#ThrowdownThursday: GW2 “Tell Me a Story”

This week my guild did an event called “Tell Me a Story”, where you had to grab 10 grey drops or karma vendor items and then tell a story with them. My group ended up with these items:

  1. [Pirate Flask]
  2. [8 Broken Lockpicks]
  3. [Vial of Purified Ocean Water]
  4. [Hylek Green Hue Potion]
  5. [Talon]
  6. [Dull Claw]
  7. [Shell]
  8. [Smashed Inquest Capacitor]
  9. [Canon Fuse]
  10. [Dorsal Fin]

Our story (co-wrote by me) was this:

I returned a man his [Pirate Flask] which, in his drunken stupor, had dropped it when he tripped on a [Shell] and a [Dorsal Fin]. In gratitude, he told me a wondrous tale, which ended in where his treasure was. I went to find it, but the inquest attacked me before I reached the island he mentioned, and sunk my boat. I only managed to survive by using a [Smashed Inquest Capacitor] that I pulled off one of the attacker’s corpse. When I made land I had to fight creatures with sharp [Talons] and [Dull Claws] until I final came to the chest. It was then I realized I didn’t have a key. I ended up with [8 Broken Lockpicks] before giving up and searching nearby. I finally found set of cannons, and one still had a good [Cannon Fuse]. When I blew off the top, what did I find? A [Vial of Purified Ocean Water] and¬†[Hylek Green Hue Potion]. When I confront the pirate about this he becomes excited. He said “NOW I CAN MAKE MORE BOOZE!” I realized everything had been a ruse…

Not my best work, but worked for the challenge. ūüôā


#PhotoPromptFriday: “The Moon” by Alphonse Mucha


Alphonse Mucha is the creator of the art style “Art Nouveau”, and the painter of today’s #PhotoPromptFriday! This piece, titled “The Moon” really strikes me as mysterious, as if she’s hiding a secret, and makes me wonder what that secret is.

Do you know her secret?

Submit your story behind this wonderful piece of art before next Friday for a chance to be featured on my blog with the story at Submissions > #PhotoPromptFriday.

This art was found on wikiart.org and is in the public domain.

#PhotoPromptFriday: “Cimon and Pero” by Peter Paul Rubens


The above scene from last week’s #PhotoPromptFriday is titled “Cimon and Pero”, and it is such a bizarre story to be associated with what first looks like such a lewd image. However, this picture depicts something that is relevant even today: breastfeeding.

The specific narrative that Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) presents here is often called ‚ÄėCaritas Romana‚Äô. The classical story tells how Cimon, an old man, awaiting death penalty by starvation, is frequently visited in prison by his daughter Pero. She secretly breastfeeds him and thus saves her father‚Äôs life. One day, her actions are discovered by the authorities, but Pero‚Äôs altruism makes such an impression on them that her act is forgiven and in the end, Cimon is released.



I haven’t had time to prepare a narrative to this story, but I promise to release one on Saturday. As such, if anyone else would still like to submit a story to go along with this painting, the deadline has been extended this week until Saturday at 8PM.

#ThrowdownThursday: The Prophet’s Prayer

From /r/WritingPrompts on Reddit, I present this week’s #ThrowdownThursday! While it’s not pulled straight from the top of the list, it was one that caught my eye this week. I hope you enjoy.

[WP] You start a religion as a scam, and your fake prophecies start coming true.

I stood before the podium with shaking hands. Exactly one million pairs of eyes stared up at me from the auditorium floor. There was no seating space, and so they all stood tightly packed against the stage trying to get as close to me as they could.

On the stage with me¬†stood my beautiful blonde wife holding our triples, one of my first nonsense¬†prophecies.¬†The golden goddess will conceive with another woman, and bear the three saviors of our time.¬†Now that they were here, and I loved them, I regretted the wording. Saviors were notorious for poor in endings, and I hadn’t written my religion with one any better than that of others.

I had shredded my holy book the night it had all become real.

A new copy stood on the podium before me.

I took a sip of water and cleared my voice to speak. I had rarely used it in the past few months for fear of its power. Now, I prayed to the Green Goddess, our holy mother whom I had never truly believed in during the church’s founding, that her curse would grant me a¬†final blessing. It was the last hope I had.

“Brothers and sisters of Gaia,” I began, “I welcome you today, on the Day of Revelation, to celebrate the anniversary of our founding. It was two years ago today that I communed with our Great Green Mother and she warned me of the terrible days to come should we not change our ways. Climate change was upon us, and the world was in dire straits!

“Lo and behold, you have seen her miracles pass: the rise of Matriarch to power in the United States, the incarceration of those that harm our Dear Mother so, and the birth of her great saviors to name a few!” My heart clentched as I named the last one, but I made no outward move of pain. Instead, I took on a dramatic tone and continued.

“But still even more dire times were proclaimed to me! The three saviors shall face¬†the dark ugliness in humanity as it continues to swell and engulf the world in chaos! At that time, our Mother Gaia shall welcome her children back into her arms and give¬†share with us her¬†Utopic Garden so that we may survive while the rest of our kind tears themselves apart!

“These things you know, because she revealed them to me on that dark night, and I recorded these revelations in¬†our holy book, the Words of the Earth.” I forced myself to touch it’s cursed spine and hold it up to them. They all cheered, and I felt my stomach clench as tightly as my heart.

“What you do not know,¬†my brothers and sisters,” I announced to break up their excitement, “is that these dark times were not the only path humanity might take.” As the words left my mouth, I could feel the agitation in the room. It was nothing, however, to the sudden drain I felt¬†when¬†whatever power I held to control fate began to course through me.¬†A sort of divine echo began to vibrate through my words, and every word seemed to linger in the air like light.

“All mankind can be saved, if but one million true believers of the words of our Mother can be converted before the third Day of Revelation.” The power strained at my deadline, blurring my vision for my carefulness. “These one million believe will flow like water into the world, healing the darkness of humanity with their kindness and love of our Mother. The Saviors shall lead them, revered men and women that will teach the world to love and be happy, as they are loved and are happy.”

I could feel the extra cost of that last part as my heart began to stutter. It wasn’t just drain anymore. My consciousness was fizzling, and my insides clenched as if something had been ripped from them. I didn’t have much time before the prophecy took it’s complete payment, so I pressed on quickly.

“I s-stand before exactly one m-million believers today, as had been rev-vealed to me I would just last w-week, a small encouragement from our M-Mother that we w-will prevail. We will h-heal the h-hate in the w-wor-rld. We n-need not ah-aban-bandon-don i–” My tongue felt heavy and hard to move. My breath was labored and short.

“Do-do not ah-aband-don this w-worrrlllllld!” I screamed in desperation. “E-ev-ven-en as…..I go….to our-er Mother….do not….do not…” I couldn’t think any more. The rest of the speech I had prepared slipped from my mind as I fell to my knees. My wife rushed to my side, and one final thought washed over me as I stared up into her tear-streaked eyes. With my last breath I exhaled, “Bless me.” Her lips on my forehead was the last sensation I ever felt on that earthly plane. The power given to me in such a mysterious way dragged me from my body and away, and I could only hope that my gamble had worked.

For the sake of my children, I prayed it worked.

#PhotoPromptFriday: Peter Paul Rubens


Peter Paul Rubens is the famous artist¬†behind the word “Rebunesque”, which is often used to describe a person’s form as “plump or rounded usually in a pleasing or attractive way” (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary). The above painting is one of his trademark portrayals of a woman’s figure, but that’s not why I chose this painting as today’s #PhotoPromptFriday.

For me, this picture is interesting because the man in the picture is an old man in shackles, and the two of them seem to be in a prison. It turns the initial impression of lewdness into a hidden story that I want to know.

Now, I did look up the story to this painting, which I will reveal next Friday with the winner of this painting’s #PhotoPromptFriday, and it’s a pretty cool one that eliminates all thought of naughtiness. I want you to come up with a story that explains the scene portrayed in this painting. Submit it via my #PhotoPromptFriday page, and you could be featured on my blog as the #PhotoPromptFriday winner of the week!

#ThrowdownThursday: Beneath the Moonlight

Once again #ThrowdownThursday comes from /r/WritingPrompts. The writing prompt today was pulled from the top of the reddit feed.

[WP] You discover that you suddenly gain the ability to control anyone you’d like. However, their consciousness talks to you as you do so.

She was standing out on the balcony when I came in. I could feel the cold air as it swept through the apartment and follow it to her. She stood in her favorite red dress staring up at the night sky. The moon caused her skin to glow pale white, and the dress made her hair burn. Her lips, as she turned to me, were the color of fresh cherries, and her eyes shimmered beneath her long painted eyelashes. A single tear escaped as she spoke. 

“What am I going to do?”¬†She hugged a piece of¬†paper to her chest as more tears followed. Her breathing caught in a self-deprecating laugh as she attempted to smile. “You’re early.”

“I was too worried to wait,” I replied, and she let out a short hysterical burst of laughter.¬†

“I guess I should have known.” She sighed and held the paper out where she could see it. For a long moment she just stared at it, and I stared at her as my apprehension began to rise.¬†

“What does the paper say?” I finally asked.

She answered by offering it to me. I took a cautious step towards her, and then berated myself. As if anything I did now could make it worse. I closed the gap more confidently and retrieved the paper from her outstretched hand. 

At first my brain refused to comprehend the words, as if a sudden lack of understanding could make them untrue. Then everything began to make sense. 

My head snapped up to find her face, but instead met with her vibrant hair. She had returned to the balcony and climbed over the rail. Her form stood hanging over the ten-story drop calmly. 

She turned to look at me one last time, and ¬†brought one hand to her lips to blow me a kiss. “Good-bye, my love. I didn’t want you here for this.” Her other hand loosened, and I felt the world stop.¬†

In that instant I could see my whole life shattering around me, and my mind violently rejected it. As my body ran to try and stop the inevitable, my mind mirrored it, reaching out to hers. 

“No! Don’t let go.”¬†I screamed, and her hand tightened. I reached the balcony and pulled her back over. She didn’t fight. Instead, she spoke.

I have to go. Her voice reverberated through my mind. 

“We can work through this.” I pleaded.

It’s terminal. Her tone was soft and sympathetic, but I could feel the steel underneath. She had made her decision.¬†

“I’m not ready for you to go.” I could feel the river of tears running down my face. I rubbed my eyes to clear them. I needed to see her face.¬†

This isn’t about you. I’m in pain. Let me go.

“Then why did you hold on? You have to want to keep living. Otherwise you wouldn’t have listened to me. You never listen to me.” I placed my hand over hers in emphasis where she still held the railing.¬†

Because you made me, Roger.

It was only then that I noticed her lips didn’t move, and she hung limp in my arms. Her hand beneath mine was in a death grip on the railing. Even her eyes seemed hollow.¬†

But I could feel her in my mind, and that’s where her voice was coming from.¬†

Don’t take this away from me too.¬†She begged. My chest tightened, and so did my arm around her. I buried my face in her neck, and a few more tears rolled down my checks.¬†

“That’s not fair. God, that’s a dirty trick.” Because that was the one thing I had promised I’d never do to her. That I’d never control her.¬†

But even as I told myself that I should let her go, plead with her while she was free to choose, another part of me gripped mentally tighter. I could keep her here, force her to stay until she changed her mind, until the doctors figured out how to fix it. 

Please. I want to go out while I’m still beautiful.

It was those quiet words, echoing in my mind, that finally made me release her. I closed my eyes, and tried to withdraw whatever mysterious hold my brain seemed to have on her. I felt the rigidity come back into her body, and then her arms wrapped around my neck. 

“I’m sorry.” She whispered, and then kissed my check. I could still feel the warmth of her lips as she slid out of my reach. I didn’t look up again. Not until I heard the screams from the sidewalk beneath the balcony. Then I looked towards the moon that mimicked the pale color of her skin. The moon that had been the only other witness to our farewell.¬†

I would never look at the moon the same again.


#ThrowdownThursday from /r/WritingPrompts

Being the first of the #ThrowdownThursday series, which I announced on a Wednesday, there are no challengers. As such, I sought out my own challenge by grabbing the first prompt off the/r/WritingPrompts reddit feed. Here it is:


They came during the Melting Season, when the mountains spewed forth their yellow powder, corrupting the the rains and turning them against us. That day the clouds parted and allowed the red light of the sun to dry the ground. We crawled out of our caves to partake in the blessing so rare this time of year and replenish our stocks with the shriveled plants whose thick husks saved them from the season’s poisoned water. Animals who loved the sun as we did would have similar goals, and so the men had gathered a hunting party.

These people were among the first honored with the vision of the Gods’ descent. Thunder louder than any storm broke the mid-morning quiet. The hunting party’s eyes turned as tornadoes of fire flashed through the sky, cradling a great smooth mountain as it floated down from the heavens. It scorched the dusty plains as it landed, turning the yellow powder into a boiling sea of brown and crimson flames.

A strange horn blared and summon all to it’s glorious visage. Loud, painful, and insistent it echoed down the caves walls, and only when all had come forth did it quiet. The great smooth mountain spewed clouds that smothered the flames like quieting rowdy children. Then the side of mountain began to move, shifting to reveal a small cave entrance.

Strange figures appeared in the cave entrance. They stood on two limbs and had two appendages coming from the sides of their body. Some vague notions of a face could be seen in the glassy sphere that resembled a head, but most of the features were hard to make out.

At the time before the Gods’ descent, one would commit sacrilege by saying the Gods would be cautious, since immortals need fear nothing, but since we have learned this is not true. The Gods have many fears, and on this day, they knew nothing of our land. They moved cautiously out of their smooth mountain, chattering in strange languages and pointing at the yellow poison and the pools of liquid from its burning.

When they noticed us, huddled at our cave entrance watching them, they paused. Neither of our two groups moved for a long stretch of time. Then one of the Gods leaned toward the other, babbling in their funny tongue. The other nodded his head and then took a step towards us.

As I have said before, at the time caution would be a sacrilegious term to attribute to such mighty beasts as Gods, and even at the time there was no doubting their divinity. As such, the posture to which the God stood, stiff and deliberate, could only be seen as aggressive.

Most of us cowered back in fear, but one man, one of the strongest and least religious of us, stepped back. He let forth a challenging growl and bristled angrily. When the God did not move back, he roared and charged the God.

He did not get far.

But a few steps into his run, the God smote him. Light flashed from his hands, and Leon fell, never to get back up. The ones closest to him saw the instance of his last breath, and immediately fell to their knees with their throats bent outwards in offering. As most of those people consisted of the main hunting party, the strongest among us, the rest of us soon followed suit in a ripple surging outward.

This position does not blind us to those we submit to, and we could still see as the Gods approached the body. They touched him gently, and then lifted him up. They carried him off into their smooth mountain, all the while watching the rest of us intently. It was the last we ever saw of the man, but the Gods say that his body gave them our speech. And so it is said ‚Äúthe Gods speak with the tongue of Leon‚ÄĚ.