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Welcome to the resurrected another Writing Challenge!

In line with previous one, quite far back in 2017, this includes a topic, a prompt, and also a challenge!

  • Topic

    Write about something unrepeatable. It may be a once in a lifetime choice for a certain character, a singular cosmic scale event, an unique spell in your magic world.

    Anything goes as long as it is perceived as important and extremely rare.

  • Prompt

    [He/she] felt the weight of the many eyes staring. Waiting for [his/her] next move. Time, [he/she] realized, was running out.

    You are free to modify this as long as the general sense is preserved.

  • Challenge

    Use "inevitable", "endgame", and "iron".

All of these options are optional - feel free to write something completely unrelated as well.


So to enter the challenge, you simply write something, and post it below. It can be a work in progress, and continue working on it while receiving feedback, or it can be a finished work - anything goes.

And of course, if you encounter any doubts related to the writing process, don't be shy and open a question on our main site!

You can submit your entries until the end of the three weeks. After three weeks, we'll choose the next prompt and put up a new post.

You can either post the whole thing here, or, if you usually post your writing somewhere else, you can put a link here - although I'd advise putting something in to get people interested.

Remember: this is not a contest. This is merely for fun, and for some practice writing. There will (hopefully) be writers of all different skill levels posting - I'm certainly not super good.

You're welcome to provide feedback, but please make sure that it's constructive. And remember: Be Nice.

Remember that the age limit for the site is 13 - so please avoid excessive graphic content or strong language.

I look forward to reading the submissions!

The original meta post - How would having the writing challenges on Meta work out? - that started all this may be helpful. All of these challenges can be seen under the tag.

  • 2
    Great. I started writing an answer here - but I ended up with a question here – Karan Desai May 9 at 18:03
5

Took the weight of the starting eyes a bit too literally, perhaps. Still working on how to make the whole event more 'unrepeatable'.


Keep lookin'

Join the Corps, save the world, they say.

Let me tell you: it is all garbage. Not the metaphorical litter of thoughts, already so obvious in the grand parables of our beloved leaders. The Corps are truly and literally all about garbage. They collect garbage, sort garbage, and move garbage. Then, when you think it has been enough, they start again: collect it, sort it again, and move it once more. And again. And again. They do so endlessly. They have to because our tiny world has run out of space a century ago, and all we can do now is dig through the wasteland of our forefathers, hoping, one day, to glimpse once more at the naked earth.

In truth, it is not our fault. It is not even the fault of our parents, nor of our ancestors. It is their fault. All of it is the visitors' fault. They came -- I don't even remember the date anymore -- and that was it. We were done. It was this unforeseeable, unrepeatable, unique cosmic event. Contact, they call it. They rained from the sky in the millions. And they rained for days, and days on. Now our beautiful Earth is literally covered with them. Millions. Billions. Perhaps more. Big like an eyeball, round like one, and slimy, gummy, and white like one. With a round coloured iris, and a black hole in the middle. A billion orphaned eyeballs. They just lay there, immobile. They do not move. They do not talk. They do not rot. They just stare. Endlessly, like a silent judging crowd, watching us for ever more.

We did try to burn them, to blast them, hammer them, shoot them, squish them, crack them, and in our utter despair, we even fed on them. But they, which could withstand a travel across the galaxies, did not flinch at our puny attempts. They did not even laugh, as we would have, had we been them. They just stood motionless. And kept staring.

Join the Corps, save humanity, they say. My sister -- blessed be her soul -- joined the Corps. She moved bags of staring lidless eyes for ten years. For the heavens: she spent every single day filling bags with these aliens and dragging them atop of mountains of eyeballs, and back to filling more bags! She even died crushed by the weight of a bag of eyes. And that's how our numbers are dwindling, and our time is running out. Our resources are buried under thousands of feet of staring alien eyeballs. Once there were continents, and seas, forests, mountains, cities. Now our entire world is buried beneath this silently staring evil.

Didn't we believe we were alone in the cosmo, heirs to the entirety of the universe? We were ready to jump across the stars, like fools making our first move in the game of conquest. For millennia we had been rising from caves, tooling iron from rocks, and steel from iron. We thought we were quick, that no other living being could overtake our progress. Truth is: we were still chewing raw meat covered in savage hides, when they moved for the endgame.

Behind those pale irises and those staring pupils there are the true masters of the universe. Devourers of planets. Beholders of time. They are the Gods, and we are nothing. There is only one word left for us: inevitable. That is it. That is our end; and they have won.

Sitting atop of their numbers I wonder: do they even know?

  • 1
    That's a truly remarkable idea for an alien invasion. I didn't see this coming. – Liquid May 27 at 9:32
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(I'm not having any luck with the "unrepeatable" part, but here goes. Draft 1.5 of something I'm hoping to use in a larger work.)

Nerada sat in a threadbare armchair beside the fire, kicking the legs of the chair as she waited. The chair was meant for an adult - her feet did not reach the floor - and it was uncomfortable, just like the hard, wooden children's chairs back home.

Except this is home now.

She slid off the chair and wandered around the room. It didn't feel like a new home. There was nothing to do here. There were no books on the shelves, and no toys on the floor. And only a single game.

A battered chessboard sat on a small table between the two armchairs. Most of the pieces were missing, leaving both red and blue with only a king and a single pawn.

A door slammed somewhere in the house. She could hear booted feet clomping down the hall, headed towards her.

"...my niece? No one told me my niece was coming here!"

Nerada had never met her Uncle Roderick. She recalled the day of her departure, her sister taunting her all the way to the front gate. Elise said Uncle Roderick was a dangerous madman, that he would chop Nerada into tiny pieces and scatter them along the road. Nerada said nothing. She waited until they were at the gate, then gathered up a handful of mud and flung it into Elise's face. The sight of her snotty sister wailing all the way back to the house was a better parting gift than the book of poetry Mother had packed for her.

The whole way here she'd told herself that Elise didn't know anything, she was just being mean... but now she was frightened. What would she do if her uncle was crazy? Run? Run to where?

The door banged open. The man who entered was dressed like a field hand, not a nobleman. At least he didn't look crazy.

He looked at her and grunted. "Well, there's no denying whose daughter you are. So. Mind telling me how you just showed up here unannounced?"

That was unfair. "Father said he sent you a letter."

"How? By messenger snail?" He snorted at his own joke. "Whatever errand boy he sent probably took his coin and lost it at the nearest tavern. Or got his fool self lost out in the woods somewhere. That's happened before." He collapsed back into his chair. "Too late to worry about it now. How long are you here for? A month? A season?"

He's not going to like this. Nerada mumbled an answer.

He leaned forward in his seat. "Didn't catch that. Speak up."

"I'm to live here now."

Uncle Roderick reared back like a startled pony, red spots appearing in his cheeks. "Live here? Permanently? How did- ah, now I see. You've done something to displease him, is that it?"

To her surprise, his tone softened. Was he... pleased? And was that a hint of a smile on his face? Maybe he would be less pleased if he knew.

Father told her, over and over again, that the cellar was off-limits. But it was a slow, dreary, dull afternoon. She'd found the door was left unlatched and open. No one was around to tell her no.

She didn't understand what she'd seen down there, but she could not forget. The rusted iron cages, and the creatures inside. The way all those eyes had rolled in her direction when she wandered into the side passage. The weight of all those eyes staring at her, waiting in fear to see what she'd do next.

She couldn't take it. She'd dropped the torch and bolted for the exit. Unfortunately, Father had chosen to come down the stairs at that exact moment.

For a moment, he was furious. She could still see his lip curling back, his hand raised to strike her. Then he'd relaxed, and his hand dropped to his side. He only said five words.

"I suppose it was inevitable."

The arrangements for her to move were made the next morning.

Her uncle's voice brought her back to the present. "You know how he can afford that fancy estate, girl? How he makes his money?"

Nerada's mind jumped back to what she'd seen in the cellar, and she squirmed.

Uncle Roderick leaned forward once more. "You do know."

"I found... creatures in the cellar. In cages."

"That's not all you'd find down there." He let out a disgusted sigh. It was our grandfather - your great-grandfather - who started smuggling the star poppy, but it was my brother - your father - who got us into the slaving business." He gripped the arms of his chair until his knucklebones showed white. "We fought, he shipped me out to the butt end of the kingdom here. Just like you, I suppose."

"But that's not allowed!"

"You saw who was in those cages. It wasn't people. As long as he sticks to the beast races, no one cares. 'Specially not since he's got the right name and enough money."

An unpleasant silence followed. Nerada tried to turn her thoughts away from the cellar. It wasn't a problem she could fix, not now, not for a long while. Someday, she promised.

Hoping to change the subject, Nerada pointed to the chessboard. "Why are so many pieces missing?"

He picked up the red king, rubbing its crown with his thumb. "Because someone like me doesn't get to fight with horses and castles and Guardians. For me, it's all about the endgame. How much can I annoy the other king before I die?"

Nerada looked at him, then the chessboard. "You mean, how much can you annoy Father?"

The gray eyes twinkled. "Just so." He set the red king back down on the board. "Care for a game before you get settled?"

  • It definetly feels like something belonging to a bigger plot, but I enjoyed how you incorporated the prompt and the whole shady cellar-business of Nerada's father. – Liquid May 27 at 9:36

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