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Author Topic: ~ Picture of the Week ~ [CLOSED]  (Read 5101 times)

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Offline JustricTopic starter

~ Picture of the Week ~ [CLOSED]
« on: November 02, 2018, 08:26:32 PM »


One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.
What Words Will You Choose?

A personal project of mine, Picture of the Week is exactly what it sounds like. Once a week (most likely on Fridays), I shall be posting a single image from a collection of thousands. Sometimes the pics are from my own personal collection, other times I shall be combing the depths of various threads to find images that tickle my (and hopefully your) fancy. Once posted, then YOU (yes, you, the person reading this) are challenged to write something about that image. Do this three times, and you shall be awarded a special badge for your signature as a symbol of honor to declare both your passion, perspicacity, and patience! "What badge?" I hear you ask?  This one!
Those completing the challenge shall also receive accolades in the forms of a private message of congratulations and also public acknowledgment via the Picture of the Week's:


(Click on the Wall to view it)


But like any contest or challenges, there are...

RULES

  • Please don't take it on yourselves to post pics. This is in order to prevent repeats.
  • Discussion regarding images and written materials should be posted in the associated Discussion Thread and not here.
  • All posted material must be PG-13. (You can still write sexy-romantic and keep it PG13, trust me. Just don't go sexy-graphic!)
  • Posts based on a particular image must be posted that week. Once the new picture is up, that week is closed and no longer counts.
  • No one-liners!  You can write whatever you want based on the weekly picture: lyrics, poem, prose, essay, script, political diatribe... whatever floats your boat. But it must be at least three full sentences. Anything less will not count (but will be appreciated nonetheless.) This is an exercise to flex your writing skills!
  • When posting your contribution, please (pretty, pretty please) make sure to quote the weekly image that you're using for easy reference
  • Have FUN with it!


And so with the rules made clear and the purpose explained, I present to you for your captivation and entertainment...

« Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 09:11:37 PM by Justric »

Offline JustricTopic starter

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2018, 08:36:08 PM »
Picture for Nov. 2nd to 8th, 2018

Closed
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 11:16:06 PM by Justric »

Offline Eva

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2018, 08:50:47 PM »
Picture for Nov. 2nd to 8th, 2018


Marika, Bessa’s daughter stood watch at the gates of their village as the hunting party strode away. Her fists were so tight upon the haft of her spear that her knuckles seemed like little bone spurs piercing her flesh. “I should be with them”, she snarled to hide the tears that wanted to choke off her voice.

“You are not old enough,” said a kind voice behind her. Marika did not turn though her face crumpled and the threatening tears pressed their advantage.

“I am as old as Lenska,” she shot back as she watched the group of women fade into the gloom of the forest where the silver light of the slivered moon could not reach them. “And older than Winna.”

“This is true,” said the voice, its kindness and implacable cruelty behind her. “But you are not a woman yet and girls do not go on such hunts as these.”

With a snarl Marika spat on the ground and whirled, brushing past the hulking, bearded form and into the hide tent that was her home. Blinded by tears, envy, and fury she chucked her spear down onto the ground before throwing herself onto her sleeping mat where she pulled the covers up over her head. Tightening herself up into a ball she fought to still her breathing, forcing it into an even pace that mimicked sleep. Though she managed it long before the chinking of Baren’s chains entered the tent, he was not fooled. Marika heard him moving about. He picked up her spear without saying a word and set it into the rack by the door as she should have. She listened to the sounds as he put wood upon the fire and the soft clatter as he lifted the lid of the pot which sat in embers to add herbs to their morning stew. Any other night the domestic sounds would have soothed her and lulled her into sleep, but this night was too bitter to allow such.

“I know this isn’t easy,” Baren said, his voice breaking the silence. “Your mother would say the same thing, you are not ready.”

“But she isn’t here,” Marika sobbed, giving up all pretense of pretending to sleep. “She isn’t here and I cannot live as I have been. I am the woman of this house, I should go on a hunt.” 

There was a long pause and Marika could feel the weight of the man’s gaze on her, even through the blankets. She knew she was being foolish. She knew that there was a reason for all the rules she currently hated. She just wished things were different. She wished that her body was doing what it was supposed to do. Why had the goddess withheld her blessings from her for so long?  She was the last girl in her hunting group. All of the others were women, even the younger ones. In the morning she would begin hunting with the younger group, the ones who had seen but a dozen summers, though a few were older. It was galling, especially when in all other ways she was ready.

“I know little one,” Baren said. “I know.”  She felt his big fingers brushing the locks that spilled from underneath her covers, red-gold hair the same color as his. Then she listened to him settling into his own bedroll, which had once also held her mother.



The moon was still high when Marika slipped out of her tent and into the still of the night. It had been but a few hours, but the even breath of Baren and the distant coughing of old Risba were the only sounds that filled the night. She made a care not to disturb the silence as she padded down the well trod paths and around to the south gate which was barred from within and not guarded in this season. It was a matter of moments for her to lift the bar and set it aside and then swing the wooden gate open on the leather hinges she’d greased earlier that day. She felt a pang of guilt for leaving the gate unbarred and the village vulnerable, but she could not stay. She had lost enough time that she did not linger or let her guilt slow her down. She was Bessa’s daughter and the wind was her friend. On silent feet she ran through the snow up the embankment and into the woods where she circled the village and took shortcuts. She knew where the party was going, she knew where their quarry bedded down for she’d been there often enough spying and plotting. She hadn’t been the only one. They’d all gone, laying flat on their bellies on the outcropping that overlooked the den of their prey, picking out which one they would take. Which one was strong, which one had a fine pelt, which one looked easiest to catch, or in Markia’s case, which one looked the hardest. She knew which one she wanted. Older and a little gray, he moved with confidence and strength. Furthermore, she was certain she’d seen him gazing in their direction, as if he sensed he was being watched by hunters. She’d felt a rush of excitement fill her. She marked him in her head and her heart as her prey, certain that when the moon was right, when the hunt went out, she’d be with it.

Only she wasn’t.

She didn’t know what she was going to do. To hunt as she was, no matter that she had a dozen and a half summers to her name, was to fly in the face of her goddess and all the traditions her people held sacred. But she could not stand by and let her sister hunters take down the prey she had marked as hers. So she ran, praying that when she caught up, a plan would come to her.

All night she ran stopping only to greet the dawn as was customary. She did this only because she knew her sister hunters would as well, thus costing her none of her hard-won progress. It was one hour past dawn when she saw them. She was just running along the top of an esker when she spotted them running in a fan across the meadow below. She nearly whooped for joy at the sight but held her tongue lest she give herself away. She leaned against a tree, catching her breath as she bent over with her arm wrapped around her belly. She’d run so far so fast that a cramp wracked her stomach. She would not let it stop her. She pushed off of the tree and doubled her pace. She shadowed them towards the hunting grounds and was careful not to overtake them because she was still not certain what she was going to do when they got there. She could not join them, but maybe she could make certain her prey was not taken. There was no guaranteeing that he would make it another season. No certainty that he would be there when she was able to hunt, but at least she would not see her sister-hunters take him from her. She could see them now, fanning out further apart as they neared the spot. There was movement ahead of her sisters as their prey went about eating, drinking, and pissing, unaware of what was coming towards them. Marika could see the hand gestures fly between the women. The were the same ones she’d practiced with them. She saw Lenska direct the others and watched as the others obeyed. Marika bit her lip and felt hot tears searing her lashes as she watched. Did she see her chosen prey? 

She darted towards a high point on the ridge.  It was in a clear spot and might expose her but she was certain her sisters would not be looking back. She certainly wouldn’t if she were with them.  She would be looking forward, trying to make out her chosen prey.  She made it two steps before something made her stop. Marika looked back behind her but no one was there. She shook her head and was about to resume her run when she stopped again and looked back. This time she looked down. Crimson dotted the snow here and there, following the trail of her footsteps.

Marika clapped her hands over her mouth to hold in the sob that ripped through her. No, no, it couldn’t be. It seemed impossible. With trembling fingers she reached down and touched her thighs. They were wet. Still she didn’t believe it until she lifted her fingers up and saw the evidence of her eyes. Crimson gleamed on her fingertips, crimson which blurred through the wash of her relieved tears. It had come. She was woman enough now to hunt with her sisters.

Across the snow-covered meadow she heard the war cries of her sisters as they closed in on the village where their prey waited unsuspecting. Without hesitation Marika let her own cry rush out to meet theirs. She was a woman. She was a huntress, the best in her village and across the small span of a meadow lay her prey, a man with slivered temples and eyes that saw much. She would catch him and he would tend to her hearth as Baren had when her mother was alive and in time he would take care of their daughters until they were old enough to hunt.


Offline JanesAddiction

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Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2018, 06:05:31 AM »
Picture for Nov. 2nd to 8th, 2018


The woman standing before him had a fire in her eyes that contrasted starkly against the cold snow. He was peering from behind a tree, his breath slowly and quietly creating bits of shining fog in the morning sunlight. If given an option he would choose anyone else from the village to have been his pursuer. Though it was ironically a fitting test for him. His goal was to kill his old self and become stronger for it. He wasn't going to stay under the foot of a self righteous ruler! He was going to become strong enough to lead himself. Now with his chest bleeding and heart throbbing he had two choices before him. Either kill the woman he loved, or die by her spear.

She carefully examined the fresh blood in between the tracks in the snow. It seemed her target was close at hand, and running out of steam. Soon she would plunge her spear into his heart and break it just the way he had broken hers. His betrayal had come unexpected by everyone. For this their leader now lay dead at the entrance to his hut. One man had managed to wound the traitor before loosing his life as well. The trail of blood ensured the huntress that these tracks were the ones that would lead to her quarry. Her vengeance was nigh, and hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Her gaze lifted from the snow, following the tracks to the tree. The man stood and walked plainly into view before her. One hand clutched his sliced chest while the other held a bloody axe. He smiled and she snarled. Something about the noise caused a light chuckle to escape his lips "Come on then Indra. You always had a one track mind, there's no helping it now. We should just hurry up and settle this."

She didn't reply except to grip her weapon with both hands and narrow her eyes. His smile brightened and seemed to reflect the morning light as he rolled the shoulder that held his weapon. He didn't say anything else to his love as they observed each other. A drop off blood rolled down his arm and dropped onto the snow below with a light wet crunch. Both fighters rushed towards each other prepared for victory and defeat, but both knew either would mean death.

Offline Xandi

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Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2018, 05:24:28 AM »


Picture for Nov. 2nd to 8th, 2018



The instant her teeth grazed his neck she knew she would be unable to stop. Eva had long fed on the weak but when she fell in love with a human she knew that one day she would have to make a decision, this decision. Thomas had loved her for the last 6 years. He had loved her with all that his human heart could give to her. Unfortunately, for Eva and for Thomas, his human heart was not enough. She wanted his blood. His blood sang to her in the deep recesses of her mind. At times the sound was so defeafening that her mouth watered for the taste of that beautiful sound.
 

This night, Eva drank of him until she saw the life drain from his eyes. Her guilt was indescribible. She wrapped him in beautiful burial clothes and she dressed herself in her hunting gear. Eva picked Thomas up and gently threw his lifeless body over her shoulder. While Thomas weighed a decent amount, his weight was nothing to her. What was she? she often asked herself this question. As she ran into the woods and up the mountain, Eva pondered what she had done. She wondered why this was how things had to end?

She ran for hours in the direction of the highest peak on the mountain. Eva had to give Thomas the burial he deserved. She offered his body to her Goddess as a final act of love for him. After the ritual was completed she descended the mountain toward her cabin. It was a small cabin nestled into the edge of the mountain.

_______________________________________________________________________________


The Romanian mountains could be brutial this time of year. In over 200 years of living in her small cabin she had never seen another living soul, apart from the ones she brought here or the animals that she normally fed on. However today was different, upon her descent she smelled fresh blood. Not animal blood, human blood. She had just feasted but the smell caused her mouth to water in anticipation of her next feast.


Eva found a group of trees where the smell was the strongest. She saw a man hunchered down behind some large brush and did nothing to try to hide her approach.


The snow was red with his dripping blood. He had obviously tried to make it up the embankment and decided against it. She called out to him, "Do you know you are trespassing?" There was a silence that fell over the woods as he offered no response. She gave one final attempt to be 'hospitalible', "I can see you are injured. If you would prefer to stay here and allow the wolves to offer you help, then so be it." She shrugged her shoulders and began to walk away. After about ten steps she heard a weak, "I did not know I was trespassing." A smile slowly spread across her lips. Eva smile had faded before she turning around and said, "Allow me to intruduce myself, I am Eva Tomanoff and this is my land. Would you allow me to tend to your wounds?" There was a speedy response this time, "Yes, yes, please. I am Christoff Stefanescu."


As Eva walked closer she promised herself that she would not fall in love with, 'this one.'

Offline JustricTopic starter

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2018, 11:17:55 PM »
Picture for Nov. 9th to 15th, 2018

Closed
« Last Edit: November 17, 2018, 11:17:35 PM by Justric »

Offline DeMalachine

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2018, 07:18:56 PM »
Picture for Nov. 9th to 15th, 2018


Life Ascends on Vectris IV

Kendrick knew that Laurenson was having difficulty assimilating to life on Vectris IV, by the simple fact of the numerous instances of near insubordination she'd had to let pass. One such example had involved a loud and lengthy protest at the necessity of leaving the local flora untouched by human hands, claiming that a study of the plants would surely yield the fruits of discovery if not those of food. Kendrick, for her part, had attempted to mollify the subaltern by pointing out how some of the obscurer directives of the exoterran codes held the preservation of emergent lifeforms as sacrosanct. These worlds have every right to evolve as they see fit, she had explained. Remember, we are here in the spirit of anthropology. We observe and do not interfere. Placated only by her persuader's superiority of rank, Laurenson's temper had barely abated afterwards, and that was but one time out of many. Kendrick's alarm, therefore, was acute when she chanced to see the woman packing a spark-kit in her latest foray to the threshold bay. This was one incidence of insubordination which could not be accommodated.

“And what do you plan on doing with that?” Kendrick asked, her tone brittle. Spark-kits were fire generators, reserved solely for emergency survival situations. Whatever Laurenson was thinking of using it for, it was unlikely to be anything good.

“I'm burning the fucking weeds. Those ones out on the shore of Sector Four-Forty-Three.” Despite Kendrick's expectations, Laurenson didn't drop the kit. Today she was all defiance, her eyes unblinking, her jaw firm. Judging by the gleam of perspiration on her forehead and a distinct jitter in her voice, she seemed scared too – and not, as far as Kendrick could appraise, of her senior officer. “I saw them yesterday. They were – they were forming shapes. Like us. Like humans.”

“Ah,” said Kendrick. “You've seen -”

“I know what I saw,” Laurenson snapped, taking her commander's reply as the humorings of a psychologist. “Those weeds are forming themselves into people. I've never seen anything like it. Men, women - just like us. And I'm not going to assume they'd be -”

Kendrick raised a placating hand. “Wait. You've not been briefed yet.”

Laurenson halted, her gaze narrowing. “What?” she murmured.

“Okay. Yes - it's no delusion. But it's not what you think.”

Laurenson responded with the kind of silence that seemed accusatory.

Kendrick folded her arms. “We should have briefed you earlier. I'm sorry. It's just so strange, we usually prefer to ease new recruits into the idea of it before...well, you know. A field venture. Either way, we hadn't expected to see them in Four-Forty-Three. Not yet at least.”

“What are you talking about?”

Kendrick smiled, noticing – finally - a tincture of genuine intrigue in Laurenson's tone. “Come with me to Sector Four-Twenty-Seven,” she said. “You'll understand.”

* * *

“Oh, but this is beautiful,” said Laurenson. She was right, of course.

It was known that the weeds of Vectris IV moved. Not quite so widely known was that the weeds also changed. On the lakeside shore of an area designated Sector Four-Twenty-Seven by its human visitants, expansive green swathes toiled and churned under a twin moon sky. What the strands worked for was as luxuriant as it was variegated: close to the two women, coils of verdancy knotted and entwined to forge the form of a man, with the torso, head and arms seeming to emerge from the morass like a tired swimmer crawling free of his pool. Nearby, other threads wove themselves into the shape of a recumbent female, who rose in a gentle ascent with her face heavenward and hands crossed against her chest like the effigy of a saint. Not too far from her – more figures, some of which had already taken to full and unbridled animation: a woman, naked yet furnished with protean tattoos that shifted across her body like starlings in flight, waded out of the water, combing her hair with her fingers; the male side of something akin to a classical Janus, like a man and a woman fused back to back, appeared to pray while the female called to the horizon in an unknown language; another woman stooped to gather weeds to herself which transmuted, handful by handful, into an ivory dress. Here, a winged sylph walked; there, a being with veins that glowed like embers swam. In all, marvels abounded, avidly catching a strange flare of life and holding to it in the spirit of playfulness and unfettered adventure.

The wonders did not begin and end with anthropoids, either. Laurenson gasped when she saw birds coalesce from a wet carpet of skeins and flutter into the air like an illusion after Escher. She laughed when she spied breeze-bourne bubbles caught in a game of tag and listened with quiet reverence at the haunting song of a creature shaped in the manner of an equine leviathan whose skin was as polished opal. Eventually, she managed to turn away from the spectacle and deliver to Kendrick the moist-eyed beam of a grateful penitent.

“They're being creative,” she said. “Like they're making art.”

Kendrick nodded.

Laurenson steepled her fingertips at her mouth and glanced down to the spark-kit beside her feet. “God. And I thought they were -”

“Never mind about that.” Though the moment seemed to call for the reassurance of a gentle hand at Laurenson's shoulder, Kendrick kept her arms behind her back, standing in a military at-ease style. “I was alarmed too, at first. We all were. But then we saw the beauty of them, as you do now.”

“Yes,” said Laurenson, looking once again at the remarkable and flourishing vista. She spoke nothing more and only observed, rapt. Kendrick, satisfied that her subordinate would no longer prove any trouble and all too fully aware that the glimmering, weed-born characters had finally noticed the presence of an audience, moved away.

There was scant danger for either of them. Kendrick, however, understood that the closeness of her own kind had stirred the want of communion in her flesh. Making her way back to the shuttle, she took note of her palms, and how the skin there was breaking into thin, green striations. In a short while, things would be fine – for both herself and Laurenson, who would surely have no difficulty assimilating now.

Online Bly

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2018, 08:33:54 PM »
Picture for Nov. 9th to 15th, 2018


Triton

Flush and emergent from the ebb and flow
covered in the green hair of the ocean's soul

The ocean's song calls and calls
Between storms and dreaded squalls

He slipped into the sea with a smartphone
broken dreams and a plan to never go home

The gulls screamed on the wounded shore
At the place he had slipped past once before

Under the waves he met a man
with aqua scales and skin so tan

That man breathed into him
gills fluttering, urging him to swim
grasped his limbs
hummed an ocean hymn

He pulled him back to that haunted shore
The place he had slipped past twice before

He said 'You may not yet join me in the sea
You are not ready to be truly free
There are bonds and chains to keep you here
despite the secret darkness that you fear
but when you return to my ocean mire
When you are old and wrinkled and so very tired
I will take you to my palace of ivory and pearl
between the soft ocean swirls
I will crown you with gold and make you anew
in my kingdom so deep and black and blue'

The man rested there on the shore
The place he had slipped past twice before

He listened to the triton's words
through vision painful and blurred
It struck a chord in him, mild and soft
made his heart soar aloft

Home we went and home he stayed
But sometimes he hears oceansong played

And thinks of the triton beneath the darkest waves
and wonders how many people he saves
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 08:38:08 PM by Blythe »

Offline JustricTopic starter

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2018, 05:54:14 AM »
Picture for Nov. 16th to 22nd, 2018

Closed
« Last Edit: November 23, 2018, 07:30:04 AM by Justric »

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Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2018, 01:52:55 PM »
Picture for Nov. 16th to 22nd, 2018


Over a hundred years ago, war terrorized the continent.
Kingdoms rose and fell as quickly as mushrooms popped out of the ground.
Villages where burned, castles were raided, towns were sacked.
No one was save as dead was everywhere.
Even their order was being attacked just because they believed in another deity.
In an attempt to save his brethren, the abbot sacrificed himself.
Willingly he went out of the safety of the monastery and offered his live to the invading army.
In the center of the grass fields, right in the view of all the monks inside the monastery, he was beheaded.
And sadly his sacrifice was in vain as the barbarians still attacked the monastery and tried to kill everyone inside.
A lucky few managed to get away and thus the order survived.

When the war was finally over and they returned to rebuild their monastery, they found something unexpected.
Right on the place where their abbot had been beheaded, a small sapling was growing.
However this sapling was unlike any other they had ever seen. It's leaves and the grass around the leaves were bright red.
As if it had sucked up the blood of their fallen brethren.
Deciding that this tree was the legacy of the heroic deed of their abbot, they started to build the new monastery around it.
When it was finally finished, the center of the monastery was where the tree stood.

Because of the symbol and the story behind it, their order grew and grew.
Even now as it has been many years ago and people only know about the story because it has been told to them.
They still come to say prayers every morning and every evening around the tree.
Because it is their symbol, that even in the darkest of times there was hope.
That beauty could be born from tragedy.

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Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2018, 03:42:50 AM »
Picture for Nov. 16th to 22nd, 2018






Adriana tried to focus on the task at hand but all she could think about was the offering that would soon happen. The tree of life was all that was left in this underground tomb that her clan lived in. She had always wondered why the outside world was forbidden. Why couldn't she be a chosen one? She envied those who made up the offering. Why did they get to leave this tomb and why did she have to stay? She knew the laws but at this moment she was planning how she would join the offering. They wore robes and when the tomb opened for the offering she knew she had to be among them. Adriana had to work out how to convince one of the offering to let her take his place, and she knew just who to approach. Jeremy did not want to be among the offering, but he had already used his one and only pass so this year he would have to be among the offering.


Adriana approached Jeremy and asked, "How are you today my friend?"


Jeremy looked surprised when she spoke. Adriana was a quiet girl and always just tried to blend into the group. She was never one to begin a conversation and especially not with Jeremy, so his surprise was legitimate. He responded, "I am fine Adriana, how are things with you?"


She smiled and said, "Well that all depends on you. I was wondering if we could have a private talk? Maybe by the giving tree, now if you aren't busy?" His surprise grew but his curiosity grew even more. "I am not currently busy, shall we walk together or is this a covert meeting?" Adriana smiled and said, "We shall walk together but the content of our meeting is very covert." Adriana was thrilled that he could meet with her, but she was concerned that he would not like the content of what she intended to ask of him. It was very possible that he would turn her into the council for what she was purposing. What she was going to purpose was against all that their society lived by. The offering was sacred, and the chosen were hand-picked by the council. As they walked along Adriana engaged Jeremy in small talk and when they reached the giving tree they both offered their prayers before beginning their private discussion.


Adriana looked at Jeremy and said, "Are you ready for the offering?" Jeremy's face grew dim, and he said, "Not really. It is no surprise that I do not wish to be part of the offering. I realize it is my duty but I do not wish to leave my wife and children." Adriana said, "I can understand how you feel. What if you didn't have to be part of the offering? What if you give me your robe and I go instead of you?" Jeremy's face had a flicker of hope as he said, "Why would you want to be part of the offering? You are so young and have so much to contribute to our society. You do not know what you are asking Adriana. You do not know what will happen once the source takes his offering. What if you die? What if it is not what you think it will be? I could not let you take such a chance. I know the council says that life with the source is paradise but how would they know? They are guessing, in my opinion. They couldn't very well say that the offering leads to death or torture or something worse. I just don't think I could allow you to take my place."


Adriana looked Jeremy in the eyes and said, "I have my own belief about what awaits beyond this place. I have no family, I have nothing here, except my work, and I want to go. I long to be out of this tomb that we call home. The light at the tree of life gives me hope of what awaits beyond this place. The beauty of the tree gives me a feeling of joy and unbound happiness. I am not happy here Jeremy. I can't imagine that I will ever be happy here. But outside this tomb, I know life grows and it calls to me. Please, I beg of you, Please let me take your place?"


Jeremy listened as she pleaded with him and after a couple of minutes, he asked her, "What will happen to me once the offering is over? I can't just live a normal life. People will see me and know I broke our most sacred law by not being part of the offering."


Adriana had thought this idea through, she told him, "Go to the council after the offering and tell them that the source sent you back. Tell them, the source told you that you were not to be part of this sacrifice. It has never happened but since they would have no idea what to do about your claim they would have to accept what you have said and things would return to normal for you."


Jeremy thought for a moment and said, "If you are willing to take the risk then so am I. I can't wait to tell my wife that I will be staying." Adriana quickly said, "NO, you must not tell anyone. It would put her at danger. It is you and I that agree to take this risk. We are breaking the law and no one else should know of this agreement."


Jeremy agreed and the two of them began arranged for Adriana to be given his robe. The orb would be given to her just before the offering, by a member of the council. No one would be able to see her in the robe so her excitement grew as the time came closer and closer.
_________________________________________________________
Finally, it was time for the offering and Adriana was dressed in the robe of offering. She was led, along with the other chosen, to the tree of life. Each of the chosen took his turn and walked to the tree holding the orb of offering. When it was Adriana's turn she walked to the tree and offered the orb, and herself, to the source. In a flash of light, she was transported to the place she had always imagined was on the outside.


There were trees and light and the Source. It was so bright that her eyes began to hurt slightly. She was suddenly afraid that the Source would be angry that she had come to him without invitation. As she approached his light she heard a soft, kind voice say to her, "Adriana my child, why have you come here without invitation?" Her hands were shaking and so was her voice when she spoke, "I could not live in the tomb any longer. I longed to be here, with you." She heard a soft chuckle and the sound of, Angels? Singing? The Source said, "I know of your longing and wondered how long it would take you to find a way to me. You are a bright young child, and I am pleased to accept your offering. However," in a more stern, fatherly voice he continued, "you have broken law and so has Jeremy. I cannot let this go without punishment. I sentence you to 4 years in the library of law. You will read about your creation, why the tomb exists, and why the laws are in place to protect my children. Your sentence will be carried out now."


Adriana only blinked her eyes, and she was surrounded by books and other people, people she recognized. Thomas walked up to her and asked, "how long are you here for?" She responded, "4 years. Is that long?"
"No, it is just a slap on the wrist."


Adriana smiled. Thomas showed her a room she would stay in and the way to all the facilities she would need. Once he was finished showing her around she was taken back to her room and found several books. Books appeared day after day and she would read for several hours. She had daily chores but her main task was to read. Adriana had no idea how the books appeared or disappeared, but each day there were new books to read and the ones she had read just disappeared.
 
Days turned into years, and she learned more and more about why things were the way they were. She learned of the great war. The destruction of the Earths resources and why her people lived in the tomb. Adriana felt sorry for those who were left there. She was happy to be part of a community where sunlight, the Sources light, graced this divine place. She learned that one day all of her people would be part of the glorious place.


The final year of her sentence, Adriana learned what it meant to be truly happy. She realized that this sentence was not a punishment so much as a learning experience. She had to learn how to live in this place. A place full of light. She had lived in darkness so long that her eyes had to adjust to the amount of light she was now exposed to.


Adriana knew that one day soon she would be moved from this place to a new place, a place of learning. She finally knew her purpose. She knew she was created with a curious mind, and now, she could fulfil her desire to learn. 
The amount of knowledge was endless and now, so was she. She would never grow old, she would never die, and still, she would never know all that the Source had to offer. It was the beginning of life with the Source. 
« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 03:44:23 AM by Xandi »

Offline JustricTopic starter

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2018, 07:38:13 AM »
Picture for Nov. 23rd to 29th, 2018

Closed
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 10:58:49 PM by Justric »

Offline loveme91

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2018, 06:32:42 PM »
Picture for Nov. 23rd to 29th, 2018


Amira set under the moonlight, surrounded by her coven of witches. Tonight was the night, time to summon the one they prayed to, the one that watched after them. Each witch wore a crystal necklace around their necks, it helped to focus their magic on one certain thing at a time. Tonight just so happened to be focused on Boze. The Lord of Light.

With the book of shadows set before her, she lit a candle and set a chalice in front of it. Taking a knife, she slowly cut her hand allowing some of her blood to flow into the chalice. Slowly passing the knife around the circle, she watched as each witch done the same as she had. A sacrifice of their ownself to show that they were dedicated.

As the chalice became full, Amira wrapped her hand in a piece of cloth. "Boze, Lord of Light, we call on you tonight in order to show our dedication to you. Please protect us from our darkness and allow us to be one with the Light." Amira could hear the others repeating after her.

A few moments passed and the candle was blown out and the once full chalice was now empty. Standing before them in a shadowy figure was none other then the Lord of Light. Boze.

Offline Shekinah

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Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2018, 04:10:21 PM »
Picture for Nov. 23rd to 29th, 2018


Ever since Charmed first aired in 1998, my life was forever changed. Not because I suddenly became interested in witchcraft, magic and demons. No because all my life I had been an Wiccan and part of a coven. Naturally I never really talked a lot about it. Mostly because people always frowned upon it when I mentioned this was my believe. Another reason naturally was because I was tired of the remark: “Oh so you are one of those that go out in the woods and dance naked under the full moon.” While we do go out into the woods and there are times we dance under the full moon, this never happens naked. Nor is it part of a summoning ritual to call forth the devil and mate with him. Heck we don’t even worship the devil. The ones we worship are the Great Goddess or also called the Moon Goddess and The Horned God. Though worship is a strong worth. More like be grateful for the gifts they give us.

Because of this, I opened up my own shop. Here I sell mostly herbs, flowers and some homemade potions as well as some healing crystals. All of them designed to naturally help people with some pains, sores or other problems. Nothing to magical about it. However since Charmed aired and became a hit series, more and more people came to my shop, expecting me to be able to perform those sorts of ridiculous magics to help them with their problems.

Heck I even had a few who came in and asked me if they could see my book of shadows. Thinking that I had one up on the attic and that in secret I also was fighting demons. Because of this, there were times I really wanted to close down my shop. But then I remembered the ones I did help. The other members of my coven that came to seek my guidance and help. The old lady living two blocks away that came in every week to get a new box of ointment I make because it helps against the pain in her bones. Those silly twins that always fight with each other yet both claim that the taste of my chamomile and lavender tea makes them fall to sleep easier. Or Molly my next door neighbor, who claims that because of her buying one of my healing crystals and sending it to her husband, who was recovering from a wound he received while on duty in Iraq, he managed to beat all the odds and make a full recovery twice as fast as they had predicted.

It was these people who reminded me, that I should keep doing what I did. That what I believe in, isn’t some silly thing on a silly show. That is why to this day, everyone is welcome in my little shop. Maybe you haven’t found it yet. Maybe you passed by it and didn’t pay attention to it. Or thought it was too weird to go inside. Maybe  you were afraid that going inside would end with you being cursed or put a spell upon. However I can promise you, my shop will still be there for when you need my help. So until the day you enter it, I’ll be waiting. 

Offline KarterKicks

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2018, 08:23:03 PM »
Picture for Nov. 23rd to 29th, 2018

As the soft shadows fell, covering more of the dark and graying landscape, a woman stood in staunch contrast with the harsh background.
It seemed as if the woman, clad in a seemingly endless and glimmering cloak, was with just her will, pushing back the everlasting night.
Her stance declared her intent clearer than any words ever could, to challenge the demons that hid, like bloated inkspots in the murky blackness.
A silent battle was waged that day, and without our knowledge, even if just for a moment, the evils that plague our world were held at bay.

Offline Xandi

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Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2018, 08:23:11 AM »
Picture for Nov. 23rd to 29th, 2018




Talia had spent years preparing for this day. She had never known a childhood, or anything of being a child. Talia had been schooled in the dark arts from her birth. It was believed, by the elders, that she was the chosen one. Once ordained her life was laid out from beginning.... until today. Today would be the day that light would face darkness and one would prevail for all eternity. It was a heavy burden that Talia carried, she had never known anything about life outside of this monastery.


Once upon a time evil had been supressed and it was not allowed to interact with the human population. For years now, evil reigned the humans. There were a small group of humans who lived underground. They were known as the rebels and the evil searched day and night to rout them out and destroy them. Evil knew that if they were allowed to exist the prophecy would come true. All creation knew of a prophecy that had been uttered centuries ago. The prophecy foretold of a child who would be born among humans. This child would be the only hope for creation to live in the light. She would be pure, holy and possess the talents to destroy evil for good. The prophecy was detailed and even told of her lineage. The elders remained vigilant in their search for this child until they finally found Talia. They were there for her birth and her education. Talia had been taken from her mother and father so that she would only know of her education and her duty. As a child she wanted to play and have fun. But she was reminded from the time she could understand words that her duty was grave and all of creation depended upon her.


Talia was of age now and she took her responsibility very seriously. When she was given free time, 3 hours a day, she spent them reading and practicing. As a child her free time was spent playing with her imaginary friends and imaginary toys. But now, she was growing stronger and stronger as the time drew closer. Today was the day she had trained for, the day she had spent her live preparing for. Talia knew that every witch, warlock and human would be there to support her. Every creation not of the dark side, would be in support of Talia. Among those who were in support of Talia were her parents. They were among the rebels. They had longed for the night that they would be reunited with their daughter. Her parents had been allowed to see Talia nine days a year. They could see her, but she was never allowed to know of their existence. Tom and Julia looked forward to the nine days. At times they had great difficulty making the journey to the monastery. Not once in these 21 years had they missed a day. Even when they had been injured or ill, they made the journey and were thankful for the sight of their daughter. Each time they saw Talia they could feel how strong she was, while Tom and Julie did not possess the talents of witches and warlocks, they possess the ability to 'feel' talent and evil. It was their ability to 'feel' that had kept them and their group alive all these years.


As Talia was led to the inner sanctuary, the sanctuary that only she was allowed to enter, until tonight. She drew strength from the support she felt, it was hard for her not to look around the large sanctuary to see her supporters but she resisted the temptation.
The hour had come and her duty was about to be fulfilled. As a 21 year old she should have felt afraid of what she was about to face. All Talia felt was incredibly strong, stronger than she had ever felt. She began the incantation that would summon evil to her location. Everything and everyone that was in support of her would now be exposed to evil and should Talia fail her task they would all die. It was a heavy load for such a young woman but Talia could not think of those things now.
Talia was so focused, that the moment she began her incantation, everything disappeared and she radiated white pure light. Her brown robe turned to a bright white gown that flowed around her as she began levitating. There was no wind in the sanctuary but her gown billowed around her and her beauty, and true power, was finally revealed to all who were there. Everyone who was witnessing the event struggled not to gasp and bow down. Talia was other worldly and there was no way to understand what she was becoming. Pure, Godly, celestial, these words did not do her justice. But no one could spend time on trying to understand what she was, or was becoming, all concentration had to be on supporting Talia.
Evil appeared as a child in torn clothing with the face of hunger and need. As a woman of Talia's age she would naturally be expected to want to help this child and shield it, but Talia was not fooled. Talia spoke in a commanding voice, "your tricks will not work on me, are you afraid to appear as you truly are?" She knew this challenge would be insulting. The child laughed and said, "you jest child." As the young girl changed form Talia watched as a huge dragon appeared before her. Talia smiled and said, "You are so beautiful. I love what you've done with your straggly hair and if you don't mind my saying, purple suits you."
No one could understand the conversation going on between Talia and evil, all they could do was watch. They saw the child change into a massive dragon and watched as Talia's lips uttered words that were incomprehensible them.
The conversation waged on as Talia's attempt at sarcasm went unnoticed by evil. Evil was centuries old and knew of lives beyond this one. He understood her attempts to manipulate him but he seemed to care not. His ego was the only thing larger than his form. Talia knew of his weaknesses and this was her advantage. He knew nothing of her. The only knowledge of Talia that he had was the prophecy. This was why she had been shielded, and kept from every eye and mind. Had anyone seen her, it would have put this night at risk. The only reason her parents were allowed to see her was because the entire population of searers spent day an night, for these 21 years, shielding them from evils minions.
The battle began slowly but it waged on for hours. Talia and Evil were equally prepared. Evil did not tire and for some reason neither did Talia. While the war continued on life on this planet remained in an animated state of still. Time stood still on every level except between Talia and Evil. The war could be waged for many centuries and yet it would be as no time had passed.
Talia denoted a small opening, Evil was irritated with her. He had never faced anything or anyone like Talia and he allowed a small irritation to distract him for a second and she took the advantage. He was wounded. It was a small wound but it proved to Talia he COULD be defeated. His surprise allowed his guard to be dropped for a millisecond and she swooped in for the kill. Once inside his shield she bombarded him with pure light. His smug exterior dropped to a wounded child again. If Talia would kill him, he wanted to make sure she lived with the image of the child dying inside of his true image. Talia did not hesitate. She quickly filled the child with pure, white, cleansing light. This light along with the incantations finally allowed her to take the advantage. Evil would not give up without a fight, a fight against Talia's human side. He made it appear that everyone of her supporters were dying by the hands of his minions. He gave the false impression that he had been summoning them to this location and that they had broken through the barriers and now were massacring everyone. Talia, while distressed at what would be left after this battle, did not flinch or lose focus. She knew if anything would survive this battle she had to completely destroy this evil. After a few hours evil tried many other tricks to fool Talia but he grew weaker by the second and finally with a last burst of pure, white light, Talia was victorious. The battle was over.
As she lowered herself to the ground she finally could allow herself to look around. The darkness faded away and light flooded the chamber at her mere thought of it. What she saw thrilled her and saddened her....
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 08:24:59 AM by Xandi »

Offline Eva

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2018, 09:55:24 PM »
Picture for Nov. 23rd to 29th, 2018


Mellie slammed the heavy book closed when she heard the bell on the front door chime. Dust motes danced up from the worn book and twirled about like maddened faeries on walpurgisnacht in the beams of light that slipped in through the cut glass panes of the window. She turned in a manner more sedate and regal than she felt, what with her heart racing within her. She smoothed back her long black curtain of hair (courtesy of a bottle of blackest black) and peered down her nose at the person who wandered into Midnight and Madness, which was the third store of this nature to fill the space in as many years.  Tourism was booming in this antiquated New England town and there was business aplenty.  If only those drawn to witchcraft were equally drawn to bookkeeping and business, she thought as she picked up an overly long match and dramatically lit a small taper nestled in some pine-cones and dried herbs in a pewter dish that rested on the counter.  She blew out the match with a long breath of air through ruby painted lips held in a dramatic O and watched the blond-haired young woman run her fingers over the titles of the books on the shelf before moving onto the acrylic display stand for crystals and semi-precious stones. The girl paused and drummed her fingers impatiently on the display, her mouth pursed in a disappointed knot.  Mellie didn’t blame her, it was the same display that each of the stores had held and pretty much the same books from the same publisher. In fact, Mellie was willing to bet that much of what was in this part of the store was identical to the contents of the others closer to downtown where the tourists liked to cluster so that by the time they got to this part, they’d seen it all. 

“Can I help you find something?” Mellie asked, keeping her tone cool, she was a real witch after all, not some gawping tourist.  But she wasn’t too harsh, tourists were what fueled this town and her job for the time being.

The young woman bit her lip and looked Mellie up and down, no doubt noting the black on black ensemble she wore, the lacings on her dress that crisscrossed her body, the full bell sleeves.  It was in sharp contrast to her own outfit which consisted of a pair of well worn jeans (which fitted her very well), white converse all-stars, and a dusty-rose hoodie with a kangaroo pocket.

“I guess I was just looking for something different,” she said and shrugged.  “Something real, you know, not this tourist stuff.”  She gestured to the books, the crystals and the statues here and there on the shelves. 

Mellie didn’t know why she bristled, it wasn’t as if she hadn’t had the same thoughts about most of the inventory in the store as well as most of the witches in town.  Maybe it was the way the cute girl seemed to lump her into the equation. She wanted to be real, she wanted to be legitimate, only she was begining to doubt there was such a thing as magic. Her eyes flicked back to the book behind the counter which was propped up on an angled book holder like a bible on an altar.  Old and worn, it radiated legitimacy from the battered leather binding to the faded calligraphy inside declaring it to be the book of Maeve O’Rouke dated 1745. It was also, technically off-limits.  Lady Zorasta, (otherwise known as Mrs. Helen Becket, twice divorced and bitter) had purchased it at an estate sale and promptly put it in the shop for show. Mellie wasn’t supposed to touch it but had taken to reading it when she could.  The blond girl’s gaze followed hers and landed on the book.  When Mellie looked at her again, her face was alight with interest.

“How much for the book?” she asked casually stepping close and lifting up on her tiptoes to peer around Mellie at the book.

“It’s not for sale. It’s the proprietress’ ancient family Grimoire,” Mellie replied as she’d been instructed, nearly choking on the words. Something had changed in the air, though she couldn’t quite place it. 

“Oh, well that’s too bad.” The girl said, lowering her lids and looking at Mellie through some unfairly long lashes. “You have any herbs?  I need a few things.”



The girl, whose name turned out to be Aislinn selected a few herbs, namely Mugwort, Angelica, Lobelia, and Mandrake.  She sniffed at the Rue and placed it back on the shelf.  Mellie had done much the same a few days back when she’d been preparing to call in an herb order, the stuff was stale as fuck.  She didn’t explain to Mellie what she was doing and Mellie didn’t ask but with each selection her curiosity about the girl grew.  It continued to grow over the next few visits in which Aislinn proved she was not a tourist but a transplanted student at the local university. After the second or third visit they found their way into conversation and some of the prickly distance Mellie kept between herself and the customers shrank. 

It wasn’t until the open circle hosted by the council of witches that she realized she and Aislinn had become friends.  It was a full moon and cool thanks to the lengthening season.  The summer tourists were gone but the Halloween ones had yet to descend in full so this was likely the last open circle worth attending until the solstice. She was standing in Lady Zorasta’s shadow listening to the woman bitch to the high priestess about her ex’s lack of child support when she felt a tug at her sleeve. It was Aislinn in a white pea-coat with a pink scarf wrapped around her neck to ward off the chill.  She was a bright smudge in the dark night, especially against all the robes and cloaks sported by the others, including Mellie herself.  Aislinn drew her off and Mellie went with her wearing a relieved smile.  She’d come to witchcraft thinking it would be the answer to a more interesting powerful life. Mellie had been disappointed once reality set in, but until she found a better way it at least paid the bills.  Working at a Witch Shop certainly beat working at a 7-11 even if the only difference was in the frosting. 

“I made you something,” Aislinn said and pulled a little package out of her coat pocket and held it out to Mellie.  Curious Mellie took the yellow callico bundle and felt a small weight inside.

“What is it?” she asked.

“Open it!” Aislinn said and made shooing gestures towards the package.  With a grin Mellie pulled back the fabric and stared down at what appeared to be a misshapen star sewn from red fabric.  It was hard to see despite the full moon overhead since a large flock of birds, startled from their roosts by a car alarm going off, were swarming and writhing in front of the moon, too disturbed to settle in for the night.  A decidedly herbal smell came from the object when Mellie touched it. She wrinkled her nose and looked up at Aislinn for explanation.  Rolling her eyes and shaking her head a little her friend turned the thing over in her palm.  Now it was possible to see the stitched face on one protuberance and the heart and naval in the middle. Crude though it was, it was clearly intended to be a human. 

“What is it?” she asked even as she felt the energy of it warming her palm. 

“It’s a poppet,” Aislinn said with a long suffering air. 

“Yeah,” said Mellie, “I get that, but what for?”

Aislinn bit her lip and cast a look over at a trio of young men dressed in black, sharing drags of a clove cigarette.  She cocked an eyebrow and said, “it’s for them.”

“Oh,” said Mellie and flushed.  “Um well…” how was she going to explain to her friend that she didn’t exactly need any help in that department. 

“I don’t, well I don’t like boys,” she said in a rush.  To her consternation Aislinn laughed. 

“I know, silly,” she said at last. “It’s to ward them off.”



Mellie lay with her head on Aislinn’s stomach, holding one of the tourist-y books and reading out loud from it.  The words were generic and washed out and most of the page was taken up by a large pentacle.  In fact most of the pages were filled with line illustrations of pagan women or pagan symbols thus sparing the author many words.  It was a collection of ancient spells that were little more than rhyming wishes which were prefaced by the warning that one’s will was what powered the magic.  Mellie took this to mean, if it didn’t work, it wasn’t the author’s fault.  She read the love spell aloud in her most witchy voice, giggling now and then while Aislinn absently braided a few strands of their hair together.  Bottle black and honey blond.  They looked good together. 

“Well then,” Aislinn said when the spell was finished, “Now that I’m fully in love with you thanks to those words of Magic and not your natural charm, I propose we try some real magic.”

Game for this, Mellie rolled off of Aislinn and winced a little when their braided hair pulled apart.

“All right,” she said smoothing her hair and gazing fondly at Aislinn.  “What do you propose?” 

“Something from that book in your shop.” Aislinn said carefully looking up at Mellie from under her lashes.  She’d asked before and Mellie had always said no. She was strangely jealous of the book.  Even though she continually violated the ban on reading it, she wasn’t ready to let someone else read it. Helen certainly hadn’t ever cracked it so far as Mellie knew. It was just a prop gathering dust. To diffuse the situation and avoid saying no, she rolled off the bed and padded over to her satchel which hung from a hook on the back of Aislinn’s door. 

“I brought you something,” she said and pulled out one of the drawstring bags they used in the shop for jewelry and crystals.  From inside she pulled out a matching pair of quartz crystals on black silk cords. She slid back onto the bed and leaned over her love and slipped the crystal over her head.  Aislinn smiled and picked it up to look over as Mellie did the same with hers. 

“Very pretty,” Aislinn said and ran her finger over the point.  A soft blue glow seemed to come from within the crystal making Mellie gasp.  She watched with wide eyes as Aislinn lifted her crystal to touch Mellie’s.  The light flowed from one to the other, then faded.   

“Now they are attuned.”

Stunned Mellie licked her dry lips and touched her crystal.  In all her time among the local witches, all the years working the shops, all the open circles, she’d never seen anything like what she’d just seen.  She stared at Aislinn who grinned at her, her expression smug. 

“Now, let’s talk about that book.”



“Are you sure we should be doing this?” Mellie asked as she stood beside Aislinn in the dark, decidedly off-limits graveyard.  The book, taken from the shop at the end of Mellie’s shift, lay open on one of the gravestones (ancient by American standards) that was lifted up like a table to protect it from the elements.  Mellie couldn’t make out the page in the dim light but Aislinn seemed to know what she was doing. 

“Yes,” Aislinn said reassuringly. “You said you wanted to see some real magic, well now you get to be part of it.”

“But what are we doing?” Mellie asked, shivering and stamping her feet in the crusty snow.

“Righting an injustice,” Aislinn replied. 

Mellie sighed.  She hadn’t seen this part of her girlfriend yet though she was familiar with the phenomena, victim syndrome.  Never mind that none of the women who were persecuted hundreds of years ago in this very town were actual witches.  Never mind that none of the women who routinely bitched about it were related to the victims, it seemed once you donned a pentacle, you were obligated to feel persecuted.  It was part of the mindset. Hell, even Mellie had engaged in it a time or two. But with Aislinn she’d begun to think she’d found something real. Not just their relationship, but with magic.  It felt real, she wanted it to be real. 

“Alright,” she said, her voice resigned.  “What do I do?”

She followed Aislinn’s directions, standing kitty corner to her, “like two points of a triangle” as per her directions.  They cupped their hands and chanted the words Aislinn dictated from the grimoire. Mellie kept her eyes closed, concentrating so she wouldn’t think about what she was doing or her growing disappointment (or was it disquiet?). 

“Mellie,” she heard Aislinn breathe.  Opening her eyes Mellie gasped.  Standing opposite her and Aislinn was a third woman.  Naked and raven haired (though not courtesy of a bottle) she was silently weeping, her eyes clapped on Aislinn as if she were the world.  Behind her the air, in a space the size of a doorway shimmered like a heatwave. 

“Aislinn,” Mellie gasped. “What?  Who?” 

“My love,” Aislinn replied.  Mellie waited for her to continue only to belatedly realize that the affectionate appellation had not been the start of an explanation but the answer. 

“Thank you for bringing Maeve back to me. I will never forget you.”

“Forget?” Mellie began, her thoughts pulled in so many directions by questions that she felt as if she were wading through mud. She looked from one beautiful face to the other and tried to understand.

Then she felt two pairs of hands taking hold of her, two pairs of hands turning her to face the shimmering air.   

“What?” she asked just as she felt them push her forward. 

“Now you can be part of some real magic like you always wanted,” Aislinn said as Mellie stumbled forward and into the shimmering air.  Both Mellie and the gateway vanished but Aislinn didn’t care, she was too busy wrapping her arms around the other woman, Maeve, whose eyes filled with tears to match her own. They kissed and their hair tangled together, black and honey-blond.  They looked good together.


Offline JustricTopic starter

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2018, 10:58:20 PM »
Picture for Nov. 30th to Dec 6th, 2018

Closed
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 08:26:38 AM by Justric »

Offline Shekinah

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Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2018, 07:50:54 AM »
Picture for Nov. 30th to Dec 6th, 2018




"... and now ladies we appear before a Norman Rockwell painting. It was officially published in 1946. It already showed a lot of the differences between men and women. But most importantly it also shows what now has been proven. We don't need men. In the past they always said we needed them for certain things: changing tires, doing manual labor and most important reproduction of the species. Well as you can see in this picture here, it is made clear that it isn't true. We have proven in the last decade that we could do everything a man does and better. Another point in this picture is the man being lazy, unkempt and well also rude. Because wasn't it a gentleman's duty to help out a woman in trouble? Or at least offer it? However the concept of being a gentlemen almost died two decades before men became extinct. Until this day we never found out the real reason as to why that virus came into existence and why it only killed men. But many professionals claim it was because of the inherent nature of men and the fact that women no longer needed them, that nature decided to get rid of them. After all with the invention of being able to create children from DNA strands, we didn't need men anymore for reproduction. So they slowly died off, leaving us women as sole survivors of the species.
That is why I love this painting so much and always keep it as one of the last of our tour. Because it was created over two thousand years ago but it so accurately predicted the future."

Offline Eva

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2018, 07:25:05 PM »
Picture for Nov. 30th to Dec 6th, 2018


Josiah Mullbridge leaned back in the ancient wicker chair that graced the porch of his home and relished the lightness of his limbs and the slowly darkening sky over head. As his home was situated atop a small rise he had a fine view of the sunset, unobstructed by coils of barbed wire as he had grown so accustomed over the last decade. His feet were propped up on the rail (which he noted would need replacing sooner or later) and his ankles, free from their fetters, itched and sang of their freedom. To celebrate he lifted his can of beer, toasted the open sky and all its freedoms, tossed back the remaining contents and then tossed the empty can towards the housewarming present his cousin Lester had given him. The goat, a scrawny thing, bleated and nosed at the can, its eyes gleaming eerily in the lowering night. The pigs around back had also been a gift from Lester.

Josiah grunted a laugh and contemplated heading into his house to the icebox to fetch another beer. There had been a time where his Lucy would have been on hand to fetch it for him, but that time was past. Almost a decade past though the sting of the letter felt fresh to his heart. He’d been in lock-up for nearly a year then and had taken her at her word when she’d sobbed and told him she’d wait for him. She’d known why he was in after all. But she hadn’t even made it all the way to the first conjugal visit. He’d done it, she knew it, and in the end it didn’t matter why he’d done it, only that he had. Could he really blame her? It was one thing to know and another to let hands that had been soaked in blood slip over one’s satin, freckle-kissed skin.

No, it was better this way. Lucy deserved better than he could give her and she’d always been a liability to him professionally.

He missed her though, and for more than the fetching of beer. He flexed his toes in their grubby socks and then rolled his ankles, relishing the feel of the free range of motion. No more chain-gangs for him! Putting one hand on the arm of the chair he was just about to heave his carcass off of the chair when he heard the rumble of an engine. Frowning he tipped his head this way and that and tried to predict which way it would come from, from Westen or from Sturmbridge? Situated on the only road from one isolated town to another, little went on in either town that didn’t pass his house eventually. Given the dips and swells of the sound he guessed that the vehicle was coming from Sturmbridge to Westen, owing to the hilly section on that part of the road. His guess proved true when headlights shone in the gloaming a few heartbeats later. Not much of a car person he hadn’t kept up on the latest wheels and so could make nothing out about the one approaching. After all, his 1935 Ford Pickup was all he needed. It had held together remarkably well during his incarceration. It had wanted only a tune-up and a change of fluids. Lester had helped with much of that. But it didn’t take an expert to know what the trouble was when the sound of the engine coalesced and was joined by a soft whup-whupping as it slowed to a stop at the base of his hill.

“Christ,” he muttered as he ran his hand over his face and considered hiding in the house, he could get his beer while he was in there after all... But no, the doors were opening and two slim figures were getting out, their worried voices high and sweet in the night air. He held himself still and wondered if he might go unnoticed. He watched still and silent as the pair got out a thick blanket or rug of some sort and laid it down upon the ground so that one of them, a red-head might lay upon it to do the work. Their chatter reached him more as sound than actual words but occasionally he could make out a phrase or two.

“-doing it wrong,”

“-wanna do it?”

“Just do…”

He leaned his head back against the back of his chair and grinned at their incompetence. He’d been in ten years and things hadn’t really changed, had they?  He heard the clang of a lug-nut dropping to the ground and opened his eyes and watched. He frowned and his brow furrowed. Their chatter continued, but for all that they were moving slowly, their motions were competent and effective. His skin prickled.

“Shee-it,” he cursed and spat over the rail of his porch.

Things really hadn’t changed.

Pushing himself up out of the chair, and not for the beer, he reached inside the door and came back with a familiar iron weight. Crowbars were so handy for so many tasks. Flexing his grip he walked across the porch, deliberately stepping on the creaking board near the edge. He could see the way their attention shifted and their movements became more disorganized. Through it all he saw the gleam of their eyes remain fixed upon him.

“Evening ladies,” he called as he walked past the goat. “Seems you are in a spot of trouble, need a hand?” 

The blond straightened up and flashed him a dimpled smile. “Oh do we ever!” she said brightly though her eyes were like a cat’s as they followed his motions down the path towards them. The redhead slowly rose to her feet and came to stand beside the blond, tapping the tire-iron lightly on her thigh, her head cocked saucily to the side.

“I’m afraid we are making a real mess of it, mister,” she said and gestured towards the artfully created chaos. He took in the scene and speculated that it would take about two minutes to get the tire back on all told. It was cleverly done, it was.

“Well let me have a look,” he said and took a long deep breath. Dust, grease, cigarettes, and something earthy and stale met his nostrils, confirming what he already knew. He resisted the urge to spit upon the ground again. Criminal though he was, his Mama had raised him right and you did not spit in front of ladies, no matter what.

He walked past the pair and knelt upon the blanket and made as if he were going to lean down to see what was going on. He was ready though and when the tire-iron swung towards his skull it was met with the crow bar. He’d surprised them and pressed his advantage. It wasn’t a long fight, but it was longer than it needed to be. He’d lost some of his edge in the clink and there were two of them. But in the end he won. He let the crowbar fall to the ground when the stake was hammered home and the blond finally stopped moving. The blanket was soaked in blood and most of the bolts had been scattered in the tussle. That was going to be a problem, as was the car. But just then the biggest problem was the two bodies lying in pools of blood.  It was just like last time, only now he had a solution right at hand. 

“Thank you Lester,” he said as he took hold of the red-head’s ankles and began to drag her up the hill and towards the pig-pen.  Once he got the bodies taken care of he’d give his cousin a call and they’d come up with something to do with the car. Maybe it would be different this time and he’d serve no time.  Maybe.

Offline JustricTopic starter

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2018, 08:26:08 AM »
Picture for Dec 7th to Dec 13th, 2018

Closed
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 06:50:34 AM by Justric »

Offline DeMalachine

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2018, 10:36:23 AM »
Picture for Dec 7th to Dec 13th, 2018


Tin Tommy

They gave me life and they sent me out,
Into the lands where my makers bled,
"Forward machine!" my commanders shout,
And forward I go, 'mongst the dead.

"Tend this one, Tin Tommy," I am told,
And so I tend to a life mostly gone,
"Too late, Tin Tommy, the lad's gone cold,"
He's my fifteenth this day, on the Somme.

"Stop, Tin Tommy; don't mind that one,"
They say when I tend Tin Tommy seven-eight,
He's my sixth this day, my hundreth since Verdun,
But my makers cart me off and I'm dismayed.

So they patch me up and they send me out,
Into the land where my brothers learned of pain,
"Onward machine!" my commanders shout,
And onward I go, once again.

Offline Kinghex

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Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2018, 04:51:32 PM »
Picture for Dec 7th to Dec 13th, 2018


#302 was designed as a wandering medical bot. Humans get wounded. When they're hurt, they can't cure others. This is a long process. Some wounds take days, others weeks. Robots are beyond this. As long as medical stations are endowed with mechanical provisions and training, repair of the bot happens in a day. So, camps adopted sustainable healing. This was the title granted to all forms of mechanical doctors like #302.

The troops with #302 were mostly inhibited by the environment. Dust flew everywhere. The shroud was so thick that garments turned brown in mere seconds. Washing was discontinued. So much grime penetrated indoors that cleaning these sullied clothes only achieved the waste of valuable resources. The gunk also changed their battle strategy. They located enemies by the sound of progressing vehicles in the vain hope they missed innocents or allies. The dirt, grime, and gunk ruined their clothes, ruined their prospects, and ruined their aim.

The troops began to suffer another plight. #302 had some quirks. The bot relied on sight. The area obscured vision. The bot had no other capacity to check its work. One day, a wounded soldier was brought to base. The wound was a large cut across the arm. The bot couldn't verify the location of the wound, so it searched for it. It prodded and poked blindly. By the time the process was over, seven new gashes had been found. The man died on the table. Several people within the base attempted to fix the bot, but struggled with their own lack of vision. Ultimately, they couldn't even disable it.

The bot was left on an empty path. They could neither be certain a road was present or absent. The path could have been vital or trivial. They could only hope, from some gift of fate, that the blinded bot searching for wounds never encountered a soul.

Offline Shekinah

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Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2018, 04:01:48 AM »
Picture for Dec 7th to Dec 13th, 2018



"Sign up, it will be great they said.
You'll be able to travel, see a bit of the world they said.
You don't even have to do any fighting they said.
What they didn't say was that those places I was able to see, that they already were completely destroyed.
Last week I was in Asia, this week in Europe, last month in Africa.
No matter where I'm dropped, they all look the same.
It's enough to make a man depressed.
Which makes me wonder, why they hell did they program me to be able to feel like that?
Seriously what where they thinking, making me able to feel such emotions.
It doesn't improve my job, nor is it useful in any other way.
On the contrary in fact as it only gets in the way.
Humans, really are weird.
Well I think my pause is up.
Time to go back to my job.
Maybe then I'll forget about these weird thoughts."



Offline JustricTopic starter

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2018, 06:49:35 AM »
Picture for Dec 14th to Dec 20th, 2018

Closed
« Last Edit: December 28, 2018, 10:07:13 AM by Justric »