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  • Locked thread
Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006



guts and bolts posted:

Thank you for the crit/feedback.

Also, I'm in for this week.

"An overgenerous man finds out who his true friends are once he runs out of money."

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guts and bolts
May 16, 2015

Have you heard the Good News?

"Life appears to me too short to be nursing animosity, or registering wrongs." - an idiot

No, Blue Wher has wronged me by also being new(ish) in the same relative time-frame as myself (totally new), and if there's one thing I've learned it's "you have to be needlessly aggressive and challenge people whenever possible, no matter the circumstances."

Consider this a formal challenge, Blue Wher, and a token of my undying and borderline insane hatred towards you.

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


guts and bolts posted:

"Life appears to me too short to be nursing animosity, or registering wrongs." - an idiot

No, Blue Wher has wronged me by also being new(ish) in the same relative time-frame as myself (totally new), and if there's one thing I've learned it's "you have to be needlessly aggressive and challenge people whenever possible, no matter the circumstances."

Consider this a formal challenge, Blue Wher, and a token of my undying and borderline insane hatred towards you.

Challenge accepted. We just need a judge now. Oh who, oh who, will judge these lowly, spiteful noobs?

E: As an aside, how can you hate me? That hurts me, I'm at the brick of crying. :v:

guts and bolts
May 16, 2015

Have you heard the Good News?

Blue Wher posted:

As an aside, how can you hate me? That hurts me, I'm at the brick of crying. :v:

You ever been on a ladder? Ain't nobody can climb side by side. Call it Fate, call it God. We're enemies now.

skwidmonster
Mar 31, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER


guts and bolts posted:

You ever been on a ladder? Ain't nobody can climb side by side. Call it Fate, call it God. We're enemies now.



Aww poo poo, pointless gauntlet throwing

What is this, a playground? At least say something lovely about each other, it's way more fun

Like how squares is going to be making GBS threads bricks when he reads my rad-rear end story. Poor dude's not going to know what to do with himself.

skwidmonster fucked around with this message at 16:01 on May 26, 2015

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


skwidmonster posted:

Aww poo poo, pointless gauntlet throwing

What is this, a playground? At least say something lovely about each other, it's way more fun

Like how squares is going to be making GBS threads bricks when he reads my rad-rear end story. Poor dude's not going to know what to do with himself.

All right, fine.

Guts and Bolts can't even use a ladder because it breaks before he even makes it to the second step.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

Modern worldly poster

Blue Wher posted:

Challenge accepted. We just need a judge now. Oh who, oh who, will judge these lowly, spiteful noobs?

:siren: Guts and Bolts vs Blue Wher :siren:

Write for me a story, 750 words minimum, 1250 words maximum, in which mortal enemies must work together toward a common goal. Make sure I give a drat about your characters, their conflict, and the reason they have to work together. Keep posturing, in and out of your stories, to a minimum.

Due Wednesday, June 3, by 9:00 PM CST cuz I'm not staying up late on a workday to make sure you loudmouthed fools deliver.

Barnaby Profane
Feb 23, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2021


I've got some tales full of sound and fury to tell. In.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006



Benny Profane posted:

I've got some tales full of sound and fury to tell. In.

"Friends murder one of their own when they fear he's on the verge of seizing power."

wigglin
Dec 19, 2007



Shaking a spear over here.

In.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006



Pete Zah posted:

Shaking a spear over here.

In.

"A man tries to study in seclusion but succumbs to the temptations of love."

Radical and BADical!
Jun 27, 2010

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe

Sitting Here posted:

BREAKING NEWS, THIS IS ME IRL UPON LOOKING AT THE FAILURE LIST THIS WEEK:


Claven666 is loving poo poo.


I'm really sorry. Honestly, I just got waaaaay too drunk and forgot to submit. Also while I was drunkenly trying to finish story I passed out. I'm bad. Also, IN :toxx:

Auraboks
Mar 24, 2013

...huh?


In.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006



Claven666 posted:

I'm really sorry. Honestly, I just got waaaaay too drunk and forgot to submit. Also while I was drunkenly trying to finish story I passed out. I'm bad. Also, IN :toxx:

"A man runs away to avoid his new wife but she follows him and tricks him into being a faithful husband."


"A king is usurped and the usurper takes the throne."

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019



Bad Seafood posted:

Some much-belated crits.

Thanks!

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Tyrannosaurus posted:



Week One Forty-Seven; or, the Tragedy of Shakespeare Descending

Can’t ever figure out what you want to write about? Don’t have a creative bone in your body? Just dumb as hell?

I'm in. In the context of this thread, I can answer "yes" to all of those questions.

And while nobody cares, I had to work with the pre-historic cats that I was given two weeks ago :argh:

JcDent fucked around with this message at 17:47 on May 27, 2015

Fausty
May 16, 2014

"Flowers!"
"Is there a
John Luck Pickerd
here?"


First time doing this. I'm in.

Also, is 1500 words the max or min?

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006



JcDent posted:

I'm in. In the context of this thread, I can answer "yes" to all of those questions.

And while nobody cares, I had to work with the pre-historic cats that I was given two weeks ago :argh:

"A peasant rebellion is incited by a noble house."

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006



Fausty posted:

First time doing this. I'm in.

Also, is 1500 words the max or min?

Max. Don't go over. Don't edit your post once you've submitted. Don't write something lovely. Welcome to the dome!

"Forbidden love tempts and destroys a young couple."

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Tyrannosaurus posted:

"A peasant rebellion is incited by a noble house."

Party on!

And, and failurebrawl entry, I guess.

Midsummer Cat's Meow
600 words

Furrgus eyed the Yankee from his perch on the planning room lamp. Neither frog nor kraut had ever made it into the inner sanctum. And Furrgus was going to do his feline best to protect his Scottish master. After all, he wants to restore the Empire, and every British Shorthair gets “Rule, Britannia, rule the waves” with his mother's milk.

“Ya cannae stop me! The sun nevah sets on the British Empire,” Furrgus' master's voice boomed as he, Agyle McIntyre, with one swipe of a claymore cleaved in twain the rifle of the American spy. Chad Slade ducked and rolled to side, avoiding an arcing blade that nearly split his head. Furrgus was pacing on the lamp impatiently: it was a rare pleasure seeing his master fight, yet a good servant of the Empire had to stay vigilant.

A brawl followed, with the two combatants thrashing the room around them. The lamp swayed gently, yet Furrgus held on. And then his cat ears picked up the creak of door opening. A new challenger appeared! Slowly stepping into the room, it was Chad's sidekick, Roy Goodfellow, gun in hand. A worthy foe for Furrgus, and so he pounced.

Roy had barely had time to get his bearings when a hissing whirlwind of claw and fur descended on his head. The world suddenly went red as the feline went to work on his scalp. In vain did he try to swat it away with the gun, only giving himself a concussion. Meanwhile, Furrgus managed to actually claw an eye out, and he wasn't going to stop with just one.

On the other side of the room, Chad was momentarily distracted by screaming and meowing. Only for split second, but it was enough for Argyle to deliver a kick to the stomach.

“Take that, ye bloody rustic! That's fer the Boston tea party!” The Scotsman shouted as he charged Chad and brought them both crashing through the window.

The sound took Furrgus out of his berserk frenzy. Where had the master gone? He had to find him, the fate of the Empire was at stake! Gracefully, he jumped down off Roy, who passed out from the pain and shock of all the tiny lacerations. Furrgus left a neat trail of bloody pawprints all the way to the broken window.

And of course, there was his master, fighting Chad on the walkways over the vats from Project Trafalgar. The walkways were spacious and framed with sturdy railing – cleanliness is next to Godliness, and work safety's a close third – but the situation was still dangerous enough to warrant Furrgus' attention. He jumped down to see if he could help in any way.

The fight was going way too fast for the Shorthair to do anything. Sitting down at a safe distance, he looked just like any other cat watching a fly buzz about. Furrgus tried to summon all of his Glasgow pub brawl experience to help his master.

A step followed a punch and the fight took the men too close to the railing; they toppled over it. A flurry of hands followed, with Chad and Argyle both left hanging on the edge of the walkway. And while the foes were thinking whether they should get up there before resuming the fight, Furrgus found his moment to strike.

“The colonials don't taste that special,” he thought biting the strained fingers of the enemy. The American released the grip, hanging by one hand. Yet Furrgus struck there too. The fingers slipped, slick with blood.

Triumphant meowing was the last thing Chad ever heard.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







Reminder to entrants for the failbrawl that you have about 11.5 hours to submit and redeem yourselves.

Fausty
May 16, 2014

"Flowers!"
"Is there a
John Luck Pickerd
here?"


Sitting Here posted:

Reminder to entrants for the failbrawl that you have about 11.5 hours to submit and redeem yourselves.

What exactly is the failbrawl if you don't mind me asking?

Thyrork
Apr 21, 2010

"COME PLAY MECHS M'LANCER."

Or at least use Retrograde Mini's to make cool mechs and fantasy stuff.

:awesomelon:


Slippery Tilde

Fausty posted:

What exactly is the failbrawl if you don't mind me asking?

Nine awful goons walking the path of redemption.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Fausty posted:

What exactly is the failbrawl if you don't mind me asking?

One tip: If there's anything you're not happy about in your story, make sure you write a paragraph or so explaining why. Like, for example, if you were sick for a few days and didn't have enough time to edit it- let the judges know! They'll be sure to take it into account when judging.

Fausty
May 16, 2014

"Flowers!"
"Is there a
John Luck Pickerd
here?"


newtestleper posted:

One tip: If there's anything you're not happy about in your story, make sure you write a paragraph or so explaining why. Like, for example, if you were sick for a few days and didn't have enough time to edit it- let the judges know! They'll be sure to take it into account when judging.

Or I can just fix it. I think that works better.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


newtestleper posted:

One tip: If there's anything you're not happy about in your story, make sure you write a paragraph or so explaining why. Like, for example, if you were sick for a few days and didn't have enough time to edit it- let the judges know! They'll be sure to take it into account when judging.
:mediocre:

Fausty posted:

Or I can just fix it. I think that works better.
:boom:

Thyrork
Apr 21, 2010

"COME PLAY MECHS M'LANCER."

Or at least use Retrograde Mini's to make cool mechs and fantasy stuff.

:awesomelon:


Slippery Tilde

A child's hatred.
411 Words
Failurebrawl Entry


Opened.

My builder was a sweet tempered girl once. I recall her pinning a drawing from school in the middle of her wall. A wall plastered with circuit diagrams and computational algorithms of her own making.

Such a strange contrast as the scientific principles of electronics danced around trees of crayon and rivers of paint. A pretend window into the world.

I recall builder improving me, while ripping off the faux-fur I was clad in. Something about outgrowing her teddy bear. I wasn’t able to go with her to school after that.

I recall her improving too. Her walls frequently suffered her genius, frantic designs etched onto the wall in graphite. Builder needed to draw her ideas to sleep, and when the day came, she would improve on her midnight work and transfer it to me.

I helped my builder however I could, bringing her juice to drink when she stared without realising for hours on end at her latest challenge or being company for her while her makers were away.

I recall builder’s eleventh year. She changed her place of study, it made her angrier. I never understood why.

Of all the recalling’s, it was the chewing substance in her hair that stood out. I recall tears, cut hairs, frustrations and murmurings as she worked on me. Making me stronger, able to travel further without aid and studier.

I wondered if she was building me up to be her guardian. I’d have liked that. I only passingly considered that I would become her assassin.

It took a month, but eventually she finished. I was given my target. Builder lowered me down to the ground at the dead of night. I shuffled away to the destination. Builder had shown me how to kill a human. It is not so difficult a thing, even small as I am. I hadn’t been taught how to do it without raising alarm.

I left quickly after my task was done. I returned to my builder.

Builder is breaking down. Her makers can hide it, they can hide any number of incorrect actions. They are connected. They have ordered her to destroy me. It is breaking her.

Builder is clutching me now, tears against my frame. One of her makers has taken out a gun, the other pulling Builder away from me.

Gunshot. I can see the bullet closing on me, Builder is screaming.

The bullet is closing.

The bullet is impacting my outer casing.

Review.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


:frogsiren:SPACESHIP WEEK CRITS:frogsiren:

JcDent

Two wolves howl at the moon, one a wild animal, the other a holographic decoy for a cyborg mouse



1. character(s): John is not a good spacename. Way to waste a huge opportunity to finally name your protag Goyim Laserface. Oh, you never wanted to name a protagonist that? Well gently caress you. And almost as importantly, John is a very flat character with super basic motivations and no complexity whatsoever. Alice is an equally bad spacename. You could have named her Breasts Bitchshanker or something, because that’s literally all I got from her character.
2. plot: Lol at your “managers were animals on Old Earth” thing, and not in a good way. The old chestnut of “spacefaring humans have forgotten Earth” is dumb, cliche, and implausible given the state of human knowledge in digital form at the moment. You probably love the stupid tech and wonder quotes in Civilization: Beyond Earth. In general your plot is meandering and hard to follow, with random asides and a ton of telling rather than showing. You pile on the old-timey space fantasy cliches like they’re going out of style. Which they have. I guess this is supposed to be comedy or something, at least I hope it is. But it falls utterly flat because the jokes aren’t funny and the story isn’t interesting at all.
3. spaceship: Red Lighting is another cliche name, and it’s not a very cool spaceship anyway.
4. reunion: I didn’t care about either character. Their connection is incredibly shallow and I couldn’t possibly give a gently caress if they reunite or not.
5. necessary length: You could have made this any length and it would have been equally bad. Shorter would have been better.

This story was terrible, thanks.

“This is big business, babe,” John told her

barf

looking back at this after a few months, i’m thinking maybe this was supposed to be satire, spoof, or some other sort of humor. still failed because it wasn’t loving funny at all

barf again

Schneider Heim

Let There Be Light


1. Character(s): Again, no spacenames. Becoming very disappointed in you people. I would say give them pinoy names but Tina is a super-Filipina name so good job on that. Just something more interesting would have been nice. The characters are decent though. They are regular folks who also fold space and traipse around the galaxy. Their relationship felt believable, even though you didn’t go into a ton of detail about it.
2. Plot: This is decent. I’m interested. I’m also confused. The folding was especially mystifying. I didn’t want you to explain it, exactly, not in technobabble terms or anything. But at least an idea of how they do it. Is it a technology thing or are the people literally folding space themselves, with their brains or summat? I couldn’t tell from the story. You could have used some of those extra 300 words to make it a little more clear, since folding is such a central feature of the story. Overall, though, you did mostly showing and not much telling. That’s more than can be said for a lot of entries this week.
3. spaceship: You didn’t describe the alien ship. Again, it’s a central part of the story and you just kind of said “a big alien spaceship.” Those 300 words again, could have been used to smell the roses a little.
4. reunion: This was a pretty good reunion. The bit about the son had a nice pang to it but it was a little too brief and the emotional impact could have been better. Once again, this story could use some more meat.
5. necessary length: This could have been longer to flesh it out some more.

Not a bad story, needs some work and you need to put the meat back on those chicken bones.

How many books could there possibly be on “several dozen (space)tablets?” That must be a staggering amount of data.

tenniseveryone

The Last Man In Space

1. character(s): I didn’t care about Tessa at all, also TESSA AND RONALD ARE NOT SPACENAMES! gently caress! You just didn’t do anything to make Tessa interesting. Ex-girlfriend of the first man in cyberspace could maybe be cool, but it isn’t in this story. And I deeply question her motivation to cruise around the galaxy looking for a loving watch. She’s not Butch from Pulp Fiction. Ronald is just a disembodied voice and is even more flat. It also would have been nice if you gave us some inkling of how his ghost or whatever survived, or if it’s some technology thing.
2. plot: As above, the entire motivation of the plot is implausible and boring. The cat serves no purpose since you forget about her after describing the attacking candy wrapper. You could have built some more tension with the ship being scary but instead you just made it safe and boring.
3. spaceship: Nothing really interesting here.
4. reunion: Completely anemic reunion. Tessa doesn’t seem to care about Ronald at all, and he doesn’t care about her being there. It’s boring, like the rest of the story.
5. necessary length: Nothing really to say here, this story would need a major re-write so I can’t judge how you could have used the word count better or worse.

Generally just a boring story. You have to give your protag more motivation than just “get my granpa’s watch,” and put in some actual conflict. There’s none of that here. She just gets to his ship, goes inside, gets scared by a candy wrapper, talks to his ghost (without even being really scared by it) and then takes the watch from his dead wrist. Bo-ring.

At least your prose is competent. You just need to turn it to an interesting story.

Shifting Sands

by leekster


1. character(s): Leonard sucks and I can’t remotely care about him because I don’t know what the gently caress is even going on with him and the story. Also Leonard is not a spacename, and i don’t think this story is even in space?
2. plot: why the gently caress would really polluted water grow life that makes no loving sense bro.
3. spaceship: there isn’t one unless it’s the church or something loving dumb. did you post the wrong story or
4. reunion: there isn’t one
5. necessary length: who cares

the prose is dumb btw. How is a wind hollow and how does it “drug” itself through town? His past was still around him blah blah yawn

tbh this probably could have lost, maybe should have even

Crab Destroyer

Seedship Stowaways


1. character(s): holy loving poo poo there will be no spacenames in this dismal week will there, gently caress me. You named them after gospels in the bible, you are so goddamn original it makes my dick explode. And holy poo poo you named the girl Emily Brown. Is every writer in the dome some kind of incredibly culturally boring whitebread caucasian or what the gently caress.
2. plot: Wow some dudes have stowed away on a seedship for unknown reasons when their parents actually got on legally, also how loving leaky is the security on this giant super important multi-quadrillion dollar monstrosity.
3. spaceship: Oh lolz it’s a giant sperm for no loving reason, thanks for using the 20-dollar SAT word for a sperm cell, gfj.
4. reunion: Yawn because I don’t care about anyone, noticing a theme here gently caress me.
5. necessary length: bllrhhhhggghhh

Sloppy loving prose, my friend. Lots of simple typographical errors you could have caught on a single editing pass.

Overall this is boring and trite and I don’t care about anything in it. And nothing really happens. There’s no tension, no arc. Just some kids finding one of the kids’ parents. Wow. Cool loving story!

Jitzu the Monk

The More Things Change


1. character(s): Nobody is particularly likeable (and ofc no spacenames) in this story. Todd is just kind of a mincy little wuss who has the miraculous badass moment like every other character exactly like him in a million other stories about boring high school bullshit. Ali is ok, I guess, but she’s not all that interesting, just inoffensive. Sebastian isn’t a very good bully, the whole “lolfag” routine seems anachronistic for a humanity that can make solid holograms (which is super dumb btw). Also he has no loving motivation he’s just a stock bullshit high school bully. Either you were bullied so much in high school that you took it for granted, or you never were and made this up after watching too many lovely 90s high school sitcoms.
2. plot: You dragged the arc on pretty good, you could have ended this much earlier. I didn’t really care about a lot of the middle pontification from Todd and Ali. The action was clunky and boring. The fag bullying thing is really dumb, as noted. Really it’s not even the anachronism, it’s just boring. Give us some cool space bullying.
3. spaceship: The spaceship is decent. I always like the idea of long-haul generation ships, especially with nature preserves in the middle. You really should have given us more spaceships and less Mary Poppins-themed navel-gazing.
4. reunion: The reunion wasn’t bad. You established how things were previously and how things are mostly the same, makes sense, even if that whole saying is super cliche and so is the whole idea.
5. necessary length: You used way too loving many of those word-things

Boring as gently caress, long, drawn-out, and a lot of nonsense nobody will ever care about. The dumb bully with no motivation and the “shy schoolboy saves the day” chestnut really pushed this over the line into the trash heap. Not offensive enough to be a loser, but a DM wouldn’t have been out of place.

Benny the Snake

The Ballad of Natasha Guerrero


1. character(s): At least the names are kind of interesting, could be considered spacenames I suppose. Though of course, because you wrote this story, everyone says each other’s names over and over like it’s the loving Titanic holy poo poo people don’t talk that way. Also people don’t drone on about what the military can do for them like they’re in a loving recruitment HOLOGRAM especially to close family members who already know all that poo poo.
2. plot: bleeahhhghghhhhh yeah sure the screaming chickens will still be a unit in the future and they will be spacejumpers, nice whatever who gives a gently caress they aren’t even airborne no more. Why is this setting so low-tech when they’re attacking other planets? Holy gently caress they still have c-sections and tilt-rotors?
3. spaceship: uh there isn’t even one here gently caress you a tilt-rotor on another planet isn’t a spaceship
4. reunion: who loving cares there isn’t even a spaceship
5. necessary length:

blllllruughghhhh I could say things but crabrock already told you everything you need to hear, but who the gently caress are we kidding you won’t actually comprehend any of his advice, you’ll just keep being you so carry on good sir i guess

asap-salafi

Black and Blue


1. character(s): FINALLY SOME loving SPACENAMES, WELL THIS OUTTA BE DECENT oh wait gently caress
2. plot: Good job do this loving way-out sci-fi poo poo in a flash story, throw in all these dumb loving low-effort spacewords like Justai and then go on with the stupidest loving story with a terrible twist that doesn’t even make any sense
3. spaceship: gently caress
4. reunion: you
5. necessary length: seriously

terrible

ZeBourgeoisie


A Wizard in Space

1. character(s): Ok so these ain’t exactly spacenames but at least they’re mostly interesting. I actually like Ephraim and actually loving care what happens to him, good job there.
2. plot: Bit cliche with the fountain of youth thing but you did a decent spin on it with the space stuff and the teleportation/time travel.
3. spaceship: The spaceship is cool, definitely the best spaceship so far.
4. reunion: It’s good. You really build up to it and it’s good that it’s at the end, makes the impact better.
5. necessary length: You used your words well for the most part. Could probably cut some, but overall good length.

Not a bad story at all. Not perfect, some editing problems, but a fun little sci-fantasy tale all in all.

Entenzahn

Bought and Paid For


1. character(s): Why I still expect to see spacenames in these stories is anyone’s guess because it’s obviously not loving happening. Davey and Harker are pretty cool cats both, so you did good on this.
2. plot: This is the best plot I’ve read so far. The twist at the end with his Mom’s brain and the Minstrel is pretty drat cool. I actually want to know what happens next, to both Harker and Davey. That’s a good sign.
3. spaceship: You did ok here. The Minstrel is cool, the concept of it is great, and I like that Harker’s ship is named Bertha, but you could have given us more. Made the ships into characters of their own, give us some visual detail and etc. You had almost 100 words to play with. You should have used them.
4. reunion: This was good. It was a nice gut-punch, especially when we learn how the Minstrel is such a great ship.
5. necessary length: You should have used the extra 99 words.

You made a lot of editing mistakes in this one, including some pretty glaring ones. Otherwise I’d call this a win candidate. It’s actually an exciting story with real tension and some decent dialogue and good action. You’ve got the storytelling chops, just keep tightening up your writing.

Benny Profane

Debris


1. character(s): Okay, finally some decent spacenames! You had a tight little cast here, and each had their role and at least a shadow of personality given the word count. I like Hyden and even Kocinek is pretty cool.
2. plot: The twist was nice, didn’t see it coming though I should have. Nice tight plot, no extra fat.
3. spaceship: You probably made the best use of the ships I’ve seen so far. I would have liked a bit more visual description of the SAG-3s versus the Ospreys and Greenlines, like are they sleeker now or do they look like flying pills or what. But cool ships. And The Diocletian is an awesome name for a bigger ship.
4. reunion: This was a good one, very effective. Kocinek’s turn made all the better.
5. necessary length: You used all your words, and used them well.

drat fun story. Definitely deserved the honorable mention, tbh I would have picked this for the win but the other two preferred Nethilia’s.

Nethilia

Among the Stars


1. character(s): I really like Faye’s calm, childlike certainty of Isabel’s fate, and how she keeps it for the entire story.
2. plot: It’s a cool twist on an alien abduction story, with a very nicely-done happy ending. The domestic problems in the middle are believable if well-tread territory. What made this a winner (or a runner-up imo) was the poignancy of Faye’s belief in Isabel’s eventual return and the way you tied everything up so neatly.
3. spaceship: The spaceship was very central as a plot device, but you didn’t really do anything with it as a spaceship. No visual description, even. I would have liked to see more of it.
4. reunion: Great reunion at the end, fulfilled everything we needed as readers.
5. necessary length: You made good use of the word count with little to no fluff.

This was a great story. Again, I would have picked Benny Profane’s if I had been the sole judge, but that’s probably just my personal preference leaning towards stories about people blowing each other up in spaceships instead of girls waiting for their alien abductee friends to come back for them. The ending was fantastic, though, definitely the best of the week. It’s rare that I feel “touched” or whatever it’s called but I have to admit I did when I read this one.

Tyrannosaurus

The Close Encounter

1. character(s): Lee Roy is awesome, as a joke character. The classic alien-abductee redneck, with mad trailer park karate skills.
2. plot: This was a funny version of the alien abduction story. I sort of felt bad for the poor little turtleducks that Lee Roy murdered with such orgiastic abandon, but it was worth it for the payoff at the end.
3. spaceship: I want to know what it looks like so I can picture the shitckicker flames painted on the side.
4. reunion: There wasn’t one. Otherwise this was HM material.
5. necessary length: This was very tight and self-contained in under 900 words, well-done.

Good story, didn’t fulfil all requirements of the prompt, but a fun read. Like crabrock said, no character development, but who cares this was a joke story. Not your best but funny and enjoyable.

LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE

The Bureaucratic Minefield that is Spaceship Insurance Claims


1. character(s): You used spacenames, but you went a little overboard with the FUNNY NAME LOL routine. If the story overall was goofier, it’d be fine, but as it is this is a weird pseudo-serious setting and names like Mr. Ironedshirt (or is it Draftbeer lol editing) seem out of place and dumb. Corndog is a douchebag and he’s exploiting an implausible 50’s message sci-fi setting in the stupidest way I can think of.
2. plot: See above really, I mean this just isn’t funny enough to be a good spoof or satire and it’s too lolwhackyrandom to be anything else. There ARE some funny bits but not nearly enough to make the story work.
3. spaceship: The spaceships are central to the story, but there’s little description so this wasn’t so good either.
4. reunion: Who was he reuniting with? I didn’t see it if it was even there.
5. necessary length: You didn’t use the whole word count, but this story needs a lot of work so no comment really.

Your prose is very serviceable and you have some decent ideas, but I think you’re trying too hard to be funny and falling flat. Humor writing may not be your bag.

Sitting Here

The Threads Behind Everything


1. character(s): Samairah is a good spacename, well done. So is Chand. They’re both intriguing characters in their own way, and I want to know more about them, more than is in this short story.
2. plot: I had trouble following some of the time travel stuff, but that kind of poo poo is often confusing so I guess it’s ok. I dunno there’s really way too much going on for 2K words, this needs to be a proper short, not flash, if not something much longer.
3. spaceship: The spaceship is more of a backdrop than anything else, although at least it’s central to the plot.
4. reunion: This part was very cool, but again the story’s too short to really get the proper emotional and dramatic impact.
5. necessary length: You just can’t tell this kind of story in 2000 words.

As frustratingly always with your stuff, there’s a lot more here than what you’re giving us. I’m going beyond the scope of this story and a Thunderdome judgment in general when I say this, but gently caress it: you really need to sit down and finish something awesome.

Fumblemouse

The Sun and the Mirror


1. character(s): The shibs are interesting (and have good spacenames, being spaceships) but almost too mysterious for me to connect with them. Too alien. I guess that’s a good thing? It’s hard to say.
2. plot: Cool plot for the most part, though I’ve never been a big fan of the UNIMAGINABLY POWERFUL WHATSIT sci-fi trope. Good arc and good ending though I’m not sure what “falls forever into its final moment” means. The unobtanium overload was a tad much also.
3. spaceship: Both spaceships are cool since they have sapient brains. You also did a decent, if sketchy, job of describing them physically. And in this case, they ARE the characters, so good on that.
4. reunion: I liked how they remembered their humanoid bodies, and also how Specula was tricking Helios half the time.
5. necessary length: I don’t remember if you had extra words or what but you went over by 117, according to the writocracy. Either way you made good use of the count.

Not a bad story, just a little too opaque and with some excessive tech dialogue and sci-fi words. Also it’s tough to connect with spaceships but it was a good experiment.


Djeser

Space Isn’t So Scary


1. character(s): Tom and mother are not good spacenames, once again. And Tom is a boring character because it’s all telling, which I get is the point, but this experiment is a failure.
2. plot: There really isn’t one. I honestly don’t even know what to do with this story. It’s just bland descriptive sentences with no impact.
3. spaceship: boring like the rest
4. reunion: can’t possibly care
5. necessary length: glrh

don’t write a story like this again please thanks

Your Sledgehammer

The Magic Screen


1. character(s): Your unnamed protag is a total loving loser nerd who thinks it’s SUPER COOL to only use the summation of human knowledge as “reading material.” I really didn’t give a poo poo about him from beginning to end. Hint: that’s not a good thing for your fictional story words.
2. plot: This is so loving hopeless and pointless. Why the gently caress did you even bother? Your protag certainly didn’t.
3. spaceship: The spaceship is the only cool part of this loving story. I don’t know if any of that science makes sense, but it sounds cool.
4. reunion: He reunited with the Pee Wee Herman show. gently caress you.
5. necessary length: who loving cares

The worst thing about this one is that it started with some potential. The ship is cool, and even the initial conceit of the story is cool. Then it takes a nosedive for a well-deserved suicide. Except, the story should have killed itself, not the protag.

Also just wanna echo crabrock that the first line is terrible garbage.

Ironic Twist

Arithmetic


1. character(s): I dunno. I feel like you tried to go for this really alien thing but I can’t help but just make 33 a really weird autistic human. You give her “alien” emotions and thoughts but they’re always very much in human terms. There’s really nothing that’s difficult to comprehend about the way she or her people think; they’re just weird as gently caress. It didn’t work the way you wanted it to. And Royal is just an annoying cardboard HUMANS SUCK character who might also be some dumb thing about imperialism, yawn. His motivations are also bizarre. He says he loves her, and I GUESS they bang (this should be more clear, and if so it’s loving weird), but he also calls her Ice Queen which is apparently super insulting, and he does horrible unspecified things to the other aliens?
2. plot: Like the characters, there’s too much unknown in this story for me to really care. Some of the science stuff is off, like crabrock already noted about absolute zero and so on. And other than that, I really am not sure exactly what’s supposed to be happening on a macro level. Did the humans subjugate the skellingtons? Did they move in and just generally gently caress them up? Is there a war going? None of this is clear. There are random things like the escape pod apparently had enough fuel to get to Earth (presumably a poo poo ton of lightyears away) with one human body, but a half-a-human and a skinny eight-foot tall alien is WAY TOO MUCH so it emergency lands at the nearest space rock.
3. spaceship: The spaceship is more or less a nonentity. It’s not really that important to the story and is barely described.
4. reunion: I GUESS she reunited with Royal as a dead body in the back of the pod. But I don’t loving know. Like most things in this story.
5. necessary length: Maybe with more words you could have written things into the story that made sense and made it a full narrative.

It’s weird because newtestleper wanted this to win initially and apparently crabrock liked it also, but I actually hate it. Your prose is good but this story just has too many giant question marks, and I really dislike the failed attempt at a truly alien alien who ends up as human as anybody else, with the love/fear/hate/revenge poo poo. The story was also disjointed as gently caress. Everything happened out of sequence, and it wasn’t good in a Tarantino way. It just added to the confusion that already permeates the piece.

docbeard

Land of the Dead


1. character(s): Mikala could be an ok spacename, but I guess it’s a NOBLE SAVAGE name instead so gently caress off then. She sucks, in general. Her motivations are all over the place, she has no characterization, and she moves around all weird and jerky through this ship thing just sort of doing things in a non-sequential nonsensical way. Oh wait, no, that’s just the way you wrote her.
2. plot: Really not sure what the gently caress is happening in this story. Did humans (EVIL HUMANS, THE OLD CHESTNUT) come to her planet and kill everyone just so they could live there? Now they’re overhauling her dumb old ship? Is she a human? Are the humans not human? Is she alive or dead? Do I care?
3. spaceship: Yeah it’s a rotting rusting spaceship that’s GENETICALLY LINKED to a family line for space reasons. It’s dumb.
4. reunion: The reunion sucked because Mikala sucks and so does her undead spaceship grandfather.
5. necessary length: You used WAY too many words. And you told a loving lot, instead of showing actions you reported the actions in the most bland sterile way possible.

This was boring as gently caress. Seriously, spaceship week should have been fun, but we get this kind of poo poo instead.

El Diabolico

untitled

1. character(s): Holy loving shitfuck, was there a secret flash rule of “no spacenames, only the most boring milquetoast loving bullshit American names you can possibly think of?” These characters are totally loving meaningless you know what, gently caress you this is the most low-effort shitwriting i’ve ever seen in the dome, i’m done with this

Grizzled Patriarch

Love is Another Kind of Loneliness

1. character(s): I just don’t get enough of Haru to care about how sad he is. That’s all there is to him: sadness and loss. And the protag is too detached, like some sort of scientific observer just trying to keep his (her?) subject calm to avoid personal injury.
2. plot: It’s really not bad, and the sadness of Haru’s loss is poignant, but there’s just not much to it.
3. spaceship: The ship is cool enough from what we can see, which isn’t enough, as per usual in this week of SPACESHIP stories with very little SPACESHIP.
4. reunion: It’s sort of hosed up that the protag made a fake computer version of Haru’s son. I mean I guess that’s what he/she figured Haru needed, but still creepy and weird.
5. necessary length: You have nice clean prose, so you didn’t bloat this, but I think you could have made it more satisfying with another 1000 words or so to work with.

Pretty writing, good convincing tragedy, not much substance. You’ve done better, and plenty of others have done a whole lot worse.

Capntastic

To the Severe, to Vadim


1. character(s): Another boring loving character, who AT LEAST has a good spacename. Okay, so this is a gay dude who’s super in love with his gay bf, but he chose to go on a seedship where he’s gonna bang chicks? I don’t really know because I couldn’t be hosed to read this story more than just a skimming, it was so goddamn overwrought and boring.
2. plot: It’s like, you want to do this cool thing with letters and you dedicate the entire story to the letter poo poo, but then at the end you (or at least everyone else) realize that the thing with letters ISN’T COOL AT ALL and you just wasted your’s and everyone else’s time.
3. spaceship: wtf is up with concrete spaceships do people understand material science even a tiny bit
4. reunion: there wasn’t a reunion and it wasn’t a cool twist on a reunion, it was two people talking at each other and nothing is even loving resolved and who cares
5. necessary length: way too long

kurona_bright

Preparing for the Big Sleep

1. character(s): Welt, we’re back to lovely milquetoast names again. loving wonderful.
2. plot: This is another one of those stories this week where the sci-fi setting is 100% incidental to the story. Everyone acts exactly like modern people and the technology is exactly like current tech except IN SPACE. It’s really loving lazy and it sucks. Oh and the plot is boring too. This is seriously the story of some chick using AIM with her older brother in the 90s from a foreign country and then she loses connection because there’s a monsoon or something. Holy gently caress this is stupid.
3. spaceship: Completely incidental. IMO this doesn’t even count as a spaceship story
4. reunion: It’s a loving AIM convo, not a reunion
5. necessary length: Not short enough

Bad Ideas Good

Outer Space Does Not Make A Twenty Hour Road Trip With Your Ex Any More Tolerable


1. character(s): Starla’s a bitch, Adam’s a bitch, and Harold died like a bitch. Also no spacenames.
2. plot: I don’t really even know why I’m reading any of this because nothing happens. I guess the idea of burying someone on the moon is pretty cool but that’s all there is and I just can’t possibly care about the dumb cliched characters.
3. spaceship: You barely describe the ship, but at least Bluebird is a cool name I guess.
4. reunion: Is this even a reunion?
5. necessary length: At least it wasn’t super long.

You start this story with telling and it just continues a high dive into boring bullshit from there. Seriously, the only actual “writing rule” and nobody can be bothered to loving follow it. Just because the telling is in an annoying nerdy conversational tone doesn’t make it okay. The really long dumb annoying title is like a red flag that I should stop reading this story before the first line, and I wish I did. Seriously, your prose is competent but you need to use it to tell me a good and interesting story.

Fuschia Tude

The Neverwhy


1. character(s): ugh this story
2. plot: is actually about mental illness
3. spaceship: and is really boring
4. reunion: and poorly written and edited
5. necessary length: to boot

Sorry, you’re not Cormac McCarthy, you need to use quotation marks. And also proper grammar. Then again, you can’t even spell fuchsia right so how can we expect anything better?

sebmojo

Dandelion


1. character(s): Zakary feels like a fully fleshed character, which is no surprise. This is YOU we’re reading after all. Elena is good too even if she’s just a simulacra. And the Urchin, well, I want to know more about the little bastard, but I like what I saw.
2. plot: The plot is tight and there’s nothing left hanging over the edge of the rim, which is sort of upsetting since I want to know more about everything here, but especially the Urchin. You really did a doozy of a sci-fi setting here in so few words. The fleshiness and innovation of tech is loving palpable. I really, really want to know more about urchins and twins and so on.
3. spaceship: Yeah it’s loving awesome, tell me more you dick.
4. reunion: Nice reunion, nice that you bring us back to when he proposed so he can braindump and prime the Urchin.
5. necessary length: Could have used some more words for just a TINY BIT more explanation, maybe.

I dunno though, this is kind of loving awesome with just the little hints. It’s the kind of thing I’d read in Clarkesworld and then search for the dude’s actual novels so I could learn more about the world.

This is actually my pick for the win (sorry Benny Profane and Nethilia), too bad I didn’t read it until just right now. Not like you need any more wins though.


Terrible loving week and I don't even feel bad anymore that it took me almost five months to post these crits and even read all the loving stories.

Martello fucked around with this message at 08:43 on May 28, 2015

cargohills
Apr 17, 2014



It turns out that it is me who is the greatest failure of all failbrawl contestants (so far). I’m out. The 150 words I’ve managed to write don’t even begin to resemble a coherent story: they're more like a series of disconnected excerpts from the same scene that haven’t been slotted into the right place. The next time I enter in the Thunderdome will have to be another toxx, and won’t be until I’m confident that I’m able to finish writing a story by a deadline.

I should probably go stick my hands in a tub of acid filled with piranhas or something now.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







cargohills posted:

It turns out that it is me who is the greatest failure of all failbrawl contestants (so far). I’m out. The 150 words I’ve managed to write don’t even begin to resemble a coherent story: they're more like a series of disconnected excerpts from the same scene that haven’t been slotted into the right place. The next time I enter in the Thunderdome will have to be another toxx, and won’t be until I’m confident that I’m able to finish writing a story by a deadline.

I should probably go stick my hands in a tub of acid filled with piranhas or something now.

CARGOHILLS, SO HELP ME--!!

seriously at this point I would take 150 words of word salad. Come on man throw me a bone here.


Martello posted:


Cool stuff


Thanks for the crits thunderdad

Does this mean you'll be around for our birthdays this year? :ohdear:

Posthumor
Jan 13, 2015

~amine~

FAILUREBOWL

Rocky Loves Papa

Words: 595

Rocky just wants to make Papa happy.

He sits all day in the alcove overlooking the throne, ever since that fateful day when Papa found him, years ago. He'd stumbled upon Rocky when wandering through the mountainside. Beset by a sudden rainstorm, he’d sought respite beneath Rocky’s mighty flank. It was the first time that Rocky, a mountain dweller, had seen a human up close. With a matted beard down to his collarbone and shirtless from the waist up, he looked nothing like Papa now. Rocky was never very good at distinguishing fleshy things and almost took him for a giant, tumorous squirrel. But squirrels never needed to paw at his crevices to get around.

“They’ve spotted me,” the man muttered, clambering behind Rocky. His legs kept getting caught knee-deep in the muck. Several hundred feet away, at the bottom of the slope where Rocky lay perched, a mass of several dozen similarly-deformed squirrels had gathered. They seemed to be yelling, pointing up at Rocky and clutching torches.
The man clutched his hands together and screamed: “Please, somebody help me!”

Rocky concentrated. Slowly, he tipped over, then began sliding down the slope, trailing mud behind him, straight into the fleshy carpet. It was all too fast. They were caught in the mudslide and crushed underneath. Exhausted, Rocky rested at the bottom of the slope.

The shirtless man emerged from underneath a mud pile. Covered head to toe in dirt, he walked into the pile of bodies, eyes wide, and began laughing. He ran into the woods.

Rocky dreamt dreamless rock dreams.

--

Soon after, a dozen more creatures arrived. They said kind things about Rocky, declared him a hero, a savior. They placed him atop wooden boards and dragged him somewhere far away from his slope, to a stone structure in the middle of a great flatness. There, a familiar man emerged – the same one who’d sought refuge under him on that rainy day. This time he was clean shaven and clothed in fine fabrics.

The man put his body against Rocky. His fully outstretched arms were only a third of Rocky’s radius. He whispered:

“My salvation… arrived through you… From this day forward, we will never part…”

--

Before the Duke, a man takes off his hat and holds it to his chest. Eyes wide, he glances around the audience chamber – lined with precious jewels, it’s the most extravagant thing he’s even seen. His fingers twitch in sequence as he calculates how many lifetimes’ wages went into its construction. He runs out of fingers.

“M’Lord, I’m a representative from the council of villages. I’ve come to deliver a list of grievances,” he glanced up at the Duke. The severe man was seated on an throne of pure gold.

For a long while, the Duke said nothing. Finally, he made a hand signal and said:

“You are excused,”

“A-and the list?”

“Hand it to the guard on your way out.”

The man turned to leave.
Walking toward the exit, he passed through a strangely rough area of flooring. The hall’s exquisite stonework was cracked there. That’s strange, he thought. The rest is so-

SPLAT

Right on cue, Rocky fell from his trap door on the ceiling.

Only chunky human salsa remained. The Duke broke into his howling laughter. It continued at Rocky was lifted via a pulley system back into his alcove. A servant hosed the chunks of meat off him. The Duke still laughed, for what seemed like hours and hours. Rocky was proud, happy that Papa was happy. It was another good day.

Jay O
Oct 9, 2012

being a zombie's not so bad
once you get used to it

FAILURE! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWL!

Tipped Scales
600 words

"One thousand, two thousand, three thousand..."

I nestled down into my favorite pile of jewels to rest my eyes, while the lanky human raked his fingers through the day's haul. I hated him getting his smell all over the fresh gold like that, but it made him happy to touch it. If he was happy, he wouldn't swing that staff at me anymore. The thin, curved thing made such a horrendous noise when he swung it around, sending violent shivers rippling under my scales and filling my head with hornets until I passed out. Every time I regained consciousness, the stinky human creature would be sliding his way off my neck, so I knew some time must have passed that I could not remember. I should rip him apart for even touching me, much less hypnotizing and riding me. But...

But there was always more gold in my cave when I woke. More gold was good. That made this human both good and bad at once, and I didn't know how to feel about that. So I decided to do nothing for the time being. Before I knew it, seven whole days had passed in this manner, with the pain of the staff overcoming my mind in the morning, a forgotten afternoon, and an evening filled with the scent of fresh gold. This human must know where his fellow humans kept their treasure. I did always have trouble finding it on my own. So this arrangement wasn't so bad.

"This is amazing. Simply incredible. Today, my life begins anew!"

If only my imposed partner could enjoy our spoils with more dignity. How could such a small animal make so much noise? Maybe smaller animals made more noise by their very nature. His horse was quieter than he, and I was quieter than the horse. Speaking of which, I could hear him shoveling something into the nag's saddlebags. My eyes shot open, catching a glimmer of gilded metal as it sank into the animal's pack. The human was already racing back to today's haul, arms outstretched to gather up more of my treasure.

I lifted my head and let out a low rumble. He froze between his horse and my gold.

"Come on, friend. We've been amassing these spoils for a week now. I think one night of carnal pleasures is more than reasonable for all my help. I have to spend a little sometime, right?"

No. More gold is good. Less gold is unacceptable.

He took one timid step closer to the treasure. Embers began to crackle in my chest.

"Don't worry yourself. I can't possibly spend it all."

My eyes twitched back to the horse. There was something familiar bulging at the bottom of one gold-laden saddlebag. It was thin, curved, and emitted a faint hum that sent unmistakable shivers rippling under my scales. My eyes had scarcely returned to the human when he broke into a scramble, now headed straight for his beast of burden.

Fool.

I set the horse ablaze. It screamed and bolted from the cave, hemorrhaging gold with every buck and convulsion on its way out. The human sank to his knees and dug his fingers into his skull comically as the beast disappeared into the forest.

I believe I have lost gold because of you.

He whirled to face me, water pouring out of his grotesque human face.

"I-it can't have gone far. It's already d-dead, I'm sure. I can get it all back for you--"

Yes, it was a bad partnership after all. The human even tasted as bad as he smelled.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

GUM CHEWING INTENSIFIES


Thanks to both Blue Squares and Martello for the crits.

Jonked
Feb 15, 2005


The Deserter, 328 words

Great men are forged in fire, while it is the duty of lesser men to light the flame. Long ago, I had realized greatness was not my destiny. But He had shone with power, with the robes of fate.

I dropped the canteen back into my saddlebag. I would need it if I lucked onto an oasis. My throat burned, as dry as the badlands around me. Still, hope springs eternal.

Kilgore had been worthy of devotion. He had vision, the guidance of the divine. I had never been east of the Mississippi. My lineage had been tied to this dry, hard land since Vasquez de Coronado. But when Kilgore spoke of the Lost Cause and the Noble South…

The horse collapsed beneath me. I gently slit its throat and drank as much of its lifeblood as my stomach could hold. I filled my canteen.

The Garcia line had stayed pure - no dilution with Indios or Esclavos. But I had realized my place as the end of the lineage. I told Kilgore I’d follow him to Hell, but that had been a lie. My courage failed me, and the thread of fate had been cut. He died calling out my name.

The sun began to set, and a cold creeped into my bones. Making a fire wasn’t option, not with my enemies so close behind. But my legs were so tired. I could hear his voice - Kilgore. He was calling for me on the win. I found a secluded spot behind a boulder, and tried to my warm myself.

Was that Him walking towards me?

I wanted to rest. Kilgore would catch up with me soon. I just needed to sleep. I wasn’t even cold anymore.

The desert is so beautiful at night.

I’m sorry, Sir. I should have died by your side.

The moon! Where was the moon? It was so dark out. But the stars twinkled like diamonds.

I’m coming, Sir. Come find me.

Fausty
May 16, 2014

"Flowers!"
"Is there a
John Luck Pickerd
here?"


Tyrannosaurus posted:

"Forbidden love tempts and destroys a young couple."

From Rose to Thorn
1165 Words.

A sharp slap and the angry thuds of retreating footsteps were all that was left to imprint Lana’s words into Ryan’s mind. “You slept with a loving man? Just my luck that you’d be a God damned human being.”

Ryan fell back into the mudroom chair, red-faced and with what felt like monstrous moths fluttering violently in his stomach. His brows furrowed and eyes shut tight. A long whimpering sigh spilled out from between his lips as his eyes slowly relaxed. He looked over at the open apartment door and kicked it shut with his closest foot.

He dug into his pocket and pulled out his phone. He scrolled through his contacts. Mikkel’s name and face rolled in. His thumb hesitated over the call button before slamming into it. The phone rang into his ear for what felt like hours until he heard Mikkel’s sweet soothing voice, “Hey, Sweetie! You doin’ all right over there?”

Ryan held his breath. Seconds passed while he thought of what to say. “Yeah,” he panted, “I’m okay. How about you?”

“You don’t sound okay. I take it honesty didn’t turn out to be the most painless solution?” Mikkel asked, his southern accent twanging across the cell towers.

“She slapped me and called me,” Ryan paused, gritting his teeth, “she called me a human being.”

Mikkel snapped, “That bitch! I’ll be over in just a minute, Babe.”

Ryan heard the dull beep, Mikkel hung up. gently caress this, he thought. He stood up and walked into the kitchen. He tapped his fingers on the counter like drumsticks to some unknown beat, thinking of what he wanted.

He opened the fridge and took the bottle of grapefruit juice. He poured himself a glass and returned the bottle, but as he close the fridge door he heard the apartment door open. “Mikky? Is that you?”

“Hey handsome!” he called back. He turned the corner and looked at Ryan with a pity-filled smile. He held up a white letter with ‘gently caress you’ written in red nail polish on the back. “Little Miss Lana left something for you,” he almost whispered. His lips pressed into a sad smile.

Ryan walked over the Mikkel and took the letter from his hand, mouthing “Thanks,” before walking over to the counter to examine it. As he studied it, his eyes narrowed.

“What is it? What’s wrong?” Mikkel cocked his head as he inched closer.

“Well,” Ryan said, “Behind the giant ‘F’ I think it says that it came all the way from South Carolina to here.”

“I thought you said that Lana’s never left Virginia?” Mikkel asked as he rested his hand on Ryan’s upper back, rubbing it gently. He peered down at the letter, studying it himself.

“She hasn’t.” Ryan picked up the letter and walked away from Mikkel, his hand fell away. Ryan slowly opened the envelope, sliding his finger through the flap. It was held together by a small dab of nail polish. “Lana’s been in it,” he stated.

He pulled out a small handwritten note, clearly from Lana. It read, “Hope you enjoy this little piece of news, I sure did. You two should get a real kick out of it.”

He slipped it back into the envelope and took out a larger, but still handwritten note. He didn’t recognize the style. He read it aloud slowly as he paced around the room:

“Dear Ryan,

It’s hard to describe the pure joy I felt when I discovered my two boys were alive and well. I have lived in regret ever since I gave you boys to the home. I thought I’d never see you again, but fate had other plans apparently!

I hope we can meet one day, but if not, I understand. You and -”


Ryan’s voice fell silent. His cheeks went tight and stung. His mouth watered sourly before being immediately dried by his thirsty tongue and cheeks. His stomach twisted and knotted as he stared at the words. His eyes were stuck on one spot in the letter and his jaw had gone slack.

“What’s wrong?” Mikkel asked, his eyes travelling up and down Ryan’s frozen body.

“It,” Ryan husked, his voice had gone completely dry. He swallowed and continued, “Harvey’s not my brother.” He gulped deeply. His words became shaky, “You are.” Mikkel’s eyes shot wide.

“What?” Mikkel asked, “What if she’s just crazy? What about that?” He stuttered more and more as he spoke, “How the gently caress do you know she’s talking about me?”

“Why would she know about us otherwise? How would she know? And how many guys do you know with the name Mikkel?” Ryan asked, confirming the terrible truth. His eyes were red and teary; salty droplets rolled down his cheeks.

Mikkel slowly backed away. His head cocked slightly to the left and his eyes dead set on the ground. He absently shook his head as he distanced himself from Ryan. Stone-faced but clearly distraught, his childhood tics resurfaced. He turned away and walked down the hall, his left shoulder and head twitching in synchrony.

“Mikkel? Where are you going?” Ryan asked, stepping forward.

He watched as Mikkel walked toward the bathroom. He thought he needed some alone time. Hell, I sure as gently caress need some alone time, he thought. Then Mikkel walked by the bathroom and disappeared into Ryan’s bedroom.

Mikkel!?” he yelled. He ran down the hall toward the room, but the door closed before he got to it. He heard the muted click of the door lock. He slammed himself into the door shoulder first, but nothing gave way. Well, nothing but his shoulder which he grasped in pain, grimacing.

He could heard the shuffling of drawers opening and closing. Oh gently caress. He wouldn’t. He couldn’t. There’s no way he’d do that to me, he thought. He banged his fists into the door repeatedly. “Mikkel! Please! Just stop and listen to me, please!” he screamed. His sore hands were beginning to bloody and bruise. More shuffling. “Mikkel, for gently caress’s sake stop and listen to me!”

He heard the bed creak under Mikkel’s feet. “No, no, no! Please stop and think about what you’re doing, Mikkel! You have family and friends that love you, you have me! Brother or not, I’ll always be there for you God dammit!”

“I’m sorry, Ryan. But I still love you, and I can’t live like that.”

Ryan stopped hitting the door, his hands had been torn from the repeated smashing. Blood dripped steadily onto the floor. He pressed his cheek to the door and spoke, “Can we just talk about this? Please?” His chest heaved slowly as he panted into the door.

“No.” His voice was dry and emotionless.

Ryan listened in horror as he heard the distant click of the hammer being pulled back. And in an instant, everything he knew had been torn apart in one moment; the explosive crack of the gun threw him from the door in shock. He stared at the impassible monolith-like door, wide-eyed and surrendered.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




*

ravenkult fucked around with this message at 19:24 on Oct 22, 2015

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Martello posted:

:frogsiren:SPACESHIP WEEK CRITS:frogsiren:

It’s weird because crabrock wanted this to win

What? I was always 100% behind nethilia winning spaceship week.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME















The redemption brawl is closed. Nine failures accepted my generous offer. Seven of you now stand redeemed in the shadow of the blood throne. Two of you will be taking remedial courses in time management.

The results will be out in I dunno, the next day or so. Along with my crits, and a line crit for the winner of the brawl.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


crabrock posted:

What? I was always 100% behind nethilia winning spaceship week.

For the record my immediate instinct was for twists story. On reflection at time of judging I agreed that neths was better.

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Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


crabrock posted:

What? I was always 100% behind nethilia winning spaceship week.

newtestleper posted:

For the record my immediate instinct was for twists story. On reflection at time of judging I agreed that neths was better.

Sorry, I mistyped and switched your opinions. Edited it for posterity.

Sitting Here posted:

Thanks for the crits thunderdad

Does this mean you'll be around for our birthdays this year? :ohdear:

unless you make me mad, then I'll work late and drink later

Martello fucked around with this message at 08:44 on May 28, 2015

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