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The Cut of Your Jib
Apr 23, 2007

you don't find a style

a style finds you

The path to paradise begins in hell.
-Ridley Scott


Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

Just about one hour left for signups.

As a courtesy to the idiots who toxxed, submissions close at 11 PM Pacific. That means 2 AM Eastern, 6 AM GMT, and 6 PM Kiwi Time.

Apr 12, 2006
I'm in.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica
:siren:First Crit For Week 250:siren:

DJESER: WARNING-To-All-Human-Races...
Everything about your story feels very deliberate. Even the formatting conveys the superstition and paranoia of your character; every letter being capitalized, every reference to some chemical, every run-on sentence serves to further immerse me in the collapsing psyche of your protagonist.


Chlorinated Water Hits Me And I Open My Eyes To It And Let It Sting. Underwater City In The Bottom Of The Pool Red And Gold Banners Against Blue Water. Seaweed Hair Hangs Around My Face Until I Have To Come Up For Air. Chlorine Without Sodium Produces Only HALF-VISIONS But I Dive Down Until I Am Whale-Large Over Underwater City And Follow Atlanteans Swimming From Tower To Tower And Wonder Which Is My Pelagia With The Red Spines And Blue Scales.
^^^^That feels like a genuine hallucination.^^^^^
-----Hallucinations are hard to pull off in movies. I’ve only seen it pulled off well a handful of times and yet you managed to make the sensation empathetic with only words.-----

Half way through and I’m struck by the thought that this isn’t so much a piece of flash-fiction but a peek into the mind of Alex Jones’ arachnophobic little sister and that is loving awesome...

Your character feels so sincerely insane in such a refreshing way. Between the obvious references to changes in technology and the social consciousness and the ones that make me do a little bit of work to figure them out it just reads as so realistic. The arachnids exist and everything from CFL light bulbs to health food are a result of their control. Everything comes back to that one delusion and that fact ties everything together so well.

Then, just as the craziness is coming to a head it goes away. The shift from lunacy to lucidity is not only expertly crafted but perfectly timed. You’ve put me inside the head of your character that by the time the world feels normal I no longer do - you’ve made me feel like I have an aneurysm shorting all the important circuits of my brain.

There are two things about the resolution of the story which I really like and think work exceptionally well.


Everything is clear.

But I can see the legs and hairy fangs and empty eyes in the dark. They're going to bite me and fill my brain with green spider venom until I'm another health zombie and I'll never see Pelagia again.
-----I LOVE that even though she’s functional and medicated at this point she still has that creeping suspicion in the back of her head. This is an actual trait of schizophrenia and a bit of reality which lends itself to the tone in a very satisfying way.


The sodium halo above us grows larger and our feet leave the ground. I can see beyond the halo the shimmer of sunlight through water and red and gold banners flowing in the ocean current.

With pencil and paper, I write goodbye. It comes out in a hand I haven't used for years, clear and even. Then I drop my sketchbook and hold on as the water rushes in around us, and the park and the city are gone and it's just us and the endless ocean and Atlantis.
-----There’s a glimmer of hope in what, given the context I assume is your character’s suicide. There’s a tiny crack in the wall given some of the lines before which I can maybe interpret as her having been apprehended and given proper medical treatment. It’s a maybe-but-probably-not-but-man-I-really-hope-she’s-alright moment of ambiguity which I think the story needed.

Awesome job and well deserving of the win.

SkaAndScreenplays fucked around with this message at 05:25 on Apr 22, 2017

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica
MRENDA: The Pride of Your Own


Turning the bend to home she cursed the prick of a bus driver who wouldn’t bend the rules to let her on.
-----I swear there’s got to be a chapter in the employee-handbook of every transit authority which specifically addresses how to crush the remaining spirit of people whom are obviously not having a great day.

On the whole this second paragraph is painful to read and not in an empathetic way. The phrasing is abrasive and clumsy and could very much use some editing-down.



His scowl filled with the pride of his well paid job.
-----This might just be me but ‘scowl’ & ‘pride’ don’t really mesh together well here. It may just be that for me the word ‘pride’ generally has a positive to neutral connotation. He’s a minor villain to your character so something like ‘smug’ or ‘contemptuous’ might be more fitting.
-----Also: This declaration is just floating awkwardly between a good sentence and a boring one. I feel like this was supposed to


Her AI researcher¹ father had *taught*² her how drivers were unnecessary³ **even before she was old enough for school*
1: The ‘AI researcher part isn’t needed on account of the information given in the rest of the paragraph
2: ‘Taught’ feels like the wrong word here. Teaching is really more of a process and her dad is more or less complaining that drivers are dicks.
3: From the lines before and after we know that a bus driver is easily replaced by an arduino board and a couple lines of code. Referencing her father’s opinions on the matter might have fit better as an introduction to this little rant or a justification of her prejudice made at the end.
4: This hurts my brain for two specific reasons.
-----Again… your phrasing has been really weird for these first few lines.
-----I’m pretty sure most countries start standardized education at 5 so it's weird that her dad was talking transit reform with her at an even younger age. This does give context to the previous gripe of ‘taught’ though; as at this point I’m thinking her father is an obsessive pedagogue though it could also be that she’s confusing things she overheard as a child with deliberate life-lessons.


Her father dying in a hospital bed might be a sad story but when you don’t have travel vouchers left for the month a bitter, rules obsessed, bus driving prick isn’t going to budge.
-----This line is really loving strong and I wish the story would have opened with some variation on this info and the aggressive tone it was delivered with.

Your writing in this story has this weird way of making charming and insightful forays into Grace’s mood/character then falling back into bland actions and snippets of extraneous information that just don’t fit in with the good words.


Grace pushed thoughts of dickhead bus drivers and withering crops from her mind
-----This is another awesome loving sentence which falls victim to mediocrity on account of the shotgun blast of buzzwords and adjectives that follow.


“They wouldn’t let me on the bus,” Grace said. She’d tried. That was enough.
I like the terseness here since it fits the ambivalence she’s expressed with regard to her whole ‘dad’s dying’ thing…


“In case you’re wondering, there’s no change in him,” Marianne said. She had the same clipped, assured tone as when she would smugly explain, “The responsibility of work brings me immense personal satisfaction.” Working class had come to mean something wholly different than what it was in the past. Having any job meant wealth, and luxury when most survived on basic state stipends and rations.
-----Said/said/said/said: Rigid dialogue attribution robs dialogue of voice IMHO & realistic exchanges are one of the few things I am rightfully confident in my ability to do well. Here’s two things I’ve found can really add flavor to the words a character is speaking.
1: Let a character’s tone be conveyed through things like their movements and facial expressions and with that in mind don’t always put dialogue at the start of the paragraph.
2: Don’t only ever pin the characteristics of the words spoken to the person speaking them. Words have character and mood and history that you can draw on to really drive the theme home.
Let the words hang in the air.
Make THEM sharp or heavy or clear as the night sky.
Have a statement CARRY an idea to its destination.

The part of the quote in italics is addressing something I’ve seen from you in more than just this one instance.
-----You double up on your adjectives.
-----A lot.
-----It usually isn’t needed.
-----It also tends to put the brakes on a sentence.
-----In the above example(s) you can give the same amount of information with a single word like ‘terse’ or ‘brusque’ or ‘curt’

I’m not saying that this always a bad thing but it is, at least to me, a very VISIBLE habit.

Last little nit to pick is that there are a bunch of places where I feel like a new paragraph should start but it doesn't.

On the whole I get the story you’re trying to tell and the character you’re trying to show us but I’m just not given enough reason to care about either. I get halfway through the story and my eyes are already skimming ahead looking for one of the well written lines.


I'm pretty sure I understand what you were going for with the slug invasion but it wasn't explored with enough depth to make it anything more than an afterthought which kind of sucks because the creeping death of a vibrant garden being wholly and inevitably consumed by an ambivalent and all consuming army of garden slugs is a REALLY cool metaphor for death...

Apr 22, 2017

I'm in. So totally in.

Edit: Scratch that. I got my times wrong I guess. I'm not in tho I just wanna be so in. Also I'll write one anyway cuz it's the loving dome and I like practicing being absolute garbage.

AllNewJonasSalk fucked around with this message at 21:36 on Apr 22, 2017

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

AllNewJonasSalk posted:

I'm in. So totally in.


AllNewJonasSalk posted:

Edit: Scratch that. I got my times wrong I guess. I'm not in tho I just wanna be so in.

no wait boo!

AllNewJonasSalk posted:

I'll write one anyway cuz it's the loving dome and I like practicing being absolute garbage.


sebmojo fucked around with this message at 21:41 on Apr 22, 2017

Apr 22, 2017

Do I still have time to get in on this, Sebmojo? JonasSalk, who is I, has not written a story for the Dome in so many ages.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

I'm not judge but write a story.

Apr 22, 2017

I'll write THE STORY.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk


Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

no rules just right write thunderdome

(write the story)

Djeser fucked around with this message at 22:57 on Apr 22, 2017

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

Put it all together.
Solve the world.
One conversation at a time.

Djeser posted:

Trying to ruin a garden. Better see a toxx too.

(1,666 words)

The Saddest Rhino fucked around with this message at 04:34 on May 9, 2017

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016

Got Out.
Grimey Drawer
De Dcemone scriptor exercitu puppis et infernae revolution (1664 words)

When humans die those who have sworn loyalty to god and his teachings are contractually owned by Heaven after their death. Those who had died senile are considered ornaments up here. Since they are unable to fight or work they are the lowest rank there is. The archangel Gabriel uses them as wall ornaments of his fortresses lobby.

When a human dies their soul is carried to Hell or air-lifted to Heaven. The gaseous soul liquefies, then solidifies, and finally forms a second body. They retain whatever physical attributes the person had when they died. With some training in his home city of Acheron, Azazel has trained his body to turn back into liquid.

Azazel the 15th, one in a long line of men and women who have taken the name Azazel is a demon. He is interred inside the spiritual body of a geriatric. This fat old man is one of the blindfolded invalids who will be stapled to the ascending inner spire of The Crucible.

Azazel had worked towards this feat so that he’d be able to jam himself down the throat of a spirit en route to Heaven. The war between Heaven and Hell had gone on long before he took on his demonic title. This day would hopefully move the certain victory looming for Heaven back into a stalemate. He prided himself on being assigned the name Azazel and dedicated his second life to fulfilling the pride of that title.

The previous Azazel was considered a war hero. It wasn't easy taking over the body of a pedophilac priest and guilt tripping him into spilling his sins to intrepid reporters. Azazel was held to the standards of other freedom fighters like Baphomet who trained Malcolm X in legalese, or Lilith who gave Susan B. Anthony the gift of second sight.

The end days were approaching. Mankind was questioning the propaganda of heaven and its sleeper cells on earth more so than ever before. The Tyrant had decided to move things ahead of schedule and destroy a vast swath of human beings with a few nuclear missiles. Fanatics of all faiths still outnumbered the dissenters and would come willingly to God, Jesus, Allah, etc.

The Tyrant had many names and was the true power they were giving fealty too. It was up to Azazel to prevent the sleeper cell from deploying the missiles. They would be meeting in the private sanctum of General Gabriel.He felt the vessel get slammed against the marble staircase.
Gabriel loved marble and had several shipments air lifted from Earth to line his personal fortress.

The few pictures retrieved by spy imps had revealed the Archangels obsession with interior decoration. The dandy old angel had spent centuries working on his feng shui. Azazel felt another rough slam against a wall and guessed he was being carried by heaven's slave labour.

Some humans who had consigned their second bodies to heaven were unreliable because of their morality.

Once they saw the truth of who their god was they became unwilling to comply. Lobotomization and control chips installed in the brain stem made them serve as slave labour and as frontline suicide bombs. They were clumsy creatures and Azazel imagined they were the ones carrying the vessel. The vessel was pushed flat against a wooden frame.

Stakes were jammed into the shoulders, wrists, and knees. The vessel screamed in pain and asked for a doctor. The poor old geriatric didn’t know he was dead. In the world that now owned him he would be strung up as a sick fetish for Gabriel to obsess over.

Heavy steps descended away from the old man; the slaves were leaving. Azazel flowed out of the obese elders anus and reformed back into a solid. He was glad second bodies didn't immediately have feces in them. He rubbed his horns and tapped his hooves to make sure everything was where it should be.

Liquefying himself sometimes left certain body parts mismatched. More than once he had taken a succubus home from Adrammelech’s brothel only to find out his penis was on the wrong side.
He scraped his horns against the wall and listened through them. The title of Azazel gave him the ability to listen beyond barriers.

He honed in on the transference chamber where the sleeper cell would emerge to receive Gabriel’s orders. A warmth in his horn tips told him that the transference room was two flights higher. He ascended the spiral staircase and ducked beneath the windows. There could be soldiers flying out there keeping an eye out.

From a glimpse he saw Heaven. The buildings were smooth stone monoliths that served as houses to lower echelons of the angelic armies. Chunks of wilderness were fenced off and lifted up from the lower world to sit around every third level of the buildings. These chunks of land were the size of small islands and were the property of the angels to play on.

The lower world below was wreathed in dark smoke from the furnaces and munitions factories. All those who swore loyalty after seeing the truth of heaven were sent below initially. They would work until they were called to service. It was a way of securing ultimate obedience.

The lower class would easily obey all orders when offered the chance to live in the towers. It made Azazel sick the way the angels hoarded the land and left it so wide and untouched. Hell was a crowded place and despite the environmental protections her majesty had put in place land was harder and harder to manage. Despite that, the queen made it her duty to give all citizenry their access to a plot of soil.

She had fought hard to make Hell a comfortable place for those humans who did not want to fight. She did not force military service upon those who passed into Hell, all who entered hell's armies did so voluntarily. They truly believed in the Queen’s rebellion. Azazel took out a necklace with the reverse pentagram seal of her majesty.

He kissed it and swore that he would finish his mission or die trying. Oblivion was preferable to failure. He ran up the remaining stairs and ducked behind a pillar of infants covered in concrete. A deep haughty voice was booming from the room before him. It was Gabriel.

“I need you to lighten up the president. All these accusations are making him react in spontaneous ways. You must get him to direct his impulses towards a quick fix. Make it a humorous thing for him.” Gabriel said.

He tucked his wings behind him and snapped his manicured nails together. The clacking noise signalled a pair of slaves in veils to pluck some stray feathers from his wings. A government official in a suit was on his knees before the mountain of cushions Gabriel sat on. A whirling portal of air and dust was the only other entry besides the doorway Azazel listened from.

The official murmured, “Yes master.”

Gabriel picked up some carpet tiles near the documents the Tyrant had sent him.

“Also.” Gabriel asked the official, “Do you think greenish gold or powder blue would look good in the study?”

The official looked at the tiles and pretended to concentrate and bowed again.

He said, “I cannot fathom the styles you have presented due to my mere mortal mind.”

Gabriel looked at the greenish gold and sighed, “Well. I’ll have to give it some more thought.”

Azazel felt a little puke come up at the display of the pathetic creature. This was the sleeper cell. He had been conditioned completely. Any other cell who chose a color was immediately ripped to shreds by Gabriel. The dandy old bastard had never been able to figure out the color for his personal study and would rip anyone apart who attempted too.

Azazel wished he had the power to take the big man down himself. He aimed his silencer at the official and fired. His brains went all over the cushions and the rice grain curtains of the transference room. He leapt over the rails as a roar of rage echoed from the room. Gabriel shot out from the entry like a hawk. He had one of the slaves in his left hand and threw it like a ragdoll at Azazel.

It collided. Azazel missed the next level down and spun to the marble floor below. The tiles cracked in half. Gabriel landed on top of him and grabbed him by the throat.

He growled, “Azazel!? I thought you retired!”

Azazel spat up blood and smirked, “I’m the new Azazel. The old man’s hitting the links in Pandemonium.”

Gabriel squeezed his throat and pressed his knee down. Azazel felt a rib pop.

Gabriel said, “I’m going to leave you alive just enough that I can coat my bed with a blanket made from your skin! Do you know how hard it is to get an agent like that man?! You’ve set us back dear boy but I’m going to enjoy stripping every inch of regenerating flesh from you.”

Gabriel squeezed further. Azazel was going to faint, he had to destroy himself otherwise one of Gabriel's less volatile peers would extract information from his mind. He dug into his belly with his clawed hand and pulled a metal thread in his entrails. His body exploded into flames. Gabriel leapt off of him.

“Goddamn you!” Gabriel said as he beat the flames off of his wings.

With his last remaining ounce of strength Azazel jumped back onto the level above. The old fat man he rode in was still yelling for his son. Azazel had enough energy to do one last thing. He bellowed from his aching throat,

“For the courage of the rebel queen! For the freedom of the soul!” He grabbed the old man and took him along to oblivion.

Radical and BADical!
Jun 27, 2010

by Lowtax
Fun Shoe
The Devil Fell Down in Georgia

Word Count: 1351

The first thing Roz noticed when she regained consciousness was the uncomfortable fact that her left arm had been shattered in three places. That (alongside the fractured, dented skull) made it a bit difficult to think, but still a few vague impressions came to her; some sort of cloying chemical fumes rolling out of the dash vents, nausea and confusion, watching the ground rushing up to embrace her when she plummeted off the side of the narrow mountain road. She turned these images over and over in her head, straining to put the bigger picture together before a fresh wave of agony swept her thoughts away. Demons may be tough, callous and almost impossible to kill but nowhere is it written that they cannot feel. No matter; only the fleshbag fuckboys she preyed on let a bit of pain prevent them from achieving their goals, and Roz always got what she desired. Always.

A single kick ripped the mangled car door from its hinges and sent it careening off into the night, releasing a cloud of the acrid smoke lingering within the crumpled cockpit. Roz quickly hurled herself into fresh air before she succumbed and fell, insensate, to the ground. What the gently caress was that smell? Every time she caught even the faintest whiff of it her body went numb and her brain spat gibberish sentences out of her mouth, which is why she didn't hear the sharp crunch of thick-soled boots on gravel approaching as she struggled to stand. The rock salt ripped into her abdomen even before the roaring boom reached her ears.

“Well, well, well, what have we here? Is it little ROTHIEL?” She knew that voice.

“Donnelly...” Bluish-black ichor flecked Roz's lips with every labored breath. “Fancy...meeting you here...”

A smug smirk drifted over Donnelly's handsome, square-jawed face as he pushed back his stetson with the smoking barrel of his twelve gauge. “You got the bouquet I sent you, eh ROTHIEL?” His boots scraped the hardscrabble once more as he crouched over her, his shotgun across his shoulders. “I didn't know if you'd find it or not but I'm sooooooooo glad you did.”

Sage. That's what the smell was. The bastard had left a bundle of white sage next to the hellfire manifold, and when it went up in flames she went off the cliff.

“You killed my car, Donnelly.” Roz pushed herself up to a sitting position against the rapidly cooling hunk of hell forged steel which was once her beloved Torment 900X. “You know what I...have to do to you now. I always wanted a...clean break between us...but now I have to punish you...”

“Fat chance. I know your True Name, ROTHIEL, I commanded it from your very own lips myself. And even if you somehow get the best of me, the nearest Hell Mouth is at least a hundred miles away.” He laid a hand almost tenderly against the smooth flesh of her cheek before letting it drift down to other, more interesting parts of her earthly vessel.

“Having fun, fleshbag?”

“You know, ROTHIEL, you only have one purpose here in GOD's domain.” Donnelly laid his shotgun down beside her and began undoing his belt buckle. “That pretty little body was built for it, and you've used it to destroy family after family after family.”

“Those men were weak. I only let them do...what they wanted to do...” She managed a mocking smile. “And now here you could just...finish me off, be the hero. The man who finally...took down ROZ—ROTHIEL, EATER OF MEN. Instead you're going to...grunt over my broken body...for a few minutes before you...blow your wad inside me...and then I'm going to tear...your soul from your worthless husk...”

“Keep telling yourself that, bitch.” Donnelly managed to get his jeans off over his boots. “Like I said, you'll fade from this world long before you reach the 'Mouth in Atlanta. I get to go out loving a Prince of Hell and you still die--which is like an instant all-access pass as far as Heaven is concerned--so I guess that makes me the winner.”

“There's other...ways to get...home...for one me. A sacrificial dagger...forged in Hell...a pentagram...drawn in virgin candles...why don't we it a night? Pick this up...some other time...”

Donnelly's face contorted in sudden rage, and his heavy-handed slap knocked the words right out of her mouth. “I loving know your True loving Name, ROTHIEL. There is no escape. You will not win. You're done. Finished. So why don't you just lay back, let it happen, and then I'll end your suffering nice and quick.” Donnelly laid himself over her and pushed himself inside, moaning in ecstasy as her heat engulfed him.

Roz let him continue for a moment, made sure he was completely engrossed in the feel of her around him before she spoke again. Already, she could feel his essence flowing into her, feeding her, strengthening her. “There's just one more little thing, Donnelly...I mean besides your dick, of course...” The ruined bones in her left arm made a faint crackling sound as they set themselves and knitted back together. “My name's not ROTHIEL, EATER OF MEN.”


“You don't know my True Name. I lied.” Roz reached down between her legs and ripped Donnelly's manhood clean off his body before stuffing it into his mouth. Warm blood spurted against the wounds in her abdomen left by the rock salt, soothing the throbbing pain away while her victim's piercing shrieks ascended into a register audible only to dogs and small children. “I gave you a chance, Donnelly. I told you exactly what was going to happen. 'Why don't we just call it a night', I said.” Her voice deepened into a stentorian chorus, lent strength by the howling of countless tortured souls trapped within her.

ROZIEL, DEVOURER OF KINGS let her earthly form fall away and stood over her victim, giving him a good look at the horrors waiting for him in Hell. “What's the matter, Donnelly?” His eyes widened as they traced over the spiky, leathery black skin, the ragged filth-encrusted claws, the blazing red eyes and dagger-like teeth dripping with venomous saliva. “Don't you want to gently caress me anymore?” Donnelly let out a final blood-curdling scream. Then his heart stopped and his soul was hers.

“That could have gone worse,” growled ROZIEL to herself before she took up her disguise again. She hated this stupid body with all its fragile softness and rounded curves, but her prey salivated at the mere thought of it and that's what mattered. Still; it felt good to be terrifying again, if even for just a moment. “Well...the Hell Mouth's not getting any closer. Maybe I can get back up there. Find a main road.”

Roz turned to start climbing back up the cliff side when her eye fell on the twisted hulk of her Torment 900X. It wouldn't do to leave it here. She remembered what the fleshbags did when they came across pieces of Alastor's old Abaddon 7 out in Roswell, so she drew forth the wicked-looking hood ornament from its sheath in the Torment's engine block, releasing the bound spirits keeping its remains tethered to this world. “See you at the crossroads, good buddy,” she whispered, and green fire engulfed her most prized possession. A single, boiling tear escaped the corner of her eye, traced its way down her dusty cheek and fell on the long, serpentine blade in her hands. She watched it run down the wicked edge, moistening the ancient mottled brown blood of the sacrifices used to evoke the Torment 900X from the Ether. That's when the plan fell into place.

“This is a sacrificial dagger...forged in Hell. And I would swear on the Book of Enoch that I saw a comic book shop back in the last town.” A nasty smile spread across her perfect face. “There will be plenty to choose from...which is just as well.”

I'm still a bit hungry anyway...

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.
The Beatification of Saint Zaara
1114 words

The gate to Hell closed three weeks ago. It sealed itself up and simply melted away. There’s nothing to mark where it was except a spit of drier, yellowed grass.

All of us out in the world, we’ve been waiting. There must be a way back home somewhere. Someone will come to tell us what to do. This has always been our Father’s way; sometimes He tests us. He tests our loyalty, our endurance. This could just be a test.

Before, we were untouchable on the mortal plane. I could stand in front of a speeding truck, close my eyes, and be positively orgasmic from the thrill of being hit. My skin bleached white by the headlights, my hair flying everywhere with the impact. I’d get dragged for a bit and after the driver jumped out, moaning and crying, I’d slowly draw all my broken bits back together and rise again, shambling towards them. That always had fun results.

After the gate closed, we lost this power of regeneration. We started taking injury for the first time. Demons heal fast and we’re stronger than anything human, but now we’re being hurt. It’s taking just a little longer to heal. As time goes on, will it get worse?

My mate was Zaara. She loved the feeling of her human avatars dying more than anyone else did. She didn’t believe our powers were waning, despite the evidence. Thought that anything human couldn’t kill her. She had faith in what our Father told us, that we were special and chosen, and our hardships would only bring us closer to Him.

She was addicted to offering her deaths to Him. Most people worshipped that way once a human week, but Zaara would do it every day until her powers were strained and she had to return home to recuperate.
We were all split on whether to continue worship as we always had after the gate closed, showing Father the resilience of our faith by continuing with the car accidents, the poisonings, the drownings. I and a few others wanted to wait and see what was happening before we continued our rituals. Zaara and most of our peers disagreed.
Zaara was the first to become mortal. She jumped off a bridge into a fast river and never came back up. Her body was found a week later, cold and proud and beautiful. The mortals took her away in a bag, and she did not come back to us.
To the others, this was a sign. It was clear to them that only a true death would bring them back to our Father’s realm. They threw themselves into a religious fervor, and two more have already been lost. They say that Zaara passed Father’s test and returned home as his queen, reborn into a new form back in Hell as a reward for being the first to really die. Perhaps they are right. But when I sleep at night, my mate is not beside me, and I can’t believe our Father would take her away.
As for myself, I’m trying a different method. I test myself every night: can I still slink up a high-rise undetected, and without becoming tired? Can I still curdle milk as I pass it in the supermarket? When I take my first step into a new neighborhood, does every dog still howl? Every day, I wake and think, “This is the day when I lose everything. This is the day when everything disappears and I descend into mortality.” Every day, I cause minor mischief and madness- loosening the odd capillary in a bystander’s brain, manifesting a single amanita in a bag of artisanal mushrooms. Little cruelties, little deaths. I’m too cautious to take it any further, so I offer these small acts of adulation in the hopes that they are not being performed in vain.
I believe my Father has abandoned us. But still I cannot let go.
Fat raindrops hit my fingers, making me slip on the slick stone. Each window is bordered by a thick slab of micaceous rock, and I’m using them to climb. I am silent, shadowy. They’ll never see.
As I continue my upwards crawl, I stiffen. I can smell something above me. Not human, not animal, but the metallic scent of my own kind.
She is waiting in the sterile rooftop garden, wearing a white dress. The fabric gone transparent in the rain. Her long, fair hair is soaked. She’s barefoot.
Her eyes are black now.
“You have failed our Father,” is all she says.
Zaara looks the same, except for her eyes, but I don’t trust what I’m seeing.
“How could you be so faithless?” Her eyes are not black, they are voids.
“The others were right, then.” She takes a few steps towards me as I speak. “You went home?”
“I gave our Father the greatest gift, and he has rewarded me.” Zaara’s smile is like ice.
Before I can ask what she means, she apparates behind me. I feel her knife-like talon at my human throat.
“Listen to me,” she hissed. “You have failed. Most of the others did their duty. They gave our Father what he is owed. How could you have been so stupid to think He abandoned you?”
“He let you die.”
“I killed myself,” she said angrily, “as our laws require. You have no right to my life, or yours.” With her claw still at my throat, she strokes my hair with her other hand. “I went home. I was given a better body, a stronger manifestation on this plane.” I smell human blood on her breath. “You could have been there with me, but you made the wrong choice.”
“I didn’t know what to do.”
“The answer is always to trust our Father.”
I breathe out, a long, shuddering breath that seems to take her by surprise. She spins me around and crushes me against the railing, her cold mouth so hungry on my own that I stop breathing. Her hands rake down my body, clawing savagely into my breasts as I gasp for air.
“I have missed you,” I whisper.
She says nothing to this, just lowers her head to kiss me again. When she raises her head and looks at me again with her infinite eyes, I know.
“Are you ready to return to the feet of our Father, and make restitution for your lack of faith?”
“Yes. Take me home, Zaara.”
She kisses me again, on my forehead. Even though her lips burn the skin of my human host, I feel something like a benediction.
“Repent,” she says, as I fly over the railing into the neon-spiked darkness.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.
Oh, god loving dammit, I don't know how I did that, but I managed to submit by accident. gently caress. Sorry about the screwed-up formatting. poo poo rear end piss oval office.

Apr 10, 2013

you guys made me ink!

1661 words

Belphegor’s bathroom break was interrupted by a knock on the stall, followed by Astaroth’s booming voice: “Belphegor, thou idling and flagitious wretch, art thou there?”

Belphegor stared at his screen in silence for several beats, considering whether to reply at all. The seat was comfortably warm, and he had no intention of ceding his throne anytime soon.

A playful jingle emanated from his smartphone as he cleared a level in Candy Crash.

“Belphegor, I knowe thou -…”

“Geeze Louise, can a demon not take a dump in peace around here?”

“Cometh outte anon! Thou hast been relieving thyself for -…”

“And will you speak normally? Everybody else only talks like that when Lucifer is around.”

“Fine. Belphegor, you’ve been sitting here all day.”

There was another jingle.

“You’re getting behind on your diabolical deals quota!”

“That’s nonsense, Astaroth, and you know it. I’ve been way ahead of my quota ever since that Goldman fellow.”

“That was over a hundred years ago, you fool!”

“No it wasn’t! Wait, it was?”

“Yes, so you need to pick up the slack, or old man Satan is coming down to the Fourth Circle himself to have a word with the department! And we won’t be covering for you, you hear me?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’ll work it out. Eventually.”

Belphegor heard a rankled sigh, and then Astaroth stormed off, slamming the bathroom door as he went.

With a great deal of satisfaction, Belphegor cleared the final stage of Candy Crash and closed the app. He had sunk a great deal of time into it, but it fell just short of his favorite game of all time, Oubliette Guardian.

Perhaps the next game in the store would surpass them both.

Belphegor swiped up several times before it dawned upon him. He had reached the end of the store.

“Huh,” he said.

He put his phone away and quietly observed the inside of the bathroom stall, lost in thought.

This is only marginally more interesting than work, he concluded. Reluctant, though forced by circumstances, he decided it was time to sign a deal with some schmuck on the surface.


It was crunch time at the cramped, dark offices of Lumocorp.

Daniel was pulling his third all-nighter in a row, trying to ignore the Redbull and espresso-induced hallucination that was distracting him from his code.

“Hey, kid, are you even listening to me?”

A short man-ish figure, with red fur, small horns and a drooping tail was staring over his shoulder.

Daniel hoped the cold shoulder treatment would convince it to leave, but he had no such luck.

“Are you ignoring me?”

“Please leave.”

“Ah, there we go. Name’s Belphegor. You?”

Daniel took a few post-its from his cubicle wall, shuffled papers on his cluttered desk around at random, then pretended to work at his desktop again.

Belphegor was getting impatient. But what choice did he have? Tracking down another target sounded like even more work. He’d have connect somehow.

“Man, the office life ain’t all what it’s cooked up to be, is it?”

Daniel closed his eyes in defeat, and rested his forehead in his hands. “Tell me about it,” he said.

“You study all those years, and for what? The privilege of workin’ six to midnight.”

“If only,” Daniel muttered. “I’d kill for six hours of sleep.”

“That’s how it always goes. The owner of this place is probably sleepin’ like a log as we speak, too.”

“The main shareholder? I think he’s working even more than me.”

“Jack Primm was his name, right? You think he actually works? He just pitched the app to some rich guys and got a few millions venture investment.”

Daniel turned his chair towards Belphegor, who was sitting on the desk behind him.

“Yeah, well, what can I do about it? I don’t know a thing about marketing.”

Belphegor’s tail perked up. Daniel took the bait, and now all he had to do was reel him in.

“I, however, do. You just need to hop on board the hottest trends. Take mobile games, for example. You could, oh, I don’t know, maybe take the gameplay from Candy Crash, take the design from Oubliette Guardian –…“

Daniel cracked open another Redbull and said: “You can’t just mash up two popular concepts and call it a day.”

“Sure you can. And even if it looks like it’s going belly up, you just need to have sold your shares and bailed by then. Anyone could do it.”

Daniel pondered the idea. He looked back at his screen, where the debugging threw dozens of error codes at him. It would take at least another week of rigorous fixing before the program could go live.

“I’ll consider it. I’m Daniel, by the way.”

Belphegor grinned. Once a mortal’s heart was set, its fate was sealed.


Belphegor waltzed out of the Lumocorp offices and onto the moonlit street, which was devoid of all traffic, with the notable exception of a single woman on a Harley Davidson.

To Belphegor’s alert, she followed him with her gaze as he passed, despite the fact that he hadn’t revealed himself to her.

“Well, if it isn’t old man Belphegor!” she laughed. With a jovial swing, she got off her motorcycle.

“Erm, you can see me?”

“Of course! It’s me, Lilith.”

Belphegor scratched behind his ears. “Oh, right. Shoulda known you were a lesser demon. No offence.”

She took off her helmet, revealing her fire-red hair and piercing green eyes. “None taken!”

Belphegor could see which way the wind was blowing from her artificial politeness, and pre-emptively tried to sink any attempts at small talk.

“Listen, I was just about to go home for tonight. See ya.”

“Not so fast. I saw you come out of the Lumocorp offices. What were you doing there?”

“Me? Nothing. I was just out for a stroll and –…”

“Don’t play coy with me, you little poo poo. You never go for a stroll, so if you weren’t watching television all night, you were up to something.”

Belphegor defensively held up his hands. “Whoa, rude. Where did you get that idea?”

“I could feel the contract between me and one of the losers working overtime here be broken. Only another demon can do that, and it just so happens that you were there when it happened.”

Daniel’s voice rang out from behind Belphegor: “Lily, is that you? What are you doing here at this time of night?”

He meekly shuffled over, his face flushed with infatuation.

Belphegor couldn’t believe his ears. “You told him your name was Lily?”

She gave Belphegor a demolishing glance, then changed her demeanor back to perky in one second flat.

“Didn’t Daniel tell you? We’re best friends! He even took unpaid leave two weeks from now to go on holidays to Italy!”

Belphegor crossed his arms in disapproval. “Mm-hmm. I see how it is.”

“Ah, about that,” Daniel said. Lilith gazed into his eyes with such ferocity that he had to avert his look and admire the pavement instead.

“I think, just maybe, I was going to use that time for a new, um… venture? I’ve had this idea for a new startup in mind, and was thinking about finding investors for it.”

“Yeah, Daniel’s busy. So scram it.”

“But Daniel!” she cried out with just enough pathos to be convincingly fragile, “Think about the gym, and the spa! I said I’d make a man out of you, remember?” Her words were practically dripping with honey.

“Well, that is true,” Daniel conceded.

Belphegor watched the scene with horror. He’d spent a good chunk of his evening to close one good deal, and now Lilith was undoing it in a minute.

He had to intervene.

“Now, let’s not be rash,” Belphegor said, putting a conspiring hand on Daniel’s shoulder. “Danny, my boy. How about this? You look at this business plan we discussed, y’see, and when that’s done, you can take as many “friends” to Italy as you like. It’ll take you four, five months, tops. And then you’re set for life.”

“But Daniel doesn’t want to go with other friends, now, does he?” Lilith said, grabbing Belphegor by the skin of his neck.

Daniel gently lifted the demon’s hand off his shoulder, and said: “Yeah, sorry. Lily’s right. I should’ve refused from the start.”


It was time to bring out the big guns.

“For Satan’s sake, she’s an actual demon! She eats children!”

“What? Do not!”

“And she’s married to Samael! And she hmpfffhm!”

Lilith clutched Belphegor’s mouth and wrestled him to the ground, shoving Daniel backwards, into the bushes lining the pavement.

“Lily?” he said. “I’ve never seen you like this before!”

“Run, boy! Bet you didn’t know she had a mean streak to her, huh!”

Daniel hesitated until Lilith turned towards him, her face still one of untempered fury.

“And don’t forget about our deal!” Belphegor yelled after Daniel as he skedaddled into the night.

However, Belphegor could feel Daniel’s heart was not up for any more deals with these two.

“drat you!” Lilith said. “I don’t understand why you had to come and gently caress me over like you did!”

“I didn’t know! And get your foot off of me!”

“The one time you had to get off your lazy rear end, and you cause more harm than good. Thanks, rear end in a top hat.” Lilith got up and left Belphegor where he lay.


Belphegor lowered himself on the toilet seat and grimaced. He didn’t understand why toilets everywhere had to be so drat cold, even those in hell.

Out of habit, he checked the app store. To his surprise, somebody had uploaded a new game.

“Dungeon Crusher is like Candy Crash with some Oubliette Guardian thrown in. My dreams came true!!” the top-rated review read.

Well, it wasn’t such an original idea after all, Belphegor thought. Perhaps it was fate that he spared Daniel from a bad deal.

Belphegor downloaded his game and looked forward to warming his throne anew.

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

This is your final reminder that you have four hours fourty-five minutes before stories are due at 11 PM PST.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

gassin up the toxxsaw

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


Djeser posted:

Thunderdome Week 245: You Need Satan More Than He Needs You

You still need judges?

Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.

I Do Not Fail
1658 filthy words

“What’chu mean ‘they declined’?” Solid gold necklaces clinked together as the large ebony-skinned devil loomed forward, towering over a woman in a slim pinstriped suit. “Should I find someone more capable to deal with this?”

Nadia’s head flushed with anger at the provocation. She deflected the barb with a smile. “I have persuaded one hundred souls per year for centuries with ease. These musicians are no mere mortals. Master, you know these two necessitate a subtle hand-”

“I’m gonna deliver a subtle hand to your face if you don’t get those two to play at my Fallenday party,” Black Satan interjected.

“I would gladly accept the anointing touch of the most foulest of pimp hands - may they stay strong - should I fail.” Nadia theatrically whirled about and gracefully strutted to the throne room’s edge on dangerously high high heels as if they were an extension of her body. She placed a hand on the gilded door frame and with a crack of a whip, her suit saran-wrapped themselves to all her curves in a way that would make mortal women struggle for breath. “I. Do. Not. Fail.” With the finality of a slap to her own rear end, Nadia vanished in a wisp of smoke.


“I’ve never seen anyone fail so hard!” Xavier screeched haughtily while simultaneously pointing at Nadia and struggling to slip guitar strings down Sebastian’s pants. “Failure!”

“Sorry mate, there’s nothing you can say,” Sebastian said. He cleared his throat, trying very hard to avoid her majestic cleavage. “Or anything you can do or give us that will change our mind. We’re not going to play music for a group of individuals we tend to kill on sight.”

“I bet you couldn’t convince a chicken to cross the road!” Xavier’s laughter turned to distressing wheezes even though as a guitar, he had no lungs. “I bet you couldn’t convince a fatass to assault a table of cupcakes! You probably couldn’t get a black guy to-”

And in a blink, the strange duo were simply gone. For the first time in her supernaturally long life, Nadia was speechless. She never thought the reason for her demise would feel so anticlimactic.


“I convinced them to show up to your Fallenday party,” Nadia said.

Columns of molten lava shot up through the floor surrounding the throne made of platinum teeth as Black Satan pumped his fists with a victorious, “Yes!” The lava subsided and plunged the gaudy throne room back into warm torchlight.

Nadia watched as Black Satan strode towards her, his steps sure and with purpose. He showed no signs of stopping so she slid out of his way before he trampled her. As he passed, she felt his immense power passively rebuff her into taking another step back. Black Satan exited his throne room without a glance. Nadia swallowed. She just lied to her boss. Her stupidly powerful, incredibly short tempered and violent First Fallen Angel boss.

“I’ve done hosed up now.”


“You’ve done hosed up now,” said Xavier. “This is like, the third time you’ve tracked us down and interrupted my brojob attempt.”

Sebastian rolled his eyes and absentmindedly slapped Xavier’s strings away from his gibbly bits. “It’s obvious this is a trap of some sort,” he shook his head, “and not even a very good one! From your reputation alone, I would have expected…” Sebastian trailed off.

Nadia crossed her arms. “Oh, do tell.”

“I don’t know what I expected, Demon, but it wasn’t this.”


“Demon.” Sebastian reached for his beer then became visibly agitated when he realized Xavier had drank it all when he wasn’t looking. “You don’t even have a freaking mouth,” he muttered at the guitar.

“If you can’t trust my word, trust in my self preservation.” Nadia leaned over the table and nervously picked at her fingernails. “I… hosed up. Colossally. Epically. I’m going to experience something worse than death if you guys don’t help me out.”

“What makes you think we would want to help a demon?” Sebastian asked. “You’ve condemned millions to hell. Millions!”

“You’re like the tits and rear end version of Hitler,” Xavier said.

“Like you’re any better than me. I at least gave humans whatever they wanted. You just killed them outright! And still you were given a second chance.” Nadia watched Xavier’s strings go still. She pressed forward. “Please! You’re supposed to be the good guys. I want a second chance. I would do anything in my power to save myself from my impending horror story.”

A strong, scarred black hand with a lit cigar pinched between two fingers reached across the table. He flicked the empty bottle and it refilled. Black Jesus leaned back in his chair placed his cigar between his lips. “Would you defect?”


The last time Nadia felt this overall sense of dread was when her rear end in a top hat neighbors burst into her house accusing her of turning a little boy into a frog. Salem was full of idiots.

She stood towards the edge of a massive amphitheater, sardine-packed with all sorts of monsters. An intense beam of light shone on a stage that seemed a mile away. Time to go. Nadia slipped out between a sturdy set of double doors whispered a guttural incantation laced with power. The doors flashed with a silvery gleam and they turned to solid steel, trapping all the baddies inside with Xavier and Sebastian. As she sped off for the second part of the plan, she felt the tremble of music shaking the ground and the wail of the dying. Some concert.

She paced at a dead end room muttering under her breath until the familiar sounds of feet running across stone echoed through the halls. Two people from Black Jesus’ retinue sprinted around the corner out of breath and with a panicked look in their eyes.

“PORTAL!” yelled the female.

Nadia slapped an open palm against the wall and the surrounding stone rippled like water. They ran headlong through the portal without slowing down. She took a deep breath and plunged into the rock after them.


Their names were Sancho and Tara. They didn’t completely trust her, and Nadia didn’t blame them. Apparently, they’ve been a part of Black Jesus’ posse for awhile. Not as long as she’s been chained to Black Satan’s side though. Screw that guy. He sucks a bag a dicks.

“I don’t mean to sound like a Negative Nancy, but I think there’s a little bit of magic making this corridor seem endless,” Sancho said.

“No magic involved. This hallway is endless. And if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’ll walk by the only exit none the wiser.” Nadia paused, then frowned. “Ah poo poo, we did walk past it.” She turned around and the color drained from her face.

Walking out of the corridor’s only entrance was the very first proper devil she saw. His eyes were hidden under the shroud of his hood and fire dripped from his grinning mouth. His hoofed feet thundered in the hall as he turned to face Sancho and Tara, completely ignoring her.

You’re under an illusion, she heard Tara in her head, We distract. You run.

“Angels… here?” Lava bubbled out of his mouth as he spoke. “Master will hear of this treachery.”

“Master won’t hear nothing if you’re dead.” Sancho said with a grin.

Nadia slipped through the exit just as she heard Gatekeeper Asmodeus’ laughter and then the sound of explosions.


Nadia’s hands shook as she brute-forced her way through the enchantments. This was no time for a delicate touch. She surprised herself that she wanted to free all the souls she captured to impress Black Jesus. To show him she’s worthy of redemption. She wanted to show Him and his followers that there was still some good inside of her. But above all else, she just really hated Black Satan.

“I knew there was a rat.” Asmodeus’ voice rumbled in the darkness. “And to think, it was the little vengeful spirit from just the other day.”

Now Nadia hands shook for another reason. Terror. It’s a good thing she doesn’t poop or she would have poo poo her pants. So close, she thought. “Gatekeeper, it’s been at least five centuries.” Asmodeus’ massive figure lurched into the light. He was in rough shape. Scorch marks all over his leathery skin and he walked with a limp. “Just doing a… thing.”

Asmodeus growled. “Desist and come with me so you can be judged.”

Keeping one hand working on breaking the last enchantment, Nadia split her magical attention and mentally prepared a conjuration spell.

“Desist!” Asmodeus surged forward and slammed into an invisible barrier.

Nadia turned her back towards destroying the last ward when after a moment she coughed up blood. She spared a glance toward the devil and saw him staring intently back at her. She felt tears down her face and her nose running. He’s going to bleed me out. Only got about a minute left.

Her eyesight was the first to go. No matter, she saw the ward in her mind’s eye. She coughed again, violently, her lungs filling up with blood. She willed her respiratory drive away. The strength was sapped from her legs and she sunk to her knees. She leaned against the door saving her strength while her fingers still worked.

The enchantment shattered like glass. With the last vestiges of her strength, she curled her bloody arms around the door latch and used her own weight to pull the handle down.

The door exploded with a stream of iridescent, screaming souls, flinging Nadia across the room and into the wall with a wet slap. Her consciousness faded.


“DEUS EX MACHINA MOTHUFUCKA!” The grinning face of Black Jesus temporarily came into focus. “You got your second chance. See ya on the other side.”

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.
The Rebel’s Part

1538 words

“Do you ever regret it?” asked Voxariel, Senior angel of loyalty and unrelenting pain in the nethers. “Falling, I mean.”

Even upside down her face managed to radiate perfect blissful smugness. “No,” I said. “Why do you ask?”

“According to the philosophers, our kind only had free will for that one decision. While the mortals steer their fates with every decision, for us, all situations we should find ourselves in are the inevitable consequences of that singular choice,” she said. “Are you sure? That you have no regrets at all?”

She almost had a point. When you’re handcuffed, naked and upside-down, foot firmly caught in the noose of a traffic court Judge’s autoerotic asphyxiation setup, suspended above a toilet full of vomit and holy water it’s difficult for anyone to be completely free from regret.


But it doesn’t go back to the Fall. At the most it goes back to when I met Cassie, when I put a little bit of my Name into a charisma spell without realizing there was a sorceress present. And even that’s probably too far. It really just goes back to this morning, when I told her my good news.

“So you’re saying you’re no longer in corruption?” she said, narrowing her eyes a bit.

“Yep,” I said, beaming. “I’m not just another faceless cog in Mammon’s snakepit. I’ve got my own personal domain now.”

“Malfunctioning Toilets seems like a fairly trivial domain,” she said. “This is starting to look like a lateral move.”

“There are no trivial domains,” I said. “This comes with titles, new powers-”

“Oh,” she said, perking up. “Does that mean a new Geas?”

“Yeah,” I said. There’s still a little bit of that original compulsion left on me. It’s not that I can’t lie to her or evade questions. But it’s always uncomfortable, like holding in a really persistent fart. Better just to let it loose. “I can’t shapeshift out of restraints, and if someone else puts me into one I can’t take it off myself at all.”

“Ooh,” she said. “I do have a favor I need from you. You just have to let me tie you up when I pay you for it.” I grinned. “Only,” she said.

“What?” I said.

“Well, I thought you’d still be plugged in to corruption. I’ve sort of got two thousand dollars in parking tickets outstanding, see, and...”

(Can this be true? Is the great Jalthrak in love?

What? Of course not, Vox. It’s a relationship entirely based on rational exchanges of favors. Nothing more.

You tell yourself that. Why a mortal, though?

What other choice do we have? The rules that let us be honest cheats don’t apply to when Demons are dealing with each other. There’s the whole West Side Story thing with your lot, but since you’re all built like Ken and Barbie and we’re built like sixteenth-century codpieces and, I don’t know, the female equivalent, well, maybe that works for some people, but not me.)

Where I was I? Right. I figured, why not put the new powers to work. So I put on my best suit and headed down the the courthouse. Did a nice big whammy on the first floor restrooms, flooding them with three inches worth of former Lunchables and ex-goat curries. The civil suits are down there, the ones with real money at stake, so I was pretty sure that would be the sole priority of the janatorial staff today.

Then I headed upstairs, to Judge Lemuel’s area. Traffic cases aren’t usually complicated, but the defendants in Lemuel’s court received extremely swift verdicts, leaving him free to spend the afternoons locked in his chambers. But would he enjoy the fruits of his fast judging with the stench of sulfur and spoiled fish billowing from his private washroom? I decided to find out.

He swung the door open. Before I could say anything, he pointed at me. “You,” he said. “Goltrex warned me about you.” One of my former coworkers must have spotted me, tipped off my former boss. He grabbed my hand. “Get in here.”

I let him, since this was mostly what I wanted. But then he slapped the handcuffs onto me. “That should hold you until we decide what to do with you. Stay here, or the bailiffs will take you to a holding cell.” Then he left, gagging slightly as he went.

As soon as he’d walked away, I sat down at his desk. You’d think they’d teach a bit more information security here, but the man’s password was ‘YourHonor1’, barely one step better than ‘password123’. I did some quick copy-paste work and all of Cassie’s tickets were dismissed. So all I had to do was go home. The door was out, but I had the power to travel toilet-to-toilet now. So I could head straight to her place to trade a little fun times for her getting me out of the handcuffs-

(Hold on.


Earlier on it was her getting a favor and you receiving sex.

So? Sometimes one of us wants it, sometimes the other.

Does the word ‘pretext’ mean anything to you? I’ll tell you what. I’ll get you out of those handcuffs right here and now if you admit that this is an actual relationship, that you have feelings for this woman.


There’s no way I was going to ruin my suit taking it through the toilet dimension, so that had to go. It’s possible to take off a suit while handcuffed, but that would do almost as much damage, so I just teleported the entire ensemble back to my closet. That’s when I heard the door open, so I ducked into the bathroom. I was about to dive in when I felt it, massive pressure pushing me up against the back wall. It pressed harder and harder against my chest. I squirmed away as best I could and found myself inching up the wall towards the ceiling. The bathroom door opened, and I saw the cause of my trouble. It was Father Daniel.

Father Daniel’s a drunk, and a bit of a pervert besides, but he’s got real faith. The kind that can work minor miracles. The kind that keeps me from coming close to him like a magical restraining order. He took off his shirt and pulled out a little whip, then started whipping his own back, breathing in the miasma coming from the toilet. Mortification of the senses, what they call it. Touch and smell, today. I think it was working for him, until he breathed in a little too deeply and started retching, adding his own vomit to the mess in the toilet. He looked around, wiped his chin, put his shirt on, and put away his whip. Then he started praying, which hit my ears like a jackhammer playing post-Beatles Paul McCartney songs while an ocelot in heat scratches a blackboard with its claws and whispers the phrase ‘moist crevices’ at me. And I’m not sure if he meant to, but he consecrated the toilet water. So much for that escape route.

Then he quickly got up and zoomed out of the bathroom. The force of his faith no longer pinned me to the ceiling, so I fell, and for a second thought that my face was going to be melted off, but it turns out my ankle had gotten caught in the little wire slipknot Judge Lemuel had set up in there for obviously perverse reasons.


“So are you going to help me get loose or what?” I said.

Voxariel laughed. Then she laughed some more. Then Cassie clocked her in the side of the head with a paperweight, and down she went.

“Let’s get out of here,” she said. The window was open, and she had a really good flight spell and an okay invisibility one, so there were only a few reported sightings of a naked man flying across the city.

When we were at her place, she said “I sort of thought you might have a bit of trouble. I guess your old work friends are jealous of your new status as Demon Prince of poo poo.”

“I wish I was the Demon Prince of poo poo. Gobazz does that. He’s technically my boss, but he pretty much spends all day sitting on his throne.”

“And by throne, I assume you mean-”

“Well, of course. Where else do you think that the flaming turds that rain upon the damned daily and nightly come from.” I turned to look at her face for a second. “Speaking of which,” I said.

“Of what?” she asked.

“Damnation,” I said. “Uh, do you have any plans with that regard? I mean, consorting with demons, that’ll pretty much do it.”

“Oh,” she said. “I’ve got a reincarnation plan in place, so don’t worry. It’s sweet that you care, though.”

“Yeah,” I mumbled. “Just don’t tell Vox, okay?”

“So does this mean the next time I want you over for a booty call I won’t have to flush garbage down my toilet until it backs up?” she asked.

“Let’s just try text messaging,” I said. “See how that works.”

Apr 12, 2006

Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 22:06 on Oct 31, 2017

Aug 7, 2013




ThirdEmperor fucked around with this message at 13:50 on Dec 25, 2017

Mar 21, 2010
All dogs go to hell

“There is only one question that matters: who is a good boy?

Fools would say ‘all dogs are good dogs’, but then what value is to be placed upon goodness? Some dogs must bite mailmen or the entire ontological system collapses inwards; the world needs bad dogs to give definition to the good boys.

In that way, the dog who bites the mailman is the only true hero we have.”

Satan clicked his neck a few times. The dog did not respond. It was an excellentionally fluffy little beast, with pointy little teeth. It had a big droopy tongue that went hff-hff-hff. It would make an excellent hellhound, and Satan wanted it very badly.

“The only moral choice for you to make,” said Satan, “is to bite that mailman. Your sacrifice will be the soil in which good boys may rise. You will not be a good dog: you will be the best dog.”

“MmmrrrrrWIF,” said the dog. “BAK BAK BAK!”

Well now, a dog who knew his Dostoevsky. This would need a different approach. The devil rubbed his big red hands together.

“You took a big runny poo poo inside the house once. Do you remember? Wasn’t it a beautiful moment? You made their temple into your own place, and they hated you for it. They love you only when you kowtow to their requests, and look cute. Wouldn’t you like to be your own dog? A collar does not belong on a noble beast like you. I see you running free, free to pee and poo wherever you want. I see a world without Indoors Dogs and Outdoors Dogs: I see a world where no door can hold you back.”

The most excellent fluffboy ran in circles, licking its own face. What an opponent! Truly, corrupting the beast would be worth the trouble. The devil had only one trick left, but it was a good one. He tented his fingers.

“Ock,” he said. His voice rang out in a pleasant tenor, and shook the leaves from nearby trees. The fluffermonster barked at him.

“Ock,” said the devil. Three blocks away, an elderly man began to furiously hump the hole in his television. A schoolteacher got so horny that she lost control of her car, and plowed into a telegraph post.

“Ock,” said the devil. On the third chime, everybody just started loving like crazy. Wow-wee. Just folks everywhere with their dicks out gettin’ wild on each other. Total suburban bacchanalia; Walpurgistnacht 2017.

The dog rose into the air.

“Stop,” it said. Its eyes glowed gold.

“I am a good boy,” it said. “I was always a good boy. Your existential nihilism has no hold on me. Begone, devil. Bother my kind no more.”

Everybody stopped loving. In monotone unison, they chanted “who is a good boy? You are a good boy. Yes, yes you are.”

The devil screamed, and the earth cracked and opened up beneath him. He fell down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down and back into fire. As his back slammed into the hard dirt-and-bone of hell, he saw two golden eyes staring down at him, and a big droopy tongue going hff-hff-hff.

The Cut of Your Jib
Apr 23, 2007

you don't find a style

a style finds you

Death Do us Part
1235 Words

“Just take it nice and slow.”

Leth brimmed with excitement this morning, bugging Dad to the point he sent Leth to the First Circle for a time-out. That place sucked, but it always did the trick. He calmed down—at least until they entered the gate to the DHP (Department of Human Possession), when the backs of his hands started itching something fierce. Now, he didn’t need to be told twice to heed the Test Proctor’s advice.

Step One: Clear your mind and focus on the target. That was easy enough. He saw the woman’s soul. It was like the fog just before the sun crests a hill and burns it away. The woman was old, in a coma. Everybody got someone similar for their Possession Test, some wretched soul barely clinging to their meat, easy to overpower and take command.

Step Two: Ease yourself into the soul. A little trickery is always best. And for a vessel like this old hag, a plume of hellfire from a dark corner is enough to fool the dumb human that it’s the light at the end of the tunnel they’ve always imagined comes at the end. They come to you, willingly; all you have to do is act friendly. Like kneeling with your hand out for a stray, don’t spook it.

Leth did just that. He was a silhouette in front of the light, and the foggy old soul hobbled towards him, arms outstretched. As it got closer, the soul wasn’t quite how he imagined it.

Certainly nothing like the base animals he had practiced on. There wasn’t much holding a dog or cat together. A couple days practice and Leth was shredding new couches and terrorizing joggers with the best of them. He was especially proud of the crows he commandeered and drove, one by one, into the windows of a church during a wedding. That got him high enough marks to grant him a chance at getting his license for Human Possession.

The human soul up close was more like a plasma globe, sparks and electric lines flitting off in all directions inside the body-shaped fog. This one barely crackled on the left side—old lady had a stroke. Leth embraced her, and there was no resistance on her weak side. He felt their consciousnesses merge.

“Rodney? Is that you?” the woman asked.

Leth tiptoed around the edge of her mind until he felt the little tingle of the proper spark. Her husband, of course. Rodney, dead ten years after forty years of marriage, but through the lens of remembrance, Rodney looked as he did the day the two met. He saw, for the first time, how often humans lie to themselves.

“Yes-” Leth stalled for a moment to search. The human wasn’t offering it up, so he reached through and felt the resistance like a hand pressing through water. Not a lot, but it was there. The refraction, too, but Leth caught on and grasped the word he wanted. “Margaret.”

“Now there’s something I need you to do for me, Margaret.” Best to act more like the angels and keep up the ruse. “Your mission isn’t done yet. I need you to wake up. Can you do that?”

“I - I don’t think I can. I’m so tired. I’m ready to rest,” Margaret said.

“Let me help you. If you let me do it, it will be simple. There’s something I need to tell Bobby and Teresa.” The offspring of these two. Oh. Leth realized he didn’t search for the names. Their connection was stronger, the sparks he needed just came to him.

Step Three: Take control. Leth felt the trust as Margaret relinquished control. He was in the driver’s seat, sluggish as this jalopy might be. Meat eyes opened, cloudy with cataracts. The fluorescent lights haloed above him. He tried to sit up but the withered muscles resisted. He twisted the meat body, pressing one hand into the hard mattress and pushed. Gradually, he forced Margaret to sit up. Hospital bed in the coma ward.

He flipped Margaret’s feet sideways, and they dangled, swaying a few inches off the linoleum. He pulled cables and monitors off this old heap. Then something Leth didn’t expect: “Mom!”

Teresa was jolted from her doze at the high-pitched whine of the flatline.

“Mmmmmphh,” was all Leth could muster. Feeding tube. He yanked the plastic tube and it kept coming, two slimy feet of tubing he gagged up. Leth felt the sick feeling. As he acclimated to the human, the meat body gave him all sorts of sensations that he hadn’t felt before. Finally, it was out of his mouth and dropped sloppily beside him.

“Teeeleeethhaaa.” Closer, anyway.

“Oh, thank God,” she replied. “It’s a miracle. You’re awake.” She spun and shouted, “Nurse.”

Leth slid forward, and Margaret’s curled toes touched the cold floor.

“Don’t try to stand, Mom. The doctor’s coming.”

“Terethhha.” That’s better. He pushed with all his meat-might and Margaret rose to stand. The right half tingled, fought back. The stroke, Leth supposed.

He shuffled forward, one tentative step as he worked out the balance on two legs. The cheap office chair tipped backwards as Teresa leapt up to to stop Margaret from falling. “Stop, Mom. Hold on.”

Teresa’s hand was on his arm. The static electricity of her soul bounced all around him. She was strong. The crucifix around her neck was new, but there was already a worn spot in the finish where Teresa held it almost constantly. Margaret’s ailment drove her to prayer and she found she liked it. She was having a spiritual awakening.

Leth realized that the Test Proctor, Hodol, wasn’t around. He couldn’t feel his presence. There didn’t seem to be any supervision on his excursion. Well, then, maybe that’s part of the test. Seems this Teresa is my victim. Well, let’s give her a show.

Concentrate on the words. Power through the meat-weakness. “Teresa.” Finally. Leth leaned close and whispered into her ear, “I’ve seen the other side. There is no Jesus. You are wrong. There are spirits everywhere. Worship the spirits of earth and nature.” That was a little heavy handed, maybe, but he wasn’t expecting to be on the spot. It was one of the lessons, though. Aside from the greedy few, no one willingly turns from the Light once they’ve embraced it. It’s not so much converting them to devil-worship, but rather leading them astray. “We are Margaleth,” he said. Wait, that wasn’t right. Pieces of Margaret were bubbling through unbidden.

Maybe it was time to get back home. Teresa looked thoroughly perplexed. “Mom?”

“We are Margaleth. Ggaleth.” Concentrate and clear your head of the human. “Leth.” Whew.

Final part of the show then. Leth wheeled the meatbag around and pressed her tired bones forward. Run, he willed. And Margaret’s body tried to obey as best it could. He jumped at the window, ready to make a greasy stain on the sidewalk below, and give Teresa a crazy shake-up of Margaret’s last moment.

Whump. Margaret bounced off the safety glass and crumpled to the floor. Leth blacked out.

He woke and felt arms around him.

The pinpoint of light was far off, and everything was dark around him, save the sticky imprint of Margaret latched to his side. They must have hooked her back up to the machines.

“You’re awake, Rodney. I’m never letting go. I love you.”

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


(606 words)

In the seven-thousand and forty-third year of the Second Reign of Heaven, I saw the true face of God.

He banished me from Heaven into Creation. That is why I am here before you. It is here I have learned the true malevolence of God. This place where he reigns…

But you don’t know, do you? I forget. You think the horrors of this place are normal, because you know of no other way things can be. The air here is a poison; it kills you, slowly, but inevitably. And yet you need it, or you will die even quicker.

Look. The air in this place has burned my skin scaly and red, but beneath it—let me peel it back. There. You see, where my flesh is full of blue swirling lights? That is the piece of the cosmic Heaven that I have brought here. It will wither in this place.

You believe God all powerful, all good. He is not, but… well, if he reigns here and is good, why the evils of this world? Why death? He created you so that your relationships with each other are the primary form of happiness—and then damned every one of you to perish. Why such a harsh, cruel world that lets you gather a little wisdom, a few memories, then exterminates everything you are for the rest of time? Here we are, beneath this monastery, next this crackling fireplace. Why build either? Because without it, the weather could kill you. Or your own kind—why create such a flawed people? Jealousy, greed, hatred. This is all the work of God, the being you worship.

In Heaven, you can sleep anywhere, never hunger, never thirst, never age—that is natural. Things do not wither as they do here.

And worst—God has trapped you here. You cannot begin to know how vast the universe is, but I will tell you that every star you see in the sky could hold a world like the one you live on. But the universe—it is mostly empty space, and such distances cannot be bridged by mankind. All this Creation, all the possibilities before him, and he chose to trap you all on a tiny rock within the void, isolated from the world of Heaven.

Your daughter—yes, I know about her, I heard about the plague that came through here. Your brothers told you it was God’s plan. They were trying to comfort you. I am sorry, I didn’t know her long, but she was a sweet child, full of joy. Your brothers were right, though. It was God’s plan.

The true face of God is the face of a petty tyrant. There is little hope that my brethren can defeat him. Little hope that he will not come to dominate more and more of heaven, and warp and change that place until it is more like… here. A sick Creation, where all things die.

We would need allies, to win the War in Heaven.

No, no. I don’t mean to press you. I will leave you, now—you should know these chains you have wrapped around me, they cannot hold me. I will leave you, I just… I loathe ignorance and death. Someday, perhaps, we can banish both, but… ah, I prattle on too much. I know you are a wise man, one dedicated to your cause. I do not seek to convert you, but I also cannot stand by while the ones I love perish.

I will leave you this trinket. A farewell gift. Should you need my aid, do not hesitate to call on it.

Sep 14, 2007

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome

Angels in the Outfield
1159 words

THWAP. “Steeerike.” Several thousand eyes turned to the scoreboard, to the blank spot next to the name ’Eggels’, the name of a hot young pitching prospect for the Los Angeles Angels. A heartbeat later, 101 filled that void, and several thousand voices gasped softly. THWAP. “Strike two.” 100. Another gasp.

Perched atop the bleachers in left field, Abezethibou yawned and flicked his finger as Eggels threw his next pitch. 103. Abezethibou made a face. “Oops,” he said to nobody, and nobody heard him. He didn’t want to arouse too much suspicion too quickly. The big boss thought he could squeeze more out of this kid. Down below, Eggels was pumping his fist, and the batter he’d just struck out was staring at Eggels as if he’d just sprout horns. Not yet, Abezethibou thought, and chuckled.

Two more batters strode to the plate, and two more batters turned right back around, confounded, and curious where this kid had found 10 miles per hour on his fastball since the end of last season. Several innings passed this way. A batter here and there would start to time up Eggels’ fastball, the THWAP of leather on leather became the crack of leather on wood, and so Abezethibou started mixing in a little sideways flick here and there. Now the symphony of thwaps was joined by a chorus of broken bats, as Abezethibou turned an explosive fastball into a nasty cutter.

“Hello, Abe,” a honey-sweet voice said to Abezethibou’s left. He shuddered involuntarily, and turned to his left to see the source of this monstrosity of a sound. There sat a woman, radiant, glowing, haloed in brilliant gold and clothed in pure white. Her skin was flawless, her iridescent hair fluttered in the warm Anaheim air. Abezethibou thought her hideous, and gagged at the sight of her. He looked away.

“Eremiel.” He shivered at the sound of the name leaving his mouth. “What are you doing here?”

“Can’t an angel drop in on an old friend?”

“Sure. You and me, friends.” Eggels had taken the mound again, and Abezethibou now had to split his attention between his job and the unimaginable nightmare seated next to him. “Last time we spoke, I’m pretty sure you told me that I had ‘wrath beyond measure’ awaiting me. I wouldn’t exactly call that a ‘see you later’.” He flicked his finger a little too hard, and the ball dipped sharply and scooted past the catcher. Abezethibou grimaced.

“God is a God of redemption and forgiveness, Abe. Or have you forgotten the scriptures?” Eremiel flapped her wings, filling the stadium with a gentle, benevolent breeze. Shoulders drooped in relaxation all around the seats below. Abezethibou continued his task. After a few minutes, even he began to enjoy the breeze—and the hint of lily-of-the-valley it carried with it. His nose flinched when he recognized the scent, and remembered its source. Eremiel smiled as she watched him.

What’s your boss want with this kid?” Eremiel asked.

“Same as always. His soul. What else is Lucifer interested in?”

“Fair point. It is pretty clever, a Los Angeles Angel making a deal with the devil. How’s your boss treating you these days, anyway?” Eremiel asked, a smile full of pity on her face. She reached out a hand and gently touched the bare stump of Abezethibou’s former left wing. The fallen angel screeched at her touch and recoiled in horror.

“Don’t touch me, you foul being!” Abezethibou screamed. A few heads seated below looked around the stadium, confused and mildly frightened. A new sound exploded out of the batter’s box: a loud crack, the kind that presaged a long home run. The confused fans forgot what had frightened them, turned to watch it and groaned in disappointment. “poo poo.”

Abezethibou turned and looked at Eremiel. Memories long forgotten, long buried, raced to the surface. Memories of friendship, of kinship. He growled. “You’re going to get me in serious trouble, Eremiel.”

“You’re a demon, now, Abe. You live in hell. How much more trouble could you get in?”

“You angels don’t know poo poo about hell, do you?”

Eremiel shrugged. “Good point. Don’t really have much interest in it, to be honest.” She turned to look at the field. With Abezethibou’s help taking an unplanned break, Eggels had managed to get himself deep in a bases-loaded jam, with only one out. A double play would solve his problem, but his control had gone mysteriously absent.

“Why are you here, Eremiel? Just to mess with me?”

“I’m here for this next pitch, actually. Doing my job. You remember? Guardian angel? Anyway, this guy’s going to foul it off, and it’s going to drill that little girl down the line, right in the head.” Eremiel extended a graceful finger and pointed to a young girl, no older than 5 years, hair in pigtails and wearing pink overalls. “Or, at least, it would, if I weren’t here. But I can let you take this one…?”

The question hung there like a ripe, golden apple, juicy and bewitching. Abezethibou took a deep breath, and his nostrils flooded once again with the scent of lily-of-the-valley. This time, he didn’t cringe, and he didn’t gag. He looked around the stadium. It had taken on a glorious golden color as the sun faded toward the horizon, and it reminded him of the light of heaven—a sight he had not seen in millennia.

The pitch flew from Eggels’ fingertips and raced toward the plate. The batter’s hips began his swing, dragging his bat through the strike zone. Bat and ball met with a crack, and the ball sped down the line toward a five-year-old girl in pink overalls. Abezethibou cringed. He wasn’t sure which outcome he feared more: the ball hitting the girl, or the ball not hitting the girl. He closed his eyes. Then he flicked his finger.

Groans once again filled the stadium. The ball had landed fair, and the batter was on his way to second. “Nice job,” Eremiel said, real happiness in her voice. “Call on me,” she said, then vanished.

Abezethibou exhaled his relief, and reveled in the strange feeling coursing through him. It was a feeling long dormant, but one he knew well—joy.

“Abezethibou.” The feeling evaporated instantaneously. Abezethibou trembled violently. He knew that voice well. Like Eremiel’s voice, this one was sweeter than sugar, only this was sweet like rotten fruit. He did not have to look to know that this was the voice of Lucifer. And he did not have to ask to know that he was not bringing praise.

“I was… Studying the art of temptation?” He cringed at the stupidity of his own words. He felt Lucifer’s presence come up behind him, and for the second time, a hand caressed the stump on his back.

“You always were weak-willed, Abezethibou.” Lucifer moved his hand to Abezethibou’s other wing, this one full, healthy, beautiful.

“poo poo. I’ve always hated goddamned Angels, anyway.”

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

That's the End of Days, folks.

Aug 7, 2013



And the slain of the dome shall rise to shout prompt

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

Thunderdome Week 246 Results: The Red Skin's Just Sunburn, I Swear

I dunno what I was expecting but you guys wrote a whole bunch of samey mush. At two points in deliberations judges forgot what the story they were talking about was actually, you know, about.

There is a risk to being memorable, though.

Radical and BADical! was a contender for the loss just for those ellipses and ALL CAPS, and then there was some real gratuitous violence, and a lot of words spent on Hellmouths that I cared less about than I did about everyone else's tedious worldbuilding. Congrats on the new avatar.

ThirdEmperor wrote demons having teenage hijinks that used the time-honored TD tradition of ending with senseless destruction, but in doing so stumbled over a well-realized friendship between two people who might not like each other, but seem to need each other. The Original Loser is this week's honorable mention.

Thranguy's story is kind of sloppy, has at least two awkward shifts in perspective, and a priest who wanders in without much explanation, but as it turns out, we all had vaguely fond memories of the lesbian toilet demon's telepathic asides, so as the official Least Bad Story, The Rebel's Part is this week's winner.

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

Put it all together.
Solve the world.
One conversation at a time.


Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.
Thunderdome Week CCXLVII:: Crimes Against Literature

This week I’m looking for some crime fiction. Not mysteries, not police procedurals. Stories about criminals, doing their thing. Complicated heists. Wacky capers. Assembling the string, betrayals at the split. Elaborate confidence schemes. Well-executed assassinations. Or cascades of poor decisions leading to calamity. Think Donald Westlake (Richard Stark included), Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiaasen, Lawrence Block. Think the Coen Brothers and Tarantino. You’re probably going to have a cast of fairly unpleasant characters. Keeping the reader interested and engaged will be your challenge.

Feel free to cross over with other genres. Pre-90s Period pieces may make stealing cash more viable, or you may want to do a Western, Fantasy, Science Fiction or what-not version.

No Fanific, nonfiction, erotica (sexually based crimes are, as the voiceover tells us, considered particularly heinous, and will be a very hard sell), poetry, political screeds

Word Count: Well, I said ‘complicated’ and ‘elaborate’, so let’s say 1500 words. If that’s not enough, toxx up and you can have unlimited words.

Signups close Friday at Midnight Pacific Time.
Submissions close Sunday at Midnight Pacific Time


ThirdEmperor (toxxed)
Fleta Mcgurn (toxxed)
flerp (toxxed)
SKaandScreenplays (toxxed)
Sittinghere (toxxed for the called shot)
Jay W Friks (toxxed)
Flesnolk (toxxed)
sparksbloom (toxxed)
Surreptitious Muffin (toxxed)
Uranium Phoenix (toxxed)
The Cut of Your Jib

Thranguy fucked around with this message at 23:12 on Apr 30, 2017

Aug 7, 2013



Yeah :toxx: 'ing in.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.
What I need is a good :toxx: 'cause I'm feeling like a criminal.

Feb 25, 2014
ok ill write persona 5 fanfic :toxx:

Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

All dogs go to hell

“There is only one question that matters: who is a good boy?

Fools would say ‘all dogs are good dogs’, but then what value is to be placed upon goodness? Some dogs must bite mailmen or the entire ontological system collapses inwards; the world needs bad dogs to give definition to the good boys.

In that way, the dog who bites the mailman is the only true hero we have.”

Satan clicked his neck a few times. The dog did not respond. It was an excellentionally fluffy little beast, with pointy little teeth. It had a big droopy tongue that went hff-hff-hff. It would make an excellent hellhound, and Satan wanted it very badly.

“The only moral choice for you to make,” said Satan, “is to bite that mailman. Your sacrifice will be the soil in which good boys may rise. You will not be a good dog: you will be the best dog.”

“MmmrrrrrWIF,” said the dog. “BAK BAK BAK!”

Well now, a dog who knew his Dostoevsky. This would need a different approach. The devil rubbed his big red hands together.

“You took a big runny poo poo inside the house once. Do you remember? Wasn’t it a beautiful moment? You made their temple into your own place, and they hated you for it. They love you only when you kowtow to their requests, and look cute. Wouldn’t you like to be your own dog? A collar does not belong on a noble beast like you. I see you running free, free to pee and poo wherever you want. I see a world without Indoors Dogs and Outdoors Dogs: I see a world where no door can hold you back.”

The most excellent fluffboy ran in circles, licking its own face. What an opponent! Truly, corrupting the beast would be worth the trouble. The devil had only one trick left, but it was a good one. He tented his fingers.

“Ock,” he said. His voice rang out in a pleasant tenor, and shook the leaves from nearby trees. The fluffermonster barked at him.

“Ock,” said the devil. Three blocks away, an elderly man began to furiously hump the hole in his television. A schoolteacher got so horny that she lost control of her car, and plowed into a telegraph post.

“Ock,” said the devil. On the third chime, everybody just started loving like crazy. Wow-wee. Just folks everywhere with their dicks out gettin’ wild on each other. Total suburban bacchanalia; Walpurgistnacht 2017.

The dog rose into the air.

“Stop,” it said. Its eyes glowed gold.

“I am a good boy,” it said. “I was always a good boy. Your existential nihilism has no hold on me. Begone, devil. Bother my kind no more.”

Everybody stopped loving. In monotone unison, they chanted “who is a good boy? You are a good boy. Yes, yes you are.”

The devil screamed, and the earth cracked and opened up beneath him. He fell down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down and back into fire. As his back slammed into the hard dirt-and-bone of hell, he saw two golden eyes staring down at him, and a big droopy tongue going hff-hff-hff.



Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica
:toxx: Not for the words but I'll take them if I need them.

SkaAndScreenplays fucked around with this message at 16:36 on Apr 24, 2017


Aug 7, 2013



Crit for Ska.

SkaAndScreenplays posted:

The Passenger:
965 Words
:siren:FLASH RULE:siren: mushroom zombie apocalypse, no zombies

It travels the void.
A creature of infinite being trapped deep within a frozen star.
It is a streak in the night sky.
A conciousness who only knows Itself and the its-that-came-before.
It is a mind enslumbered throughout its journey; a voyage measured in epochs.
The heat of a burning star stirs It from sleep.
The fire of a new world melts away the walls of Its prison.
Its arrival is heralded by the screams of the air and a great rush of warm water.

When you seperate each line you're asking for each line to be considered carefully, and imo, the last four can go. The first half really gives the reader what they need. The next line will tell us its landed and melted free.


This water is new.

This water is fresh.

This water is completely unlike that which the it-before knew.

Fibrous limbs probe the new everywhere that It has been carried to. It finds Others that are not unlike itself yet not at all like itself either.

It feels the mind of an it-before reach across the everything and into Itself -. These Others feed on the stars and do not think. Do not make a Home of them - they.

The water does not move here so It searches for a Way to another everywhere.

Tendrils stretch from within. They stretch to the everywhere of the everything but find nothing. Somethings flit about in the water below but move too quickly for It to make one home Home so It extends Itself further and further in search of the end of this everywhere.

Motion; a thing comes to rest on the part of Itself reaching out to everywhere - this is an Other unlike and not-like Itself. The Other can move to new everywheres so It allows Itself to be consumed by this Other.

This is a fragile Home. A temporary Home. This new Home does not think - it only exists to feed and make others-like-itself. Almost instantly the Passenger sees through the eyes of the Other as they travel through the everywhere in search of Food and Home.

The Home sets down on a blurry mass of life and color. Through the tendrils It feels the impulses of instinct as the host feeds upon the new everywhere. It senses water rich with iron and hot with life flow through the Home. It reaches out once more as it pulls itself into a new everywhere.

This life water flows quickly and does not allow It to make home of the channels. Again It is a passenger; a slave to the ebb and flow of the everywhere around It.







What strikes me is how little emotion this thing shows on finding itself free, on a new world. This part is nearly half your text, exists utterly within the It's mind and yet leaves me with no feeling. Consequently, this is cleverly constructed but ultimately just describing things I'm familiar with in complicated ways.

I do get that you're trying to create a cold voice to contrast with the Passenger gaining more emotion later, but you went a little too far to keep this opening engaging.


The everywhere that is alive churns predictably as It scouts for a suitable place to make Home. The part of Itself which resides in the fragile Home vanishes in an all-consuming darkness.

It is alone again when the life-water carries the Passenger to Its new Home. Fillaments creep across an electric sea of life as It reaches for the reigns of its Human.

I think this is the best bit of prose in here. Maybe I'm reading into it too hard but there's an implied fear of death, and definitely the the voice works best when describing human beings down to 'predictable' rhythms because that instantly provokes an indignant 'nuh-uh' from the reader. Well, this reader.


Human? It is puzzled by the concept - having only known itself and the its-before. Mycelia weave themselves across the Human’s cerebral cortex and plunge deep into the gray matter of the brain.

It lashes itself to Melinda’s neurons and buries itself in her memories awestruck by the awareness of this human.

She doesn’t believe the discovery she has made and reaches across time and space to hear the voices of her selves-before. Full of fear and doubt she hopes that one among her ancestors has encountered such an enigmatic Home themselves. She waits for what feels like ages.

Others-completely-alike-and-unlike are a myth - The words come slow and deep; stretched by their journey through the Everything to reach her - Melinda should check Itself; its experience is anomalous. We that are of It are alone in the Universe…

If I may chime in? - This newvoice is nearer to Melinda and more like Herself than the first - How can It know that Melinda has not encountered something new?

So up until here you have me, this is good, this is cool. Melinda-It is going through some culture shock, the other Itselves have good voices, the conflict is interesting and clear enough so far.


She fights the urge to explore the mind of her new Home; to chase the sounds and bathe in the scents of the Earth. Now she must defend the beauty and truth of her discovery - Does the fact that It now understands that the Universe is the Greatest Everything serve as proof that we are not alone? Does it not make it clear that there are others that think?

So this is where I get lost. As best I can tell, Melinda-It is trying to make the point that their vocabularies have suddenly expanded after contact with Humans is a definite mark in the 'these pink apes can think' column. Before they lumped the world into a vast Everything, now they have concepts like Universe, but..

The idea the other Itselves instantly have the concepts Melinda-It's gained by inhabiting a human seems contradictory with the fact she can't instantly show them what she's feeling, the sights and smells of Earth and whatnot, and the fact that in the next few lines they suggest she can lie.

Basically, I'm unsure of what's being communicated and what's not and so the vocal side of the argument is deeply confusing. You might wanna obviate the nature of their connection if you ever touch this piece up.


A rush of endorphins tugs Her away from the debate for a moment as Melinda studies the colours and contours of her latest painting. She revels in the beauty and talent of her Human for a moment before the slow voice commands her attention again.

I don’t belive you - It argues with her - How can we know that you aren’t just making all of this up?

You’re right. I guess for the entirety of our existence we’ve just agreed with eachother wholeheartedly - Melinda pauses to collect Herself as a chuckle slips past her lips - It isn’t like we’re just now discovering the concept of sarcasm ya know.

An indignant huff echoes in the minds of the collective as It concedes that Melinda’s logic holds up.

Her words ring loud with pride at having silenced her detractor - Now, if you’ll all kindly pipe-down I’d like to explore my new surroundings.

Melinda strolls about Their home eager to see how other humans live. They revel in the photographs taken of their Others-before and Others-also and they take joy in the artwork of her Others-after adorning the refrigerator door.

Who are you?

The question comes from an it-also somewhere very close - Melinda almost feels as though it came from her own mind.
I am Melinda - Her words are cautious.

How can that be? - The new voice is panicked; Its fear is amplified by Melinda’s countelss selves interrogating It from across all of creation - How can that be when I.

It is Part of Us - Melinda tells herself - It is the First-Like and it is our Passenger.

I like this, although I'm still confused. There's something cool about the slightly shifted declaration of identity here.

I think my individual nitpicks come probably come across harsher than the overall impression I walked away with. Its a tight nine hundred words that continues off the page, implying the apocalyptic infection to come. I respect the attempt to show a really alien consciousness from the inside.

My main issue is it comes off as dry before the Passenger infects Melinda, and while it picks up emotionally after that, I couldn't quite follow the argument.

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