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@castimir ·
$34.03
The Lord of the Rings Rewatch: Deities

Tonight, I watched the second part of the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings. You know, the one with the Balrog and Moria and Lorien and the death of Boromir. The Happy Part. But since I watched the movie last, and the last time I read the books, I've read a LOT of other fantasy literature. And after reading all of that other fantasy literature, I can say for certain that Lord of the Rings is missing something that almost everyone else includes as a portion of their worldbuilding: gods.

They just aren't there. There are magical beings (Gandalf, Sauron, probably Aragorn, the Elves), but there is no lightning-bolt-throwing, mountain splitting, mind-reading Gods, or Goddesses, to be seen. This is equally ironic since Tolkien was probably the most religious fantasy writer of all time, being a faithful Catholic raised by a priest. Other authors, of course, have deity-free works of fiction, but many of them include some sort of religious establishment (the Faith of the Seven, for instance). Some are ex

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vote your-acct "castimir" "the-lord-of-the-rings-rewatch-deities" 100 true
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@duhiki ·
$0.00
Treatise on the Ethics of Vampires - seven

https://i.imgsafe.org/fcfe3b5bf6.jpg

seven

Sunlight peeped through the cream colored gossamer bed curtains. A faded blue coverlet was up to my chin, tucked around me. It took some effort to kick the covers off, but once freed, I noted that I had been stripped down to my shift. Although I was covered from neck to ankle, I never felt so exposed in my life.

Who was this man to remove my clothing? Your husband, with God-given rights over your body and soul, my mind replied. The thought did naught to quell a sense of foreboding. For as long as I could remember, the only people I answered to was God, Lord Jesu, Father, Mother, and occasionally Grandmother Bet. Everyone else gave me a wide berth. It was unsettling, this thought of someone new and unknown having complete ownership over me. If he willed it, I could be killed on whim, and fully within the law. I swallowed hard. Grandmother was right; I must be wary, indeed.

Wafting through the curtains was the unmistakable scent of roasted meat, freshl

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vote your-acct "duhiki" "treatise-on-the-ethics-of-vampires-seven" 100 true
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@mandireiserra ·
$0.17
A Toast to Starry Nights | TWENTY-THREE

https://i.imgsafe.org/1eb2b5aea6.png

Chapter Twenty-Three

Jet and Willow awaited my arrival to tiny Glenn General Hospital seated in Jet's Beemer. When Wiley and I pulled into the parking lot on the way to the ER entrance, I saw them both emerge and come toward the truck. Jet trotted in heels, Willow strode briskly behind in her Birks.

Jet opened the passenger side door before I could. She gasped, “Sweet Jesus, Kay... next time listen to me!”

“There won't be a next time.”

Jet rolled her eyes. “Sure, you say that now.”

Willow nudged Jet aside and reached into the cab to clasp me in a huge hug. After pulling away and getting an eyeful, she blurted, “Oh, Kaylis, you are a mess!”

“I'm a mess that hurts. Whoever said car accidents tickle need to be slapped.”

Wiley had gone inside and located an orderly with a wheelchair while estrogen overflowed his green Chevy work truck. I took a look at his co

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vote your-acct "mandireiserra" "a-toast-to-starry-nights-or-twenty-three" 100 true
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@internutter ·
$0.07
Challenge #01518-D057: Hazards of Companionship

canstockphoto35476823.jpg

...well... thank you... I was suffering from a shortage of waking up screaming, this should help for the next month. -- RecklessPrudence

Humans are the most advantageous crewmembers to have. Especially in what they insist on calling 'crunch time'. They will walk, or run, into danger and saunter back out again with barely a scratch. They are fiercely protective of any being they view as part of their pack, insanely profitable to have in a ship's crew, and invariably adaptable.

They're also indomitable, indispensable, and doubtlessly insane.

Case in point, the human that the crew of the Probing Feeler had nicknamed 'Fluffy'. His actual name had too many S's and F's for the mouth-parts of the insectoid crew. Since the Probing Feeler was a science vessel, it had a higher likelihood of finding trouble before it was lost. And the human name

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vote your-acct "internutter" "challenge-01518-d057-hazards-of-companionship" 100 true
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· @castimir ·
$0.02
Playing Dungeons and Dragons Made Me A Sociopath

I began my very first Dungeons and Dragons campaign this weekend. It had been forbidden when I was young, and I had been too busy and too tired to try it after I went out on my own as an adult. I'd been wanting to do a Dungeons and Dragons campaign for years, but this was my first real opportunity.

Dungeons and Dragons is an amazing game. You can literally be anything in-game. I was born with a severe eye disability that left me unable to see three dimensions. But, in Dungeons and Dragons, I am free. I can be a sharp-eyed archer, or an acrobat, or a flying mage. After all, these are jobs I could never hope to strive for in my real body.

I must admit, there were moments when I went a little overboard creating characters. People were shooting chocolate out of their fingers and apparently that is impossible. I had also considered making a mage-monk, but apparently that's both OP and impossible. I suddenly found myself running into ridiculous rules. No pissing off the DM. Make up a backstory for why you want to

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vote your-acct "castimir" "playing-dungeons-and-dragons-made-me-a-sociopath" 100 true
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· @mgaft1 · (edited)
$0.20
An insincere smile (An original contemplation)


Source

I used to have a friend by the name of Antwan.  He was born in Paris, but in an American family – his dad worked there.  Naturally, he was fluent in both English and French and spent half of his time in the US and a half in France.  Once, after a long period dwelling in San Diego, he was riding in Paris' metro and gave a friendly smile to a cute girl sitting across from him.  In response she gave him nasty "are you an idiot or something" grimace, letting him know that he is not in the Old world.

Indeed, to an immigrant, it is not very clear how you can smile on the spot, without anything funny being said or done.  Certainly, I've been explained that in the US smile is simply a social default.

Is American smile sincere or not? It a

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vote your-acct "mgaft1" "an-insincere-smile-an-original-short-contemplation" 100 true
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@vegaiq · (edited)
$0.00
The last of the Medici

http://mylida.org/uploads/posts/2015-04/1428594796_1427205164_apatiya-chto-delat.jpg

Lily didn't sleep all night... Laying out the plan of salvation.
She was going solitaire which she learned from her grandmother.
Finally he agreed, I saved a flash of joy in her eyes.
Biting his lip to blood from nervous tension. After washing with tears of joy ,quickly took the cards in the deck and put it in leather case. Till sunrise was 9 hours. And far her fate is sealed. The hum of the emergency lights where barely audible came the cotton, then another cry and silence. Behind concrete walls and an iron door was heard quick steps. More obvious and clearer. And here is the lock clanged and the door opened.

http://g.io.ua/img_aa/large/3224/80/32248084.jpg

Emergency lighting illuminated the silhouette of a stranger in uniform. He quietly showed her the exit. Lily's heart started to beat faster and was ready to jump out of his chest. Who is he? The thought flashed in my hea
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vote your-acct "vegaiq" "the-last-of-medica" 100 true
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@alienbutt ·
$1.11
The Explorer initiative. Part 3.

What I discovered quickly was how fast my ship was and from the starcharts in the onboard computer how vast space really was. The ship was capable of going faster than light but I was fearful of going at such a speed. Instead I set course for a planet that had been part of the old society and sat back to learn what I could from the records on the ship as we travelled at a more sedate speed which would see us reach our destination in just under twenty days. While I was excited about my new life exploring the universe I was aware that only a month before I had been just another person living out their life of bordom watching my life drift by.

I would sit and ask the computer questions about my ship and what it was capable of, what I wasn't expecting was finding out it had was fitted with weapons that could be used to attack or defend against hostile aggression. Such things were unheard of on my world and I found the thought of having them made me uncomfortable. Much of the history of the fall of the great soc

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vote your-acct "alienbutt" "the-explorer-initiative-part-3" 100 true
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@michaeladamparis · (edited)
$32.49
The Girl and the Pendulum (An Original Story – Part 1)

http://i1024.photobucket.com/albums/y305/latrade/Girlpendulum_zpsfpj4n8an.jpg

Part One: Prologue

“Where the hell are you?” Cattrell whispers in a heavy breath that clouds the side window of the dark blue Chrysler sedan.

He wipes the sleeve of his wool trenchcoat along the glass, erasing the moisturized evidence of his spoken words.

http://i1024.photobucket.com/albums/y305/latrade/manbuilding_zpsyfbylcbh.jpg

Cattrell exits the vehicle and stands near a three-story brick building that formerly housed a piano store. He peers across the street at the pink front door of a storefront with peeling burgundy paint, and retrieves his 35mm camera from his coat. Using the telephoto lens, he zooms in for a closer look, peering through the front glass window.

A red suitcase. A brass tuba. An antique tiffany lamp. And at the base of the lamp, a small sign reading “CLOSED”.

Cattrell snaps a photo. Click. Rrrr.

Daylight falters.

He looks down at the logo printed on top of the camera lens. *The Zen

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@dreemit · (edited)
$6.46
Today Again: An Original Novel for steemit by dreemit Chapter Seventeen


https://i.imgsafe.org/de23ebadd0.jpg


If you are just discovering this novel click here to start at the beginning.


Lissa pulled up to the third address on her list, fear and frustration tying her stomach in knots. The first place must have been where he once lived, but the new tenants had no knowledge of him. The second place, apartment of a guy named Jake Schmidt, was deserted.

There isn’t a vehicle in this driveway either, she thought with a sinking feeling. It was in a better neighborhood than the last two places had been, a small two story house with newish tan vinyl siding. She walked up on the porch without much hope, so when she knocked and heard footsteps coming to the door she was far more elated than the situation warranted.

The door opened and she blinked at the extremely handsome blonde who opened it. “Um, are you Grant?” She asked.

A coc

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@mandireiserra ·
$1.24
A Toast to Starry Nights | TWENTY-TWO

https://i.imgsafe.org/1eb2b5aea6.png

Chapter Twenty-Two

My head hurt. Shoulder too. Something on my face, can't see. Can't move. What happened? Oh yeah, car hit me. Did I die? No... I wouldn't be thinking and hurting if I were dead.

God, it's hot. I'm so hot and fuzzy-headed. Tried stifling a moan, failed at that.

Then the scariest sound that could haunt my ears made a grand appearance.

“Hello, Beautiful. Glad you are awake.”

I gulped as the fuzziness evaporated and the owner of that voice sank into my mind. The sound from his mouth was enough to make me cringe.

Mike.

He removed a blindfold made of a folded tee shirt, so I could see my surroundings and his smirking face. I lay in a tent atop a cot and wrapped in a sleeping bag. I couldn't move because duct tape wound around the cot and the sleeping bag pinned me down. A battery-operated lantern hung from the tent's center cross-beam to provide illuminati

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· @jeff-kubitz · (edited)
$0.12
Purgatory - Vestas, Chapter 1.5

Written for Steemit: Purgatory - Life is an adventure and no one is ever certain what it is about or what will be faced, or in this case learned ©Jeff Kubitz 2017 - All Rights Reserved.

Vestas, Chapter 1.5 of Purgatory

11188431_453128228188408_3142343432434604909_na786b.jpg

Previous Sections:
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4

Vestas and Carol lay on the grass under the shade of the date palms. Vestas did not know how long they laid there. He may have actually slept, he could not remember. He sat up and looked around and there was nothing new to see. He looked at Carol.

“Yes, you rested. I

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@duhiki ·
$0.60
Treastise on the Ethics of Vampires - six

https://i.imgsafe.org/fcfe3b5bf6.jpg
six

If only my sleep lasted longer than two hours. All too soon morning bloomed bright and with it, one of the more fateful days of my life. Grandmother was still asleep when I began heating water for washing in the pharmacea so I wouldn't disturb her rest. I had one dress appropriate for today, as well as being the cleanest at the moment. Madder and woad dyed the linen tunica. The colors together made a striking purple more suited to royalty than a blacksmith's daughter. It was a gift from my mother upon my last birthday.

On every eve of February 28, we waited for March to come. When it neared Midnight, we would sing, dance before the fire, not ceasing until the Abbey's bell tolled the new day. That wee minute between the old and new day was mine alone. It was how we celebrated my birthday every year since I can remember... and this last one now marked the end of an era for me.

Upon my breast I proudly wore the necklace Grandmother Bet gifted me. My hair

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@alienbutt ·
$3.21
The Explorer initiative. Part 2.

My excitement at going off world had faded with the first bout of nausea but now on the storage facility the feeling of being sick was starting to fade. The gravity on here was less than on the planet so adjusting my walking was an ongoing lesson as I followed my guide down the endless corridors to the hanger where my ship waited.
I had been boosted up the Explorer initiative waiting list as they viewed me a high prospect because of the way I'd adapted to my education implants and high scores on the many tests when I had applied to join. My guide had explained how being in the first wave of explorers would be a good thing.
We don't have a clue what most of these hangers contain and we don't have the resources to check them out, keeping records seemed to have been the last thing on peoples minds as they mothballed the ships. I suppose back then they just wanted to get the job done and get the hell out of space. He stopped in front of a large doorway and after wiping away the dust from a display screen turne

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· @whatageek ·
$0.44
Lost Time - Flash Fiction (Repost)

It was 8 o'clock. Aaron was too stressed to be tired. He was the man you went to to get things done. He made sure of it. Aaron didn't want to fade in with the rest. He wanted to be that guy. And if it meant late hours and little sleep, then so be it.   

He looked around the office. There was work everywhere that needed to be done. Papers stacked on papers. But if he put in the hours,  put in the time, he could make his fortune then retire at a good age. Early 50s. Maybe 40s if he worked hard enough. Sweat gathered on his face. He blinked twice. So much work. He had to push through. He had to get this done.  

He picked up a folder. But before he could start, there was a tingling in his arm. His chest started to hurt. He grabbed his phone as he crashed to the ground. Luckily he dialed 911 while he could.  

The paramedics carried him to the elevator. He l

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@alienbutt · (edited)
$0.24
The Explorer Initiative.

When a friend told me about the Explorer initiative I thought it sounded too good to be true, yet what did I have to lose?

Let's face it life is for living and taking a chance on this thing actually being what it said could lead to a better life if I put the work in and got a head start before everyone realised how good the deal was. So now you're thinking 'What the hell am I going on about, what is this Explorer initiative?'

Look we all know the history books and how we used to be part of this great society that stretched across space, hundreds of planets, thousands of outposts. Billions of people living in peace and plenty in our great golden age, most now try to dismiss this as legends and unrealistic. As resources on our planet run out and our society stagnates and falls in a repeat of all societies over the entire history of humanity we need to rediscover our purpose. We need to go back to the stars and rediscover our golden age.

We are mad to think we are the only planet left, and even if we are then

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@riskdebonair · (edited)
$0.64
Dreamscapes & Heartbreaks: Dream 9

dream9.jpg

I have been trying to walk it off for some time now. I would run, but in this dream I cannot.

It was raining. This was probably the first dream I have had with rain in it. I guess walking in the rain a lot has brought it out of me. I have been walking in the rain to hide my tears, and now I rain on the inside. In this dream I was walking through the rain. Somehow she contacted me. She told me she wanted to meet me to discuss what I had said. Of course I did not want to, but then again anything to see her again. It reminded me of that cold August grey sky when she asked to meet me for a coffee to talk things over. (My dreams all had clever back stories with false memories).

In the dream memory I had said “no” among other blunt cold statements.

Because… I didn’t want to. I really did not want to. But I was going to this time, to make amends. Of course it was too late anyway. Sudden

👍  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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vote your-acct "riskdebonair" "dreamscapes-and-heartbreaks-dream-9" 100 true
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@sazbird ·
$24.03
A Second Chance

park-bench-338429_1280.jpg

His hands trembled as he pulled his coat a little tighter against the chill morning wind. The metallic half-light of dawn was brightening as he sat on a bench facing the duck pond in the local park. It was his favourite time to come here. Only the occasional jogger interrupted his solitude with a neon-Lycra clad nod as they zipped past.

James often came here to be alone with his thoughts. Feeding the ducks before the hordes descended with their babbling children and littering ways. He tore a little bread and threw it at the rag-tag gaggle that had approached him, waddling in anticipation of their breakfast.

A sigh escaped him as he shivered. He looked at the back of his hands. Liver spots and wrinkles reflected back. His left hand was pulled tight into a claw by the onset of arthritis. Oh to be young again. Free from the infirmity of old age. He wondered if this would be his

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vote your-acct "sazbird" "a-second-chance" 100 true
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@alienbutt ·
$0.29
The Alienbutt Saga, Book 1. War of the Coffee Bean. Part 10.

Piestoff landed back in the hangar and immediately jumped out and grabbed a Tec. Officer he recognised. The bay was a hive of activity and the ground crews rushed around securing the returning ships. “Is everyone back?” He looked around the hangar checking the ships that were already back.

ALIENBUTT 1.1.jpg

“Don’t worry, Commander Alienbutt, they’re all back apart from Wickede who’s returned to his own ship. Blackarachnia says you’ve to get up to his office as soon as you touch down.” Piestoff gave a sigh of relief and relaxed. The Tec. Officer continued. “I think that’s the first time you brought a ship back in one piece, Alienbutt, you're improving.”
Piestoff grinned back at the man who always managed to fix the damaged ships he brought back. “There’s a battered-up fighter bomber heading this way. Look after her when she gets here, she promised me a drink.”
The Tec. nodded and tu

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vote your-acct "alienbutt" "the-alienbutt-saga-book-1-war-of-the-coffee-bean-part-10" 100 true
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@naquoya · (edited)
$1.54
[Original Fiction] The Memoirs of a Forgotten Man - part five

Cover image

The Memoirs of a Forgotten Man

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

Part Five

I stood aside watching whilst the forensic team looked over the crime scene. Even an empty room could contain untold secrets. Although it appears this child had been methodically placed here, and that would suggest planning and purpose behind the crime, the scene still needed to be thoroughly checked. I had the two officers checking the lower floors for any signs of life. I wasn't expecting them to find anything of use, but you just never know. I have been sur

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vote your-acct "naquoya" "original-fiction-the-memoirs-of-a-forgotten-man-part-five" 100 true
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