En cours

2024-01-01

WritChal24

For info on this writing challenge, see WritChal24 Info.

More specifically, the rules I'm keeping are:

Find other peoples' posts for the challenge in the directory!


Personal Directory

  1. Theme
    • On-theme entry
    • Off-theme entry
  2. Year
  3. Weave
  4. Submerge
  5. Author Swap
  6. Transhumanism
  7. Medium
  8. Reverse
  9. Author Swap (again)
  10. Cube3


Week 1: Year

Structural constraint: Max 100 words (a century) for the entire week. Total. Thank you, Jimi, for the idea.

2024-01-01

Plunge

New year, time for change. I won't be coming back. Please forgive me. Ice floats; I do not.


2024-01-02

this isnt a metaphor im unpeeling a grape with my teeth rn

Ever unpeeled a grape? Freed it, like a stubborn sticker? Exposing tender flesh beneath?


2024-01-03

Incision

A concatenation to Thoughtknife.

The blade is silent.


2024-01-04

Resonance

Know me. Study my internal tick, transcribe my hum, my rhythm. Share my wavelength, perfect understanding, mind meld with me. Understand me, I plea.

girl this is so melodramatic chill out


2024-01-05

60

So, forty words left. What's next in this transient state?


2024-01-06

one year later

I feel our echos. Place-des-arts, Boston in winter, our hugs; pain of what is not reflected in our eyes.


2024-01-07

Rapture

Solstice. Cycle of renewal, take me. Pact forged in seared cold.


A sketch in black pen of several wavey lines, one continuing down to loop through a needle, a loose knot tied in its end.

Week 2: Weave

2024-01-08

Candlelight

It's the fluid motion of fire. The subtle jittery dance, weaving and predictable but still unwieldy. The sudden blue following oranges, yellows, and white. Hot wax coating my fingertips, leaving me to peel off my imprints. The glow, the only illumination, spoiling me in their gentle light. Shadows are deeper, made more real than an electric light. I wanted to keep a lantern, when I was younger. Constant, reliable illumination, never again subjected to the dark and the horrors it contained. Their heat, a soft warmth in colour temperature and the reactive retraction when I hold my hand above it. It is a joy.


2024-01-09

Quiet night

"How long has it been since you've heard quiet? Pure, uninterrupted quiet—the kind where if you listen too long your heartbeat starts to creep into your ears and the anxieties crescendo until you can't bear it anymore, you have to hear something, anything?" There is no reply. "Do you know what quiet is anymore? The world today is too loud. Those damn cars, the whir of somethin or other, fuckin phones? There's too much noise. We've forgotten how to listen." He doesn't care what I tell him. The man continues his solemn watch. The only indication of awareness is his broken eye contact, fervently glancing towards the window and the furiously settling snow behind it. I can imagine him lifeless, an automaton, if not for the subtle rise and fall of his chest. He doesn't know what's coming; can't comprehend it. I didn't either—nobody did—but I'll never forget what I heard. I don't know the terms they use for it (the stages, I mean), but it's feels like it's idle in me. Not gone, though. The gentle coil around the bottom of my brain stem remains. I've seen it, y'know. The weaving. Last man I killed, I dug for it. Looks like a sausage. Tastes like it, too (I joke, I think). I decide to leave the man to his anxious watch. They'll be here soon enough, worrying about it won't do any good.


2024-01-10

omitted for privacy

i reserve the right to change my mind about this later.


2024-01-11

Gig

In a similar theme to yesterday, I've historically had a difficult time with being perceived. That worming sense of doing something embarrassing can be paralyzing and has really ruined my fun on a number of occasions. The greatest liberation from this came from dance (no this isn't cringe hold on one second okay maybe it is but embrace it). I took a summer course called Bach 2 Rock, which taught me basic music theory, counterpoint, and was generally fun. Something we did as part of every class, like twice a day, was someone got to put on a song and we would all dance to it. Week one, you were forced to keep your eyes closed. You could only dance by feel, listening to the difference instruments and their interactions and letting that guide you. Week 2, you could open your eyes, see friends and classmates dancing as well, but were encouraged to remain focused on your own movement. Week 3, you could interact: imitate, converse in moving, give and take your energy. It's why I'm most comfortable dancing at a gig than in any other context of perception: I have permission to do whatever the fuck I want, and this is how the music feels goddammit.


2024-01-12

Decorations

You can tell a lot about someone in how they live. Trace the value and importance through their life, the dust on the picture frames and peeling posters. It's worse when you know they're dead, their lingering spectre haunting the space. Any questions you have are doomed to an eternity of unknowing, joining them in whatever purgatory they have found. Their space knows that you are an intruder and you feel firmly othered by it, the photos on the walls whispering conspiratorially to each other. Why would they be bothered? You haven't even started rifling through their clothes, yet.


2024-01-13

Disciplinary Report of Jr. Wz. Alice Dorgen

3 Þorri 4708 / 19 January 2024

Dear Honourable Archmage Gambrell,

By now, I'm certain that word has tickled your ears of the events that have recently transpired at the academy. Included with this letter is the formal disciplinary report about Junior Wizard Alice Dorgen's actions, but I believe that the official language does little to speak to the true context of the events that occurred. The report has also been submitted to the Wizard Council, who plan to take immediate action in updating the current schema of banned spells following the event. As you have likely gathered, yes, the rumours of a name-altering spell are true, evidenced by the constant removal of Jr. Wz. Alice's name. I have petitioned the Council for an authorization to reinstate alicization to return Jr. Wz. Dorgen to her prior state.

From Jr. Wz. Dorgen's account (and that of her peers), her actions were not made improperly. She claims that she gave proper warning after the development of many illicit botanical potions by one Junior Wizard Jerold Pord, with the incident arising from Pord's tincture of gnarly slug implosion which, "Was being used to needlessly torture those poor bastards," to quote Alice. Jr. Wz. Pord has become infamous in his class with his initial poultice of spider attraction, which became the first banned magical recipe of 2024. Jr. Wz. Dorgen has become similarly infamous after being the subject of the "24 seconds in the sun" incident; her instructors were pleased that her proficiency for protection spells were actualised in her safe return. On the date of the altercation between Dorgen and Pord, Dorgen used the authorised spell slap the top of bottle causing the tincture of gnarly slug implosion to rapidly expand (similar to elephant toothpaste), coating Pord's face and causing him great pain. In his anger, Pord moved to retaliate against Dorgen, but appeared to mispronounce "unalive", instead uttering "unalice". Unfortunately, this was a valid spell against his target, leaving Jr. Wz. Alice nameless since the occasion.

I hope that this letter informs your disciplinary decisions.

Yours in solidarity to the crest,

Archmage Timbre Fells

Instructor of Botany

inspired by snow's 11 january entry !!


2024-01-14

Origins of a city

Cities have a life to them. The exclamations of car horns, the sighs of a steaming manhole, the conversation between two passing trains. They speak, they breathe, and she thinks that she's finally figured it out. At this point, modern research has concluded that cities are animated, created, inexorably linked to the confluence of ley lines. These ribbons of magical current, crocheted by some higher power and tenderly draped over the world, make cities what they are. But she knows better; she's the first to truly understand what is at work. There are many interpretations of why humans started building cities: more efficient use of resources, agriculture, protection, magic. But nobody's queried what precisely resulted from it, the myriad of population growth, empires, education, and advancement that they fostered. Our darling little subject has realised that cities take on humanity's characteristics, with so many arcane minds converging, doing, and existing together. Cities absorb this ambient magical power, imbuing homes, streets, parks, and rivers with the same magic that flows through any spellweaver. She's realised this because, like so many golems and familiars, when something is made full of arcane potential it starts to wake up. The city is stirring.

This way of thinking about cities as magical entities is deeply inspired by the work of N. K. Jemisin. If you're looking for a shorter thing of hers to read, here's the short story that she wrote that inspired those bigger works.
Inspiration for laura's Day 66 entry, The Cities!


Week 3: Submerge

Structural constraint: music-related

2024-01-15

Myself, buried in you

I buried myself in you. I need you to understand that. Recognise me. Please, just look at me, a single glance, anything. As long as it's from you. What more could I have done, could you have done? As I stand here above you, solemn, I beg for a twitch of your lip, the suggestion that this is a sick bit, that you loved me all along and this is how you could finally escape your wife and family and it would be us, all us, and I could finally bathe myself in your affection. You remain unmoved in your coffin. I can do nothing but move forward.

Inspired by Dead Friend by Against Me!. I wanted to do something that was tonally distinct from the actual song itself.


2024-01-16

On loving

Despite my track record, I don't consider myself to get 'love struck'. Or maybe I feel that phrase has a derogatory connotation and thus I eschew it. Regardless, the outcome is the same: I love deeply, and this can develop quickly. I never consider myself to have been 'in love' without allowing myself to do so, whether quietly in a way that I knew wouldn't be for the best or loudly as a relationship blooms. For myself, it's letting myself dive in to this affection and desire for another, and then it feels hard to stop. It hurts most when there's a disconnect, desires not matching those of the others, the fantasies that fade reality out being unceremoniously disrupted. And in spite of it all, I keep doing it. I can do nothing but move forward.

Inspired by Fadin' by Palehound. What a beautiful, lovesick, broken hearted song.


2024-01-17

Whiskey up

It's easy. It always is. The slow, circling dance of predator and prey. I sit alone at the bar, whiskey up my only company (setting the bait for my hook). They approach, talking smart, cracking a witty joke, a sauve one-liner, whatever. They buy me another drink as I finish it during their introduction. Whiskey, again, to shoot with them. Now, the hook: enhance the tension and intimacy by taking it with our arms interlinked, eyes locked on the other. I lick my lips clean and they're trapped, all mine.

Inspired by Rip Off by Momma. Girl has to get her whiskey craving expressed in song somewhere, huh? Also uhhhhh this is connected to the theme don't ask me to explain.


2024-01-18

Folk music

How hard can it be to learn the banjo? I adore punk music, noise, anything loud and grimy that blasts any other thoughts out of my mind. I dance to it and it consumes everything and I find solace for that brief moment. But when I'm alone, I'm just one player. Drums, I suppose, could drown it, but those need space, quiet gaps, to give the rest of it punch. I wanna play folk, become a banjo picker, let the melodies of generations past move through me. It's the only music I can sing and play at the same time. Maybe that's the legacy of it.


2024-01-19

Un-gentle Mistress

She was not gentle. She never is; doesn't know how to be. Humans never want to go gently into the eternal rest. They tell themselves stories of peace, euphemising that they "went quietly in their sleep". She muffles their screams, sneaking up from behind and clamping her hand over their mouth like a cheap action flick. There is nothing gentle about death, the end of an existence. Hers will come eventually (it must) and They will be no more gentle than She has been. How could They be? If They were, then it'd be proof She could have been better, and was not.


2024-01-20

Website upkeep

In the spirit of Getchyer, I have a Sitemap now! It's all crunchy xml (by hand ofc), but it's a smaller bit of website maintenance I've done the past couple days (most images are .webp now and much smaller {my beloved}, added 'license' info in the headers {don't steal my shit}, there's a robots.txt too??). I love upkeep.


2024-01-21

omitted for privacy

also for format reasons (handwritten and i'm not digitizing it).


Week 4: Author Swap

2024-01-22

Telephone (1)

Time is a curious thing. Fine grains of sand cascading down the curved glass wall towards their certain demise, doomed to cycle for eternity. The tick of a watch, haunting every waking moment. Or the path of the sun overhead, tracking every move with a shadow arcing through the dirt. What is it, at the end of it all? Does it continue onwards as the universe settles into its cold monotony? Or do you think it different?

<< First < Previous | Current | Next > Last↗ >>


2024-01-23

Day 72 — Intermission

By Laura

What do you lose by skipping out, just for one night? There are no rules against this. Drive away from the ambient glow of the city, up the north road into the dark winter. Spend a moment in the glowing snow above the gleaming star-studded lake. Maybe two. Then slink home under cover of sunrise, before the world realizes we've gone missing. We'll steal back a bit of lost sleep before heading out to live the rest of our lives. The stars never go away once you've seen them once. Yes, I'll go with you, we've got nothing to lose.


2024-01-24

affix stamp here

By snow

dear alice,

affix

stamp

here

alice,

woah.encours.xyz

there is something magnificent about the humble postcard. i wax poetic about it to all of my penpals, but it rings true nonetheless. in 2023 i received 16 postcards, in 2022 i received 2, and in 2021 3. and i, in turn, sent enough to lose count, most to internet friends new and old. this isn't to brag, i just. i can see them. physical reminders that someone was in a place far away, and thought of me. look, there's the one from grand teton where my friend took shelter from the rain in a gazebo while writing. there's the one scrawled hastily in an airport just before boarding. the one by a friend who did not want to be where they were. i know one from seattle that i wrote just before a downpour that rendered my words unreadable was probably lost. the one i wrote on the sleeper train, similarly, disappeared. my kitschy "love from boston" sent while missing someone in taiwan was lost for months, before finally making it into the hands i intended my words to be held by. how many times did someone think of me without those thoughts ever reaching me? how much did i love my friends without ever telling them? all to say, alice, safe travels.

-snow



Week 5: Transhumanist

2024-01-30

Current

I haven't written for a second. Travel tends to do this, when I remove myself from the typical stream of life and attempting to ignore any thoughts beyond the current.

But I've been trying to write. I sit down. I open the document. I put in my placeholder title. And I sit.

God, please. I have the ideas. I know what I want to do. What ideas I have, what I want to say.

The new USB standard will enhance USB-C to allow you to plug in your head and rip out your thoughts into your device. Also 500W charging.


2024-01-31

Overflowing tap

The light here is dim. Their shadows are immense, stretching over the battered wooden table and masking the faded drywall beyond. There isn't much space, but they manage to slowly circle me, a scavenger hungry for its next meal. "Why do you want to be unmade, my dear?" they croak, the words unnatural to them. "Are you that displeased with your condition that you want to have another go? To free yourself?" They pause to hold my gaze. "It's pathetic." My ashamed glance away all but affirms their sentiments. "You can never escape it. This won't solve it. Despite it all, you will still be human." I'm shaking now, the chill settling in like nails cutting my skin. I open my mouth and my tongue hangs limp, unmoved, and I am left with my mouth agape. "You can try to move on, but this is your condition, love." I leave the water running.


2024-02-04

On gender

Gender is a subtle, bending thing. It's reassuring to trace its curves and the flex in my own self-perception, deeply peaceful to hold my past with the understanding of the future. The incredibly fucked system of trans care instructed me that there are major events that showed me I was trans—that's bullshit. I follow the shoreline into bays of boyhood and through the isthmus of femininity. It's the echos of a mistaken name at the coffee shop; two different names mutated until they were no longer recognisable. I'm a woman when I'm yours, a bitch to an asshat, something when I'm allowed to drive. I don't know what I am anymore besides myself. Let's watch the surf come in, tonight.


2024-02-03

dream

I dream of you. You know this. You enter as a wraith, immaterial and haunting (i think). I reach for you (i cannot resist) and we never touch, not disrupting the fantasy that you remain, that you /could/ still be. I chase you and am left with the expression of pain that you bear on your face from our separation. The light is not natural, the world is black outside of our small pocket of intimacy and you cannot leave me for the shadows. And you do. I wander, searching, until the darkness swallows me too. I awake, without you.


Week 6: Medium

2024-02-06

Contents

A picture of a green handbag, spilling its contents open on a green and white bedspread. A notebook, ereader, and pens are visible inside the bag. A nametag reading 'Contents' is visible on the bag. A pile of pens, sharpees, highlighter, and pencil on the same green and white bedspread. Above them a nametag reads 'I want to write about this. To record it. I stay prepared—do you know what will be next? (didn't think so). I like the pens—they write this now—I want to'

I want to write about this. To record it. I stay prepared—do you know what will be next? (didn't think so). I like the pens—they write this now—I want to

A pink notebook with text obscured reading 'FUCKING PLA', a white eraser, a cutesy tissue packet, and a black Skyn condom lay on the same green and white bedspread. A nametag on the notebook reads 'know you. Understand you. I want you within and around me. I want to be possessed (go on, devil). Call me yours, mine. What are possessions, here? Will I be one of your contents, too? Made to be connected and'

know you. Understand you. I want you within and around me. I want to be possessed (go on, devil). Call me yours, mine. What are possessions, here? Will I be one of your contents, too? Made to be connected and

A yellow ereader, gray bag with wires spilling out of it, and plaid eye mask lay on the same green and white bedspread. Atop them all, a nametag reads 'download, existing at your whim? It sounds cruel (I know now I do not deserve such cruelties), but by your hand it could be loving. Let's redefne my history,'

download, existing at your whim? It sounds cruel (I know now I do not deserve such cruelties), but by your hand it could be loving. Let's redefne my history,

A small brown sachet, australian stamps, yellow notebook labeled 'Story Supply Co / Address Book', and wallet lay once more on the green and white bedspread. A nametag on the wallet reads 'tell a new story with old words ^{make it} beautiful<s>ly tragic</s>. It can't be that hard, right? Just work with what's there.'

tell a new story with old words ^{make it} beautifully tragic. It can't be that hard, right? Just work with what's there.


2024-02-10

transit diary

2024-02-10 / 17:01 / 1 / Green Line / Honoré-Beaugrand / 10-689 (2) / Station Lionel-Groulx / Station Guy-Concordia / 17:04 / from 2 / METRO / 4

The quick dart home was fast and quiet. The big crowds at L-G entered the train quickly, and I managed to snag a seat. A very excited kid took it when I got off to go home. A good resolution to the long trip.

2024-02-10 / 16:42 / 2 / Orange Line / Montmorency / 10-156 (2) / Station Côte-Vertu / Station Lionel-Groulx / 16:57 / from 968; to 1 / METRO / 5

My body is awake and my mind is bone-tired. I just missed the train before this one, the alarm blare of the terminus departure klaxon echoing up the escalators. The doors closed in front of my face, but at least Côte-Vertu has some benches. It is warm here, like the bus, a nice reprieve from the brisk wait before the 968 came.

2024-02-10 / 16:14 / 968 / Roxboro Côte-Vertu Trainbus / Est / 40-144 (1) / Gare Sunnybrooke / Station Côte-Vertu / 16:33 / to 2 / BUS / 6

I waited a while for this bus—it's lovely that it's so warm and sunny today. Whispy clouds decorate a pale blue sky. I think I've been here, Station Sunnybrooke, before with katie, late one night. It is the terminus of the 356 (aka the night 24, but advanced) after all. I stood while I waited, reading my book, while a couple cuddled inside the shelter next to me.

2024-02-10 / 14:55 / 209 / Des Sources / Nord / 38-076 (1) / Terminus Dorval / Des Sources/Hyman / 15:22 / from 211 / BUS / 5

A brief wait at Terminus (Gare) Dorval. I could have caught this bus from the airport, had a fun ittle jaunt to the hidden bus terminal, but alas. I took the quicker (at the time) route. Highways and suburbs roll past as I bury myself in my reading. The marketplace guy left the film in the mailbox and is trusting me to leave my cash there. I do. His trust in a stranger warms me. The walk down suburban streets echos childhood memories, transposed into a Montréal key.

2024-02-10 / 14:27 / 211 / Bord-du-Lac / Ouest / 40-014 (1) / Station Lionel-Groulx / Terminus Dorval / 14:48 / from 1; to 209 / BUS / 5

I jog from the metro to catch this bus. There's a long line waiting to go out West, Exo weekend service being what it is. I love the express from L-G to Dorval. I sit next to a young mother and her toddler. They chat in Mandarin. The toddler is restless and her mom dozes off beside her. She (the child) keeps glancing at my book (I wonder if she can read yet?). I turn up its brightness in case she can. A freight train hurtles alongside us down the highway. We're faster.

2024-02-10 / 14:20 / 1 / Green Line / Angrinon / 10-293 (1) / Station Guy-Concordia / Station Lionel-Groulx / 14:24 / to 211 / METRO / 4

A short trip on the metro. Dart through the station and still missed the train. Thank god for leaving early, for once. Someone offers their seat to an older lady. L-G is busy for a Saturday avro. The sun is crisp outside. I should've brought my camera.

Recorded by hand in my journal due to my phone being dead. I would've written on the walls of buses and bus shelters, but I have lost my paint pen. Another day, perhaps.

Inspiration for Lucah's 2024-02-16 entry, golden hour and Snow's 2024-02-16 entry, transit diary.


2024-02-11

CAN YOU HEAR ME CAN Y

Long description. A picture of a white door and its frame with cream walls beside it. The door is ringed in blue tape with writing on it (the content of this entry can be found below) and a longer blue tape with writing from the bottom left to the center. In the center is a small square mirror, in which the photographer's eyes are obscured by blue tape reading 'CAN YOU HEAR ME CAN Y'. below, on the mirror, is another piece of tape that reads '2024-02-11'. towards the top of the door, a pink Pom Poko band poster is skirted by small pieces of blue tape that read (from top left of door) 'MY NAME IS *Obscured text*', 'PLEASE LISTEN TO ME PLEASE', 'echo ^echo', 'whispers', and 'groan'. beneath the mirror a stolen mcgill libraries '1M Zone' covid distancing sign is skirted by two pieces of tape that (from top right of sign) read 'creak' and 'moan'.

transcribed from top left. if you know me in real life, ask me for a link to a recording of me reading this entry aloud.

top of frame: these walls echo. in the night, when it's all quiet, i can hear them whisper. they mutter with the comings and goings of long ago, names that will never

right of frame: be spoken aloud again, doomed to ignaminity. the floorboards ache with their history, the weight of these forgotten footsteps. i think they're still adjusting, their sighs disrupting my sleep. only this silence frees them, that sense of privacy in another person's home — the same sense that fills you when you're doing the dishes too late and don't want to

bottom of frame: WAKE the roommates. i try to meet them (lie) i try to avoid them. i'm the intruder in this place is not mine who are they can i be quiet please hide me please—

right of frame: in the end i don't know what it was for. this place. remembering. maybe it's the lesson that some things are best forgotten, despite my nostalga. these things should never haunt again. i don't know myself anymore. i'm sinking into these walls, porous wood soaked with the essence — my essence — my blood. it's hungry. i'm scared. it's okay though. i'll become another of

top of frame: these walls echo. in the night, when it's all quiet, i can hear them whisper. they mutter with the comings and goings of long ago, names that will never

right of frame: be spoken aloud again, doomed to ignaminity. the floorboards ache with their history, the weight of these forgotten footsteps. i think they're still adjusting, their sighs disrupting my sleep. only this silence frees them, that sense of privacy in another person's home — the same sense that fills you when you're doing the dishes too late and don't want to

bottom of frame: WAKE the roommates. i try to meet them (lie) i try to avoid them. i'm the intruder in this place is not mine who are they can i be quiet please hide me please—

diagonal from bottom left of frame: PLEASE IT IS DARK THEY WANT ME TO JOIN THEM I AM SCARED DON'T LET ME BE TAKE I AM ME


Week 7: Reverse

2024-02-12

Ash

woo baby's first javascript !!!!! how daunting and bewildering! ooo!


2024-02-15

MAGI 209: Relational Magic

Account of student A; Lecture 1:

"Many teachers (and in my opinion, lesser teachers) will tell you that it's supposed to feel like a deep warmth that grows around the heart and spreads through your arteries, like molten rock cascading through your body, worming its way into your every fibre. They say that you must steal yourself against its pain, that you are a weapon thus it is a weapon, too, that fire must be fought with fire. That if you let your control slip the gun will be against your head and the enemy will not hesitate.

That's bullshit. Magic is not some petulant child that can be whipped into submission, wrestled and bound. There is a reason that these are the brightest minds the school has available to instruct you. You cannot force agreement, it only creates resentment, hatred, refined malice. It will be free, eventually, and it will have its way. All the great witches, wizards, and warlocks you can name were the best of their time. Even they could not win. Magic is stronger than you, it will always be stronger than you, and it will win. I want to leave it there. Who are you to think you can control it? You walk into this course as an elective, not expected to respect it. I know I'm still on my probationary period (and I know it's because I'm a member of the gentry)..."

They paused here, for a minute. The only sound in the room was the breath of frightened students, the smartest ones signing their wards under their desks. Only the freshman (who knows how they enrolled) appeared curious, hand raised high. Their warlock brand wrapped around their wrist, robe sliding down to the elbow of their raised arm. The professor returned from foray into their shadows, eyebrow raised to the tenacity of the student. With a slight tilt, they indicated that the student could proceed.

"Then what is there to do?" the student said, belatedly adding, "Respectfully, professor." To this, the professor grinned (wider than most are comfortable) and barked a laugh, dagger-sharp teeth glinting in the late afternoon sun.

"What is there to do, what is there to do..." After a briefer pause, they appeared to reach some decision, and continued with the lecture. "If only there was another way. There is. That's the point of this. Stop." They snapped their fingers at two students who were murmuring to each other in the back of the class. When they looked up, fearful, their mouths were no longer present, smooth skin from their nose to their chin. They glanced at each other and appeared to scream, muscles tensing to run, but they remained sitting and soundless. The entire class vibrated with fear, unable to determine if they should run or stay. In the end, no one moved. The professor continued, undeterred by the scene they had created.

"Thank you. As I was saying, this is a particularly human approach to magic. That does not make it wrong, but it echos with centuries of doctrine and political ethics that have made an idol of power and dominance. Magic is water. It is fluid, cool to the touch, friction-less. Magic is in a dancer's movements, a well executed handshake, the flourish as you take off your coat. You cannot control magic, but you can guide it. How you do so is decided by your preferred life expectancy. Personally, I would like to live as long as possible, so magic is a stream. I can move the rocks, introduce a little turbulence, dam it and suddenly release it. But even a creek can drown you. This school is not here to teach you magic, you clearly have enough aptitude to be here. But it can shape you and your understanding of magic; that you may live and build a home together. Remember, if you disturb its home, it will return the favour. Do not let yourself be fooled by the lies of control, that we are above its power. The greatest magicians have always been artists, weavers, gardeners. Why do you think that is? I'll see you next Luneday. Class dismissed." They waved their hand and the two mouth-less students lips popped into place. Students flowed out of the class a little quicker than normal, left with a parting view of a small green bird settling on the professor's palm.

Inspired by Unseen's Episode 2, Into the Dark. I got a mean / scary magic professor on the mind and wanted to talk about dumb little humans trying to tame a force of nature.


2024-02-18

untitled

if everything's okay why do i feel so bad. something is wrong and like always, it's me. that self-indulgent personal responibility rears its ugly head again. it's the echo of that summer: "Heat Wave" and "Let's Find an Out" and "Pristine". i feel myself searching for appreciation from others to make up for my own lack thereof. i don't know what i'm doing. i'm scared. i fake it and adopt another's face and i'm not her but also i'm not who i originally was, a moth crawling out of the cocoon when you expected a butterfly. i haven't had a day like this for a while (a month). blair was the one who told me that the way my insides feel like they're choking me and they burn, ache, rend, writhe within me i want to tear myself open to get it out. to feel better. to not hurt. could be linked to anxiety/depression, that his dad has similar experiences too. i just want to feel well, for this to stop repeating. sundays have always done this to me, for as long as i can remember (idk from age 10?). it makes it feel cyclical, trapped in this sick (twisted) loop. sometimes i can skip it if im so occupied and distracted that i don't process the emotions. maybe it's part of that good ole midwestern "protestant work ethic"—the only day where i'm allowed to settle lets my mind wander without distraction, and it is unhappy.

im sorry, me. i love you, me. see you again tomorrow, same mind, same place?


2024-02-18

Candlelight ii

prev

It's cold, here. The massive cathedral always is, mass always the exception (stiflingly hot, but such is God's hearth). The wooden pew creeks beneath her, hands clasped tightly in her lap, head bowed in an outsider's idea of a prayer. The candlelight reflects off of her tears, subtle streaks only visible in the dancing light. She stares at the central tapered candle, eyes trying to reverse its gentle melt downwards, bidding the draft of the chamber to slow its march. The flame is unrelenting.


Week 8: Author Swap! (again!)

2024-02-22

TRANZINE

By lucah

The cover of a brown paper bag. A white piece of paper pasted on the front says 'TRANZINE' in blue letters. 'my relationship with queerness was, maybe has been, an awkward one of inevitability.' 'figuring out i was trans was kinda like this' followed by an arrow points to a sketch of a character not looking where they're walking and falling down a set of stairs. an onlooker looks distrubed. the sketch is annotated '* depictions of me are adapted to present for dysphoria reasons lol'. 'here are some words:' 'heart-drop, awkward, too-late, unexpected, longing, angst, oh fuck'. 'Oh yeah I'd love to be a girl. If I could flip a switch I definitely would. Would I? Don't think about that. Oh transness is actually a possibility? How does HRT work? How would I start? God, there are trans people in the world and they're okay? Don't think about it don't think about it -' the rest of the box divolves into scribbles. Beneath the box of text a character (lucah) sits with her hands clasped under her chin, dreaming. the picture is annotated 'definitely not thinking about it' with a curly arrow. a sketch of a cracked egg. 'FINE! You got me. Turns out I didn't fall down the stairs and smash my face it. It was just a step.' '(a big wonderful step but still a step)'. 'Some lucah lore: Hunter Schafer on Euphoria cracked my egg lol'. 'Initiatlly in my transition I was probably over-compensating presenting femininity (when I wasn't trying to hide my body outright)'. 'because that was the only way I could show myself + the world that I'm Girl'. orange and blue flower stickers are pasted beneath these texts. a post-it says 'the divine feminine' with several heart embellishments sits with a post-it sketch of some beast-human woman thing and a cute little animated-show esque sticker of a girl and a bird. 'after a lot of stress trying to conform, I stumbled into a revelation: I am not going to bother trying to meet a standard I* cannot achieve'. '* or anyone, especially if you're not skinny, cis, or white.'
a sketch of women on stairs, rotated 45 degrees. 'HRT doing + having done its thing, I feel a lot more comfortable not having to keep up an image + portray femininity in an ideal sense.' 'I'm a weird tranny dyke and I think that's pretty cool.' A couple butterfly stickers are pasted among these text boxes. A post-it with an arrow pointing to a black ink person is annotated 'I'm here now. Now what?' 'at the risk of being tacky, here are some words: understanding, autonomy, love, amorphous sludge, confidence, contentment, everchanging.' a hand-drawn sticker of the tarot card XVII: the star is pasted below this text. 'the steps keep going. Change isn't happening to me, outside of me. it's beside me, scrappy and confusing and wonderful. Me and change are pals.' a sketch of a trans symbol is pasted below the text. 'I love you trans people.' 'lulu '24' 'writchal24 / author swap w/ alice,'
Written as part of an author swap !! you can find my work on lucah's site!

2024-02-24

collective worldbuilding thing!

[START] [PREV]

Transcript of the BBC World News, 26/02/24.

Begin relevant script.

PRESENTER HAMMERSEA: ...these policies will certainly have a determental impact to transexuals under the age of 18. And now, an update on the developing extraterrestrial situation. Live feeds of the scene were paused for nearly an hour today, creating significant stress and anxiety around the world. As has been clearly communicated, footage of the scene is available on a twenty four hour delay that is only paused in cases of emergency. The footage resumed fifty four minutes later at its last observed point with no observed changes. We go now to our field correspondant, AMY JOHNSON.

AMY JOHNSON: Panic spread throughout the globe as surveillance footage of the situation at the alien site appeared to come to a head. The past two days have seen a notable increase in the presence of military personel despite jurisdiction still appearing to remain with the Ad-hoc Extra-terrestrial Research Association (AERA). The period of the pause corresponded with a flurry of activity within the observable site, sounds of alarm and pain, and soon after, quiet. Where previously there have been the sounds of life from our position near the site, the hum of inscects, birds, and even the wind in the grass has gone mute. The Earth stands silent, here, broken only by the sounds of humanity.

A short clip from a news camera recording plays back a quick 15 second clip of the hurried shouts from within the AREA restricted zone, followed by absolute silence, broken only by the sound of a military vehicle speeding by at the end of the clip.

PRESENTER HAMMERSEA: That is unnerving, AMY. Do we know what happened on-site at this time?

AMY JOHNSON: AREA officials report the broadcast interruptions were the result of an equipment fault and did not respond to questions regarding the length of the outage or their lack of a statement during the pause. However, we have obtained exclusive footage of two of the AREA scientists being escorted off-site in restraints in a military vehicle.

Grainy, low-light phone camera footage shakily shows a military truck with an open canopy driving out of the site, its diesel engine roaring in the silence. Four soldiers flank two AREA scientists, distinguished by their tattered white labcoats amid the soldiers' camo. Off screen, someone barks an order to the videographer: "Hey, turn that thing off. I said put it away." Hands cover the lens and the footage ends with the sound of a scuffle.

PRESENTER HAMMERSEA: Thank you for the update, AMY. We will be the first to update you with news on this developing situation. And now, the situation in the middle east...

End relevent script.

[NEXT] [LAST]


one more to come ...


Week 9: CUBE3

2024-02-27

Interior3

My skin is dry. I feel like I'm in the interior of a cube, the sides painted in the blood of all these memories, and as I rotate it in my hands I dance through them again, forced into a perfect repetition. Six sides isn't much, but they collapse inwards, a bismuth-like fractal expanding into oblivion around me. The air is stale, moisture-sucking, old. How old is this? What kind of sick groundhog day nonsense is this? Can I escape my past or will it always haunt my future?


22024-02-29

timeslip

There's something magical in the pockets of time we don't usually acknowledge. I was introduced to the timeslip in Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars: as colonists settled Mars, they had to figure what to do in the 39 extra minutes in the Martian day (which is 24:37:35 metric hrs/mins/secs long). Wanting to keep to Earth's '24-hour'1 day, they dedicate the bonus time to the timeslip, where the clocks stopped and society took a pause to exist and be human (I think there was some weird sex-stuff mention here, Robinson usually hangs around a 3 on the sci-fi categorisation chart but he can work his way up to a 5 (2312 weird tranny sex my beloved)). I love the term—generally used as a sci-fi trope where characters find themselves outside of time for some event—but converting it to reality. A leap year and it's leap day should be a time slip! Strike the 29th from the calendar and leave it as the unnumbered day, floating, ours for the taking. The same goes for daylight savings time. Sure, it is silly, yes, but the twice a year timeslip/timeskip it provides is incredible. Time is immutable (none of us will ever truly experiences the effects of relativity) and to defy its control in the hour, the day, the now, is precious. Let's hold it, just for us.


Back to What