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    1. How do you record your journal, personal log, or diary and why do you record it that way?

      Last year, I posted a comment on Tildes saying that I wanted to start regularly journaling as a new habit for 2020. And so, since the beginning of this year, I have been recording a daily entry...

      Last year, I posted a comment on Tildes saying that I wanted to start regularly journaling as a new habit for 2020.

      And so, since the beginning of this year, I have been recording a daily entry into my journal each night before I go to sleep. I have found the activity to be quite relaxing and enjoyable so far. However, I am curious about how others record entries into their journals and how they make the activity of journaling even better for them.

      So Tildes, would you mind sharing with me how you record your journal and why you record it that way?

      If you are having trouble coming up with an answer, here are some questions to help get you started:

      • Do you use any tools or software to help record your journal? TiddlyWiki? jrnl? Org-mode?

      • How do you record entries into your journal? Chronologically? Do you have a system that you follow?

      • How long are your entries? Do you try to keep things minimal, or write expressively for catharsis?

      • Are you specific in the things that you record? Is there anything you try to include? Anything you try to exclude?

      • Do you prefer recording your entries onto a physical or digital medium?

      • Do you have any tips or tricks for journaling that you would like to share?

      Finally, I would just like to say that I am specifically asking about journaling and diaries. While interesting, the bullet journal system seems to be more of a personal organizer, and not really a system for recording long-form journal entries.

      However, if you have worked out some layout for your bullet journal that allows you to use it as a diary, I would love to hear about it.


      Online stuff that inspired this topic:

      23 votes
    2. A thread for horrible puns

      By clicking this link and reading this topic, you find yourself under a grave and terrible thread. The only way to defend yourself here is to lower yourself to punitive measures, and engage in...

      By clicking this link and reading this topic, you find yourself under a grave and terrible thread. The only way to defend yourself here is to lower yourself to punitive measures, and engage in wordplay in mass corruption. All is fair in pun and warfare, but do remember your actions are your pwn, and that there are no winners here. Only broken arts, and shattered themes.

      (Just make puns.)

      15 votes
    3. Tom's Anti-Zen

      1. My Friend, the Moon When Tom was younger, he went to buy fresh bread every evening with his mother, Alice. They always walked and the bakery was far from home, so it was not uncommon for the...

      1. My Friend, the Moon

      When Tom was younger, he went to buy fresh bread every evening with his mother, Alice. They always walked and the bakery was far from home, so it was not uncommon for the Moon to come out along the way. "Hello, Mister Moon! Do you wanna come with us?", he liked to say. When they arrived at the bakery, he looked to his mother, excited, and said "Look ma! The Moon came with us!", and did the same when they got home.

      2. Fiction

      "Did you know that The Hulk was a detective once?", says Alice. Tom is 4. He puts his hand in the forehead in a gesture of superb irritation. "No, mom, this is make-believe!".

      3. Cookie Conundrum

      According to Tom, a mysterious group of sinister chipmunks was eating the cookies in the jar. When Alice asked for proof, Tom replied that a secret group of chipmunks got rid of all the evidence.

      4. Ice Cream Dilemma

      "So, mom, you have two options" — said Tom, seriously. "There are only two ice-cream flavors: chocolate and vanilla. Any choice is fine by me".

      5. Tom and the Rats

      Tom's house used to be infested with large disgusting rats. One day, he shouted: "Rats are the worse! No wonder we call them rats!

      6. Dream Logic

      Tom dreamed that his forehead could fly without him, leaving a hole in his head. When he woke up in the morning, there was a deer on the porch eating a hot-dog.

      4 votes
    4. Fiction writers introduction thread!

      1. Definition By fiction, I mean: literature in the form of prose, especially short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people. (Google) 2. Introduce Yourself! I understand we...

      1. Definition

      By fiction, I mean:

      literature in the form of prose, especially short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people. (Google)

      2. Introduce Yourself!

      I understand we have at least one professional writer in the house (I cannot remember your username, sorry!), and several aspirant writers.

      Every once in awhile, I get the urge to suggest some collaborative threads exercises, but it's hard to gauge interest without a better notion of how many fiction writers we have.

      With that in mind, I make this call for introductions!

      Please try to include:

      • Have you ever made money writing fiction?[1]
      • First writing language(s): Examples: English, Portuguese, German, etc
      • Other writing languages(s): same as above. English is implied.
      • Formats* : Examples: Short story, Romance, Play, Screenplay, etc
      • Genres*: Examples: horror, science-fiction, fantasy, etc.
      • Main themes*: Examples: relationships, violence, artificial intelligence, etc.
      • Link to Writing Sample(s) on Tildes or Ghostbin (either as text or markdown)
      • What do you expect to achieve with your writing (anything, either subjective or objective)?[2]
      • Apart from ~creative, where do you go for feedback?
      • Are you looking for collaborations of any kind? Yes or No.

      Footnotes

      [1] The purpose of this question is not to assess the quality of your writing, but rather the position writing occupies in your life. Is this something you do in your free time, or does it have a central role among your other activities? I do not pretend to know how and why everyone writes, this is just a starter. Feel free to share as much as you want.

      [2] For example: self-expression, philosophical investigation, external appreciation (nothing wrong with that), financial rewards, political or societal change, any combination of those.

      * In order of importance

      8 votes
    5. The Horde

      Every day I wake up thinking that The Horde is not there anymore. The dreams are good but few, and only make everything worse. I usually dream about The Horde. During sleep, my breathing is...

      Every day I wake up thinking that The Horde is not there anymore. The dreams are good but few, and only make everything worse. I usually dream about The Horde. During sleep, my breathing is improved and more relaxed. I dream of a calendar without symbols.

      When there's an inspiration, so I write. Delete everything afterward. A professional told me that's is a compulsion. The compulsion for the perfect word removes me from language itself. The enjoyment comes from excising something from myself, which makes me feel a bit closer to perfection.

      Every once in awhile I forget The Horde is there. The writing becomes looser, I sip my coffee and take the lunch out of the freezer. The Horde is still there. The whistle makes my blood run cold.

      I forgot when The Horde arrived, but since then my days are covered of night and dust. To me, The Horde has no color, they're covered in filth and dark cloth. They get a bit closer by dawn. But The Horde never comes.

      They seem to enjoy tormenting me. Twice a crow's carcass hit my window. At least we were communicating. I had to open the window to clean the blood. The Horde did nothing. There's courtesy between me and The Horde. I never complain of their tiny advances, they never impale me alive and eat my viscera.

      The worst consequence of The Horde was to remove my visitors. I had friends and a girlfriend, before The Horde. They came here regularly. On the other hand, there's something cozy about being surrounded by The Horde. I'm never alone.

      I talked to them on a few occasions but never got an answer. I invited them to lunch and asked what they like The Walking Dead (seems like a relevant question for The Horde). Because, you see, The Horde may be savage, but they did not cut my internet. I keep telling everyone about The Horde, but no one believes me. They think I'm some internet phenomenon, an internal joke from a group they don't know about. They don't believe The Horde can come for them too, knocking on their armor of bronze and recycled aluminum.

      Sometimes The Horde's shrieks seem to gain shape and order as if they obeyed a hidden commander. But this doesn't last, and they soon resume their lurid racket.

      I don't know for how long I've lived with The Horde, nor for how long they'll stay. I'm afraid of waking up someday to find them gone. Because, in a certain way, I learned to love The Horde. I feel safe in their post-apocalyptic embrace.

      This morning they got closer than normal. I can see it better now. They all have the same face, they're both one and The Horde. Their mouths are frozen in a permanent smile, salivating like rabid animals. One more step. They look like neanderthals. The Horde approaches slowly, with steady paces, and arrive with the furor of the sound of metal and drums. The house is hit by numerous rocks — the roof is about to give in. My crumbled body will soon become an ensign for their future marches. Or maybe become mush after being punctured by one thousand spears.

      I'm only sure that this is going to end soon. Their petite steps, the threats, crows in the window. Everything is ending — finally, everything is ending. I'll never be again and so will The Horde. Nevermore.

      3 votes
    6. Swim only when the wave comes

      When I was young, I went into the ocean with my older cousin. He lived near the beach, while I merely knew how to swim. We went to the deep to catch some higher waves using our bodies (in Bahia we...

      When I was young, I went into the ocean with my older cousin. He lived near the beach, while I merely knew how to swim.

      We went to the deep to catch some higher waves using our bodies (in Bahia we call this "pegar jacaré", or "catch the alligator").

      When we got there, the wind stopped and the stream started pulling us away from the land. After a while, I was very scared and started swimming with all my strength in the opposite direction. But my efforts were much weaker than the stream, so I remained in the same position.

      Then my cousin told me: "@mrbig, stop swimming otherwise you'll get tired and drown. Wait for the wave to come. Only swim when it arrives."

      And so I did. Minutes later came the wave. I swam. And then another, and another after that. Little by little, by saving our energies and acting at the right times, we arrived at the shore.

      And that is the story.

      18 votes
    7. Are there any fans of the SCP Foundation wiki on Tildes?

      I really want to talk about the SCP Foundation with other people, so let's get a thread going! For those of you who don't know, The SCP Foundation is an online creative writing project where...

      I really want to talk about the SCP Foundation with other people, so let's get a thread going!

      For those of you who don't know, The SCP Foundation is an online creative writing project where people write fake files and stories about The Foundation, a secret organization committed to containing various anomalous creatures. It's a really cool website, one that I recommend to anyone who likes thrillers, horror, sci-fi, or are just looking for something interesting.

      Be warned though, there are over 4,000 entries on the wiki (they just had a 5,000th entry writing contest), so if you are feeling overwhelmed by the number of articles, feel free to start out with SCP-2030, one of my personal favorites. And if you're someone who prefers audiobooks to regular reading, a YouTuber going by the name Brendaniel has a great video narrating SCP-2030.

      29 votes
    8. Do you run your own blog for personal use?

      I know this has been posted before, but I was going through old posts about blogging and at least half the blogs linked in the comments were offline now, so I thought I'd bring this topic back to...

      I know this has been posted before, but I was going through old posts about blogging and at least half the blogs linked in the comments were offline now, so I thought I'd bring this topic back to light.

      Do you run your own personal blog, and if so, could you share some details?

      • Is it self-hosted, or do you rent server space?

      • Do you use Wordpress or another blog platform like that, publish through other means like a flat-file CMS, or did you build it from scratch?

      • What topics do you write about?

      • How consistently do you post; or alternatively, why don't you post as often as you would like to?

      • Do you keep analytics, or do you write regardless of how many clicks you get?

      • Is your site monetized with ads or otherwise?

      • How popular is your blog on average?

      • How do you keep up with other writers' posts?

      I'm bringing this up because it seems like most places around the web centered on blogging are more in it for the money rather than for the content. Places like /r/blogging and the like are all talk about how to maximize views, earn revenue, and find your niche. I'd love to see some discussion more geared towards the content and construction of individual blogs, as opposed to people trying the next "get rich quick" scheme on their lists of passive income opportunities.

      Personally, I have multiple blogs for the sole purpose of giving me a platform to voice my opinions or share things that interest me without being constrained to a centralized platform like Twitter or Medium. I'd love to hear what you have all made and/or shared online, as well as the process behind making it happen.

      27 votes
    9. Let's write some Tom Swifties!

      If you're not familiar with them, a "Tom Swifty" is a punny sentence that involves a quote by a person named Tom which is the setup for landing a pun in the description of the quote's delivery...

      If you're not familiar with them, a "Tom Swifty" is a punny sentence that involves a quote by a person named Tom which is the setup for landing a pun in the description of the quote's delivery (often but not necessarily a single adverb).

      For example:

      "This water is freezing," Tom said icily.

      "I'm going to hit this piñata as hard as I can!" said Tom, bashfully.

      "Nevermore," Tom said ravenously.

      "I like tart fruits," said Tom with aplomb.

      Really good Tom Swifties are often not immediately obvious, have a fantastic setup, or are simply really clever (mine are alright, though it's certainly possible to do far better).

      You can get a more full picture and better examples from Wikipedia, but I encourage you to tread lightly there and in searches because it's way more fun to think of them and share them in threads like these than it is to pull up lists of them online. Just reading previously written ones kind of spoils the fun, IMO.

      Anyway, let's see what great Tom Swities we can write!

      17 votes
    10. Androcles and the Lion

      In a time of ancient legends, Androcles was a runaway slave. He took shelter in a cave where a wounded Lion lived. By removing a thorn from his paw Androcles cured the beast; The Lion was very...

      In a time of ancient legends, Androcles was a runaway slave.

      He took shelter in a cave where a wounded Lion lived.

      By removing a thorn from his paw Androcles cured the beast; The Lion was very pleased.

      And then The Lion ate Androcles because he was a fucking lion.

      5 votes
    11. What authors do you recommend on the basis of writing style?

      I'm in the middle of writing my thesis and I've been (re)reading some excellent, unconventional style guides (The Sense of Style by Stephen Pinker and Stylish Academic Writing by Helen Sword). I'm...

      I'm in the middle of writing my thesis and I've been (re)reading some excellent, unconventional style guides (The Sense of Style by Stephen Pinker and Stylish Academic Writing by Helen Sword). I'm also rereading Thank You for Arguing by Jay Heinrichs, which is less about style but is essentially a guide for effective communication.

      In reading these books and applying their teachings to my writing, I've been reinvigorated with a passion for writing, namely for the craftsmanship of prose. All three books analyze excerpts from examples of great (and sometimes poor) writing. But, I'm now looking for a more immersive experience in good (i.e. stylish, evocative, concise etc.) writing in the hopes that, with my newly refined perspective and sensitivity, I can improve my own writing even more. Good writers read good writing.

      Now, starting new books now won't help my current cause (my thesis) but my academic career will call for much more writing in the future. And I'm hoping that maybe the suggestions I get here will help me prioritize my current queue of books and articles—I know they're all great books but I'd like to read the ones with better writing, first.

      So, I would love some recommendations on authors who you would consider as masters of writing. It can be either books or articles. Preferably non-fiction and modern (20 years?), only because fiction and older books have different standards (FWIW I love old-school sci-fi, but that's definitely not the style I'm after). My current shortcut is to read basically any "longread" on WIRED, as most of the time they are high quality and often explain complex topics.

      Any other resources are also welcome! Though maybe no more style guides...

      12 votes
    12. The Egg

      Her eyes are fixed on the cooker. — Look. Points at the egg. — What? — Can’t you see? — Has it gone bad? She takes a deep breath. — I noticed the way you broke the shell, but I needed to confirm....

      Her eyes are fixed on the cooker.

      — Look.

      Points at the egg.

      — What?

      — Can’t you see?

      — Has it gone bad?

      She takes a deep breath.

      — I noticed the way you broke the shell, but I needed to confirm. Can you see how the yolk is soft yet whole, with a small cut in the lower portion slowly leaking a yellow thread at a regular pace?

      — Yes...

      — Don’t you get it?

      — No.

      — When the yolk leaks like that, it can only mean two things.

      She hesitates.

      — You’re either going to murder me...

      — What you’re talking about?

      — Or you’ll get a Ph.D. in Physics in 2035.

      — You’re kidding, right?

      — Nope.

      — You saw all that? On a fucking egg?

      — I knew you wouldn’t understand...

      — You were right.

      A second goes by. He cleans his throat, kinda embarrassed.

      — Honey?

      — Yeah, babe.

      — I’m terrible at physics.

      He holds a knife with a confused expression on his face.

      13 votes
    13. The Tower Card

      Please note, I am no writer of any kind. For some inexplicable reason I just had the desire to give it a go today. I hope someone out there finds some enjoyment in it. After David left I decided...

      Please note, I am no writer of any kind. For some inexplicable reason I just had the desire to give it a go today. I hope someone out there finds some enjoyment in it.

      After David left I decided I'd better make good on my promise and find a new place to live. The woman from the council said there might be a temporary property available. That someone had recently died at the retirement village outside of Holyhead.

      When I finished at school on Friday, I went to David's and gathered up what I thought was mine. As it turns out, almost everything was his. It wasn't long after we'd met that I moved in. It was gradual though. Bits and pieces brought over from mom's in bin bags tucked under the bus seats they save for people and their buggies. As the months rolled on there was less and less at mom's. I'd still visit on a Sunday for lunch but that was about it.

      I had this porcelain clock on the mantle at David's, two corgis sat either side of the clock face. David hated it. He had a thing for minimalist art and would order fake prints online. He liked Robert Ryman a lot. He thought my clock threw everything off. He'd often tell me how important it was to appreciate art but what he liked left me cold. I wrapped the clock in newspaper and tossed it into my backpack. I took a last look at the living room. It was something new now.

      When I got to the village it was raining. Cold droplets cascading down my jacket. I alternated hands, dropping each bin bag to the ground to rub the speckles from my glasses. In front of the bus stop there was a pathway that led to the complex, flanked on either side by imitation grass astro turf. Beyond that, two identical adjacent blocks. Rows stacked on top of one another like lego bricks.

      The woman at the council told me it was flat 2b, "the last flat on the ground floor". I searched for the receipt I'd scribbled the details on to check if I'd remembered it right. I hauled my bags over my shoulder and ran underneath the closest awning. I stared up at the sign fixed to the brick. 1a. I can wait here until the rain dies down, I thought.

      From across the yard a woman was sitting in a wheel chair, a mask attached to her face. An enormous tube jutting out from her mouth connected to a canister strapped to the side of her chair. She stared in my direction and didn't move. She's sitting next to 2b, she might be my neighbour, I thought. As the rain died down I walked over towards her. As I approached, I wasn't sure if she was going to take the mask off or not. What's wrong with her, I thought? "Hi, I'm Kate". I extended my hand and wondered if she could move her arms. She didn't reach back. "Mad weather isn't it?". She continued to stare. "I'm only staying for a month or so, I need my own place for a minute and it's all I could get you know? Not that I'm not grateful or anything". She continued to stare. "Ok, well, it was nice meeting you". I took out my key, opened the door and stood alone in the hallway.

      David and I usually ate together on Saturday mornings. He'd wake up later than I did and wander about the place yawning. He'd often glorify his exhaustion to me. Some invisible accomplishment he'd been gaining interest on since leaving uni.

      There wasn't a kettle in the new kitchen, but there was an electric hob. I poured water over the tea bag, into my cup and peered through the net curtains. The rain had settled and I could see the opposite house and the whole complex in the daylight now, some strange vortex, wholly enclosed. A village of it's own making.

      I put on my old slippers, took my cup and stepped out onto the concrete walkway. The woman from yesterday wasn't around now. I thought about knocking but decided against it. Either she couldn't talk or has seen so many people come and go, she doesn't go in for platitudes anymore. Pacing, I caught a glimpse of her kitchen. Pink lino on the floor, almost nothing out on the worktops. It looked unoccupied. I moved back to my half of the walkway and perched on the step to finish my tea. I should get started sorting what I have before Sunday rolls around, I thought. As I got up, I heard my neighbour careen around the corner, up over the astro turf and onto the walkway. She stopped before her door, I nodded and smiled. This time she nodded back in my direction. She then raised her hand and jostled the toggle on the arm rest. Her chair moved closer towards me. She raised her eyes to meet mine and looked back at my hands. She did this a second time. "I'm sorry, I don't understand". She repeated this a third time. I mumbled something and she reached out and opened up my right hand. She surveyed my palm, in all of its detail, looked back up at me and nodded again. "Sorry, can I help with something?". She shook her head, reversed and rolled up the ramp back into her flat.

      On Sunday morning I started sorting through the rest of the papers I threw into my bag at David's. Bank statements, a few receipts, junk mail. In amongst them I found a cinema ticket I'd kept from when we started dating. He asked me to go to see the first Terminator, "on the original reel", he said. I didn't much want to go and don't like violent films but thought it'd be a good excuse to get to know one another. We got pretty swept away with each other after that.

      I sorted through the rest hoping I'd find something else, but there was nothing. I stacked the ordered papers on the ground and went outside for a break. There wasn't anybody out, like the day before. After some time my neighbour's door opened. I stood up and checked to see if she needed any help. I found her raising her eyes to her forehead, motioning backwards. "Do you need some help?", she shook her head and motioned backwards with her eyes for a second time. She reversed the chair and gestured for me to come in. I stepped inside. She manoeuvred her wheelchair into the kitchen and positioned herself next to the dining room table. There was a chair opposite to her, so I sat too. "Is everything ok?", I asked. She nodded. "I hope you don't mind me asking, are you able to speak?". She stared at me and shook her head. After a few seconds passed she pointed to a badge on her cardigan. On a yellow background, in all black caps it read, "JANE". "I'm Kate, nice to meet you Jane". This time she extended her arm and we shook hands. "How long have you been here Jane?". She nodded 5 times. "Ah ok, and how do you like it? Do you have family that visit?". She shook her head. "Do you mind me asking, what's wrong with you? Shit sorry, umm, not like that, I mean, umm, are you sick?". She paused for a moment and nodded. She then reached into the pocket of her cardigan and pulled out a deck of cards.

      I don't know anything about Tarot, other than what you see on T.V but I'm not a superstitious like that. She laid the cards on the table in front of me, either nodding or shaking her head as she passed each of them one by one. The last card in the row showed a stone tower. She looked down, paused, raised her head, but this time, looked right past me. Dust cascaded through the shards of light piercing through the window. Jane starred into it for what felt like a whole minute. Watching the particles dance before her I asked, "Are you ok Jane?", she shook her head. "Is there something I can do?", she shook her ahead again. "I had better be going Jane, I meet my mom on a Sunday for lunch, please let me know if there's anything I can help with, OK? As I said yesterday, I won't be staying too long, but while I'm here, feel free to knock on". She nodded her head. I let myself out and left, the cards still strewn about the table.

      I didn't see Jane much after that afternoon and things went on as normal. David called and we hashed things out over the phone but we'd petered out long before that. The council explained I couldn't stay on at the village for another month so I moved back with mom. After a few weeks passed, one evening after work, I opened up my laptop and searched online for "Jane Tarot". Tons of results came up but only one from Holyhead. A local newspaper article with a headline that read, "LOCAL LADY FORESAW DIAGNOSIS". "I knew what was going to happen to me, the fibrosis I mean. The cards speak and I accept, I give myself up to that". I closed my laptop and looked outside into mom's garden. I thought about the tower card and how people do all sorts of things to justify their own lives, to deal with their own grief and make sense of things.

      Mom plants Floribunda's every year and they're starting to bloom now. My phone rings. I offer to cover a shift for a new temp at work. I put on my jacket, walk outside and think about Jane.

      13 votes
    14. My problem with writing

      You know what my problem is? When I was young, and I got into a game, book, or any kind of series, I eventually found myself spending hours on a wiki, reading manuals, books, and Internet posts,...

      You know what my problem is? When I was young, and I got into a game, book, or any kind of series, I eventually found myself spending hours on a wiki, reading manuals, books, and Internet posts, watching videos, trying to discover every last detail about the subject that I could find. I still distinctly remember reading about the Celestials from Star Wars, the Forerunners and the Precursors from Halo, or the distant continents of Akivir and others in Elder Scrolls.

      My problem is that I've always had this thirst to read about the worlds that I am interested in and to consume every last bit of knowledge about them.

      As a writer, or rather, when I try to write something, I far too often just have the urge to explain everything so the reader doesn't need to go to a wiki or watch a video to get the extra context. This means that, because of the way I engaged (and still engage) with worlds, I have a very hard time letting go of all the details and just letting what I write lead the reader's imagination into something of their own making.

      I shouldn't need, want, or try to explain that these aliens are strange and mysterious. The dialogue, thoughts, and actions of characters familiar to us should illustrate that just fine on their own.

      And that's it. That's exactly what I have trouble with. I struggle to communicate indirectly, to lead readers to a conclusion instead of plainly telling it to them.

      Oh god, I've done it again.

      13 votes
    15. Eclipse 2

      Logline During the 2017 Solar Eclipse, a thick-skinned female police officer must prevent millennial Shadows from returning from the depths of the Earth to dominate humanity. Notes Post 1 You can...

      Logline

      During the 2017 Solar Eclipse, a thick-skinned female police officer must prevent millennial Shadows from returning from the depths of the Earth to dominate humanity.

      Notes

      Post 1

      You can also read it in my blog (no advertising, no annoyances, no bullshit).

      - As before, this is not my first language. All criticism is extra welcomed
      - I included the previous content - the prelude - just because it's so small

      @cfabbro, here's the ping you requested! Love to know what you think of it!

      Prelude

      Before time was time, nights were dreamless. No one narrated the hunts, and death was just a cessation of the body. Births were joyful but meaningless. Statements were nothing more than intentions among roaring, shouts, and racket. Sometimes two sounds came together in funny ways, but meaning was still far away from our primitive cogitations.

      In these times of monotony, the Shadows entertained the primitive men. With no timbre or elocution, they came from the deepest layers of Earth’s mantle to tell stories under the moonlight. They lived in harmony, feeding on each other. The Shadows came to life with the laughter and the souls of the Men, and the Men lost the fear of the night with the histories told by the Shadows in a primitive symbiosis.

      One day, a man died after eating a tasty looking fruit. Hunting was a gamble, and eventually, men needed to eat potentially dangerous elements. Another, more intelligent man, noted that the juice from his mouth indelibly marked the rock with a pattern that was pleasant to the eyes. He collected more of that fruit, avoiding to put it in contact with sensible areas. This man did not have a proper name. None of them did. They just knew that there was “The Boss”, “The Hunter”, “The Large” and “The Delicate”.

      Some men had soft lumps in their chests and above the thighs. Eventually, their bellies got big and other men came out from them. “The Delicate”, who discovered painting, was of this kind. In secret, he drew their hunts in the cave. He made everything bigger and more menacing than it was: the spears, the beast, the joy, the moon, and the flames, that reached the sky.

      It took some gestures and vocalizations for The Delicate to make The Hunter understand that that set of traces was him and that the thick line with a pointing end penetrating The Beast was his spear. But soon they understood and had great silence. Followed by a great laugh.

      The Hunter imitated the muffled sound of the Beast’s steps and learned to use this sound to talk about the Beast even when it wasn't there. War shouts, death songs, the cutting of the meat, the crackle of the fire, the crickets, the frogs and all animals soon had their sounds, their own “words”.

      Men stories gained life by their own making.

      The Shadows never came back.

      Weakened, they returned to the depths. And, in the emptiness of their soulless existence, felt profound pain.

      Chapter 1

      Worn books on the balcony: The Physics of the Light, Introduction to Modern Physics and Modern Optics, paid with greasy notes. Stumbles on a rock, knock the books on the sidewalk. On a dark tunnel, fluorescent light flicker irregularly. Hands in his knees, catch his breath and run with the rest of his lungs.

      The front is completely black of smut. Turns the key with difficulty. The stairway creaks under his feet. A stack of old newspapers behind the door. Turns on a weak desk lamp. A crack of light comes from the sheets. Closes it with tremble hands and throws himself in the armchair. A thick cloud of smoke leaves Ernesto's relieved self.

      The curtain drops with a thud. Behind him, a dark silhouette smiles.


      The badge for the "Civilian Police of the State of São Paulo" swing above the toilet. In the ground, two pregnancy tests. Two lines in each. In the holster, a Taurus 38. Impeccable blue jeans. Mariana pees in the third test and waits. Two lines. She's fucking pregnant.


      Ernesto's suit seems expensive twenty-year ago. He looks like a bum that made an effort. He holds a thick notebook with paper falling from the edges and a paper folder that seems to be about to explode. Dries his eyes constantly, and there are black spots bellow his armpits. In the edge of the table, it reads: "Mariana Diniz – Commissioner of Police" Ernesto gives her his card: "Eye of Horus - Paranormal Investigations". Below, a stylized eye with Egyptian inspirations. And a landline.

      — I don't trust cellphones.

      Smiles uncomfortably, trying to hide the nervous tic that makes his head swing like a salamander.

      – It may not look, but I'm a busy woman.

      Gives her two 15x20 pictures. The first is completely out of focus. The second shows an oddly slim, dark silhouette on a sewer canal. Ernesto sweats like an amphibian having a panic attack.

      — For millennia, these creatures have been confined in the interior of the earth. Suffering the monotony of an incomplete existence. Waiting for a chance to come back.

      — Yes.

      – You don't believe.

      Puts the card in her wallet.

      – You got my number.


      The long hills do not affect Mariana. Sumptuous homes, beautiful landscaping, mutilation, and infanticide. They're all part of the same world.


      In a deserted square, eight hood teenagers assemble in a circle. Metal-heads and RPG players never caused her any trouble, but, as commissioner of that town, she has the duty of investigating anything out of the normal. She takes care to not flaunt the weapon.

      They ignore her. The kids emit no sound, make no gesture. They're not injured, and their dark eyes are probably contact lenses. They have an ironic smile in their faces. No drug would generate such severe catatonia on a group that size, and there was no law against looking spooky on public premises. Sent two patrol cars to watch the group and went home.


      The basic Chevrolet goes through the carefully constructed path, with exotic plants on both sides. Between two neoclassic towers, a slightly lower white house. In the living room, Eliza, short-exquisite-hair, beautiful and androgynous, stare at the TV with thick frame glasses. Notices Mariana's gun.

      — Comes with the job.

      In slow motion, a voluptuous Marilyn Monroe impersonator pours milk on a bowl of cereal.

      – Bruno?

      – Upstairs.

      A plate brakes in the kitchen. To the left of the sink, dozens of cups organized by color, size, and format. To the other, plastic utensils organized by function and material. Scapular in the neck, Sofia é very white. She wraps the glass in paper, writes "GLASS" in wide letters and ties everything in a thick, transparent plastic bag.

      – Your kitchen was too… Illogical.

      – Of course.

      Mariana notices a red spot below Sofia's long sleeve. She holds the arm of her friend: bruises.

      — They're old, diz Sofia.

      — Doesn't look like.

      Takes the car keys. The pregnancy tests are in the same pocket. Mariana takes a deep breath and looks at the stairways.


      Law books on the shelf, almost all sealed. Bruno is on the computer. It's hard to get why they're still married. Mariana has always been stubborn. He's on the computer most of the time. At 40, Mariana has silky black, perfumed hair. Tells good stories in a welcoming way. Mariana loves what the does. She's hit on constantly, by both sexes. And has a way to politely decline that doesn't make anyone uncomfortable.

      There's a month since they had sex.

      — I'm pregnant.

      — Are you sure?

      The tests in the keyboard.

      — They're from a pharmacy.

      — Yep. Three.

      She pulls the plug from the computer. Bruno looks at her. His eyes are black.

      6 votes
    16. Eclipse 1 - Prelude

      Before time was time, nights were dreamless. No one narrated the hunts, and death was just a cessation of the body. Births were joyful but meaningless. Statements were nothing more than intentions...

      Before time was time, nights were dreamless. No one narrated the hunts, and death was just a cessation of the body. Births were joyful but meaningless. Statements were nothing more than intentions among roaring, shouts, and racket. Sometimes two sounds came together in funny ways, but meaning was still far away from our primitive cogitations.

      In these times of monotony, the Shadows entertained the primitive men. With no timbre or elocution, they came from the deepest layers of Earth’s mantle to tell stories under the moonlight. They lived in harmony, feeding on each other. The Shadows came to life with the laughter and the souls of the Men, and the Men lost the fear of the night with the histories told by the Shadows in a primitive symbiosis.

      One day, a man died after eating a tasty looking fruit. Hunting was a gamble, and eventually, men needed to eat potentially dangerous elements. Another, more intelligent man, noted that the juice from his mouth indelibly marked the rock with a pattern that was pleasant to the eyes. He collected more of that fruit, avoiding to put it in contact with sensible areas. This man did not have a proper name. None of them did. They just knew that there was "The Boss", "The Hunter", "The Large" and "The Delicate".

      Some men had soft lumps in their chests and above the thighs. Eventually, their bellies got big and other men came out from them. "The Delicate", who discovered painting, was of this kind. In secret, he drew their hunts in the cave. He made everything bigger and more menacing than it was: the spears, the beast, the joy, the moon, and the flames, that reached the sky.

      It took some gestures and vocalizations for The Delicate to make The Hunter understand that that set of traces was him and that the thick line with a pointing end penetrating The Beast was his spear. But soon they understood and had great silence. Followed by a great laugh.

      The Hunter imitated the muffled sound of the Beast’s steps and learned to use this sound to talk about the Beast even when it wasn't there. War shouts, death songs, the cutting of the meat, the crackle of the fire, the crickets, the frogs and all animals soon had their sounds, their own "words".

      Men stories gained life by their own making.

      The Shadows never came back.

      Weakened, they returned to the depths. And, in the emptiness of their soulless existence, felt profound pain.

      8 votes
    17. Do you have a personal website/blog?

      I've been thinking for a while about making my own little personal website/blog, and I was wondering what other people here on Tildes might have set up. I feel like having one could be a cool...

      I've been thinking for a while about making my own little personal website/blog, and I was wondering what other people here on Tildes might have set up. I feel like having one could be a cool little way to get myself to write more often and hopefully improve my writing, especially when it comes to technical subjects.

      34 votes