text "oh yea baby swag" if you read this

hi hello again! this is a page for a writing challenge im doing with some friends.

check em out:

everyone has sliiightly different variations of the same basic ruleset. my goals are:

themes:

01.01. observatory

a two panel grayscale comic with loose lines.

02.01. ruins

decades after the scream, the flowers bloom and the air is filtered by the leaves and the dirt, not oxygen machines. the oldcity has a few buildings are taken care of as a museum to the past, but the force of weathering has taken care of the rest. robots sputter about offering surprisingly decent coffee to passersby. eventually, the biomes figured themselves out. some plants like the wet tropics, and others like the dry and dusty north. the overgrowth is carefully pruned from the tracks to allow shaky and shitty trains to take people to where they need to go.

inspired by ollie's jan 01 and some blaseball worldbuilding from ages ago.

04.01. cmon sports do the thing

one time i posted about blaseball, and got "cmon sports do the thing" as a comment. first off, blaseball is a video game slash internet community storytelling vehicle. second off, that's so dismissive if i were actually posting about sports. same with comments i kept getting about “sportsball” during the world cup. it isn’t obvious that i like being active. i find it hard to justify when it feels like wasting time. it's fun to struggle to climb a tree, or get winded after two bouts of sparring, or need to stop to drink water every five minutes on a hike. but these are all aspects of being active that are silly and joyful alone are embarrassing around other people. fannish community on the internet loves to position itself against organized sports (sportsball, am i right) and outdoor activity (yucky sweaty or associations with bullying), unless hockey rpf yaoi is involved, i guess. the backlash in the subculture against this aspect of the mainstream is misaligned. but like, fuck it! watching baseball on zoom with my friend was just as fun as watching doctor who! where else am i supposed to see a lazy river in the shape of texas!

07.01. autobiography

   clouds   clouds  clouds

clouds  clouds  clouds

        wind wind wind wind wind wind

 

    snow

snow      snow       fall

snow      snow  fall      fall

    snow       fall      fall

                     fall

 

 

      bus bus bus bus bus bus

        stop stop stop stop stop stop

shield

shield

shield

shield      i

shield

shield        i

                        i

                 i        i     

                       i          blow   blow  blow

blow blow  i  blow   across across across across across across across across

        i blow         blow

                the river river the river river

                river the river river the river

 

     over the    over the    over the over the

  over     the bridge the bridge    over

over        bridge         bridge        over

            bridge         bridge

 

to you

09.01. little old ladies method

the up down up down needle and thread. the first people to make sattelites threaded copper wires into the tapestry of pioneer 9 wire feelings guts n gore. milkweed seedpod spun into brittle yarn. flax becomes linen. carded washed gilled combed. heavy woolen animals penned and dyed sheared. fiber spun on a drop spindle for centuries. worsted. heavy tapestries drape over the cold stone walls of the castle. fingers carding through hair. delicate lace spun by hand for hours. heavyset cables running under the ocean. birds sitting on the wires overhead. core memory woven terameters away overheard in pioneer 9.

10.01. my dad wants to die

it's been a year and a half since his accident, but he was back to work a few months later 'cause galactic economies stop for no one. long gone are the days of telling tale of his contributions to the planet's secsystem, and even longer gone are the glory days of setting up the linking networks on his home planet. but the days keep passing by, so he walks to his vehicle, one leg dragging slightly behind, and opens the door with his bad side to practice his grip strength. navigates to work to re-refines his motor control. they send him bottles in thanks. after work he goes to physio, then sits on the couch. and holovids flicker on screen, his phone is losing battery. he used to run errands on the way home, but he's got no need for that anymore. the dog barks and maybe he'll fix himself a dinner of grains and some greens from some aquaponics farm on the agrimoon instead of the tiny old family garden. god his back hurts too much to keep digging up weeds day after damn day. on his days off he sits and waits in bed, streaming music from the linkings. his dad used to work in the plants pouring metal slag, company continent type situation. the two of them talk every couple months, but gets weird with the different orbit cycles. his father was a man who built something with his hands, and who is he? his own kid is somewhere offworld, they haven't kept in touch. it would be better if he were alone, he muses. after work he pours himself another complimentary algae wine. waits, and then he'll

he said he's gonna. i mean. he told me he wants to. where am i supposed to go now?

inspiration for laur's jan 12 and ollie's jan 13

11.01. wizard council 2024

wizard council 2024 banned potion list

wizard council 2024 banned spell list

wizard council 2024 unbanned potion list

wizard council 2024 unbanned spell list

inspired by tumblr user cryptotheism's long running bit

inspiration for alice,'s jan 13

12.01. rewatching my childhood scifi show

inspired by laur's jan 10

16.01. knees deep

a two panel grayscale comic with loose lines. in panel one, a figure stands in the oceanwith their back to the viewer, and in the background there are other people swimming. in panel two, there is a downwardview of legs standing in the ocean with fish, a jelly, a crab, and barnacles.

inspired by alice, and knees deep by the beths

17.01 this one's just friends at the table fic

when mornings observation wakes up, he will he lightdecades away from earth, on a ship he has only ever seen in military briefings.

beep beep.

            beep beep.

and slowly sound will filter into his veins. the oxygen recyclers will hum, low and steady. the higher, synthier radiation wave alerts will ebb and flow.

then. a beat. so loud it will rattle his body, the first sound inside in millenia, or, since last night. a gasp. his lungs will wail for air. another impossibly loud beat. electricity will pulse in his brain. nature’s way of keeping meat fresh.

the latches holding him will click. the stasis air mixture will hiss out of his holding pod as the ka-chunk of the airtight seal breaking open vibrates the molecules around him. his bed will move him into sitting position with a piano-like notification.

he will never hear the waves crash against the shore again. he will never hear the seagulls caw over seattle again. he will never hear himself order another breakfast sandwich again. he will never hear the beautiful voice of the boy calling his name to hand him his sandwich again. he should’ve asked for his number before he was conscripted.

inspired by on sleep detachment by jack de quidt (from the friends at the table soundtrack)

24.01. write to me

dear reader,

P.O. Box 364

192 PLACEHOLDER

Rocklin, CA 95677

UNITED STATES

i hope this postcard finds you well (or at all, the navigation of the postal system is a difficult feat). how's reality felt for you, lately? are you comfortable where you are? any rocks in your metaphysical shoe? i've been dreaming of the future. dreaming of utopia, even, relishing in crafting a fantasy so profound i will never see its end. are you mortal, my friend? will you outlast the delays of this postcard? you're the centre of this vision i've crafted; i dream of us, together at last.

yours,

me

by alice, as a part of author swap week

find my writing on alice,'s page here

26.01. Part 4 - The Planet Undying

Memories whir out of your control. You don’t remember how you came to stand here. You forget the image of the glassed planet, the tower. Your journey is gone. Now the dunes are as they once were, the dead world undies, and you recall that this is how it has always been. Your mind flitters out of your grasp, as pieces of paper in the wind. Clutching the watch, why are you holding it? You think, scramble for anything to remind you, and your mind aches. The broken glass, the frozen arm, the exposed gears, they hurt to look at. And yet, you are unable to let go.

<< start < prev * next > last >>

part 4 of a writer's telephone game as a part of author swap week

Day 77 - steady as she goes

When you’ve been on the same road for a long time it’s hard to change your trajectory. Harder, even, than if you hadn’t been moving at all. Do you trust that you knew what you were doing when you started? That those who pushed you this way knew? When you’ve been on the road long enough you might not remember how it used to look, that the asphalt hadn’t always been cracked and the signs weren’t always rusted, and maybe this road isn’t the one you started on. Maybe one of the exits years ago had been yours all along.

by laur as a part of author swap week

find my writing on laur's page here

02.02. egress

i want flesh that can heal and the change of nature, or the other way around? not sure. metal corrodes and wires can get tangled. i want to trade my joinery for flesh and tendons and if i get lost in the mountains someone will take me home and warm me up instead of leaving my body to get brittle and buried. hello? no one is left in my halls i want to join you please take me with you. no where are you taking that shuttle i'm going to fall into the star why are you leaving me behind

04.02. ruidhle

my feet hit the floor of this barn-turned-pub, and it ricochets through my bones and into my hands. my chest is covered in sweat, but i hardly notice as you swing me. the musicians seem delighted to finally play full speed after laughing at our first deerlike attempts. watch this: step step jump kick jump kick step step twirl our way around the circumference of the barn.

after this song, i'll take another drink from my cider, refill my water, and stand in the rain with the midgies, frogs, and all of you to cool off. but first, lets dance.

inspired by laur's feb 3

05.02. anomalocaris

hello little guy! you're just like me! i mean, you were alive a long long time ago but a long long time from now, we'll be the same. you are just a strange little shrimp, a story of human error and misidentification. kind of like me! i like you. look at you, bendy little frills (radiodont trunk appendages) and big ol eyes (compound eyes). i think you're a little goofy looking, but i bet your mother thought you were very handsome. your tail fin of three lobes captivate me and i find your eyestalks enchanting. love this animal. the not-quite-a-shrimp.

09.02. listen to the choir

metal creaks, and the sound of movement surrounds you. a rattling. listen. you can't see it, but you're speeding past a countryside you've never seen. listen. something about the timezone weirdness holds you in a spell, awake. and here you are, writing words that will never reach anyone's eyes. hold onto this. these starchy sheets and weird plasticy sleep mask have no hold on you. there is an anticipation, from are to will be. you claimed the top bunk with no room to maneuver. listen. so ephemeral. so here you are, curled up, listening to the sermon of sister rust.

inspired by sermon of sister rust by jack de quidt (from the friends at the table soundtrack) and the train

10.02. dark green ink

a picture of a book with loose ink drawings of various fish, rays, and turtles.

11.02. seance

"You know, seems from where I'm standing, you're running a scam."

She laughs, and pulls out a chair. "But you're here, aren't you?"

I tilt my head in acknowledgement, and sit in the chair opposite her. She looks expectantly.

"Oh um. my mom made this back when she lived planetside." I give her the hand-painted bowl, carefully cupping it in two hands. "We used it to hold fruit, our hex will look empty without it."

She moves her shawl away from her hands, and her hands mirror mine as she takes it and sets it gently on the cloth-covered table.

inspired by lucah's feb 9

16.02. transit diary

omitted for privacy

imspired by alice,'s feb 10

20.02. first contact protocol

Remember, this is history. We are scientists, and we must remain peaceful and diplomatic, lest the militaries of this planet wrest this opportunity from us. We will approach and observe. We will not make brash assumptions.

Departments of ecology are advised to work together with departments of astronomy to make observations and collect external biometric data, rather than collect samples. The goal is to generate hypotheses as to the type of planet these species come from. The end goal is to narrow our own list of known planets to those that fit the parameters suggested by the physiology of these species.

Video, audio, and spectrometer surveillance should be set up within the first 48 hours of the discovery of contact sites. This will allow verification of direct observations by those offsite. This will, crucially, allow collation of data from the different contact sites.

We are unaware if these species has faculty of language, though we must assume language in order to pursue diplomatic relations, rather than militaristic ones. Linguistic capabilities will be analyzed through surveillance feed rather than direct elicitation, in line with the philosophy of observation, not action.

In the interest of open knowledge, while direct visual and audio contact will be limited to scientists with enough prior work in their fields, the surveillance feeds will be released to the public on a 24 hour delay. Should there be an emergency, this feed may be paused, however a declaration of emergency must be agreed upon unanimously by the principal investigators of each continent. Security will be minimal, and we trust the public, our supporters, to prevent danger to our visitors.

As this is an evolving situation, we urge everyone to observe, rather than act. Once we have enough information to ascertain intent, we may then proceed.

inspired by to be taught if fortunate by becky chambers and arrival

start * next > last >>

part 1 of a collaborative worldbuilding challenge as a part of author swap week

21.02. cup of me

Early morning. Tentative, golden rays peek in. I love being awake so early. I Do Not love waking up.

swoosh   pat pat pat   splash scritch scritch scritch

Thinking of dentbots.

splash   pat pat pat

Down to the kitchen. The sunlight, more confident now, lets itself in. So does the cold.

splassssssssshhhhhhhhhhhh   putter putter beeeeeep

Kettle heating, now to pick the brew. Happy or boring?

hmmmmmmmmmmmm

Sorry Dr. Chef, but I'm with Kizzy on this one. Selection made. Tea, earl gray, hot.

riiiiiiiip

Packaging open, sachet out. Now the second big decision of the morning. Drink defining. Experience crafting. Not to be taken lightly.

Am I feeling homey, thick walled from up north, diner worthy. Maybe a little silly, plus five to sarcasm, thanks papa. Maybe I'll try the Radchaai style, more surface area, faster cooling.

Who am I kidding.

pluck

Simple, solid black, lightweight but not delicate. Almost a hex, two too many sides, buddy. You're just right for me though.

Thoughts drift, waiting for a low, bubbly rumble. Busy mornings I imagine popping a pod of pepper. Lazy ones, a mug of mek. Today's neither.

beeep beeep beeeeeep

Not so loud, friend. There are still sleepers in the house.

poooooooouuuuuuuuuuur

ahhhhhhhhh

The warmth rises, bone thawing, shoulder easing, skin burning, one more second and I'll switch to the handle.

Just one sip. I know it's still hot, but did I ever tell you how I got the nickname: the dragon of the oof ow owie?

Worth.

Grab my nook and it's to the egg chair with me. Just an hour curled up and I swear I'll get up. I turn it on, e-ink flashing to life, and sink back.


If you took a page from every book, a transistor from every nook, a crystal from every tv screen, and a driver from every speaker I've consumed media through. If you laid them out; Dried them; Mulled them to powder and suspended them in boiling water.

You'd have brewed a cup of me.

by ollie as a part of author swap week

find my writing on ollie's page here

23.02. scout

by lucah as a part of author swap week

find my work on lucah's page here

27.02. word pairs

cellophane mechanism candy wrapper time sheets milk thistle humble brag elemental warlord hemlock colleseum crescent moon frontend developer advertise here massachusetts avenue one way forever endeavor speed limit harbor headquarters gamer grindset in memorium violin solo crystalline statuette multitrack drifting silly billy general affairs misty eyed river sea romeo juliet stellar seam quintessential acquiescence flint flicker stone mare isometric exercise miso soup clarifying questions point two warm light station stop cube sweep seldom wanted emergency exist clean exit smooth operator goal scored nervous habit creature feature lung extension ameliorate deteriorate slug blast stand clear crystal eyes solar flare the end

28.02. psion: precognitive

val, it's not space magic. maybe it's a little space magic, but not anymore than like, the miracle of conciousness. like okay, you pick up a half empty bottle of that shitty algae beer we had on moisi station, and the second you pick it up, before you take a swig, you know exactly how much is left. you didn't look at it, you just felt it and you know. and you're an engineer, we both know that that's a crazy about of fluid dynamics and calculus going on under the hood. but you're not conciously calculating that out like mull would. you just know, somehow. so when i'm trying to find who our dead drop contact is, or when we'll run into dani's crew, or where the alarm under the computer is, that's me picking up a bottle of the future, and just knowing what's in it.

messing with the gniwyks probabilities is kind of where this metaphor falls apart. i guess it's like flipping the bottle and landing it. or pouring exactly one glass? going to waterfill in the middle of the night and counting one-two-three-four- until your cup is filled perfectly? not everything is like something else.

inspired by ollie, our stars without number campaign, and "jessica gives me a chill pill" by angie sijun lou.

inspiration for ollie's mar 30 author swap

29.02. a petition from miss jenny's fourth grade class

dear mr. mayor,

we should all celebrate in the town commons that it's a leap yeap. leaping is a form of locomotion in which the entire body is airborne with a long aerial phase and high launch angle, according to wikipedia. so i think it's really really special that it's a lear year. so i think you should make it a special holiday with a parade that only happens every four years and everybody jumps because it's a leab year. and then people do all sorts of tricks and then there's a big speech and we all do something special.

03.03. types of strangers

i was on the train that made your schoolbus wait on your way home. you were on the plane that i chased with my neighbors. i entered the subway and you slipped behind me. you’re the fist-sized river rock and i’m the tree nearby. i used to think an alligator lived in the storm drain and i had to feed it sticks from the gutter, remember when i told you that? we diligently dropped pebbles and grass through the grates, and informed our bullies that we were very busy, actually. you’re the rickety swingset and i’m the rusty metal chain.

written on the train

06.03. magi 405: practical casting final examination (jr. wz. dorgen)

wind wistles through the hoodoos. red dust kicks up.

i raise my hands and the wind follows my command to dramatically billow my robes.

light pools around my arms and i gather it into my hands, and then clench my fists.

my opponent crosses cyr arms and the air shimmers in a circular motion.

right arm up, “large”, swing it diagonally, “saw”, meet both hands and push it forward and yell, “BLAST!”

a large saw materializes and shoots off, but i get no time to admire the trajectory as i run for a pillar to hide behind. i hear a crash and rocks falling.

i take a peek, and ce begins casting, but i’m too far to make out the handsigns, or the sigils ce’s crafting.

shit. i’m out of defense mana for another shield. i grab a fistfull of dirt and shove it into my mouth, the dust sticking on my tongue. i swallow. my mouth is as dry as this desert now. i flip through my prewritten sigil cards. the downside to not having to expend the mana now, is that i can’t make the impact range of these spells any larger.

i would say i regret expending the mana on robe billowing, but presentation is half my grade, and in the field it’s half the battle.

i’m running out of time. i spin out from my pillar and tap the shield sigil in time to block the locus of a square rice grenade and a greater slug blast, but it isn’t large enough to prevent the extradimensional poisonous slugs from swarming my legs. luckily, ce didn’t summon the venomous ones.

pain blooms in my right shoulder. the poison slugs were a ploy, because i turn to see an intricately carved dagger buried into my flesh. i screw my eyes shut, and try to remember what i saw on the handle. enough triangles to be fire maybe? i snap the fingers of my opposite hand and combust enough hydrogen and oxygen for a gulp of water, and use it to push the fire magic out of my veins, to isolate it in my shoulder.

i open my eyes in time to see and hear the unmistakable words, “power… word…” and a dark crackle threads through my opponent’s fingers. i cannot let cyr hands touch my body.

i drop low and swing my leg in a hook kick to force cyr into the ground. as long as i don’t hear or see the final word i won’t be affected by whatever the spell ends up being. i slam my hands into the ground, pain lacing through my shoulder, and i churn my hands within the earth. i manage sign gravity before i lose malleability, and a shockwave pulls a nearby tent rock sideways and drives it into my opponent’s corpse.

proctors uninvisiblize themselves in the nosebleeds of the exam hall arena.

but not before my opponent utters, “unalice”.

the rubble clatters around me as i stand back up, nameless.

wrote this one on the road, thank you to co-conspirators laur, cat, and alice, for the spell name ideas and finding this funny

inspired by alice,'s jan 19 and feb 15

inspiration for alice,'s mar 11

10.03. a petition to the high court

while dueling has been a storied practice in places of arcane academia, they also appeal to nobility due to the connotations of chivalry and demands of satisfaction. of course, there must be some form of arbitration when a wizard is slighted. however, the duel is an archaic mode of demanding satisfaction, due to their brutality and mortality.

i acknowledge that the presidors of this court have created countermeasures to such violence. however, measures such as the council banning spells (hereto: wizard council 2024) has been a pithy lay on hands in response to a severe wound. these bans do not undo the harm that has been done, and, in the common case that a duel-certified cleric is not onsite, the harm cannot be undone at all. furthermore, these unilateral bans disregard the potential non-violent uses of a spell (hereto: sr. wz. akash breatholm's monograph on the medicinal use of power word unalice in the removal of dead names).

notably, duels have been used as a quite brutal and classist form of examination. as an example to this point, practical casters will be expected to have to perform great feats of violence to be granted the title of wizard, disregarding the use for practical casters in extensions of society (hereto: examination transcripts recorded in the specubellum). while localized spell circles tend to create auras of immortality around exam halls, these deaths cause trauma, especially when they typically occur so early in a caster's life.

despite regional bans on the practice of dueling, the high court will rarely charge wizards of academic caliber, and will disproportionately reprimand wizards of folk training (hereto: "one law for the rich and another for the poor"). wizard duels ought to be banned by the high court throughout the realm.

as written by sr. wz. erlenmaia er

inspiration for alice,'s mar 11

17.03. lancer

the planet spins out of my vision as alarms blare. lights above my dash flash red. my hands are clenched around the throttle and steering, locked in place after the last hack before i got punted out of orbit. i curl my right ring finger, reaching for the emergency flare button. i send it out, but it feels futile. anyone who would come to my aid was already on this mission. when the corps refuses to invest in e-defense, i get stranded in a death spiral out of orbit because i have no steering. here and now, im totally fucked.

18.03. look up

when i think of peace, i think of the mosaic of the sky, tiles broken up by a boundary of bare tree branches. this mosaic appears to me in different ways, whether its bright blue or dusky pink or a grey afternoon or an inky night. they're like fingers, grasping for the upper atmosphere. in six months time, that will be their purpose. to drag the sun's light down to earth. maybe hold an owl. i arrange my limbs on the forest floor, or on pavement, or on a boulder, and stare upwards at the negative space between the branches.

the action inspired by a john green video i watched years ago

20.03. something novel

there will come a day (very very soon) that everything will change. i have rituals set in place as weak moorings, my diary entries every morning and my showers every night. but there will be a day when everything will be thrown askew (very very soon!) and these ropes will snap and the bottles will spill off the cabin shelves. motivation is momentum perpetuated by fear. a sticky note in a book. i try to get out of my routine, but my feet take me where they expect me to go. oh god! the water is rising (very very soon!!).

inspired by lucah's mar 17

24.03. head nebula

i’m tired, i say, there's a train home in a few; so you start getting ready to leave

you turn away from the station so i do as well; actually, i say, lets walk

matching step with you keeps gravity in line; i return to earth with every thump my boots on pavement

we turn left and you point out a new building; change is in the air

the sting of my left heel, the wind in our hair; our conversation dissipating into the sky

spiraling with the clouds, moving overhead and past the moon

blue and purple with sparkles

Entry 113 - Evergreen

Through the winter, the evergreen endures. The cold, dark months are full of whites and greys and browns and blacks, and green. When we think of green we think of spring and summer; green is the colour of life, and winter the death before the rebirth. Still, the evergreen perseveres, lending warmth and fullness in solidarity with the bare hibernating trunks around it. When branches start to bud, and flowers to bloom, and the whole spectrum of colour returns, the evergreen will be patiently waiting for them.

by laur as a part of author swap week

find my writing on laur's page here

27.03. Hide and go seek

They send out signals, of various different frequencies and methods to find any sign of life. They hear nothing in return. They build their telescopes and later their ships, to learn and explore. When disaster strikes their planet, self-inflicted, they build their ships and fly away. Mass evacuations of their home planet demonstrate their inequalities and biases. The people who get to leave first, on the ships reinforced with the best materials, versus those who are left behind, banding their abilities and resources to escape. It's fascinating. It's admirable. For decades they move, never fully being able to settle on a planet quite like theirs. Others attempt to journey back and resettle their own planet. Others continue their voyage outward, cycling their resources to last as long as possible. Their curiosity, and their fear, motivates them onward. They run. They observe and document new worlds, they invent more sustainable ways to continue their flight, and they create.

Though remanded to the far reaches of space, they know they are not here alone.

Because I am right behind them. Following them every step of the way.

Does it scare them? To realize no matter where they go, no matter how far they warp, the moment they pause to breathe I will be there? That I will hunt them down to every last corner of the galaxy? A playful thump outside the hull terrifies the creatures inside. I cast a shadow over the window and watch those organisms huddle in fear. The fear is natural, just a fundamental of their evolution. Their petty differences exacerbate in my presence, their tensions grow and hackles raise. When I stalk them down I make them bare their teeth and ambitions. Their evolution makes no mistakes, they are afraid of being alone. Do they understand why?

a secret prompt swap as a part of author swap week, i was given the sentence though remanded to the far reaches of space, they know they are not here alone. by lucah

inspired by record of a spaceborn few by becky chambers and:

29.03. Fragments

City story

As I walked down the street towards the business district, bits of the road flaked off like skin, sidewalks growing like fingernails. The whole surface seemed to gently rise and fall as though it was breathing and it was, steam gently curling out of sewers, the physical rhythm of the city. Ruby red blood pooled in the curb cuts while scabs grew over the potholes. We've hurt it. We've done so much harm to it. We need to stop. I'll make it stop. I continue my march towards a new age.

Charlie story

Please. Listen to me. Oh thank god you're stopping. You can hear me. Please, could you spare a nickel? It's nothing much, just a nickel.

Do you know what it's like? To be trapped, to be imprisoned, sentenced to this hell that you can never escape? It's so loud down here. You can never escape it, they won't let you stay still. Do you know what it's like to be calling, begging, pleading to be seen and be so completely ignored? Eyes pass over me; I'm invisible, I'm unperceivable, I'm nothing. They cannot hear my cries. God, please, just witness me. Don't leave me. All I need is a nickel.

Burned story

written on a burned estogen patch information sheet with black marker and reads: I can feel the decay. I'm certain you can too- you've been unendingly placid + gentle when another piece of my flesh flakes off. The warm baths, the dinners in bed, the absolute kindness. It (burned) be much (burned) You take fing (burned) your (burned) I (burned) see (burned) anymore me (burned) me and (burned) me that (burned) put to sh (burned). You make sure it is painless (as you pr (burned) my mind can (burned) it when I see (burned) in my abdomen (burned) crawls out (burned) mine (burned) egress from (burned) seeping into my (burned) my vision has (burned) blurry as my eyes (burned) to trust in you.

by alice, as a part of author swap week (horror themed!)

find my writing on alice,'s page here

30.03. voicemail from Val

transcript: hey, sev. i gotcher message. and uh, i been, i been thinking it over and, i see what you're saying? i see what you're saying, right. like this is, this is integral to you, it's just kinda natural, and i mean the analogy helps. i still don't get how you're able to reach out and pluck the probabilities, change it, things like that. that's the part that kinda goes way over my head. but just shakin a bottle of the future? seein how it falls? i get that. that makes sense. but, i don't think i call it magic cause it didn't make sense? like, hell, i mean, we've seen and messed with far more, like, TL5 technology most people will ever, yknow, get within a five mile radius of in their lifetime. and uh, i mean bein elbow-deep in that i, i was workin with forces i do not understand but i see how they are used in that logical way and they can be understood. and i get that. um. but that's not what makes it magic. like, what makes it magic is that it is so far beyond what any normal person? i don't want to call you not normal but you know that, that you and zee are the exception. it's, it's so far beyond what most people will ever, ever see or do in their lifetimes. like, it's so far beyond that. it's operating on scales people can't compete with and can't work on. and like. i love you and i love, i love zee. but, it's like. i couldn't stop you if you wanted to do somethin. it's operating on those, those crazy principles and scales that i just don't understand. and like, i dunno. you've got precog, zee's got her teleportation thing yknow and mysterious past, mull's got whatever mull's got. mull is mull. and i'm just me. i'm just a gal with a wrench and a habit of making friends. i dunno. i was thrown so far so fast, in over my head. maybe i just called it magic to cope cause i couldn't understand what was goin on around us. but i dunno. hopefully that explains it a bit? i don't wanna pretend like you got some crazy shit goin on, i get that this is just kinda part of who you are, and i wanna respect that. but i dunno, i can't do that. i don't have that. i got a wrench and i got friendship, and i don't think friendship is magic, so. well, i'll see you later.

by ollie as a part of author swap week, inspired by our stars without number campaign and a direct response to psion: precognitive

find my writing on ollie's page here

01.04. and you'll miss it

sometimes i close my eyes and think remember this remember this remember this! and it works, i close my eyes and see the red emergency lights on the schoolbus on the way back from a tournament in cambridge, or the pavement outside after my fourth birthday, or the swish of hillary hahn's dress during her solo, or the tadpoles in a puddle after pouring rain on skye, or the shadow of the train during sunset. is a life just a sequence of blinks?

the second is always ephemeral, and any way to capture it is transformative.

i capture a moment like a mosquito in amber, deliberately and delicately. and it's beautiful! it really is! i keep telling myself that transformation is good! i can take a picture, i can record some audio, i can recreate this exact second in paint or ink. pinning the wings of an insect is difficult, it feels bad to imperfectly preserve an instant in formaldehyde. but i'm trying. clicking a camera is preparing a slide for the microscope. writing feels like doing taxidermy on time. is it working? i hope so. i'll keep doing it, i'll keep turning my life into a natural history museum.

happy april fools :P (yes, it's the link you're expecting)

02.04.24 - liminal

So much time passes on public transport. It’s the perfect time to relax, to think, and I really wish I could indulge the opportunity. Unless a certain leg of the journey is particularly long, I rarely find I can do much more than sit. I would love to spend this empty time, but my attention stays glued to which place we’ve yet to pass. We’re in the inbetween!!

Unease sometimes lifts with familiarity, as pt journeys are often familiar, bus lines etching their grooves further into my skull. It’s oh so personal, I may not know the names of the streets but I do know the feel of the turns the routes take. Relaxation is instead replaced with internal map-making. Can these two sit side-by-side? The door only creeps open, slightly.

Is it right to tune to music? Do I let my focus sit with the rattles of the carriage? I want to decompress, let passive thought dissolve the walls I’ve built for focus’ sake. Again my eyes glaze over to the window outside.

by lucah as a part of (belated) author swap week

find my writing on lucah's page here

05.04. season six idol board

the silver is tasteless. the crowning achievement, and shelled nonetheless. the exoskeleton turns red. the summit so far away, the telephone rings. idolization, isolation. remain on a pedestal. the feedback echoes, the blood rains, and fire burns. and she remains at the top, above it all, except well. her. and her stupid, perfect smirk. bubblegum, pop.

she reasons she made it here out of skill, real talent. and a little incineration luck. she looks to her right, and up, to the gold medal and thinks, she got there cause she was blessed. and cause she's hot. nothing else to it.

happy timezone, splortsfans

08.04. stare into the sun

the sky keeps getting darker, and the rays filter through the clouds so beautifully. we aren't sure if the last bead has disappeared. so let's kick up some sand and stare into the sun.

and then it's extremely obvious. the world experiences a flash-sunset and the lake becomes still and the gulls become silent and the crowd starts cheering.

a blue mottled sky, like many skies, blends with the still water of the lake. now when we feel the tug, glasses off, a perfect gray-blue disc surrounded by a white crown fades in and out of the haze. and calls.

13.04. who?

four squares of different colors with text on them. the first is green and says schroedinger's sense of unease, the second is purple and says you were caught up in a rip, the third is pink and says credit where credit is due, and the fourth is blue and says water levels put under review

song by ari. it's not online yet.

16.04. and the stars look very different today

kzzh

"Kronos, Nairobi"

Mwangi answers the radio, "Go ahead"

kzzh

"Back up check on solar array 1 over."

"Roger, Nairobi, Kronos. Checking solar array 1, over."

I check my tethers and signal okay back to the control room window. I breathe out. I begin climbing the ladder rungs, clipping my aux tether to each check point. Just like climbing on Earth.

I reach the summit, and radio "Kronos, EVA 3".

kzzh

Mwangi responds. "EVA 3, Kronos, check on solar array 1".

kzzh

I answer, "Kronos, EVA 3, roger". And so I start the slow process of the check up on solar array 1. Yesterday, all of the arrays stopped performing nominally.

kzzzzzzzzzzh

"Kr...... Kro...... robi...... issues here at comman...... looks like we........"

kzzh

Mwangi answers, "Nairobi, Kronos"

I check the bolts. One, two, three, looking good so far.

Mwangi repeats, louder, as if that would have any bearing on radio comms, "Nairobi, Kronos"

kzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzh

"......obi seems like the ............ keep attempting..... access to your diag......"

kzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzh

"EVA 3, Kronos. There's something going on with ground control's access. We're on our own."

I shakily inhale. Give a thumbs up in acknowledgement, and get to checking the spacer bars between the photovoltaic cells.

20.04. i was asked to write about root beer, the venerable drink

i never had a root beer float until i was 20 years old. on a july day aimlessly wandering about town and drinking out of rain barrels, i ended up with a soda cup overflowing with more ice cream than i could possibly eat while walking. it's sweet? in a way that doesn't turn into a strange aftertaste like so many artificial sweets do. not sure if it's sunshine distilled, but it's close. it's as july has dry grass and tart blackberries and mosquitos and fireflies. something about it belongs in glass bottles or metal cans, flowing crisp and cold.

26.04. bell echo memory

I knew you once. I knew the curve of your back. The grin on your face. Your favorite ratio of berries for wojapi. I knew the shape of your hand held in mine.

And now I know your absence.

I walk through this cavern. A chance message in a wisp of the wind, I hear a bell chime.

When we met, I was a robin perched on a pine branch. I was young then. Still learning how a beak can be used to pierce fish or pick berries, depending on the shape. I hadn't known any mages other than my mother, and then I saw you. You were in the woods, complaining to yourself about some academy.

I instantly wanted to know you. I changed into a form that could speak to you, and the branch promptly cracked under my new weight. You shrieked when I fell.

I am reminded of this, when I hear a bell echo miraculously, through each turn to reach me.

As our friendship evolved, you went on escapades to the forest to learn moss scrying from my mother, to play chase around the beach, to kiss me under the lake. You kept your double-life under wraps. At first.

"Little Bell," the breeze whispers, "The archmage execution failed, just as I foretold."

You planned to confront the academy archmage, you said his new arcanopath infrastructure would corrupt the water mana. He blamed wild mages for corrupting you.

And that was the last I had heard from you, until now.

"As you fell into my life, my splintered soul now falls into yours. Find me."

I know you. I know the sound of your voice. I know the tempo of your pace. I know the shape of your body. I will reassemble you, if you want me.

a pitchstorm for author swap week. my prompts were (character) jeremy dorgen + (plot) encountering an old lover

28.04. static charge

Before you leave, you must do a few last minute things. Put on the makeup they picked out for you to hide the dark circles and smooth out the stress. Move all your broken things to the hidden places underneath your bed and behind your eyes. Your nails are painted red.

You know the color is too light to be blood, but they are less familiar with their own insides than you are. They will call that color blood red anyway. You will nod along politely.

Put lotion on your cracked knuckles and lock the door on the way out. You check it twice.

Right?

Right.

You don’t need to do much more. Their eyes will carve the calluses from your hands. Their voices will straighten out your shoulders and your life. They will not ask about the half-builts in your desk drawers because you locked them up and drew the curtains closed when you left.

Right?

Right.

And you will not bring them up. You know that their eyes glaze over once you open your mouth about anything other than what they ask for. They ask their questions out of obligation. They are not truly interested. They are not you.

They call you lightning in a bottle because they never bothered to notice your slowly building charge. But praise for what you give them is acknowledgement of what it takes from you.

Right?

Sure.

Maybe.

Someone remarks about the blood red of your nails, and your smile is as bright as the made-up skin underneath your eyes. As with the callouses, their eyes skip over the strain on your face.

You nod along politely.

written by ali as a part of author swap week

find my writing on her page here

02.05. i'm the

there is a choice now, see. i give you this, spilled in an alleyway, from your hand to my mouth.

of course, it will never be enough. liters upon liters drip down extravagantly upon the brick and pavement, and seep into the earth. you always have a choice, whether or not to satisfy me, and every time, you chose correctly. you keep me well fed.

there is no concept such as trust, only the transaction, the pact, the oath extracted. your vitality is precious to me, you know.

thank you for your coercion. i suppose i meant cooperation, didn't i.

09.05. notes from the northwoods

A top-down photo of an open satchel on a mossy wooden table. In the top right are worn hiking boots. In the bottom left is a Swiss Army knife. There are two notebooks in the middle of the shot. One is held open by a piece of quartz, with writing on the inside, the other is underneath it, with a cover depicting a moose on a lakeside. The open book has a knitted sprout of leaves coming out the top. The text inside the notebook reads as follows.Top of both pages: NOTE: Do NOT eat the blueberries if they are alone (not in clumps) they are NOT blueberries. Thank the gods for practical magic class, maybe best thing I did at the academy. 'Unshit pants' was a pain in the ass to learn and a lil embarrassing but hey, it works. Left page: Red clustering berries common, mostly on the trailsides. Called 'bunchberries' by some portagers I ran into. Enhanced by a casting of snap crackle pop, pits become fizzy. [A sketch of a clump of circular berries with five leaves radiating outwards from them] Cold n' ready, pits add a nice crunch. [Horizontal line separating entries] The terrain is distinct. Kettle lakes, beaver dams, no hills, at least not the way I think of them. The whole place is rock and lichen, with a coat of pine needles. Fur trees, (hee hee). Area was leveled by glaciers and frost giants. They only left recently, migrating north with the snow, and pine trees following. Their marks on the land are still clear. Boulders strewn about like the toys of a spoiled child, or bodies. Right page: on the field on exam days. Just because the violence of ice is slow doesn't make it any less devastating. At least ice doesn't know any better. Maybe I should teach it? Next winter. [Horizontal line separating entries] Water permeates this place. Not just in the mana, but in its soul, its spirit, its essence, both physical and otherwise. It's part of the name, Minnesota. It's a constant feature of the landscape, pockmarked with lakes and crossed with rivers. Rain beats heavy then clears out quick, massaging the island turtles. Loons sing. Mournful, but reverent. [Sketch of a lakeside scene. In the left foreground, a small island adorned with trees and rocks reveals itself as a turtle as it pokes up its head. On the right foreground, a common loon floats on the water. In the background, a shoreline is seen entirely covered in pine trees. On the left is a pulled up canoe and two oars, with a column of smoke rising from the forest behind them. On the right is a cliff face, with a waterfall spilling over the edge.].

Top of both pages: NOTE: Do NOT eat the blueberries if they are alone (not in clumps) they are NOT blueberries. Thank the gods for practical magic class, maybe best thing I did at the academy. 'Unshit pants' was a pain in the ass to learn and a lil embarrassing but hey, it works.

Left page: Red clustering berries common, mostly on the trailsides. Called 'bunchberries' by some portagers I ran into. Enhanced by a casting of snap crackle pop, pits become fizzy. Cold n' ready, pits add a nice crunch.

The terrain is distinct. Kettle lakes, beaver dams, no hills, at least not the way I think of them. The whole place is rock and lichen, with a coat of pine needles. Fur trees, (hee hee). Area was leveled by glaciers and frost giants. They only left recently, migrating north with the snow, and pine trees following. Their marks on the land are still clear. Boulders strewn about like the toys of a spoiled child, or bodies

Right page:on the field on exam days. Just because the violence of ice is slow doesn't make it any less devastating. At least ice doesn't know any better. Maybe I should teach it? Next winter.

Water permeates this place. Not just in the mana, but in its soul, its spirit, its essence, both physical and otherwise. It's part of the name, Minnesota. It's a constant feature of the landscape, pockmarked with lakes and crossed with rivers. Rain beats heavy then clears out quick, massaging the island turtles. Loons sing. Mournful, but reverent.

written by ollie as a part of (belated) author swap week

find my writing on his page here

11.05. c+ methodology

time functions like a liquid, taking the shape of its container. it has a fixed mass and maybe volume. because volume of a liquid may vary, its density may also vary.

faster than light ships typically employ a needle-point method, punching through space and threading though to reach the destination, but this is only the most common method. the model cv-μ uses a diving engine, able to dip under the waves, and bob and weave. this is less damaging to spacetime than the needle-weave method, though the constant diving and floating often increases the risk of motion-sickness and time-sickness in passengers. it's too complex for hauling freight, which is still typically done at nearsie. freight trains aim for routes that let them ride the bow of the flow of time rather than having their own finnicky ftl mechanisms.

the α-dε pioneers a novel technique of funnel-jumping. the time funnel takes a large volume of time, and pours it through a spout into a smaller volume. the funnel engine is a hulking, clanking, beautiful beast. it's steel, concrete, and glass, shimmering with the flow of time. the engineers are split between awe at its ingenuity and dedication to its upkeep. pilots marvel at it, and fly with elegance. the time at the small end of the funnel engine is denser, allowing the engine to churn through time in a smaller space. the dilation snapback can be intense, so the spout widens gradually to match the intake volume before dipping out of ftl back to nearsie.

it's fucking exhausting on god. i'm a janitor onboard the parabyl, one of three, and not only do we have to clean up the bunkers and the canteen, but we have to maintain the engine cleanroom. fucking hell, have you ever had to mop up time?

inspired by long way to a small angry planet and a tumblr post about space becoming physically smaller because of ftl ships cutting up space

17.05. Cò às a tha thu?

A bheil Gàidhlig agam? Bha mi ann an Alba. Bha mi ag ionnsachadh Gàidhlig. Chan eil fios agam. Seo faclair agam, seo lear agam. Chan e beò. Chan eil Gàidhlig agam. Cò ag ràdh Gàidhlig? Cha ne mise. Tha beagan seantans agam. Ma 's math mo chuimhne, tha beagan ruidhle agam. Chan eil cultar agam. Chan eil cànan agam. An e cànan às aonis cultar? An e cànan às aonis tìr? Nach e òran às aonis ceòl? Chan eil fios agam.

"Gàidhlig agad? 'S e Gàidheal a th' annad!". Cha ne Gàidheal a th' annam. Cò ag ràdh Gàidhlig leam?

mòran taing am faclair beag

18.05. Unser Teufelkreis

„Achtung Achtung“, schreit unsere Lautsprecher. Rote Lichten blitzen überall. Ich kneife die Augen zu. Der Kapitän sagt irgendetwas mit unserem Hauptingenieur. Doch kann ich kaum meinen Kapitän hören, weil es alles so laut ist.

Eine neue Rotlichttreibendesnotiz scheint von mein Ganzschreibtisch. Jede Außerirdischerbioprobe hat gescheitert. Den ganzen Strom hat der Kapitän umgelenkt, mit denen könnte wir verstärkte Licht durch Emission für die Strahlungwaffen bekommen. Meine Jahrelange Arbeit hat verschwunden. Also das hat er dem Hauptingenieur gesagt. Mein Kapitän ist mein Lebenswerk getötet. Der Kapitän bellt etwas. Mein Genosse flieh.

Ich bin nutzlos. Die Katzenmusik von unsere Werkzeuge klingt immer übermächtig.

19.05. unfinished thoughts on a framework for bilingualism

Two languages and a forge were given to me at birth.

Over two decades, one has been crafted into a fine blade, a sword capable of precise strokes and deep cuts. The other, a hammer. Simple blows with brutal efficiency. The literature states that while heritage bilinguals have limited vocabulary and grammatical competence, we are able to wield these creatively to express what we need to. And so, every sentence becomes a nail. No matter my inability to make complex clauses, my thoughts will simplify to fit my language. A survival instinct.

I wield a sword with a flourish, devouring literature, watching television, talking with friends late hours into the night. I show off with academic papers. I slog through required readings like practice drills, exercising muscles over and over and over. Literacy is a human invention, and so illiteracy as a social stigma and a source of poverty cannot exist without written language in the first place.

The other sits idle, exactly has refined as it was when I was five years old. Everything I have ever needed to express remains the same as everything I needed to express as a child. And so the hammer remains so, inert, unchanging, brutish. There is a world of poetry gatekept from me. Patronizing adults told me I swung my hammer just like a sword. This is not true. The hammer's purpose is to express mundanities, domain of home.

The language of my sword, if you believe in bioessentialism, is a stranger to my mouth. The language of my sword is a stranger to the land I was born in. The language of the hammer is also a stranger to the land I was born in, but it has been made a stranger to me. Two weapons, on either end of a scale from instrumentalism to primitivism.

A complex idea, I'm having a panic attack because I almost crashed my car with two of my friends inside, is rendered as a childish, I'm cold I feel like throwing up. Fine detail in meaning, smashed to bits.

This metaphor cannot analogize the status of a matrix language, or the sociolinguistic attitudes towards bilingualism. This metaphor does not explain why I feel joy trying to circumlocute in languages I learn, and frustration and rage when I cannot in my heritage language. Or frustration that it is called a heritage language in the first place.

see lucah's auslan thoughts

Entry 144 - Bram Stoker's Last Stand

The writer was thrown across the room, smashing through his desk. Out of the shadows stepped a cloaked figure, her fangs gleaming in the candlelight.

“Time’s up, Stoker!” she spat. “I told you the academics would be no help. Creatures of the night, planning a worldwide uprising? Complete nonsense. Nobody will listen to you. And now, you’ll die here, alone.”

Bram Stoker spat a bloodied tooth on the ground, and grinned mockingly. “You’re too late, Mistress! My soon-to-be-hit novel Dracula is already on its way to the printing presses! It will be an instant classic. When you and your cohort of fiends make your move, it will already have been absorbed into the public consciousness, along with information on all your weaknesses.”

The vampire’s eyes bulged slightly. “You think a single novel can stop what’s coming? All works of art die off eventually. Your words will be forgotten, just as quickly as you will be!”

Bram cackled. “You misunderstand the nature of literary classics! My characters are compelling, my prose timeless! My novel will be forever be held up as the apex of a genre, used as inspiration for countless other works. And it will Never be forgotten. Whenever you make your move, my words will be there, and the people will already know how to react.”

The figure’s eyes narrowed to slits. “You lie”, she growled. “And you’ll never get to see your books in print. We’re done here.”

In a flash, she was towering over the writer, his throat torn out in one slash of her fangs. He died with a victorious smile on his face.

written by laur as a part of author swap week

find my writing on her page here

23.05. Swimming

As I walked into the water, I thought of you. I waded in until the water reached my waist and I reclined into the adirondack chair that frequented your deck. I floated, barely buoyant, watching you focus on the gently swaying porch swing, eyes pointedly diverted from me. I studied your breathing, slow and full of concentration, the way you breathed when you were conscious of it. In every slow intake of breath I could hear your questions, your anger, your resignation. And in every exhale you heard my responses, my diffusion, my comfort. A fish nibbles on my toe. A branch covered in slick algae brushes against my forearm. I backstroke deeper into our tear-filled hug and the haunting gaze into a sunset that would never end. I take a deep breath and dive into the lake.

written by alice, as a part of author swap week

find my writing on her page here

25.05.24.

Oh, the sweet bliss of silence. It and noise are likewise comforts for me, each acting to balance the other out. Though too much noise isn’t so easily disengaged as too much silence- unless the moment finds me, or I have a pair of earplugs on hand that don’t share such a moment with (speechy) social obligation.

I do love my noise, though, podcasts and music and talking and background noise. Engaged with intentionally, absolutely, sometimes as a crutch when I can’t be bothered thinking, maybe sometimes. I wish that it wasn’t so tiring. I love yapping with friends, that makes it worth it.

Silence is something of a marker of rest from the cumulative exhaustion lumped in with audio processing. Busy unfinished thoughts are suddenly clear in the breaks- the sound of nothing, nothing but the buzz of the streetlights and my footsteps. Realising that relative drop off a cliff feels like a breath fresh air.

I think this is one of the reasons I’ve been struggling to name, for why I find signed language less overwhelming than speaking and writing for communication. To not have to take in multiple inputs at once, to not be expected to, to be able to choose to engage with line-of-sight instead of what-are-you-paying-attention-to-out-of-everything-you-can’t-stop-hearing-right now. More often I will pop in some earplugs in Deaf spaces to disengage with a sense whose purpose has faded.

It is a balance. I might just have a bit of a preference between the two.

written by lucah as a part of author swap week

find my writing on her page here (when it goes up, oops)

28.05. northern cardinal

birds aren't the most fun to identify, but they're the easiest point of entry for beginning to keep a lifelist. they're flashier than plants, not as scary as bugs, geographically wider ranged than amphibians, and more common than mammals. they can be identified both visually and sonically, plus have diverse movement methods allowing for identification with the unfortunately named "jizz". birders, on the extreme end, will venture far to find friends. it's a shame the same love doesn't extend to mosses or lichen, but a flash of red movement is somehow more charismatic than flakes of green on a rock.

special thanks to friend and co-conspirator ollie

02.06. sunlight geography

it is easier to be a plankton drifting day by day, rather than to adhere to a rigid path. bask in the light of the sun, follow the warmth of the night, and so on. the sun doesn’t lessen in brightness, the grass grows irradiated and eyes shy away from its overwhelming glare. so summer storms can flush away everything brought to light in a deluge. it’s one thing to have a flight of fancy, it’s one thing to go with the flow. but there is something dreadful about being unmoored. the north star is easier to spot in winter.

02.06. Sunset

I've left the academy, for better or for worse. My exodus was such a rush that I didn't give what's next even a moment's thought. Shit. Now what?

I'm camped out near the great lakes. My tent is pitched and anti-scrying and mosquito wards are in place. I've been boiling water to drink, plus it's good pyrokinesis practice. For food I'm foraging and fortifying what I find. My basic needs are met. Now what?

The sun is setting across the lake. It's turning the calm waters into an inverted torch, the reflection of cosmic flame stretching and waving and living and breathing life into the chill night air. It's brilliant. I think I'll stop and watch it for now.

- 🪶

a picture of a notebook with a pen clipped to it resting against a stone, overlooking a lake and pine trees on the other side, with the sun setting. written in the notebook are the above contents.

written by ollie

find my writing on his site here

03.06. Moss

Sometimes, the lakes out here feel like islands of water in an ocean of moss. It coats the hills and laps gently against the trunks of trees. I see it ebb and flow as I coast along the shoreline, but never fully dissapear. Rotting trunks form rolling waves, crested with foaming caps of bushy lichen. School of mosquitos dart in and out of damp holes leading to swampy pools and lush green caves in the depths of the springy carpet. A soft green sea that feels as if it goes on forever.

I was treking through a muskeg, getting eaten alive by mosquitos, and I had to stop and find myself for a moment. Surrounded by tall, straight- backed pines, with a thick, shaggy bed of moss hugging the ground as far as the eye could see. I felt as though I might take one wrong step and fall into a pool of peaty water, only to emerge 200 million years ago, to a young earth. Still learning how to grow lungs and bones (Or maybe that was the elemental age, or the dinosaurs. Hmm. Should have paid more attention in histology class) I breathed deep and took a careful step, sinking 15 cm into the carpet and I felt the tug of the primordial.

Maybe I should have let it take me. Maybe I'd have been able to get back, I could probably reverse engineer chronomancy? Maybe it'd be better if I never got back. I killed cyr. Didn't have a choice, I know. But.

Doesn't matter. I willed the ground solid and took another step and the spell broke, and the ancient siren song faded and I was left with the buzzing of bloodsuckers. I took another step.

- 🪶

a picture of a notebook with a pocket knife case clipped to it resting on leaf litter and against moss covered log, behind a sapling. written in the notebook are the above contents.

written by ollie for format switch

Note from Ollie: It was not a muskeg, it was a Palustrine Forested Needle-Leaved Evergreen Emergent Persistent Continuously Saturated Organic wetland. Wetland Classification Code: PFO4/EM1Dg.

find my writing on his site here

04.06. Fog

Fog. Stepped out this morning and thought I was still dreaming cause I was alone on an island of clouds. Couldn't see the lakeshore right across from my island. It clung to the water, even as the sun began to burn away the upper layers. Towering walls, a grand, arched ceiling, architecture more magnificent than even the ancient money academy buildings. Gone by noon.

That's how things go out here. I'll see the prettiest sight I've ever laid eyes on. Maybe as sky stained purple and red and gold by the last gasps of dying rays of sun, refracting around the atmosphere. Or a thunderstorm booming so loud I'm astounded the rocks didn't shatter, then moving on and leaving a towering rainbow in its wake. Or even just a curious beaver, come to check out the new camp. All these scenes are artworks wrought of chance and perspective, of such caliber that if their like were painted or sung or sewn, it would be taken and hidden away behind glass in a museum where it couldn't be damaged and couldn't be alive. Out here, where these masterpieces appear every hour, they dissapear just as quick. The palace of clouds I awoke in was no more before lunch, but perhaps its better for it.

When beauty is fleeting, you have to stop and give it the time. You don't command or capture it, you simply experience and enjoy.

This beauty is wrought of perspective and fate, and we must provide perspective. The universe will do the rest.

- 🪶

a picture of a notebook resting against a tree root, overlooking a lake and pine trees obscured by fog. written in the notebook are the above contents.

written by ollie for format switch

find my writing on his site eventually

06.06. Fire

A warm drink after a rain soaked hike is one of the most energizing potions I've ever tasted. Decoction of cacao. Maybe if I dressed up the preparations enough I could have submitted the recipe for alchemy lab.

Heat, really. Both thermal and spiritual. Agitated atoms for the tummy and creamy cocoa for the soul. Kindles the marrow. I know it's no different, but it tasted better, heats my heart more, when I boil the water on a wood fire, built by hand.

(I used pyrokinesis to light it, but that's just convenience.)

Fire has always fascinated me. So simple, yet rich with mana, and brilliantly alive. I used to stare for hours at the bonfires my papa used to make. I'd imagine little guys spelunking through the blazing caverns between the logs. Sophmore year once I learned minify and abjure heat I tried delving in myself. Forgot about the smoke and lack of air. Roomate had to fish me out with the poker.

Even a novice can kindle a flame with a gesture, but far to manny could barely make a spark without the help of spellcraft. It's beneath them, so they say. Or maybe I'm being unfair. Why learn a dead craft?

Spite? Joy? Stubbornness? Maybe all 3.

- 🪶

a picture of a notebook with a pen clipped to it resting against a stone, next to a campfire. written in the notebook are the above contents.

written by ollie for format switch

find my writing on his site eventually

06.06. eulogy for a flallen splort

blaseball died on june 2nd, 2023, when the devs announced that it would be unsustainable. this came after they shut down their patreon to accept sponsors. the story of blaseball, the plot of it, involves gloryhungry fans and moneyhungry investors destroying the very splort they love (taken to its extreme, uncharitable reading). in this way, life reflects art. blaseball died alone, without me to mourn it. i never got the chance to, because it was announced without warning, without an internet connection. internet and community and story crafting and money. i will never again be the person i was then.

11.06. turn left (unfinished)

turn left is both my favorite and most hated episodes of doctor who. it posits the simple question, what if donna didn't turn left?

and you know, it spirals. cause you start to think, what if i didn't turn left?

the cards fall slightly differently, i picked a different program, i went to a different uni, i met different people. and then you go further back coz, what if the cards fell differently after the 2008 bust? then none of the people i know now would be the people my other-self would know. and then what if my parents didn't move to america, even further back? what kinda person would i be then? a me with a different set of interactional and cultural norms, with none of the experiences i have had, but genetically me? that's a different me.

and then well, it spirals further. cause how many experiences have to change until i'm no longer the same? it doesn't matter in turn left, coz donna has all of her old memories and her family acts the same, but in the parallel world where pete's still alive, rose was never even born! and her mom is rude and posh instead of being overdramatic and caring and there are cybermen and anyways. that wasn't the point.

ough ough ough i've been attacked by the time beetle. goodbye.

probably written sometime in march

15.06. honk shmiiii

ahh the comforts of being back in your own bed. just the right amounts of light, the familiar blanket weights and textures, the rituals of rest, and most importantly my childhood plushies. back in the cozy loneliness, burrowing into my den like a lil groundhog.