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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






Nubile Hillock posted:

Flash Rule Your story must include a protagonist deeply involved in Fractional Reserve Banking. Story must focus on bitcoins or equivalent cryptocurrency.

You aren't the boss of me

Plus any protagonist deeply involved in buttcoins would be an irredeemable turd, no one wants to read about an irredeemable turd.

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Phil Moscowitz
Feb 19, 2007

Chief Justice of the United States of Anime



I'm in.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Sitting Here posted:

Flash rule me, I need some inspiration. Please don't make it something that forces me to spend a bunch of hours learning throw away facts on wikipedia though.

Inspiration comes for you in the form of a simple, heartfelt statement, which needs no research to varnish its truth--though you are welcome to study the subject if the spirit moves you.

Your specific :siren: Flash Rule :siren: is that your main character must know something, or feel something, that s/he can't keep to him/herself.

CantDecideOnAName posted:

Oh hell, throw me some flash too.

You have invoked Hell, and I counter with a reminder of Heaven. Your :siren: Flash Rule :siren: is that one of your characters must be devoutly faithful. Which faith he or she holds is yours to choose.

Jagermonster posted:

In. Please flash rule me. Thank you.

Trolls may be monsters, Jagermonster, but they can still find love. Your :siren: Flash Rule :siren: is to include fearsome creatures (not humans) in your story that discover some kind of happiness.

Oh, and Nubile Hillock:

Nubile Hillock posted:

Flash Rule Your story must include a protagonist deeply involved in Fractional Reserve Banking. Story must focus on bitcoins or equivalent cryptocurrency.

You share your keen interest in finance with this fine fellow! You may thus enjoy your :siren: Flash Rule :siren: to include a character concerned about his or her fiscal situation.

Kaishai fucked around with this message at 02:51 on Jun 26, 2013

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


in the spirit of the three, can I get a flash rule from each judge?

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

crabrock posted:

in the spirit of the three, can I get a flash rule from each judge?

I do believe that can be arranged. I'll wait 'til my co-judges have had first crack at you, since I've been hogging the flash rules so far.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







You're the best 'Shai.

Oh and we all got homework??? Here is my assignment, appropriately crinkled and covered in dog slobber and DragonballZ doodles in the margins.

HOMEWORK: Two people visit the grave of an organ donor. One of them is the man he saved, and the other is just some guy who knew him. What do they say? You have 300 words.


300 words
I stand opposite a headstone. The year's old leaves fall on newly churned earth. Beside me is a man I recognize from the funeral but don't know by name.

"I can come back later," he says at length. There is a single rose in his hand, and its stem is bending from the force of his grip.

"Oh, I didn't really--that is, I'm not family or anything. Don't mind me," I say, taking a diplomatic step away from the grave.

"Did you know him well?" This is the question that always comes with death, our way of ranking the merit of each other's grief.

"We had some good times," I say. "It's weird to think of him down there, all quiet and still for once in his life." I wince at my own choice of words, but the man just stares fixedly at the plot and makes no move to add his rose to the heaping mound of flowers brittle with the early frost.

"All I know is that he had a little red heart on his driver's license." The man puts a hand to his own chest, looks at me like he's searching for something behind my eyes. And in that moment, I know who he is.

"I can't tell you not to feel guilty," I say. "Just live, man. That's my advice. Life is life, no matter which one of us is living it."

"It'll never be my life," the man says as he stoops to set his rose on the grave. "Never did take gifts gracefully."

"But this one--take it awkwardly, take it resentfully, take it however you want. Just take it, and don't give it away without a fight."

He smiles sadly at me. "So your friend just didn't fight hard enough, then. Good to know."

Ceighk
May 27, 2013


t h u n d e r d o m e
We can talk about it
Or we could get gully, I'll size up your body
And put some white chalk around it


In and flash rule me.

neonnoodle
Mar 20, 2008

by exmarx


:siren:ATTENTION:siren:

In order to ensure proper handling of your request, when you PM me for avatar changes, please include URLs to the posts of the winners and losers.

Thank you for your compliance.

PLEASE RESUME AT THIS TIME

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

crabrock posted:

in the spirit of the three, can I get a flash rule from each judge?

FLASH RULE: Your story must involve in some way a real person. And not "a real person" like your dad, somebody the reader could be expected to know about or at least easily find info on. Can be accurate to his/her life, can be wild and outrageous, I don't care.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Ceighk posted:

In and flash rule me.

Sometimes things go wrong in this trapeze act we call life. Terribly, terribly wrong. Your :siren: Flash Rule :siren: is that one of your characters must suffer a personal catastrophe. Dismemberment at a circus is not required, although it's certainly an option.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







neonnoodle posted:

:siren:ATTENTION:siren:

In order to ensure proper handling of your request, when you PM me for avatar changes, please include URLs to the posts of the winners and losers.

Thank you for your compliance.

PLEASE RESUME AT THIS TIME

Done.

Thunderdome aspirants note that while losertars are provided by merciful dispensation of the Lowtax, any avatars for winners are supplied by contestants' own :10bux: as are avs for super-losers and loserwinners and all of that stuff.

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning




crabrock posted:

in the spirit of the three, can I get a flash rule from each judge?

Nikaer Drekin posted:

FLASH RULE: Your story must involve in some way a real person. And not "a real person" like your dad, somebody the reader could be expected to know about or at least easily find info on. Can be accurate to his/her life, can be wild and outrageous, I don't care.

Flash Rule #2: Your setting shall be in a third world country and the culture/society of said country must be relevant to your story. For the avoidance of doubt, the United States of America is not a third world country.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

crabrock posted:

in the spirit of the three, can I get a flash rule from each judge?

Nikaer Drekin posted:

FLASH RULE: Your story must involve in some way a real person. And not "a real person" like your dad, somebody the reader could be expected to know about or at least easily find info on. Can be accurate to his/her life, can be wild and outrageous, I don't care.

The Saddest Rhino posted:

Flash Rule #2: Your setting shall be in a third world country and the culture/society of said country must be relevant to your story. For the avoidance of doubt, the United States of America is not a third world country.

:siren: Flash Rule #3: :siren: You must write a ghost story. The ghostly element must be supernatural, but it may take any form.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


one ghost story in a third world country, that is like, totally believable, coming right up.

Lily Catts
Oct 17, 2012

Show me the way to you
(Heavy Metal)


Please give me a flash rule too, because complete freedom is killing my creativity.

Blarg Blargety
Nov 3, 2004

Children love Totoro
and he loves them.


Bad Seafood posted:

HOMEWORK: Google "Sigil the City of Doors."

In for this week's challenge of 3. Can I try to work in Bad Seafood's homework as my story (or part of it), or should they be separate?

EDIT: Oh, and I will also crit the next person who crits me.

EDIT #2: Changed for rule-breaking stupidity.

Blarg Blargety fucked around with this message at 09:47 on Jun 26, 2013

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Schneider Heim posted:

Please give me a flash rule too, because complete freedom is killing my creativity.

You don't like freedom?!? You know who else didn't like freedom? This guy! Do you want to end up hiding from truth, light, and justice in a hole full of spiders, Schneider Heim?

...Oh, very well. Your :siren: Flash Rule :siren: is that your main character must struggle against the control of someone or something outside him/herself. Maybe that'll teach you to value FREEDOM. :911:

Blarg Blargety posted:

In for this week's challenge of 3. Can I try to work in Bad Seafood's homework as my story (or part of it), or should they be separate?

Normally I'd say yes, but your assignment is explicitly fanfic, so no dice, I'm afraid. The Rule-of-Three could be useful in your homework, though.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


crabrock posted:

one ghost story in a third world country, that is like, totally believable, coming right up.

Robert Mugabe: Ghostbuster



I'll write something before I say I'm in. Been a bit of a jerk recently.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Only recently?

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Martello posted:

Only recently?

Still waiting for your pirates and dogs story mr Martello

get the lead out

and put it down on paper (metaphorical lead)

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

crabrock posted:

one ghost story in a third world country, that is like, totally believable, coming right up.

No, not just "believable"- one that features a real person. Like, one of your characters is Isaac Newton or Betsy Ross or something.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Nikaer Drekin posted:

No, not just "believable"- one that features a real person. Like, one of your characters is Isaac Newton or Betsy Ross or something.

Issac Newton wasn't a real person, you Illuminati shill.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


sebmojo posted:

Still waiting for your pirates and dogs story mr Martello

get the lead out

and put it down on paper (metaphorical lead)

I suck big time :smith:

but for reals I'll get it to you soon, if not tomorrow or something then monday approximately

fukin wedding and puppies, takin up all my goddamn time

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I'm in.

Blarg Blargety
Nov 3, 2004

Children love Totoro
and he loves them.


Kaishai posted:

Normally I'd say yes, but your assignment is explicitly fanfic, so no dice, I'm afraid. The Rule-of-Three could be useful in your homework, though.

Darn, I was going to have a diary excerpt from a wedding in Sigil between 3 beings! Well if you want them separate, I'll have to rethink this...

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

For anyone still considering painting the 'Dome with blood, 60 minutes remain.

Edit: Sign-ups are now CLOSED. You have approximately 48 hours, combatants. Good luck.

Kaishai fucked around with this message at 04:22 on Jun 29, 2013

Blarg Blargety
Nov 3, 2004

Children love Totoro
and he loves them.


Fanfiction from someone who's never played, coming right up. Wish I could promise to go play Planescape: Torment, but too much time with games is exactly why my writing sucks.

I'm out for the main submission. Too much poo poo just came up.

Homework - 333 words - "Thrice Wronged" - Set in Sigil as interpreted through wikis and FAQs

A dark elf swaggered in near closing time, winding through the old stools and tables, got rain all over the floor. Wasn’t too scared. Had plenty worse wander in, I have. This one just threw himself right front of the bar next to Elka, orders an ale.

He eyeballed the sign hanging over me bar, read it playful-like. ‘Wrong me thrice, I won’t play nice!’

Did he see the other sign, The Lady Watches? He must not have. He laughed, and Elka eyeballed him good. I worried – she comes ‘cause no one expects her here.

Drow says “Dwarf! Give me the best of whatever piss you serve.”

Wasn’t too sore yet. He’s playing with me, I think. Can’t guess much ‘bout cutters trudging through the rain in Sigil.

He drinks and turns to Elka. Talks to her like he’s gonna get inside her silk. Tells her about crossing the underdark, slicing goblins and driders with his scimitars, fighting dark wizards and rogues.

Elka said it plain-like. She’d met a real drow hero in Toril, and this berk wasn’t him. He said he’s sorry, called her lady again. His hand found her thigh, but Elka didn’t blink. I couldn’t stand it no more.

I tell him “Drow, this here’s a special guest. She’s not just a lady – she’s the Lady.”

He looked at me strange-like, and I pointed to the signs.

He says “Dwarven liar! She isn’t her.”

Elka gets my game, says “I can shapeshift. Even I need a rest sometimes.”

“The Lady of Pain would never –” He’s shaking, not so sure now.

“Maybe I won’t flay you or cast you to the Mazes. Leave now.” Elka says this flat-like.

I nearly laughed at the berk’s fearful face. He knew the bluff, methinks, but he was too new to be sure of it. He turns his tail, and he’s gone with no word.

“You play dirty.” Elka says once he’s out.

I just pointed out my sign and said “Can’t afford exceptions.”

Lily Catts
Oct 17, 2012

Show me the way to you
(Heavy Metal)


Flash rule: The protagonist must struggle against the control of something outside him/herself

Three Useless Wishes (994 words)

Harold appeared when she turned on the lights. She stared, transfixed to the ground, her hands shaking for something to defend herself.

"Greetings," he said. "I am a genie. and I will grant you three wishes."

Harold waited for the inevitable outburst of panic. He was wearing a three-piece suit and sunglasses inside a messy apartment. Maybe he should have changed. But humans felt better around well-dressed men, didn't they?

The woman crashed into a nearby chair. "I wish for a glass of water. Now."

Harold produced one from inside his coat. He set it down on the table. "It is done."

"And for your second wish?"

The woman drank from the glass, then fainted in her chair.

* * *

"Your second wish, mistress?"

"Stop calling me mistress," the woman said, cutting her scrambled egg with a knife. "It's disgusting. My name is Hana."

Harold held his tongue. What kind of person had he become a slave to? Hana lived alone, and her demeanor was surly. People were generally overjoyed to see a genie, and Harold usually completed his service within the day.

"So, what kind of wishes do you grant?" Hana asked.

"All kinds. Money, fame, love? I can grant them all, with exceptions. I cannot turn back time, resurrect the dead, kill the living, or grant more than three wishes."

"What if I wish you to go away?"

"I'm afraid that's not possible. We genie are immune to wishes. Do you not desire anything in your life?"

Hana exhaled. "No."

"Why?"

"Because wishes can't help me."

* * *

Harold followed Hana out of her home. He was invisible to everyone but his mistress, but still he kept his distance from her. She was dressed in what seemed a uniform for work, but she did not go to any office. Instead, she went to the park and sat on a bench.

People walked by, ignoring her. She paid them no heed, either, staring up at the clouds.

"What are you doing?" he asked, sitting on the opposite side.

"Nothing."

"Do you work?"

"Until recently."

"What happened?"

Hana turned to him, not caring if somebody noticed. "Aren't you supposed to badger me for wishes instead of asking stupid questions?"

"I'm confused, mistress." Hana glared at him, but he met it with an even stare. "In all my years I have never met a person so adamant in... testing me. You cannot begin to imagine how frustrated I am."

Hana chuckled to herself. She opened her bag and took out a box of chocolates.

"Genie do not eat."

"It's for me, you dope." She took a bite. "I wish for beer. A nice stout. Put it in a tumbler." She looked around, shirking at the human traffic. "Wouldn't want to be kicked out of this park."

Harold sighed. "That's a trifling thing, mistress. You could wish for a lifetime's supply, or something even greater."

"Can't think of anything better than a beer in this weather."

Harold slapped the bench with his palm. He offered the drink to Hana.

"Um, thanks."

"My second wish, wasted," Harold muttered to himself.

"Got a problem?" Hana was grinning. Her cheeks shone red.

"No," he decided. As soon as she makes her final wish, I'm leaving.

* * *

That night, Harold sat in the living room. Hana had returned to her apartment after sunset, and locked herself up in her room. He could check up on her, but decided against it.

Water and beer. What were those things compared to the grandeur of his powers? He had made kings weep with untold riches, ordinary people with love against all odds. He had fomented revolutions and affairs that had far-reaching consequences. He decided that she was mocking him.

But until she made her final wish, he was bound to her. Unlike humans, genie weren't encumbered with the curse of mortality, but every minute in her servitude was agonizing.

"Have you decided on your third wish?" he said, sensing Hana behind him.

She strode before him, holding a stool and a length of rope. He stared at her, measuring her blank face. She had done nothing the entire day but sit on that bench. Why did she look so... tired?

"Yeah. I wish you to tie this rope to the ceiling."

Harold shook his head. "Surely you can do it yourself."

She wavered for a moment. "I don't know how to. And even if I did, I... can't."

Harold snapped his fingers and the rope tied itself.

"Eh, so you knew how to do it. Had experience?"

Harold didn't answer.

Hana shrugged, stepped on the stool, and placed the noose around her neck, tugging the knot in place.

Nothing compelled Harold to stay. Having granted Hana's wishes, he could have been off his way. But he watched.

Hana kicked the stool away. The rope wound tight around her neck, digging into her skin for one tense moment.

The rope unraveled, dissolving into nothing.

She fell on all fours, tears marking the floor.

"I did as you wished," Harold said, standing over her. "I tied the rope."

"I..." She gagged, clutching her throat. "It hurt. I thought I was going to die."

"There's a way. You're stronger than this."

"What do you know?"

He knelt down, cupping her face in his hands. "If you don't want to work, leave your job. If you're alone, talk to someone. A human being, that is. Do not give up on life, mistress."

Hana smiled. "You're leaving, aren't you?"

"I am a genie. I grant wishes. Someone will need me, soon, and I have to respond."

He dissolved into mist.

* * *

Harold stood by the train station, watching a woman push herself inside the train. She was wearing a different uniform since he last saw her.

He smiled.

Somewhere out there in the world, someone was turning on a light. Harold walked away, wondering what kind of master he would serve next.

Lily Catts fucked around with this message at 23:00 on Jun 30, 2013

CantDecideOnAName
Jan 1, 2012

And I understand if you ask
Was this life,
was this all?


Flash rule: Must have a devoutly religious character.

Holy Fire (415 words)

I am the transient priest of an indifferent God.

Summer is heavy and thick in the air. I stand in a forest with towering trees creating patterns of stained glass with their leaves and needles, the sounds of life a hymnal to my ears. I smoke incense of my own to add to the air, a little white censor filled with potential. My vestments are torn and dirty, scented with earth and sweat, but my God does not care for fancy things. What use is silk in this worship? One blob of gold is the same as silver is the same as aluminum.

My altar is arranged in a sunburst pattern around a central circle of interwoven needles, twigs, sticks, and dirt. Pinecones and bark from dead trees lay in clusters within the center, sticks arranged in a teepee above them to encourage ventilation.

I contemplate the ritual as I smoke, admiring my handiwork. I then roll up my sleeve and begin, pressing the stub of my cigarette against the flesh to reaffirm my faith. Two brands I wear already, small scarred circles just above my elbow. This third one lines up with the other two.

What God does not demand sacrifice?

The cigarette butt is placed within the center of the pattern, nestled among dry wood, and I reach into a pocket and pull out my lighter. The first time I did this I said a prayer, the second I recited a poem. I knew now that words didn’t matter at the beginning, for there would be words afterwards. Those would be the ones that mattered.

I flick the lighter on, lean forward and set aflame the cigarette butt and the needles and the twigs, touching them with three dabs of fire and then withdrawing my hand.

Fire. The lifebringer, the destroyer, the indifferent God to which all shall perish and be reborn. We think we have tamed it, bring it into our homes and intertwine our lives to it, but we haven’t domesticated fire. We think we have, and then there are the priests who remind the world that this God is greater than any of us. Fire, our greatest technology, keeps power for itself.

I call this power forward, nurturing the small flames and feeding them into life. I tend to them until the wind picks up, and then I leave. I am a transient priest of an indifferent God, and if I don’t keep moving then I too will be eaten.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


11 hours, right?

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

11 hours, right?

Yup. It's 1:01pm U.S. Eastern as I post this.

Steriletom
May 11, 2009

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


Welp, it's been so long since I submitted that I completely forgot(until today) that I have homework due for Thunderdome.


-----------------------

Bliss -324 words

The snoring starts up and Mary smiles as she picks up the tea cups from the coffee table, leaving her husband to slumber. In the kitchen, she slips off her wedding band and pockets it, pausing to admire her nails. The wedding, her third, had been that afternoon and the civil service had been quiet—just the two of them and two witnesses. His family boycotted the ceremony and hers has had no idea of her whereabouts for at least ten years.

The snoring catches and a gargled sound breaks out. Mary cranes her neck to listen but goes back to her nails when the sound smooths out again. She goes upstairs to their bedroom to make a call but pauses first in front of the dresser mirror. She studies herself, pushing up on her breasts. At forty, they’re starting to sag but it’s nothing a good bra can’t fix. Besides, her husband, at twice her age, is just happy to have a teat to suck on, his first wife having passed five years ago.

Before dialing, Mary listens to make sure he’s still asleep. He is. She navigates a menu of never ending dialpad selections before finally getting a live person on the phone. The agent asks for a reference number and runs through a standard list of security questions. Mary answers all successfully and asks to confirm the insurance policies the two of them have set up.

Yes, all the paperwork has been processed.

And that’s for five hundred thousand dollars per, correct?

Yes it is.

Should something horrible come to pass, how do they go about claiming the payout?

All that’s required is a mailed in copy of the death certificate and the money will be deposited directly into their joint account 2 weeks after.
Mary thanks the agent and gets off the phone.

She walks to the threshold of the stairs and listens once more. Silence. Mary smiles again.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Flash Rule 1: Ghost / Supernatural Story
Flash Rule 2: Based on Real Person
Flash Rule 3: Takes place in a third-world country


These flash rules were hard. I kept thinking of a workable idea and then remembering that I left out one of the three. It was frustrating. I'm just glad I didn't gamble on Nelson Mandela dying and write a story with him, as I was about to. This is the best I got for now:

The Hunger
(777 words)


His Excellency, Field Marshal Alhaji Dr. Idi Amin, He who Escaped Hell, Victorious Slayer of Satan, VC, DSO, MC, CBE, held the medium-rare quarter-pounder up to his mouth and opened wide. There was a tap on his shoulder. He snarled and turned around. “What?”

The meek waiter looked at the floor. “Idi Amin?” he asked.

Idi Amin rolled his eyes. “These fuckin’ angels. Worthless, sniveling butterflies,” he said.

The rest of the men around the table grunted in approval. Charles Taylor threw a roll at the cowering angel.

“You have a call in the lobby,” the angel said.

Idi Amin looked at his burger and his mouth watered.

“They said it is of the utmost importance,” added the angel.

His Excellency shoved his chair back from the table, threw his napkin on the ground, and stormed into the lobby. “This is Idi Amin, who dare summon me?”

On Earth a crystal ball on the table swirled with black and blue clouds. The spirit medium’s head had fallen forward and her eyes rolled into the back of her head until Detective John Kaweesi could only see white. “Are you ok?” he asked.

The words came out in a ghoulish rasp. “No I’m not; I’m starving!” said Idi Amin, through the medium. “Who is this?”

“My name is John Kaweesi, of the Uganda Police Force. I have questions for you.”

There was silence.

“Mr. Amin?”

“I don’t have time for this,” said Idi Amin.

“I am from the Department of Missing Records, and I just need you to help me complete these three files, and then I’ll be done,” said John.

“Hurry up then.”

“Your wife, Nora Amin, mysteriously disappeared after you divorced her. We would like to know what happened to her, for our records,” said John.

“I ate her,” said Idi Amin.

John Kaweesi made a note in his book. “That’s what we had feared,” he said, “But we just wanted to verify. Thank you for being honest.”

“It doesn’t matter anymore,” said Idi Amin.

John continued: “Your other wife, Kay Amin, vanished from a hospital after a car accident. What happened to her?”

“I ate her too,” confessed Idi Amin.

“Uh-huh, and the last one,” said John. “Malyamu Amin. Working with orphans in the Rwenzururu region when her co-workers reported she never showed up to breakfast. I assume—“

“Yeah, I ate her,” said Idi Amin. “By my count that is three questions. I am free to return to my dinner?”

John pulled a large device out from under the table and put it on the table over the crystal ball. From deep inside John could hear the muffled sounds of mechanical mechanisms locking into place.

Idi Amin’s head seemed glued to the phone. “Hey, what is going on here?” he demanded.

John Kaweesi closed his book. “Yes, that is all I wanted to ask you. I am turning you over to my partner now, Detective Elizabeth Muwanga.

Idi Amin struggled to pull away from the phone.

“Thank you John,” said Elizabeth. She pushed a few buttons on the device. “Mr. Amin, I am part of a task force formed to reduce the violence perpetrated on women by their husbands.” Elizabeth’s arm burned with the phantom pains of her missing hand, her own matrimonial souvenir. “As part of our campaign we’re rounding up the worst offenders and putting them on display in the capital square.”

John Kaweesi nodded. “Now you’re going to feel a slight panic as you are pulled back through the portal,” he said.

“This is impossible!” shouted the medium in a scratchy voice. “I am in Heaven!”

Elizabeth smirked. “It’s more as a holding cell. You have been sentenced to eternity in a Hell Jar” she said. She pushed down the top of the machine and it whistled and steamed. When it quieted, a small canister rolled out.

The medium regained her composure as John carried the device out to the car. “I don’t know what you ask the spirits, but it always gives me such a headache,” she said, rubbing her temples.

“Just collecting a little trash,” said Elizabeth. “See you tomorrow.”

She stepped out into the dusty Ugandian summer and slid her sunglasses on over her acid scars. John already had the car running.

“So, dinner?” he asked. “Burgers sound good.”

“No,” Elizabeth said, “Steaks.” She threw the canister into the back seat of the car where the sun beat down on its dark, red glass.

Idi Amin stood in the tiny room bathed in red light. Beads of sweat rolled down his face as the temperature rose. He banged on the walls and screamed, and his stomach growled in protest.

crabrock fucked around with this message at 03:11 on Jul 1, 2013

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


Find Them And You Can Resist (520 words)

A bloodied letter:
Artillery pounds my roof and I realize now how wrong I was: they trapped me, just as they’ve trapped you. If you’re reading this, they wanted you to read it. If it survives beyond the bullet I’ll put in my brain, when the Soviets swarm down into this concrete tomb they let me build, they wanted my words to survive. Whether it suits them or not, I will show you: they arrange everything, everything to amuse their whims.

They may have cornered this animal, but they have not conquered him. There is one place even their omnipotent grasp cannot reach, and that is here, my sanctum, my soon-sepulcher.



My downfall began as I sat in a theater. Half-past midnight, as Orson Welles rode the Riesenrad, their anonymous man approached and introduced himself, the eponymous son of Herr Dreizig Junior.

Men of power do not chatter. Beyond the theater, I commanded an unbreakable machine, and in nine hours I would forge its strongest alliance. By what accident had they arranged our meeting today?

“There is no chance nor fate,” he said. “As we agreed, your end approaches. Join us in shadow, or fall.”

I chose to believe I alone had built an empire, with favors neither given nor received.

“We created you.” Lies. “We have always created men of your standing.” Lies. “And we have always destroyed you.” Lies.



Twenty-seven years prior, a Viennese cafe in Landstrasse near Richard Lionheart’s folly. My name immortalized, my power unquestioned, and for this they asked trifles. Who were these men who offered so much and needed so little?”

“We are power,” they had said. “Men invent our names. They named us when we were Rome’s vox populi and its emperors, they named us when we preached in the desert, they named us the people of the French uprising. They name us even now for you and will again in sixty years for a Rockefeller.”

I had remarked on the providence that our interests coincided.

“There is no chance nor fate,” they had said. “Only we shepherds.”



In the theater, I was blind to the evidence, believed myself free. I walked out and, that day of the twenty-seventh September, signed a pact and believed it my own.

I was wrong. They, of course, drafted and approved its six clauses. Now they have torn me down, but I will end this puppet farce. I have spent five long years pretending it was I who moved men as pawns, but I am the pawn.

A pawn should not know the mind of the hand moving it. But they are men, not gods: they leave tracks any with this knowledge can see, and those who see can defy them - you can defy them.

As can I. There is one path left to me—



I am broken.

Here in my drawer, beneath the paper I stashed to write this very note, they left their final message. They knew my mind, they have always known my mind. My pistol is a six-chambered revolver.

There is no chance nor fate.

30 Apr 1945

Auraboks
Mar 24, 2013

...huh?


One end (671 words)

First came Bir the Invulnerable, first and last of the dragons, who rose from the sea to end the reign of Man. Bir stood taller than the highest building, and so heavy was he that his feet left prints even on the hardest rock.

When the people of the coast saw him, they fell to their knees and said: "Spare us, oh Great Dragon! Our time has not yet come! Return to the sea and sleep for one more age, we beg you!"

"Hey guys, I'm here," said Bir the Invulnerable, and his dread voice brought rot upon all the food that Man had stored away. The people of the coast now saw that the dragon would not halt his advance, and they called upon all the people of the world to stand together that they might stop him.

Yet all of Man's armies together could not harm the Invulnerable. In desperation, Man turned their greatest weapons upon Bir, and though the land was scorched for miles around him, Bir himself was not marked by the assault.

"This is the place, right?" asked he then, and the crushing noise of his inquiry echoed around the world, and all of Man's tools of war were bent and broken by the sound. Then Man's armies withdrew, for they knew they had lost, and the people in their cities were full of terror.

Then spoke Bir for the third time, saying, "Gosh, I hope I'm not too early," and all of Man's houses and towers and castles were turned to dust in the space of a single breath. Now Man fled the devastation to live in caves and forests and plains, as they once had in the beginning of time.

Thus ended the reign of Man.

Second came Destroyer Iki, the vulture of the end, who hatched from the earth to cleanse the world of Life. When Iki spread his wings entire continents would fall under their shadow, and when he took the air the sun would flee from him, and night came with him where he went.

When Iki saw his brother Bir, he went to him, and his wingbeats brought forth a terrible wind that ripped all the trees in the world from the ground, and even the grasses and flowers.

Then Iki said to Bir, "Yo, what's up?" and his breath was a poison fog that seeped into the lakes and seas and rivers, and all the fish in the world died.

"Nothin' much. You seen Ukr?" said Bir, and the ground trembled as he spoke, and Man in his caves knew his ordeals were not over.

"He should be around, it's his place and all," said Iki, and now his voice had a dreadful pressure that turned all the Men and animals who heard it into stone and shattered them.

"Guess we'll have to wait, then," said Bir, and the earth quaked once more, but there was none left to feel it.

Thus ended Life.

At last spoke Ukr, who was the World itself and who was always present, and he said to his brothers, "Man, look at this mess!", and they knew that he was angry, and were afraid to speak.

"We'll have to clean this up before we do anything else," said Ukr, and Bir and Iki were relieved for they knew they would be forgiven.

So Bir went into the ocean and drank up the poison, and made the waters clean again. And Iki took the dust from the ruined cities, and mixed it with the torn-up grasses and flowers and trees, and made it into fertile earth.

Ukr then broke himself in two, so that he was no longer the World. Then he took a feather from Iki and a scale from Bir, and fed them to the World that it might grow strong again and be what it was.

"All right guys, let's go," said Ukr finally, and he left with Bir and Iki, never to return.

Thus the World began anew.

Ceighk
May 27, 2013


t h u n d e r d o m e
We can talk about it
Or we could get gully, I'll size up your body
And put some white chalk around it


Flash Rule: One of your characters must suffer a personal catastrophe.

Black Lyne – 999 words

3. a. Today’s sky shouldn’t be this blue. It should be iron loving clouds seething and pissed-off, the blur of storms on the horizon getting closer. We hold our hands above our eyes and squint and sweat in cheap suits.

This is not where Jack should be buried. He hates it here. The headstones are too neat, in rows and columns too perfect; it’s a supermarket graveyard with no history or future. He should be at rest by a forgotten woodland church under oak trees old and wise as the world, that draw up his blood through their roots through their trunks to their wooden hearts to stay there forever.

3. b. Mum sways beside me wet face and staring wet eyes and trembling alone: Dad isn’t here. Her own parents hang back, faces hacked from granite under wide hats. We’ve hurt our mum more than anyone, she’s struggling to stand.

I want to be the man for her and she can lean on my shoulder, and I’ll hold her up and tell her we’ll get through this.

I want to be her child again, have her arm round my back, have her say it’s not my fault, that I did everything I could. Even if we both know it’s not true, I want to hear her say it.

3. c. Toby’s here. That’s surprising. He doesn’t even look too bad; a smudge of purple behind his collar, scabby lips, hair’s a mess, but he looks better than I thought he would. Those black-eyes must be hidden behind the sunglasses. His expression is too. I can’t bring myself even to hate him.

I’m done with psychedelics. They’re for hippies anyway. Tonight my drug will be vodka.

∞. x. She found Jack naked and dead on the bathroom floor with thirty tabs of 2C-I-NBOMe in his mouth.

1. b. “You will look after him, won’t you? It’s a big school, and you know he’s not as big as those other boys. He’s not tough like you are. Keep him out of trouble. Don’t let him get picked on or anything. Oh, look at you two though, you’re both so big now! My two sons going to big school in proper school uniforms, looking so grown up! Mike, come on, get through here! Bring the camera, I want a picture of our boys.”

“Mum, you’re gonna make us miss the bus.”

“Well if you miss the bus I’ll drive you in and be late for work, it’s fine. Mike! Get your arse through here! Look at them, all dressed up ready for school, don’t they look such gentlemen?”

1. c. Toby says to take the tabs out of our mouths so we do and put them on the coffee table, three yellow squares slippery on your thumb with saliva. Jack lies on the sofa, stretched out with his space-eyes open, smiling, gazing at the ceiling, rapt like it’s the most wonderful thing. Out the window behind him the world is gorgeous; knitted looking fields roll away dotted with sheep and pylons, glowing under the writhing sun that slips through the clouds. Toby and I sit on pillows on the floor, I take Toby’s hand and then my brother’s -- each is so warm, so solid in mine -- and look into their giant pupils in turn and tell them how we need to stay friends, whatever happens, us three, forever. David Bowie sings from the cassette player and we feel every word and every note.

1. a. Me and Jack squat on the roundabout, gripping on hard. Toby runs with it, pulling us faster and faster. I can barely hold on. My shoes squeak against the roundabout’s floor. The world is just a blur. Jack is screaming for Toby to stop but he keeps on running, we keep on speeding up. Then Jack falls backwards.

2. “What the gently caress did you do?” “The gently caress are you on about?” “I’m on about why is my loving little brother dead?” “I don’t loving know!” “You lying little oval office!” I feel the air smash out of him as my fist sinks fast into his stomach, he bends in half, I grab him by the shoulders and ram him against the chain-link fence, he gasps for air. “You think you could keep that poo poo hidden from his brother?” “Alright,” he breathes, “I gave him the tabs, he asked for them and I gave him them.” Another punch to the gut, whack him hard on the side of his head, his eyes stare at nothing. “I know that, loving human being,” I spit on him, “the other poo poo!” “There was no other poo poo!” “Don’t you loving lie!” Another punch and a string of saliva mixed with blood lashes from his mouth onto my hoodie. “He just had an accident, I told him not to take so much, I told him, he didn’t listen, he never listen, it’s not my fault.” Smash to the collarbone with the side of my fist, feel something give way slightly beneath the skin. “loving poo poo, you know it is, you know what I’m on about!” Punch him in the eye. He stops moving, arms fall to his side. We stand there, breathing, staring at each other. “Fine,” he murmurs, “I admit it, I do.” Punch his other eye. “You loving gayboy.” Knee him in the balls. He staggers. He reaches out to me for support. I let him. I just stand there, breathing fast, trying not to look at Toby’s face as it moves closer and closer to mine. His lips touch my cheek, I can feel his hot blood on my face, and he whispers “I’m sorry.” I can hear the air shudder in and out of him. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean it to go like this, I didn’t want this.”

I push him off me and he crumples to the ground. He lies at my feet, bleeding and sobbing on the grass. I turn around and walk home.

Voliun
May 31, 2012


A Gate's Graceful Descendent
WC: 995

A hunchback elder of Soliva glared at a younger woman in a green dress. "The counsel can't wait any longer, Adularia," she said, "If you manage to drive away three suitors in one day, they or somebody might take drastic measures."

Adularia faked a smile. "It isn't my fault the beasts that the incompetent landers send me were fortune seekers wanting something I can provide." She sat down on one end of the green glass table. Looking up at the transparent glass floating above, she said, "Play the recorded message, Olga."

Olga raised a blue cubed shaped crystal. "This one will be speaking to you presently. Please be courteous."

"How so? The security measures are still in place for a reason."

"It matters not if you can't see each other," Olga said.

While the crystal emitted a faint glow, the elder lowered it on a jade stand. The glass turned black, and a red vertical line appeared in the middle. "Good evening my grace," A deep masculine voice said, "This humble servant is honored to be able to speak and hear you." A ripple cruised through the line for every word spoken by him.

"What does a humble servant like yourself want to speak to me about?" Adularia said.

"How beautiful our marriage and reunion will be. It will be one our ancestors would be proud of."

Adularia stood and slammed both hands on the table. "Say nothing about my mother!" Olga hobbled by her side humming a tune as the queen violently coughed at the end of her sentence. After the coughing subsided, she sat back down and took a deep breath. Without looking up she said, "I will give you three trillion credits if you find another bride."

Hearing the number, Olga's fingers almost fumbled off her staff. Before she could raise an objection, the voice said, "You had already given three things more valuable than your money, my grace."

"And what would that be?"

"Your existence, survival, and ring."

"What ring?"

A holographic image of an iron ring appeared in front of Adularia. Three small indentations were on the lower half that was joined together by a rough jade charm of a hammer. Olga's eyes widened when she saw it. "You'd gave away my gift?" she whispered, "When did you give this?"

"It's just a common ring," Adularia whispered back. She crossed her arms together as the ring dissipated. "Do you have relatives or friends that are in trouble? If they are within the kingdom's boundaries or one of its colonies, I can pardon them instead of the money."

"I am the last of my kin," he said, "My only friends are time, duty, and pleasure."

Adularia scoffed. "Then what will I be to you if we get married?"

"My most valuable treasure that I would eternally serve for just as I have been doing for my motherland."

A large grin appeared on Olga's face. "He has the bearings of being one of the best kings Soliva has ever had," she whispered."

"Or being the short-lived with that kind of idealist thinking," Adularia whispered back while leaning back. Her pressed lips let out a soft breath, but her posture straightened as she clasped both of her hands together. Looking up at the screen, she smiled. "How about if I give you more power to serve your purpose?"

"What greater power?"

"Anything else that you want," said Adularia. She raised a finger and quickly added, "I can do whatever in my power to ease your homeland's troubles!"

Silence immaculate the room. In that moment, the voice echoed. "Not to offend you my grace, but your kin had centuries worth of that power you speak of and did nothing with it as they look down upon it with indifference."

"Well I can change that!" Adularia said, "Whatever it takes! You can have this tower if it serves your purpose and I can help whatever your duty is!"

"I am glad that we are in agreement that you are willing to take up the duties that were woefully neglected together my grace," the voice said, "I shall take the first step by letting the motherland reclaim what is rightfully hers."

The glass turned back to its neutral clear state. Adularia face jolted into a shock as she realized what she had left out. The crystal resting upon its stand fell, but Olga drew it into her free hand as its faint glow turned stronger. Her feeble legs and old crane remained grounded while Adularia held on to the table.

"This man isn't named king yet!" Adularia said. "How is he doing this?"

Smiling, Olga lowered her head. "Technically, he has been king ever since you gave him the ring," she said.

Adularia's face turned into rage. "You had tricked me, hag!"

"No trickery has been involved," Olga said, "But I had never believed my fail safe would work until tonight."

"But the ring is a common one, not a wedding ring!"

"Your family's emblem stone is just as authoritative as your voice. It matters not if it or the ring wasn't refined or polished as long as the stone came from the tower."

"Who approved it? It sure as hell wasn't the counsel if the tower would be falling down to our deaths!"

"The answer lies within you." Olga limped to an arched window. "There's no need to fear death for the king's dutiful kin had built this tower to stand for millenniums among the engineers and gem masons of the old third millennium. Come enjoy the view of a lifetime my dearest."

Adularia legs remain stiff under the table. "Who is this secret king!"

Olga kept facing the window. "One who had never forgotten or learned the old ways."

"No more games or riddles!" Adularia shouted, "I order you to tell me who is this king!"

The hunchback elder of Soliva said with pride, "A Cohen, an engineer akin to my great great grandmother."

Phil Moscowitz
Feb 19, 2007

Chief Justice of the United States of Anime



I have a draft written but it's about 2000 words and not final and I have my infant alone (screaming right now as I type this) and it's not going to be ready for the dome by the deadline. So I suck.

Phil Moscowitz fucked around with this message at 01:20 on Jul 1, 2013

JonasSalk
May 27, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Computer troubles have caused me to back out. I was gonna write a story about two gay superheroes getting married. One of the heroes has a split personality. He's known as Trinity.

The wedding would have taken place at a second hand weddings shop. Two robots would have led the ceremony and discussed art.

I'm still gonna write that story, because it sounds like a lot of fun.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Bachelard Ass
Mar 26, 2009

Penetralium of mystery

Full Count
800 words


Steven slowed his pace for the final stretch of his walk to the restaurant, compensating for his nerves. He knew the trip took exactly the duration of “Foreplay/Long Time,” and he liked to arrive wherever he was going the moment the song he was listening to ended. It was his and Jenny’s third date. Around the third date was when things always went to poo poo.

Figuring Jenny would be about fifteen minutes late, Steven stuffed his earbuds into his back pocket and waited outside. He’d figured right, and soon spotted her crossing the street a block away wearing a short blue dress and what he guessed were some pretty serious shoes.

“Hey there,” he said when she approached. “Don’t you look awful.”

“Same to you,” Jenny replied, “What have you got on? Did you piss yourself just now?”

“You noticed!” Steven had bought a new, expensive cologne that afternoon.

They hugged each other for, he thought, at least a second longer than was just friendly.

“Really though, you look drat good.”

“You smell like flowers.”

At dinner, Steven listened to Jenny talk. He liked listening to Jenny talk. In fact, he liked everything about Jenny, from the playful antagonism of their greetings to how, when she got excited, her hair fell in her face and she reflexively brushed it back behind her ear.

Jenny had a lot to talk about. She worked for a non-profit and was involved in more community outreach and volunteer programs than Steven could keep track of. Maybe one day, Steven liked to imagine, they’d go on a trip together to rebuild houses or something, maybe teach underprivileged kids how to read or play baseball. He knew some guitar, he could have nightly "More Than a Feeling" sing-alongs. They could—

“Are you even listening to me?” Jenny was staring at him from across the table.

“Of course! Yeah, definitely. You were just saying how—”

“Oh, bullpoo poo,” Jenny interrupted, but now she was smiling. “I’ve been reciting the Nicene Creed for the last, like, hour. I got up to ‘one and Being and the Father’ but I forget the rest.”

“Sorry. You know. Long day and all.”

“It’s alright.” Her smile had shifted into a subtle grin. She finished what remained of her beer. “I think I’m set.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.” Jenny took a moment to look around the crowded restaurant, then turned back to Steven. “You live pretty close to here, right?”

They were half undressed by the time they made it into Steven’s living room. Jenny wrestled with his jeans button while he pinched at her bra-clasp.

A familiar heat started building pressure between Steven’s temples. This is it, he thought, trying to focus on kissing Jenny. It’s happening. No turning back, no running away. However it goes, it goes. At least soon he’d know.

She bit his shoulder, he bit her ear. She eased his zipper down and ran her fingers down his stomach, pausing a moment at his waistline, then slid her hand into his drawers and stopped.

“Steven.” She looked at him, wide-eyed.

“I can explain—”

“Do you—” She wiggled her fingers, causing Steven to wince, reminded of every physical exam he’d ever had. “Do you have three?

“The doctors said it’s not dangerous or anything, just a deform— it’s just different, you know? I work fine. It works fine— my dick, I mean—”

“Steven,” Jenny repeated, “what the gently caress.”

“An extra tank! A spare, uh, a spare.” Steven attempted a feeble laugh that came out like a chicken clucking.

“Are you kidding me?” Jenny withdrew her hand, went to brush her hair behind her ear, changed her mind, and instead held it away from her. “Think about Lance Arm— think about the Chernobyl kids! Some of them only have one! One weird one. Or none! Zero!”

Jenny took a step back, then a half step forward. “You have extra! Don’t you think that’s selfish? Did you ever even try to donate it?”

“I don’t think it works that way,” Steven stammered, but Jenny was already pulling her dress back on, adjusting the straps, and looking for her shoes.

“I’m sorry,” she said, snatching her bag off the floor, “I thought you were different from other guys, I really did. Selfless, generous— you were a Boy Scout!”

Steven had been kicked out of Boy Scouts as a Tenderfoot for trying to set fire to a boy who wrote “Boston Sux” in Sharpie on Steven’s woodworking project.

“I can’t do this.”

“Jenny, I—”

But she was already out the door, not bothering to close it behind her.

Steven didn’t move for several seconds, still unzipped. Finally he sighed, shut the door, and waddled to the bathroom where he plucked first two, then a third 3 ply Kleenex from the box by the toilet.

Bachelard Ass fucked around with this message at 02:04 on Jul 1, 2013

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