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  • Locked thread
Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Jay W. Friks posted:

Just to clarify. Is this prompt due on Sunday at 3 pm Pacific (U.S) time?

Sorry I'm late getting back to you, but yes. If a lot of people are late, I'll extend it.

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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Jumping in to the brawl.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006



flerp posted:

hey babydome, how’s it been? having a nice time with your friends, writing bad words, being dumb, etc etc? well, its time to change all of that because it is time for blood. it is time to announce:

THE SECOND KIND OF ANNUAL MEGABRAWL

muffin ran a megabrawl a while back and now im here to run another. do you think youre tough poo poo, a cool rear end motherfucker who is the best writer on these dead gay forums? or do you want to stomp some nerds in the ground and steal their hopes and dreams lunch money? then well youve come to the right place.

multiple rounds of brawl against the toughest of the tough in this (not really) venerated hall of fiction. if you lose, youre out. the last one standing is the champion.

this isnt going to be your standard brawl prompts tho, oh no. this isnt going to be "write about your favorite pet" or "tell me about that dream you had" or other baby poo poo. these prompts will be here to test you. they'll be hard. they'll take you out of your comfort zone. hell, they might not even be fiction prompts. you dont know. nobody does except me. but if you think youre hot poo poo then that shouldnt matter to you. the only thing that matters is OWNING DUMB NERDS.

no restrictions. you think youre good enough even if you dont have an HM or a win? then come along and gently caress some kids up. there will be no hand holding, no consolation prizes (or prizes in general). all there is to earn is eternal glory, and all there is to lose is honor (and your life but doesnt matter compared to the honor).

talk poo poo, quote this post, and join the MEGABRAWL.

only 16 may enter in this glorious combat. first come first serve. i can work with smaller numbers, but 16 is the maximum and ideal number for the carnage

okay

Armack
Jan 27, 2006


flerp posted:

THE SECOND KIND OF ANNUAL MEGABRAWL

Yes.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



gently caress everyone, but flerp in specific

(i'm in)

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







flerp posted:

hey babydome, how’s it been? having a nice time with your friends, writing bad words, being dumb, etc etc? well, its time to change all of that because it is time for blood. it is time to announce:

THE SECOND KIND OF ANNUAL MEGABRAWL

muffin ran a megabrawl a while back and now im here to run another. do you think youre tough poo poo, a cool rear end motherfucker who is the best writer on these dead gay forums? or do you want to stomp some nerds in the ground and steal their hopes and dreams lunch money? then well youve come to the right place.

multiple rounds of brawl against the toughest of the tough in this (not really) venerated hall of fiction. if you lose, youre out. the last one standing is the champion.

this isnt going to be your standard brawl prompts tho, oh no. this isnt going to be "write about your favorite pet" or "tell me about that dream you had" or other baby poo poo. these prompts will be here to test you. they'll be hard. they'll take you out of your comfort zone. hell, they might not even be fiction prompts. you dont know. nobody does except me. but if you think youre hot poo poo then that shouldnt matter to you. the only thing that matters is OWNING DUMB NERDS.

no restrictions. you think youre good enough even if you dont have an HM or a win? then come along and gently caress some kids up. there will be no hand holding, no consolation prizes (or prizes in general). all there is to earn is eternal glory, and all there is to lose is honor (and your life but doesnt matter compared to the honor).

talk poo poo, quote this post, and join the MEGABRAWL.

only 16 may enter in this glorious combat. first come first serve. i can work with smaller numbers, but 16 is the maximum and ideal number for the carnage

hello I heard some cornholes need to be sandblasted, I am here to assist (in)

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







Fleta Mcgurn posted:

Sorry I'm late getting back to you, but yes. If a lot of people are late, I'll extend it.

considering IRC has been alive with "wait, the deadline is what time??" I have a feeling you will be extending it

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



why would you read the prompt. why would you do something so horrible

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







Djeser posted:

why would you do something so horrible

this is what I wonder every time I read your posts??

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Sitting Here posted:

considering IRC has been alive with "wait, the deadline is what time??" I have a feeling you will be extending it

I'll just extend it now, if it's worrying people; I figured since the prompt went out on Monday, it would be enough time. :shrug:

:siren:The deadline has been extended to 6 PM Monday, Paris time:siren: Google what time that is where you are.

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007

Like most things, I am nothing


flerp posted:

hey babydome, how’s it been? having a nice time with your friends, writing bad words, being dumb, etc etc? well, its time to change all of that because it is time for blood. it is time to announce:

THE SECOND KIND OF ANNUAL MEGABRAWL

muffin ran a megabrawl a while back and now im here to run another. do you think youre tough poo poo, a cool rear end motherfucker who is the best writer on these dead gay forums? or do you want to stomp some nerds in the ground and steal their hopes and dreams lunch money? then well youve come to the right place.

multiple rounds of brawl against the toughest of the tough in this (not really) venerated hall of fiction. if you lose, youre out. the last one standing is the champion.

this isnt going to be your standard brawl prompts tho, oh no. this isnt going to be "write about your favorite pet" or "tell me about that dream you had" or other baby poo poo. these prompts will be here to test you. they'll be hard. they'll take you out of your comfort zone. hell, they might not even be fiction prompts. you dont know. nobody does except me. but if you think youre hot poo poo then that shouldnt matter to you. the only thing that matters is OWNING DUMB NERDS.

no restrictions. you think youre good enough even if you dont have an HM or a win? then come along and gently caress some kids up. there will be no hand holding, no consolation prizes (or prizes in general). all there is to earn is eternal glory, and all there is to lose is honor (and your life but doesnt matter compared to the honor).

talk poo poo, quote this post, and join the MEGABRAWL.

only 16 may enter in this glorious combat. first come first serve. i can work with smaller numbers, but 16 is the maximum and ideal number for the carnage

You're fuckin out, I'm fuckin in.

Aesclepia
Dec 5, 2013
Next verse same as the first.

flerp posted:

hey babydome, how’s it been? having a nice time with your friends, writing bad words, being dumb, etc etc? well, its time to change all of that because it is time for blood. it is time to announce:

THE SECOND KIND OF ANNUAL MEGABRAWL

muffin ran a megabrawl a while back and now im here to run another. do you think youre tough poo poo, a cool rear end motherfucker who is the best writer on these dead gay forums? or do you want to stomp some nerds in the ground and steal their hopes and dreams lunch money? then well youve come to the right place.

multiple rounds of brawl against the toughest of the tough in this (not really) venerated hall of fiction. if you lose, youre out. the last one standing is the champion.

this isnt going to be your standard brawl prompts tho, oh no. this isnt going to be "write about your favorite pet" or "tell me about that dream you had" or other baby poo poo. these prompts will be here to test you. they'll be hard. they'll take you out of your comfort zone. hell, they might not even be fiction prompts. you dont know. nobody does except me. but if you think youre hot poo poo then that shouldnt matter to you. the only thing that matters is OWNING DUMB NERDS.

no restrictions. you think youre good enough even if you dont have an HM or a win? then come along and gently caress some kids up. there will be no hand holding, no consolation prizes (or prizes in general). all there is to earn is eternal glory, and all there is to lose is honor (and your life but doesnt matter compared to the honor).

talk poo poo, quote this post, and join the MEGABRAWL.

only 16 may enter in this glorious combat. first come first serve. i can work with smaller numbers, but 16 is the maximum and ideal number for the carnage

No restrictions you say? Then I'll make my first stand here. IN.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!







Aesclepia posted:

No restrictions you say? Then I'll make my first stand here. IN.

didnt see this coming but the 'dome cares not for whose blood is split, as long as there is blood

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







Aesclepia posted:

No restrictions you say? Then I'll make my first stand here. IN.

I liek your style

Toadsmash
Jun 10, 2009

Dave Tate's downsy face approves.

In. I may end up regretting it doing this as a first timer, but I can rage and bleed with the best of em. This should be a good time. :kingsley:

e: fixed for quote

flerp posted:

hey babydome, how’s it been? having a nice time with your friends, writing bad words, being dumb, etc etc? well, its time to change all of that because it is time for blood. it is time to announce:

THE SECOND KIND OF ANNUAL MEGABRAWL

muffin ran a megabrawl a while back and now im here to run another. do you think youre tough poo poo, a cool rear end motherfucker who is the best writer on these dead gay forums? or do you want to stomp some nerds in the ground and steal their hopes and dreams lunch money? then well youve come to the right place.

multiple rounds of brawl against the toughest of the tough in this (not really) venerated hall of fiction. if you lose, youre out. the last one standing is the champion.

this isnt going to be your standard brawl prompts tho, oh no. this isnt going to be "write about your favorite pet" or "tell me about that dream you had" or other baby poo poo. these prompts will be here to test you. they'll be hard. they'll take you out of your comfort zone. hell, they might not even be fiction prompts. you dont know. nobody does except me. but if you think youre hot poo poo then that shouldnt matter to you. the only thing that matters is OWNING DUMB NERDS.

no restrictions. you think youre good enough even if you dont have an HM or a win? then come along and gently caress some kids up. there will be no hand holding, no consolation prizes (or prizes in general). all there is to earn is eternal glory, and all there is to lose is honor (and your life but doesnt matter compared to the honor).

talk poo poo, quote this post, and join the MEGABRAWL.

only 16 may enter in this glorious combat. first come first serve. i can work with smaller numbers, but 16 is the maximum and ideal number for the carnage

Toadsmash fucked around with this message at 21:44 on Aug 12, 2017

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Toadsmash posted:

In. I may end up regretting it doing this as a first timer, but I can rage and bleed with the best of em. This should be a good time. :kingsley:

:black101:

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


flerp posted:

hey babydome, how’s it been? having a nice time with your friends, writing bad words, being dumb, etc etc? well, its time to change all of that because it is time for blood. it is time to announce:

THE SECOND KIND OF ANNUAL MEGABRAWL

muffin ran a megabrawl a while back and now im here to run another. do you think youre tough poo poo, a cool rear end motherfucker who is the best writer on these dead gay forums? or do you want to stomp some nerds in the ground and steal their hopes and dreams lunch money? then well youve come to the right place.

multiple rounds of brawl against the toughest of the tough in this (not really) venerated hall of fiction. if you lose, youre out. the last one standing is the champion.

this isnt going to be your standard brawl prompts tho, oh no. this isnt going to be "write about your favorite pet" or "tell me about that dream you had" or other baby poo poo. these prompts will be here to test you. they'll be hard. they'll take you out of your comfort zone. hell, they might not even be fiction prompts. you dont know. nobody does except me. but if you think youre hot poo poo then that shouldnt matter to you. the only thing that matters is OWNING DUMB NERDS.

no restrictions. you think youre good enough even if you dont have an HM or a win? then come along and gently caress some kids up. there will be no hand holding, no consolation prizes (or prizes in general). all there is to earn is eternal glory, and all there is to lose is honor (and your life but doesnt matter compared to the honor).

talk poo poo, quote this post, and join the MEGABRAWL.

only 16 may enter in this glorious combat. first come first serve. i can work with smaller numbers, but 16 is the maximum and ideal number for the carnage

I always wanted to be in a tournament arc. IN

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


RADIOACTIVE DUST SURGE DETECTED


flerp posted:

THE SECOND KIND OF ANNUAL MEGABRAWL
...
talk poo poo, quote this post, and join the MEGABRAWL.
In this realm of stinky trash garbage writing, my fetid words will leave a stench to be remembered.

Unlike all your posting, the horrible smell of which is nauseating, but quickly forgotten

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


is there still room in megabrawl? if so count me in

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!







blue squares posted:

is there still room in megabrawl? if so count me in

there is! however there are only two more spots left!

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Hit me up Babyflerp.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


Bad Seafood posted:

Hit me up Babyflerp.

I hope we match up in the first round. there can be only one BS

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Fret not, friendo.

Whether we face off or don't, whether you win or lose, your name will always be synonymous with BS around here.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Yeah i could lose some brawls, I'm in

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!







crabrock posted:

Yeah i could lose some brawls, I'm in

and that makes sixteen! ill get the matchups seeded and release the first prompt asap!

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!







Sixteen fools who do not value their lives have entered this sacred arena. Their names are:
Thranguy!
sebmojo!
SurreptitiousMuffin!
Chili!
Tyrannosaurus!
Jitzu_the_Monk!
Djeser!
Sitting Here!
Beef Supreme!
Aesclepia!
Toadsmash!
Solitair!
Uranium Phoenix!
blue squares!
Bad Seafood!
Fleta Mcgurn!
and crabrock!

Some are well known. Others, not so much. It does not matter. They shall face each other in glorious battle. One on one, the purest form of conflict. It is time for the

FIRST ROUND OF THE SECOND KIND OF ANNUAL MEGABRAWL!

Let’s keep this simple, for now.

The prompt is: unlikeable protagonist set in the 19th century written in second person.

(just as an fyi with the prompts: i will offer no further clarification or information about them. they are as they stand. it is up to you to interpret and apply them. i wont tell you what i'm looking for, except, obviously, for good stories. likewise, if i dont explicitly forbid something, then it is open to you as an option. this applies to all future megabrawl prompts)

Should be no problem for all of you, surely. It won’t stay this easy, I promise you that. I don’t want to waste my best on the weakest.

However, what you really care about is who you are facing, correct? You will not know. It does not matter who your foe is. Your greatest enemy is not the ones you face on the the battlefield, but yourself. If you are valiant enough, you can overcome even the strongest of rivals.

Good luck.

Word count: 1000
Due Date: Saturday, August 26th, 2017, 11:59PM PST (talk to me if you need an extension. I’m very willing to give you the extra time if you need it)

(Yes I have already decided the matchups. You just don’t get to see them.)

flerp fucked around with this message at 16:39 on Aug 13, 2017

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


flerp posted:

Sixteen fools who do not value their lives have entered this sacred arena. Their names are:
Thranguy!
sebmojo!
SurreptitiousMuffin!
Chili!
Tyrannosaurus!
Jitzu_the_Monk!
Djeser!
Sitting Here!
Beef Supreme!
Aesclepia!
Toadsmash!
Solitair!
Uranium Phoenix!
blue squares!
Bad Seafood!
and crabrock!

Some are well known. Others, not so much. It does not matter. They shall face each other in glorious battle. One on one, the purest form of conflict. It is time for the

FIRST ROUND OF THE SECOND KIND OF ANNUAL MEGABRAWL!

Let’s keep this simple, for now.

The prompt is: unlikeable protagonist set in the 19th century written in second person.

(just as an fyi with the prompts: i will offer no further clarification or information about them. they are as they stand. it is up to you to interpret and apply them. i wont tell you what i'm looking for, except, obviously, for good stories. likewise, if i dont explicitly forbid something, then it is open to you as an option. this applies to all future megabrawl prompts)

Should be no problem for all of you, surely. It won’t stay this easy, I promise you that. I don’t want to waste my best on the weakest.

However, what you really care about is who you are facing, correct? You will not know. It does not matter who your foe is. Your greatest enemy is not the ones you face on the the battlefield, but yourself. If you are valiant enough, you can overcome even the strongest of rivals.

Good luck.

Word count: 1000
Due Date: Saturday, August 26th, 2017, 11:59PM PST (talk to me if you need an extension. I’m very willing to give you the extra time if you need it)

(Yes I have already decided the matchups. You just don’t get to see them.)

Uhhhh, hey, is there a reason I'm not on that list? Because I did sign up, or so I thought.

e: You don't need to change your evil plan. I was just looking forward to it. :smith:

Fleta Mcgurn fucked around with this message at 09:58 on Aug 13, 2017

Aesclepia
Dec 5, 2013
Next verse same as the first.

Fleta Mcgurn posted:

Uhhhh, hey, is there a reason I'm not on that list? Because I did sign up, or so I thought.

e: You don't need to change your evil plan. I was just looking forward to it. :smith:

It won't be me, but there's a chance someone will shame their family, ancestors, name, and gods by not posting and then Fleta could take their spot? Flerp has it already planned? Someone gets a secret bye round?

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!







Fleta Mcgurn posted:

Uhhhh, hey, is there a reason I'm not on that list? Because I did sign up, or so I thought.

e: You don't need to change your evil plan. I was just looking forward to it. :smith:

opps shouldve double checked, my bad. however, youre in! ill get things figured out, you just write.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


M
1386 words

Hearing the sound of loud voices trying hard to not be, Kathy tiptoed downstairs, clutching the handrail. If her son saw her on the stairs alone, he’d immediately rush to help. Whenever Kathy was back in the house she’d lived in as a child and where she’d raised her kids, she hated feeling old and helpless. Fortunately, Eric was too immersed in whatever drama was playing out with his wife and son to hear the soft creaking as she reached the bottom step.

“You’re fourteen years old.” Repeated for the fifth or sixth time, the phrase seemed to be central to Eric’s position in the argument and greatly annoyed Kathy (she’d been in the “age is just a number” camp since turning 80 and refusing to hand over her driver’s license or stop camping).

“We just don’t want you doing anything you’d regret later,” Samantha added, her tone bereft of the usual counterbalancing softness that accompanied most of these not uncommon arguments, hinting at some raised level of seriousness.

“I’ve already been doing that for fourteen miserable years,” came the precocious response of Kathy’s only grandchild, her treasured Matthew. “It’s not my fault, okay? It’s not anyone’s fault. But I’m not a boy. Something went wrong. I’m a girl.”

Kathy had been about to wander into the room. She planned to defuse the situation with her presence, but she stopped at those three words. Her hand shakily reached out to the wall for support, as much from age as from surprise. The sudden stop threw her balance off. Instead of solid wall her palm pressed against a family photograph, which spun on its nail. Kathy careened forward with the picture, colliding with a hall table on her way to the floor and blackness.

#

Matthew still felt alienated from that name yet had been unable to will herself to commit to another. She looked at the name tags on each of her grandmother’s nurses, weighing whether she felt like she could be a Sandra or a Jill, a Monica or an Astrid. All she knew was that she couldn’t keep being a Matthew. For now, she’d have to just be M.

M sat in the uncomfortable bedside chair in her grandmother’s hospital room, facing the window. Her parents had gone to get some food, or perhaps just time away from the person they called Matthew. She wore a borrowed hospital gown over her jeans and t-shirt, a secret rebellion that she’d abandon as soon as she heard the first signs of her parents returning. Grandma breathed slowly under the influence of an IV sedative, recovering from a minor knee operation.

M flitted the flimsy gown up and down, imagining what it would be like to wear a dress and have no one find it remarkable. A sudden desire to sprint out of the building and to the nearest cross-country bus swelled within her, though she’d never even taken a city bus anywhere. The walls of the hospital felt as if they were inching in behind her.

Her life felt as much of a trap as her name.

#

Kathy heard the argument resume in whispers while her eyes stayed closed. The word she’d heard on the news so many times came to mind. In a brief panic, Kathy wondered if Matthew would be able to go to the restroom anywhere in the hospital, or if she should get out of bed and drive him home. She dismissed the ridiculous thought and with an effort opened her eyes and turned her head to watch the hushed confrontation. Matthew stared at the ground, Eric and Samantha standing over him——him? Or..?——looking like schoolteachers who’d caught a student cheating. She wanted to say something, but had no idea where to begin.

“Well.”

That was all she could manage, but it was enough to summon them all to her side. They huddled over her, touching her head and hands and asking if she were okay. “Fine. Please, I’m fine.”

A moment passed in which the the unfinished argument floated among them like a ghost, battling with the need to be caring and respectful. No one seemed to know what to do, so Kathy, looking at Matthew, finally broke the silence.

“She came through Los Angeles. A hero, though you’d have thought her a criminal from the way some spoke of her. It was different in that time, but then again, so was she.”

It was Matthew who replied, as Kathy expected. “Who?”

“The pilot. Lady Lindy.” She smiled. “Amelia Earhart.”

“Mom, what are you talking about? Amelia Earhart?” Eric asked and glanced at the hallway as if looking for a nurse to flag down. “Are you feeling okay?”

“I was ten years old,” she said, ignoring him. “The first vacation of my life. Your great-grandparents and me. I remember the whole drive we were silent because I told them I wasn’t going to be a nurse like they expected, like my mother was, that I wanted to be a truck driver. See things, travel, the world and all of that. Oh you should have seen their faces. Funny now, but not then.”

Kathy rolled her head back into her pillow and let the memories of that day alongside Sunset Boulevard bubble up. Matthew leaned forward.

“We didn’t even know she was coming. But we couldn’t get to the beach because of the people. People lined the streets as far as I could see. A parade coming. It felt huge to me, though it was only a few police cars and then her.

“Her trip around the world was starting soon. She came by in the back of a big black car, a convertible, sitting up on the back seat and waving. I don’t know what it was, but I had to get in that car. I had to. We’d all listened to so much about her on the radio, and I’d seen her picture in the paper. I couldn’t get enough of her back then. It was so sad when she…”

“I ran past the policeman and somehow, I don’t even know, but I got inside the car. Hugged her leg, and before I knew it I was babbling to her about my parents, my life, what I really wanted. I know I was causing all kinds of chaos and problems, but she looked me right in the eyes. I could tell. She understood everything. She told me I had to do what was best for——”

“Please, that’s enough,” Samantha interrupted. She’d always been quicker than Eric. “This is between us and our son.” She looked to Eric for support.

“Mom, I don’t know what you’re trying to do making up a story right now. If you’d met Amelia Earhart, let alone become, what, a truck driver?——then I think I’d have heard about it by now.” He glanced at his watch. “Look, we were supposed to be out of here to let the doctors work, I don’t know, I think twenty minutes ago. We’ll be back tonight, okay?” He softened for a moment and met her eyes. “You’re just a little out of it from the medicine. It’s fine.”

As Eric and Samantha gathered their things to leave, Kathy took her grandchild’s hand and whispered a few sentences. Then they were gone.

#

After lunch, M sat in her bedroom, the same one her grandmother had lived in for so long. When she was sure her parents were out of earshot, she slid her bed against the opposite wall and knelt down to the wooden floor. The board with the funny looking, faint stain, the one she’d never noticed before, it wiggled if you pressed it just right. It popped up and underneath, there it was. A bit rusty, plenty dusty, but unmistakable.

Aviator’s wings. Old. The ones that Amelia Earhart had pressed into Kathy’s hands. And below it, faded but legible, was a small picture of Kathy, maybe twenty years old, in the cab of a truck, looking like all the world was hers.

#

Melissa kept that photo for a long time. She didn’t do anything drastic like run away, but she went down her own path. She looked at that picture whenever it felt as if she couldn’t keep going forward. And she never looked back.


Prompt
Amelia Earhart and Los Angeles, 1400 words max

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




Fleta Mcgurn posted:

Cool Runnings, South America
and my picks:
chandeliers, clams, Rebel Wilson

The Physics of Bodies in Motion

1675 Words

Wendy stopped the rented Challenger in front of the mansion. It was still impressive, huge and commanding the top of the hill, although it had clearly seen better days. Most of the ground floor windows were boarded up, the carports were empty save one old van, the lawn untended for weeks. She double-checked the GPS and the old photographs, then nodded to herself.

Amanda answered the door. Unlike the mansion, she was as beautiful as ever. “Wendy?” she said, squinting at her.

“Amanda,” she shouted, going in for the hug. Amanda took a step back, but not quickly enough. Even back at Duke she hadn’t been big on hugs, less so from women and even less so from women more than twice her size. As then, she gingerly patted Wendy’s back until the hug was over.

“What are you even doing here?” asked Amanda.

“Don’t you need all the help you can get?”

“Well,” said Amanda, “Yes. But I didn’t ask. How’d you even know about-”

“You mean you don’t know?” said Wendy. She reached into her purse and brought out her tablet. “‘Manda, you’ve gone viral.”

BAD CLAMS SINK KINGPIN read the clickbait headline, and the story had all the details. Gabriel Ribiera’s operation smuggling cocaine in barrels of razor clams, where the water and seafood smells would defeat the drug-sniffing dogs and the sharp edges of the shellfish deter any as-yet-unbribed rookie customs agents from reaching in too deep. Of how those same sharp edges tore through the packaging on one shipment, ruining it and, more importantly, the clams. Of the chaos that ensued at the wedding of Isabella Franconi, daughter of Big Tony Franconi, as the guests consumed the coke-tainted seafood, and the revenge he took when he found out who was responsible. And, of course, the inconvenient widow of that responsible criminal, an American citizen who could not be dislodged from the mansion without risking an international incident.

“If you ask me,” said Wendy as her former roommate read, “They were just asking for trouble. I mean, who has a raw bar at a wedding?”

“Pardon me,” said a man, walking in from a side hall. His voice was measured and deep. He wore dreadlocks and a business suit. “Does madam’s guest have any bags?”

“What?” said Wendy. “Oh, yeah, two in the trunk.” She tossed the rental’s keys and he caught them left-handed.
“So who’s the biscuit?” asked Wendy as soon as he was out of earshot.

“That’s Brantley,” said Amanda. “He was the butler.”

“Why’s he still hanging around?”

“I’m not sure. I mean, I sort of think he wants to get into my pants.”

“Ohmigod!” squealed Wendy, looking up. There it was, hanging from the ceiling of the mansion’s double-overlook hall, slightly below the level of the third floor, a three-hundred light chandelier, a bit larger than a card table and shining with crystal and polished metal. “I am so going to swing across the room on that thing before we leave.”

“What?” said Amanda. “Are you crazy?”

“I mean, yeah, get every mattress and pillow in the house down here first, sure, just in case.”

“Would it even, uh, support...”

Wendy rolled her eyes. “Yes, it would. Back when this place was first built, the chandelier was solid gold. Then during the war of independence they had it melted down, replaced with gold-plated lead, and then in the seventies Gabriel’s father got worried about having that much lead around and replaced it with brass.”

“How do you know all of this?”

“There was this whole show about this place, with the Brazilian equivalent of Robin Leach. Lifestyles of the decadent and criminal, that kind of thing. It’s on Youtube. You really never looked it up? Anyhow, they replaced the fixture but left the support cables in place, and those things could pull up a freight elevator.

“What was that about ‘before we leave’?” said Amanda.

“Well, that’s what I’m here for,” said Wendy. “To help you move, That’s what a friend does.”

“I’m not leaving.”

“Honey, you kind of have to.”

“I’m not. You can stay as long as you like, but I’m not going anywhere.”

= = =

They had a modest dinner, prepared by Brantly, in one of the smaller kitchens.

“How could you stay with a man like that?” Wendy asked.

“Well,” said Amanda, “I didn’t know about any of the criminal stuff, not until the firefight started?”

“Really?” asked Wendy. “I don’t see how you could not-”

“He was just a rich guy who bought me things,” said Amanda. “And a very attentive lover. He’s show me off to people, but other than that I had no idea what he was doing. I don’t even speak Spanish.”

“Portuguese,” said Wendy, loudly, and Brantly, almost under his breath, at the same time.

Wendy wondered if the Germans had a word for the particular shade of embarrassment one feels when one realizes one has said extremely foolish things in the presence of several different people, all of whom are now either dead or in prison. If there wasn’t one, they’d have had to make one up on the spot if they could have seen Amanda’s face at that moment.

= = =

After dinner, Brantly led Wendy up to her room. He lingered, at the door, waiting for something. She smiled, and her eyes invited him in.

“She’s not crazy, you know,” said Brantly, after.

“What do you mean?”

“Gabriel had a bug-out bag, hidden somewhere in the house. Money, maybe gold or gemstones.”

“So, when one of you find it, you’ll split it up and leave?”

“Something like that,” he said.

“Say, do you have any, you know...” said Wendy. “I could really use a smoke right now.”

“So you just assume that because I’m from Jamaica I’m going to always have marijuana on hand, is that it?” Brantly sat up, eyes nearly bugged out. “Maybe you think I should start droppin’ all my g’s, and start callin’ everybody ‘mon’, is that it?”

“No!” said Wendy, scooting back across the bed. “I didn’t, that is I didn’t mean-”

Brantly laughed. “Just joking with you, Wendy. But no, I’m not holding today. Times are rough.”

= = =

“What do you think you’re doing?” shouted Amanda as she stormed into the third floor overhang. Unfortunately, it looked completely obvious to her what Wendy was doing. The chandelier had been pulled all the way to the rail and attached to it with a double-hook, pulling on the fixture’s wire cradle on that side, and Wendy had crawled out onto the thing. The rails were creaking with the strain, but seemed to be holding. “Are you insane?” She looked down. No mattresses, no pillows, even.

“Quite the contrary,” said Brantly, sauntering over to the rail. “She’s quite clever. Useful, too. Up to a point.” Brantly gave the railing a solid kick, and between the strain of what it was never meant to support and years of shoddy upkeep, it gave way. The chandelier swung, slowly at first, then faster, carrying Wendy away with it. She scrambled, managing to get her arms around two wires of the supporting cradle as her feet dangled perilously above the long drop.

“Are you insane?” said Amanda. barely keeping from hyperventilating.

“Is she still hanging on?” said Brantly. “Inconvenient. Well, you first, then. The grieving widow, taking a two-story header. I’m sure the tale will bring someone millions of clicks.” He advanced on Amanda, arms extended, and grabbed at her torso. She struggled, forcing him to let go. He moved to grab on even tighter. Then the pendular arc of the swinging chandelier brought it back to their rail. Amanda leapt, and grabbed Wendy’s leg. Brantly closed his grip without thinking, sliding down to hold tight onto Amanda’s feet, and the human chain dangled as the work of brass and crystal traced a partial circle through the air.

Amanda worked one foot free. Brantly held on with the other. As the chandelier neared the its lowest point, Amanda kicked down with her free foot, driving her heel into his wrist with a satisfying crunch. Brantly let go and flew, forward and down in a parabolic arc, slamming into first the wall and then the floor. He lay on the ground, neck bent at one of those angles necks are not naturally able to assume.

= = =

Friction had finally brought the swinging chandelier more or less to rest, in the center of the room. They sat across from each other, on top, after some awkward climbing. “So now what?” said Amanda.

“Call the police?” said Wendy. “I have my phone, at least.”

“No good,” said Amanda. “Brantly was Federal Police, undercover. Corrupt as hell, but still police enough to be a ton of trouble.”

“I thought you said you didn’t know anything about-”

“Yes, because Brantly was Federal Police.”

“Oh. Well, we could call a friend. You know, the kind who won’t just help you move but will help you move a-”

Amanda burst out crying. “I don’t have any friends like that!”

Wendy reached out toward her. “You have one,” she said.

“And a fat lot of good that does now!” shouted Amanda. “Oh god, I’m sorry, I didn’t-”

“Don’t worry,” said Wendy. “I’ve heard worse. And I have some friends like that. Now who’d be able to make it to Brazil before we die of thirst or something? Keith, though he’s been weird since the wedding. Paulo, I think. And if I can’t reach him then Simone.”

“And they’ll just fly out here if you ask?”

“Well, we’ll probably have to pay back the ticket. Good thing I just found Gabriel’s stash.”

“You did?”

“See this big bob thing in the middle? I watched the old video tour again and it wasn’t there. Someone added it pretty recently.” She reached over to it. “Looks like the top twists off.”

“God,” said Amanda, “I hope it’s actually the money, and not, like, his porn stash or something.”

“Only one way to find out,” said Wendy, and they twisted off the top together.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.


Grimey Drawer



(Prompt: Pic above and "Indiana Jones")

(Count: 1291)

F.D.D

In the shapeless frame of existence a select few can see the bars that separate worlds. Even fewer can traverse them. ~Always Abberations Vol. 1

Among the armaments Hassle had in his backpack, there were stun guns, a hexing wand, a pouch of smoke grenades, and a wooden box with the words Playwright stuffon it. The Border Guardian cast a quizzical eye over the weaponry and wooden mask on the counter. The Guardian said,

“You have no killing implements? It is advisable that if you go into the Endlands that you bring one weapon capable of killing.”

Hassle replied, “I don’t condone murder for any reason.”

Hassle shoved his mask back onto his face with an airy THUNK.

The Border Guardian let out a creaking sigh like foundation settling. She gave him a broken coke bottle and sunk back into the border wall.

Hassle listened to the broken bottle while leaning on the wall that separated the Birthing lands from the Endlands. He disliked the Birthing Lands and was excited to leave them. Everything was too verdant and chipper here. It was like a permanent version of Disneyland or Hitlerworld without the underbelly of malevolence. He didn’t like realities with few dangers because of they, ironically, felt unrealistic.

The bottle dissipated into a greasy plume of gas. Swing music emanated from the other side of the wall. Entries to numerous realities were hidden behind amnesia. The bottle was a fragment of a fallen world and it jogged Hassle’s primordial memories.

Forty paces south from the border wall he found the door. He stepped through it into a diner. A jukebox played while greasers shot at an unknown enemy from some blasted windows. One of them pulled a pin off a grenade and lobbed it into the dusty war zone beyond.

An earsplitting boom shook the foundation. Hassle sniffed the air to see how this world would end. He smelled a terrestrial disease and knew an infection was incoming. He dug around the diner for scents that would lead him to something more memorable.

A beam of energy shot through the window and electrocuted one of the greasers. His girlfriend, Miranda who was huddling behind a jukebox with a sniper rifle screamed,

“Danny!”

His skeleton danced inside the black silhouette of his electrified body. When the light show ended the greaser was replaced with a blond haired blue eyed muscle-bound Ken doll with a cellophane grin. The doll said,

“Golly! You guys should give up and become a model citizen like me. It’s the bee’s knees!”

Miranda screamed in anger and shot him in repulsion. The bullet went out the back Danny’s head, splattering pink juice all over a stack of boxed up apple pies.

Hassle swept away the rubble from the floor with a little pocket broom. He dusted off a pamphlet for a revolutionary body modification program:

Become the model citizen you were born to be. Come to a Z-Ray Seminar Today!

Hassle figured the current battle was a result of these seminars. It was old news, he’s seen weight loss programs destroy civilization before. The Z-Ray sounded interesting. He’d never heard of anything like it in his previous travels.

It apparently replaced 82.5% of the body with the chemical makeup of a mannequin. He wanted to add it to his collection. Hassle kneeled beside the greasers. He coughed into his hand,

“Say, are those people out there the ones with the Z-rays?”

The greasers ducked and spun around.

Miranda said,

“Who the heck are you? Why are you dressed like that?!”

Hassle clutched his robes and said, “What’s wrong with how I dress? Yellow’s always en vogue.”

One of the greasers pointed a shotgun at Hassle and said,

“Miranda's Right. You look crazy! What’s with that mask?”

Miranda pointed her rifle at Hassle’s mask, she said, “Are you another one of the Model citizens?”

Hassle put up his hands in surrender and said,

“C’mon. You said it yourself. I’m weird looking. The models are all exceptionally beautiful, right? How could I be one of them?”

The logic caught them off guard. The doorway to the diner blew in as Model woman Mary-Lou bashed the door down with her shoulder. Two other women leaped over the counter, Betty-Sue, and Veronica, and grappled with the two remaining greasers. Miranda shot wildly at them, breaking some until-now miraculously untouched plates in the kitchen.

Mary-Lou jumped over the counter with the door in hand and swung it into Miranda with inhuman strength, bashing her head into the jukebox. The three Models were victorious. Both greasers were tied and gagged.

Mary-Lou dropped the door and pulled a firearm from a plastic hollow in her torso. It looked like a blow torch with a satellite dish stuck it. She whistled as she eyed Hassle up and down,

“Well, gee! Look at you! Halloween was last month you know!” Mary-Lou said.

Betty-Sue circled Hassle and pulled at his robes, “You’re very strange looking! Are you a communist?”

Veronica gave Hassle a smile causing her cheeks to be pinched up like a living doll, “You of all people need some Z-rays!.”

The three of them pushed Hassle into the kitchen so he had nowhere to run. Mary-Lou pressed back the red lever on the Z-Ray Pistol. Hassle warned them,

“ That pistol will show my insides to you all. It is in your best interests if you don’t see beneath my pallid mask.”

They gave him a vacant look. Betty-sue said,

“I knew it! Only a communist would talk like that.”

They shot Hassle and the greasers shuddered in their ropes as they imagined their soon-to-be fate if they didn’t escape. The room went quiet as the greasers struggled out of their bindings.

“You okay Tommy?” Donnie asked.

Tommy dusted off his leather jacket and checked his hair,

“I guess so.”

Hassle plucked the pistol from Mary-Lou like an apple from a tree. Betty-Sue shrieked and jumped out a window. Mary-Lou cried and tore the door off of the pie oven and curled up inside it. Veronica had a spellbound look that stretched the remaining flesh in her face off-center. She said,

“Have you seen the Yellow Sign?”

She sat on the ground and repeated that over and over.

Tommy and Donny grabbed Hassles hand and shook it roughly. Tommy said,

“You saved us, buddy! I don’t what you did but I want to make you an official member of our gang. You can help us take back Cali from these plastoid freaks.”

Hassle stashed the Z-Ray in his pack,

“No thanks, boys. This world's done for and the aftermath of total extinction is rather boring. I suggest you make peace with your pretend deities.”

Hassle grabbed one of the leftover pies and disappeared. Later, Donny thought over the Yellow man's words as he and Tommy searched for weapons in the ruins of the gun store next door to the Diner. Donny said,

“Tommy. Are the Models gonna destroy the world?”

Tommy gulped down a bite of apple pie. He grumbled, “That yellow freak was crazy. We’re going to take back the U.S from these Squares. There’s still plenty of rebels out there like us.”

Rain started to fall ruining Tommy’s pie. He said,

“Yuck! The rain tastes like sweat!”

Far away, in a place made of stars and rivers, Hassle stepped into his throne room in Carcosa. He deposited the Z-Ray into a glass case next to a bottle of Living Drought. His collection of apocalyptic remnants was coming along nicely. He took off his mask and ate some pie.

“Mmm. Nothing like the taste of pie to make you fall in love with existence all over again.”

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Droid Story
Word count: 1495

When D.E.N.Z.E.L. was created, he represented the pinnacle of what Ghana's H.O.P.E. City project could accomplish, a technological marvel that would put the country on the world stage. His creator, Kwame Johnson, had designed him to be a perfect replica of his favorite actor, indistinguishable from the real thing. The likeness was uncanny, and passed the Turing test with flying colors.

"Looks just like the real thing, doesn't he?" Kwame asked the press during the unveiling, his arm around D.E.N.Z.E.L.'s shoulder. "Hard to believe he's made out of metal and plastic, right, buddy?"

D.E.N.Z.E.L. smiled for the cameras. "I may have been born yesterday, but I stayed up all night," he said, prompting polite laughter from the crowd of reporters.

---

Soon enough, though, the novelty of lifelike android wore off, and H.O.P.E. City looked for reasons to keep him around once he served his purpose as a walking, talking tech demo. Ultimately, Kwame and his contemporaries settled on loaning him out to the police; the drug war had flared up again, heroin slipped north to Europe before the law noticed, and Accra's finest were willing to try anything to get results. Why not recruit a tireless, strong, handsome robot who could probably kick some rear end and take some names?

Everything went well, at first. D.E.N.Z.E.L. outperformed the human officers he worked with, doing paperwork, patrols, and other routine tasks so well that everyone else could concentrate on business they assumed were beyond his processing capabilities. Every week it seemed that D.E.N.Z.E.L. made a bust, laying dope on the table so the media could take a pretty picture. A breakthrough came when he discovered that the cartel's secret source of product was the humble sunfish traveling across the Atlantic with an addictive burden. The next day, he held a photo-op of him removing heroin bags from the sides of their huge, flat bodies.

Not that it ever seemed to matter in the long run. The dope kept coming; there were always more sunfish, and the usual suspects kept getting back on the streets. All the while Kwame and the other engineers treated him coolly, lacking enthusiasm for D.E.N.Z.E.L.'s consistent performance. Something inside D.E.N.Z.E.L. shifted, and he started to get tired of his Sisyphean ordeal. He saw himself going in, guns blazing, kicking rear end and taking names, finally cracking the drug trade's reign of terror and making Ghana a shining land, the envy of all Africa.

The moment his investigations got more serious, he attracted the attention of Gamal, a veteran on the force who seemed bemused at the mechanical man he often partnered with. "You wanna actually catch the wolves out there?" he asked D.E.N.Z.E.L. "A man after my own heart. Just remember though, it takes a wolf to catch a wolf."

---

Gamal kept mentoring him in secret, away from the prying eyes of internal affairs, and taught him what he called "street secrets." Their cases together got riskier and riskier, until one day D.E.N.Z.E.L. took point in checking out a new potential smuggling site and someone pushed him off the rail, onto an industrial-strength pneumatic presser, already in action. On a hunch, he kept his close escape hidden at first, and soon found new evidence linking Gamal and half the force with the higher-ups in the smuggling organization who never seemed to stay in custody for long. For the first time in his life, anger simmered in D.E.N.Z.E.L.'s circuits, threatening to overheat his system. When he found out that the whole gang, traitors and all, would meet to ensure a large shipment's scheduled voyage north, he knew what he had to do.

The cartel never knew what hit them. D.E.N.Z.E.L. practically danced through the front gate, swinging the guns in his hand to point in just about every direction and pausing only to squeeze the trigger and puncture the heads of anyone trying to draw a bead on him. By the time he ran out of ammo, he switched to throwing gears, wrenches, and any other heavy object he could find in the factory at the traffickers' fragile hands. In his beast-like state, he shoved every higher-up and treacherous officer he could find thorough a jutting pipe or a snarl-toothed gear or swaying hook that would puncture their flesh just so, or just used windows when nothing else was around, all while Gamal winged him with shots that would slow down a flesh-and-blood man.

"D.E.N.Z.E.L.!" Gamal shrieked. "You disloyal fool-rear end bitch-made punk! You think you can do this to me?" He screamed again when D.E.N.Z.E.L. ripped his gun out of his hands, breaking his trigger finger in the process.

"I'm a wolf now, friend," D.E.N.Z.E.L. said, overwhelmed by the anticipation of his hard work finally paying off. "It's off to the next life for you. I guarantee you won't be lonely." After he shoved Gamal off a five-story roof, he was finally ready to call it for the day.

---

The next day, D.E.N.Z.E.L. and Kwame watched a newsfeed of his rampage. D.E.N.Z.E.L. heard his last words to Gamal playing over bloodied bodies, crumpled bodies, impaled bodies, and went deathly still. As Kwame shut off the TV, his face frozen in a grimace, D.E.N.Z.E.L. knew he had committed a grave error. Kwame screamed at the top of his lungs about how many police officers had died at the scene of the crime, officers that the law had not proved guilty as D.E.N.Z.E.L. knew they were.

After five loud questions asking how D.E.N.Z.E.L. could do this to Kwame, H.O.P.E. City and the people of Ghana, a shaking D.E.N.Z.E.L. blurted, "I wanted you to be proud of me!"

"PROUD?" Kwame shouted. "You think this is about pride? You think there's a law out there that says I have to be proud of you?" He shoved D.E.N.Z.E.L. against the wall, knocking him over. "I didn't send you to join the police to make me feel proud; I did it because I owe the government results from all the money they sank into you, and because I'm responsible for you making yourself useful. You think H.O.P.E. City pays my salary because it's proud of me? They pay me because they owe me! I didn't put any of this pride poo poo in you when I built you, and I ain't obligated to be proud of you, especially not now. Get that straight while you're in sleep mode, D.E.N.Z.E.L."

Once more, D.E.N.Z.E.L. did as told, but Kwame kept withholding his usual command to wake. Instead, D.E.N.Z.E.L. got to lay on his slab while Kwame talked on the phone with other H.O.P.E. City personnel. He talked about Project Freeman, another android experiment using his second-favorite actor as a base. Everything about it from its calming voice to its kindly appearance would signify that it would not repeat the mistake of its obsolete, disposable predecessor. After the straight day without seeing Kwame, D.E.N.Z.E.L. concluded that he had to go. With a heavy heart, he woke himself and snuck out of H.O.P.E. City, room by room. His refusal to kill the guards patrolling the area multiplied his time under pressure by many magnitudes, as he used every crevice and shadow in the building to hide and wait out everyone who cared to look for him. He could have fought his way out and caused another bloodbath, but why would he? If he couldn't fulfill his responsibility to give H.O.P.E. City good publicity, the least he could do was let them keep their lives.

---

For a while after his escape, he lived as a hermit, as far from the public eye as possible. Whenever he heard the voices of those he hid from, the conversation never strayed far from the dangerous automaton that stalked the streets. One glimpse from those he had once considered sheep and he was as good as dissected. Only the Gulf of Guinea seemed free of fearful humans, so at night and night alone, he marched down the coast, relying on the sound of waves to calm his nerves.

After many miles, he saw something odd in the ocean and swam out to meet it. Just below the surface lie a sunfish, basking in the morning sun, looking far more majestic than it had any right to. Only D.E.N.Z.E.L. would recognize it as an old source of heroin, the remnant of an outlandish scheme that he'd put a stop to. It was their tool, used for a purpose, then abandoned as its user found newer, better ways to do the job. In that moment, D.E.N.Z.E.L. had more in common with them than the humans who made him in their image. The sunfish would never speak to him, and doubtless never thought about what troubled D.E.N.Z.E.L., but the silence between them spoke volumes. He felt in his deepest subroutine that, wherever on Earth he could ever find himself welcome, this beast would guide the way.

The sunfish swam across the Atlantic the next day, and the world's first African android followed.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


:siren: Submissions close in six hours :siren:

Also, I neglected to mention it before, but Hawklad will be the other judge. Anyone else who wants to judge, there's a spot left.

Stories so far are making me very happy. I think this is gonna be an awesome week. YAY THUNDERDOME!

Fuubi
Jan 18, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Prompt:
Corsetry
Potatoes
Pink (the color)
Kittens

this picture:




Word count: 1686


Arms and Corsets


"It's too tight," Dana grunted. "Don't push so hard." 


The corset creaked and groaned as the old woman gave a final pull and secured it. She gave Dana a pat on the back that made her stagger.


"That's all done, my dear," she said. "Just remember to breathe from the diaphragm."


"Well, thanks Nan," Dana wheezed. "I'll try to remember that when oxygen deprivation sets in."


"Don't be smart with me, young lady," Nan replied as she prepared Dana's dress. "I helped your mom into plenty of those death traps in her days, and she only fainted once." 


Dana looked up at her Nan's reflection in the mirror in front of where she was standing, and there was a sparkle of something rarely seen on the older woman's face. 


"Did you just make a joke? I saw that twinkle in your eyes!"


"Don't be silly, dear, Nan replied. "Old biddies like me don't have a sense of humor." 


Dana couldn't help but giggle like a schoolgirl, even though it made her ribs groan. As she slipped into her dress, with Nan's help, she thought of all the wonderful moments she had shared with the older woman. Her heart suddenly ached.


"So," Nan suddenly said, breaking her from her reverie. "Can I ask you why you agreed to this foolishness? Normally I'd applaud anything that gets you out amongst people, but an arm-wrestling contest? Now, I'm not averse to some light ogling-"


"Nan!"


"-of the male physique, but there's nothing dignified in what they are having you do."


"Nan. You don't need to worry about my dignity. This is all just for fun. They'll be flexing their muscles, and I'll feel them and make some amusing comment. Completely harmless."


"I just don't want to see you get hurt. I hope you can see that."


The two women's eyes locked for a moment, and Dana felt her love for her Nan swell inside her until it threatened to turn the corset into confetti.


This might be the last time I see her. The thought popped into her mind unwillingly, and she fought it down. Too late, it had reminded her of what she was really here to do.


"Are you alright, my dear?" There was concern in Nan's voice. "For a moment there you looked like you'd lost your favorite teddy to the dog again." 


"What?" Need to get rid of Nan. Feign surprise. Not too much. Add a bit of tiredness. "No, sorry. I'm just tired, that's all. Would you mind if I had some time alone? I need to collect myself before I go out."


"Your nerves again? If you'd gone out to all those parties your friends tried to drag you out to, instead of sitting at home reading, or doing gymnastics, or whatever else you were doing all those evenings, then maybe you wouldn't be so nervous going up on stage. Maybe you'd even be married by now."


"Nan," Dana put her hands on her hips, indignation suddenly radiating from her. "For the last time, it's my business how I chose to spend my time, and it's my choice whether I marry or not!" 


The last part had come out in a near shout, and Nan's face, hiding mirth just a moment ago, now showed irritation and a smudge of hurt that she was so good at faking.


"Nan," she was back in control. Feign tiredness. Add regret. "I'm sorry, Nan. Like I said, I'm tired and it's making me testy. Could you give me a moment? Please."


Nan looked at her for a second before answering. "Of course, dear. I'll be here to help you out of that contraption when this ridiculous show is over."


The door closed, and Dana's head sank. This is not how I wanted to say good-bye. 


A moment later focus was back, and she swiftly picked up her handbag and sat down on the chair it had occupied. 


She opened the bag and started searching the lining. She soon found a loose thread, and pulled. There was a soft click, hardly audible if you didn't expect it, and a secret pocket opened.


Dana sat motionless for a moment, hands poised over the secret compartment, before she took out two objects. 


The first object was a small note, folded neatly into a small square. She opened it up gently and looked at it, though by now she knew it by heart.



Contract


Priority: Omega


Type: Personal for Lady Dana.


Target: Target will be known by use of the keyword 'Potatoes'.


Reward: The name of Lady Dana's father's murderer. 




Dana stared at that last line. The name, she thought. Soon she would know who had killed her father, billionaire Charles Bendervildt, on her twelfth birthday. She had been after this information for so long. Knowing only that it had been a contract killer, she had dedicated her life to infiltrating the assassin's guild. She had taken many contracts herself and risen fast, and now it was finally paying off!


She looked at her watch,and then picked a pair of gloves out of her bag. She put them on with great care, making sure that the secret slot in the left glove was unobstructed.


Satisfied with how the glove sat, she picked up the second object. A short, incredibly thin, knife, not much bigger than a nail file, rested in her hand for a moment before she slid it home into the secret slot.


With preparations finally done, Dana felt no need to wait around any longer, and walked out the door.


She proceeded down the hallway towards the hall, thinking of all the things she was about to say farewell to. Her mother, her Nan, the few actual friends she still had. She had already moved a large portion of her wealth to her off-shore untracable accounts, though her 'career' had already made any money trouble a moot point, even if she lost her inheritance.


A sudden sound from below made her jump, and her hand went deftly to the small knife as she scanned her surrounding. Her alertness soon changed to childish joy as a small kitten walked up to her, meowing for a treat.


Dana crouched, ignoring the pain of the corset digging into her sides, and started petting the small animal with great mirth.


"I'm sorry, little one. I don't have any snacks, you see." She held her hands out, palms up, to the kitten, who sniffed and meowed.


Finally she stood up. "Thank you, darling. I really needed that. But now I have to go and do what needs to be done." 


With that, Dana set off again.


The mitten looked at her leave, and having no clue how to find its monmy, decided to follow her.


#


The first hour of the competition had passed, and Dana had dutifully, and with no great reluctance, done her job while trading quips and wittiness with the contestants. She had, on occation, tried her wittines on the match commentator, a man named Blutt, but to no avail. He had turned out to be quite the old boor, despite the all-but neon pink jacket and top hat he wore. 


She was proceeding now down the line of men ready for the next round of matches, enjoying herself fully. She had just compared one contestant's arms to her own legs in a slightly coquettish manner, producing laughs from all around, as well as a redish tint on the contestant's cheeks, and now stood before a behemoth of a man. Her mind raced at the possibilities, not just for great quips, but also, deep in her mind, what might be under the tricot, when she suddenly went on high alert.


Just moments before. The voice of Blutt, the pinkish boor, droning in the background, talking in a bored monotony about stats and percentages, blandly detailing techniques and tricks. She had paid no great mind to it, simply ignoring it as background noise, when one phrase sprang into the forefront. 


"-this one, I must say, is not like the other couch potatoes. He-"


potatoes! Her mind was all business now, with a momentary widening of her eyes the only outward sign of her change. She walked up to the manly goliath, all smiles and seductive movements. She was at the top of her game, giving the best performance of her life. The quips hailed from her, and the laughter was deafening. With one last smile, and a soft caress, she left the hulk silent, stunned, and proceeded to the next man in line. 


She managed to pass another two contestants before the giant man's paralysis broke. He fell with a thundering crash, breaking the floorboards and sending splinters like shrapnel every which way. 


People shouted in dismay, staggering around holding scratches and wounds of varying severity. It took a few moments before someone got around to checking the big man, but by then it was too late. He had died standing up several minutes before.


Later, a thorough investigation would find the small knife imbedded in his neck between the first and second vertebrae that had paralyzed the man while at the same time almost immediately killing him.


It took even longer before they realized that the most likely suspect would be Dana Bendervildt, whom by then was long gone.


#


Dana had left in the first confusion. The huge crash had been her cue to leave, and no one had paid her any attention as she slipped backstage. 


She tried to keep an even pace, and not blow her lead in panic, but she came to a sudden halt when she almost stepped on a small ball of fur on the floor.


A tiny meow greeted her.


She stared at the tiny kitten for a minute, suddenly not feeling the rush of time as her window of escape became smaller. Then she reached down, and lifted up the kitten gingerly. 


"Hi there, little fella. Do you wanna come with me?"


Another meow.


"OK. Hang on tight!"


And with that, Dana and the kitten rushed off towards the exit.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







December, a failed daycare, ham, your main character fetishizes (adult) Thalidomide babies, the story takes place in a Hot Topic, a grapefruit must be thrown at least three times.

Unwanted Grapefruit Interactions

480 words

The Christmas food fight started going off the rails when Deputy Child Care Assistant Laetitia Spasm blew out the back door with a small shaped charge then hurled a fat orange grapefruit through the smoke and debris so hard it splattered in a corona of pulpy shrapnel around Care Manager Eustace Feverfew’s plump head.

“Laetitia!” Eustace yelled.

Laetitia blew him a kiss then skimmed another grapefruit towards him. He ducked and it slapped meatily into the honey-glazed ham sitting on the trestle table they’d set up in the middle of the shop floor.

“Hey!” he shouted. “I said no citrus!”

Laetitia had already ducked behind the door frame to shield against the fusillade of cream puffs and sausage rolls the kids of Sunny Day Kindergarten, in whose honour and financial enrichment the occasion was directed towards, were putting back downrange at her.

Eustace, flat on his face under the table, sighed in the heavy way of a man whose dreams of operating a solvent childcare center and not having his hair full of goopy citrus fruit have simultaneously been dashed.

It had seemed so simple when he’d come up with the idea. The Kindergarten needed cash, Jerry from the store down the road where they sold emo gears and makeup and day-glo shakalakas was wanting a new way to bring in the punters. And food fights were cool again after the 80s movie night last Halloween.

It should have been a warning sign when Laetitia, the new carer from the agency, had said she’d manage the details but refused to keep him in the loop.

Eustace remembered, too late, that thing his gay father (and grapefruit obsessive) had always said: “If they don’t keep you in the loop, then your rear end is in the next one up in the pleasure sling!” Eustace frowned at the memory. Though caring, his old dad really was often quite inappropriate. Then the table he was under came crashing down, Laetitia on top of it. A screaming swarm of kids washed over and around them and swirled off to the ripped tights section, pulling over racks of acceptably edgy clothing and accessories as they went.

“Laetita,” said Eustace. “This has to stop.”

Laetitia tossed him another grapefruit and a paper twist of Sweet Couture sugar. “I saw that video with the flipper girls, Eustace. No-one else needs to as long as you stick to the deal.”

Then, with a whoop, she was gone.

Eustace looked after her. It was peaceful under the smashed table. In the distance, the echoing shrieks of delighted children blended with the crashing of destroyed merchandise.

The grapefrut in his hands had been pre-cut, and came apart in his hands. He looked at it sourly, then laid it on the lino and sprinkled the sugar over it.

“God, I hate children,” he said.

Pippin
May 25, 2016


Dirty Tricks
1385 words
Prompt: New Mexico, Boston, badger, geophagy

The first time Rebeca met Jorge was on a warm summer’s day, when he was crouched next to a bench in a distant corner of the park with dirt in his mouth. There was a badger curled up on the bench itself, fast asleep, looking perfectly content. Rebeca stared at the man for a while, watching him dismantle a molehill. Occasionally, he would raise a handful of earth to his mouth, sniff it, lick it, then put it in a little pouch tied to his belt with string. Eventually, Rebeca’s curiosity got the better of her, and she asked the man a very important question.

“Do you know my friend Mikey?”

The man craned his head round to glare at Rebeca, wiping soil from his lips and dropping the rest of his handful into his pouch.

“What?”

“My friend Mikey from school eats dirt during lunch. He just goes out onto the field and sits down and stuffs dirt in his mouth.”

“Uh, no, I… No, I don’t know your friend Mikey, kiddo.”

“Why are you eating dirt, then? Does it taste good?”

A small smile crept on to the man’s face, one stray speck of dirty falling from the corner of his mouth.

“Can’t say it does.”

“Have you ever eaten a worm? Mikey says he did once, but I think it was just a gummy one.”

The man stood up, made a futile attempt to dust off his moth-eaten coat, and nodded his head towards the badger.

“I find any worms, then I give ‘em to Sebby here. Listen, kiddo, what’s with the Spanish Inquisition?”

Rebeca didn’t know what that was, but she kinda understood what he meant, because he used the same tone that her mom did whenever she asked questions at the dinner table. She sat down on the bench, and gently scratched behind Sebby’s ears. Sebby opened one eye, lazily looked up at Rebeca, then fell back to sleep again.

“You looked lonely here by yourself,” Rebeca said. “And people don’t like being lonely, so I decided to talk to you.”

“Your mom never told you not to talk to strangers?”

“Mom spends most of her time telling Pepper not to chase joggers.”

A loud series of barks from the other side of the park suggested that her mom’s words had, once again, had little effect. The man chuckled to himself as he watched a streak of gold fur chase two joggers off the path. Rebeca looked down into her lap before speaking again.

“Mom gets lonely sometimes. Some days she just sits in the kitchen and drinks coffee and looks out the window and doesn’t smile.”

Rebeca paused.

“I don’t like those days.”

The man looked down at Rebeca, but said nothing. A moment passed, then Rebeca looked up from her lap.

“You never told me why you were eating dirt.”

The man chuckled again, and went to sit down next to her, stroking the stubble on his chin.

“You good at keeping secrets?”

Rebeca nodded.

“My mom says I’m not, but I haven’t told anybody that Mikey peed himself at the zoo, so she’s wrong. So why do you eat dirt?”

“I’m a wizard, kiddo.”

“Really?”

“Yep. But I can’t use my powers unless I swallow some soil, so- “

“Do you live in a castle?”

Rebeca looked up at the man, eyes wide and fists clenched in excitement, and he chuckled again. He had a nice laugh, she thought. It sounded like how hot cocoa felt.

“Fraid not, kiddo. You ever seen a castle in Albuquerque before?”

Rebeca frowned and hmphed and screwed her face up in concentration.

“I don’t think you’re a wizard, then.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, you don’t live in a castle, and you don’t have a proper wizard beard, either.”

A pause.

“Well shoot,” the man said. “I guess you got me there.”

Another pause, the sound of barking in the distance and the gentle chirping of birds breaking the silence.

“So what’s your name, kiddo?”

“Rebeca, with one C.”

“Nice to meet you, Rebeca with one C. I’m Jorge.”

* * *

“Is… this your card?”

Rebeca looked at the three of diamonds in Jorge’s outstretched hand, and shook her head. Jorge frowned, and slipped the card back into the deck.

“Darn. Thought for sure I’d got it,” he muttered. “Ah well. Hold on a sec, kiddo, you’ve got something in your hair.”

With a deft grab, Jorge reached out, and grabbed a card from the general vicinity of Rebeca’s hair, flipping it round to show the Queen of Spades. She looked at it for a moment, stunned, before she started giggling, nodding her head. Jorge tucked it away into the deck, joining in with her laughter. Sebby looked up from his nap, a thoroughly unimpressed look on his face.

“I still don’t think you’re a wizard, though,” Rebeca said, once the laughter had died down.

“Oh, yeah? Guess I’d better up my game, then.”

The two fell into a pleasant silence, watching the clouds drift along and the people in the park milling about. It was Jorge who broke the silence after a while.

“You always come up here with your mom and dog. Don’t any of your friends ever wanna hang out?”

“I don’t really have any.”

Jorge’s head snapped round to look at Rebeca. She didn’t look upset, or like it had hurt her to say that. She just looked straight ahead, idly stroking Sebby, still talking.

“Mom doesn’t like me going places where she can’t keep track of me. Whenever I get out of school she’s always the first one there to pick me up and take me straight home. She’s always keeping an eye on me when we go to the park. Oh, see, she’s coming this way right now!”

Rebeca hopped off the bench, and smiled and waved at her mom, whose expression refused to change from one of cold frustration.

“Honey, could you take Pepper and head to the car? I’ll be there in a second.”

Rebeca nodded, took hold of Pepper’s leash, and with a few words of encouragement, made her way towards the park entrance. The two adults watched her go.

“She’s a good kid,” Jorge said.

“Yes. She is.”

Rebeca’s mom flashed a scowl at Jorge, before following her daughter’s footsteps.

“Don’t talk to her ever again.”

* * *

“You’re leaving?”

Rebeca glared up at Jorge, who said nothing, instead choosing to pull a worm from the pouch on his belt and feed it to Sebby.

“Why?” Rebeca persisted. Jorge let out a low sigh before replying.

“People don’t like me here, kiddo. Pretty sure the only people who talked to me were police officers ‘til you turned up.”

“I like you!”

“Yeah, but your mom doesn’t.

Jorge scratched his chin, then the back of his neck, as Rebeca fell silent.

“You said there’s days where your mom doesn’t smile, right? If I stay here, that’s just gonna make things worse. That’ll just make you sad, and neither me nor Sebby wants that.”

Rebeca sniffled, and pawed at her eyes with the back of her hand.

“Where are you gonna go?” she said in a quiet, strained voice.

“I’m thinking Boston. Last I heard of my old buddy Merl he was living there, figured I’d catch up with him.”

“Boston? But that’s… that’s, um…”

Rebeca faltered as she realised she didn’t know exactly where Boston was.

“Other side of the country,” Jorge finished her sentence for her. The two stood there, looking at each other, wind rustling the autumn leaves around their feet.

“So I’m never gonna see you again, am I?” Rebeca finally managed to say, barely making herself heard above the breeze. Jorge grinned, and let out his warm cocoa laugh, as he reached into the pouch on his belt and pulled out a pinch of soil.

“Nah, we’ll meet again. You can trust me. Hey, I can guarantee I’ll see you two days from now if you’re here at the park again.”

“How?”

Jorge popped the dirt into his mouth and swallowed, face locked into a disgusted grimace as he did so.

“I told you, kiddo. I’m a wizard.”

Jorge grinned, and snapped his fingers. His figure began to blur, and then, next to a bench in a distant corner of the park, he vanished.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006



archived.

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

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


:siren: Submissions are now closed :siren: I hope you dudes had a nice day!

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Farchanter
Jun 15, 2008


A Brave New Waterworld

Count: 1224/1300

Themes: bass (animal), a woman writing the word "pussy" into the sand with her foot.


More shocking than merpeople being real, I think, was that they were all so drat rude about it.

I always assumed that a day that would change the course of human history would be, itself, somehow momentous. But Thursday, July 27th was notable only for how remarkably close it was to a completely average summer day. It was hot, partly cloudy. The only important decision left to be made was whether or not to chance the Friday shore traffic, or leave tonight instead.

Then, at about 2:30, the merpeople began to emerge. This was no conspiracy theory, no indeterminate pixels in the bottom of some cell phone picture. Thousands, millions of them, all at once. Fish began beaching themselves, and started to transform. And not just the oceans, either. The bass of the lakes and streams, the cod of the Arctic: fish surfaced and began to grow arms and legs. Before five minutes had passed, millions of the most beautiful people anyone had ever seen were standing on our beaches. It was unignorable.

Once the news helicopters arrived, they began to carve their messages into the sand.

OUR WORLD IS NOT YOUR DUMP

EAT OUR poo poo, HUMANS

And, most importantly:

UNITED NATIONS NOW

****************
Raun, the Prime Minister of the merpeople, stood in front of the General Assembly on a mound of garbage. At one point during her address, as she paced, a minor avalanche of soda cans fell onto the desk of the United Kingdom delegation.

“It’s been years,” she said to the packed hall of dignitaries, “centuries, really. And it’s just been getting worse. It started as junk from a couple caravels a year, only on the major trade routes. Inconvenient? Maybe. Gross? Sure. But we were willing to be reasonable in the name of a peaceful ocean.

“But it seems we gave you far too much slack. I mean, look at this,” she gestured to the knoll beneath her.

“And look at that! What the hell are we supposed to do with those?” she pointed to the corner of the room at a small pile of spent NASA rockets.

“And what is it that you propose?” asked the delegate from the United States. He was a severe man whose words could change the course of this new world, and as he spoke the busy room quieted.

“We’ve seen your news,” Raun said with a softening expression, “I know you fear a war. We have no intention of fighting. I’ve come to you, the United Land Nations, with hope for our futures. Today, now, every country above the water is fighting with the realities of climate change. We did, too, for a long time. But we have developed a solution. With our technology and our practices, we have created a fully sustainable society. Carbon-free fuel, and a world where no one has to live with garbage. And, as our gift to the land peoples, we want to share it with you.”

For a while, no one spoke. Then, the delegate from China took up her microphone.

“How?”

***************
Soon, it was almost impossible to recall what the world had been like on Wednesday, July 26th. The salt-based fuels that the merpeople had developed revolutionized transportation and power generation. And, thanks to the sheer volume of our debris that had fallen to the sea floor, the merpeople were able to spend quite some time making sure that their technology perfectly integrated with ours. Salt-based cars were becoming more and more common. Elon Musk’s new venture, Salzburg, promised that every home and workplace would be powered by salt before the next Christmas.

Emissaries from the merpeople traveled to Iowa to integrate a new kelp-corn hybrid with yields that promised to solve hunger. In Uzbekistan, they demonstrated a new seaweed-based fabric. After working through their differences regarding the phrase “chicken of the sea,” human and merpeople farmers were able to collaborate on an amphibious, algae-eating chicken that used barely more carbon than the plants it ate.

The merpeople, for their part, were most proud of their collaboration with NASA. By the Fourth of July, not even a year since the Emergence, salt-based rockets were being fired. For all of their expertise, the merpeople had never been to the Moon. They would rather like to try.

*****************
The General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution honoring July 27th as Emergence Day, a global holiday for celebration “both below and above the water,” a day for giving thanks for the new era of tranquility and sustainability that the merpeople had brought. As the Assembly turned to other business, it was the delegate from Russia who spoke first.

“With all due respect,” he began to Raun, “and I mean all due respect, because you have truly changed our world— the only promise we’re still waiting on is what we should do with our trash. We’ve still been filling our landfills, and I for one am deeply eager to see what this world without garbage looks like.” Raun rose, with a smile.

“I appreciate your patience, and I know that promise has gone unfulfilled so far. To be honest, it’s taken longer than I would have liked. But we are working very hard to adapt our technique for humans. I’d like to announce that by the end of the year, we will give a demonstration. I’ll give a firmer date as we draw closer, and after I consult with our scientists.”

The Assembly applauded wildly.

****************
On Black Friday, the USS Gerald Ford had salted itself to an area above the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Representatives from the UN Security Council stood on the deck with a delegation from the merpeople, scores of merpeople vessels behind them carrying the garbage. Raun had promised that, at noon, the demonstration would begin. Cameras made sure that the whole world could see. Raun raised his hand, and the world held its breath.

All at once, the merpeople ships began a roll, and the garbage fell off the sides and beneath the waves. For a while, no one said anything, awaiting the revolutionary conversion. The waves remained still.

It was Raun who spoke first.

“Well? What do you think?

“So you, uh, just pitch it off the side?” the American admiral asked.

“Into the ridge,” Raun corrected gently.

“Into the ridge?”

“Yes, there are no merpeople down there. Most of it falls into the volcanic area. Our scientists estimate we can do this virtually indefinitely.”

“And this is what you do with your garbage?”

“It is! There are no humans there, no merpeople,” she frowned. “You seem unimpressed, my friends.”

“No, just,” the delegate from France stuttered, “after all of this, I was expecting something more like how everything else has been. It almost seems like it’s just moving the trash around. It’s almost like what we were doing to you.”

“I assure you. This isn’t like that at all. We’ve been doing this for hundreds of years."

“Well,” the American admiral began, “I can’t wait to do this with more. What was the estimate on finishing this process with all of our dumps?”

“We think we can have all of your landfills completed cleared by this time next year!”

A polite applause began. Unseen by all of them, behind the Ford, an enormous tentacle began to rise up out of the sea.

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