“She’s had too much Normalax,” the waster says. He’s holding up a girl who’s dressed like him, tattered clothes that don’t look like they’re doing much to keep out the wind. The gales generated by thousands of flapping protowings.
There is no right amount, Brother Krull of the Order Ascetica thinks. He pulls his hood off slightly, exposing some of the lines of his face. Enough to be sympathetic, but not enough to break the Illusion.
The Illusion is that the Order Ascetica are possessors of ancient mystic knowledge. The ancient mystic knowledge they possess is how to keep the Illusion going.
He makes the sacred hand signs, knowing that a brother will cue the force field for temporary permeability. The field, recovered military technology, is the only thing keeping the penguins at bay.
He pushes himself partway through the field to take the girl that the waster is leaning into him. Her pupils are completely gone. They are somewhere else, he thinks, seeing something else. She is limp, a rag doll.
As he’s out there he can hear the protowings beating against the air. The song of the wastes is crushing in its monotony.
The monastery inside the field is patchwork, like everywhere else now, but the Order has an eye for design. One brother, digging through pre-penguinpocalypse books, discovered the concept of Feng Shui, and the Order adopted it during their formative years. All the materials are scavenged, but the shelters are sturdy, and laid out in inoffensive ways that allow for easy movement.
The waster is shaking his head as they carry the girl to the first open shelter. “She’s so heavy, man,” he’s saying, and Krull realizes that he’s on Normalax himself. That means that he will come down at some point, possibly at a bad time.
Other people in the shelters look up as they come in, not with interest, but with glazed expressions, just reacting to a stimulus. They are all wasters; no one established anywhere else would bother to make the trip here. The brothers have subtly used their people skills and passive language into getting anyone who doesn’t need immediate help to stay far away.
But that doesn’t work against everything.
They lay the waster girl down on an old mattress. Her friend looks on blankly while Krull covers her with a blanket. He keeps his actions technically controlled, but lets some urgency leak while reaching for a nearby canteen of water. The friend picks up on it.
“Is she, you know, gonna be cool, dude?” the waster says.
“All we can do is make her more comfortable,” Krull says, and sees the impact of the words deaden against the waster’s normed out brain. When he comes down it’ll still be harsh, but at least the abstract information is couched in his neurons. It won’t physiologically surprise him.
He sighs, like he’s watching a baby animal die in an old animation.
Normalax, Krull thinks, suddenly, fiercely, is the real horror. The black mass of ascended penguins blots out the sun, but the true evil is what preys on man after his fall. In our attempt to escape this nightmare we have turned to something even more merciless.
The girl is starting to move. Krull keeps her pressed down against the blanket as her arms and legs begin to go through steady cycling motions. She was asleep, Krull thinks, and now she’s waking up. Maybe she’s looking for breakfast. Krull wonders how nice the place she thinks she’s in is.
“Hey dude, she’s moving,” the friend says. “That’s good, right?”
“No,” Krulls says. “She’s still in the world created by the Normalax overdose. I’m gently pressing her against the blanket, because otherwise she'll start moving around. If she collides with anything while moving her brain will be so confused that it will shut down on the spot. In the Normalax world she’s moving normally and not hitting anything.”
“Far out,” the friend says. “The norm world is probably better than the real world. Things are starting to get more unchill, I think. For some reason.”
“Because there are more penguins up there than before,” Krull says, and wavers then, on the brink of dropping the serenity aspect of the Illusion. There are always more, he thinks.
He looks around. All the wasters in the shelter look listless, but definitely somber.
The girl begins to curl her legs. Now her knees are flexing at a 90 degree angle. She starts to raise her arm to her mouth. Krull backs off slightly. No object collision to worry about. She’s drinking coffee, or some other liquid.
“Hey man,” the waster says. “Is this a bad scene? I think she’s got a lot of norm in her system. She did more than usual because there are a lot of penguins around.”
Krull doesn’t say anything.
“Penguins, man,“ the waster says. “We turned them into weapons, right? That’s what I heard. Penguins should be more chill.”
“Turned out,” Krull says, “that they’re not.”
“So weird,” the waster says. “I think that’s why we do norm. Because it’s so weird.”
“A lot around them around here,” the waster says.
Krull is watching the girl. She’s smiling.
“Everything’s cool,” she says. “Everything’s amazing. I don’t need to do anything.” She’s blinking steadily now, slow droops over still blank eyes.
Krull steels himself.
“Hey, what’s up, dude?” the waster says.
“I don’t think I need oxygen,” she says. “It’s not a big deal.”
Her friend is quiet for a second. “Hey, that’s a weird thing to say,” he says.
“My heart doesn’t need to beat,” she says. “It’s pretty cool.”
“That’s messed up,” the friend says. “I think you need your heart to beat.”
“Everything’s so good,” she says. “I don’t think there needs to be a me. I don’t think—” Her mouth closes.
Krull moves to pull the blanket over her. She’s limp again.
“I’m not sure about this,” the friend says. “I don’t think this is good. It would be cool if she was alive, I think. I mean, it doesn’t seem like she is.”
Krull settles it over her head,. He can see the outline of her nose through the fabric.
“Maybe she’s not alive anymore,” the waster says. “Maybe there are more penguins around now. I think that’s true. But you guys know what to do, right? You cool old monks? You know everything. You should make everything okay for us.”
His eyes fall. His face looks ashen.
“I need everything to be okay, I think.”
Krull moves towards him. The cloth of his robe rustles as he hugs the waster. The robe covers the waster like the blanket is covering his friend. He feels the hug working with what’s left of the Normalax. The waster sighs in relief.
He pulls back. His arms are clasping the waster's shoulders. The waster is staring directly into his eyes. He sets his face into a determined expression. The waster nods.
He leaves the shelter. He can see some of his brothers outside. They’re staring up through the force field. He does the same.
They think the force field will hold against tonight’s assault. But the black sky makes Krull feel like he’s living in a vacuum.
The field will hold. But tomorrow there will be even more penguins. The field is the illusion of safety, nothing more.
Krull looks at the Normalax tab he just pawned from the waster, and thinks.
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 06:16|
|# ? Jan 23, 2021 09:03|
Word count: 1250 on the nose!
It is a little known fact that the end of the universe began with Matilda Brown’s tiny red toaster. Matilda had put a bagel in, she distinctly recalled doing this despite the early hour, and the lack of coffee coursing through her system, as she lamented her frugal nature which had urged her to buy the smaller model. Thus was she destined to squash flat the bagel on the kitchen counter, remember the ordeal in precise detail, so that when she checked on the bagel and found a pile of flour in its place, she was to be terribly confused and demanded answers from the universe.
Sadly, for the fate of the entire universe, destiny was something Matilda Brown was highly skilled at thwarting. She was a cellist of exceptional talent, yet she spent her days teaching bored children to play so their wealthy parents could say, “oh, I’m so sorry, but Janet has a recital that evening.” This was due to her choice of perfume, for if she had gone with Lemon Verbena, or Eucalyptus, she never would have been bit by a mosquito and infected with the West Nile virus. No virus, no neurological damage, and her career as a cellist would have been right on track.
Unbeknownst to her, destiny had tried to offer her a second chance. But instead Matilda shrugged at the pile of four and got a bagel from the deli down the street. Had she taken the time to investigate she potentially could have warned humanity of its impending doom, giving mankind enough time to save itself. Instead, humanity’s first clue would come when an aeroplane over Gibraltar disappeared, some six months later.
It was a DC10 with 194 people aboard, on course to Frankfurt, Germany. One minute it was over the city and the next only air. A week later the passengers re-appeared at their destinations. They were all casually waiting for their luggage. After weeks of intensive scrutiny it was revealed that none of the passengers remembered anything after take off.
Conspiracy theories abound until the Earth switched its orbit with Jupiter.
Matilda had watched as Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene, and Michio Kaku, fruitlessly tried to explain to Barbara Walters that this was a good thing. The mechanics that governed the universe, it appeared, were becoming internally consistent across all scales, big and small. All three physicist reassured the public that in spite of the obvious chaos and mayhem it would open up a new world of possibilities. They were, however, completely wrong.
On what would be the last night of their lives, Matilda went out with her friends. They went Quantum Bowling. It had become quite the craze, with people bowling in reverse, the pins arranging themselves in an orderly triangle, as the ball rolled its way back to its owner. And unlike regular bowling, which required skill, Quantum Bowling was a game of chance, so Matilda was assured she would do just fine. This was because the ball could take multiple paths at the same time. But still the night had gone south when Matilda ran into herself.
She went to the bar by herself, having spurned the latest advance of Matthew Gaelish, a man whose idea of being charming involved brushing her hair while telling her that she would look prettier if she smiled more. It had been her friend Kathy’s idea to invite him, in an obvious ploy to match Matilda up with someone. At the bar, Matilda saw a young woman in the same yellow cardigan as her own. She failed to make the immediate connection, as who ever expects to meet themselves? Until she saw Matthew standing next to her, touching her.
“What are you doing? Get away from him!” She told herself.
Alterna-Matilda and Alterna-Matthew turned and looked at Matilda, both expressing the kind of shock you would expect given the situation. “Whoa, you’re...You’re me… How is that possible?”
“Actually,” Alterna-Matthew said, “I’ve heard about this. We’re experiencing an alternative reality.”
“Okay, so why should I get away from him?” Alterna-Matilda asked.
“Because he’s vile!”
Alterna-Matilda looked at Alterna-Matthew and shrugged. “I think he’s pretty cute.”
“Ugh!” Matilda stormed back to Matthew, not “her” Matthew, as she did not want to even take grammatical possession of him, where she promptly threw her drink in his face. “You’re a total scuz bucket and I never want to see you again!” She shouted.
“What the gently caress, lady!?”
“You know what the gently caress. You’re a slimy bastard! You think that by applying your cheap moves I’ll sleep with you.”
“You’re a crazy bitch!” He waved his hand dismissively.
They argued, in the same manner, with Matilda throwing verbal spars and Matthew returning four word retorts, for ten whole minutes. Eventually Kathy dragged Matilda outside.
“So, what just happened?” Kathy asked, making her best exasperated facial expression. This involved scrunching up her tarantula leg eyebrows into a unibrow.
“I don’t know.” Matilda paced in the empty parking lot. “I saw him, at the bar, with me. You know, not me, but me. Another me. And he was touching other-me.”
“Jesus,” said Kathy. “I’ve seen people explode from hitting the pavement after jumping off the roof, but you don’t see me acting like a oval office about it.”
“I’m not being a c-word. You shouldn’t even say that.”
“Throwing a drink in Matt’s face is pretty oval office-y, Matilda.”
“He’s been pawing at me all night long.”
“So? He’s cute,” Kathy said with a shrug.
“What is wrong with people?” Matilda asked. “When did patently awful behavior become acceptable? Or to call a woman the c-word? Nothing in this world makes sense anymore, I mean, God, just look at the parking lot!”
Kathy did look at the parking lot. It seemed like a perfectly normal parking lot to her. “What about it?”
“There are no cars, Kathy. There are no cars because it’s impossible to drive when every car can take every possible path at the same time. People aren’t meant to be able to take every path, we’re meant to take one path, and to be stuck with the consequences.”
At that very moment Matilda realized what it was that she wanted most of all in her life. It was a good thing as the universe had a remarkably little time left. All she wanted was for the world to make sense. And that was exactly what playing the cello gave her, a sense of order and structure, all of which had been missing from her life since she contracted the West Nile virus.
Matilda did the most rational thing she had ever done, and in doing so walked directly into the annals of fate: She marched home, grabbed her cello, and began to play.
This may not seem a big deal, but each movement of the bow across the strings resulted in every possible sound that could be made. Playing Beethoven was right out. So she adjusted, she listened to each potential sound as it was made, and chose the note which sounded best to her. One by one the notes coalesced, the sound of an infinite number of cellos roared in her apartment, and Matilda began to play a waltz. As she played the weight of all of those potentialities, of all the trillions and trillions of atoms, began to consume the universe until there was nothing left.
So it was that Matilda Brown played the last waltz the universe would ever know.
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 06:18|
Ma always said that people weren’t like horses or dogs or cattle, but I saw early that people eat and poo poo and gently caress like everything else; we’re just animals too. Ma didn’t like it when I challenged her, accusin’ me of making unnatural speech about nature and God and the way of things. I was right scared of the priest that came ‘round third Sunday of every month, so I shut my mouth and kept my heretical observations to myself.
I continued to keep my mouth shut for Ma when I was ten and running up the hill with the McGuigan boys in the storm, and our hair stood up instead of down. The light shone brighter than the sun on the clearest day and the pain of fire went head to hip, and afterwards Ma insisted God had protected me. Well for one, I don’t know what God had against the McGuigan boys, ‘cause they didn’t make it. And two, if God cared about my wellbein’, then I wouldn’t have been left with a scar, like a vine, of what that struck me.
After it happened, I took it pretty hard that my handsome mug was done for. Before long I’d resolved not to curse some poor woman to be my wife when I grew up. Who’d want to see my destroyed visage as that of their lover and spouse anyway? Ma insisted I could still find a woman someday, but I dismissed her remarks and kept myself busy with our land.
On my fifteenth birthday, Ma got her stomach kicked in by a spooked horse. She was dying slow-like, and made me cross my heart that I’d try to maintain the couple’a acres and cows and that blasted spooked horse she was leavin’ behind, and that I’d put a bullet in her head that night. One Sunday, the priest had talked a whole lot about never offin’ yourself, but since I’d be doin’ the shootin’, Ma got to trust she was till goin’ to Heaven. I did what she asked.
Eventually, things got bad, I lost Ma’s land, and while I had no family relation in all the world, everyone in my town knew who I was, on account of the scar. I hid myself with a big hat and a kerchief tied round my face, and before long I was playing the part I looked. I rustled cattle, a hanging offense. I was on a two-man crew with a dozen head of stolen cattle when the end came. And I was glad Ma was gone, because I was right- the people and horses and dogs and cattle, all the critters under the sun with hair on em’, they all died just the same.
At first light we saw the cows and horses were sick, and by mid-morning they were all dying or dead. Then Bill got to feeling a bit off, and by noon he was bawlin’ bleedin’ and beggin’ me to give his love to his favorite whore in town for him. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I’d started coughin’ blood too, and he passed before he realized that I wouldn’t be getting into town that night either. I laced my fingers over my chest, looked up at the stars, and figured it was some kind of poison in the dirt or air or somethin’ to that effect. It wouldn’t be long now, I thought, but I just kept thinkin’ that for the next three days, and then I wasn’t sick anymore. I stumbled my way back to town, and that’s when I knew it was the end.
The horses, the cows, and the people all looked like they were sleeping, ‘cept for the blood draining out of their noses and mouths. But it wasn’t just the death; nothing was right. Where normally the vultures would be hootin’ and hollerin’ over all this free meat, but they were still high in the sky. The chickens waddled around the corpses, the lizards and the snakes began encroaching on the town lines, but nothing took even a bite of those that had fallen. There was no stink in the air, everything just sort of froze where it was, and in the coming weeks, I realized nothing dead would mold or decay back into dirt either. I myself had no appetite for the cows and horse that lay there day after day, ready to eat.
As I walked through town in disbelief, I met my first phantom. In my town, and maybe in all the towns, everyone died, but not everyone died right. The phantoms, pearly and cloud-like, they never hurt me. But if I mistook one of their translucent apparations for a passing fog, I’d be overcome with the memories and emotions of what that person had been.
There was a phantom who’d been a hangman and I felt his memories of dozens of hangings he’d gleefully carried out. If the end hadn’t come, I could’ve easily had my neck in one of his nooses by now.
Another phantom had been a Chinese laundry worker, and she had countless memories of washing clothes in the spring a few day’s ride from my town- she must have had affairs to tend to in my town when the end came. But she also had a memory of a child, a daughter, getting struck by lightning and surviving, just like I had been. The phantom’s memories showed the pity felt for the damaged, now-limping daughter. The daughter was hidden away- the family couldn’t afford a dowry, as was the custom in the culture, and who would want a terribly scarred wife anyway?
I avoided the phantoms at first, but after a while I began seeking them out for some company. On sunny days the rattlers and the birds could witness me running around like a fool trying to stay in range of the drifting phantom’s effects, experiencing friends and family and normal life once again, not that I’d had much of that after Ma passed. I didn’t want to feel so alone anymore.
I find it mighty humblin’ that nature didn’t give a rat’s rear end that everyone just up and died one day, and that the sun and the stars and the rains and the dry spells come just the same as before. One night, during a thunderstorm, I got to thinking about how I’d been hit with lightning, and perhaps that happenstance had kept me alive somehow when everyone else had gone. I wasn’t the only one to have gotten struck by lightning, that’s for sure, but I was the only one I’d known of who had. Except for that girl in the phantom’s memories, that is. I felt my eyes get real wide, I jumped up out of my seat, and I hightailed it to the spring where the girl had been struck in that years-old memory I had witnessed weeks before.
It took nearly a fortnight, on account of all the horses being dead and nothing left to ride, but I reached the spring. I followed the footprints through the meadow and I saw the smoke from your fireplace, there. I’m mighty pleased to see another person, and you have the scar, same as me. I think that’s why we’re still here, and that phantom’s memories brought me to you. There’s a fat rattler sunning himself right back up the road past the spring, do you fancy some snake stew?
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 06:23|
curlingiron fucked around with this message at 01:51 on Dec 12, 2016
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 06:32|
This is a Story About an Animatronic Theodore Roosevelt Who-- Through Strange Scientific Machinations-- Became Sentient Some Time Before the Opening Sentence and Who in the Last Few Moments-- Through Violent Actions Good and Just Against Evil Men-- Made Friends With the One Person Who was Not an Complete rear end in a top hat Out in the Post-Apocalyptic Hellhole That was Once Unironically Called the Great State of Texas
Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 15:04 on Jan 2, 2017
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 06:40|
Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 03:55 on Mar 1, 2016
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 06:42|
The Devil’s Grin
Word Count: 1230
The sun beat down on everything in the land. Everything had turned white and life clung to what little there was. A solitary figure walked the the broken land. Not aimlessly but with purpose. His purpose, the destination that stood before him. A small building built haphazardly out of different parts but sturdy nonetheless, and at the top, in a patchwork of letters it read.
The shopkeep was sweeping his floor when the man came in. The sudden exposure of light blinded him from his visitor, but he knew from the brown poncho and long brimmed hat who this man was.
He stuttered out a greeting. “Ha.. ha... Hello! What a surprise! My favorite customer.” He put down the broom and scurried to the back of the counter. “What can I do for you?”
The man walked up to him and leaned in. “You know why I’m here. I've come for my shipment.”
The shopkeeper smiled with a mouth full of rotten holes and metal teeth. “Well say… Could I interest you in some some 150 year old Whiskey? Or how about..”
The man leaned in closer. His long brimmed hat now cast a complete shadow over the shopkeep.
“Ohh lord!” The shopkeep shrank down. If he had been a turtle it, his head would of sank all the way into his body. “I’m sorry but the shipment isn’t here!” The shopkeep began to beg. “Please… I’m sorry… Just…”
The man leaned in even further and the shopkeep felt his neck about to snap under the pressure of his head trying to escape the predicament it was in. With no place left to go, the man and the shopkeep were now nose to nose. “Sorry ain’t gonna cut it” The man reached into his poncho.
Little feet ran across the floor and a little girl began pummeling at the man’s thigh. “Leave ma papa alone! He ain’t done nothin wrong!”
“Roxanna for god sakes!” The shopkeep screamed.
The man looked down at the little girl.
“Stop.” He said and the little girl obeyed. The man bent down and met her at her gaze.
“Now listen, In this world. Where not much is left. A man’s principles. A man’s word is sometimes all we have to go by, and if a man can’t keep his word. He doesn’t have much to live by. Now, I am going to make an exception this time. In a town that would of gone dead if it wasn’t for your pappy’s story. He has kept his prices fair, in a time where fairness can be a death sentence.”
The man reached into his coat and the shop keep feared the worst. He pulled out a large self luminescent letter G.
"My payment for this week." The man turned around and walked out.
“I herd he got his skillz from killing a devil and takin his death guns.” The kid leaned heavily on his shovel.
“Nah!” another kid waved him off. “Dats not how it went.” He wuz was da best gun fighta already. He just wanted to test himself. So when he beat da devil. He took da devil’s smile as his prize.
“what you! A idijut?! why wood he take his smile? That don’t make you good at guns! He took!” He shoved the other kid ”Da death guns!”
“He toook da smile!” The kid shoved him back.
A large woman poked her head out of her window.
“Yes momma!” They started to shovel at an alarming rate.
“Well, one things for sho. They say that when the Devil’s Grin is on ya. Ya soul is his.”
It had become night and the man walked up to a very well maintained almost lavish looking manor. Two rat men stood at the gate.
“Halt who goes there!”
“It’s me” The man said.
The two rat men looked at one another and motioned to enter. Inside the main hall, the room was lit with a soft yellow glow. Velvet drapes hung from the ceiling along with an assortment of marble statues.
At the center, Reclined a very corpulent man on a very large red leather chair. His head laid on one pillow, while women of every color fanned him. One of the women grabbed charred flesh and began to chew it in her mouth. When it had become paste she leaned over and dropped it into the fat man’s mouth. Half kiss, half feeding. The fat man rubbed her breast at the same time. His other hand was deep inside her. When she was done. He took his fat hands, each like a oily sausage and licked them clean.
“Delicious” he exclaimed. He finally took notice of the man that had walked in. “Why if it isn’t my favorite bounty hunter!”
He motioned for a seat and two women brought out a chair for the man.
“No thanks Don.”
“That's Lord Baron Don Duke The 1st to you and everyone else in my realm.”
The man put up his hand to his face and rubbed his forehead “Look.. I’ve come for my shipment.”
“I don’t have it”
The man became extremely agitated, and Don took notice.
“Think about Bounty Hunter. Would I have any use for your shipment?” He took a long breath and rubbed the underside of his breast. “Now you seem pretty upset by this and you could probably kill me and every one of my guards here, but... Who would take care of trade? I'm sure in time, someone will step up but not before this whole region died a slow painful death. The truth is the driver was ambushed 50 miles out of town, by what looks to be a gang of lizard men. So, here's the deal bounty man. Take care of the lizard men and you can have your shipment, two free shipments for next time and whatever else you can carry.
The man took a hard look at the fat man in the chair. Spat on the floor and walked out.
When all the lizards were asleep
The Devil's Grin came to creep
Caught surprise cause no one would dare
Attack 50 Lizardman right in the lair
BLAM BLAM BLAM went his guns
Drop Drop Drop bodies by the tons
Drugged and slowed by the night's freezing air
Lizardman blood ran cold, and they became quite scared
Off into the night, they decided to run
None would live, to see the morning sun
Bodies lay at every level in every way imaginable. There the man stood looking through the stolen shipments. His eye caught sight of what he was looking for. He picked up a small box and opened it. He pulled out a tube and on it read:
EXTRA Brightening Toothpaste
Fights Plaque and Keeps Teeth Clean!
And with that the man pulled out his toothbrush and began brushing his teeth.
“But mommy I don’t want wanna!”
“Darold Ginny the Second. You do as your mother tells you. That is no way for a proper young man to behave. no stand up straight, and brush your teeth. Small circular circles in a back and forth motion”
“That’s great son. Brushing your teeth and keeping in the habit builds character, and when you smile people will go: Look at that young handsome man. That smile must of been bestowed by god himself.”
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 06:44|
i'm using ten words from winning week 100, btw
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 06:54|
Submissions closed. Judges, I'll meet you in IRC when I've finished reading.
For reference, that'll probably be sometime in the evening.
Boaz-Jachim fucked around with this message at 07:57 on Feb 8, 2016
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 07:42|
i'm using ten words from winning week 100, btw
I can confirm this is legit, judges
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 08:01|
Into the Mineshaft, ZeBourgoisie
There’s a skerrick of worth in the rich sense impressions you correctly lean on, but the story is a succession of random flailings. I like your urbane goblin, for all the world and his motivations make no sense, but the victory is confusing, unearned and lame. Lots of clunky words too.
Selene, Spectres of Autism
Cut the first para is good advice for a reason, my vaporous autismal buddy. do that to this and you skip over the groanworthy OMG WOT IS REAL WHO AM I REALLY opener and into some interesting nicely drawn details about a strange world. Unfortunately those details are all you really have to offer apart from a bit of 16 yo nihilism. A missed opportunity; don’t introduce a character just to have the protagonist shrug at them.
Sugarplum Fairyland etc, Silmarildur
Ooooh god I hated this one a lot. Count how many paras before something actually happens that isn’t just the protagonist gaping at stuff and you chortlingly unfolding your masterful idea of a dream world for diabetics lol. Spoiler, it’s all of them. Your last line is literally your character saying NOTHING IN THIS STORY MATTERED.
Obvious phallic symbol, Muffin
Yes, this is a slab of lol Tdome wacky but your command of the words is such it has its own weird integrity. the old ‘end on a poignant unresolved sense impression’ trick works well here, as does the story for all it’s light as a feather from a baby bird.
Our most illustrious lady of science, Morning Bell
this should be much better than it, in fact, is. I love your plethora of crazy details and the strange world you evoke, and there’s even a gesture at some good stakes… but it all falls flat because I don’t believe in your characters. Your eunuch is too busy describing all the crazy stuff you’ve invented to actually do anything, so his motivation is just a hand wave. And that lol castration ending has no weight because we don’t care about either the lady or the Cardinal.
Rotten at the core, Lazy Beggar
I’ll line by line this one. Briefly it fails super hard because it’s nonsensical and the protagonist isn’t a recognisable human being.
Who ordered that, Thranguy
Lots of cleverness going on here with the names of the attacks, and for all that it’s a rote kung fu fight with a terrrrrible and sort of nonsensical pun to end you basically make it worth the price of admission. Do investigate other forms of poetry than doggerel, though.
Barrel of fun, jon joe
I liked this more than my co-judges, for all that it’s a strange and clunky cross between a child’s fable and a puzzle in a point and click adventure game. You managed to sort of pull it out of the bag at the end with the rat’s turnaround, but only enough to save you from a DM because the rest really didn’t hang together. Remember that when you make a choice like not giving anyone names at the start then you’ll be stuck with that decision, it really didn’t work here.
Emil who climbed the mountain to find his face, Djeser
This was one of my early picks for winner because it does the basics well (goal, motivated protagonist etc) then layers some strange and powerfully compelling images on top (the giant with a face of spider silk is my favourite). It suffers from its length, it feels like you got to the snake thing and then looked at your watch and were all like WELP WRAP UP TIME BE HAPPY WITH WHAT YOU GOT, FOLKS, SEE U NEXT WEEK. This form of fairy story classically has the people the protag meets along the way helping/hindering the resolution, so maybe that might have helped your ending? Still, not bad.
the gardner, fuschia tude
a dude turns into a tree, the end. Seriously that’s your story. I’m sure there is something you could have done fairly easily to make it a story where someone faces an obstacle to achieve a goal, but instead you just handwave that (e/g he comes back from civilisation and you say ‘it was hard, so he gave up’). Tsk.
for the price of postage, sitting here
This does surreal well by setting up a low opening bid (a funeral for a fern) then topping it with a confident expression with the pile of limbs. It works as a story rather than an assemblage of lolzy details because we get invested in Snighda’s recognisable battle with an annoying world. And it manages to make the cliched yawn of ‘there’s no place like home’ into something surprising and a bit touching.
Joey romaines live house of wax, grizzled patriarch
iirc this DMd because of its failure to even pretend to engage with the prompt. But even ignoring that, this is pretty bad; you’re clearly just writing pretty words waiting for the point to arrive, and then you get to the end and it hasn’t and you’re all RUH ROH scooby doo style but you hit submit anyway. tsk fkn tsk. On the plus side, your words and turns of phrase are top notch, so hug that to your forlorn breast as you rock back and forth gasping ‘whyyyy’ in your single-lightbulb room.
that jerkface moon, kaishai
I thought this crapped all over the meter when i first read it which goes to show i’m maybe not as clever as i think i am b/c it’s actually fine, read it out loud and you’ll see. This is an altogether slicker word apparatus than Thranguy’s piece earlier, but I do think doggerel rhyme is somethign we should move away from, it’s hard to get much more of a rhythm than AND THEN AND THEN AND THEN. You do an ok job of maintaining the kid tone, but the vocab is probably a bit overstuffed with words like nemesis and begrudgingly; it comes off as a slightly stuffy aunt reading a story.
On a sour note, bold frankensteinmir
My favourite part of this is the refrain drift with the lemonade, but it’s only about two thirds done - there’s productive ambiguity and annoying ambiguity and this verges on the latter. but nearly there.
Out of Egypt, into the great laugh of mankind, and I shake the snow from my feet as I run.
Long crazy titles is a fine thing and you have a good one here, but when you use a title like this you’re slapping a sassy kind of bet that your story will be strong enough to match it and you don’t make the nut. The world is great, the words are really good, but I think you flub the landing. Lol i’m off for sweet rear end wolf nookie yee ha is not the sort of elegaic ending that i was really looking for in this one; feels like it ended where it should have begun? STill, lots of good words and cool ideas and decently propulsive through line.
An interesting concept competently conveyed but with a wet floppy splat of an ending. don’t set up a looming deadline then say AND OFF THEY WENT, THE END. I have no idea as a reader what that means.
DANCE WITH ME.
Has anyone done a good tdome story in interview transcript form, I idly wonder. Can’t be arsed checking but i’m pretty sure the answer’s no. And you certainly didn’t break the mold here with lines like “This interview is being video and tape recorded and is being conducted in an interview room.” That’s your first line, after a title slide that says TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW. You gently caress up basically every rule of story construction you can reach here and make a good start on exhuming Strunk and White so you can piss on them with random paragraph breaks, tense shifts and typos. A deserved loser.
Divided by a Lemniscate
Plonky words and a dull if heartfelt set of characters makes this kind of a chore to read. Show don’t tell is a good rule to at least look at and nod thoughtfully at before you ignore that, fyi.“I just want to be a good Jew, follow the Torah. But I feel that my position in the IDF prevents me from doing so,” sounds to my readerly ears like MOTIVATION MOTIVATION MOTIVATION, OVER. Try coming at things from the side next time.
hell has a beach
Oh God on top of the leaden clunky words you have the clicheeeeeees you got Kowalski and the Sarge and the drat dirty Natzis and bullets and metal hats and the MOVE MOVE MOVE. We have all seen these movies and images like literally thousands of times so if you want to present them please put the most minimal effort into freshening them up. Have the protagonist be, I dunno, a lemur. Maybe it’s a lemur with a bowl of jelly. idk, i’m not the fuckin writer here.
This feels like the actual story is happening somewhere else, also that you’ve accidentally written two scenes from an 80s yuppie sex comedy? But the biggest problem is that really nothing actually happens, you have characters who are in a situation and they move to a slightly different situation and nothing is resolved or interesting, which given your (not unintriguing) setup is a pity.
the ethics of parasitism
Okay, this is tight and clever. Noir is all about the way the dry observational details build up into a tower of brutal inevitability, and you hit that real nicely. Last para is superfluous thought, I’d have left it with a nice image (i mean hell you had rain, thunder, lonely mean streets, goddam it they were RIGHT THERE) but still a slick and nicely wrought bit of genre bending.
Good lord that was a slab of slice of life words that you cut out with your word saw and plonked down on teh table for me to look at uneasily. Things happened, sort of, and your guy met a guy, and there was some bullying i guess and your guy did some things with his friend and then the story stopped right when it was getting even duller so i guess there’s that as a thing to be thankful for.
I liked this one on the first read for teh precision of the detail work and the vividly drawn intensity of Hugo’s emotional force field which is very properly refracted into everything around him (eg the great description of the phone). And because of that, when he makes his play, it lands and we care. Yes, this is good work.
my brother among the dunes
Some interesting potential squandered here by ending up with such a weak punch. Why not have them actually do or achieve something, just throwing it out there. The spacey brother is also faintly retarded so it’s a little hard to see what beefy bro gets out of the deal in maintaining his illusions no offence to our retarded brethren they’re actually pretty cool imo.
Life is a Four-Dimensional Vector Moving Towards the Future
Ah yes, being 15 and getting high for the first time i remember it with great fondness. Next time use that fine herb to write me a story cheers thanks a lot.
When the epigraph is from the story
As i recall my co-judges weren’t big on this one but i think it has a good nasty punch with the perspective change at the end, though it leaves it maybe a litttle too hanging. Make your characters act, surprise yourself with them.
I liked the hell out of this, particularly its pitch perfect voice and rhythm and compelling command of it’s little cast of characters that could easily slur into cliche. It also has the neat trick of being exactly as long as it needs to be to tell the story it needs to tell. nice work.
The clock strikes midnight
Ha, this is great. ICBMs eating vol au vents is such a kerrrrazzzyyyy idea that it could easily be over broad, but there’s a nice attention to making it all make sense within its own strange terms, and you do a really effective job of making the character such that it choosing not to blow up (half of) a city is a genuine and meaningful choice that is a bit heartwarming. And ‘his mind dissolving into his plutonium soul’ is a good phrase.
For lack of trying
Hrmmmm. So you give pretty good lovecraft in this, and i like the sense of building doom, and his ending is nicely turned, but I’m not sure if i should grumble at you for copping out on the ending. I feel like I’m missing something with the title and the first line about his diagnosis? To be clear, there’s an excellent story that those two things could work together to deliver given the very solid framework you’ve made for them, but i’m not sure this is it.
the cost of existence
this is basically one of those berzerk 1970s scifi paperback covers in story form with weird names and the clunky faintly autistic characters and plethora of glowing primary colours in place of interesting motivations.
love lies bleeding
this makes me think of Love is Blindness by TV’s famous U2 which has a killer guitar solo and is all around a great track i’m sure you’ll agree. It’s a sweet and nasty piece of work as much for what it doesn’t say as for what it does, and unlike a bunch of the stories in this week it’s exactly the right length and comes in and out just where it needs to. Lovely words, also, and perfect choice of details.
this is an emotion as much as a story, and as such it works well. I remember thinking at the time that the on ramp of the story is a little cluttered by the details you choose to tell us, though not in a particularly bad way. But then this hits its mark and detaches itself like a little story balloon and floats its way back to the ether, leaving just the right combination of pain and regret and relief you wanted. gj.
As the crows fly
A sterling slab of Cherryh-esque words you have here, and like CJ you make action real by not purpling poo poo up beyond the actions’ ability to take it. I confess I didn’t feel the weight of the final para - it’s a corker bit of monster-slaying but it doesn’t quite have the emotional heft that the ending appears to think it does. Very nice work though.
A fever of thyself
Now as you may or may not know i am gay to a robust ISO 9000 level standard for Italo Calvino and this is a verrry calvino little snippet you have here. So i am therefore obliged to love it; and i do. The final image of the house dwarfed by the expansions is killer, but i think you dropped the ball on your last line. use your last line to give the story a twist of a few degrees, either into a new understanding or to skew the understanding the reader thought they had.
heyyyyy this is cyberpunk now that is what u might call my jam so u had better make sure you keep it….
haha ok that’s great your character just decided to not get in a mexican standoff with yourself, normally i frown on telling us what characters didn’t do but i guess i just found my first exception. You did pretty good, for all that it’s basically Eclipse Phase fanfic but the ending pancakes. Don’t give us a cool cyberpunk story then end it with a TO BE CONTINUED DOTDOTDOT from an NPC, especially when your relationship between your character had such nice energy.
‘I tap at the keyboard in front of me. No response - the website's loading icon refuses to resume twirling.’ Don’t ever start a story like that again, cheers. but that aside, this actually does quite well with its clotted goony protagonist. Nothing much happens, and we all know the people involved so there’s nothing much new there, but I like the agonised suspension of the ending.
The first time always hurts
This is a vaporous puff of basically nothing. Guy wants to die, is vaguely peeved about it, the end.
this is like the perfect paradigmatic example of a story ending where is should begin, it belongs in the museum. or at least it would be if the guy didn’t die (which I guess was something to do with the cooling off period…? idk/c)
the magician’s pupil
cute, if extremely predictable. very anime (which is bad)
also cute, also predictable. also very anime (which is good)
sebmojo fucked around with this message at 12:01 on Feb 8, 2016
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 11:53|
Mazeweek Crits Part 2
HellishWhiskers - Closed Circle
I think that this story had the potential to be good if you either cut out maybe the first half or so, OR you added quite a bit on to the ending to tie the two parts back together. I liked the part with the conversation between the chef and the kid; you had some good stuff in there, but none of it quite managed to make up for the strange mishmash that was happening in the beginning, and since you never brought any of that back (aside from some oblique references to the dad being abusive), it didn’t really work. I feel maybe a little responsible for that, since I see how the flash rule that I gave you influenced the choices that you made here, but I do think that you have some ideas here that could work themselves into a decent piece.
Favorite part: the interactions between Mark and the little boy. I actually think that this was one of the more likable children that I’ve read in TD.
Least favorite part: most of Mark’s interactions with the Fieldses, Mrs. Fields in particular. I dunno, she just seemed really odd to me.
Entenzahn - The Monster at the End of Infinity
I was getting a serious Alice in Wonderland vibe off of this one, which I really dug. I also liked how all of the new ideas that you introduced over the course of the story actually mattered and had their own place and reason for being there. I think everyone who struggled with an overabundance of ideas this week should read this story to see a good example of incorporating big ideas about a world into a story well. There was a real sense of cohesion to the world you presented here; I didn’t get the sense that anything was there just for the sake of being there. GOOD JOB.
Favorite part: hard to pick, but maybe the ending. A good wrap-up to a good story.
Least favorite part: uhhhh, idk, the pig mask made me think of The Shining for some reason, which was kind of bad, I guess? I don’t think I actually had a least favorite part of this.
Broenheim - Halfway for Too Long
I actually really liked this story. In a week that was slightly less strong, this would have been an easy HM, if not a win, imo. Unfortunately for you, there were several other stories that were slightly stronger. I think maybe the weakest part of this was the time jumps, but there was a part of me that also liked them? I dunno, sorry that’s not very helpful. Anyway, please write more stuff like this, because I liked it a lot.
Favorite part: “No point in starting a maze if you’re not gonna finish it.”
Least favorite part: how sad imagining what life was like for Cynthia made me.
docbeard - Clubbing
Twist mentioned this in his results post, but I appreciate the levity that you interjected into this week. There was a lot of dark poo poo happening, and it was nice to read a story about a guy and a girl who like each other and have their personal information stolen.
I’m not sure what it was about this story that didn’t appeal to me. Somehow, I was expecting Paul to show up and Sophie to not even be into him. I dunno. The parts didn’t quite fit together for me, but I enjoyed the ride. This wasn’t my pick for HM, but I was okay with it getting one, so good job. It’s not your strongest story, but it accomplished what it set out to do, which I appreciated.
Favorite part: the bit about the phones. It was a recurring joke that actually worked, which I feel is somewhat rare in TD. Actually, jokes that work at all in TD are fairly rare.
Least favorite part: I thought Paul was kind of a sadsack.
sebmojo - Invisible Fortress
...and it turned out he wasn’t crazy after all! Yeah, this one fell flat for me. I actually think it was edging on DM territory, but my co-judges didn’t seem to share my distaste. You have the style and the ability to pull off these short-yet-bizarre pieces better than anyone else in the ‘dome, but I think this was one of the weaker stories I’ve seen from you. This felt tired and clichéd, and I didn’t care about your character or anything that happened to him. The crazy voice that you’re so good at didn’t work for me here, because I didn’t actually give a poo poo whether he was right or not.
Favorite part: “A glaring light was on me, picking out the thousands of rain drops, each one a universe.”
Least favorite part: Definitely the ending.
Ceighk - Weekend of Lights
So, funny story; my boyfriend was in the room for part of live crits, and he REALLY wanted this to lose. I’m not sure what exactly it was about your “dude where’s my tent???” tale of male bonding that set him off so bad, but I’ve never actually heard him voice an opinion about any of the stories before now.
Anyway, on to actual constructive criticism (what’s that???): I didn’t feel like I knew Craig well enough to care about his emotional catharsis at the end of your story, and that’s probably the reason why nothing else hung together. Josh seemed thrown into the story almost as an afterthought, someone to serve as an ear for Craig to dump his emotions into. Nothing about the festival actually mattered, nothing about not being able to find their tent actually mattered, and none of the “conflict” with Stella was actually resolved at the end. The reason that I say “conflict” there is that when your main character is just sitting around passively waiting for something that never happens, and that they can logically do nothing about, that’s a bad conflict. Next time please choose a thing for your character to want that they can do something about, and at the same time manages to provide actual tension to the story. Some dude waiting for his ex to text him back, but, dude, he totally KNOWS that she saw his message, ‘cause fb’s read receipt totally said so, has all of the suspense and drama of watching paint dry.
Favorite part: I guess the part where you allowed your Frat Bro male character to cry without being “a pussy.”
Least favorite part: sleeping on the couch after I didn’t push hard enough for this story to lose.
BadSeafood - Land of the Lost
This story was frustrating for me, because I felt like there was a lot going on behind the scenes that I was just totally failing to pick up on. Re-reading it, and also reading SH’s guesses, it seems like I was right in thinking that. I mean, sure, I feel dumb, but I also feel like it’s the writer’s responsibility to make their meaning clear to the reader.
One of the problems that I had with this story was that I kept getting your characters mixed up. I almost feel like you could have cut Caspar out entirely and it would have been a little more comprehensible; most of the interaction was between Enrico and Kerklund, and I had trouble remembering who did what for some reason. The whole thing had a real Waiting for Godot feel to it, which I appreciated, but I also felt that there wasn’t quite enough there for me to really connect with it in a meaningful way.
You definitely have some good elements here, and I’d love to see a revision of this that had a little more room to breathe (and maybe explain itself, but I may also just be dumb).
Favorite part: the holes in the characters. That stuck with me as a really cool image.
Least favorite part: the fact that I kept forgetting who had done what. :/
Julias - Corn!
I… love this story. I love it. If it doesn’t get put in the Classics section of the archive, I swear I am going to throw the biggest poo poo-fit TD has ever seen.
So you mentioned in-thread that you sort of ran out of steam at the end of this story, and, well, it shows. The abrupt tonal shift between “elementary school romance” and “American History X” was out of left field, and made what was a somewhat tedious story about 11 year olds trying to stake their claim over a girl into maybe the most hilarious TD story I’ve ever read.
Sorry, I don’t think that’s very helpful, but I do sincerely hope that you come back and compete again. It takes time to become good at writing, and would like to see you work on your craft and give yourself enough time that you don’t feel the need to kill all of your characters as a means of resolution. This was a very “rocks fall, everyone dies” ending, and while I did find it amusing, it doesn’t make for a very good story.
As an added incentive to come back and try again, I will personally pledge to pre-crit your next TD story.
Favorite part: “It was a shotgun. Cool.”
Least favorite part: The part where my drink almost came out my nose.
crabrock - Sounds in the Forest Portend Evil Within
I know you didn’t like this one, but I honestly have no idea why. Maybe you’d just been working on it for too long to be able to appreciate it for what it was - I’ve had stories like that before.
I think my favorite part about this story was the consistent voice and tone that you gave the setting. I felt like I could picture exactly where this took place based on the vernacular alone.
Also, good job getting an HM without writing about dicks for once!
Favorite part: “Pathetic flowers, roses, the mainstay of the unimaginative. Disgust disguised by a sweet scent. Give me an orchid. I will protect and care for its frailness; I am strong.”
Least favorite part: the complete lack of penises. I couldn’t even tell I was reading a crabrock story.
Chairchucker - Had to go Somewhere so we Crashed Into You
This story mostly seemed to be a vehicle for David Bowie references, most of which went over my head. There wasn’t much of a story here, but I think that’s kind of your style, esp. when you’re submitting after deadline. Sorry, not much else to say.
Favorite part: navigation by aesthetic appeal.
Least favorite part: the “oh well” sort of feeling of the entire piece.
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 19:30|
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 19:52|
Thanks for the crits sebmojo
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 20:30|
WEEK 182 DOMEGRASSI JR HIGH CRITS
In the spirit of Middle School, I am giving you all Standards-Based Crits. Below is the rubric that I used to assess different aspects of your story. It should be noted that for some scores, not every part of the description will fit your story; however, in the case of the ones scores, any single part of the description being applicable to your story was enough to drop your score to a one for that category. If you have any questions about why you received the score that you did, I would be happy to answer them either on IRC or by PM.
Characters: Did I like your characters? Did they change or grow in some meaningful way? Were they distinct individuals? Were they defined beyond some stereotype or single trait?
4 - All of your characters were likeable, distinct individuals, with their own voices and needs, and their personalities went beyond simple stereotypes.
3 - Most of your characters were distinct individuals who didn’t adhere to stereotypes. Some characters may have been a little flat, or I may not have liked some of them.
2 - Some of your characters were distinct individuals. One or more of your characters felt solely like a tired stereotype, and there was no effort to move them past that point.
1 - Most or all of your characters were not distinct, interesting, or anything other than stereotypes. I actively disliked characters that I was supposed to be rooting for.
Plot: Did your story go somewhere? Did your characters want things, and did they subsequently do things to achieve them? Was anything different at the end of the story than it was at the beginning?
4 - Characters grew and changed throughout the course of the story in a way that was emotionally satisfying for the reader (or at least left them with a sense of closure/catharsis). Story contained a definitive ending; things were different at the end than they were at the beginning.
3 - Characters grew or changed throughout the course of the story, but the ending may not have been completely satisfying. Story contained a definitive ending; things were different at the end than they were at the beginning.
2 - Some characters changed over the course of the story, but it may not have been satisfying. Story contained an ending, but it was unclear and may have seemed forced or rushed.
1 - Most characters did not grow or change throughout the story. Circumstances at the beginning were the same as the circumstances at the end. Story ended abruptly and/or did not contain an ending.
Tone: Did your language fit the characters and the setting? Did you have a cohesive tone, and did your word choice fit the themes?
4 - The language used in the story was evocative and served to further the other elements of the story. Word choice was carefully considered and helped to set the scene.
3 - The language used in the story was consistent in tone, and served to set the scene.
2 - The language used in the story was fairly consistent, with one or two incongruous pieces. There may have been some instances of overly-florid language, aka “purple prose.”
1 - The language in the story was inconsistent, switching between emotions and genres seemingly at random. Word choice did not seem to have been considered, and actively detracted from reader’s enjoyment of the story. Language was overwrought and/or distracting.
Middle School Factor: This is probably the weirdest category, because middle school voice is hard to get right. Sometimes you can start to see a glimmer of actual human behavior in there, and sometimes they are firmly stuck in the Uncanny Valley of Sentience. Most middle schoolers are dumb as hell in one way or another, but a lot of them are also clever and funny and deep (sometimes even to other people!).
4 - Story could only have taken place in a middle school. Student characters were stupid or clever in appropriate ways for their age bracket. Mistakes were made. Penises may have been drawn.
3 - Middle school vibe was there, but somewhat inconsistent. Setting could probably have been replaced with a high school or elementary school with only minor changes.
2 - Middle school setting could easily have been replaced by another age group without changing anything about the story.
1 - Characters acted like either miniature adults or very young children. The story did not seem to have a good grasp on what a middle school was or how it worked.
Dicking Around - 2, 2, 3, 4
Teacher’s notes: I enjoyed this story a lot, but it was a bit too much of a one-note joke to merit an HM. Sorry!
New Year, New Life - 1, 2, 1, 1
Teacher’s notes: This was fairly weak for a lot of reasons already stated in livecrits. You have a good germ here, but the execution was sloppy.
A Photo of Mr. Kellogg - 3, 2, 2, 3
Teacher’s notes: I wanted to like this story more than I did. Unfortunately the lack of tension in the story robbed you of an HM. I loved the ideas that were present here, and I’d love to see another more-polished version of this.
Re: Teacher’s Lounge Biohazard Incident - 2, 1, 3, 2
Teacher’s notes: We already knew the outcome of this story (somebody pooped, lol), and since no one got punished in the end, the whole thing seemed pointless. I liked your characters’ discussions over IMs, though.
Don’t Be Too Smart - 2, 1, 2, 3
Teacher’s notes: Another story that seriously suffered from a lack of tension. I liked the idea of the chillbro principal, but I didn’t care very much for him in practice.
The Finger - 1, 1, 1, 2
Teacher’s notes: Man, this was… not great. Unlikable characters, preachy dialogue, and the whole conflict struck me as more of a high school issue than a middle school one.
“so it’s gonna be forever…” - 3, 3, 3, 2
Teacher’s notes: I actually thought this one was very sweet. The silly concept of the cyclops worked for me, for the most part, although Mikey’s reaction seemed a little odd given the eventual outcome.
Outlier - 1, 1, 1, 1
Teacher’s notes: Oof. This was rough, man. Pee chips forever.
Don’t Let Your Star Go Out - 2, 2, 3, 3
Teacher’s notes: Personal biases/phobias aside, I didn’t think this was a bad piece at all. You had some really good character stuff in here, but I think if anything you needed to make Oscar’s interest in Mr. What’shisname clearer earlier in the story. I spent maybe the first quarter of this thinking the guy had given him a magic pen.
The Girl with the Dead Mom - 2, 2, 1, 3
Teacher’s notes: The tone seemed to switch around a little too much for me here. Different parts of this gave me very different impressions of your character. Was she a tough girl or was she sensitive and nice? I’m not saying you can’t be both, but the pieces needed to be blended together a little better for this to work.
The Little Bird Don’t Sing No More - 2, 1, 4, 2
Teacher’s notes: I know you know what I’m going to say about this. Beautiful prose, no ending. I, too, felt like I was reaching for a pile of feathers that was not there.
The Case of the Shy Ghost - 2, 2, 3, 2
Teacher’s notes: First of all, I’d like to sincerely apologize to you for what happened during the live reading of your story. You didn’t deserve that, and neither did this piece. That having been said, the parts of this didn’t entirely click for me. I liked the idea, but I didn’t quite understand what was happening to Violet at the end, so the emotional parts didn’t land as well as they should have. I also thought the “soul being captured by the camera thing” was a little silly.
The First Last Road Show - 4, 2, 3, 4
Teacher’s notes: I loved the character details here, and it was VERY middle school. I wish that your story hadn’t been 80% flashback, but that’s really my only gripe.
Liberation - 4, 4, 4, 3
Teacher’s notes: Excellent tone, great characters, solid conflict. I’d really like to do a live reading of this one eventually, since it seems like it would be really fun to act out.
Pray to Dionysus - 2, 3, 3, 0
Teacher’s notes: I should probably mention that a score of zero is not normally possible in standards-based grading unless a student fails to do anything whatsoever. However, I chose to make an exception in your case because YOU EXPLICITLY WROTE ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL FOR A MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPT WEEK. I probably should have moved to DQ this story, but I didn’t think it was bad, other than flying directly in the face of the stated prompt.
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 23:07|
Week 182 crits!
From Domegrassi week
This was funny. Which is good for you because otherwise it would've been one long, bad dick joke. I thought the 2nd person POV worked because it fits the conversational tone, which is pretty credibly middle school-ish. I liked the implausible, absurd aspects of the story, like the dick drawing analyst. Honestly, this was probably close to an HM for me, because the humor landed and there was an actual story, ridiculous as it was. I echo my esteemed cojudges when I say, "lol".
I didn't think it was very believable that the students would be completely oblivious to a teacher's death, and talk about her absence loudly and conspicuously in front of her husband. I thought "badass Mr. Trejo was an awkward nickname. Doesn't exactly roll of the tongue, does it? You can name your characters anything, so there's really no reason to make it such a cumbersome mouthful. Then the magical mentally handicapped man comes along and turns Mr. Trejo's life around with basically one conversation. The way the deaths were "revealed" and elaborated on was really clumsy. The dialog was too on-the-nose, people saying exactly what they need to say to make the plot happen.
This was pretty good, and almost made it onto my HM list, but you ultimately didn't do enough with Mr. Kellogg. There's no tension surrounding him, because we know he's basically a benign, helpful vent-dwelling man. So you needed to have him show up earlier, and expand upon his myth, basically. And you would've had the words to do that if you'd cut Andrea's POV in the beginning. It felt incongruous anyway. I liked the idea of Mr. Kellogg, but Hector definitely needed to engage him in a more interesting way.
Okay, so this seems to have suffered a bit from the collaborative element of this week. It kind of sets up the idea of Violet the ghost, but the format combined with the plot just...I don't know. It's kind of a long road to a little house, plus a ghost. I don't care enough to piece it all together because the central concept isn't that interesting. There are all these names and I guess implied relationships within the school and I just am not that invested in any of it. Maybe if this had been a more straightforward story with 3 more "traditional" POVs reflecting on the same event (plus ghost). IDK.
The conversation between the principle and Elizabeth at the end was the best part. The basic premise of the story, that rooms disappeared when kids got too smart, didn't work very well. I didn't see the connection between smart kids and disappearing rooms. It didn't even feel like a metaphor for anything, tbh. Cathy was basically cardboard. The principle being a wacky, skateboarding cooldude was over the top, though as I mentioned, the ending is good, and the talk with Elizabeth made me like his character.
Jonas had sidled up so subtly that Richie hadn't realized he were there.
It's bad to start your story with a grammatical error. At first I thought it was part of the narrative voice, but I'm pretty sure it was in fact an error. But, ok. The characterization was wobbly. I thought Jonas was meant to be a skeezy drug dealer type, and was surprised when I checked the flashrule and saw that this story was supposed to be about a popular kid. Most of the story is dialog, talking about interesting things that we never see happen. In the end, both characters are kind of dicks. There was kind of a neat moment in there, when they were reflecting on Grobthor the ogre, but since both characters end up being dicks, it doesn't end up feeling like a particularly important moment. The only change the characters undergo is becoming slightly more bitter toward each other.
Another story in my "almost HMed" category. There was something about this, like it had a twinkle in its eye the whole time. The grossness of blowing into a cyclops's severed neck hole was a fun contrast to the basic sweetness of the story. I wasn't 100% sure about the mechanic of the curse. I thought Mikey and the narrator were really likable and believable as two friends who are experiencing romantic tension, which is hard to do. It's hard for me to put my finger on why this didn't HM, actually. I think I'd have to get super nitpicky.
Full disclosure: I don't know how grading curves work, but I'm taking it on my co-judge's authority that it wouldn't work the way you described it in this story. I dunno! Sarah is ok as a protagonist, but Spencer is kind of insufferable as the sidekick. Granted, I gave you kind of a ridiculous flashrule. And like, if Mr. Ashley's motivations had been less absurd, this probably wouldn't have lost. Moments that I think were supposed to be tongue in cheek came across as plain cheesy:
“…I’ve found that things only remain harmonious if no one, teacher or student, steps too far outside their assigned role. Outliers get noticed, and getting noticed isn’t necessarily good. I’m sure you’d agree.”
And the whole story felt weird. Normally, you have this jaunty tone and a good handle on characterization. I've seen you juggle a lot of characters pretty handily in other stories. I think you were honestly just off your game on this one, and went for an absurd idea that just didn't work.
God Over Djinn
I can't give this a fair critique because I've only read it once, unfortunately, and now it's no longer available for viewing. I liked the ideas it dealt with, but not how they were laid out, going on what I remember. But like I said, there's no point in trying to write up a crit for something I've only read once.
Sooo...your protagonist starts getting letters that are ostensibly from her mom's ghost. One of the letters calls the protag by a special secret nickname, basically confirming the whole ghost thing. So naturally, she goes to ask Domegrassi's omnipresent ghost girl about it, and then pointlessly loses her temper on poor Violet...because? I guess she's mad about being The Girl With The Dead Mom. It's always frustrating when like, it's obvious I'm reading a ghost story, but the protagonist flails around the page going "surely these obviously ghostly happenings cannot be actual ghosts!" And then the ending is basically, "No seriously, it's ghosts." Don't do that!!! The detail about her mom having synesthesia was weird and non sequitur. It gets mentioned twice, and is otherwise a pointless detail. Also, maybe this is just me, but a character who just want to be special or artsy or whatever isn't that compelling. So the second to last paragraph, when she's really baring her soul to her dad, didn't land for me because it hit too close to home
This is a pretty vignette. You write pretty words. I dunno, it is exactly what it wants to be, which is a mysterious little portrait of a moment in time. I am begging you though, pls write a sprawling, ill-conceived epic with a limp ending for me sometime. I just really want to write a different critique. I want to see you take more risks, dammit, cause you are an ace writer but we can't help you get any ace-er if you are consistently writing these lovely little Faberge egg pieces. Seriously, I will challenge you to a brawl over this, if I have to. FIGHT ME.
Spectres of Autism
Oh, hullo again violet. There was something authentic about this. Like, things that normally would annoy me didn't because they fit the whole middle school thing. Like:
Catrice is a rebel. She makes people think hard about who they are and who they want to be. But Mr. Hardwick might be onto her at any second.
I remember myself and my friends being inordinately preoccupied with what was "conformist" or not. Like, you're just coming out and saying this stuff, which could go over bad, but because I relate to it, I feel like it's good. The blood on the paper airplane thing was a little hot topic macabre, but it still kind of fits. There were a lot of characters, and this was another story that was kind of relying on the collaborative element of the week, which meant I didn't get as much out of it as I could. Collab weeks are hard; you have to work pretty closely with other people to come up with shared elements that make good stand-alone stories. That said, I thought this bit was cool:
I’m not punk enough for this, she thinks. Never punk enough...
never punk enough.
I dunno. This wasn't your strongest piece, but it feels mostly like a consequence of collaborating. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
It was nice of you and Spectres to post around the same time, since your stories kiiind of rely on each other. I think the reason yours HMed is because your characters' motivations seemed like their own. I really relate to the idea of like...losing something you really care about, that connected you to people you really like. The characters' urge to make one last thing together, no matter how lovely, resonated with me. This was really dialog heavy, and with as many as 5 people "on screen" at once, you had to do a lot of sparse blocking. Especially when they were actually filming the movie. Still, there was a decent character arc: first, they're fighting to keep the thing they love, but things go all wrong. Instead of giving up, they decide to make something to kind of honor and commemorate their club. It was sweet.
This was just a tight and refreshing break from the adolescent awkwardness of the rest of the week. Granted, a fascist student government is a little bit outside of the typical middle school experience, but there were some pretty middle school-ish things about this piece. Like, the punishment for treasonous speech is a horrible haircut and hideous makeup, forcefully applied. This is basically 1984, but middle school, and for me it just really worked. I like that your protagonist starts with doubts, but seems to actually gain resolve as the story goes on. It was a nice inversion of what I expected. Good job! This was a pretty easy, unanimous pick for the win.
This is okay. Except, it's definitely high school! Middle schoolers don't drive. But fine, I'm ultimately here to look at the story itself. It's somewhere between well-observed and sympathetic and kind of cliché. I want to like the two main characters. I wanted to like their dynamic. The ending seemed like a believable awkward situation a transgendered person might find themselves in. Other people are pretty blithely oblivious/insensitive about gender issues, so it rang true. Which is maybe why the kiss weirded me out? Like, I'm happy the protagonist got a kiss, and isn't mistreated by Madelyn anymore. But I feel like the turnaround from mutual disdain to kissing wasn't super organic. If the prompt was to write about high school girls, I'd say you had the voice down pretty well. Sadly, it wasn't. But I really like the sensitivity to this piece, even if I'm not sure how I feel about the ending.
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 23:46|
Thanks for the crit, sebmojo!
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 23:51|
Week 182 crits!
GrizzledPatriarch> thanks for the crit SH. also if you really want to brawl, I'm down
who will judge
|# ? Feb 8, 2016 23:56|
who will judge
Grizzling Here Brawl
Now, the theme I want you to work with is endings. What does it mean for something to end? Do things ever really end? I don't know. Answer those for me. Tell me something cool about endings, something that you think endings mean.
I also want these stories to be big. That means I want somebody who is bigger than life, someone who does big stuff and who does not settle for the little things. I want an epic adventure in an epic world with an epic character. Also, you're word minimum!!!!! is 1750 words. No padding, make every word count. Since that's mostly for you GP, I'll put also another restriction so sh doesn't get off for free. No dreams. If you somehow write a 1750 word vignette I will make you insta-lose btw. This to both of you.
A max of 2500 words, but if I catch a whiff of padding I will not hesitate to stop reading. End it where it needs to end.
Due Saturday, February 27th, Midnight PST.
flerp fucked around with this message at 00:32 on Feb 9, 2016
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 00:12|
You're on, old man
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 00:13|
Thank you all for the critiques.
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 00:18|
Time to stretch my legs a bit.
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 00:28|
Week 180 Crits
Ultimately, I came away from this story not sure of what tone you were trying to establish. I don’t know if James is supposed to be likeable or not—the narration tends toward likeable, but he does so many unlikeable things that I never felt myself relating to him or sympathizing with him. So you take that away, and then you’re left with a story that doesn’t really have that much to it—a guy goes to his ex-girlfriend’s mom’s funeral in order to make amends, and we’re told how much he’s changed since the breakup, despite seeing none of that in the story. I wasn’t a fan of this at all, but I’m glad to see you’ve kept at it.
There’s a delicate balance you want to adhere to when using the unknown as a device in your story. It’s okay for certain things to remain unexplained, usually when the blank space inspires more fear or sympathy than something tangible. But if your story is littered with those blank spaces, then it just falls apart, and that’s what happened here. Everything that happened inside of the factory was almost completely inscrutable, and I thought Eli could’ve done more work as this mysterious counterpart to all the weirdness and macabre happenings inside this abandoned place. But nothing really came of it, they made it out, they parted ways, and that was the end. It was like a riddle that I couldn’t solve, and ultimately didn’t care enough to want to.
It’s odd that the robot is the most human character in this story, but also sort of brilliant.
Like I said, this was an example of quiet drama that nevertheless hit hard. I think the Asimov nods sort of help it and hurt it at the same time—it gives the story a strong baseline but also keeps the story from going much further into anything original. Also, to echo curlingiron, the kid was sort of saccharine and irritating, even when he was talking about the murdered cat. Nice job overall, though.
Grey. So much grey, throughout this story. It comes from nowhere and goes nowhere. Why did you write this? I’m not asking that question to dismiss this story outright, I’m asking because I’m genuinely curious and I want to know what the process of creation was for this. What themes are in this story that would appeal to a potential reader? The character doesn’t change or learn anything over the course of the story, and the reader doesn’t learn anything either. The character isn’t anyone to begin with. I remember enjoying your story from Imitation Week and pushing for it to HM because it had elements that were vibrant and unique. This story is neither of those things, and it’s a shame.
A way to not be lost forever
Nothing really negative to say about this piece, to be honest. It was a quiet drama illustrated brilliantly and heart-rendingly, and it absolutely deserved the win. Well-done.
The Woman in the 73-Market
I enjoyed the labyrinth in this story until I lost my confidence that you knew enough about how it worked. At a certain point my eyes glazed over the numbers and the directions because I knew they were arbitrary and only there for comedy’s sake. More actual physical details, especially small ones, would’ve been nicer. My main impression is that it’s more of a pitch or an opening title sequence than a story, to be honest. There’s some character there, but the two characters feel more like chess pieces than people, like the love story between a Rook and a Bishop. It’s okay, but okay wasn’t going to get you anywhere this week.
I think you got a good enough impression of this story from the livecrits, but just to say it again, the fact that she was pro-life didn’t hurt this story, it was the fact that not a lot of it hung together or made sense that hurt this story. I feel like if you had worked in a less-physical maze and made the characters a bit more present and interesting, you might not have had as much of an issue, but as it was, the characters took a backseat to all the magical bells and whistles you threw into the story in the hopes of creating interest.
Yes, this was another one of the stories this week that just came off as wholly bland to me. It’s the whole amnesia thing again, but beyond that, there’s no real objective to this story or motivation to the characters. They wanted to get out of the maze, but how would they do that? What was beyond the maze? If this is purgatory, then what would their heaven or hell look like? There was no light for any of them to move towards, and thus I didn’t know what direction the story was going in. Solid middle-to-low for me.
An Escape Velocity Needs Both Speed And Direction
This story was different in a positive way from some of the others in that there with different dimensions to the characters and the setting, but again, it ran into the problem of not having much of a motive or direction. I liked what I read—save for the excessive literary references, which came off forced—but ultimately it was just a segment, a scene to something much larger. And the language and characterization, decent as it was, wasn’t enough to make up for the lack of a story.
Triplicate Four Out of Three
You had way too much fun writing this, because it was really more about the minutia and the bureaucracy-speak than any sort of story that would captivate someone. Filling Out Forms: The Story. No thanks. But if you had this as a concise prelude to a much longer story, I’d be more open to it. The voice was strong, even though it was disembodied.
I had the toughest time seeing the maze in this story more than any of the others. You could argue that social strata are a type of maze, but that’s still very thin reasoning. And again, it was light in the “things happening” department. Comparing this to Saviour Machine, the kid here was less saccharine but also less interesting as a character. The scene between Mark and the kid is meant to be the meat of the story, but it takes way too long to get there, and ultimately it’s up for debate whether a whole lot changed or was set into motion because of it. I would’ve started at the kitchen, and made the conversation much more meaningful. Some inner glimpse into Mark’s mind and feelings would’ve helped.
The Monster at the End of Infinity
This felt like much more of a tangible journey than any of the other stories this week, and I don’t know if the fantasy setting was partly responsible for that, but it was a definite positive. I enjoyed the world you created, and I was surprised by it at different points. I felt like you took all the themes that people gravitated towards this week and did them better. Simte, especially in his epiphany about Alya and her death, was my favorite character, even though he was lost in an unfamiliar environment. Well done, all around.
Halfway For Too Long
I immediately want to say that this story was flat, but that’s not true at all—it was just quiet. Quietly intense. It was brushing right up against the top mentions, and I’m trying to figure out what extra thing you could’ve added to put it over the top. SH calls your stories “circular,” and this one makes me agree, but I think that sort of hurt it. It wasn’t just a circle, it was a perfect circle. There wasn’t really a moment where the narrator found himself at a crossroads where he could make a choice to be a different person, it was just a steady portrait of this one person and his issues, throughout. Maybe that’s why it fell short. At any rate, the characters were solid, and human, and real, and I genuinely cared for them. You should count that as a success, no matter what.
The ultimate breath of fresh air, after so many dark and monochromatic stories. I loved this. I loved the characters and how funny they could be, I loved the setting, I loved the way you pulled off the scenes switching back and forth…I loved the ending a bit less, just because it seemed too easy, and I don’t know whether to chalk that up to the word limit or not, but otherwise, this was really well-done and it made me give out my first fiat HM just because of how enjoyable it was. Nice work.
A guy thinks he’s being stalked, then it turns out he is. Wocka wocka.
It’s a bit of a disappointment, because if nothing else, I believed in the strength of the character and I felt like you could’ve done something more substantial with him then just validate all his delusions at the end. I liked the premise, but not how it paid off. Ah, well.
Weekend of Lights
Really, you needed to pick a plot development out of a hat or something. Tornado, return of the Black Plague, cannibalistic streakers, something. This was just dull. All of the characters that could’ve meaningfully interacted with the protagonist were woefully out of reach, and when that meaningful conversation finally does happen, it’s tossed in as an afterthought. Something important needed to happen and it needed to happen much sooner than it did. Start your next story knowing that a potential reader’s looking for any excuse to close the book on you.
The Land of the Lost
This stuck with me a lot longer than I expected to. It had that Beckett or Sartre one-act play feel, mixed in with a lot of macabre desolation. But again, it’s that whole thing of deciding how much to leave unexplained, and with this, I was hoping for a bit more of a payoff at the end, or any payoff, really. I guess you could argue that that’s not what life gives you sometimes, and I thought your characters put in more work to compensate for the lack of a real resolution, but nonetheless, this was missing something. I still liked it, though.
This was a rush job that turned into something magical. I think that if you could turn the unintentional funniness of this story into something that you could master and have control over, you’d take TD by storm, but I doubt any of this was intentional. It felt like you drove the story off a cliff ten minutes before you submitted it, and it showed. I’ll match curlingiron’s free crit on your piece if you come back and submit again.
Sounds in the Forest Portend Evil Within
This was much better than you gave it credit for. It was short on the literal maze, but I felt boundless conflict within this one character and his struggle to be good. Your prose is always very solid, and the environment you set up was well done. I hope you can come back to this type of story even though it’s something you profess to dislike.
Had to go Somewhere so We Crashed Into You
Standard Chairchucker story with a Bowie twist. I wish your efforts were longer sometimes, because your dialogue is always interesting and worthwhile and hinting at something larger. Thanks for joining this week, even if you weren’t technically on time.
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 01:17|
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 02:04|
oh hey another (sparkly) recap
Kaishai does a lot of wonderful behind the scenes work for Thunderdome and hardly asks for anything at all in return. So when she asked if we could turn the Week 177 recap into a sparkly retrospective double feature, I couldn't even dream of saying no. If you've never feasted your eyes upon the flamboyant fever dream that is the December Diamonds Collection, I urge you to do so now, because it will probably expand your horizons in ways you hadn't thought possible.
Sparkly mermen have become something of a Christmas tradition around Thunderdome (if you can call something a tradition when it's happened a whopping two times), so in addition to critiquing Week 177, we journey all the way back to Week 125, where all the Christmas fun and sassy sparkles began.
This is the link to the recap!
Featuring Kaishai, Ironic Twist, Djeser, myself, and special guests Bad Seafood and Grizzled Patriarch!
Thank you as always for listening in spite of my resolute aversion to any sort of editing/scripting. You are all beautiful and patient goons.
More episodes (Thanks, Kaishai!):
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
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 02:14|
Thunderdome Week 183 Results - Simon Says We Have No Future, At Least In Terms Of Life On Earth
On the whole, you satisfied my thirst for the ruined world this week. Most of the stories had at least something good to latch onto, and some stories even impressed me.
Coming back with spoils from looting the vaults are the Honorable Mentions this week:
SurreptitiousMuffin, who escaped being sacrified to a tentacle of the Old Ones.
Tyrannosaurus, who was saved from lynching by the hands of a presedential robot.
Bird Tyrant, who found companionship even after being struck by lightning.
and CaligulaKangaroo, who wrote exactly what I was hoping he would write.
Some stories were disappointing.
Swimming in the radioactive water fountain are the Dishonorable Mentions this week:
Broenheim, who tried to salvage a confusing mess of dialogue with a puppy ex machina.
and Blue Wher, who tried to write an SCP field report for one of those SCPs that's just, like, a dude.
One story was good enough that all the judges could agree: it was Pretty Good.
For an apocalypse of pools of time and disembodied heads, for the Walker who carried them, and for his desire to see the heads set free, Thranguy takes the win this week.
And finally, for his valiant service in the field of dental hygiene, YFDHippo takes the loss.
Boaz-Jachim fucked around with this message at 23:27 on Feb 9, 2016
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 05:21|
Week 183: Apocalypse Crits
I anonymously judged this week. Each of these stories was bleak and filled with despair. Hasn’t anybody heard “it’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine?” I’m sure the end of the world would have some happy times too! Anyway, the main problems this week were characters with no real obstacles, and unending world building. Too many of you spent too much time on WHY the world ended, and not the consequences of it. Some of these crits are a little short, so if you’d like me to expand on why I hated it, let me know.
White Powder Black Oil
I hate the man and all, but this story is a little hollow. This dude is a stereotype, done before, basically just leo’s character in Wolf of Wallstreet. I don’t really ever empathize or feel for him. The “backstory” of his wife’s death is not interesting enough to really hold the piece together, and I don’t really understand who is killing people or why. I thought it was a world for hippies? Pacing wise this is ok, and it has most of the elements for a story, I just found it to be pretty boring. Run of the mill “society collapses in on itself” stuff. The people that are shooting him have no real motivation other than “oh yeah, obviously everybody starts killing each other at the end.” There’s no real reason why his death means anything. Without some truly stellar chars, this isn’t really worth it.
One Rainy Day
Another story that satisfies the prompt and qualifies as a full story, but lacks in the “interesting reasons to read” section. This chick, who I really know nothing about other than she is a “scientist,” has her son kidnapped...somehow...and just happens to have finished this lifesaving device that was a secret but “the militia” knows about it? Anyway, we’re 2 for 2 this week for cardboard villains that haunt our protag just because it’s the end of the world and they are evil. Why did she even want sam back? he kinda seemed like a lil bitch. Where WAS he that he let himself get kidnapped anyway. did this chick just leave him home alone while she went to work on her device? If the militia dudes went to her lab to leave the note, and the device was finished, why not just steal it? Why didn’t they just shoot the lady and her son and call it a day? I don’t really understand why most of this stuff happened.
Rainy City Brews
I zoned out pretty hard after they snuck into the stadium. I skimmed back through to make sure I didn’t miss anything. This is one of those “ha ha, get it?” pieces that I don’t really care for. Your story is basically one giant joke that isn’t funny. Every time I am just about to forget, you remind me with a quip about some hipster poo poo and I’m annoyed anew. Your apocolypse is so mundane you don’t even bother describing it at all. it’s just a thing that happened and now there are no hops. Ok… anyway, I don’t really care that much for this char, because mostly he just complains about how others see him, and how he wants that to be different. He’s not really interesting in his own right. You would have been better served by showing a scene of him being a little punk bitch to everybody else, and then having him overcome that. Anyway, yawn.
Your opening is a bit muddled, especially the last bit. The shells are also too short to reach out of the water? Instead of “I could see” try “i saw” or alternatively, leaving that out altogether. This story suffers from “TV cold open” syndrome. You have this “tense” scene filled with mystery, then right when your nar sees the thing you cut away. This is done on TV to get you to sit through commercials to see what happens next. I hate it in a short story. I’m also starting to get a little annoyed at “you know it’s the future, because every thing you know has a different name.” Powercycle… how is it different? you just say “powercycle” and rely on that for this otherworldly feeling, rather than giving me any actual detail. it was once north america… then you don’t give me what it’s called now… whyyyyyyyy.This worldbuilding is making me soft. Ok, you spent WAY too much time on worldbuilding and that left very little room for your story. A guy drives to a town, asks some dudes where a church is, goes out on a lake and into the church, takes off his mask, grabs an organ key, and then is done. There’s no actual story here, it’s just a list of events in semi-chronological order. This is bad enough for a DM if other judges push it.
Audio Artifacts of Earth’s Final Days
“novel electricity generator” lol. Gamma ray bursts travel at the speed of light, so they are undetectable beforehand. “that perhaps only I am immune to” man you are just really filling this story with contrived bullshit. The fact that you resort to footnotes to explain some of your concepts means you’re doing a poo poo job at showing me. “my portable generator to turn on their computers and read their information.” Just like that, huh? No struggle, nothing. just did it. “have almost ran out” tsk. “I have found the spacecraft!” oh boy, how exciting. not really though. This guy just kind of comes up with issues and solves all of them with one sentence. This is very boring for a reader. There is no drama. “seems to have been built about 250 years ago” WHAT IS TELLING YOU THIS? HOW DID HE GET THIS INFORMATION?! WHY NOT SHARE IT WITH US? it’s because you, the author, don’t know. you just keep solving problems FOR your character, rather than having him do any loving work. “ sustain any life “ well how loving convenient, and totally arbitrary. It doesn’t matter if the aliens were plants or carnivores or bacteria, this ship can feed everything! lol: “guys this ship broke let's just leave it here for no reason.” “I believe I have repaired the ship’s hyperdrive,” HOW. so these alien motherfuckers who have light speed and advanced spacheships can’t fix their ship, but these random earth guy just does it, WHILE FLYING THROUGH SPACE no problem?what a mary sue. “a device I perfected months before the gamma ray apocalypse.” lol. lol at that ending. I hate this. I would not feel bad if this lost.
Through the fog and filthy air
“Out of the haze, Pete emerged.” Pete knows how to make a loving entrance. “Sasha rocked, ready to assert her authority before stopping.” this sentence is ambiguous and it took me a few rereads to parse it. “The gun pressed against her back” huh? whose gun? “ignoring the speed limit and the groaning engine” they ignored the groaning engine? that’s kinda weird. wtf the story ends, and there was no gunshot? did you literally just checkov’s gun this poo poo? Anyway this story falls flat because I didn’t connect with any of the character. You forced the drama too hard, and I didn’t care that sasha was getting dumped or that frank didn’t want to be there. Because all you showed me was the breakup and whining. To care about characters breaking up, we have to develop an attachment to them by seeing the good stuff. Your character’s motivations are a little muddled here, in that I’m not really sure what “the fires” were, and why it still matters about killing executives and burning oil rigs? I didn’t feel like sasha WANTED anything. She was just doing stuff for ~reasons~. Even the other characters in the story didn’t really care about her.
Diamond / Salvation
Your tenses are all over the loving place here. You start in past tense, but then when the dialogue starts you’re in present. wait i’m really confused here… you start off with some backstory, seemingly from third person omniscient. Then you say “he tells the barfly” but you’ve only talked about the son of murdock, so i thought that was who was speaking, but he’s talking ABOUT murdock, so i don’t even know who is talking right now. wait, it DOES seem like it’s bill murdock, but now i dunno wtf he’s talking about. is he not talking IN the town he’s in now? why doesn’t the barfly know what town it is? why is he talking in third person? “A shapeless being of pure shadow” how loving boring. This story is quickly going nowhere. I’m not impressed by the droning on about the darkness. So they’re back in diamond? I have no idea wtf is going on with this timeline. Wait, he’s not in diamond, but the sheriff of diamond is there? I thought HE was the sheriff of diamond and a deputy in salvation? Man, gently caress this confusing horse poo poo. I just skimmed the rest. He sacrifices his life to save “somebody who deserves it more” for pretty much no reason. What made him have this change of heart? Just sitting and talking about it in a bar? Write more clearer next time.
That’s quite the runon of a first sentence. Holy poo poo, it’s ALL Your sentences that are run-ons. Dude i’m like, getting anxious here reading these paragraph-length sentences! Slow down! Take a breath! use a period! “I tell her it’s he, that I’m trans and I need this testosterone to not want to kill myself” show don’t tell. This is too on the nose. Now it just feels preachy. And now the lady is using trite crap and being a strawman against transgenders…. ugh. you had the makings of a good story, but ruined it by being so obvious. The whole story is like “look, i’m trans!” instead of just having a trans character that has to deal with poo poo. You make this whole show about this one aspect of him, and we don’t get to learn anything else about his personality. Like his whole life revolves around this one aspect. And the woman is just an amalgamation of all the worst things people say, she literally just spits them out one after another. She’s not a character so much as an argument. Anyway uh, you get some credit for focusing on characters and not THE DARKNESS so good job? Just make your characters more rounded next time, don’t try to bullshit your way to empathy.
Can’t Say It
“I’m not leaving you” forgot your period. Also this back and forth feels like a soap opera. All the drama is in the spotlight, being openly talked about. Everybody says exactly what is happening and what everything is about. There’s no real ~dialogue~ between people. Oh my god, this back and forth of “go,” and “no i can’t,” is killing me. Did you lose a bet or something? You have to write a story that goes back and forth as many times as it can without actually saying anything useful or interesting? I loving GET THE POINT. you’re really belaboring the point that this char doesn’t feel good and is in pain. This story treats me like I’m some sort of idiot. You spend all your words basically saying very little. Instead of showing me she doesn’t wanna die alone, you just go back and forth with “leave” “i can’t leave” then “man i sure wish i wasn’t alone.” I actually couldn’t keep straight who was who and who was leaving and staying and all that other stuff, because nobody says anything of value.
The Very Last Moment
Don’t really like a bunch of heads talking about why they can talk and live. Because I’d assume that this had already been discussed when these things first happened. You have the benefit of the doubt when I first start reading the story. I’m willing to buy into some heads talking. But when you have them talk about WHY they’re able to do it, it just reeks of worldbuilding and rips me out of the story. Don’t do that. Own your world, make me think OF COURSE heads can talk. Don’t ever even act like it was questionable. Overall this is the first story I’ve kind of liked. I don’t LIKE like it, just sorta like it. Holtzman does a good job of actually making me fear the forever with his little story. Then I’m sort of drawn into this guy walking around dropping heads into pools of time so that they can die. The very end over does it, though, and gets a little too self-congratulatory.
The Heat Death of Everything
This whole “no fire works” thing is a bit contrived. Also, did you just switch POV to the old man on the roof? what the gently caress? this story is as dumb as free condoms at a convent. You start with a boring druggie, then randomly switch to some dumb old dude and then it gets weird, but not in a good way, and just ends. Like you forgot to say anything about the character you spent 3/4ths of the story creating. DM or loss here, you idiot.
The Benefits of a Penthouse Flat in Kensington
this story is pretty much all world building so far. All i got is that a guy dies and refreshes in a new body. That’s not enough for a story. now you’re blathering on about what ended the world. newsflash: i don’t really care. I care how people deal with it. get to that part. wait they only went like 39 miles in eighteen hours? so a little over 2 miles an hour? that’s hella slow. lol what. he just gets killed? This whole story is like, a pre-story. Nothing good happens. Just a bunch of world building. Then he randomly gets killed by some non-character and it ends. jesus christ, you need a lot of help with your story telling.
comes now the deepest night
““Cool, mister,” he said.” did you mean she? “devil himself were” the devil is only one dude. This is the first story this week I don’t hate. It is a bit too light on why the girl changes her mind. I was legit surprised at her betraying Gibbo, so congrats on that. I was like “no how could she!? right after he said that nice thing.” so i believed it when she doublecrossed the cultists and rescued gibbo, though I could have done with a bit of her looking on in worry, or something like that. just a tiny bit of foreshadowing. The voices of the dead daughter didn’t do it for me though. Maybe a different way to show that he’d left her behind? Also, gibbo didn’t really seem to struggle with leaving this new girl behind at all. It seemed sort of obvious to take her after she saved his life. So maybe a scene where he was going to abandon her too, but then has a change of heart. Hopefully this story marks the turn into “decent.”
I want to like this more than I do. At its core, I love the idea of some being slowly losing it by willful ignorance; deleting memories and pieces of his consciousness that don’t mesh with how he wants to view the world. On the other hand, this is a very rough story and reads like a one-man play or something. I don’t really understand WHAT is happening, and at what time line this is playing out. At first i thought the first satellite was sputnick, but he says they used to be among the stars or something? So I get confused about WHEN this is taking place. Further, I don’t really know what this “god” is supposed to be? An old satellite? an actual artificial intelligence? Actual god? I’m not sure. I was afraid a corny twist was coming, so I thank you for not including that. So in the end, the ideas here are good, but the writing needs a lot of work.
Clay and Fire
“as she triest” lol. I like this typo, but proofreading, man/woman, it’s your opening sentence! JELLY TEETH. lol this dude tried to hump that dying girl. awesome. ok dude. so like, i was actually really digging the loving emotional barrage of this dude carrying his dying wife/girlfriend up a mountain, knowing she’s going to die and not being able to do anything, then you go and turn it into a comedy about porn. and then just shove the whole message down my throat about porn destroying the world. and being like “prometheus logs into wifi lol.” i’m done, gently caress u.
hahahaha. poop planet gently caress fest. why?
I like this, but it is a vignette when it’s all said and done. A quick look in the life of a bomb. It needs to be fleshed out more. Also i’m confused because it talks about having like, arms and hands and stuff.
Destiny Through Sickness and Ash
this reads really pretentious like. The narration and the dialogue both seem a touch unnatural. Like everything is stuffy english aristocrats. So it seems like this is in the past, the fall of the south american empires? I like the twist, and the interpretation of “apocalypse.” However, the voice is weird, alien, here, and it doesn’t seem right. Maybe this is more of a personal preference, but I just feel a little off when reading this story. But my biggest problem of this story is what exactly does the main char learn? How does she change or grow? It’s a very straight story of two wandering girls, one who is constipated, and they make their way to a big town where they hope they can be safe. The stronger sister basically is in one mode the entire time. She’s a goner and she knows it, so nothing is sacrificed, there are no hard decisions. Without a real conflict (danger isn’t necessarily conflict), there is no story. This is the opening act to a story, and for what it is, it is decent.
“Normalax sounds like a laxative” -my wife. “like he’s watching a baby animal die in an old animation.” what the gently caress kind of simile is this? “Normalax, Krull thinks, suddenly, fiercely, is the real horror.” A. get rid of those stupid adverbs. B. “hey that’s the name of the show.” “more unchill, I think. For some reason.” seriously? why not just say “the author has no idea!” “She did more than usual because there are a lot of penguins around.” this is feeling more like nothing more than a joke. Guessing it’s ChairChucker.
“pile of four” guessing this was supposed to be “flour?” was confused for a sec. “One minute it was over the city and the next only air.” makes it sound like it was over the city, then it was over air. I think you meant to imply that only air was over the city and that the plane had vanished. “Conspiracy theories abound until the Earth switched its orbit with Jupiter.” tense shift. Also wtf. If the Earth was where Jupiter was, we’d freeze almost instantly. This story… uh. I kinda want to like it. But it’s so far up its own rear end that I can’t. It feels like masturbation a bit, like I think the author was really getting into writing this story, and making it weird. But then it got really boring because i didn’t really care about matilda that much, or really know what she wanted. All i knew is she toasted a bagel and for some reason that hosed up the whole world? This piece is a hot mess. Back to the drawing board for you.
You’re laying on the accent a little too thick. “the vultures would be hootin’ and hollerin’” This is just a comical parody. You seem like an outsider trying to write this accent, and it’s distracting. “I could’ve easily had my neck in one of his nooses by now.” why? what’d this char do? they seem pretty… benign… and uninteresting. “I felt my eyes get real wide,” sometimes, in an effort to avoid telling, people show too much. this is one of those instances. Anyway, this story is ok. The accent ruins a lot of it, because it’s hard to focus. For most of the story, this character just kind of reacts to stuff and things go on. He does eventually realize that maybe the lightning is the thing that kept him alive, and he sets off to find the girl, but he does so pretty easily. Everything just works out for this guy (besides being ugly and everybody being dead). there needs to be a bit more on him giving up and something, when he’s at his end, that makes him realize the lightning is the vaccine. there are some real good parts of this story, the pacing and setup, foreshadowing et al are great, but the voice needs some work.
Heart of Stone
“her hand brushing against the bundle of soft fur inside,” does she… have a dead puppy in there? You’re being too vague and ~mysterious~ about who Tina is. How does she know tina? Ok it’s her daughter. Who are these salty people who had her? (ha ha, get it?) Anyway, her daughter is basically a macguffin at this point. ok, so like, she finds her daughter in a cliff face that pops up for no reasons because she runs away screaming and crying? there’s really not any growth in character in that setup. blarp. i don’t want to comment on boring characters that don’t deserve the electrons that go into powering my monitor, so just read some of the previous crits about boring characters who don’t really make any choices and just exist in the story and do some things.
This is a Story …
Full disclosure: I know this is Tyran’s because I saw his name in the “longest titles” category for this story by accident.
That sure is a world-buildy title. Just cause it’s in the title doesn’t make it better. Especially the breaking the fourth wall part. “He watched Teddy dress.” creepy. You switched from being outside both characters to now being inside Teddy’s head. A little jarring. Is there a word for a story that continually uses lines from another work? Cause we had one a little back that did that with shakespeare, and I didn’t like it. I don’t like it now either. I don’t feel like having animatronic Teddy stuck with a limited amount of things to say really adds anything to the story. It just reminds me of Arrested Development, when GOB puts an audio magazine ad into his puppets mouth, and all he can say is “my name is judge,” and even though it’s usually not appropriate, that’s all he can say, so GOB tries to shoehorn it into everything. That’s what I feel reading this. In the end, this is an enjoyable read, but I have a bit trouble understanding what is the point? What did Hussein want? He just seems to be wandering the desert trying to not get killed. Also this doesn’t really feel post-apocalyptic, but more like Wild Wild West with Will Smith. The wild west but with some weird steam-punky reality. I was continually thrown off on how you wrote Hussein like the main character, but we would slip into Teddy’s head. In the end, I’m not really sure who the main char was. It kinda seems like teddy, but he didn’t really have much of the spotlight. I like the concept, the execution was decent, but the pacing and tone was a bit off.
What the gently caress is this? This is terrible. I couldn’t even pay attention while reading it, so I can’t really give you any constructive criticism. Don’t do this again?
The Devil’s Grin
“If he had been a turtle it” typo? This dialect is terrible. “Half kiss, half feeding. The fat man rubbed her breast at the same time. His other hand was deep inside her. When she was done. He took his fat hands, each like a oily sausage and licked them clean.” lol. i uh….. you better have something amazing in this story, cause a fat dude fingering some chick then licking his fingers is a thing to have in a story for sure. It’s hard not to make that seem like some cheap cinemax late night softcore porn. Also I feel like this is Jabba the Hutt fanfic. ““Think about Bounty Hunter.” ok. *thinks about bounty hunter* holy poo poo that poem is absolutely atrocious. haha. gently caress this story. gently caress you for writing it. easy loss.
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 05:31|
THANK YOU JUDGE CRABROCK! I appreciate and welcome all criticism.
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 06:00|
i dont crabrock is a butt
THANK YOU JUDGE CRABROCK! I appreciate and welcome all criticism.
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 06:10|
i dont crabrock is a butt
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 06:15|
I've had this prompt in my pocket for a few months, with the seasonal flavoring changing as time goes by. So for this week, what with the action happening over Valentines Day Weekend, I guess I could call it a love letter to the Dome itself, but honestly, it fits more as a new years idea. Too bad the timing didn't work for that. If only...
GOON HAY FAT CHOY!
Thunderdome CLXXXIV: The 2015teen/Year of the Ram Great White Elephant Prompt Exchange
Over this last year of Thunderdome there have been an awful lot of failures. And a lot of those failures left perfectly good individualized prompt unused. Let's find some of then a good home: it's time for a good old White Elephant gift exchange.
The Rules: When you sign up, take one of the prompts on the list. First come, first served. I recommend you don't pick a prompt from one of your own failures or a prompt you originally assigned yourself, let someone else take a go. You only have to use the individualized part of the prompt, not the theme of the week they came from in those cases where there is a difference. (For example, if you get a city, you don't have to have it being attacked by a Kaiju. If you take a food, it doesn't have to get someone in trouble. And so on.)
Since there are an absolute ton of these things, starting from Thursday 11:59 Pacific Time up to the close of entries Friday, if you're already in you can grab a second prompt from the table. And, much like someone might stuff a into the box of an unwanted gift at an office White Elephant gift exchange, each prompt that didn't go in the first round comes with 200 extra words. If you waited until Friday to sign up, you can only get one, so early.
But That's Not All: In addition to this table full of unused prompts, I've got this here bag full of unused flash rules, and if you want, I'll give you a random one. Flash rules also come with a 200 word bounty, but you've got to yourself if you want one. (These are Flash rules that were assigned to people who failed that week and thus may have killed stories, so I don't want anyone taking them lightly.)
1300(plus up to 400 in potential bounties) Words, no Erotica, no Fanfic, tell an actual story, probably use characters and conflict and stuff like that. Also, since this is all about using these old prompts and rules, I'm going to care more than judges usually do about how well you use them. Also, let me say right here that stories that in any way depend on the reader knowing what the prompt is extratextually are going to be frowned upon.
Embarassingly late edit:
Deadline to signup is Friday 11:59 PM Pacific Time
Deadline to submit is Sunday 11:59 PM Pacific Time
Entrants and their Prompts:
spectres of autism: 105) Yoko no Hijo (Fear) ( http://www.spellsofmagic.com/spells...12847/page.html ) Flash: Your father's dying words have never seemed so relevant
bluesman: 45) I Palindrome I (TMBG) and 41) House of Cards by Zinaida Serebriakova
Surreptitious Muffin: 90) The moon's my constant mistress, / And the lonely owl my marrow; / The flaming drake and the night crow make / Me music to my sorrow.
Fuschia tude: 116) Young, orphaned animals and children come to you. They remain your tireless obedient companions until they can't anymore.
kurona bright:7) A man's jealousy leads him to murder his lover.
crabrock:59) Magical Realism and Historical Fiction and 117) Your magic ages you a bit more each time you use it, but you will never die Flash: Your story must involve someone going from point A to point B. Point B must be somehow important to the story.
ZeBourgeosie:11) Astor Man Told Deputies He is Creator, Owns World
YDFHippo:84) The Fisherman and His Wife
Ceighk:57) Lost World Children's Fantasy or Space Opera Eco-Thriller and 48) Jelly
QuoProQuid:14) Bloody revenge in ancient Rome, with the emphasis on the bloody.
Titus82:5) A man tried to balance love and war, but sacrifices everything for love.
Tyrannosaurus:28) Fabulist Wuxia or Multicultural Spy-Fi
Grizzled Patriarch:34) Gold mourning ring with a painted eye http://www.britishmuseum.org/explor...ith_a_pain.aspx
Noah:104) Yearning for the Yellow Cities
God Over Djinn:67) Paranormal Noir and 89) The Lawyer and the Devil
Ironic Twist:16) Broadway Boogie-Woogie, 1942 by Piet Mondrain and 92) They sliced the cake and found more Krugerrands with every slice. | Gold in Every Slice by Superb Owls - http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=2671
Blue Wher:53) Latvia 2015 Eurovision
After The War:24) Don't Let's Start (TMBG)
December Octopodes:113) You're the wizard of that ol' swamp magic. Fiddles in the bayou, will-o-wisp lights hovering over bogs. You can call dark, beautiful, or terrible things from the mud, loam, and stagnant water.
Lazy Beggar 112) You see the flow of information between people and things like a series of intersecting roads or rivers. You aren't all-knowing; rather, you see information when it's in transit between informer and informee. Sometimes, if you're very careful, you can dam or change the flow. and 35) Grimdark Urban Fantasy
SteveHarveyOswald: 114) You're a real wizard in the kitchen. That's not hyperbole, you're a wizard and you use your magic in food. Your dishes are literally magical, like potions except with more shiitake mushrooms. The freshest ingredients cause the strongest effect.
Skwidmonster: 96) Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance
Sitting Here: 98) Venice (The Books)
Killer of Lawyers: 54) Learn Cryokinesis ( http://www.spellsofmagic.com/spells...19665/page.html )
Jon Joe: 9) A young boy unintentionally runs into a pizza deliver driver's car while he is running around in the street playing or a man says he asked his new girlfriend for money to enroll in truck-driving school and for living expenses after he lost at a casino AND 58) Love is Colder than Capital by Keith Haring Flash Rule: (Egg Rule): We bet on what's inside the egg, and it keeps making that weird ticking, but it just won't hatch no matter what.
The Table of unclaimed of Misfit Prompts:
1) A bright light shines on me from the ceiling. | Gambit by Entenzahn - http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=2101%A0
3) A king gives up his kingdom to his daughters and then gives up his mind
4) A king is usurped and the usurper takes the throne.
6) A man tries to explain why he sold a boat to a woman when the title wasn't in his name
8) A peasant rebellion is incited by a noble house
10) An overgenerous man finds out who his true friends are once he runs out of money.
12) Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge by El Lissitzky
13) Belgium 2015 Eurovision
17) Busan, South Korea
18) By a knight of ghosts and shadows / I summoned am to tourney / Ten leagues beyond the wide world's end- / Methinks it is no journey.
19) Chicken Parma
20) Chicken Tikka Masala
21) Damper (the food, not the adjective)
22) Destroy it, destroy the ship. | A Lucky Break by sebmojo - http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=868
23) Doha, Qatar
25) DOOM BOX came after the baby-nuke. | DOOM BOX by twinkle cave - http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=843
26) Dude what the hell are you doing, calm down, Daniel said. | What Comes Next by Noah - http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=2499
27) Epilogue (The Books)
29) Foreign Country and Western (The Books)
30) Getting the Done Job (The Books)
31) Gilded brass astrolabe, made by Humphrey Cole
32) Glenrowan by Sir Sidney Nolan
33) Gold earrings shaped like wild goat heads
38) Hansel and Gretel
39) He said that he wanted me (the Librarian) more than his wife. I just found his website where he's selling my books.
40) High Fantasy and Ghosts/Hauntings
41) House of Cards by Zinaida Serebriakova
42) I imagine your paymasters knew this. | Roaches by HaitianDivorce - http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=911
43) I killed a man
44) I knew my brother's pain would intensify for a few moments, but that pain would promote healing. | Insufferable Commandments of the Pagan Shrine by hotsoupdinner - http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=3140
46) Ireland 2011 Eurovision
47) Isfahan, Iran
49) Judy is Your Viet Nam (TMBG)
50) Killing the Necromancer
51) King Thrushbeard
52) Last Brimstone Of The Tombs Of Blistering Procreation
55) Leiden, Netherlands
56) Little Brother and Little Sister
58) Love is Colder than Capital by Keith Haring
60) Manilla, Phillipines
61) Men Hunting Wild Boar Painting http://www.britishmuseum.org/explor...r,_paintin.aspx
62) Mostly it'd be a formality, but if we have any other incidents it would certainly be useful to have you. | Making Friends Over Syrup by Nikaer Drekin - http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=1092
63) Multicultural Military/War Fiction
64) No Mind Technique (http://www.spellsofmagic.com/spells...12802/page.html )
65) Ngabuny Ngarrangharni by Shirley Purdie
68) Perth, Australia
69) Pied Piper of Hamelin
70) Power corrupts the substitute duke who tries to seduce the sister of a condemned man
72) Read, Eat, Sleep (The Books)
73) Rejkjavik, Iceland
74) Russia 2012 Eurovision
75) San Antonio, Texas
76) Send the scouts out, Mahdi… But he didn't. | When Judas saved Jesus. by Cache Cab - http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=2249
77) So drink to Tom of Bedlam / Go fill the seas in barrels / I'll drink it all, well brewed with gall / And maudlin drunk I'll quarrel.
78) sometimes I say awkward things at parties on purpose
79) Space Western Romantic Comedy
80) Spain 2015 Eurovision
81) Stone Cold Coup d'Etat (TMBG)
82) Sweden 2015 Eurovision
83) The Dirty Shepardess
85) The French can be forgiven a little risqué clothing. | Diplomacy by SquirrelFace - http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=3646
86) The Geographer by Varmeer
88) The Golden Bird
91) The palsy plagues my pulses / When I prig your pigs or pullen / Your culvers take, or matchless make / Your Chanticleer or sullen.
93) Thirty Incoming (The Books)
94) Tiger Riding Ukelele Man by Henri Rousseau
97) Valencia, Spain
99) Video evidence shows an angry man kicking his neighbor's vegetables and memorial to a cat or a young man denies owing his two mothers for a loan, rent, and property damage
100) While her sister claims that she broke in and stole her possessions, a woman maintains that her nephew shot her in the head with a BB gun or a man say that he wanted to help his ex by purchasing him a computer, which his ex maintains was a gift.
101) While you don't know how to do the electric slide, you do have the ability to manipulate any sort of electrical current.
103) Xanthic Leviathan of Battles
106) You are the love wizard. You can hurl the fires of passion at your enemies. You can make lovers burn with yearning until their skin crinkles off their bones. You can invoke the impossible sweetness of young love. Where there is passion, fidelity, infidelity, romance, or devotion, you have the power to do terrible or wonderful things. Truly, love is all you need.
107) You can copy the shape of any man or beast, but if the original dies while you're mimicking their form, so do you.
108) You can distill souls into tinctures and potions and sigils and charms, leaving the body intact. You cannot give back what you've taken, however.
109) You can instantly strike any emotion into the hearts of those around you, but you can't control the effect it has.
110) You have the power to enforce any promise to its fullest extent, even if the promiser no longer wants to be obligated to their vow. Doubt, injury, and death are no obstact for your power.
111) You need to deposit this money into your account. | Deposits by SadisTech - http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=3415
115) You're a sea-faring wizard. You are strongest out on the open ocean, where the call of wind and waves is loudest. Your sails will always be full and taur, and should you ever take up surfing, your waves will always be sweet. You can direct the ocean air and water to some extent, but you're always mindful that the seas have minds of their own.
118) Your power relies on intense visualization, which allows you to bring objects or beings out of your mind and into the world. Small, simple things are easier. Large or elaborate things can take a toll. Your meditations can be empowered by a rare, enchanting form of music
(Notes: I deliberately left out the rewrite week and the Tarot readings for reasons. Also, I'd like to thank the judges last year who edited these things into their prompt post and give the finger to the ones who didn't.)
TL (boy howdy), DR:
* Pick one of these that nobody else has when you sign in.
* There'll be an optional second round Friday for bonus words.
* You may ask for a Flash rule for more words, but you gotta toxx.
Thranguy fucked around with this message at 02:05 on Feb 15, 2016
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 06:30|
105) Yoko no Hijo (Fear) ( http://www.spellsofmagic.com/spells...12847/page.html )
take the moon fucked around with this message at 06:42 on Feb 9, 2016
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 06:37|
I'm in with
45) I Palindrome I (TMBG)
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 06:40|
Your father's dying words have never seemed so relevant
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 06:44|
90) The moon's my constant mistress, / And the lonely owl my marrow; / The flaming drake and the night crow make / Me music to my sorrow.
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 06:46|
taking raft of the medusa
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 06:53|
i dont crabrock is a butt
yeah he mainly just farts like when you're reading his stories you're huffing up buttgas
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 07:05|
also am in with
I don't want to know what week it's from
Young, orphaned animals and children come to you. They remain your tireless obedient companions until they can't anymore.
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 07:16|
Also for my failure last week.
7) A man's jealousy leads him to murder his lover.
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 07:22|
|# ? Jan 23, 2021 09:03|
I will take 59) Magical Realism and Historical Fiction
and give me a flash rule for MORE WORDS plz for submission
|# ? Feb 9, 2016 07:24|