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  • Locked thread
Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Mr_Wolf posted:

Block 89 1249 words

I push the gun into her head. I feel her push back so I kick her hard in the bottom of her spine. The base of her neck was glistening with sweat, her ponytail was matted with blood. Joey didn't like her tone when we came into the house so he produced a full-stop to her sentence in the shape of a swift smack with the bottom of a 9mm pistol.

The house has no carpet. The walls have mould with more life than half the residents in the block and the dust has settled in all the areas it could.

Her daughter was motionless on the couch clutching a yellow bear with one eye. Behind her sat the orange skyline of Block 89. The huge skyscrapers bursting out of the ground almost like fingers reaching for something better.

The soles of her feet are black. I don't know why I am so upset by this. I tell her to get down and go and wait in her room. She jumps up and in a flash is gone. I see a fresh looking wound on her arm as she goes past. Looks like someone had carved “mine” into her.

“It's been four days Louis. We need to see some of the money”

Joey usually did all of the talking. I wanted to keep my mouth shut, literally at times with the squalor we have to do our work in.

“I have some.” She nods towards a Buddha statue place on the fireplace.

I pop the head off and immediately see a roll of money that was going to mean nobody is going home any time soon.

“It's all I could get, please. I'll get more by next Wednesday. I need to get Lexi working more”

Lexi - her 12-year-old daughter – was known to be working for Louis. I often saw Louis dragging her from door to door of the Block 89 offering her around. Most turned them away. Other times the door stayed open and the two eventually faded into the darkness of the house as the door closed behind them.

I hated these jobs; too much emotion and very little reward. Joey and I had been working together for about 3 years. He can hold his drink and a conversation so I didn't argue with the pairing.

We floated around freelance for a while; hearing jobs in the underground pubs off Block 12, posting cards in the immigrant offices whoring ourselves out whoever could pay. lovely jobs from lovely people. We are good at our jobs so eventually Tony invited us to work for him. Tony owned Block 89 and everyone in it.

The thing with Tony is he liked little girls. He liked to hurt them. I heard some poo poo about how he liked to write his name onto their bodies with a hot knife. I was about ready to shoot this gently caress in the face when I heard but Joey reminded me what was outside of the Block. He was right of course but I didn't like it.

Unfortunately a few days ago Lexi went to see Tony. This meeting didn't go to plan and a refund was requested. We are here now to get it.

“Please, I haven't anything more right now. Why don't you go into her room and have some fun for a while? She isn't very experienced but you can do anything you want to her. She doesn't make a sound.”

I feel the base of my throat become hot with bile. I want to be sick all over this woman. I want to go home and go to sleep and dream of a place away from here.

BLAM

I mustn’t have put the safety on while searching the house. I haven't been sleeping lately I suppose. That must be it.

Louis' head burst open down the left side, some of her teeth protruded through the hole in her cheek and her tongue was twitching in her blood filled mouth. I kneel down and brush her wet hair away from her eyes.

“What the actual gently caress have you done? Jesus. She's loving dead.”

Louis' pulse collar started to beep, we knew we didn't have much time before the alarm sounded. We needed to get her out of here: an unwarranted death would lead to our bounty collector licenses being revoked and a nice 12 month stint up in Tower 2.

“Get the girl.”

poo poo, Lexi. I knew we had to take her with us; she was a witness and I didn't want her to be left alone either. I knocked on her door and beckoned her out. Her eyes didn't leave the floor as she came to me. She saw her Mum's corpse and I swear for a second I saw a flicker of a smirk.

I hear Joey's gun click behind me. I turn around and feel the wind of a bullet fly past me. A soft fleshy thud makes me turn back towards Lexi. Joey had shot her in the neck. I feel a warm shower of blood up my neck and onto my face. Her eyes meet mine and I catch her before she collapses.

“Joey. Man, what the gently caress are you doing? poo poo.”

Joey wipes the sweat from his forehead and picks Louis' body up.

“C'mon man, we have to get her out of here. They'll think it was robbery or some paedo poo poo or..i don't loving know man, let's go.”

Louis' pulse collar was beeping faster. Every resident over 16 in the Blocks had to have a pulse collar. The crime rate had dropped by 62% in the 3 years they were introduced. If a person's heart rate drops to zero and stays there for 5 minutes an alarm is sounded, the whole floor is shut down and the local block police are called.

I put my finger into the gaping hole in her pale neck. It stemmed the blood slightly but she needs a medic. Lexi's face was glistening with sweat, the orange hue of the dawn sky lit half of her face up. She looked beautiful.

“I'm not going.”

“Get up.” Joey said, switching our radio channel off at the same time. “Come on. Up”

“You shot a kid Joe. A loving child.”

Doors began to open down the corridor. The bleeping loudly fills the air.

“I can't leave without you. I need you to fix this. They'll send me back, I can't leave her here alive.”

“Then shoot me Joey, I can't leave her. It's not right.”

Lexi began to convulse, dark clumps of blood began to ooze from her mouth. She was already dead but I couldn't leave her. She grabs my hand and I pick her up and rest her body against the wall, I pull her legs over mine and scoot underneath to support her. Her nightie has ridden up over her bruised legs. I pull it down.

The beeping from Louis' collar begins to beep so fast it becomes a constant high-pitched screech. Joey pulls his gun up and aims it towards me. He drops Louis' body to my feet and smiles.

“You went crazy. I'd never seen you like this. You started shooting.”

Joey shoots himself in the leg. He drops to the floor.

“I tried to stop you. I didn't want to, man...but.”

He lifts his gun up towards me. I turn to Lexi. She has gone. Who was going to stay with me?

*Bleep*

*Bleep*

*Ble*

Y's the broad named Louis?

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crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


:siren: first round of crits from last week. :siren:

Newbies be warned: if you write a terrible story with no point, this might happen to you.


Muffin:

You spend too much time describing this thing I know is a lawnmower. You don’t need to convince me. I’ll trust that they have no idea what the gently caress it is, and I pretty much expect them to turn it on. You should spend a few of those words on your characters. Fela is just a cardboard cutout “beautiful woman.” You should show me exactly what Bok finds attractive, and what these flowers he needs mean.

The middle of your story is weighed down a bit by overly-physical descriptions. Flan is a useless character I know nothing about. Why does Bok insult the religious man so freely? You say that Nuggtugg regularly proclaims thing evil or whatever, but does this annoy Bok or what? You just tell me it as a fact.

The blue flowers shooting out the back is really confusing. We pretty much evolved for being able to spot shapes and colors at distance, so it’s hard to suspend my disbelief that he didn’t see the patch of blue flowers until he ran them over. And I only know they’re literal flowers because you writersplained it to me in IRC. Before that, the other judges and I were mucho confused as to what they could be. So if they’re shooting out the back, how exactly does he reach his hand down to collect them and get gobbled up? Don’t most lawn mowers have a safety shut off switch where you let go and it shuts off?

Finally, your ending. Why? Bok gets chopped up and the shaman has a one liner. This doesn’t accomplish much. There’s no significance to these actions. No foreshadowing or change. Just things happen to some characters :dealwithit:

This story had a lot of plot holes, but relative for the week it was solid. In another week I think it would not have warranted notice, and I think this could have been made much better with some more time and character development.

Would I hit this story over the head with a club and drag it back to my cave:
Yes, but only because all the other stories already have head wounds.

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Inthesto:
Your first two paragraphs are boring bickering, and I don’t know what the story is about. Cut and start with “Always stuck in the past.”

I don’t think it’s cowardly to be floored/confused/awed by unknown technology. If a dude comes up to me, tells me he controls the weather, and then starts making loud booms, I’d be pretty impressed (if not skeptical). You focus a lot of this character trait, but it doesn’t follow logically.

I also didn’t realize that the horses were making the thunder. You didn’t give me any info that Ivan was a trickster or not telling the truth. With so many genre stories, you really must let me in on the joke that Ivan is a cunning strategist engaged in psychological warfare, or it flies right over my head. “Ivan had won many battles through trickery.” would do it.

I don’t think running horses create enough of a breeze ahead of them to bend grass. That’s a silly and pointless description. You could say “seemed to” or made it a little more abstract then it’d be good, but right now it’s so matter-of-fact.

The ending has no meaning since I never knew they were fighting over who would be chief. In fact, I don’t know their motivations for all this bickering until the very end. So he’s fighting his clanspeople? The domestication of horses and archery isn’t really caveman times. This reads more like a medieval story. And since we didn’t even know that the “technology” was supposed to be domestication (I didn’t realize that horses were a new thing to the world, just thought this guy had no cavalry) it seemed like you dodged the prompt by writing a medieval period piece. Work more communicating your ideas to your readers, and guiding them along with your train of thought.

Would I hit this story over the head with a club and drag it back to my cave:
No, I heard it has lice.

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

Roguelike:
“prevailing over them all with a splatter” there are two things. Don’t use all.

“waiting day and night” how long has this been going on?

“always made her feel better” weak

“The room suddenly began to shake” -> The room shook

Your story is good. I feel like you could lengthen this out quite a bit an explain a few more things, like exactly what this portal is (is it natural? man/god-made?), how long as this been going on, why are these people still coming through after hundreds of years? I assume it’s some sort of “life-raft” or escape. maybe a prison? Why send women and children through. It’s ok not knowing ALL of these answers, but you need to sprinkle just a few more clues, so that even if Urga doesn’t understand, we do. Sort of a nod and wink to us, the modern reader. Just like the silver leather makes us assume they are some sort of 1970’s spacemen, give us a few more clues.

I’d also love to read what happens when she gets to the other side, so if you are ever lacking ideas or what to make a sequel, I’d read it. Good job.

Would I hit this story over the head with a club and drag it back to my cave:
Oh baby, I’d club this story so hard, there’d be more than one rock in my cave tonight.

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

The Leper Colon V:


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

Purple Prince:
Oh poo poo son, you started your story talking about the sun. You done hosed up. DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE UNLEASHED?

SPITTLE-FILLED LINE-BY-LINE MODE ENGAGED

The sun was gone. gently caress YOU NO IT WASN’T. DON’T LIE TO ME. A dead lightIMPOSSIBLE. HOW THE gently caress CAN A LIGHT BE DEAD? IT IS EITHER LIGHT OR IT ISN’T. PERHAPS YOU MEANT TO SAY “DYING” BUT YOU DIDN’T SAY THAT. YOU SAID DEAD LIGHT. I THINK YOU MEAN DARKNESS filtered from beyond the crest of the hill THIS IS NOT HOW FILTERS WORK. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU. THIS IS HOW SHADOWS WORK, AND ALSO WALLS., and Dolon saw glimmers of rising embers. HOW THE gently caress DO YOU SEE A GLIMMER OF EMBER. THAT MAKES NO SENSE. ALSO SENSING VERBS. JUST TELL ME EMBERS ROSE INTO THE SKY AND THEN TELL ME ABOUT YOUR STUPIDLY NAMED CHARACTER. Around him the grass was thick and lush WHAT THE gently caress DOES THIS MEAN? ARE YOU SURE HE ISN’T LOOKING AT PUBES?, and the hums of bees BEES GO TO SLEEP BEFORE SUNSET OR ELSE THEY DIE and songs of birds BIRDS STOP SINGING BEFORE SUNSET. MAYBE YOU ARE THINKING OF SUNRISE? clashedwith the rumbles and cracks OMINOUS SOUNDS COME FROM OVER A RIDGE, ARE OUTDONE BY SIMPLE PEACEFUL SOUNDS OF EVERY DAY LIFE. WHAT A BUNCH OF lovely SOUNDS. from over the ridge WHERE THE WORLD’S SHITTIEST VOLCANO WAS. He gripped his spear tighter. SO YOUR WHOLE OPENING PARAGRAPH OF A <500 WORD STORY IS TRYING TO SET THE MOOD THAT IT IS SUNSET AND THERE IS A VOLCANO IN THE DISTANCE? AND YOU DIDN’T DO THIS IN ONCE SENTENCE WHY? I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER OTHER THAN HE LIKES SQUEEZING LONG HARD OBJECTS. MMMM BABY SQUEEZE IT.

It shouldn't have been like this.I KNOW THAT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING That was why they'd sent him.HOLY poo poo I’M BORED. STOP YANKING MY DICK AND JUST SPIT IT OUT. The Priestess of Rhea LOL SCI FI NAME had fallen ill a week ago BOO FUCKIN’ HOO. THANKS FOR TELLING ME, and would only wake up to scream and shudder LOL. I LIKE THAT SHE AWAKES AND SCREAMS, WHICH IS TERRIFYING, BUT THEN GETS GOOSEBUMPS AND SHAKES A LITTLE. USE A STRONGER WORD, LIKE CONVULSES, IF YOU’RE NOT A SACK OF poo poo. ALSO THIS IS CALLED SHOW AND TELL. YOU TELL ME SHE’S SICK, AND THEN YOU SHOW ME SHE’S SICK. JUST CUT OUT THE TELLING PART YOU IDIOT. . She'd been lucid just long enough to describe the desolation HOW GOD drat CONVENIENT.

He scrabbled TRIPLE WORD SCORE MOTHERFUCKER up a steep slope GOOD THING I KNOW HIS ABILITY TO CLIMB HILLS IS UNENCUMBERED BY HIS LONG HARD SPEAR and was panting when he reached the crest of the hill.THIS WHOLE SENTENCE IS WASTED BULLSHIT. I DON’T CARE ABOUT HOW HE CLIMBS A HILL AND BREATHES HEAVILY, UNLESS ASTHMA FEATURES HEAVILY INTO THIS STORY. The wastes extended to the horizon. Where once had stood a brave forest THE ENTS FROM LOTR?, there were now only blackened stumps. In the remains of a glade WAIT I THOUGHT THERE WERE ONLY STUMPS? YOU loving LIED TO ME AGAIN GOD DAMMIT stood the altar of Rhea OH YEAH, THE SCI FI CHICK THAT IS SICK. AND ALSO A GODDESS?, blackened by the fires that had razed the woods. REDUNDANT BORING BULLSHIT The ground was grey with sandy ash, which drifted through the cool air like dead smoke WHAT IS IT WITH YOU AND loving DEAD poo poo? JUST SAYING AN INANIMATE OBJECT IS DEAD DOES NOT MAKE YOU A loving POET. STOP DOING THAT UNLESS IT MAKES SENSE.. A gentle breeze threw a handful of ash into his face.I JUST WANT TO GO ON RECORD SAYING THAT THE WIND IS A JERK, AND ALSO THAT I WISH IT WAS YOUR FACE INSTEAD He choked on it and blinked back the tears. HAHA. WHAT A CRYBABY

For a moment Dolon was paralysed. FOR REALS? poo poo HIS FACE IS REAL SENSITIVE Then he scrambled down toward the altar. HAHA. HE CLIMBED THAT HILL FOR loving NOTHING. As he entered the ring of trees, he heard a crunch WEAK WORD CHOICE, POINTLESS SENSING VERB like someone treading on a twig THIS MAY BE THE WORLDS SHITTIEST SIMILE. He turned toward the sound, but there was nothing there.

The altar was split. LIKE, THIS HAPPENED JUST NOW AND WAS THE CAUSE OF THE SOUND? OR IT’S BEEN LIKE THAT. WHO THE gently caress KNOWS. A long scar ran across it and extended down deep into the earth. HOW DOES HE KNOW THIS? The stench of decay mingled with the smell of burnt embers. WHY? WHAT THE gently caress DOES THIS SYMBOLIZE? DID IT ALWAYS STINK? OR IS THE STINK FROM THE CRACK? WHAT THE gently caress IS THE POINT OF THIS ALTER? WHY IS HE GUARDING IT? I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO loving IDEA WHY THIS STORY IS HAPPENING. He gazed at the crack LOL. THIS SOUNDS STUPID. and tried to blink back the tears.GOD, HE’S STILL CRYING? Then he saw it.STOP TELLING ME WHAT HE SAW AND SMELT AND HEARD AND RAN UP From underneath the altar oozed a black substance. THAT’S PROBABLY WHERE THE FART SMELL IS COMING FROM. It gleamed, lovely WORD CHOICE and seemed to crawl away from his stare SO IN REALITY IT JUST SAT THERE AND DID NOTHING WHILE MR. BORING STARTED AT IT. GREAT. . He bent down and dipped one finger in it. OH HEY THIS MYSTERIOUS BLACK OOZE THAT SMELLS LIKE poo poo IS LEAKING OUT OF THIS IMPORTANT ALTAR WHILE OMINOUS BOOMS COME FROM OVER THE RIDGE AND APPARENTLY ALSO THERE ARE BEES HUMMING IN A WASTELAND WITH NO FLOWERS I SHOULD PROBABLY STICK MY FINGER IN IT

The pain was unbearable. I LITERALLY FEEL NO SYMPATHY FOR HIM. ALSO SHOW, DON’T TELL. It was everywhere, burning in his flesh, paining his spirit LOL JUST READ THIS OUT LOUD. IMAGINE YOU GO TO THE DOCTOR AND HE SHOWS YOU ONE OF THOSE CHARTS OF “HOW SEVERE IS YOUR PAIN” AND YOU SAY “IT’S PAININ’ MY SPIRIT, DOC!” HE’D PROBABLY DIAGNOSE YOU WITH STUPID AND THEN DIE OF LAUGHTER.. For a moment he understood how the Priestess felt.WHAT? HOW? HOW THE gently caress DOES HE EVEN KNOW HER? WHAT THE gently caress. WAIT, IS SHE JUST LAYING ON THE ALTER ALL SICK AND HE’S RUNNING UP HILLS AND TOUCHING THE POOP WATER? THIS GUY IS THE WORST GUARD EVER. He fell, gasping, onto the ashen earth DUDE I GOT IT, IT’S loving ASHY AND THERE WAS A FIRE. MOVE THE gently caress ON– just as he heard another crunch LOL WITH YOU AND YOUR GOD drat CRUNCHING. . This time he couldn't move. OH. HOW EXCITING. A TOTALLY PASSIVE CHARACTER. HE JUST LAYS THERE AND STUFF HAPPENS TO HIM. THIS IS HOW YOU WRITE A GOOD STORY. I WAS BEING SARCASTIC IN CASE YOU COULDN’T TELL.

He was hoisted into the air. OH IT’S HIS BAR MITZVAH, SWEET. A strong arm yanked him around IT’S TOTALLY RELEVANT HOW STRONG THE ARM IS THAT WHIPS HIM AROUND. THAT’S SARCASM AGAIN, IN CASE YOU’RE DENSE, and he stared into a face that was not a face. WAS IT ALSO A BUTT THAT WASN’T A BUTT AND A TRACTOR THAT WASN’T A TRACTOR? PLEASE TELL ME ALL THE OTHER THINGS IT WASN’T Its flesh glinted like polished stone. SO LIKE, A ROBOT OR A ROCK GOLEM OR SOMETHING?Two great wings protruded on either side of its bearded jaw UH. IT HAS WINGS COMING OUT OF ITS HEAD? WHAT THE gently caress? WHY? and left only narrow slits for its eyes, which glowed with pale blue fire. OH GOOD IT’S ONLY PALE BLUE FIRE. IF IT HAD BEEN BRIGHT RED FIRE OR DULL YELLOW FIRE WE’D BE IN TROUBLE HERE, BUT PALE BLUE FIRE DEFINITELY MEANS SOMETHING TO ME AND ISN’T JUST SOME RANDOM COLOR YOU PICKED

He slammed his foot against its chest OH GOOD I GUESS HE ISN’T PARALYZED ANYMORE. IT WAS ONLY TEMPORARY PARALYSIS. SO THE BLACK FART GOOP ONLY EXISTED TO MAKE HIM FALL OVER SO A POORLY DESIGNED WINGHEAD ROBOT COULD SNEAK UP ON HIM AND PICK HIM UP. and grunted with pain as a loud clang rang out. THERE IS LITERALLY NO REASON TO TELL ME THAT A LOUD CLANG RANG OUT. THIS ISN’T A GOD drat MOVIE SCRIPT, IT’S FICTION. DON’T GIVE ME poo poo THAT DOESN’T MATTER. The creature laughed; it almost sounded like a man. WHY IS IT LAUGHING? IS IT TICKLISH?

“τιμή,”GOOGLE TRANSLATE TELLS ME THIS MEANS PRICE. DON’T STICK RANDOM rear end WEIRD poo poo THAT NOBODY KNOWS WHAT IT MEANS INTO YOUR STORY, IT MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE A DICK. ALSO, EVEN THOUGH I TRANSLATED IT I STILL DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS BECAUSE YOU SUCK DICK AT EXPLAINING THINGS. it said, then lifted him above its head with one arm.
“τιμή,” it repeated, IT’S TOTALLY MORE USEFUL THE SECOND TIME as it raised its other arm. LOL. JUST IMAGINING THIS SCENE IN MY HEAD IT LOOKS SO STUPID. A GIANT ROBOT WITH FEATHERS ON ITS HEAD IS STANDING WITH A DUDE LIFTED ABOVE HIS HEAD AN HIS OTHER ARM IN THE AIR DOING NOTHING, LIKE HE’S ABOUT TO DIVE INTO THE SHALLOW END OF THE POOL A bulge protruded from its wrist, HIS WRIST GOT A BONER? and inside a small cavity glowed that same blue light. WHY DID HE HAVE TO LIFT HIM OVER HIS HEAD TO DO THIS. WHY NOT JUST WALK UP TO HIM WHEN HE WAS PARALYZED ON THE GROUND AND SHOOT HIM IN HIS STUPID FACE WITH THE GOD drat LASER?

Then the fire came and Dolon thought no more. THANK GOD.
-----------
Purple Prince…. your story… it had no point. Like, none at all. Why did you write this? A dude stands around and gets scared. some chick is sick and crazy. the dude hears some crunching, and then an alter shits out some strange liquid. he touches it, and then a robot comes and kills him. Why should I care? You’ve told me nothing of their motivations, the stakes, their background or culture. Did Dolan even want to live or was he happy to matyr himself for the princess? did his death save her, or was the robot from a race of evil robots hell bent on killing the princess. who the gently caress knows. I don’t think you know either, which is the worst thing a writer can do, write for no reason and without knowing what he’s writing about.

Would I hit this story over the head with a club and drag it back to my cave:
gently caress no! It is a mentally ill child, and I’m not a god-damned pervert!

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Obliterati:

Your story is weird. It’s filled with sciencey terms, which I think maybe is the sci-fi part of your story. If I’m correct, then it’s clever, but you didn’t pull it off well. Right now it just reads like some cavemen using words they would have absolutely no context for. Science is a man-made invention, a process with steps. Those words and ideas do not mean much in the absence of this.

What’s with all the random caps? Are these significant? Because it seems like you just did it for random nouns.

You have a story with three people talking and no dialogue attributions. I am confused who is talking some of the time. like this:

“No, not different. Is all Progress. Progress bring well more Progress. This established precept. Here is another Progress.” He waved the branch

I have no idea who he is because there is no name attached. You really need to watch out for this stuff. It’s clear in your head but not mine. It makes me do work, and that makes me angry and more likely to stop reading.

This is the second story with “a low rumble” coming from somewhere offscreen.

“He let the smaller ones pass. They were too fast for us anyway.”

Who? This would be better with “We let the smaller ones pass.”

“big beasts” - how big? elephants? deer? dinosaurs?

I’m a little confused by your story. He lit the forest on fire? And he had it timed perfectly so that the fire would burn in a certain direction and all the animals would come out at once? Since there are big beasts, that means they probably have a large roaming area, and since there were lots, it sounds like he burned down a huge forest very quickly. But we don't’ know how. Too much weird poo poo going on this story. Too many ideas for one <500 word story. Shoulda stuck with the invention of science, and not shoved other inventions in as well.

Would I hit this story over the head with a club and drag it back to my cave:
No, it reminds me of my sister.

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No Longer Flaky:

Uh I don’t want to crit this one because I hated it so much, but let me try to muster up a few words of advice.

“dying ululations” put down your thesaurus. this word doesn’t work here.

“The sun was just starting to peek “ you’re lucky PP wore out my spittle, or you’d be getting it right now.

“its bright rays shocked Grugs eyes” show don’t tell.

““All right, all right, fine. I’m getting up. “ lots of pointless dialogue that doesn’t do anything other than waste time/space. Stop writing “natural” dialogue and write interesting dialogue instead. more: “Sure,” “Wow,” “Yeah” “What, what is it?” “A- a- a- tiger.” “What? No- but- well.” “Wow,”

I don’t understand the point of your story. Some guys poo poo talk women and then the woman played a prank on him? Is this supposed to prove that women are equal to men? Because it’s not really comparable. Does this change his views about women?

I won’t even get started on the “candid camera” plot line, because that is just unfiltered stupid.

This story is very bad. It was very easy to pick it for loser.

Would I hit this story over the head with a club and drag it back to my cave:
No, because I respect stories and believe they have the right to say yes.

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Tyrannosaurus:

Your story maybe could have been good. It’s near the top of my “I didn’t like it” pile, which is better than a lot of the other stories this week.

This story tried to straddle the line between serious and funny. You did the funny parts better than the serious, but the serious stuff weighed it down and made it drag.

There was some stuff in the beginning about tenfingers that i didn’t care about, the stuff about the affair. Didn’t seem to matter to the overall plot of “oh poo poo i hope i don’t get sacrificed because of this stupid religion.”

At the end of the story I’m not sure how things are going to go. Was the spaceship killing them out of ‘self-defense’ because they were spearing it? because they hate violence? because they were protecting crooknose? because they were going to kill all of them anyway? You should give me a little hint of the motivations behind the flying saucer’s reason for being there.

Overall I like your writing style and enjoy reading your stuff. You have some macro problems but you’re doing decently for ‘dome standards and hope you continue.

Would I hit this story over the head with a club and drag it back to my cave:
Yeah, I’d club it, but I’d be ashamed in the morning and try to drag it back out.

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Fumblemouse:
Another top-of-the-middle story. Your biggest problem here is it’s really hard to tell exactly what the cavemen are hearing, and what is unintelligible to them, how the [asides] are coming across (are they audible?).

I get some of the names/races mixed up and I’m not really sure what is happening. I get it’s a first contact, but it’s all so muddled and not easy to follow.

The ending made me smirk, but there wasn’t enough build up to the blow ups. There wasn’t really any indication that that would happen. No talk of prophecy or doom or violence or past situations. Just deus ex boxina. Meh.

Would I hit this story over the head with a club and drag it back to my cave:
Maybe. If I was drunk or really lonely, but with no pressing reason I’d probably just go back to my cave and club myself.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


:siren: Bend, like schlong in storm: Dick Haiku results and inexplicable Vikings :siren:

You're all terrible. Writing a haiku isn't just about stringing together the correct number of syllables while stroking yourself off. As with all poetry, scansion matters. There's no artistry, no love of sound. There is however, a whole lot of penis. However, somebody's gotta walk away from this with a big smile on their face because they almost got allowed into the big boy tent.

The winner of this dick poetry contest, is, shockingly, a lady. Kaishai stomped all your asses. I'm guessing the dudes can't see their dilz under all their belly fat or something, so they just guessed what it looks like. The first two haiku are funny and flow well, the third is actually pretty beautiful in the wrong light. Is the PUA wearing a hat with horns on?

quote:

I

In 'conditioning,'
The PUA is subtle.
"Hello!" Points to schlong.

II

In search of more words
Thunderdome cries to heaven:
"Beef can eat a dick."

III

Our pens rise, proud, strong,
To spear the world with our words
And leave it replete.
Honourable Mention for inthesto, because he used the word 'dilz' and that's my favourite euphemism for penis. Also something something emotional honesty and insight into the true nature of goon.

quote:

Midnight, awoken
Sudden craving for bacon
Grease burns on my dilz

But for every day, there is a night. For every Tarkovsky there is a Boll and for every shuddering climax, there is a "this has never happened before!" Our loser committed the great sin of haiku writing: inefficiency. Like every bad white rapper ever, they thought that the way to make strong images was to just cram a bunch of random similes together with no thought for the images called forth. Those images that do work are horrible cliches we've seen a hundred times before. I did like the third but it doesn't count because a butt's not a genital. Congratulations Martello. I gift you your honourary dickhorse, on which you can ride off into the sunset and burn yourself to a loving crisp.

quote:

the fleshy curtains
fold wetly around the prize
a lovely rosebud

small and shriveled though
at times it rises long, hard
a battering ram

round, puckered, just like
the mouth of an old lady
making GBS threads is pleasurable
Dishonourable Mention goes to The Leper Colon V: the first one is actually pretty good, but then you had to come back and ram your head in the unflushed toilet like you always do.

quote:

Two balls and a bat
Without a catcher or mitt
I play sports alone

II
They grow off the trunk
The fruit of the lady tree
Two orbs, soft and plush

Point the first: tits aren't genitals. It wasn't that goddam hard. Secondly, cliche and overused imagery. Thirdly, it's just not very funny. The first one actually works pretty well in the same way inthesto's does: the flow is a little janky but there's a sense of progression that's pretty neat in such a small piece. It's a tiny story, which is hard to do with no few words. That's what pushed you out of the shitpit, so take it with a tiny glimmer of pride.

OTHERS

No Longer Flaky

quote:

I

One million men ride
The rocking boat into the
Fjord of certain death

II

The pecker pecked and
pecked and pecked furiously
Then dizzy- threw up

III

A bro says of ho
Is this her drink? I spike with
Roofies- easy sex
Whoa you have a huuuuuge pussy. If millions of men in boats are getting lost in there, you probably have a condition. Stop writing poetry and see a doctor immediately. I would've like a little more coherency with this set: the image of tiny pussy vikings desperately trying to stop the vagina-monster swallowing their longship is hilarious, and I want more of it.

crabrock

quote:

Raw beef: quarter pound.
Usually eat it well-done;
got blood on my nose.

got two urethras.
no big deal but my pee forks.
forks: effect and cause.

penis waves in wind
inviting all to come play
then bites like angry snake
Whoa man there is something very wrong with your dick. Maybe you can gently caress No Longer Flaky and your biting snake dick will devour the pussy longships that she has. Then you can name your dick Jörmungandr and ask ladies if they wanna try 'slay the dragon'. Second two are alright, but the first is confusing: I'm not sure what 'raw beef' is meant to be and none of the options really work. It's either a really, really hosed up pussy or an even more hosed up rear end in a top hat. Either way 'raw beef' doesn't work.

Erogenous Beef

quote:

Blade-dulling jungle
Crotchbrambles hide my monkey
I hate manscaping
Me too, man. :smith:

In closing, Martello leaves us with somewhat of a zen koan, and a decent summary of Thunderdome to date

quote:

Are buttholes genitals? Sure

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Cocksman and cockshund
Meaty-Bone is given, ah!
Harmony and bliss

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


quote:

Cocksman and cockshund
Meaty-Bone is given, ah!
Harmony and bliss
If you'd written like this earlier, I wouldn't have had to whoop you.

Week LVIX entry

My first attempt was a complete failure and times is running low in the weird timezones of the world (gotta sleep sometime, then work in the morning), but I'm not so weak-willed as to just drop out. I've remade a classic in blank verse, and changed the ending a little so it fits the prompt.





The harrow and the plow

Two boys, whose love meant naught to folk from town
were forced apart by man's cold hands, then sought
to find again the love which blossomed true.

They lay an inch apart on floors within
a bunker; empty, fallen to decay.
The cleaner knew. He planned, and watched, their ends.

“riCHARD!” said James, “our love will never die!”
How wrong he proved himself in days to come.

--

“I made a video!” said Fletcher, smug
“You'll suck my dick, or you'll soon regret your
liason!” -

“Kill him,” James said. “Hide the corpse
beneath the school, so they think he's a perv.”
He smote with speed, with a brick in a sock.

--

“You killed a man!” 'CHARD howled. “I'll never talk
to you again! I'll walk the land for all
of time and never for-get this great shame.”

He roams the hills, riCHARD the queer. He walks
from dusk to dawn through dale. He howls “My love!
You betrayed me!” and will for all his days.

Play
Apr 25, 2006

So I roll with the rolling thunder
And I howl with the howling wind
And I drift downstream
For as long as it takes
To get up and around the bend


Entry for Thunderdome LXXIV: Y Tu Thunderdome!?

Word Count: 801

Where It Went Wrong

Sometimes she is positive that what happened between them was preordained, an inevitability of their prior trajectories, mutually hopeless parabolas. That there was never any possibility of things ending up different from the way they did. Other times she explores her memories, searching for the source, searching for one decision or one comment or one scene or one aspect. Searching for the reason why everything started to go from good to bad. She worries at the memories like a new scar, uncomfortable and itchy but not as painful as it once was. Instead of pain there is hate and frustration.

If the resulting disaster was never in question, then obviously it began when they first met. She was a girl fresh out of her small town in the middle of the country, diving headfirst into the freedoms and possibilities of independent life. He was a clever boy just starting at a good university, carrying two ounces of cocaine which he excitedly explained would serve as seed money and ensure a comfortable college lifestyle. He shared it out generously to her and others that night, all of them talking excitedly of their new lives and the futures they might hold.

Eventually it was just the two of them, sharing their stories in a frenzied rush that could never last. At that point it felt like it could. She was beautiful, and eager, and not without her own intrigue. But he was so exciting. He had lived in other countries, spoke foreign languages, done dangerous things and consorted with unpredictable people. He had a dark, acquisitive nature which no amount of experiences seemed to satisfy. To her he seemed brim-full with potential. She was already in love.

Perhaps the moment everything was set in motion was two nights later, when they took ecstasy and slept together for the first time. They told each other and themselves that they were in love. But where else is hate born than from the midst of love? And their love was so strong in that first year, a powerful magic which could close any wound, soften any confrontation.

“You are the thing I've been searching for, the thing that I have needed all my life to satisfy me,” he told her one night. She believed him unquestioningly and it made her feel amazing to be valued in such a powerful way. Now she is disgusted with her naivete.

Maybe the pivotal moment was countless long nights and many shuddering orgasms later, when they decided to move in together. This was only logical. It was the next step, they figured. A stepping-stone on the way to some unspoken but imagined blissful future, one where they would live together in domestic satisfaction. Not having roommates would also allow the ever-increasing drug-dealing to go more smoothly.

One night, on a powerful mix of narcotics and stimulants, they had a threesome with the girl’s best friend, who at the time was living on their couch. Although then she was excited by it, the girl concedes that this was possibly a mistake. Especially considering the series of mutual betrayals that came later.

By the time he caught her sleeping with his best friend the crucial moment had certainly already passed. He had by this point begun using heroin frequently and he never wanted to go out and party like they used to, instead preferring to sit around the apartment. She figures that it wasn't a big surprise she got bored and wanted something else. He certainly felt differently.

He always had a way with words, but now the same eloquence which would always cheer her up through laughter or fascination was turned against her. Their arguments were knife-fights: brutal, up-close, and intensely personal. She likes to think she gave as good as she got. She smiles an ugly smile at the thought.

The last month, forced to continue cohabiting due to rental conditions, was the worst. Their shared space was a miasma of guilt and hate and crushing sadness. His not-inconsiderable drug use seemed to triple. He blamed her for most everything, but it's obvious to her that it was his fault.

She sits there, thinking of him. She thinks of the good times and the bad times. She wonders how long it will be before she stops hating him. And how long after that before she stops loving him.

She knows that there must have been some turning point, or some underlying aspect of their relationship which made certain it would end up as it did. However, she can never seem to put her finger on it.

Hoping to break out of her painful reminiscences, she leans forward to have a quick line. The resulting rush, diamond-hard and pleasant, does seem to help. So she has another.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

If you'd written like this earlier, I wouldn't have had to whoop you.

:cedric: "gurrah, shitpost is as shitpost does, guv'na"


Shouldn't the title of this week be "Et Tu Thunderdome?"

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Last Words
1108 words


http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=1380&title=Last+Words

crabrock fucked around with this message at 16:00 on Jan 13, 2014

Lily Catts
Oct 17, 2012

Show me the way to you
(Heavy Metal)


In exile
1109 words

Cairn's father bought something unusual to his home one day. It was a boy, wearing bright clothing that was hopelessly in tatters. His lips were pursed, as if there was wet dung under his nose. His eyes were dry with tears.

"Father? Who is that child?" said Cairn, sizing up the boy and frowning.

The boy spoke before his father could. "I am Rudolph, the rightful king of Ahagun." His voice quavered. "In exile."

"Rudolf will live under our roof," said Taurn, Cairn's father. "From now on you will be brothers, Cairn."

"We're not friends with Ahagun," said Cairn.

"That is still true." Taurn regarded Rudolf with a neutral eye. "But Rudolf is here as a favor to a brave man I once owed, who died bringing the boy to me. You will treat him as if he was your own mother's child."

"He looks soft and weak."

"You will not talk to me as if I were not here," Rudolph snapped. "Address me like a person!"

Cairn's long arm straightened, his fist smashing into the boy's face. Rudolph staggered backward, planting his right foot behind at the last moment before he fell on the floor.

"You hit me," said Rudolph, holding down the hysteria in his voice.

"I did as you asked," said Cairn.

He was still grinning when his father, who was not, punched his face in.

* * *

They were sitting on the grass, watching the other boys play with blunt spears.

"When I come of age, I will return to my kingdom, slay my uncle, and take back the throne."

Cairn laughed. "When will that be? You've barely any hair on your face."

Rudolph stroked his chin. He had grown in the summers that passed, but his face remained that of a boy's. He held the Ahagunian sword close to his side, a gift from Taurn. "My father wasn't a very good king. That was why my uncle killed him. Nevertheless, it is my right."

"Is it really important?"

"I am the rightful king."

"You could forget about being king. Live with us. We could dye your hair and get rid of that unsightly black. Better that than dead with a knife on your back in Ahagun soil."

"They believe me dead. If I come back, I could overturn the court. There are still people sworn to my father. To me. I could stage a coup of my own, bloodier than my uncle's."

"You think you do not belong here."

"I..." Rudolph's posture softened. "Your people have been kind to me. But were our situations reversed, would you not yearn of home? Of your own people?"

"Then I know something we can do," said Cairn. "Tomorrow my father will go hunting for a feast. A boy of Valdor only comes of age after he has killed his first boar. You can come with us."

That night, Cairn spoke to his father about his plan.

"Are you certain?" said Taurn, stroking his beard. "Rudolph has never been out in the woods. I do not wish to put him in harm's way."

"He is hardier than he looks, Father," said Cairn. "You have seen his swordwork, have you not?"

"I doubt if it could hurt a boar's thick hide. This isn't a jaunt, Cairn. He could get killed."

"He doesn't believe he belongs here," Cairn said. "He wants to go back to his kingdom and enact a mad plan to take back his throne. He'll get himself killed. Wouldn't you help me free his mind with it?"

Taurn narrowed his eyes. "Get him ready tonight. We set out at dawn. He will have his own spear, but he must listen to everything I say."

* * *

Cairn sweated underneath his leather jerkin. Rudolph fared worse--the treacherous undergrowth made it perilous to walk, and made him weary. Cairn walked close and gave the young king a few words of encouragement.

"In my kingdom we hunt wild animals with dogs and bows," said Rudolph. "Even my arms wobble from carrying this spear." He had insisted on bringing his Ahagunian sword, slowing him down as it kept getting tangled in vines.

"Just stand back and watch Father handle everything," said Cairn. "If it comes for you, just stick that spear in its face. The cross guard will keep it from going further."

"Come over here!" said Taurn. "It's very near." There was a growl, and a thundering sound that grew louder and louder. "Behind me!" he said, bringing his spear over at the approaching boar.

From the darkness their prey leapt, slavering madly. Cairn froze, looking at the boar's huge tusks with wonder before remembering to level his own spear. Rudolph shook beside him, his grip floundering.

Taurn stepped forward, his thrust catching the boar in the gullet. It thrashed and gurgled, still moving forward. With a mighty squeal, it pushed Taurn back, and he fell.

The boar's ferocious visage loomed. With a yell, Cairn extended his own spear as Taurn struggled to get up. The boar had pinned him with its front legs, mad with rage.

"Rudolph!"

The young king thrust his own spear, aiming for the boar's eye. The point went in with a wet sound, but Rudolph's own strength wasn't enough to keep the boar off Taurn.

"Run," said Taurn.

"No!" said Cairn. "Hold fast, Rudolph! Rudolph?"

Rudolph slid his grip forwards and twisted away, drawing Ahagunian steel. He slashed at the boar's face with a series of cuts, carving red lines on the wild animal's face. The boar reared back, which allowed Taurn to scramble away. Taurn pushed forth with his spear, and the boar made an earsplitting cry until it died on its feet.

"I am sorry, foster-father," said Rudolph, helping Taurn up.

"For what?"

"I couldn't kill it with my spear alone. I am, after all, not your people."

Taurn smiled. "That doesn't matter. You are my son."

* * *

Rudolph stood with the sun rising behind him, facing the home he was about to leave. The sword hung from his hip like it belonged.

"Bring a spear to remember our people by?" said Cairn.

"Kings aren't forgetful," said Rudolph.

"Won't you change your mind? You could wait another summer," said Cairn. "Or two. A beard would help disguise you."

Rudolph smiled. Cairn had a full beard already, and they were of the same age. "Sadly, my blood is of the fairer kind. Goodbye, brother." He turned and walked away.

"Brother! I know you'll rule well! So try not to die!"

Cairn watched him leave until the sun coaxed tears from his eyes, until his father Taurn dragged him back home.

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


Hang on, I'm time-confused again, when's the deadline?

Edit: In real time, not American idiot-time.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Google current EST and do the math(s).

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


sebmojowned bitch

lol

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


gently caress your bourgeoisie imperialist time system bitch

Ihmemies
Oct 6, 2012



This is why my tablet's lock screen displays LA, NY, London & Tokyo times in addition to my local timezone!

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

Dissolution
(1,057 Words)

Detective Kennington bolted to his squad car and drove home without the siren on. He didn't call for backup. If he knew the man on the other end of the phone call, and he was confident he did, bringing friends would just make him unpredictable. He parked on the street and, with his service revolver drawn, slunk up to his front door and gently pushed inward. The old hinges squealed, dashing Kennington's hopes of a stealthy entrance.

It wouldn't have mattered. A youngish man with old, dark eyes sat on the stairs facing the front doorway. He held a woman in a choke hold, a chrome-plated pistol pressed against her temple. Her face was stained with tears and runny makeup.

"You made pretty good time!" the man said. "I hope you didn't run any red lights on my account. That'd be an awful burden on your soul, I know."

Kennington clenched his jaw. "This isn't funny, Bruhl. Let Sara go, all right? Your quarrel's with me, she hasn't done anything wrong."

Bruhl's face twisted into a grin. "Of course, Sir Galahad, I wouldn't want to impugn my honor. No, I think she stays with me for now, buddy."

"Where are the kids?"

"Hmm, let's see... I slashed their stomachs, watched them bleed out all over the carpet, and then baked the remains into meat pies."

Kennington fell to his knees, a look of anguish spreading out over his face.

Bruhl rolled his eyes. "They're locked in the bathroom, fool. Christ, I might be a... what were your words, a 'morally bankrupt individual'? But I'm not some psychopath, give me a little credit. Besides, doesn't that M.O. ring a bell?"

Kennington got to his feet and steadied himself against a wall. "Of course. Butcher Barry did tend to leave an impression." He shuddered. "That whole ordeal was awful."

"Are you joking? That ordeal was wonderful, those were the best six months of my life! Not to mention, finest police work this town has ever seen. And that was you and me, buddy. That was what you threw away."

Kennington snorted. "Oh, please. Do you even realize who you're talking to? What'd you expect me to be, the cool uncle who looks the other way while you score some high-school booze? The real world doesn't work that way, Bruhl. If you see human suffering as an opportunity to make a quick buck, you don't deserve to wear a badge."

"So I didn't live up to your standards? That cuts, Kennington, that cuts deep." Bruhl sneered and ran the nose of his pistol through Sara's dark blonde hair. "Watch out, you might rattle my cage. I tend to develop a little twitch when I'm rattled. My index finger gets the worst of it, and I'd hate to make a mess in your charming little entry hall. Why don't you start by dropping that gun?"

Without hesitation Kennington tossed his revolver into the living room. In a single motion, Bruhl stood up and pushed Sara towards the Detective. Kennington hugged her tight for a moment, but then motioned for her to move out of danger.

The detective released the tension from his shoulders. "You're not going to do this, Bruhl. You don't have murder in you."

Bruhl sneered and raised the pistol. "Maybe you don't know me as well as you figured, buddy. Tell me, does it keep you up at night? Ratting out your best friend, I mean? I'd be more inclined to let things go between us if you at least felt bad about wrecking my entire life."

Kennington shook his head. "Sorry, partner. Forgive me or don't, but I can't regret what-"

A shot cracked through the air and slammed Kennigton in the stomach. He fell back limp, arms splayed on the carpet and eyes glazed over.

"Sorry, buddy," Bruhl said morosely. "You deserved a better way to go."

"I'll say he did, you son of a bitch." Sara stood over the body of her husband, his old service revolver clutched in both hands.

Bruhl raised his eyebrows. "Hold on, Missy, don't get too worked up. I got what I came for. Let me go now and I promise you and your kids won't come to any harm."

She pulled the trigger and a blast of sound rocked the entry hall. The bullet ripped through Bruhl's abdomen, blood jetting out the exit wound onto the white wall behind.

"Agh, Christ," Bruhl shouted. "What the gently caress do you think you're-"

Another discharge, another bullet, this one through Bruhl's leg, bursting his kneecap and strewing tendon and bone across the carpet.

"Oh, god! Wait! He had this coming, can't you see that it's-"

Three more violent, sulfurous bursts of energy from Sara's hands. Three holes in Bruhl's chest. His ribcage, cracked and beaten, dug into his lungs. He used his one good leg to nudge himself back as each sharp breath ripped at his insides.

Sara advanced on him, face contorted into a teary grimace, aiming at his head and about to pull the trigger when another hand rested on the gun, nudged it away from its target. Detective Kennington, aching and hunched over, pushed past his wife and sunk to the floor beside his ravaged, broken former partner. Gently, he hauled up Bruhl's shattered form and held him close.

Bruhl looked up at him and flashed a shaky grin, his teeth crimson-stained. "Bulletproof vest? I thought you trusted me, partner."

Kennington felt himself melting into sobs but steeled himself, clenching his fists and driving fingernails into his palms. "Nope." His voice was weak and hoarse. "I didn't trust you, not for a second. But I know you."

Clarity seeped back into Bruhl's dark eyes. His glare jabbed like a nail into Kennington's heart. "I guess you know me, all right, buddy," he hissed. "And I know you. I know you're a double-crossing liar... a naive fool, a hypocrite... and worst of all you're a g... uggg..."

Bruhl's last words died off in a gurgle, but Kennington knew what they would have been. Their Friday-evening semi-inebriated discussions on philosophy at the bar across from the precinct always ended with Bruhl accusing his partner of the most grievous of sins. "You know what I can't stand about you, buddy?" he'd say with a bleary grin. "You're such a god-damned optimist!"

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011



crabrock posted:

-----------
Purple Prince…. your story… it had no point. Like, none at all. Why did you write this? A dude stands around and gets scared. some chick is sick and crazy. the dude hears some crunching, and then an alter shits out some strange liquid. he touches it, and then a robot comes and kills him. Why should I care? You’ve told me nothing of their motivations, the stakes, their background or culture. Did Dolan even want to live or was he happy to matyr himself for the princess? did his death save her, or was the robot from a race of evil robots hell bent on killing the princess. who the gently caress knows. I don’t think you know either, which is the worst thing a writer can do, write for no reason and without knowing what he’s writing about.

Would I hit this story over the head with a club and drag it back to my cave:
gently caress no! It is a mentally ill child, and I’m not a god-damned pervert!

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

This critique made me crack the hell up but it was good, thanks.

I think about half to two-thirds of the stuff in there was valid, but a lot of it was me not doing a good enough job of showing that the 'robot' is a Greek warrior with a bit of a technology hike and Dolon gives weird descriptions because he's a caveman who doesn't know what bronze is. The story was meant to be about how Hellenistic culture conquered the ancient world. The 'sci-fi' names are both from Greek mythology, Dolon is from the Iliad, Rhea is a goddess. τιμή means 'honour' in Ancient Greek and was a key value in Greek Myth. I put it in Ancient Greek to emphasise the alien-ness of the Greek. The black liquid is the blood of the earth. But I still failed at writing a good story even taking all that into account.

This Week's Thunderdome: Won't be completed. I have something good but it's half-complete and I'm tired and ill and have other work to do. Might submit it to the fiction farm.

Purple Prince fucked around with this message at 22:39 on Jan 5, 2014

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006



The Incident on the Chunky River
850 words

-see archives-

Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 02:47 on Dec 11, 2014

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Purple Prince posted:


This Week's Thunderdome: Won't be completed. I have something good but it's half-complete and I'm tired and ill and have other work to do. Might submit it to the fiction farm.

Hmm, you tease us with the promise of 'something good', but then puss out on delivering with the cliche "I'm tired and sick and busy." The execution of your excuse is weak and also boring. 0/10 would not read :mad:

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







Purple Prince posted:

This critique made me crack the hell up but it was good, thanks.

I think about half to two-thirds of the stuff in there was valid, but a lot of it was me not doing a good enough job of showing that the 'robot' is a Greek warrior with a bit of a technology hike and Dolon gives weird descriptions because he's a caveman who doesn't know what bronze is. The story was meant to be about how Hellenistic culture conquered the ancient world. The 'sci-fi' names are both from Greek mythology, Dolon is from the Iliad, Rhea is a goddess. τιμή means 'honour' in Ancient Greek and was a key value in Greek Myth. I put it in Ancient Greek to emphasise the alien-ness of the Greek. The black liquid is the blood of the earth. But I still failed at writing a good story even taking all that into account.

This Week's Thunderdome: Won't be completed. I have something good but it's half-complete and I'm tired and ill and have other work to do. Might submit it to the fiction farm.

:catbert:

petrol blue
Feb 9, 2013

sugar and spice
and
ethanol slammers


B'aww, PP feeling all hungover and poo poo? gently caress that noise, princess. The second this week is over and I'm above the post of consent, I'm calling you out on actually writing something.

e: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GvaIG_yA8E

petrol blue fucked around with this message at 00:31 on Jan 6, 2014

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


Purple Prince posted:

Excuse-ville

No. Do not do this.

This thread is not the place to defend yourself or rationalize/make-excuses in the face of critique. If you absolutely must respond to a critique the only good response is: Thank you. That's it. What you are getting is their unfiltered impression of your work and how it comes across to them. Explaining what you meant after the fact has no bearing on what you actually did write and how people are going to interpret it. If you want to fix the problems the story has, then revise your story and submit it to the fiction thread we have in this forum (not this thread). Then you can see if you made it more clear and if people are seeing what you want them to see.

Also, when you originally posted your piece, the first thing you did was apologize for a piece that you knew was going to bad. For future reference, you should never ever do that. Never tell the reader that the story is a waste of time before they even get a chance to look at the first word. It is the absolute worst kind of self sabotage and it does not make you look humble it makes you look insecure.

Even if you are insecure, don't do this. Feeling insecure about your work is super common and perfectly normal even for the most successful of writers but keep that stuff in blogs and the like. It has no place in the dome or any writing venue where you are trying to get someone to like or publish your work.

And by the way, you could have used the time you gave up writing that post full of excuses to work on this week's entry some more and maybe even get it done. Just saying.

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards


I wrote a really good story but it's on my computer at home in Seattle and I'm stuck in a shithole hotel in Manhattan. Oops sorry guys see you next week with some :toxx: action.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


recommendation: invest 0.00 American dollars in Dropbox

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards


Martello posted:

recommendation: invest 0.00 American dollars in Dropbox

I have Dropbox but my pea-sized brain struggles to remember to use it in situations where it might be, you know, useful

I guess I learned a valuable lesson today

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

Type everything in google dox.

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

JuniperCake posted:

No. Do not do this.

This thread is not the place to defend yourself or rationalize/make-excuses in the face of critique. If you absolutely must respond to a critique the only good response is: Thank you. That's it. What you are getting is their unfiltered impression of your work and how it comes across to them. Explaining what you meant after the fact has no bearing on what you actually did write and how people are going to interpret it. If you want to fix the problems the story has, then revise your story and submit it to the fiction thread we have in this forum (not this thread). Then you can see if you made it more clear and if people are seeing what you want them to see.

To be fair, I think their response to that critique was pretty reasonable- there was an explanation of what he/she was going for, but it wasn't presented as "well there was all this stuff here and you were so dumb you didn't get it." The writer more or less admitted that it wasn't clear enough but provided a brief explanation as to what it was intended to say. I don't see the problem with a quick response like that as long as it isn't butthurt/defensive and doesn't turn into an annoying back-and-forth.


JuniperCake posted:

Also, when you originally posted your piece, the first thing you did was apologize for a piece that you knew was going to bad. For future reference, you should never ever do that. Never tell the reader that the story is a waste of time before they even get a chance to look at the first word. It is the absolute worst kind of self sabotage and it does not make you look humble it makes you look insecure.
saying.

This, however, is good advice. Let your piece speak for itself- you might be surprised to find a piece that you're really proud of gets a rather blah response sometimes, and something you churned out to meet a deadline might somehow hit the right notes.

Also, in Thunderdome, we don't make excuses. We bow out gracefully, and come back next week.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe

I'm still not seeing Prince's story even after he tells us what's going on. It needs to be written better, brah.

Dust to Dust
979 turds

Something was definitely there. I froze, too scared to flinch against the condensation rain. Our archology was dying. Rays of orange sunlight reached through the dome above me and were suspended in dust. Without power, the air scrubbers were no good.

I could hear my own breath, I tried to slow it, tried to muffle it by pressing my lips close together. My knuckles strained against the spring steel machete I’d made just before things fell apart.

There again – soft crunching moss. Someone was following me through the arboretrium. I stared at the foliage, looking for movement.

Lights flickered, alarm sirens rang and the air scrubbers jumped to life. I was sprinting before I realized I’d been granted a miracle. I slipped the machete into my belt and tore through our forest, aiming for the spire, dead center. I scrambled up the access ladder, one hand over the other in blind fear until I was almost touching the dome’s ballistic glass. I was at the top.

I was panting, mind racing, everything was quiet again. The archology’s death rattles were getting shorter and farther between. I looked down, I’d never climbed this high before, but I was too tired and hungry to feel vertigo.

The trees were dying, their leaves turning brown. The air was sticky with the smell of rotting plants. Maybe they hadn’t seen me climb up here? I was going to wait it out. There was enough food in the forest to feed us both, anyway.

Soreness crept into my muscles, I stood to shake it loose. The sun was setting outside, the dome’s web-like supports cast long angular shadows. Whispy clouds were barely visible in the red sky. I stood up on the handrail and pulled myself up to the glass. I’d never seen outside before.

The salt flat was featureless, we were too far down to ever feel wind. The crater’s massive walls extended around us in every direction. I saw the landing pad’s light flickering a dim yellow. Maybe there’d be hope yet.

Someone was climbing the ladder, but they were taking their time.

“Cassy?” I yelled out.

No answer.

I stared, awestruck, out through the dome. We were going to die.

I don’t really know when it all fell apart, but it started when the supply ship didn’t come in. It’d been a day, then a week, then months. We were doing good until a meteor took out the solar panels, then it was up to the archology’s power cells to keep us alive.

I remember our last gathering, under the central dome. Cap’n said the next ship wouldn’t be around for another few months yet. That meeting was the last time I saw everyone together. Tired, pale and light-headed from the rations. We had to ration the air by then, too. Cassy said she snuck some measurements in, and we were livin’ halfway up Everest as far as air was concerned.

Whoever was coming after me was halfway up now. I don’t even know if I could fight if it came down to it.

If what Cassy said was true, then some of the others sure could. Last time I seen ‘er, before we split up for good, she said that the Cap’n and Jones, the navigator, had a falling out. Cap’n told Jones to shut down everything that wasn’t related to keeping us alive, Jones wanted to hold out for the next ship, said he didn’t wanna kill the plants, that it was suicide.

Cassy said there was a breakdown, everyone took sides. You ever see a few hundred people cooped up inside a bubble startin’ to go crazy? Well, Cap’n and his crew said they’d shut it down by force. He got someone to go and dig through the old landing ship and find the survival guns. That’s when me and Cassy decided we’d best take our chances with a different idea.

She had all the codes to the arboretrium ‘cause she was top bio officer. Well, we figured we’d hole up in there until the ship comes in. She said something about protecting vital systems if we live long enough for ‘em to court martial us. We kept out of each other’s way, but we’d share whatever food’n gear we could find. Until last week. I could tell she’d been takin’ them crank pills ‘cause her eyes were all small. Made you paranoid, too.

They were at the top of the ladder now. I scrambled down the catwalk.

“Cassy?” I yelled.

No answer.

Something whizzed by my head and exploded against the dome. Splinters of wood exploded all around. An arrow. I ran down the walkway until the spire was between us. Another arrow whizzed by.

I jumped over the railing and swung myself under the catwalk, hoping they wouldn’t notice. Hoping I wouldn’t fall.

The footfalls got closer, I could see someone through the metal grating. It was Cassy, looking more like a nomad than an officer. She’d dyed her clothes green, tied them loosely around her. She walked right over me, she scanned the area, hunting.

The scrubbers kicked on again, shaking the catwalk. She flinched, an arrow already sailing toward the source of the sound. I threw myself over the railing, grabbing my machete before she could slip another arrow into the notch on her atlatl.

She spun around, pushing an arrow into my gut like a dagger. The machete connected with her shoulder, hitting bone. She swore, kicking me in the chest. I felt numb.

“They’re poisoned,” she hissed.

I pulled myself up, leaning on the railing. She was cutting a tourniquet with my machete.

“Why?” was the only word I could get out. I was losing feeling in my face

“Woulda done the same to me, eventually,” she said.

It was getting cold and my chest wasn’t moving so good.

Jagermonster
May 7, 2005

Hey - NIZE HAT!


Figmo
860 Words

You don’t need two legs to logroll in the Senate. Arthur Trant hadn't even chosen where to display his purple heart in his new office when his phone started ringing. Three years later allies and rivals within and across party lines still relentlessly sought his endorsement despite his past stances, or called in favors for projects they’d freely supported. The fatigue wrought by three long years of deal-making drained the strength from his flesh and prosthetic alike.

Exhausted and disillusioned, Senator Trant caved into the Majority Whip and confirmed his intention to vote with his party tomorrow. He hung up on the breathless prattling man and waited. Like shrapnel the news exploded from the Whip’s aides in all directions, bouncing and ricocheting between Senate offices, across party lines. No doubt it would reach Senator James Morse within minutes.

The power Arthur wielded unsettled him. With one phone call he had potentially undone from within what no enemy had succeeded in damaging from without. He braced himself for the expected confrontation as the footsteps echoing down the hall grew louder.

“I just got a call,” Senator Morse said, rushing past Arthur’s secretary. He grabbed the edges of Arthur’s desk as if he was going to fling it aside. “A call I couldn't loving believe.” He looked for a reaction in Arthur’s unblinking gaze. “Tell me it’s just a rumor. It’s hollow gossip from some partisan hack trying to ruffle some feathers. Tell me they got it wrong, Arthur.”

“I got my orders.”

“Bullshit.” Jim jabbed the space between them with a trembling finger. “Since when do you vote the party line?”

“Since when do you form exploratory committees? Since when do you have executive ambitions?”

Jim halfheartedly swatted the accusations away.

Arthur pushed himself out of his chair. “You told me you were ‘a man of the people.’ That you belonged in the legislature. You wanted nothing to do with the corruption and unconstitutional power-grabbing of the executive.”

“That’s nothing – absolutely nothing - to do with this vote tomorrow.” He took Arthur’s glass encased Purple Heart from its shelf. He clutched the medal as if it were Arthur’s true moral center, as if he could pump some good sense into Arthur if he just squeezed hard enough. “Whatever I've done,” Jim said. “If I've done something that doesn't sit right with you, I am sorry. But don’t do something repugnant as some sort of political tit for tat.”

Subdued and pleading, Jim betrayed his panic. The firebrand that had stormed into Arthur’s office was the warrior who’d wooed Arthur to abandon his party in order to fight for worthy causes. Arthur could see Jim slipping, down the polls, down the Senate hierarchy, without their partnership.

A handshake, a parting word of hope and this ugly business could be over. “The bill’s not so different than our Banking Initiative, Jim. And it can be improved upon. Just give it a chance.”

“Don’t you dare compare this monstrosity to our good work!” For a second Arthur thought Jim was going to fling his purple heart at him. Instead, he reverently placed it where it had rested.

“I’m tired of the wheeling and dealing. I’m sick of reaching across the aisle and getting a handful of new extorted obligations.”

“I put up with the same drat crap. And it’s worth it. We get results.”

“Now I know what you were after.”

Jim stormed towards the door, but stopped mid-retreat unwilling or unable to walk away and end it. He scanned the framed newspaper articles along the wall with headlines trumpeting the passing of bills they had championed and the defeat of ones they had opposed. “You’re a real sentimental son-of-bitch you know that?” Jim made an about face. “So you’re just going to follow orders now? Huh? gently caress it? Is that the new plan? How’d that work out for you before?” He buried the barb with a nod toward Arthur’s prosthetic leg.

Neither Arthur nor even Jim knew the purpose of attacking Arthur’s service and sacrifice. But they could both feel the effect.

Arthur lowered himself into his chair with practiced poise.

“I hope ya’ll have enough votes to overcome a filibuster,” Jim said, fleeing.

“Not my job to count the votes,” Arthur said to Jim’s back.

The next day during his first of many vengeful filibusters, Senator Morse spoke of duty and loyalty, often in a ranting aimless effort to kill time. He publicly called out Senator Trant for caving to partisan pressure and abandoning his convictions. Again and again he came back to the source of his orders, pounding on his chest, or pointing to his heart.

To Arthur it appeared that Jim was just indicating he did everything to further his own selfish interests or vendettas. Their accomplishments had always just been another feather in Jim’s cap for some future campaign or worse, payback for a broken promise. All the favor trading and political wrangling, the logrolling, had served Jim, because he alone knew the ultimate destination. Until Arthur found his footing the only prudent course of action was to keep to the solid group of partisanship.

Mercedes
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.






Hey guys, I'm gonna explain my story. First, it's a metaphor for SHUT THE gently caress UP AND POST YOUR STORY
Black and Tan
1098 words



Dearest reader, this story begins smashingly. Pun intended. The windows of this Korean restaurant called “Solomon’s Baby”, imploded in a shower of glass and lawsuits when a Mercedes-Benz riddled by bullets sailed through it and landed on the few people too stupid to comprehend that airborne cars cannot brake.


A tall black man in a slim fitted Calvin Klein suit climbed out where the windshield should have been. Raphael looked so cool as he brushed bits of glass from his suit and tossed the car keys to some dead dude on the ground, saying a killer one liner. “Don’t scratch that paint. I got her yesterday,” he probably said. I don’t know, you’d have to have been there. Walking around to the back of the car, Raphael pulled a dead man from the trunk and dragged him along the ground by his arm.


Sitting at a table surrounded by dirty cops with drawn guns, a gray haired man sat eating sushi as if there wasn't a loving car and dead bodies littering the restaurant floor. "Old friend," said Solomon, "He’s not one of mine. I don’t outsource."


Raphael snapped his fingers and an army of black dudes in sleek black suits rushed into the restaurant and lined up beside him. It was as if they had rehearsed their entrance to perfection. "No matter. Nigga was wearing alligator shoes. I’m a top ranking member of the PETA." Raphael held his hand out and his henchmen handed him an assault rifle. “I’m here to finish you, once and for all!”


"My rival." Solomon shot up from his seat and snapped his fingers. His bodyguards looked at each other uneasily before they remembered what the signal meant. They awkwardly shuffled around until they mirrored their foes across the restaurant. "I’m glad you showed up when you did. I think my seafood might have gone bad." He slapped the plate to the ground. "No one kill Raphael, he is mine."


Raphael pressed his lips together and his eyes misted over. "And you are mine."


If my focus wasn’t all on Raphael’s face, I probably could have told you in magnificent purple prose how Solomon got that katana he’s holding right now.


"What are you doing Sol? We have guns and grenades and poo poo," said Raphael.


Solomons eyes clouded over in a brilliant white. "You shouldn't bring guns to a demon fight." And then the demons came.


Reader, stay with me. It was a chaotic moment and I admit I have been sneaking some scotch when you weren’t paying attention, so details might be a little fuzzy. Solomon’s crooked cops dropped to all fours and their bodies shifted and changed into more of a canine shape. The hellhounds ran forward, their police hats somehow still secured to their heads.


Raphael’s men were firing bullets while diving in slow motion and poo poo. Sure, it looked cool, but I’m not certain what they were trying to dodge. Even worse, now they were on the ground staring up at the hellhounds. Raphael himself went charging through the restaurant while some crazy, epic music was obviously playing on a loop in his head. He was shooting his gun and throwing grenades like they were going out of style, but I don't think he was aiming at anyone in particular. "Solomon!" he shouted, sounding elated.


Solomon charged at him as well. His sword reminded me of that one time I dropped acid in the 60's. It was trailing light as he flourished it around his body. When the two rivals met, the weapons clashed together. The men struggled against each other and I swear to God Raphael leaned in and smelled Solomon.


They pushed off each other and circled one another -- ignoring the sounds of explosions and men being treated like chew-toys.


"I hope you have more than this to offer, old friend," said Raphael as he discarded his spent weapons.


"Again, in a losing battle, you think you are winning.” Solomon gathered dark energy at his side and his muscles strained as if he were trying to carry something far too heavy for him. “I’ll show you how wrong you are!” The room lurched. His arms broke free of the invisible restraints and then everything went black.


Like, literal black. Not those bullshit endings you read in amatuer stories. There is nothing but class here, esteemed reader. I think Solomon snuffed out the sun.


“This is how you were going to prove to me how wrong I was?” said Raphael.


“I think I hosed up,” Solomon whispered.


“You sure did.”


He sure did, reader. He sure did. And that is the tale of how we’re all going to freeze to death.


Hah! I’m just kidding, honorable reader. Man, you should have seen the look of disappointment on your face. What Solomon actually did was tear open a portal directly above him. Smoky tendrils flopped out of there like a handful of snakes coming out of someone’s mouth.


“Stop this madness, Sol!” Raphael pleaded. The evil that poured out from the portal had knocked him onto his knees.


Solomon reached down and grabbed Raphael by the lapel. He flung an arm back, pointing at the portal which now had a face squeezing through. “This is what it has come down to Raphael! We both knew our forbidden love would end this way.” He then kissed Raphael, right on the lips. For an uncomfortable amount of time.


Nope, still kissing.


“Our forbidden love would end with demons running rampant through the world?” With tears in his eyes, Raphael pushed Solomon away. “I knew our break up was hard on you, but I never imagined you would have lost your mind. I no longer know you, Sol. I’ve been holding back, but no longer!” Raphael, with hands glowing white, reached out, and goatse’d the air.


The space above him shimmered, then tore open -- a choir of black cherubs burst forth and beat boxed with holy fervor. Dollar bills shot out from the portal and Black Jesus pulled himself through, but paused at the lip.


“The nigga of man has -- Oh HELL naw, I ain’t dying today,” said Black Jesus as he turned around. “Nigga, just got my poo poo lined up.” The portal closed behind him leaving Raphael in quite the lurch.


Solomon shook his head. “Your best isn’t good enough, I’m afraid.”


“At least I got to see you one last time.”


And then, venerable reader, the demon leaned out over the portal and snatched Raphael in its gaping maw, leaving nothing but the Jordans.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

Jagermonster posted:

Figmo
860 Words

You don’t need two legs to logroll in the Senate. Arthur Trant hadn't even chosen where to display his purple heart in his new office when his phone started ringing. Three years later allies and rivals within and across party lines still relentlessly sought his endorsement despite his past stances, or called in favors for projects they’d freely supported. The fatigue wrought by three long years of deal-making drained the strength from his flesh and prosthetic alike.

Exhausted and disillusioned, Senator Trant caved into the Majority Whip and confirmed his intention to vote with his party tomorrow. He hung up on the breathless prattling man and waited. Like shrapnel the news exploded from the Whip’s aides in all directions, bouncing and ricocheting between Senate offices, across party lines. No doubt it would reach Senator James Morse within minutes.

The power Arthur wielded unsettled him. With one phone call he had potentially undone from within what no enemy had succeeded in damaging from without. He braced himself for the expected confrontation as the footsteps echoing down the hall grew louder.

“I just got a call,” Senator Morse said, rushing past Arthur’s secretary. He grabbed the edges of Arthur’s desk as if he was going to fling it aside. “A call I couldn't loving believe.” He looked for a reaction in Arthur’s unblinking gaze. “Tell me it’s just a rumor. It’s hollow gossip from some partisan hack trying to ruffle some feathers. Tell me they got it wrong, Arthur.”

“I got my orders.”

“Bullshit.” Jim jabbed the space between them with a trembling finger. “Since when do you vote the party line?”

“Since when do you form exploratory committees? Since when do you have executive ambitions?”

Jim halfheartedly swatted the accusations away.

Arthur pushed himself out of his chair. “You told me you were ‘a man of the people.’ That you belonged in the legislature. You wanted nothing to do with the corruption and unconstitutional power-grabbing of the executive.”

“That’s nothing – absolutely nothing - to do with this vote tomorrow.” He took Arthur’s glass encased Purple Heart from its shelf. He clutched the medal as if it were Arthur’s true moral center, as if he could pump some good sense into Arthur if he just squeezed hard enough. “Whatever I've done,” Jim said. “If I've done something that doesn't sit right with you, I am sorry. But don’t do something repugnant as some sort of political tit for tat.”

Subdued and pleading, Jim betrayed his panic. The firebrand that had stormed into Arthur’s office was the warrior who’d wooed Arthur to abandon his party in order to fight for worthy causes. Arthur could see Jim slipping, down the polls, down the Senate hierarchy, without their partnership.

A handshake, a parting word of hope and this ugly business could be over. “The bill’s not so different than our Banking Initiative, Jim. And it can be improved upon. Just give it a chance.”

“Don’t you dare compare this monstrosity to our good work!” For a second Arthur thought Jim was going to fling his purple heart at him. Instead, he reverently placed it where it had rested.

“I’m tired of the wheeling and dealing. I’m sick of reaching across the aisle and getting a handful of new extorted obligations.”

“I put up with the same drat crap. And it’s worth it. We get results.”

“Now I know what you were after.”

Jim stormed towards the door, but stopped mid-retreat unwilling or unable to walk away and end it. He scanned the framed newspaper articles along the wall with headlines trumpeting the passing of bills they had championed and the defeat of ones they had opposed. “You’re a real sentimental son-of-bitch you know that?” Jim made an about face. “So you’re just going to follow orders now? Huh? gently caress it? Is that the new plan? How’d that work out for you before?” He buried the barb with a nod toward Arthur’s prosthetic leg.

Neither Arthur nor even Jim knew the purpose of attacking Arthur’s service and sacrifice. But they could both feel the effect.

Arthur lowered himself into his chair with practiced poise.

“I hope ya’ll have enough votes to overcome a filibuster,” Jim said, fleeing.

“Not my job to count the votes,” Arthur said to Jim’s back.

The next day during his first of many vengeful filibusters, Senator Morse spoke of duty and loyalty, often in a ranting aimless effort to kill time. He publicly called out Senator Trant for caving to partisan pressure and abandoning his convictions. Again and again he came back to the source of his orders, pounding on his chest, or pointing to his heart.

To Arthur it appeared that Jim was just indicating he did everything to further his own selfish interests or vendettas. Their accomplishments had always just been another feather in Jim’s cap for some future campaign or worse, payback for a broken promise. All the favor trading and political wrangling, the logrolling, had served Jim, because he alone knew the ultimate destination. Until Arthur found his footing the only prudent course of action was to keep to the solid group of partisanship.

This is the best one so far.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Mercedes posted:

Hey guys, I'm gonna explain my story. First, it's a metaphor for SHUT THE gently caress UP AND POST YOUR STORY

This, but as a gender identity

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe

uranus posted:

This is the best one so far.

that's nice, you're an anus

Seldom Posts
Jul 4, 2010



Grimey Drawer

Two Heroines
404 words

School let out on a warm Friday afternoon, and the two girls walked away arm in arm. The two of them were their own world for each step along the sidewalk. Their talk was impenetrable to strangers. Only a select few were allowed in. It had been this way since childhood. It had been that way, really, until he had arrived. Then the two had become three.

Their walk took them to the baseball diamond. When practice was done, he came across the field to them like a cat chasing string. All three joined arms. The two girls talked about plans for Saturday night. Roller skating or the movies? They threatened to go without him, although every plan included him.

Who was he? Red-haired and slim with an easy smile. Errant hairs abounded. Each of the girls would reach out to smooth them, but they would not obey.

Who were the two girls? The first had lustrous black hair. She naturally provoked thoughts of devotion in others. She expected no less—she was a child of privilege. She lifted her arms like a child ballerina, and walked in high heels like a blade on ice. Even in a crowded room, her quiet voice could trap and captivate.

But she could be cruel; life without want does not cultivate empathy. Unthinking, her words would trod over carefully husbanded dreams. Unknowing, she could place even her red-haired suitor in ‘his place.’ Gripping a red wine glass by the stem once prompted an aside that make him instantly aware of his cheap suit and unpolished shoes.

The other girl had light hair, a shade of blond like firelight on snow. It was forever in a ponytail, animated by giggles that waved it like a flag. Joy poured out of her like a garden hose. She lived next door to everyone, so it seemed, and her embrace was like a welcome home.

But she was all she was in a glance. There was no mystery to plumb or puzzle to decipher. She presented herself fully in everything, so those who pursued her knew that she could be caught. Being taken for granted is the curse of the reliable.

The grand mystery is why he was worthy of either of their attentions, much less both. They all three knew he would one day choose. Love is hard to understand, but hate is easy. For now they are friends.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Mirror Truth
(902 words)

The edge of the bathroom counter dug into the flesh behind Eleanor's knees. She swung her legs around, dragging her feet across the sink, until she sat cross-legged on the laminate and faced the girl in the mirror. That girl had a sheepish look on her round face. She chewed her lip; she stared at Eleanor in the silence of the apartment.

"Hello, mirror-me," Eleanor said.

Then she changed her voice, made it lower, and spoke for her twin in the glass. "Hello, Eleanor."

In her normal tone she said, "I read a really good book this week." But of course the mirror girl's mouth moved too, ruining the illusion that she had anyone but herself to talk to, that she wasn't imagining a friend to keep her company until her father came home.

Maybe it would help if she looked away while speaking as herself. "This is silly," Eleanor mumbled.

"Yeah, well, you're silly," said her mirror image.

Eleanor grinned a little and crinkled her nose. "We're silly."

"Yup! We'll be hanging a spoon from our nose next."

Eleanor laughed, and the mirror girl laughed too. Eleanor thumped down from her perch and went to fetch the silverware.

Her father worked until dark most nights to keep them afloat, and he didn't have the money left over for an Internet connection--so he said. Between school hours and the turn of his key in the lock, Eleanor stayed in the apartment; even for a shy girl it could get lonely. She didn't feel as alone when she spoke to her reflected self. The girl in the mirror smiled at her, laughed with her. Over time it got easier to forget she was putting words in her twin's mouth, especially when her twin made comments she couldn't, wouldn't say. Such as, "The principal's a total bitch." Such as, "You are too mad at Daddy sometimes. Stop pretending."

The older Eleanor got, the less she appreciated that candor. More and more often she had no answer for the mirror. She wouldn't always look her image in the eye. After she made a few friends in middle school who didn't know her every thought, she stopped saying anything to her image in the glass; that was all right, because her mirror self looked like she had other places to be.

But increasingly as though those places were all-you-can-eat buffets.

Fifteen-year-old Eleanor grabbed at her belly and watched her image's flesh bulge through her fingers. Bile rose her throat. She prodded her soft cheeks and the flab under her arms. "You're fat," she snapped at her twin, the first time she'd spoken to the mirror in a year. The girl behind the glass scowled at her. "You can't argue, can you? Because it's true."

Eleanor pitched her voice lower and answered viciously: "You're right. We're disgusting."

Her reflection's lips didn't move. She was out of practice with pretending, and she must have thought the words without speaking them. Eleanor slapped her leg and watched it ripple under the denim of her jeans. Answer enough.

She came to the mirror whenever she felt hungry to squeeze whatever fat she could reach and shake it at her reflection like a weapon. Sometimes she stayed in the bathroom for all the time between waking up and running for the bus. Her father often fell asleep on the couch as soon as he came through the door, so she could get away with a dinner of Corn Flakes. And she did lose pounds--friends, too, as she ignored them--but there was always more pudge somewhere.

No matter how Eleanor sacrificed, no matter her weight, the girl in the mirror didn't smile anymore, not even when Eleanor breathed in deep and counted all her ribs. Eleanor met her image's dull eyes. She glanced down to the swell under her navel that wouldn't go away.

"You're starving us."

Eleanor's gaze snapped up.

The eyes in the mirror weren't dull anymore; they burned. "You're killing us," her reflection said. Eleanor touched her own unmoving mouth. Her twin copied the movement, and her dry lower lip cracked under the pressure of her nail.

Eleanor said, "We have to be thin." Blood beaded beside her image's finger, yet she tasted none.

Her reflection said, "We have to live."

Eleanor slapped her stomach and squeezed her eyes shut. Too big, still too big. How could she starve with so much fat?

"Look at me!" the girl in the mirror screamed, lunging forward, and the remaining flesh of her arms trembled as she punched the glass from the inside--the sight of it set off a hopeless, helpless rage in Eleanor. She beat at the mirror, shrieking.

The glass gave way.

***

A keyring jingled outside the apartment door: Eleanor's father was home. He brought a titanic carton of doughnuts into the living room. "Honey...."

His quiet, careful, hesitant opening trailed off as he took in the sight of her, wearing one of his turtlenecks--it hid the bruises and the cuts--and eating pizza out of an open delivery box. She swallowed a bite. "Do you mind, Dad? I got hungry."

"No. No. I don't mind one bit. I got you...." He looked at the doughnuts, then at her. "I've been worried, sweetheart."

She smiled at him, even though it reopened the crack in her lip. "I'll be fine now. I promise."

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

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



Seldom Posts posted:

Two Heroines
404 words

I would strongly suggest a competitor be thrown into the picture:

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Bailing out this week.

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


Redox (1176 words)

In the middle of the hunger-winter, the Soviets baited my idiot brother with bread and hydrazine, and he believed their promises. In our shared basement laboratory, hidden between casks of vinegared wine and concentrated peroxide, he showed me the contract: food, shelter, more chemicals than we could ever want, for the low price of moving the family to Kapustin Yar. It was missing one thing.

“Hermann, only you are enlisted for work,” I said. “We’re partners. I want to cook B-stoff, not borscht.”

“A lady chemist - their commissar thought I was playing a trick for better rations.” My brother crushed a paperclip in his palm. “We can argue once we’ve moved.” He peered at a flask. Red fumes billowed beneath its stopper. “Playing with sage again?” A pleasant codename for a vicious acid.

“The only herb in my kitchen.”

“Useless stuff. We’re better off with peroxide.”

I gathered my papers. “I can’t go east, Hermann. The Americans will let me work.”

Hermann shook his head. “They have von Braun. They won’t lift a finger for our family. You’ll do better with us.”

Flora, my little niece, peeked at us from the landing. I waved to her. “You are wrong, Hermann, about red acid and the Red Army, but, for her sake, I pray your politics aren’t as bad as your chemistry.” I packed, favoring notebooks over clothes.

On the way out, I gave Flora a kiss, and Hermann grabbed my shoulder. I pushed him away, hugged him and hiked thirty miles to the Western zone.

#

The admiral sat behind a mahogany aircraft carrier. A model V2 weighted down his papers. Beyond the bay windows, Mojave dust devils scoured paint from a plane that did not exist.

“You read this article, Miss Elba?” He slid a journal across his desk’s flight deck and ashed his cigarette on my mood. “The Russkies just tamed red-fuming. Their guy’s got the same name as you.”

“Coincidence.” It wasn’t. It couldn’t be.

“The board’s denied your request for a fluorine lab. Moreover, I’m getting complaints.”

“About my kitchen?”

“If that’s your metal shack next to the lake, then yes. That and you walking around topless.”

“The men do it all day. It’s one-twenty in the sun. And more work has come out of my kitchen in the last year than anything sanctioned.”

“And more craters.”

A month back, I’d suspected trifluoride would eat aluminum, given time. Most thought it stable, and so I buried a drum in the desert. The firefighters had never seen sand burn before.

The admiral steepled his fingers. “We brought you here because you’d worked on stable oxidizers. A missile I can stick on a shelf, come back a decade later and fire without worries - that’s my dream. You’re in my lab, with the best propellent men in the free world, and yet the only reaction I’ve seen you catalyze is anger.”

“And the only reaction I’ve seen is reduction. Of my budget.” After years in America, I’d grown hypergolic with bullshit.

A short silence, then the admiral shoved the journal into my lap and threw me out of his office. I sprinted to my apartment, locked the door and leafed through the journal.

At the end of the article was a photo of Hermann, a little gaunt but smiling, in a clean white shirt and clutching my niece to his side. She had sageflowers garlanded in her hair. In the corner, a rifleman had been half-cropped from the picture. It said my brother was chief chemist.

I read through the formulas and snorted. Hermann’s chemistry was still bad. He’d diluted red acid with iodine — an inelegant solution, like killing termites by blowing up the house. I crumpled up the magazine and threw it away.

In the middle of the night, I pulled the journal from the trash and smoothed out the photo. I hadn’t seen my niece in a decade, and she was six back then. Now she was grown and pretty in a yellow sundress. She was the fun little sister I’d wanted, not the oafish big brother I’d gotten.

Her dress was pale yellow, like the ghost of a dandelion, or liquefied fluorine. His shirt was bleached peroxide white, and he clutched only one thing - little Flora. Hydrogen and fluorine, another acid we’d tried before my brother had deemed it useless. Back then, I’d been too young to talk back.

Enlightenment propelled me straight to my laboratory shack. A touch of hydrofluoric in with the nitric: the perfect acid. I mixed until dawn.

Over the next month, we boiled it, froze it, set it ablaze with every fuel known to God and chemist. My concoction was stable in steel, liquid at temperatures Alaskan and Saharan, and reacted with kerosene like I did with the brass: fast and explosive.

Soon, I again stood before the admiral’s desk with a proposal in hand: present our (my) new chemistry at an international symposium.

“Humiliate the Soviets. In public.” He riffled the document’s pages. “Now you’re thinking like an American. Maybe we can clear that green card for you, after all.” He leaned forward, offered a hand. “Once you’re back, that is. Good flight, Miss Elba.”

#

I sat on a panel at a high table in Geneva, flanked by the titans of nitrogen chemistry. My brother mounted the stage for the Russians. Our eyes met. He paused for a moment, shook hands with the other men, then sat beside me.

“You look well, Hermann.” He was skeletal, dark circles in the hollows of his eyes.

He said nothing and stared straight ahead. At the far end of the room, two Russian men stood at the entrance, hands near bulges in their armpits.

We were all introduced and my brother rose and presented his iodine idiocy. I smirked through it. As he sat, the room boiled with applause and his Russian handlers slunk out into the hall.

“You’ve risen swiftly,” I said. “Chief chemist.”

“My boss thought watering our fuel was a good idea.” He tightened his tie. “The Russians are strict about failures, but merciful. He was shot quickly.”

I pointed to the hall. “Your guards?”

“Fewer than usual. The rest are with my daughter.” His eyes were inert and glowing, like neon. He glanced at the papers under my hands. “What are you presenting?”

I shuffled my notes into a pile, drank some water and ignored him. The room filled again, and the Russians stood again at the rear of the room. A man called my name. I rose and walked to the podium, enveloped in silence. I smiled to the assembled men. They stared at me as though an angel had descended from heaven, poised to hand down a new gospel. At the rear of the room, one of the Russians burped and adjusted his gun.

I thanked the crowd, glanced at Hermann, and announced the Americans had nothing to add to today’s discussion.

Seldom Posts
Jul 4, 2010



Grimey Drawer

The Saddest Rhino posted:

I would strongly suggest a competitor be thrown into the picture:



Look, Betty and Veronica are the Cain and Abel of our time, you can't just gently caress with it like that.

edit: dammit, now you've really got me thinking about it. Introduce a red-haired girl and have them gang up on her as a meta commentary on their traditional roles and feminism in general. I am going to waste my life writing Archie comics commentary and I'm not even a fan. drat you Rhino! :argh:

Seldom Posts fucked around with this message at 02:55 on Jan 6, 2014

Walamor
Dec 31, 2006

Fork 'em Devils!


Roguelike posted:

Thunderdome LXXIV: Y Tu Thunderdome!?
Submission Deadline: 11:59 pm, Sunday the 5th, EST.
Word Count: 1250 epic words (or less)

The Promise - 1250 Words

Bill stared at the young man on the other side of the booth, unable to understand what he was just told. How could someone be so drat selfish? Bill took a sip of his quickly cooling cup of coffee and waited for his brother to say that this was all just a bad joke, just another stupid idea of his. Clay avoided looking at him, studying the dinged up white and black checkered tile floor of the tired little diner. One of Clay’s hands was busy worrying one of the many chipped and pitted spots on the table, the other cupped around his own untouched cup of coffee, the liquid threatening to spill over the brim as he pushed it around the table.

“What do you think?” said Clay, glancing up at his older brother with the same pleading look in his eyes that Bill remembered from their childhood when Clay knew he had made some mistake. Back then Bill had been there to cover for him most of the time, but Clay always gave away when he felt guilty about something. Bill usually just ended up getting his own hide tanned for his trouble, but he never stopped trying. That’s just what older brothers are supposed to do. But not this time.

Bill took another sip of his cold coffee. It was awful. “I think it’s a great opportunity,” said Bill. Clay immediately brightened up and a smile blossomed on his face. “Except for your promise.”

Clay grimaced and broke eye contact, ducking his head low, another childhood guilty tell. “I’ll hold up my end of the deal, but I was hoping I could do it in a few years.” Clay paused and looked up at Bill’s face, searching for a sign of acceptance and finding nothing. “I could earn enough there to --”

“Four years,” said Bill, his voice cold and hard. Clay opened his mouth to say something but one sharp look from his brother put a quick end to that. Some things never stopped working.

“Four was the original deal. I gave you another when you switched majors, and yet another when you failed out. Six long years, I’ve waited. You got your education, you had a life, now it’s my turn,” said Bill.

“Michelle thinks it’s a good deal though, and together we could make enough to move the folks out to California with us, put them up in a real nice home. You know, in a few years. Michelle’s really the one pushing for it,” said Clay.

“Don’t hide behind your girlfriend,” said Bill.

“Fiance, actually,” said Clay.

Bill raised an eyebrow. “Since when?”

Clay paused and said, “Six months or so.” He at least had the grace to look embarrassed.

“Congratulations,” said Bill, out of obligation.

“Thanks,” said Clay, mumbling down at the table.

The waitress stopped by with a pot of coffee. She waited briefly for acknowledgement from the silent men at the table before pouring a refill for Bill: the lukewarm pot coffee mixed with the cup’s cold coffee to make a barely tepid brew.

“You want a fresh cup, sugar?” said the waitress, putting one hand on her hip and waving her pot in Clay’s general direction.

“No thanks, I’m leaving soon,’ said Clay, throwing a quick look over towards Bill.

“Why’d you order coffee if you don’t want none?” said the waitress.

“Instagram,” said Clay, laughing lamely at himself.

The waitress looked askance at Clay, then glanced back to Bill. “Your boy alright?”

“He used to be,” said Bill.

“City folk,” she said with a shake of her head as she walked away.

“God drat this town,” said Clay. “I hate it. I can’t stay here Bill, don’t you see? Not in this hillbilly chucklefuck backwater Georgia town.”

“You think I like it here?” said Bill. “You think I like working at the loving Hardee’s? I was in college too, remember? I had dreams just like you, and none of them involved this place. But I gave it all up to come back here to take care of Mom and Dad. Four years, you said. Let me finish college, you said. Then I’ll come back and take care of them and you can go, you said. Now it’s your turn, and you won’t man up.” Bill forced his hands to grip the table to stop them from shaking. “You’re going to run off with your girlfriend and your education to California and earn good money and live happily ever after, and leave me to clean up after Mom and Dad and live in this shithole.”

“Fiance,” said Clay.

“Really?” said Bill. “That’s what you took from that?”

“Well, she is, and besides, that’s not what I’m saying,” said Clay.

“Then you’ll stay here, and do what you promised?” said Bill.

“Look, I know it’s not good for you here,” said Clay. “But if you give me a couple years, I can put them in a nice home. I promise, Bill.”

“You fucker,” said Bill, shaking his head in disbelief. “You know who is the real rear end in a top hat here? Me, for actually thinking you’d actually come here and take care of the folks.” Bill ran his hands through his hair and blew out a long breath. “I believed you, man, I really did. I thought you’d come through for me, for Mom and Dad. You were my best friend, my brother. I’m such a sucker.”

“I’m still your brother,” said Clay. He reached a hand out across the table towards Bill. Bill ignored it.

“Then free me so I can live my life,” said Bill, staring Clay down. “Like you promised. Like I would for you.”

“I just can’t deal with it, with them,” said Clay. He sank his face into his hands, and words tumbled out thick and heavy. “They are so sick, so needy, so broken. I’m sorry Bill. I can’t watch them die.”

“So you’ll let me watch them die, by myself?” said Bill. “Thanks, man.”

“I’m not as strong as you are,” said Clay. “I know you’ll get through it better than I can.”

“Bullshit, you’re hiding. You may have a degree and a girl but you’re still just a kid,” said Bill. “Were you even planning on seeing them?”

“Well, it’s late, you know,” said Clay.

“Slinking out of town in the night to avoid seeing your sick folks. That’s low, Clay.”

“It’s better for all of us if I don’t see them,” said Clay.

Bill laughed at that, a grim chuckle with no humor in it. “Better for you.”

Clay pulled out his wallet, a nice leather one, and tossed a bill down on the table. “You’ll see I’m serious. I promise I’ll come through for you, and for Mom and Dad.” He stood up and looked down at Bill. “I’ll make things better, like you always tried to do for me,” he said, and put his hand on Bill’s shoulder. “I’m sorry it’s going to keep you here a while longer, but I’ll talk to you soon, okay?”

Bill didn’t bother to look up at him. “If you leave, if you walk out on us, we’re done.”

Clay paused, then his hand brushed past Bill’s shoulder as he left.

Bill didn’t turn to watch him leave, but he heard the soft jingle of the bells on the door as Clay fled the diner. He took a drink of the cold, bitter sludge in front of him. “Coward,” he said softly, shaking his head.

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Captain Trips
May 23, 2013
The sudden reminder that I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about

The Saddest Rhino posted:

I would strongly suggest a competitor be thrown into the picture:



The fact that Archie still existed when the macarena came into being has shattered my entire worldview. I thought Archie comics died in the 50s.

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