Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«150 »
  • Locked thread
sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Martello posted:

new thread title imo

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Down With People
Oct 31, 2012

The child delights in violence.


Brunch (447 words)

Allan clumsily reached for Samantha's hand and gripped it tight as they left the station. He climbed the stairs with her, trying to ignore the teenage couple loitering and smoking cheap cigarettes. Instead, he followed the smell of her new perfume as she guided him to the new cafe she'd discovered on the west side of town. A small establishment, crowded even at this early time of day, with the little Vietnamese proprietor rushing around and trying to keep up with orders.

He took a seat while she went up to order for him. At some forgotten point in their lives, she started to know what he wanted better than he did, so he simply let her do all of the ordering these days. She came back with the table number, and the two of them stared at each other for a long time.

“So,” he said. “Ten years, then.”

Her face wrinkled up at that. “Don't say it like that. Ten lovely years. Ten wonderful years.”

“They were, they were. Don't get me wrong. I just feel like they're starting to catch up with me.”

He knew she would laugh at that, and she did. “You're barely pushing fifty. Don't act like you're some old man hooked up to a colostomy bag. I didn't come here with you just to hear you moan about your troubles.”

He shook his head defensively. “Hey, hey! I get it. I'll give it a rest. I'm just saying, is all...”

“Well, don't.” She leaned across a little and grabbed his hands, pulling them up onto the table. “Look at these. You know what these are?”

“Hands?”

“Working man's hands. Look at them.”

He did. Old, gnarled things, the way he saw them. Crooked claws with thorny talons. But he took another look, tried to see the scars in a different light. Each scar and stiff joint, he knew how they got that way. More importantly, he remembered that he'd done it all for her. He thought about all the things he still had left to do. He smiled at that.

“Guess you're right. Still got a long way to go.” He looked up at her. “Heh. Bet those kids back at the train station ain't gonna work as hard as me right?”

She opened her mouth to say something, but she was interrupted by the waitress. The young lady was holding mugs of coffee, looking for a place to put them. Allan realised he was still holding onto Samantha's hands, warm and tight. Embarrassed as a schoolboy, he quickly pulled away, and waited until the waitress was out of sight to reach out again.

Baggy_Brad
Jun 8, 2003

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Rescue (679 words)
The episode of JAG cut to a commercial for an ab-squeezer. Constable Angela Pearson glanced down at her latest coffee, and when she looked up Maggie was opening the night entrance to the station and approaching the desk.
"Morning, Maggie," Pearson said.
"Hey, Ang," Maggie replied. Maggie was dressed for the evening. A sparkling black dress clung to her sides. Around her shoulders was a man's leather jacket, mustard coloured and faded. In one hand she carried a brown-paper lunch bag and two heels, each shoe dangling from a manicured finger.
"You just take a seat," Pearson said, "I'll go and fetch your Christian."
Maggie nodded and parked herself on the edge of a plastic, grey bench. "Is he being charged?"
"No," said Pearson, pulling keys from a drawer. "But, can you ask him to pull his head in? He's running out of chances."
"Okay," Maggie said without confidence. She delicately placed the paper bag on the seat beside her. Pearson left her alone, a boat chase on the television screen above her flashed and reflected on the surfaces of the station.

Maggie heard Christian's laugh before the doors opened. He was dressed in blue jeans and a white undershirt. His belt, watch and shoes were all missing. When Pearson pushed open the door for him he saw Maggie and stopped chuckling, but his face stayed frozen in smile. When he saw the paper bag beside Maggie the fresh stubble on his cheeks surfed as he grinned.
"Baby," like she'd shown up to the oval at sunset with a slab.
Maggie stood, walked half the distance between them and stopped. She was a foot shorter than he was. She looked at the floor and spoke softly, "Angela says you need to pull your head in."
Christian's smile stalled. "Yeah, yeah," he said. "I'll be good." He looked at the bag on the bench. "I'll be good, if you'll be good."
"I'll be good," said Maggie.
Christian winked.
Pearson dropped a plastic bag onto the counter, the belt buckle inside clunked against the surface. "I'll need to go through the inventory with you, Mr West," she said. Pearson fossicked in a drawer, and Maggie winked back.
"Yeah," Christian said. He picked up a pen from the counter before Pearson pulled out the right form. He wrapped his other arm around Maggie's waist and gently pulled her closer. She wove her arm around his waist in return. He initialled the form where Pearson pointed, then signed the bottom. He exchanged the paper for the plastic bag.
"Thanks," said Christian.
"Christian," said Pearson, "I need you to seriously listen to me here, I don't want to see you..." she trailed off. Christian was focussed only on Maggie.
"Let's go home," Maggie said.
"Let's go home," said Christian.
Maggie waved quickly to Pearson, then led Christian out the front door. Pearson looked over at the television where a Navy trial was progressing, and saw the brown bag abandoned on the bench.
"Hey," she called out through the closing door. It didn't reopen.

Outside, under the purple sky that precedes a rising sun, Maggie reached over and squeezed Christian's hand. He grimaced, and pulled his arm away.
"Sorry, sorry" she said quickly, putting her hand on his belly as he nursed his fingers.
"It's okay," he said.
"Ken's not pressing charges," she offered as pain relief.
"Not surprised," said Christian. "He was going through beers like a cricket bat through a watermelon. He probably reckons he doesn't remember what he did."
"Yeah," Maggie paused. "But, he knows what he did."
"He knows," Christian said.
Maggie faced Christian. He smelled. His natural odour pushed through yesterday's cologne, the bar's smoke, the lock-up's disinfectant. She inhaled deeply and she took his hurting hand carefully between her fingers.
"Thank you," she said.
"Every time," he said, deadpan.
"Even if-"
"Every time."
Behind them the door to the station swung open and Pearson stepped out onto the footpath. "Hey," she called out and raised the paper bag in the air.
"Oh yeah," said Maggie. "Our breakfast."

Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

Just so everybody knows, this was harder than Poetry Week.

In The Kingdom. 1049w.

After a certain point, Top Trumps didn’t seem to cut it. Both Lucia and I knew all the values, of course - buying her the Zoo Animals pack was my weak attempt at a joke - but it had ceased to be funny. So they sat on top of our furs while we ate beans in the dark, trying to think of something to say. It was our fifty-fifth day in Siberia, and the Amur tiger was nowhere to be seen.
“Surprising we haven’t seen one,” I joked. “I mean, it’s not exactly camouflaged in the snow, is it?”
She smiled. Out of boredom, out of darkness and cold she was able to conjure that smile.
“In college,” she said, “they told us not to use rhetorical questions.”
“We-ell, they probably thought rhetoric was a little complicated for mammalogists. The school of arachnology is far more subtle.”
“Far more squishable, you mean.”
She grabbed one of the meagre samples I’d collected on this trip and held it over her mouth.
“Lu, those are my colleagues! It’s been too long since we had your mom’s cooking, clearly.”
“Oh yeah. Well she’s hardly in love with spiders either, is she.”
“Tsk, babe. Rhetoric.”
I wagged a finger, and she threw a handful of siberian brush at me. I grinned and threw a clod of dirt at her. We were most unprofessional.

I hadn’t known of the arachnologist/mammalogist wars when I first met Lucia, in the dolorous canteen of the American Zoological Conference, 1992. I was trying to gulp down a stale sandwich, she was trying to find a payphone.
“If you’re getting takeout, cut me in on it?”
She laughed - she had this loud laugh that could cut through restaurants, parties and even the staleness of a conference suite - until she saw my badge.
Serket? What’s that?”
“The north african spider journal. I’m on assignment. Don’t worry, it’s hardly the New York Ti-”
“We shouldn’t really be talking, you know...”
As gravity pulls us down, she said, so a force older than any of us must push the spider-lovers and the mammal-lovers apart. If you took a collection of animal geeks and let them have a varsity rivalry of their very own, you would get something like this: zoo funding battles, papers presented attacking each other, and the endless argument we played out, in mock outrage, that first night together.
“Fact is, Andy, a mammal could kill an insect-”
“If a mammal could find it, sure.”
“I must introduce you to my anteater someday.”
“How cute, needing something to be furry before you can work with it! How many teddy bears have you still got?”
Later on, she claimed we were like Romeo and Juliet.
“But you’re Juliet,” she mumbled, and rolled over to sleep.

===

The thin tent never quite blocked out the dawn, but filtered the light into a green beam that woke me in confusion. As always, Lucia was already awake and working. Spring sunlight played across her bare neck as she repolished the lenses of her binoculars, forever facing out into the trees. I considered laying in to watch her-
“I know you’re awake,” she said.
“Are you sure you’re not just a hunter with a conscience?”
“Perhaps. There’s breakfast on the stove.”
Thank God for breakfast. Thank God for beans, warmth and the taste of home. Every five days, I would trek down to Sedelnikovo for supplies and treats, but the gooey trays of baklava made us feel even further from home. In the long days while Luccia scanned the trees for a sight of a migrating Amur tiger, the sole focus of her work for five years, I tried to learn cyrillic script from a translation of Moby Dick I’d found in St. Petersburg. I’d just got the point where Queequeg falls ill when Lucia said something I’d been wondering for some time.
“You should go home.”
“What?”
“This place isn’t for you. You’re not helping me.”
“You knew I couldn’t help you!”
“Well, that’s certainly true.”
We had few rules, but not mentioning the results of our visit to the clinic was one of them. Why play the blame game, we’d said. Apparently, oblique references were permitted. I swung my bag onto my shoulder, lifted the canvas flap, and stepped out onto the snow.
“Where are you going?”
“To make myself useful.”
I hoped I could, at that.

===

Siberia is, in fact, beautiful, but not in a visual way, not in the way National Geographic would suggest. It’s more of a emotional beauty: the trackless landscape doesn’t care whether you walk it or not, why you’re there, what you have to see or say. Lucia is single-minded in her pursuit of the Amur, and she had expected the landscape to deliver accordingly. I had sat with her for nights and days, waiting, listening to endless redrafts of her conference paper: “the Amur, or Siberian Tiger,” she would intone, “cannot solely exist in captivity. The animal is adaptable enough, the ecosystem diverse enough, that a native, nomadic population is possible. And I have the proof.” Here she would pause - “is that a bit overwrought?” I told her it was not, not if she really did have the proof-

A patch of snow moved of its own accord. I crept forward towards the tree where I’d seen movement, then rounded it as quickly as I dared. A set of footprints, pawprints, dotted away over a ridge and just behind it, there was the peep of a tuft of orange fur. I stood on tiptoe, and saw a pair of eyes penetrating mine for the briefest second, and then the great orange head turned, the Amur’s body bounded away into the trees. I looked down, cursing my camera left hanging in the tent, and I saw something that truly made me stumble.

On a rock, in the snow, wiggling eight thin legs, was a creature I’d never seen before. The legs were striped but snowy-white like the ground, tapering up to a small body. With a single tuft of orange fur. Not a tiger, but close. I reached for my collection pot, scooped the first specimen of Troglocheles Romeo into its new home, and set off back to the camp. Not baklava, but close.

Symptomless Coma fucked around with this message at Feb 17, 2013 around 13:42

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Heart and Soul
(458 words)

Max sat at their piano, lost in Mozart's Fur Elise, and Maggie lingered in the doorway to watch him. He didn't need anyone else while he played. The slightest of smiles bent his lips, and he focused intensely, wholly, beautifully on the music, to the exclusion of the outward world. She clicked on low heels across the floor. Before she reached the side of his bench, Max turned his head and met her gaze. The corners of his eyes crinkled into soft creases as he smiled at her, now, and she at him; the music continued.

Maggie gestured for him to scoot over. He did, and she perched beside him. The corderoy of his trousers felt soft and warm against her knee. Their thighs pressed companionably together, though Maggie leaned away to give his arms room--and counterbalanced her own helpfulness by slipping a foot free of its shoe and sliding her toes up his calf. Max laughed and gently bumped her shoulder.

"'Heart and Soul'?" Maggie murmured in his ear.

He glanced at her. He glanced at her hands. She wiggled her fingers and broadened her smile. He drew Mozart out to a passable conclusion, then his hands hovered, ready, above the deep keys, and Maggie's hovered, ready, above the high. Her bare foot found the right pedal. They lingered like that: he waited for her to start and she teased him with hesitation, until he waggled his brows at her. Maggie broke with a soft chuckle and began.

However many times they played this together, she always remembered taking Max to the toy store on an early date to play at being Tom Hanks and his boss in Big, and how she and he had mangled the song--but they'd found the rhythm eventually, and they had it now. His low notes supported her piping, dancing high. She hummed the melody. Max nudged her shoulder again, and she tapped her ankle against his.

She ignored the pain in her hands. But two of her fingers spasmed and soured the song.

She felt the tension in Max's body; she didn't have to look at him to know his expression, and she didn't, because she had to focus on uncurling her hand. Her fingers bent--unbent--to her will, and through the bone-deep arthritis ache, she continued to play. He continued to play, for her.

After the last note, Max took her hands and kissed each swollen knuckle. "Next time, Maggie, I'll refuse."

"No, you won't." She touched his jaw and the stubble there. "Our song's still worth it."

His right arm folded around her, and she leaned into him, hands in her lap and left cheek on his shoulder, and listened to the music in their silence.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Monday Nights

words: 1165

“And that’s the weather coming up later on the supercast, so bundle up Southern California,” the forecaster said.

David sat on one end of a sofa, Nancy sat on the other. She played a free game app on David’s iPad.

“60? Jesus, I did not move here for this,” David said.

“No, you moved here for me,” Nancy said, tilting her head and batting her eyes. David looked at her for a moment.

“You’re not that sunny.”

“Awwhhh,” Nancy said, rolling her eyes. She lifted her right leg slightly, and farted. It made a flapping sound against the sofa, rolling softly along. “Hee!”

David shook his head and smiled. “Gross.” Like a yawn, he felt his stomach start to cramp slightly.

Must have been the bacon cheeseburgers he ran down the street for half an hour before. He hadn’t realized his cloth exercise shorts had been backwards the entire day until he was standing in line, waiting for his pickup order. He fidgeted, continually pulling his cell phone out and checking the time. Frustrated at his tangled pocket, he finally realized his shorts were backwards. Don’t let anyone else see your realization, he thought, just play it cool.

The Bachelor was starting in a few minutes, and the burger man had given him faulty information. Nancy would be waiting patiently, she wouldn’t mind if the burgers were a couple of minutes late, but Brian secretly wanted to get back in time for the start as well. The previews had been particularly enticing.

“Jesus these editors are brilliant,” Brian said. “How they managed to this boring piece of poo poo into that preview.”

“Shhh, it’s not over,” Nancy said. Brian rolled his eyes and started to clean up burger wrappers. He reached for the soda cup to take another sip but found only ice. Nancy smiled at him knowingly. “Hee!”

They sat on the couch, the news absentmindedly in the background, each on their laptops on the couch. Every so often Brian would see a picture of a cat, and show it to Nancy who would aww expectedly. She would in turn show him something she saw, but he had seen weeks earlier already. He laughed anyway.

When Seinfeld ended, it was time for bed. News at 10, Seinfeld at 11. They walked into the bedroom, too small for two people. Nancy had moved in when she was going to be in between leases, and one thing happened after the other, and now it was a year later.

“Remember when we had a huge blowout over me not moving in with you back in April,” Brian said. “And now look at us, heh.”

“I was scared, it was a scary thing,” Nancy replied. “I loved my apartment, and I didn’t want to get stuck in a lease if things didn’t work out.”

“Haha, and then that internship didn’t work out after all, and we had to move in together one way or another,” Brian laughed.

Nancy wrapped her arms around him and put her forehead on his shoulder. “And now you’ll never get rid of me, muwahaha.”

“Not until I—Hey, come on, look at this,” Brian said pointing at the bed. Bundled covers and untucked sheets tangled together on Brian’s side of the bed.

“Look, when you get out of bed, you leave your territory. It’s mine now, and I’ll do with it what I please.”

Brian grumbled and bent over to tuck in the far corner of the bed. Pulling the sheets away, he grabbed the stretchy corner of the bed sheet and pulled up the corner of the mattress. Before he could tuck it completely, he could feel Nancy’s stalking presence behind him. Clenching his butt tight, he flopped over just as she was going in for the kill.

“Agh!” Brian cried, rolling and squirming his way to the other end of the bed.

“Get back here you!”

“Stop trying to tickle my anus!”

Brian ran from the bedroom to the living room, where he could use the sofa as a barrier.

“But it’s so much fun,” Nancy shouted, chasing him with heavy steps. Brian cringed slightly, hoping the neighbors below wouldn’t hear. Nancy hunched and gave me a predatory look, curling her index finger in a mix between come-hither and redrum.

“You get that away from me, or I’ll, or I’ll—“

“You’ll what?” Nancy said.

“I’ll,” Brian paused. He then remembered he was bigger and stronger than Nancy. He straightened up and puffed his chest. “I’ll do something,” he said as he began to walk confidently toward Nancy.

She pursed her lips but then bolted for the bedroom with Brian in pursuit. They wrestled in the bed, Brian trying to overpower her, Nancy trying to worm her fingers to his behind.

“Quit it, quit showing off,” she said, struggling as he used one hand to hold both of her wrists. Brian smirked, using his free hand to tickle her ribs. Nancy fought and kicked, and finally licked Brian sloppily on the hands.

“Eww!” He shouted, recoiling his hand. They reset at each corner of the bed, each panting slightly. Brian made the first move, a dive to try to get one arm between her legs for a reach around butt tickle.

He got caught on a tangle of covers that she was sitting on, and he came up short. Realizing his error he tried to roll over, but it was too late. Nancy pounced, throwing her weight onto his shoulders, and a claw right down the crack of his rear end.

“Yeeeaagggg,” Brian exaggerated, squirming as Nancy dug in. “Noooo!” His body spasmed, trying to buck her off. After the initial shock of the tickle, Brian regained enough strength to lift and topple her to the side, where they lay face to face, panting and laughing.

Brian moved in for a kiss, softly going for the neck and collarbone. Nancy started kissing back, but pulled back.

“I’m sorry, it’s just so late,” she said, looking at her cell phone. “I have to be up in the morning.”

Brian nodded, “I understand, it’s cool.”

“Are you sure?”

“No, I mean it, we should have started earlier, I know. I have to be up early too.”

Brian kissed her again on the lips and they got up to brush their teeth. While Nancy was spitting the last of her toothpaste foam out of her mouth, Brian righted his shorts and grabbed his iPad for some last minute reading.

“Could you turn the light off,” Brian said, from his propped up position in bed. Nancy clicked the light and climbed into bed next to him. She snuggled up next to him and poked at her forehead lightly.

He laughed and used his free hand to massage her forehead and temples, while he read on the tablet. She rolled onto one side, making it easier for him to reach her forehead. Brian scooted closer to her, taking over more than his half of the bed.

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006

WORST WIZARD, THUNDERDOME
LOSER


As I promised here is a crit for the first piece after mine. Congratulations Erogenous Beef, you drew the shortest straw. Romance in the thunderdome seems to be about old people, dead babies and anything except romance, lets see how you did.

As I'm not very well versed in what makes a good romance I am going to conduct a test: if I make the characters brother and sister does it make me retch disgust? If not you have not communicated the love between them.

Erogenous Beef posted:

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 his sister. Her eyes scanned a dog-eared paperback. Creases worried down its spine as she turned pages.

Nothing untoward here, two siblings, celebrating a starving birthday. The second paragraph is a bit stilted, could have had some nicer phrasing and punctuation in there. Short punchy sentences make action, not languorous loving romance.

Erogenous Beef posted:

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 her brother, raccoon eyes glowing in the flickering light. She laid her head on his shoulder.

First of all why a spork. If they have cupboards of tins they can probably procure some decent cutlery. The brother has taken a few days to perform a relatively easy task of squeezing some wax together, hours might have been better here. Hmmm, honey is a little iffy, but they are close siblings. Can probably get away with that. Likewise head on shoulder. No vomit rising.

Erogenous Beef posted:

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.

They have some rings, but that doesn't mean they are married to each other. Siblings hold hands and give each other gifts. The feeding each other is a bit dodgy, but in a starvation situation it actually makes sense to ensure the other party isn't hogging all the food. This gets a pass.

Erogenous Beef posted:

Mary wiped the can with a rag, handed the cloth to her brother 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.”

Okay another sweetie, but that again isn't enough to make me think they are romantically engaged.

Erogenous Beef posted:

“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.”

If there anywhere in the story where my incest-detector started flashing it was here. Darling, babe and fingers on lips. Perhaps this is where the romance starts? Nope.

Erogenous Beef posted:

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 her brother 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 her brother 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.

Okay they just left the nuclear shelter or whatever. Brill. They see indications of human life, and are relieved so hold hands. Lovely, touching.

Erogenous Beef posted:

Mary grabbed her brother's 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.”


Okay we are going to see someone, but we are coming back to the bunker at the end of the day. Why? Who? No idea.

Erogenous Beef posted:

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.”

Wait WHAT? These two siblings have a child together? That's disgusting. Pretty much the first indication that these two have ever kissed or had sex too. Their sex life must... suck.

Erogenous Beef posted:

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.

To be honest we are back in sibling territory here.

Erogenous Beef posted:

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.

What is this action sequence doing in my gushy romance?

Dude you either wrote a really boring post apocalyptic action sequence, or a romance that has a completely unnecessary action sequence. And also has two slightly strange siblings. In the thunderdome romance bingo you got dead babies and gnarled, knotty pseudo old people in a sexless boring relationship. The actual writing is pretty serviceable and workman like, but in my opinion you were a continent away from the prompt.

DivisionPost
Jun 28, 2006

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

Smile, you fuck.


(The edit was to correct one word of a sentence that was added at the very last second. Fingers so loving crossed that it's all right.)

The Great Escape (1,182 words)

“Nineteen-and-oh” wasn’t some ideal statistic to the Sheeran family. It was a foregone conclusion, a fact left unwritten on the technicality of not having occurred yet. The numbers, along with phrases like “UNDEFEATED” and “LET’S GO PATRIOTS,” were plastered everywhere in their basement theater, even gelled on the cake their youngest daughter Kerry whipped up. “Nineteen-and-oh” was a destiny to be fulfilled after Eli Manning choked on the pressure of this final Giants drive.

Of course he’d choke, Clara realized. All Eli ever did was choke. The Giants stumbled into this sacred game in spite of Eli choking, and the Patriots were too smart, too perfect to allow their championship to be stolen.

Starting on their own 17, the Giants literally had their backs to the precipice, with only two minutes and thirty-nine seconds to push the Patriots off their own. Kerry sat next to Clara on the floor, clad in a Wes Welker jersey over a long-sleeved white tee. Her knees were fixed between her arms and her chest, tilting back and forth as she awaited fulfillment of the natural order.

Any moment now.

Destiny.

Clara had never seen her Giants win a Super Bowl. Her dad got her into them when she was 8, telling her stories about the 1990 game where they won by just a point. A heartattack would take him five years after, not long after their failed 2000 bid, and Clara had been waiting for her own story to tell ever since.

It was Kerry’s idea to bring Clara up to Medford for her parents’ Super Bowl party, where she’d be the only Giants fan in an entire state full of Pats fans. Her intent was honorable; down at Columbia, there was always a paper Kerry had to ace, always a football game for her to watch, always a friend she had to impress, yet lately she never had more than twenty minutes for Clara. In theory, a vacation would force them to stick together, and she was right. Still, there was no sense that this getaway was anything more than a short-term fix.

Manning was fighting valiantly, throwing two crisp passes to Amani Toomer to buy some breathing room, but now it was 4th and 1 against a Patriots D-line that looked ready to absorb gunfire.

Clara looked to Kerry, clapping, cheering, beaming whatever positive energy she could to Arizona. Of the twenty-odd ravenous superfans at this party she was the hungriest, her energy so thick and potent that she intoxicated them all second-hand. Even Clara’s Poor Dead Father™ didn’t seem to matter so much.

Somehow, Brandon Jacobs squeezed through the line and picked up the first down. A little air slipped out of the room, but the party brushed itself off and rallied. Suppressing a twinge of pride and relief, Clara reached out for Kerry, stroking the skin of her delicate ginger hand.

Kerry smiled back in response. It’ll be all right, she seemed to say. You’ll see. Destiny.

Clara could see: She could see them all counting out loud as the clock ticked away to zero, the cheers shaking the very foundation of the house. She could see Kerry, glass in hand, gloriously drunk on champagne and pride, leading the crowd in a “Tessie” singalong -- not even Clara would give a poo poo that it was about baseball. They’d all go out into the cold, snowy streets to make sure everybody knew that the New England Patriots were the best team in the world. Kerry would be right next to Clara, hanging onto her arm just like she was now, keeping her toasty warm just by being--

“PICK!” Asante Samuel stepped in front of a pass and Kerry leaped into the air, breaking contact with Clara. The room seized, the air shifted, the ball bounced out of Samuel’s hands and they all settled back down with a groan.

That was all Clara needed to see. Eli refused to breathe and work with the pressure; playing hard, but not smart. Soon, he’d hand the Pats their perfect season and go home the goat. Now he was getting blitzed; they had their hands on his jersey and he was going down.

Except he didn’t.

“Still up still up GET ‘IM!” Kerry’s father shouted amongst so many gasps as Manning pulled away from his attackers, carving out one precious second to dump the ball downfield, far too high for a decent athlete to catch.

To Manning’s benefit and destiny’s detriment, David Tyree was way past decent.

Respectful by nature, Clara’s hand slammed over her mouth on reflex as Tyree brought the ball down on his helmet, stifling her shocked triumph in front of two dozen infuriated Pats fans calling “incomplete” in the rudest possible way.

Clara breathed, looked over to Kerry and saw a familiar face, the same face her Dad had watching the Vikings rout their Giants back in 2000: confusion, heartbreak, anger, depression. Clara squeezed her hand to let her know she was there. She felt Kerry’s studious eyes on her, heard her breath return; it was even, subtle, clearly affected. Then she squeezed back to tell Clara she was there too.

They stayed like that for the rest of the drive, Manning proving that playing smart was at least somewhat overrated: If you want something bad enough, you’ll defy the natural order to make it happen. A few plays later, Plaxico Burress juked his man out of his shorts and caught the touchdown pass, leaving the Pats just over thirty seconds to answer back.

And then Clara was on her feet, yanked by Kerry up two flights of stairs, whisking her down the hall, finally letting go as they blasted into her bedroom so she could shut the door behind them.

She whipped around, eyes wide, jaw dropped, hands squeezing the back of her neck, “Oh my God did you see that pass to Tyree?

“That was...” Clara adjusted. She needed a moment to see that she wasn’t around a bunch of deflated Patriots fans anymore. In fact, there didn’t seem to be a Patriots fan in sight. “That was loving INCREDIBLE.”

“How does Manning get away from those guys?”

“How does Tyree leap like that?”

“How does he catch it with one loving hand?

With Rodney Harrison all over him?

“Unbelievable!”

“That was insane!”

They were shaking each other, lost in the ripple of a miracle until Kerry realized there was still a game to finish out. She dove for her remote and clicked on the game in time to see Tom Brady get sacked for ten yards, run over so hard you could hear it with the TV on mute.

They both flinched, then Clara laughed, then Kerry followed suit, pulling off her jersey and letting it drop to the floor. She roped her hand around Kerry’s shoulders, let her head drop into the nape of her neck.

“Your Dad would have loved this game,” Kerry said.

A tear ran out Clara’s eye as Brady’s Hail Mary pass fell incomplete.

Destiny.

DivisionPost fucked around with this message at Feb 18, 2013 around 03:07

budgieinspector
Mar 24, 2006

According to my research,
these would appear to be
Budgerigars.



Well, gently caress. This is what I get for catching up on the thread before I post, I guess. Not sure how we went from:

Echo Cian posted:

Show us a strong, loving relationship between the characters that's not based solely on how good they are in bed. Don't tell us how much they love each other because we'd have no other way to know.

to:

twinkle cave posted:

GERIATRIC DOME OF SADNESS

and:

CancerCakes posted:

As I'm not very well versed in what makes a good romance I am going to conduct a test: if I make the characters brother and sister does it make me retch disgust? If not you have not communicated the love between them.

But here's my non-Romance about old people, which clocks in over the word-count limit because there's just no pleasing some motherfuckers:


Bess (1,293 words)

Her given name's Elizabeth. She might let you call her "Lizzie", or "Betty", or "Beth". For me, though, she'll always be my sweet Bess.

Ain't that right, darlin'? Oh, look –- it's that nice young feller with the food cart. You hungry at all? No?

(Bess has been feeling a might peaked, son. If you'd be good enough to give me the tray, I'll make sure she eats something.)

We met in Oklahoma City, back in '44. Me and some of the other boys from Will Rogers Air Field borrowed a '41 Ford convertible for the weekend. We'd just turned a corner, and this whole herd of women was leaving the lunch counter. The boys pulled over and was just trying to pick 'em all up as a group. I leaned on a lamppost to finish my smoke. I wasn't trying to be slick; I was shy as hell around girls. I'd just flipped away my Lucky when the bell over the drugstore's door dinged.

She was wearing this blue number with polka dots, eyes as wide as saucers and black as coffee in the cup. Just a slip of a thing. It was nasty hot out. What little breeze there was blew past her as she dug through her handbag, and carried her perfume my way.

She smelled like violets. I was always partial to violets.

Next thing I knew, I'd forgotten all about being a wallflower. Well, mostly: I told her my name was Jimmy, in case I embarrassed myself. She told me her name was Bess. Nobody called her Bess, back then.

She let me walk with her around the block to where she worked, and we just jawed the whole time. I was trying to figure out how to tell her I'd lied about my name when the other boys pulled alongside and hollered, "Hey, Hal!" I was red, let me tell you. She laughed, though. Fessed up and gave me her name. Gave me her number, too.

When they shipped me out to the Philippines, not a week went by that I didn't write to Bess.

My unit disbanded in '46, and I legged it back to Sooner Country fast as I could. Walked right up to ol' Danny Rhodes as he was squeezing this whale of a woman into pumps about nine sizes too small. I said, "Mr. Rhodes, my name's Hal Dupree. I know I look a right mess, but I've just come nine thousand miles to ask for your daughter's hand in marriage, so I hope you won't hold it against me."

The old broad in the chair started bawling. She probably just realized she'd never fit into them drat shoes.

#

It came on a few years ago. Her joints ached, and the doctors told her to take Advil and get a heating pad. Direct sunlight hurt her eyes something fierce. Prescription sunglasses for that. Her throat was constantly sore. Tons of that godawful Chloraseptic.

Then my petite darlin' grew six inches in as many weeks.

She wouldn’t go back to the doctor. As whatever-it-was progressed, she stopped going outside. Instead, she took to sleeping in the back bedroom, far as she could get from the road.

One night, I woke up and just knew something was wrong. I got up and followed the muddy footprints down the hall. She was in her room. There was dirt and blood and chicken feathers all down her nightdress, and all matted in her fur, and she'd cut her arm.

I said, "Oh, darlin'. What've you gotten yourself into?"

She just looked down at the rug.

"Sorry," she said. She could still talk then, after a fashion. Her teeth were already pretty big and sharp, but the tusks hadn't come in, yet.

I put my arm around her –- it was a reach. She laid her head on my shoulder and soaked my pajama sleeve straight through with her tears. I patted her paw and just let her go. She kept saying, "Sorry." Bless her heart.

I knew we had to go. Where to, I hadn't the foggiest. I just went out to the drive, got the camper top on the pickup, and threw some blankets in the back. Got each of us a bag. I had to get Bess to carry 'em, though –- I don't get around like I used to, and lifting that camper top took a lot out of me.

I held open the door for her, though. Just 'cause your lady's built like a grizzly, it don't mean you can forget your manners.

I was barely outside when someone tackled me. My glasses skidded down the bridge of my nose and slid under the porch. I heard Bess howl, heard that steel-cable net drop, and then all I could hear was the loudest, shrillest car alarm ever made. LRAD, or whatever y'all call that drat sound cannon.

You black-helicopter boys sure know how to make an entrance.

Whoa! Bess! Don't bang on the glass, darlin' –- you'll make our friend all jumpy.

(Son, not for nothin', but you might want to take your hand off that pistol and step back a ways.)

That's it. That's better. We're all friends, now.

We've been down here ever since. Not that I know where "here" is, and not that I expect you'll tell me.

I'll admit to being puzzled at the outset. How y'all came down on us so fast. How y'all just happened to have a room that could hold her. How y'all figured that taking me along might be worth the extra trouble.

She ain't the first of her kind. Hell, I had that figured before I even met your boys in the lab coats. “Meh-Teh,” they said. “Yeti”. A one-in-a-billion trait that sleeps in your cells and turns you big and unpredictable when it wakes up.

That's why I'm still here, ain't it? Any monkey can toss food down that chute. Y’all need someone who can calm her down. I ain't complaining, mind. If my being here gives Bess a measure of peace, then it's worth it.

I tell you the truth, though: I don't think she knows who I am, anymore. Oh, she recognizes me as someone she likes, and she seems glad enough to have me jaw at her all day long. But I don't think she remembers... us.

'Scuse me. I'm all right. (Could you back up, son? She's growling.) I'm all right, darlin'. I'm just peachy.

Still, I s'pose you got to cleave to the hope that she's in there, don't you? You seen her file? Seen the pictures of how she was? I want you to do me a favor, then: I want you to remember, no matter what, that she's a person. She's that girl in the blue polka-dot dress.

I don't know how long people like her have on this earth, but I know I ain't gonna last forever. If y'all are learning anything useful by keeping her around, you'll probably want to introduce her to my replacement before too long. Maybe that's you, and maybe it ain't, but they'll need someone she'll listen to. Someone she likes. Unless, of course, y'all want to go in with tranq guns and nets every single time you want to take her temperature.

That there's my appeal to your sense of enlightened self-interest. I'd also like to make a plea to your human decency. If something... goes wrong? Make it painless for her. She ain't done nobody harm.

Now, if you'd be so kind as to have somebody bring us some water, my throat's awful parched. Ask 'em to bring more chickens, too.

And maybe some goat. She's gotten so where she likes goat.

Ain't that right, darlin'?

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Just about four hours til the deadline. Slackers who've got nothing to show will be fed rear end-first to Beelzebub.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


sorta-crit of NOAH's MONDAY NIGHTS

I say sorta-crit because it was well written and there's not much to do in the line-edit department. The rear end grabbing thing was funny as was the farting. That was believable. I didn't understand why they came to a stop just because they have to get up in the morning. It doesn't take that long to blow the grounsils, so that was a poor excuse. Maybe have something else happen, like a phone call that just breaks the whole moment. It was a sudden stop.

I like the idea of have an ultra small room that came about because of lease/moving hijinks. That goes well with the backward shorts. Things are just a little off. I think you could write a whole story about them sharing an uncomfortably small room and use it as a metaphor (hell, i might write that). The inclusion of "The Bachelor" made it banal in a non-interesting way. I don't see pro stories that put other people's stuff (TV shows, books) in them unless it serves a big point. Plus you didn't mirror the show against their own relationship which you could have. I realize that by the title you're going for a "day in the life of" thing, so it does achieve that. But it could be so much more. It won't lose, but I doubt it will win either.

Noah posted:

Must have been the bacon cheeseburgers he ran down the street for half an hour before.

and the burger man had given him faulty information

These sentences confused me.

Fell Fire
Jan 29, 2012


Waking (375 words)

When light filtered through the windows, she roused. The bed was cold, even with all of the old woolen blankets piled on top. She reached over drowsily, but the other half of the bed was empty. That woke her. Sitting up, she took a few deep breaths, then rose and pulled her robe around herself. Her entire body felt sore and stiff, muscles aching, joints locking as she straightened her legs and rubbed her hands against the cold.

Quietly, she walked the few feet to the crib in the corner near the door. Inside, the baby squirmed, little eyes peeking open. He was crying, although she had only just now noticed it. She picked him up in her arms, holding him gently against her breast. His scrawny frame hugged against hers, taking in a little nourishment from her breast. Slowly, he quieted and fell asleep.

Pushing through the thin curtain dividing the bed from the rest of the homestead, she came into the small kitchen-cum-parlor. She lit the wood stove, smiling slightly as she felt the heat begin to radiate. Picking up the rusty pail near the door and, bracing herself, she stepped out into the Autumn morning.

There was still dew on the grass; her breath froze in the air. She walked the thirty-four steps to the well, primed the pump, and filled the pail. Looking over, she could see her husband sitting on a stump at the edge of the field they had so struggled to clear, watching dawn rise over the mountains, wisps of breath rising from him at small intervals. She walked over next to him, brushing off a place for her to sit on the stump.

His eyes were bloodshot, dark bags hung below them. He was stooped, his hands weather-cracked. Still, when she smiled at him, he smiled at her. She brushed her fingers through the holes in his tattered overcloak, worn and patched with years of use. She shivered. He pulled the cloak off one of his shoulders, wrapping it around her. They hold each other, keeping each other warm, watching the beginning of a sunny day. At last, she spoke:

“Come on, I'll make you a pot of coffee and we'll get started on the day.”

SkySteak
Sep 9, 2010


Paradise (1,185 words)

An explosion shook the palace, deafening the muffled shouting outside. Dylan scrambled around in the bedroom, leaning against the golden lined bed as he scrabbled through various draws. Another nearby bang made him jump, almost making him lose his cigar.

‘Margaret, where’s the drat safe key?’ He shouted. ‘Of all the time for an uprising’ He thought.

‘In the left drawer, second draw down dear.’ She said behind a nearby door.

‘I’m not seeing it! We don’t have time for this!’ He said, his yellowed wrinkled hands
scrabbling through various junk. He was hoping that his 30 year rule would’ve kept going but that was not to be.

‘Dylan dear you were never good at finding things’. The ebony door was pushed open to reveal an elderly woman, towel on her head and partially dressed. She paced toward the drawer, systematically dumping the various tat on the king sized bed. In little time Margaret handed Dylan a slip of torn paper, a slight smile on her face.

‘Don’t know what I’d do without you’. He said a grinning back before pushing himself up and ambling toward a large silver safe at the other side of the room. He entered the combination, opened it and took out a large black leather suitcase. He then opened that up, smiling at the sight of rows upon rows of diamonds.

Margaret now more dressed put a hand around his side and smiled, giving him a kiss on the cheek.

‘You’d murder me if I’d have left them’ He said, returning the kiss.

There was a knock on the bedroom door. ‘It’s time Glorious President’ said a muffled voice behind the door.

‘I think that’s our ride out of this shithole Margaret. He said, closing the case. ‘Hurry up now. We wouldn’t want to be hanged as tyrants, would we?’

Dylan checked the peakhole while another hand was on his revolver. Soon after he opened the door, revealing a muscled man in a fine suit and sunglasses.

‘We secured you a way off the island Glorious President.’ He said. ‘It should be far away from the revolutionaries’. Said revolutionaries were now far louder than before. The occasional gunshot could be heard amongst the angry shouting.

Dylan and Margaret rushed through the array of rooms in the palace, ending up at the back of the building. They stumbled through the garden, flanked by loyalist troops. ‘So much many expensive foreign flowers and then there’s an uprising. My luck isn’t always the best’ Margaret thought, looking mournfully at the plants.

They got to a large shiny black car, quickly getting into it. Dylan wasted no time slamming the keys into the ignition and starting the engine; bodyguards opening the gate.
‘We’ll hold them off. You’ll be on your own though Glorious President’ the muscled bodyguard said. ‘Good luck’.

‘Thank you’ said Dylan. He pushed hard on the gas and sped off along a progressively more potholed road.

‘You’re pushing this way too hard dear’ Margaret said, scowling slightly as her svelte red hat got bumped off of her head.

‘Come on Margaret this isn’t a scenic trip. If we slow down, we die’ Dylan said. The sea of palm trees blurred past them in the midday sun.

‘We’ll get killed by your lunacy dear, neve rmind rebels’. She said, frowning and holding onto the suitcase bumping about in the back seat. ‘Remember what happened that time in Africa when you almost ran over tha-

‘’Don’t need to remind me Margaret’ He growled.

A small runway loomed overhead with several small jets nearby. ‘How did it come to escaping like this’ Dylan thought, shaking his head slightly. ’After 30 years you’d think they’d realize. Goddamn younger generations’.

A deafening bang was heard and the car skidded off road, flying into nearby foliage and almost tipping the car. Margaret shrieked as she was thrown against the front seat like a frail crash test dummy. Dylan’s seatbelt was the only thing stopping him flying out of the front window. The airbags burst just as he was thrown into it, hat sent flying.

Dylan barely had a moment to recover before gunshots started to hit the car. He looked at his dazed wife before ducking under cover. A tinge of worry was setting through him. The bullets hammered the vehicle yet didn’t pierce it. Dylan pulled out his revolver, before quickly ducking back up for a quick scan of the area. There were three masked men, approaching the car. Their angry cries were muffled by their weapon fire. Their jeep was parked behind a bush nearby.

Dylan popped open the car door before quickly shooting down two of the rebels down. He threw himself behind the door was bullets rattled against the door. After a several potshots from both people, Dylan finally got a killing shot in. Everything had gone silent. He slowly slinked out of the car, looking around. His car’s engine was spewing smoke and the front tyres were burst.

He was about to check on Margaret before he felt something heavy against his head. ‘You’re going to die you loving dog’ said a voice behind him. Before Dylan could even react he heard a pained cry along with a thud as the briefcase spilled out its cargo. He spun around and shot the rebel point blank.

Behind the body stood Margaret, still looking slightly dazed but bearing her familiar smile.

‘That’s the fourth time since our marriage I’ve had to save you dear’. She said, straightening her hat.

‘Keeping a count of that Margaret, I wouldn’t expect any different from you’. She said, embracing her.

‘We should probably pick up those diamonds’ Dylan said, seeing them glint brilliantly across the ground.

‘Forget the diamonds dear. We should probably leave now.’ She said, ambling toward the jeep. ‘Besides, there is enough in that Swiss bank account we have. However, now you can’t complain about me pestering you about that dear. It was like the time you ended up losing that entire inheri-

‘I think she should go’. Dylan said. Sometimes he wondered about the woman he had married.
They quickly got to the airfield and made it aboard a private jet with a loyal pilot waiting for them. They soon took off from what was once their tropical kingdom. A few parting shots at the plane confirming it was now a lost one.

Dylan and Margaret sat next to each other, holding their hands and cuddling up.

‘I guess this is our retirement’ Dylan said.

‘As if you ever really worked dear’ Margret said looking into his eyes.

‘I am sure you have plans ahead Margret, it’d be strange if you didn’t’ Dylan said.

‘Oh Dylan dear’ She said, kissing him firmly, arms around him. ‘I’d be less of a woman if didn’t’. She said with a sharp toothed grin. ‘You just want a chance to be far more inactive, don’t you dear?’

‘After what just happened, I think I’ve earned a rest’ He said.

Margret let out a content sight and sat back. Sometimes she wondered about the man she had married.

SkySteak fucked around with this message at Feb 18, 2013 around 02:47

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry



HaitianDivorce
Jul 29, 2012


Gonna have to bail. Internet's dying on me and I've been fighting just to get to this page. That'll teach me to procrastinate .

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Chandrasekhar

650 wds

“Simon,” she said. I lifted my hand in her direction, palm out, tilted it back and forth. The warm breeze skirled about my fingers, and I did it again. Aw, that was nice. Like fishing for butterflies in a river of air. gently caress, I was high.

“Simon,” she said again. I looked over. The beach was blinding white outside, the water blue as a baby’s eyes. Jane was lying on the mat on the polished wooden floor. I stretched my head a little, set the hammock swaying. I cleared my throat. “’Sweetheart,” I said.

Jane was silent for a long moment. The pendulum motion of my hammock was mesmerising. I could feel the earth precessing around me. Who was that guy. Fucky something. Foucault. French. I liked it when Nicole spoke French. I’d tried to learn at uni, but it always felt like I was strangling a vole with my tongue.

Jane sat up, abrupt. “Let’s walk. I’m growing into the ground.”

I nodded carefully, composed a mental note to my legs suggesting a plan (SWOT, KPIs, core messages) for getting out the hammock, and watched with pride as the boys implemented it. Teamwork.

The sand was powder smooth underfoot and the noise of the afternoon cicadas was deafening. I picked up a stick, drew it in an arc, added a curlicue. Jane crossed the line with her own stick, a wiggly sine wave.

“When we go back…”

“Dude, it’s not for a week,” I said.

“I want to move in with you,” she said, tapping my stick out of the sand. She held hers in en garde, menacing my unprotected heart. The tip of the stick gave the faintest glow as it moved.

I raised my own stick, took a step back. Gave her stick a tap, to see her reaction. She held it steady, circled round to disengage. Her face was calm, short hair still damp from our last swim.

“That’s. Big call. Jane. You know how I … Jane. Dude,” I said, executing a slowmotion lunge that she sidestepped. “I’m really fuckin’ high right now. Is this the best, shouldn’t we, uh.”

She took a few steps towards the ocean. “I want to. Marry me. Simon Elliot MacIntyre. I want you to marry me”. Her stick was still up, tip quivering. The world seemed to live in that tip. My world was compressing down like hydrogen in the heart of a star. I lifted my stick, opened my mouth, closed it.

She looked at me for a moment, a moment that stretched on for longer than seemed possible. I watched myself watching myself watching her, feeling the pressure of that decision and the moment that contained it. A knot of past and present and future coiled around me, tighter than I could breathe through. She seemed to retreat, without moving. As my stick sagged, she reached out, tapped me in the chest with hers, just above the heart, dropped the stick. Padded into the ocean. The clear water lapped around her slim ankles. She took a few more steps, dove in, started swimming.

I stood on the beach, jungle cicadas screaming, feeling compressed, the gravitational pull of what she’d said squeezing every part of me in every direction, but always down, down, inward and down. Nicole. Forever Nicole. The stick was gritty with sand in my grip.

I looked out to sea, squinting at the sword of light reflected in the perfect blue, saw a spray of water flicked up by her hand sparkle in the light. And like a wash of cool air in the desert, I knew. I laughed, suddenly free for an instant of the absurdity of past and future. I sent my stick cartwheeling high in the air, took four steps and dove into the water, splashing, thrashing, caught her, grabbed her, kissed her, told her, yes, yes, yes and then and forever.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Sep 26, 2013 around 11:57

BlackFrost
Feb 6, 2008

Have you figured it out yet?


Was a few hours from bailing, but decided to shame my family with lovely writing instead of no writing.

Enjoy.

Coffee - 1,088 words.

Steve leaned against his Pontiac, pressing his fingers into his keys as he looked down at the top of his car. He stood there, the cold winter air of the night brushing against his face, waiting for some kind of intervention, or maybe a sign. He’d never asked for a sign before. Did people who weren’t religious even get signs? Was there a special kind of “sign” that didn’t have some divine meaning behind it?

“poo poo.” He inserted the key.

The lock clicked open, and he turned to lean back against his car. This was for the best. He knew it, and sooner or later she would agree. It would be simpler this way. Maybe someday he would be able to return, and maybe things could go back to the way they were. If nothing else, he hoped that one day he would be able to wake up to the smell of someone brewing fresh coffee—not that instant stuff, either, but actual coffee beans—and the two of them would spend the morning chatting about how they’d slept, or whether or not they should cook dinner early that day.

They could talk about the most boring things sometimes, but it didn’t matter, because the coffee—as always—would be perfect, with just a little bit of a sugar and a hefty amount of cream. Because he would get to look into her eyes, and forget that he wasn’t doing anything with his Art History degree, or that his car had been making a funny clicking sound whenever he turned, or that he would soon have to go to work and answer phone calls all day.

In return, he gave nothing. The money he pulled in was barely enough to fill the car with gas, and maybe help with groceries now and then. It wasn’t fair that he was someone else’s responsibility.

The sky had turned to a dark blue, and he realized he’d been standing next to his car for almost an hour. She’d be waking up to make coffee and breakfast, soon. If he was going to go, the time had to be now. He took a deep breath, turned to his car, and—

“Steve? Honey?”

His grip on the car handle had tightened so hard that the door opened, and it almost knocked him off his feet. Biting his lip, he turned around, and there she was, standing at the front door.

“Where are you going at this hour?”

Just tell her. Tell her now, tell her you’re leaving, and that you won’t come back until you can provide for her, until you can stop being dead weight. Just say it, get into your car, and go. It was simple as that. He’d already played the scenario out in his mind countless times; all he had to do was say it.

He sighed. “Shelby.”

Shelby quirked an eyebrow. “Steve.”

“I have to go,” he said.

“Well, I figured that. Where are you going?”

“I’m going,” he said, “I’m going to go find a job, Shelbs.”

She shifted a little, and crossed her arms quickly—he knew this stance, and wondered if he hadn’t said it right. She smiled, furrowed her brow a little, and said, “Don’t tell me you’re going to an interview looking like you just woke up.”

He scratched the back of his neck and looked to the ground. “No, I mean, I…” he cleared his throat. “I’m leaving. I’m not coming back until I have a job. I can’t keep doing this,” he said. He bobbed up and down a little, and let his arms fall to his sides. “I can’t do this to you anymore. I hope you understand. I’m sorry.” He heard a sound—Christ, she’s crying, of course she’s crying—and hung his head in shame. He sighed, and looked up, only to see that she wasn’t crying. “I don’t think this is very funny.”

“God, you’re melodramatic, you know that?” she said, covering her mouth to hide her smile, and her teeth—a little trait he’d always found cute. “How many times did you rehearse that one?”

“Hey,” he said, cracking a smile, “this is serious. I mean it. I’m going to go get a job.”

“You have a job.”

“I mean a real one. I want to find a real job. I can’t live here until I can pay the bills.”

“Oh, really? And where will you go until you find a ‘real job,’ exactly? How will you eat?”

“I’ll, uh,” he said. He hadn’t really thought of that. “Maybe I could live off of cheap hot dogs or something.”

She shook her head, keeping her mouth covered. “What, did you just think you’d drive around from city to city, applying for jobs without food or clothes?” She paused. “Or my coffee?”

He bit his lip, fought the smile that was forming on his lips. How could he possibly leave this behind? He figured he wouldn’t have to courage to straight up leave anyway, but how could he even consider it?

Melodramatic. She’d used that word on him a lot, but for some reason she always found it funny rather than annoying. It summed him up pretty well, though.

“Listen. Why don’t you send your résumé to that museum just a few miles into town?”

“I tried that already, remember? They weren’t looking for anyone.”

“So try again. And try other places. There are plenty of places looking for art history buffs. You can’t just send your résumé out to like three places a month and give up when you don’t get a call.” She rubbed her arms a little and shivered.

He shut the car door. “Yeah. Yeah, I suppose you’re right,” he said. “I don’t really know what I was thinking.”

“Of course you didn’t, dear. That’s why you have me.”

He smirked, and stifled a laugh.

“Anyway, I think I can feel my eyes freezing. I’m going inside. Come in whenever you’re done feeling sorry for yourself, okay?”

He laughed out loud this time. “Sure, whatever you say Shelbs.” She turned, and he called out to her: “Four, by the way.”

“Wha-?” She faced him again.

“Four times. I rehearsed it four times.”

She stared at him for a moment, and then burst out laughing. “You actually rehearsed that? Holy poo poo,” she said. She stopped laughing and caught her breath. “Come inside. I’ll make us some coffee, if you want.”

“Coffee,” he said, rubbing his hands together to warm up. “Yeah. That sounds great.”

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

'Bout ten minutes to go by my watch.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Revolutionary love
856 words.

The sun was setting when she came for him. She knew he’d appreciate it. They were keeping him at the top of a tower just then, in an old room whose purpose was forgotten. The guard waved her past without seeming to care too much. Sloppy. Not her concern anymore, though, and what was he going to do?
She opened the door without knocking, saw him sitting with his back to the door, staring out over the city, one arm draped behind him over the back of the chair.

“I was beginning to think I’d never see you again,” he said.

“President Genet,” she said, presenting the bottle she’d carried up, “I’ve come to get shitfaced with you before your execution.”

He grinned, straightened to attention and took it from her as formally as he could with a broken arm. “Minister Duclan, I am delighted to accept your offer. My only condition is that we talk about old times like the nostalgic fools we vowed never to become.”

“Eh, vows,” she said, grabbing a chair from the pile and dragging it towards the window. “God knows we’ve broken enough of those that one more won’t matter.”

“True. No glasses?”

“I’m sorry, are you bitching about the alcohol I just climbed thirty stories to bring you?”

“No, just admiring your commitment to creating the proper air for this kind of thing. Takes me back. Hold on,” he grabbed the bottle with his good arm and began worrying the cork free with his teeth.

She stood there and watched him with a raised eyebrow. “Having fun?”

He let out a satisfied grunt as the cork came free and then spat it across the room. “Tons, thank you.” He held the bottle up. “To a better world,” he intoned, and took a swig.

She snorted as he sat down heavily next to her. “That does take me back.”

“I think that was the first thing I heard you say, back at those student meetings. Here.”

“Thanks. Yeah, that sounds about the right mix of idealistic idiocy and college drunkenness.”

“You say that like you got less idealistic over the years.”

“Less idiotic, at least.”

“Well, I would challenge that, but you did manage to organize that coup,” he said wryly.

“You’re still going on about that?”

He shrugged, and they passed the bottle back and forth for a while, staring out the window at the city below.

“Remember the first time we were raided?” he said suddenly.

She thought for a moment. “Police or the army?”

“Police. I mean the very first time.”

“Oh, with the newspaper! Hah! Cowering like rabbits under a desk while a handful of bored officers made a sweep for 'offensive material.'
“Wasn't the only thing we were doing like rabbits, as I recall,” he said, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.

“That,” she said, swinging the bottle in his direction expansively, “was a poor decision encouraged by fear.”

“What about the other times?” he asked laughing, as he tried to wrestle the bottle from her hand.

“Horrible mistakes! All of them! You were a lousy lay, always composing speeches in your head while you went down on me.”

“Wait, you could tell?” he said, dropping his hands with exaggerated shock.

“Of course I could tell, you started mouthing them while you were down there! it was like lip reading,” she said with a dismissive wave. She kept a perfectly straight face for a bit, then they both cracked at the same time and laughed uproariously.

“Ahhh, you're still so full of poo poo. That hasn't changed at least,” he said.

“And you're still poo poo in bed.”

“Lies! There has to be something that keeps you coming back. Even after you married that rear end in a top hat you used my body a few times.”

“See, then I was just attracted to your power.”

“More lies, I never had any power.”

“Well, at first you had some.” She sighed. “After that you were just one of the few people still willing to grapple with an old hag.”

“Oh please,” he said, grabbing the bottle from her, “if you're going to be self-pitying leave.” He took la swig, then wiped his mouth off with his arm. “You're a...you're...” he struggled for a second, a look of mild concern on his face as he tried to pull the words out. His limbs shook slightly, the bottle slipped out of his hands. “Whaas...poison?” he managed.

“Yeah.”

“But...”

“I got it too, you just drank like a pig, as usual,” she said tiredly, slumping back into the chair a bit. “I wasn't going to let them hang you. And I'm not going to hang around here after you're gone.”

He slid off the chair onto the floor and she followed, lying down next to him and holding him as the shaking continued. Her vision was starting to blur a bit and her limbs were beginning to feel heavy.

“We're going to a better world,” she whispered.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


Late or not, at least I submitted. That's far better than the previous three weeks.

How the Legendary Hero Got a Legendary Wife (1000 words)

Jok ran faster than the reddest hares. His Legendary Feet carried him along, cutting through air like Fragarach through liars. His small red bag, attached to his waist by a thin cord, flag behind him. He jumped past the shore line and continued running in the air, his velocity sending huge waves around him. He came across several underwater volcanoes in his path, but he simply cracked them apart with his Fists of Legend. Nothing, not even Mountain Ekur or its inhabitants, could stop the Legendary Hero from being late to his marriage.

He finally landed on the city. He slowed down his running so as to not ruin the paved roads and went to the town hall. He could see several horses with multiple appendages, chariots and giant animals parked just outside, taken care of by a boy and few imaginary wolves.

Just as Jok entered the hall, a human, perhaps with much more hair than usual, leapt at him. But this wasn’t a gesture of impatience by his fiancée, no, this was just an Almas. Jok dodged the hairy beast’s grasp and kicked it in the side. The Almas screamed in agony before the hard wall silenced it.

Jok looked towards the raised stage, where his fiancée should be. To his chagrin, she didn’t wear the complete outfit. Her hair was done and the golden needles were stuck in it, and the gold veil lied on the floor, but there was nothing of the specially-made batik on her. His wife wore instead her normal costume, which consists of white cloth with a prominent black-coloured chest guard and black trousers. She even had a jawbone on one hand.

“Nusaybah bin Deak Parudjar! What’s wrong?” Jok asked.

“Not my fault your Yetimancer uncle disagrees with this marriage!” Nusaybah said, pointing to the side. Jok noticed that the long buffet table, complete with the roof, had been thrown at the audience, all the plates and food particles around it. Under the table is an unmistakable figure of Jok’s uncle: short and hairy all over. “You can’t believe how hard I try to reason with him, saying that maybe he could hold down summoning his humanoids for just one long ritual of marriage, but he refused! Thankfully he only barely managed to summon an Almas and not a Chuchunya.”

“Not the Almas! The garb! Where’s the…the…thing?” Jok asked.

Nusaybah looked down. “Well, I was late.”

“You what? I told you I’ll take care of the ingredients!”

“I’m sorry! I just didn’t know! Turns out the beard of the woman we’ve got were just bear fur.” As she said it, the cord connected to Jok’s bag snapped.

“Oh geez,” Jok said. He picked up the bag and stepped up to the stage. “So have you found another beard?”

Nusaybah nodded. “From a lesbian’s husband.” She untied the string on her bow and showed it to him. “It’s shinier than before now that I use a real beard of a woman, see?” Jok looked up and down the string.

“It looks the same to me.”

“You can never tell colours,” Nusaybah said. “Anyway, where’s the spit of a bird?”

Jok smiled and pulled out a crushed carcass of a royal eagle. Some of the audience cried out. One man from the audience stood up and put some cream on his throat. Nasaybah gawked at the dead bird and then stared at Jok. “What in the name of the Prophet is this?”

“A royal eagle. See, the Sun made it by spitting into the sea. So quite literally, this bird is a spit. A spit of a bird, if you will,” Jok said, grinning. He then stopped grinning. “Quick, give me the cord before the blood dries up.”

Nusaybah silently hand Jok the cord and he squeezed the wrecked corpse, letting few drops of blood fall into the cord. Instantly the cord shone brightly and extended. Now it was long enough to incapacitate an giant wolf, no matter how many global destructions it wished to carry. Jok tied it to his right little finger.

“I have no idea why I have to have my hair done if you’re just going to have your own procedure anyway,” Nusaybah said.

“This is just the ‘ring’, Nusaybah. Far stronger and far more symbolic,” Jok said. “Perfect for you. We’ll have the traditional marriage after this.”

Nusaybah smiled. “Fine,” she said, picking up the string and tying it to her finger. She closed her eyes and the string became shorter.

The king that was supposed to overlook their marriage then grabbed the cord and threw it at the ground, where it somehow stayed, like an invisible bird-head sat on it. He laughed. “I got you where I want you, Legendary Hero! Stuck to an old ball and chain! Not even you can break the cord!” As he laughed, a seam appeared on his forehead. Soon a large fireball appeared from the inside of the king.

“A soucouyant?” Jok said.

“That’s why the king didn’t like his baths!” Nusaybah said. The fireball went towards the struggling Jok and shone in front of him. Red droplets went out of Jok’s skin and into the fireball. Nusaybah extended the cord, but Jok was still. She then ran around Jok and the fireball, tying them both with the thin cord. The fireball burned Jok’s Legendary Skin, but he only whimpered.

“What can you do? I’m a loving fireball. Can’t hit me with your bow,” the soucouyant said while still sucking Jok’s blood.

Nusaybah sighed. “This is a jawbone that permanently damages the sun,” she said, “What can a small fireball like you do?” She slammed the jawbone repeatedly against the soucouyant, before it died and sprayed blood everywhere.

Jok started to move again. “I…I…thanks, Nusaybah.”

Nusaybah grinned. She pointed at the cord. The soucouyant’s blood had covered a length of the cord and made it red. “Look, the red string of fate.”

swaziloo
Aug 29, 2012


Amber Grove (725 words)

Jean lowered the latch of the door to Englewood House, muttering a few Old Words so that the catch made no sound. Most inside were sleeping off a celebratory stupor, the result of Jean's return, but some few kept their senses, and Jean preferred that none heard him depart.

He stepped into the fog and pulled his cloak tight to ward off those spirits that linger until the first rays of dawn. At the end of the road, he opened a gate and let out one of Boris's large, lupine dogs. His visit the prior evening ensured the rest of the pack did not stir at his scent. He squatted and studied the side of the dog's face. "Bo, is it?" With a flick of his notched ear, the dog agreed. "Right. Come then."

The two made their way up the fire break toward the top of Charring Ridge.

The good people of Kellson spoke of the fell woods to the North as though demons immediately consumed anyone reckless enough to venture beyond the summit. Only a hermit who wandered into town each Spring, quickly trading pelts for provisions, had anything to say about the forest, but all anyone could hear from him was gibberish.

Bo trotted ahead of Jean up the familiar path, periodically glancing back to ensure that his temporary master followed. They reached the top of the ridge just as the sun began to warm their backs. Bo automatically turned toward Kellson. "No boy, this way." Jean pushed through the brush and into a cold, foggy mist that obscured the trees. He recited a guidance charm as they walked, and Bo sniffed the unfamiliar air. After a short while, as the sunlight lanced sideways through the fog, they came to a grove where the trees were changed; their bark uniform and unnatural; the ground covered perfectly with tiny green clover and mossy shadows. Bo hugged close to Jean's leg.

"I will admit that you were right." Jean spoke out loud and stepped up to a large tree. He rested his hand on the bark for a moment. "You could see it more clearly than I could." He leaned his back against the trunk and looked to the sky. He added, to himself, "Never really had any doubt."

From above there came an unfamiliar movement, as if a serpent, silent in its motion, uncoiled from the branch and dangled down to the forest floor. "Why do you think she's still here?" The voice that answered whispered with the wind from everywhere at once. Bo let out a low growl.

Jean leaned his head against the tree and closed his eyes. "I needed to know myself first."

The branch now stood before them. The hackles on Bo's back raised. "You may have found your way back to our grove," the wooden figure spoke to him, "but it is not so easy to find your way back into our heart." It took a step forward, and as it did became not what it had appeared, but a form, a woman, with bark for skin. She knelt before Bo and put her hand on his head. She whispered to him in the language of animals.

"You wouldn't have come down if there weren't a way." He opened his eyes and glanced down at the confused dog. "It's okay."

The tree-skinned woman rose and stood before him, taking him in. "You do look none the worse for the wear."

He contemplated her light brown irises. "Please, I should have known better than to leave." He could see her now, her smooth brown skin, her padded clothing made of hides and rough, woven linen. Her dark hair tied and tangled with cloth and bits of woodland treasure. He leveled at her, "Please."

She tilted her head and smiled. "You never lost my favor. I don't suspect she will be quite so easy."

From the bark of the tree behind him another woman emerged as though she stepped from the skin of the tree itself. She leaned around his shoulder and licked her teeth. "I knew you would come back."

Bo returned alone after wandering, as directed, for two days.

Horrible Butts
May 7, 2012


My first entry! Woo woo!
The worst entry? Totally possible.

RV
(Word count 442)
“Bear! Bear on the lot!” a man yelled, tearing across the dealership. His screams, coupled with flashes of fur and what sounded very clearly like a growl, dominoed into general panic across Danny's RVs and Trailers. People ran towards one another, hoping one of them would know exactly what to do. A boy being dragged by his father shouted snarls of his own, certain he could scare the monster off. One woman dove into the open door of the RV her husband and she had just been considering, and slammed the door. A manager frantically waved the crowd into the lot's small building. “Bear! Bear! A gosh-forsaken bear!” the man was still shouting when they'd all made it inside.

There was a duck on the lot too, but nobody panicked about it. It was perched on top of the RV where the woman had hidden. In its beak was a set of keys and a bag of chips.

“Is everyone alright?” asked the man who had been yelling. He wore slacks, a red tie and a nametag that said “Danny.”
“Are we all accounted for? John's called the police or animal control or whoever, an' they say we'll all be okay so long as we're in here.”
“Milena, my wife, she was with me...” said a pale man in a green shirt. He had no nametag.

In the RV, Milena could hear something powerful brushing against the passenger door. “The dealer had said the RV was tough“ she thought, “I guess if the bear doesn't break in and eat me we'll have to buy the thing. Do bears even eat people?” Then the word “maul” started to enter her thoughts and she had to close her eyes. The doors were locked, bears are dumb, she'd be fine. She heard the sound of the driver's side lock popping.

“Holy heck.” said Danny. “It looks like that bear's got some bit of paper taped to it and... is that a duck?”

Milena couldn't scream. She couldn't move. All she could do was read the note.

Sir or Madam,
I am a duck, my wife is a bear and you are our hostage. Forgive us but this is the only way.
If you drive us to the city of Puebla, Mexico without incident you will not be harmed.
We are very much in love and November approaches. This is a difficult time of year for us as I do my winters abroad and she does them asleep.
You will not be harmed but you must drive now. Take the keys and open the chips.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Engine Trouble (687 words)

Carmine had always had a good fifteen inches on Tanis, not that she minded too terribly much. Whenever she decided she required his attention she would take him by the collar and yank him down to her level. Today he was smoking and she found herself grateful. Even as she held him, she shuddered at the scent and began rifling through his pockets.

“So,” Carmine asked as she shared his addiction, “What am I looking at?”

“Hmm?” Tanis mumbled through the paper and nicotine.

“What’s wrong with it?”

“Wrong with what?”

“With the car.”

With a flick of her wrist she produced a small match, and released him to strike it in the palm of her hand. It was a suicidal happiness, what she had, something treasured and adored. Their lives might be shorter but the lengths would be the same.

“The car’s dead.”

“Dead?”

“Yep.”

“You’re sure?”

“Preeeetty sure.”

“Well what’s wrong with it?”

Tanis took the cigarette from her lips and gestured into the tangled depths of the engine compartment. In Carmine’s eyes sprawled a veritable labyrinth, but to her it was as the contours of her own soul. Towards one thing in particular she motioned, not that Carmine could’ve told the difference. “Do you know what that is?”

“No.”

“Know how it works?”

“…No.”

“Then she’d dead Jim and that’s all you need to know.”

A wry smile escaped her as she dropped the hood. Carmine stared for a minute more before turning to the road. The sun was high and twenty miles in every direction. At least they had water.

“So what happens now?” she asked.

“We wait,” he answered.

Carmine sank to the sand on the passenger side, the road before him stark and infinite. He wet his lips and whistled an old song, a simple prayer from the bottom of his heart. Tanis joined him, nestled in the dirt between his legs, shoulders back against his chest. Without a word and without a thought Carmine drew his fingers through her hair, a gentle teasing at the back of her neck. She shut her eyes and hummed in tune, comfortable there in the wake of the clouds. Carmine took his cigarette between his fingers and examined it at length. Not that great a flavor, this pack. Must’ve picked an off brand. He sighed and crushed it idly amidst the grit and gravel, then took Tanis’ and disposed of it likewise. Her eyebrows knit but she voiced no protest.

Something would come. Something would come.

There was the sound of a motorcycle in the distance, first faint then frantic then screeching to a halt.

“Well now, what have we here?”

Tanis peeled her eyes as Carmine continued ruffling her hair. Neither of them felt any reason to get up off the ground just yet. A biker had pulled in before, bearded and grinning, gold in his teeth and too much wind in his hair. He pushed his goggles to his forehead and let out a low chuckle, a simpering laugh that was more of a cough.

“Couple drifters I see. Car broke down?”

Carmine considered his question a moment before answering.

“Yes.”

Again the biker laughed, a little louder this time. A practiced annoyance, unquestionably deliberate.

“Suppose you’d like a hand getting back to civilization?”

“That would be kind of you, yes, if you’ve a phone or anything.”

“Ah ha ha, well now, thing is stranger I’ve got no time for some errant rear end in a top hat and his busted up four-wheel drive. Now the two of you look pretty cute down there together so maybe just stay put till this evening, get used to hiking in the dark.”

“Ah, well, I’ll take your advice under consideration.”

“Eh heh, course, if it’s too hot for the little lady there you could always strip down.”

It was here Tanis interrupted them, her voice just above a whisper.

“Carmine?”

“Yes?”

He looked down and saw fire in her eyes, a spark of rash ingenuity. He knew what she would ask before she asked it.

“Do you know how to ride a motorcycle?”

He smiled and nodded.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

CancerCakes posted:


As I'm not very well versed in what makes a good romance I am going to conduct a test: if I make the characters brother and sister does it make me retch disgust? If not you have not communicated the love between them.


So how'd this one affect your gag reflex? http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...5#post411958235

STONE OF MADNESS
Dec 28, 2012

PVTREFACTIO


I'm going camping, it wasn't planned and I'm not going to have time to crit/judge beyond these here crits until I get back. So I'll leave the judging to the pros and return with brief crits for anyone who got in by deadline. Post it in the Farm if you want feedback, I'm hungover and covered in ticks

Steriletom – Remembrance

This is executed well enough, though there are a few things you could work on. Get to that in a minute. What really concerns me about your (and other) pieces is the subject matter. It's pretty cliché – I'm sure you can see that – it's hardly a big reveal that she has dementia/alzheimer's, it's hardly untrodden ground, and the will-they-won't-they battle over retirement homes is stock also. And the drama is pretty much played out already. I can see bad things happening to John before he makes a heroic self-sacrifice in the 3rd quarter of a Stephen King novel, but I'm still not sure this is the best use of the prompt.
What I'm trying to say is, it would be more of a challenge (and quite a lot more useful) to apply the prompt to the kinds of characters you're already writing about, ie. a bona fide Steriletom love scene, than to simply create something that addresses the prompt. This goes for all of you, by the way, and yes I know I'm assuming you don't normally write about geriatric couples, simply gently caress me off if I'm wrong about this.
Prose-wise, I'd urge you to trim more fat.

quote:

“makes his way through the well kept, tidy kitchen.” (tautology)

...as he thinks back to the day he helped carry her brother's casket out of the church. Dolores cried into his chest at the cemetery as they lowered the coffin into the ground. with her brother inside.
The good news is you're writing pretty well, and the unnecessary bits are simply confusing and cumbersome, rather than outright revolting.

Watch your telling. Hard to really come to terms with how much we tell in the couple of days T'dome allows before submitting. Stuff like this:
“The sudden ringing of the phone startles both of them.”

Shorter crits this time 'round. Decently told, pretty flat though.



LJHalfbreed – Embrace

Oh yeah, this was the ghost story. Well it sucked; there's no 'but'. Keep trying, though, you can only improve with practice.

I'm not a fan of the 'oh yeah. I'm doing it again.' device. It's cheap; it's too easy, and ultimately, it's telling.

Reread from a distance. Read each clause of each sentence literally. A lot of your writing doesn't make sense. For instance:

quote:

Another flash, and things have changed. Looks like the police kicked the door in and tromped all over our clean floors. (See this is what happens, or rather doesn't happen, when you use these devices to tell a story. Things don't happen, they have happened) I’m now in the living room, facing the couch, my heart dropping, and realizing that I was right It's easy for us to just scan across this sentence and take in its meaning. But what it literally means is, 'my heart was dropping, and my heart was realising that I was right'. Now whether your reader spots this or not depends on what kind of reader you intend to have. You can get away with all kinds of garbage as long as you're happy publishing Shapeshifting Jaguar HighlandersTM Taking Brides anthologies, let's assume you're aiming higherIt’s true, they can’t see me.

From 'was realising', you're telling. You haven't intimated that he has this suspicion that he's become invisible, you're just dumping 'see? I'm a ghost'. This stems from the 'first-person reveals his secrets' device I objected to at the outset. Until this point, I'd read your character as a run-of-the-mill mercy killer.
It's problematic, because you've given us this massive soliloquy divulging all of your prot's thoughts, presumably starting at the moment of death, but you haven't mentioned this 'suspicion' that he's a ghost. So if your reader is to be subjected to this surprise twist, then it really should be coming as a surprise to your protagonist, too – 'I talk but they don't hear, I wave but they don't see, I touch but they don't feel OMFG I”M A GHOST'. Yes, this is cliché, but I'd rather have a solid cliché than an internally contradictory attempt at something new.

Prose-wise, you really need to watch your literal meanings, as I've said above, and also tenses. Cos frankly they're all over the place.



Nubile Hillock – Little Mesa

Great story. “I liked it.”

Here's what's wrong.

Insightful ideas are just flashing into your mind as you write this, white-hot and difficult to handle. At least that's how it reads, because they're expressed so succinctly; too succinctly. Although your reader is able to guess what you mean, the language is unclear.

quote:

This was the third time he'd started over, emotion kept taking the place of knowledge.
knowledge isn't quite the word, is it? You mean to say his feelings are preventing him from concentrating on the process, I think, or perhaps that they're so intense that he's unable to correctly intuit or divine; that kind of knowledge makes sense, but your sentence doesn't yet. In addition, this is a lousy way to conjoin two clauses – you've effectively created a non sequitur around that comma. Even though the clauses are topically related, they don't support each other... yet.

the heat lamp would kick on and its buzzing would bring in noises from outside:
I know what you intend to mean, but 'bring in' is not right. 'alert him to, by contrast' is the meaning, now find something elegant to say it

He began again, swearing the words he’d read had been spoken to him.
My image is of him beginning again, swearing that words he has at some other time read have been spoken to him, but I don't know when that was supposed to happen, or why it's so important that he'd swear it. The resultant effect is that I imagine this character trying to have a memory of when exactly it was someone spoke words he'd once read, when what you want to convey is the immediacy of the impression that words you are reading, you already know; that fresh wisdom was there inside you all along.

The first few pieces were obvious; he felt a heavy warmth within them.
Given that we don't know he's placing the pieces yet, I'd consider
'The first few placements were obvious; he felt a heavy warmth within each piece.'

Tense conflict: You need some means of preventing your character's past being conflated with his present. Currently all of the flashbacks read as if they could be happening in the moment. Either start using 'had said' or create a framing device through which we understand, effortlessly, that as of this sentence we're in memories. Italics are popular, but cheesy – you work it out.

Finally, a word on dialogue, commas etc.

quote:

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

As I've been saying in the Farm, the above is how the retarded kids used to read out loud, back in kindergarten. Never write dialogue this way. For the above,

quote:

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

“Hey, do you have a minute?” she asked.
Quoted dialogue never ends with a period if an attribution is to follow, unless what follows is not a direct attribution but some other action by the speaking party.

quote:

“I kind of miss you.” She flopped onto the bed, her arms flung dejectedly across her pert, spongy tittays.
Good story though, keep on editing for clarity and you'll only get better.



twinkle cave – Hank the Petulant Vibrator

There are forums for this kind of thing dude... oh wait

All I can say is, this thing lags in the middle a bit (I don't really get what the deal is with his digital painting/loungeroom window interface). Otherwise, kinda cool, you could totally get a better edited version of this published in the mid-tier spank mags.

If you're going to get dirty, use a comma. Especially when writing dialogue – real (non-Dalek) characters don't spew out all their words without finding a natural pause.

It's/its, your/you're

Uhhhmmmm...... - don't do this. Only amateurs do this.
No other comments on this piece really, it was pretty stupid but also fairly cute. You made me smile.


Zack_Gochuck – The Purple Dory

Sweet, but a little too short. Very suddenly, the story recedes and your premise is left flapping around, suffocating on its own exposure.

quote:

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. This right here. It's a total non sequitur into the Purple Dory origin story. We just get slammed with exposition like a pilchard to the face. If anything, this would work best at the very end of the story, perhaps followed with some final iteration of how lonely and worried Elma is becoming now that Jack is drowned at sea. BUT NOT HERE IN THEMIDDLE OF YOUR loving STORY WITHOUT ANY SORT OF WARNING OR CONTEXT 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.”

… And that's it, really, isn't it. Story Completed. It's a pity, you could do a lot more with this.

Prose-wise, why isn't the boat's name capitalised? Doesn't seem to be any good reason, unless it's some sort of appeal for favour to the twee gods.

quote:

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.”
make it 'hip. “Stay' and we're talkin'


Chairchucker – Pick One Person

Well, I don't like this one bit, but it's a substantial improvement on last week's work. You do this sort of pedestrian chatter pretty well. The car accident could be a little clearer though. Blockquoting so I can pick through it.

quote:

Hugo broke the silence. “Roo!’ he said. The marsupial in question This is appropriate for humorous (or legitimately nineteenth-century) writing but it distances us from the action, especially when 'It' would suffice right here. Actually this whole sentence is unnecessary, 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 again, excessively verbose. I can't think of any context in which referring to a kangaroo as a macropodian pedestrian would be advisable, UNLESS it's being described as such by a character. That character would be a wantonly glib rear end in a top hat who thought he/she was funny when in actuality they were really irritating. Don't make this your narrative voice or you will alienate your reader 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. This last is fine and still in keeping with the lightheartedness of your story – which is, in itself, a good trait

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. |Telling|Some of them beeped at her as she tried to get off the road| showing. Synthesise the two and we'll have a sentence that says what you want said in a way the reader can enjoy 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. Again, excessive verbosity, and telling. Consider: 'she pulled at the door handle, and the whole door came with her', or somesuch.

Definitely an improvement. Just remember there's a difference between cleverness and humour.


Jeza – Milk and Honey

You get a line edit, because I think your writing's at the level where not a whole lot else is going to help. That's a good thing, by the way. I come across as really harsh but I think this is pretty competent first-draft material.

quote:

Their squalid little flat, home, smelt of failing-to-dry awkward – 'mildewed'? 'long-damp'?clothes and lower-middle-class drudgery (hyphenated to avoid 'class drudgery'. Elsa stood in the living room, a dirty mug of black coffee steaming in one hand, a and bad mood written all over her face. 'and peanut butter all over her face', yes, 'and garish jewellery all over her face', yes, but not 'bad mood' because it's basically always 'a bad mood'. She stared out at the miasma outside, concrete through condensation. you're not really doing anything with cool word 'miasma', you could make it 'She let her eyes drift out through the window, over the miasmatic wash of concrete-through-condensation – it was the indistinctness of the world outside that held her attention' or somesuchIt 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. questioning the appropriacy of this simile tbh

The next para is solid recollection and you could save yourself some clutter by just jumping straight into it – allow me to demonstrate.
It had been aAnother 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. or Not her words, not really; just hung over, and broke. It had beenwas cheap gratification which and she regretted it 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 she'd – too much this or that had already, spice it upspent a pathetic couple of minutes on her knees, picking up them all up again.

(So what I did above, where we segued from simple past to past perfect, was really made possible because the attack was so direct. BAM! And we're in the memory, and then we're recollecting its aftermath. This, now, would be a good time to switch back to simple past, as you're recommencing the story with Elsa making the wonky rainbow.)

Happiness was so unfairly asymmetric. So long to build up, so quick to knock down. I'd lead with this – it's strong, too strong to be buried in the middle of your para, where it actually impedes the flow of things.Gingerly,gingerly why? Give us more, tell us how she's trying not to upset the pieces or something she had put them back in a wonky looking rainbow-coloured 'Sorry' – an apology to Sarah as much as a confession to herself. other way round. '...as much a confession to herself as an apology to Sarah. A few hours before, they had been lying in bed together. She had traced her fingers round Sarah's hipbones and basked basking (in...?) while Sarah had run her fingers through her hair. And then here they were here, drowning in loving bowls of cereal and cups of milkless coffee, and loving fighting about it. The mundane sticking its grubby hands all over the sublime.

Minutes drifted into hours and melancholy drifted into trite – 'became' worry. Outside, the light began to fail. Sarah had She'd 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. unsubtle crap. You could just say 'and they lived in a bad neighbourhood', augmented to fit of course.

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 struck with the ridiculous urge to call out her lover's name into the fog, but she resisted. She peered into the coffee shops and pubs, any and every one all of Sarah's usual little haunts. |But each bright idea brought more disappointment.| This says what you want to say but 'bright idea' isn't working, reconsider The rain got heavier and the sodium streetlights stuttered into life.

Water got into her boots.Too impersonal. 'Her feet were getting damp' (we'll work out the rest). 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 toyI'll take your word for it, but you should try to make us feel that she's felt this way. She collapsed onto a wooden bench and felt the damp slats press into her skin. She dropped dropping the umbrella limp-wristedly onto the pavement and stared staring 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. SheHer, a rebel with dyed-black hair, silly nails and a whole journal full of bad poetry, and her,Sarah, the quiet as a dormouse pale and blonde princess. She'd had been running away that night, too. She had met Sarah's father only once, years later. A thick built (either 'thick-built' or 'thickly', cruel-faced),man. She remembered the way Sarah had dug her nails into the palm of her hand, when they had confronted him. (Instead of the comma after hand, 'when they'd' would work too – pacing niggles)

Where had it been again, the very first time? The memory came back with startling clarity. TheThat dingy little fairground, thatthe 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. so trite, but ok, it works, pick your market At her age, 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 no. You can't just stack any old words and make them an adverb (or an adjective) plasters and keys to her bedroom window, somewhere safe and warm – but it had been enough. HOLY poo poo THIS IS THE BIG EPIPHANY BETTER MAKE IT IMPACTFUL

She would be there, at the fairground. Elsa got to her feet and ran, leaving the umbrella collecting water by the bench. Bare minimum. Consider being more explicit about the fact that Elsa's realised something.

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.Closed, of course – it was, after all, a Saturday evening. Her stomach twisted why?. 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. | WEAK. Show, don't tell. This ain't Reader's Digest.Elsa worked her way past all of those to the centrepiece – the Ferris wheel in the middle of it all.

And she was there.Italicise 'was', or 'And there she was.', or 'there; a pink silhouette, hunkered A pink silhouette hunkered down in one of the carriages. Elsa approached, and peeked her head over the door. Sarah sitting, hugging her legs.me reading, shaking my head Elsa knocked on the window. Sarah started and turned, her eyes wide with shock. -Elsa realised she must look a state. Ghostlike with hair, like some kind of ghost, the way her hair was 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.
GOD DAMMIT GUYS.
“Dialogue” attribution.

There was a moment of emotional latency, inertia, telling 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 is as 'half-man, half-horse' is to 'centaur', ie. shitter.

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.
'And', contrary to popular belief, does not impart an instantaneous lyricism to whatever follows. This last para is objectionably trite and needs to be reworked. It's not enough to tell us there was a tapestry of fingers. Last sentence is almost fine though.

STONE OF MADNESS fucked around with this message at Feb 19, 2013 around 02:39

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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



Kiss me you stallion. You even subbed in 'colourful'

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

Again, STONE OF MADNESS brings it with the crits. That was intense, thanks.

quote:

Quoted dialogue never ends with a period if an attribution is to follow, unless what follows is not a direct attribution but some other action by the speaking party.


That right there's getting scrawled on the wall above my monitor.

A little shout out to twinklecave, too, just 'cause.

I'LL SEE YOU IN THE FICTION FARM

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



I'll get to a more thorough read and some crits later today, but until then:

Someone who knows what he's talking about posted:

GOD DAMMIT GUYS.
“Dialogue” attribution.


Screenshot this quote, print it out and tape it on your monitors, because godDAMN this many people should not be making this mistake.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Travelled to a different timezone and then had no internet access, so I'm a deadbeat jerk this week. MY BAD.

HereticMIND
Nov 4, 2012


My forgetfulness once again bites my rear end. I have no other excuses.


Also, I suck balls at writing sex scenes because holy poo poo am I really uncomfortable writing them.

DivisionPost
Jun 28, 2006

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

Smile, you fuck.


Well, since I'm a Thunderdome virgin who entered mainly to get some crit, I feel the right thing to do would be to hit all the entrants in return. It's gonna take a few posts (maybe even a couple of days), but here's hoping I can be encouraging and useful.


SkySteak posted:

Paradise (1,185 words)

...Oh boy, maybe not.

Look, maybe you were going for irony by having this royal couple behave in a relatively calm (if hurried) manner while their entire country was trying to chase them out of their home of 30 years or kill them very violently (after what happened with Gaddaffi, my rear end they're just getting hanged). The only way I can see that working, though, is as a critique of the callous nature of the ruling class, and I just don't get that from this. I don't get much of anything from it, actually -- it's very much "Characters A and B look like C and D, they start out at point X and encounter point Y on the way to point Z." Honestly, I'm just assuming you have a point Y because at no point did I feel a turn, or a raising of the stakes. It's just flat the whole way through.

This isn't a silver bullet -- I don't even know that I can provide you one -- but you absolutely need to work harder to define your characters. They're figureheads, empty slates that we don't have time to draw on because your prose is too concerned with getting to point Z to let the reader in.

On the technical front, you need to start reading a lot more because your prose is stilted to poo poo. I mean, God knows I'm one to talk; even in my own entry there are sentences and even entire paragraphs that I wish I worded better, but for gently caress's sake:

quote:

Margaret now more dressed put a hand around his side and smiled, giving him a kiss on the cheek.

Really? Really? Putting aside the fact that you need to add commas after "Margaret" and "dressed" (in fact there are at least 50 places in this piece that need a comma; I got all the way up to 30 by the time I was halfway through the story), describing Margaret as "more dressed" is uninspired at best and halting (in the "I will stop reading this broke-rear end story" sense) at worst. This was a good chance to set the scene a bit and describe what she was wearing; it could have even contributed to our knowledge of the character through show as opposed to tell. But at the VERY LEAST, you could have said "fully dressed" or really just "dressed," because OF COURSE she's going to be "more" dressed since the last time we saw her she was just "partially" dressed. It's laborious, and in turn boring as poo poo.

And on a more subjective, superficial note, what the hell kind of name is "Dylan" for a king of a foreign land?


(Let me be clear: I can easily imagine myself making many of the same mistakes that I criticize others for. I am absolutely a "do as I say, not as I do" kind of guy; by all means, think me a hypocrite, but please don't think that I lack self-awareness.)


Bad Seafood posted:

Engine Trouble (687 words)

Now THIS was a cool little sketch. Let's just go to the highlight reel:

quote:

Carmine had always had a good fifteen inches on Tanis, not that she minded too terribly much. Whenever she decided she required his attention she would take him by the collar and yank him down to her level. Today he was smoking and she found herself grateful. Even as she held him, she shuddered at the scent and began rifling through his pockets.

“So,” Carmine asked as she shared his addiction, “What am I looking at?”

“Hmm?” Tanis mumbled through the paper and nicotine.

“What’s wrong with it?”

“Wrong with what?”

“With the car.”

With a flick of her wrist she produced a small match, and released him to strike it in the palm of her hand. It was a suicidal happiness, what she had, something treasured and adored. Their lives might be shorter but the lengths would be the same.

Bam. In a few lines I get a solid picture of the characters, a sense of their rapport (I love the rapport in general), and a strong sense of how connected they are. Aside from the one (I felt) somewhat unnecessary word I struck out, I can learn from this; nicely done.

quote:

“You’re sure?”

“Preeeetty sure.”

For some reason I can imagine people having trouble with "preeeetty." Maybe you could have italicized the word, maybe you could've described how the word was pronounced through attribution ("...drawing out the "re" sound..."), or both. Your choice keeps the banter going at a nice clip, though, and I think it's a good call.

quote:

“Then she’s dead Jim, and that’s all you need to know.”

You were probably going for a certain cadence by dropping the commas, but it came off a bit labored. You could probably also do with a comma after "dead," but I think you can get away with leaving it off if you want to keep the pace up.

quote:

Ah ha ha, Well now, thing is stranger I’ve got no time for some errant rear end in a top hat and his busted up four-wheel drive. Now the two of you look pretty cute down there together, so maybe just stay put till this evening, get used to hiking in the dark.”

The biker's dialogue, in general, doesn't ring as nicely as Carmine's and Tanis's. It does a great job of setting him apart as a character, but it comes off as trying too hard. In this bit, I'd drop the "Ah ha ha" and describe his laughter through prose. "Stranger" feels redundant because "errant rear end in a top hat" communicates that better. (Changing "I've" to "I" is more of a subjective stylistic tic that you're free to ignore.) More commas in general wouldn't hurt: say your dialogue out loud, see where the pauses are, start from there. The comma that I added should help you understand a bit; it separates the "if" from the "then" in the biker's line of logic.

quote:

It was here Tanis interrupted them, her voice just above a whisper.

"Interrupted" implies that she's breaking into the conversation in a visible way, which I'm not sure you're going for. I'd find a word or words that imply an interjection under the biker's nose.

quote:

“Carmine?”

“Yes?”

He looked down and saw fire in her eyes, a spark of rash ingenuity. He knew what she would ask before she asked it.

“Do you know how to ride a motorcycle?”

He smiled and nodded.

And a great ending, but if you want to make it even better, find a way to give a quick, clear picture of how Carmine and Tanis would nab the bike after the story's close; put some dots into play throughout the story and let the reader connect them. (Unless you did just that and I kind of suck at reading.)

Really, a great job. I'm glad I read this.


swaziloo posted:

Amber Grove (725 words)

I wish I had more to say. It was very well written; a bit slight, I really wish I had a better sense of who Jean is, but that may have been due to a failure to connect on my end. In all you did a great job sketching out this world in short strokes -- something else I can learn from.


Symptomless Coma posted:

In The Kingdom. 1049w.

I stumbled a bit on your mention of "Top Trunks" at the very beginning since I didn't know what that was (and it hasn't seemed to factor into the story at large), but I've got a few semi-oblique football terms in my story, so I'd have to be a real rear end in a top hat to hold that against you. Anyway, excellent work; loved the ways Andy and Lucia could playfully tease each other, and how that laid the ground for how effectively they could snipe at each other when angry. (It speaks volumes that, looking back, Lucia was the only one who hit with any low blows, yet I somehow think Andy is equally capable of delivering one himself if pushed.) You also did great work economically setting up the natural arachnologist / mammalogist conflict; it paid off in dividends by informing the couple's playfully argumentative nature and setting up that fantastic ending.

One minor formatting quibble: you could be a little more generous with the line breaks. I don't know if I can explain this correctly: I consider single-spaced lines of text and dialogue to be paragraphs. And as paragraphs, they should ideally encompass a, let's just say "rounded part" of an argument; one solid idea or subject that is part of a cohesive whole. For instance, the paragraph above covered all the things I liked about the story, and now with this paragraph, I'm getting into my criticisms. Or more accurately, I'm describing (or failing to describe) how to use paragraphs in this paragraph, and I'll use the next paragraph (or really, lines, since I'm breaking it up with quotations) to explain how you can better take advantage.

I'll give you a few seconds to get your bearings straight.

Now, let's look at this chunk of text:

quote:

I hadn’t known of the arachnologist/mammalogist wars when I first met Lucia, in the dolorous canteen of the American Zoological Conference, 1992. I was trying to gulp down a stale sandwich, she was trying to find a payphone.
“If you’re getting takeout, cut me in on it?”
She laughed - she had this loud laugh that could cut through restaurants, parties and even the staleness of a conference suite - until she saw my badge.
“Serket? What’s that?”
“The north african spider journal. I’m on assignment. Don’t worry, it’s hardly the New York Ti-”
“We shouldn’t really be talking, you know...”
As gravity pulls us down, she said, so a force older than any of us must push the spider-lovers and the mammal-lovers apart. If you took a collection of animal geeks and let them have a varsity rivalry of their very own, you would get something like this: zoo funding battles, papers presented attacking each other, and the endless argument we played out, in mock outrage, that first night together.
“Fact is, Andy, a mammal could kill an insect-”
“If a mammal could find it, sure.”
“I must introduce you to my anteater someday.”
“How cute, needing something to be furry before you can work with it! How many teddy bears have you still got?”
Later on, she claimed we were like Romeo and Juliet.
“But you’re Juliet,” she mumbled, and rolled over to sleep.

You're cramming multiple ideas and sections of an argument into one paragraph. We have the first meeting of the two lovers (and on that: personally, I'd put Andy's dialogue on that first line, but that's me), then we have the explanation of the inherent rift between the two lovers, segueing back into their first night together, then we have a bit of their banter, and then as time passes, we also honor that with a new paragraph (which, again, I would probably cut down to one line). Look at how much cleaner it reads when I break it up, ignoring the two suggestions I made to compress the space (allowing for it to be a stylistic choice -- more on that in a bit).

quote:

I hadn’t known of the arachnologist/mammalogist wars when I first met Lucia, in the dolorous canteen of the American Zoological Conference, 1992. I was trying to gulp down a stale sandwich, she was trying to find a payphone.
“If you’re getting takeout, cut me in on it?”
She laughed - she had this loud laugh that could cut through restaurants, parties and even the staleness of a conference suite - until she saw my badge.
Serket? What’s that?”
“The north african spider journal. I’m on assignment. Don’t worry, it’s hardly the New York Ti-”
“We shouldn’t really be talking, you know...”

As gravity pulls us down, she said, so a force older than any of us must push the spider-lovers and the mammal-lovers apart. If you took a collection of animal geeks and let them have a varsity rivalry of their very own, you would get something like this: zoo funding battles, papers presented attacking each other, and the endless argument we played out, in mock outrage, that first night together.

“Fact is, Andy, a mammal could kill an insect-”
“If a mammal could find it, sure.”
“I must introduce you to my anteater someday.”
“How cute, needing something to be furry before you can work with it! How many teddy bears have you still got?”

Later on, she claimed we were like Romeo and Juliet.
“But you’re Juliet,” she mumbled, and rolled over to sleep.

Now, you compression could have been a stylistic choice that flew WAY the hell over my head, making this crit condescending as hell, and if that's the case I apologize. (If nothing else, you show that you clearly know how to use paragraphs in the final section.) But on the off-chance this was something you hadn't grasped before, maybe pointing that out can help.

But really, that was a lot of space for such a minor quibble. Great job.


sebmojo posted:

Chandrasekhar

650 wds

The ending was a bit much and I'm not sure it was in the spirit of the prompt (if within the letter). And personally -- personally -- I think first person ended up working against you; I wanted a more objective sense of who Nicole was. Don't get me wrong, you did better than at least one entrant, but for the purposes of this prompt (which I guess should only matter to the judges, and it's more than possible that they don't give a poo poo), I didn't want to meet her from the perspective of a guy who was drunk in love with her and stoned out of his gourd on top of that.

Less objectively, you also lean a little too much on simile ("...compressing down like hydrogen in the heart of a star..."), even crossing into cliche at one point ("...the water blue as a baby's eyes."). I have the same problem; we both have to work to cut down on that, it muddles our stories a bit too much.

However, bits like this...

quote:

I lifted my hand in her direction, palm out, tilted it back and forth. The warm breeze skirled about my fingers, and I did it again. Aw, that was nice. Like fishing for butterflies in a river of air [another use of simile, but one that I liked]. gently caress, I was high.

[...]

The pendulum motion of my hammock was mesmerising. I could feel the earth precessing around me. Who was that guy. Fucky something. Foucault. French. I liked it when Nicole spoke French. I’d tried to learn at uni, but it always felt like I was strangling a vole with my tongue.

[...]

The sand was powder smooth underfoot and the noise of the afternoon cicadas was deafening. I picked up a stick, drew it in an arc, added a curlicue. Nicole crossed the line with her own stick, a wiggly sine wave.

...do a great job setting mood and atmosphere, I find, and reveal some real potential. Whatever you're doing to sharpen your skills, keep at it.


Noah posted:

Monday Nights

words: 1165

I like this in theory; a portrait of a couple that's settled in for the long haul on an average Monday night. The main problem is you don't really do anything interesting with it. The characters don't really have any emotional definition outside of some surface references to David just having moved to California for Nancy, and that gives us absolutely no reason to connect with them or watch them have fun.

I'm not saying you need to come up with this deep, tragic backstory for the two of them that makes this scene nice to watch in contrast. I'm actually fascinated by human beings in their element, so this story should work for me at least if you just make David and Nancy into human beings. It's much harder than I make it sound, but it's certainly doable. Just take a step back; ask yourself why you're so fascinated with the idea of showing an average, relatively uneventful Monday night in the life of this couple. If you just want to see people happy, then ask yourself why that is. Build your sketch around the answer you come up with.


V for Vegas posted:

Last Day - 670

Not bad! It's underbaked, but I liked how you took what one can easily imagine to be a low point in someone's life and turned it into something sweet and affirming, with just the slightest touch of appropriate melancholy. I can tell that this store meant a lot to Kate, and I can tell that she's surviving this strictly on James' support. I like how he teases her over reflexively multiplying any number by 13; it serves the dual purpose of establishing him as good-humored while also being sensitive (by not directly engaging her about the shutdown -- he does later, but it goes too far in that way that people sometimes do without thinking; it feels real), while also giving the reader a glimpse into Kate; we see that retail is practically in her blood.

Again, though, it's a little underbaked in ways I can't really help with. For instance, the dialogue, while aimed in a truthful direction, doesn't quite feel natural; they just read like words to me, not really defined by who's speaking. If you're going for a certain detached feeling then it kinda works, but still.

I wish I could be more specific. Just keep working on the craft, man; you've got some ground on a LOT of people with the same problem.


Jeza posted:

Milk and Honey - Word Count: 1058

drat, you're good. You do a great job building atmosphere from the very first sentence, you do a less-great-but-still-solid job of defining your characters, you set up an interesting premise with high stakes. With another pass this is a nice warm blanket of a story on a cold rainy day (to further beat a cliche into the ground).

The reason I say "another pass" is that I think you lose your way a bit when you get into Elsa and Sarah's history. The main narrative drive of the story is that Elsa got into another stupid fight with Sarah, she hasn't come home yet, and she's so worried that she's pushed her past the brink that she needs to go find her herself and tell her how sorry she is. You did such a good job setting that up that I didn't need to hear about their past and how they met; it tells us the kind of person Sarah is and informs where Elsa goes to look, but that's stuff that, with a little work, you can neatly weave into the main narrative of Elsa's frantic search.

You can take this stuff with a grain of salt, though; as it stands, I think it's wonderful and a solid contender for Thunderdome winner.

---

I'll try to knock out some more crits later tonight, but let me just say: great prompt, Echo Cian!

DivisionPost fucked around with this message at Feb 18, 2013 around 20:18

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



HereticMIND posted:

My forgetfulness once again bites my rear end. I have no other excuses.


Also, I suck balls at writing sex scenes because holy poo poo am I really uncomfortable writing them.

Echo Cian posted:

Prompt: Last week, there was a whole lot of telling instead of showing. Yuck. This week, your job is to show us an existing romance in 1200 words or less. Preferably a lot less. The love between the characters must be clearly shown, but your entry may not contain the phrase "I love you" or its variants, nor may it include a sex scene.





I'm doing this in order of sign-up rather than order of submission, because that's how I recorded them and heck if I'm going back through the thread.


SkySteak: Paradise
Okay, uh. This needs work. Here's a partial line-by-line because I don't think I can just summarize the technical problems. Take DivisionPost's advice into account (I'm more focused on the technical side of trying to demonstrate how it make text flow but he had good points too), work on it and post it in Fiction Farm.

First off to save myself some trouble:

STONE OF MADNESS posted:

Dialogue " attribution.

quote:

An explosion shook the palace, deafening the muffled shouting outside. Dylan scrambled around in the bedroom, leaning against the golden lined bed huh? Are you trying to say it's trimmed in gold plating? And how is he leaning on it while scrambling around the room? as he scrabbled through various drawers. Another nearby bang this trips me up - drop "nearby", it looks too much like "nearly" and then looks like it's in the wrong order made him jump, almost making him and nearly lose his cigar. Try to keep -ings to a minimum.

‘Margaret, where’s the drat safe key?’ he shouted. Even after a question mark or exclamation point in dialogue, the attribution is always lowercase. ‘Of all the time for an uprising’ He thought. Find another way to show thoughts. Single quotes work only if you use double quotes for normal dialogue. Italics are an option. Or work it into the narration: You don't even need the 'he thought' there, since it should be evident.

‘In the left drawer, second draw down dear.’ She said behind a nearby door. Why is she hiding behind doors? "she called from the other room", maybe.

‘I’m not seeing it! We don’t have time for this!’ He said, his yellowed wrinkled hands scrabbling through various junk. Clunky again. You can drop the attribution since it's clear from the action he's talking: "His wrinkled hands scrabbled through..." ...the drawers? "Various junk" sounds amateurish. He was hoping that his 30 year rule would’ve kept going, but that was not to be.

‘Dylan dear "dear" is an interjection, offset it with commas, you do this through the entire piece you were never good at finding things’. The ebony door was pushed opened to reveal an elderly woman, towel on her head and partially dressed. This needs to be reworked entirely. You open with a passive - the ebony door was pushed - and everything that follows is awkward. You're thinking in a cinematic, describing exactly what you picture in your head for The Reveal, but remember you're not writing a movie script. "Margaret pushed open the door, partially dressed with a towel still in her hair." She paced toward the drawer, systematically dumping the various tat she's dumping the drawers out while she's still pacing toward them? Watch out for these. Think sequentially, not "as, during, before adverb -ing." "She hurried to the drawer and systematically dumped their contents out" on the king sized bed. Does it matter that it's king-sized? In little time Margaret soon handed Dylan a slip of torn paper, a slight smile on her face.

Another thing here: Drawers are the parts of larger pieces of furniture. You probably want her to go to, say, the dresser and pull the drawers of it out, because switching between "drawer" as a singular piece of furniture and "drawer" as the smaller pieces of that furniture that can be removed is very confusing.

‘Don’t know what I’d do without you’. He said, a grinning back before pushing himself up and ambling why are they ambling if they're in such a rush? toward a large silver safe at the other side of the room. Ugh. "He grinned and made for the safe at the other end of the room." Going through the motions of pushing himself up and ambling is more cinematic. We can fill that in ourselves. He entered the combination, opened it and took out a large black leather suitcase. He then opened that up, smiling at the sight of rows upon rows of diamonds. "He entered that and opened that up and took it out then opened that up." No. Rework.

Margaret, now more dressed, put a hand around his side that's a big hand. "put an arm around him and smiled, giving him with a smile and a kiss on the cheek.

[...]

Dylan checked the peakhole peephole while another with a hand was on his revolver. Soon after he opened the door, revealing a muscled man in a fine suit and sunglasses. Cinematic again. I'd suggest Dylan seeing that through the peephole, recognizing him and then letting him in.

[...]

Dylan and Margaret rushed through the array of rooms in the palace, ending up at to the back of the building palace. They stumbled through the garden, flanked by loyalist troops. ‘So much many PROOFREAD and the rest of this sentence doesn't even make sense expensive foreign flowers and then there’s an uprising. My luck isn’t always the best’ Margaret thought, looking mournfully at the plants.

They reached the garage? driveway? and got into a large shiny black car, quickly getting into it. Dylan wasted no time then don't waste ours slammed the keys into the ignition and started the engine. Bodyguards opened the gate.

[...]

‘We’ll get killed by your lunacy dear, neve rmind PROOFREAD rebels’.

[..]

A deafening bang was heard passive/cinematic again and the car skidded off road, flying into nearby foliage and almost tipping the car the car the car the car. Margaret shrieked as she was thrown against the front seat like a frail crash test dummy. Dylan’s seatbelt was the only thing stopping him flying out of the front window. The airbags burst just as he was thrown into it into what? The airbags (which are plural), the windshield (which we were just told he didn't hit), the steering wheel (which, while the most sensible, was never mentioned?), hat sent flying. I'm inclined to dub this story "abused hat porn." That aside, the action here is stilted and repetitive. Use fewer words in action: "Dylan's seatbelt saved him from crashing through the windshield. The airbags deployed and slammed him back into his seat." And if you want a bit of dry humor, "His hat flopped to the dashboard."

Dylan barely had a moment to recover before gunshots started to hit the car. He looked at his dazed wife before ducking under cover. A tinge of worry was setting through him. Passive again and those three sentences seem wordy. "Dylan barely had time to recover before gunshots rang out. He quickly checked on his wife to find her dazed from the wreck. He bit his lip (or some other sign of worry) but was forced to duck for cover as The bullets hammered the vehicle yet didn’t pierce it. Dylan pulled out his revolver, thankful the car was armored (if you want to emphasize that they're not getting through, otherwise chop this), before quickly and popped back up for a quick scan of the area. There were Three masked men were approaching the car, their angry cries were muffled by their weapon fire. Their jeep was parked behind a bush nearby.

Dylan popped open the car door before quickly shooting STOP THIS down two of the rebels down AND PROOFREAD. He threw himself behind the door was bullets rattled against the door. PROOFREAD GOD DAMMIT After a sdhgldj several potshots from both people, Dylan finally got a killing shot in. Ugh. Okay. I'll try it: "Dylan threw the door open and mowed down two of the rebels, flung himself back behind it before their return volley found him. Shots rang back and forth. Finally there came a cry as Dylan found his last mark."

Everything had gone silent. He slowly slinked awkward, find a better word out of the car and looked around. His car’s The engine was spewing smoke and the front tires were had burst.

He was about turned to check on Margaret, before he felt but something heavy pressed against his head. ‘You’re going to die, you loving dog’ said a voice behind him. Before Dylan could even react But Dylan had no chance to react before here's where you can work in one of those "befores" you like so much he heard a pained cry along with and a thud. The briefcase spilled out its cargo. Too banal now that I've changed the rest. Something about the diamonds spilling instead. He spun around and shot the rebel point blank.

Behind the body stood Margaret, still looking slightly dazed but bearing her familiar smile and the open briefcase. (Now that can come in.)

[...]

‘We should probably pick up those diamonds’ Dylan said, seeing them glint brilliantly across the ground. Establish the diamonds when the last guy goes down and this isn't needed. Words saved!

‘Forget the diamonds dear. We should probably leave now.’ She said, ambling you really like that word, don't you? toward the jeep. Don't need attribution here. Just say she headed for the jeep and it's clear who's talking. ‘Besides, there is enough in that Swiss bank account we have. However, now you can’t complain about me pestering you about that dear. It was like the time you ended up losing that entire inheri-" Cutting off dialogue like this still ends with quotation marks. You do this a couple times.

‘I think she we? should go’. Punctuation goes inside the quotation marks. Dylan said. Sometimes he wondered about the woman he had married. Cute.

They quickly got to made it to the airfield and made it found a private jet with a loyal pilot waiting for them. They soon took off from what was once their tropical kingdom. A few parting shots at the plane confirmed it was now a lost one.

[...]

Margaret let out a content sight PROOFREAD and sat back. Sometimes she wondered about the man she had married. Nice end.

Overall, lots of beginner mistakes, but you were one of the few that did what I intended with this prompt: A story with things happening (albeit too focused on the action) featuring a couple who love each other, without merely tacking on an "I love you/I love you too" exchange in the last sentence. There's a clear connection between the characters, even if they didn't seem nearly as concerned over their situation as they should be. It read a bit like parody, so if that was what you were going for, great; if not...that needs work, too.


Bad Seafood: Engine Troubles
There you go taking my names again. This was solid and I only have a couple things to criticize:

quote:

A biker had pulled in before, bearded and grinning, gold in his teeth and too much wind in his hair.

That little word right there. I had to reread that paragraph a couple times to get my head around the fact that was a mistake and it wasn't referring to another motorcycle guy who had come by earlier. I'm guessing it was an artifact of an earlier phrasing, but that's why PROOFREADING is important.

And "She'd dead Jim."

True love is stealing motorcycles from jerks.


swaziloo: Amber Grove
I was happy to see fantasy finally! But it was just a guy and a dog and when dryads showed up I'm really not sure what was going on. There's being vague for an air of mystery to a story and there's just plain forgetting that we're not in your head, and this felt like the latter. Technically okay, interesting setting, but missed the prompt and missed making sense.


Symptomless Coma: In the Kingdom
Only a couple problems stand out at me besides the lack of line breaks. You mistyped Lucia as Luccia at one point, and this:

quote:

I stood on tiptoe, and saw a pair of eyes penetrating mine for the briefest second, and then the great orange head turned, the Amur’s body bounded away into the trees.

Reads awkwardly. The last clause does not follow from the one before it. Needs a restructure.

It got a bit expository with the meeting flashback, but it said a lot for the characters and it was written well so it works. I also can't be sure what the mention of the clinic results is doing there. It doesn't mean anything when left that vague, and it doesn't have anything to do with the rest of the piece. If you can cut it out without changing the meaning of anything else, it doesn't need to be there. I could also read this as a pair of good friends rather than a couple in a romantic relationship aside from one or two lines, so I'm not sure how well it fits the prompt. It does show an interesting dynamic between these two, though.


sebmojo: Chandrasekhar
Uh. If you want critique you'll have to get it from someone better at it than me. Nice play with the title, some good turns of phrase (Teamwork, indeed). The ending tips dangerously close to losing the prompt though, and the characterization is rather lopsided.


Noah: Monday Nights
I despise The Bachelor. I also hate crude humor. Competently written, but you won no favors with this judge.


V for Vegas: Last Day
Another solid one. Not going to pick on single quotes much because that seems to be a UK thing, only that it does tend to be easier to read with double quotations. I only have nitpicky things like "small newspaper wrapped objects" sounds odd (it at least needs a hyphen for newspaper-wrapped), and:

quote:

Once it was full he would pick it up and take it to the loading dock door, ready for collection.

Not incorrect, but reads awkwardly. Have him go pick it up and set it at the loading dock to demonstrate, or find a different way to word it.

For the prompt, even though you tell us that they're married, this is another I could read as simply friends and business partners, and with this prompt telling doesn't count.


Jeza: Milk and Honey
What STONE OF MADNESS said. I could find nothing to critique that he didn't already mention. I enjoyed it.


BlackFrost: Coffee
Another solid one. No mistakes to be found, good characters, stuck to the prompt.


CancerCakes: I Only Have Eyes for You (I don't do all-caps.)
All these good entries don't make it easy for me to try to crit them. Just a few notes: Starting with "she" for the girl in the part, then switching to "our/you," is rather confusing until the very end. It works when you get down there, but there's probably a better way to do it to make it less jarring in the first place. And this:

quote:

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.

Don't need the parentheses or what they contain. "Overtime we moved with each other..." should be two words unless they're getting paid for it. "When we had finally managed to take everything from our tiny flat..."

Unfortunately, although I liked it, I'm not sure it fits the whole "showing" thing.


Zack_Gochuck: The Purple Dory
Again, pretty much what STONE OF MADNESS said. It's nice but just kind of putters off into nothing. We don't know if he's supposed to have drowned, or if he's just late, or what. It reads like the setup to something but never gets there.


Erogenous Beef: Second Chances
This is trying to do too much in too few words. You've got starvation, an apparent post-apocalyptic wasteland, people out by the river, a dead kid and a cougar attack. In a longer work, these elements could be better tied together, but as it stands you need to pick a few things and stick to them. Adding too much is clutter. It was trying to be both an action piece and a romance, and you didn't have the wordcount to do both along with the rest.



I'll get to the rest later.

DivisionPost posted:

I'll try to knock out some more crits later tonight, but let me just say: great prompt, Echo Cian!

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


I told heretic rind he had to do a sex scene, remember?

Martello fucked around with this message at Feb 18, 2013 around 22:11

HereticMIND
Nov 4, 2012


Martello posted:

I told heretic rind he had to do a sex scene, remember?

You did, and I had to throw away a lot of drafts because, if I posted them, you would swoop in and say

Martello Would've Said posted:

Hey Heretic, you didn't follow the stupid flash rule I gave you because you're new and I like to talk big and never show anything to prove my boasting!


And try to get me disqualified because of that. And since you're one of the Original Three, you'd have some considerable pull in making that happen.


So, yeah, you're somewhat-in-part responsible for my lack of submission this week. Nice going!


In any case, here's my sweet, sweet, revenge:


FLASH RULE: Martello MUST sign up and submit for the next prompt, and he must use the ALL following words in the body of his work in DIFFERENT SENTENCES:

--"Fallacious"
--"Flamboyant"
--"Obtuse"
--"Gangrenous"
--"Xylophonist"
--"Zenith"

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

A dog begins eating a dusty old coil of rope but there's a nail in it.

Fallen Rib

"Writers" who don't produce don't get to conjure flash rules.

HereticMIND
Nov 4, 2012



At least I didn't say "your submission must contain exactly 5.9 smilies."

Come! Show me what passes for fury among your misbegotten kind!


Judges, I await the next prompt with great eagerness! If it will be a duel 'twixt Martello and I, then I gladly step forward, blade and shield in hand!



Capntastic posted:

"Writers" who don't produce don't get to conjure flash rules.

Show up or shut up, I always say. Didn't see you sign up nor submit, so I doubt you should be talking.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER


sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

HereticMIND posted:

Judges, I await the next prompt with great eagerness! If it will be a duel 'twixt Martello and I, then I gladly step forward, blade and shield in hand!

gently caress and get it over with, imo

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Capntastic posted:

"Writers" who don't produce don't get to conjure flash rules.

Unless they're mentioned in the OP, like me.

HereticMIND posted:


So, yeah, you're somewhat-in-part responsible for my lack of submission this week. Nice going!


Way to blame others for your own failure. I demand that you and Martello engage in a thunderbrawl

Since you're probably a bitch who will cry about it if I don't, I hereby request that an impartial bystander volunteer to be the judge. Anyone have any prompts they've been dying to inflict on the 'dome?

  • Locked thread
«150 »