referees: (Default)
SASO Referees ([personal profile] referees) wrote in [community profile] sportsanime2016-07-21 08:53 pm
Entry tags:

Bonus Round 5: Myth & Lore

Bonus Round 5: Myth & Lore

Summer's a time for swapping stories around the campfire. With that in mind, this round draws inspiration from the stories humanity have told each other over the centuries.

This round is CLOSED as of 7PM on August 4 EDT. Late fills may be posted, but they will not receive points.

  • This round does not have prompts. Instead, we ask you to draw inspiration from the wide pool of mythology, fantasy, folklore, and fable. An urban fantasy or supernatural AU? A re-imagining of your favorite folk tale? Characters swapping ghost stories or playing D&D? As long as your fill in some way incorporates the fantastical and/or supernatural, it's welcome here.
  • Your fill still has to be about a ship from one of our nominated fandoms. What ships you create work for is up to you, though.
  • To submit your fill, simply leave it as a comment as a reply to this post.
  • Remember to follow the general bonus round rules, outlined here.

Bonus round shenanigans all happen in the comments below. Brand-new works only, please.

Required Work Minimums:
  • 400 words (prose)
  • 400px by 400px (art)
  • 14 lines (poetry)
There is no max work cap.

Remember, this is a NO-PROMPT round. Format your fill comment in one of the following ways:

  • Replace [YOUR SHIP] with the name of the team you belong to
  • Replace RATING with the rating of your fill (G - E)
  • Place applicable major content tags and word count before your fill (when applicable)
  • If no major content tags are applicable, make sure to state this-- even if including other additional tags
  • NSFW FILLS: Please cross-link these fills and use clear tags in your comment. Written/text fills should be hosted at AO3 ONLY as a new, unchaptered work. Art/visual fills can be hosted anywhere. You may include a small safe-for-work preview of the fill in your comment.
  • To place an image in your comment, use this code: <img src="LINK TO YOUR IMAGE" alt="DESCRIPTION OF YOUR IMAGE"/>
  • Visual example
  • Replace RATING with the rating of your fill, G - E, as explained in the rules
  • Place applicable major content tags and word count before the fill, where applicable
  • If no major content tags are applicable, make sure to state this-- even if including other additional tags
  • NSFW FILLS: Please cross-link these fills and use clear tags in your comment. Written/text fills should be hosted at AO3 ONLY as a new, unchaptered work. Art/visual fills can be hosted anywhere. You may include a small safe-for-work preview of your work in your comment.
  • To place an image in your comment, use this code: <img src="LINK TO YOUR IMAGE" />
  • Visual example

Posts not using this format will be understood to be unofficial discussion posts, regardless of what they contain. They, like all comments in this community, are subject to the code of conduct.

These numbers apply to your team as a whole, not each individual teammate. Make as many fills as you want!

For fills:

First 3 fills by any member of your team: 20 points each
Fills 4-10: 10 points each
Fills 11-20: 5 points each
Fills 21+: 2 points each

All scored content must be created new for this round.

If you're hunting through the prompts looking for what to fill, a good trick is to view top-level comments only.

Have a question? Check The FAQ first. If you still need help, feel free to contact the mods. Happy fanworking!
elucidatedlucy: the worst kind of gay ([yka voice] manami shock)

Fill: Team Grandstand, T (1/2)

[personal profile] elucidatedlucy 2016-07-29 09:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Tags: Suicide ideation probably, near death, cannibalism Kind Of, trans HC pronoun, chess wailing incoherently
Word count: 3100
Manami Sangaku/Teshima Junta, the sea and its lore

Bones made their way off shore eventually.

Some of their friends liked the marrow at the center. But Manami only liked the soft flesh of fish, and stole bones away when no one else would look. It was too much trouble to deaden and sharpen teeth - they would leave them pristine. Their tiny home within coral and sun became decorated by what trinkets they found to give away.

"What are you doing."

Shells decorated their hair. Round rocks they found that others would fancy, to draw them in - fish and peers alike, for food or favor. And things always washed up within reach otherwise. Something sparkled, more interesting, but the question of food rose to their mind. Manami glanced up from the shelf, away from the knick-knacks that filled the tiny pool, to a human floating above water.

Disappointment made them lose track. They couldn't eat this. But their eyes fell to what he sat within. "Ooo. What's that?"

He stared down at them. Manami wasn't familiar with things out of water, but that expression was one plenty of fellows gave them below.

"It's a boat," he finally said, breaking contact - they couldn't understand that expression, warm brown skin mixing with white and pink. "A boat, you know, that thing people use to get around? Escape deserted islands?"

"...You mean one of those big crushing things that sink with all that stuff inside?" Manami laid their arms out over the warm rock, feeling the sun burn their back dry. It made it easier to breathe - fresh and salty all at the same time. "Did yours break, then?"

"No!" He almost fell overboard with his yell, floundering in his boat till he fell back. "I built this." The stranger dragged himself up. "Captain Teshima Junta's first sea-worthy vessel." Though he grinned, Manami knew the expression well. People died more than often enough out here. Desperation was nothing new. "I'm scouting. So, what's a fish like you doing up here?"

Manami grimaced at that. They watched him jump a little, and remembered their own teeth. So instead, they smiled, full view - "I'm not a fish."

"What, are you offended?" He chuckled. "It's not like mermaids should even speak my language."

This type again. Manami kept on their petulant smile. "Dolphins aren't fish."

"Close enough," he shrugged.

They glanced at his boat, and the driftwood barely held together by sheet metal. It could fall apart at the seams. He'd drown. And the sharks would come up for the main course, and they'd pick through the remains.

"If you say so," they murmured.

Manami pulled themself up on their rock. Looked out over the endless ocean. Glanced to the tiny rock in their hand, sparkling with water inside.

"How'd you find that so far out here?" Someone over their shoulder. "I'd have thought a snow globe would break."

"Excuse me," they said -

"Teshima," he provided in a quick interruption.

Manami stared. A captain like what Arakita complained about. "Sir." Forcing an uncomfortable silence, they went on, "What is a snow globe?"

"It's just a little orb for sentimentality," he said. "People fill it with water and glitter and shake it up. See all that white stuff? That's like snow."

They rolled the orb between their hands - almost seeing what he meant. The thing standing in the middle became lost in a storm of silver. It looked like schools of fish fleeting through, running and swallowing up every hint of light.

"Snow," they said.

"Yeah, that cold stuff that falls from the sky when whatever fish gods you've got are mad at you, right?"

They knew what precipitation was. They didn't need this from him. "Yes," Manami said. "Of course."

And leapt back into the ocean, watching the remains of sun flicker through against their gray skin.


Humans would lose themselves, sometimes.

It wasn't any interest of Manami's, but new people did mean new things, and that was something to see. They couldn't travel too far out, held in place by season and the threat of ice, but every new boat brought another hint of a curious world.

They could never leave, but they had accepted that much long ago.

Manami watched a small boat float aimlessly through empty waters, to bounce helplessly ashore a small island. They swam through, closer to shore than most could otherwise - not many liked the burn of sun like they did. Out of water like escaping a tomb, air slamming through and making their heart buzz, there was nothing they wanted more than that single moment.

Relishing it, and pausing, leaning their face against the salty broken boards of the boat - Manami finally pulled themself back to reality, and the unfortunate facts of the situation.

"A boat?"

"On that island." Manami pointed toward something they knew in their gut was there. "There are probably things inside."

Teshima stood up on his vessel, wavering with the waters, to squint toward what they'd pointed at. "Have you ever heard of sirens?"

They tilted their head.

"Singers and story spinners who sit upon rocks to draw unfortunate sailors," he muttered. "Right till they crash into rocks and meet their demise."

"How nice," Manami said. "Is that why you're out here?"

He didn't answer their question. "How big is the boat."


Tools and toys laid out across the beach, Manami stared from behind a distant rock.

It was a promise of another world. Teshima still fumbled and carelessly dropped things, cursing as his skin speckled and peeled. He had sailed for two days before hitting a shore that Manami could swim to in as many hours.

On the beach, a stick stood straight out of the sand, long thread bobbing into the water. It pricked their finger when they'd touched it, without much response. This close to shore, there wasn't much worth eating, but there was plenty to see. As he tore through the sandbound ship, Manami picked through tide pools and watched without a word.

Water didn't reach the boat's body. If Manami dragged themself further up the beach, they could peel the barnacles and dried seaweed off - they could steal away the things Teshima threw outside in single-minded search. But it remained just out of their reach. They stuck to their private vigil and peered out from the water's edge throughout the night.

"Are you scared now?" echoed out after another hour stuck in lucid sleep.

Manami sank back into the water to swim closer, rising only enough to see.

"Thought you sent me out here to get something done, but you're just circling like a vulture! Ever heard of those?"

They didn't respond.

Teshima fell at the water's edge, sitting with those legs out, fire set behind him. They couldn't touch it. It seemed a shame not to.

"Some birds drag up old criminals to take them up to a perch or mountain. Wind transforming into something greater," he yelled. "Peck out their organs to make sure they pay for what they've done. Sometimes they take their eyes and leave them there to rot."

"I wouldn't do that," Manami called back. "That's a waste. Everyone would yell at me."

"Oh, right," he laughed. "So you'd just toss me down to let all your friends argue about who gets what? A liver for a shark, eyes for a squid, a bit of flesh for all those ravenous ghosts to rip apart?"

They shrugged. "Humans don't taste very good. I wouldn't know."

Teshima fell back into the sand, laughing till nothing more came out. Manami tested the distance - wet webbed fingers landing on his warm ankle. There were many things they could do.

But they didn't care much about what the others wanted.

While there were still stories to catch, falling out like pooling blood, they wouldn't push for the end too quickly. It wasn't a bad trade. They'd been offered worse below. He could die on his own time.


Every moment Teshima was awake, he spoke.

Far on the distance, they could see him kicking through water, yelling and laughing at fish he'd long since scared off. Manami could balance over rocks, cracking open shells like others had taught them to do. They didn't often have the patience for it, but small clams and crabs hidden in smaller pools were easy to find if they were waiting.

When fish would wander too close in how carefully they held themself though - that was a nice break. Dolphins were supposed to work together. But it didn't matter much if they wandered off on their own from time to time. Not when their home was a mish-mash of creatures and the dead hovering together below the ocean, waiting for what fell from above to weave themselves into.

Some days, they would catch him staring as they ripped flesh from bone. Fish held in their mouth, they could still smile and wave. Teshima would turn away and climb back into his boat, and they would wonder how long it had been since he last ate.

He wouldn't ask for help and they would not offer to give it.

"There are stories about beautiful women at sea," he muttered one day, slouched against what he called the hull of the ship. "If you laugh along with them, they might kill you. Or maybe they'll steal something important and ask for gold in return." He sniffled, and laughed. "Gold for gold. You know what that means, don't you?"

Some humans would die of hunger. Others drinking from the ocean, as though it was poison to them. Manami shook their head. Every day that passed seemed another closing door. It was a little annoying to watch someone waste away.

"Right. Then I won't give you any ideas," he said.

"When do you plan to leave?" they asked, pleasantly.

"Not too long now." His eyes were closed. "Just ... have to fix the rudder. Figure out how to push this back ... you wouldn't happen to know any storm bringers, would you? There are things that can do that ... it'd make it easier on me."

He wouldn't even ask for food to save himself. Only the impossible. "Of course," they said. "All kinds. They just need eyes for the center."

Teshima forced a laugh, almost inaudible. "Too bad ... I'm running low."

When he fell asleep, they dragged themself up the beach and stole away trinkets. The next morning, he didn't ask or note. He merely climbed back inside the boat to clamber around in a dying haze.


People would lose themselves at sea.

Some would find their way off. Others wouldn't.

Manami had come here a long time ago. There was nowhere to return to now.

They sank among those who had always been there, those who seemed to know the sea, and those who called it home, and played their games close to their chest.

"You could leave," voices and familiarity. "All it takes is an equivalent trade."

Sometimes, sitting above water, they watched how he stared at them, and wondered how he imagined dying. If to him, it would come as being dragged below the waves. They considered it. Legs to take and stand on. Over and over.

But they didn't.

Manami knew some things were impossible. Even this far beyond the boundary.

There was no way to go back, again.


"Water monks," he said, one day.

They were picking through more that he'd thrown out of the ship. What he called diaries, that soaked through when they touched them. Jewels and rotted food like bloated bodies run through on rocks below. Tattered clothing and chairs, pronged metal and spoons filled with holes.

"They're like the coming storm," Teshima went on. "I saw some today." He rubbed his eyes. Skin running thin from layer after layer of sand, his eyes were bloodshot and yellow. "Some people refuse to sail if they see them, but they're coming." He walked in circles. Kept on. "They could pull me free."

He was running out of words to barter.

"Is that so," Manami said. They stared at indecipherable writing. If he wasn't dying, they'd consider asking how to read.

"Soon," he said.

His mouth was bleeding. Not even fresh fish would help him at this point.

"Yes," they said. Manami was courteous. "Very soon."

For the first time, he glanced down at them, and grinned. Scarlet stained teeth. They returned it. The rock was nothing they hadn't seen coming. If Manami had predators, they'd have done the same thing.
elucidatedlucy: the worst kind of gay ([yka voice] manami shock)


[personal profile] elucidatedlucy 2016-07-29 09:29 pm (UTC)(link)

Their head was falling off.

Manami rolled it back on. Salt. Sand filled their mouth and made it hard to breathe. Forcing an eye open, they couldn't remember the last time they'd been out completely. That would kill them normally. Maybe it wasn't such a bad trade-off, they thought, delirious and giggling.

"Thought I wouldn't figure you out?"

Their lids hardly moved, so dry. They wondered if they'd shrivel into nothing, and laughed again.

"Of course not, Teshima!" They played along with his lie, dancing along to one of those endless stories he told. "Just a little longer, and I would have had you. Congratulations on catching it."

The moon did him no favors. A fire could not keep him safe, or present. Teshima shook, every hint of warmth gone with the setting sun. They recognized it. Enough people above and below.

"Are you that hungry?" they murmured - dangerous excitement, despite how their tail thrashed through hollow heat. "Don't humans tell each other stories about this? There are better things to eat."

"Yes," he spat. "But I'm not an idiot. I don't believe in folk tales."

"After all you've told me?" they said, smiling pretty and challenging.

"Yeah," he forced out. Uncharacteristically short.

They recognized his weapon. Something he called a machete, dragging out things from boats like they'd asked, listing out what everything was - stories about mountains and fog that stole people away, birds that carried sinners off to suffer, the dangers of the ocean and creatures that lied.

Other tales were facts.

They knew what their blood could do to people. Manami had learned long enough ago. But some people were going to die, regardless. They didn't mind endangering those. If they were the reality of old sailor's tales, present to punish fools who abandoned love and hope to the ocean - they would grin, wide and dangerous, and wait for Teshima to bring his fate upon himself.

The blade leveraged against their skin, it was more funny than not. Interesting.

"Then what are you waiting for?" they asked.

A sharper edge than their teeth, carving up flesh.

"I'm sick of their tragedies," he muttered.

Manami blinked.

Something tore, in the instance of darkness. The next was light, and heat, and void, burning up through skin and bone and blood. Their teeth crashed together, sound and helplessness and fury, as their remaining arm flew up - to nothing.

Their hand burned.

No dark oil poured out of their wound, and they stared beyond blindness, at the soot marking their hand, and back. Nothing kept them in place but the pain and every part of their body scrambling to escape the fire. Sand coated their skin and they dragged themself forward through darkness, trying to find their vision.

Only soon enough for how flesh fell to the ground in strips.

They could hear, however faint - "Not the flesh." Hollow echoes. "Crack the bone." Halves carried away by the wind.

A knife driven in, bone splintering, and he scraped out marrow with the blade, with his teeth, blood mixing together - his fingers burnt and bleeding worse - they sank their teeth into his leg, both of them falling, and -

Manami hadn't realized they were on the boat.

Not till he fell backward, overboard, into bubbling black water. They stared over the edge, wondering when the boat had gone so far - and dove in themself.

It was theirs and he'd stolen it and they were furious, thrashing through with fire-closed wound.

It was hard to see him twisting below, sinking far faster, as though dragged down. Anyone would die like this. Anyone doing this to themself - they hated it, and tore through darkness with their teeth, blood spiraling up out of inadvertent wounds. Manami knew what a human smelled like - no matter how long it had been. And they knew what wasn't.

They didn't have claws. They didn't have scales or anything sharp beyond their mouth and hidden words. So they slapped him.

"Don't," they said. There were ways to speak, below. He wouldn't know them, and he wouldn't even hear this, water filling up their lungs. "This isn't over!"

That meant something.

For every awful smell and for how water burned a weight to their chest, they were rising. Punishment or justice. They'd been down here too long to know the difference. Every tragedy that led to sleeping at the sea's bed.

But they crashed against water worn rocks. Coughing until salt and blood and foam drained out, leaving them empty. And they slept.


"Dolphin tastes terrible," he said.

"You dragged me up here to say that?" Manami picked at the rock, enough to flick a pebble at him.

The warm brown had been fading over the days. He looked more purple now. A little like one of those human corpses, a little not. "No," he said. "Not really."

They closed their eyes and leaned against their arms. "You should learn to speak properly ... you can't use all this air all the time. You're not human anymore."

"Yeah." Something about legs and that many of them. He had more than before. Teshima wasn't the type to let go, apparently. "I know."

"Are you going back home?"

"Don't really have one now, do I?" he managed.

Manami shrugged, not bothering to open their eyes. It was rare they could devote themself to much sleep. Always one eye open. This made it a little easier. It made up for their missing arm.

"Maybe if they wanted to see me again," he said. "It'd be a hard trip."

"Impossible, even," they said.

"See? Perfect for me."

That earned him a quiet laugh. They hated that. He was right.

"I was just thinking. There are a lot of folk tales," Teshima said. And tapped their shoulder. They opened an eye, to how he leaned close, seaweed hanging in the curls of his hair. "Even a few about how to change back."

Manami stared. "Is that so?" Smiled, sharp teeth to bare. "I thought you didn't believe in those."

"Hey," he said. "I need to hide at least part of my hand. I can't have you getting bored halfway through on land."

It was impossible.

It would take a miracle.

And Manami could break down possibility into nothing with the crushing ocean, this long dead.

But they said, "Sounds fun." And pressed a finger into his forehead, too close, too soon. "I'm looking forward to it."
Edited 2016-07-30 03:23 (UTC)