Writing Contest~

Chatterbox: Inkwell

Writing Contest~

Writing Contest~

I'll give a one-word theme, and then you have to write a 100-1,000 word
story based on it. The winner I pick will then give a new one-word
theme, and they'll judge the next round. (So basically like the Poetry Contest thread, but for writing :)) The rules are: 

1. It must be related to the theme in some way.

2. It must be in the 100-1,000 word limit. 

3. It can be any genre. 

4. No fanfiction, please. 

The theme is: Bird

I will be judging on May 22th, so that should give you about two weeks. I
can extend the date if nessesary. I'm excited to see your responses!

submitted by pangolin, age she | they, Outskirts of the Galaxy
(May 8, 2023 - 12:25 pm)

Ooh, this is such a good idea! I'll post a story as soon as I have time to write it :))

submitted by Amethyst, the home of birds :)
(May 9, 2023 - 7:18 pm)
submitted by top
(May 9, 2023 - 7:45 pm)

I want to join this but I also have only a billion other writing projects I need to work on so we'll see if I manage to.

submitted by Scuttles
(May 10, 2023 - 7:22 am)

I'll try to make the deadline too!

submitted by Tenebrous
(May 10, 2023 - 3:22 pm)

Here's mine, then~


"Go straight ahead, Shara, and your trail will always be true." Shara heard the voice of her spirit animal, strong and musical. But it sounded more remote than usual. She flung her head back, looking for the graceful shape with wings of the wind, riding on the wild breezes.

It wasn't there. That means nothing, Shara told herself, shaking off a feeling of foreboding. She scarcely ever saw it anyway. It scarcely ever even spoke to her. Why would it leave her now? Just a moment ago she had heard its voice. And besides, it was her spirit hawk. Spirits didn't generally leave you.

Go straight ahead, and your trail will always be true. Shara stood still in the forest, her gaze still slowly searching the turquoise sky beyond the cobweb of pine needles. The words felt strangely final, and for once in her life she couldn't sense the presence of the hawk, hovering over her with its head bent towards her. "Tayoraí?" she whispered. A soft wind fanned against her for a moment. "Tayoraí, don't leave me! What can I do without your guidance?"

After a moment she started walking again. Ahead of her, a clear ray of sunlight pierced through the dim forest, and a moment later she was emerging into a clearing.

She stopped short. Standing in front of her was another girl, with wild, quick golden eyes, rumpled and wavy brown hair, and a face that looked as if it had been shaped by the wind. Something about her seemed vaguely familiar - her posture, the turqoise dress that clung in brilliant folds around her, edged with gold - Shara was oddly sure that she had seen this girl somewhere before, though she was equally certain that she never had.

Then the girl, looking directly into Shara's eyes, spoke. And at the first sound of that strong, musical, wind-tossed voice, Shara was sure. It was Tayoraí the Spirit Hawk who spoke to her.

"Shara, you wanted me to come to you and I have come. To explain. To say farewell.

"Shara, all your life I've watched over you, and showed you where to walk, and given you all you need to make your own life. And now I must make mine. No spirit can be tied down forever. To one person. To one place. To one life.

"Shara, you have the power inside you to roam free, without my guidance. You have the power of the Hawk inside you now. Are you ready to find your life alone?"

Shara nodded, realizing that she was. "I'll always miss you, Tayoraí," she said, "as a friend as well as a helper. But if you want to go - I mean, if it's time for you to go - then it's all right."

The hawkgirl flung her head back, gazing at the sun. In a quick flash of movement, she had become a hawk, darting towards the skies. For a moment she glided there in the sunlight; then she had vanished.

A few last words came drifting back to Shara as she stood alone in the clearing: a last message, a last warning, a last goodbye; "Go straight ahead, Shara, and your trail will always be true."

submitted by Amethyst, skies full of birds
(May 12, 2023 - 8:30 pm)
submitted by toppity top!!!
(May 14, 2023 - 12:44 pm)

I'll be joining! I just have to write a story first...

submitted by Poinsettia
(May 14, 2023 - 2:48 pm)
submitted by Topethyst
(May 20, 2023 - 10:04 am)

here I am finally~

A Caged Macaw


The old woman half-turned from the window and let her gaze rest on the parrot. Oh, that bird, she thought in irritation, letting her hands restlessly twine the cords of the blinds. Why can't he stay silent for once? Just for a little?

Shadows were gathering over the room. By the window, where the woman stood, it was not so much that there was more light, as less darkness; her little, slightly stooped, thin figure could still be made out. Her skin was lined with deep wrinkles, and her white hair was streaked with gray. But her eyes, especially in the dusk, were bright and expressive still. Just now, as she gazed at the busy street, they were glowing with an intensely yearning look.

She was thinking of her father, who had died almost ten years ago. She had never really known him well. During her girlhood, he had always been a vague figure in her life - disappearing for days at a stretch, coming back with no explanation, always silent and brooding. He had always seemed apart from the rest of the family. 

She had wanted to have the loving relationship that other girls had with their fathers. Playing games on the weekends, doing homework together... Even once Eugenia was an adult, she had never quite let go of her dream that someday she and her father would truly come to know each other - but it had never happened.

One day, just before he died, her father had come home with an enormous rainbow macaw, streaked with ruby and sapphire and amber - it was the most magnificent bird she had ever seen. Gradually Eugenia began to wonder - where had George gotten it? Why had he disappeared so often during her childhood? The mysterious appearance of the bird, and other clues that came her way, all made her wonder if her father had been an animal smuggler. She longed to know the answer once and for all, for some reason that she couldn't quite explain. But only the macaw knew how he had fallen into George's hands. And he kept it to himself.


The macaw was looking at her. For a long moment they stood transfixed. And then suddenly she took a deep breath, as if she had decided something.


A month later, at the edge of the San Jose Amazon Rainforest Reserve, stood a slight old woman with a large wooden birdcage, containing a brilliant macaw. 

It was a damp, cloudy day., but it was a lovely place, Eugenia thought. Her gaze darted from the brilliant scarlet flowers climbing up a tree to the deep shadowy undergrowth. A warm, soft wind lifted her hair. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath of the air's wet, rainy scent.

Inside his cage, the macaw was showing signs of interest. He was moving a little, restlessly. Memories were stirring deep within him as he looked at the rainforest. He knew this was home - the ruffled feeling of his feathers as the wind blew over them, the sounds of birds singing, the sight of the flowers' vivid, deep colors. But the only sign of interest he gave was the sudden sparkle in his dark eyes. He had grown so used to a cage that he had no idea that he would be set free.

Eugenia looked down at him, sitting so patiently in his cge, and her heart suddenly melted. They'd been through such a lot together, the pair of them, both leading caged lives. But now -

Eugenia bent and unfastened the bar of the cage door.

The bird cocked his head. Seeming to think that he was still in the living room at home, he hopped onto the grass. He stood quite still, perhaps wondering what to do - and then, as if he had never stopped doing it, he had spread his enormous wings and suddenly floated into the forest, without a sound. It was as though a rainbow had suddenly taken flight.

Eugenia stood looking after him for a long moment. She had let go of her last link to the burning questions about her father's past. The only creature who knew the answers had floated away, never to be recovered. And yet, somehow, she no longer needed to know.

The birdcage was empty, a little forlorn, lying there on the grass. For the first time in ten years, it had no inhabitant. 

And for the first time in ten years, Eugenia too was free.

submitted by Poinsettia
(May 20, 2023 - 10:55 am)

Hey! So it's technically the judging day, but we only have two entries, so I'll be extending the deadline to May 31st -- so a little over a week. :)

submitted by extending the date, it’s pangolin
(May 22, 2023 - 2:45 pm)

Thank you so much, I really want to enter but haven't had time to write T-T

submitted by Sterling, age they/fae, lost in a fantasy world
(May 23, 2023 - 8:30 am)

Surci had always longed to traverse the skies, to cut faerself free from faer useless legs, and fly. Sure, the earth was interesting enough, but the skies were what held true wonder. Surci would know, ever the closest person in the room to the earth. Fae were all too aware of faer lameness, and resented it in a way. Or perhaps fae rather resented everyone who was so intent on pointing the fact out any time fae had company, the mere fact it was always brought up; no matter the situation. It was hard to forget something so important, especially when everyone else clearly has what you lack, and desperately need to survive. But alas, there was no magical cure for a cripple's woe, so Surci could only dream on.

At least before migration season, Surci had the slightest amount of comfort in the presence of faer Bakhan'yiri. For as long as fae could remember, before faer tribe departed, the Great Bakhan'yiri had told faer tales of the old lands – the ones now covered in deep water and layers of silt, myths of people whose names had already been long forgotten, and stories of strange happenings that could not be explained by the wisest of eyes, ears, tongues or legs. And indeed, amongst these fanciful whispers lie the notions that so tickled faer fancy – those tales of ancient beings, humans of the past, and yet who could embark upon a journey to the Lesser Larang-gikul, where they could pray for wings not unlike those of the beasts above. For from the first taste of this kind of tale, a young Surci had yearned for such an adventure, for such an opportunity to be granted wings and soar amongst the stars. 

A sudden shuffle and sharp beam of light from the tent's entrance roused Surci from faer thoughts, and a friendly aged face peered in 

"Amabuhat, Surci" the man's eyes twinkled, even in the dimness of the tent.

"Amubara hatyma, Hajiokhan" Surci quickly scrambled to properly offer respectful posture and a gesture, but was quickly waved away by the Okhan-ma.

"Fret not over formalities with me, Surci," he smiled warmly, "I have not come to pester you, after all. No need to tire yourself unnecessarily."  Surci still gave a short bow before levelling faer eyes to meet faer elder's

 "I thank you sincerely for your graciousness. What, if I may ask, come you for, Hajiokhan?" The twinkle burned brighter within the old man's eyes, and he brought out an object from beneath his robes, something appearing to be a plank of wood with knobs along one side. Hardly able to contain his glee, he handed the contraption over to the confused onlooker; faer question unspoken but clear as day to the elder. 

"This, child, is your Habar."

"Habar?" Surci furrowed faer brow, no less puzzled than before.

"Yes, child, your Habar. Your guiding light, and path to freedom. Your star that will guide you far away, to a safe place where you can truly live.." 

"My…" faer eyes widened, the truth dawning on faer. "You mean…?" The doubtful gaze directed at the strange object in faer hands led the man to chuckle softly.

"Put the knobbed side on the floor," he instructed, "then put your weight on a short edge" Fae did so (if not slightly reluctantly) and marvelled when the board effortlessly slid forward, nearly causing faer to topple over. "You see, Surci, this will allow you to follow the path to Sakralan, where you can do as you please." Fae stared at him, his eyes crinkled and infectious grin showing unabashedly. "It is what your Great Bakhan'yiri would have wanted, child."

The mention of faer Bakhan'yiri snapped Surci out of faer daze, and sent faer mind running faster than the wind during Sumna-storms. "You… You're really giving this to me, Hajiokhan?" Haji nodded. "Then…"

"My lips are sealed, youngling." If Surci could have stood up in order to give the biggest bow possible, fae would have. All fae could do was lower faer head and thank the Okhan over and over again for this precious gift, and then wait until nightfall to honour faer elders' wishes.

Under the deep veil of darkness, Surci was ready to break the chains that bound faer, and proceeded out to the far, sand-strewn gates of Sakralan. There, fae was determined to recruit a party able to challenge the Lesser Larang-gikul, and to be rewarded with the long-awaited wings fae had so dreamed of one day obtaining.

It would be dangerous, and it would be difficult.

But all that mattered to Surci is that they would finally be as free as a bird, and join the awe-inspiring perfection of the sky.


Not me trying to spell Icarus backwards to use for the personification my wanderlus- Er, sky-bound character's name, I meant to say... 

As always, constructive criticism is thoroughly welcome and encouraged. See all you lovely people later, I suppose~ <3
submitted by Jaybells, Lost in the Universe
(May 23, 2023 - 8:19 pm)

According to most people living in New York City, pigeons were vermin. “Rats of the sky” was what they were called colloquially, usually with a tone of mild disgust. Although some would argue that they were worse than the rodents, as unlike the rats the pigeons didn’t mostly keep to the shadowed areas of the city; they approached nonchalantly in broad daylight, swooping down and snatching whatever food was nearby- even if someone was holding it. They would fight other animals for even a small scrap, even if that animal was a dog or cat. Pigeons lived everywhere, on every single continent except for Antarctica, in fact, but the NYC breed was something else. 

Chinatown was no exception. Manhattan Chinatown, to be specific, because every borough might as well be its own city. Mae walked through the streets, surrounded by all of the familiar scents and sounds. An old man was playing the dizi on an overturned bucket with a box for change laying at his feet. Every time she stopped at a corner to wait for the light, someone would come up to her with a laminated sheet of paper to ask if she was interested in buying a handbag or necklace. 

Eventually she slowed down as she reached a familiar park, footsteps barely startling the pair of pigeons feasting on a spilled boba tea next to the curb. 

Mae never much minded the birds. She liked the way that the sun made the feathers on their throats shimmer between iridescent shades of blue and purple, she liked the funny way that they walked and the sounds of their wings flapping. Mostly, though, she liked them because of her grandfather. 

From as early as she could remember, he would come out here to this very park with a pouch of breadcrumbs and feed the pigeons. She would join him often, sitting side by side on the same bench. He would sprinkle the breadcrumbs on the ground in front of them and the birds would gather hungrily, pecking at the crumbs and each other while chirping indignantly as if squabbling. She observed from next to him, legs not quite long enough to touch the ground, watching the ping pong ball bounce back and forth rhythmically between the two men at the nearby table. 

Her grandfather genuinely enjoyed feeding those birds every morning. He was like the bird lady from Mary Poppins, except an older Chinese man. Mae remembered telling him that one day and singing the ‘Feed the Birds’ song horribly off-key. He didn’t quite know what she was referencing but laughed along anyway. 

It was only once his health started deteriorating and he could barely stand up that he finally stopped going. 

Now, Mae stood at the park for the first time since his death with a bag of breadcrumbs in one hand and a half-drunk mango smoothie in another. It looked exactly the same: the kids running around the playground equipment, tourists consulting folding maps, and, of course, two middle aged men snapping a ping pong ball between them. 

The wake started in half an hour and she was supposed to be there to greet the guests paying their respects. But her mind balked at the idea of going into that room stifled with incense and filled with crying people and seeing him again in that open casket. She barely made it through the funeral, the thought of doing it again but with a line of people giving their condolences twisted her stomach into knots. 

Mae was really supposed to be preparing for the wake, but instead she was here. She found a bench and sat down heavily, both feet firmly planted on the ground. A nearby pigeon hopped towards her, probably curious about her smoothie. She took a deep breath and opened the bag of bread crumbs. She was humming subconsciously, a song she belatedly recognized as ‘Feed the Birds’. The pigeon edged closer. She dipped her hand in the bag and grabbed a handful of crumbs. 

The wake could wait. Right now, she was feeding the pigeons. 




I went to a Chinese funeral in NYC yesterday and Chinatown is such a cool place. Shout out to the mango smoothie I got there, one of the best I've ever had :) 

submitted by Silver Crystal, age Infinity, Milky Way
(May 28, 2023 - 7:12 pm)

Isn't today the judging day?

submitted by top@Pangolin?
(May 31, 2023 - 2:32 pm)
submitted by im on it :)-pangolin
(May 31, 2023 - 2:37 pm)