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arbitraryfairy
Feb 13, 2019



In.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Shrecknet
Jan 2, 2005

Nosferatu Enthusiast
@shrecknet



After careful talks with my family, I've decided to be In this round. Lets get it started.

anatomi
Jan 31, 2015

A quick little mouse!


We're your family now.

Punkreas
May 13, 2013

*chews on head*


Lipstick Apathy

Thank you for the HM and the quick crits!! (Completely unexpected but makes my week!)

crimea
Nov 16, 2012


In.

kurona_bright
Mar 21, 2013


In with a :toxx:

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME








:swoon:

Obliterati
Nov 13, 2012

Pain is inevitable.
Suffering is optional.
Thunderdome is forever.


Second judge checking in. For those of you who pander, I enjoy cyberpunk and also good stories, hope this is useful

Baneling Butts posted:

I'm in and I'll take a flash please!

You get Solarpunk.

iTrust posted:

I've been hovering on getting involved with a TD for a while but I feel like this theme is as good as any to give it a go.

So I'm in for a flash.

You get Machine Worship.

The Saddest Rhino posted:

in, give me that terrible tvtrope

You get Uplifted Animal.

M. Propagandalf posted:

In. Flash please.

You get NGO Superpower.

Applewhite posted:

I’m in
E: gently caress it, gimme a flash too, please.

You get The Singularity.

Staggy posted:

In, flash.

You get Post-Cyberpunk.

cptn_dr posted:

I'm in, with a :toxx: from my cyberspace dome of shame. Flash rule too, please.

You get Information Wants to Be Free.

ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013

BEHOLD MY GLORY

AND THEN

BRAWL ME


Yoruichi posted:

This makes me sad. So, at the risk of rewarding you for whinging, here is a crit

uhhh I am also quitting thunderdome :v:

anatomi
Jan 31, 2015

A quick little mouse!


Brawl with SlipUp. Prompt from ThirdEmperor: “Write a moment of beauty in the post-apocalypse in 2000 words or less. But it has to be the same apocalypse in both stories. Meet and work it out.”



A Shade of Red - 1666 words

Earth is a blighted waste. Violation stretches across the burnt and salted land. Far off in the horizon pillars of smoke rise, bruising the smoldering sky. Nature is reduced to a few dead trunks, broken branches loaded with overripe bodies.

Death in its hundred different forms torments the still living.

Death rides. Atop a gaunt horse it reaps the maddened crowd with a scythe and a cackle. It drives them them into an enormous box trap, a gate into the inferno. The damned know there's no escape, but they cry and scream nonetheless. Save us, they plead. Father, forgive us.

Death conducts a giant cart pregnant with skulls. The lamentations of the men and women being crushed beneath the inexorable wheels mix with the mocking wailing from Death’s hurdy-gurdy.

Death doesn’t distinguish. The priests’ prayers are hollow—their throats are slit. Death dangles an hourglass in the face of a dying regent, vainly reaching for his silver. A starving dog licks an infant's face. Soldiers are impaled on long spears, as they uselessly throw themselves against an army of sneering skeletons.

Death tolls a great iron bell.

Death sounds the seven trumpets.

With your brush you reproduce the truths of human ruin, time and again. But you’ve marred the composition—the young woman you’ve just painted is untouched by the chaos. Her serene smile breaks your heart.

You’ve decided that Mayken won’t suffer in remembrance. All great artists lie, after all.



Speaking hurts. So, whisper then. “Mayken, I was visited today.”



The plague doctor unbinds his face. Juniper berry, mint, laudanum and styrax, and something earthy you can’t place, shrouds the room in a heady fog.

Fine nose. You missed a calling. Ambergris, too. Doesn’t protect against the miasma, of course. But it masks the stench. I saw you, you know. In the window. First living soul in eight days—are you alive? Give me your hands—yes. So warm. It’s astonishing that you’re still conscious. You can let go.

Now and then the doctor fails to catch the blood trickling from his mouth. He apologizes for the mess.

“Don’t worry,” you tell him.

“Don’t worry,” you tell Mayken, as you glaze her lips, applying a thin layer of the last pinch of carmine. “Oh, Mayken. What was his name? Perhaps he never gave it.”

You think the doctor’s unkempt beard is white beneath the clots. The doctor politely declines coffee. He just wants water, and for someone to hear his final words. You don’t know if the conversation is a memory. You suppose it doesn’t matter.

May I ask, how old are you? Did you live here when—ah, so you’ll remember, twenty years ago? No, I’m sorry. Let’s see. 1539—that’d be 23 years ago. A big outbreak then. But it abated. The plague comes, the plague goes—it’s always had a kind of rhythm. But now… Oh, it was like a wildfire. All we could do was sum the dead. I have to admit that my arithmetic was outpaced.

Dawn breaks the gloom in the studio as the doctor recounts a past life, of a butcher’s apprentice who almost starved to death when his master died. A travelling plague doctor took the young man under his wings.

It was a messy trade, sure—but so was the old one. Many of the skills were directly transferable. His new master was pleased.

The loneliness took some getting used to, but at least he made good coin.

Shame there’s no-one to leave it to. I should’ve died a long time ago. I used to think there was a point to it, that there was a reason God wouldn’t let me die. God. Yes.

The doctor carefully peeks beneath the linen canvas on the floor.

Your—? My condolences. He has a pleasant face. Now, your throat—may I?

You give yourself to the doctor’s examination. The procedure would have been forbiddingly intimate before the ruin, but modesty ill-fits the living dead.

Did you know it has three morphs? Mortification, followed by fever and death. Boils, followed by fever and death. Or as a bloody calamity of the lungs, followed by fever and death. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. See, no thunderbolt—our punishments have already been meted out.

A boil in your groin, big as a ripe orange—despite the sweet stench of pus and spoiled meat you sigh blissfully as the pressure relieves. Mayken’s father flees with her to the country house outside Brussels, when you arrive they’re dead. A warm rivulet down the inside of your thigh.

They’ll be back. You’ll die, don’t worry.

Squeeze his hands. Show gratitude. Show him the painting.

The doctor contemplates it for a long time. He lifts a hand, but stops himself from touching the canvas. Just so. Thank you. He nods. Most deaths have been blessedly quick. Why do we still suffer?

The doctor wraps his head. Douse the flames before you die.

You peer through the brackish water of the window. The doctor doesn’t go far down the street. He stops at the grandmother sitting on the cobbles, her back against a wall. Her face is hidden behind petrified black hands. The doctor sits next to her, wrapping a blanket around them both.

Keep working. Finish it.



Jan mixes ultramarine ash and oil without any tools, using just his naked hands. The apprentice can’t grip anything. The pigment dresses his black fingertips in a brilliant blue fire.

One of his dead fingers breaks like a dry twig as he works the beeswax.

“Jan,” you call.

Remember. Where is he?

Wipe off the sudden spray on your brow. Jan is terrified—for your sake, because he couldn’t choke his cough in time.

Oh God, forgive me. Snot and tears mix with the blood leaking out of his mouth.

“It’s okay,” you say as you hold him. You imagine that you’re his father.

“It’s okay,” you say to Mayken, as you scrape off a misplaced flake, hand trembling.

Jan becomes too heavy. Ask for forgiveness. Cover him and look away.



The troubadour is transfixed by Mayken. She sings to his lute. She is fair—her voice beautiful. Swallow your jealousy. Swallow the impulse to make the youthful musician ugly by giving him your face.

You’re ashamed. Mayken’s too young. But she says love is much older than both of you, so what does it matter? You’ll get married in Brussels next year. A great conjunction will occur in 1563, an auspicious sign. Her father has given his blessing.

“Mayken, beloved,” you whisper. “Mayken, did you know he’s the one who put the brush in my hand? He raised me. And then he gave me you. How could I ever hope to repay him?”

Mayken and the troubadour are deaf to the violin that joins them. A bony hand strangles the slim neck. This Death doesn’t sneer. It’s entranced, perhaps rueful.

Listen, listen—Mayken’s song pushes through the layers of Naples yellow and lead white of her face. Oh, but the flush in her cheeks should be redder than that.

“Jan. Jan, prepare some more carmine.” You hiss the words. “Mayken is so pale—why is she so pale.”

Don’t cry. Don’t cry—pick up the brush from the floor. Paint.

Did you raise Jan? You shrouded him in a canvas.

Don’t look. Look out over the harbour. The heart of Antwerp.



The ships don’t pulse steadily into the city. The great treadwheel cranes don’t unload the world.

The boats have torn their moorings. Without souls at the helms they’re aimless. They thrash stupidly at the docks, at each other.

Is Mathieu’s boat out there? The salt-worn little trader is well-traveled, and he has the gift of speech. He captures his experiences in a single breath, emptying it into your studio. He sparks your imagination—he makes you anticipate new colors finding their way to Antwerp.

A tumour grows in his telling. It’s the same story everywhere, old man. Wherever we tie to, the plague has gotten there before us.

Perhaps it’s the last cup being poured, so enjoy the coffee he’s brought. Mathieu scratches his throat, puncturing one of the climbing boils. His eyes are dark, his face pale and slick.

My friend, have you ever seen Constantinople? It’s a wonder, a true wonder. It is—it’s the crown of civilization. God’s face. God’s face is in the canopy of Hagia Sofia. You’re a humanist, old man. You know, you know that the depth of Man is—it’s immeasurable.

His voice trembles. Constantinople is that. Immeasurable. The vastness of Man. You can’t grasp it—I never understood how many we are. Oh, the throng of the city—the colors! The scents! The sounds. The cloths. The people. It’s too much for the mind—too much life, too much movement. It dazes you. It dazes you so that you won’t have to comprehend the terrifying number of souls residing within the walls.

Oh, Mathieu. The captain cries. You squeeze his shoulder. Death. Death measures the immeasurable. It’s blunt. It measures us in body lengths. From toes to crown, hundreds of thousands of bodies. We moored in a necropolis. So many bodies. There’s no more movement, do you understand? That’s when you get it. That’s when you comprehend our multitude. When we’ve ceased, when we’re still. Just meat rotting beneath Hagia Sofia.

Mathieu leaves to die on his boat. God’s face is cruel, he says. You hope he’ll manage to get to the harbour, that he won’t strand somewhere in Antwerp’s fermenting folds.



“Jan, don’t bother with the carmine,” you whisper.

Your heartbeat is slow and heavy. Each throb extracts something from you.

“There you are,” you say. Mayken is perfect the way she is. “Your father, he gives us his blessing.” She’s too young for you. She’s too beautiful for you. She’s wasted on you.

Oh, beloved! Truly? Brussels, then?

“Brussels. Do you still want this old man?”

Love is older than you.

You weep. “Will you sing for me?”

A wave of nothingness washes over you. You hope the release is final.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







All newbies, if you want to crit a story just do it, you don't need to ask permission.

And if people don't like your stuff don't flounce: write more, write better.

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010




sebmojo posted:

And if people don't like your stuff don't flounce: write more, write better.

or brawl the judge that made your lip all quivery

Lippincott
Jun 28, 2018

You weren't born to just pay bills and die.

You must suffer.

A lot.


in this week. May the gods smile upon me.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




ThirdEmperor posted:

uhhh I am also quitting thunderdome :v:

Crit one mine and I'll crit you back

Exmond
May 31, 2007

Writing is fun!

ThirdEmperor posted:

uhhh I am also quitting thunderdome :v:

Witness what happens when you go up against the best!

I win the brawl by default!

ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013

BEHOLD MY GLORY

AND THEN

BRAWL ME


Yoruichi's The new guy

Oh god. Blegh. Bleeeegh. I pray to god I never read anything as utterly foul as this, as contemptibly bare of talent; there is no future for the soulless automaton who extruded this one out of their metallic robo-behind. My only hope is, sufficiently shamed by their own inadequacies, the 'author' of this 'story' will retreat to some cave in the desert and never again write.



Yoruichi's Je t'aime

I like this. It's traditional, you could say, the will-they-won't-they with the little bit in the middle where a mistake threatens to tear the two apart, but you capture a good beat in Jeanne biting down the urge to over-apologize for her gently caress-up while Clarisse turns to cold professionalism. There's a feel there, and the whole story turns beautifully on it.

As far as criticism goes, well, you could say the story succeeds at low ambitions. It's light and it's fun and the kiss was a good moment, but I can't say I have a sense of the who the characters kissing are. The 'red-faced woman' is receives both a more detailed description and more lasting impression than either. Jeanne is focused on Clarisse, Clarisse, for the purposes of the story, must remain unreadable to the end. The most I can say I know about her is she's apparently hot. She's about as deep as your average love interest in your average spy thriller and that's... oof.

Really, I wanted to know more about the royalty cult. The plot you went with has a well-paced efficiency, but that comes at the cost of abandoning its own conceits. Everything is window dressing. Surely you could have done something with a bunch of plutocrats dreaming themselves aristocrats. Surely there could've been more.

Oh. Janola is not a product many people know outside of New Zealand. And I think this was maybe meant to be set in France, so.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







ThirdEmperor posted:

Yoruichi's The new guy

Oh god. Blegh. Bleeeegh. I pray to god I never read anything as utterly foul as this, as contemptibly bare of talent; there is no future for the soulless automaton who extruded this one out of their metallic robo-behind. My only hope is, sufficiently shamed by their own inadequacies, the 'author' of this 'story' will retreat to some cave in the desert and never again write.



Good crit

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


I volunteer my services as judge this week.

selaphiel
Jan 31, 2019

where did all the entwives go?


How does one who is interested go about joining the Thunderdome discord?

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



selaphiel posted:

How does one who is interested go about joining the Thunderdome discord?

https://discord.gg/cKeBE8

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




A crit of Picture, If You Will by ThirdEmperor

Picture a city a few minutes after storm, air still heavy with wet; a drumbeat slithers through roofing tiles, finds a syncopated pause beading over the edges, and falls to sound out the motley of the city’s construction, to tap the cobblestones, to drum the metal sheeting, to make dense the thudding impact of boots where the alleys are still mud.

I like the images in this para but the prose is slightly too much. I had to read it twice, and then pause and picture it. This is good, because the images are good, but bad, because you're making me work too hard. I think you needed to break up the dense descriptions with shorter sentences.

This closing gentle staccato to the storm’s orchestral thunder calls people out from under the eaves, pulls them through the fog that streaks particulate moisture against their bare cheeks. The condensation catches the light of the streetlamps across their face like an actor’s greaspaints. They are part of the moment as they rush to the scene, to the smoke, to the sour chemical stink of extinguished flame and paint still running off the skeletal timbers in molten rivers. They hurry to define the edges of the cratered space opened up in the city and become authorities in the day’s tragedies.

The smoke and chemical stink in this para caught me by surprise as I was primed to think about a rainstorm. The reference to a crater makes me think there might have been an explosion, but the "extinguished flame" makes me think more of a fire, that was maybe put out by the storm? Being confused two paras in is not a good start.

In an alley they might pass through on their way, pause to consider a poster peeling away from a cheap plaster wall that bulges up with rain-swollen sores; consider the face prominent at the center, gazing proud upwards, neck terminating in the words AMAZEMENT, haloed by ASTONISHMENT, flanked at either side by his own name, due to become infamous. In circular windows around him, portraits of his co-conspirators and victims. Luminous fungi grow from between the cobbles and lean their long stalks down from where they’ve found purchase among the loaming leaves packed up in the raingutters above, and lend to the face that dominates the streaking poster the appearance of stagelight, underlit and overlit.

Now I really am confused. We've heard about actors so I assumed the building was a theatre, so maybe the poster is advertising a play? But then I'm thrown off by the references to co-conspirators. "Fungi" gives a feeling of slow decay, which is at odds with the sudden destruction of an explosion... So I'm still not sure what this is about.

Stamped down into the mush flowing the gutters alongside is a surprising quantity of bread, or once-bread, and masks and puppets. The constant fatty scum of the peels, rinds and bones left piled up is mixing with ash, forming soapbubbles and skidmarks of rainbow in the outflow.

Bread gone mushy also feels like slow decay, but what the rinds and bones are about I'm not sure.

The city birds and the more daring varieties of bat are settling down again, testing with their scaly claws the solidity of jutting spars of burnt timber. They are picking at the less-sodden bread that has spilled from a basket and hopping over the sprawled body that bends hideously, that rests its head against the cobbles in a puddle of pulp like a trampled fruit. When people gather round, furtive, but not so furtive they don’t scatter the birds again, they are both relieved and dissapointed and disconcerted to find the man with his backwards bending arms is a puppet; it bears a politically uncomfortable likeness.

There is a noticeable lack of constables, of officiality. They prefer this to be considered a natural consequence. Mummery, jokes, fire-breathing they could haved tolerated. Lion-taming even has some appeal to the authoritative sensibility.

But escaping from chains is unmistakably a political act.

You've lost me. Who escaped from what chains?

Returning to the alleyway, the poster has been cut down as a keepsake, leaving much of itself smeared to the walls. The blisters of rainwater under the plaster have begun to discharge milky fluid.

Much will be made in coming days of the face on that poster but not among the dead, although plenty of the dead do not have a face to offer anymore. Now, as bits of char rain from the bones of the theatre, striking clouds of sparks from the sodden, glowing scab of ash and ember below, people come to probe about the outskirts like a tongue finding the gap where a tooth once was, pressing at the sore edges, sating a taste for misery.

When they are dispersed by the return of the rain, they have come away with souvenirs and with a story. The act’s original intention is not mentioned, the perpetrators of the tragedy left unnamed, but a defiance lingers in the star’s continuing absence from a defined fate, the refusal to name him among the dead. They leave open the hope of a encore, to amaze and astonish and escape, and that hope matters, a little.

So I think this is about an act of rebellion/terrorism perpetrated by a group of actors who blew up a theatre, in defiance of a repressive(?) state? But I am really just guessing.

I liked the images you conjured up, but reading this was quite hard going and constantly trying to puzzle out what you were talking about detracted from enjoying the scenery. It maybe would have been better to just describe the aftermath of a fire, and the locals' reaction to the loss of a significant building, and therefore the fire itself, rather than adding in the conspiracy thingamy.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







Can i get a flash rule when one of our extremely cyber judges has a cyberminute

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Sitting Here posted:

Can i get a flash rule when one of our extremely cyber judges has a cyberminute

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




Sitting Here posted:

Can i get a flash rule when one of our extremely cyber judges has a cyberminute

Voice With An Internet Connection

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME








I accept this, in addition to my actual flashrule from an actual judge, on the condition that you also use this image

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







VEry well sitting 'here'

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







sebmojo posted:

:siren:Surreptitious Blowout Fungal Butt Brawl:siren:



Fungi are very weird aren't they, yes they are don't answer me it was a rhetorical question.

Write me up to 10,000 words on three characters in a world where the fungi have won. It can be neither bleak, nor grim, nor depressing.

Sitting here will help judge bc she is more mushroom than woman, these days

28 Feb 2359 PST, toxx up

just sayin i hope you guys are rackin up the words on this one

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.






Wait what. loving cyber punk? Count me in you gently caress heads

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.






sebmojo posted:

Tsk.

Brawl goes to Merc by default, but I will crit Merc's story within 48 hours.

What in tarnation kind of contraption do you use to keep time, TD Spouse?

The Sean
Apr 16, 2005

Am I handsome now?




The OP doesn't link to the new prompt, fyi (another sign we really are transitioning to a cyberdistopia).

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

📡scanning🛰️ for good game 🎮design🦔🦔🦔


I'm in it to win it!

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Mercedes posted:

:byodood: BRAWL SUBMISSION BIOTCHES :byodood:

Love of Our Lifetimes

“I looked at Kelly Miller ‘s face. Covered with spiders. Laughing like an idiot. She didn ‘t care that one of those bugs could crawl into her mouth. Hell, she didn ‘t even care that we were inside a car plummeting off the side of a cliff. She was living in the moment, with me. This is a great opener, down to the commas in the last sentence, loads of good voice and sets out the frankly insane premise of the story with panache

“Some context for those who weren ‘t there for our engagement party. You see, Kelly Miller, the prankster that she is, cut the brake lines and somehow replaced the airbags with a pound of live I think you mean ‘the livest’, angry spiders I ‘ve ever seen,” Cameron chuckled wistfully. This is a rare example of a good adverb, in that the sentence would mean something slightly different without it “Black Widows. I think at least twenty of them bit me before the car exploded at the bottom of the ravine.”

The crowd murmured with polite laughter.

“I couldn ‘t let that stroke of brilliance go by without trying to top it, so later that year we went skydiving. The look on your face when kitchen utensils came spilling out of your pack, Kelly Miller, was prime.” Cameron sighed theatrically this also passes the adverb check and turned to smile at Kelly who also had a bright smile across her face. “I wish you were there to see my face when I realized you stuffed my parachute with more poisonous spiders. I Brown Recluse. I was dead before I hit the ground. The clone facility told me there were proximity mines all over the landing zone so it took them a few days to recover all the body parts. Prime!” The spiral of tall tale exaggerations is still charming, you need to keep this kind of story moving fleetly and you're doing it well

The crowd laughed and golf don't like this, a golfclap is a polite clap already - i'd cut 'golf' clapped politely.

Cameron continued when the crowd quieted down. “That ‘s what I love about you Kelly Miller. You think ahead, you ‘re thorough and you pay attention to detail. But most importantly, you ‘re extremely rich, just like me.”

Kelly smiled warmly and fanned her eyes, blinking back tears. “He ‘s right,” she mouthed to the watching audience.

“I want to thank everyone here for allowing the two of us to pamper all of you. I know it ‘s hard being relatively poor and I ‘m honored we were able to save you from that drudgery, if at least for only a month.” Cameron raised his glass and everyone in attendance did the same. “To us. May we live forever!” and the rest of the plot arrives, such as it is, but it's enough

Everyone sipped from their champagne flutes.

Kelly burst into sudden laughter, flecks of bloody spittle staining the priceless linen on loan from the Louvre. Cameron giggled like a child holding on to the funniest secret.

“What kind of wine is this?” Kelly gurgled, blood foaming up out of her mouth.

Cameron hid his smile behind his hands, his shoulders shaking with glee. “It ‘s all liquid cyanide!”

The crowd collectively cried out in horror and spat out their drinks. One guest slapped the drink out of his wife ‘s hand. Another guest vomited and sobbed loudly.

Kelly slapped the table. “Prime!” she shouted. Her head lolled forward and her mouth hung agape. A line of bloody drool dripped from her mouth. Dead. Many wedding guests are instantly on their feet, shouting incoherently and pointing at the newly made corpse.

Cameron stood up with hands in a placating gesture. “Alright everyone, relax. I know no one else in here can afford clones. Your drinks are fine,” he said dismissively. He snapped his fingers and held his hand out in wait this is a strange and terrible construction you have inflicted on my eyes this day merc. A server came and handed Cameron a knife in an ornate sheath. He slid the knife out, a priceless artifact dating back to the Roman Empire and tossed the scabbard past the server’s hands.

“Time to cut the cake and keep this party going,” Cameron said. With practiced efficiency don't really like this phrase, it's not the sort of activity you need to be practiced or efficient at - why not 'with a flourish' or something?, he slid the knife into the six foot cake; and like squeezing an overripe fruit, it's a good simile but you don't deploy it quite right - he's not squeezing the cake and the spiders are like the juice rather than the act of squeezing angry Brazilian Wandering spiders exploded out in a brown quivering mass and swarmed him. I like your attention to variety in horrifically venomous arachnids

The wedding hall erupted in panic. Chairs and tables are TENSE YOU ILLITERATE BUFFOON overturned in the rush to escape the venomous horde. The cries of children cut through the cacophony. The elderly were shoved to the floor as a means to slow down image is great, grammar is a bit awk the sea of chittering creatures.

Cameron, ignoring the pandemonium happening all around him, guffawed, looking down through swollen eyelids at his painfully erect penis. “Kelly Miller. Always paying attention to the details.” The muscles in his legs gave out and he collapsed to the floor, crushing some spiders into a priceless rug from the Ming Dynasty. “drat do I love that woman.” and, story has run out of things to do so let's close it off, gj. no one learns, no one changes, and do you know what that's absolutely fine - it's fast and funny and enjoyably dumb with a whiff of social comment. I liked this a lot, though there are a few sloppy bits.

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


RADIOACTIVE DUST SURGE DETECTED


I'll take flash rules from up to two judges and sebmojo can throw me a picture if he wants

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Uranium Phoenix posted:

I'll take flash rules from up to two judges and sebmojo can throw me a picture if he wants

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




Uranium Phoenix posted:

I'll take flash rules from up to two judges and sebmojo can throw me a picture if he wants

Tron Lines

Obliterati
Nov 13, 2012

Pain is inevitable.
Suffering is optional.
Thunderdome is forever.


Uranium Phoenix posted:

I'll take flash rules from up to two judges and sebmojo can throw me a picture if he wants

You madman. You also get Wretched Hive

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.






Prime crit sebmojo

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

📡scanning🛰️ for good game 🎮design🦔🦔🦔


I almost forgot to thank Sebmojo and Pham Nuwen itt for the judge crits! Thank you both a lot, it was very nice of you to take the time to give some words to every story :).

selaphiel
Jan 31, 2019

where did all the entwives go?


The Man From Martian Road
Word Count: 1943
Flash Rule: Black Market Produce

One would think hurtling through space at lightspeed would be an exhilarating experience.

It's not. It’s actually quite awful, you see. As you're stuck in a cramped and confined ball of dust and rock. A meteorite, or in layman’s terms — a shooting star.

Your stomach ends up in your mouth and your limbs feel flimsy and lifeless. You can't breath. You can't even enjoy the view unless staring at a hard, solid surface tickles you pink. Don't get me wrong, some hard, solid surfaces are terrific to look at but I promise you this one is not.

I do admit that the silence is the best part. Not very many of us are permitted to make this journey alone, I'm lucky. I'm thankful for it, I would rather die than have to share this humble abode with another life force. There's simply just not enough room, plus I'm not keen on socializing. Which is funny considering my mission.

I don't know how long I've been zipping through the solar system, time is a peculiar thing in space. It's quiet, and slow despite the fact that I'm nothing but a blur right now. I could have left years ago for all I know. The thing about being in this form is that primal needs are not relevant; therefore, time is not of the essence. I don't have to worry about pissing myself or starving to death. I just sit and wait.

Wait for what exactly? I'm not quite sure myself. I was told that 'when the time came I'd know'. How vague is that? Here I am, risking my very embodiment and that's the answer I get? I suppose it's a good thing I like surprises. I just hope this one doesn't get me killed.

I wonder if burning alive would constitute as a nod towards when the time came I'd know. Because let me tell you, it's sweltering in here. I thought I couldn't breathe before, but now I'm completely suffocating from the heat.

My little cubicle of rock goodness is vibrating, slamming me into the walls of my meteorite. Not to mention I very well may be burning to death. I can't imagine a worse way to go. Roasted and flayed. How delightful.

This must be the Changing that everyone whines about.

I shut my eyes, mumbling out prayers to whoever may be listening. I even say amen and everything. That's the magic word isn't it? It's been awhile since I studied humans and their religious practices. Even then I was never all that great at paying much attention in class.

I think I'm screaming. The pain is astronomical to anything I've ever felt before. My body does not like what I've forced it to go through. At this point I have no doubt that it's the end of the line for me. Maybe amen wasn't the magic word. Maybe there is no magical word. Maybe there's just death.

I hope there's enough time for a puny human to wish upon my flaming carcass.

There's no more time to wonder if I'm dying or not before there's a bone smashing collision and then — nothing.

▪▪▪▪▪▪▪▪

I'm alive. Or am I? I'd say my head is pounding, but right now I don't exactly have a head. I'll take that as I sign that I am indeed alive.

My meteorite lays shattered around me, bits and pieces of her are still smoking. I'm very much like a chick expelled from its egg. The rough landing left a gouge in the earth, a charred trail leading to where I now float.

My surrounding are bleak at best. All I can see for miles is red, dry dirt and disturbingly shaped plants that are spiked. I couldn't even land in a decent place. At least I'm in the middle of nowhere, it would have been a scene if I'd landed in an inhabited area like New York City.

The thing about being an Orbix coming to earth is that your appearance isn't exactly subtle to the human eye. We're literally small, glowing orbs of light and we stay that way if we don't find a host within a few hours of touchdown.

Which means my time is ticking.

I survey the outlying areas, taking heed to what my life givers taught me before leaving Mars. Look for any type of structures. There are none. Look for fluorescent signs. There are none. I really am in the middle of nowhere. On the bright side I do know where the middle of nowhere is.

Nebraska. It's probably one of the safest places for us to come, Area 51 and all makes us quite welcome. The government is all about money, our little conspiracy theory which isn't a conspiracy theory racks in a fair amount of green for the big guys up in the White House.

I know my mission. I'm to find the nearest city or town. Anywhere that has a pulse. Second, find a host of my choice and hope the takeover is successful otherwise I perish.

I hover, twist and turn before I decide to head North. The glow of my body is alarming, the faster I find a human the quicker I stop the chance of exposure. Exposure as a rookie rover Orbix would spell the end of my career as a Plant.

Not a root growing plant, but as a blend-in-be-human Plant. I've dreamt of this since I was a small wick of light. Despite my disgust at socializing, finding a human host that you can coexist with is one of the most rare and extraordinary things.

The sky is becoming darker, which has me pulling and pushing faster. We only get brighter as the light wanes. It'll be impossible to hide myself, and if I get stuck like this I'll be just like Orbix 7269 who had to live their term in a light bulb on the the Las Vegas strip.

If I could shudder right now, I would be.

A harsh concoction of what seems to be squeals and roars sound. I think this is what humans call revving a vehicle.

The source is miles away, but it comes from my right.

It doesn't take me long to come upon a cluster of cars and trucks with brightly lit headlights. The cars are arranged in a large circle, illuminating the center where eight humans stand. Males. Approximately eighteen to twenty-nine years of age.

Between them is another man, except he's on the ground unmoving.

I flit between vehicles, sticking close to the lights in an attempt to get closer.

The tallest man of the group steps forward, his leg careening backwards and then projecting into the man's chest. Specifically aimed for his ribs.

He laughs, a big toothy smile splitting his face.

“How's that feel, Bridger?” he asks, knowing he won't get an answer from the unconscious figure.

A smaller boy with a greasy mop of ginger hair coughs. “Hey, Drake. Don't you think he's had enough?”

In response Drake leans down and yanks Bridger’s head back, revealing a face that must have been handsome once. Bruises, swelling and blood make him look inhuman.

“No, Toad. No, I don't think he has had enough.” Pulling out a switchblade and bringing it underneath Bridger’s eye socket. He presses down.

My form trembles expelling more energy than it should. I can't let this happen. We've been told not to intervene in human affairs, but this cannot happen.

The headlights off a silver Jeep are the first to explode, then a black truck, then a white car, the explosions follow down a path that lasts second.

“What the gently caress was that!” exclaimed Drake who'd taken shelter.

With my cover gone I must act fast. I use what energy I have left and flit underneath the vehicles before choosing the largest one. I'm sure it looks strange, but I've already made the choice. With a heave of energy I send the truck hurtling towards the men. They shout profanities before running. Each jumping into their vehicles and begin a cattle run of an exit.

I'm suddenly very tired. It probably would have been wiser to choose a host who wasn't on the brink of death and worse off than most but here were are. I drift slowly towards the man called Bridger.

I marvel at the human body for they are both beautiful and ugly creatures. It's no wonder their world went to hell long long ago, they never understood the meaning of peace or surrender. Their greed for power was the end of their civilization.

Our original purpose was to become a new light source for earth, some whole renewable resource — arguably a new method of slavery — but then the war hit and NASA was forced to abandon the project.

Eventually amongst the chaos and abandonment we were able to form a society, now we come here to learn from humankind. We wish not to invade their planet but to learn how to not make their same mistakes. Regardless of their faults, it is a privilege to traffic the human form.

Bridger twitches, it's just now I realize he has a bionic eye. Probably what the other kid wanted, they're a pretty penny on the streets and a sign of status. It remains whole and intact.

I reach out wisps of light, probing his face. He's breathing and despite taking quite a beating I think he'll pull through. I've studied humans my entire life, but I don't think there's another more extraordinary than the one I've found.

His eyes flash open, panicked and searching. The bionic one black, while the human a molten whiskey hue. He winces against the glare of my light. He can hardly move, I conduct a quick evaluation that his back may have been damaged.

Human. I come in peace. I need you just as much as you need me.

He looks terrified. Can't blame the guy. He probably thinks that he's dead and I'm the light to lead him home or whatever humans dream up happens to them once they die.

All I get is a groan of pain and confusion.

Please. I mean you no harm. Let me help you.

While it is the truth, it is also a lie. The takeover process is not a kind one. I can guarantee neither of us our survival. But I know that this is the human I was always meant to find. Maybe that's what they meant. You know when you know.

Bridger nods, more than likely because he's dying and I'm his last shot until his card is punched — but I like to believe otherwise.

I reach out once more, expanding my light source so it envelopes his body completely. The pain is excruciating, everything he has gone through I feel double. All I can hear is screaming coming from two separate entities and then it quiets to just one.

Slowly, my particles mend to his.

▪▪▪▪▪▪▪▪

His heart is gold and his mind is highly intelligent. Parts of him are damaged, mentally and physically but not in such a way that makes this partnership a troublesome one. If anything it is reassuring to know we both are weak in our own ways, it is something to build upon.

With what little energy I have left I start the process of healing his shattered bones. Without function there is no hope for a successful mission. It is grueling work, but eventually it is done. His muscles and bruises will be next once I have recovered myself.

For now, this is the beginning.

Bridger?

Yes?

How do you feel?

Lost. Found. Both.

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Viscardus
Jun 1, 2011

Thus equipped by fortune, physique, and character, he was naturally indomitable, and subordinate to no one in the world.


I might regret this, but I’ve had multiple people encourage me to try, so I’m in, I guess. I’ll take a flash rule because otherwise I’ll never settle on an idea.

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