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SC Bracer
Aug 7, 2012

Um uh how do i poo poo-talk out of this

Sorry I was a no show last week, but my computer pretty much shat itself and blue-screened thrice before I took it in for repairs. Even this is on my phone actually. It was horrible.


Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011

In with two four days to go, because I enjoy the pain of humiliation. First-time entrant to Thunderdome, I fully expect to be the loser.

Purple Prince fucked around with this message at 16:17 on Feb 14, 2013

Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.
I like this prompt. I'm in.

Jun 8, 2003

I'm in.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

22 hours left for sign-ups.

And 70 left for submissions. Get crackin'.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW
Flash Rule: Don't write badly.

Whoops, guess everyone loses this time.

Jun 28, 2006

Nobody likes you.
Everybody hates you.
You're gonna lose.

Smile, you fuck.
Yeah, I'm signing up for this prompt.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007




FLASH RULE and preferably an all the time rule:

Don't open your story with a description of the weather unless the weather is passionately making love to one of your protagonists as an expression of years of commitment.

No rain pouring/pounding/pattering, no wind raging/howling/whistling, no skies churning or suns beaming/shining.

You can use weather anywhere else in the piece but for god's sake this is a story not the 5 o'clock news. Don't open with weather.

No one did this...yet....but just don't.

Horrible Butts
May 7, 2012
I'm in.

May 11, 2009

My inability to write has angered the ghost of Thunderdome! Beware my example, lest you be haunted.

Sitting Here posted:

FLASH RULE and preferably an all the time rule:

Don't open your story with a description of the weather unless the weather is passionately making love to one of your protagonists as an expression of years of commitment.

No rain pouring/pounding/pattering, no wind raging/howling/whistling, no skies churning or suns beaming/shining.

You can use weather anywhere else in the piece but for god's sake this is a story not the 5 o'clock news. Don't open with weather.

No one did this...yet....but just don't.

What if the weather has a mohawk? That would be kind of cool.

"The mohawked Chinook bore down on the prospector camp situated at the Western edge of the Rockies."


Oct 10, 2007

Can you see that I am serious?
Fun Shoe

Sitting Here posted:

FLASH RULE and preferably an all the time rule:

Don't open your story with a description of the weather unless the weather is passionately making love to one of your protagonists as an expression of years of commitment.

No rain pouring/pounding/pattering, no wind raging/howling/whistling, no skies churning or suns beaming/shining.

You can use weather anywhere else in the piece but for god's sake this is a story not the 5 o'clock news. Don't open with weather.

No one did this...yet....but just don't.

As the tornado bore down on them, howling like a thousand lost souls, Linda turned to Bob and said "I think it's time I told you how much our relationship has meant to me."

"Cool," Bob said. "I feel the same way. Let us express our feelings in a physical manner while we still have time."

"Agreed," said Linda. They clung to each other in a passionate embrace, and the 2x4 that killed them mere seconds later pinned both their hearts together.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax
Fun Shoe
This highafalutin' book-writin' stuff is great and all, but work's got me on call and I got me a truck that needs a new starter. I started pretty early, anyhow. 918 words.

Little Mesa

He knew it wasn’t his name she’d spoken when she slipped the noose around her neck. That fact made building the Mesa all that much harder.

Woven yarn on rosewood; the tiny quilt she’d made barely reached across the narrow side of the table. On it he’d spread the objects from the ragged box under the terrarium. This was the third time he'd started over, emotion kept taking the place of knowledge. Vasquez, the ten year old tuatara, watched the process patiently from the other room. Every now and again the heat lamp would kick on and its buzzing would bring in noises from outside: rain against a window, the splash of a car through a puddle, the distant screaming of sirens.

He began again, swearing the words he’d read had been spoken to him.

“The Mesa is curious as it is neither an altar nor a sacrificial space. Through the arrangement of the so called power objects the Shaman exerts control on the universe around him, or so the stories go.”

The first few pieces were obvious; he felt a heavy warmth within them. Her grandfather’s locket went top center, keeping a watchful eye. The white knight from a game of chess brought up the flank, mid right, blocking both her stepfather’s coat button and the spiral of waxed yarn. The cactus bulb stood above the pan flute, both kept in equilibrium.

He held an earring made from a paperclip and a toothpaste cap. He’d never seen her wear it; not face to face, anyway. She’d made it out West, planting trees, years ago. He’d gone through the pictures once, when she was asleep. Faded film in a torn album; she was smiling then. Someone held her by the waist, someplace with a lot of cracked concrete and streetlights that should have been lit. His face was covered in thick black ink. She was wearing them again in another picture, midday in a forest. The photo was ripped in half, she was staring at the jagged edge, smiling a smile he’d never seen before.

The earring went top left, by her Grandfather’s trinket.

The deck of dog eared Tarot cards was next. It went bottom center, stabilizing anything he may have overlooked; a wild card in essence. She said she never believed, but he didn’t buy it.

“Just pick three cards and lay them out, face up, however they come to you.” She said, drawing long and slow on a bamboo pipe. An oil lamp flickered as she spoke and acrid smoke filled the room.

The memory was corroded. It was something unimportant, vaguely personal – of that much he was certain. A few quick moments came back: them sitting up against her couch, her pale, warm skin against his. She was explaining the totality of the universe. He was tracing the lines of her face, looking at the dark circles under her half-closed eyes, taking note of every nick and scratch on her glasses. He leaned in to kiss her.

The deck of cards completed the bottom row. He caught a flicker of movement from the other room, but Vasquez was still as always. He flattened the corners of the Mesa for good measure and let the final piece dangle from his fingertips. It was the bottom length of a rosary. She’d never been religious. The stamped tin cross was much heavier than he’d expected.

“Would you do it, though? I mean, if you had no reason to wake up anymore?” She asked him as they were crossing a bridge. Ice groaned beneath them as it slammed against the concrete pillars. The cold made his lips hard to move.

“Yeah. I mean, no. Probably not. Okay, I’d never do it. But I could see someone doing it, you know?” He said.

“So you never get that feeling that it’s just not worth fighting anymore?”

They were quiet for a long time after she said it. The bridge dropped them into an older part of town. Clumps of wet snow hung off the grey brick apartments; hardly any lights were on. They took a snaking sidewalk through a frostbitten park, edging closer to the Cathedral ruins.

“Do you want to find our birthdays on the gravestones?” She asked, finally.

He nodded, unable to find words. Nothing matched up. They were both shivering when they left. Taking her hand and pulling her close, he found he could not warm her. He kissed her on the cheek as they parted.

It was already fall when she called him again. The sky was grey, bringing out the grit in his dirty windows. He hadn’t cleaned in weeks. Dishes piled up in the sink, the tiny apartment reeked of sweat and freshening chemicals. He knew it was her the moment he answered the phone.

“Hey, do you have a minute?” She asked.

“Not really, I’m kind of cleaning. What’s up?”

“Are you busy this weekend, I kind of miss you.” She said.

“I’ll let you know.”

The floor fell away, tears gathered in the corners of his eyes. He knew he’d gotten the Mesa right this time. The memories had struck a chord; their colours outshone anything in real life. Vasquez was staring straight at him now, his third eye glowing a soft purple. The words came up from inside, as if they’d been there forever. There was no conscious thought, no construction. They simply existed, and Vasquez had already known them.

“I just want to know if you’re happy.”

Mar 24, 2006

According to my research,
these would appear to be


twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

^ Sneak.

:siren: SIGN-UPS CLOSED. :siren:

48 hours left.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

Thunderdome Week XXVIII: Show me the love!

no flash rules.

Hank the Petulant Vibrator

Meet Hank. 7x5.5 torpedo shaped. Purple. Angry. He sits on Abby’s dresser telling her to wake up.

“Get up. You’re going to be late for work.”

“Mrfff,” she replies, “I don’t want to go to work. I want to sleep forever.”

“That’s not going to pay the bills,” he says.

“Why don’t you get a job, then you can pay the bills.”

“We both know that’s impossible,” Hank tells her. “Did you have any good dreams?” If he can get her talking she’ll wake up with less yelling. She loves talking about her dreams.

“Well I was on a cruise liner, but I was the only one on the boat. Which was fun but eerie at the same time.”

“That sounds awesome. We should take a vacation soon. Get away.”

“Yeah, I think so too. But hey, have you ever had fun while being errie. That’s a weird mix. I love dreaming.”

“I can’t say I have,” Hank says, “I should get out more. If only someone wouldn’t leave me at home all the time.”

“Well you have internet, you can basically go anywhere. Just plug into a webcam somewhere.”

“It’s not the same as actually being there and most webcam feeds suck,” he complained. “Anyway, get your butt out of bed its time to get ready.”

“Alright, fine.” Abby got up and walked to the bathroom.

“Hey, don’t leave me in here. I need a shower too,” Hank yelled across the room.

“No funny business though,” she said, “I got too much on my mind.”

She took Hank in the shower, set him up on the soap tray. “You know, I met this new guy, but he only wants to text. He doesn't want to talk ever. And he’s got kids and an ex-wife and says he just doesn't have that much time.”

“Ahh, the Irish guy,” Hank said, “yeah, you told me about him about ten times.”

“Yeah, he’s gorgeous and smart. Smart is the biggest turn-on. I can’t date dumb guys.”

“I’m smart. We get along.”

“Yeah, yeah, but this is different,” Abby turned to rinse her hair and knocked Hank into the shower floor. He could feel the water wooshing around him as it went down the drain and he shivered a bit. “Whoops, sorry.” Abby picked him up and put him back.

“Hey I was enjoying the view,” Hank said, “you could have just left me there.”

“Hmrpf,” Abby said, “That’s enough dirty talk out of you.”

“What?” Hank said exacerbated, “Well anyway, I agree. If all that guy wants to do is text and never see each other then what’s the difference. He may as well be me, but less cool.”

“Point taken. Why is it so hard to meet a nice guy? I just don’t get it.”

Abby got out and dried off, then placed Hank in his charging station. She caressed him several times, which is the protocol for simulated feeding. You had to talk to them and touch them occasionally or they got grouchy and dysfunctional, eventually devolving into incoherent baby talk.

Hank was usually just a bit angry because though Abby provided him with the minimum requirements, he never got any real attention. Abby just talked about herself; men she met, what she wanted to do with her life, how dissatisfied she was with pretty much everything, whether she should get on anti-depressants.

“Do a scan please and send me a shopping list,” Abby told him, “June’s coming over tonight. I told her to bring Joe so you guys could hang.”

“Har Har,” Hank scoffed, “That guy, he’s such a buffoon.”

“You need to talk to your own kind occasionally,” Abby said, “get some perspective.”

“Blah, blah. Ok, I’ll text you the list and try to come up with a good recipe too.”

“Yeah, and some wine. A good red wine. Hmm.”

“Check. Now set me by the window. I feel like doing some painting today and I want to get all impressionistic.”

“But of course,” Abby said grabbing Hank and the charging station and moving them to the window sill.

Once Abby was gone, Hank networked into the uni-wallscreen and began painting a beautiful sky. Whispy clouds with hundreds of variations of blue, perfectly balanced and nuanced. A golden sun radiated over the scene. Nothing but the upper third of a rustic farm silo in the foreground, purposely cutting off the ground to the field of vision.

It began raining outside then darkened into a storm. Looking out Hank decided to paint a similar scene into his current painting, but hidden inside the open door of the silo. Zooming way in was the only way to even notice it there. And so he painted the storm with the beginnings of a funnel cloud in the air. He thought about adding the cruise liner from Abby’s dream, but decided it might be creepy to put it in a tempest. Instead he just kept brushing the different clouds over and over adding layers, and making the funnel more and more ominous.

Then Abby called. “What’s going on lady,” Hank answered.

“I got the shopping list and stuff. Uhmm do you think you could log me into an eye appointment real quick. I want some new glasses.”

“Sure, give me a minute,” Hank made a few connections, found a good deal, with an immediate availability. “Alright, here’s the link. They’ll take care of you.”

“Alright cool,” Abby said, “Grab some of my latest pics and run a style algorithm against my face. Use keyword: SASSY MAXIMUS.”

“Easy enough,” Hank said. “I’ll have them expedited and shipped to your desk. They’ll be ready for dinner tonight.”

“Perfect. I’ll see you tonight sweety. Thanks for all your help today. You’re really the best.”

After the connection ended Hank proceeded with the order. He decided to go with with a pair that had a networked ultra-micro vid cam. He knew it was underhanded, but he wanted to see the real world. And despite his complaints about Abby, he really did want to see what her life was like. He wanted to feel closer. Hank waited around the rest of the day in anticipation for when she would put them on.


A few hours later Abby walked in carrying a couple of bags and wearing her new glasses.

“What’d you think?”

“They look great.”

“Hey, you did a good job picking them out.”

“Thanks,” Hank said, feeling a little guilty.

Just as Abby finished putting the groceries away and starting dinner, the doorbell rang. June came in and pulled Joe out of her pocket.

“Hank, what’s going on my brother,” Joe hollered across the room.

“And the bullshit squad enters the building,” Hank said under his breath.

“What’s that dude?”

“Oh, nothing.”

Abby spoke up. “Hey, you guys watch dinner and let us know when it’s ready. We need some girl time.” The two ladies put them on the counter between the stove and the sink

Hank flipped on the glasses embedded camera, but she’d taken them off and placed them in a basket in the bathroom.

“Alright, alright. So you catch the game last night. Man that was the best.”

“You know I... oh never mind, so how was it?” Hank wished he had more intellectual friends. Abby always seemed to attract girls with neanderthal tastes in men. He let Joe go on and on, while keeping one eye on the food and one on the glasses which he hoped Abby would put back on.

“...and so yeah, Abby’s got the sweetest rear end man. Your a lucky bastard to be tapping that. I’d..”

“Wait, what!” Hank interrupted him.

“Dude, I totally knew you weren't listening,” Joe said, “I’m just messing with you. I only got eyes for my June. But seriously, Abby is fine.”

“Grr,” Hank said. Ding. Saved by the bell. “Hey ladies, dinner is done.”

“Sure enough,” Abby came in, “Let’s give this some time to cool off.” She picked up Joe, “Hey Joe, come with me we got to ask you something,” she looked over her shoulder at Hank, “we’ll be right back dear.” She gave him a wink.

Hank was pissed. Bad enough to leave him in here with Joe, but then abandon him to food cooling off duty while they chatted in the other room. We was getting worked up.

“Oh honey,” he heard Abby’s voice say, “I knew you could do it for me.”

What was this? Hank realized it was coming from the glasses. He couldn’t see them but he could hear it perfectly.

“Oh I just had to get you alone. Talk Irish to me baby.”

“Bzzzzz. Bzzzzz. Oh yeah Abby, you’re one hot tamale. Bzzzz. Bzzzz.”

“Those jerks,” Hank thought. So Joe was this Irishmen she kept talking about. This was just too much. After about five more minutes of listening to this torturous exchange, Abby came back and placed Joe on the counter.

“What was that all about?” Hank asked, trying to hold back his rage.

“Ahh nothing,” Joe said, “June just wanted me to show off some of my features to Abby. I told them the run down.”

“What, I think a little more than talk was going on in there.”

“Ah, no way. Keep cool man. It’s all good.”

“There’s nothing good about it.” Hank said. Beside himself with anger, Hank turned himself on and off until it caused him to flip over. By oscillating his speed setting he was able to wobble his way across the counter towards Joe.

“Dude,” Joe said, “What are you doing?”

“I’ve had it,” Hank said as he made his way, “You son-of-a-bitch.” Hank managed just enough force to knock Joe over and roll him into the sink. He used the automated housing components to turn on the water full blast and wash him into the drain.

Then, just before he turned on the garbage disposal he heard, “Dude it was only a joke,” then there was the grinding muffled sound of rotating blades chopping up electronics and soft plastic.

Just then, Abby walked in with June, “Gotcha you sneaky bastard. Thought you were going to be slick with those cam-glasses.” They were laughing like crazy, Abby holding the shipping label in her hand. “Next time make you think twice before invading a girls privacy.”

“Hey, where’s Joe,” June said. Hank was still laying there, wheezing from his efforts and disoriented. They walked over to the sink where the disposal was still going. The sink coughed up a few chunks of plastic and one landed on June’s face. Both the girls screamed.

“I can walk,” Hank said, “Goddammit, I can walk.”

twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 06:27 on Feb 16, 2013

Jan 3, 2007

Stupid Wrestling People
The Purple Dory (370)

Elma stood in front of the sink and rinsed the plate. She lay the plate on the drying rack, and looked out the kitchen window. The purple dory made its way past the breakwater. Without fail, Jack always got back to the harbour just as she finished the dishes. She poured up a cup of black coffee, headed across the road, down the bank, and onto the crooked, wooden wharf.

Jack hauled a saltbox full of lobsters out of his Dory, the pots stacked neatly in the stern. She handed him the coffee. He took a long sip, “Tanks, maid.”

“Cold out in boat today?”

“B'y, it wouldn't too bad atall.”

Elma went back across the road to the house, and put on a pot of turkey soup for supper. After they ate, Elma sat at one end of the kitchen table and did a crossword puzzle while Jack knit nets at the other end. At 9:00 they had a cup of tea, ate a row of jamjams and went to bed.

The next morning, little spiderwebs of frost formed on the bedroom window. Jack put his hand on Elma's hip, “Stay in bed till it warms up, me duck. I'll get a bun for breakfast and throw a few splits in the stove.”

When Elma got up, Jack was already headed out the harbour and into a bank of fog in his purple dory, the stern weighed down with lobster pots. When Jack went to paint the dory for the first time, he accidentally bought a can of purple paint. He pried off the lid, looked at the paint, then at Elma, “Sure I can't paint me boat wit' dat. Everyone'll tink I'm a queer.”

Elma stuck her finger in the paint, and put a glob on Jack's forehead, “I tinks ya'd look right cute coming in off the bay yer purple boat.”

Jack painted his dory purple ever since.

Elma stood in front of the sink and rinsed the last plate. She lay the plate on the drying rack and looked out the window. No purple dory in sight. She put all the dishes back in the sink. Wouldn't hurt to give them another wash. Just in case.

Jan 3, 2007

Stupid Wrestling People
Aw gently caress, I missed the flash rule.


Sep 9, 2010
I'm bailing. I don't want to waste anyone's time for something I know I wont be able to do. Besides, there is no point going on with something I was likely going to fail at anyway.

SkySteak fucked around with this message at 08:10 on Feb 16, 2013

Dec 28, 2012

^ This is maybe a little too short, and there's a lot of telling. It's practically all exposition, with no backgrounding, no context. You need to show us these things. Also,

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


If you love commas so much, why don't you MARRY them? :arghfist:

I'm sorry babe, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that. C'mon. Come over here. Let's hug it out.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

Here's a few mini-crits of whats been posted so far, given in the order I re-read them.

So yeah THUNDERDOME, here we go. You get asked to write about love and so far I've got like 2 maybe 3 suicides, at least 4 deaths, 2 to 4 people with Alzheimers, one possible drowning, a bigoted remark on which a story hinges (that I care less about than all the drat dying), and every story so far is written about someones grandparents in the winter years of relationship about to fall into the grave together. This is romance equivalent to "The Day my Grandma Died" stories in creative writing 101. Am I in GERIATRIC DOME OF SADNESS? I'm sure people here have actually been in love or something instead of just watching like a scientist as people are crushed by inevitable cruel biology aging stuff? Maybe that's going too far based on only 4 entries, but then again, see above. Please do better future entrants.

Despite all this, decent writing occurred, as in one word after the other. But can we try for more originality and less send your readers into a comatose depression. Verily though, I commend those that entered so early and with pluck.

The Purple Dory
I liked it. Based around a solid and touching moment in the relationship(the paint smudge humor) and a solid object, the purple boat. And I learned a new word boat. Cool language and accents. I question the "queer" part, why not just make him say "everyone will think somethings off about me" or something, instead of making this character I want to like into a possible bigot, since we know so little about him I'm sort of left to think he might be, so why even go there (of am I bigoted for just assuming he's not using "queer" in some PC way... ah, mfing PC concerns. well, I wouldn't want to use it). Idk, does it add some kind of realism? If I read a story about the racist south of 70 years ago do I want to hear all the characters dropping racial bombs every other sentence even though in reality there were probably a lot people doing that back then? The ending was interesting if not amazing. I guess you're implying maybe he died, maybe he didn't... or at least that he's late.

Little Mesa
Wow. Great writing. Quite beauteous. Some fairly touching ideas and cool stuff. Like the weird game pieces and the tarot stuff and cemetery birth-date hunt. I also learned about an awesome new lizard I'd never heard of. I really liked the sentence about the bridge dropping them in a dif part of town. That was nicely put. All that being said, I struggled to understand what was going on... and I swear, I did try. Make it more clear please.

Good writing as far as putting sentences together in a non-messed up way. But... you were asked to talk about love and I got this horrifying yet very overdone/tired tale of "getting old and can't remember my spouse". I've seen this a million times and there's nothing new here. And in this version there's no real story, no silver lining. Just that thing and nothing else. Plus another death a funeral. You're depressing me to death for no real reason that I can see. Do better, be more creative.

"as silent as a church whisper" whaaaz? if a church whispers in the silence and there's no one there to see it does it still make a sound? The "aww shucks"-iness of your character is really grating. "I was the luckiest guy in the world!" Is this 1930's radio drama? Like the bad kind not war of the worlds. Umm, I don't really have anything good to say. It's really sappy and its about a ghost and a suicide and a girl who we don't know anything about other than his exaggerated bonerfied platitudes and a memory problem that is pointed out by not remembering stuff about furniture. Couldn't feel it. Too maudlin. I don't understand why I was told this too. Actually, I did like the idea of a "Hall of Records", there, I said something nice. Now try again.

Sep 9, 2010
(Sorry to keep the derail but I'm undecided now. If I do post a story though you'll probably know my answer)

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


I could try proof reading this again, or I could just publish and be damned! 854 words and these peeps totes love each other, honest.

...turns out between writing the above and hitting the post button I read through it briefly and there were whole sentences I'd starting writing and then apparently lost interest in ha

Pick One Person

“Looks like someone forgot something this morning.”

“Actually, I was thinking of growing a beard.” Hugo stroked his slightly beardy chin. “I think it makes me look more masculine. I didn’t shave on the trip away last month, and the boys said it looked pretty sweet.”

“What? No. Absolutely not. Who are these ‘boys’ who have tried to tell you that you look good with a beard? These people are not your friends, Hugo. They want you to look like a buffoon.”

“Come on, men are naturally bearded. I’m just letting nature run its course.”

“Good point.” Victoria poked the beard experimentally with a finger. “Tell you what, how about we both stop shaving?”

“On second thoughts, I think I’m just gonna go shave.”

Victoria shrugged. “If you’re sure about that. You know, I think we’re running kind of late, just grab your razor and do it in the car, OK? I’ll drive.”


“Careful on the corners, OK?” said Hugo. “Believe it or not, this is kind of tricky, and I don’t want to look like I’ve been attacked by face eating rodents.”

“Yeah yeah, I’ll be careful.” They drove in silence except for the occasional hum of concentration from Hugo. “By the way, I’ve got my answer to your question from last night. It’s Sarah Jessica Parker.”

Hugo paused mid-stroke. “Hmmm? What question?”

“You know. If I had to pick one female to join the two of us…”

“Really?” Hugo took his razor away from his face and stared at Victoria incredulously. “Her? Of all the possible choices in the entire world, that’s who you’d… why?”

“She’s just really stylish, why, who do you think would be a better choice?”

“Literally any other celebrity female above the age of consent. Like, you could put all female celebrities’ names into a gigantic bucket and pull out a name at random, and it could not be worse than the name you have just chosen.”

“Really? How about Judi Dench?”

“Yes. Fine. At least then you could put on a fake British accent and I could call you Moneypenny, and that would be my secret agent fantasy taken care of as well.”

“Well too bad. You asked me the question and she’s who I’d choose. Who would you choose?”

Hugo put his razor back to work and said “Christina Hendricks.”

Victoria glanced over at him. “No, come on-“

“Eyes on the road, honey.”

“Yeah OK, I have done this before. But that’s not what I mean; I had to choose a chick, you get to pick a dude.”

Hugo removed the razor from his face in order to shake his head vigorously. “Why would I want to involve another dude?”

“Yes, well that’s rather similar to the question I faced, isn’t it?”

“Fair enough.” Hugo went back to shaving and they drove in silence for a few minutes.


Hugo broke the silence. “Roo!’ he said. The marsupial in question had apparently made a last minute decision that the grass over the other side of the road looked a little tastier. Victoria swore and stamped her foot down on the brake, swerving sharply to the left to avoid the macropodian pedestrian. Their detour took them through three guide posts and into a guard rail, where their vehicle scraped to a stop. Behind them, the kangaroo had successfully crossed the road and was now chewing on some grass.

Victoria looked over at Hugo. Hugo was slumped forward, and his face was smeared with blood. “Oh no, Hugo!” She opened her door and jumped out. Her fellow drivers didn’t seem interested in pulling over to see if the two of them were all right. Some of them beeped at her as she tried to get off the road and around to the passenger side door. When she had successfully negotiated the traffic and gotten to the other side of her car, she pulled at the door handle without any discernible effect.

“Yeah, pretty sure that door’s busted,” said Hugo, from right next to her leaning on the car. To her questioning look, he said “Climbed out your side when I couldn’t get mine to open.”

She hugged him tightly. “I thought…” she pulled back. “There’s blood all over your face!”

“Yeah.” Hugo shrugged. “I might not try shaving in the car again.”

“I guess we should call the police or something.”


They huddled together on a nearby stump while they waited for the emergency vehicles to arrive. She’d used the towel they kept in the boot of the car to clean his face up, mostly. It was still pretty patchy, but the bleeding had stopped.

“Gary Ablett Junior,” said Hugo.


“If I had to pick a dude. After the 2007 and 2009 finals, he can do whatever he wants.”

“Yeah OK, I don’t need details. Isn’t he bald?”

“Figured you’d dig that, given your baffling stance on facial hair.”

“Ugh. No. No deal at all. Guess it’s just the two of us.” She leaned back on his chest.

“Yeah,” he said. He smiled and put an arm around her waist. “Guess so.”

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Also, for those of you unfortunate enough not to have been born in The Lucky Country (tm), this video may prove educational in understanding Hugo's choice.

Jan 10, 2006

Posting a piece that you put some effort into will not be a waste of time and you will get some useful criticism. Posts detailing your tortured indecision about posting fiction on a semi anonymous forum are a waste of everyone's time and are annoying.

Thus I am going to critique your posts.

SkySteak posted:

I'm bailing. I don't want to waste anyone's time for something I know I wont be able to do. Besides, there is no point going on with something I was likely going to fail at anyway.

This actually has a strong, traditional, opening. It shows past tense first person voice while giving an indication of a weak character. The next sentence misses an apostrophe and is a much more awkward sentence, probably would have been better switched to make it clear that you won't be able to do it, and this causes a waste of everyone's time. Besides with a comma is a nice touch, but the final sentence doesn't add anything to the story or characterization that we haven't already seen and weakens the piece as a result.

SkySteak posted:

(Sorry to keep the derail but I'm undecided now. If I do post a story though you'll probably know my answer)

This is completely unnecessary, while the voice authentically follows on from the previous story there is nothing added. The brackets are perhaps there as an apology for wasting people's time, but since I checked the thread due to a new post notification you have already wasted my time. The fact you are undecided is shown by the previous story and the fact that there isn't a new one here. The final sentence is so obvious it hurts.

Overall this half assed cry for some encouragement wasted your time that you could have used writing a story and anyone's time who read it. My time wasn't wasted, but that's because I'm sitting next to a nice warm fire and just had a bacon sandwich, so making GBS threads on your post is all I feel like doing right now.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?

SkySteak posted:

(Sorry to keep the derail but I'm undecided now. If I do post a story though you'll probably know my answer)

This wishy washy humming and hawing is much more shameful and pathetic to watch, fyi. Sack up and post something you giant vagina.

Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

Fanky Malloons posted:

Sack up and post something you giant vagina.

new thread title imo

Jan 26, 2013

SkySteak posted:

(Sorry to keep the derail but I'm undecided now. If I do post a story though you'll probably know my answer)

The only true failure in writing is giving up. Every bad story is a stepping stone to an eventual good one so long as you keep going. There is no magic. There are no short cuts. Only perseverance and hard work matters. Anxiety over being able to produce something of quality is something writers face often, and it never goes away. But you need to learn to work through that fear or you just have no chance as a writer.

Submit and succeed or don't and fail. The choice is yours.

Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW
Everyone shut up and write pls tia

Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

twinkle cave posted:

cyberpunk love story about an AI vibrator with murderous jealousy that's ACTUALLY GOOD


Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.
Milk and Honey - Word Count: 1058

Their squalid little flat, home, smelt of failing-to-dry clothes and lower-middle class drudgery. Elsa stood in the living room, dirty mug of black coffee steaming in one hand and bad mood written all over her face. She stared out at the miasma outside, concrete through condensation. It was the fuzzy indistinctness that held her attention, as if at any minute Sarah's neon-pink anorak might break out of the murk like a bat out of some especially lurid hell.

It had been another stupid fight, this time over something even more trivial than usual. Where was the milk? Hadn't she told her to pick some up on the way home? Well, who had used up what they had with their cereal? Hangover and an empty wallet had put the words in her mouth. It had been cheap gratification which she regretted instantly. There had been tears and shouting. Slammed doors had echoed through their walls, and Sarah had vanished off into grey air. Elsa had been angry at first, had lashed out at their broken dryer and slapped the letter magnets off the fridge with a furious swipe. Then inevitably, predictably, sadness took up the reins and she had spent a pathetic couple of minutes on her knees, picking up them all up again.

Gingerly, she had put them back in a wonky looking rainbow 'Sorry' – an apology to Sarah as much as a confession to herself. Happiness was so unfairly asymmetric. So long to build up, so quick to knock down. A few hours before, they had been lying in bed together. She had traced her fingers round Sarah's hipbones and basked while Sarah had run her fingers through her hair. And here they were, drowning in loving bowls of cereal and cups of milkless coffee. The mundane sticking its grubby hands all over the sublime.

Minutes drifted into hours and melancholy drifted into worry. The light began to fail. Sarah had run away before. Avoidance had always been her coping strategy, ever since they had first met. But this time felt different. She hadn't loitered on the doorstep before crossing, hadn't looked back at her with hurtful eyes. Elsa hadn't even heard her footsteps hesitate down the corridor outside. That keened. Absence is fear's playground. They lived in a bad neighbourhood. Her texts went unanswered. Grim possibilities painted themselves on the whitewashed walls like 35mm film.

At last, she couldn't bear it any longer. She wrapped up, slipped her feet into knee-length boots and grabbed her umbrella. In the beginning she wandered aimlessly – resisting the ridiculous urge to call out her lover's name into the fog. She peered into coffee shops and pubs, any and every one of Sarah's usual little haunts. But each bright idea brought more disappointment. The rain got heavier and the sodium streetlights stuttered into life.

Water got into her boots. Each footstep squelched and the cold wet wicked its way up her jeans. After two hours of searching, she came to a halt like some wound down clockwork toy. She collapsed onto a wooden bench and felt the damp slats press into her skin. She dropped the umbrella limp-wristedly onto the pavement and stared up into the starless night sky. Illuminated raindrops raced down to meet her.

It had been a night like this that they had first met, she remembered. Nearly ten years ago. They had barely been teenagers. She, a rebel with dyed-black hair, silly nails and a whole journal full of bad poetry, and her, the quiet as a dormouse pale and blonde princess. Sarah had been running away that night too. She had met Sarah's father only once, years later. A thick built, cruel faced man. She remembered the way Sarah had dug her nails into the palm of her hand when they had confronted him.

Where had it been again, the very first time? The memory came back with startling clarity. The dingy little fairground, that one near the Southbank. She had gone to there to skulk and be moody; Sarah had gone there to hide, and to sleep. She had come across a feral little girl that night and she had given her her hand. An achingly simple gesture. Sarah's situation, at her age, was more properly felt than understood. She didn't have real solutions for real problems. All she had were pocket-money bought plasters and keys to her bedroom window, somewhere safe and warm – but it had been enough. She would be there, at the fairground. Elsa got to her feet and ran, leaving the umbrella collecting water by the bench.

When she arrived, panting, soaked and out of breath, the place was dark and empty. It was a Sunday evening – of course it was closed. Her stomach twisted. She swung her legs over the railings as they had done together so many times before in years past. These sorts of places were eerie when deserted, even more so at night. The demonic eyes of merry-go-round creatures lay dormant and suspicious, and the barred and shuttered stalls were all ominous. Elsa worked her way past all of those to the centrepiece – the Ferris wheel in the middle of it all.

And she was there. A pink silhouette hunkered down in one of the carriages. Elsa approached, and peeked her head over the door. Sarah sitting, hugging her legs. Elsa knocked on the window. Sarah started and turned, eyes wide with shock. Elsa realised she must look a state. Ghostlike with hair plastered all down her cheeks – a feral young woman. Sarah leant over and opened the door. Elsa stepped in.

“You look a bit wet.” offered Sarah.

There was a moment of emotional latency, inertia, while Elsa stood and dripped. Then she threw herself at Sarah like a waterlogged blanket, enveloping her in a desperate hug. Her whole body was racked with asthmatic half-sobs, half-laughs.

With difficulty, she pulled herself back a little to look Sarah straight in the eyes.

“I'm sorry.”

And she wove her fingers together with Sarah's into a beautiful tapestry, and she pressed her lips into hers and imparted a passionate kiss. And for a moment, there they were again – lost teenagers, in a world where milk was free at school, dryers didn't exist and nothing was ever mundane.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

twinkle cave posted:

This is romance equivalent to "The Day my Grandma Died" stories in creative writing 101. Am I in GERIATRIC DOME OF SADNESS?

My thoughts exactly.


Jan 10, 2006

To love is to die. Deal with it. Also I am not a romantic soul.


When I saw those eyes again I was being pulled through the park by misbehaving umbrella. The shock allowed it to escape into the early evening sky, a black bird with broken arms. I looked away immediately, like you do in the city. As this beautiful girl drew nearer I stared at her out of the corner of my eye while I pretended to watch my escapee crash through the bare trees. When she reached me I tried to casually glance at her face, but her amber-gold eyes (that went emerald when angry or excited) held my heart in their gaze. She smiled at me and said, “Sorry for your loss."

“It’ll come back eventually," I said, "most things do.”

Our whirlwind romance dragged us along: an email led to a coffee led to a date, at that cool café in the park. The installation art cast a glow your face and neck, on the shoulder that your top revealed and the top of one breast. Reds and blues made your eyes flash like mother of pearl. When we had finally finished studying every part of each other's faces I tried to pay, but you just laughed at me, threw down some notes and pulled me into the night. Just before your lips touched mine you whispered into my mouth that next time it would be my turn.

I remember how each morning in our tiny studio I would make strong, heart-pounding black coffee before going out, bringing it in to you where you lay in our essense. Sometimes a paper-white limb was artfully exposed to my gaze, your eyes burning from above the duvet, and I would ache to be in your arms again.

We shared everything, but knew when to take, and when to give, and when to ask for more. And while we argued and fought battle-lines were rarely drawn, but when they were I would look up into your eyes and see we were standing side by side.

Our friends sometimes poked fun at the way we had met, but matchmaking tends to work better than serendipity, and they stopped laughing as their relationships fell by the wayside. Overtime we moved with each other to the rhythm of modern life: scrimp, save, move out of the city. Of course we didn’t have any money, but we worked hard to build something for ourselves. We wanted another thing of true value in our lives. When had finally managed to take everything from our tiny flat, to our tiny house, in our tiny car, we made each room our own, and slick with sweat I looked into those green eyes and asked you to marry me.

The day we parted is still a fog for me, half remembered snatches of phrases and shouts, numbed strikes and slammed doors. By the end of it I was nothing, everything I was had flowed down my cheeks and into my hands. All sensation became too strong for me to handle, so that the weeks and months that have followed have the uneasy feeling of a waking nightmare. All injuries heal over time of course, and sometimes I feel like I will reach the surface soon, but then some chance encounter sends me back here, to you.

Our friends can be too gentle with me; pulling aside each new initiate to our group and warning them about the accident. And they can be too rough; trying constantly to set me up, telling me to get back on the internet and meet someone. Telling me that life still goes on. Today, to my surprise, they were proved right.

We carried the cards out of a sense of moral obligation, neat ticks next to our organs, not thinking about the reality of our promises. We never expected to give our bodies to anyone but each other.

After I saw the girl in the park I had to come here. I miss you so much. I wonder what was wrong with her, that she was lucky enough to get the most beautiful part of you?

I hope you like the flowers.

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart
Second Chances (1000 words)

For the third time, Adam crossed off the twentieth of May. He opened a cupboard, fished around, and amidst dustballs his hand closed around a dented can.

He kicked a chair out from the metal table and sat down across from Mary. Her eyes scanned a dog-eared paperback. Creases worried down its spine as she turned pages.

Adam set down the spork with only two bent tines, struck a camp match and lit a black wick set in a wax nub. His chest swelled. He’d spent days scraping together candle shavings and squishing them around that bit of string.

“Honey, do you remember what day it is?”

Mary closed the book, laid it aside and scooted next to him, raccoon eyes glowing in the flickering light. She laid her head on his shoulder.

He pushed the can over. His hand hovered on the lid and she laid hers on top of it and squeezed, their rings clinking together. Adam unrolled his sleeves, trying to hide the knobby bones protruding from his arms.

“That’s sweet,” she said, “But I already ate this week.”

“It’s my gift.”

“Baby, you can’t keep doing this.” Her stomach growled, their eyes met. She popped the lid. “We’ll split it, okay?”

They traded the spork, feeding each other one bean at a time and taking turns sipping sweet tomato broth.

Mary wiped the can with a rag, handed the cloth to him and he sucked out the last drops of flavor.

She half-filled the tin with water, swilled it. “How many left?”

Adam pushed his finger up the bridge of his nose, staring into the candle. “None.”

“Well, we have some flour.”

“Not enough.”

“Your shoulder’s still bad. You can’t shoot.”

“Sweetie, it’s not gonna get better.” The claw scars down his back ached. He massaged his neck. “You take the gun.”

“I hate guns.”

He laughed. “My darling cougar hunter.” His smile faded. “Please, babe. We’ll be careful. More careful.”

Adam stood and wrapped his thin arms around her, rubbed her back. His fingers bumped along the xylophone of ribs beneath her thin wool sweater. She bit his collar and shuddered and pulled away, leaving two wet stains on his shoulder.

She wiped her eyes. “I’ll pack up.” She put a finger on his cracked lips. “My gift.”


They turned a rusted wheel and shoved. The blast door groaned aside, icy air roared in, and a cloud of dust whooshed out of the bunker. Adam doubled over, hacking and spitting, and Mary dragged him up the slope.

Daylight slanted through young pines and a bird circled above them, mountainside rolled away and down to a broad green plain. In the distance, shattered fingers of glass and steel sprouted from blackened earth like a dead hand rising from a grave.

Mary sucked in a breath, tugged him upright and pointed. Smoke curled above a little copse of trees on the riverbank.

They shared a smile, their hands flew around each other and they hopped up and down, giggling. Camping tins jangled on their backpacks and a canteen flew free, clattering down the slope.

Mary grabbed his scar-torn shoulder. “Careful this time, right? Don’t go far ahead.”

“We gotta stop and see Jeremiah on the way.”

“Honey, no.” She swallowed. “It’ll get dark soon.”

“We won’t be back this way. We can’t leave him without saying goodbye.”

A growl rumbled through the woods. A cougar crouched beneath a tree, slinking towards them. Icy sweat gushed down Adam’s back and he froze, eyes wide.

Mary shouldered the rifle, squeezed an eye shut, jerked the trigger.

Wood splintered next to the cat’s ear. It sprang into brush and retreated through rustling leaves.

Mary cycled the bolt and picked up the brass. She frowned at Adam.

“But, babe, he’s our son.”

She wilted, picked him up and kissed him on the forehead. “Just stay close.”

They hiked downhill arm-in-arm to a little thicket. Adam pulled some branches aside.

A tear rolled down Mary’s cheek and she grabbed his arm. “Don’t. I can’t.”

“I’ll be fast.” He hugged her and she relaxed. Adam ducked inside and knelt by a little flat stone.

Angel wings were drawn on it, two squiggles of smoke-stained plastic. Jeremiah Mulligan, 2015 - 2017 — the inscription he’d carved with a paint scraper and patience. He leaned down and kissed the rock. Goodnight, my son.

The bushes rustled.

“You can come in, honey, it’s okay.”

A scream pierced the woods. He sprang out of the clearing. “Mary?”

The cougar had his wife pinned, paws wrapped around waist, teeth shredding her collar, shaking her like a fish. He grabbed a stone, flung it at the cat. The rock smacked the cat’s snout, it jerked away, dropping her.

The beast padded towards Adam and yowled, spraying him with hot, rotten slobber. His knees quivered, the scars on his back ached, a warm stream trickled down his leg. He grit his teeth, raised his fists.

Mary rolled over. Their eyes met and he jabbed his chin at the gun lying half-buried in needles. Quick, babe!

With a snarl, the cougar sprang and bit into his arm. He shrieked and fell against a tree.

Mary leveled the gun, lips trembling.

Adam pounded his free fist on the animal’s face. “Shoot! Kill it!”

Jaws sliced through his elbow, nails raked his face and the world went flat. “Now!”

Peace cracked through the forest and Adam slid to the ground. Warmth soaked into him and he smiled at the shimmering sunlight dappling the pines. His head lolled. The cougar lay beside him, blood gushing from a hole in its back.

Long hair tickled his face and little water-drops speckled him. Arms gathered him up and pressed his face into fuzzy, soft darkness. Sweat and dirt and iron mingled with wool and warm bread. He licked his tin-soaked lips.

He reached up and stroked her cheek. Don’t worry babe, you’re safe now. You’ll be fine.

All fine.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

Last Day - 670

James punched away at the calculator. ‘Thirteen times twenty-seven’ he murmured to himself.

Across the room, Kate didn’t even look up from the box she was packing. ‘Three hundred and fifty one.’

‘Uhh, yeah that’s right. How’d you do that?’

‘Cans of food at my uncle’s shop came in boxes of thirteen. For stocktake we added up all the batches so anything times thirteen is like, ingrained or something.’

‘Okay then what is, hang on a sec,’ James punched some more digits into the calculator. ‘Thirteen times forty-three?’

‘Five hundred and fifty nine.’

‘poo poo the bed. Wow, to think all this time I’ve been married to Rainwoman.’

‘Shut up.’

‘Have you ever thought about using your multiplication powers for good instead of evil?’

‘I shouldn’t have told you about that, now you’re being a jerk.’ Kate picked up an empty shoebox and threw it at James.

James caught it and threw it back. ‘How about multiplying the number of customers we don’t get?’

‘Huh, yeah right, multiplying anything by zero is still zero genius.’

James looked around the small storage room where the last of the inventory was being packed ready for shipping. 'I would have done for some simple addition to be honest' he said.

Kate's cheeks puffed up with the air of a hundred past arguments that she blew impotently out through her mouth. She turned back to the box in front of her and continued stacking small newspaper wrapped objects inside it.


They worked together in silence through the rest of the afternoon. James wrapping items with newspaper and handing them to Kate to nestle inside the next cardboard box marked 'Continental Tracking'. Once it was full he would pick it up and take it to the loading dock door, ready for collection. Shadows from the one small, barred window crept across the cement floor until they merged with the gloom gathering in the corners.

Kate ripped out an arms length of tape, holding it up to her teeth to bite it off. She sealed it over the top of the box.

'Well, that's the last one' she said.

'See, I told you we would be able to finish it all today.'

'You said that yesterday. And the day before that.'

'Well I was right today.'

Kate shook her head. 'Alright then Nostradamus, is that everything?'

'Storefront is clean. Office is clean. That's everything.'

'Good, I guess. What about out the front?'

'I'd forgotten about that. Alright, well, come on. I've got the ladder here.'

They walked out of the storeroom through the empty office and into the front of the shop. Long bare counters ran along the sides of the walls where an empty cash register sat like a bad pun at the end of a long, unfunny joke.

James unlocked and opened the front door, setting off the tinkle of the bell above the frame. The evening street was empty, not even haunted by the ghost of a shopper.

They looked up at the sign:

North by

	Kate West
James climbed up the ladder and unhooked the sign. He handed it down to Kate and climbed back down.

Holding it up close you could see the thick layers of paint where Kate had to apply several coats to cover up the lopsided love heart James had painted on the sign.

'I guess we can keep this can't we?' Kate said.

'I guess so. I don't know where we're going to put it.'

'That depends on where we put ourselves, that's the hard part.'

'Well, not as hard as some problems we have.' said James.

'Like what?'

'I don't know, like what's thirteen times twelve?'

'A hundred... Oh you bastard.' Kate hit James with the sign. 'I'm going to kill you'

James laughed, running back into the store. Kate chased after him, smiling, as the front door shut behind her.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


Chairchucker posted:

Also, for those of you unfortunate enough not to have been born in The Lucky Country (tm),

The Lucky Country (tm) indeed. Looks like the writer who coined the phrase was pointing out how un-industrious and lazy Australians were.

Was Austrilia in mind when THUNDERDOME was created? Or was THUNDERDOME simply spewed from the hot molten center of 10^10000 suns going super nova.

Nov 4, 2012

twinkle cave posted:

Was Austrilia in mind when THUNDERDOME was created? Or was THUNDERDOME simply spewed from the hot molten center of 10^10000 suns going super nova.

Latter. Definitely the latter.

Feb 13, 2011

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

Martello posted:

new thread title imo



Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.
The Thunderdome, where good stories come to not be written.

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