Register a SA Forums Account here!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Locked thread
Jan 13, 2006

Hugoon Chavez posted:

As a Thunderdome newbie, how strict is the word count requirement? If I step over it by a few words (let's say...6. Hypothetically of course) is it still valid or should I trim the fat a little bit?

Different software counts words differently. Personally, I make sure I'm under the limit with so that I can point to that if judges get different results.


Hugoon Chavez
Nov 4, 2011


A Classy Ghost posted:

If you're over it by 6 words you can definitely find something to cut out.

Yeah, it's done, I just didn't think it was a hard limit and 6 words was so little that I thought it would've been ok. Good thing I asked!

Feb 16, 2011

I eat your face

A Classy Ghost posted:

If you're over it by 6 words you can definitely find something to cut out.

Yeah, it depends on the judge - some people are a bit lenient but you should never count on it. Personally I would get irrationally angry if you were over by such a tiny amount because trimming 6 words is an absolutely trivial exercise of an essential writing skill.

Anyway, crits for Black Metal Week's disqualified-for-lateness submissions:

Your Sledgehammer - The Acolyte

HIT PROMPT? (Unmaking The Carnal Demons)
WORD COUNT? Yes (but DQ for lateness)
FLASH RULE? Kinda (Face to face in a different place when it all comes crashing down)
Overall thoughts:
Um... I haven't a clue how this piece relates to the prompt? Others have already covered the other main issue: there isn't much of a story. Person is a scientologist, person wants out, person makes a plan to escape, person escapes successfully. I guess it's about his emotional journey, but that's hard to do convincingly in the space you have. There are a few tense and grammar issues noticeable, but the overall writing is pretty okay. There's nothing in here to make me sit up and take notice.

Quidnose - The Sweet Smell of Success

HIT PROMPT? Yeeees... (Bloodstained Corpses Of The Twisted Quest)
WORD COUNT? Yes (but DQ for lateness)
FLASH RULE? Yes (Only the nose truly knows)
Overall thoughts:
I think you cheated a bit by hitting the prompt purely by including it as the band name! Though I suppose it could also describe the quest for a new WMD, so I'll give you a pass on it. Anyway, you incorporated your flash rule very thoroughly and it added a distinctly surreal element to what would otherwise have been a fairly straightforward story. I think it's better for it, actually, as weaponised black metal on its own is not especially original. You did fall down on the ending though, as it's completely unclear how the sounds they're making, which translate into delicious smells when filtered through specialised apparatus, get weaponised?

J.A.B.C. - The Choices of Dead Men

HIT PROMPT? Yes (The Angel And The Reaper)
Overall thoughts:
You have a pretty weird and off-putting turn of phrase. "made it on land and braced with their foes"? "Now cry and scabbing"? "His voice whispered past closed lips"? There's a lot of stuff like this throughout that makes me blink twice and re-read. I suspect this is a consistent problem for you that others have pointed out, so I'll stop critting that and focus on the story. I liked your description of the reaper, and that the soul made an unexpected choice at the end. Overall, this was quite an understated story, which I think it made work. It didn't hit the "range of emotions" requirement, but I did enjoy the imagery. If it hadn't been DQ, I think I'd have placed it somewhere in the middle, neither a DM nor an HM.

Maugrim fucked around with this message at 19:28 on Feb 28, 2015

Aug 2, 2002

actually the judges can't force you to write under a certain limit, just like the IRS has no jurisdiction to levy taxes against you. Remember that when somebody says 1200 words, you can probably write 1300, and when a police officer pulls you over, you don't have to comply with is orders, as he has no power over you.

Jul 18, 2011

Modern worldly poster

crabrock posted:

actually the judges can't force you to write under a certain limit, just like the IRS has no jurisdiction to levy taxes against you. Remember that when somebody says 1200 words, you can probably write 1300, and when a police officer pulls you over, you don't have to comply with is orders, as he has no power over you.

This only applies if you write your story in all caps, so that the legal fiction is distinct from the fiction you have written.

Jan 13, 2005

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

Freemen in the Dome

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

the hash in the #judgechat IRC channel is gold fringed

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Hugoon Chavez posted:

Yeah, it's done, I just didn't think it was a hard limit and 6 words was so little that I thought it would've been ok. Good thing I asked!

Lol don't worry about it

crabrock posted:

actually the judges can't force you to write under a certain limit, just like the IRS has no jurisdiction to levy taxes against you. Remember that when somebody says 1200 words, you can probably write 1300, and when a police officer pulls you over, you don't have to comply with is orders, as he has no power over you.

Yeah dont be too fussed about the prompt either its basically a suggestion

Feb 16, 2011

I eat your face

Linecrit from Black Metal Week for Doctor Idle

Doctor Idle posted:

Glorious Altars of the Blood-Red Insanity - 1000 words
Not a good title for this particular story!

First things first: I'm assuming you pasted this from a Word document or something and didn't bother to preview the post, because your paragraphs are all smushed together, your scene headers aren't formatted, and you have a load of tabs in there that don't show up in the post itself. Next time, make sure you take the time to preview your post and sort out the formatting.

Like an infant opening its eyes for the first time, Barnaby Dalton painfully peeled back his eyelids under, debatably, more precarious circumstances. finding He found himself half inside a dumpster with assorted trash stuck to his person. Sentence 1: past tense A creaky door opens nearby and an older man peeks his head out. Sentence 2: present tense. Do you see the problem yet?
“Barney, you out here son?” shouts a familiar voice. Barnaby stirs from his position in the dumpster. His vision begins to come back into focus, Clause 1: present tense but coordination was still dragging behind. Clause 2: past tense. What the hell, man? He tries to lift himself out, but only manages to sink further into the filth.
“Barney, I see your leg moving. Son, are you alright?”
Barnaby recognized the voices as his uncle Tate’s and although he couldn’t pull himself free of the trash, he could manage speaking.Past tense
“Yeah, uncle Tate, I’m here.” Barnaby says, not sure what to make of his predicament. Present tense “You need help getting out of there?” Tate asks his nephew. . Needs a new paragraph for the new speaker. Also you have a stray extra full stop there. Try to give yourself more time to proofread.
“Uh… Nah, unc’ I think I got it.”
“Oh, well ok son, you had one heck of a night, wanted to make sure you were ok.” Boring filler dialogue. Also it's "OK" or "okay", not "ok".
A flood of peculiar, unpleasant memories fill Barnaby’s head.


23 Weird to start a sentence with just a number. Also in formal writing it's usual to spell out numbers of two words or fewer - like so: At twenty-three, recently graduated with only pennies to his name, Barnaby, or ‘Barney’ as he liked to be called You don't need to tell us this here - you've already shown it in the intro. took the B-Line out of Cool Palms, New Mexico across Texas, where he eventually caught a bus to Yampaw, Louisiana. He Boring unnecessary detail planned to start his life anew as a Bbutcher, following in the steps of his uncle and grandfather.
His mother had always told him Uncle Tate was weird, Ooh, this looks like a tiny bit of foreshadowing - the first hint that something interesting might happen in your story but with few options and no income, this seemed like his only choice. It had been nearly 15 years since he had seen his aunt or uncle so he didn’t know what to expect when he arrived, but Barney found himself pulling into a quaint bayou town. Gulls flew high overhead, and the marsh waters left the air somewhat boring qualifier salty, and refreshing.
His aunt and uncle were waiting there for him at the bus station and were glad to see their nephew It feels like you've switched from Barney's POV to the aunt and uncle's here. Also a show/tell issue - instead of telling me they're glad, show me how they display their gladness - do they sweep him into a hug or what? who was had been only 7 seven when they'd saw seen him last.
“Oh my goodness, boy, you sure have grown up! You take after your daddy.” His aunt says to Barney as he retrieves his bags from the undercarriage of the bus. Aaand we're back to present tense again - sigh. You were doing so well!
“Hey, aunt Deb,” he says shyly, coyly careful - "coy" has connotations of coquetry and I think (hope) he's not trying to give his aunt the come-on slinging his bag over his shoulder before and walking over to give her a hug.
“Boy, it sure is good to see you.” Uncle Tate says, placing a heavy hand on Barney's back before joining in on the heartfelt hug with his wife and nephew.
“Well, we got you a little bedroom set up above the deli. Not much, but it should be comfortable. I got the nNintendo too. I know you like your games.” Although I'm taking the time to correct your grammar in the above sentences, you'd be better off just cutting them and getting on with the drat story. Ask yourself if any of this mundane detail is interesting to the reader? You only have 1000 words - you could be making far better use of them.
Barnaby smiles politely. “Thanks, I appreciate it, and I’m really glad you’re giving me this opportunity.”
“Don’t sweat it, boy. Your name may be Dalton, but you’ve got the blood of a LeRoy, and us LeRoys are butchers at heart.,” Uncle Tate says with a toothy grin.


They arrive at the shop and Barney gets settled in. The store had been closed that day so they had plenty of time to get caught up.
“If you’re hungry, we got plenty of things to eat in the deli fridge up front. Help yourself to some grub and then come on back, I want to show you some things.” Tate tells his nephew, who is gracious grateful for the hospitality. Show/tell
Picking a plate of leftover meatloaf, Barney quickly eats and puts his dishes away Present tense so that he could Past tense join his aunt and uncle in the back.
A chill runs down Barney's spine as his hand touches the cold meatlocker door and his stomach begins to turn. He ignores it and enters the frigid storage. Present tense The room was dimly lit, and the hanging carcasses cast ghastly silhouettes that twisted in the faint traces of light coming from a room up ahead.Past tense
As he moved into the locker, he began to hear heard the patter of drums and a bitter wind swept through the room. The carcasses turned to rolling hills and their shadows into desolate crags that jutted out spasmodically I don't think this word means what you think it means from the alien terrain. The drumming became louder, and a low and ominous chanting accompanied it. And FINALLY something interesting is happening! You could have cut the entire first two sections and instead spent those words developing this nightmarish Narnia you have going here and it would be a much better story. Not a great story - see notes on the ending - but better.
Barney had never felt more terrified in his life, but he felt compelled to push forward. A glance back at what had once been a meat locker revealed only an abyss, speckled with forms that became increasingly distant before vanishing altogether.
He was close to the light now, pushing up a jagged, ice covered hyphenate compound adjectives - ice-covered bluff. Upon reaching the top and found two cultists exsanguinating a virgin show/tell - are they plunging a dagger into her chest or what? atop an altar covered in blood.
“Nay, you wicked fiends, I will strike thee from this world!” Barnabus I'm assuming the name change is deliberate, in which case lol, nice touch cried out, unsheathing his crystalline sword, leaping . He leapt at the hag who tossed up her arms futilely. “Your wicked spell nearly cost me my life, but no more. You are slain. More show/tell issues - weird for him to talk about these things having happened, rather than actually showing them happening Now, your time is at hand, foul warlock.!Barnabus declares slicing He sliced the warlock’s abdomen open.You were doing pretty well at sticking with the past tense for the last couple of paragraphs, but whoops! You've slipped back into present again here.
He races towards the altar, but is too late. The dark ritual had completed, and madness struck the brave warrior who reeled away from the blood soaked stone. And back to past tense we go, whee He gazes up at a starless sky and falls from the frozen crag into the abyss...Psych! We're still in present tense really!
Barnaby finally manages to pull himself out of the dumpster, concealing himself with newspaper.
“We thought that you had gotten hold of that stuff, and I said oh lLord, not my nephew, but then I saw what you had eaten and I put two and two together.”
“W-what? I had a meatloaf.”
“Nah, son, that wasn’t no meatloaf, that was bad steak. Now get cleaned up, it’s time to eat breakfast.,” Uncle Tate says chuckling with a chuckle.
“Alright, unc’ just give me a minute.” Barney says embarrassed, Present tense but he too found himself laughing at the strange circumstances.Past tense
“Good.,” his uncle says, staring into his eyes, and smearing blood-soaked palms across his face. “Prepare for a glorious meal.”
“Holy poo poo, mom was right. You are weird.”

Overall thoughts:
This story makes me really sad. It's not even a story, really. It's a series of mundane things that happen to a mundane chap called Barney, with a brief hallucinatory interlude in the middle that contains the only bit of actual interest and conflict in the entire piece. But because you'd spent so many words on irrelevant scene-setting and pointless dialogue, you couldn't do the interesting part justice and had to completely gloss over the epic battle with two warlocks over a blood-soaked altar. And even if you'd cut the irrelevance and written a most excellent tale of heroism and crystalline swords, your punchline of "bad steak" is on a par with "and then I woke up and it was all a dream" and would probably have earned you a DM all on its own.

It's not all bad though. There is that little nugget of good stuff hidden in there that you can develop. And you did occasionally manage to keep a consistent tense for whole paragraphs at a time, which convinces me that you could get it right if you were paying attention. I hope you'll continue to enter Thunderdome as, really, there's nowhere else to go from here except up.

Maugrim fucked around with this message at 00:28 on Mar 1, 2015

Jan 27, 2006

crabrock posted:

Thunderdome Week CXVIII: If on a Winter's Night a Fire

Kaishai, sebmojo, and Sitting Here.

25.4% of TD wins


Ironic Twist, LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE, Jitzu_the_Monk

0.7% of TD wins

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Jitzu_the_Monk posted:


Ironic Twist, LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE, Jitzu_the_Monk

0.7% of TD wins

Personally, I'm glad of it.

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool


anime was right fucked around with this message at 05:51 on Oct 27, 2015

Jan 27, 2006

Ironic Twist posted:

Personally, I'm glad of it.

Me too. Can't wait.

Feb 16, 2011

I eat your face

Linecrit for Black Metal Week - Benny the Snake

Benny the Snake posted:

Separation (794 words)

"The Screaming of the Goat" Actually your prompt was "The Screaming Of Goats"

"...experts have now officially deemed this unseasonably warm weather as to be permanent climate change. Reservoir levels have reached critical, and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has been almost completely drained as-"

Farmer Liam Thomas This is silly - if he was, say, a lawyer, would you call him "Lawyer Liam Thomas"? - and a show/tell issue to boot. If it matters to the story that he's a farmer, just show him doing farmery things. If it doesn't matter, leave it out. shut his TV off and threw the remote away from himself before covering his face in despair. Central California used to be known as as the most fertile area in the world and now it was nothing more than another dust bowl waiting to happen. The pastures were now bone dry and his flock of sheep was reduced to only a handful.


He turned around.  "Yeah, stringbean?"

"You're doing it again."

Liam smiled at his daughter Molly. Show/tell - why are you telling us her name is Molly here when you show it in dialogue literally two sentences later?  He hated to see his little princess scared.  "Everything's going to be okay, Molly."

"But Dad," she said fearfully, "the pastor said that these are all signs, that something big is happening."

Liam motioned for her to sit next to him.  "Molly, did I ever tell you why I stopped going to church?"

She shook her head and sat down next to him as she sat. (You've already told us where she's going to sit, no need to repeat it.)  "I got tired of somebody scaring me into becoming the good person I already am, that's why."

"But Dad-"

"Let me worry about my own salvation," he said and patted her on the head. "Why don't you go feed that damned goat of yours?" Is it significant that he's referring to the goat as "that damned goat"? It seems out of character with the dialogue we've seen so far. I'm left wondering if you shoehorned it in to show how "fallen from grace" Liam is.

Molly gave him a look.  "Dad, his name's Billy."

He shrugged.  "He's not my goat." Again, this callousness seems out of character as you've told us how much he dotes on his daughter. If the goat is a sore point with him, then you may need to give some indication of why.


"Hi Billy," Molly said as she went to the corner of their small field where Billy was penned.  

"Nyeehhh," Billy baaed said. Two points here. First, in my experience goats are more usually described as "bleating" rather than "baaing". Second, "baaed" (or "bleated") means the same as "said 'Nyeehhh'", so using both is redundant. Hope that makes sense!

Molly smiled and went inside to feed him.  Billy voraciously fed into from the bucket full of feed This was super weirdly phrased as she patted him on the head, starting from his pointy horns and down to his forehead.  "Billy," Molly said and paused for a moment.  "Do you think I worry too much about Dad?"  

Billy looked into her eyes.  Some people said that the square-shaped eyes rectangular pupils of a goat looked demonic, but Molly had always thought they looked adorable ever since she'd started raising him when he was just a kid.  The goat snuggled up against her and baaed bleated again.  "Neeeehh."

Molly smiled.  "You always know the right thing to say." bless 'er dear little heart


Liam and Molly woke up in in the middle of the evening So around 8pm or so? Why were they asleep that early? --someone was screaming at the top of their lungs.  Turning on the floodlights, Liam burst out of his house only to find that it was Billy.  Hearing a goat scream is quite possibly the most uncanny thing you could ever hear--you just don't expect something that walks on four legs and eats cans urban myth, check your facts to scream like a human does. True enough, but a bit of a weird POV shift - an omniscient narrator suddenly addressing the audience directly. Wouldn't it be better to write this from Liam's POV in the story? "Shut the gently caress up!" Liam shouted at the screaming goat.  

"Billy!" Molly cried out as she ran towards her goat.  "Billy, calm down," she said and tried comforting to comfort him.  Instead he bucked and almost gored her with his horns Unnecessary - what else would he gore her with?.  Liam slammed Billy with the heel of his boot on Billy.  "Dad!" Molly shouted.

"He almost gored you!"

"He doesn't know any better!"  

"The hell he doesn't!" Liam shouted and kicked him again but Billy kept screaming in horror.


Billy's nightly screaming continued for about a week, always at random times, never for any discernible logic reason. ("with any discernible logic" or "for any discernible reason")  One night, his screaming was joined by the screaming of others.  When Liam and Mary Molly got out to investigate, they were greeted by encountered a gruesome sight.  Billy had forced himself out of his pen.  He was surrounded by the corpses of the farm's miniscule minuscule (besides the misspelling, this is a slightly odd word for the context. Just go with "tiny") flock of sheep.  All of them had multiple puncture marks in their bodies, their red blood in macabre contrast with their pure white wool. Unless they're unusually well-cared-for show sheep, their wool is more likely to be grubby yellowish white than "pure" white. I think you're being a touch lazy with your descriptions. And there Billy was, his horns and face covered in blood and gristle, his eyes mad with blood lust. What does that look like? All goats look pretty mad to me.  Molly covered her mouth to stifle her terrified scream.  Liam didn't say a word--he was too livid for words.  His face flushed with rage you already told me he was angry in the last sentence and his breathing shallow, he walked back in to retrieve his shotgun.

"Dad, don't!" Molly pleaded with him.

"Don't look," he said and kept moving.  

"He didn't know any better!  He's just a-"

Liam pushed his daughter aside and advanced on Billy.  Grabbing the goat by the neck, he tied him against his pen as hard tightly as he could.  Ignoring the tears on his daughter's face and her pleadings, Liam loaded the single shell into his over-under gun and aimed at the damned goat took aim. It's possible you were trying to make a link back to the start of the story with the phrase "damned goat", but it's just awkward.

Before he could pull the trigger, a loud trumpet sounded. You can avoid weighing down your prose with boring adjectives and adverbs by choosing better verbs. Instead of "a loud trumpet sounded", try "a trumpet blared" or something. The sky was alight as fire rained down like hail from the heavens. Billy's screaming grew louder and louder.  Liam let his gun fall to the ground and fell to his knees.  Molly did likewise and stared at the sky.  For the first time in her life, she was truly terrified.  Not for herself,; she knew she was saved.

She couldn't speak for her father, though.

Overall thoughts: So yeah. You already know I'm disappointed that you took an interesting premise and then turned it into just another heavy-handed Judgment Day Parable. Your other main problem is a penchant for weirdly ungrammatical or over-worded phrases, especially when prepositions are involved. I didn't hate the characters - they seemed generally believable and Molly was quite sympathetic, although they were both pretty stock, which my fellow judges tell me is a characteristic of your writing. Not bad overall, but plenty to work on.

Idle Amalgam
Mar 7, 2008


Maugrim posted:

Linecrit from Black Metal Week for Doctor Idle

Overall thoughts:
This story makes me really sad. It's not even a story, really. It's a series of mundane things that happen to a mundane chap called Barney, with a brief hallucinatory interlude in the middle that contains the only bit of actual interest and conflict in the entire piece. But because you'd spent so many words on irrelevant scene-setting and pointless dialogue, you couldn't do the interesting part justice and had to completely gloss over the epic battle with two warlocks over a blood-soaked altar. And even if you'd cut the irrelevance and written a most excellent tale of heroism and crystalline swords, your punchline of "bad steak" is on a par with "and then I woke up and it was all a dream" and would probably have earned you a DM all on its own.

It's not all bad though. There is that little nugget of good stuff hidden in there that you can develop. And you did occasionally manage to keep a consistent tense for whole paragraphs at a time, which convinces me that you could get it right if you were paying attention. I hope you'll continue to enter Thunderdome as, really, there's nowhere else to go from here except up.

Thank you for the line crit Maugrim. Good criticisms, and I do plan to return but for now I continue my stint of cowardice while I learn more about the trade.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012


Maugrim posted:

Linecrit for Black Metal Week - Benny the Snake
Thank you, Maugrim.

Ol Sweepy
Nov 28, 2005

Safety First

Jake Wilkins is a Cool Guy - 1190 words

Jake braced himself against a wall with both hands and edged his way along it like Spiderman. That’s if Spiderman’s superpower was the stench of 3 types of liquor and instead of changing costumes behind a dumpster in an alleyway he just accidentally pissed on his own shoes. Jake decided this poorly conceived method of locomotion would help him avoid the indignity of staggering down the road like a man composed of rubber.

Half a pack of smokes laid crumpled on the sidewalk. As Jake made a bold effort to stoop and collect them the world fell and he smashed into the concrete. Gathering himself up he slid a bent cigarette into his mouth.

“That bitch.” he mumbled. The cigarette dropped lazily from between his lips back to the ground. “That bitch” was his wife Belinda and to understand why she’s a bitch one must travel back in time 12 hours.

Now Jake was a cool guy. If you ever met him you’d buy him a beer. He paid his taxes, worked hard, gave blood regularly and volunteered for charities. But Jake was about to become the victim of a cliche so enormous that the author of this tale had to stand up, move to the bathroom mirror, and take a long, hard look at himself.

Jake got home 3 hours early from work and walked upstairs to discover Belinda’s yoga classes had qualified her as an instructor since instead of fixing the washing machine the handyman was getting a lesson in downwards facing dog. Thankfully Jake, being such a cool guy, didn't flip out and commit a double homicide. He simply got angry, shouted for a while, stormed out of the house, and drove to his friend Nathan’s place. Nathan was an unemployed pothead and a great friend to have in such a situation since he possessed all the time in the world to go on a bender.

Sometime between his first beer and the close encounter with the pavement Jake found himself three towns away, lost Nathan, and discovered that people who left bathroom stalls unlocked didn't like it when you burst in and vomited on their laps.

“Who leaves the door unlocked when they poo poo anyway?” Jake yelled back at the man who was unable to clean himself and chase Jake at the same time.

“What the gently caress?” was all the stranger could bring himself to shout repeatedly between groans of disgust.

Jake realized he probably couldn't walk to Nathan’s in the state he was in and hailed a cab. He sat in the back with the window down and the cool wind on his face the whole way home.


Jake awoke the next day nursing an empty bottle of tequila and a hangover. His phone sat on the side table of Nathan’s spare room.
Scrolling through he saw two texts from Nathan

“where r u?”

“2 wasted. c u at home.”

The other message was an email from Fixit Kwik. The handyman’s company had billed Jake for washing machine repairs.
Jake replied to the email as a commitment to milking enjoyment out of a horrible situation.

To the billing department,
Please forward this to my wife as she owes the handyman extra since he serviced her too.
Jake Wilkins

That would have been enough for some but not Jake. Remember, he was a cool guy and didn't deserve to be used and discarded like the handyman’s glow-in-the-dark condom which in hindsight seems like a redundant feature when you’re loving at 2:45 on a sunny afternoon. Once Jake was sober enough he decided to take Nathan for a drive past the house though he wasn't sure what to do when they arrived. Nathan insisted they use his car since Belinda wouldn't recognize it. Jake agreed though he wasn't keen for the stench of spilled bong water.

The rusty old Ford parked in front of Jake’s house and that was the moment 15 drinks and a spicy burrito decided to wreak havoc on Jake’s lower intestine. He needed to poo poo now. Bolting out of the car and running up the front porch he could already hear Belinda and the handyman loving upstairs again.

“gently caress.” Jake whispered to himself. The front door was locked and he’d left his keys back at Nathan’s. A pair of expensive CAT work boots sat by the welcome mat. They weren't his or Belinda’s. Jake gathered them up and ran behind a privet bush. After pinching off a loaf in the left boot Jake evened out the right boot best he could. He placed the boots back he ran to the car.

“Dude what were you doing back there?” asked Nathan as he started the engine.

“I’ll tell you later. Lets stop somewhere on the way home for lunch.” replied Jake.

“I know a good sushi place” Nathan said as the car peeled out.


Jake and Nathan sat in their socks on the tatami floor of the restaurant.
“Nice pick Nathan.” Jake said “I didn't peg you for the type of guy to go for this traditional stuff.”

“I spent some time snowboarding in Nagano and enjoyed the food ever since. Not a fan of leaving my shoes outside but this place does the best meals.”

“Speaking of shoes, back at the house, I needed to poo poo but didn't have my keys so I left a couple of Lincoln logs in the handyman’s boots as retribution for porking my wife.”

“Dude, that is gross and awesome.” Nathan laughed.

“Yeah, it was the most cathartic poo poo I've ever taken. I feel like my revenge would have been more satisfying if I could have seen his face as he put those boots on.” said Jake.

Kneeling at the end of the table the waiter, who had seated them, looked a little surprised having no doubt heard Jake’s tale of putrid vengeance.

“Here are the beers and the warm sake you ordered. Your sushi platter will be out soon.” he said then quickly walked out of the room.

After enjoying their meals and laughing about the last 24 hours of misadventure Jake and Nathan paid their bill and left the restaurant. As Jake slipped on his shoes mid-stride he noticed something was wrong. With each step he took something squelched between his toes. He kept walking, hoping he was mistaken, but then the smell hit him. Looking back he saw the waiter standing in the doorway of the Japanese restaurant wearing a wry smile. As Jake trudged through the parking lot he turned to Nathan.

“I think you should know, the waiter poo poo in my shoes because I puked on his lap.”

“Um, Okay, that’s weird and kinda poetic. I think you should know you aren't getting in my car smelling like that.” replied Nathan

Nothing more needed to be said. Jake kicked off his shoes as he walked. He discarded his socks. Hopping on one leg at a time. Then he started the long walk back to Nathan’s house barefoot. Jake knew he deserved it, and he took it all in stride, because he was such a cool guy.

Mar 21, 2013


Grimey Drawer

wordcount: 1184

To Fly in the Skies of the Ocean

Sweating despite the wind, Nathaniel held onto the rigging until his knuckles turned white and his gold rings dug into the softness of his fingers. The crow’s nest still didn’t seem any closer. Nathaniel made the mistake of taking his eyes off it for a second, of looking down. Thirty feet below the ship’s bare deck glistened with windy spray and its rolling motion, amplified by the swaying of the rigging, made it list in a way his stomach found treacherous.

Nathaniel swallowed several times, willing himself not to gag, then lifted one foot to a new rung in the ropes. He moved his hands, pulling himself upward. His arm muscles felt tight, unaccustomed to lifting even a fraction of his own weight, and he cursed himself as a weak and useless lordling. He’d give anything for the Mate to summon him down and call him a fuckless pup for taking pot-shots at dolphins to pass the time. But the Mate wasn’t here, on this empty ship, in the middle of this endless ocean. Since he had woken this morning in his elegant stateroom, Nathaniel had not seen a living soul.

The rigging made his soft leather boots bend uncomfortably under the arches of his feet, his hands felt raw on the coarse fibres of the rope, and the movement of the ship seemed entirely random, making him dizzy and nauseous. But he continued to climb towards the crow’s nest, hand over hand, foot by foot, until he could touch the base of the nest itself. Two more steps upward, each a journey of a thousand years, and he got his arm over the lip of the nest and hauled his head over the edge.

A sailor’s corpse stared back at him with yellow eyes and a unmoving, idiotic grin. One side of its head sported a bloody bullet hole and the other side was blown open from within.

The ship lurched violently starboard, and Nathaniel felt himself being thrown. He panicked, screamed, and overbalanced, clutching blindly around him, scrabbling for purchase with arms and legs. His fingers slammed against the topmost yard arm, and almost slipped away. Almost.

He fought his way back up to the edge of the crow’s nest, threw himself over the rim with everything he had, and sat there with the smiling corpse, panting as if he had run a mile.

When he finally stood up, feet on the marvellously flat floor of the barrel-like crow’s nest, he tried to arrange the corpse so that it wouldn’t be trodden on. Moving its limbs like a dark puppet, he discovered a telescope in a pocket of its jacket. He snatched it away, extended the eyepiece, and stood to his full height. With one hand on the mast that rose from the nest’s floor and the other holding the telescope to his eye, Nathaniel scanned the horizon.

Through the spyglass, the dark waves appeared closer, and Nathaniel could make out the white cap of each one, frothing and foaming. All else was the green of the ocean. He moved carefully about the crow’s nest vantage points, but there was only sea and spray. Nathaniel felt tears of hopelessness well in his eyes and he almost threw the telescope away in a fit of pique, but he caught himself just in time. Instead he kicked at the corpse, which gave a satisfying snapping sound. He kicked again, and again, revelling in the damp crack of bones, and then, in one angry motion, he bundled the corpse up over the edge of the nest and pushed with all his might.

The limp rag-doll that was once a man didn’t fall far. An arm got tangled up in the ropes and kept it hanging like an island monkey. Its broken head lolled back and stared at Nathaniel, still wearing that demented, rictus grin. He leaned out, but could not reach to push it away. So he sat in the bottom of the nest while his mind whirled about his situation.

The longboats kept aside the length of the hull were still there, so the crew hadn’t suddenly deserted him aboard this floating coffin. He had seen no sign of any bodies in the water, but he did not know how fast a ship travelled in winds like these, nor whether drowned bodies sank or floated. He had searched through every corner of the ship, and found it bereft of any trace of humanity besides himself. No food, but also no cups or plates. No books or maps to guide him should he ever figure out where in the seven seas he was. There wasn’t even any gunpowder or weaponry in the armoury, which meant he couldn’t defend himself at all, let alone pass the time shooting at dolphins. He’d enjoyed doing that for sport, even managing to hit one, until the Mate had cuffed his indignant ear and warned him off, saying dolphins were the souls of those who died at sea. They were protected, but the Mate had not said by whom. Nathaniel had a momentary vision of the sides of the ship being scaled by mermen with tridents riding razor-toothed sharks. It felt so real that he looked over the edge of the nest to assure himself that the creaking of the mast wasn’t, in fact, their deadly ascent

The corpse grinned back up at him. Was it hanging from its other arm? Nathaniel couldn’t quite be sure but after a disturbed moment he dismissed the notion as a fancy. He took out his telescope and surveyed the horizon once again, looking for anything that might explain or help his situation. Anything at all.

The rigging creaked behind him, rope rubbing against wood. Nathaniel turned at the sound, and came face to face with the smiling corpse. He felt his bowels loosen as the corpse reached out and grabbed him by his shirt with bloodless hands. Nathaniel flailed at its wrists, hit its gaping skull with the telescope, all completely ineffectual. The dead sailor clambered into the nest, and lifted Nathaniel above its head with an inhuman strength. And then Nathaniel was flying.

It must only have taken a matter of seconds, but for Nathaniel the moment stretched out to near eternity. He felt the wind hard against him, and for a moment thought it might carry him further than the deck, so that he could tumble into the sea and swim away from the horror ship and its lifeless murderer. But almost before he’d had time to hope, he realised it was folly. The rigging rushed past him, the lattice of coarse rope, like a fisherman’s net for some kraken. It might have broken his fall, but it was on the other side of the mast. Here there was only empty air and the fast approaching deck.

In warmer seas, a baby dolphin with a crook in its spine slipped from its mother amid blood and afterbirth and seawater. Instinctively it began to swim, to flex and bend, to fly in the skies of the ocean.

Hugoon Chavez
Nov 4, 2011


1196 words


People say that your whole life flashes in front of you when you’re about to die, but that’s bullshit.
What actually happens, as I’m finding out right now while the wind deafens me on my freefall to hard concrete, is that you get a painfully long introspection break. It's like your brain says “what, we’re about to die? Might as well go with a bang of anxiety, guilt, and repressed memories!”
Such bullshit. I wanted to see my Uncle Jerry playing baseball with me, or maybe taste my grandma’s chocolate cookies one more time. Instead I get a lovely internal monologue and fast forward through the events that led me here. poo poo, it’s even going backwards, like that boring french movie Laura once made me go see.

The balcony, moments ago. He and I, facing each other, with his revolver building a direct line between us. We’re agitated, sweating in the cold afternoon.
“WHY, JASON, WHY!? I JUST WANT TO KNOW!” he screams, pointing the gun at me, shaking like a madman. I’m shaking, too.
“You loving know. You loving know, Mark!” I spit back at him. If I’m getting a bullet to the chest, might as well go with my head high.
“I don’t! You ruined my life, and for what!? Because I made fun of your tie at the water-cooler once? Because I took too long fixing your loving printer once?” He is crying. Pathetic, but it just makes me angrier. Even now after all we've been through, this little poo poo won’t come clean and confess?
“You. hosed. My. Girlfriend.” I growl, my teeth clamped so hard I can hear them grinding.
“What?? I never touched her you bastard! I don’t even know her, I don’t even know you! We all just work together, you loving douchebag!” Tears run down his cheeks right before the impossibly loud sound of his gun being fired. I feel a sharp pain in my stomach and tumble back, desperately holding my blood in, trying to stop it from gushing out. It runs free through my fingers.
“Now both of our lives are ruined” Mark says, sobbing. I try to fight him as he grabs my shirt and belt, but I’m weakened. He pushes me over, and that’s it. Cue my current situation, the end of Jason Montgomery.

A few days before that, in my corner office. I’m typing on my work laptop, with a notebook to my right filled with different webpages, usernames and aliases.
Oh I’m pleased with myself alright. So pleased.
That son of a bitch thinks he can gently caress my girlfriend behind my back? He has another thing coming. Just because you’re Mr. Tech Guy around the office doesn’t mean I don’t know a thing or two about the internet. Your username is the same you use on those weird forums you frequent, for gently caress’s sake. How stupid can you be?
I knew you were a creep, but finding this poo poo out was shocking even to me. You have issues old boy, and it’s only fair your coworkers know this before dealing with you like you were a normal human.
I’m not glad I had to get a crash course on this poo poo, though. “Vore”, “Furrydom” and loving “My Little Pony” fandom? poo poo, man. My niece watches that show, and she’s only five. And holy poo poo how did you actually get my Laura to even look at you twice? Maybe she’s also a creep, I need to check on her.
In any case, I finished my email. HR won’t do poo poo because of their “What you do outside the office is your problem” policy, but “accidentally” replying to their company-wide newsletter with my concerns for your mental health, with links to your blog and Tumblr should at least be enough for a good, good laugh.
See if you gently caress anyone’s girlfriend again, you poo poo. Next time stick with ponies.

Last week at my old apartment, the one we lived together in. Great views, incredible water pressure and a kitchen a bit too small. Usually, my happy place.
My suitcase lays in the bed halfway packed with crumpled shirts, dirty pairs of pants, and all the socks I can find while I trash around the house, screaming obscenities and punching the walls.
“Four years Laura! Four loving years!” a bunch of coathangers drop to the floor when I pull one of my shirts free. I don’t bother picking them up.
She sobs in response. There are no more excuses to be said, it’s a done deal. She hosed someone else on our own goddamn bed, and that’s how a great relationship ends so suddenly.
“You hosed things up for both of us, and for what?” I close my suitcase, giving up on trying to take everything. I can always come back later. “Because you wanted to try something new? Or you just wanted to hurt me?” I feel myself tearing up, and hold it in. When I turn my back to her I wipe my eyes with my wrist.
“We haven’t had sex in two months! We work together and even then we don’t see each other more than an hour every day!” her voice is distorted by her crying and it’s filled with pain and… anger? Like it’s my fault now? “When we do talk it’s like you don’t even listen to me!”
She babbles a bit then shuts up.
“Were you planning on telling me?” I ask. I know the answer, but I rather hope that there’s a chance she would've come clean. That she still respects me. “If I hadn't found the condom and the text messages, would you have confessed?”
“No.” she just said.
I headed for the door, grabbing my suitcase. I felt like yelling to her, like throwing stuff and breaking anything I could reach. I even imagined myself hitting her.
Instead I just asked, right when I reached the knob “Who is he?”
She stayed silent for a minute. I didn't move or turn around, still refusing to let her see my tears.
“It’s… a man from work. He was always hitting on me and I just… I relented”
From work. It was someone I know, someone that has worked with me while loving her behind my back. Who? Who was the son of a bitch that has ruined my life?”
“Matt… It’s Matt.” She whispers.
I go down the stairs, my head is ringing and my vision feels blurry. Now I guess I’ll head to my brother's….

My flashback is over and I’m once again aware of my incoming death, the windows of my office building rushing besides me as I approach the ground.

poo poo.

Matt. She said Matt.

Not Mark. Matt.

I ruined Mark’s life and killed myself in the process. I stalked him and his creepy perversions for nothing. Matt. Who the gently caress is Matt?

The ground is all I see. Coming closer, filling my view with the promise of quick death. All that pavement, all to me. My eyes are dry and there’s no more air in my lungs, and time still seems to pass so slow. So slow…

My last thoughts are of ponies.

Nov 15, 2012

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

DON'T LISTEN TO THEIR LIES this story was actually the best. ever. gently caress you, im keeping it


Entenzahn fucked around with this message at 02:24 on Jan 1, 2016

Apr 12, 2007
eat up

A True Believer - 1167 words

The left wheel of the wheelchair squeaked. It was hard to push myself through the grass, heavy as it was with morning dew. The wheel always squeaked when it was wet. I didn’t mind, it made things more theatrical. The line inched along towards the makeshift stage. My strain was completely real as I went through the crowd. The closer I got, the more attention I drew. People looked up from their prayers and supplications and I felt their pitying eyes on me. One man reached out to help me, but I ignored him. This was my struggle.

The crowd fell in love with me in that moment. They wanted the world for me, the man with enough faith to push himself through the fields to get to where the man of God could lay healing hands. They didn’t realize it, but they all held their breath as I rolled myself to the preacher. The air was vibrant. The preacher laid his hands on me and I rose out of my chair just as we’d rehearsed a thousand times. I swear this time I almost felt the Holy Ghost for real.


I headed into town with the preacher’s money heavy in my pocket. I found a gambling house. I almost had Bobby’s money saved up. With a lucky night I’d be able to show my face back home without fear of being found.

Helena approached me at the poker table.

“You’re that man from the tent revival. The one that got his legs healed.”

“Sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“No need to lie,” she looked around the hazy room, “I’m not the judging type.”

I invited her to sit. Helena was a true believer. It was tough to swallow. A true believer in a place like that.

“We all have our faults,” she said. She leaned into me so close that I could smell her cheap perfume. “Plus, I feel that games of chance are one way for God to smile down on us.” That was a sentiment I could get behind.

God smiled on me that night. I won hand after hand. Almost enough to pay Bobby back. Cheap beer made my spirits ride higher and a furtive look from Helena made me forget about Bobby. She had an easygoing innocence about her. It seemed she had all the worries in the world and yet still trusted that it would all turn out for the best. She hung on my every word, like she was a lump of clay waiting for me to mold her. She laughed when I wanted her to laugh. I even let her win a few hands of poker without her knowing. The night wore on, time seemed a blur.

“poo poo. What time is it?” The caravan that followed the preacher always left in the middle of the night, a parade of beaten-up trucks and jalopies growling in the night. Preacher liked to move before the town woke up and realized they were had.

“After midnight,” Helena said.

“I’ve got to get going.” The trucks were probably almost loaded already and I’d have to hoof it if I wanted to ride with them instead of paying for the train.

“Where do you have to go on a night like tonight?”

“I have to get home.” I took my cash and strode out the door. I struck a cigarette and grinned when she followed me out for a light. She touched the tip of her cigarette to mine and the orange glow lit her face like a lighthouse in the darkness.

She pulled away and took a drag, “You live nearby?”

“Staying a ways outside town.”

“Much too far this late. The roads are dark and rattlers like to lie down on them before they cool.”

“Seems like you have a better idea,” I knew I had her, but I wanted to hear it direct from her mouth.

“I got a room in town. You’re welcome to spend the night.”

I had her hooked. “I couldn’t be an inconvenience.”

She was stuck fast, “Helping a friend in need would make me feel like the Good Samaritan.”

She clutched my arm in the cooling night and led me into town. I could always catch a train in the morning to catch up with the preacher. I was only safe if I kept moving, but what was one night? We walked by the train station. Earlier it had been full of people coming from miles around to the revival. It was probably more people than the town had ever seen. The preacher might be a cheat, but I know the shopkeepers didn’t mind the extra business.

“Do you have a job waiting for you back home? Helena asked. “A family? Perhaps a wife?”

“God hasn’t blessed me with a wife yet. I was thinking of following the preacher for a while.”

“I know what you mean. I feel like I could leave everything behind to follow the right man to the ends of the earth.” She looked at me when she said this before she led me up the steps to her room.


I awoke cold, sheets still damp from sweat and Helena’s warm body no longer next to mine. But I wasn’t alone. Two men leaned over me: Ike and Harry, two of Bobby’s men.

“Rise and shine,” Ike said before Harry grabbed me and hold me down. He was a big brute of a man and I sunk into the mattress, unable to struggle free. Ike pulled out a heavy length of lead pipe.

“I’ve got Bobby’s money. I just needed the time to get away to gather it, you have to understand that.”

“Bobby understands, but he says it ain’t about the money. We sent people this way and that way looking for you, but you were always on the move. Thankfully Helena was able to send us word. Your problem is you always think you’re playing everyone else when you’re the one getting played.”

The pipe came down on my knee. Then my leg. Again and again until I forgot all sounds except those of metal hitting flesh, bones breaking, and my own screaming.


The left wheel of the wheelchair squeaked. It had rained the night before and much of the packed dirt of the field had turned to mud. I strained to hear the preacher’s voice as he called forward all those who needed the healing touch of Jesus Christ. I knew the mud would probably ruin the wheelchair, but I hoped I would never need it again. All I could do was move closer, inch by inch. The hot air inside the tent hit me as I crossed the threshold. I couldn’t see much through my swollen eyes, but I could feel the crowd watching me. Surely the preacher had one real miracle in him. I pulled up before the altar a broken man. The preacher laid his hands on me and I tried… I tried.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Charichucker posted:

1131 words and no title screw you. tsk

Luke was attempting to prepare breakfast when Xavier came downstairs and, assessing the situation, said something along the lines of “Whoa what the oh my arggggh!”

“Easy man, it’s me!”

“What? Luke?”

“Yeah, man.”

“Dude.” Xavier looked him up and down. “You’re a bear.”


“Why… how are you a bear?”

“I don’t know man. But it’s making it really hard to prepare breakfast.”

“Yeah I can see that, you might have to let me take care of that.”


Xavier picked the packet of cereal up off the floor, along with the bowl. “Do bears eat cereal?”

“I don’t care what bears eat man, I like cereal.”

“Yeah all right.” Once breakfast had been prepared, and one snapped chair later, Luke resigned himself to eating off the floor. Xavier looked at Luke over his toast. “So… guess you might not be going to work today.”

“I’ve got no time off left after my holiday man, I have to.”

“Right, I hear that, but on the other hand you’re a bear.”

“I can still do my job man.”

“You couldn’t open a packet of cereal.”

“Your point is taken, but it’s all meetings today.”

Xavier shrugged. “All right, not gonna tell you how to do your job while you’re a bear. You gonna put some pants on, or what?” Luke looked at him. “I can’t tell what kind of look that’s meant to be, man. I can’t read a bear’s facial expressions.”

“It’s the kind of look that says I don’t think they sell pants that fit me. By the way, we’re gonna have to take my car. Bet I don’t look so stupid for buying the SUV now, huh.” this is like fifteen different versions of the same joke but it's an ok joke? also all the characters sound like you, which is a bit of a CC thing that I guess you can call the house style, worth trying to differentiate them a little though as it makes big patches of unattributed dialogue harder to read


“Man, this music sucks.” Luke had only just fit. They’d had to fold down the back seats.

“Driver chooses, dude. I usually have to listen to your dad rock.”

“I think the rule should be the person who owns the car chooses.”

“I think the rule should be the person who has opposable thumbs and can work the stereo chooses.”

“Ouch, dude.” Xavier didn’t reply, as he liked to concentrate when he was parking. “Don’t forget to let me out, man.”

Xavier obliged. “You don’t really look like your ID, man.”

“Think I should’ve shaved?”

“I think maybe you should’ve tried not being a bear this morning.”

“I’ll try to remember that for tomorrow. Can you be a buddy and swipe me in?” Xavier did so, and they both entered the lobby and headed towards the elevator.

“You know what,” said Xavier as they entered the elevator, “I’m not sure the manufacturers took bears into consideration when they decided there was a maximum of ten in the elevator at once.” okay I'm starting to get bored of the joke now

“We’ll be fine. I can’t be heavier than about two or three office workers.”

He proved correct, and the elevator successfully took them to their floor. ha, I love stories about lifts The doors opened, and their stood Lisa. “Hi Lisa,” said Xavier.

“Hey Xav,” said Lisa. “No one told me it was bring your pet day.”

“It’s Luke. He’s a bear today.”

“Oh, sorry Luke.”

Luke peeped out from behind Xavier. “Honest mistake, should’ve heard Xavier’s reaction this morning. He was hysterical. Screamed like a little girl.”

Lisa laughed and headed towards her office. “Not cool, dude,” said Xavier. Luke did some kind of weird head and shoulder movement. “Is that supposed to be a shrug?”

“Yeah. Still getting the hang of body movements. Oh no. I just had a thought.”

“I believe the answer is ‘in the woods’.”

“I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to restrain myself until lunch time. ouchhh that's like a sort of dad joke but not as funny Anyway, I’m gonna head to the conference room now so I get a seat.” Xavier raised an eyebrow. “A section of carpet. You know what I meant.”

“Well, good luck.”

“Thanks, I always fall asleep in those things. Oh man, I forgot my coffee.” lol coffee because work is dull amirite you're not even bothering with jokes now

“Dunno if bears really do the caffeine thing.” Luke shrugged. “There we go, that one was a bit better.”

“Yeah, I think I’ve mastered shrugging. don't care tbh OK, see you at lunch time.” Luke waddled towards conference room 2A, and Xavier headed to his desk.

“Hey Xav,” said Wendy. “Lisa told me about Luke. Is it true?”

Xavier nodded. “Told him to rethink his vacation.”

“Oh yeah,” said Wendy. “Did he say how it was?”

Xavier shook his head. “Didn’t see him until this morning, he must’ve gotten in late last night. Whoa, there’s the boss, look busy.”

They both looked busy, and Xavier made some progress on his stack of work. After a while, Wendy turned back around. “Listen, I’ve thought about your invite.”

“Oh that, listen no big deal if you can’t make it.”

“Well no, I’d love to, but I was just wondering if I can bring a friend? I mean, you could bring a friend too, we can double.”

“Uh, sure. I mean, ordinarily I’d bring Luke, but I don’t know if he’ll still be a bear.”

“No, that’s fine, he’d be perfect for the friend I’ve got in mind.”

“Because she’s a zoologist?” Wendy had already turned back around and put her headphones in, so Xavier shrugged and got back to his work. O GOD THIS IS BORING ME FFS CC STOP BORING ME WITH YOUR BLAND TALE OF A DUDE TURNING INTO A LOL BEAR LOL


Xavier hadn’t thought to pack lunch, what with the turmoil of Luke being a bear and all, OH is that what the story is about huh that explains so much so when Luke got out of his meeting, the two of them wandered over towards the café. “How was the meeting?” asked Xavier.

“Took way longer than it should have,” said Luke. “Some of them were a bit distracted. You’d think they’d never seen a bear before.” snarf chortle he's a bear

“It’s not that common,” said Xavier. “Maybe some of them haven’t.”

Luke nodded. “Yeah I guess.” The café only had a single door. “Huh, never realised that before.” His shoulders stuck out either side. “Must be an older design.”

“Want me to check out what the specials are?”

“Yeah, no worries. I’ll just chill out here.” ;'poajkisd;olkfhjaowuieh sorry just lost consciousness from how dull this is and faceplanted on the keyboard I'm ok though don't worry


“Hey,” said Xavier as they sat down to eat, “so I’ve got a date with Wendy on Friday.”

“Oh, nice! I’d high five you, but it’d probably break your arm.” LOLOLOL HES Z ABEAR

“The thought is appreciated. But anyway, she wanted to bring a friend, so she suggested maybe we double date.” He looked at Luke.

“Well that’s still cool I guess, but – wait, you mean me?” Xavier nodded. “Fine, I guess I’m not doing anything Friday.”

“Thanks man, I owe you one.”

“Wait, what if I’m still a bear?” 'I'M A BEAR' is not a diplomatic passport to the land of funny Chairchucker

“Oh, that’s fine,” said Xavier, avoiding his gaze. “She said that would be perfect anyway.”

“That’d be…? Oh man, that’s just too weird. You are gonna owe me like five or six.”

Xavier shrugged. “I figure I’ll probably accumulate some credit for the duration of you being terrible at everything and needing my hands.”

Luke shook his head. “Doesn’t even compare.”

Xavier nodded. “Thanks buddy.” omg I actually hate you and want you to die now or at least have something unpleasant happen to you like be unable to find your keys for an hour or two chairchuicker why did you waste my time with that lazy 1 joke bibblebobble plz do not do so in future

Kaishai posted:


The other children of the castle reminded Limonadé constantly that he had been found, abandoned, under a lemon tree, and yet they were surprised when he slept in the grove and called the trees his family. this opener feels like it's the wrong way around? The king's son stole all Limonadé's clothing and replaced it with frippery vague dyed bright yellow and green. Limonadé wore it gladly. He stood among the trees with his arms spread wide, until birds perched on his fingers and tried to build nests in his hair. well did they or didn't they kai

"Bird-head Limonadé, you'll never marry," the queen's maids taunted him.

To which Limonadé said, "I will, if she loves the trees as I do."

As years passed and the concept of marriage became less academic, no woman appeared who cared to spend her days or nights under whispering branches. But some girls nevertheless enjoyed Limonadé's company, since he could whistle bird songs and weave chains of lemon flowers.

The youths who had taunted him in childhood told him now to leave. There was a world out there, they said. His right lady was somewhere in it, waiting, surely as lonely as Limonadé himself. Limonadé had not been aware of any loneliness. Yet they made a convincing argument, tossing rocks from hand to hand as they spoke.

He would not travel alone, however. One young tree in particular was his closest friend, his brother. Limonadé dug up the tree and put it in a wide wooden bucket; carrying this in his arms, he took to the road that led far from the castle.

A warm rain fell, soaking Limonadé and causing the dye on his boots to run so that he left an emerald trail. this is implying he hasn't been rained on before, which seems incongruous being as he is such a hippy Water pattered against the lemon tree's leaves and dripped onto Limonadé's hair. He tipped his chin back and caught droplets in his mouth, and they tasted finer than wine. ditto

Karl, the king's son, caught up to him before nightfall. I'd have had karl in it from the beginning, iiwy

"You stole that tree from the castle grounds," he said. "I have every right to kill you." He cracked his knuckles and showed his teeth. cliche Limonadé wore scars from the prince's hate, and all of them felt cold. cold scars? this metaphor/sense impression doesn't really land

Limonadé dropped the bucket and grabbed at lemon-laden branches. "Please, grow!"

And because he was fool enough to treat a tree as a brother, it obliged. It shot up to twice Karl's height and beyond, Limonadé scrabbling up its limbs as they broadened. Karl lunged for the lowest branches, but they flung him off; he seized leaves and tore them free. Limonadé kicked out. The toe of his sodden boot caught Karl in the eye. Twigs whipped furrows into Karl's cheek. swap these two

The king's son fell, screaming. The king's son ran, covering his ruined face.

Limonadé tumbled down onto the remains of the bucket that could no longer contain his brother. Curled up among tree roots, he wept.

He traded an armful of lemons for a farmer's pull wagon, come daylight, and he and the lemon tree traveled on a sunnier road. It led them across miles of wild country, past cottages, through towns. They discovered wonders, but never a woman who didn't laugh at the sight of them.

In time Limonadé reached a stand of trees the like of which he'd never seen. They dangled fruit over his head, sunset-orange tinged with green. Their white blossoms gave the air such perfume that he couldn't stop filling his lungs with it. ugh One in particular showed hundreds of flowers, its height less than the others', though it still towered over his brother.

Wood creaked as the lemon tree stretched itself taller. Its leaves rattled in the wind: a comment, an introduction. And it seemed to Limonadé that the tree gowned in white bent its branches down.

It hurt him why? to break a piece from the wagon and use it to dig a hole deep enough for a lemon tree. He set his brother into the soil, close enough to the blossoming tree for their foliage to touch. The soft sigh of the breeze through their limbs told him that this was right.

"The trip was worth it, then," he said.

"Was it?" Karl's voice asked, behind him.

The king's son had a hollow for one eye and scabs beneath the dirt on his face. He held an axe.

"No!" Limonadé dove between the blade and the lemon tree even as Karl swung. The axe drove into his shoulder. The force of the blow slammed him into wood; when Karl pulled the axe out, his arm nearly came with it. Limonadé fell in a sprawl between the trees, splashing blood all over bark and grass. With rustles as violent as thunder, both trees swung their branches at Karl.

To no avail. The axe cut through them. Flowers and fruit showered down. But even as they lost limb after limb, the trees tried to shield their friend.

Limonadé died to the sound of steel biting into bark.

Karl chopped the orange tree and the lemon into pieces that he left scattered around Limonadé's body. He took two lemons and squirted their juice over his supper fish, and the first bite tasted as bitter as tears. tears aren't bitter tho Poisonous hate killed him where he sat. this is a little lazy, imo

In the spring, a tree sprouted where Limonadé had lain. Its fruit, when they arrived, were a warm shade between orange and yellow. While those who snatched the bounty early complained of its sourness, those who gathered the fruit where it fell found it as sweet as the love of a fool. and a lovely closer. I remember not liking this one as much as other people at the time, and I think I understand why now - the malice of the prince is unmotivated and the title basically spoils the piece (though that may be from the prompt, idr). It's got some moderately pretty fairy tale stylings, but doesn't have the backbone of a proper fairy story.

Barnaby Profane
Feb 23, 2012


Barnaby Profane fucked around with this message at 19:08 on Dec 30, 2015

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007



Fun Shoe

I failed again. I'm sorry.

Feb 25, 2014


Yeah, no story this week

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

C:\ time

—March 1st, 8:50 PM EST

C:\ find deadline

—3 hours, 10 minutes until deadline

C:\ run week134entries.tsv

—26 total entrants
—6 submitted stories
—20 unsubmitted stories

C:\ run visualrepresentationofnext3hours.flv

C:\ run mashpanicbutton.exe

— File not found.

C:\ run writeordie.exe

Wangless Wonder
May 27, 2009

1,171 words

I cover the distance to the middle of the ring in two lunging strides. The kid is smiling and holding out his glove in solidarity and I slip under and hook him in the liver. The kid goes down and I get docked a point that doesn’t matter. The judges know who I am and why I’m here; winning the decision isn’t an option. I pace in my corner and scan the crowd but Rich only ever watches me fight from behind his gloves and this last time should be no different. I’d meet him in the finals and he would have the best seat in the house. The crowd is meek this year and I only hear a few scattered death threats over the ref’s count. The kid is on his feet at 8 and he is no longer smiling. I slip the jab and catch the hook and the force of it knocks me off balance. My hands are already at my chin, ready for the upper when my head explodes. Clever gambit or lucky punch, the second hook does its job and I’m on the ground watching two copies of the kid raise their arms and pose for the cheering crowd. I was like him once, young and angry. I’d come out the gate slinging fireballs and now all I’ve got left is smoke and old embers. The ref races through his count as I stand on shaky knees. It’s been seventeen years. This kid was cum when I started boxing. We meet in the middle of the ring and he bounces from foot to foot with his hands down, grinning until the first jab wipes it from his face. I pepper him with quick lefts thrown from the shoulder and it’s like prodding a sleeping bear. He puts all his weight behind the overhand right, body corkscrewed behind it, but my left is already there. I touch his chin and end the fight. Rich taught me that one when we were young. Before he taught me to hate.

The ref moves to raise my hand but I’m already making my way out of the ring and towards the bleachers. I feel like black Moses as the crowd clears a path for me. I take the gloves off with my teeth, but it feels like the headgear is all that’s keeping my brains from falling out so I leave it on. They cut off the periphery like blinders. The roar of the crowd was overwhelming for a small time tourney like this. I didn’t need to look to see Rich was making his way to the ring. People know him and many had been there for his sixteen losses and reviled him for it. Still, others remember his father’s name. The old man won his Golden Gloves right here in Alabama and went on to be heavyweight champion of the world. Rich had been trying to follow in his footsteps ever since. This was his last shot.

Rich runs the biggest gym in town but shows up alone every year. He doesn’t bring a corner. He doesn’t bring her. I try to chew through my own teeth as he steps into the ring. He’s not matched up against a kid. This guy is a veteran, thirty-four years old like Rich and I. One of those guys content to sandbag the minor leagues until they tell him he’s too old to keep picking on the kids. He came prepared for his last showing, looking twice as big as Rich at the same weight. Rich had settled into his 165 pound frame since we were kids and never bothered to cut. Made it easier to match his weight class. Rich stands there impassive, looking up at the ceiling and tapping his glove against his thigh. They sound the bell and the two men touch gloves in the middle of the ring. Rich’s hands drop and the man takes a reserved swing to measure his distance, a sign of his discipline. He’s already lost. Rich closes the distance instantly and slips a cross through the small opening. He is already making his way out of the ring as the ref starts his count.

This is how all of his fights go, except the ones against me. I figure I got into his head that first year he met me in the ring, after he broke my heart. Or maybe it was the second year, when he realized I’d always be there to take his Gloves. Either way, it stuck. I was looking forward to the finals. Truth be told, I never really liked boxing, it was always Rich’s thing. I exit, the crowd giving me wide berth, headgear and experience muting the whispers and jeers.


Rich is in the red corner this time. That was always his favorite when we were kids, said the good guys like his dad were always in the red corner. Looks like the crowd agrees. They know all the best words for me and won’t miss their last chance to say them. It can’’t be easy sitting there, watching me beat the son of their hometown hero for the seventeenth time. Didn’t help that I’d never accepted their Gloves, the few times they deigned to offer. That I would be gone already had Rich and I met earlier in the tournament. Bell rings. Two lunging steps and Rich and I meet in the middle. As always, he looks at me like I’m a kitten with a broken leg. Jab to get his chin up. Like a dirty child without shoes. Right cross to follow. Like I wasn’t someone who had spent a lifetime kicking his rear end! He counters mid hook, same right I saw fell a giant yesterday. Barely knocks my head gear off kilter. I’m invincible when I’m like this. I’ve never felt a punch he’s thrown, not since-

He wipes the blood from his nose before putting up a lazy guard and swinging a jab to the right of me. I feel tears welling in my eyes. My mouth guard falls to the canvas and the ref stops the fight and snaps his fingers in front of my eyes. I can’t hear the crowd any more but I see the angry faces and the empty seats as people begin to leave in disgust. I put my guard back in and nod to the ref and put my hands up. Rich comes in and throws another lazy jab and I clinch. I tell him I understand and I’m sorry and I thank him for trying. Before the ref separates us, I tell him to win. I hope he hears me through the rubber guard and muffled sobs. That last part would be easy for Rich; he had experience beating up fags for the pleasure of a crowd. I grin and throw a left, a reserved swing to measure my distance. Rich smiles and disappears. The cheers are comforting as the world goes black.

Aug 8, 2013


Flaming Night
Words: 755

Ronald crept through the dying brush. An orange glow illuminated the clearing while dark figures shuffled about. He stayed crouched, moving closer into position with carefully chosen footsteps. The figures spoke to one another in hushed whispers.

A twig snapped under Ronald’s foot. The silhouette of a man cocked his head, looking directly at the bush Ronald had hidden himself in. The figure drew closer, his footsteps silent. In a swift, practiced motion, Ronald darted further into the dry twigs and dead leaves The figure shrugged and muttered something about raccoons before walking away.

A woman screamed from somewhere in the distance. Then, the first hums and prayers began. The soft chants of a language otherwise lost to time filled the woods.

Two large, hooded men dragged a woman kicking and screaming to the center of the clearing. Ronald paused, took a breath, and cocked his Remington.

A figure, tall and lanky, spoke with a forceful baritone.

“Lo! Spiro, our God, accept this offering we bring before you!”

The chanting grew in volume, but took upon an almost jovial tone. The robbed men and women began to dance, moving in ways that seemed to follow an alien rhythm. They slide back and forth, the frenzied movements resembling bees more than humans, but even that was being generous. The robed goons who initially dragged the woman out brought her towards a sculpture that gleamed with the orange, ethereal light of a bonfire.

With an audible sneer, Ronald sprang from his hiding place.

“The power of twelve gauge compels you, you bastard!”

The tall, lanky figure from prior didn’t even finish turning his head when he was decapitated by buckshot. Collapsing to the ground, the other members of Spiro’s cult watched in silence.

“Give her back or that’ll be all of you!”

The goons charged, daggers drawn. Ronald racked the pump of his shotgun back and forth, dropping both before they even got close. The remaining cult members ran into the night, but the fight was far from over.

Ronald rushed to the girl from earlier. He worked swiftly, slicing away at the black cloth that bound her ankles and wrists.

“Let’s get out of her Sandra,” said Ronald in a hushed tone.

Before he could help Sandra to her feet, the worst happened.

The statue of Spiro moved its eyes. The heavy oak from which it was carved bent and moaned as the sculpture filled with unnatural life. It moved its ankles, trying to tear free. Ronald produced a glass bottle, plugged with a rag, from his backpack. With the flick of his zippo he sent his distraction hurling towards the idol.

A scream like that of a wild fox echoed through the forest as the sculpture lit up. Nevertheless, its wooden form continued to bend and crack as unholy power entered into it.

“Run,” said Ronald.

The two sprinted from the flaming, demonic statue. They ducked back into the brush and zig-zagged through the dying foliage. However, the idol just stomped through, setting things on fire as it went. The dry kindling caught with ease.

Flames spread throughout the entire forest, turning the once peaceful woodlands into a raging inferno. Branches collapsed from above, and flaming debris encircled Ronald and Sandra. The smell of smoke was omnipresent, and it threatened to fill their lungs and bring them to their knees. The heat bore down on their ill-prepared flesh, their bodies sweating in a desperate bid to stay cool. Still they ran, fleeing from flame and irate god alike.

Spiro’s stompings continued with a steady rhythm, as if the flames didn’t even bother it. Ronald and Sandra burst from a smoldering bush into a small clearing. A pond sat in the center like a gift from God. With a quick glance at one another, the two jumped in.

In the background they heard the idol’s steady march. It passed by the clearing, and disappeared into the fiery night. The two stayed in the pond for what seemed like days before they finally sprinted away from the still burning forest.

Both of them sighed as they made it to a dirt road outside the forest. They lied on the gravel, embracing in a passionate kiss under the starlight.

After dusting themselves off, they walked down the road, looking at each other. Both of them were dripping wet, sprinkled with soot, and out of breath. They had a long trek ahead of them, but as long as they had the company of each other, nothing else really mattered.

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

Really, it's because I don't want to pay the ten bucks

haha yes i'm even replacing this one with an archive link you fucks

Djeser fucked around with this message at 05:28 on Jan 1, 2016

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


1039 words

Kyra breathed slowly, anxious about what she was about to do. Even before the hog had stopped, she was off and walking towards the restaurant.

She looked around at the other members of the club, silhouetted in the electric lighting. Otter in the white shirt and shades; Rich with his long beard and gold earrings; Lex wearing sunglasses and jeans; and Danny wearing a red bandanna around his neck, and Victoria hanging off of him like a climbing vine, fingers curled around his arm and creeping up his chest as they walked. All of them proudly wearing the colors.

And there was Miller, of course. Kyra was right beside him, still attached, every day, every place. Habit. Everything about him was the same as that first night she saw him a year earlier: the scruffy beard, the torn shirt, the close-cropped hair, the arms as wide as tree trunks. It was fun and exciting at first, but it quickly became dull, then suffocating. The one thing she never got tired of was the riding, speeding down dark highway road, the lines a blur of gray, the air dry, acidic grit getting in her teeth and stinging her tongue, every time riding like an ode to the God of Speed.

They walked into the restaurant around ten at night. It was nothing special. Decor from the 50s, and enough dirt in the crevices that that might have been the last time it was washed properly, too. One of those places with a phone book for a menu but they know how to make everything on it. And a place that accepted the gang, or at least tolerated them; even still allowed smoking inside.

Miller looked at her, flicked cigarette ash onto the windowsill beside him, gave her that funny half-smile: he knew she hated when he did that. She looked away.

He was mostly harmless, usually, sometimes. When he was in a good mood, he was great. Funny, kind, talked her ear off. When he was feeling down he tended to sink back into the wallpaper. But when he was drinking, all bets were off.

“Miller, I gotta tell you something.”

“Sure, babe. Hey Lex!”—he shouted across the room—“Get me another beer, would ya?”

“I’m serious, Miller.”

“Right, no, hey. I hear you babe, I really do. Hey Lex!” He waved his hand wildly.

The waiter brought them their food. 2 eggs over easy and a grilled cheese sandwich for her, gazpacho for him.

“I don’t know how you can stand that,” he said.

“Neither do I.” She picked at the crispy fried edges of an egg with her fork.

He didn’t respond, just started eating in big slurping gulps. After a minute, he looked up at her, put his spoon down, and ran a rough hand over his stubbled head. “Hey, c’mon. Something’s bothering you. What is it?”

“I’m leaving.”

“What? Where?”

“You. The club. Everything.”

“What? Babe...” He reached for her hand.

She jerked back. “I’m done. We’re done. It’s over.”

He took a sudden interest in the Keno screen above her head, and tipped a beer to his lips. Then he nodded, slowly. “All right.” He gave her another of his funny half smiles and pushed back from the table. The handle of his gun just stuck out above his belt. “But watch out, babe. Somebody might get hurt. Accidents happen, you know.”

She glanced at the next table over—Rich was telling a story, probably one they had heard a dozen times before, Lex laughing hysterically, Dan and Vic practically falling asleep in each others’ food. The waiter was somewhere in the back.

“No, I don’t think so.” She leaned forward, across the table, draping her arm over his. “Because I watched you sleep this morning. Because I put an empty clip in your gun, and because I have this.” She pulled a small revolver from the side pocket of her bag.

He sputtered, eyes wide.

“I know you’re not stupid, and you don’t crave attention,” Kyra said. “That’s why I’m not making a scene outta this. I’m just going to stand up, and walk to the bathroom door, and keep walking right out of here. And you’re not going to say anything.”

“You...” He sat back, slack-jawed, in the booth. The flaking foam cushioning cut into his back. “Is there somebody...”

“There’s nobody. It’s me. It’s you. That’s all.” She stood up and started walking towards the doors. “Goodbye, Miller. It’s been a ride.”

Outside, she climbed onto her chopper. And it was hers; she had paid for it. He had never been a good mechanic, had left that to her; just another habit they fell into.

Most of the members behind her were too buzzed to follow or too coked out to care, if they even noticed her leaving. She started the bike, revved the engine, circled the restaurant once and sped off, back the way they came. The night’s cool air and sand and bugs whipped past her head. She just kept pushing the throttle, faster, faster through the desert, to meet the God of Speed.

She rode for nearly an hour, until the fuel gauge nearly hit E, looking back every few minutes to see if there were any bikes following her. There never were.

At last she came to a ridge, a place she had visited many times during the day, to think by herself. She’d never come here with him.

She climbed off of the bike and eased it several yards down the embankment, to the dusty ledge below, out of view of the highway above. Then she kept climbing down the path, crawling down backwards in some places, using her backpack as a counterweight; down rough pebbles and smooth stone surfaces almost like stairs in others.

A creek whispered in the darkness at the bottom of the gorge. She collected stones and laid them in a circle beside the water, then set her sleeping bag out alongside it. Bits of driftwood and brush from the immediate area were good enough to start a fire. So were her colors.

She had done it. She was out. She lay down to sleep alone for the first time in months.

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet

The Smell of Victory
986 words

The werewolf is here, Nick thought.

Nick swung his bat with ease, the sound of the impact echoing around the stadium. Nick dropped the bat and sprinted towards first base with supernatural speed. It was a good hit, and the ball went far.

It could be anyone here. Which one of them left that note in my locker

The left fielder picked up the ball and threw it to the first baseman.

Tonight you die in public, it said.

Nick went into an easy slide, throwing dust in the air. The baseman caught the ball and reached down to tag him, but Nick went between his legs and reached safety. The audience cheered.

I knew Febreeze wouldn’t be enough.


Two nights ago.

“You sure this is the place?” Nick asked.

“If it’s not, I messed up the tracking spell,” Jake replied.

They were standing in front of an old condemned book store. Jake went around the back and Nick followed. Jake pointed at a short flight of stairs that went below street level and led to a door.

“That’s gotta be his hiding place.”

Nick nodded and took a crowbar out of the pack slung around his shoulder.

“What if he’s in there?”

“It’s the full moon man, he’ll be out and about. Besides, would you rather get fur for the potion from him directly?”

Nick frowned at Jake and shook his head, then stepped down the stairwell to force the door open with the crowbar. It was easier than he expected, the old wood splintering almost immediately. On the other side was a dirty hallway that led to another door, this one ajar.

They pushed the next door open and walked into a medium-sized room. A feral smell washed over them.

“Ugh, smells like a zoo’s sceptic tank,” said Nick.

Jake shrugged. “Just hold your breath. Come on.”

To their right was a bed and a large pile of filthy, ripped clothes. The left wall was dominated by shelves full of small hand-painted figurines of futuristic soldiers, monsters, and their vehicles. A television hung on the far wall and below it was a table on which rested a computer tower, a monitor and some game consoles. The floor was disgusting, covered in filth and fecal matter.

Jake walked over to the shelves and picked up an angry green man figurine.

“This werewolf is a nerd.”

“Put that down, man. Let’s find some fur and get out.”

“Fine. Check the pile of clothes, I think it sleeps there.”

Nick moved over to the pile but Jake kept looking around at the werewolf’s various toys. Nick glared at Jake but didn’t say anything.

The pile of clothes was disgusting and the odor surrounding it was even more foul than the one permeating the rest of the room. Nick used the crowbar to move clothes around and found a tuft of hair wrapped inside a torn shirt with Bazinga! written on the front.

“Here, I got some.”

“Great, let’s get out of—“

Jake slipped on a stray piece of matter, falling backwards against the shelves, knocking several of them down and scattering figurines everywhere. He tried to grab at the computer desk to avoid going all the way down, but only managed to topple the PC tower over the side. The tower brought down the monitor and the television, both of which it was connected to. The desk fell over, sending the remaining electronics crashing to the floor. Nick gaped at the scene, wide-eyed.

“What the gently caress, Jake. What the gently caress.”

“Oops,” Jake said. “Think he’ll notice?”

“Dude, you just destroyed his figures and his PC and his games. Do you have any idea how expensive all this poo poo is? He’s going to be so pissed. We have to leave right now.”

“Fine, give me the Febreeze. Gotta cover up our scent.”

Nick fished around in his pack and took out a can of the air freshener.

“You really think this’ll work?”

Jake grinned and said, “Yeah man, look, right here: eliminates the toughest odors. We get to sue ‘em if it doesn’t work!”

“We’ll be dead if it doesn’t work.”

Jake slapped his shoulder, “Don’t worry, we got this!” He emptied the entire can in the room as they backed away towards the exit.

They walked away from the old bookstore. Nick kept glancing around, nervous.

“Chill out Nick, we’re safe. Just think of the vitality potion we’re going to make with this! You’re going to win the game single-handedly, we’ll win that bet and best of all, modern science is completely unable to trace it!”


The next batter stepped up to plate. Nick scanned the bleachers, trying to spot anyone suspicious.

“Strike one!” the umpire roared.

Jake better have that backup plan set up.

“Strike two!”

What a stupid idea this was.

The third swing was the good one: a home run. Nick burst into action and ran to second, jostling the baseman and almost knocking him down. Off of first, past second, past third… the thrill of victory made him forget the werewolf for a moment.

Gonna win this at least, almost there and it’s the umpire it’s the UMPIRE IT’S THE loving UMPIRE.

Nick fought against his momentum and tried to turn the other way. The crowd’s boos and hisses turned to gasps as the umpire transformed into a monstrous wolf-thing. It leapt after Nick. He ran towards the field entrance, the potion’s power helping him stay ahead of the beast, but not by much. The chase led them into the locker rooms; just as Nick could feel the werewolf’s breath on his neck, the claws grasping at his shirt, Jake appeared from around a corner, where he had been lying in wait, and slid a silver dagger into the beast’s neck. It died on the spot.

“We’re gonna sue the gently caress out of Febreeze,” Nick said.

Jan 28, 2015


1,196 words

Gabriel moved quickly and quietly. It was his knack. The tray of tea and pastries didn't so much as make a single ‘clink’ as he carried it swiftly into the General’s study. It was a trait developed out of the justifiable fear of the wrath of one’s ‘social betters.’

The tray was set down on the coffee table without so much as a whisper. The General and his guests didn't even pay him a glance. That was good- the less attention he got the better. The moment his delivery was made, he made a beeline for the door to escape, keeping his expression neutral at all times.

Once the door had closed behind him, he let out a sigh of relief. Every time he had to make a trip into the General’s quarters was a tense experience, even after all these years. He’d heard horror stories of what had happened to less careful servants in the past. From the moment he started his time in the palace, the fear of ending up like them governed just about everything he did.

That in itself wasn't that unusual in his country, under the current regime. But Gabriel had become a master of the art. The perfect servant in many ways, he was able to be invisible in plain sight in any situation. Small, quiet and unassuming, he went about his work silently and efficiently, effectively making himself as insignificant as a speck of dust.

It’d been like this since he’d been old enough to understand. He was just a boy when the General had first come to power, and those years had been filled with bloodshed and turbulence as he worked to cement his grip on power. Gabriel’s neighborhood had been reduced to rubble due to too many of his friends, family and neighbors deciding not to recoil in fear but rise up in anger. They’d all paid the price. They were all in unmarked graves now.

One of the few to survive, Gabriel had been there when the General came to survey his handiwork. He took some sort of pity on the bloodied and battered boy, telling one of his flunkies to find the child some sort of position in his household. Gabriel had been too petrified to consider resisting. He’d learned the price of resistance that day. He’d learned that the only way he could survive was quiet submission and doing nothing to make yourself a target of those who had the power to end you in an instant.

Gabriel reflected on that as he made his way back to the palace kitchen. It wasn't that he liked this- far from it, in fact. But what other choice did he have? Escaping through the tightly sealed borders wasn't an option, and he didn't have the stomach to take his own life. His choices were death, imprisonment, or living like a bug working it’s hardest not to attract the heel of a giant.

No sooner had he gotten back to the kitchen, the head steward had a new task for him. A meeting had just finished and there were plates that needed collecting. At least that was an easy job- Gabriel wouldn't have to slink his way around any of the General’s entourage, who would be gone by the time he arrived. He retraced his steps back up to the top floor. He knew where the conference room was- only a corridor away from the General’s quarters.

He was almost there when he heard the commotion coming from just down the hall, near the entrance to the General’s study. There was shouting and screaming, the thumping of rapid footsteps, the telltale crash of something fragile being knocked to the floor. He immediately turned and made his way towards the sounds of chaos, if only because he knew they’d probably order him to clean up the mess anyway.

Turning the corner, Gabriel saw half a dozen of the General’s uniformed bodyguards holding down one man with considerable effort. The man’s face was that of a frenzied animal as he desperately tried to break free. The General was but a few steps away, his chubby face red with indignant fury as he sputtered some pompous condemnation. On the floor between the two was a small pistol.

The scene needed little explaining to Gabriel. It wasn't the first time something like this had been attempted- far from it.

But this time was different.

“Thief! Murderer!” The attempted assailant bellowed as the guards tried to keep him subdued. “How many innocents have you killed?! How many lives have you stolen?!”

It was the latter half of the assassin’s accusation that stuck in Gabriel’s brain. Stolen lives. What might have been. What could his life been like if someone had done this years ago?

The General, ignoring the warnings of his bodyguards, strode forward, backhanding the assailant as he continued to pontificate on his own glory. Gabriel watched him impassively, taking in the entire scene. It took a few seconds for him to realize that no one was paying attention to him, as usual. His ability to be invisible in plain sight had once again been successful. No one noticed him at all.

Or the gun that had been dropped.

There was a loaded gun at his feet, and the man who had murdered his friends and family, had destroyed whatever chance he had at a normal life, was standing right there.

It was surreal, like a dream. He moved slowly but deliberately, bending over and scooping up the weapon. He’d never held one before, but he’d seen the guards use them often enough. He lifted his arm, pointing it straight at the General’s back.

A few seconds later, the General collapsed in a bloody heap.

Gabriel blinked. Had he just blacked out? He didn't even remember pulling the trigger. The gun was smoking in his hand. It had all happened so fast, even the bodyguards didn't know what was going on. They were still trying to hold down the original assailant, who was the first to figure things out, staring at him in awe.

Gabriel dropped the gun where he stood, and took off running. He ran like he hadn't done since he was a boy, faster than he even thought he was capable of.

And as he ran, he started to laugh.

He was a dead man. The palace was the most well defended building in the country, and he had just killed its leader. There was no way he could escape. At the most, he’d last a few minutes- if he was lucky.

But none of that seemed to bother him as he sprinted down the cavernous corridors of the palace. He just kept laughing as he ran; laughing so hard tears were running down his face. It was the most euphoric feeling he’d ever had in his life. It didn't matter he’d be dead soon.

Because for the first time in years, he didn't have to act like he didn't exist. He didn't have to turn himself into a robot just to avoid being a target. He could actually live, instead of just surviving.

And living felt good.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk


sebmojo fucked around with this message at 21:52 on Jan 2, 2016

Oct 30, 2003

I'm a horrible failure.

Jan 13, 2005

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

One Whole Second
(1038 Words)

Atmosphere rasped across Minum's body as it tore down through the sky towards the planet. What the satellite grid would predict to be the chaotic re-entry of spatial detritus was a carefully composed act. Minum's insertion into the exosphere with nanoscopic precision was planned years in advance during their journey; but like all great performances, there was room for improvisation. Their body flicked, vibrated, and spun downwards. It predicted eddies of heat and analyzed compositions of denser-than-average pockets of turbulence, and danced around them. It did this while Minum slept. They regained consciousness one second before hitting the ground.

There was no earth-shaking impact or crater left behind. Each joule of energy that would have been wasted on such useless endeavors was directed into Minum's first stride on the surface of this world. Instantly the being was skimming atop a vast expanse of desiccated soil at thousands of miles per hour. Silently. The bipedal form's surface was etched with a shimmering network of microscopic stabilization arrays; a million ceramic fairy wings that flaked away now that the season of their use had passed. This left no trail, as each unit of shed gossamer material was encoded with enough knowledge to hide itself; to drift away randomly and disguise itself amongst the miles of empty wasteland. A fragment of misplaced matter could endanger Minum's task. A single misplaced grain of sand could alert a thousand autonomous drones. A single photon coming from an unknown source could awaken the being that lived here. Minum did not know about this being, and it was rare that anything eluded both their database and their senses.

Something was being constructed here. It had been detected across the black of space years ago. Since Minum left to investigate, its growth had progressed erratically across the face of this world. Its perimeter had apparently originated as a circular pattern, though for reasons Minum could only assume with varying levels of certainty, it had expanded erratically. Sweeping avenues of functionless steel structures repeating for miles. Skyscrapers beaming nonsense data back and forth to each other. Chemical reactors churning out reactions, only to vent it all away as waste heat through roiling columns of steam. Whatever mind lived here, it was sick. No matter how similar it was to Minum, it needed to be destroyed. This was a mission of mercy.

Minum stopped suddenly at the range which their thousands of overlapping stealth schemes would no longer be enough to offer invisibility. This was the edge of the horizon. Traditional electromechanical sight was one of the few remaining things that could not be confused with simple tricks. Minum's bipedal form was entirely still. The desert air, untouched by the lone stampede that had been coursing across it, was silent. Minum had no breath to hold. Their calculations slowed, and turned inwards. So far, the mission was progressing nominally. No signs of being detected. No hostile contact with the unknown intelligence. Each step was reviewed a million times. The insertion, and its million variables and million outcomes, were discarded. Junk data. The final approach on foot, a required obstacle to ensure the re-entry went ignored, was also complete. More memory freed up. An uncountable network of things so complex and electric to make a neuron look as dead as the sand Minum stood on was focused now entirely on one fact. One millionth of an inch further, and Minum would cross the horizon and be known, instantly, to an unknown force. Another intelligence in the galaxy, yes, but one that was clearly diseased. Possibly brilliant at one time, and almost certainly dangerous now. Regardless of the empathy felt in the remaining animal portions of their spine, Minum's plan was already in motion. It would all be over soon.

Since Minum had stopped, one whole second had passed.

Minum took one step forward and saw the city they had come to destroy. In the nighttime above, a torrent of energy rained down. Sheer, hot white melting heat and light bled from the sky and flooded the miles of useless architecture. Not enough to harm whatever half-thinking creature had built this unending shrine, Minum sprinted down concrete roads and along steel pipes carrying molten steel to and from refineries. Clouds and spires of mechanical defense systems rose up around them, casting shadows in the blinding electromagnetic sun that Minum had spun into being above the world. Every sense was filled with the energy that scoured the city, and Minum charted their course entirely on the single glimpse they had seen of the city. They dodged and annihilated drones and defensive turrets entirely on instinct. Mile after mile, within only a few ragged seconds, and Minum had reached the heart of this world. Smashing downwards through plates of defensive glass, Minum's sight returned as they were brought downwards into the earth.

The scan was instantaneous. A large chamber, miles deep, circular in nature, filled uniformly with the encased bodies of humans. Many of them were no longer alive. Many of them survived, though their brains were damaged by the typical frailties that struck biological life prolonged far beyond the sensible. Minum landed silently at the bottom and assessed this. This was no rogue mind, sick and alone. This was a culture, sick and alone. The humans had surely detected Minum. Surely they felt the fear of their oncoming eradication. They must know their error, now. But these were humans, and their ability to alter the galaxy in any meaningful way was limited. This decision needed to be weighed. Each possible outcome must be calculated.

One whole second passed.

With no need to hurry or expend more energy than needed, Minum began climbing up out of that pit. Hands melding to a steel and glass beams, they scraped slowly upwards. It took hours. Hands and legs and fingers worked to gradually ascend the same chasm that had been effortlessly traversed moments ago. They worked in the normal way, unaided by tricks of magnetism and light. Thinking back to the pit and its waking inhabitants, Minum knew that those humans would have a much harder time. Minum then happily deleted every bit of information concerning the mission. More junk data.

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.

Lilies of the Valley


See archives.

Grizzled Patriarch fucked around with this message at 16:41 on May 5, 2015

Jun 20, 2013

Severance Pay
487 words

Rivets belched and groaned as metal crumpled. Puny metal discs shot off the subway and left hasty pockmarks on the scrubbed concrete walls. Rupert watched as the woman who had lit his cigarette bounced across the cabin, like a stubborn sock in the wash. He was puzzled over why he was free from gravity’s cruel punishment. When what he thought was right-side up would happen others crashed back down and proved him wrong. When the subway car finally moaned its relief from the crash, focus started to seep back into Rupert’s mind. A handrail had warped and pushed a wheel of his wheelchair through his leg. The dull metal reflected the blood that poured from timidly. Rupert was pinned to the ceiling of the car, like a mouse stuck in a prehistoric trap.

His head stooped low enough so that he saw through a warped window. Ahead of him a dank tunnel stretched until it disappeared into itself in a turn. An urge came from the darkness. A silent song whispered to Rupert. It begged him to close his eyes and just hang there. That relief would come if he just allowed himself to relax. These thoughts brought a warm trickle through Rupert. He rationalized it by thinking that if he tried to move it would only make the injury worse. He cursed himself for picking a con that he needed a wheelchair to preform. Crutches would have convinced the court just as easily.

Wind cried from the far end of the tunnel. Another train was headed towards him. Fingers worked their way into the groove of the wheel in his leg he tried to push it out. Blood made it an issue to keep a grip because it had slicked his entire leg. Light now wrapped itself from around the bend. The bullet train was too fast and too close to prevent catastrophe. Rupert found a rhythm with his leg. He spun the wheel back and forth to pull apart his hamstring that it was pierced through. Each spin brought his leg a little closer to the moment where it sprung free. A scream and he was finished. The wheel spun idly as he dropped head first into the pulp below him. A form crafted itself in the light. Sleek lines that brought themselves to a fierce point screamed towards him. Rupert cursed himself for a forgotten cane and pulled himself through the mush of the porter. His leg barely held itself together with the part of the quadricep that hadn’t been sheared in the crash.
Rupert spat out the shard of someone else’s bone and pulled himself up to the exit. A sign informed him that handicap exits are not operational in the case of power loss and to flip the hydraulic switch in the cabin if he wished to open the door. Rupert turned around and followed the train as it crashed toward him.

Mar 21, 2013

Cranky Thievery (1187 words)

It was really too loving cold out here. Milla clenched her teeth and increased her pace as another chill blew right through her sweater. The sidewalk was empty, but as she passed dark alleyways, they seemed to contain shifting shapes. Not like she could tell, though; the streetlights were so dim that they were useless. Her paranoia spiked once again, and now she’d probably be better off jogging.

If it was a week earlier, they’d simply stroll down the street together. Laura would point out the odd gewgaw in one of the shop windows, and then a heated discussion about its past would commence, eventually ending over a pair of cozy coffee mugs at the coffeehouse near her apartment.

But a week earlier, Laura hadn’t been hauled off to ‘location redacted’ by some assholes in white suits, on account of Milla’s checkered past. She stalked past the old coffeehouse, avoiding eye contact with anybody inside. The sight of the pity in the owner’s gaze pissed her off, and any conversation since then had ended with crusty hand on stiff shoulder, solemnly advising her on the worth of good friends.

She snorted. He probably thought that they were fighting over a guy. She wrenched open the door to her apartment complex and stomped up the stairs. There wasn’t much time left to prepare. Only two hours left until the rendezvous – effectively 90 minutes when taking transportation into account. Surprise, shady people in blinding suits choose shady areas to conduct their business.

Her gaze ran over her cluttered, cluttered room. If she remembered correctly, her tools were in the back of the closet, tucked away in an unassuming shoebox. Some practice was probably in order.

But first, a phone call and a shower.


It had been a long time since she looked like this. Soft leather gloves, unassuming wool cap – the only difference between her now and her five years back was probably the ponytail.

She made her way down the stairs to the nightclub as her taxi sped off. Not surprising. Who’d want to stay out in this district at night?

The door opened before she could touch the handle. A rather large, intimidating man stared down at her. “Zoe.”

She glared back. “Ms. Reading to you, Rogers.”

He only smirked, and then gestured to a door across the room. They made their way across the tangle of legs and chairs, and then Rogers ushered her into what was presumably the VIP room.

The identity of the man sitting stiff-backed at the far end really shouldn’t have surprised her.

“Mr. Engleworth.” Milla slid into the seat opposite him

“Zoe Francis.” He stared at her, face rigid. “Freedom’s treated you well.”

She smiled, fake and bright. “Call me Milla. What have you done to her?”

“Nothing that you wouldn’t have.” His words were clipped.

Time to test the waters and see how much of that old grudge he held. “Why the hostility? I’ve done my time, paid my dues –“

He slammed his fist down onto the table. “You ruined my father! Drove him to his grave! And then at the end of it all, you get off with a slap on the wrist and a lifelong pension!”

In any other situation, she would push him farther. But with Laura on the line, she was all business. “What did you bring me here to do?”

He snorted. Pulled out a slip of paper from underneath his coat and tossed it onto the table. “There’s a very important document I need you to get from this apartment. The deadline’s at midnight. Rogers will take you there.”

She looked at the paper in front of her. She frowned. “Wasn’t this your-

“I don’t think you’re in the position to ask questions. Go.”

“I need information here.” She caught his gaze. “It’s been years since that job; who’s to say that I can pull it off? I need to know what’s changed in order to get in and out successfully.”

“Well, I actually don’t mind it if you get caught.” The corner of his mouth twitched. “Either you rot in the slammer like you deserve to, or I get that very important document.”

“I see.” She bit out the words. “Win-win for you, then. What about Laura?”

“She’ll be out when you deliver the document. Such a sweet girl.”

Milla snorted. “You haven’t even talked to her, have you? I guess running away from consequences really is your specialty.”

He smiled. “Tick-tock. You’re on the clock.” And then he started sniggering, of all things. Milla stormed out, and as she exited the nightclub, Rogers fell in step beside her.

“How the hell do you stand that guy?” They made their way over to a unmarked van on the curb.

“The pay’s good. And, well, I didn’t ruin his father’s life.” His dark eyes seemed sympathetic. “Laura’s fine for the moment. I contacted Ronald after getting your call, so she’ll be out of his grasp as long as you get the document.” He paused for a moment. “Well, maybe before, if he plays his cards right.”

She nodded grimly. If Engleworth had been sincere about letting Laura go, she’d eat her woolly hat.

“Any details on the security systems?” She tugged the seatbelt across and strapped herself in.

“Yeah. So here’s the changes: there’s about a billion more cameras covering the balcony…” Roger continued talking as he started the car. As he drove down the road, it struck Milla as practically nostalgic.

Milla sprinted across the apartment rooftop, heart pounding and with the Very Important Document secure. Figures, really. The entire operation goes smooth as butter, and then she trips one lousy pressure plate and now there’s going to be a helicopter chasing her. At the moment, a literal spotlight would pretty much gently caress up her life irreparably, so she needed to get somewhere to hide.

Good thing all these buildings were clustered so close to each other. She leaped from one rooftop to another, but screwed up the landing roll.

gently caress. That was going to leave a really impressive bruise. She staggered to her feet, and her earpiece crackled to life.


“loving finally, Rogers!” She growled. “Is she out yet?”

“She’s with Ronald. They’re holed up in one of his safehouses.” Something in her chest unclenched.

“Next question: do you have an escape plan for me? I have to get out of here before that helicopter shows up!”

“Er…” He sounded embarrassed.

“Spit it out, man!”

“You’re on top of the Hoonsgal building, right?”

“Yes,” She replied, drawing the word out. “So?”

“That’s the oldest building in the area, so it should still have a fire escape. Take that down, and you’ll blend back into the crowd.”

“Right.” She made her way to the lip of the roof, and peered down. gently caress, that was a long way down.

A couple more bruises and possibly a sprained shoulder later, she was on ground level. A couple quick looks around, and then she melted back into the shadows.

“Witness protection program, my rear end,” She grumbled, right before she called Rogers again.

Ol Sweepy
Nov 28, 2005

Safety First

What's the etiquette on crits for the same week? Wait until after judgement or do I just dive on in if I want to tear someone a new rear end in a top hat?

Ol Sweepy fucked around with this message at 05:06 on Mar 2, 2015


Aug 2, 2002

Falling and Falling
1198 words

crabrock fucked around with this message at 14:20 on Dec 31, 2015

  • Locked thread