Despite the cheering of her subordinates, she didn’t smile. She never did. Her hard countenance never wavered.

Sky stood at the other end of the street, witnessing the scene with both resignation and a kind of admiration that bordered envy. The long fringe of his straight, blond hair kept falling before his eyes, so he combed it to see better. The tips were dyed a neon green that stood out against the darker brown of his close-cropped lower half.

Mother and son locked their gazes for a couple of seconds while more phoenixes preyed on the city.

The acrid smell of smoke and dust filled the air, making it hard to breathe—but that wasn’t the reason why Sky’s chest tightened. He swallowed hard, falling prey to his mother’s glare.

“Come on, now,” Aunt Naomi told him as she pulled him by his arm, startling him. She was a strikingly beautiful woman with mature grace. “We’re late!”

Halle narrowed her eyes and frowned at him until she lost sight of him.

“Just… let me go,” he grumbled as he pulled his arm from Naomi’s grasp. He wore a green jacket, the bright colour matching the highlights in his hair. A simple, white T-shirt, paired with light blue ripped jeans that had seen better days, completed his ensemble. “I can walk on my own.”

“We need to hurry! We’re needed at the Forge.” Naomi’s voice was second to no other sound, even with those evil phoenixes wreaking havoc.

Naomi Hardy’s green eyes, just like her nephew’s, shone with determination although her left one didn’t work well. She had a nasty scar over it.

Large golden hoop earrings dangled in her ears as she walked as if no attack was going on. Her confident stride showed that she was not one to be trifled with. Her military attitude matched her black jeans and military boots, giving her a tough and resilient look. She also wore a black jacket over a blood-red shirt, which paired well with her wavy, fiery-red hair that reached just above her shoulders.

Story description:


Failure doesn’t kill dreams. Self-doubt does. - Aunt Naomi

In a future plagued by cybernetic beasts known as phoenixes, Sky Falcon, a geeky teen with big dreams, yearns to join the prestigious Elite Academy, where students learn to defeat those monsters. However, his hopes are shattered when he fails the admission test, leaving him an outcast among his friends, his community, and even his own mother, the Head of the Elite.

Determined to prove his worth, Sky sets out to bring down a Sonic Echo Ranger, believing it will restore his credibility. But his journey takes an unexpected turn when he discovers a conspiracy surrounding the weaponisation of phoenixes against Anti-Ageing Inc., a powerful drug corporation.

Amidst the chaos, Sky forms a deep bond with Haywire, the Sonic Echo Ranger he tried to kill - a friendship which defies societal norms. Together, they will risk everything to uncover the truth behind it all.

As Sky searches for answers and battles for acceptance, he realises the price of approval might be higher than he imagined. Will their friendship offer a glimmer of hope in a world of prejudice? Will Sky become a game changer as he uncovers the secrets that threaten his world, or will he succumb to the weight of his failures?

“How To Train Your Dragon” meets “Horizon: Zero Dawn” meets… my dog.

Link: Haywire Ranger Haywire Ranger - Mar Saumell - Wattpad

1 Like

Happy 3rd! Here’s my submission!

  1. The Gunner and the Florist

Lennox’s mother was leaving. Again.

Each time, he wished that it would be her last excursion. That she wouldn’t come back.

“Lennox, dear,” his mother’s clipped voice called out from the flower shop’s entrance. Autumn’s afternoon sunlight poured through the glass door, casting her figure in a featureless silhouette. “Run the shop for a bit. I have some friends to meet. I’ll be back before dinner.”

He sighed as his calm, empty eyes landed on a pot. Its flaking glaze was coated in dust, its many cracks allowing dry soil to spill through. Once, it hosted a fine flower bush. Now, it had long since dried up, leaving nothing but a dead stick in its wake. It was yet another mess for him to clean up. The same feeling resurfaced whenever his mother condemned him to their botanical graveyard so she could be a social butterfly.

Fine, Mother.” Like I have a choice.

Emily Kendrick’s heels clicked and clacked against the tiled floor. She turned to face her eldest son with an eyebrow raised at his derisive tone. “Lennox, can you help me fasten this necklace? I don’t want to damage my nails messing with the small clasp,” she said stiffly, unwilling to admit she needed help from her son.

Without a word, he approached to complete her request, stepping back when he finished. Deft on his feet, the echoes of his brutal dance lessons lingered from when the family was still a part of high society. When Lennox was forced to play ‘perfect son’.

His mother snatched back his attention. “How do I look?” She pirouetted in the shop’s foyer, her silver-plated jewellery swinging about. The shine contrasted with the humble feel of the shop’s interior, and the wallpaper was drab and unappealing in comparison.

“You look quite dapper, Mum,” Lennox murmured. He was saying exactly what was expected of him, but his mother only strutted away into the madness outside. She offered him nothing more—as if she were dying to get away from it all. The door closed and a bell chimed, signalling her departure.

In mid-conflict London, social gatherings were few and far between. The war zone was expanding to every corner of the British Isles, leaving no place untouched by violence. Bomb craters burrowed into the road like freshly dug graves, and no one dared to cross streets at night lest they be ransacked of their belongings. His mother was one of the few remaining socialites, leaving it to her eldest son to manage her family’s run-down shop while she ran around playing the part of perfect wife and partygoer. In London, one either had to be a good liar or have connections to survive. His mother was one with the latter. This was her reality, and Lennox and his family had made it their own.

They knew how to avoid the Syndicate, and they were already safeguarded from the Veritas. His mother was, by an extremely small margin, smart enough not to get herself killed. As long as she wore the right colours, she would live to see another day.

With his head propped up by his arm, Lennox looked around the shop. The once pristine wooden shelves were littered with petals and empty pots. The shop’s seed display was dwindling both in quality and quantity. Grimy windows let in what little light they could. Outside, a tarnished little greenhouse could be seen from far away, as only crumbling commercial buildings lay beyond it. Nothing was out of the ordinary.


  1. Description

There’s a war in London. No one knows how it truly started, but those caught in the fray can either struggle or thrive due to the nation-wide influence of two formidable factions: the Crimson Syndicate and the Brotherhood of the Verita Aser. Two separate organisations, each battling for triumph over the other.

Lennox, a Verita florist, is one of those struggling. He’s been given an impossible task: to balance his failing family business with his judgemental and egotistical parents. A run-in with Ren Ryker–a talented gunman from the opposing faction–might just be his long-awaited escape route.

Ren, on the other hand, should be thriving. Each job he completes earns him constant praise from his leader and brings the slightly sadistic Crimson Syndicate closer to victory. By his standards, he should be flourishing in every sense of the word. But despite his accomplishments, a single failed mission loses him the Syndicate’s trust, and he’s beginning to realise that killing Lennox and his family may be the only way to stop his previously unrivalled success from crumbling before his eyes.

  1. Link: The Gunner and the Florist | In Progress - 𝐂𝐫𝐲𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐚 𝐂𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐥 - Wattpad
1 Like

Title: Resisting Hearts
2. First Chapter’s 600 words


5 years later…
Adira’s POV:
“Do you think the office is your home, Miss Jackson?” I heard Mr. Knight’s clipped tone.
“Sorry sir, I don’t get you?” What did I do wrong this time? As long as I remember, I was just watching the flowers sent by Logan, who was reminding me about tonight’s dinner. I was about to leave the office when I received flowers and as always, it was white roses, my favorite. He was so thoughtful and sweet.
“I think I asked you to prepare an analysis report of Sawyer Inc. and you are here sitting as-- as you’re home, enjoying.” He said glaring at me.
“Yes sir, I-” I tried to say. He was continuously glaring at me and the flowers in my hand.
“And get rid of these flowers, it’s annoying.” I immediately hid the flowers under the table. Oh, I forgot Mr. Knight hated flowers or anything girly to be exact.
“Sorry about that, sir-” I tried to say again before he interrupted me, yet again.
“Miss Jackson, you know the rules of office. If you can’t do your job properly then you are free to leave. I didn’t receive the report of Alvani Group as well, nor the file of Emerson Industries.” He said and breathed as if he was controlling the anger.
“Tell me Ms. Jackson, do you really value your job?” He asked angrily.
I stood up from the seat, and said politely, “Sir, the analysis report on Sawyer Inc. you asked is on your table, I informed you about the file but you said to put it on your table before you went for lunch with Mr. Keller. For the files of Alvani Group and Emerson Industries, they are also on your table.”
Ares Simon Knight, chairman of Knight Group of Industries, glared at me with his emotionless light brown eyes.
Simon’s POV:
I just returned after my lunch with my best friend, Maron and was about to enter my office when I saw Adira sitting at her desk with flowers. Immediately, my temper rose and I started questioning her. I should have at least checked my desk first. Damn! Who gave her those flowers? To think of, she was smiling so beautifully while looking at the flowers. Hah!
“Ahem, what about today’s meeting notes? I want you to give me a report about today’s product ideas discussed in the meeting.” I cleared my throat and spoke in a milder tone this time.
“I have emailed you the meeting notes sir and I have also elaborated the ideas and the potential effect on the market for your assistance.” She answered professionally.
“Why did you send mail? You should know by now that I don’t like to stare at the screen for long, Miss Jackson.” I said annoyed again. Those flowers are really irritating, can’t she just throw them away.
“Sir, you asked me to send you meeting notes and short reports about weekly activities by email, since you just wanted to review it and it was tiring for you.” She said again, smiling politely at me.
I looked at her, speechless. She was right, I asked her to send me an email and not a printed file. What’s wrong with me, how can I forget!
“What about my schedule for today?” I said in my usual voice, trying to hide the annoying feeling in my gut.
“You have a meeting with Mr. Brown at 3:30 pm and Ms. Jenner at 5:30 pm and you will have dinner with Ms. Jenner. I have booked a private table at usual restaurant for you and Ms. Jenner.” Adira said.
What the heck! Dinner with Rose Jenner. Grandpa’s doing. Well, let’s get it done before I talk to Grandpa. My old man always tries to play matchmaker.

  1. Story Description:

Adira Beyonce Jackson, is the only daughter of multi-billionaire and a business magnate, Mateo Rhys Jackson and the sole heiress of Jackson Corporations. She is beautiful, smart, feisty and a definition of perfection. But her personal life is far from perfect. Her first love and the only man she ever loved, her husband, crushed her heart, cheated on her and divorced her when was about to tell him that she was pregnant. Five years later, her ex-husband came back, trying to claim her. But she never forgives people who cheat, no matter what!

Aiden Alvertos Aberra, is the owner of Aberra Industries, a multi-billionaire and one of the most richest man in America. He is cold, ruthless and extremely dangerous with a mysterious past. He has everything in his life, fame, power, money, there’s nothing he couldn’t get. But there is only thing he want and that is to get his wife back!

Now, Adira is working under a cold and ruthless business magnate, Ares Simon Knight. Little does she know, behind his icy demeanor lies a secret… his silent feelings for her. As fate intertwines their lives once again, Adira must face her ex-husband’s return while unraveling the enigmatic depths of Simon’s heart, ultimately discovering where true love truly resides.
“What the hell do you want from me?” I yelled.

“YOU” he yelled back.

“IT’S ALWAYS YOU” my heart pounded in my chest but I knew better.

It was lies… All lies.

“Well, I am sorry, Mr. Aberra but what you did to me is unforgivable.” I walked past him.

“I will do anything to get you back, baby, because you are MINE, ONLY MINE” I heard him behind me.

“I stopped being yours the moment you cheated on me”

I will never forgive you… Never!


  1. Link to the story: Resisting Hearts by Arlene Rae
1 Like

Happy birthday guys. :heart:

  1. Descendent
  2. First 592 words,

The world had shrunken, leaving Mari in isolation, hemmed in by the ghostly echoes of a town that life had abandoned. Streets that once thrummed with activity now lay still and soundless, their silence pierced only by the biting wind. His breath took form in the frigid air, crystallising the world around him in a spectral glow. Beneath the archway’s oppressive shadow, draped in a shroud, the stone under his boots turned traitor, icy and treacherous.

Crossing into the shadow’s domain, he felt the world cinch tighter. The barrier ahead held a deadly promise—if he dared venture past, he wouldn’t return. This was an age-old warning from the Yorymh scholars, repeated like an ominous mantra. The slick, icy stone mirrored his own image back at him, a cold reflection of the identity that felt less like his own skin and more like chains. His village, his kin, they wouldn’t understand. Only the Labyrinth’s deity, perhaps, held the power to unravel and reweave the very threads of his existence.

With a breath that tasted of desperation and determination, Mari stepped forward as if the barrier was not even there, plunging headfirst into the void. He staked his survival on the rumours—rumours of a path to a realm suspended between existence and nonexistence where their god resided. Here, everything intangible became reality—and that meant his wish could, too.

Before him, the world bled into a sorrowful greyscale. Overhead, in the shadowy tapestry of the cavernous expanse, creatures of darkness lived—entities formed of nothing but shadow. They loomed in the darkness, a turbulent mass morphing from one form to another—some humanoid, others monstrous with teeth of razor-sharp darkness and claws dripping with shadows. Their eyes seethed with malice and hunger, burning holes into his soul.

A shudder wracked his body beneath their malevolent scrutiny, their presence igniting prickles on his skin. He didn’t know their desires, but a gnawing feeling told him that if he lingered here, he would end up feeding their insatiable hunger. The realisation sent another shudder through him.

Retreating a step, he felt their malevolence bearing down on him. Then, his ears picked up an undercurrent—a low murmur. He strained his ears, wringing out the meaning from the mumbled sounds. Recognition sparked. He knew that voice.

“Please,” it begged. “Save me.”

His gaze snapped to a figure in the shadows. Details eluded him—only the deathly pale hands clutching the archway’s edge and the black robe billowing around its shoulders registered. A gust of wind raced past as it plummeted towards him, halting inches away.

A startled yelp tore from his throat as he staggered backwards. Unfazed, the creature reached out again, snaring his arm and drawing him close. Its touch was icy, damp, the faint stench of decaying flesh hanging in the air. “I’m sorry,” it whispered.

A scream clawed up his throat as something pulled him deeper into the Labyrinth, the insatiable darkness consuming him whole.

A jolt of awareness shot through Mari. Confusion clouded his mind, a foggy abyss where even the answer to ‘where’ seemed shrouded in mystery. The cosmos spilled overhead in a display of cosmic ballet, a purple canvas speckled with a million winking stars, nebulae swirling in celestial symphony. Beneath him, the earth was a mosaic of vibrant colours, blades of grass painting a rainbow beneath his trembling fingers.

Blinking against the riot of hues, he attempted to wrestle his fuzzy thoughts into focus. This place, this strange landscape, it was a stranger to him. But why? And what invisible chain tethered him here?

  1. Story description,

Amid the turmoil of a city torn by sectarian strife, Hidayat is an anomaly - a premature soul birthed from the Labyrinth, the enigmatic genesis of all life. Straddling the liminal space between the ethereal and the mortal realms, his existence fuels the instability of his world. Besieged by an existential crisis, propelled by the desire to defy his brother’s scorn, and wrestling with his own self-destructive tendencies, Hidayat seeks peace in a world tearing itself apart.

His life becomes the crux of a sinister game orchestrated by Yocha, the elusive deity of the Labyrinth. Ensnared in a web of manipulation and power, Hidayat’s life is seen as an impediment to the balance of realms, and his death becomes an unavoidable solution. As Yocha navigates the labyrinthine politics of a world teetering on the brink of war, Hidayat’s destiny grows increasingly entwined with her deadly machinations.

In the midst of this struggle for control, the delicate balance of power teeters on the edge of oblivion, ready to redefine the nature of divinity and existence itself.

1 Like

Happy Wackversary! :kissing_closed_eyes:

  1. The Dark Between Dreams
First ~600 words

I wanted to scream.

But no matter how much I strained my lungs, only a strangled keen escaped my throat. No matter how fast I tried to run, it was like I was stuck in some thick miasma that slowed my movements—like I was stuck in a dream. Or…like I was trapped in a nightmare.

Because monsters were hunting me.

I couldn’t see them, for either I had gone blind or the world had been plunged into heavy, pulsating darkness, but I could hear them hissing and shuffling behind me on long, spindly, and numerous legs. I could feel them when they reached out with their hands and clutched at my clothes and hair as I ran.

“H-help me!” I wailed, grasping at more of that darkness ahead of me. My voice didn’t carry far. The echoes of my pleas seemed to linger in the heavy atmosphere like flies in a web, barely a breath away from my face. My foot caught on something I could not see. With a pitiful gasp, I fell into what felt like sand.

Hissing surrounded me. Clawed feet of unseen creatures kicked up the sand around me. I expected my breath to quicken as the noise that ricocheted in my spinning head increased. I expected my heart to race. I expected my blood to turn to ice.

But neither of those things happened. I felt nothing but a sick emptiness within me.

Something else’s breath beat down on my face. I swore I could hear the slow, wet sound of toothy jaws parting.

And then there came a light.

A red beam cut through the dark, illuminating everything in my immediate vicinity. I wished it hadn’t. I clapped my hands over my mouth to stifle the urge to spill my guts onto the ground at what I saw. The vaguely humanoid face before me drew back its black lips in a squeal of pain. It snapped milky white eyes shut against the light that scorched its flesh. Spewing spittle and dripping in cascading black mist, the monster recoiled from me and raced back into the darkness with its many, many pairs of spider-like limbs. The other creatures lingered with muscles tensed beneath black sagging skin, about to pounce.

A glowing blade sliced through their limbs from out of nowhere. Black fluid sprayed from severed appendages and splashed over me.

The rest of the maimed creatures screamed and fled out of the crimson light’s reach. When the shrieking silenced and the severed arms on the ground stopped twitching, someone moved to stand beside me. I looked up from where I lay to see a masked figure shrouded in a billowing, ratty cloak. Brushing her cloak aside and still wielding the flashlight that kept the monsters at bay, the person sheathed her blood-stained machete. At least, I thought it was a machete. Its blade glowed red hot like nothing I’d ever seen before. The wind kicked up flecks of black sand, making them fly like swarming gnats in the dim red light of the flashlight the figure now pointed at me. I must’ve been staring at her with my mouth hanging open like an idiot, because she held out a hand to help me up from the ground. “Are you going to keep lying there until the shadows come back, or are you going to come with me?” the girl spoke, her accent some kind of British lilt. “This torch won’t keep them away for long.”

Her voice came out loud and clear despite the dark leather mask that covered her face. The only discernible features of it were the frowning mouth made from crude white stitches and the two red lenses that glared down at me.


Skye is dead.

With death, all semblance of living fades, including her memories. Now, there is only After, a makeshift city of souls surrounded by infinite darkness and terrifying monsters that tear ghosts apart. She’s forbidden to leave and eventually becomes a scavenger-a ghost that searches the Dark, the wasteland that is the afterlife, for lost and buried relics carried over from Earth.

But while all other ghosts slowly lose their emotions and begrudgingly accept the eternity of darkness ahead of them, Skye refuses to spend her afterlife in a world without light. She knows there must be some way to escape the monsters that keep them all trapped in the Dark and return to the realm of the living, and she’s going to find it…Even if she has to face the Prince of Monsters, himself.

Joined by other scavengers named Webb and Vale, Skye risks her existence and ventures beyond the walled city of After in search of the truth. Venturing into the black reveals untold perils, but that’s not all. The Dark…and the Dark Prince, are guarding a terrible secret…

1 Like

Happy Third Birthday!!
Title: Changing the Rules
2. First 608 words


The last box dropped to the ground with a loud thud, and I wiped a drop of sweat from my forehead while letting out an accomplished sigh. The white walls of the apartment seemed uninviting, but I knew once the decorations were put up it would feel like home. The front door closed behind me, and I turned to see Chloe walking in with a large smile on her face as she bounced over to me.

“I’m already in love with this place!” She exclaimed.

“Why is that?” I asked.

“We have a very cute neighbor who is also very single.”

“How did you find that out?”

“Because he gave me his phone number!”

She jumped as she waved her phone in the air and I let out a small laugh. Chloe and I were moving into our first apartment for college, it would be the first time we were able to fully explore the luxuries of being an adult without the overview of our parents and it looked like she was starting off strong.

“So, while I was moving our things in, you were flirting with the neighbor.” I elaborated.

“If it makes you feel any better, he has a roommate.” She suggested.

I shook my head no; I knew what that meant. I’ve been set up with plenty of “roommates” in the past while Chloe chased after the, usually, very hot ‘single neighbor.’ I’ll save the long stories and just say that they were never as good looking or interesting as their friend.

“I appreciate the offer but I’m with Ben. Remember?” I asked.

“I don’t know what you see in that guy.” She groaned.

“I see our rent being paid by my parents. Plus, he’s not that bad.”

“Quillan, he’s literally the worst person I’ve ever met!”

“Not true. What about the guy from the corndog stand at the fair?”

Chloe stood quietly for a moment, mentally comparing Ben to the horrendous date she had sophomore year of high school. The guy from the corn dog stand, as he was expected to be called because the date was that bad, had asked Chloe to coffee. When they had arrived at the coffee shop, she said he smelled like a deep fryer, and he asked her to make out with him and spit in his mouth to try and make his ex-girlfriend jealous because she apparently worked there. When Chloe refused, he dumped his drink on her and stormed out.

“Okay, he’s the second worst person I’ve ever met.” She corrected.

“Clo, it’s only been five months and you haven’t even given him an actual chance.”

“Sorry I don’t support arranged relationships!” She yelled dramatically.

I rolled my eyes and walked into the kitchen that was to the left of the front door and began unpacking one of the boxes. My parents were very controlling of my life, I wouldn’t deny that, but when they had introduced me to Ben they didn’t expect me to date him. After I chose to, however, they suggested that I stay with him. They had said multiple times that he was the right choice for me; a new recruit at the police station that worked underneath my dad, and he apparently had ‘a lot of potential for advancement.’ He was one of the reasons they agreed to pay for our apartment while we went to college. Actually, there was list of rules that I had to follow to keep our payment arrangement:

    1. No partying, alcohol, drugs, or sex.
    1. Must Maintain an ‘A’ in every class.
    1. Stick with your major, pre-med.
    1. Do not break up with Ben.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been told who I should be; my life has been mapped out, set for the perfect course, since the day I was born. The problem with letting other people make decisions for you, though, is that they can’t see when things need to change. I’ve never been one to stand up for myself, but I’ve allowed others to make my decisions for far too long, and now it’s time to make my own rules.

  1. Changing the Rules - Sydney Janette - Wattpad
1 Like

The Last Philosopher - Nothing is Everything.


The physical planes

For every extreme there are infinite in-betweens.

-Boole, the hat madder, Knome extreme logick philosopher

Richard, long for Dick

On the edge of an odd galaxy — in a universe older than all others put together — a displaced black hole was spinning out of control from the force of perpetual indignation. Richard, long for Dick, was outraged at all the untraditional things going on in what the black hole considered to be ITS galaxy.

Even the gods struggled to comprehend the conservative attitude of a black hole. And Dick was the best, eternally hating change in all its forms, especially for the better. Beings like Dick were only possible in the senile dimensions of the multiverse. Where every oddity that can occur has already occurred.

Huom! That blue-green ball is to blame, Dick thought furiously.

For most of the age of nothing the Afreet named Huom had been the first living being. The universe’s sole inhabitant. That was until Dick’s singularity penetrated the cosmos.

Here, on the physical plane, the two demi-gods’ little proxy-war represented another conflict. One from the time before time, and both Afreets took metaphysical marching orders from a god. They were doing the things that their undead masters, from the conceptual plane, wouldn’t do for themselves.

The gods’ eternal conflict was misnamed on the physical plane. Where time did exist and nothing was eternal. To gods, time was a nuisance. A twinkle in the crotch of more non-logical forces.

Ever since being spawned against its will, Dick has been disgusted at everything in particular. Even after Huom’s death neither galaxy nor dead planet had ever fallen in line with traditional astronomical behaviour. In other words, this elderly universe had never acted its age. Proving once and for all that age was no guarantee of maturity. Yet, Dick was as much to blame for the immaturity as anything in existence. A fact which, like many others, had escaped its understanding.

The black hole was busy pondering what it called ‘The Great Question’, the most selfish query in all existence.

Why am I not in the centre of this galaxy! All the stars should be shining their favour on me! Sure, I might devour a few of them, like a handful of peanuts, but that’s my RIGHT as their SUPERIOR!

This question only served to make Dick more confused, a problematic state for a control freak of galactic proportions. It had led it to develop a wide range of unhealthy, black little feelings. As one might guess, Dick was not what one would describe as a happy black hole.

Imagine, having an ego so astronomically large that not even light could escape. This ego was attending a never-ending garden party, but it got seated on the wrong side of the hedge. Far away from the glittering lights. All alone in the dark. From the other side of the hedge, an endless stream of tittering banter drifted Dick’s way. Over on this dark side, however, there was no one to listen to its monstrous, self-centred opinions.

If one can imagine this scene, one could feel what Richard has been feeling. For what doesn’t just seem like an eternity.

Far away, at the centre of the galaxy, the dead Afreet Huom had become Dick’s hated blue-green planet. With its surface almost covered in water, even in death, it supported life other than itself. Rocks were the first to evolve from this fact, each rock a surviving cell from Huom’s single eye.


The Last Philosopher is a satirical high-fantasy story with heavy-handed attempts at humour. That I have been calling Fantasy/Attempted comedy. It’s been called imaginative, funny, and unique. People have gone so far as to compare it to the works of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.

Before everything, it’s assumed there was nothing, but what if there was no real difference between the two? Just two extreme philosophies from the first conflict.

The planet Huom has been under observation for longer than should technically be possible. The primary watcher, a bitter black hole, is excited to see that there is finally a proverbial Darkness at the end of the tunnel.

Meanwhile, on the planet, in the freezing mountains of Empris, Lyeasrakardsul, the oldest living sorcerer, suffers from devastating nightmares. At the same time, far away in the sandstone desert of Zenon, Herschel, a man filled to the brim with weird ideas is escaping a prison filled with strange old men.

What does all this have to do with arsehole Gods, hairy Dwarfs, frustrated Afreets, curious Knomes, lizard-women, and nude Áettar? Perhaps Nothing, perhaps Everything… but why can’t it be both?

Links: The Last Philosopher - Nick East - Wattpad Or The Last Philosopher | Royal Road

Cheers Nick

  1. The Art of Remembering
  2. (629 words as it ended in the middle of dialogue)
First 629 words
Remembering things is an art form. I liken it to when there’s snow; it starts slow, then flurries until it overwhelms the ground and you get a blanket. Then, when the sun breaks through, it starts melting the white magic until it breaks down to sludge, and then there’s nothing at all. What is snow and memory if not art? 
My parents were lawyers and remembering things was one of the most important parts of their jobs; though I remember disappointing them when I came home after seeing Mamma Mia on a school drama trip and announcing I wanted to be an actress. The compromise as I got older and never changed my mind was that I became a teacher as my primary job. I didn’t let them down; now I’m twenty-five with a thriving career in drama teaching and sometimes I manage to land roles in musical theatre, but never the starring role. One day. 
The art of remembering is thick in my family, and it’s one reason Everett approached me one night after my performance at university when I was nineteen. I was the star in the Romeo and Juliet performance at the local theatre. My tutor was also in attendance and counted it towards my degree, but Everett was there for a date he told me was terrible. He approached me after and told me how captivating I was and wanted to know how I remembered all the lines when he was a paramedic who could barely remember the song for CPR – it was a joke he told me after we got chatting.
“Addison?” Everett asks. His tone is shaky and weird; not the usual suave, charming voice I usually get. He always calls me Addy, not my full name, and that’s what catches my attention more than anything.
I pad out to the kitchen from my seat in the lounge. They lighten the dark tiles where he’s turned the under-cupboard lights on; he always refuses to use the main light for some reason. I think he likes the ambience the smaller ones give.
“What’s up?” I answer.
He’s staring at the bacon sizzling away in the pan, his brows creasing in confusion, almost. He’s running a hand through his dark hair and breathing unsteadily. “I don’t wanna touch it. It might spit.”
“What? You’re cooking bacon, Everett,” I joke. “You’re never scared of bacon—”
“I’m not fucking scared of it!” 
His outburst makes me stand back; he’s never like this. He’s usually joking, happy-go-lucky Everett Merrick, who can take the piss out of himself, who goes in every day and saves people as a paramedic.
“Okay, I got it. Go sit down, I’ll dish it up.” I dish the bacon up into the rolls he’s put on the side. A tiny bit of ketchup for him, and a dash of BBQ sauce for me. We call it a Saturday Special – he’s requested Saturday mornings off ever since I landed my teaching job. Unless it’s an emergency, he’s always had it so we get at least a solid morning together every week where we can lie in bed, have bacon sandwiches, and catch up after a long week of teaching and saving lives. 
I put breakfast on the table and sit opposite. “What’s up?” 
He shrugs. “I don’t know, I just… it’s weird.”
We both fall silent while he sips his coffee.
“What’s weird?” I ask.
“I dunno, like, I know I can serve fucking bacon, right, but it’s like I forgot how to do it. It was sitting there, and I just got scared of it, and I don’t know… it’s weird. Now I’m sitting down again and it’s over, I realise how ridiculous I sounded. I’m sorry for yelling. I didn’t mean it.” 

For actress and theatre teacher, Addison Merrick, memory has been an art form and an integral part of her life. Her marriage to Everett, a paramedic, is blissful, loving, routine - perfect until Everett is diagnosed with a progressive illness.

Ashton Sutton is no stranger to loss and regret - as a specialist doctor, he sees it every day of his life. When he was a teenager, his mother was murdered and he was moved across the country. Ever since his regret at leaving his best friend never disappeared, especially since he was secretly in love with her.

When Everett is rushed into hospital after an accident, the one person Addison wants to forget waltzes back into her life. Her childhood best friend, Ashton promised to always be there for her before shattering her heart by moving away and never speaking to her again despite the major crush she had on him. Now, she finds herself forced to put her trust back in him when he becomes Everett’s doctor to try to slow down his fatal illness. With both Ashton and Addison back in each other’s lives for good, can they both keep their long-buried feelings for each other at bay?

Link: The Art of Remembering - Alex ☕️ - Wattpad

Title: The Mechanical Muse

First 600 words

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” - Arthur C. Clarke

Lying is a part of human nature, as natural as breathing or walking: not the sort of dark lies that ruin lives, but small ones that grease the wheels of the world. I know I’ve told plenty—everyone knows Aunt Sandy’s carrot cake matches her name, but if you told her that she’d either have a heart attack or smack you with a rolling pin. Isn’t it better, then, to tell her the cake’s texture is like a pillow (she thinks it means softness, even if I mean that the texture’s reminiscent of what I imagine choking down goosefeathers to be like), and be charitable? In a way, lying is polite, if it helps everyone.

I hoped my Eros matches would agree. The Southern California University dating pool wasn’t small, which meant any incremental advantage I could gain would reap that much reward. I definitely was a solid 5 foot 11—5 foot 10 and a half without shoes, but by the time I’d end up there with a girl my mission was accomplished—but nobody would notice an extra inch. Round numbers felt more elegant anyway. Fleshing out the rest of the profile was a harder task. What assets I thought I offered, a gentle soul and a sprightly wit, had not yet attracted anyone. Every few days I would check the app, see no responses, and edit my profile again. I was sure there was a magic formula somewhere.

“Are you really still playing around with Eros again? Admit it, Chris: you’re addicted. And desperate,” Valdez, my roommate, said as he entered the room. He peered over to take a look at my screen, but he didn’t have to: he knew there was nothing else I’d be doing at 10 PM on a Saturday night.

“I’m not desperate! Is it a crime to want to go out on a date or two, meet somebody nice, and hold hands while sitting in the olive grove?”

“It is if you have a bad profile. Here, let me fix this,” Valdez said, yanking the phone from my hand. He scrolled up and down a little, frowned, and gave it back with a shake of his head.

“This is, well, you’ll get mad at me if I say ‘you’re boring,’ so I’ll say the profile is boring. What sort of guy posts a picture with his mother on a dating app? ‘A boy’s best friend is his mother’ is a quote from Psycho, and girls don’t want psychos. Where’s a picture of you skydiving, or drinking in Bali, or doing anything, you know, fun?”

“Show me your profile. I dare you,” I retorted. Valdez had a bit more going for him than I did: he was an economics major or what I would pejoratively call a “business bro,” he actually went to the gym instead of promising to for New Year’s but never actually going, and he had the panache to sell what he had as something more than “better than average.” We all thought we were better than average, but he had the hubris to admit it. Maybe that was the trick.

Valdez laughed. “You’ve seen it before, and what’s the point? You see my Instagram stories. You know how many parties I go to. The proof is in the pudding, my guy. So let’s see… what do you think suits you more, leopard-skin or tiger-skin?”


“Pick one, Chris. Which do you want for your loincloth, your sole item of clothing as you pose languorously on a satin couch, a martini in your hand?” Valdez asked, typing frantically on his phone.



College student Chris Marley agrees to help an enigmatic professor test a cutting-edge AI tool, but discovers he’s entered into a Faustian bargain, and must fight to resist the temptation of power and save his soul.

In this modern reimagining of the Faust myth, Chris Marley, a student at Southern California University, joins an enigmatic professor's research team testing Project Narcissus, a new AI content-generation tool. Limited only by his imagination, Chris invents new talents and accomplishments to erase his shortcomings. His only proof is what he can conjure with Project Narcissus, but the evidence doesn't lie--or so people believe.

Though his fabrications earn him fame, fortune, and a girlfriend, the more Chris embraces his new persona, the more he sacrifices to maintain it. When his unconditional access to Project Narcissus expires, Chris must choose between the temptations of his unfettered creativity and preserving his authentic self.

Readers have said:

"I find this novel most intriguing as a chronicle of our modern age. Much may be gleaned by studying past stumbles and missteps, that we may avoid repeating history's mistakes." - George Washington
"What's the deal with this novel? I gotta tell ya, it was quite a story. Really made me think, you know?" - Jerry Seinfeld
"The ending leaves unclear whether he has gained wisdom. I suppose we cannot expect profound personal growth in the span of a novel!" - Lizzie Bennet
"Perchance this tale can serve as a caution for us [all]... For as quickly as dreams are conjured, they can turn to nightmares when born of thoughtless fancy." - Puck


1 Like

The Right to Die

Snow dribbled down the young thief’s neck and back. It sent icy shivers across his hunched body. His hands remained warm, though. His black beanie stretched between them, acting as a tent and shield for the fragile linkcard he typed into. The card’s display glowed white and blue, making controls easy to read even in the alley’s deep shadows. As his fingers danced, he sucked on the sore in his cheek. Done.

He ran the routine to set off the first house’s alarms. Silence reigned in the night air. “Rot it!” he murmured.

Snow crunched as his small group shifted uneasily. Karsya, his second-in-command, snorted. Hand on her hip, she slid into his field of vision. “What, M’yu? Feeling the need to add some theatrics to your triumph?”

“Shut up.” My’u muttered, but a smirk tugged at the corner of his lips. Then it faded. “We have an actual problem this time.”

Karsya leaned in, her hair slipping over M’yu’s shoulder. He tipped the screen of the linkcard toward her. The word ERROR hovered a nail’s breadth off the card, and beneath that, port connection out of bounds.

Karsya’s scoff puffed hot against his face. “No. No, we tested the distance earlier—”

“It wasn’t snowing earlier.” He stowed the linkcard in his coat, fingers slipping deftly into the hidden pocket.

“You—” Karsya drew herself up, silhouette straight-backed and imperial enough, M’yu could almost forget she wasn’t part of the Cap Houses. Growing up, she’d slaved in the Magnate’s mansion, and dealing with spoiled brats had trained her well enough that if you dressed her up and swapped her out for one of them now, M’yu wasn’t sure even their own mothers would know the difference.

“You didn’t account for the all-eternal, ever-capping snow?” Her voice burned colder than the ice, and she kicked one of the three-foot drifts along the alleyside. As snow sprayed up, Lania, the youngest of their group, yelped and jumped back.

“Who’s being theatrical now?” M’yu tugged on a pair of worn, mismatched gloves and dug through his pockets. “Save your voice. You’ll need it to yell at the Caps later.”

His eyes flicked up to Karsya’s. Her glare slowly melted, and they both grinned, teeth flashing in the dark like skulls. Past her, though, the other three huddled together, jaws chattering and eyes downcast.

“Hey,” M’yu called softly. His step crunched on the snow. “Come on, now. It’s just a hiccup. Plan goes same as ever.”

The older two glanced up, but Lania’s too-large boot just scuffed the ground. “Plan was for the group to be twice as big,” she muttered.

“So?” He toed her boot with his own. “Group don’t have to be twice as big long as it’s twice as brave.”

“Aw, cut the rot, M’yu,” complained Dahnko, one of the older boys.

Still, Lania’s eyes lifted, and M’yu nodded at her. “You got this,” he promised.

“And what about you?” Karsya drawled behind him, fake Cap accent thick. “Do you ‘got’ this?”

M’yu glanced over his shoulder and held up the witchcandy he’d pulled from his pocket earlier. “When do I not?”

A wicked grin split her face. “You cannot be seriously thinking of doing magic right now. You need your brain to code, idiot.”

The sore in his mouth twanged, and he ran his tongue over it as if to shut it up. “Who says I can’t have both?”


He slipped past her, hands spread out. “We’ve been practicing this for weeks. I could run these routines in my sleep.”

“I still think we should just set the Magnate’s house on fire.” Her gaze dropped to his, her warm brown eyes deadly serious. “He deserves worse.”


Up With the Innocent

The Capital tore away everything M’yu had: his family, his town’s freedom, and any chance for him to live an honest life. While fat bureaucrats sit in their gleaming city, his people starve and die. Bent on leveling the playing field, the young street-thief lures a group of Capital Knights to his side of town, ready to steal a tool that could burn their entire society to the ground.

But when he saves a Capital girl’s life instead, the Knight that M’yu stole from will open a door into the glittering world of courtiers. No matter how much he hates them, it’s a deal too good for a revolutionary like him to refuse. It won’t take long for him to find out, though, that when you start a fire, it doesn’t burn just one house to the ground.

It burns everything.

Down With the Powerful

1 Like

Midnight Lotus- An Egyptian Fairytale

First 618 Words

Not all evil comes cloaked in shadow.

These rode in golden chariots, to the fanfare of cheers and bleating horns that carried on the summer breeze; announcing the moment I had been dreading since I’d heard of my sister’s engagement. A shiver skittered up my spine. They’re here.

“Sisters, look!” Anaka squealed, mirroring my thoughts.

I glanced up from my game of Senet, gaze trailing my sister’s pointed finger toward the balcony as my stomach rolled. Perhaps it was the dates I’d stuffed down like a hungry egret, but more than likely it was because of him.


With a steadying breath, I inhaled deeply. Taking with it the woody citrus of frankincense burning in their hanging pots in the corners of Anaka’s room, as the three of us sisters primed ourselves to welcome our guests at tonight’s festivities.

“Nefari, come see!” Anaka’s excitement pitched higher as she jumped off her pillowed seat, much to the dismay of her handmaiden, who was mid-braid in her shoulder length mane of midnight locks. Bare feet slapped against white polished stone as she beckoned me, leaning over the carved alabaster terrace. “I can’t believe I’m finally going to meet my husband!”

Neck craning from my seated position, I could just make out the clouds of dust flicking up from horses’ hooves. As a train of over fifty chariots, with their golden details twinkling in the sun, rolled down the palm tree laden path toward the palace. Their faces shadowed by the late afternoon glow of Ra’s blazing eye behind them.

“I can see just fine from here,” I assured, swallowing the heartbeat pulsing in my throat. Will he recognize me? It had been so long since we last saw one another. Ten summers? Maybe more. Would he even remember me? …Will he even care? It’s not like he ever returned my letters. I twisted the horse-shaped game piece nervously in my hands. I had been mulling these dizzying questions, without resolution in the weeks leading to this moment.

“Anaka! Sit down and let Mahti finish your hair.” Zahara, the eldest of us three sisters, chided as she placed the squawking hawk on her arm back in its cage before Anaka’s pet monkey could terrorize it further. “And he’s not your husband yet. You’re hardly living together,” Zahara snorted, shooing the small screeching monkey out and up onto the balcony ledge. The wretched thing bared its pointed little teeth before climbing up Anika’s arm; tail curling round her neck.

Pets were the latest fashion in Lower Egypt, but why father, North Star of the Heavens, let her keep that brown furball, was beyond my comprehension. That monkey got into everything.

“He’s so handsome,” Anaka sighed, leaning dreamily against the stone ledge, but the only beauty I saw was the might of our empire. White buildings and temples splayed against the backdrop of the Nile, winding like a long snake through the grass. Lush fruit trees and tall fields of wheat swayed lazily in the breeze, displaying a bountiful harvest. It would be a good yield this year.

The chattering monkey jumped from Anaka’s arm, pacing the balcony ledge at the second blare of the horns. It looked nervous-almost as much as me.

“How do you know? You can’t even see him properly from here,” Zahara clicked her tongue, moving toward the edge to sneak a better look, along with several other lady’s maids as the shadowed figures dismounted their chariots while servants ushered their steeds to the stables. I already knew which was his. A large black and gold painted chariot with four charges as dark as night itself, stomping and snorting and draped in glittering gold harnesses. Those were his colors.


Nefari is married to the temple. To Ra, the Sun God himself, yet her life is anything but bright. As the temple’s head priestess, she has given her heart and service to a God who will never warm her bed at night. And when her youngest sister is set to wed to the man once chosen for her, Nefari has more than a few concerns.
Amon, better known as the Jackal of War, is a far cry from the charming boy she played with by the river Nile. He is a Pharaoh now. All hard muscles and sharp stares. A man, more excited by the sight of blood than a political marriage. A man who couldn’t possibly make her little sister happy.
And when an assassination attempt goes awry, it sends the wedding feast into a frenzy and Nefari fleeing for the Nile, begging the Gods to save her. But turning into a white crane to hide her identity is not what she had in mind.
On a journey to right wrongs, Nefari will learn that a gift from the gods is not easily returned and sometimes, in the darkest of places, is where the truth comes to light.

Link: Midnight Lotus ~ An Egyptian Fairytale - Kate Knightly - Wattpad

1 Like

Coins on a Battlefiled

645 words, via Watty's app

“I was barely an adult when a battle erupted in a field where I went to cut wild herbs.” Surrounded by mostly green soldiers at the campfire, Elena’s battle-and-fire scarred hands gripped her hot mug. "Not one of those epic ones that I’d take part in, in later years, but a skirmish of maybe a few hundred men came chasing a group of maybe fifty through a rift in the valley.

"I was crouched over looking for a good spot to break a larger nettle’s base at, without piercing my hands, just next to a very low thicket. I’m not surprised that men parted right and left while fleeing, a shocked look on their faces for nearly bowling me over. Well, those that saw me. Some ran blind.

"The last one nearly tripped over me, took a few steps past before he came to a halt and his shoulder’s slumped. I suppose he let out a sigh, but I couldn’t hear it over the sound of his pursuers. He turned around and placed himself between me and the hoard and began to pray as he took a battle stance.’

“Then what happened, Miss E?” Saj was the youngest new recruit, a boy not even two decades old. Perhaps this was the one she opened up her past for. The poor child needed something to hold onto.

“Well, in the normal course of things, the man would have died-honor intact. I’d have been the spoils of war, and had a very different life than I do now.” Elena laughed softly into the steam rising in front of her before she took another mouthful. “But this one was a Paladin. He called down lightning and struck his enemies, slaying nearly all of them…and setting part of the field on fire before crying out for rain to quench the devastation. By that point, I had pulled closer to his foes to gawk like a child at death. When the deluge fell, I turned to him, and he had his face tilted to the sky, and was letting the rain wash the strain away, slowly letting go of what he had done in that moment.”

“Is he the reason you became the camp’s cook, Elle?” This one wasn’t a newcomer, but a hanger-on, one who both needed and wanted to be needed. If none of the young ones took her up on her normal offer, Semmael would be in her bed. Perhaps in a few years, she’d be in his for life, but they had a contract to fill. It wasn’t an unpleasant thought. She was fond of him, but they both knew she worshiped the commander’s orders too much for him to be her first priority. That he understood was why she’d likely marry the poor fool.

“Yes, that was Commander Abbot… And yes, I was very much a woman in love with her savior in that moment. I knew I wanted to bed the man, right there, but I hadn’t decided to follow the army quite yet. Besides, I still had a home to go back to-Commander Abbot gathered his men and silenced the objections to his measures this close to homes, before ordering Venmaeus to escort me back.”

This was always the moment in Elena’s history when ghosts seemed to plague her. Even untried barely-men knew better than to interrupt. “The town was gone. Commander Abbot wasn’t the only man of power in the Third Great War, newly in control of a detachment from the King’s 4th. We don’t know if Ashenvale raised Smallford before they fled or if they found my family after he set our enemies on fire…but there were dead men everywhere. There were no signs of any women or young children. I have to assume they are dead, by now. Ashies would stoop to human sacrifice.”


5 Flip the coin and make a life choice with it. Two choices, one coin, and no turning back. Do you dare?

A beautiful, noble maiden saved from certain death in a battle by a Paladin. Sounds like the start to a great romance, right? Well, not when you both spend years in your nation's army: him as commander, you as a fighting cook. Family long gone, other lovers over time, surely this chance is long lost. 

But Commander Abbot was the person who held your battle-contract, not the King, and he's been called home to take up his unexpected inheritance as Duke. He also needs a wife, not a servant: and that comes with just as many orders as merely being a cook would. Certainly, there's attraction and lust, but is this enough to rebuild an ailing dynasty?

And frustratingly, the only answer the Gods may give rests in a flip of a coin.

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