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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







signups closed now write, write as though the devil himself is in your fingers

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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Here's another reading, Kaishai's For Life

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

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


Im angry as gently caress this week, guess Ill judge

Beige
Sep 13, 2004



This is wonderful. Both the story and the reading. Please say there are more.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Beige posted:

This is wonderful. Both the story and the reading. Please say there are more.

take this to fiction advice

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool


check yo emails for flash frontier letters. i got a pretty appropriate rejection.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.


Gorgeous, sebmojo. Thank you so much.

Beige posted:

This is wonderful. Both the story and the reading. Please say there are more.

Thank you as well. Yes, there are. You can find the Thunderdome readings of which I'm aware here.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






sebmojo posted:

take this to fiction advice

take your friggin attitude to fiction advice ya big nattering bunion

Beige
Sep 13, 2004


Kaishai posted:

You can find the Thunderdome readings of which I'm aware here.

These aren't working for me. I'm getting 404s. I'm eager to power through the whole collection. Who runs the site?

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Beige posted:

These aren't working for me. I'm getting 404s. I'm eager to power through the whole collection. Who runs the site?

nobody really.

try now, they should work.

Beige
Sep 13, 2004


crabrock posted:

nobody really.

try now, they should work.

Excellent, thanks.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Sitting Here posted:

take your friggin attitude to fiction advice ya big nattering bunion

lol

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Peanut Milk
1296 words

I saw you on the peanut milk yesterday. Peanut milk! I couldn’t believe it! It was the kind with the purple lid, the good kind. I was sitting at lunch with my coworker and there you were, peeking at me from behind the giant soup tureen.

“I know that girl,” I told my coworker.

He lit a cigarette. “So loving what?”

“What’d he say?” my boss called from the other side of the table.

“The new guy says he knows the girl on the peanut milk bottle,” said the man on my right.

My boss waved his hands. “Models are all whores,” he said in a disapproving tone. “If you know her, you must have paid for her.” Everyone else roared with laughter, and I grinned, too, like a sheepish younger brother. They went back to talking, and I went back to being silent, as usual.

I wonder if you remember me?

Your classroom was next to mine, but we never talked. Our class had some kind of rivalry with the kids on the opposite side, so we were always shouting and fighting with them, and ignoring your class. You and your friends would come out of your classroom and watch us squabble sometimes. I never fought, but I would stand there and taunt people from a safe distance. My father once told me I was a coward, before he died. Would you think so? Or did you? I am, I suppose.

You always laughed. Your friends would roll their eyes or make fun of us sometimes, or just watch silently, but you always laughed. Like you knew that we were just being childish, but not in a mean way. Like you knew we’d grow out of it, and you were waiting for us to do so, so we could join you on your level.

Your eyes were so beautiful when you laughed. At least, that’s what I remember.

Did you want to be a model back then? I mostly remember you being good at science. I was always a mediocre student, and I honestly never cared, but I remember seeing your name when they posted class rank in the hall. You were always towards the top in your class. And you went to Hong Kong once, for a science competition. You didn’t win.

My boss decided he was finished and stood up to leave. I pretended to be looking around for my phone, and when the rest of them had crowded out of the restaurant, I grabbed the bottle.

I know I looked foolish carrying an empty bottle of peanut milk with me. The girl at the cash register gave me a strange look as I passed her. Luckily, our office is just across the street from that restaurant, so I didn’t have to go far. Rather than risk carrying the bottle into the office and getting mocked more, I sat on a bench next to the building and looked again.

You were wearing a pink puffy dress and a tall, pink plastic crown. You were smiling and surrounded by dancing cartoon peanuts. I never saw you smile like that when we were at school, with all your teeth showing.

When we first met, we didn’t talk much. I was bad at sports, so during our last year of high school, I volunteered to work at the nurse’s station during the Sports Festival instead of participating. I arrived on the first morning with no expectation of seeing you, but there you were, half-out of uniform and smiling your close-lipped, secretive smile. Like a woman waking up from a pleasant dream.

“Hello,” you said, “Do you know where Mrs. Chen is?”

I didn’t.

You turned away and went to look for her.

After two days, we started talking a bit more. You were quiet, just like I am, but we realized we both liked the music of Jay Zhou. When I think about it now, that’s not something unusual- everybody likes Jay Zhou- but we liked the same two songs best of all. You were friendlier to me after that.

On the last day, we had a real conversation, the kind of conversation you have with friends- relaxed and natural. You wanted to study biology, you said, but you didn’t want to be a doctor because you hated the idea of someone throwing up or bleeding on you. I teased you for being so squeamish and yet volunteering at the infirmary tent. You thought that was funny, and smacked me playfully on the shoulder. I liked you so much by then that your smack shot warm ripples through my body, radiating from the central disturbance, like throwing a big rock in a pond.

“Maybe we could go to Jinxi Street together sometime,” I said.

You cocked your head like a puppy, and didn’t say anything.

After the festival, had finished, and everyone was trudging back to the dorms, I left without saying goodbye.

“Rui?”

I saw you had put your uniform jacket back on and smoothed your hair. Your friends were clustered around you, half-trailing away, and you were holding hands that girl with the enormous nose.

You smiled. This time, you smiled a little bigger than usual. Your teeth were white, much whiter than mine. “I had fun,” you told me.

“Me, too.” I swallowed, trying to elicit an answer for my earlier questions with my eyes, but you didn’t acquiesce. After a too-long moment, I said casually, “Have a nice weekend.”

“See you.” Your friend said something to you as you turned away, but I didn’t listen. My throat hurt suddenly. I felt awful.

I feel awful remembering this now. You still look like yourself, but somehow you seem unreal to me. It’s like seeing your face on a plastic label has cheapened my memory somewhat.

When I was a child, I thought the little amusement park outside of town was such a fantastic place. I could easily recall the colors in my mind, the music from the carousel; I could remember the feeling of riding a tandem bike with my mother so clearly. Sometimes, when we were sleeping four-to-a-room in the school dormitory, I’d imagine I was back there- standing in the middle of the flower gardens and spinning, just spinning freely, with no one and nothing to block my whirling body.

I went back only once as a teenager. It wasn’t as I remembered. You wouldn’t be, either.

You’re not a biologist or a doctor. I guess you’re not a mother yet. I’m sure you live in a bigger city. Most of our schoolmates didn’t go on to do anything special or interesting- I certainly didn’t- but something tells me your life is more exciting than mine. I think it would have been that way, no matter what. You’re probably not that successful, although I am happy to see that you’re gracing the good brand of peanut milk, but you’re almost definitely more successful than me. Some days, I feel like less than nothing. I know that’s common for people our age. My mother thinks I should get married, and I wish I had more interest in that, but I just don’t right now.

I wish I could ask you if you remember me. Our interactions were so few and so inconsequential. I had a crush on you, and I know you didn’t reciprocate, but I can’t help but wish that you had agreed to go to Jinxi Road with me. We never really spoke again after the Sports Festival.

You wouldn’t be the same person now, would you? I still feel like a child. Do you ever feel that way?

I suppose it’s just loneliness, making me feel so introspective.

Your bottle went in the trash, and I lit a cigarette.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Also, I don't know if this is appropriate to announce here, but Flash Frontier selected my bird story. :unsmith:

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Fleta Mcgurn posted:

Also, I don't know if this is appropriate to announce here, but Flash Frontier selected my bird story. :unsmith:

grats

and yeah, if you haven't got the email yet it shouldn't be long - pipe up with your results, thunderdome represeeeeeeEEEEEeeennnnntttt

Beige
Sep 13, 2004


Nice, Fleta. They selected my story as well.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Beige posted:

Nice, Fleta. They selected my story as well.

YAY! Goonflash!

Hawklad
May 3, 2003


College Slice

REJECTED

N. Senada
May 17, 2011

"Oh, you're tapped out? Tap three, play Darksteel Plate. Tap two, equip it to Platinum Angel."

"Is that it?"

"No. I play Trickster God's Heist and give it to you in exchange for that token."

Subject: I love you I’m sorry 973 words



7:01>Hey, I’m sorry about the bad news. : (

7:01>I thought I was dreaming when I first heard

7:02>The internet was out again this morning so I heard it on my phone radio

7:02>It works surprisingly well lol

7:35>Did you leave early for school today? I’m going to be heading out soon

7:50>Traffic’s awful like it always is. I know you say don’t text and drive but when I haven’t moved in 5 minutes does that rule really apply?

8:40>Alright, I’m guessing you forgot your phone at home again, I’ll expect you to call when you get back to your house.

8:45>Everyone at the office is feeling really down today. I gotta admit I’m there with them. I can’t imagine having to see his picture every time I walk into the building. Aisha called out sick, she told me she just can’t manage today.

1:12>Finally getting to eat lunch. A lot of worried people out there. Thanks for emailing me, I’m saving it for the end of work as a reward for getting through today. : )

5:34>I don’t understand this, please call me

- - - - - - - -

Hey Rachel,

When I started writing this, I wondered if you’d even read this. I’m sure you have a ton of other things to take care of today. There’s probably countless emails from coworkers about what you all are going to do in light of the election. Probably even more from all the communities you work with.

And maybe you’re feeling scared. I keep thinking about my family. I wonder what’s going through their heads. I think about my friends back home and what they’re thinking. I’m wondering what the people in here are thinking. And for the first time in a long time I really feel like I’m far away from home.

I remember when I first got here, how much you helped me. The first time I went to the market with you, how you helped me learn the art of bartering. I’m still really bad at it. And when that hurricane almost hit the island. How you talked me through what to expect. How you helped me nail up boards and set up sandbags. I was so scared. The heat was truly oppressive that night but I still wanted to hold you tight against me, sweat and all.

I doubt I would have been able to do so much without you. I feel like all the progress I made, the kids I worked with, the gardens I built, weren’t just my own. They belonged to us. That picture Tasafa drew had your name written on it too. It was for us. When I first got here, she didn’t even know her alphabet.

I know we talked about me staying for another year, or at least extending through the summer. But all I can think about now is home.

There’s this one incident I keep reliving in my head, this thing that happened back in high school. I was at school and it was lunchtime. We had one really big cafeteria and grades took turns eating. All of the 9th graders were coming down for lunch and the 10th graders were still there, waiting for a staff member to let them throw away their plates and then line up to leave. One kid dropped his mostly empty plate on this black kid, Adam. This was the only black kid in our school district. He came from probably the only black family in the county.

Adam stood up, and, while brushing off some pizza, shouted at the other kid to apologize. A third kid came up and pushed Adam down, telling him to calm down. Then a bunch of other kids started shouting Adam down too about how it was an accident. He stood back up and he was yelling too. I couldn’t make out what everyone was saying, it was all so loud.

The kids started circling around Adam and this much bigger 10th grader. I got pushed along with the crowd and I saw that big teen punch Adam straight in the face. Adam fell hard but jumped right back up and started fighting back. Everybody started chanting and then there was blood. I don’t remember much else from that day, but I do remember what happened when I got home

I told my mom what had happened. I remember saying, “that black kid got beat up today.” And I remember what she said: “What did he do?” I remember my dad said something like “Adam should’ve tried being a little nicer, that that kind of stuff doesn’t happen to nice, young men.” I remember what my parents said really well right now. I remember it better than I remember the fight. I remember it better than the crappy pizzas they would serve us on Friday. I’ve been rolling that memory around in my head a lot today.

The other memory I have in my head right now is what my dad said to me right before I left the country. He told me to not “let any black women snatch me up.”

I love you Rachel. And I love my parents. I’m going to go home. I think I need to talk to my parents about what I’ve been doing here, who I’ve been working alongside. When I go home and see my father, I don’t know that I will be able to tell him about about us. I'm not sure they're ready for something like that. I’m just not sure we should go to the United States together now. I think things are going to get worse before they get better. And maybe it’s better we stay with our own people.

I don’t know.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you this in person. I really do like you but maybe we’re not supposed to be together.

Boaz-Jachim
Sep 20, 2015

CANERE CORAM LEONE


http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=5261

Boaz-Jachim fucked around with this message at 00:22 on Nov 30, 2016

Okua
Oct 30, 2016


Flash rule/prompt:
"I'm not sure if you got my last letter (you didn't respond), but I just want to clarify one last thing "

To a Seaside Well - 722 words

Love, I’m writing to you again. I am sitting on the edge of the well in my nightdress, wearing your old boots.

The trek out here was long. I stopped at every other rock to sit down and consider whether I ought to be going at all, whether it served any purpose. I stopped when I thought that this ritual for sending letters to the dead was simple superstition – that you won’t get the letter anyway. And then a few yards further on, I thought I knew in my heart that it wasn’t. I'm not sure if you got my last letter (you didn't respond), but I just want to clarify one last thing. I want to tell you I’m considering sailing away. And if this hole really reaches to the underworld, perhaps you can know this and find some way to communicate what you think.

Things have gotten worse since October. Our little island will be gone soon. (If you could see the way the waves come closer and closer, I think you would feel the same panic as me. I can't breathe well when I go down to the beach and see the surf creeping in).

Cousin Sally came on the boat today - she's leaving tomorrow, and wants me to come with her. (She’s borrowing my boots).

People on the mainland have calculated it all. Our home is due to lie underwater before the end of the year. Sally promised to help me settle on the mainland. When she said that, I looked out towards this well. The moss-covered stones, seaweed-green, shone with slick moisture like back when you slipped in.

I should fear losing the farm. The fields of heather. The granite grave-markers in the hills. I don’t, surprisingly enough. I just think about this place and your abandoned body, lying too deep for human hands to reach. Our ancestors must have been possessed by spirits to dig that hole until they broke clean through the world – or maybe not; Sally said it’s a natural crevice that leads to an underground cave. Her geologist husband told her so. (She could also explain how each time the water sweeps across the beach, millions and millions of grains of sand get stolen away into the sea and wash up on other coasts. Why'd it have to be our island donating to those distant places? It was just the right tiny size).

Our island hides your body well, and I want to believe that your soul can be in the wind and between the dying heather-flowers. You and I are island people, built differently from the mainlanders, raised waiting for boats and the seagull-cries that follow them. Granite in our skulls. That’s not just something I’m writing to be poetic: I finished the biology textbook you bought me. (I remember how you detested giving hard-earned money to a passing student on the ferry for it). There’s this concept called island evolution. Things in isolation grow differently, become their own thing. Sally says that she’s sure I’ve misunderstood it. I have not told her that I have sent you letters.

She doesn’t understand why I’m paying so much attention to the birds, the weather and the things that wash up on the beach. I can’t help but pay attention. We have always been told that the pheasant crossing the road in front of you at sundown is a warning, and that stumbling upon a circle of stones means good luck. And then the moment I see them, I explain them away as rationally as I can. (It’s all nature, physics, sciences with names I have yet to discover. The mainland can calculate that chances for all of these things, I think). You would have mocked me for it.

You are quiet now. If you remain quiet, I’ll leave you and your dark hole behind, drop no more letters and try not to think too much about how the eels will move in and settle between the green rocks in the flooding well.
Sally says her husband will help me find a good place to learn about geology and evolution and other mainland concepts. And now I feel the tide change in my bones.

The gulls will start calling soon, and then the ship will sail – about that, if nothing else, I am certain.

dmboogie
Oct 4, 2013



sebmojo posted:

and yeah, if you haven't got the email yet it shouldn't be long - pipe up with your results, thunderdome represeeeeeeEEEEEeeennnnntttt

Mine got rejected, but they said they liked it and that it made their shortlist. :unsmith:

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007


My story got rejected, because it should have been rejected, because it was a crap story about bird crap

Baleful Osmium Sea
Oct 31, 2016


1492 Words - Flash rule: message in a bottle

Bottled Immortality

I cannot know who has found this bottle but I beg of you - do not destroy its contents! I, Elwyn Alphonse, have cast it adrift upon the seas of the world and the seas of fate, under the instruction of Genius.

I also suppose I cannot know upon which shore you read this, but to keep my sanity I must assume you understand the language of Mother England. The possibility of some ignorant savage tasting the contents of this bottle and, finding it unpalatable, casting it aside to rot forgotten in the elements is too much to bear.

You may very well ask, then, why I have encased this letter in stoppered glass and thrown it to the dubious mercies of Poseidon. To answer that I invite you to peruse the companion envelope also within. It is the final poem of the Very Greatest of Great English Poets, Nathaniel Bottomsly, sealed with his very own seal to testify to its provenance.

I wonder how long this bottle has travelled. A year? Ten? Have centuries or millennia passed? It matters not, for I am sure you will recognise the name of Nathaniel Bottomsly immediately. It is beyond imagining that he is not yet established in the literary firmament beside Milton and Shakespeare as the finest creator of the poetic word humanity has yet produced. And this container holds, by his own admission, his Magnum Opus, in his own hand, unread by any other eyes in Christendom.

Now, I will not lie to you, dear but unknown Reader. Though his art was unparalleled, poetry was not Nathaniel’s first, nor only love. He eschewed the trappings of fame that wreathed Byron like opium smoke, preferring to live, as he always had, in a splendidly simple, wooden villa on the rugged Cornish coast. He rarely drank to excess, did not gamble or visit with women of ill-repute - all things that have been the ruin and downfall of lesser men. He had but one vice, yet one that he shared with luminaries such as Newton and Cagliostro. He obsessed with understanding the Arts Alchemical.

I spoke to him once on the subject. The night was cold, and we had both imbibed of a very strong brandy I happened to have brought with me. We nestled in armchairs amongst the other dust-coveri-disguised furniture in his library and it seemed that the drink had loosened his tongue more than was usual for him.

“Elwyn,” he said (and I hope my memory does him justice, for his pattern of speech was every bit as glorious as his writing). “Words are too ephemeral - they betray the air by dying in it, they betray the page by burning with it. The Alchemical seeks to transcend that, to live in the Eternal Fire, constantly being born anew so that even Death itself must relinquish its grasp.”

“Nathaniel,” I laughed. “You cannot tell me that Shakespeare is not made immortal by his plays, that Milton does not walk forever with the Saints for gifting us his vision of Paradise Lost and Found.”

“They died, though, did they not? An actor and a blind man, dead like every other actor and blind man before them and after. I write poetry not in pursuit of of immortality, but to shed myself of the last remnants of ephemerality. I must write and write again until the very particles of speech have deserted me, for only then I will know I am close to the True Alchemical Nature, and ready to embrace my Alchemical Engine.“

Though I pressed him, he would not say more of this mysterious Engine. But, by God, he lived up to his other statement for I know of no man more prolific. It was my honour to perform small errands and tasks for him when I could be spared from London, so I saw first-hand the vast quantities of poetry he created. I read epics of sweeping grandeur, intimate portraits of the mythological, personal musings on the beauty one might find in the most humble of beings or objects. I read and I wept, moved beyond recounting.

And yet he never sought literary fame. In truth, he would not publish a word and would spit if ever I broached the subject. The pages piled up high in his study, so I collated and bound them for protection, hope springing eternal that one day he would relent, and allow me to enrich the world with those beatific phrases. Once I happened to memorise a few simple fragments when i was called upon to transcribe them after Nathaniel sprained his wrist. My connections with the Great and the Good of the publishing world saw me able to relay them, as much as my faltering memory would allow, to many of the popular figures in the literary sphere, and one by one they all beat a path to his door. He treated them civilly, to be sure, but once they were gone he complained that they had considerably set back his enterprise of divesting himself of his words. Being so full of verbiage themselves, he felt infected by them and he begged me never again to share his work until he had become one with the Flame Eternal.

As a gentleman, I was forced to comply with his wishes, though it pained me to see so many obviously lesser talents lionised by the lettered, reaping the rewards that I knew should be Nathaniel’s.

I raised this issue with him this very day, in his library, over brandy. “Elwyn,” he replied, “There are more important matters afoot. I tell you - I feel that I am ready. The work is near complete. I am close.” With a dramatic flair I had never before seen him exhibit, he threw back a dust-covering I had assumed concealed a most uncomfortable sofa, but proved to be multi-leveled table, replete with jars and potions and tubes. “And this is my Alchemical Engine which will bind me to the Flame!”

In truth it looked infernally dangerous. I urged him to reconsider, but he bade me hold my tongue. “When I have ascended, you may do as you wish with my poetry. It is beneath contempt. All, except for this.” He handed me an envelope, the self-same sealed envelope that rests beside this letter. “My final work,” he said, “and, I feel, my Greatest. But if you have any feelings of friendship for this man-like shell that I will soon endeavour to leave - I beg of you, cast it unread into the sea.”

I spluttered in protest, but he continued. “I see now in allowing you to collect my meaningless meanderings I was still tied up in my own self-regard. Perhaps I was afraid of failure, perhaps your enthusiasm was a comfort, when the real work seemed too difficult to succeed. But now - I have left the particles of speech for dead. I am surrounded by the vellum tombs you have built for them and I must have no ties to this world of base material. I cannot think of a finer place to transcend to the Eternal Flame than surrounded by the shed skin of my language but I must do so alone. Please, again, I beg of you. Take this envelope and cast it into the sea. Think of it as a symbol of everything I am leaving behind if you must, but know the truth is more fantastically, wonderfully complex. Please, as a friend.”

And so I left, consoling myself with thoughts of finally revealing his oeuvre to the world. I turned for a final look. He had began to apply heat to some of his tubes and alembics by means of a small, oddly-shaped lantern. Their contents were beginning to bubble.

It will be obvious to you, most fortunate of Readers, that I fulfilled his instructions, but not, perhaps, quite as he intended. I have beside me the empty bottle of brandy, and in front of me both this hastily scribbled note and a truly remarkable cliff-side view of the Cornish sea. The envelope I have in my pocket, and the temptation to open it is undeniable... But I am a gentleman first and foremost, and so I have just now curled it into the mouth of the bottle, soon to be followed by this very note, all of which I will seal and throw into King Neptune’s arms.

It is a perfect moment, dear Reader. I wish you could be here to share it with me. The setting sun is a giant’s eye, watching the unfolding pageant of the day. The distant waves, the calling seabirds. The wind carries a pungent wood-smoke. Perhaps the fisherfolk are starting up bonfires for the day’s catch. But the wind is wrong for the beach. No matter. Today is a Victory for Art. I feel deep within my breast that today, at last, Immortality is to visit Nathaniel Bottomsly.

Your devoted scribe,

Elwyn Alphonse, Esq.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

I didn't participate this week because I was sad, but now I want to help make Thunderdome Great Again.

I'll attempt a detailed line-by-line crit this week for the first person to ask for one, ideally for someone who has only done a few subs at most.

SkaAndScreenplays
Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica


quote:

Dear Richard --
Thank you again for your submission to Flash Frontier. We had a record number of submissions this month and needed to take more time to assess them all. We are sorry to inform you that your story was not selected. It did, however, get several reads and a great deal of scrutiny and consideration. We look forward to seeing more from you. It was pretty boring but not so irredeemably boring that we trashed it immediately.

Best wishes,
FLASH FRONTIER PEOPLE
10/10 looking forward to future rejections.

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009



BIG DICK NICK
A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly



Comfort and Security
1500 Words


Cory Duncan
1375 West Union Street
San Bernardino, CA, 92408


Friday, May 12th, 1988


Michael Eisner, CEO
The Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA, 91521


Dear Mr. Eisner,

When I think back to the foggy edge of my lost childhood memories, one image cuts through the static and film-burn: my brother, Hector, and I sitting on the floor and watching Bambi. Hector’s cross-legged, and he’s so close to the TV screen that he would slam his head against the glass if he caught a nasty sneeze. Mom had always told us not to get that close to the screen because we’d go blind, but Hector had a tendency to get too close to everything. I’m three years older than Hector though, so I wrap my arms around his waist and drag him back towards the coffee table. He kicks and screams, but then he also laughs, and we wrestle a bit.

Mom and dad are arguing in the kitchen, and in the movie, the forest is burning. They’re both shouting about the mistakes they’ve made and dad’s slamming the cabinets and kicking dents into the refrigerator door. I can hear glass breaking within. Hector and I have been watching a bunch of Disney movies, because mom believes that with all the turmoil, both he and I have been sad. She’s right, of course.

Dad’s out of beer, so he leaves, but before he goes, he tucks his wavy salt and pepper hair underneath a Chicago Cubs baseball cap and pats me on the shoulder with his enormous, knotty, machinist’s hands.

“See you soon,” he says. I can smell the sourness on his breath from the floor.

Mom promises that she’s going to take Hector and me away from dangerous places, and Hector assumes that she’s talking about keeping us away from forest fires, but I know what she really means, I think.

We move to California two months later; dad doesn’t come. The following weekend, to make things better, Mom takes us to Disneyland.

Mr. Eisner, I’m writing you on this occasion to express my interest in working within the Disneyland theme park organization. During every turbulent moment in my life, Disney has been a source of comfort and a reminder that magic does exist in this world. I would be honored to give back to you, your organization, and the spirit of Walt Disney himself through my service.

Mr. Eisner, although my degree certainly qualifies me to track attendance data or perform cost analyses on the profit margins of souvenirs and oversized turkey legs, I have recently realized that the position I ultimately seek within the Disney resorts organization is one that’s, “on the ground.” Of course, I would accept a position working within an office, but if given a choice, I would love to have a job that allows me to walk the grounds and speak to guests. A real “key ring job,” you know? I’d love to oversee park security.

My mother decided to bring us back to Disneyland on the first anniversary of our inaugural trip. I guess she figured that Hector and I would feel depressed after going a year without dad, so why not make the trip an annual thing? Hector was most looking forward to visiting Frontierland again. He loved the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

I know that I felt sad, but Hector never seemed too bothered, to be honest. We both had pictures of dad in our velcro wallets, and whenever I tried to ask Hector about his feelings, he’d just shake out his black hair and tell me that he saw dad all the time.

“What do you mean?” I asked him.

“Dad’s always around,” he said.

“In your wallet?” I asked, “and the other photos?”

“Yeah, and at school and driving behind the school bus and also on the other side of the fence at recess.”

“In person?”

“Yeah,” he said.

I told my mother about what Hector revealed, but nothing really came of it. The police said that they called back home to Illinois, and that the police there confirmed that dad was still in town. They chalked it up to imagination.

I spent the next few days watching my brother carefully, but I never saw anything unusual. I think my interest in security developed at that time.

Mr. Eisner, in order to show you that I am committed to your theme parks, I have taken the initiative of performing a perimeter analysis of the outskirts of the Disneyland grounds, and I believe that my perspective will motivate you to take action. Over the course of several nights, I have pinpointed two weak spots in the fencing that runs around the park.

Several weeks ago, I was able to enter the grounds after dark through an opening near the Country Bear Jamboree attraction. I moved through the thicket out of curiosity, and after only a few minutes of walking I came to an isolated soda stall on a pathway. Someone was inside, so I lingered behind the corner for a few minutes until the door opened and a sleight and attractive blonde girl walked out with an envelope of money.

“Miss,” I called, “did you know there’s a hole in the fence back here?”

The girl looked startled and quickened her pace for a moment. “I’m sorry, the park’s closed,” she told me, “please make your way to the front exit.”

“I’ll head out through the back,” I said, “but what kind of manager leaves a pretty girl all the way out here by herself?” I asked. “Do you need an escort to your manager’s office? I could speak to him for you.”

The girl was very rude when she brushed me off, but I assume that she was just surprised at the egregious hole in your park’s security that allowed me to approach her in the first place. As I wrote previously, Mr. Eisner, I have identified another vulnerability that is as dangerous, if not more so, than the one I exploited that night. Feel free to contact me for an interview and we can discuss a plan for improvement.

If I seem passionate about security, Mr. Eisner, it’s because the day that Hector and I rode The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad five times was also the last day that I’d ever seen him.Remember that I mentioned Hector had a tendency to get too close to everything? For example, I used to make fun of him for pressing his face against the microwave door to watch his canned soup bubble.

The day of our first Disney anniversary, mom asked me to watch Hector while she visited the bathroom. We were standing beside a popcorn cart and Hector had his face pressed against the oily glass as he listened to the rumbling within the tin basin. The kernels began to bubble and pour over the metal rim while I watched and fantasized about a buttery snack.

And when I looked down, Hector was gone.

Those brutal seconds were the most difficult of my life. I was caught between running and looking who-knows-where, and waiting for my mother and allowing Hector to drift further away. I acted on my first instinct, and began to sprint like the world behind me was on fire.

I was nothing but thorough in my search. I asked every character and vendor for help; I poked my head in every Hector-sized nook and crevice in the whole park. I never did find him, but I think I came close.

I was running beside the park gates. Looking through the fence, I saw a child’s outline with pile of loose black curls upon its head. It held a baseball cap in its hands: red and blue, the colors of the Chicago cubs. Beside it, a tall, thin man walked with purpose.

“Hector!” I shouted.

The tall man placed his gigantic hand on the neck of the outline, and they continued to walk.

I rushed to the gate as quickly as possible, but security was waiting at the turnstiles, looking for a couple of lost children at the request of a hysterical mother. They’d only find one.

Mr. Eisner, I feel that it’s important to note that I don’t hold you or anyone affiliated with Disneyland accountable for my brother’s disappearance. I’m the guilty party here, and my punishment is the near daily reminder that Hector is out in the world someplace, either alive or dead, walking the planet or buried beneath it.

I’ve been walking every path in Disneyland on a near daily basis for the past year now. I know many of your employees by name and already have established quite the relationship with them. If you feel the need for references, please ask them about me. Should you wish to speak to me directly, perhaps to set up an interview about that hole I mentioned, you can find me most often Frontierland.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Hammer Bro.
Jul 7, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER



Nigh
(728 words)

Dear Diary.

Mommy left the breakfast table to go to bed and take her medicine. Her head hurt again even if she didn't say so. I did good and didn't cry about it. Okay, later I did cry, but not right then. I hope her headaches go away.

Daddy got up and left for work real fast. He didn't even say bye! Sometimes he gets in hurries like that. Mommy says we should be grateful when he goes to work because that's how he gets us all our stuff. But she never looks happy when she says it.

Since she felt bad, I cleaned up breakfast. There was still bacon on her plate! I also tried Daddy's juice but it was super-gross. It must have gone bad because he left so much in the bottle. I put the food in the trash (eggs -- yuck!) and dumped the juice in the sink. The dishwasher was full so I put the plates on the counter. Now mommy will have less to clean when she feels better.

---

Dear Santa.

Can I have a puppy? My mom says it's a big responsibility but I promise to feed it and love it and I'll even clean up its doo-doo!

I want a lab or a corgi but if you don't have any of those then any kind of puppy will do. My dad says he doesn't want a dog but I know if he just saw it and its puppy-dog eyes (you know how they get) then he'd smile and be happy.

I promise I'll be really good and brave and quiet.

Can we name him Biscuits?

---

Dear Diary.

Mommy and Daddy are fighting again. I cried and they yelled at me so I ran in my room and shut the door and put my chair up against it. I had a bad thought but I won't write it.

Mommy keeps screaming about her lipstick but Daddy doesn't wear lipstick and I didn't touch it.

Daddy shouted something about hopscotch and now Mommy's crying. He's angry about some fourty-year-old, but I don't know who.

The door slammed then Mommy said a very bad word and then the door slammed again.

Now it's quiet.

I'm scared.

---

Dear Santa.

My parents are gone and Grannie Gretchen won't answer her phone. You must know my daddy because one year I saw him dressed up and he said that sometimes you were really busy and needed mommies and daddies to help deliver gifts.

I know I said I wanted a puppy but if you bring my parents back instead I'll never ask for another Christmas gift ever again. I'll even help you deliver them when you're busy.

Please?

P.S.

The mailman never came and my neighbors aren't home so I'm leaving this by the chimney because that's how you get into houses.

---

Dearest Lilly,

It is with deepest remorse that I must inform you that I cannot bring your parents back. Something happened while they stepped out and they're with me now. I assure you that they will be treated with the respect and reverence they deserve.

Maybe later they'll come up and visit, but right now I need every last soul to help me through the holidays. Perhaps when you're older you and I can strike up a deal; I can think of a position or two you'd enjoy.

You may have noticed that a lot of your neighbors are on vacation. Don't be scared -- everyone who stayed behind is a friend of mine (even you, on a technicality) and I've instructed them to be very nice to you.

But just in case they don't listen I'm sending my dog to protect you. He's a big boy and may look scary at first but he's very loyal once you get to know him. You'll want to get a whole bunch of dog food from the grocery store -- he eats three times as much as other dogs!

One last thing. The guy from your grandma's church may come looking for you. You can go with him if you'd like, but he's heading far away from where your parents are. There's nothing I can do about that.

Let me know if you need anything else from me. Another letter by the chimney would suffice, but an entreaty to a live fire is preferable.

Your Humble Servant,
S.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




Lean That Way Forever

1242 Words

Flash: Much has happened since last I wrote.

Dearest Father,

You are, I have no doubt, bewildered and enraged upon your return from exile. Not afraid, never that. But I have faith that your needs for power and vengeance are not so all-consuming that you would fail to notice our family sigil on the west wall of the exhibit hall, and that you would find this letter tucked away within. Much has changed in your long absence.

We thought it would be but a short while, that Apollo would lead to a permanent lunar presence and you would be back among us in a few short decades. Even when that didn't happen we held on to the idea of a destiny in space, maybe centuries away if not closer. Then we watched as the mortals poisoned their air and land and minds, watched as those lucky enough to live in places still habitable shut their borders and train their guns against the starving and desperate Other.

We don't meet very often. Too much risk, and not enough trust. The last time I spoke with Mark was in one of those ugly cities near the Great Lakes, in the final vital surge of the civilization we were born alongside.

“Susan, we did it,” he said. His eyes were red from lack of sleep and crying. “We've found the answer.”

“What answer?” I asked.

“To the only question worth asking: are we alone?” He went on at length about his project, about gravitational lensing and image enhancement and a dozen more technical things I've never had cause to learn about. Then he handed me a folder full of pictures. I looked at them. In black and white or in false color, I saw hundreds of alien cities on equal numbers of distant worlds. All of them in ruins. All on worlds wrecked beyond the possibility of life.

“All of them?” I said.

Mark nodded. “All. And we've looked at thousands. There's no community out there to join. We were born in the middle of a graveyard, and all that's left is to pull ourselves back into our tomb.”

“Piet would laugh,” I said. Mark's face darkened, and he slowly nodded. “I'll tell him-”

“You still talk to Piet?” Mark snapped. “After what he did?”

I slowly nodded. “There's so few of us left,” I said.

“One too many,” said Mark. “Go, before you find yourself in need of a new body. No friend of his can be but my enemy.”

So I went, back to where I planned to wait out the endgame of humanity and watch those final moments when we joined the rest of the ghosts in the cosmic graveyard.

But it didn't happen. Not much civilization survived that first long summer, but the species did, and rebuilt and spread back into the old lands. And the truly amazing thing is that it kept on happening. Rising and falling from disasters man-caused and cosmic. After the second dance with carbon fuels, a recovery. After the first true nuclear war, a recovery. After a meteor larger than the one that doomed the stegosauruses and pterodactyls. Even after a nearby star went supernova and gamma ray-bursted half the planet sterile, the survivors on the luckier hemisphere huddled in caves and survived and made the planet green again. And more, we've grown wiser. Kinder. That band that seemed so narrow between barbaric anarchism and decadent tyranny where a decent civilization can be found has gotten wider and wider with each turn of the cycles.

The latest human civilization has brought back the kind of technology you'd recognize, Father. To make up for the fossil fuels squandered by the first and second carbon cultures, they've drilled deep holes through the Earth's crust and harnessed energy and pure metals from the untapped mantle. When I saw how far they planned to go, I went looking for Piet.

“How did you find me?” he asked during the intermission.

“It's never hard. I just look for where someone's performing Shakespeare.”

“The true classics always return,” said Piet with a grin.

“There have been, what, six different zero day cultures that made a point of eradicating every scrap of history and art. Shakespeare keeps coming back because you memorized him.”

“Fair enough. We all do the same, though. Mark and his boring formulas and moral philosophies. And you with your faerie stories. You think it's that important to remind people of monsters?”

“To remind them that monsters can be beaten.” I said.

“Stuffed into their own ovens and cooked. I always liked that one. What do you think of this Hamlet?”

“It's much better than the last one,” I said.

“The one in the Unfailing Court of the Hsif? Yes, that was a mistake. They barely had any history of monarchy at all. I should have done them Othello. Have you heard from Mark?”

“Not since he found out I'm still willing to talk to you,” I said. “You know, you could always tell him the truth. I never asked you-”

“Susan,” Piet said, 'Do you know what I've been most looking forward to over these long eons? The look on Mark's face when he comes crawling to me to apologize and admit he's been wrong for so long. And you know he'll have to do it, too. He can't help being, well, Mark. It'll almost be worth having Father back.”

“So he is coming back,” I said.

“He is. They're about to get around to sending a ship to the moon, to recover a particular archeological relic. You can bet Mark had a hand in helping pick which one. They'll put it in a museum, and some poor soul will be the first to get too close to his phylactery, and-”

The drums signaled the end of the intermission. I excused myself and left before the final act.

I've never spent more than a few days in my phylactery before finding a new, youthful body to possess. I have no idea how you've perceived the passing of years by the hundreds of thousands. If you've managed to stay sane. If it was as if it were a single night's sleep. I have no idea how much you hate me now, Father.

If you do find me–or rather, when you find me; I know you have many tricks you never taught us–you will only be able to punish me for a single human lifetime. This culture has great ambitions in space. It has sent probes to hundreds of the tombstone-worlds that surround us, and I have placed my own phylactery on one of them.

I have faith that my exile, though it may be as long as the one I sent you on, or even longer, will one day end. Someday humans will come to my new home. Not this first borehole culture. If history is any judge, they won't last nearly long enough to see the fruits of their terraforming projects on Mars, let alone start to venture to the stars. But maybe the second borehole culture, or the third, building on their lessons. Or the hundredth. Humanity, I have learned in my sliver of immortality thus far, is strong enough to survive any crisis. Even the aging and dying of the sun.

They will even, I am absolutely certain, find a way to survive your return.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Flash Rule: middle Manager of all he surveys
(1132 words)

Deadline Imminent-Please Open Immediately

Dear Jacob Henderson,

I have left this packet taped to your front door, though the envelope says otherwise you have not been given a final notice on your electric bill. I wanted your attention.

I am the man who ran down your daughter outside of this house. It has been approximately two years, thirty-two days since then. I apologize if this has shocked you, and made you unable to continue reading my confession. I implore to at least fill out the tax exemption forms and look at the map of your property I have included in this packet.

If you decided to keep reading, then you should know that asking for your forgiveness in not the intention of this letter. I have left a box wedged in the firewood pile near the backdoor.

I did it when you were away visiting your wife. It contains twenty million dollars in hundred dollar bills. The box is heavy, so please lift with your legs. I have gifted this money to you. The paperwork included with this letter should help expedite any IRS intervention.

I know you are confused and angry, I do not expect the money to be a replacement for the life of your daughter.

The potential she had growing under a liberally minded family, in a middle-class neighborhood, with several close associates wiling to be involved in her life, is proof enough of her guaranteed worth. I was not drunk. I never drink. I was, however, distracted.

(please continue reading, I explain why your daughter is dead in the following tangent)

I heard that there was an opening for a managerial position at the accounting firm I worked for.

I wanted to apply for it, but I knew I needed to ready myself. I have a fog that takes up my mind and sends it drifting at inopportune times.

The used to call it ADD when I was younger, I have been told in my adult years, that is more akin to Autism. It made tasks that other people learn quickly and demonstrate quickly, very difficult to remember. Mathematics was my one viable contribution to society.

I did good work per my boss, who was a very nice woman. I started taking medication that I had previously turned down due to its digestive effects. However, as I saw other employees talking and laughing, going places in carpools, and getting invited to wedding and funerals, I knew I wanted what they had. I wanted to be able to talk, and make people laugh, and laugh as well. The manager position would group me around them, I saw it as an advantageous position.

I had to grow as a human being first though. I started to talk to people on the way back from the bathroom.
I took criticism quietly. I kept my temper when people got tired of repeating themselves. The meds helped sometimes.
I still needed to walk far away from the building occasionally, and argue with myself, loudly and furiously on why I should come back.

I learned that a carpool driver was needed in a passing conversation.

I saw it as good opportunity to get close to my peers while I got ready to become manager. I have a driver’s license but I drive infrequently due to my mistrust of my ailment.

I don’t remember the day I got the license. I know my mother died on that day. I was sad, that’s what I do remember.
Somehow, through that fog, I aced the driving test, defying expectations. When it came time to renew, I always re-tested on the anniversary of her death.

Her absence is enough to sober me for the few times I get behind the wheel. I think that’s how I did it. A wonderful person died so another could succeed.

I offered to take them home one day.

I knew I had to be responsible despite my excitement, I decided to only listen but not chat. I paid attention, I tried to.

Something needled me like it always does, a smell, a voice, the coworkers laughing loudly after a moment of silence, the traffic changing too quickly, me worrying I was being too slow, the possibility of being lost, missing a drop off, and on and on. (I’m sorry for venting, I’ll get to the point Jacob.)

After I dropped off Terry, who I think was pretending not to be relieved to get out of the car. I drove, and got lost. My mind did the same thing. I thought I should drive off a dock and sink into the water.

I was thinking that would be an end society could benefit from and feel no guilt for. Trying not to think and trying to let go never works for me. It just rolls up more fog.

I didn't notice the dog running across your neighbor’s lawn and I didn’t notice your daughter go after it.

I worked diligently to increase my savings. I kept tabs on you by searching on the internet and following emails on your home computer. I became reclusive in my anxious need to recompense, somehow. Prison wouldn’t help anyone like me.

A stay at a mental hospital would be fitting. I knew that If I went into a hospital, I would forget what I have done, through drugs and prescribed relaxation.

I would stop paying attention to the screams I heard on the road behind me. I know I could just let go of your daughter’s death even now, I could take meds again to calm myself. I could pretend to understand other people, and finally ask my boss out on a date.

I won’t. I have become what people like me become in society. This nation was kind enough to develop mercy and I am the result of that. I should have stayed in the hospital when I was younger, I should have payed attention to what people saw me as.

I know now, that I could never bring anything into this world that will equalize the absence left by your daughter.

Jessica Henderson, a spelling bee champion, a wannabe veterinarian, a big fan of huskies. I am the one who should die, not her. This money is the finished product of my place in society. I have left my job, and I thought you and your wife could use the remains of it better than I could.

As you read this, I have sunk me and my car into a deep river. I’ve kept it for this day when I reached the breaking point within my office. I will repeat a mantra while I sink. “Have mercy on them, not me. Please.”

From: The Man in the blue Volvo

Jay W. Friks fucked around with this message at 03:30 on Nov 14, 2016

SkaAndScreenplays
Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica


99 Songs Of Revolution
221 Words

Charlotte,

I’m sorry I left so suddenly. I’m sorry I didn't warn you ahead of time. I’m sorry I didn't wake you to say goodbye. Recent events spurred me to action; action that put you at risk. I understand it’s not fair, and I understand if you hate me for it. All I ask is that you try to understand my motivations.

We’re at a turning point in the course of human history. Unfortunately it seems we've taken a turn for the worst. I’ve gotta do what I can to stave off the darkness we’ve been promised in the nights to come. I won’t lie to you love, some of my motivations are selfish. I've always been afraid of risks, I’ve never made an impact on the world and now I’m being presented with a situation that demands I act. I refuse to sit idly on the fence of indecision while my friends and family are threatened by the face of modern oppression.

I can’t promise I’ll make it through the war to come. It wouldn't be right to say that in a week or a month or a year I’ll be back in your arms. Just remember that I love you so much. I want the brightest possible future for you, even if I’m not in it.

Always yours,
Murphy

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006


To Open On The Day You Graduate Highschool
690 words

--see archive--

Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 15:20 on Jan 2, 2017

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Discovery
(1,084 words)

Read it in the archive.

Kaishai fucked around with this message at 18:53 on Jan 1, 2017

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


submissions are closed

judging will begin sometime this year, probably

Hawklad
May 3, 2003


College Slice

Oops I thought it was midnight PST - I'll take my DQ and post anyways.

Prompt: Flying with the turkeys

Flying with the Turkeys
1460 words.

Monday
I've got time up here in the shack so I thought I'd pass some of it writing.

You probably know what I'm up to. I ain't bragging or nothing, but you're drat sure there's nobody makes shine as good as me. You know how good it is. City water don't make whiskey worth a poo poo, all those drat chemicals. So I gotta get up into the mountains and find a little stream, set up here.

JB's with me, we got the wash barrel started today. Hauling those bags of corn and sugar make my drat knees hurt. And I'm always looking out for those feds. Fuckers been following me but I don't reckon they know where we're at this time.

Darling, there's so much I wanna say about what happened, but it's getting dark now.

Tuesday
Built the furnace. Real hard work, took all day to get it packed into the hill. Otherwise JB and I been playing cards while we wait for the wash to work through. Hotter than hell up here so it shouldn't take no time.

Saw some turkeys out when I was gathering wood. Fixing to take my gun out tomorrow and see if I can pop one. Bet they'll taste fine with some drop biscuits. Can't live on beans and jerky alone while I'm up here. The work's too hard for that poo poo.

Hope you're keeping well. I know when I last saw you I was drunker than hell and meaner than hell too. You know I care about you darling, and I'm sorry for what I've done.

Wednesday
Wouldn't you know a turkey was walking right through camp first light so I grabbed my gun and that was that. JB wanted to go to town and pick up some fixings but I said naw let's just spit it and eat it. We cleaned it and tossed it on the fire tonight. Got the whiskey and JB got his banjo going. You know that boy can't play for poo poo but the hill music got into me and I danced like an all round fool.

Made me think of you, and us. I do miss you darling. How we were.

Then I heard some trucks down on the road so we shushed up quick. Don't need the attention.

We tucked in and I started thinking. About JB. Why did he want to go to town? The boy's been acting funny. Hard to say why but it's got my hackles up. I'll keep a close eye. Could be working with the feds.

Still waiting on the wash. Shouldn't be more than a day or two now.

Thursday
This waiting can be a bitch but when I'm writing I do feel like I am talking right to you. Passes the time. It takes me a long time to find the words and get them on the paper. You know I never did much writing. I wish you could write me back, but I know you can't.

Been itchy lately. Not my skin but in my head. Thoughts are always buzzing around, about the feds, about getting caught. I can't do another trip upstate. You know I can't. Then I hear JB talking when he was out taking a piss. Who talks when they're pissing? He's hiding something, darling. I know it.

Don't know why I keep doing this. But I do love my shine. Guess its in my blood.

Wash is starting to clear so we can start running the still tomorrow I reckon.

Friday
JB was splitting wood all morning and it gave me a loving headache. So I yelled at him and we got into a real serious row. Now I'm not too spry or smart and you know how my joints are. So when he came toward me what choice did I have? I grabbed my gun and he took off and that was that. Fella plain up and split, spitting and cursing at me the whole while. So it's just me now. And now I gotta run this drat still by myself.

Gonna give the wash one more day to work. Gotta a feeling this might be my last run. Want to make it real good.

Saturday
Woke up and it's raining like poo poo. No matter, gotta load up the wood and get her running. Barrel this big is gonna take two or three days, maybe longer now I'm all alone up here. Well, me and the turkeys. Keep seeing them all around camp. I'll keep my gun nearby in case any of 'em get close enough. Even an old bootlegger like me gets sick of beans and jerky after a time.

At least the rain will hide the smoke so those drat feds don't find me.


Took most of the day but she's a running fine now, thumping away. Gotta run slow. Run your whiskey hot it makes it meaner than hell. Burn your throat out. Collecting early runnings now. Can't drink too much of that poo poo. Papa used to call it 'block and tackle' whiskey 'cause it'd make a man walk a block and wanna tackle the first fellow he sees.

Darling, being alone here is hard. I've gotta swap jars, keep the fire right, keep an eye out for leaks and paste 'em up. Got me running up and down this drat hill and my bones are aching that's for drat sure. It's getting late. I'm starting to get tired but I won't get any sleep tonight. Or tomorrow night even.

Dark and cold now. A little shine should warm me up. Gonna be a long night.

And it's still drat raining.

Jar 9
First light. Or maybe not, could be a searchlight. Maybe it's middle of the night and the feds are here. Not sure. Best keep my gun with me either way. Got real tired so I've been sipping for a while now. It's got me mighty fuzzy but that's okay, keeps me awake. Gotta tend the still. God drat clouds and rain, I don't know if it's morning or night. Marking time with the jars now.

Jar 12
Swear I saw JB in the woods, sneaking around. Bastard thought I didn't see him but I did. Always knew he was working with those drat feds. Gave a yell and he scooted off.

I'll use the gun next time.

Jar 14
Wish I could get some sleep. This job's too drat hard. At least I got the shine to keep company. Keep filling them jars, tasting as I go. They're getting real smooth now.

Still drat raining.

Jar 17
Nodded off there a spell. Woke up, the fire's near out and my jar's running over. Shine spilled right into the mud. This job's too hard for one person. Maybe JB will come back. Keep looking in the woods but no signs. Gotta keep going, keep running this god damned still. Its so dark and so cold up here now, even the shine can't keep me warm. Need to keep moving, stay awake.

Jar 21
Time isn't working the way it should. I feel all stretched, like I got chiggers crawling on me. Goddamn turkeys have moved into camp, they're all over the still, the barrel, the jars. I can't keep 'em away no more. The big one, he keeps asking me to come with them. I say I can't go, I gotta tend the still. Gotta keep myself warm. Gotta make my shine. Wish I could sleep but I can't. Too late for that now.

Jar 27
Darling I'm so sorry. I saw you there, in the woods. I didn't understand at first. I'm sorry I shouted. Never should done that, you know I'm missing the hell out of you since they put you in the ground. I'm sorry I yelled at you, scared you. Sorry for what I done.

Please come back.

Jar 33
Lights in the woods. Dozens of them. Voices. God drat feds found me. Gonna take all my shine. Put me upstate. I can't go, you know that darling. But they're coming for me.

Getting closer. More voices. I hear my name. The turkeys start running. And I gotta run, too. They flap their wings and now their circling me, flying, feathers and claws and mud and I grab my gun and start shooting. I'm shooting but they're too drat fast, too many of them, all around me. More shooting and then I don't have the gun no more and I'm flying with them, up, up into the trees, towards the moon.

I gotta get out. I gotta find you. Maybe they know where are.

Darling, I'm coming to be with you. And there won't be no shouting or shooting this time.

I promise.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






Hawklad posted:

Oops I thought it was midnight PST - I'll take my DQ and post anyways.

:tipshat:

widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.




Cue another post that somehow misread EST as PST.

My Old Friend Needs A Hand Word count: 644 words

:siren: Flash Rule: Breaking the rules with a broken ruler :siren:

Dearest wife,

I have done a terrible thing. I pressed the button. But I feel it was for the best, lest we burden ourselves in something more. Time and time again, I have seen myself in front of the button. Whether it was for us or for them, I treated the button as if it was a friend. A colleague. Hell, even a drinking buddy for days where the world shows its ugly side. But today, when I went to meet the button, I thought it spoke to me.

“Charlie,” I heard it say. “I think it is time.”
“It can’t be time,” I found myself saying in response. “I mean, it was time some years ago.”

“Right. But I truly mean it when I say it is time. You know it is time as well.”

“What makes today so different? What exactly is going on that makes me want to throw it all away like that?”

“The idea that we can halt a war right now. We can make the problems just vanish.”

“Surely there’s some other way.”

“Nope. Sorry, Charlie. But it must be done.”

I felt a tear in my eye. Whether the voice was the button or my own mind, it was right. I have seen the world go through nothing but turmoil. And yet, I never saw the turmoil first hand. I was too busy living the American dream. I had a wife, I had kids, I had a home, and I had a nine-to-five job. All I had to do was watch. I had to watch as everyone spun their own story about what happened where and who did what and why.

And then, I opened my eyes. I was still in the control room. The button’s case had been lifted. My palm was ready to push away everything that made my life peaceful.

“Sir! Do you know what you’re doing?” My assistant yelled, as he ran to my position. “That button’s going to generate a lot of questions. Are you okay?”

“No, Liam,” I responded. “You should know this by now. I’ve seen too much to not do something.”

“But sir. How will you break the news?”

“Simple. I won’t. Fetch me my gun.”

“But-‘

“Just do it, Liam.”

Liam then ran off. Once more, it was me and my friend once more. My mind had made peace with itself, for my hand jammed the button in.

“Alert. Launch activated.” I heard the intercom speak. And like clockwork, the nearby phone rang. It was my duty to answer questions, whether I was to live through the aftermath or not.

“Captain Springsell. This is Admiral Jenson at the eastern silos,” the phone spoke. “We detected a major launch activation. Calling to confirm that it is just a drill.”

“It... is not,” I said, swallowing in regret. “The launch will go as planned. Relay the command to proceed to the other silos.”

“But Sir. All the silos have nuclear payloads. Are you positive you want them all to launch?”

“Positive, Admiral. Now go. And… please forgive me.”

Slowly, I hung up. Then, I unplugged the phone. As I write this, Liam is most likely searching frantically for my gun. I will then tell him to deliver this letter himself. I trust that he will do this in a quick manner. But for now, tell my kids that their father gave his life fighting for what he believes in. Tell them that their father finally ended the world’s problems. Tell them that their father was a hero.

Or tell them that their father is nothing but a disillusioned fraud who happened to have access to nuclear ICBM launch codes. I cannot tell you what to say, for by the time this reaches you, I will have already shot myself in the head.

Forever faithful to his family,

Captain Charles Springsell.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

:siren: Thunderdome Recap! :siren:


Pictured: My reaction whenever someone mentions the S-word.

This week, Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, special guest Bad Seafood, and I pay a visit to Thunderdome's Plutonian shore: Surrealism. :suicide: Explaining the existential dread inspired by flerp's prompt necessitates a look back at the lowest lowlights of Week 123: Ceci N'est Pas une Nouvelle. From that realm of God-punching motherfuckers, we move on to Week 222: Deliver Us From Bad Prompting and seem to largely agree that the atmosphere is less toxic there. A battle is fought on venerable The Cut of Your Jib Hill, one that sees only losses in shades of blue and green; fabulous decor is much admired; and we conclude our penance with dramatic readings of Maigius's "Market Fluctuations" and Moxie's "Oh, Piolet!" (P.S. You're going to hell for that pun, sir.)

"“It’s not the 80’s anymore why are you on cocaine?!"


Episodes past:

pre:
Episode								Recappers

Week 156:  LET'S GET hosed UP ON LOVE				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Djeser
Week 157:  BOW BEFORE THE BUZZSAW OF PROGRESS			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 158:  LIKE NO ONE EVER WAS					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Djeser
Week 159:  SINNERS ORGY						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 160:  Spin the wheel!					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 161:  Negative Exponents					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 36:  Polishing Turds -- A retrospective special!		Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, and The Saddest Rhino
Week 162:  The best of the worst and the worst of the best	Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, and The Saddest Rhino
Week 163:  YOUR STUPID poo poo BELONGS IN A MUSEUM			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 164:  I Shouldn't Have Eaten That Souvlaki			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 165:  Back to School					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 166:  Comings and Goings					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 167:  Black Sunshine					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 168:  She Stole My Wallet and My Heart			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 169:  Thunderdome o' Bedlam				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 170:  Cities & Kaiju					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 171:  The Honorable THUNDERDOME CLXXI			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 172:  Thunderdome Startup					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 173:  Pilgrim's Progress					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 174:  Ladles and Jellyspoons				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 175:  Speels of Magic					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 176:  Florida Man and/or Woman				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 125:  Thunderdome is Coming to Town -- Our sparkly past! 	SH, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, Grizzled Patriarch, and Bad Seafood
Week 177:  Sparkly Mermen 2: Electric Merman Boogaloo		SH, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, Grizzled Patriarch, and Bad Seafood
Week 178:  I'm not mad, just disappointed			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 179:  Strange Logs						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 180:  Maybe I'm a Maze					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 181:  We like bloodsports and we don't care who knows!	Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 182:  Domegrassi						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, and Bad Seafood
Week 183:  Sorry Dad, I Was Late To The Riots			Sitting Here, Djeser, Kaishai, and crabrock
Week 184:  The 2015teen Great White Elephant Prompt Exchange	Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 98:  Music of the Night -- Songs of another decade		Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 185:  Music of the Night, Vol. II				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 186:  Giving away prizes for doing f'd-up things		Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 187:  Lost In Translation					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 188:  Insomniac Olympics					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 189:  knight time						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 190:  Three-Course Tale					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 191:  We Talk Good						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 192:  Really Entertaining Minific				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 30:  We're 30 / Time to get dirty -- A magical time	Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 193:  the worst week					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 40:  Poor Richard's Thundervision -- Let the ESC begin!	Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 144:  Doming Lasha Tumbai -- Classic performances		Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 194:  Only Mr. God Knows Why				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 195:  Inverse World					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 196:  Molten Copper vs. Thunderdome			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 197: Stories of Powerful Ambition & Poor Impulse Control	Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 198:  Buddy Stuff						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 199:  EVERYBODY KNOWS poo poo'S hosed			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 1:  Man Agonizes over Potatoes				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Kaishai, and sebmojo
Week 200:  Taters Gonna Tate Fuckers				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Kaishai, and sebmojo
Week 201:  Old Russian Joke					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 202:  THUNDER-O-S!						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 203:  MYSTERY SOLVING TEENS				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 204:  Hate Week						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 205:  the book of forgotten names				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 206:  WHIZZ! Bang! POW! Thunderdome!			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 207:  Bottle Your Rage					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 208:  Upper-Class Tweet of the Year			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 209:  WHAT DO YOU GET A DOME THAT HAS EVERYTHING??		Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 210:  Crit Ketchup Week					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 211:  Next-Best Friend Week				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 212:  Vice Week						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 213:  Punked Out						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 214:  THUNDERDOME ALL-STAR TRIBUTE				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Kaishai, and The Saddest Rhino
Week 215:  El sueño de la razón produce el Thunderdome		Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 216:  Historical Redemption (or:  Sin, Lizzie)		Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 217:  SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS, ATTACK!			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 218:  Duel Nature						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 219:  cos wer goffik					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 152:  Rhymes with Red, White, and Blue -- Voidmart opens!	Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 220:  Enter the Voidmart					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 221:  The Escape of the Bad Words.				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai


Special Features!

The Top Ten poo poo Scenes of Thunderdome				Sitting Here, Kaishai, Ironic Twist, and Djeser

Kaishai fucked around with this message at 06:38 on Nov 14, 2016

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007


Protect the Future

Removed. You can still read these crappy words right here in the archives!

BeefSupreme fucked around with this message at 08:16 on Jan 3, 2017

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Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




sebmojo posted:

grats

and yeah, if you haven't got the email yet it shouldn't be long - pipe up with your results, thunderdome represeeeeeeEEEEEeeennnnntttt

Mine was also selected. Let's get more interprompt reporting on this going on in-thread...

  • Locked thread