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  • Locked thread
Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

The twin stars of Thunderdome face each other in single combat.

The bloodthirsty crowds will not be satisfied with a single bout of a mere 500 words, no. These gladiators, equally matched in victories, witnessed the birth of Thunderdome.

But so did we.

Kayfabe, yada yada. It's a three-round challenge. Windy is the warm-up, but also the tiebreaker if necessary. Your fellow first-week competitors, myself and Bad Seafood will be your judges for the real competitions, with the assistance of a top secret mystery advisor whose true identity is a secret to all. Even me. Bad Seafood won't tell me who it is.

Prompts and word-counts will be provided when you complete the previous round. All judgments will be withheld in secret until the true victor is decided. :airquote: get in :airquote:




Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.

sebmojo posted:


Type about things. Due tomorrow. I dunno. Leave me alone.

:siren: THUNDERBRAWL: Sebmojo vs. Sitting Here - Round 3 :siren:

The Prompt
Two siblings separated by a great distance, both geographical and emotional. Sitting Here will be entrusted with the girl, Sebmojo with the boy. They need not be comparable age, nor even any particular age. Both old, both young, one old one young, whatever. The "Whys" and "Hows" of any age discrepancy don't matter. What matters is this: a brother and sister have found themselves apart, leading their own lives and their own stories, but still thinking of one another across time and space. The boy's name is Walter, the girl's name is Sasha, their ethnicity should be irrelevant, and the rest is up to you.

In short, what I'm asking for is for each of you to write a self-contained story in which your protagonist is led to remember, reflect, or otherwise reminisce about their sibling, the protagonist of your competitor's story.

The Word Count
There is no word count. Take exactly as many words as you feel is necessary, but you absolutely must not waste my time. Every word, every sentence, must count.

The Deadline
Sunday, Sunday, next Friday October 18th at 11:59 PM PST

Also, since this prompt is kinda esoteric by design, you are both permitted up to three questions concerning what you are and aren't allowed to do, or any other clarification you feel is necessary.

Bad Seafood fucked around with this message at 01:42 on Oct 12, 2013

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

Behold my brain the golden throne of my consciousness. In here I am seated. Shackled. From here I police the land.

“These Rhythms are Money, Man!”
Number of the Beast words

Girl you gotta raise your antenna
All circuits on illuminate your fire
Your kiss is electric, your smile is bandwidth-friendly
Wanna download you baby girl into my mainframe

“Thank you for your hip-hop,” said the girl behind the Huawei-Starbucks counter. “You may purchase anything up to a straight black.”

“This is bullshit!” the techno-wisdom wizard first in line exclaimed. “Those beats are as fresh as apocalyptic grapefruit. I deserve a triple-soy luwak-infused Moroccan java chip grande at least!”

The girl sighed and showed him her Huawei-Starbucks Rhyme Payment Holograph3dTM Screen. “You’ve only got…” she touched a number between them, which glowed in a demure maroon. “about 9,000,321 Predicted PewDieViePoints, which you surely know is rated by tweens and therefore worth only 2 S-Colwellars. Numbers don’t lie.”

“I demand a refund!”

“Rhymes transacted cannot be returned. Sorry, everyone heard you and y’know what, you can’t download things into mainframes, and your lyrics didn’t even rhyme. If it makes you happier, the 321 PDVPs earned you a satchel of aspartame. Here’s your order.”

Aiden watched the techno-wisdom wizard leave with his beverage in a rage. If someone who could come up with smooth lyrics like that guy could only get an espresso, Aiden thought, then inflation must really be sky high. Aiden was not worried. He has just found a new type of beat on /b/, and online testimonials guaranteed him litres of Tibetian brew. At least.

“Next,” said the girl.

Aiden took out his Samsung-HongLeong UltraFreshTM Keyboard, and pressed a button.

Meep meep meep
Beep boop-blib click-ceviche-ding a bloo-bloo bloo
Whiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Bream

“I’d like a…” Aiden started, but realized the whole café had fallen into a deep, dead silence. People in line behind him walked away. Children pointed at him. Suits chatting about corporate agreements put down their Holograph3d Screens and stared. A man sitting at the corner with multi-light-bulb dreadlocks looked at him, sighed, and shook his head.

The girl, however, watched his performance with boredom. Then she took out her Huawei-Starbucks Holograph3dTM Walkie-Talkie and said, “Securitybot.”

||Se-Cu-Ri-Ty-Bot. You are running the most updated software. Initiating protocols. Primary: Suicide prevention. Secondary: Pain installation. Hello.||

“Sui what.”

||To avoid suicide, kindly leave premises before Securitybot enters secondary protocol. Warning: DNA-matching lazertonic missiles warmup complete. Ready for engagement. You have five seconds. Four.||

“Newsflash,” the girl said. “Federal reserve has ruled chiptunes illegal. Get out.”


Aiden ran out. He sat on a curb at the street and cried long and hard, hugging his UltraFresh Keyboard, realizing he has lost all his life savings of Kenny G saxojazz on rubbish. A child pointed at him, laughed, and walked away.

“Let me help you, baby boy.”

Aiden looked up. A man dressed in shimmering gold satin and a tall fluffy, white wig had his hand extended to Aiden. Aiden took it and stood up. She had fake freckles and eyelashes, and Beyoncé-fabulous makeup.

“They are philistines,” said the person who introduced herself as Lady TaTa. “Chiptunes are the future, and they don’t know it. I want to tell you a story.”

“I’m homeless and addled with generations-impoverishing debt.”

“Shut up. Story. 1,000 years ago a man who said to the world, “Currencies ought to be legal unless there is fraud involved. The government should not get involved in regulating private money if there is no fraud. The political ramifications on electronic procedure-generated money outside the federal reserve is great and I think that government should stay out of them and they should be perfectly legal. Buy gold.”

“I’m going to die alone.”

“Quiet. Chiptunes are electronic procedure-generated currencies. Why should we be outcasts just because people think our patron saint was legally insane?”

Aiden sobbed. “I want to believe.”

“Then join us, swee’pea,” Lady Tata led him by hand.

“Where’re we going?”

“To our holy place,” Lady Tata sang. “Information gets lost, or wrong, in 1,000 years, but we strive for the closest truth. So welcome, welcome...

“Welcome to the Church of RuPaul.”

The Saddest Rhino fucked around with this message at 08:35 on Oct 12, 2013

Dirty Communist
Apr 29, 2010


For good luck, I did 666 words to the letter.

'90s Kids

“He said if I didn’t wear this shirt, I’d wear a closed casket. I did something to my boss and he wants me to suffer. That’s my story.” Lester tried to glare and his brows pleaded instead. “Don’t read my shirt. Don’t believe it. I don’t mean any of it.”

A kid listened with wide eyes. Lester’s boss leaned on his car and smoked behind him. The car speakers’ music attracted bystanders. Each arrival made him flinch.

A young woman touched her chest. “Interesting story. I feel for you. Couldn’t you have done it without stealing his car?”

“I can’t regret it.” A group glanced at the music, saw his shirt and stopped. One’s mouth dropped. Another shook her head. “I don’t think I did anything wrong. I’ve never been threatened like this. I’ve never been terrified of normal people like you.”

He pictured other places he could be, the bar his friends manned, alone with coffee and video games.

“Seriously?” A girl in space tights smirked. “That is the most ironic thing I’ve seen today.”

She laughed at him. Lester’s gag reflex bucked.

The kid frowned at her. “He’s mocking what defines us. Don’t say that. He looks down on us.”

“Listen, I took his car and blasted that music he’s playing, yes. I was proving a point. I gave the car back. It hurts to hear it now.”

Boots thumped the urban concrete. Lester took a step back from the approaching skinhead. They looked into each other. Those deep, human eyes and soft skin calmed Lester. The skinhead spat in his face and left.

For the first time, Lester understood the song playing. It’s just one of those days when you don’t wanna wake up. Everything is hosed, everybody sucks.

The boss grinned and yelled smoke. “Who has bad taste now? I still like Limp Bizkit. You want to make fun of me? You make fun of everyone who ever liked them. I hope they lynch you!”

The last sentence screamed out and Lester cringed. Beside him, the nightclub’s obnoxious pinks and oranges swept the footpath and imitated the sunset. A round clock in the window read 7:06. One hour until ‘90s night began, the trendiest place in the trendy suburb. 21 hours since he tore past, waving to the youngsters from his boss’s car. Lester hung his throbbing head.

The club doors opened. Bean thin, dressed in hemp and restaurant aprons and animal rights shirts, they filed toward him in a long line.
The little crowd spotted them and went quiet. They stepped away, slow. Someone whispered, “Vegans.”

They made their own thick semicircle around Lester. Each wore a different emotion. The bald man in the middle sighed, “So this is him.”

Lester balled his fists and kept his eyes on theirs. He couldn’t show weakness now. “They say you’re the most serious people here.”

Another nodded at the shirt. “I’m a ‘90s kid. I get it. But he died in 2009.”

“Very edgy.” Another stepped into his face. “Killing your gods, huh?”

His stare fell for half a blink. One or three fell on him. Their meek slaps covered him and they patted at first then scratched then ached. They gripped his shirt, the movie star’s autopsy photo in stockings, wig and noose. Written overtop: Only ‘90s Kids Will Get This. Ten tugged, 15 managed to tear it away and heaven’s cool air opened over his bare shoulders. He curled over the cold footpath and a girl called “Stop it!”

Tiny hands, rainbow striped stockings. She might’ve been 12 or 25. The vegans shrank away.

“You’re meant to be pacifists!”

She stood tall with her back to Lester. The girl crouched and held him.

Lester squinted. “How old are you?”

“14. Your shirt’s kinda funny. You really have balls.”

“You were born in 1999.”

His boss stared, mouth open, cigarette at his feet. He shied back into his car.

“You’re okay now. I get you.” She bared her teeth at the vegans.

Aug 2, 2002




Happy to say, signups be closed. If you haven't already, now would be a good time to start your story.

36ish hours remain.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

Not going to get time to finish this off. Another 666 words for anyone who wants some extra rope to hang themselves with.

May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch
Feed me Seymour!

Robot Hobo
May 17, 2002

I went for 666 words. It's a nice, round number.

Bring the Light

“Ok,” I asked, rubbing my temples while I waited for the ibuprofen to kick in, “Tell me once more exactly what happened in there.”

“What, again?”

“Yeah. We’re going to keep doing this until it makes some kind of sense.”

The man across the table from me shifted in his seat impatiently and absentmindedly fiddled with his handcuffs. “poo poo, man. If that’s the case then we ain’t never gonna be done here.”

The higher-ups had demanded answers. That involved questions, which meant dragging my rear end to work on my night off to ask them. There weren’t many, just the same few queries, repeated ad nauseam. The worst part wasn’t a lack of answers. I had matching accounts from the three remaining inmates so far, but there’s no way in hell I could put them in my report.

With a resigned sigh, the exhausted-looking inmate wiped a bit more soot off of his grubby face and started recanting his story once more from the beginning.

“It was dinnertime in the mess hall. Nothing special was going on that night, we were all just shootin’ the poo poo and eating our meatloaf. Normal night until… until that new guy started shouting. I never heard his name, don’t think anyone did. He’d shown up just that morning, nobody paid him any attention until then.”

“And what was this man saying?” I asked for at least the thirtieth time that night.

“Crazy poo poo. Dude started screaming that he was a goddamn demon from hell, that he was here to save us from… I don’t know, man. Save us from something, anyway. He wasn’t making a lot of sense to begin with, and his accent wasn’t helping.”

We had no idea who this mystery man was either. He didn’t match the description of anyone who should have been in the hall that evening, and there’s no recent arrivals that aren’t already accounted for.

“You say he had an accent? What kind?”

My witness tilted his head back in thought for a moment, staring at the ceiling. Then he leaned forward again and met my eye. “Maybe German, or Russian. Maybe fuckin’ Klingon. I was across the room from him anyway. That’s why I’m still… y’know…”


The man swallowed and nodded. “Yeah. Anyway, dude said something about a prison of flesh. I remember that one line, he kept saying it. Started asking around for a lighter. They’re contraband, but not the kind anyone really cares much about, so they’re around. He offered to trade cigarettes for one, and pulled a pack out of somewhere.”

“Just one pack?”

“At first. Nobody took his offer, so he pulled out a second, then a third. This started getting him attention. He kept doing it, until he had pulled ten pristine packs of smokes from thin air. At this point, one of the guys stepped forward and handed him a lighter, I think just to see his next trick.”

“And then?”

“The crazy fucker took it and lit himself on fire! He started with his hair, but somehow it spread to the rest of his body, and fast. Before anyone knew what was going on, there was this man on fire, laughing and… growing. Within a few seconds I swear he was at least twelve feet tall! He kept laughing, and his voice got real deep. The the trays on the tables were rattling, smoke poured from his eyes, and the whole place smelled like rotten eggs and dogshit.”

“And then?”

“And then I flipped my table over and hid. Nothin’ after that, just curled up and hid until it was quiet. When I looked up… well you know the rest. You saw the crater, the lava, that white throne sitting in the middle of it all. What the hell does it mean?”

I balled up my notes and tossed them into the corner with all the rest.

“Well," I sighed, "I don’t think we can call this place the ‘City of Angels’ anymore.”

Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.

Noah posted:

Feed me Seymour!

Are you loving kidding me. Noah, I will end you.

Post-TD brawl for 333 of those? If I win, I keep the change. If you win, you get to take 333 of my words on a week of your choosing.

Some kind of word-coupon if you will.

May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch
I like the stakes.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

I will judge the brawl. 333 words on conflict in a violence-free society. Due Thurs next, 17th Oct, 11.59 pm PST.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 23:42 on Oct 13, 2013

Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

Your Habit

Stop that. Stop it.

You know what your problem is? Your problem is called Displaced Anxiety. Saunders told me about it at squash. You’re anxious about the school board, and the parents, and that little kid who eats crayons. But don’t you see? You’re no better than him, and it’s killing you. Yes, the Rioja please. The ’07. She’ll have water, thanks.

Look, you’re doing it again. I don’t mind if you have some little compulsion, God knows I can’t do without a pint with the boys after work, but here we are and it’s a beautiful night and it’s taken me a month to get this table and every time I turn my back you’re gnawing at your fingertips like you hate them. Do you know, I think that might be it? When I managed to get that week off in the summer and we went to your mother’s house in New England, you just kept saying, “I need some new gloves.” Gloves! In summer. Ahh, thank you. Yes, leave the bottle.

His gloves, the white ones? They’re different. They’re about ceremony. That’s the thing about restaurants; everyone’s got a part to play. That’s what Mr. Meadows said in our last session, remember darling? That we both have things to work on. I’ve worked on my things, well I’m working on them, don’t roll your eyes at me like that, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect you, in turn, to be a little more ladylike. You’re not with children here. I wonder what they think of you. Not in a mean way, in the spirit of Open Dialogue you understand, those kids must see you as a role model and you’re up there nibbling away. What if they start to copy you? Marcie - you remember Marcie - was telling me how her kid started biting so much that his finger got infected. His finger, Cathy. drat thing nearly plopped off into the cereal one morning, it was so bad. They painted his whole hand with that solution that makes you vomit when you taste it, great way to break a habit.
Hold on, is this the ’09? it’s rot. Let’s have another.

But dear, if you don’t bite when you’re at school that doesn’t make sense. Have they got Pate de Foie Gras, Fried Duck Liver in a Loganberry Jus, Dazed Sea Bass with a Raspberry and Angus Terrine? I doubt it. They’ve just got books and those solar-powered calculators. I think it’s the coffee. You know all coffees in this country are double-shot now? We’re all getting more addicted to coffee, and you’re drinking it at home and getting the jitters. I’m throwing the coffee out, if you can’t be trusted with substances.

I want to help you go back to the way you were when we met, but I don’t think you want me to help. If I come home a bit late some nights, it’s because I don’t think you’re listening to me. Tony and Sam and Crispin and those other guys at the bar, they say what you need is tough love. I just think you need to- put your hands down.

Why are you shaking?

Just grab the table cloth, put them in your pockets, I don’t care. It’s not even a proper addiction. You know why I come home late? Because business isn’t some play-school hobby, we’re dealing in millions of dollars a second. That gives people eighty hours a week to hooked on something proper, not their own loving fingers.
Waiter! Another bottle please.

Have some self-control.


Apr 12, 2006

659 words


“Morning, Steve.”

“Dan-o! My man! How have you been?”

“Bad morning, to be honest. I just had to kick one of my graduate assistants out of school. It looks like I’m gonna have to be the one pick up his classes.”

“What did he do?”

“It was the Johansen kid. You remember, him? Big, blonde, like six foot something. Kinda overweight?”

“Yeah, I think so.”

“He got close with the lab rats.”


“Too close. Weird close.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Security had him on tape. Backlogged for months. Evidently since the start of the semester.”

“What do you mean when you say close?

“I probably shouldn’t.”

“Come on. Come on, man. Close?”

“Keep quiet, alright? So we both know you never give test animals names, right? Ever. But this Johansen kid did. I knew he was doing it but I’ve had a lot on my plate this semester and this didn’t really even register on my list of importance. And, to be honest, it was kind of refreshing. This kid was excited to work. He was good at what he did. So I let him do his thing. I let a little protocol slip. Sue me.

“Anyway, so Johansen gives all the lab rats names, right? He has a name for every single one of them and he talked to them constantly while he worked. Little things. Small talk. Hey Bobby, you gonna beat yesterday’s time today? or Jolene, you looked a little sluggish. Are you feeling alright? Constant blabber. It really wasn’t any better or worse than the usual lab small talk. Except for, you know, it being a one sided conversation between Johansen and a bunch of rats.

“Well, what we didn’t know until security pulled those tapes was that he was coming back every night. Not weird by itself, right? Lot of students come back to do work. But he wasn’t doing work, man. He was taking the rats out and cuddling them.”

“No way.”

“Yes way.”

“For real?”

“Cuddling them. Stroking them. Nothing overtly sexual but definitely inappropriate.”

“Every night?”


“Why’d it take so long for this to come out?”

“Cause nobody is sitting there watching the cameras. They only look at the tape if something comes up. By the end he was sneaking in some cushions and a pillow and was sleeping in the lab. People knew that, too. Security guards. We have a statement from two of them saying they knew. So he’s sleeping in there, right? That’s how we found out about all this. He had started sleeping with the rats. Again, not sexually, mind you. Just sleeping with them in his arms.

“I don’t know why it took so long but eventually, as you’d expect, the rats run off in the night. Whoops. So we end up having to do this whole big investigation thing to try and figure out why overnight we’re suddenly down half a dozen rats. They were all accounted for at the end of the day. Nothing wrong with containers. As far as we know they’ve just disappeared. Its this huge mystery and, of course, Johansen, he doesn’t say a word. Just out of curiosity. Just out of an attempt to find these missing rats we ask security to pull the tapes to see if we can see them escaping. And that’s how all this came out.”

“And you ending up kicking him out of school?”

“Called it trespassing and destruction of school property.”


“Yeah, well, he probably compromised the whole experiment so now we get to start from scratch.”

“What? Why? How?”

“The whole group was anomalous. Something like a fifty percent increase in completion speed.”

“Control and test groups?”

“All of them. Fifty percent increase across the board starting gradually from the beginning of the semester. But just this lab. With this staff.”


“Maybe its just a weird group of rats. But I think it had something to do with Johansen.”

Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 03:05 on Oct 14, 2013

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart
Moksha 721 Words. (I gained 150 words from Noah)

I smelled, for the first time in many years, the woody aroma of ittar, and I turned away from the waters to see a young man much like I once had been; he asked me how I had left everything to live in squalor.

I saw he wore fine clothes tinted with expensive dyes--clothes much like I once had worn--and I answered him:

When I first saw Anurag, I mistook him for a statue of his own likeness, for his body, glimmering like bronze in the sun, sat serene and motionless on the riverbank. I approached slowly, and though I expected he would appear more real as I drew nearer; the opposite was true. I sat beside him--just close enough to see individual strands of hair--and spoke my request to him, “Svāmi, I beg you to tell me why I, who have everything, am so unhappy!”

As my words echoed off the water, I was certain that I was alone--that I had indeed come all this way to speak with a statue.

But then, remaining perfectly still, Anurag asked, “When are you most unhappy?”

“Your holiness, I shame myself to speak of such things in your presence, but I feel most empty when I make love.”

After saying this, I dared not face him, but I felt his gaze upon me.

He said, “You are like I once was, from high birth and not wanting of anything. Remove your fine clothes, throw your purse into the water, and follow the river south. Do not cleanse yourself until you reach the sea.”

I walked until my feet bled and hardened, and I ate only what I could forage or beg. After many months I at last smelled the salt of the sea. I ran to the water full of energy, as I had eaten a half-bowl of rice the previous afternoon. Upon this realization--that so small a portion had sated me--I appreciated Anurag’s unending wisdom, for a cook had once dared to serve me a meagre four-course meal, and for this I had ordered him lashed six times, once for each missing course.

In the sea I cleansed myself for the first time in many months. I soon saw a woman on the shore; she was not the first woman I had seen since beginning my journey, but she was the first to see me: with the dirt scrubbed from my body and hair, and the sun glistening off my wet skin, she had reason to smile at me.

I swam toward her and left the water. Had I seen this woman months before from atop my litter, I would not have spared her a glance: her hands were calloused, her face was blackened from the sun (as mine must also have been), and she wore a tattered saree. Despite all this, in that moment I wanted her more than anything, and her wandering eyes told me she wished the same. She took me by the hand and guided me back into the forest.

Had I reached the sea, washed the dirt from my body, and simply collapsed onto the shore; I surely would have been more content than ever before. Yet I ask you, young Prince, were you to return to your palace full of servants and women with skin like silk, would the memory of mere contentment pull you from your life of comfort a second time?

I paused, giving him time to contemplate this. After a moment, he looked to me, as if to ask what had made me leave everything once again. I answered:

Upon my return, I searched for months to find the most beautiful woman in the city, and I married her, but with her I felt nothing. I thus had my servants build a larger bed, and I paid for many women at once. With seven women covering my body, I thought only of tearing the rags from the Sudra woman to expose her imperfect form--I thought of her hands gripping my emaciated waist as I entered her atop the forest floor, dirt clinging to our sweat.

Thinking this, I left the palace and have been here ever since.

And though I had given him no instructions of any kind, the young prince left without saying a word, just as I once had done.

May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch

No Bones About It
Words: 1822

Mr. Finnster, “Finny” his kids call him, sits behind a messy desk. Principal Edwards leans against the office door, staring at the torn manila envelope on the desk.

“If you lose anymore students, I’m going to move the rest to other classes,” Edwards says.

“You read the report, I didn’t do anything,” Finnster says. “The kid went berserk.”

“The parents will be here any minute, you can tell them that it wasn’t your fault. I wonder how that’s going to go.”

“Oh come on, he’s just banned from field trips, it’s not like we’re expelling him.”

Finnster stares out the office window to the children playing at recess. He scans the yard looking for David Grant. The boy sits alone on a bench, watching a game of four square. The room suddenly feels hotter than it had before.

Two sharp knocks rattle the pebbled glass of the office door. Edwards straightens up and unbolts the door.

“Good afternoon Mr. Grant, Mrs. Grant,” Edwards says. “I will be in my office if you need me.”

The parents thank the principal with a nod and come in.

“What is this all about?” Mr. Grant asks. “What happened to David?”

“Well, it’s really more about what David did,” Finnster says. He picks up the manila envelope.

“I don’t know what you mean,” Mrs. Grant says.

“This letter is to officially inform you that David Grant is no longer allowed to attend class field trips, as he is a danger to others,” Finnster says.

“You have got to be joking,” Mr. Grant says. Finnster hands the report to the parents.

“Gross sexual misconduct?!” Mrs. Grant shouts.

“That’s unfortunately what the school district calls it, but, let me just tell you what happened,” Finnster says.

It all started on the bus. David didn’t have his lunch, which his parents forgot to pack it for him. Kids will find anything to tease each other about, but that wasn’t such a big deal really. David was late getting to the bus to begin with, because he was asked to go back and check for his lunchbag, which even though he knew he didn’t have, he had to go look again to be sure.

When he finally got back to the bus, the trip was already running late by then. All of the seats on the bus had been taken, leaving David with just the back of the bus seat. The pee-seat. That’s what the kids called it. Apparently a homeless man had lived in the back of the bus for some time, urinating into a gash in the upholstery, and all the foam in the seat soaked up all the pee, and it smelled pretty bad. Never could get the smell completely out.

“Why the hell did you make David look for his lunch?” Mr. Grant says.

“You know how kids lie,” Finnster says. “Anyway, so the seat thing was really just the tip of the iceberg.”

When the children arrived at the museum, there was a dinosaur skeleton in the lobby. A gorgeous looking T-Rex. Well, of course one of the boys pointed at David and called him P-Rex, which, admittedly, was pretty clever. David was starting to get frustrated by then, especially when the kids started patrolling around like T-Rexes and shouting ‘What’s that smell?’

David asked what he could do to get rid of the smell, and he was told that maybe he could get rid of the pee smell by taking his pants into the bathroom and using some of the soap there to scrub it out, and the air dryer to make it dry enough to wear.

He agreed, and headed to the bathroom. Someone asked where P-Rex was, and that student was told David was in the bathroom. The kid ran into the bathroom, and then came right back out laughing and shouting.

David came out looking distraught. The zipper on his shorts had snagged at the bottom, and he couldn’t pull it back up. His shirt was just barely long enough to go down that far, if he held it down with both hands. The same boy that came out of the bathroom laughing threw the complementary museum tote bag all the children received, except for David because he was at the back of the bus and they were short one bag, at him. David reacted, letting go of his shirt, and it sprang up, revealing the busted zipper.

‘P-Rex has pee pants, P-Rex has pee pants,’ the chorus sprang up from nowhere, and reverberated around the museum lobby.

“Why the hell did you keep letting this happen?” Mrs. Grant says.

“Kids have to learn to socialize, and they have to realize the things they say effect people,” Finnster says.

“By using our son?” Mr. Grant says.

“Well, that was really just an unfortunate circumstance that David continued to be harassed, I’ll admit.”

“Where did you get your degree, you imbecile!?”

“Mr. Grant, this is not about me, this is about your son displaying horribly inappropriate behavior on a field trip.”

“Oh, I’m sure this will be rich, I’d love to hear what your definition of inappropriate behavior is,” Mr. Grant says.

David let loose a primal scream, deep, from the bottoms of his lungs. Bones from the dinosaur models shook from the force of the scream. An unholy pause swept through the lobby, everyone had to look. David seethed, surveying the crowd, but he had a smirk plastered across his face. He had finally got them all to shut up. That was when he noticed that, even though they were all looking at him, they were not looking at his face like he would have expected them to. They were staring at his crotch. All sound was extinguished by the oppressive silence bearing down on the lobby. David looked down. Poking through the broken zipper on his shorts was an erection, held only in check by a straining pair of Spider-Man briefs. An engorged Spider-Man face peered out from the open zipper, white eyes distorted and misshapen. Somewhere, the first giggle crept out.

“That was when David lost his poo poo, for real this time. Jesus, it was a sight.”

“What the gently caress?” Mrs. Grant says. The parents are wide eyed, Finnster realizes he’s losing them.

“Mrs. Grant please, no more interruptions, let me finish,” Finnster says.

He started to go red, like he was a thermometer in an old cartoon, ready to pop but then all of the sudden David goes slack. His shoulders slump and his head lolls off to the side. Small rounded bumps of spine protruded evenly down his curved back. Then his fingers started to squirm.

David bolted upright, pulled by some invisible strings. But the strings kept pulling, until he was bending backwards, his arms still weighty and draped at his sides.

“And then he just opens his mouth, and says ‘Ock.’”

He kept saying it, wet and throaty. ‘Ock. Ock ock.’ That’s all he can say, and then some starter pistol fired off in his head. He tears around the museum, his erection pointing him in every direction, his arms flailing behind him like a parachute with a hole in it. He charged at a girl who laughed at him on the bus, but right before he got to her, he turned a right angle and started trucking it towards someone else. ‘Ock!’

The other kids screamed and scattered. All the adults were paralyzed by the chaos. A big group of kids would start to gather, but all that did was make David turn, ‘ock’ and run pelvis-first at them, causing them to split up again. Two security guards finally strolled up to the lobby, the younger of the two appearing distressed. The older, veteran guard seemed unflappable.

The security guard said he’d seen this before, “you just gotta let ‘em tire hisself out.” But David didn’t show any sign of slowing down. He did three laps around the T-Rex model before the younger guard pulls out his radio. The older one put his hand on the other guard’s shoulder and shook his head. David ran up to the two guards, dick pointing right at the younger one. The guard looked nervous, maybe a little scared. David let out another ‘ock’ and the guard yelped and jumped back a little. The older guard took a step forward.

“And that’s when the security guard finally had to use the kid-taser on him. I thought it might have been a bit over-kill, maybe would have let him wear himself out a little bit more, but the security guard assured me that he’d be fine.”

“He did what?” Mrs. Grant screamed.

”He tased him,” Finnster says.

“This is insane,” Mrs. Grant says. “This isn’t happening.”

“David’s fine, it was just a kid-taser. Course they called him Tasid for the whole bus ride home. But he was pretty good sport about the whole thing. A little sullen, maybe, but that’s it.”

“You have got to be the worst teacher I’ve ever seen,” Mr. Grant says. The wooden chairs scrape abrasively across the floor.

“What? Where are you going?!” Finnster says.

“We’re going to get our son, you monster,” Mrs. Grant says.

“But he has class in 20 minutes.”

“That’s not our problem anymore,” Mr. Grant says, jabbing a finger at Finnster. He reaches for the knob. Finnster pulls at the tie around his neck, trying to let some air in.

Finnster’s fingers grip the desk with a terrible ferocity, alternating red and white like well marbled bacon. His upper lip quivers and twitches off to the heavens with increasing speed. The Grants stop trying the knob as they watch Finnster’s eyes roll into the back of his head.

The teacher’s face is a ripe tomato, and his eyes are ever-whitening spots of mold, threatening to explode. Mr. Grant turns frantically back to the door, slamming it back and forth, the deadbolt giving slightly every time. Behind the pebbled glass appears the familiar silhouette of Principal Edwards.

“Open this door, god damnit!” Mr. Grant says. Slowly the shadowy face of Edwards grows darker as it approaches the glass. Skin flattens against the window and the Grants can see the bright shade of red flushing Edward’s skin. One milky white eye stares at the parents, pressed so up against the glass they can see veins.

Behind the Grants, the sound of tearing fabric causes them to pause. They turn, wide eyed, to the sight of Finnster with his head lolled back, but otherwise, clothes intact. More ripping. They can’t see where it’s coming from. Then, one final rip, and a meaty thump hits the underside of Finnster’s desk.

Finnster’s slack jawed mouth begins to drool. A wet gurgle bubbles up from his belly. White saliva trickles from the corner of his mouth, and the Grants can hear his tongue undulate in the slick crevasse.


Aug 23, 2003

Svetlana Vershinin

662 Words

A lifetime ago her name had been Svetlana and she had lived with her family in a suburb outside of Moscow. One day government men had walked into the house without wiping off their boots and shot her father through the heart. She hid the linen closet and listened through the wall as the soldiers raped her older sister on her parent’s bed.

After they found Svetlana they covered her face with a bag and threw her in the back of their truck. They drove for what seemed like days on bad roads, stopping from time to time when the men had to dig the truck’s tires out of the icy mud. At the end of the drive they took the bag off her head and dragged her through a grey concrete courtyard and into an elevator that descended for a very long time. That was the last time she could remember seeing sunlight.

That must have happened to her a long time ago. She’d been here so long that her breasts were starting to develop and she had begun to bleed every month, just like her big sister once had.

And ever since the monthly bleeding started, her third eye had opened.

She never knew she had another eye, her old family and friends, and all the guards and doctors at the facility, only had two eyes. When she looked at her reflection in the toilet bowl she saw that there wasn’t really a third eye poking out of her forehead, at least not one that anyone else could see.

But she knew it was there. It showed her things her regular eyes couldn’t see.

She could feel the eye getting stronger. If she lay perfectly still and controlled her breathing she could see and hear what was happening outside the walls of her cell. When she lay on her back and watched the dust motes swirling through the air over her head she could use her third eye to make them drift up and down or side to side. Once, waking from a nightmare, she found a fresh crack running down the length of her wall. Somehow she was sure the third eye had done that as well.

Tonight her regular eyes were closed, but her third eye was watching Dr. Andronikov. He only visited every forty or fifty meals, and his presence meant she was going to be given electric shocks or cold showers, or that a woman in a white coat was going to sit with her in a white room and force her to guess what symbols were on the back of cue cards.

Today Andronikov was just down the hall, speaking with a man who had a lot of ribbon and metal ornaments on his chest.

“I’m surprised you’ve never recognized her,” the ribbon man said.

“Why should I?”

“That’s Boris Vershinin’s daughter.”

Something stirred inside Svetlana. She would not have recognized her own name, not anymore. But she knew her father. Her pulse quickened and the anger crowding up inside of her threatened to break her concentration.

“Was that the President’s idea of a joke?” asked Andronikov.

“You know the story. Vladimir is fond of such jokes. He found this one particularly delicious.”

Svetlana’s third eye told her that beneath the graying hair and sagging skin, these two men were filled with veins and arteries and soft pulpy organs. She had moved motes of dust. Moving a few blood vessels wasn’t so different.

“Poor Boris,” said Andronikov. “Even worse, his daughter shows no aptitude. She’s going into puberty now and still there’s no sign of the change.”

“Perhaps you did not traumatize her sufficiently.”

“Nonsense. The only explanation is that her aptitude test was a false positive.”

Svetlana focused on the veins carrying blood into Andronikov’s skull. It was simple enough to hold back the flow of blood.

“Perhaps you don’t know where to look—are you feeling alright?”

“I’m...” Andronikov gasped and dropped dead.

Jun 8, 2003

The Ultimate Intimacy (666w)
Diesel fumes roused Bailey to consciousness, he thought he was still on the helipad. Bailey surveyed the patch of jungle he lay on, spot fires from the downed copter illuminating the the foliage against the darkness. There was gunfire, not close but loud enough to hear over the ubiquitous cicada drone. Bodies were down by the wrecked Hewey, the warm air stank of poo poo. He tried to sit up but could only flop.

"Your back's broken," said a weary voice behind him. "Can't you feel your legs?"

Bailey twisted around, thinking Charlie. Prince was leaned up against a tree-trunk, his face pale and his uniform soaked maroon. He was holding his stomach two-handed. Dried blood lead to his lips.

"My legs?"

"Definitely broken," said Prince.

Bailey examined his splayed legs like they were twin flat tires. "We're goners?"

Prince tried to speak, but coughed. He nodded. "Me tonight. You tomorrow, probably. Gooks coming."

"Bugger," said Bailey.

They sat, unspeaking. Minutes passed. The throb in Bailey's spine was starting to penetrate his ringing head, like a viper eating through him.

"Distract me," Bailey begged.


"You got a girl?"

Prince's head lifted. "Yeah, I got a girl."

"How'd you meet?"

"We met at thirteen. Her father was a pollie, owned a grain farm south of Perth. I worked the silos that summer and found her one afternoon reading Enid Blyton underneath a willow tree."

"Love at first sight?"

"Hardly." Prince cringed through a wave of pain. "She asked me to leave without a look. She was withdrawn, quiet. Five brothers, no sister. Normally on the land that turns you into a tomboy, but she wasn't like that. Maybe it was her weight, she couldn't run or bush-bash like her brothers. I worked the silos again next summer, read Famous Five books all spring. One day, late afternoon and me dirty with grain, I found her under that same tree and asked if she wanted to take off for an adventure, foil some smugglers. We never solved any crimes, but she respected me after that."

"Probably the first hand who could read."

"Yeah. After that we were inseparable. Four years of holding hands. She was adamant, nothing more until she was eighteen. I hated it, but it was worth it. She lost the weight. She was whip smart, beautiful, she was going to be something special and I loved her. I wanted to be part of it."

"What did she want to be?"

Prince coughed up a clot of blood, spat it. "I don't know. She'd never tell me those dreams, kept them bottled up in case they wouldn't come true. Wanted to work things out herself first. Then she got sick. ALS, and none of it mattered."


"She hid it at first, shaky hands, a few stacks. Even after I piqued she wouldn't see a doctor. Wouldn't tell her father. It was too much, eventually she could do nothing but quiver. We put her in a hospital and she despised it. She wouldn't even let the nurses bathe her, and our savings vanished. That's why I enlisted. Serve, earn a paycheck and hope they found some cure by the time my tour was over."

"What's her name?"

"Allison. Last I ever saw her, when I said goodbye, that was the first time I ever saw her cry. And she poo poo herself. She had no control by then. I soaked a towel and washed her clean. She let me, finally. She bawled and struggled through floppy jaws to tell me everything she'd kept silent all these years. I wiped her spotless as she professed her limitless love, how she wanted just one more adventure. It was the closest to her I've ever felt."

"She still alive?"


"I think I've been pretending she is." A bubble of blood flashed on Prince's lips. "She probably died that night, when I left. Wish I'd died there too. Not like this. Wiping her butt, that's how I want to die."

May 7, 2005


Children on Leashes
646 Words

A cable snapped - the stunt coordinator still doesn’t know exactly what went wrong - and the wire rigs whipped two tweenage Broadway stars across the set of Children on Leashes: The Musical. One soared over the orchestra pit and skipped across the theater seats, shattering his prepubescent body as he bounced along. The other young thespian smashed into the wall, then plummeted to the stage below.

Three hours later and four avenues east, Miles Breckenridge, renowned author of Children on Leashes, smoked his fifth straight cigarette down the street from a Barnes and Noble. Throngs of fans waited within to hear him talk about the new edition of the book that inspired a parenting revolution, an award winning movie, and now the next Broadway hit. His manager’s breathless news repeated on endless loop. “Something went wrong with the wires during rehearsal. Two of the stars were just rushed to the hospital. Word’s already gotten around. I’m canceling the book signing.”

Miles considered calling him back to fight the decision. Instead he charged down the street. He ran right into the crowd who had come to see him as they shuffled downtrodden out of the bookstore. Gasps, squeals and outstretched, open copies of his memoir greeted him.

“Miles! Miles! Any comment on the accident?” Journalists with notepads and tape recorders pushed their way out of the crowd, circling around behind Miles, cutting off any retreat.

“Is the show still going ahead?”

“Why such dangerous stunts for a show starring children?”

“One boy broke his neck, same as your brother. Do you feel responsible?”

Miles gave them the same cocky grin he gave the accusers and pot stirrers who came after him when children were injured shortly after his memoir inspired parents across the country to be more lax with their kids, to leave them unattended at parks, malls, and stores, less coddled and less smothered. “My brother died, crushed between floors in a department store, when those elevator doors closed on his leash, trapping him and dragging him up. My mother leashed him like an animal to protect him from the world. Parents in this country caused increasing and immeasurable harm to American children for decades before my memoir sounded the wakeup call and served as a rallying point to end the madness. True, kids are still injured daily because the world is a dangerous place. But countless needless accidents due to overprotection and the stunted growth and arrested development that come with over-parenting are becoming a thing of the past.”

Miles silently cursed the asinine direction of the Broadway show with all its wire work. “This show’s going to be huge!” the producers had assured him. “The social prescience of Billy Elliot, music on par with Annie, and stunts that will upstage Spiderman!” But Miles wasn’t going to give an inch to these goddamn gadflies.

“The investigation is ongoing,” Miles continued, bluffing, before the reporters could get back to their questioning. “But I’ll tell you this much we know: the so-called safety harnesses attached to the stars of Children on Leashes is what did them in. If the actors had been trusted to perform their own stunts, trained in the appropriate acrobatics of course, none of this would have happened. The onerous safety regulations of the nanny state injured those kids.”

Miles knew it was garbage. The wires were attached to the actors to represent leashes. The leash-wires swung and dragged the performers around in choreographed routines to illustrate their danger. But Miles was forming his own convincing narrative, as he had years before.

So what if Miles had pushed his brother the day he died. If the leash hadn’t been attached to him, he would have fallen harmlessly out of the elevator. It was the leash’s fault. Millions of people agreed. After years of peddling his story, Miles did too.

Mar 21, 2013

Grimey Drawer
Alcoholism+Flightless birds=picking up girls at the abortion clinic


“What the gently caress?” said the embryo.

Death lowered his scythe and lit a Marlboro. Smoke shot past his hyoid bone and vanished into the neck of his cloak. “Sorry, Squirt. Ya missed out there.”

“Missed out what?” asked the embryo, flapping his flippers inquisitively.

“Everything.” Death tapped out ash on the edge of his hourglass. “The whole ballgame. The frivolity of youth, the incontinence of age. All stuff of which you’ll never know.”

“Oh,” said the embryo. “I’m not sure how I feel about that.”

“And you won’t be. Your central nervous system never developed so feeling is not really your thing. Could be worse, you should see what happens to people with a working CNS when they’re sucked out of life-supporting environments by a vacuum.”

“Why, why happens?”

“Well, explosive decompression, usually. It ain’t pretty.” Death began wiping away the placental juices from his scythe. “But that’s Death for ya. Not exactly the Belle of the Ball. Make,’em, break ‘em and scrape em, s’my motto. Your folks’, too, looks like”

Small flaps of skin around the facial area gave the embryo a look of confusion. “That doesn’t sound very fair. Can I make a complaint?”

“Look, bud,” said Death. “It’s complicated. There’s a bigger picture here - things happen for reasons. Take your Dad. He’s a drunk, never met a bottle he didn’t like. Except for empty ones, I guess. He gets introduced to your Ma and for five minutes they’re the best thing that ever happened to each other. She falls for the lovable drunk side of him. He’s sneaking out for nips of Dutch courage when they go out, but staying on the right side of legless, getting jokey and charming. She’s new in town and wants to fit in, and here’s this funny, interesting guy. They have sex - it’s not too bad, even - and they start planning their lives together.

“A couple of weeks down the road, four things happen. One, she notices that every time they go out, they always end up at the pub. Two, he grows a beard but she misheard some family history once and subconsciously thinks her grandpa was killed by a beard. Three, a bird falls out of the sky one night when they’re walking home. It’s dead, and she a huge symbolism nut. Four, she discovers she’s pregnant.

“She tells him. He freaks. She freaks. But they do it quietly and not in front of each other. He gets drunk, listens to some rear end in a top hat friend of his, sends her a text asking if he’s really the father. She calls him, insulted as anything, but he’s drunk and belligerent. She realises she not actually in love with him and next thing there’s an email ending it and asking him for the money for an abortion.”

“He’s not a bad guy, your dad, for all that he could drink for Scotland. He pays. He even offers her a ride home after the deed is done. That’ll be happening in a couple of hours, after your mum’s had a nap. He’s nervous, this is his first time at the clinic, and he arrived early. So he’s sitting there, drinking the free coffee, jittering, trying to do a crossword, wishing he had a drink. And there’s another girl there, waiting for a completely different friend to finish her termination. Their eyes meet across the crowded room. And boom. One of the greatest love stories of this particular generation begins. Big Picture, ya see? Everything happening for a reason.”

“From my perspective, an incredibly terrible reason.”

“Sorry, squib, it is what it is.”

“Are ghosts a thing? Can I haunt them?”

“Tell you what, you’ll be rephasing your morphics in a minute. You’ll meet Pete. He does a line in Haunting Memories of Guilt, good for a few episodes of erectile dysfunction and wotnot. Tell him I sent ya…”

The embryo vanished.

Death ground his cigarette beneath a skeletal heel. “...though he’ll have figured that out already.”

Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at 00:58 on Oct 14, 2013

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012


The Legend of the Codpiece
(666 Words)

Sir Largus Valis ruled a minor kingdom on the outskirts of our great empire. Most of the people he ruled were peasants, simple folk who wanted little to do with world affairs. They found their peaceful little lives jostled when Sir Valis's lady love Camilla stole away from the castle into the dark maw of the night.

Sir Valis stirred that morning to a commotion. He dressed and trotted downstairs to see what agitated his subjects. When they saw Valis approach, a hush spread among them like ripples in a pool. They backed away, and Valis walked forward to see this couplet carved into the courtyard wall:

Poor Largus has a twiddly thing, which lacks in length and girth
Its name is "Satisfy-me-not"; I ask, "What is he worth?"
- Lady C

Sir Valis flew into a mighty rage and ordered a team of his finest stone-carvers to blindfold themselves (as protection from indecency) and chisel away at the mocking verse. When the wall was clear and the stone-carvers' wounds treated, Sir Valis returned to his chambers to think. Soon his mind pounced on an idea. He called for his handler and had him arrange two meetings: one with his blacksmith, the other with his infantry commander.

The next morning, he and a peasant-army of forty charged over the hill to the neighboring castle. This was the domain of Lord Lyman, who had quested for the heart of Camilla long ago. The ragged infantry band stood a hundred yards in front of the drawbridge and Sir Valis shouted up, "Get down here, you knave! I demand to take you on, man to man!" A long pause, and then the drawbridge creaked down. Lord Lyman rode out on a white horse, flanked by his personal guard. He opened his mouth to speak, but then saw Sir Valis's new suit of armor.

Sir Valis puffed out his chest-plate, projecting the glinting, obscenely-defined steel muscles toward Lyman. The metal sheathing his arms and legs seemed better suited for tree trunks than human limbs. Lord Lyman's eyes flew, however, straight to the colossal, gilded codpiece. It was studded with some of the treasury's finest rubies and amethysts--family jewels safeguarding the same. Lord Lyman stepped down from his horse and Sir Valis sauntered toward him, groin clanking with each step.

The two stood, exchanging a taut stare, when Lord Lyman burst out laughing. He writhed on the ground, whinnying with mirth, as Sir Valis stood stunned. He glared down at his cackling foe. "CHARGE!" he bellowed, and as the peasant army ran forth to engage Lyman's royal guard, Sir Valis ran forward and grabbed their Lord by his shoulder plates. It was only when the pair had stumbled back to Valis's castle gate that Lord Lyman's giggling fit broke and he realized he was a captive.

The next morning, Lyman was bound and set precariously on the throwing arm of the castle catapult. Sir. Valis sat beside him.

"My dear Lord Lyman," he said, "I wish you'd tell me where Lady Camilla is. It would make things easier for you."

"Oh? How would that be?"

"It would make the burden of your soul lighter, which will be a great boon once I launch you back to your people!"

"Why would you tell me that you're going to launch me either way? That's hardly the way to get me to spill the beans."

Sir Valis glared. "Just for that rudeness, I'm going to launch you early. Right now." He turned and bent down, not noticing Lyman reach out and grab his pantaloons as he pulled the lever.

The two flew out of the castle in a wide arc and splattered against the ground a few yards in front of Lyman's castle. As his soul drifted off to some mediocre paradise, Largus Valis had one last vague epiphany:

"If, in a man's mind, his castle is the wrong shape, the mind is easier altered than the castle."

Mar 24, 2013


Not judgin' (574 words)

"One guy wanted me to take a dump on him," said Nikki, shrugging. "Not as as bad as some of yours."

The others nodded in agreement. They'd all been there at one time or another. For some of them, scat wasn't even in the top ten weirdest things they'd done for a client.

"Janine, your turn. This oughta be good."

"Oh yeah," Janine said. "Got all of you beat by a mile."

She grabbed a toothpick and started clearing food scraps from her yellowed teeth. The others waited waited in attentive silence. When Janine finally put down the toothpick and spoke, it was in a low voice that did not carry to the nearby tables.

"I used to have this roommate, Shannon. She was in the business, too, and she had this one regular client. Rich, white, middle-age, you know the type. Lawyer or something, I don't know. Anyway, one day Shannon tells me she needs some help with a job, 'cause this guy made a special request. So I tell her you know I don't do threesomes, because I was still new back then, and she says no, I just need advice."

"It doesn't count if he wasn't your client," Rachel said, but she was quickly hushed by the others. Janine ignored the interruption and went on.

"See, the guy had offered Shannon ten times her usual rate, and she wouldn't even have to get naked. He wanted to play a game, had even bought some land just outside town to do it on."

One of the new girls, Ema, frowned. "No way I would have taken that deal. Sounds like murder waiting to happen."

"S'what I told Shannon, but she says she haggled the guy up to thirty times the usual rate. So I say gently caress it, it's your funeral, what do you need? And she goes to her room and comes back with this big water gun, and says, these were her exact words, 'I need to fill up two of these with feline urine.'"

The table stared at her in silence, except Nikki, who said "What?"

"Cat piss," Ema said.

"Yeah, turns out he just wanted to have a big old water fight," Janine said. "But with cat piss. And we don't have a cat, so Shannon needs my help to find some. It was loving surreal. I helped her out though, for some of the money."

"I think we have a winner," said Nikki. "Janine's drinks are on us for the next month."

"No way," said Rachel. "We said weirdest john, not weirdest friend's john. My tree thing was worse anyway. I'm still finding bits of bark in my couch."

"That wasn't it, though," said Janine. "My weirdest client was a couple of weeks later. Just had to tell you about Shannon's first."

"Spill it, then."

"Another guy — well, rich white and old, so basically the same guy, but you know, a different person — comes and asks me for the exact same thing. Even had his own little plot of land."

"Bullshit," said Ema. "That kink's way too specific."

"I thought that too. Figured the guy was just messing with me or something, but he paid half up front. Turns out there's a whole subculture of these guys."

"Two is not a subculture," said Nikki.

"Got a couple more after. It wasn't even weird anymore, by then."

"Where'd you get that much cat piss, anyway?" asked one of the girls who'd been quiet during the story.

"Are you making GBS threads me?" Janine said. "I faked it with food coloring and some ammonia for the smell. Idiots never knew the difference."

Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.
Lifetime presents sunshine and rainbows, the story of racism - 1051 Words 666 + 333 + Gambling on a non-finisher to push things up a fraction.

“What can I say kid? So life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.”

The boy regarded Cargill with inky, impenetrable eyes; his hands holding tiny fistfuls of khaki trouser. Cargill extracted a crumpled Lucky from the crumpled pack in his breast pocket. His fingers stunk of gasoline. It took several tries to coax a light from his almost dry Zippo.

He ashed a quarter of the thing in a single drag. He looked down at the little boy’s face, dirty beneath a mop of glossy black hair and wished he hadn’t. He made a half-hearted shooing gesture with his spare hand, but the kid didn’t budge.

“Hey Cargill, watch out!” shouted a passing marine “You’ve got a gook stuck to your trousers!”

He smiled back weakly at the retreating passing figure, who was laughing it off arm-over-shoulder with a couple of buddies.

He sat there for a while not thinking of anything, in fact, actively trying to not think at all. He was there long after the Lucky had disintegrated. Only the humid downdraft of a passing Huey broke his reverie. He didn’t know how long he had been staring hollowly at the paddy field opposite. Only the kid did.

Cargill rose to his feet and made to leave. The little boy’s hands slipped from his trousers but quickly re-established their grip on the corner of his jacket, tugging it. Cargill had intended to catch up to the rest of his platoon, but he was cut adrift mentally. The little boy was soon leading him like a lamb and Cargill knew where. He couldn’t stop himself. It was a morbid curiosity. He didn’t want to see, but there was an inevitability to it. Like when his father had shown him what the foxes had done when they got into the rabbit hutches. He hadn’t wanted to, but his father had made him look. And then he couldn’t turn away.

The remains of a pitiful hovel, half-collapsed and smouldering. A pair of deeply tanned ankles jutted out of the doorway. A woman’s ankles, with deep navy culottes limply hanging off her bony shins. The little boy tugged on his jacket, expectantly.

What?” he snapped loudly, without clear provocation “What the gently caress do you want me to do?”

His body shook. The boy just stared up at him with those inkwell eyes, impassive.

“Jesus, calm down bud,” a nearby radio operator chimed in, zipping up his flies, having taken a leak on the smoking ruins of another levelled hut “He prob’ly don’t speak a word of English ‘nohow.”

Sage advice dispensed, the operator filtered back into the dribs-and-drabs convoy still passing through. Disgusted with everyone and everything, Cargill wrenched his jacket free of the boy and joined the convoy himself. Behind him, the little boy followed.

- -

When he eventually crumbled, the teasing was merciless. Things soon got out of hand. Disgusted whispers about his “pet VC” dogged him. He gave up on eating in the canteen. But some were more vindictive than others, took it further. The CO would have his head for it if he found out, and everybody knew it. There were a lot of cold and miserable nights spent sharing from a mess tin in the rain, and coming back to his bunk to find something new missing.

But there came a point where he had nothing left to give, or worth stealing. And the bellwether of his persecution, a hard-eyed Texan named Hollister, forced things to a head; Cargill found the note under his bunk covers.

- -

In a clearing beyond the perimeter, Cargill waited. And five minutes late, Hollister arrived with the little boy in tow. He had one hand clamped over the little boy’s mouth.

“Come to get your filthy little gook Cargill? I knew you would,” Hollister drawled with the confidence of one who holds all the cards and knows it “I think you owe me a little more than you’re giving, don’t you?”

“I don’t have anything left Hollister. You know that.”

“That’s a darn shame, isn’t it? Well, I s’pose it’s only fair the boy earns his keep.”

Hollister produced his Bowie, and pressed the serrated back into the boy’s cheek. “What do you think Cargill? An ear? My girl back home said I should bring her back a souvenir.”

It was a bluff. Cargill knew it was, somewhere deep down. But he had a temper, and had only just been keeping it under wraps for weeks. The pent up hatred frothed forth. The straight was worthy of Ali. Cargill laid the Texan out in an instant.

As soon as he had, Cargill was on his knees pummelling his face. It was a stupid decision. Hollister panicked with eight inches of sharp steel in his hand. It found it’s way between Cargill’s ribs, and everything stopped quite abruptly.

Hollister lost it and things spiralled quickly. Soon he was dragging Cargill through the sticky undergrowth, cursing. Cargill’s breathing was halting and weak, his lips bloodied. There was an uncovered grave nearby Hollister knew- he had helped fill it with relish. He heaved Cargill atop the corpses of charred Vietnamese farmers.

It was grisly work, burying him beneath. Hollister didn’t have the courage to finish him off, and Cargill was too weak to fight back. The little Vietnamese boy watched from the graveside, an unsettling presence. Hollister was at it for what seemed to him like hours, shifting the festering bodies while Cargill spluttered beside him, unable to form words. When he had at last dug deep enough, Hollister stood up to mop his brow with his forearm.

Hollister only saw the shadow. Tottering on the graveside, the little Vietnamese boy balanced the rusty adze. There wasn’t strength in his arms to be a killer, but gravity’s arm is strong. The blade fell and dug deep into the back of Hollister’s neck. He staggered forward clutching the wound and collapsed into the grave of his own making.

Cargill watched, wordless. The little boy climbed down gingerly into the grave and crawled over to him. Bloody foam dribbled out of the corner of his lips. The little boy put his arms around Cargill’s torso and pressed his head into his warm, wet shirt. Cargill smiled and stared to heaven, but the sun had already set.

Jeza fucked around with this message at 12:45 on Oct 14, 2013

Jul 18, 2011

Deny it!” cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. “Slander those who tell it ye. Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And abide the end.”

Bite The Hand
666 Words


I pulled myself up onto the cracked vinyl seat. The bus was crowded today, but no one was in a rush to sit next to me, which suited me fine.

“Hey monkeyman! Got a banana for you, monkeyman!” shouted a delightful drunk person. “Ooo ooo ooo eee eee eee!” I thought about tearing his face off. “Hey, is that Bobo? Bobo, man! Bite the hand, remember that? Bite the hand!”

“Why don’t you shut the gently caress up?” I heard myself say as I hopped up on the back of my seat,, perching there to face my new drunken best friend. “You can say whatever you want about me, I don’t care, but don’t talk about what you don’t know.” Thanks to the vocalizer chip they’d put in, I could just glare and bare my teeth while the electronic baritone that was now my voice issued forth.

“No, man, I always liked that monkey. I didn’t-” He held his hands up.

“Were you there?” I knew I should just sit down and ignore him.“Did you know him?”


“Did. You. Know. Him?”


“I did. From the beginning.” Everyone was staring at me now, and I knew they were afraid of what I’d do next. I was, too. I had to keep talking, because if I didn’t, I was going to do something unfortunate. “He was the first. The first to survive the Moreauvians’ intelligence augment surgery, the first to wake up. Everyone knows that. But did you know he was the one who got the word out about what they were doing? He figured out the phones, he figured out who to call, and he called and called til someone took him seriously.”

I had an audience now. Not good, but better than a frightened herd or an angry mob. “By that time there were three hundred of us augmented spider monkeys, but Bobo was the one who was front and center, right from the start. That monkey really knew how to work a crowd. I swear, you people are so paranoid about tobacco, especially around your children, but shove a cigar in a monkey’s mouth, bam!” I smacked the top of the seat with my tail. “Instant celebrity icon. Kids loved him, their parents loved him, you all loved him.

“And he used it for the rest of us. We’d all be in cages, one way or another, if it weren’t for him. He pushed hard for the Personhood Amendment, and it was working. But he lost patience, I guess. I was there that night, you know. In the audience, a bunch of us were. Under guard, of course, Personhood hadn’t passed yet, but that’s the way the wind was blowing, and we were sitting in the seats up front, just like we were people. Human people, not scientific curiosities or godless abominations.

“I had a great view of what he did to that talk show host. He shouted ‘Bite the hand’, but, that wasn’t all he bit. I saw them shoot him down. He wanted it to be a revolutionary slogan, but all it was was his epitaph. Nearly ours too, because the next thing they did was point those guns at all of us. Thank gently caress we didn’t riot, and thank gently caress we were still technically an endangered species. Treating us like animals actually worked in our favor, til you got around to treating us like people.”

“So just…” Whatever magic that moment had, whatever alchemy of fear and curiosity was working here, it was suddenly gone. I was just tired. “Just shut up about things you don’t know about. Next stop please, driver.” It wasn’t my stop, I just wanted out. No one tried to stop me.

“Sorry, man,” the drunk called just as I was at the door. “I didn’t mean nothing, I just thought maybe you were him, you know?”

“Yeah, you all look alike to me too,” I said quietly as I hopped down onto the street.

Oct 4, 2013

Yeah, I didn't really have any idea what I was doing.

(World ravaged by kids with rear end cancer, solace of being fat and stupid, 656 words)

Stupid poo poo Heard While Bartending

Another ordinary Friday night at the local bar. The place wasn't too crowded, most of the other patrons having gone home an hour or two ago. Emma stood behind the counter, absently leaning against the wall and watching the generic sitcom that was playing on the television, occasionally glancing around the room.

Sitting on a stool at the far end of the counter was Chris, who was quietly brooding, staring into his drink as if he expected the many secrets of love and sex to be contained within. Another breakup, Emma figured. For a man who had so little difficulty finding a relationship, he had quite a lot of trouble actually staying in one for more than a month or two. He'd be at the bar every night for a few days, being depressing and generally bringing the mood down, before inevitably finding a new girl and starting the cycle anew.

Emma didn't much like people who came to a bar to drown their sorrows. For god's sake, if you wanted to cry into a bottle, why not do it at home, where you'd get roughly the same experience without having to deal with other people?

Travis and Corey, siting at their usual spot in corner embodied an opposite extreme, but one that almost as irritating. They were never disruptive enough to be worth throwing out, but listening to their loud, inane conversations night after night quickly wore at one's sanity. “Hey, Corey, ya ever, like, think about how the world's gonna end?” Travis slurred. Corey simply shrugged, but Travis was more than happy to do enough talking for the both of them. “It's gonna be the kids, man. The kids. The little shits of the next generation will screw us all over.”

“I dunno, Trav.” Corey said. “We've been getting along pretty okay so far, haven't we? Like-”

“Dammit, Corey, you didn't let me finish!” Travis said indigently, interrupting his friend. “Sure, they may seem all “innocent” and “manageable” and “ what the hell man they're loving kids what the gently caress could they do to you anyway” now, but I bet there's gonna be, like, some big disease that changes everything!”

“Zombies?” Corey asked, a connoisseur of any media that involved shooting many things with many guns.

“Zombies are bullshit. Too unrealistic. Nah, man, it's gonna be cancer.” Travis paused for a moment. rear end cancer.” He slammed his fist on the table for emphasis. “Cause, like, cancer is a pain in the rear end by itself, right? But, like, it's even worse if it's a literal pain in the rear end!” Travis sniggered at what passed for wit between the two.

“But, but Trav! How're we gonna survive the rear end-cancer apocalypse? “ The concerned Corey asked, always a worrier. Travis simply smiled with all the benevolence and intelligence of a hermit that had realized that Enlightenment really wasn't all it cracked up to be and living in a mountaintop cave was a pretty raw deal.

“No worries, man! No worries! All ya gotta do is, uh, be fat! And stupid! See, kids like playing tag and poo poo, right? And they'd want their rear end-pain cured? So they'd, like, kidnap all the athletes and brain-surgeons, but leave everyone else alone.” Corey nodded at this piece of sage wisdom. Travis always had the best ideas, after all. Truly a modern genius.

“Good to hear that neither of you would have to actually do anything.” Emma muttered under her breath, doing her best to tune the rest of their conversation out. Just another ordinary Friday night at the bar, dealing with the ordinary, obnoxious public. It wasn't glamorous, it wasn't even terribly interesting, but it was Emma's life right now, and she supposed that there were worse things to do than listen to the epic and incoherent saga of kids, asses, and cancer that was being told.

Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW
Infected hair follicle in my right hand spread to surrounding tissue, got it lanced. I can't type so I will have to finish and post tomorrow.

Like a bitch.

Dec 31, 2006

Fork 'em Devils!

The Young Tailor - 761 Words (666 + 95 from systran)

“I just don’t understand,” said Molly, staring down at her hands. “Is this our fault? Did we do something wrong?” She opened her hands, releasing a dozen multicolored scraps of cloth to flutter down to the surface of the dining room table.

Jim stood behind Molly with one hand assuringly on her shoulder. He surveyed the table, shaking his head. The table was blanketed with tiny capes, each marked with a ‘S’ in the center. Some of them seemed well crafted, made with silk of various colors, but others were just curled paper that looked to have been attacked by a well-intentioned infant with a highlighter. At the end of the lacquered wooden table sat two shoe boxes, labeled simply as ‘New’ and ‘Used’. Jim started to speak until the scraping, jingling sound of a key in a lock halted him. Both adults focused on the darkened hallway leading to the door as a figure stepped inside and casually called out “Hey Mom, Dad, I’m home!”

Molly folded her arms on the table. “Aaron. Please come in here. We need to talk”

The figure in the hallway slowed in taking off his coat at those dreaded words, then turned and froze, easily able to see the vibrant spectacle of color laid out on the table.

“Oh god. You guys didn’t touch any of them, did you?” said Aaron.

“Aaron Hamilton Burr, come here,” said Jim.

The magical use of his full name got Aaron to move forward. As he came into the fluorescent lighting of the dining room, his face was clearly pale and drawn into a mixed expression of shock and horror.

“What is this, Aaron? Is this for some sick game? Is this what you do when you’re on some sort of… I don’t know… acid high trip? Are you on drugs right now?” said Molly, already starting to tear up.

“Mom, no, come on. I’m not on drugs,” said Aaron. “Acid high trip? What even is that?”

“Well I don’t know, Aaron, I’m not some pot expert!” said Molly, now actually crying.

“Mom, I promise. I’m not on drugs,” said Aaron. He walked towards the table and gripped the back of one of the chairs, looking over the items spread over the table.

“Fine, Aaron, you’re not on drugs,” said Jim. “What is this then?”

Aaron flushed and struggled to say anything. Finally he quietly said, “It’s just something Sarah likes.”

Molly seemed to brighten at that and momentarily stopped crying. “Sarah? So this is some kind of guy thing?” asked Molly. She looked up at Jim then back at Aaron, who nodded. “Well then I’ll let you two boys talk about it. But Aaron, this is not a normal thing. Right Jim?” She got out of her chair, scraping it back along the linoleum floors, and left the room, grabbing some tissues from the Kleenex box on her way.

Jim took Molly’s seat and motioned for Aaron to do the same. “Look, Aaron, you know that I like Sarah. But your mother is right, this is weird.”

Aaron rubbed his chin and looked away. “She thinks it’s funny.”

“How so?” said Jim.

“Well, after we started dating we started fooling around.” Aaron looked up at Jim to see if he would say anything, but Jim remained silent.

It all started to tumble out of Aaron. “I guess that she thinks that I can last a long time. So she calls it the Superpenis. And I’m her Superman. So I thought it would be fun to make little capes, you know, to wear when I see her. She loves it.”

Jim didn’t know whether he should be worried, be laughing or be proud as he tried to compose himself. “Are you using protection?”

“Of course.”

“There’s a lot of weird kinks out there, son, and to be honest, this is a pretty tame, if weird, one. As long as you’re being careful, it’s fine. But why so many of them?” said Jim.

Aaron shrugged. “At first I just made quick and easy paper ones. Then I kinda got into it. I borrowed one of mom’s sewing kits and starting making nice ones.” Aaron fished out one of the silk ones, a red cloak with a blue ‘S’ neatly embroidered in the middle. “I just did this one over the weekend!” He looked quite pleased with himself.

Jim grinned in spite of himself. “Look, I’m glad you are expressing yourself. Just don’t leave them where your mom can find them, okay? And get rid of the used ones, please.”

Nov 7, 2012
When I am President of the United States, I will create the Department of [The Homosexual Agenda].

Title: Of Malthus and Men
Words: 666

It was a clear evening; you could see the sun. President Miller watched it slide beneath a sea of arcologies from his office atop the Federal Spire. He pulled a glass of scotch from his desk and took a drink, appreciating the glow of the city fog. This was the most populous corridor of his nation: a megalopolis comprising much of the NE United States, a nation comprising approximately eight-hundred and fifty million hungry, breeding citizens.

“Command -- Windows to Screen -- setting 6,” he said.

The floor-to-ceiling windows turned a pearlescent white and began running national security informatics. He eased into his chair and gestured with his off-hand. Panes relaying the day’s food commodities prices, new births and new deaths moved to center screen. The president considered contacting his advisors again when a particular beeping garnered his attention. He smiled.

“Let him in,“ Miller said.

The screen switched to open-source national and global statistics and news. The white backdrop shifted to a rendering of what the streets and evening sky would look like if you could see them. A few moments later, President Miller’s son entered the room.

“James, what brings you by,” Miller asked.

“Dinner service is slightly delayed. You’ve been unusually down lately so I thought I’d tell you in person and keep you company, see how you were doing,” James replied.

The president gestured for the windows to return to transparency. He stood up and sighed as he looked out over the colossal expanse of rooftops almost a mile and a half above the earth.

“Son, have I ever told you exactly how old I am?”

“It’s always been a sensitive issue,” James said.

“I am exactly 138 years old. I was one of the first participants in The Project. Back then, they didn’t worry about much more than eligibility criterion and funding. A few thousand of us were treated before anyone thought to mandate the sterilization protocols and efficacy limitations. That’s not in the textbooks, you know. They’re still out there. Like me. Having kids and liable to live who knows how long.”

“How many children have you had?”

“Only two others, and as a young man. I’ve over 20 living descendents now. Of course, that’s not unusual anymore. Improved conditions mitigated population growth, sure, but no one saw treatments for aging on the horizon. No one thought linear projections from the 1970s, where people turning 50 would be starting the second half of their lives, would be right. That was a bolt from the blue. We had no way to process it, culturally, and we were suffocating under own mass before it was feasible to implement one-child policies, to promote sterilization and adoption and so on, and now here we are. Birth rates are sky high in the under city. Topside they may be flattened but everyone here lives until at least 110. We’re on the verge of collapsing the global food chain. We’ve got too many people.”

“But how do you solve it? Everything comes down to family. How do you fight people’s instincts to have families? For more life?”

President Miller stiffened his back and turned to his son.

The timbre of his voice became quite reassuring, “Research informed me last month of a new compound they developed. It absorbs through the sinuses. Goes straight to the limbic system,” Miller said.

“What’s it do?” James asked, puzzled.

“It will help solve our problem,” Miller laughed. “In about 85% of the population, it can be used to manipulate sexual preference. We’re making sexuality a choice, James.”

James was speechless.

“We’re announcing tomorrow and the program goes online Monday. We’re going to couple it with tax incentives and income guarantees, James, as well as legal protections for anyone in danger of reprisal. Birthrates are going to plummet without a single iota of human suffering or coercion. We’re simply going to coax them.”

“What will you call it?”

“It’s called the Homosexual Agenda, son, and it’s going to save the world.”

Aug 2, 2002




You have until I finish watching Walking Dead to submit your stories.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.
Best in Show (666 words)

Patricia snuffed her cigarette against the bottom of Bert's scotch glass. The good stuff. Resting her cheek against the palm of her hand, sleeves rolled up past the elbows, she stared at him with the same dull expectation she always wore whenever he came home beaten and bloody. She sigh and let him in, sit him down, treat him, pour him a glass - the good stuff - and await his explanation. Bert wasn't good people she'd say, but he was honest people. He'd never lie, or not to her.

"So," she inspected the cigarette, rolling it between her fingers, before tossing it unceremoniously in the trash, the scent of nicotine still lingering between them. "What was it this time?"

"Well, you know Wallace, right? And Leroy?"

"Wish I didn't."

Bert wished he could've said likewise. He shifted in his chair, a subtle pain in his features. The worst of it was over, at least.

"Right. So Wallace, he keeps these Shetland ponies out back. Like five or six, you know, tiny little things. All named after rock bands. The Queen. Zeppelin. You know. Anyway, Leroy thought he'd make himself a profit selling a few down by the fair, only he didn't tell Wallace which ones he took. Zeppelin, and that was okay, but also Reo. Big mistake."

Patricia blinked, as she was won't to do very rarely during these sort of conversations. "Seen Reo. That's the white one, right? Black legs?"

"Yeah, that's him."

"So what's so special about Reo."

"Wouldn't say at the time. Just said Leroy couldn't sell it, but you know him he's blind as poo poo. Couldn't tell one horse from a hole in his rear end."

"How generous of you. So what happened?"

"Well," Bert leaned over the table, his hand squared as though he were delivering a package of utmost intimacy. "He asks me to go get him back. Reo, that is, not Zeppelin. Forget Zeppelin. Not important. It's just Reo we're talking about here. Thirty bucks to bring him back. No idea why that horse was so important to him at the time, but hey, thirty bucks. Not bad for ten, fifteen minutes of work. So I drive down to the fair and find his brother and try to talk the horse off him, but he won't hear it. Too busy listening to folks shopping for tiny horses. So I figure-"

"You'd just steal it."

Bert's gaze failed to meet Patricia's. She allowed herself a dark chuckle before nodding to him. "Continue."

"I'd steal it. So I stole it. Knew there'd be no trouble. Wallace would back me up, chew out his brother later. Peachy keen. So I wrapped my hands around it's neck, like so," Bert demonstrated, fighting the soreness in his joints for the sake of authenticity. Then he froze, his attention fixed on Patricia, the pain in his face overcome with a certain cold frankness. "You know what that thing's been drinking? Water. Hallucinogenic water. Seems Wallace has some other business he's not too keen on leaking out into his other business. Only some of it leaked out into the yard and Reo's been drinking it. A lot of it, it turns out. Wallace told me later. After I beat the poo poo out of him. Cost him twenty extra. Anyway. So Reo's just nodded along in his part of the pen, head dropping, legs kinda shakey. Think it'll be easy to snare him. Nope. loving exploded out of that pen the minute I got a hold of him, and me too stupid to let go. Ran a good mile off, me in tow."

"Hmm," Patricia raised an eyebrow. "So that would explain the bruises."

"What? Nah,” Bert cradled his arm, rotating it as he spoke. “That was Wallace. Told you I beat the poo poo out of him. Well, yeah. He reciprocated. Mean left hook, that Wallace. Thanks for patching me up."

"No problem," Patricia nodded, her finger to her temple. "That'll be fifty dollars."

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

"It's DIE!"
The Last Bison

TO: Sargent Abigail C. O'Reilly
FROM: Detective Michael Sharp
DATE: April 25, 2053
RE: Security Breach at the Chicago Zoo

At 9:17 this evening, I received a private alert to my phone from the automatic security system at the Chicago Zoo. Officer Robbins was with me, helping me interview some slummers about a 50 pound shipment of sugar that was lifted from a train last week. The other zoo-man, Anders, had the night off, so I brought Robbins with me, but explained little. I’m confident he can be trusted with more information if it proves necessary.

We arrived at 9:33 and I used my passkey to let us in, locking the door behind us. No one wants a repeat of what happened with Donahue. Just beyond the gate we found the first body, a janitor, sprawled across his mop, soapy water mixing with his blood. A crude bamboo cross-bolt stuck out between his shoulderblades. About a hundred feet along the main path we came across two security guards, also taken down with homemade bolts. The spread of such weaponry is a disturbing trend amongst the slummers.

The last body was in the Chimpanzee enclosure. An assistant vet, working late, apparently. Only one of the chimps was dead, though the others were wailing and chattering as though they’d all been wounded. They can be nasty suckers, so Robbins and I didn’t enter the cage to check for injuries.

Unsurprisingly, we found the intruders in the Last Biison enclosure, passed out around the roasted remains of our current Last Bison. Apparently, the sleep-inducers Dr. Keys introduced in this latest clone were effective. Robbins looked sadly at the beast. I think it was his first time to see it. Robbins and I cuffed the men, chipped and sampled them, then locked them in the enclosure while we went to question any surviving staff.

I sent Robbins to round up anyone he could find and went to the fridge alone. The new zookeeper, Dr. Tanner, had followed protocol and locked himself in with the samples. I guess he was not interested in heroics after seeing Dr. Keys get himself killed protecting that natural-born zebra. Everything is secure and Dr. Tanner says we can have a passable new Last Bison in about six weeks, though it won’t survive close scrutiny by experts for at least 3 months. Too many growth hormones present or something.

Robbins gathered together the rest of the staff, five in all, and we locked them in the cafeteria for their own safety. Satisfied that all potential witnesses and intruders were accounted for, we examined the perimeter. We found the box they’d used to temporarily shut down the alarm. It had taken the system’s AI two hours to hack it and re-establish its connection to the Police Network. I’m afraid we have no choice but to call in IP to look at that. They will probably want to interview the prisoners, as well, so I have held off giving them a memory dose. We can always give them one later, and they’re bound to be sentenced to the Jovian Lunar Mines anyway. A missing month or two doesn’t matter much if you’re just going to dig all day.

I also have not given the staff their memory doses. I know it is beyond my station, however the continuing attempts and break-ins at the zoo have a tremendous cost--both in labor and lives. Given the expansion of the slums and their encroachment upon the semi-protected zone surrounding the zoo, we can only expect the attacks to increase. And the growing seediness of the neighborhood has already affected attendence. Although the Last Bison brings such delight to those who can afford to visit, I cannot help but wonder if it is time we let this noble creature die its final death? If made public, this tragedy can, perhaps, convince the Council to relocate the zoo to a safer and… less tempting location. Please advise.

Det. Mike Sharp

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Primary Circular Reactions
666 words

“So what, exactly,” said Rosemary Q, indicating the rainbow bright pharmacopia with her blinking NeoNail, “are all these?” She nudged a peacock blue pill and set it spinning around on the marble bar top.

Helen glanced at one of the HUDs that her Loubertin VisionWare was projecting into her peripheral vision to locate her drink. She took a sip and itemised the drugs in quick, breathy sing-song, reading from another HUD: “Dimethyl-tryptamine, Amineptine iso-butryl, Pramexipole, Paraxanthine, Theophylline, Synephrine-with-bitter-orange-extract and, um, Tylenol. For headaches.”

Rosemary raised a perfect eyebrow. “And you need all that, sweetie? What do they have you doing up there?”

Helen smiled. “The J’y Zee F’lo come from a different … dimension, I guess you’d call it? Their concept of reality is… it just isn’t, really. It’s like a multi-dimensional prism of different but identical points of view, interlocking at a point of pure—” She went to gesture extravagantly, nearly knocking over her glass, but stopped short as her glasses beeped at her. “Oops. Bottom line is they do some magnetoresonance voodoo on us ambassadors so we can talk to them, but it screws with a bunch of stuff in our noggins. The pills are just for the side effects.”

Rosemary’s face was a picture of fascinated horror. “Oh my god. They didn’t say anything about this on the news cloud. Have you told Mom? She’d freak. I mean you’re totally her number one favourite alien ambassador daughter – bitch – but if she found out about this it’d be worse than…”

“In the hovercar, with Kevin?” Helen said and buried her face in her hands as her sister guffawed, then held her glass high.

“Here’s to the hovercar! Dad still calls it the Flagrante, it’s kind of gross. Are you ever going to come get it?”

“Actually,” Helen said, peeking out from between her fingers, “I’m only supposed to drive on automatics; they put a pip on my license. I keep forgetting the other cars exist.”

“Ah. By the way, Kevin…” Rosemary paused, enjoying her sister’s look of consternation, “is an airways cop now. Broken heart and stuff.”

Helen let out a soft raspberry, then gathered up the handful of pills and washed them down with the remains of her drink. “Whatever. That boy is queeny as Old King Willy. He just likes tight trousers. I gotta catch the midnight shuttle up top so I’m gonna jet, wanna come see me off?”

Rosemary drained her drink. “Sweetheart if I don’t you’ll forget you’re twenty thousand feet up, step outside and Mom will be pissed her baby girl got turned into conserves.”

“It’s temporary,” protested Helen, but allowed her sister to lead her by the hand out of the bar.

Above the clouds it was bright and beautiful, a milk white blanket stretching as far as they could see. An old tune was lolloping its way through the Bang and Olufsen soundfield. Rosemary said “So you can’t imagine anything you’re not looking at? Isn’t that weird?”

“You’d think. But it’s not a problem – maybe it’ll be weirder once it’s worn off? I mean when you literally can’t imagine something then—“ A red light flashed on the console: POLICE HAIL. “Oh, crap.”
A screen flicked to life above the dash. “Good afternoon, citizen. Be advised you were travelling 1.08% over permitted sectoral airspeed for this—“

Rosemary gasped. “Kevin?”

The Airways Enforcement Officer stopped, seemingly tongue-tied behind his RayBans. “Helen? Is that you?”

Helen’s jaw dropped for a moment, then she closed her mouth firmly. “Officer, be advised you are speaking with a level 5 Terran Alien Affairs operative who has a space shuttle leaving in forty minutes. Take it up with EarthGov.” She slapped off the screen and punched the jet autoboost. As the acceleration pushed them both into their seats Helen carefully held up her hand for the high five.

“I’m on this side, sis,” said Rosemary.

Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.

The Last Bromerai
The front door slammed open, knocking the several month old garland off its peg and on to the ground. A man in his twenties wearing a pink pastel polo shirt with the collar flipped up and a visor cocked to the side saunters into the large foyer of the house. "Yo!” he shouts, dropping his bags to the ground and spreading his arms triumphantly. “Guess who's back?"

A muscular man walked into the foyer with an headset on holding a Playstation 3 controller. "Brad?"

“You know that's right.” Brad said, smiling as he nodded his head. “Brody, where's everyone else?”

“Broseph and Broderick and I were doing a little Call of Duty.” he said, pointing to the living room behind him.

Brad reached into his bag and pulled out a large book with a very poorly drawn portrait of a samurai on it. "Bro, I did it."

"You actually finished your book." Brody turned the book in his hand and read the title out loud. "The Bro Samurai."

"It's a children's book." Brad said as he sat down on the couch, high-fiving the other fraternity brothers.

"Will you read it to us?" Broseph asked.

"You're drat right I will Broderick. Gather round children." Brad accepted the book back from Brody and opened the book to the first page. "The Bro Samurai. By yours truly, Brad Cody.”

"The Bro Samurai, Bromurai, partied hard. He partied the hardest of all the shogun in the land. Shotgunning beers, impressing the ladies and doing push ups, he was the man." Brad flipped the book around and showed the pictures to his bros.

"But one day, something terrible happened to the land. Parties were banned nation wide. Bromurai tried to rally his people to fight the oppression, but everyone was scared. No matter how many push-ups and bamboo sticks he cut down with his wicked sword, he couldn't get others to help.

"Bromurai used all of his training to party as hard as humanly possible. He created and played all the instruments needed to jam. He couldn't stop to sleep because he had to party for those who partied no longer."

"He's like Ghandi, or Lebron." Brody said.

Brad placed the book down on his lap. "Indeed he is. Let us return to our story.

"Like all good things, it eventually came to an end. After a straight week of partying, he was captured and thrown in prison. He was stripped of everything except for a short sword."

Brody gasped, placing his hands over his mouth.

"Bromurai was alone in his cell. He had no instruments. He had no beer. His only companion was silence." Brad read, shaking his head.

"I can't listen to this anymore!" Broseph stood and exited the room. "It's too much!"

Brad forged on, determined to finish his book. "Bromurai did what he could to bring the party into his cell, but it was impossible. He could only do so many sit-ups without the cheer of party-goers. He looked down at the small sword and understood what must be done.

"He commited seppuku that night, but he lived on. The ghost of Bromurai inspired former party-goers to party at his funeral. Everyone partied as hard as Bromurai partied when he took their burden on his own shoulders. The entire land partied so hard, that the empire was toppled and freedom was restored to the people.

"Bromurai lives in each and every one of us, whispering in our ears, giving us the power to party. The end." Brad closed the book and presented it above his head. "The end."

"That was beautiful, Brad," Brody said, wiping a tear from puffy eyes, "It makes me want to be a better person."

"I feel you bro." Brad said. He placed a hand on Brody's shoulder. "This children's book is going to blow up hotter than the bible did."

Aug 2, 2002




:siren: Submissions are closed. :siren:

submit now and you'll be DQed, but it's better than being a miserable failure.

(thunderdome/thunderdome user/pass for the unfamiliar/forgetful.)

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Martello posted:

Infected hair follicle in my right hand spread to surrounding tissue, got it lanced

have we discussed the unsoundness of your masturbatory practices yet

Jan 27, 2008

Keepin' it classy.
College Slice

crabrock posted:

:siren: Submissions are closed. :siren:

submit now and you'll be DQed, but it's better than being a miserable failure.

(thunderdome/thunderdome user/pass for the unfamiliar/forgetful.)

Ugh, I meant to drop out earlier. I've been sick in bed with a fever for five days and didn't write a thing. Sorry I couldn't give anyone my words. :(

Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

Wow, I'd never seen this before. Incidentally, it seems that this week has tipped us over the million word mark.

For good or ill, congratulations everyone. That's a lot of poo poo.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004


crabrock posted:

submit now and you'll be DQed, but it's better than being a miserable failure.

(thunderdome/thunderdome user/pass for the unfamiliar/forgetful.)

interjections (19 total):
1. oh (32)
2. poo poo (29)
3. yeah (29)
4. uh (10)
5. ah (9)
6. okay (7)
7. hey (6)
8. huh (5)
9. eh (3)
10. tut (3)

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

What's the next happy meal toy? The placenta.

Happy Meal

"Hold the door."
"You running late?"
"No, headed straight to 20th."
"Not the kind that sends me diving for the utility closet."
"Oh yeah, me too. Plenty of naps in there. Hangovers are a bitch."
"What have you been up to?"
"Haha, yeah, she's still going crazy."
"Her latest she calls the 'Happy Meal"."
"Sits on my face and grinds it out."
"I know, it's more like I'm the one getting eaten."
"Sex is just a bunch of holes trying to get at each other."
"Even kissing and ear stuff."
"Sometimes she drills right in."
"Keeps talking about babies."
"Babies for breakfast, babies for dinner."
"Her pussy is definitely in on it. Made me have this hallucination about eating placenta."
"I'll never be able to eat eggs over-easy the same."
"Always no."
"They wanted it six hours ago. I'm just working in whatever timezone gets it done."
"She's making almost triple mine."
"What she want's. Lately babies, babies, babies."
"I never did, but now I do. They're brainwashing me."
"It's weird to think about little people running around the house."
"I'm laying on my back, ready for whatever freak thing comes out of her mouth next. She gets up there and starts pushing down hard. Like angry. When she can't get enough force, she starts slamming down. I'm thinking, 'Holy poo poo, she's lost her mind.'"
"Lots of grunting and non-standard sounds."
"That's part of it. Don't know if its going to be a concussion or suffocation."
"Euphoric fear? The lack of oxygen. A kid is supposed to come out of there. She keeps reminding me of that."
"I don't know if I like it or not, but it's marriage right. She used to be demure. Now it's like this possessed demon is waiting for me every night."
"She wants me to quit. Says its a stupid job."
"I just don't see me working on the net in my underwear all day."
"Kids in my face."
"That's easy for you to say."
"Who's sperm then? The idea of a sperm bank is icky."
"Who doesn't want two moms? I mean dudes are cool and all."
"Yeah, thanks for the offer, but your not banging my wife."
"Even from a cup, or syringe, or whatever they use. It'd just be awkward. I don't even want to think about you in some room pulling my baby out of your junk into a cup."
"Rather go random. Plus we have to work together."
"That's true."
"Dick doesn't really do it for me these days."
"She does, but I prefer tits on the other end of the stick."
"That's true."
"That's true."
"That's true."
"She wants one to come out her though."
"That's true."
"Not too pissed. She's not territorial."
"It's the baby."
"True. Preggers same time."
"Ha ha, yeah, just let me hike up my skirt real quick."
"You better not hit that button."
"Don't you dare."
"I think you're still drunk."
"There's a loving camera in here."
"Purely functionary."
"Ha, for science."
"I'm not even sure it will work."
"You'd have to get your knees good and scuffed."
"Yeah, eggs for breakfast."
"In the utility closet."
"No guarantees. Just conversation."
"Alright, half an hour."
"Wipe that smile off your face, dumbass."

twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 08:48 on Oct 14, 2013

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


justcola posted:


The Birds And The Beads

“Dad? Why aren't there any children any more?”

“Well...” said Bret. “It's a long story.”

I really liked this story.


Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart
Thunderdome Critquake 62

Oh god. Some weeks we get good stories. This... this was not one of those weeks. Some of you committed venal sins - bad editing, flimsy verbs. But far more of your sins were mortal - no plot arc, cardboard characters, or worse - no story at all.

Now to shellack you with the varnish of truth.

surreptitiousmuffin - not a mad scientist, just disappointed

“Did we are” - this is either a typo or your patois is too thick. Took me a while to figure out that you meant “err”. There’s definitely some instances of too-thick patois here.


“Miss,” said the doctor, “you know, you are a legal away'd by this procedure. I am informing you of this for the legal purpose.”

Here, for example, the first sentence is too thick - “legal away’d” is incomprehensible to me, even with the later clarification. The second sentence, though mangled, is intelligible.

I like the long pun that you set up in the first line, it comes together nicely at the end. Thing is, there’s no other real resolution, we don’t know why the husband tricked the woman into coming down to the Cry-Genics institute, and what the trickery has resulted in.

I think you need to clear up your backing story a bit. Blakely, though colorful, is unnecessary in the scheme of things. Also, if he’s their insurance agent, why is he holding up the sign that the woman is fired?

Also, since the husband is the one talking at the start, why is he saying “You’re fired”? Though it makes a nice joke later on, it seems odd and stilted once you reflect on the reveal. Also, why is he saying it before his wife has undergone the procedure?

This is a pleasantly bizarre little vignette, with an amusing joke, but it’s not the strongest thing I’ve seen.

Also, doesn’t this totally ignore the “story being told” prompt?

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: Austrian wine, vintage 1985.

justcola - The Birds and the Beads

So, you went for the obvious joke almost immediately. Sexbots destroy mankind, and a father tells his son about it.

I realize it’s brought on by the prompt, but two characters sitting next to each other, directly answering one another’s questions is (a) boring as hell and (b) not how good dialogue works.

Next time, set the scene a bit by having the father and son do something in this apocalyptic wasteland, show me that the world has ended - you’ve got all these details (some nice, some cliche) thrown into your last paragraph. Those would’ve been much nicer sprinkled throughout the narrative instead of helldumped on me as a postscript.

There’s no characterization for the father/son here other than they disdain nerds. There’s no tension, no character arcs. Nothing’s at stake. This would serve as a flimsy interlude in a longer post-apoc story, but it could still be done better by putting some action and conflict in between the backstory-dump.

All told, this is pretty bad. You have one good, interesting joke - the cyborgs one. I really wish you’d scrapped most of the opening backstory dialogue and run with a father-son team who’s scared of cyborgs that sprung from the mating of sexbots and humans, the nerds that created them, and are bent on survival/revenge.

Nitpick: Jagermeister is mostly an American phenomenon. There’s other, far more popular varieties of schnapps over here. I get where you’re trying to go with the joke, but it doesn’t work too well.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: Whatever’s in the waste tank at a Jiffy Lube.

The Saddest Rhino - These Rhythms Are Money, Man

Wow. I did… not see that going where it went. It started off kind of predictable and then took a hard right turn down bizarro alley. I approve.

It’s a funny idea, it’s decently executed, but there’s some story-flab you could cut off in the intro. Lady TaTa comes out of loving nowhere. I also don’t know what TaTa is offering the kid, or what’s really at stake here.

So uh. More plot arc please? That’s really all I can say, it’s otherwise competently weird. It feels like you’re starting off some kind of bizarro-Accelerando. (Problem: I hated that book.) Needs closure.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: Day-glow Veuve Clicquot.

Dirty Communist - 90s Kids

Straight up, this is terrible writing.

I have no idea what’s going on with this story. There’s a shitton of argumentative dialogue, little exposition, and less action. A guy wears some kind of offensive/ironic t-shirt and it seems to offend/intrigue a bunch of people, though I’m not clear on why. Then some people want to beat him up, but a little girl saves him? And it might or might not all be in Heaven/Hell/Limbo.

A writer’s #1 job is clarity, and it’s the biggest issue you have. I don’t know where these people are, what’s at stake, why they’re arguing, or even what they’re arguing over. I’ve read your description of the shirt about six times now and I still have no idea what it is. Why are you writing in such an intentionally obscure way? Say things directly, god drat you.

You’ve got a handful of muddled jokes. I don’t know what the setup is supposed to be, but “vegans” is your punchline at one point. At some point, the character’s boss seems to pop up, say something expository and disappear into the fog.

Throw this whole thing out and start over. Figure out your central premise, put together an interesting character or two, and then have the character struggle against something. Something involving a t-shirt.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: Heroin, diazepam and shotgun pellets in a highball glass. Shaken, not stirred.

Robot Hobo - Bring the Light

Well, I don’t know we’re working in a prison until paragraph four or five, thanks to the mention of handcuffs and inmates. That’s bad. Clarity.


With a resigned sigh, the exhausted-looking inmate wiped a bit more soot off of his grubby face and started recanting his story once more from the beginning.

Sir, put down the thesaurus and step away slowly. You don’t need this many adjectives in a sentence. “Recant” does not mean what you think it means. You want to show that the inmate is nervous, resigned and tired. You could do that with simply wiping sweat and soot off his face. The final clause just tells me what he’s about to do - and I’ll find that out in the next paragraph. Eliminate that clause, it’s flaccid writing.

By this point, I no longer want to read the rest of this, and were I not judging, I’d’ve skipped to the next story. Why? Because I’m a third of the way in, and you haven’t set up anything. This is flash fiction, you have to get started fast!

There’s no point in having your character pause and let the other character prompt them into continuing. It’s useless filler. If you want the pauses to be meaningful, something has to happen, some action or thought to show us what the meaning of the pause is.

Okay, finally, we get to a bit where a dude turns into a demon and summons the throne of Satan to LA, which you turn into a semi-predictable quip about the City of Angels. Fine, halfway decent pun. Thing is, you telegraphed it when you had the dude stand up and announce that he was a goddamn demon.

I’m not sure if this is trying to be comedy or horror or some kind of weird horror-comedy like John Dies At The End, but it doesn’t work. Part of it is the harm done by the prompt’s device of story-being-told-within-a-story. You either need more comedy if it’s comedy or to strip the comedy and work on a slow, creepy reveal of Hell On Earth if you want to go with horror.

As is, it’s pretty boring, and that’s a terrible sin.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: Either jelly or syrup. (I prefer syrup.)

Symptomless Coma - Your Habit

God drat it, another monologue? What is this, loving monologue week? At least, of all the monologues I had to read this week, this was the best one, as the speaker's personality comes through.

You’ve done a decent job of showing us what the man’s character is like, but as a result of his strong and assertive personality, I have no idea what the woman is like. This would’ve worked better if we were inside her head and could see her thoughts. The first third works fine, but it gets tiring and there's no change/redemption to give me a payoff here.

The subtle alcoholism vs. nailbiting thing for addictions is a nice little irony. That said, did this guy drink two and a half bottles of wine over the course of five minutes’ hectoring? Good lord.

Too clever by half and I don’t much care for it, but at least you’ve got one clear character. Rewrite without the stupid monologue gimmick.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: More Austrian ‘85, thanks.

Tyrannosaurus - Johansen

gently caress’S SAKE, ANOTHER DIALOGUE STORY? Did you get lost on your way to the screenwriting thread?! Print this poo poo out and paste it on your monitor:

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:



Cute idea, poo poo execution. Rewrite with dialogue tags, action, etc. You don’t need to smack us in the face with exposition about why they pulled the tapes, that’s peripheral to your central plot. I don’t care.

Look, you’ve got the idea for a plot arc down. Weird lab assistant gets anomalous results, but others can’t replicate. Professor goes in to secretly investigate, witnesses aberrant behavior that deepens the mystery. Big reveal: Guy is cuddling the rats, so he grabs the cages and jets before being outed as a rat-lover. Done. It's even interesting, which is more than I can say for most of the other dialogue-only stories.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: An entire bottle of The End of History, straight from the furry, soft container.

systran - Moksha

This is a better-framed version of the monologue stories, at least, and you have an arc with a classic and clearly identifiable theme, that wealth does not bring happiness. I like how you incorporated the cards without going goony, the piece has some gravitas to it, but it’s a bit cliche, no?

There’s some minor technical details I could pick at, some words you could shed here and there. Example:


I saw he wore fine clothes tinted with expensive dyes--clothes much like I once had worn--and I answered him:


He wore fine clothes tinted with expensive dyes, much like I had once worn. I answered:

You could also use the saved words to make the imagery of the young man more vivid. Don’t tell us the dyes are expensive, show us that the cloth and dye is fancy. Gold, purple, brocaded silk, whatever. I also have no idea what ittar is. You probably could’ve gotten away with “perfume”. (I googled it.)

“Much like I had once worn” is probably redundant given that you’ve already said the youth looks much like the narrator’s younger self in the previous paragraph.

Actually, now that I think about it a second time, this is a lot darker than my first glance made it seem. The guy goes on a religious journey and is on the brink of enlightenment, but he screws a girl and for some reason this tangles up enlightenment with hot poverty-sex, so now he’s not only rich but impotent, so he goes to live in squalor - but is it for the hot poorsex or to try to achieve enlightenment? This last point is left ambiguous.

Clever. I don’t hate it, which is high praise so far this week.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: Water from the Ganges. (Please call an ambulance.)

Noah - No Bones About It (1822 words)

Oh look, Mr. Special wanted to take all the words. Pity they didn’t go into a good story.

The whole piece is flabbier than a leading role in Hairspray. Cut your first two sentences. “Kids went berserk” is your hook, push it up to the top. In fact, cut the whole thing with the principal. After that, half of the action could’ve been cut, and the parents reactions are just various rephrases of “Oh my god” and “you are a bad man”. Cut those.

I see what you’re doing with the tenses, offsetting the past “story being told” poo poo with the MST3K antics of the parent/teacher conference. Thing is, it’s distracting and you don’t need it. Just cut to the past, then cut back to the present when the story’s done. Maybe cut back once for an interruption.

Here’s the other thing - what’s actually going on here? People get rage-boners and then they suddenly have ragegasms that turn them into violent gently caress-zombies? “Something happens to the kid and then it happens to the teacher” is a fine idea for an ending twist, but there’s no emotive weight to it, no character arc gets advanced. Ock ock ock. Fix.

In short, not happy.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: Straight foreshots from a batch of Teacher’s Single Malt. Sure, I’ll go blind, but then I don’t need to see this story ever again. Worth it.

Helsing - Svetlana Vershinin


She hid the linen closet

SAVE THE SHEETS! THE REVOLUTION COMES! The whole backstory of getting dragged from her home is entirely irrelevant. Cut it, show relevant parts to us later during the action.

What’s your conflict, your central theme? I’ve got nothing here. A psychic girl gets trapped, uses her powers to kill a guy just as he’s claiming she has no powers. Nyuk nyuk, irony. No one learns anything, nothing really changes. This also hinges on a terribly cliche horror theme, almost like reading the first page of the backstory to F.E.A.R.

Your writing mechanics are awkward:


After they found Svetlana they covered her face with a bag and threw her in the back of their truck. They drove for what seemed like days on bad roads, stopping from time to time when the men had to dig the truck’s tires out of the icy mud. At the end of the drive they took the bag off her head and dragged her through a grey concrete courtyard and into an elevator that descended for a very long time. That was the last time she could remember seeing sunlight.

Thunk, thunk, thunk. That’s the sound of plodding, uninspired language. Get rid of weakening phrases like “from time to time”, “what seemed like”, “for a very long time”. Show us these things, if you must.

I also don’t get how dragging a girl into a dungeon and testing her for ESP is a “joke”. Unclear dialogue, whee!

Boring story, boringly told. No cookies for you.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: All the vodka in Russia. At once. Intravenously.

Baggy_Brad - The Ultimate Intimacy


he thought he was still on the helipad

URRRRGH. Why does this matter? If it’s irrelevant, cut it! If it’s not irrelevant, show it to us somehow instead of pistolwhipping your reader with exposition. I already want to skip this story.


spot fires from the downed copter illuminating the the foliage against the darkness.

Okay, lesson time, TD! See all those instances of “the”? 3 out of 4 could be removed and the prose would be much tighter. “The” makes something concrete and specific, removing it makes it ephemeral. Try removing as many “the”s as you can - you save wordcount, your prose flows quicker, and bleary openings like these seem more dreamlike.


Dried blood lead to his lips.

Wow, that’s a lovely description. Watch your anthropomorphisms.

This turns into a (mostly cliche) love story with a halfway-decent punchline, but you MUST clean up your mechanics. Your similes and descriptions are cringeworthy. I think the interlocutor’s interjections could be spiced up a bit. Right now they mostly serve as prompts to get the monologuer to speak more. Strip out any useless details from the love story and focus on the changes wrought first by the formation of the relationship and then by the disease. Focus on the pain.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: Heavily.

Jagermonster - Children on Leashes

The musical/play aspect doesn’t help this story at all. It distracts from your core reveal, which is the man’s fame, what it’s built on, etc. Yeah, you needed it for the cards, but it hurts the story, so no points for you. The first two paragraphs are entirely irrelevant. You could’ve just opened with the phone call, saved 100 words and used them elsewhere.

Also, you literally plot-dump the character’s point of view right in the middle of the story. It’s pedantic, it feels like you’re hitting me over the head with the character’s message. Spread that out, don’t put all your characterization into one giant paragraph.

That said, you’ve got a nice little sinister reveal at the end, and I like that. This story just needs some edits and refinement and you’ll have a decent little gem for your library. And cut the play aspect.

One of the stronger entries so far this week.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: Single-malt from a sippy cup.

Fumblemouse - Embryo

Good opening line, good hook, good pacing. You did the dialogue story right, god drat you. It’s cute, it makes light of a dark thing (and does it well), it hits the prompt, and it has a few good jokes mixed in.

I like this, there’s only some minor nitpicks I can make, such as the punctuation and spacing errors here:


"Make,’em, break ‘em and scrape em, s’my motto. Your folks’, too, looks like”

And I find this description clunky, rewrite it somehow:


Small flaps of skin around the facial area gave the embryo a look of confusion.

Otherwise, very strong.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: Waiter! Martini and a roofie-colada!

Nikaer Drekin - The Legend of the Codpiece


They found their peaceful little lives jostled when Sir Valis's lady love Camilla stole away from the castle into the dark maw of the night.

Let’s play “spot the fantasy cliche”! It’s like PeeWee’s Playhouse, I’ll :w00t: every time you use one! Actually, let’s not. It’s a silly game and I’d be doing it every five words.

I get that you’re lampooning fantasy tropes here, but the language lays it on a little thick. It comes off stilted and clinical. I need John Cleese narrating this, not Patrick Moore.

I have a hard time connecting Camilla’s poem with Sir Valis running off to kill Lord Lyman. Also, why does Sir Valis kill Lyman in the most roundabout way possible? Hell, why does he kill him at all?

Absurd comedy still has a hang together with at least a thread of twisted illogic, not just “stuff happens”. Mildly amusing, but not good.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: Condom-fermented mead. Mmm, creamy!

Auraboks - Not Judgin’

Eh, this started going places a few paragraphs in and then abruptly stopped. "Oh, mine’s way weirder" demands more escalation between “a guy likes getting soaked with cat pee” and “there’s more than one of them.” Swing and a miss!

You could definitely tighten up your framing device. Yeah, it has to be a story-being-told, but the MST3K conversation bits need to either add to the story or get cut. Your opening needs to be tighter, “people poop on hookers for fun” isn’t a good hook.

You’ve got a good reveal at the end, but you need to punch up the saggy middle and connect the reveal with the escalation. As is, it's just a story-terminating joke.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: Yeah, sure, pass the cat pee.

Jeza - Lifetime Presents Sunshine And Rainbows, The Story of Racism

Okay, you have some decent ideas here. The problems lie mostly in mechanics.

First problem, your villains are caricatures. They have no redeeming qualities. Why are they afraid/indignant of the kid? Do they think he’s a spy or stealing? Are they acting out of some kind of fear or ignorance? You’ve got the wordcount, so you don’t get the “lol too short” excuse.

Second, your prose needs some stripping down. You’re using a lot of adverbs. “staring hollowly”, ugh.

Some phrases don’t add anything to the story. “Things soon got out of hand.” SHOW ME, GOD drat YOU.

Word choice is also a problem. The little boy’s grip is “re-established”? So clinical. So devoid of feeling.


It was a bluff. Cargill knew it was, somewhere deep down. But he had a temper, and had only just been keeping it under wraps for weeks. The pent up hatred frothed forth. The straight was worthy of Ali. Cargill laid the Texan out in an instant.

As soon as he had, Cargill was on his knees pummelling his face. It was a stupid decision. Hollister panicked with eight inches of sharp steel in his hand. It found it’s way between Cargill’s ribs, and everything stopped quite abruptly.

This whole section, this major turning point in your story, happens at such a distance that I’m almost bored by it. Clear up and clean up your language. We don’t need to know Cargill knows it’s a bluff, that’s leaden. “The straight” I had to re-read to get. I thought we’d slipped into a poker metaphor somehow.

“Cargill laid the Texan out” is passive, goddamnit.

Edit harder, characterize better.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: A whole bottle of snake whiskey. And I’ll eat the snake afterwards, praying the poison is intact.

docbeard - Bite The Hand

"Moreauvians?" Is this… FANFICTION?! :cripes:

Right, now that I’ve got that out of my system. This is somewhat clumsy. It ends well, the you-all-look-alike quip is good. Thing is, we don’t know why Bobo goes nuts, so we don’t know what lesson he learned or was trying to teach. Basically, the middle third is pretty decent, but your opening and ending need work.

Your mechanics also need work. To wit:


I heard myself say as I hopped up on the back of my seat,, perching there to face my new drunken best friend.

This is just clumsy as gently caress. Never ever write “heard myself say” for intentional dialogue (it gives the impression of an unintentional outburst), and even if it’s unintentional there’s less cliche ways to express the idea. “My new drunken best friend” is flip as hell and doesn’t match the tone of the piece. It’s got a heavy taste of the ironic-sarcastic flavor of writing you’ll see on the internet, and it hurts when you’re trying to do a serious story. It’s like you’re sneering at yourself.

The subsequent attribution about the vocalizer chip is pointless. We don’t need to know it. If we have thinking superintelligent people-monkeys, we can believe they can speak without a chip.


I knew I should just sit down and ignore him.

This is a place where free indirect speech works better than exposition. Change it to: I should just sit down. I should ignore him. or something similar.

You’ve got some okay ideas, so brush up on your technique.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: Monkey jenkem.

dmboogie - Stupid poo poo Overheard While Bartending


Another ordinary Friday night at the local bar.

Cool, I can stop reading now. You’ve opened your story with “nothing much was happening”, so why the gently caress am I reading it? Right, because I have to.

Nothing. Happens. I’ve seen Seinfeld episodes where more happens, and that was a show about nothing! There’s no story here. Two drunk guys talk about rear end cancer and the apocalypse. That’s it.

Your prose is terrible. You’ve got lots of irrelevant actions, extraneous exposition, and wry “I’m too cool for these losers” judgments in your narration - which never goes anywhere. There’s no redeeming characters - hell, there’s barely even characters.

Write an actual loving story next time. Inciting event, rising action, climax, denouement. Once you can do that, we’ll start talking about mechanics, and then we’ll get into theme and voice.

For now? Get the gently caress out of my sight.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: The entire well. I seriously need to be blind right now.

Martello - Excuses

All I hear is Beaker going “meh meh meh meh meh”.

Walamor - The Young Tailor


The table was blanketed with tiny capes, each marked with a ‘S’ in the center.

Oh no! She’s killed Miniature Superman! (Edit: Oh poo poo, that’s actually the joke. God drat it.)


Some of them seemed well crafted, made with silk of various colors, but others were just curled paper that looked to have been attacked by a well-intentioned infant with a highlighter.

This sentence is like taking a baseball bat to the face. Never loving use “seemed” ever again. “Seemed” is a cheap bullshit weasel word and you need to expunge it from your loving vocabulary. “Just” is another cheapshit word. “Looked to have” is terrible, too. Tighten this whole thing up, show us the two different types of capes so we can form our own value judgments, don’t try to deliver them in narration.

“Some were dyed, embroidered silk, others paper and highlighter-scribble.” Bam, DONE, one-third the words.

You totally sidestepped using the historical Aaron Burr here. Making his middle name “Hamilton” is cute, but I was hoping for something with the real Aaron Burr. Points off.

You’ve got a cute joke, but it’s buried in heavy prose. The story picks up once Sarah gets mentioned, although this is really weird:


“Sarah? So this is some kind of guy thing?”

Uh, for a second there, I thought the kid was gay and screwing a guy named Sarah, in some kind of weird Boy Named Sue twist. But no, the mother’s reaction just doesn’t make any loving sense.

Cut a bunch of the back-and-forth disbelief chatter. You only need maybe half of it. Reveal something, character or plot, in every para. You need another reveal to really wrap this up, something that turns our perception of the situation on its head.

As is, you’ve got half an amusing vignette and a lot of overwriting.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: Milk.

Accretionist - Of Malthus And Men


It was a clear evening; you could see the sun.

FFFFUUUUUCK. Never do this. Never start a story with the weather. Jesus christ, Writing Sins 101. It’s a horrible cliche, and it’s not interesting. The only time you can do this is when you’re immediately tossing us for a loop. Here’s one famous weather-opening that works:


It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

Here’s the thing - you’re close to that. You have to include an unusual detail for these things to work. “It was a clear evening and the sun slipped between the arcologies, spreading out like a steel sea from the Federal Spire.” Better. It’s not Orwell, but it’s better.


He pulled a glass of scotch from his desk and took a drink, appreciating the glow of the city fog. This was the most populous corridor of his nation: a megalopolis comprising much of the NE United States, a nation comprising approximately eight-hundred and fifty million hungry, breeding citizens.

gently caress’s sake. Eliminate the televisionitis. “President Dickface sipped scotched and watched the city fog. <exposition>”. Also, never loving use an abbreviation like “NE” in real prose. You will write out “north-eastern” or “north-east”. Yes, that’s two words. There’s plenty of others you can cut to make room.

Right, I’m going to stop nitpicking mechanics now, because if I didn’t, this crit would be a novella. Needless to say, clean up your goddamn writing toolbox. Ask someone for a line-by-line if you need it. Jesus.

The rest of your story unfolds through leaden dialogue, just like half the rest of the entries this week. The backstory to the current situation is reeled off like the President is MC Hawking reading a Wikipedia entry.

And then your punchline is “homosexuality destroys the family”. Sigh. Is there no way you could’ve been funnier or more clever about this?

Boring story, tediously written, groanworthy punchline.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: I don’t know, but it’s going to have a slice of fruit and an umbrella in it.

Bad Seafood - Best In Show


She sigh and let him in, sit him down, treat him, pour him a glass - the good stuff - and await his explanation.

Seaaaaaafoooooooooooood! :bahgawd: “Sighed”, “sat”, “treated”, “poured”, “awaited”, you gently caress. I don’t like the dash-interjection either, you could’ve just used the word “of”.

Patricia’s voice is uneven. She starts off an airy country gal and towards the end starts talking in a clinical deadpan.


So I wrapped my hands around it's neck, like so

Its. :bahgawd:

Wait, what the gently caress? I just reread the whole story. Is Patricia his shrink or his wife? Where are they, an office or their mutual home’s kitchen or what? What’s your framing device here? This whole thing is kind of muddled and hazy.

How does Bert get patched up? Is that the drink? Did the drink cost him fifty bucks? Is Patricia a bartender?

Too many questions, not enough interesting answers. Bad Seafood.

The Story Made Me Want To Drink: Whatever that horse had. And lots of it.

Doc Kloc - The Last Bison

This is pretty flat. That’s partly the narrator’s fault and partly the plot’s. Your build-up gets entirely deflated once you’ve done the last-bison reveal, and the rest of it doesn’t give me any sort of anticipation, it’s just worldbuilding bloviation.

There’s also lots of editing mistakes:


A crude bamboo cross-bolt stuck out

“Crossbow bolt”? If not, this thing’s unclear.


the Last Biison enclosure


I think it was his first time to see it.

“His first time to see it”...?! You can write better than that.


We found the box they’d used to temporarily shut down the alarm. It had taken the system’s AI two hours to hack it and re-establish its connection to the Police Network.

Wuh? The hacker box’s AI had taken two hours to hack <the fence> and re-establish <the fence’s> connection? Why would it reconnect the fence to the police network? Buh? Fix yo’ :technobabble: and pronouns.

But, really, you need a better build and some kind of climax. This is all just too flat.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: That memory shot the cop mentions. Better make it a double.

sebmojo - Primary Circular Reactions


Rosemary Q, indicating the rainbow bright pharmacopia

Well, it’s competently written, but not sweet as shining light. There's a few passive and saggy phrases here and there, but otherwise… it’s got a floaty quality that I don’t quite like. I’m not entirely sure it’s unintentional, given the narrator.

Thing is, what happens here? What changes? We get some jokes about the chick not being wholly connected with reality, but… what? What’s any of this mean? It’s like the story got cut off halfway through. Writing's fine, fix the plot.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: Pure grain ethanol to cleanse my precious bodily fluids.

Mercedes - The Last Bromerai

groan. Tense shifts in the first paragraph.


The front door slammed open, knocking the several month old garland off its peg and on to the ground. A man in his twenties wearing a pink pastel polo shirt with the collar flipped up and a visor cocked to the side saunters into the large foyer of the house.

First sentence is simple past, second sentence is present tense. Watch that poo poo. Also, you’re layering way too much description into the second sentence. Is his dress going to be important? If not, cut either the shirt or the visor for now and use it later on. As is, the immediate and lengthy description kills your pacing.


A muscular man walked into the foyer with an headset on holding a Playstation 3 controller. "Brad?"

“a” headset on, COMMA. Again, overdescription? You could lose the headset here. I’m going to stop pointing out basic grammar errors now, because I don’t want this crit to take all night.


The Bro Samurai, Bromurai, partied hard.

You just shot your joke in the neck. Don’t explain your pun in the prose itself!


"He's like Ghandi, or Lebron." Brody said.

Good joke spotted! :eng101:


Brad placed the book down on his lap. "Indeed he is. Let us return to our story.

And… pace killed. :eng99:

This isn’t bad, but it’s not good either. The problem is you’re trying to ride the “bros party hard” joke, but you don’t do anything interesting with it. The tragicomic bromerai story arc could work - last bromerai wants to restore honor to the bromerai class, ends up committing seppuku in some way that inspires the nation to rebel - but you need to toss in some jokes or puns or something. As is, it’s a single, stale, overextended joke.

That said, this is better than your usual stuff, and I get the sense that it’d’ve been far better if it were unencumbered by the “tell a story within a story” framing device required by the prompt. Work on your mechanics more.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: Sapporbro. (Yeah, that pun’s about as good as this story. Sorry.)

ScaryJen - More Excuses

“Meh meh meh meh meh!”

Twinkle Cave - Happy Meal (DQ - late)

Well, this isn’t the worst thing I read today. Take that as a credit. You tried to do the same thing as many others, a dialogue but with only one speaker’s lines included. It’s an obnoxious gimmick, but you’ve got a decently twisted sense of humor, so it actually starts getting good about halfway in.

Then the last third happens. You’d been gleefully specific prior, and the descriptions of what the guy’s wife(?) wants and does to him carry the humor. Then you throw all that away and we get some very obscure dialogue where nothing happens and I think the guy gets propositioned for buttsecks in the utility closet, except maybe he’s a she but with a penis? I can’t tell, it gets muddy real fast.

Don’t do the sections where you just repeat “that’s right” four times. It doesn’t show me anything, it’s just filler. Also cut the ellipses. They're obnoxious.

The parts that work are the parts that are one-sided with Elevator Person #1 telling Elevator Person #2 about weird personal poo poo, like passing out hungover in the utility closet. Cut out the useless stuff, make it weirder, and you have something amusingly strange. As is, it’s too rough to be good.

This Story Made Me Want To Drink: A blend of egg, pepper and the hair of the dog that bit me. Wait - you rear end, this is a human egg!

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