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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





bar brawl

it's late, the boys have been drinkin, fists fly oh poo poo he's gotta knife!

write me a bar brawl, 900 words, due 22 nov high noon pst

djeser: use this beer somehow

chili: use this one

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QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012

Tr*ckin' and F*ckin' all the way to tha
T O P


in, flash me

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Djeser posted:

Toxx up so I know I'm not wasting my time.
In:toxx:icate me now.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

In with a :toxx:

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

by sebmojo


:siren: Week 274 Crits :siren:
Since the Thunderdome cabal is in charge this week and will no doubt gloss over your stories in order to fall all over themselves for a mediocre entry by a “veteran” writer, I will do the opposite. I mean, look at last week. The judges couldn’t even remember their own prompt they were in such a hurry to pat Twist on the back for submitting. I am actually going to look at your ice cream and then I’m actually going to read your story and then I’m going to try and figure out how you were inspired. And then I’ll praise you for it regardless of quality because I’m sure you’ll be getting a quadruple-scoop of poo poo-talking from the real judges. Afterwards we can sit all chummy together pleased with our own cleverness-- me for looking too deep and “figuring it all out” and you for having a “well-written story” with “subtext and layers.” Don’t say I never did anything for you.

Spumoni
Low-fat gelato. Three flavors. Usually containing candied fruits and nuts. Italian. ** You have three distinct characters, some Italy related references (a trip , Mario, the Pope), and a sweet candied ending. Ray’s character arc also goes through three distinct phases so that’s nice. Pretty clever.

Oyster
Savoury instead of sweet. Old money/old reputation as a luxury. Is actually made with oysters so there’s the possibility of the ocean or the sea or salt making an appearance. ** A small ocean metaphor. The society of the main character is much advanced, much like your ice cream was to most of the population when it was first created. Sweaty and salty. There is a lack of sweetness but not the lack of expectation or the lack of longing for it; good. Fairly clever.

Tiger Tail
Pretty much just in Canada. Has licorice (and so is pungent). Retro. Currently gaining a nostalgic revival. ** Talk about a triple scoop of nostalgia! Literal(-ish) tiger tail, though. Decently clever.

Bastani Sonnati
Persian. So Persian, in fact, that’s it’s often just called “Persian Ice Cream.” Very old. Lots of flavors included. Very sweet in a very traditional way. Alexander the Great liked it. ** Looky looky, both Alexander and Persia are here. Lots of colorful descriptions to mirror the multitude of ingredients. An interesting snapshot of the “traditional” values of soldiers and believers in Alexander’s dream. Potentially interesting critique on man’s inability to innovate? Pretty clever.

Rocky Road
Chocolate with marshmallow and nuts. Funny origin story involving non-traditional cooking utensil (sewing scissors). Was given it’s silly name during the Great Depression to try and make people smile. ** Oh boy I guess one girl is a marshmallow and the other is a nut? They both seems a little nutty to me! There’s also the Great Depression. Could be more clever.

Chunky Munky
Lots of nuts and bananas and chunks of fudge. Evidently, lots of goes at it to make it right. Created by Ben & Jerrys. ** Set literally in a Ben & Jerrys. I like the direction you went with when you grabbed hold of the “multiple iterations” creation story. Essentially three different characters to match nuts, bananas, and fudge. Pretty clever.

Chubby Hubby

Created by Ben & Jerrys and a couple of tricksters. Cheeky origin story with a happy ending. Packed full of pretzels, peanut butter, and fudge. Funny name. ** I get it. Bananas rot and then get really gross. Chocolate is dark and this is dark. The husband laughs a lot at jokes that aren’t very funny. The husband is fat. My favorite bit, though, is that the wife came up with a trick that came true. Pretty clever.

Garlic

Basically just vanilla ice cream with some garlic. Savoury in taste. A big hit at “garlic conventions” which are evidently a thing. Also, evidently, there is a stereotype that Jews love garlic? I’m learning all kinds of things from this Wikipedia article ** I also learned something new from this story: don’t steal from American Eagle! Macy is practically human (and Joely is practically a girlfriend) but there’s a little something funky in there, too, for both of them. Strangely repulsive. Fairly clever.

Crab

Japanese. Sweet. Literally has crab. ** Sweet and has crab! Boy, if you’d made those space marines into space marine samurai then this would be so stinking clever. Instead it’s just pretty clever but that’s still pretty good!

Blue Moon

Unusual color. Very sweet. Sometimes makes up a part of Superman ice cream. Quite the ice cream following with many aficionados claiming theirs as the “real one.” Ingredients are often a mystery. ** Man, wow. So many layers. This is so good. You hit… everything. I’m just like, wow, so stinking clever. My vote for the win.

Green Tea

Japanese but popular all over East Asia. Becoming mainstream in the US. Unknown origin. Is green. ** This was fun journey. I felt like I was staring at the top of a tree and I had to dive through the leaves and the branches and the bark and make my way down past roots and time to find the acorn of inspiration. Which I did. And then I got to step back and see the majesty of the tree that had grown from it and I was more impressed because I understand where everything came from. In addition to the story itself, I also appreciated the slow acceptance of ideas by the character which is similar to your ice cream’s popularity in the United States. So stinking clever.

Cookies ‘n Cream

The best flavor so I hope this is the best story. Boy oh boy I love cookies ‘n cream. ** Much like the orea, you sandwich your story. I believe the literary term is bookend (I know, I know, not exactly a bookend but close enough for me). Chocolate comes from cacao which comes from the jungles of South America. INteresting blend of darkness and light. Fairly clever.

Rainbow Sherbert
Is ice cream plus sweetened fruit juice and various fruity flavorings. Maybe a thing made by Alexander the Great (‘s dudes). Specifically invented and titled by a guy in Pennsylvania with the revolutionary idea of use three nozzles. Wow! ** I don’t really like rainbow sherbert but I can’t remember why. Is it like juicy fruit gum where the flavor disappears? That would be clever but I can’t remember one way or the other.

Oh. Neat. I can’t remember. Neat.

Moose Trucks
Vanilla with peanut butter cups and fudge. Delicious. Lots of versions of it. Lots of variations. Very popular. ** I see the variations. The repeated recreations. And I see how this is just a few steps away from vanilla, from normal. Perhaps the arguing/violence is a reflection of the continued issues with licensing. Fairly clever.

Neopolitan

Also known as harlequin ice cream. Three separate distinct flavors. Was named as a reflection of its presumed Italian origins. Should kinda look like the italian flag. ** Italian. Naples. Three sections of life: suspicion, confirmation, evidence. I kinda wish you’d spend more time on this piece but maybe that, too, is commentary on your ice cream’s mix of flavors and how each seems to end too soon. Fairly clever.

Phish Food
No actual fish or food for fish. Chocolatey and caramaley and gooey. Proceeds go towards Vermont environmental efforts. ** Cool environment/setting. Something interesting is always hidden just a little bit further down. Very sticky! Pretty clever.

Superman
Swirl of three colors. Flavors vary. Not officially licenced product through DC Comics. ** Like a superhero story, the main character wasn’t restricted by what they could do but rather what they should do; an interesting distinction. The characters were as different as the flavors. Fairly clever.

Exmond
May 31, 2007

Writing is fun!

Thranguy posted:

Thunderdome Week CCLXXV: Bring on the Lovers, Liars and Clowns

Keeping it simple this week: your assignment is to write me some comedy. I’m pretty sure we’ve had close to a dozen horror weeks and not a single humor one. This is supposedly a comedy website, so let’s give it a go. Usual advice for comedy applies: try to write some actual characters rather than punchline delivery systems, I’d prefer a story to a long joke, probably don’t ‘punch down’, whatever that means. Even more so than other weeks, though, if you make the judges laugh, you can probably ignore all this.

Oh, avoid inside jokes. I’m going to try to get at least one relative newbie to cojudge to to make sure they’re completely lost on at least one judge.

No fanfic, erotica, screeds, etc.

Flash rules are available. They’ll come in the form of songs from the late eighties and early nineties. The usual advice for song flash rules applies: don’t be too literal, don’t retell the narrative of the song, don’t use more elements from the song than will fit in your story.

1000 Words

A large thump woke me up and a letter slid under my door way. I opened the contents of the letter, it had a name and a gun. Outside I heard the screams as thunderdome brawls started.

The crowd gathered and chanted for blood and meta. Visceral gore fell on the ground as a newbie fought a judge. New york city melted into META york city.

I had a job to do and it would probably cause me a loss, but things needed to be set right.

In and :toxx:

Aiming for:
Good grammar
Dialogue Tags
A loss because this idea is so bad

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




QuoProQuid posted:

in, flash me

The Smiths, The Queen Is Dead

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME




Tyrannosaurus posted:

:siren: Week 274 Crits :siren:
Since the Thunderdome cabal is in charge this week and will no doubt gloss over your stories in order to fall all over themselves for a mediocre entry by a “veteran” writer,


trex's win record, explained at last...

Have some real crits btw

Mrenda

What worked: This is full of humanity and detail. Your first paragraph could’ve lost me, what with all the meandering description, but it was well enough written, and I appreciated that you frontloaded the story with a bit of description so that you could focus on the characters for the rest of the piece. Your struggling little family felt real, and each had a distinct voice and a distinct set of worries and desires. Jeanie’s relationship with the kiddo is adorable, and even though Dad is stern, he didn’t come off as some needlessly oppressive force.

What didn’t work: Occasionally, you do these sentences that...well, they make sense, but I kind of have to reread them once to make sure I parsed them correctly. There weren’t many of those in this piece, but one stuck out:

quote:

“The Pope lives in The Vatican,” Ray said to his son, massaging his temple as though his child not knowing where the Pope lived had brought on a disapproving, Jesus cast migraine.

Now, I like all the ideas here, and I think the delivery is even kind of funny, rambling as it is. But it’s an example of a place where I had to double back and make sure I was reading it right.

My other critique is the very very last line. I think you should’ve left off with the ice cream melting and them staring at the TV. Saying one way or another whether their numbers came up kind of...takes away the fun of speculating how it ended. Sometimes you can stop juuuussst shy of wrapping everything up in a neat, tidy ending.

What I took away from your piece: Quiet desperation, humanity, the warmth of a cobbled-together family facing hard times as best as they know how. Humor in the face of bleakness. Attention to detail.


Yoruichi

What worked: Some of the stuff that worked is also some of the stuff I had problems with. Bear with me. You convey this fortified, technologically advanced town effortlessly. All of the prose is clear, so I was able to imagine everything in cinematic detail. I was curious about this town, about the world it was in, and about what kind of conflicts would emerge in such a place. If this were a longer piece, I would absolutely keep reading.

What didn’t work: Sadly, it isn’t a longer piece. I got to the end of this pretty quickly because it was a smooth read, but my heart sort of sank when I realized that the meeting with the outsider was so close to the ending. You set up too many elements to do anything meaningful with them. You have to be really, really selective about which facts you dole out at this length. Each fact represents a certain cost in words, so you have to make sure that less important facts aren’t taking away words from the more important ones.

Like, the story mentions a couple times that people in the city are generally willfully ignorant of what happens outside of the city, and why it is that way. That made me think that the point of this story was going to be learning more about the dark patch of history that led to humans living in highly controlled enclaves. Then you have the narrator’s sort of rebellious streak. I wanted to know why she(?) did something reckless like investigate a possible predator all by herself. But that doesn’t really get settled either. Then you have Mr. Sexy Jungle Guy, who she is just immediately attracted to because of the rush of danger or whatever. I feel like you could’ve used those words in particular to create a more meaningful or revealing interaction. I don’t really care that two humans I barely know might want to bone. I care about the cool city and the monsters!

I’m wondering if the sudden lustiness is the connection to your ice cream flavor? Oysters are rumored to be an aphrodisiac, so if that’s the angle you were going for, I gotta kinda applaud that, even if I think the execution should be better.

What I took away from your piece: Cool mysterious scifi, too much info, too many possible plot threads, not enough character, nice words, would read more if this was longer.


flerp

What worked: Okay before I get to my actual crit, I wanted to say that this line:

quote:

Even after Grandma was gone, he’d keep saying it was real all throughout the story, like Grandma was still there, trying to convince him that he was wrong.

Just got me so hard. So even if the rest of the story sux, thx for this line.

Okay nope. Story didn’t suck. I’m really sad and wish my grandpa was alive.

What didn’t work: IDK I actually felt stuff while reading this so like in my book that is a successful story. I think it’s one of those things that’s going to vary between readers, but know that you touched at least one judge.

What I took away from your piece: :cry: :glomp: :cry:


Deltasquid

What worked: Oh no you did a historical fiction. This is a genre I have trouble critiquing because I don’t always have the best sense of context for these things. That said, at least you chose to focus on something even a plebe like me is familiar with: The reign of Alexander the Great. Except...I guess this is Alexander the Not Quite so Great? Mind you, my sources are primarily that one movie that shipped Colin Farrell and Jared Leto, plus a bit of wikipedia. Still, this seems like a bit of alternate history, perhaps a timeline where Alexander was so taken by Persian ice cream that he gave up on his ambition of ruling the world. That’s kinda fun as a premise.

The main character is...sympathetic. That’s an odd word to use because, I mean, he wants to go conquer stuff, which I am kind of not totally cool with. But like, he’s the one guy who still feels the call to action when surrounded by all this decadence. That’s admirable, even if his goals are not uuuh very humanitarian. His restlessness and desire for glory are really what drive this story.

The writing itself is good, and you paint a nice tableau.

What didn’t work: Eeeeh I’m struggling to articulate how I feel about this. Like, the alternate history aspect was just kind of this weird loose thread dangling at the end of the story. They head back west, homeward, and the narrative tells us that they’d peaked and now there’s nowhere to go but down. That’s fine, I guess? But I’m left feeling conflicted with regards to the point of the story. Is the point that Epiphanes has an epiphany about the collapse of the empire’s greatness? Is the story trying to get me to wonder, “What if Alexander had returned to Macedonia instead of going on to India?” If your objective was one of those two things, I’m not sure it was totally successful because I’m not sure what you wanted me to feel at the end of this story. If your objective was something else, I missed it entirely!

What I took away from your piece: Uncertainty, good writing, but not really sure what the point was. Idk maybe i’m dumb?


Spectres

What worked: You have two characters reacting to stark reality in exceedingly unique ways. Both of them are self destructive, but...you almost can’t fault them. While I am no proponent of anorexia, I enjoyed how Megan made poverty into a way to see herself as pure and beautiful. Isreal is interesting because he feels almost anachronistic for this time period. But the fact that he is willing to bleed to feel something beautiful is also intriguing. I enjoyed your kind of dreamscape version of the ‘40s. I thought grounding the events of this piece in an iconic world event was a good choice. Your stories very often take place in the cyber-vagaries of the dystopian future, so it was cool to read something anchored in the events of our past.

What didn’t work: Hard to say because that’s going to depend on the reader. At the end of the story, both characters have resolved to stay essentially the same, even though their worlds are changing dramatically. There’s something admirable in that. And it’s nice that Isreal is able to share the beauty he’s found, even as things are literally crashing down around him. How much a reader enjoys this story is going to depend entirely on whether they enjoyed the tableau you painted for us.

What I took away from your piece: Beauty in despair, feeling at any cost, longing, holding on to what is important as the world changes.


Antivehicular

What worked: Points for the amusing intro to your story. It’s attention grabbing and absurd, and immediately made me look forward to how this was going to unfold. The rest of the story is just really nice. Sometimes I’m skeptical of stories where everything is revealed via conversation, but this worked really well. I like that the time travel is important, but it’s not the centerpiece of the story. The centerpiece is the characters, which is how it should be! The little ending quip about samples was good and thematically on point. I think you made a good call when you brought up time paradoxes and free will and then kinda gently waved them away, because this story isn’t about solving those big, fancy scifi questions. It’s about one person who’s uncertain about their future, but thanks to the quirks of time travel, is gifted just a little bit of certainty. I mean, how many of us would love to know that, someday, we’re gonna really matter to the world? Maybe if we knew it was a sure thing, we wouldn’t be so afraid to strive for it.

What didn’t work: Hmmm I dunno if I have any major issues with this story. I guess someone who was really into time travel might be annoyed that you handwaved most of the big questions away, but I think that worked in the story’s favor, so YMMV.

What I took away from your piece: Nicely rounded story, good human interaction, focusing on what matters instead of scifi faffery.


QuoProQuid

What worked: I admit, I read your flash rule after I read your story and it made me laugh. You got what I could consider to be a tough flavor to use (though I’m not sure if any of them were strictly easy), so in light of that, the direction you went with this story was kind of wickedly funny. It’s all pretty clean and well written, and I enjoyed everything up to and including when Paul showed up at the door. There was some genuine tension in the first and second parts.

What didn’t work: I mean, at the end of the day, this is body horror where someone ends up screaming and running out into the night. Nothing terribly groundbreaking. I wish that the third act had featured something a little more original than Paul being smelly and creepy as his wife gradually realizes that he’s a bug zombie. There’s also not much to Paul. He’s kinda mean and gross before death, I gather, and he’s mean and gross after death. I think it would’ve been more interesting if post-death Paul had been markedly different than before.

What I took away from your piece: Good setup, cliche ending, good writing, stock characters, run of the mill horror.


sparksbloom

What worked: This story is an interesting riff on white knights. The main character seems to act out of a sense of protectiveness, but it’s clearly motivated by something more selfish. What’s interesting is that this is obvious to the reader, but not the character themselves. Their girlfriend seems well aware, though, which is amusing. Her reaction is totally reasonable when, by contrast, the narrator is being a bit of an oblivious dipshit. I’m not actually sure what gender the narrator is, since I don’t think it’s ever specified, but I’m going to assume ‘he’ because of the themes in this story. So like, even though he thinks he’s still doing “justice”, he basically gave Macey the agency to hurt her harassers to make himself look better in her eyes. That’s kinda hosed up (but in a good way for the story, if that makes sense). Like, he has the power to tell her, “Okay, you’re allowed to fight back when someone bothers you.” And otherwise, she just has to suffer through that.

Or maybe I’m reading this totally wrong. Maybe the narrative is reliable, and he is sincere about wanting to help Macey express her agency. Which means he’s been fundamentally misunderstood by both his girlfriend AND is robot buddy. Which would also be sad/interesting, but I’m more inclined to go with my above interpretation.

What didn’t work: Mostly, I had questions about this world. Like, do these loss prevention robots work outside of the law? It seems so, since they seem to habitually lie to the police. But that doesn’t make any sense because I feel like eventually this would get caught on camera and the companies would be prosecuted for including assault-by-robot in their loss prevention policy. Like, eventually some rich brat would get their arm broken, and there would be lawsuits, and I don’t think a company really wants to get in that much hot water over a stolen pair of genes or whatever.

One note about the ending: I guess the implication is that the company took Macey back and replaced her with a less errmm sensitive and enabled loss prevention robot. It would’ve been cooler if she’s like, run away or quit or something. I think it was a missed opportunity to kind of complete the arc of Macey’s development as a being with agency.

What I took away from your piece: fiction with a Point, a few holes in worldbuilding, interesting perspective on the White Knight cliche.


crabrock

What worked: Aw Crabbles, you’re not that horrific looking, I promise. This was a neat parable dressed up in light scifi and sympathetic humor. If there is a moral to this tale, it’s a dark one, but at least I had a fun time getting there. I enjoyed that the crabs were definitely crabs (or crab-like aliens idk), but they had an almost anthropomorphic quality. I’m specifically thinking about the way Bleeborg used his claws to pick stuff up and pat the bird on the back. I dunno. One of those small details that made the overall story fun to imagine.

What didn’t work: I mean, I know you already know the ending of this story is a bit rushed and unfocused. This story gives all the signals that it’s going to have some neat, tidy point or moral, but it kind of just ends in Sudden Protagonist Death. At least Bleeborg seems happy about it, so that’s something.

What I took away from your piece: It doesn’t matter whether you’re pretty on the inside OR the outside because sometimes ur just hosed.


Tyrannosaurus

What worked: So, I know this is a sequel, of sorts, but I’m going to do my best to review it as a standalone piece since that’s how I’m judging all the other stories. I think you handle the conflict of identity really well. I don’t really want to just, like, tell your story back to you, but I kind of have to because I just enjoy the heck out of it. Our Girl is basically split into three headmates, one of which the other two want to “kill.” The two allied sisters represent the korean/american sides of Our Girl, while the third sister seems to represent some undesirable lazy stonerish quality, who possibly emerged as a response to the tension between Our Girl’s Korean/American sides. In the end, they are unable to destroy their own innocence by killing the undesirable sister inside of a sweet memory. Aww.

It’s just a cool concept and there are a lot of genuine feelings at play here. Throw in a dreamscape and a Seattle-adjacent setting and you got at least one judge in your corner.

What didn’t work: I mean, that really depends on how nitpicky I want to get. A few pieces of information are missing from this story, and I think the context from the previous story really does help with that. I’m not entirely sure why they needed to murder the bad headmate deep in the subconscious, but I personally wasn’t moved to question that too much because dreams.

What I took away from your piece: A creative take on the asian-american experience, dreamy awesomeness, complex character(s).


Thranguy

What worked: Well, here is another story that is uniquely my poo poo. I’m all about the dark, vague portent of dreams, and I think you nailed that feeling. Your protagonist can see the future, but there is only so much she can do to stave off inevitability. In the end, her knowledge makes her suffer more than it helps her. Yes, perhaps she buys her husband a few more years, but there’s virtually nothing she can do about the other stuff she sees. It’s not all bad, though. By the time the world crumbles and the sky turns to ash, she seems to have arrived at some kind of acceptance. She lives out one of her darkest dreams, and finds release.

I really enjoyed her observation that the “true” dreams stopped because she was too close to what seems to be the end of the world, so there is no future to dream of. I found myself nodding along like, yeah, that’s totally how it would work, so I think you did a good job making the bizarreness of this story internally consistent, as opposed to throwing a bunch of non sequitur bullshit at the reader and hoping it sounds deep.

What didn’t work: I dunno. Ask someone who doesn’t really enjoy this sort of thing.

What I took away from your piece: dreams, man


Hawklad

What worked: Here I got this for ur protag:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4spkVX8z-vs

This is sweet. I enjoyed the writing, and the main character’s love for this fleeting, ephemeral being was lovely. I appreciate the word economy; you were able to show basically this guy’s whole life in broad brush strokes. His loyalty to someone intangible and untouchable is admirable, and that makes him a character I want to read about. The final scene was pleasant to imagine, even if it was bittersweet.

I liked this bit:

quote:

Soon news comes from other villages: they plunder treasure, they maim women, they rape children. They hunt us like animals. With that knowledge I know the ghost-people are not gods or demons at all,. They are men.

What didn’t work: As lovely as this is, it really is just a portrait of one warrior’s love for (i think) a nature spirit. And while it is enchanting how she stays with him and protects him all his life, I’m not entirely sure what her MO is, aside from being the pretty creature that rescues the man. Would’ve been cool to have some motivation ascribed to her, beyond some kind of magical lover/protector.

What I took away from your piece: Intangible love, the beauty of growing old together, slightly thin characterization, nice imagery


Fumblemouse

What worked: So, I have this fun thought that I like to indulge sometimes, which is: what if the Mandela Effect (google it if you dunno) was real, and not just an artifact of false collective memory? This story seems to explore that. Whatever force that removed rainbow sherbet from existence also seems to work on anyone who becomes aware of the discrepancy. It’s straight up weird, but also kind of hilariously banal. I certainly wasn’t expecting the story to go in the somewhat sinister direction it went in, and I’d say that’s a credit to the piece.

What didn’t work: Hmmm I dunno. So much context is given through dialog. Your characters are kinda just talking heads in space, and if I hadn’t been interested in the mystery of the missing sherbet, I might’ve skimmed over a lot of this because there wasn’t much to ground me in the people or setting. It leaves off on a bit of a Twilight Zone-ish “what if everything was bad foreverrrrrr oooOOOooo,” so that weakened the piece slightly.

What I took away from your piece: the mandela effect is real and it is warping our reality and must be stopped. Sinbad WAS in a movie called Shazaam, OPEN YOUR EYES SHEEPLE


Apophenium

What worked: so you’ve got these insectoid monsters masquerading as children, in the care of Pater who serves a dark, unholy god. These “kids” go and slice and dice one of Pater’s enemies, but at the end of the day, no matter how strange and terrible they are, they’re still young things that want ice cream and the approval of a father figure. It’s dark, but I like it. I got the sense that perhaps maybe these “kids” had more of an inner reality than Pater suspected; the ending of the story shows that he sees them as fairly expendable, just another experiment in a long line of experiments he’s done in the service of his deity. That makes them slightly sympathetic, even if they are by all definitions monsters.

What didn’t work: I dunno, while I appreciate the utility of the final scene--it gives us an insight into how expendable these little monsters are--I always kinda frown when I see an abrupt POV shift in a tiny paragraph at the end of the story. I’ve done it, we’ve all done it (except maybe Kaishai). It’s the sort of thing that tends to happen when you’re writing flash fiction with a hard word limit and a tight deadline. While it works, in a clumsy sort of way, it gives stories kind of that contrived, Twilight Zone-esque feeling. That aside, whether or not a reader enjoys this will really depend on if they enjoy your little beasties. I did; I wanted to know more about them and the strange life they live. I wanted to know more about Pater’s motivations, as well as the motivations of their god. You didn’t have enough room to deliver on all of that, of course, so you’re kind of gambling that your readers will enjoy this keyhole view into this macabre “family”. I did, but it might not be everyone’s thing.

What I took away from your piece: No gods no masters


SHAM BAM BAMINA!!!

What worked: Oh my gosh. FINALLY. Your past couple stories were hard to follow and weren’t really rooted in any single moment or location or event. They were nebulous messes that jumped between conversations and moments in time. This, however, is firmly rooted in one moment, one objective, and one character. You stuck with a solid theme: dashed expectations. As soon as your character descends into the rainy mediterranean weather, we know this isn’t going to go the way they hoped. It’s a relatable feeling, too; the longer you spend imagining something, building up this expectation in your head, the more likely it is that reality will disappoint you, if only because you’ve let yourself get attached to a made up story that you told yourself.

What didn’t work: This is too short! I feel like you could’ve padded this with more words, and I don’t say that often. Especially the ending. Draw out the tension on that doorstep, really linger in the revelation that this person arrived on the day of their estranged parent’s death. The whole thing about the inheritance is a little contrived and maybe too tidy of an ending.

What I took away from your piece: You’re getting better dude!!!


sebmojo

What worked: I enjoyed the prose as always. I enjoyed the fish. I enjoyed "floop" as a verb. I'm not really a fan of stories that set young protagonists up for adventures we never actually see, but since this is the "what worked" section, I'll say that I enjoy the projections I can make about the events that take place after the end of the story.

What didn’t work: Eh I don't gotta tell you. This is a neat little moment, a keyhole view into some neat adventure, but that's all it is. Any TD veteran knows that a flash fiction story that is simply a character deciding to heed the call to adventure (generally after ignoring it for a bit, or being too frightened to answer) is a really hard sell.

What I took away from your piece: flooop


The Saddest Rhino

What worked: Judith's ponderings on ice cream, celiac, and food sharing were fun. All of it is in your breezy, absurd writing voice, which I always enjoy. I was a little confused about the relationship between Judith and Tiffany, but one explanation that I like (and therefor am making canon, go cry about it if u don't like it) is that these two women are exes who still live together. Judith tells herself all sorts of things about how much she enjoys it when Tiffany is away, but the ending seems to suggest that she really prefers Tiffany over ice cream. Which I'm sure was hard for you, rhino, to write because food is your one true love. If I'm correct about the nature of the relationship (would explain why they have to stop using pet names, why Tiffany doesn't want people to see them together, why Judy is so pissy about this other woman), then it was done impressively subtly.

What didn’t work: Unfortunately, it was a little two subtle for the judges. Our discussion of this story in judgechat was mostly trying to figure out the relationship between these two women, and it's only with the benefit of some sleep and distance from reading all the stories that it occurred to me. Which is a bumber, because again, I really like my interpretation.

What I took away from your piece: my idea of a shared good time is also shared bad stories :kimchi:

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

sebmojo posted:

Derpinghere Brawl

Gonna use my awesome flash rule that someone left on the floor last week: 3 dumb faces and only one fist.

Due 7 nov 2359 pst

Fat Bugar List
1550 words


All three looked stupid--hard stupid, like putting your savings in bitcoin or raving about a flat Earth. Vacant eyes, low brows, uneven ears, gaping mouths with small teeth. Of course, she’d keep her own teeth, but that hardly lessened the stunning impression of idiocy each of the faces gave.

“These are the only choices? Really?”

The agent who’d escorted her this far nodded slowly, while digging around in his mouth for something lodged there. “They are the only one’s covered by your relocation program, yeah. And there’s only so many, you know. You’re not the only goon snitching on someone.”

“Right. Great.” Jenny put a hand on her hip and bit her lip. She swiped back and forth a few more times between the options on the monitor. The decision was clearly between the one with the ear halfway up the scalp, or the one with the huge forehead. The one with the misshapen eyes and pig-nose was just too much. Each option had an ‘X’ and a check mark beside the portrait. She tapped the ‘X’ on the wonky eyed face to clear it out, but instead it lit up in a green glow.

“Cool, nice choice, let’s go.” The agent lurched out of his chair and headed for the door.

“Wait, no, that’s not the--I hit the ‘X’!”

He stared blankly and sucked at his teeth, still chasing some bit of food there. “Yeah, so you picked it.”

“You’re not listening. I hit the 'X', not the check mark. Undo it.”

“The ‘X’ is yes. The check mark is no, it’s right there in the instructions. Relocation Inc gets around the licensing fee for X’s and check marks by using them in different ways than they were copyrighted for.” His eyes widened in triumph as he dislodged the bit of food. He laid it on the tip of his index finger for a brief inspection, then wiped it on his pant leg. “Okay, let’s get a move on, almost lunch time.”

“No, wait.” She grabbed his arm, and noticed remorsefully the light pink scar tissue on her brown skin spelling out the word ‘fist’ across her fingers, just as clearly as the tattoo that had been removed earlier that week. She eyed the agent’s name tag. “I told you, Gavin, I don’t want that face. I want to change my pick.”

“Can’t change it.” Gavin pushed on her hand with a finger.

“Bullshit you can’t.”

“Well, we could submit a request for--”

“Yes, let’s do that.”

“--a reselection, but those can take a few days to be approved. Your safe-house appointment is tonight, isn’t it?”

“It is.”

“Right, so...”

Jenny stared at him for a moment, but his blunt, round face showed no trace of empathy. “Fine. Let’s go.”

She followed him into the next room, where a machine like an explosion of metal limbs sliced and stitched and printed and molded her face until it was as new and stupid as the day she was born.

Jenny spent the ride in the black sedan not looking at anything reflective. The drive to the airport turned out not to be a drive to the airport at all, but a short trip directly to the safe-house. It was not even twenty minutes away

“We’re still in the city, Gavin.” Her new, massive chin made her voice sound foreign and mushy.

“Yep.”

Jenny followed him to the entrance of an apartment building. “Billy ‘the Bat’ Hudson is in this city, you’re doing a poo poo job of hiding me.”

Gavin held up a hand. “It’s best you don’t tell me the details of your case. Anyway, housing assignments are made based on a cost-effective algorithm. This is the location with the best safety/price ratio. You can request a change but--”

“But it will take days. Right. Just show me in.”

The unit was a two bedroom of a surprisingly comfortable size. Jenny forgot to be pissed for half a second, before catching sight of her daft visage in the bathroom mirror.

Gavin waved a thick-fingered hand around. “So this is it, uh, you can purchase upgrades of course. There are two pairs of clothes in the closet and some food in the fridge, with fees naturally. Oh.” He pulled some papers and a passport from his jacket. “Your new ID and history. Memorize it before you go out anywhere.”

“Thanks.” Jenny flipped open the new passport. “Wait, no this is wrong.”

Gavin looked at the passport, frowned, shook his head. “It all looks in order.”

“In order?” She thrust the document in his face. “My new name is Benny Josco? Dozen’s of Billy the Bat’s goons are out there searching for Jenny the Fist Bosco, and you change my name to Benny Josco? That’s in order?” The passport was pressed against his cheek when she finished.

Gavin pushed the passport back with a single finger. “I don’t choose the names. It’s an algorithm based on cost/safety ratios.”

“I want to put in a request.”

“A request?”

“To change it to something else! I’m here now, I can wait a few days.”

“Okay. Sure.” Gavint made some entries on his tablet. “You’ll hear back in a couple days with your pricing options if you’re approved. If you’re lucky you’ll only have to pay ten to twenty thousand.”

Jenny didn’t have time to protest before he slammed the door on his way out.

Jenny tried to relax into the silence, but it wasn’t long before her anxieties crept up on her. She checked each window to make sure it either was locked or could not open. She checked the lock on the door ten times over twenty minutes. She took off her shoes to walk in silence and put a towel in front of the door in case any light could give away her location. She avoided the bathroom and the small mirror inside.

After three days of living in fear, she heard a knock on her door. She peered through the peephole, then opened the door for the same daft agent.

“Hi Benny,” Gavin said, and it was a moment before Jenny remembered that Benny was her. Then it was another moment before she recovered from the shock of seeing the woman standing behind Gavin. She looked incredibly stupid, with a sloping forehead and small, close-together eyes.

“Who is that?”

“This is your room mate, Hilly. Hilly, meet Benny.” Gavin waved the new woman in.

The dim looking lady strode confidently past Jenny into her new home.

“Wait, roommate?” said Jenny. “You said nothing about a roommate!”

Gavin raised a bushy eyebrow. “Who did you think the second room and second pair of clothes were for?” He chuckled to himself and shook his head as he shut the door.

The new woman, Hilly, poked around the rooms and Jenny hurried after her. “Hey, this is my room. I’ve already slept in the bed, take the other one.”

“The other one is smaller.” Her voice sounded familiar to Jenny. If she ignored the vibrating lisp caused by the large, drooping bottom lip, she could almost place it.

“Well I was here first. So deal with it.”

Hilly pushed past her, went into the bathroom and started undressing for a shower without even closing the door. Jenny was about to shout something about not using her towel when she noticed a conspicuous scar across Hilly’s back. It looked very similar in shape and size to the tattoo of a baseball bat that Billy ‘the Bat’ was known to have across her back.

“What are you lookin’ at?” Hilly had caught her and was now staring her down.

“Hilly, uh...” Jenny hesitated, afraid of what would come next. “Is your last name... Budson?”

“Yeah, and what about it?”

“Nothing I.. I gotta go.”

Jenny darted to her room, but then stopped, unsure what she would take or where she would go. She had nothing but the one pair of clothes they’d left her. That, and her new, ugly, stupid face that--judging from how easily she’d recognized Billy just now--would do little to hide her.

“Hey, wait a minute.” Billy stood in her door, her shirt back on and her eyebrows narrowed like tiny check marks on her massive forehead. “You’re Jenny 'the Fist' Bosco, aren’t you.”

Jenny balled up said fist. “Yeah.”

Hilly nodded. “Thought so. Don’t worry. I’m out of the game now, too. I ratted on Katy the Lugar Finnigan. So, forget about it. Let’s just wait this out.”

“Right.” Jenny sighed, but couldn’t really relax until Billy left her room. Before Billy could get back to her shower, though, there was another knock on the door and they saw Gavin through the peephole yet again.

“Sorry, sorry,” he said when they opened the door. “I just got another one for you. We’re a bit overbooked so you’ll have to manage.” A bug-eyed woman with a mouth too close to her bulbous nose squinted at them. Gavin pushed her forward. “Here is your new roommate, Fatty. Fatty, meet Benny and Hilly.”

“It’s pronounced Fatey, like I keep saying.” The woman pushed past them into the room. “This whole thing is bullshit.”

Jenny and Hilly looked at each other. Jenny said “Yep, sure is,” and shut the door on Gavin.

J.A.B.C.
Jul 2, 2007

There's no need to rush to be an adult.


The real joke is that this will be my first story in the 2017teen thread. Life sucks.

In.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Thanks, Sitting Here!

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





J.A.B.C. posted:

The real joke is that this will be my first story in the 2017teen thread. Life sucks.

In.

:henget:

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

also ty for the crit seb!

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Sham bam bamina! posted:

Thanks, Sitting Here!

you still need to toxx for your brawl.

it's only to submit by the due date, not to win, just in case that's what's got u afeared

v good, good

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 19:39 on Nov 7, 2017

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


sebmojo posted:

you still need to toxx for your brawl.

it's only to submit by the due date, not to win, just in case that's what's got u afeared
I did. Third post on this page.

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009


Thanks seb and tyrannosaurus and sitting here for the lovely crits.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Ironic Twist posted:


The Loss pick this week, with acknowledgement that it still had potential, belongs to Fumblemouse. Sorry, man. You're a good writer,

Meh - I've posted more than my fair share of turgid, unclever, poorly edited and occasionally outright incomplete drivel yet miraculously avoided punishment because some goon/s had clung even more tenaciously to the bottom of the barrel. Not this time though.

:cry: I'm SO PROUD of you all right now!

/sniff

/honk

In.

Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at 23:37 on Nov 7, 2017

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I wanna sing one for the cars
That are right now headed silent down the highway
And it's dark and there is nobody driving
And something has got to give



Thanks for the crits, folks! Appreciate it.

Also, if you still need a newbie-ish judge, Thranguy, I'm available.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Antivehicular posted:

Thanks for the crits, folks! Appreciate it.

Also, if you still need a newbie-ish judge, Thranguy, I'm available.

Tell, don't ask, you goddam weeble.

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I wanna sing one for the cars
That are right now headed silent down the highway
And it's dark and there is nobody driving
And something has got to give



sebmojo posted:

Tell, don't ask, you goddam weeble.

Well, if you freakin' insist.

HEY CHUCKLEFUCKS, I'M JUDGING

BE FUNNY

Exmond
May 31, 2007

Writing is fun!

sebmojo posted:

Tell, don't ask, you goddam weeble.

If you have enough time to post in this thread you have enough time to enter, don't you think?

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




Antivehicular posted:

Well, if you freakin' insist.

HEY CHUCKLEFUCKS, I'M JUDGING

BE FUNNY

^

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Exmond posted:

If you have enough time to post in this thread you have enough time to enter, don't you think?

oh indeed. in.

this is my flash rule

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 13:03 on Nov 10, 2017

take the moon
Feb 12, 2011



thnx for the crits, tyrannosaurus, sh

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME




DERPINGHERE BRAWL SUBMISSION


Heaven Hath No Fury Like

deleted for editing - PM me for the original

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 01:59 on Jan 4, 2018

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


RADIOACTIVE DUST SURGE DETECTED


Week #257 - Judge failures week, or Wizard Week 2: Electric Ritualo (CRITS Part 4 of 4)
If a wizard cast’s feather fall in a forest and there’s no one around, does the spell have a verbal component?

***
The Alter on the Mount by Phobia
Plot: A wizard and his apprentice hike up a mountain so they can sacrifice the wizard to a thing. They do that. Yaaay.
Thoughts: I imagine recaps already mentioned this, but holy goddamn proofread your poo poo. You have a misspelling in your title and a tense shift in your first two sentences. There’s so many errors that it distracts from everything else. Alright, looking passed that (haha just a little relevant grammar joke there for ya!), the story has a lot of other problems. Your characters don’t have names, and I don’t think there’s a good reason for it. Your setting is vague. Death Mount is foggy and steep, but I don’t get a good sense of the place. The Astral RiftTM is not described. You ignored the prompt where it talks about how these are wizards, not magi or sorcerers. There’s clichés (“finally, after what felt like ages…”), and a lot of loving exposition. Your grand twist is that the orphan sacrifices the wizard, but it’s meaningless because I don’t care about these characters (they have no personality, features, etc.), don’t know why the rift needs to be satiated, etc. etc. I don’t really want to put more effort into critting this than it feels like you did in writing it so I'll end there.


***
From Death by Kaishai
Plot: A swamp-wizard saves a brother by sacrificing the mother that would have sacrificed her child, mirroring his own story.
Thoughts: Oof. This story hits heavy. You have some well defined characters; the wizard is clearly experienced in this world, caring but weary. The boy is ignorant but passionate. The story ramps up tension quickly with the gator, and does a clever substitute where when at first we think the gator is an object of danger, it really represents the theme of exchange/sacrifice (a digit rather than lifeblood, though) and foreshadows the ending. The magic is well incorporated here, and has a nice distinct flavor that makes sense but gives our character genre-appropriate powers in this setting. Through the magic we also get sensory details, such as hearing the croak of frogs; the incorporation makes a lot of lines do double duty. In addition to trades, the story also incorporates a theme of ecosystems and natural cycles, and a parallel story (wrapped up at the end) of how Ezekiel killed his own father who had killed his sister and brother. I don’t have much to suggest; this was a well-told story, certainly my favorite of the week.

***
Luck Be A Lady by Dr. Kloctopussy
Plot: A wizard searching for his symbolic heir comes to terms with his own death.
Thoughts: This story is about coming to terms with ends. Death, for one, but also places one used to know, their look and feel. The wizard is depicted as being in a relationship with the city, and both of them have changed. When he catches sight of the new, he goes looking for it, accepting how far he’s fallen in on the way. The woman he sees represents, quite explicitly, new things—places, lives, and relations. Obviously, you probably already know how “Nevada heat,” is missing either the rest of the sentence or a period. Interestingly, the old/new is referred to as a cycle, which you also have at the start of the story. It seemed less like a cycle, though, and more like the wizard was holding back change. I’m curious as to what the wizard did with his grand powers, though the story doesn’t say much in the way of the magic the prompt references. It’s connected to the wizard’s life, and perhaps wealth. The story does reference how the new magic is more generous, while he hoarded his. I feel like this story needs more about what he lived for, more than just that he had a relationship with the city and its prosperity. I do like that he doesn’t say anything to the new wizard; after all, we have to learn from the past ourselves—it doesn’t come and tell us what it learned.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

:siren: Thunderdome Recap! :siren:



Kaishai:
"I've got a theory: the sun's a lady
And a Red Sox fan? No, something isn't right there."

Sitting Here:
"I've got a theory: the world's gone crazy,
And we're all trapped inside a wacky Twitter nightmare."

Ironic Twist:
"I've got a theory we should work this out."

All:
"We're getting weary. What's this dreary entry all about?"

Ironic Twist:
"It could be writers! Some awful writers!
Which is believable, 'cause Thunderdome can't plot or proof or spell or read or take directions worth a drat and God, I need a drink."


In Week 271: Reality Doesn't Care What You Think, Thunderdome speculated about what would happen if the universe stopped paying attention to its own rules. The answers given involve less chaos and more ranting angels than one might expect. Join the recap crew for a lengthy theorizing session; stay for the reading of Maigius's '"On Olympus Mons," which invites further brainstorming on the subject of Sealand's GDP.

"You didn't... have to... do that...." a bleeding mouth moaned horizontally.


Episodes past can be found here!

ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013

BEHOLD MY GLORY

AND THEN

BRAWL ME


Crit for QuoProQuid’s All the Vice President’s Men

What Works - You start off strong with more or less everyone already knowing the main character; I’d never seen the pictures of Nixon at Disneyland that this story sprung from, but it was easy to imagine him scowling his way down a roller-coaster, and the story does good work building on that, threading in less obvious touches of characterization alongside the guy’s well-known paranoia and whining. I don’t honestly know too much about that era, but the story still read strong and clear - ‘a Potemkin gesture’ is a slam dunk of a line that tells me everything I need to know about their relationship, and the repeat use of ‘nymph-like’ sets up the real joy at meeting Disney at the end. It worked as a character bit, despite the myopia of the viewpoint character - it's a good portrayal of someone who only has one lens to filter life through, instead of itself being a one note story. I felt a genuine claustrophobia reading it before Walt arrives and things open up a little.

What Don’t Work - I feel a little cheated that it ends where it does. There’s this sheer childish glee at meeting Disney, that maybe even knocks him out of his self-absorption for a second, but we don’t totally see it reconciled with the rest of his character. It would be interesting to see how he returns to his normal afterwards, and that would bring the piece full-circle. As it is, this is strongly voiced and composed but doesn’t end satisfyingly; maybe that’s just the fact that I came in with a strong dislike of the main character and begrudge him the high-note ending.

ThirdEmperor fucked around with this message at 13:13 on Nov 8, 2017

Mercedes
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.






In

Exmond
May 31, 2007

Writing is fun!

Here are some crits for the Ice Cream stories. And don't forget you are a better writer than me so take this worth a grain of salt!


Mrenda
Holy poo poo your prose was great. Your start wasn't my kind of thing but your prose got me to read on. Your depressive tone continued throughout (Which Ill get to later) and the characters were believable. I really liked this story save for the ending. The ending feels like "And then the author stole away their happy ending!" and isn't effective. In fact I kind of laughed when I read it. I think your depressive tone was great, but it held throughout and made your story kind of one note? You may have tried to change the tone but I must of missed it.

Overall: A depressive story that compels you to read it with its prose, believeable characters.


Yourichi

I personally struggled with the middle of this piece. Your start, which does an excellent job of painting a picture fails to interest me. Without a conflict, I got tired midway through. Then at the tip of the ending a romance subplot whizzes by so fast I thought I was at the daytona racetrack. However this is definetly a story

Overall: A futures-dystopian story with descriptive scenes and like.. some kind of predator? And then a romance scene?

Flerp

Your start is great and draws me in. The grandpa character is also great, even though they are a posthumous character that gets very few lines I could totally envison the grandpa. The only thing I can critique on this piece is that the reminiscing scen at the end didn't hit me emotionally, but I think that is a personal preference thing.

Overall: A subtle story about losing a loved one and reminiscing about them.

DeltaSquid
Okay, so this might come up a few times but I think I'm too dumb to get this piece. So we have soldiers and they are like YAY we conquered. One of them is like YO lets conquer some more and the other soldier is like we got babes! Then the leader shows up and manly cries while also emitting homo-eroticism and like.. nothing happens?

Mix that up and add soem big words I don't understand like satrapial palace. (What is satrapial!) And you get a piece that Exmond got confused over.

Overall: A story that I am too dumb to understand, some soldier's complain and not a lot happens?


Spectres of Autism

I actually got kind of grumpy reading this story. First off I thought Israel was the emotonal embodyment of the country. The conflciting point of views is tough to do and I .. didn't get it. Like both of them are miserable but they have different lives. I kept looking at how Megan and Israel were connected and I missed it (I had to ask IRC). Also the "SUDDENLY A BOMB" thing is confusing, especially if roosevelt just declared war.

Overall: I am too dumb to get this story, but its a story!

Antivehicular
You had me at the start and I was laughing. Okay time-traveller lets do it. Then I continued to read and you dived right into a boring phone call. Then you kept teasing the time-traveller. Then your protagnoist JOKED ABOUT TIME-TRAVEL. It's only at the end that we encounter the time-traveller and then you pull a groan worthy title drop. However I realzied I was invested in your piece (thanks to your start and idea) and got through to the end and was entertained!

Overall: A good story about a guy serving ice-cream to a time traveller, time travel isnt the point.

Thranguy

Okay Im putting this crit in because this dream stuff definetly isn't my poo poo and Sittingere requested it. Your prose is great and it keeps me reading. Your idea is neat but ... Im a simple man who wants a story. Here is what I got from yoru story.
"
"Yo I dream and here is some dood with tea" (Sure,cool)
"Yo I dream about the future and sometimes it bad" (Seriously this was cool)
"Yo there are sirens and I think im gonna die so im gonna sleep" (Wait wha-)
"Yo 420 every day imma drink this poisioned tea" (But.. arent you dead allready, like you accepted death, WHATS GOING ON HERE"
"Yo there is no ending or explanation" (-_-)

I enjoyed this story up until the dream sequence where she chooses to die.. or ..something. I kept hunting for meaning or some kind of semblance and think I must have missed something. I enjoyed your story but the ending, while poignant, confused me.

Overall: An interesting story that goes into 420 trippy dream sequence and ends. Needs a wikipedia article for me to understand it.


Fumblemouse
The start isn't good. I don't want an info dump on icecream. You manage to pull up and it's interesting, a search for non-existant ice cream. And then suddenly we have a horror ending that doesn't make sense.

I liked your characters though they were great! You wrote a flawed character very very well!

Overall: The story at the start takes a swan dive but manages to pull up into an interesting idea.... And then runs into a mountain named "SUDDEN HORROR ENDING"

Apophenium

Whoa start is weird but interesting. It was a bit hard to parse but I like it! I think you need to ditch the long complicated name, it got in the way of the story. H.W.T.U.W.W.C.D is like a big rear end dog who sits on my comf couch and screams "READ ME CAREFULLY". The comfy couch in this metaphor is your story because I enjoyed it. The point of view of the children was well done!

Overall: A tense, horror story that gets interrupted with a complex names and requires careful reading.

Sham Bam Bamina
Interesting start but we never address the crying. But it doesn't matter becuase you come rushing in with the 1-2-Uppercut combo! Whoa this is a fast story and it delievers the punches fast. I get your ending, its like "Life moves on even if I didn't" kind of thing. I think you needed to take a break and let things settle.

Overall: A quick punchy story that ends with "YO SHES DEAD BUT THINGS GOT BETTER DAWG"

Exmond fucked around with this message at 21:39 on Nov 8, 2017

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe



As far as I know, there hasn't been a secret santa thing ever in TD. We should do something about that.

Now, not everyone feels comfortable giving their address to strangers, or wants to spend money buying and shipping things. So here's how this is going to work:

I will play Santa and compile a list of all of you naughty TD folks. If you'd like to join in the fun, you need to have submitted five stories to TD so that way your Santa can effectively gather dirt on you.

There are two ways you can sign up!

:words:Story Exchange: :words:


To join this way, all you have to do is send me a PM or find me in IRC and tell me you want in. On Black Friday 11/24 you will receive your Santee assignment. You're then charged with writing a story just for them! You won't post it in the thread, you'll e-mail them. And make it classy for gently caress's sake. Don't just link them a gdoc. Make it a PDF or something fancy and official. Maybe even doodle a festive cover for it. And get your story to your Santee by Christmas, you scrooge. They are free to share it with whomever they like, it's theirs to do with as they please.

:greencube: BONUS PRESENT EXCHANGE: :greencube:


In addition to exchanging stories, if you'd like to be included in the smaller circle of present exchangers, include in your message to me your address. On 11/24, you'll get your assignment. If you give me your address you are agreeing to both send and receive a present, and hey you can include a fancy-pants hard copy version of the story you wrote for them!

The only people who will see your address are me, the person sending you a gift, and the person you send a gift to if you include a return address. After the holiday season is over, I'll delete everything address wise. I ask that everyone else do the same. Also, keep in mind that we're all over the globe. International shipping is an expensive thing. When possible, I'll do my best to group people in such a way that shipping costs won't be brutal. Unless, of course, you want to ship/receive internationally, in which case, let me know!

We'll keep this simple as far as money goes, keep it under 10-20 bucks or something. I don't know, you can go hog wild if you like but just don't expect much and you'll be happy with what you get. And get your present to your Santee by Christmas, you scrooge.


So tl;dr , we get a big ol' circle of stories exchanging going, which you can sign up for by messaging me with an "I'm in!" and if, IN ADDITION to a story, you want to exchange tangible, physical presents by mail, include in your message your address. Regardless, you're only gonna get one Santa, and one Santee.

Don't post about this itt, we bog it down enough with our horrible words.

Chili fucked around with this message at 15:47 on Nov 9, 2017

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME





just quoting to say this is legit and you should join! Chili has thus far neglected to come to my house and axe murder me

e: thx for the av, anonymous av-giver!

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





:siren:Derpinghere brawl:siren:

So it takes sass to step to the blood queen when she's feeling her oats, and you did it without hesitation. She's prone to dumb wordburps about dream helicopters every now and then, but the rest of the time she's a hellish whirring storm of bloody flensing knives. You'll do well to not be crushed. Shall we begin?


derp posted:

Fat Bugar List
1550 words


All three looked stupid--hard stupid, like putting your savings in bitcoin or raving about a flat Earth. Vacant eyes, low brows, uneven ears, gaping mouths with small teeth. Of course, she’d keep her own teeth, but that hardly lessened the stunning impression of idiocy each of the faces gave. solid opener, bland deleted adjective aside, I'm on board

“These are the only choices? Really?”

The agent who’d escorted her this far nodded slowly, while digging around in his mouth for something lodged there. see this is good concise character, cf 'stunning' which is neither “They are the only one’s covered by your relocation program, yeah. And there’s only so many, you know. You’re not the only goon snitching on someone.” nice, i know where we are and where we're going

“Right. Great.” Jenny put a hand on her hip and bit her lip. She swiped back and forth a few more times between the options on the monitor. see how the blocking doesn't actually add much? It's always tempting to overspecify bodily actions, get used to deleting them and seeing if the sentence is made better or worse The decision was clearly between the one with the ear halfway up the scalp, or the one with the huge forehead. The one with the misshapen eyes and pig-nose was just too much. Each option had an ‘X’ and a check mark beside the portrait. She tapped the ‘X’ on the wonky eyed face to clear it out, but instead it lit up in a green glow.

“Cool, nice choice, let’s go.” The agent lurched out of his chair and headed for the door.

“Wait, no, that’s not the--I hit the ‘X’!”

He stared blankly and sucked at his teeth, still chasing some bit of food there. “Yeah, so you picked it.”

“You’re not listening. I hit the 'X', not the check mark. Undo it.”

“The ‘X’ is yes. The check mark is no, it’s right there in the instructions. Relocation Inc gets around the licensing fee for X’s and check marks by using them in different ways than they were copyrighted for.” His eyes widened in triumph as he dislodged the bit of food. He laid it on the tip of his index finger for a brief inspection, then wiped it on his pant leg. “Okay, let’s get a move on, almost lunch time.” I like the dumbass comedy bit you're running here, and it justifies itself because it sets up the crappy way the whole process is run, also i am enjoying the saga of the bit of food in Gavin's mouth it's like LOTR

“No, wait.” She grabbed his arm, and noticed remorsefully the light pink scar tissue on her brown skin spelling out the word ‘fist’ across her fingers, just as clearly as the tattoo that had been removed earlier that week. She eyed the agent’s name tag. “I told you, Gavin, good shift to him having a name I don’t want that face. I want to change my pick.”

“Can’t change it.” Gavin pushed on her hand with a finger.

“Bullshit you can’t.”

“Well, we could submit a request for--”

“Yes, let’s do that.”

“--a reselection, but those can take a few days to be approved. Your safe-house appointment is tonight, isn’t it?”

“It is.”

“Right, so...”

Jenny stared at him for a moment, but his blunt, round face showed no trace of empathy. see this isn't blocking because it's part of the action rather than needless filigree “Fine. Let’s go.”

She followed him into the next room, where a machine like an explosion of metal limbs sliced and stitched and printed and molded her face until it was as new and stupid as the day she was born. good line

Jenny spent the ride in the black sedan not looking at anything reflective. The drive to the airport turned out not to be a drive to the airport at all, but a short trip directly to the safe-house. It was not even twenty minutes away

“We’re still in the city, Gavin.” Her new, massive chin made her voice sound foreign and mushy.

“Yep.”

Jenny followed him to the entrance of an apartment building. “Billy ‘the Bat’ Hudson is in this city, you’re doing a poo poo job of hiding me.”

Gavin held up a hand. “It’s best you don’t tell me the details of your case. Anyway, housing assignments are made based on a cost-effective algorithm. This is the location with the best safety/price ratio. You can request a change but--” running gag keeps running, still entertained.

“But it will take days. Right. Just show me in.”

The unit was a two bedroom of a surprisingly comfortable size. Jenny forgot to be pissed for half a second, before catching sight of her daft visage in the bathroom mirror.

Gavin waved a thick-fingered hand around. “So this is it, uh, you can purchase upgrades of course. There are two pairs of clothes in the closet and some food in the fridge, with fees naturally. Oh.” He pulled some papers and a passport from his jacket. “Your new ID and history. Memorize it before you go out anywhere.”

“Thanks.” Jenny flipped open the new passport. “Wait, no this is wrong.”

Gavin looked at the passport, frowned, shook his head. “It all looks in order.”

“In order?” She thrust the document in his face. “My new name is Benny Josco? Dozen’s of Billy the Bat’s goons are out there searching for Jenny the Fist Bosco, and you change my name to Benny Josco? this is a totally goofy joke but it works in teh world you've made That’s in order?” The passport was pressed against his cheek when she finished. i don't like this line much, seems to mess with teh order of events?

Gavin pushed the passport back with a single finger. “I don’t choose the names. It’s an algorithm based on cost/safety ratios.”

“I want to put in a request.”

“A request?”

“To change it to something else! I’m here now, I can wait a few days.”

“Okay. Sure.” Gavint tsk you're not in a position where you want to making typos made some entries on his tablet. “You’ll hear back in a couple days with your pricing options if you’re approved. If you’re lucky you’ll only have to pay ten to twenty thousand.”

Jenny didn’t have time to protest before he slammed the door on his way out. order is weird here, too - the main problem with this kind of thing is that it trips the reader up, when you when you want this kind of story to flow smooth and easy like a fine soft poop

Jenny tried to relax into the silence. but it wasn’t long before her anxieties crept up on her show don't tell. you've done teh work with 'tried', the following actions demonstrate her failure She checked each window to make sure it either was locked or could not open. She checked the lock on the door ten times over twenty minutes. She took off her shoes to walk in silence and put a towel in front of the door in case any light could give away her location. She avoided the bathroom and the small mirror inside.

the jump from small minute scale actions to three days is a bit abrupt, you could bridge it by talking about her going to sleep or something


After three days of living in fear, she heard a knock on her door. She peered through the peephole, then opened the door for the same daft agent. you're about to tell us who it is

“Hi Benny,” Gavin said, and it was a moment before Jenny remembered that Benny was her. Then it was another moment before she recovered from the shock of seeing the woman standing behind Gavin. She looked incredibly cut this kind of word, then put it back if the sentence doesn't work stupid, with a sloping forehead and small, close-together eyes.

“Who is that?”

“This is your room mate, Hilly. Hilly, meet Benny.” Gavin waved the new woman in.

The dim looking lady strode confidently striding is confident, let your verbs carry their weight the lazy assholes past Jenny into her new home.

“Wait, roommate?” said Jenny. “You said nothing about a roommate!”

Gavin raised a bushy eyebrow. i really like the way you characterise Gavin throughout “Who did you think the second room and second pair of clothes were for?” nice lol He chuckled to himself and shook his head as he shut the door.

The new woman, Hilly, poked around the rooms and Jenny hurried after her. “Hey, this is my room. I’ve already slept in the bed, take the other one.”

“The other one is smaller.” Her voice sounded familiar to Jenny. If she ignored the vibrating lisp caused by the large, drooping bottom lip, she could almost place it.

“Well I was here first. So deal with it.”

Hilly pushed past her, went into the bathroom and started undressing for a shower without even closing the door. Jenny was about to shout something about not using her towel when she noticed a conspicuous scar across Hilly’s back. It looked very similar in shape and size to the tattoo of a baseball bat that Billy ‘the Bat’ was known to have across her back.

“What are you lookin’ at?” Hilly had caught her and was now staring her down.

“Hilly, uh...” Jenny hesitated, afraid of what would come next. “Is your last name... Budson?”

“Yeah, and what about it?”

“Nothing I.. I gotta go.”

Jenny darted to her room, but then stopped, unsure what she would take or where she would go. She had nothing but the one pair of clothes they’d left her. That, and her new, ugly, stupid face that--judging from how easily she’d recognized Billy just now--would do little to hide her.

“Hey, wait a minute.” Billy stood in her door, her shirt back on and her eyebrows narrowed like tiny check marks on her massive forehead. “You’re Jenny 'the Fist' Bosco, aren’t you.”

Jenny balled up said fist. “Yeah.”

Hilly nodded. “Thought so. Don’t worry. I’m out of the game now, too. I ratted on Katy the Lugar Finnigan. So, forget about it. Let’s just wait this out.”

“Right.” Jenny sighed, but couldn’t really relax until Billy left her room. Before Billy could get back to her shower, though, there was another knock on the door and they saw Gavin through the peephole yet again.

“Sorry, sorry,” he said when they opened the door. “I just got another one for you. We’re a bit overbooked so you’ll have to manage.” A bug-eyed woman with a mouth too close to her bulbous nose squinted at them. Gavin pushed her forward. “Here is your new roommate, Fatty. Fatty, meet Benny and Hilly.”

“It’s pronounced Fatey, like I keep saying.” The woman pushed past them into the room. “This whole thing is bullshit.”

Jenny and Hilly looked at each other. Jenny said “Yep, sure is,” and shut the door on Gavin. and, yeah, jokes delivered, curtains, applause.

This is a solid and well-delivered comic story that takes the prompt, puts some nicely cartoony characters around it, and plays out a funny yarn. The details in this kind of thing are important, and you nail them - if Gavin weren't an interesting character it would flop, and the dreary don't-give-a-fuckness of teh whole witness protection thing is also crucial to the overall comic effect. This would probably beat sittinghere on a bad day or if she bit off more than she can chew, but even if not it's a strong and honourable challenge.

Sitting Here posted:

DERPINGHERE BRAWL SUBMISSION


[quote="Sitting Here" post="478171261"]
DERPINGHERE BRAWL SUBMISSION


Heaven Hath No Fury Like i don't like the title much, it's strained - i'll check back to see if i feel differently after reading

I’m flat on my back and she’s straddling me. We’re in my bed, but not really, because she owns this moment and everything inside of it, and so both the bed and I belong to her. When I look down the length of my body, I see where my hips and groin disappear under her blue-green skirts and I’m very careful not to move. One twitch of that tectonic fabric i like this could send this whole city sloughing off into the bay. A single chiffon shudder this is too cutesy might let loose the sort of waves that annihilate island nations. i feel like this is an amazing opening image that you don't quite convey, because it jumps from the personal and human to the abstract too quickly. i think you could have got a bit more grossly physical at the outset, because otherwise you're basing the whole story on something that's more inferred than conveyed

I’m the only woman she’s been with since she became human. Maybe that’s why, after the first time she seduced me, she lingered in my bed and fed me, between stony kisses, a few small morsels of her history. Her name is Inanna, Asherah, Gaia, Grandmother Spider, Lilith, Tiamat, Tree, Rock, River, Wind--everything but Fire.

“Fire,” she told me that first night, “is born of men, wielded by men, and will destroy men, eventually.” A small, sad smile appeared at the corners of her lips when she said destroy.

I told her, “That doesn’t sound so bad, in the long run.”

But she shook her head and said, “It will destroy them because it will destroy me.” this is bland dreary dialoguing

“Couldn’t you just--” I gestured at her skirts, which were balled up in a blue-green heap on the floor. I had no idea how she controlled them, or how they controlled plate tectonics, or why sometimes the tiniest shuffle of fabric could trigger a 7.9 earthquake in Chile, but tossing them on the floor in a heat of passion did little more than clutter up my room. see this bit's great, much better control over the fundamentally insane idea garment you're rockin

“Couldn’t I just shake my dress and send mankind back to the stone age?” she said, finishing my abandoned attempt at a question. “I thought about it. I even went through a particularly piqueish imagine someone saying this sitting here you canNOT bc it is not the sort of thing people SAY period where I was hell-bent on drowning you all in the ocean or setting the atmosphere on fire. But I am too full of hate to grant such an anonymous end. I want to kill the fire and look into his eyes while I do it. I want to kill him again, and again, and each time, in that final moment, the fire understands his own terrible culpability. I want him to know beyond doubt that his death is a good and just thing.”

I didn’t know what to say to that, and she seemed content in the silence that settled over us like silt. yeah ok that's the stuff

We’ve kept to this pattern ever since. Sometimes I consider just not answering the door when she comes by, but I know that won’t keep her out of my bed, out of my mind. keep it physical, don't be vague

One night, early on in our affair, I asked her why she bothered taking a human form instead of something with fangs and talons or maybe a virulent fungus.

“Because men don’t love those things,” was her reply.

“Are you going to show me the justice of my own death? Or will you spare me because of what’s between my legs?”

She propped herself up on one elbow and scowled at me. It was a girlish expression, one that almost hid the terrifying age in her eyes. I’d broken the silty silence with not one but two questions, a violation of her unspoken rules of engagement. All at once, I realized I was defying a goddess, or a being that was near enough to one. The absurd audacity of it sent a flush of heat through my body, and I pulled her into another kiss before she could answer or admonish me. nice para

That night, as she was leaving, she said, “Women aren’t any better, you know.” this is sort of the axis of the piece - i'd like it to be a bit more finely turned

And yet, I’m still alive.

Now, she looks down at me and asks, “Do you love me?” and I tell her yes, because it’s what I want to feel, and because I think it’s what she wants to hear. She scowls, detecting some imperfection in my profession. It doesn’t surprise me; in a way, she is the original jewelry smith, and when I’m around her all I can utter is fool’s gold. cute

She rolls off of me and flops onto her back. I cringe at the rustle of her skirts, but after a few moments wherein the city neglects to fall into the sea, I relax.

“Men love differently than us,” she says after a while. “When they fall out of love, it hurts their egos. They feel as though they’ve failed at some task. Because of this, they treat each act of love as a monument.”

“You make it sound poetic,” I say.

“When too many men build too many monuments, the fire in them rises up, and they are compelled to tear down their work.”

“Not all men are the same. Not all women are the same.”

“And yet none of you are so unique as you would like to believe you are,” she says dismissively. “The fact that men are slaves to the masonry of their hearts is what gives us the power to destroy them.” i think i'd like this dialogue better if they sounded more different to each other

I look over at her. “Us?”

.

I pause for a moment outside the convenience store, just long enough to see my reflection in the glass doors, looking doubtful and pensive.

I’ve spoken with the woman behind the counter almost every day for the past three years, though I don’t know her name. We talk about the seasons, how the trees are blooming or shedding their leaves, whether the rain will fall or not. It’s the kind of small, insipid conversation that I normally loathe, but with the convenience store woman, it’s a ritual. She lives above the store with her husband, and tends the counter every day while he stands outside smoking. nice sketching, more involving than sexy pontificating earthquake gods

She smiles at me as I walk in, raises an eyebrow when I come straight to the register without grabbing my usual haul of beer and jerky.

“The air is so crisp out today,” she says. “I hope you’re keeping warm.”

“I--”

The door jingles and her husband slouches in, reeking of smoke. I tense up, afraid that he’ll linger at the counter and interfere with my plan, but he merely grumbles something in Urdu as he makes his way to the back of the store and disappears through a door labeled EMPLOYEES ONLY. His wife sighs, and her congenial smile slips for a moment.

“I need your help,” I tell her. “Could you come by my apartment this evening?”

She cocks her head. “What could I possibly help with? Are you needing someone to change the price tags on your potato chips?” lol this is a p deece convenience store owner joke

I laugh, a little louder and a little more suddenly than I would’ve liked. yep ikr “No, no,” I say, “It’s more of a girly sort of issue.”

Now her expression gets really dark, and I can see the worst case scenarios running through her mind. “Whatever it is,” she says, “I’m sure there is someone more skilled than me who can help you.” i'm finding this relationship vastly more engaging than the vaguely sketched self-insert protag and teh ambiguously misandrist god lady fyi

I take a deep breath. I have to be careful, here. “Does he love you?” I ask.

“I don’t know what you mean,” she says, but her eyes dart back and forth between me and the EMPLOYEES ONLY door through which her husband had gone.

“Are you happy?” I press. “Or are you stuck inside a house someone else built?”

“I--we--we built this business togeth--”

“You built yourself a mausoleum,” I say, and now I hear her in my own voice: Inanna, Asherah, Isis, Khali, the ocean herself. “You built yourself a place to store your ashes when he’s finished burning you up. Just like one of his cigarettes.”

“Get out,” the convenience store woman whispers, and her eyes are full of tears of rage. aww poo poo yeah that's the good stuff putting down the voodoo doll with sh written on it

.

The goddess is making tea in my kitchen. I expected her to be angry, when I told her how I failed at winning the convenience store woman over to our cause, but she only smiled and said, “These things take time.” bland bland bland why don't you make your goddess say cooler stuff

Still, she has yet to invite me to bed, so I can’t help but feel as though I’ve done something wrong. She seems preoccupied, if that’s a thing goddesses can be. bad words, strike them I consider saying something defiant, asking her some forbidden question, in hopes that she will pin me down on the kitchen floor and punish me with deep, magma-laden kisses.

The door buzzer goes off and I nearly fall out of my seat from surprise. The goddess gathers up her skirts--I still can’t help but i can't help but hate this construction wince whenever she moves them--and goes to the intercom.

“Yes?” she says, her voice sweet and friendly.

Hesitation on the other end, then, “I was asked to come by? It’s Afifa--from the convenience store?” Her voice is so hopeful and so uncertain that I want to leap up, commandeer the intercom, and tell her to leave and never come back.

The goddess buzzes Afifa in. a weirdly good sentence

Now we are sitting in a circle in my living room, the goddess looking regal in my armchair, me and Afifa sitting on opposite sides of the couch.

“As anyone ever hurt you? Used you?” the goddess asks Afifa, her voice still sweet as honey wine.

Afifa looks at me, then back at the goddess. “I’m not here to get anyone in trouble,” she says. “If someone’s done something, I--I have nothing to do with it. I just run my shop. I--”

“Do not dissemble.” The goddess’s terrible, ancient eyes cloud over, turn the color of slate. Her head swivels back and forth as though she is testing the air for a scent. Afifa is plainly trembling, i think a semicolon would work better here she doesn’t get up and run for the door.

“I was with you,” the goddess says, her voice vast and remote, “in those moments where the fire licked at your flesh. The day your father decided that you would not go to primary school. When the neighbor man took you to his bed, then threw you back out, the blood of your innocence slick on your thighs. I was with you when you came to this country and the immigration men treated you like an enemy, even as you threw yourself on the mercy of their nation.”

Afifa puts her fist to her mouth and lets out a muffled moan. Then she begins to whisper frantically in Urdu.

“There is no need to pray,” the goddess says, and her eyes are unclouded once more. “I am here now. And I will avenge you.”

She flicks her skirts and the the apartment begins to sway from side to side, just a little, enough to showcase the effortless power she has over all things earthen and womanly. There are sounds of shock and fear from the street below my building, tires squealing on concrete.

The shaking stops. Afifa’s noises of fear crescendo, bad phrasing, she's not a class of preschoolers then break into peals of delighted laughter, like a child who’s been surprised by a much-desired but unexpected gift. She claps her hands together, and, still laughing, cries out, “Mother!”

“Yes,” the goddess coos. She points at me. “For you, I am the Maiden. For you--” she points at Afifa “--I am the Mother. And for the rest of the mankind, I am the Crone, aged and spiteful, descending on the world of fire with winter in my fists!”

.

And so we set about destroying the fire of man, legs and hearts open, teeth bared. Afifa stays at my apartment, and her husband doesn’t come looking for her. The goddess furnishes my refrigerator with fruit and my pantry with bread, nuts, and wine, so there’s no need for us to work. I don’t ask why the landlord hasn’t come to collect the rent, or why the electric company doesn’t call about the bill. this is where the 'getting poo poo done montage' music starts playing in the heist movie, isn't it

The goddess no longer comes to my bed, but she keeps my nights busy with sex, torment, and righteous death. First, we take men from the low places of the world: strip clubs, dog fighting rings, casinos, brothels. All of them stink of violence, and when we bed them, their seed tastes like ash.

I don’t like bedding men. When the time comes to hurt and then kill the men we take, I’m relieved, and hopeful. Maybe if I make this man scream loud enough, the goddess will return to my bed. If I make that man confess his sins fervently enough, she will come and seduce me and pin me beneath those tectonic, blue-green skirts. see, the yearning rings a little hollow because you wussed out at the beginning I make every death a monument to Her in hopes that she will see the mannish violence in my heart, and treat me accordingly.

I gently caress and kill with fervor, but she doesn’t return to my bed.

We move on to bigger, more nebulous prey. I find myself at galas, trade shows, in the entourages of governors and senators and celebrities. Sometimes I wake up on airplanes, in opulent hotel rooms, and, in one instance, on the floor of a congressional bathroom. Afifa is always with me. The goddess comes and goes. I lose all sense of time and self. More and more, I sense that I’ve made myself into a puppet, and the hand that controls me is balled into a fist tight enough to crush civilizations. i love the deranged spirallings of this plot btw

I am a puppet, and a weapon.

The more grandiose our prey, the closer we have to get to them before we can strike the killing blow. A quick death is enough for a petty rapist or murderer, but not for a lobbyist or an oil baron. For those types, we have a special protocol. We don’t merely make them want us, we make them love us.

For nearly six months, I carry on a clandestine affair with a presidential candidate. In my old life, I wouldn’t have known how to make the man so much as look at me, but with the fist of the goddess dominating my every move, the seduction is effortless. I am nominally tsk, adverb check fail part of his campaign team by day, just another intern trying to get her foot inside the revolving door phwooar? (not sure if dirty) that is Washington D.C.. On those nights when his wife is not traveling with him, I am his paramore you mean the Tennessee rock band? i love their stuff, his escape, his release. After letting him gently caress me, I listen as he murmurs his sins and regrets into crisp, white hotel pillow cases. Then I let him fall asleep with his arms around me, as though I am the only thing worth protecting in this world.

When the goddess tells me it’s time to reveal the affair to the media, my heart and my groin thrum with anticipation. This is our most ambitious kill yet, so I’m nearly certain the goddess will come to me in the night, like she did long ago, before we formed our cabal of righteous murder.

We have audio and video evidence, of course. We feed the hungry mouths of the media with tidbits of scandal. I make a few tearful appearances on talk shows, tell the world how this powerful man used his station to overcome my sense of propriety.

His party is more interested in the secrets he spilled to me, in those languid, post-coital moments. Every time I turn on the news, I hear the sound of my own voice, made hollow and tinny by the recording, coaxing terrible truths out of the man who might’ve been our leader. Truths about collusion, corruption, pollution, needless deaths, hidden alliances.

Truths that fall like ash over a nation on the brink of hysteria.

When we come for him in the dead of night, he doesn’t act surprised. For the first time in many months, it’s the three of us: me, Afifa, and the goddess. There are other women too, though, other cadres of puppets bent around the fist of the divine. this is a weird image, i'm not sure 'fist' is the right choice here

The former presidential candidate is motionless under his blankets. His eyes are wide. His fat, balding head looks stupid and small among the abundance of pillows.

“Please,” he whispers.

We stand around him, silent as a grove of evergreens.

“Please,” the goddess sneers. “I have been screaming 'please, please don’t hurt me anymore' for centuries. Please don’t burn my forests. Please don’t rape my life-givers. Please don’t plaster my flesh with the concrete cancer of your kind.” She takes a deep breath. “What happens tonight is justice.”

The former candidate’s eyes cloud over, turn the color of slate. “I cannot stop the burning,” he says in a voice that is distant and expansive. “I need you, dear one, to extinguish these witless flames, so that I can rest.”

I look at the goddess, and the expression on her face confirms what I already know: We speak with the god of fire, now. Ra, Sol, Elohim, Moloch.

“Yes,” the goddess hisses. “I’ll quench the fire, but not before I snuff out all of its errant sparks with my heel.”

“There is no need,” the god says through the candidate’s mouth. “You can cleanse the world, and we can begin again.”

“And again, and again, and again,” the goddess rages. Tears the color of molten rock flow from her eyes. “Each time, you say 'let’s start over,' and each time I return to you with hope in my heart. And yet here we are, at the end of another cycle of torment!”

“I have learned much this time around,” the god begins to say, but he’s cut off by a shriek from the goddess.

“Kill him,” she commands, and we fall on him, a multitude of clawing nails and gnashing teeth. He doesn’t have enough skin to bear our violence, and when we recede, all that is left is meat, bone, and sheets stained red with the justice of our cause. see this is the level of hosed up poo poo you should have also had at the beginning

I am the first to approach the goddess after our work is done. I kneel before her, look up at her with naked need on my face. Though I walk with the divine inside of me, it has been so long since I’ve felt her love. I have killed for you, I want to scream. not a fan of nearly doing things but not doing them I have given my body to the fire for you.

For the first time in many years, Afifa is not by my side. I look around, see that I am alone in my supplication. The other women hang back, looking between me and the goddess as though waiting for some unspoken signal.

“I’ve made a monument out of my love for you,” I say. “You made me the fire. So either love me, or snuff me out.” this is very strong and cool, and the heart of the piece i think

I shut my mouth and wait for death, but the goddess merely crouches down in front of me, looks into my eyes. “I know,” she says. “What is it your kind say--fight fire with fire?” dammit say cooler stuff god lady not cliches

I hear myself make a choked sound, a strangled laugh.

“I have my daughters to birth a new world,” she says, gesturing at Afifa and the others. “And to destroy the old one, I have you.” She rises to a standing position, her blue-green skirts swirling around her in some intangible wind. “Now get up. We have men to kill.”

I consider staying where I am, defying her, forcing her to snuff me out like the obstinate ember that I am. But so long as there are still men to kill, this isn’t over. Perhaps, after every last one of them is dead, she’ll love me again. Or she’ll kill me.

Until then, I am her mason, and I will make every death a shrine to my love for her. and yeah, this hosed up emotional slipknot is a strong and strange place to end

This isn't elegant or particularly polished. The central figure is weirdly bland, talking in cliches and no convincing in how she compels our protag. but what it does superbly is to delineate a deranged trajectory of sex and godmurder that is still pingponging round my brain three days later. You took more words, and made good use of them - derp told a story that fitted snugly in his 1200 words or w/e, you started talking and stopped when you'd said enough.

So although derp gave good dome and can take honour from this fight, sitting here shambles over teh line a few paces ahead.

:siren:sittinghere wins:siren:

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





:siren:Derpinghere Brawl:siren:

So it takes sass to step to the blood queen when she's feeling her oats, and you did it without hesitation. She's prone to dumb wordburps about dream helicopters every now and then, but the rest of the time she's a hellish whirring storm of bloody flensing knives. You'll do well to not be obliterated.

Shall we begin?

derp posted:

Fat Bugar List idgi
1550 words


All three looked stupid--hard stupid, like putting your savings in bitcoin or raving about a flat Earth. Vacant eyes, low brows, uneven ears, gaping mouths with small teeth. Of course, she’d keep her own teeth, but that hardly lessened the stunning impression of idiocy each of the faces gave. solid opener, bland deleted adjective aside, I'm on board

“These are the only choices? Really?”

The agent who’d escorted her this far nodded slowly, while digging around in his mouth for something lodged there. see this is good concise character, cf 'stunning' which is neither “They are the only one’s covered by your relocation program, yeah. And there’s only so many, you know. You’re not the only goon snitching on someone.” nice, i know where we are and where we're going

“Right. Great.” Jenny put a hand on her hip and bit her lip. She swiped back and forth a few more times between the options on the monitor. see how the blocking doesn't actually add much? It's always tempting to overspecify bodily actions, get used to deleting them and seeing if the sentence is made better or worse The decision was clearly between the one with the ear halfway up the scalp, or the one with the huge forehead. The one with the misshapen eyes and pig-nose was just too much. Each option had an ‘X’ and a check mark beside the portrait. She tapped the ‘X’ on the wonky eyed face to clear it out, but instead it lit up in a green glow.

“Cool, nice choice, let’s go.” The agent lurched out of his chair and headed for the door.

“Wait, no, that’s not the--I hit the ‘X’!”

He stared blankly and sucked at his teeth, still chasing some bit of food there. “Yeah, so you picked it.”

“You’re not listening. I hit the 'X', not the check mark. Undo it.”

“The ‘X’ is yes. The check mark is no, it’s right there in the instructions. Relocation Inc gets around the licensing fee for X’s and check marks by using them in different ways than they were copyrighted for.” His eyes widened in triumph as he dislodged the bit of food. He laid it on the tip of his index finger for a brief inspection, then wiped it on his pant leg. “Okay, let’s get a move on, almost lunch time.” I like the dumbass comedy bit you're running here, and it justifies itself because it sets up the crappy way the whole process is run, also i am enjoying the saga of the bit of food in Gavin's mouth it's like LOTR

“No, wait.” She grabbed his arm, and noticed remorsefully the light pink scar tissue on her brown skin spelling out the word ‘fist’ across her fingers, just as clearly as the tattoo that had been removed earlier that week. She eyed the agent’s name tag. “I told you, Gavin, good shift to him having a name I don’t want that face. I want to change my pick.”

“Can’t change it.” Gavin pushed on her hand with a finger.

“Bullshit you can’t.”

“Well, we could submit a request for--”

“Yes, let’s do that.”

“--a reselection, but those can take a few days to be approved. Your safe-house appointment is tonight, isn’t it?”

“It is.”

“Right, so...”

Jenny stared at him for a moment, but his blunt, round face showed no trace of empathy. see this isn't blocking because it's part of the action rather than needless filigree “Fine. Let’s go.”

She followed him into the next room, where a machine like an explosion of metal limbs sliced and stitched and printed and molded her face until it was as new and stupid as the day she was born. good line

Jenny spent the ride in the black sedan not looking at anything reflective. The drive to the airport turned out not to be a drive to the airport at all, but a short trip directly to the safe-house. It was not even twenty minutes away

“We’re still in the city, Gavin.” Her new, massive chin made her voice sound foreign and mushy.

“Yep.”

Jenny followed him to the entrance of an apartment building. “Billy ‘the Bat’ Hudson is in this city, you’re doing a poo poo job of hiding me.”

Gavin held up a hand. “It’s best you don’t tell me the details of your case. Anyway, housing assignments are made based on a cost-effective algorithm. This is the location with the best safety/price ratio. You can request a change but--” running gag keeps running, still entertained.

“But it will take days. Right. Just show me in.”

The unit was a two bedroom of a surprisingly comfortable size. Jenny forgot to be pissed for half a second, before catching sight of her daft visage in the bathroom mirror.

Gavin waved a thick-fingered hand around. “So this is it, uh, you can purchase upgrades of course. There are two pairs of clothes in the closet and some food in the fridge, with fees naturally. Oh.” He pulled some papers and a passport from his jacket. “Your new ID and history. Memorize it before you go out anywhere.”

“Thanks.” Jenny flipped open the new passport. “Wait, no this is wrong.”

Gavin looked at the passport, frowned, shook his head. “It all looks in order.”

“In order?” She thrust the document in his face. “My new name is Benny Josco? Dozen’s of Billy the Bat’s goons are out there searching for Jenny the Fist Bosco, and you change my name to Benny Josco? this is a totally goofy joke but it works in teh world you've made That’s in order?” The passport was pressed against his cheek when she finished. i don't like this line much, seems to mess with teh order of events?

Gavin pushed the passport back with a single finger. “I don’t choose the names. It’s an algorithm based on cost/safety ratios.”

“I want to put in a request.”

“A request?”

“To change it to something else! I’m here now, I can wait a few days.”

“Okay. Sure.” Gavint tsk you're not in a position where you want to making typos made some entries on his tablet. “You’ll hear back in a couple days with your pricing options if you’re approved. If you’re lucky you’ll only have to pay ten to twenty thousand.”

Jenny didn’t have time to protest before he slammed the door on his way out. order is weird here, too - the main problem with this kind of thing is that it trips the reader up, when you when you want this kind of story to flow smooth and easy like a fine soft poop

Jenny tried to relax into the silence. but it wasn’t long before her anxieties crept up on her show don't tell. you've done teh work with 'tried', the following actions demonstrate her failure She checked each window to make sure it either was locked or could not open. She checked the lock on the door ten times over twenty minutes. She took off her shoes to walk in silence and put a towel in front of the door in case any light could give away her location. She avoided the bathroom and the small mirror inside.

the jump from small minute scale actions to three days is a bit abrupt, you could bridge it by talking about her going to sleep or something


After three days of living in fear, she heard a knock on her door. She peered through the peephole, then opened the door for the same daft agent. you're about to tell us who it is

“Hi Benny,” Gavin said, and it was a moment before Jenny remembered that Benny was her. Then it was another moment before she recovered from the shock of seeing the woman standing behind Gavin. She looked incredibly cut this kind of word, then put it back if the sentence doesn't work stupid, with a sloping forehead and small, close-together eyes.

“Who is that?”

“This is your room mate, Hilly. Hilly, meet Benny.” Gavin waved the new woman in.

The dim looking lady strode confidently striding is confident, let your verbs carry their weight the lazy assholes past Jenny into her new home.

“Wait, roommate?” said Jenny. “You said nothing about a roommate!”

Gavin raised a bushy eyebrow. i really like the way you characterise Gavin throughout “Who did you think the second room and second pair of clothes were for?” nice lol He chuckled to himself and shook his head as he shut the door.

The new woman, Hilly, poked around the rooms and Jenny hurried after her. “Hey, this is my room. I’ve already slept in the bed, take the other one.”

“The other one is smaller.” Her voice sounded familiar to Jenny. If she ignored the vibrating lisp caused by the large, drooping bottom lip, she could almost place it.

“Well I was here first. So deal with it.”

Hilly pushed past her, went into the bathroom and started undressing for a shower without even closing the door. Jenny was about to shout something about not using her towel when she noticed a conspicuous scar across Hilly’s back. It looked very similar in shape and size to the tattoo of a baseball bat that Billy ‘the Bat’ was known to have across her back.

“What are you lookin’ at?” Hilly had caught her and was now staring her down.

“Hilly, uh...” Jenny hesitated, afraid of what would come next. “Is your last name... Budson?”

“Yeah, and what about it?”

“Nothing I.. I gotta go.”

Jenny darted to her room, but then stopped, unsure what she would take or where she would go. She had nothing but the one pair of clothes they’d left her. That, and her new, ugly, stupid face that--judging from how easily she’d recognized Billy just now--would do little to hide her.

“Hey, wait a minute.” Billy stood in her door, her shirt back on and her eyebrows narrowed like tiny check marks on her massive forehead. “You’re Jenny 'the Fist' Bosco, aren’t you.”

Jenny balled up said fist. “Yeah.”

Hilly nodded. “Thought so. Don’t worry. I’m out of the game now, too. I ratted on Katy the Lugar Finnigan. So, forget about it. Let’s just wait this out.”

“Right.” Jenny sighed, but couldn’t really relax until Billy left her room. Before Billy could get back to her shower, though, there was another knock on the door and they saw Gavin through the peephole yet again.

“Sorry, sorry,” he said when they opened the door. “I just got another one for you. We’re a bit overbooked so you’ll have to manage.” A bug-eyed woman with a mouth too close to her bulbous nose squinted at them. Gavin pushed her forward. “Here is your new roommate, Fatty. Fatty, meet Benny and Hilly.”

“It’s pronounced Fatey, like I keep saying.” The woman pushed past them into the room. “This whole thing is bullshit.”

Jenny and Hilly looked at each other. Jenny said “Yep, sure is,” and shut the door on Gavin. and, yeah, jokes delivered, curtains, applause.

This is a solid and well-delivered comic story that takes the prompt, puts some nicely cartoony characters around it, and plays out a funny yarn. The details in this kind of thing are important, and you nail them - if Gavin weren't an interesting character it would flop, and the dreary don't-give-a-fuckness of teh whole witness protection thing is also crucial to the overall comic effect. While it's pretty light overall, this would probably beat sittinghere on a bad day or if she bit off more than she can chew.

quote:

Heaven Hath No Fury Like

I’m flat on my back and she’s straddling me. We’re in my bed, but not really, because she owns this moment and everything inside of it, and so both the bed and I belong to her. When I look down the length of my body, I see where my hips and groin disappear under her blue-green skirts and I’m very careful not to move. One twitch of that tectonic fabric i like this could send this whole city sloughing off into the bay. A single chiffon shudder this is too cutesy might let loose the sort of waves that annihilate island nations. i feel like this is an amazing opening image that you don't quite convey, because it jumps from the personal and human to the abstract too quickly. i think you could have got a bit more grossly physical at the outset, because otherwise you're basing the whole story on something that's more inferred than conveyed

I’m the only woman she’s been with since she became human. Maybe that’s why, after the first time she seduced me, she lingered in my bed and fed me, between stony kisses, a few small morsels of her history. Her name is Inanna, Asherah, Gaia, Grandmother Spider, Lilith, Tiamat, Tree, Rock, River, Wind--everything but Fire.

“Fire,” she told me that first night, “is born of men, wielded by men, and will destroy men, eventually.” A small, sad smile appeared at the corners of her lips when she said destroy.

I told her, “That doesn’t sound so bad, in the long run.”

But she shook her head and said, “It will destroy them because it will destroy me.” this is bland dreary dialoguing

“Couldn’t you just--” I gestured at her skirts, which were balled up in a blue-green heap on the floor. I had no idea how she controlled them, or how they controlled plate tectonics, or why sometimes the tiniest shuffle of fabric could trigger a 7.9 earthquake in Chile, but tossing them on the floor in a heat of passion did little more than clutter up my room. see this bit's great, much better control over the fundamentally insane idea garment you're rockin

“Couldn’t I just shake my dress and send mankind back to the stone age?” she said, finishing my abandoned attempt at a question. “I thought about it. I even went through a particularly piqueish imagine someone saying this sitting here you canNOT bc it is not the sort of thing people SAY period where I was hell-bent on drowning you all in the ocean or setting the atmosphere on fire. But I am too full of hate to grant such an anonymous end. I want to kill the fire and look into his eyes while I do it. I want to kill him again, and again, and each time, in that final moment, the fire understands his own terrible culpability. I want him to know beyond doubt that his death is a good and just thing.”

I didn’t know what to say to that, and she seemed content in the silence that settled over us like silt. yeah ok that's the stuff

We’ve kept to this pattern ever since. Sometimes I consider just not answering the door when she comes by, but I know that won’t keep her out of my bed, out of my mind. keep it physical, don't be vague

One night, early on in our affair, I asked her why she bothered taking a human form instead of something with fangs and talons or maybe a virulent fungus.

“Because men don’t love those things,” was her reply.

“Are you going to show me the justice of my own death? Or will you spare me because of what’s between my legs?”

She propped herself up on one elbow and scowled at me. It was a girlish expression, one that almost hid the terrifying age in her eyes. I’d broken the silty silence with not one but two questions, a violation of her unspoken rules of engagement. All at once, I realized I was defying a goddess, or a being that was near enough to one. The absurd audacity of it sent a flush of heat through my body, and I pulled her into another kiss before she could answer or admonish me. nice para

That night, as she was leaving, she said, “Women aren’t any better, you know.” this is sort of the axis of the piece - i'd like it to be a bit more finely turned

And yet, I’m still alive.

Now, she looks down at me and asks, “Do you love me?” and I tell her yes, because it’s what I want to feel, and because I think it’s what she wants to hear. She scowls, detecting some imperfection in my profession. It doesn’t surprise me; in a way, she is the original jewelry smith, and when I’m around her all I can utter is fool’s gold. cute

She rolls off of me and flops onto her back. I cringe at the rustle of her skirts, but after a few moments wherein the city neglects to fall into the sea, I relax.

“Men love differently than us,” she says after a while. “When they fall out of love, it hurts their egos. They feel as though they’ve failed at some task. Because of this, they treat each act of love as a monument.”

“You make it sound poetic,” I say.

“When too many men build too many monuments, the fire in them rises up, and they are compelled to tear down their work.”

“Not all men are the same. Not all women are the same.”

“And yet none of you are so unique as you would like to believe you are,” she says dismissively. “The fact that men are slaves to the masonry of their hearts is what gives us the power to destroy them.” i think i'd like this dialogue better if they sounded more different to each other

I look over at her. “Us?”

.

I pause for a moment outside the convenience store, just long enough to see my reflection in the glass doors, looking doubtful and pensive.

I’ve spoken with the woman behind the counter almost every day for the past three years, though I don’t know her name. We talk about the seasons, how the trees are blooming or shedding their leaves, whether the rain will fall or not. It’s the kind of small, insipid conversation that I normally loathe, but with the convenience store woman, it’s a ritual. She lives above the store with her husband, and tends the counter every day while he stands outside smoking. nice sketching, more involving than sexy pontificating earthquake gods

She smiles at me as I walk in, raises an eyebrow when I come straight to the register without grabbing my usual haul of beer and jerky.

“The air is so crisp out today,” she says. “I hope you’re keeping warm.”

“I--”

The door jingles and her husband slouches in, reeking of smoke. I tense up, afraid that he’ll linger at the counter and interfere with my plan, but he merely grumbles something in Urdu as he makes his way to the back of the store and disappears through a door labeled EMPLOYEES ONLY. His wife sighs, and her congenial smile slips for a moment.

“I need your help,” I tell her. “Could you come by my apartment this evening?”

She cocks her head. “What could I possibly help with? Are you needing someone to change the price tags on your potato chips?” lol this is a p deece convenience store owner joke

I laugh, a little louder and a little more suddenly than I would’ve liked. yep ikr “No, no,” I say, “It’s more of a girly sort of issue.”

Now her expression gets really dark, and I can see the worst case scenarios running through her mind. “Whatever it is,” she says, “I’m sure there is someone more skilled than me who can help you.” i'm finding this relationship vastly more engaging than the vaguely sketched self-insert protag and teh ambiguously misandrist god lady fyi

I take a deep breath. I have to be careful, here. “Does he love you?” I ask.

“I don’t know what you mean,” she says, but her eyes dart back and forth between me and the EMPLOYEES ONLY door through which her husband had gone.

“Are you happy?” I press. “Or are you stuck inside a house someone else built?”

“I--we--we built this business togeth--”

“You built yourself a mausoleum,” I say, and now I hear her in my own voice: Inanna, Asherah, Isis, Khali, the ocean herself. “You built yourself a place to store your ashes when he’s finished burning you up. Just like one of his cigarettes.”

“Get out,” the convenience store woman whispers, and her eyes are full of tears of rage. aww poo poo yeah that's the good stuff putting down the voodoo doll with sh written on it

.

The goddess is making tea in my kitchen. I expected her to be angry, when I told her how I failed at winning the convenience store woman over to our cause, but she only smiled and said, “These things take time.” bland bland bland why don't you make your goddess say cooler stuff

Still, she has yet to invite me to bed, so I can’t help but feel as though I’ve done something wrong. She seems preoccupied, if that’s a thing goddesses can be. bad words, strike them I consider saying something defiant, asking her some forbidden question, in hopes that she will pin me down on the kitchen floor and punish me with deep, magma-laden kisses.

The door buzzer goes off and I nearly fall out of my seat from surprise. The goddess gathers up her skirts--I still can’t help but i can't help but hate this construction wince whenever she moves them--and goes to the intercom.

“Yes?” she says, her voice sweet and friendly.

Hesitation on the other end, then, “I was asked to come by? It’s Afifa--from the convenience store?” Her voice is so hopeful and so uncertain that I want to leap up, commandeer the intercom, and tell her to leave and never come back.

The goddess buzzes Afifa in. a weirdly good sentence

Now we are sitting in a circle in my living room, the goddess looking regal in my armchair, me and Afifa sitting on opposite sides of the couch.

“As anyone ever hurt you? Used you?” the goddess asks Afifa, her voice still sweet as honey wine.

Afifa looks at me, then back at the goddess. “I’m not here to get anyone in trouble,” she says. “If someone’s done something, I--I have nothing to do with it. I just run my shop. I--”

“Do not dissemble.” The goddess’s terrible, ancient eyes cloud over, turn the color of slate. Her head swivels back and forth as though she is testing the air for a scent. Afifa is plainly trembling, i think a semicolon would work better here she doesn’t get up and run for the door.

“I was with you,” the goddess says, her voice vast and remote, “in those moments where the fire licked at your flesh. The day your father decided that you would not go to primary school. When the neighbor man took you to his bed, then threw you back out, the blood of your innocence slick on your thighs. I was with you when you came to this country and the immigration men treated you like an enemy, even as you threw yourself on the mercy of their nation.”

Afifa puts her fist to her mouth and lets out a muffled moan. Then she begins to whisper frantically in Urdu.

“There is no need to pray,” the goddess says, and her eyes are unclouded once more. “I am here now. And I will avenge you.”

She flicks her skirts and the the apartment begins to sway from side to side, just a little, enough to showcase the effortless power she has over all things earthen and womanly. There are sounds of shock and fear from the street below my building, tires squealing on concrete.

The shaking stops. Afifa’s noises of fear crescendo, bad phrasing, she's not a class of preschoolers then break into peals of delighted laughter, like a child who’s been surprised by a much-desired but unexpected gift. She claps her hands together, and, still laughing, cries out, “Mother!”

“Yes,” the goddess coos. She points at me. “For you, I am the Maiden. For you--” she points at Afifa “--I am the Mother. And for the rest of the mankind, I am the Crone, aged and spiteful, descending on the world of fire with winter in my fists!”

.

And so we set about destroying the fire of man, legs and hearts open, teeth bared. Afifa stays at my apartment, and her husband doesn’t come looking for her. The goddess furnishes my refrigerator with fruit and my pantry with bread, nuts, and wine, so there’s no need for us to work. I don’t ask why the landlord hasn’t come to collect the rent, or why the electric company doesn’t call about the bill. this is where the 'getting poo poo done montage' music starts playing in the heist movie, isn't it

The goddess no longer comes to my bed, but she keeps my nights busy with sex, torment, and righteous death. First, we take men from the low places of the world: strip clubs, dog fighting rings, casinos, brothels. All of them stink of violence, and when we bed them, their seed tastes like ash.

I don’t like bedding men. When the time comes to hurt and then kill the men we take, I’m relieved, and hopeful. Maybe if I make this man scream loud enough, the goddess will return to my bed. If I make that man confess his sins fervently enough, she will come and seduce me and pin me beneath those tectonic, blue-green skirts. see, the yearning rings a little hollow because you wussed out at the beginning I make every death a monument to Her in hopes that she will see the mannish violence in my heart, and treat me accordingly.

I gently caress and kill with fervor, but she doesn’t return to my bed.

We move on to bigger, more nebulous prey. I find myself at galas, trade shows, in the entourages of governors and senators and celebrities. Sometimes I wake up on airplanes, in opulent hotel rooms, and, in one instance, on the floor of a congressional bathroom. Afifa is always with me. The goddess comes and goes. I lose all sense of time and self. More and more, I sense that I’ve made myself into a puppet, and the hand that controls me is balled into a fist tight enough to crush civilizations. i love the deranged spirallings of this plot btw

I am a puppet, and a weapon.

The more grandiose our prey, the closer we have to get to them before we can strike the killing blow. A quick death is enough for a petty rapist or murderer, but not for a lobbyist or an oil baron. For those types, we have a special protocol. We don’t merely make them want us, we make them love us.

For nearly six months, I carry on a clandestine affair with a presidential candidate. In my old life, I wouldn’t have known how to make the man so much as look at me, but with the fist of the goddess dominating my every move, the seduction is effortless. I am nominally tsk, adverb check fail part of his campaign team by day, just another intern trying to get her foot inside the revolving door phwooar? (not sure if dirty) that is Washington D.C.. On those nights when his wife is not traveling with him, I am his paramore you mean the Tennessee rock band? i love their stuff, his escape, his release. After letting him gently caress me, I listen as he murmurs his sins and regrets into crisp, white hotel pillow cases. Then I let him fall asleep with his arms around me, as though I am the only thing worth protecting in this world.

When the goddess tells me it’s time to reveal the affair to the media, my heart and my groin thrum with anticipation. This is our most ambitious kill yet, so I’m nearly certain the goddess will come to me in the night, like she did long ago, before we formed our cabal of righteous murder.

We have audio and video evidence, of course. We feed the hungry mouths of the media with tidbits of scandal. I make a few tearful appearances on talk shows, tell the world how this powerful man used his station to overcome my sense of propriety.

His party is more interested in the secrets he spilled to me, in those languid, post-coital moments. Every time I turn on the news, I hear the sound of my own voice, made hollow and tinny by the recording, coaxing terrible truths out of the man who might’ve been our leader. Truths about collusion, corruption, pollution, needless deaths, hidden alliances.

Truths that fall like ash over a nation on the brink of hysteria.

When we come for him in the dead of night, he doesn’t act surprised. For the first time in many months, it’s the three of us: me, Afifa, and the goddess. There are other women too, though, other cadres of puppets bent around the fist of the divine. this is a weird image, i'm not sure 'fist' is the right choice here

The former presidential candidate is motionless under his blankets. His eyes are wide. His fat, balding head looks stupid and small among the abundance of pillows.

“Please,” he whispers.

We stand around him, silent as a grove of evergreens.

“Please,” the goddess sneers. “I have been screaming 'please, please don’t hurt me anymore' for centuries. Please don’t burn my forests. Please don’t rape my life-givers. Please don’t plaster my flesh with the concrete cancer of your kind.” She takes a deep breath. “What happens tonight is justice.”

The former candidate’s eyes cloud over, turn the color of slate. “I cannot stop the burning,” he says in a voice that is distant and expansive. “I need you, dear one, to extinguish these witless flames, so that I can rest.”

I look at the goddess, and the expression on her face confirms what I already know: We speak with the god of fire, now. Ra, Sol, Elohim, Moloch.

“Yes,” the goddess hisses. “I’ll quench the fire, but not before I snuff out all of its errant sparks with my heel.”

“There is no need,” the god says through the candidate’s mouth. “You can cleanse the world, and we can begin again.”

“And again, and again, and again,” the goddess rages. Tears the color of molten rock flow from her eyes. “Each time, you say 'let’s start over,' and each time I return to you with hope in my heart. And yet here we are, at the end of another cycle of torment!”

“I have learned much this time around,” the god begins to say, but he’s cut off by a shriek from the goddess.

“Kill him,” she commands, and we fall on him, a multitude of clawing nails and gnashing teeth. He doesn’t have enough skin to bear our violence, and when we recede, all that is left is meat, bone, and sheets stained red with the justice of our cause. see this is the level of hosed up poo poo you should have also had at the beginning

I am the first to approach the goddess after our work is done. I kneel before her, look up at her with naked need on my face. Though I walk with the divine inside of me, it has been so long since I’ve felt her love. I have killed for you, I want to scream. not a fan of nearly doing things but not doing them I have given my body to the fire for you.

For the first time in many years, Afifa is not by my side. I look around, see that I am alone in my supplication. The other women hang back, looking between me and the goddess as though waiting for some unspoken signal.

“I’ve made a monument out of my love for you,” I say. “You made me the fire. So either love me, or snuff me out.” this is very strong and cool, and the heart of the piece i think

I shut my mouth and wait for death, but the goddess merely crouches down in front of me, looks into my eyes. “I know,” she says. “What is it your kind say--fight fire with fire?” dammit say cooler stuff god lady not cliches

I hear myself make a choked sound, a strangled laugh.

“I have my daughters to birth a new world,” she says, gesturing at Afifa and the others. “And to destroy the old one, I have you.” She rises to a standing position, her blue-green skirts swirling around her in some intangible wind. “Now get up. We have men to kill.”

I consider staying where I am, defying her, forcing her to snuff me out like the obstinate ember that I am. But so long as there are still men to kill, this isn’t over. Perhaps, after every last one of them is dead, she’ll love me again. Or she’ll kill me.

Until then, I am her mason, and I will make every death a shrine to my love for her. and yeah, this hosed up emotional slipknot is a strong and strange place to end

This isn't elegant or particularly polished. The central figure is weirdly bland, talking in cliches and not convincing in how she compels our protag. but what it does superbly is to delineate a deranged trajectory of sex and godmurder that is still pingponging round my brain three days later. You took more words, and made good use of them - derp told a story that fitted snugly in his 1500 words, you started talking and stopped when you'd said enough. There's something gnarly and awkward in sittinghere's piece that her story chute delivers down our throat, while derps is more of a practiced evening comedian slinging a solid yuk.

So although derp gave good dome and can take honour from this fight, sitting here shambles over teh line a few paces ahead.

:siren:Sitting Here Wins:siren:

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 13:03 on Nov 10, 2017

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

Ty seb! Super helpful crit. Congrats sh, that was a vivid and weird story

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Come fight terrifying creatures in the THUNDERDOME!


Yeah, but it's no sock-puppet show.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME




ty seb, gg derp

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!




in flash

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Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




flerp posted:

in flash

Suzanne Vega, Blood Makes Noise

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