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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



Solitair posted:

In with a flash rule, please.

What the heck is a Tatzelwurm? I dunno, you tell me!

Thranguy posted:

In, dragon me

Enjoy your new loud friend, the Pulao!

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AllNewJonasSalk
Apr 22, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Dragon me if dragoning entails a dragon. Preferably a dragon draggin a tail.

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



AllNewJonasSalk posted:

Dragon me if dragoning entails a dragon. Preferably a dragon draggin a tail.

Is the Piasa a dragon? Wikipedia seems to think it is, and that's good enough for me.

ibntumart
Mar 18, 2007

Good, bad. I'm the one with the power of Shu, Heru, Amon, Zehuti, Aton, and Mehen.


College Slice

In and please won't you flash me some dragon?

Exmond
May 31, 2007

Writing is fun!

Yoruichi posted:

EXMOOOOOOOND

Are we doing this or are we both writing stories about dragons?

Exmond, in the Nano Thread posted:

I'm IN and I'm so ballsy I will :toxx:

I'm in the middle of Nano :(.

I'll do this only if the minimum length is 50,000 words, due on December 1st. We can write whatever we want.

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



Exmond posted:

I'm in the middle of Nano :(.

I'll do this only if the minimum length is 50,000 words, due on December 1st. We can write whatever we want.

If you have time to shitpost in TD, you have time to participate in TD, but I'll judge this brawl with modifications.

Write (max) 500 good words. I don't care what they're about but I want them to be a sincere effort, as good as you can make them. That's 1% of a NaNo, not exactly hard to work into your schedule, and I'll even give you a bonus day and have those words due December 2nd. That gives you almost a month to write and polish to a mirror shine.

500 good words. Are you good for them, Exmond and Yoru?

Exmond
May 31, 2007

Writing is fun!

Antivehicular posted:

If you have time to shitpost in TD, you have time to participate in TD, but I'll judge this brawl with modifications.

Write (max) 500 good words. I don't care what they're about but I want them to be a sincere effort, as good as you can make them. That's 1% of a NaNo, not exactly hard to work into your schedule, and I'll even give you a bonus day and have those words due December 2nd. That gives you almost a month to write and polish to a mirror shine.

500 good words. Are you good for them, Exmond and Yoru?

Sorry, no.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Exmond posted:

Sorry, no.

Just make the deadline in December, done.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




I’m bored of this now. Exmond, I’ll be back for you later.

In and gimme a dragon.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Oh yeah, in, dragonnez-moi svp

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Crits for week 326

Thank you for the playlist, Thunderdome. I listened to it as I read your poopwords. Here are my judge thoughts.


The Rabbit Room by Saucy Rodent

So, aliens abduct someone’s soul(?), but not their body, and then they’re forced to suck some sweet sweet alien nipple, and then they’re never going home.

I guess this has the bones of a good creepy story, but we’re not told anything about the protag that would make me care about their predicament or eventual alien-boob-milk induced memory loss or whatever happens at the end.

Also the alien playing mother thing was just kinda gross.

4/10


To My Daughter, Janet, I Leave by Fleta Mcgurn

Two people go to a haunted house. One of them is possessed(?). The end.

This needed some reason for the haunting, some clues as to what’s happening at the end. What is the deal with Janet’s family? Did her grandmother have some sort of dark secret?

There’s nothing in this story to hook the reader into caring what happens. But the writing itself isn’t bad.

5/10


The Word by autism ZX spectrum

I liked this. It has a fairly straightforward arc, and is quite lightly sketched, but there’s enough detail about this sci fi / post-apocalyptic world for me to be able to picture it and to be pleased that the protag is able to break free of her past.

It would have been better if her sick companion and their relationship had featured more.

7/10


Between by Thranguy

This is cool, but it’s missing something. The real relationship that the story should be about is between the protag and his friend Brian, who he appears to have accidentally killed, yet we spend all our time with three ghosts who he’s never met before, but who just happen to be trapped in the same in-between place.

Similarly, Padgett House doesn’t seem to hold any significance for the protag that would explain why his spirit ends up there.

I kept hoping ghost Brian was going to show up. And the “oh well I killed a guy I guess I’ll just say it was an accident and go ask that girl out” ending didn’t fit the tone of the rest of the story.

6/10


Moving Out by derp

Old man loses friend / lover; burns house down. While the words in this are quite pretty, they fail to evoke the poignancy that I think you were going for because there’s nothing about these two characters to make me care about them. Does Ricardo love Jorge but long to be free of the burden of caring for him, perhaps? Is his suicide an expression of guilt as well as grief? Who knows; not me.

5.5/10


The Temple Walks by SurreptitiousMuffin

I’m not sure what to say about this; it’s like a collection of images that doesn’t quite form a coherent whole. I like strange, quiet stories like this when they leave you turning over and over what they meant, but this one didn’t quite. Is it a creation story? I’m not sure.

5/10


The Throbbing of Hell's Heart by apophenium

In which a soul rebels against being sent into Hell’s maw, slowly gathers its brothers, and fights back. This has some cool images and an interesting idea; but there’s not enough meat on its bones. There’s no characterisation or underlying meaning to hold my attention. I also found the bloodstream metaphor, complete with antibodies, a bit literal when set alongside the glowing orbs and what not.

5/10


Yarning for the Lost by Bolt Crank

This story is like a series of unconnected events. First she knits magic prosthetics. How or why we’ll never know. Then she suddenly decides tonight is the night she’s going to finish knitting mum. Then wool-mum attacks her. Then she falls asleep. Then wool-mum steals the other prosthetics. Then she wants a heart. Then she catches fire. The end.

What was the nature of the protag’s relationship with her mother such that she was so desperate to bring her back? Did she know she was doing something wrong? Was there any resolution at the end? Was she relieved or disappointed that she wasn’t able to bring her mother back?

I think you’ve tried hard to make the prose interesting but it’s ended up a bit overwrought. Not every description needs a poetic flourish.

And the title is terrible.

4.5/10


Getreidewolf by cptn_dr

Finally, something that actually hit a good creepy note. This was a little slow to get going, but I like the way you set up your characters and draw the reader in. I feel like I probably should’ve seen the ending coming, but I honestly didn’t, and it landed with a nice little frisson. Nice work.

7/10


The Civilians by sparksbloom

This is cool and eerie, but, a bit like Muffin’s piece, I don’t quite get it. I like the feeling it evokes of a little moment of despair at the end of the world, but I really wanted to know more about the protag and the journeying man so I could connect with their struggle.

5.5/10


Good and Faithful Servant by Antivehicular

Aww nice. I like this - a simple portrayal of letting go, set against a truly delightful/eerie backdrop of someone’s soul being trapped in a tractor. I really like the image of the momentos sprouting like plants, but slowly fading as the family gets over their grief.

8/10


The Blackest Day by Solitair

This washed over me in a wave of strange words and weird metaphors, and not in a good way. None of the strangeness paid off - the weird images and descriptions didn’t help me understand anything about the characters, the world, or what on earth is going on.

4.5/10


Vanheil by AllNewJonasSalk

I like that this has a good arc and there’s some good (albeit pretty Terry Pratchett) details in there. It’s a pretty straightforward story with some a magical flourish at the end. It seems to have achieved what it set out to do, but isn’t amazing.

6/10


Remembrance by Lead out in cuffs

A guy who wants to be a writer catches a train and meets a nice lady. She then turns into embers and/or stars, and then he writes in his journal. The end.

This is a nice little image of a strange encounter, but the total lack of reaction by the protag (apart from writing in his journal, which he was doing anyway) kinda kills it. I also didn’t really get the whole ‘remember me’ bit - I thought she said that it was her memories that would be lost when she died, rather than memories of her?

5/10

AllNewJonasSalk
Apr 22, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Thanks for the crit! Originally there was gonna be a real weird sister angle but Sitting Here was able to pull me from the abyss. For the most part anyway.

I haven't read too much Terry Pratchett but I did like what he and Gaiman did with Good Omens so thanks for the compliment. I take all criticism as veiled flattery!

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



ibntumart posted:

In and please won't you flash me some dragon?

Behold, Teju Jagua, a dragon with some problems!

Yoruichi posted:

I’m bored of this now. Exmond, I’ll be back for you later.

In and gimme a dragon.

La Guita Xica is half-mule because the Catalonians have some weird ideas about animals!


dreadmojo posted:

Oh yeah, in, dragonnez-moi svp

The Azure Dragon is a pretty important dragon with a pretty generic name!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

TD Secret Santa signups are closed! I am now randomizing things and will send out your assignments presently! Be on the lookout! If you don't have PM's and didn't give me a way to contact you... Fix that, please! Drop me an e-mail at GotNoFaith HHHHHAAATT Gmail DUUUUUHHHHT com

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Assignments are out! If you signed up, and haven't heard from me, contact me. Now, get gifting, if you signed up for such. If you're just in for the story, wait your turn! You'll hopefully hear from me soon!

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME




Thanks for organizing this, chili!

now to get on collecting various animal droppings to send to my santee...

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007


Yoruichi posted:

I’m bored of this now. Exmond, I’ll be back for you later.

if you're looking to fight i'm your man

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


speaking of secret santa i sure am still waiting for my story from last year.

*looks up*

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




BeefSupreme posted:

if you're looking to fight i'm your man

Well, oh my, goodness me.



:toxx:

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

by sebmojo


Sitting Here posted:

Thanks for organizing this, chili!

now to get on collecting various animal droppings to send to my santee...

Human is better imho

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007


crabrock posted:

speaking of secret santa i sure am still waiting for my story from last year.

*looks up*

believe it or not (and to be honest, i'm not sure i would believe it) your story is in process AT THIS VERY MOMENT

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007


Yoruichi posted:

Well, oh my, goodness me.



:toxx:

:toxx:

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Is someone gonna preside over this unholy combat or are Beef and I just going to be left facing off for like, the rest of eternity?

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Yes. I shall preside over this unholy ceremony.

Food fight:

One of you shall write a story that involves the preparation of a meal.

The other shall write a story that involves the consumption of a meal.

Who shall write which? It's up to you! For you may pick!

OR, defer that decision in favor of picking a word bonus.

One of you shall have 1,250 words.

The other shall have 1,500 words.

If you're here, right now, you get to decide what to pick, the topic or the bonus 250, by claiming it. The other gets what's left. I'll see you back here by 11/20 11:59 EST

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Beef can cook, I'm eating. I will write about the consumption of a meal.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Yoruichi posted:

Beef can cook, I'm eating. I will write about the consumption of a meal.

So it let be written.

BeefSupreme, you have 1,500 words to tell a story involving the preparation of a meal.

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



Signups are closed. One judge slot remains if anyone wants it.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Real quick secret santa things:

Forgot to mention, try to get your presents to your santee by Christmas. I actually recommend trying to get everything shipped out in November, if possible, because shipping charges can get pretty hilarious in December. But that's just for the Santa's benefit.

Also, for the story portion, several people have mentioned not being sure how to tailor it to their santee. Don't worry about that so much. It's hard enough writing words to a story that you didn't start and won't finish. If you want to throw in an Easter egg for your person, that's fine. But, mostly, just write the best little thing you can!

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME




So the #Thunderdome IRC channel (and all of Synirc) was having a bot problem for a while, and I noticed a sharp drop off in users around the same time. Just FYI it's not a problem anymore.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Sitting Here posted:

So the #Thunderdome IRC channel (and all of Synirc) was having a bot problem for a while, and I noticed a sharp drop off in users around the same time. Just FYI it's not a problem anymore.

Also, just a quick thing since not many people are around at the moment.

We're planning a game night!

This Thursday 11/15 at around 9PM PST we're gonna play a bunch of things. There'll probably be some jackbox and some other things that I have lying around in a bin. No need to RSVP or anything, just know that stuff will be happening.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

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



Lipstick Apathy

Y'all should get a discord instead of 90s internet chat relay system

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME




derp posted:

Y'all should get a discord instead of 90s internet chat relay system

We could do that but on the other hand, nah.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Guardian
940 words


“Mom! It’s in the pool again!”

I roll over and the breath from my nostrils pops on the surface in little chlorinated bubbles. Ay ay, I think. Alba was such a sweet child, when did she become such a bitch? I remember when she was still small enough to ride on my back. She’d hold onto my horns and kick my ribs with her tiny heels and we’d chase mischievous fada around her mother’s backyard. I’d stomp at them with my hooves and make little Alba squeal with excitement by spitting sparks at their retreating backsides. Her mother used to yell at me for that, saying if I wasn’t careful I’d set the house on fire. But she always laughed when she said it.

I float in the pool with just my eyes above the water. Alba has dyed her thick mahogany hair black and straightened it so it hangs like dank curtains around her face. Marta is shouting at her, that she’s going to be late for school. Alba yells back that she hates school and she’s not going. I wish I could do something. It’s too early and too drat hot for all this noise.

I realise Marta is yelling at me, too. I flick my long ears out of the water so I can hear her properly.

“And you! We don’t need you coming round here doing nothing but eating my roses and shedding hair in my pool!”

I climb carefully up the blue-painted steps; the wet concrete is slippery under my hooves. You care too drat much about those drat roses, I think. I shake the water from my coat, making sure my wiggling butt is pointed right at the house, and stalk back to the gap in our shared fence. I have to suck in my belly to squeeze between the flaking boards.

I’m asleep in the shade under the veranda when Alba gets home from school. Her eyes are red-rimmed. She curls into a tatty rattan chair and carefully rolls up the sleeves of her school uniform. There are bruises on her arms, and cuts. She’s got a box of Band-Aids in her backpack. I watch her stick them on and wish that I could help.

Above her a mangy black pesanta crawls over the eaves, drool running down its lolling tongue. Horrible creature. Pesantas feed on your suffering and bring you terrible nightmares in return. My tail swishes with anger. What does it think it’s doing in my house?

The front gate bangs and it whisks its head out of sight. Marta’s footsteps are heavy on the veranda.

“Mom?” Alba’s voice is small.

“drat that man!” Marta thumps her handbag down on the outdoor table. “Racist pig. He knows drat well where Catalonia is and he keeps asking me where in Mexico I’m from. Mexico! I know he does it on purpose. I should quit this drat job.”

“Hey, Mom…”

“Ay Alba, let me get out of my work clothes first before you start at me too!”

I slink out from under the veranda when I hear Marta’s footsteps stomping away up the stairs. Alba is crying again and I hesitate, ears hanging limp. Then I see it! The pesanta is creeping along the roof towards Marta’s bedroom window.

I leap from my shady spot with a loud bray and a shower of sparks. Alba screams as I jump past her onto the table and from there onto the roof. My hooves clatter on the tiles and the creature slides nimbly down the guttering to escape my flaming breath. I throw myself after it and we crash into the lawn together. The pesanta wails as my fangs bite down on its neck.

“What the hell!” Marta has run back outside, wearing nothing but a bra and petticoat.

I drop the pesanta with surprise and it makes a dash for the garden. But I’m not going to let it get away with hurting my family. I inhale deeply and with pursed lips send a whoosh of flame over its wiry black fur.

“My roses!” Marta screams. She yanks her petticoat off over her head and runs, barefoot, across the parched lawn to try and beat out the flames. The fabric catches fire and with each wave of her strong arms Marta sends sparks spiralling into the air.

The pesanta howls and lunges at her.

“Mom, look out!” Alba screams and throws her arms around her mother.

I snatch the screeching pesanta from the air. Ignoring the sting from its charred fur I clench my jaws and break its neck with a loud crack. It is suddenly quiet, save for the crackle of the burning roses. Marta drops her smoking petticoat.

“Alba! What happened to your arms?” She takes hold of her daughter’s wrists and stares at the Band-Aids and bruises.

“I tried to tell you, I hate going to school…” Alba starts to sob and buries her face in her mother’s shoulder.

“Oh my baby girl, I’m so sorry.” Marta pulls Alba close and rocks her, gently.

I stamp out flames that are spreading through the dry grass from the smouldering petticoat. Taking the unburnt end in my teeth I drag it into the pool, where it spreads onto the surface with a hiss. I slide after it into the pool’s welcome embrace. It’s far too hot for all this.

Floating happily on my back I watch the sparks from the burning rose bushes dance like fireflies into the white-blue sky.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe

Catalyst
1243 words

George slammed the pedal. His tuk-tuk's brakes squealed in protest and he skidded to a stop. A low slung truck bristling with sensors shot past leaving only inches to spare. Traffic was worse than he’d ever seen it. He lit up another smoke, weaving around a concrete pillar. Even a brief moment in the shade of the gargantuan twin pipelines snaking over the city proved refreshing. It always made him anxious though, smoking under both fuel and oxidizer.

“Gotta cut costs!” he yelled into the roar of traffic. Another courier in an equally beaten up tuk-tuk heard him. “WHAT?” he yelled.

George pointed out over the skyline, into the once fertile fields where the pipeline ended and a gleaming rocket stood. “Gotta feed the dragon!” The other guy nodded and drove off, disappearing into a sea of traffic.

The tuk-tuk’s computer beeped a new address at George. He silenced the console, pulled a u-turn and gunned it. They were gonna launch the Dragon IV soon. Everyone knew it, but there’d been nothing on the news. There hadn’t been this much commotion since the first Mars trip and this rocket was even larger than the last one, who’s launch the city had sprung up to support.

Sarah stared at the ceiling. The cops picked her up last night. It wasn’t even like she’d stolen anything. Got a screaming deal on a Russian botnet and made some money appear? Sure. But nothing was stolen. She wondered what kind of prison this was, anyway. The food was great and the cot was better than her own bed. They didn’t even take her earrings. Tiny multifaceted porcelain cut to look like diamonds, they weren’t worth anything, but still. She scratched absentmindedly at a scar on her calf, wondering how thick the concrete here was. A guard slid a tray through an opening. Lunch time. She gulped down half the glass of water, not realizing how thirsty she’d been. It tasted a little sour.

George picked up the package from a tiny office. The inside smelled of fresh drywall and long hours. The receptionist handed him a thick envelope. Because the city had sprung up almost overnight some things remained archaic. He checked the address. He knew the place pretty well.

He stopped by his apartment on the way. Sarah hadn’t come in. She was pulling another scam, he knew it. He had a bad feeling about this one. Making up time he puttered the tuk-tuk through side streets until the buildings gave way to a maze of refineries and massive pumps. In a small clearing stood an ancient one-room chapel surrounded by discarded pipe and rubbish. He slammed the “Delivered” button on the console and killed the motor.

No one knew when it had become a bar. Smoke puttered out of the copper chimney, lingering around the countless antennas. The still was running. The place served the best booze in town when it didn’t give you the shits. George pushed through the double doors and walked under the ancient sign that read “Merle’s Inn”. It was early afternoon, the bar was empty. Merle was tinkering with a computer behind the bar. “Hey Merle, got a package for you,” George said, sliding the envelope across the bartop while his eyes adjusted to the darkness. The only light filtered in through stained glass windows.

Merle studied the package, a crazy gleam in his eye. Crazier than usual anyway. “Taxes! I shoulda known. They’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel since that whole Mars thing went tits up!”

“Huh?” George turned to leave. Merle had been hitting the sauce pretty hard, apparently.

“Hadn’t ya heard! Here! It’s been all over the networks” He tapped a console and something started to print, line by screeching line.

“Hey, ya wanna drink? I’m working on something totally new. A cactus whiskey!” He produced an unmarked bottle and two glasses. “On the house!” he added.

Three drinks later the printer stopped. Merle handed him the paper. The top read CLASSIFIED. Most of it was illegible, but George got the gist of it. Life support on the colony failed completely.

“What did you think they built that rocket for?” Merle slurred. “Why you think there’s been so much commotion round here? They’re emptying the jails, y’know.”

Sarah woke up on a bus, crammed against a window. They were on the tarmac in the rocket’s shadow. Everyone else seemed out of it. They’d been drugged. Her memories were dreamlike. Long lines of people, waiting rooms, scanners. She dug the heel of her left foot into the scar on her calf. She felt something give and a heat radiate into her muscle. She’d cracked a subdermal pouch, a small exothermic reaction powered a thermocouple and hopefully sent out a hail mary S.O.S.

George’s phone buzzed. He flipped it open and found only a series of numbers. The world was starting to spin. The whiskey was quite good. He showed it to Merle. “Whadya think this means?”

“Those are GPS coordinates!” Merle punched the numbers into a computer and a monochrome display slowly traced out a map. Two lines formed a crosshair pinpointing the signal. The launchpad.

“They’re sending her to Mars!” George yelled.

He ran outside and fired up the tuk-tuk. He swerved drunkenly through traffic, following the pipeline. He’d never pushed the motor so hard, or at least it felt like it through the whiskey fog. Soon he was out on the plains. He could think of only one way to stop the rocket. He untied his shoe.

Beneath the launchpad in the control bunker alarms blared. A lone operator pushed buttons and flipped switches, frantically trying to decouple the fuel lines from the rocket. It was hard to focus and ignore the grainy display showing a madman aiming an explosive cart at the pipeline. It was all going too slow. Thinking quickly, he pulled the interlock fuses and killed the pumps. As soon as they spooled down and the fuel stopped he’d blow the explosive bolts and save the rocket.

George tied the throttle wide open aiming the front wheel squarely at a pillar and jumped. He rolled to a stop and covered his head. He waited for the explosion.

The operator stared at the screen, the cart was careening into the pipeline. Fuel hadn’t finished flowing. He waited, unsteady hands poised at the controls. There was a chance it would miss. Sweat dripped onto the console. The little cart slammed into the pipeline. The front fairing crumpled and the machine tipped over on its side, wheels spinning wildly. He breathed a sigh of relief. His hand slipped.

The bolts blew the fuel couplers clear of the Dragon, allowing fuel and oxidizer to meet. The blast tore into the rocket’s delicate skin, exposing exotic alloys to forces they were never designed to withstand. Flames belched from the ruptured ship.

The bus screamed to a stop, jostling some others out of their fugue. Sarah watched the explosion ripple down the pipepline, the ground shook as a flame arrestor slammed shut a half mile away. Across the plains, a flicker of movement caught her eye. Someone was trying to pick up a battered tuk-tuk.

“No loving way.”

She unclipped one of her earings and with a flick of the wrist porcelain met glass. The window exploded into a million tiny shards. She half fell out the window, landing hard and took off sprinting.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




The Dragon Rings the Bell

1250 words

Prompt: Pulao

It was almost dinnertime so Lori went downstairs to the basement to get her father. He wasn't in the big basement room with the old television and the great big box full of tiny plastic bricks. He wasn't in the workroom full of every kind of tool hanging on hooks too high for her to reach. That just left the train room. Lori's dad was usually there, but the other rooms were on the way so she checked them first.

The train room had shelves running along each walls, and on those shelves were model mountains and model trees, model villages full of model houses and shops with little model people driving little model cars and even walking one even littler model dog, all in perfect HO scale. And running through the village and across the roads and between the trees and up the mountain into a tunnel and out on the other side of the room, were the train tracks.

= = =

Lori's father had shown her the train the last time she was down in the basement. There were tiny people inside and she wanted to know what they did.

“The engineer drives the train,” he said, pointing at the little man in the striped hat. He had one just like it, but he didn't wear it often. “The tender keeps the engine full of coal. And the conductor takes tickets from the passengers.”

“What does the dragon do?” Lori had asked. There was a dragon, up in the front car with the engineer. It was a small dragon, not much bigger than the dog in the village.

Her father stared at it for a second, raised an eyebrow, stroked his chin. “The dragon,” he said, finally, “rings the bell.”

= = =

Lori opened the door just in time to see her father shrinking himself down to HO scale and climbing into the train. “It's dinner time,” she shouted, but the train was too loud as it moved into the tunnel and out of sight.

Lori waited. She knew the train took about a minute to move through the hidden tracks under the styrofoam mountains. It did, and when it emerged and reached the station she waited for her father to come out. She waited, and waited, and waited some more, but nobody came out. She picked up the train and looked inside. There was no father. There was no engineer or tender or conductor. Only the small dragon remained.

Lori was a very clever girl, the second smartest person in the house after her mother, who was so smart that she was too sensible to ever go on any adventures. She hadn't known that people could shrink themselves down to HO scale until just then, but once she saw her father do it, she thought she could too.

It didn't work the first time. She wound up at O scale, too big to fit into the train. She tried again and landed at Z scale and couldn't reach the first step onto the engine, not without jumping. She had the knack of it by then, and the third time she was exactly HO, perfectly in scale with train and village. She got on board the train.

“Who are you?” said the dragon.

“I'm Lori,” said Lori.

“What are you? You're not a whale,are you?” asked the dragon, backing away.

Lori frowned. “Rude,” she said. The dragon stared. “Whales are much bigger.”

“You were twice as big a few minutes ago,” said the dragon. “I saw you, trying to get in. Are you a dolphin? I don't like whales or dolphins.”

Lori giggled. “No, silly. I'm a girl. Who are you?”

“I'm Vincent,” said the dragon. “I'm a mighty dragon,” he added.

“Where's my father?” asked Lori.

“Somewhere back in Lunopolis,” said Vincent. “He and the crew all go off there and left me behind. When the train started moving I rang the bell and called out for them, but they must not have heard me.”

“We need to go there, now,” said Lori. “Mom will be angry if he's late for dinner.”

“We can do that,” said Vincent. “I had to do everything on the trip here, and I got very, very tired.” Vincent yawned, and Lori could see the light from the flame at the very back of the dragon's throat. “But with you here there's less work to do.”

So Lori and Vincent took turns handling the accelerator and the brakes at the engineer's station and shoveling coal into the fire. There weren't any passengers, so they didn't have to wear the conductor's hat, but Lori did anyway for a while.

The train went through the tunnel, then dipped down, into a huge, vaulted cave with clouds of bats flying nervously from one end to the other. Then it climbed up and sped across a desert and through a jungle, where two monkeys waved at them from a tall tree. Lori had to hit the brakes as the train pulled into a glass she'll right at the seashore. Then the train dove into the ocean and moved faster and faster on the deep ocean floor. Vincent took over the furnace duty and told Lori to watch out for whales, but she didn't see any, just a couple of octopuses doing a Tango as the train passed by.

The train climbed out of the water and sped up, faster and faster. The tracks rose into the sky, higher and faster, faster and higher, and Lori could see them end, but it was too late to stop. The train left the tracks and floated through space. Lori floated too, and the coals floated above the bed of the car. Then the train landed on other tracks and down to the silver-gray surface of the moon.

Lori's father was waiting at Lunopolis station with presents for her and her mother. “The crew are taking a vacation for a week,” said he. “We should get back home.”

“You'll be late for dinner,” said Lori.

They took the train back. Lori's father wouldn't let her shovel any more coal, but he did let her mind the brakes. The train flew back into space, then down, into the ocean with a mighty splash and onward to the seafloor.

A pack of dolphins gathered around the train and started teasing Vincent. Lori didn't speak dolphin but she could tell they were calling him a scaredy-dragon, and Vincent was answering back that he wasn't, unconvincingly. Then they saw the whale.

It was flopped out over the tracks and snoring at them. Lori reached for the brakes but her father stopped him. Vincent tried to hide in the back of the engine but Lori grabbed his scaly ruff and said “You've got to do something.”

“Do what?” asked Vincent, still trying to back away. Lori's father turned on the bright lights at the front of the locomotive. Lori looked at the bell. Vincent inched toward it, closed his eyes, and started to pull.

Underwater that bell sounded like a loud roar, and the behind the front light Vincent cast a shadow as big as the engine car itself. The whale woke up and heard that sound and saw that shadow dragon and let out a frightened sound as it launched itself off the tracks and swam away fast as it could.

Vincent laughed. “Did you see that?” he said. “Did you see that?”

And the dragon rang the bell.

All

The

Way

Home.

(The End)

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Wrapped Around Your Finger
1,186 words
Flash rule: tatzelwurms

REMOVED

Solitair fucked around with this message at 22:50 on Dec 31, 2018

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.



Antivehicular posted:

Contend with the fierce weirdness of American mythology and face the Snallygaster!

Daisy and the Drains

Daisy and the Drains were killing it. Like, not literally. There wasn’t anyone literally dying, what could make you think that, ha ha ha.

No, as in, they were playing very well and the crowd was loving it, and no one had been eaten at all. Jeremy played bass and sang, Ingrid was on lead guitar, Esmerelda (Esme to you) was on the drums, and Daisy was on the Theremin, and not at all interested in devouring any of the fans. Anyway, she’d eaten already. And she was excellent on the Theremin, and most of the fans knew by now not to throw things onto the stage or make direct eye contact with her.

They finished their last song, Drain Your Blood, a song which didn’t usually have a ten minute Theremin solo but, you know what, fine, no need to make a fuss or anything. And then Daisy slunk off to her perch and covered her head with a wing, and the rest of the band went backstage to relax.

“Hey, great set!” The three of them looked up. The speaker was a small girl. She looked about fifteen.

“Huh,” said Esme, “I really thought this was an over eighteens event.”

“I’m almost eighteen,” said the girl. “I snuck in, and I snuck backstage, too. I had to see you guys live. I’ve got all your albums.”

“We only have one album,” said Esme.

She nodded. “And I’ve got it!”

The three of them shrugged. Couldn’t argue with that. “Well, glad you enjoyed it,” said Jeremy. “I’m Jeremy, by the way. This is Ingrid and Esme.”

“Yeah, I know,” said the girl. “I’m Charlie. Where’s Daisy?”

“She always sleeps after a show,” said Esme. “Which probably works out better.”

“She’s my favourite,” said Charlie. “I made shirts and everything.”

On her shirt there was a cartoon version of Daisy, swooping through the air with what appeared to be a cow in her talons.

“Well, that’s nice I guess,” said Esme.

She didn’t say anything more, because at that moment a group of lads wandered backstage. Not ‘lad’ in the sense of being under age, more in the sense of being a bunch of young hoodlums. You know the kind. Don’t eat their vegetables. Refuse to doff their hat when you pass by them and doff your own. Occasionally beat up shopkeepers and take a bunch of their money from them and abuse passersby and take a bunch of crack cocaine. You know, real ne’er-do-wells.

“Hey losers,” they said. Like, it wasn’t just one of them, it was a group voice from the middle of the lads. It was like they were one entity and a gap in the middle of them just opened and a chorus of voices came out. I dunno, don’t try to think about it too hard. “That was an awful set. You stink. You should give up on your hopes and dreams and go catch cancer or something.”

“All right,” said Ingrid, “well thanks for the constructive feedback. We’ll see if we can work some of your suggestions into our next performance.”

“What?” said the lads. “No, you don’t get it, that wasn’t constructive feedback, it was a very cutting remark.” The lads paused for a moment. “Or a series of cutting remarks, like seriously, you nimrods can’t even get insulted properly.”

“Actually,” said Charlie, “they were amazing, quite possibly the best Theremin based band in the Western hemisphere.”

“I don’t think hemispheres actually work that way,” said Jeremy.

“Hey, sassy little lady,” said the lads.

“Charlie,” said Charlie.

“Whatever,” said the lads. “You should totally come with us, we’ll show you a good time if you know what we mean.”

“I think she’s a little young for you lads, isn’t she?” said Esme.

“Age is just a number,” said the lads, in case there was any doubt as to what a bunch of rotters they all were.

“Well, not really,” said Ingrid. “I’d say that age is more an abstract concept, and that discrete ages are sometimes represented by numbers, but the numbers themselves aren’t the ages, but just representations.”

“What?” asked the lads, which is fair enough really, because all that stuff is a bit much to get into after a gig, but lead guitarists, what can you do, ey? Then the lads said, “Oi but seriously, come with us, love.”

“Nah, I might hang out with the band a bit more,” said Charlie.

“Nah, come with us sweetie. Dollface. Pumpkin. All right, that last one was weird and oddly paternal, scratch that one from the record.”

“Nah, still not really keen.”

“All right, we’ll convince you on the way,” said the lads, and they grabbed her arm and dragged her after them. She kicked them repeatedly in their collective shins, but when there’s that many shins in a mass of lads, it’s hard to do enough kicking, and they ignored her kicks and dragged her outside. “Don’t mind us,” they said to other concertgoers as they dragged her, “we’re just escorting this under age patron out of the premises and into our car, not in a creepy way or anything, I mean age is just a number anyway isn’t it, and not an abstract concept or whatever that was about.”

And the other concertgoers went “Eh?” or “Hmmm I don’t know about that ey,” but also didn’t make any move to impede them, so the lads dragged Charlie all the way out of the bar or wherever it was, and started towards their car.

It was a pretty big car, as it needed to be to accommodate that many lads. One of the lads detached himself from the lads entity, walked around the other side of the car and opened the driver’s door, and then started to get in but suddenly wasn’t there, instead.

“Oi, that lad,” said the rest of the lads. “Stop fooling around, and get into the car instead of being invisible, or whatever it is you’re doing.”

That other lad didn’t reply. The lads walked around the car, and saw nothing but the keys on the ground. “Oh well,” said the lads, what’s one lad more or less, eh?”

“Fewer,” said Daisy.

“Eh?” said the lads.

Daisy swooped again, for indeed it was she who had disappeared the errant lad, down her throat except for the crunchy bits which she’d thrown out. Again and again she swooped, picking up lads and devouring them, or throwing them against the pavement or the van. When she was done, all that was left was one of their arms, clutched by the hand in the hand of Charlie. “You gonna eat that?” asked Daisy.

Charlie shook her head and threw her the arm. She caught it and chewed it up, then spat out the bones. “You saved me from those rapscallions!” said Charlie.

Daisy shrugged. “They dissed my band. Nice shirt, kid.” And Daisy silently soared into the night.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Neither me nor career dipshit cptn_dr will submit this week, therefore we are collectively open to your challenges. Motherfuckers.

Advance and make your play.

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

I am drawing a circle in the sand of this disgusting failure desert.
Four will enter.
Two will leave.
Give me a team of two challengers against mojo and cpt doc.
Crack a VB roll a durrie do a burnout on ya ute with a kelpie in the back. Let the bloody dingoes howl.
I'm judge. Sebmojo and cptn_dr against the first two challengers to step up.

dreadmojo posted:

Neither me nor career dipshit cptn_dr will submit this week, therefore we are collectively open to your challenges. Motherfuckers.

Advance and make your play.

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Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.



Chairchucker posted:

Daisy and the Drains


1161 words BTW.

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