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super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

No need to sign, we'll take care of that.


Lipstick Apathy

In, team Wizard gets my vote.

Never done one of these before and haven't written a story in ages but I need to get back into the habit.

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super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

No need to sign, we'll take care of that.


Lipstick Apathy

I'll bump wizard back up with a

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

No need to sign, we'll take care of that.


Lipstick Apathy

Uranium Phoenix posted:

Edit:
If all you sinailures are too proud to go for another prompt, my votes can be bribed with donations of wordcount.

Can Wizards make counter offers?

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

No need to sign, we'll take care of that.


Lipstick Apathy

Uranium Phoenix posted:

Yes they can current offer is 400 words from sin

420

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

No need to sign, we'll take care of that.


Lipstick Apathy

Tweet Al Gore, ask him if he wants to cast the deciding vote for a writing club's prompt.

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

No need to sign, we'll take care of that.


Lipstick Apathy

quote:

You may steal very pure, very sincere wishes from others, and grant them for yourself.

The Dream Taker

1220 words

"This is it," Mary asked herself, "This is just a run-down apartment complex. Why would a 'great and powerful wizard' live here?"

She climbed the stairs up to the third floor of the poorly lit building and walked to a door near the end of the hall.

"I don't know why you want to learn and I don't care," a voice from behind the door replied before she could even knock, "If you're serious, here's a list of meditation techniques, herbs and chants. Follow it and come back in a couple weeks."

A frail hand reached out the door holding a stack of papers. She grabbed them and left

A few weeks later she was back at the apartment. Before she even finished walking up the stairs she heard a click from down the hall as the apartment door opened and a sickly old man stepped out. "Let's go," he said, "You have the power now, all you need is to learn how to use it."

They exited the building and went into the parking lot. The wizard motioned to an old car that was clearly high end half a century ago but had fallen into disrepair. "From an old wish," he said, get in and we'll go find a wish to try your new powers on."

They drove off down the road, the wizard using his years of training to effortlessly search for wishes. "Once you've got a feel for the magic," he continued, "all you have to do is listen and you'll feel the desires of the people around you. Most will seem distant. Petty or selfish wants and unfocused whims will seem distant but wishes stemming from selflessness or true need have a blinding intensity and you'll feel like you could reach out and touch them. That's the key to my magic, if you try hard enough and the wish is strong enough, you can. Anything they want, I can make it mine; it can be yours too once you get the hang of it. Anything at all, just as long as it's truly worth wanting.

"Ok, see that guy on the corner," he asked, slowing down the car and pointing to a man who was clearly destitute.

"Huh? Yeah," Mary replied.

"Close your eyes, it'll help you look better. Close your eyes and try to sense his desires."

The apprentice closed her eyes and looked out. "Ok, yeah, I'm getting something, there's, there's too much!"

She slammed her head back against the chair in shock. "It's so bright, what the hell? And it's so heavy, there's so much pressure."

"Good," the wizard said smiling, "now listen. That man is starving and since that's his most immediate and most honest need it's the dominant one. Once that is satisfied his other desires will be easier to discern. use your training and grab hold of it, give it a physical form."

She made no reply, instead focusing on trying to grasp the power of the homeless man's wish and give it physical form. Suddenly a large sandwich on a ridiculously oversized baguette appeared in her hands, stretching all the way back to the rear window.

"That's it," she asked, "no flashing lights or a loud ping or anything? I was just suddenly holding it."

Yes," he responded, hungrily glancing at their sudden feast, "now, in a minute I want you to tear off a chunk and give it to him. Before you do that, take another look, notice how dull the wish is now that you've taken it. He's still hungry but his desire is all frayed now and he's not going to actively work on fulfilling it the way he did before you took it."

Opening her mind again, she noticed that the wish was still there and still massive, it lacked the brightness and physical presence it once did. She closed off her second sight after considering it a moment and then ripped off a chunk of sandwich, dutifully following her task to feed the homeless man, assuming that granting someone's wish was an integral part of the magic, like she was learning to become some kind of genie.

"Ok," she said after reentering the car, "so now what? Does granting his wish give me more power or something?"

The old wizard grinned. "Not quite," he said, chuckling to himself, "Look again."

She opened her second sight a third time and focused on the man. Needs of shelter, want of wealth and stability, desire to numb the pain of existence, all the usual thoughts from someone who lacked everything were present. They all appeared with varying degrees of brightness but they seemed to lack the depth his hunger had before. Instead of the mass weighing down all around her, even the man's brightest desires seemed distant, more like his wishes were a mural than an actual physical thing.

"You've learned your first real lesson." the old man said with a halfhearted smile, "I was never teaching you how to grant wishes, you're stealing them."

"What?"

"Why do you think it looed drab and worn after you took the strength of it? See how his other desires are all so far out of reach now? He's immune to it now and the only reason the wish you stole is gone is because you satisfied it for him, now he doesn't even have it anymore."

"So wait, I didn't need to feed him? What's the point of sharing with him if I'm a thief now?"

"Point? Ha," he laughed as he drove off, "What's the point of confessing a crime after you've gotten away with it? What's the point of making amends to someone who doesn't even know they've been wronged? Why am I living in an apartment the size of a closet in a run down building instead of in a mansion paid for in winning lottery tickets born from the desire to save orphanages from closing. Think about that."

They both sat in silence for a few minutes, the hum of a car engine made of stolen dreams the only thing breaking the silence.

"The guilt from benefitting off broken hearts isn't even the worst part," the old wizard said as he leaned back in his seat as he pulled into a hospital parking lot, "it's knowing you could make a difference if the wish was different. I'm not just talking about taking care of easily fixed problems. It's the wording of a wish that can make thing's tricky. You know survivor guilt, when people narrowly survive an accident only to look at the victim and think 'That should've been me'? Let's just say that taking a bullet for someone is a hard thing to do, especially when you know you could've fixed it without hurting yourself if only instead they'd wished for a way to help.

"But now that someone else is around to do the easy stuff I guess I wouldn't mind burning out on one last wish. Goodbye. I hope it'll be easier in the future."

He walked off into the building without letting her say a word, his last wish a parting gift to help her in her new calling.

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

No need to sign, we'll take care of that.


Lipstick Apathy

In and down vs up and out. Flash me!

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

No need to sign, we'll take care of that.


Lipstick Apathy

A Divide
454 words

The people of the elder mountains existed cut off from the rest of the world for centuries due to the nigh-impassible nature of their homeland's geography. The only true access to the kingdom was through heavily guarded cavern entrances at the foot of the mountain range. Over the years, the subterranean half of the kingdom's populace had become adept at turning the natural resources of the mountains toward defending and connecting the lands above. They took pride in being able to keep their land safe from invading armies.

In the mountains above, there was little habitable land. What few plateaus existed were reserved for the farmland required to feed the population and the populace were forced to live near the edges and had little space to call their own.

There was an uneasy truce between the two halves of the kingdom, the topsiders resented needing to feed the cave dwellers and the cave dwellers resented having to risk their lives defending the borders of the kingdom. Peace was only maintained through the wisdom of the sages. The sages were required to spend their time living with the group they weren't born with to understand both sides of the cultural divide. Spending decades working with the other half of the populace in order to understand them better.

Wallace was a failed sage. No matter how many disputes he was sent to arbitrate, his elders always reversed the decision. Some dispute he'd decide in favor of the plateaus would be decried as favoritism for his birth there and for one in favor of the caverns he'd be accused of forgetting his early life. When he championed a citizen not getting their fair share he'd be accused of not serving society as a whole, but when he did rule in favor of the entire kingdom's needs he was called a tyrant. His rulings according to the establish law were considered inapplicable to the situation at hand and his more freeform rulings were mocked as ignorance of what was already established.

During one especially petty dispute he finally snapped, railing against both parties and declared the entire society unsustainable if the law on the books was not effective enough that his job needed to exist, stating that it would be better if the crops failed and their enemies. For the first time in his life he realised he didn't care about his country anymore and all he'd learned throughout the years was an intense hatred for the people he initially thought he cared for. As he descended to the lower levels of the caverns on the way to the kingdom's border, for the first time in years he felt like he was finally making the right decision.

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

No need to sign, we'll take care of that.


Lipstick Apathy



Are there stairs in your beach?

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

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Lipstick Apathy



Lakeside Architecture
710 words

The staircase was the only notable landmark on the beach; the remains of an old walkway down from the cliff. The walkway had fallen into disrepair after changing attitudes saw a decline in rural beaches, what few beachgoers were left preferred the better maintained beach at the park or the hotel a mile up the road. With the old walkway gone, there was no safe access to that section of the beach from land; the only options were a boat ride across the lake or a couple story climb down a sheer cliff face.

I'd been doing a report on local architecture for a class and decided to go out to what was left of the walkway and see if there was anything I could use. Renting a canoe at the hotel, I paddled out to the beach and looked around for snapshot opportunities. On the whole, it was unremarkable. The view was ok, about the same as the rest of the beach, nothing noteworthy on this stretch except for the staircase itself. The staircase was a spiraling metal thing, built to last long after the wood connecting it to the cliff above rotted away; it coiled up like a metal sea serpent lording over the shore. I took some photos of the staircase itself to use in my report and started poking around to see if there were any specific design elements I could talk about.

Looking around under the stairs, I saw a few carvings that bored kids had carved in the past. No doubt they'd be popular on urbex sites, so I decided I might as well look for some interesting ones. After the effort I spent getting out here, getting a little extra mileage out of it seemed like a good idea, but that was before I saw it.

I pulled back some of the foliage at the bottom of the stairs and saw a small metal box hidden underneath the bottom steps. Being a bit naive at the time, I assumed it was just a geocache and opened it up to discover I'd stumbled onto a dead drop for a local marijuana dealer. This was before legal weed had passed in this state and while most of the local dealers were pretty cool, there were a couple I did not want to get on the bad side of, so I decided to cut the trip short and head back to the hotel and return the canoe.

I returned to my apartment and went on with my life as normal after that, until a couple days later I awoke to find my roommate Joey's car missing from the driveway. This was unusual since he usually slept until noon and didn't get up in the morning without a good reason, until I remembered we were hanging out the previous night and after a couple beers I casually mentioned what I saw out on the beach.

Hours went by and he still hadn't returned. I had just about decided to go by the beach and see if he was there to satisfy the feeling of dread that had been building up, when suddenly there was an unfamiliar knock on the door. A policeman was standing outside the apartment.

"You Joey's roommate," he asked, to which I mumbled a confirmation.

"We found Joey out on the beach," he continued, "He fell over a cliff by an old staircase and hit his head on a rock."

"What," I replied, "I just showed him some photos of the area last night while we were drinking."

"Yep," he said, "Guess the beer got it into his head that he'd go take a look for himself. Still, I'd like you to come down to the station and answer a few questions."

I gave the police a statement on what happened and they didn't think there was anything suspicious about it, or at least didn't care. Through it all, all the shock and the guilt, even though I knew it was my fault, I couldn't help but wonder if there was more to it. Had he died while climbing or did he make it to the stash and get caught by its owner. I'll never know and a part of me never wants to.

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

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Lipstick Apathy

PROMPT!

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

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Lipstick Apathy

In and please give me a room.

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super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

No need to sign, we'll take care of that.


Lipstick Apathy

I guess I'm going to have to bow out this week, the weekend suddenly got really busy and I probably won't have time to work on the story.

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