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  • Locked thread
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

systran posted:

At least he actually writes (while having a job and a life)

hahah :iceburn:


Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Cache Cab posted:


actually gently caress it, here's your story: and here's your image:

Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

Cache Cab posted:

If it's not too much trouble, could I please have a story? I'd like to enter this week. I spent the last few weeks thinking about the feedback I've been given in the Thunderdome and believe that this week I can make some improvements. In fact I had a friend read an edit of my story and he said it was very good. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't bullshit me, on account of us being friends since fourth grade, but I need the razor sharp teeth of Thunderdome to confirm for me that my skills are improving.

I'm hoping I get a real doozy of a last line, so that I can impress everybody.

please write a story about how you met this person in the fourth grade, we're all very interested

Hocus Pocus
Sep 7, 2011

Loserbrawl ballad entry

going over the prompt I realize I have ABABCC which has heroic couplets. Guessing DQ. But here you go all the same.

The Ballad of Damian Dimopoulos, Parramatta's Finest 1220 werdz

This tragedy will end as it begins:
A boy, his dad, a girl, and violence.
In Sydney’s West: Damo’s a boxing fan,
Standing, watching the big match in silence,
A glance is enough to be called a oval office,
Yelled from some bogan in for a punt.

Damian Dimopoulos is the son,
Reformed trouble maker going steady.
The Dad, a drunk loudmouth whose life is done,
Wife gone, daughter stolen by that Eddie.
His life is on the brink of disaster,
Hold back my son just try to outlast them.

“Watching the bout, there is no need to shout.”
Damo moves to defuse chance of a fight.
Wet Dad controls nothing below his snout,
“I’ve heard the bark but does this bitch have bite?”
“Please, Dad, don’t cause trouble.” Damian pleads,
Says Dad (grinning), “But what about my needs?”

“You wogs are hosed -- your old man is a nut!”
“He’s had too much to drink, just calm your farm.”
“Don’t try to talk Aussie with me you mutt,
I saw you perve on my best friend’s girl, Kate!”
For the first time Damo did look at her,
Dear god! For her he would welcome torture.

Damo in love was pushed by dear old dad,
Then smash Bogan’s beer goes as he falls back,
Shifting his feet, ready to strike, eyes mad.
A fist let fly, Damo dodges the thwack,
Tyson, Dempsey would feel more than envy,
Watching that duck and punch which looked deadly.

“You boys must have a guardian angel,
Your bail paid off please don’t come again!”
Step from gaol, Damo was now grateful,
Their pal angel waiting out in the rain,
“Maybe coffee to show me you mean thanks?
I think you have talent that could fill banks.”

In a dreary Parramatta cafe,
Father, his son, and a friendly stranger,
“Young man, you hit almost faster than Clay,
Agile too -- I must be your trainer.”
It had of course been through Damo’s young mind,
The dream of being just one of a kind.

“I will not let you take his advantage,
Eyes drunk and the good heart sees more clearly.”
“I’m not one to wantonly mismanage.”
Father sounded concerned for his deary,
Perhaps more than he had ever before,
It made Damo want to walk out the door.

“Although, mind you, it will not be boxing,
The craft I train is mixed, uh, martial arts.”
A different breed of fighting: shocking,
Bloody. Just for boxing he had the heart,
To take the risks and step into the ring,
… His heart weakened when he pictured the bling.

As beautiful as boxing may well be,
His gut knew it would not pay big like Mixed,
Vision was filled with cash; it sets you free...
He reached his hand and shook -- the deal fixed,
A coach to guide, money on hand to spend,
His path also would find him a girlfriend.


Walking to gym (first time) there was the girl,
She had the same distant look on her face,
Damo saw her before the little whirl:
The fight was all over the best mate’s girl.
Here Kate was idly on the street, a wave,
His hand itself held up to her so brave.

They spoke and yes she did remember him,
How could she not? They talked, and got along,
A date was set, “Goodbye!” and off to gym,
She filled his heart and mind, could it be wrong?
Wasn’t there a guy? Don’t forget the fight…
He shook his head, she gripped his heart; a blight.

Training went well -- Damo picked it all up,
Grappling, striking; a well rounded fighter,
Old pops’ grip eased, his hands less shaped like cups,
He felt normal, a proud, boastful father,
Their Coach, felt too, like a success for once,
He knew one day he would not be the dunce.

The maze of Sydney; sum of its design,
Modeled closely off bad snail trails,
Between ocean, mountains you’d think it’s fine,
Ah but out west the children have tails,
The man Damo hit is that direction,
Damo broken gives him an erection.

She loves Damo more than the sun and stars,
His ratty queen, her dimly prince as one,
Interwoven, mending each other’s scars,
The first moment in life they have some fun,
None of the bad homes, drunk dads, mad mothers:
A raft of love in a sea of dangers.

One word? Stronger. One more? Faster. Next level.
Ready and fierce, a fight’s on the weekend,
He moves like a Tasmanian devil,
The Coach eager to see how he contends,
Open showcase, plenty of buzz, and scouts,
The stakes are high, but Coach does not have doubt.

Breathe Damian, just let it pass -- panic,
Your motor brain has carved in the motions,
Deep breaths, relax, trust Coach, be less manic,
You just have to control your emotions,
The beat will slow, clearness will come, drift off,
Asleep, and tomorrow you will blast off.


The first rounds won, he’s just straight up better,
A small warehouse, that smells strongly of sweat,
Watching the match -- scouts say he fights clever,
Smiling, clapping, but there is a real threat,
Damo doesn’t feel it, but his dad leaves,
Stepping into the ring he slowly seethes,

“A fight for fans, a fighter’s fight! Epic!
Trading hits and very big kicks, grappling,
And slams!” Off mic: we’ll need a medic!
Through blood and screams, the sweet sound of tapping,
Triangle lock you sweet bloody ripper!
But where he asks is my dear old papa.

Damo is lost when Coach points him outside,
“He made me swear to keep you in the ring…”
Is he… He hasn’t walked out and died?
Rising fear wells as he shoves out the wing,
The end of the hallway he sees the pair,
Father holding someone, gasping for air.

Dear Kate, she’s hurt? No, Dad tells him: just scared,
Looking around for any clear answer,
“The man you hit, his friends...tempers… flared.”
Damo only saw red, blind with anger,
His Kate coiled in fear, and dad looked light,
What good being trained if you never fight?

“My dear sweet boy do not go out that door,
There’s Kate, and I’m better... a real father.”
Tears welled... They made his son want to fight more,
It was not fair now his life had order,
The same bully traipsing into his life,
Undoing good that came out of their strife.

“I love you, Dad. I’ll see you when I’m home,
Maybe we’ll chat instead of fight.” A kiss,
One more for Kate, and out the door loathsome.
A hot New South Wales evening. A hiss.
A group of men, just one familiar face,
His mug bandaged -- these sure were dire straits.

They closed in and a leader did emerge,
More erudite looking than the others,
“Hello now -- button it -- resist the urge,
This ain’t about the chick, just our brother,”
Slowly they walked closer to our hero,
He knew the chance of talk was now zero.

“You punched his face and tore a retina,
In this life old mate there is no fairness,
Maybe... mistake? But an eye! No replica.
Helpless victim? Nah -- have some awareness,
Final advice: (please sear this in your mind),
An eye for ‘n eye leaves the whole mob blind.”

Cache Cab
Feb 21, 2014

sebmojo posted:

actually gently caress it, here's your story: and here's your image:

Hmmm, this will be challenging, since I am not quite sure what that last lines means, nor what this picture entails, but I am up for the challenge. Thank you very much, I hope not to disappoint.

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards

:siren:crit offer

So I woke up to find an excellent & thorough crit in my email of an old story of mine that never got one. For karmic purposes I'd like to pay it forward. If you have a previous Dome story that only got one or zero crits, and you'd like a detailed line-by-line of it, post in the thread or PM me - I'll take the first three, and I'll keep the turnaround low.

Oct 9, 2011

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:


The Fall of Cara Rok
(454 Words)

The free people were spell-bound by the sidhe’s dark magics,
forced to bow and scrape and bend
to their inhuman will, until came the iron men.
Belching flame and shooting shell,
they marched under mighty Sig unto Cara Rok.

There they sieged the dread sidhe within their feast halls,
while the fair folk worked their enchantments.
Storm split the sky in twain
and bolts rained unto the iron men,
but they held without fear save those torn asunder.
Their voices sang as one as their cannons
fired without pause upon the spell-worked stone.

Chitin-clad Elsin despaired at the resolve
and led a desperate charge, for he alone,
of all sidhe, knew honor’s demands.
With him rode a host of wicked
armed sidhe and their fae hounds.
They fell unto the ranks of the iron men
and blade and tooth found mail
and tore into flesh with a vicious hunger.
The sky-bolts fell faster and faster
and Elsin rejoiced in the seeming victory
as the iron men fell back from the onslaught.

Steel-clad Dukane marched to meet Elsin
on the sky-flooded mud and roared his defiance.
Blood-born Dukane, shatterer of shields,
death-bringer Dukane maker of widows,
unforgotten Dukane stood that day,
a maul of hand-worked iron in hand
and laid into the host of the fair folk.

But Elsin was swifter than Dukane, more skilled
and his gossamer blade leaf-like agile.
Elsin found the joints in Dukane’s armor
and the great hero of iron men added his blood
to the carnage of the savagery of the day upon the field.

But the song of the iron men would not be silenced.
One-eyed Thornson turned his cannon
onto Elsin and fired it at the sidhe warrior’s back.
Elsin was broken in twain by the iron shell,
and his soldiers scattered into the distant places of the land.

The resolve of the sidhe broke and despair reigned.
Thornson’s cannons fired forth
dark-grey shot, shattering
the dire enchantments of the sidhe’s might.
Magics flared and died in crimson panoply,
and the mighty roared to the sky their defiance,
and the song of the iron men filled the air
with dreadful reckoning and the knowing of the end.
The walls of Cara Rok buckled,
defaced by shell after shell, then fell.
The iron warriors did their bloody business
and put their blades to the throats of the men
and the women and the children of Cara Rok.

On that day, we were freed from the reign of the sidhe
but all was for naught as a new king
sits on the throne, bloody minded
and war bent, and the backs of the once free
are bent for the sake of conquest and passing glory.

Meter: hemmistichs of two stressed syllables per foot

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007




Hi so this kind of bitchiness is dumb and doesn't help the thread. Please take it to a different thread, such as up your respective assholes.

well anyway, tia


About 12 hours until signups close. After that, I've got a small surprise for some (but not all) entrants. A flash surprise, if you will.

Aug 2, 2011

by XyloJW

I'm in with a :toxx: for failing to submit last week. I'll carry over my flash rule from last week too since I didn't get a chance to obey it.

Aug 5, 2013

I got into my car and ate my chalupa with a feeling of accomplishment.

I'm in with this:

Jan 14, 2014

im in

Jul 26, 2011

Far to the North
(292 Words)
Far to the North, in Roknulfahr,
lives a Girl who died;
Far to the North, 'neath the Twilight Star,
a grave; an anguished Bride.

Far to the South, the mad royal
A cruel and vile King;
Far to the South, the Rogue makes haste
Bag hides the royal ring.

Far to the North, atop hills steep,
Storm rages overhead;
Far to the North, the Widow weeps,
If only She were dead.

Far to the South, in jungles strange,
The Rogue slithers in shade;
Far to the South, the King deranged,
A bounty! Gold to be made.

Far to the North, a plummet down
Hair whipping through the wind;
Far to the North, Her face a frown,
“Lord, know that I have sinned.”

Far to the North, footsteps echo,
The Rogue running to hide;
Far to the North, He stands just below
The sad, delicate Bride.

Far to the South, a court of fools
A-bicker; a-backer;
Far to the South, He lie down rules,
To hunt His attacker.

Far to the North, the Rogue now holds
The Bride within his arms;
Far to the North, Her heart unfolds;
Her life saved by His charms.

Far to the South, swords are unsheathed
The Hunters have begun;
Far to the South, Their tempers seethed
“There's money to be won!”

Far to the North, the Two lie low
Hidden in the bazaar;
Far to the North, They choose to go
Toward the Twilight Star.

Far to the West, played for a fool,
The Hunters stand confused;
Far to the West, without his jewel,
The King; he passed bemused.

Far to the East, in scalding sands,
The Rogue, She promptly blessed;
Far to the East, He asked Her hand,
And, of course, she replied “Yes.”


Meter: Common meter-ish. It's not strictly iambic.

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards

PootieTang posted:

I'm in with a :toxx: for failing to submit last week. I'll carry over my flash rule from last week too since I didn't get a chance to obey it.

... oh my god.

dhamster posted:

I'm in with this:

Last two sentences for you, kid, don't think you're gettin off that easy.

Mar 21, 2010

Our three LoserWinner balladeers are in, but where are the Loserloser songwriters?

They are nowhere to be found. I'm going to a party tonight, and if their entries aren't in when I get back, they will all be crowned Lowest of the Losers. The puppies in the pound. The twinkies in the dungheap. Loserlosers, THE END IS NIGH.

Mar 21, 2010

Hocus Pocus posted:

Loserbrawl ballad entry

going over the prompt I realize I have ABABCC which has heroic couplets. Guessing DQ. But here you go all the same.
Heroic Couplets were highly discouraged, but not banned per se. Speaking as a Antipodean-Greek Bogan, you may find mercy yet.

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006


It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.


I can feel it coming in the air tonight.

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards

Anomalous Blowout posted:

I can feel it coming in the air tonight. lol

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Way too easy: :siren:Flash Rule:siren: The wisest thing anyone ever said to you.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007




:siren: 30 more minutes for signups :siren:

Apr 25, 2011

I'm a suave detective with a heart of gold in hot pursuit of the malevolent, manipulative
and the deranged degenerates who only want their


Muffin I could make excuses but you don want dat, I don want dat, td don want dat so here's my poo poo song.

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

:siren: KING OF poo poo MOUNTAIN: KING OF THE LOSERS :siren:

282 words

You are the corpse in my garden
a hang nail past it's due
that wry smirk you always make
makes me wish I never met you
it's funny how you can gloat
about how I can be so clingy
with that putrid nose and ugly laugh
who'd ever care like I do?

That's when I see you look at me
it's if you know
that I know that you know that I know
that I can't live without you
"You appreciate the things I do?"
God, you're so drat smug

Sometimes I want to leave
pack up all my things
but every time I go to try
I stop and have to wonder why
start thinking things through
fingers feeling head spinning
stomach churning heart pounding
getting nauseous and worried and I
Then I can't
I swear, I just can't

And then I see you look at me
it's if you know
that I know that you know that you know
that I can't live without you
"You always know the right thing to say..."
But you're just so so smug

Now I'm trapped with you, tied in chains
you cart me around like some prize
I thought you thought that I was pretty
and it turns out I was right
being with you, it's suffocating
I've got no room to breath
but at end of the day I thing
I'm so lucky
so drat lucky

When I see you look at me
it's if you know
that I know that you know that I know
that I can't live without you
"I guess you are pretty funny."
Christ, you're so loving smug
So so smug

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007




:siren: Signups Closed :siren:

Because this is apparently a very confusing week, here are your stories+flash rules, if any. Please let me know if I missed anything.

Sitting Here posted:

Phobia - - Everything good in your assigned story is now bad. Tell me about it.
WLOTM - - Use a character from your assigned story, reverse their motivation.
Meeple -
Bad Seafood -
dobeard -
Mazo Panku -
kurona_bright -
Gau -
Mercedes -
Tyrannosaurus -
Ironic Twist - - It must flow naturally from realism to nightmare. And don't have it be a dream
Some Guy TT -
SurreptitiousMuffin -
Hocus Pocus -
Fumblemouse -
Dr. Kloctopussy - - must use the first line of your assigned story rather than the last line.
CommissarMega -
Ungeziefer -
Grizzled Patriarch -
curlingiron -
crabrock -
theblunderbus -
kalyoc -
Whalley -
Entenzahn -
Broenheim -
Cheneyjugend -
Nikaer Drekin -
D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N. - - a man of wealth and taste
Obliterati -
lambeth -
Drunk Nerds -
magnificent7 -
Cache Cab -
Kaishai -
PootieTang -
dhamster -
pandycanda -
Anomalous Blowout - - The wisest thing anyone ever said to you.

:siren: oh yeah your flash present :siren:

Anyone whose story is LESS THAN 750 words, you now have 750 words. If the wordcount of your original story was 750 or more, it stays the same.

So, if someone has, say, 500 words, they now have 750. If your story had 1139 words, you still have that very same amount. Sorry, I couldn't get a present for everyone, the judge coffers didn't have that much in them due to the judges importing party goats and cossack fighting pants.

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 07:54 on May 31, 2014

Oct 4, 2013


The Girl at Work Station Nine
404 Words

Not much to do in an old mining town,
When your shift’s all done and the sun goes down
So I clock on out and drive my car
Down to Old Pete’s quiet bar

The drinks there ain’t exactly best,
But it’s a drat fine place to take a rest
Sit down and watch the game
With the regular crowd, no claim to fame

‘Till one long night in the heat of our moon,
Was a newcomer whose face I won’t forget soon
From a glance you could tell she was new to the place,
Straight off some freighter way out in space

Girl was a beauty, I’ll tell you that,
Dressed all in leather, and an old cowboy hat
Had a particular look in her eyes,
A toughness that made her look wise

Got up the courage to buy her a drink,
Waved ‘round the place, asked “What do ya think?”
Stayed up talking all through the night,
Left in the morning feeling pretty alright

Turns out she’d been hired to the mine,
The new engineer down at work station nine
Had a special talent with machines,
Spent her time to keep them nice and clean

So we spent our nights dreaming at Old Pete’s quiet bar
Our current situations wouldn’t get us very far,
But we could talk and dream of space above
Then came the time where pushin’ came to shove

Deep in the mine one day something went wrong,
Threatened the life of each man and woman strong,
There was a cave-in that cut off our escape,
Not one got out from there without a scrape

My legs were pinned beneath the falling rock,
Shock hit me so hard I couldn’t even talk
My girl dragged me out of that rubble,
But we were not quite yet out of trouble

The heatsinks failed and we seemed fit to roast
Deep beneath the earth nothing left but bones and ghosts,
But after she had cleared the debris,
That brave gal returned to her station ‘till the rest of us were free

I was the last out of the mines and then, with a cry,
I watched as they blew up into the sky
The heat had triggered all our dynamite,
Not a soul could have survived inside that night

Today as I work and hold tightly to this drill,
I think back and shed a tear for my brave girl still

Mar 21, 2010


Drunk Nerds
Jan 25, 2011

Just close your eyes

Fun Shoe

Here is my picture:

Here is my original story:

Here is my entry. Length 607 words (exactly as long as the original)

Just One More

No need to enjoy her all at once, no need at all.

Realizing the blessing of perspective that came with losing everything, the Fisherman cast his reel over a cresting wave. The sun peeked over the ocean that spanned the horizons.

He had never before taken in all the majestic sea had to offer. He wanted to savor it as slowly as he could, for it was all he had left. That, his old rod, and a metal shack held together by rusting screws. His wife had absconded with his other possessions in the night, even taking their old broken wheelbarrow that had been the crux of their disagreement.

The pole arced downward sharply, the fisherman leaned back from his spot in the water. Slowly he reeled in his 105-pound catch.

"You again?" The mermaid frowned, pulling the hook from her tail, "what could you possibly want now?"

Gazing upon her splendid form, the Fisherman could see the last few days colored all over her body. The fins of her tail were the tin-can gray of the wheelbarrow he had wished to be fixed... Her scales glistened with the emerald color of the house his wife had insisted he wish for instead... Her hair the off-yellow shade of the golden castle he had asked for when his wife decided that an emerald house was not enough... and the deep blue eyes that matched the sea of which his wife had finally insisted she become queen (which caused the mermaid to angrily return everything he owned back to its paltry original state).

"Just one more," he whispered.

"Fine!" The mermaid glared at the Fisherman, "but after this I'm telling my brethren to kill all the fish in the area, so you can never cast here again. Also, don't wish for a thousand wishes, I'd rather die."

"A kiss," said the Fisherman.

The mermaid brayed laughter, "THAT's what you want, you pathetic old perv?"

"My wife, she left," he explained, "this is my last chance to ever feel the touch of a woman."

"I can see why your wife left you, you're a fool."

"Still, it is my wish, and I have made it."

The mermaid swam close to the Fisherman, his hand slipped into the pocket of his waders.

"Are you touching yourself, you freak?" A look of disgust passed over her face, "let's get this over with."

Leaning in, she grazed her mouth against his cracked smile. She then bit down on his lower lip, drawing blood.

"Just a reminder to never seek me out again,"

The Mermaid drew back, but the Fisherman grasped her blonde locks. From his pocket came the rusty, four-inch screw he had painstakingly unfastened from his shack. He stabbed it deep in the side of her neck. Using motion and strength obtained over a lifetime of gutting his catch, he worked the screw down the side of her body, holding her fast with his other arm as she screamed and squirmed. Cutting down to the end of her fin, the Fisherman reached inside and grabbed her tail bone. With a twist and a jerk, he had deboned her bottom half.

Rolling the mermaid into the sand, he held her down with his knees and began ripping off her tail as she bled out with a guttural moan.

He had no use for her upper half, but her tail was meaty. Perhaps enough to last him until he restored his stock of food. He tasted a tiny bit, but would leave most of her tail for later.

No need to enjoy her all at once, no need at all.

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

Mercedes posted:


You know what pisses me off? Really gets me in the giblets?!?! When poo poo happens to me because of powers outside of my control. Mostly due to IT DOESN'T MATTER!!!!! You two cumbaskets are to write an 1000 max word story of your choosing. The caveat is that it must pull anger out of your reader.

You will automatically lose if I become angry because your story sucks. I want to feel empathetic anger. Someone treated poorly, someone cheated. I want to feel their frustration!

One week from today, chodes!

Roger That, Ground Control
999 words

Djeser fucked around with this message at 19:57 on Dec 31, 2014

Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why did you fail Thunderdome?

:siren: :whatup: :siren:

Mercedes posted:


Like Animals
997 words

Brian woke up to what felt like tiny pebbles flying against his head. His eyes fluttered open. Bits of cereal were on the floor all around him. He slowly raised his head and his stomach turned when he realized he was inside a steel cage about the size of a broom closet.

“What the gently caress,” he croaked. His throat felt like it was made of saltine crackers.

“It's your breakfast, rear end in a top hat,” squeaked a voice from behind him. It had come from a boy, about seven years age. The kid wore baggy pants and a cap and did his best to look menacing, but failed, except for the pistol he waved around like it was a harmless splash gun.

“Uhhh.. what the gently caress,” Brian said.

“I ask the questions, you cocksucker.”

The room looked like a bizarre nightmare out of a Macaulay Culkin movie. They were in a basement, floor and walls of stone, a tiny window letting in a sliver of sunlight. Mousetraps and tripwire traps and marbles were spread out all over the room.

Brian sat up and licked his lips. He was suddenly aware of the heat. “Look,” he said. “I have a wife, she’s--”

“Shut the gently caress up. You stay here until I’m done with you.”

Brian took deep breaths and waited for the boy to continue.

“I need to know,” the boy said, “where babies come from.”

Brian stared at him.

“Tell me!” yelled the kid, and a shot discharged that made Brian reel back.

“I don’t… I… look, where are your parents?”

“They’re gone, dipshit. Nobody will hear you. Answer my question.”

“Uhm… well, the stork--”

“The stork!” the kid said. “Yeah, they tried that. Do I look stupid?”

“Okay,” Brian said, weighing his words cautiously. “I assume your dad already gave you the speech on the birds and the bees?”

“I want the truth!” the kid cried. There was a flash of light from his hand and Brian yelled as he felt a hot sting in his foot. He looked down at the gunshot wound, and cursed. It felt like somebody had rammed a searing spear through him.

“Stop crying you pussy,” said the boy. “Stop crying or you get another one.”

Brian bit on his lip and held his shot foot, whimpering silently. The room around him turned.

“I need to know where the babies come from,” said the kid. “My mommy says I’m going to have a baby sister soon, but gently caress that. And don’t give me any of that fairy tale bullshit.”

“Look, please, you can’t--”

“Can’t what?” the boy said and the gun in his hand jerked up again. Brian raised his hands instinctively.

They were interrupted by the ring of a phone.


“What’s this?” said the kid. “What’s this you fucker?” He moved closer to the cage, gun still pointed forward, Brian looking down the barrel.

“That’s my cell.” Brian kept his eyes on the boy as he moved a hand in his pocket. When the kid twitched, he stopped for a second, then slowly pulled out the phone. His eyes flickered from the kid to the screen. Karen.

“My wife,” Brian said.

“Give it to me.”

“She’s pregnant. This could be an emergency. Please.”

“Give!” the kid yelled, and the way he tossed his gun around made Brian wince. He shuffled to the cage wall and put the phone on the ground. “If I don’t answer, they’ll know something’s up,” he begged. No avail. The boy waited for him to move back before he took the cell.

The phone vibrated and gave a few beeping sounds.

“‘Baby coming’,” the kid read and snorted. “So you know where to get them!”

Baby coming. A twist in in Brian’s gut. Baby coming. My baby is coming.

His bleeding foot still burned to the pulse of his speeding heart.

“You need to let me go. My wife needs me. My baby.”

“gently caress your baby. Babies are poo poo.”

Brian swallowed. He tried to focus through the haze.

“Alright,” he said. “You beat me. I’ll tell you about the source.”

The kid looked at him expectantly.

“Not like this.” He pushed himself over to the edge of the cage. “Come closer. They are listening.”


“Your parents. They’re behind everything.”

“Uh-huh.” The kid nodded and came closer, step by step.

“You see,” Brian said with a lowered voice, “we others never wanted babies. Your parents invented them. They were sick of buying just you presents.”

“I knew it.” The kid frowned. Brian beckoned him closer with a wag of his finger.

“But there is a way to stop them, you just…”

Brian whispered now.

“...have too…”

The kid inched forward.

With a grunt, Brian grabbed him by the throat. The boy yelped as he was pulled towards the cage wall, his body crunching against steel, again and again. The gun went off and shot two, three bullets across the room, hitting nothing but stone, before it fell to the ground. Brian scooped it up with his free hand. He turned it against the kid.

“You are going to give me my cellphone back, and then you will unlock this door. You are getting me out of here. Is that clear?”

“You’re not going to shoot me, assmuncher,” the kid whimpered.

“Try me.”

He stared right into the kid’s eyes. Then he let go, gun trained on the boy.

“The cage is open,” the twerp said, holding out the phone. He kept his eyes on the floor now.


Brian snatched the cell and pulled himself on shaky legs, hissing when he tried to put too much weight on his shot foot. He limped out of the cage, an unsteady gun always on the stunned boy, who pushed away traps before him.

Brian stopped at the basement door. He had to steady himself against the wall with his cellphone-hand.

“Actually,” he said, “how did I get here?”

The boy shrugged.

“You know what?” Brian said. “I hope it’s a girl.”

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

God Over Djinn posted:

:siren:crit offer

So I woke up to find an excellent & thorough crit in my email of an old story of mine that never got one. For karmic purposes I'd like to pay it forward. If you have a previous Dome story that only got one or zero crits, and you'd like a detailed line-by-line of it, post in the thread or PM me - I'll take the first three, and I'll keep the turnaround low.

I'd like this one, cheers.

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.

God Over Djinn posted:

:siren:crit offer

So I woke up to find an excellent & thorough crit in my email of an old story of mine that never got one. For karmic purposes I'd like to pay it forward. If you have a previous Dome story that only got one or zero crits, and you'd like a detailed line-by-line of it, post in the thread or PM me - I'll take the first three, and I'll keep the turnaround low.

I'll take a crit of this one kthx

Nov 18, 2008

728 words, original 735 words. Chosen picture below:

Hydrogen, Part II

“It would not take much to ignite the hydrogen in the ship.”

The words rang through Maria's mind as she nursed his cigarette in the Hindenburg's bar. Now that the time had come, she could not believe how banal the words sounded. Nor could hse believe just how brave she felt when she first voiced them to the cell. And why wouldn't she be? After all, since Maria was taken by the Gestapo, she had nothing to live for, right?

She fingered the ring she wore, the ring Oskar was going to propose to Elsa with, the ring which now felt like a chain. She hated the thought of losing her brother to that Jewish whore, who was undoubtedly marrying him for protection- surely the Gestapo wouldn't dare touch the wife of such a rich man?

But when they came, and she ran to hide, she saw how Elsa begged them to take her alone and leave Oskar. How Oskar fought for his wife. How the Nazis decided to silence them both. And she remembered the terror she felt.

It was the same fear that-

Suddenly, the dull thrum of the Hindenburg's engines and the idle chatter of the guests in the bar was interrupted. “Has anyone seen my wife?” a distressed-looking man said, gasping out each word. “Please, she is very ill! Has anyone seen my Emmy?”

Maria remembered him and his wife- she'd fallen in a fit earlier, and was carried off by the doctor. She found herself asking “What happened, sir?”

“I don't know!” the man said, wiping his tears. “I went out to fetch Emmy some sedatives and water- but when I came back, she was gone!”” he wailed. “Please, please help me find her!” Maria hesitated, but the man's distress was something she was all to familiar with. As she rose to help, more passengers and crew joined in.

But Maria found herself all alone when she found the woman, sprawled on a gantry within the ship's tail, right next to the giant cotton-canvas gas bag. Se instinctively climbed up the rigging to her, the image of her weeping husband the only thing she was conscious of.

“No time, no time,” she said. The Woman- Emmy?- looked at Maria then. “You have to finish it,” Emmy said, adding almost sheepishly, “I forgot my matches.”

“You forgot- are you mad?” Maria said, and her exclamation attracted some nearby crewmen outside. “Hey! Hey, I found her!” she yelled down, then immediately regretted it when she saw just how high she'd climbed. A drat fine figure I'm cutting, she thought to herself as she clung onto the gantry. The crewmen apparently saw things her way- one of them said he was going to get a ladder, while the other fetched the captain.

The woman, though, didn't seem to care. “Please, you have a bomb, you can finish this. For Oskar.”

The words sent a jolt down Maria's spine. “what did you say?”

“It is for Elsa that you smuggled yourself onboard, yes? That you still have the bomb in your jacket.”

“How did-”

“I see things, in my fits,” Emmy said. “You, and Oskar. Oh, how you argued about his Elsa, and how much you wept at their wedding. How much you found yourself loving them both- and how much you wept at their funerals.”

Her face darkened. “But I have also seen the Eagle flying over men who think themselves good and righteous as they send families to their deaths, over once-proud nations kneeling to a prideful man, over the graves of far more people than the Hindenburg would ever hold.”

“There they are!”

Maria looked down- there were the crew, one with an extendable ladder. She heard Emmy sigh. “Everyone dies, sooner or later,” the other woman whispered, somehow audible over the roar of the engines. “But rarely do we get the chance to decide how we die. Rarer still how others, and how many others as well.”

“I'm not ready,” Maria said quietly. She'd never know that he was crying.

“Neither am I,” Emmy replied, smiling as the top of the ladder clinked next to her. “But when has that ever mattered? Now come, there is much time.”

Maria could only nod as she reached into her pocket and tossed the bomb over.

Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

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

Alright you two dick socks, I'll have to give your stories multiple read-throughs before I give judgement. Be proud in knowing that neither of you wrote garbage and now I have to stab holes in your stories stomachs and see which one holds it's contents the best.

Aug 5, 2013

I got into my car and ate my chalupa with a feeling of accomplishment.

1030 words, same as the original story.

Chosen picture:

Riding the Rockoon

I’d like to be the last man on the moon. At least for a few minutes. Any longer and I’m not sure if I’d be able to make the return trip. A cosmo-jacket can sustain life pretty well in the vacuum of space, but it doesn’t play nice with moon dust.

I craned my neck up at the weather balloon I had launched hours ago, now a tiny white dot in the sky. The seemingly unending spool of braided nanotube cord in my hand unfurled continuously as the balloon climbed higher and higher. At this rate it would burst soon, as the others had, but this time I had an ace up my sleeve.

I glanced at my watch. Two minutes to go, on the dot.

The guys at the plant told me I was crazy. Probably they were right. No one’s been to the moon for nearly a century, and even then they weren’t fool enough to try and get there out of their own backyard. Then again, launching stuff into space is expensive. I’ve tapped out pretty much my entire savings at this point, and my project was bargain basement by space launch standards.

Thirty seconds. I’d have to get the timing just right, or I’d miss… or worse. Everything hinged on making the correct angle with the moon, and it was a tiny target from this far out, moving very quickly. I had run the simulations a million times, but I hoped for once that I didn’t miss anything.

No time for second thoughts now. I glanced at the horrendously long spool of nanotube braids that would follow me, tied around my ankle. As I near the moon, it should stretch to arrest my fall, slowing me enough to keep me from pancaking on the surface. Hopefully.

I gripped the spool tethered to the balloon firmly, my fingers close to the remote ignition trigger. Two seconds, one… now! I squeezed the trigger and fixed my eyes on the balloon just in time to see it burst, a skyward rocket powering upward in its place. The spool was unwinding much faster now, until suddenly it ran out of slack. I felt a stretch in the cable and before I knew it, I was being yanked upward after the rocket at a frightening pace.

I needed to stay calm and activate the cosmo-jacket before I climbed too high and hypoxia set in. I switched it on, and heard a cheerful voice in my earpiece.


Incredible technology, awful software. I screamed “NO” but the air was rushing by too fast for me to be heard.


The air was getting thin up here, and cold, and was rushing past me faster and faster. My house and the town around it began to shrink smaller and smaller as the ground fell away, and I was getting high enough to see the roundness of the earth below. It all was starting to look a little bit fuzzy down below.


My eyelids were starting to sag, and my grip on the tether was getting looser. I took out a strap to secure my grip: the last thing I wanted to do right now was let go. In spite of myself I was starting to feel giddy, almost drunk. I tried to laugh out loud, but the sound was swallowed up by the rushing wind. I glanced downward again and saw the ground as a blurry round expanse below me. Maybe I should take a rest, I thought. Just for a second…


A translucent film surrounded me, and the jacket pumped in oxygen-rich air to pressurize the environment within, opening up its CO2 scrubbers to keep the air breathable. I started to come back to my senses as the euphoria of oxygen deprivation subsided, and saw the earth as a sea of white clouds below. Eventually the howl of the wind gave way to a profound silence, and the Earth slowly began to recede into the distance. The moon had, in turn, gotten larger, but there was still a long way to go. I reached for a nutri-bar and settled in for a long ride.

Before long the rocket was out of fuel, but it had already done its job: I was already caught within the Moon’s gravity. I unstrapped the tether and let my momentum carry me forward, and watched the line to the rocket silently spiral forward, freed of elastic tension.

The moon was very close now. I’m not sure how many hours had passed, but a sea of white craters stretched out below me, as far as the eye can see. I felt a tug on my ankle as my hugely long tether to Earth began to slowly stretch to mitigate the incredible speed with which I was hurtling toward the moon’s surface. The craters below were getting bigger, but the ankle tether was doing its job, as it seemed my descent was slowing. The tension around my ankle grew until it was nearly unbearable, and the surface was getting dangerously close. Still, I didn’t seem to be falling very fast anymore. With impact only a few seconds away, my ankle wrenched painfully forward. The ground came up to meet me and after that there was only blackness.

When I came to, I got up slowly. My ankle was tender, but not broken. My shield membrane bore the brunt of the fall and was cloudy with dust, but I could still see the endless cratered landscape of the moon around me, and a tiny crater that had formed where I had landed. The tether to Earth had not survived the trip: a few meters of it lay near my feet, the rest must have hurtled back to where it was anchored. It looked like I was going to be the last man on the moon after all, but for a little longer than I had hoped. I took a knee, cracked open a nutri-beer and took a long look at the Earth. It traced out a crescent in the sky.

Jul 4, 2010

I find dead men rout
more easily.

An Alien
750 words

The last thing to go through Spaceman Jim’s head, before his thoughts were expunged by the jab of the taiaha, was a longing for pizza.

There was a lot of blood. Most was blue, but there was enough red mixed in that the spreading puddle was purple as the evening sky. Spaceman Baz prodded Jim with the staff's butt where he lay, pushing fragments of chitin and bone around in the slurry until he wasn't sure any more which bits had been his friend and which bits that strange face-eating crab thing.

"gently caress," he said. "gently caress. What a loving mess."

Rozzer gave him a bored look. "The hell did you expect? You just took his head off with a spear."

"I dunno. Less, less brains, or something. And it's not a spear, it's a taia... oh, man, it's chipped and everything now. Look."

"Told you it wasn't a real one."

Rozzer'd been right. Space Captain Rozzer was always right. He knew things. Read books, even. Which was why he'd known about the face crab, and about this not-really-dead planet they called Limbo.

"Yeah, well... yeah. Okay." Baz grunted a sigh. "The gently caress we do now?"

"We wait."

The ruins here were properly ancient, going back six aeons, maybe seven. Baz slouched onto some steps and put his feet up on a red stone altar, swatting ineffectually at the flickering white pinpricks that swarmed around them. They flowed around his hand, whispering in a long-dead language.

"Soulflies," said Rozzer. "Spirits of the dead what never passed on. Guidebook said so."

"So, what, one of these is Jim?"

Rozzer shrugged. "Probably. Hopefully not for long."

"Huh." Baz stared cross-eyed at the closest soulfly. "Is it you, mate?"

"Hey, Baz."

"Jesus loving Christ!" Baz said, and toppled backwards into the dust. "Jim?"

"Evenin', lads," said the voice of Spaceman Jim, softly, as though heard from a great distance. "Cheers for getting that off me." The soulfly drifted over and hovered above Jim's corpse. "You couldn't have made less of a mess of my face?"

"Oh, come off it, mate," said Baz. "It's your own bloody fault for sticking your head in that thing in the first place. How you feeling?"

"Could be worse," said Jim. "I could murder a kebab. When'd I last eat?"

"Last Tuesday," said Rozzer. "Not counting the face crab."

"Funny. Looks, lads, tell me straight: am I... am I dead?"

"Temporarily," said Rozzer. "Hang tight, Jim. You're on Limbo. No one dies for long here."


Baz pushed the last piece of Jim's skull into place, and it reattached itself with a soft shlup. He rapped on it with one fist. "Good as new."

"Turns my stomach, watching that," said Jim. "Not that I have a stomach. God, I'm hungry. Why am I hungry?"

"Probably one of those biological things," said Baz. "Infinitives."

"Imperatives," said Rozzer, without looking up.

"Yeah, those. Everything wants to eat. Like that crab ate your face."

"Maybe it had the right idea. I could go for a face right about now." A nervous pause. "Hey, if I'm going to come back to --"

"'s all right." Rozzer jerked a thumb over his shoulder. "We swept it up and dumped it out the back, remember? You only come back if you're in the ruins here."

"Sure about that?"

"Course. The book said so."

The soulflies circled, holding back the darkness.


"Rozzer! Jim!" Baz came pounding to a breathless halt. "We got a problem. Crab's gone."

"Gone?" repeated Rozzer.

"Yeah. The bloody thing's vanished. You think it --"

"Bollocks. Probably." Rozzer stood, stretching. "Okay, blasters ready, eyes open. Soon as Jim's back up, we peg it back to the lander."

"Yeah, about that. Where'd he go? He's gone quiet."

Rozzer shrugged and checked the charge on his Space Raygun. "His soul's on its way back into his body. That's how it works."

"If you say so."

The two men stood on opposite sides of Jim's body, facing outwards. The night seemed so much darker and colder than before. Soulflies swarmed around them, chittering.

"There!" Baz fired a couple of shots into the dark, and Rozzer spun round behind him. "Wait. gently caress. False alarm."

"Steady, Baz. Just a few more --"

At their feet, Jim's body groaned and rolled onto its back.

"Jim!" said Baz, lowering his blaster and extending a hand. "Good to have you back with us, mate. C'mon, let's scarper before that crab comes back."

Jim stared blearily up at Baz.

"KkkKkKkkKkkkKKkKKK," he said, and ate his face.

Dec 28, 2009

1003 words

The witch gagged and half belched, “We’ll talk later.” She slammed the now-empty pint glass back down on the table. “Right now, I’m drinking.”

John took a deep breath and tried again. “How about I buy you a drink first?”

“Now we’re talking! Why didn’t you say earlier? Mine’s a pint. At least one.”

John wriggled out from behind the table and walked across the deserted bar. The bartender stopped staring aimlessly into space long enough to pour John two pints of something out of an unlabelled beer tap.

“Much better,” the witch said, when he got back to the table. She reached for the offered drink. “Cheers. I’m Senne.”

“I know,” he said. “You came recommended. I’m John.”

“I knew that. ‘S a witch thing.”

John raised an eyebrow.

“Honest.” She grinned and took a swig of beer. “If you don’t believe me, you should find a better witch.”

“They said you were the best!” John said.

“Flattery, mister, will get you nowhere.”

“Well, okay, they said you were cheap.”

“Insults won’t get you much further.” She looked down at her empty glass. “And I’m out of drink again.”

John pushed his untouched pint across the table. “So look,” he began again. “I need protection.”

"Protection from what?"

"Well," he said, "there's this girl. Anna, her name is. We started seeing each other a few months ago, only, well, her ex doesn't see it that way."

"Violent type, is he?"

"Drug dealer. He knows people, and those people have guns."

Senne sighed. “Look, I don’t do protection jobs. I dunno who told you to come to me, but he’s an idiot and you’re an idiot for listening. I’ll give you some names, you can go talk to them tomorrow and get yourself a contract with them instead.”

“Contract? What?” John felt out of his depth. “Why would I need a contract? Does it have to be all legal?”

“Legal’s got nothing to do with it, dumbass.” Senne waved a finger at him. “‘S the geas. Magic poo poo. I thought they taught you people about this crap now.”

“No,” he said.

“The geas. Issa rule. Bunch of rules. No magic affecting another without contract. Supposed to protect you lot. An’ its magic, too, enforced. I break the geas, foom!” She waved her hands in the air. “No more Senne.”

“I see,” said John, not really seeing, “Thanks anyway, I guess.” He sighed and made to get up from the table.

There was a crash at the door and the sound of gunshots. The first shot hit the wall above John’s head. The second clipped his temple as he was diving to the floor in a panic. The third smashed Senne’s pint sending shards of glass and a spray of beer across the table. The fourth hit the witch in the arm, where it flattened into a thin disk of lead and fell to the floor.

“Ow!” she said, clutching her arm, and turned to the door. “That stung, you rear end in a top hat!” She raised her hand, fire dancing around the tips of her fingers. From outside came a scream and the sound of something hitting the floor.

There was a muffled argument outside the door. John thought he heard Senne's name mentioned a few times.

"You're not under contract, Senne, this doesn't involve you," shouted a woman from outside. She didn't sound terribly certain.

Maria?! Is that you out there? Oh you can gently caress right off.”

“The gun might’ve been self-defense, but you can’t get involved without breaking geas, Senne,” shouted Maria. “We’ll let you leave, our business isn’t with you.”

“Friend of yours?” asked John from under the table. The wound on his forehead stung and blood was trickling down the side of his face.

“loving bitch,” muttered Senne.

“Are you quite sure you don’t want the job?”

Before she could say anything, there was another shout from outside. “Don’t try and be clever, Senne, just come out and let me do my job. There’s a good girl,” Maria said.

Senne growled. “Oh gently caress that bitch right in the ear. Right, you’ve got a deal. You owe me.”

“All the beer you can drink,” said John. “But, what about the contract?”

“That?” Senne grinned broadly. “Well, don’t tell anyone my little secret, but the geas isn’t actually very smart…”

There was a scraping on the table above John’s head, and then a beermat was thrust in his face.

“Sign this,” said Senne, waving it at him. “In blood.”

“What?” he asked, staring at the soggy square of cardboard in confusion.

“Just do it. Don’t need to be pretty, just a thumbprint is fine.”

John shrugged, then wiped his thumb through the blood running down his face and pressed it against the cardboard. Above him, Senne stood up and pushed her chair back.

“Right!” she said, cracking her knuckles. “You, stay down there.” She pointed at John. “And you, you prissy little bitch, don’t go anywhere.”

Under the table, John flipped the beermat over in his hands. On the other side, over an advert for Hobgoblin Beer, Senne had written “Contract” and scrawled something that might’ve been a signature. He turned it over again, but there was nothing else on it other than his bloody thumbprint.

He heard the crackling of fire, and peeked out from behind the table just in time to see Senne, flame wreathing her body, stalking out of the bar like an avenging angel. There was a panicked scream from outside, shouts, the sounds of people running and then a series of ‘thuds’ as bodies hit the floor.

Senne walked back in, grinning ear to ear. "That was fun," she said, then turned to the bartender. "More beer! He's paying."

"Is that it?" he asked, when they were seated again.

"Oh yes," Senne said. "None of them will be bothering you again, I promise you that. I told you I was the best."

"No you didn't," said John. "You said just the opposite."

"I lied," she said, and drained another pint.

Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why did you fail Thunderdome?

Prince Charming
1206 words

And so we will bloody well live happily ever after, put that in too.

Hey dipshit, are you listening?

Hey! Ah crap--

“Sorry,” I say. “Forgot the quotes.”

“What?” the fat paramedic says. The bald one shrugs wordlessly and stares at the shaking heartbeat monitor. Regular beeps pierce the monotonous roar of the engine.

“Sir,” the fat guy says, “do you know where you are?”

“I was just about to save my princess,” I say.

The bald paramedic laughs. I decide to name him Pinhead.

“You’re in an ambulance,” Fatty says. “You had a nervous breakdown.”

“What witchcraft is this?”

Fatty huffs and presses his lips together. Pinhead still stares on the screen. My arm is hooked to a catheter and I’m strapped to a portable bench.

“Time to get out of here,” I say.

“Wha--”, Fatty starts, but I unhook and unbuckle myself and roll off onto the steel floor. Pinhead reaches for me over the bench, too late. I jump up and push myself against the doors before they catch me, diving out of the moving car.

I give the ground a few good smacks with my body. That’ll teach him.

Fully conscious and back on my feet, I notice the roaring dragon behind me has stopped. A troll and an orc lumber towards me. I reach for my sword, but it’s gone, so I decide to leg it. Fatty the Orc falls behind almost instantly and once he does, the troll stays with him.

I turn a corner, jump a fence, take a shortcut through an alley and run straight into the shop on the other side of the street. ‘Sports equipment’. Simple weaponry is on display.

“Watch’u want,” the maiden behind the counter says. Mrs. Sport I assume. She looks me over, as the wenches often do. “What hole did you crawl out of? Haw Haw.”

“I desire equipment. I will rescue a princess,” I say and pick a sword off the wall. “How much is this?”

“‘Bout thirty-five.”

“Unacceptable. I will pay you twenty.”

“Take a putter then, they’re twenty.”

Actually, what the hell. I’m the narrator. She decides to give it to me for free.

Huh. She decides to give it to me for free.

I take the money out of my wallet and slam it on the counter.

Mrs. Sport licks her fat fingers and flicks through paper notes. “Anything else, hot-shot?”

Minutes later I step out the shop in full armor, shield on my back and sword dangling from my hip.


The den looms ominously before me in the moonlight. I still have the keys. Curiously, they don’t turn the lock. I draw my sword and hack down at the door. After a few whacks a window opens above me.

“Barry, what are you doing?” It’s Lisa’s voice. I look up at her. Her once golden curly hair is brown now. What else have these animals done to my princess?

“I am coming for you! Don’t worry!” I yell.

From behind her a man’s voice shouts back: “Dude, gently caress off or we’re calling the cops!”

“Just leave, Barry. Please,” Lisa says. She looks sad. I understand. She doesn’t want me to risk my life for her. But that’s what lovers do. I give her a reassuring smile and go back to work at the door.

I take swings, again and again, eventually busting a small hole into it, then a big one. Then I’m through. I draw my shield and move up the stairs.

Behind me there is a swelling noise from outside. Sirens, the sound of guards approaching. Good.

I navigate towards the sleeping chamber. The door is closed, but the wood is much thinner than the one below. I crash it down effortlessly. People are moving up the stairs behind me.

I step through the hole. My princess is in bed, pressing the sheets to her chest. I notice she’s not dressed appropriately for the occasion. The man next to her looks jittery. He’s slid before my princess, as if to shield her from an attacker. He holds a silly baseball bat. Against my sword. Please.

The guards catch up with me just as I’m about to charge. I’m pushed against a wall. The chamber is our old bedroom.

“Lisa!” I yell, struggling against the policemen. “What the hell, you guys are supposed to be on my side.”

Voices are screaming from all directions. On the bed, Lisa sobs silently.

“Don’t believe their lies,” I shout. “We love each other!”

The cops have a solid grip on me. My princess’s spurious lover has turned away, pressing his forehead against hers, whispering. She fights back the tears.

“Lisa!” I cry again. “Lisa! LISA!” Strong arms drag me out of the room, no matter how hard I pull back. I kick and thrash, but I’m only buying seconds. “Lisa! This isn’t reality. Look at him! What does he have that I don’t?”

Lisa cries. The guy strokes her hair and makes soothing noises. They ignore me.

“Don’t let them take me! If you love me, don’t let them… what does he have… no… Lisa! You… I hate you! I HATE YOU, YOU FAT BITCH! YOU HEAR ME?! I HATE YOU!”

I begin to sob. My words must be barely comprehensible.

Outside Fatty and Pinhead wait next to the ambulance. I’m strapped back into the bench, extra-tight this time. Pinhead leans over me, not laughing anymore. He tests a syringe and carefully slides it into my neck. He injects me the solution.

“Okay, this didn’t go as planned,” I say. “Maybe if you let me go back in.”

Nobody says anything.

“That was my house once.”

“Figured as much,” Pinhead says.

“Well gently caress you too,” I say, but don’t really mean it. Actually, I feel pretty calm.

The world begins to fade, a dark veil falling over my thoughts.




I won’t fail!

I open my eyes and tear apart the straps of my bench, delivering a punch that knocks Pinhead clear out of the ambulance in slow motion. I’m past Fatty before he even twitches. I run back into the house, up the stairs.

In the chamber my princess is out cold, her fake lover bowed over her, sneer on his face.

I take a chandelier and toss it at the back of his head.

He reels around and comes for me immediately. Only now do I notice the claws. Changeling. Of course!

His first swipe goes for my throat, but I grab him by the wrist and break his arm in two places. I grab his throat with my other hand and push him down on his knees. I am a hero. He still sneers.

“Your times of wrongdoing are over,” I say, heroically.

I crush his neck.

My princess snaps awake immediately. “Barry,” she says. “I knew you would come back for me.”

I cross the room. She holds out her arms for me and wraps them around my neck as I pick her up. We kiss.

“Where do we go now?” she whispers.

“Away,” I say. “Away from all of this. Somewhere we can live happily ever after.”

Cut. Scene. The end.

A smile forms on my face. This is how it happened.

Feb 25, 2014


Original story


Edit: Forgot word count: 750 words

A Mammoth of a Problem

We laughed until we cried. The gigantic mammoth stood there, confused, as our laughs sounded through the neighborhood. All these years, and the only thing we could do was laugh and smile.

“We did it! We finally did it!” Sharon squealed as she raced towards the giant tuft of brown fur and wrapped her arms around the beast.

“Yeah,” I said, “But now what?”

“Well, she needs a name!” Sharon said.

“How about Sally?” Katie whispered.

“That’s a perfect name! Sharon, don’t you agree?” Sharon nodded.

“Ok, Sally it is.” I said, as I stared at the mammoth trapped in my roofless room, “But right now, we got to find a way to get Sally into the backyard.”


A few days after Sally was revived, a man in a dark suit appeared outside of our house.

“Hello. How can I help you?” I said after I answered the door.

“You must be the man who resurrected that mammoth, correct?” The man asked.

“Yeah, that’s me.”

“Well, you see, I work for a business that’s very much interested in that creature of yours. They see a fantastic business opportunity with such a rare animal. They wanted to know if you are willing to sell it to us.” He said.

“How much?” I asked, unnerved by his wide grin.

“Five million.” The man said plainly.

I stepped back in surprise. With that money, Sharon and Katie’s college could be easily funded. I nearly cried yes, but my mind conjured up the visions of Sharon and Katie laughing as Sally snorted, and I couldn’t bring myself to agree. Not before I asked the girls.

“Wow, that’s a lot of money. But, my daughters, they love Sally. I can’t do that to them. They have as much say in the well-being of Sally as I do.” I said. Without those two, I would’ve stopped years ago. Every hour I worked to make Sally a reality, Sharon and Katie were by my side. Every set back and failure slowly drained my dedication. I thought it was impossible. Sharon and Katie knew it was possible. Sally was a reality, not because of me, but because of the girls.

“Could I have a little extra time?” I asked.

“Of course, this is difficult. Two weeks, and I’ll come back.” He said.

“Thank you sir. I’ll think about it.”

“But you should know sir, this is your only opportunity to accept the offer. Afterwards, the deal is off.” He said as he walked back to his car.


I came outside to the intoxicating sound of laughter. I called to the girls, “Hey, girls, can you come here for a second? Daddy has something to ask you.”

They left Sally and came towards me.

“Yeah Daddy?” Sharon asked.

“Well, you see, the other day, this man came by, and he offered to give us five million dollars.”

Sharon eyes lit up and smiled. “Really!” She said

“Yeah, but in exchange, he’d take Sally.” The words came out slowly.

“No. No!” Her voice grew louder, “I won’t let anybody take Sally away!” She said, her smile faded.

“Sharon, please! I know you love Sally, but we have to make hard decisions sometimes. I just want to make the right decision.”

“No, I’m not letting Sally go!” She yelled as she threw itself into Sally.

Katie stood there, shaking, tears slowly falling from her eyes.

“Katie, please.” I placed my hands on her shoulder, “Don’t cry.”

She leaned her head into my chest, her tears chilling me to the core.


The ticking of the clock reminded me that I hadn’t fallen asleep. My thoughts were too focused on Sally. I tried to convince myself I knew the right decision. But every time I considered taking the money, I remembered Sharon and Katie’s laughter the first time they saw Sally. I couldn’t imagine telling them I took Sally away from them.

I rolled about in bed, my eyes heavy, when I noticed the light in my backyard. Tired, I stumbled into the backyard.

Sally was sound asleep, her breaths quiet and brief. I smiled, still amazed by the creature. Before I turned to leave, I noticed a blue object underneath Sally. I walked towards the slumbering beast.

And there, I saw Katie and Sharon both curled up underneath the pile of fur. Their breaths were short and sweet, laying still with Sally. I laughed. With my mind made up, I slept peacefully in that bed of brown fur alongside Katie and Sharon.

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012


My image:

Gertie's Game
(1,182 Words)

I pluck it out, and take a leap. I soar through the air above the vast tank of liquid at the back of the Ore House, “The Pit of Acid”. Despite its threatening name, the pool below me looks more like it’s full of tap water. I clutch my chicken feather and careen towards the opposite edge of the Pit. My feet slam on the floorboards. The impact sends a shock through me. I wobble and waver, the other barflies snickering at my wild attempts to restore balance. Finally, I straighten up and lift my arms high, intoxication and the rush of success making me feel like an Olympic gymnast.

The barflies burst into applause led by Old Val, the barkeep. “Marvelous!” the geezer cries. “That was divine, Pete. How many jumps have you made, now? Eight? Nine? Gertie’s very pleased with you.” He holds the stuffed-and-mounted chicken out to me. I reach out somewhat sheepishly and pat the lifeless fowl’s head-feathers. Gertie’s black glass eyes seem to look right at me and keep going, all the way to infinity. A little shiver runs through my neck.

Val flashes me a grin. Half of his teeth are brownish-yellow, the other half missing. “Okay, who’s next? Gertie’s only allowing one more try tonight, folks. Play her game, take a leap! If you make it across, your tab’s paid in full. Any takers?”

“Yeah, Val, I’ll give it a whirl.” Monty, a flush-faced worker at the machine shop down the street, steps up to the barkeep. Slightly unsteady, he doesn’t wait for Val to respond before reaching out and yanking a feather out of Gertie’s breast. The bird tumbles out of Val’s hands and clatters on the floor. Old Val glares at him, but Monty doesn’t notice. The big lush bounds up the steps to the edge of the pit, backs up for a running start, then dashes forward and jumps.

Monty’s foot collides with the other edge of the pit, but the impact sends him reeling back. His body plunges into the water, and he thrashes like a wounded seal for a moment before finding his footing and standing up. All the barflies, me included, can’t help but laugh. Monty stands in the pit, still dripping wet, and all of a sudden he cackles with glee, laughing twice as hard as anyone else.

Monty closes his eyes and shakes his head, smiling. Then the smile falters. Puzzled, Monty runs a hand through his hair, rubbing his forehead. He pulls his hand away, and dark clumps of hair stick to it. I notice this, but the other barflies are still laughing. Livid panic breaks out on Monty’s face, and his hand goes back to his forehead, rubbing it vigorously, and this time pieces of flesh peel away, slipping through his fingers and plopping in the pool below. Blood streaks down Monty’s face, and he clutches the sides of his head, screaming. His wail snaps the crowd out of its amusement. They stare, appalled and transfixed.

He jumps, waving his arms as if they’re crawling with fire ants. The blood runs into his eyes. His feet skid on the floor of the Pit, and he scrapes helplessly at his clothes, his skin no doubt dissolving underneath them. A few of my buddies turn away, but my eyes stay fixed on him. Moments later, something in him gives way. He slips on the floor, or maybe the acid bites through the connective tissues in his ankle. Either way, Monty tips back, his scream now only a pained gurgle, and sinks beneath the surface. For the longest time, he thrashes under the surface, the liquid slowly turning red and murky, but then the pool goes calm. Nothing floats back to the top.

Old Val leans against the wall, stroking Gertie and holding her close. “The man deserved it,” he says with a sigh. “I’ve never seen such rudeness. Well, that was the last jump of the evening! Sorry, folks, you’ll have to try some other day.”

Bruce, a beefy guy from the nearby canning plant, speaks up. “What the gently caress is wrong with you, old man? You just killed him for nothing!”

Val puts on an indignant scowl. “I did not. He chose to take the challenge. He put his own life on the line.”

The barflies don’t buy it.

“The geezer’s out of his liver-spotted head!”

“He’s a psycho freak!”

“We’ve got to get that bastard.”

“Who knows how many people he’s killed!”

“Or how many he could kill, if we let him!”

Old Val waves a hand at them. “Gentlemen, gentlemen. Even if you do think this is murder, it’s not my game. Gertie here came up with it. It always gets them, doesn’t it, my girl?”

Gertie’s black eyes stare.

Val giggles. “I know, I know! So petty, so eager to worm out of their obligations. We showed them, didn’t we? Just think of it: all those men, bested… by a chicken! Ha!”

Bruce, shaking with anger, shouts, “Get that fuckin’ freak!” and the whole crowd advances on Old Val. Before they can reach him, the old man grabs my sleeve and pulls me in front of him.

The crowd freezes. “Out of the way, Pete. None of us want to hurt you.”

Val gets on tip-toe and whispers in my ear, “You aren’t like them, Pete. You were good to Gertie. Help us. Protect us from them and Gertie will show us both the way. Isn’t that what you want?”

I remember how those black beads of glass seemed to pierce through me. I shudder again, and feel Val’s warm breath. I hear Monty’s screams rattling in my head, flesh stripping from bone, everything going red and murky.

I turn around and punch Val, his cheek seeming to bend around my fist. The frail old body falls to the ground. Before I can grasp what I’ve just done, the mob descends on Val, and I’m part of it, all of us beating his bony frame, slamming him down on tables, crushing his bones. The passion builds, and as one we hoist him over to the Pit. Pressing him against the glass, we tear at his clothes, we break the skin, his limbs come free in our hands and we toss the hunks of flesh up and over into the pit, where they disappear in the bloody haze.

Blood sets in to our clothes. I pant from exhaustion, satisfied at the swift carnivore justice that I helped make possible. I hear a door shut down the hallway, then footsteps, and a voice saying “Okay, which one of you fuckers didn’t flush…”

I turn to look. Monty stands there, rubbing his freshly-washed hands. His hair is full, his face flushed red. Everything as it should be. He takes in the scene. “Woah,” he says, “what happened here? You guys slaughter a cow?”

I turn and see Gertie, lying on her side in the corner. Even from far away I can feel her sharp black eyes prick my heart. I can hear her laughing.

Sep 22, 2005


One More For The Road. 514 Words.

The Man briefly mourned his suit, then put his gun back in the leather holster with its blooded bloodless knight and drove off into the dying light of the sun. He pressed hard on the gas, desperate to put as many miles as possible between himself and The Lover before nightfall. The headlights didn't work, and he'd be damned if he'd make an exit like that only to hit a tree a mile down the road.

He kept his eyes on the road, never checking the rear-view mirror. He didn't want to see her. The broken muffler of the Corvelle drowned out any sound except for The Nuge's Cat Scratch Fever, crackling from the dashboard speaker. He didn't want to hear her.

The Lover, on her knees in the middle of the street, cried, pleading through the cloud of exhaust and flecks of asphalt, screaming for The Man to turn around. Her lungs filled with exhaust and she coughed between heaving sobs, the tracks of her tears caked with dirt. The rumble of his car faded away, finally falling beneath the music of crickets.

Her hand reached out, thin and wrinkled, clawing at the air, trying to snatch the car and pull him back to her. She coughed again, her shoulders hitched in one last sob, and then she hung her head.

Seated in the otherwise empty bar, the Daughter let go of her frown, glad that no one else was there to see her mother. A similar scene had played out before, so many times that she'd lost count.

She knew The Man would leave; they all left. Every man her mother took to bed was reliable, only in the way they proved to be unreliable.

Her mother made men want to leave.

No, that was wrong.

Her mother made men want to leave only after they'd used her and treated her like poo poo.

The cloud of dust was gone and the street was empty. Her mother — The Lover — stood and brushed the dirt off her dress. She wiped her face with the back of her hand, smearing brown streaks under each bloodshot eye. She raised her chin, trying to collect what little dignity she had left.

Inside the bar, the daughter's smile felt comfortable on her face. It hurt to see her mother cry, but each time, it hurt a little less.

And this time, The Daughter's heart was racing as she watched him blow out in a cloud of dust. If he'd changed his mind, if he'd looked in the rear-view mirror and had a change of heart, he might have stopped. But even if he tried to, she knew he wouldn't stop. And people might ask about that; might ask why his brake fluid sprayed everywhere; or why his brake line was cut. But he didn't look and he didn't stop.

He'd be miles away before he tried to stop. That's how it was in a one-light town.

She filled her glass again, took a sip and waited for her mother to come inside.

Dec 31, 2011


+ Flash Rule: a man of wealth and taste


Report on the Peri-Tharsian operation
1321 words.

…we shared a Brofists are Not Our Thing But This Will Do look, and sighed together. It was all we could do – it exhausted us to no end, shooting and chasing the crazed PLAB down those terrible, unending basalt tunnels… Oh, yes, I forgot - PLAB stands for Precision Laser-Drilling AutoBot… No, I don’t think the bot could be in any way salvaged – as I said, it tumbled down the cliff… the peri-Tharsian volcanic underground tends to have some pretty huge holes, I tell ya… and anyhow, when I get to the end of this, trust me, bot expenses are gonna be the least of your worries.

So we – Mining Supervisor Matthew O’Nym, who was my hunting partner that evening, and of course I – returned to the Settlement to report the chase and its preceding quasi-murder by mining laser. Matty didn’t have enough clearance, so I went into the High Offices alone. I have any further information on the incident? No, I have as big a clue as you do – PLAB tried to mine someone’s head off all of a sudden – and anyhow, my reporting ended up being more of a questioning, really… So, after a few minutes in the elevator I entered Trismegistus Stan’s gilded halls and humbly sat on the most comfortable chair my back ever experienced. Jesus, that man was slick. Didn’t he break protocol, what with the octaphonic equipment playing free jazz among the Mayan pillars he kept around in his office, plus the 300-year old brandy he always sipped every time I was there, I mean he must have had tons of that stuff somewhe – okay, fine, fine. I’ll be short. I told him the news and very silently asked just what on Earth had happened.

Tri-Stan’s answer, like the man himself, was this warm glow of friendliness surrounding a strange nucleus whose contents you never knew. Oh, luv, it worries me to no end… He did his Dramatic Worry Expression. Not the first case of Bot Fevah these weeks, no… Not as rare as you might think, saw a lot loike it in me asteroiding days. But this is more than barmy – gonna need a little change of plans, hmm… Don't worry though, I’ll keep an eye on it. Do have a little on me and tryta get some zeds lata, awkay? He then poured me a snifter of That Brandy. Unbelievable. And no, I didn’t get some zeds afterwards, even if I possibly wanted it.

‘Cause the moment I left the Hi-O building Matty the Supervisor came running to me saying some other horrible crap had happened. In all my years as a Junior Secretary, I had seen a lot of horrible crap. Of course – not so many homicidal bot-related and not so many on such a quick succession, but nonetheless, I was kinda ready. Kinda.

The sight, I didn’t go insta-bonkers at it. Weirdass glyphs, sleek and sinister figures doing untellable acts… drawn in blood along the shed’s walls. Standard wacko procedure, could be synth blood for all I knew… But then I learned of the miner’s fate. Someone shoved him in the crushers, and then he was milled and had whatever remaining red nothing of him discarded as mere gangue by the magnetic separators… that, people, screwed me up pretty good. And to add the cherry atop the poo poo cake, there was little blood on the remains. That’s right. A loving exsanguination had just taken place. That’s not something a goddamn PLAB can do. They don’t even have the AI for that.

No, I have no idea who slash what did it. By then I didn’t care to investigate, anyway. Just wanted to get out. So, we called up a meeting. Matty got his guys and some other guys… not a lot, though – there were quite a few rifts among Settlement’s Supervisors… and I told them Tri-Stan’s very calming insight on the then current events. That was enough to convince them to lay low – given our Brave Leader’s known history, nobody was foolish enough to believe he’d actually do something this time, other than to call an official investigation, blah blah… Plus, for all the rioting and striking we could possibly do, there were the security bots… Those things are scary. I’ve read the efficiency reports. Nobody wanted to die just to maybe tickle Trismegistus a little, so we decided to at least try to stick together during the operations the coming days. Thought I could do a little of the bureaucratic magic and slowly move us out to a more remote excavation site, from which we could one happy day skedaddle to the docks, then to hell with Mars…

But we managed zilch. Tri-Stan kept us at the old site. The crazy bot site. And in a Dunno Whether to Cry or Laugh measure, he actually added more personnel to it. And it grew day by the day, bots growing shakier, even the miners who weren’t all that well-informed just feeling something as they Swiss-cheesed their way into oblivion… One day Tri-Stan seemed very happy. It was I think the third week within this new policy of his, and nearly all of Settlement’s people and equipment were being used at the site… suffice to say mining accidents and muffled screams in the distance weren’t infrequent. We had received this vid-memo with the Man Himself announcing an upcoming visit the next morning. And there he was the following day, sharp as pencil, a very well-oiled one… he watched from his sec-bot escort as Matty’s boys prepped the concentrated nitrate-mix charges, in just another routine procedure… and BLAM, another cave was opened.

We all kept close as guys from other groups went in, lasered around a little, directed the PLABs to some of the bigger boulders… One, two, five minutes, nothing unusual…

It came silently. Some of the miners stopped their work abruptly, turned around and reached for their closest comrades… Some of these comrades were thrown off by the change, but reacted slowly – it could be just a joke, after all… a little yell here, a little laugh there… then the screaming started… and then it grew louder… some of ours also succumbed, as we clung in a panicked cluster, trying to keep distance from anything that wasn’t us… I’ll never forget the sight – the ore glowing, smiling Trismegistus holding a piece upwards, yes this finally his voice said, men and women naked around him, unclothing him, drawing blood and, and – lava flowing in little streams from the hole, illuminating that, that… Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, the side of it that’s just… wrong… on the females… cauterizing, mutilation... metal, flesh… lust… laugh, cry, laugh…

I… I... We made a run for it… yes… I’m afraid we had to use our equipment for… lethal purposes. The more we ran, the more our group seemed to dwindle… They got Matty and a couple more men and they joined in their howling… then there was only me and Johnson. As we were about to enter the tunnels toward Settlement, Johnson turned back and gave the site one last look… That look followed him through the desert streets of Settlement, breaking the silence as he mumbled; it followed him as we made our way to the docks, inside the craft as we took off… And as you may have seen, it still follows him.

Yes, I understand the consequences of my actions. Hold me back, imprison me if you have to, do your examinations, whatever. Just hear this word I’ll say right now – distance. I want out. …what, do I have a sample of the mineral? Are you… really? How can you even ask that? Listen – listen – no, you stay quiet – don’t you ever do psych profiles? Where’s the profit in giving the controls to a madman? What do you mean “his skills were an asset to the corp”? Are you all fuckin – hey! Hey –

Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

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

Like a Wrecking Ball 1080 words

"Give it back Ma-ma. I'm sorry Ma-ma, give it back!"

“Cut!” yelled the angry director from offstage. “What the gently caress was that, Carlos?”

Carlos’s cheeks flushed and he stammered. “I was trying to lend some sophistication to my characte-”

The director was now in Carlos’ face, his knuckles white as he clenched his clipboard. “No, you’re wasting my time.” He jabbed Carlos in the chest with a finger. “Stick to the script, that’s what we’re paying you for. Your character is mentally handicapped, so give that to me!” The director turned and walked back to his chair. He muttered obscenities to himself until he sat down. “Action!”

Carlos felt the shame wash over him. His family would have never approved of him taking the part, but he hadn’t been able to find work for so long.

He exhaled in preparation. At once, he took his character persona; eyes crossed, upper lip pulled high over his teeth and his arm crooked to his chest.

“Nuuu!” said Carlos, choking on the dust as he wailed. “Ma-muh! Give back Ma-muuuh!” His wails were more of a caricature of what a real person with a mental handicap was. He tried to act the character differently but the director has his vision and god forbid he have any say in it.

Carlos became the character. The stage became alive. It transformed into the extravagant ballroom the stage could never be. People faded into existence and they raced in panic; the mob of dancers tried to shove their way to the exits. He fought his way through the crowd.

The ballroom bucked violently and the chandeliers dropped from the ceiling. They did not shatter when they hit the ground, instead, they stopped instantly; inertia gave way to the fantastical elements. The chandeliers slowly made their way to the center of the dance floor, swirling in the whirlpool of frozen chairs, tables and well-dressed people.

Carlos wanted wanted to help his mother, Astor, but fear clamped his muscles and he couldn't think. What was he to do? What could he do? One moment everyone was dancing and the next the floor turned to quicksand. When the dancers reached the center, they vanished.

Carlos had to do something, anything. He bit his lip. The pain freed him from his paralysis. He leaned into a run. At the precipice of the maelstrom, he lept. When his feet touched the ground again, the scene ended and Carlos was back on stage.

* * *

“Five minutes, Carlos!” said a stagehand.

Carlos looked up from his laptop and waved at the woman. “I’ll be right there.” He turned back to his Skype call with his older brother. “Sergio, you’re excited about the movie, but I don’t think you should see it.”

“I don’t care how bad the movie is. I support all your movies,” said Sergio.

“It’s not that the movie is bad, which is probably will be, it’s that the director is forcing me to make Down syndrome look so insulting. I just… I don’t want you to-”

“I don’t care. I’m a grown up, you won’t hurt my feelings. I’m watching the movie!” said Sergio, defiant with a large grin on his face.

Carlos couldn’t help but to laugh. “Alright, you win. You can go the premiere.” He stood up and stooped over the laptop, sliding the cursor to hover over the ‘End Call’ button. “But remember, you asked for this when I tried to spare you. Love you,” he said. He ended the call with a smile on his face.

* * *

The ballroom had changed. It was now a nightclub with neon lights cutting through the smoky room and a powerful bass thumping through his chest. He hobbled forward on unsteady feet, staring at a sea of people all dressed exactly the same way. Everyone wore skimpy one piece suits and a ‘Number #1’ foam finger on their left hand.

It would have been impossible to find his mother in this crowd if it wasn’t for the large wrecking ball that swung overhead. Carlos shouted for his mother, but Astor couldn’t hear him over the music.

Carlos looked around, trying to figure out how to reach his mother. At the front of the club, next to the DJ’s platform, was a steel ladder leading up to the walkways. He pushed his way to the edge of the dance floor and froze when he saw his reflection. Only it wasn’t him. It couldn’t be him. He had black hair, but his reflection had blonde hair wrapped up tightly into two pigtail buns on his head. His make-up was heavy and he felt the sudden urge to dance.

He shook his head and blinked multiple times. Nope, he still looked crazy. Carlos didn’t understand what was going on, but he knew he didn’t have much time.

Carlos struggled up the ladder. He tried removing his foam finger, but right after he took his eyes off his hand it was there again. He rolled himself on to the steel catwalk. He then hooked his arm over the chain rail to keep himself steady as he pulled himself to his feet.

He walked slowly; his sudden fear of heights was very real. When he looked below to see where his mother was, his vision swam and he lost his balance for a moment. He dropped to his knees and steadied himself against the rail. He looked down and saw his mother swinging on the wrecking ball.

A feeling of dread overcame him. How was he supposed to get down and help his mother? He peeked his head out and shouted down at her. Again, no response. “It’s all futile,” said Carlos. He stood up, stuck his tongue out and twerked.

“Cut!” The director’s voice brought Carlos back to reality. “I like that last line. It’s not the actual line, but I like it better.” He clapped Carlos on the shoulder. “You’re good, we don’t need you for the rest of the day.”

* * *

“The movie was poo poo,” said Sergio. He shook his head at his younger brother.

“Dude, I warned you and you didn’t listen!” Carlos protested, throwing his hands up.

“Your acting was poo poo! It was like watching a puppet up there.”


“I could have done a much better job,” said Sergio with a grin. “You could have been my stunt double.”

“You’re something else. Wanna get some food?”

“Only if you’re buying. You owe me for making me sit through that movie.”


May 23, 2008

Type 1 DM - Word count: 250

C.M. Douglas was sent careening when the cyclist’s bike hit a rock. He was glad that spacewasstillthere b e t w e e n him and the landing, giving him time to pull off an acrobatic display that made the crowd go wild. To the judges of Kalamawea cross-country performance eating, the destination was more important than the journey. His head bobbed like an overstuffed bird’s as the cyclist’s face disappeared down the hatch and he wiped the corners of his mouth with a flourish. Bonus points for swallowing after dismount. This is what earned him the Americium, he learned later.

“Mr. Douglas! How does it feel to win for your home planet?” panted the first wiry, green reporter to accost the fuzzy, blue C.M. after the ceremony.

He replied with the first word that came to mind, thinking of the shiny medal hanging off his neck. “Heavy,” he said. “It is a great responsibility. I did it for the kids back home.” It seemed more appropriate than “radioactive.”

“Did you choose your new performance sport because of your recent diagnosis?” waved another recorder among the several encircling him now.

“White meat has lots of protein. I like promoting a healthy diet…” C.M. mumbled.

Many new questions followed, but C.M. glazed over and parted the swarm with a wave.

Many streets later, he called his chauffeur to stop aside a monitor display, his eyes drifting wistfully over stock footage of educational show reruns depicting a wild-eyed C.M. enjoying sweeter times.

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