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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







I am disappointed that no-one is willing to chance a hellrule, but I suppose there's no particular shame in being worthless.

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Staggy
Mar 20, 2008

Said little bitch, you can't fuck with me if you wanted to
These expensive
These is red bottoms
These is bloody shoes




Your beast is the Manticore.

onsetOutsider posted:

Hi I'm in also for the bestiary challenge.

(this is my first sign up btw)

Your beast is the Ape.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

sebmojo posted:

I am disappointed that no-one is willing to chance a hellrule, but I suppose there's no particular shame in being worthless.

Dunno about anyone else but I had just assumed you meant a beast fact.

Barnaby Profane
Feb 23, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2021


sebmojo posted:

I am disappointed that no-one is willing to chance a hellrule, but I suppose there's no particular shame in being worthless.

alright, dry those tears, let's see what you got.

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

📡scanning🛰️ for good game 🎮design🦔🦔🦔


I might have a weekend without internet ahead of me which would be ideal for writing motivation, but terrible for submitting on Sunday. Would Monday morning be okay as well? It's a European morning, so most Americans should be asleep at that point anyway.

If that's okay, then I'm in.

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010




Simply Simon posted:

I might have a weekend without internet ahead of me which would be ideal for writing motivation, but terrible for submitting on Sunday. Would Monday morning be okay as well? It's a European morning, so most Americans should be asleep at that point anyway.

If that's okay, then I'm in.

Deadline is 05:00 UTC Monday morning so if you wake up early...

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006



sebmojo posted:

I am disappointed that no-one is willing to chance a hellrule, but I suppose there's no particular shame in being worthless.

hmu fam

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

📡scanning🛰️ for good game 🎮design🦔🦔🦔


Pham Nuwen posted:

Deadline is 05:00 UTC Monday morning so if you wake up early...
I'll have guaranteed internet on Monday at work, so it's not as "simple" as waking up...

Staggy
Mar 20, 2008

Said little bitch, you can't fuck with me if you wanted to
These expensive
These is red bottoms
These is bloody shoes



I was going to post something to this effect ahead of the sign-up deadline. I am a filthy Brit and as such those deadlines are at 5am for me. I won't be closing sign-up or submissions any earlier than 7am GMT, so you've got a couple of extra hours there. In all likelihood I would wait until I got to work (~9am, so 4 extra hours) before closing things on Monday.

The judge decrees: two extra hours. Anything after that and you're risking failure.

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

📡scanning🛰️ for good game 🎮design🦔🦔🦔


Super duper, thank you! Then I won't come late to work on Monday (unless the internet situation fixes itself - it's out of my hands - then I'll be late as gently caress!).

Staggy
Mar 20, 2008

Said little bitch, you can't fuck with me if you wanted to
These expensive
These is red bottoms
These is bloody shoes



Simply Simon posted:

Super duper, thank you! Then I won't come late to work on Monday (unless the internet situation fixes itself - it's out of my hands - then I'll be late as gently caress!).

Your beast is the Mouse.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Benny Profane posted:

alright, dry those tears, let's see what you got.

Your protagonist can only communicate with platonic solids

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk








In your story the world is bounded within a teardrop

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

I’ve got nothing, give me one

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Come fight terrifying creatures in the THUNDERDOME!


sebmojo posted:

I am disappointed that no-one is willing to chance a hellrule, but I suppose there's no particular shame in being worthless.

Gimme summa that hellshit.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Flesnolk posted:

I’ve got nothing, give me one

You can only use . for punctuation, and your story is a comedy.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







curlingiron posted:

Gimme summa that hellshit.

Everyone alive is, finally, absolutely equal.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







sebmojo posted:

You can only use . for punctuation, and your story is a comedy.

brutal :eyepop:

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk








All our lives hang by a thread. Now we got a man waiting for sentence. But ain't it the truth? You take your chances with the law. Justice is only a roll of the dice. A flip of the coin. A turn... of the Wheel.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

In.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


sebmojo posted:

I am disappointed that no-one is willing to chance a hellrule, but I suppose there's no particular shame in being worthless.

give it to me you coward

Dolash
Oct 23, 2008

aNYWAY,
tHAT'S REALLY ALL THERE IS,
tO REPORT ON THE SUBJECT,
oF ME GETTING HURT,




Prompt: The Antlion. The ant-lion is the enemy of the horse and poisonous unto it.

The Lion's Den
996 words

“It's the royal forest! Her ladyship'll hang you for a poacher, and I'll catch Hell from Ma.”

The words of Peter's sister still rang in his ears as he dug through the dirt, seeking some trace of the buck's passing. Two hours had gone by since he had missed his shot on the open moor and chased his quarry past the boundary stones, yet all his search had turned up were pine needles and mulch leading in every direction.

Leaning on his rifle, the boy cursed the cold that would only worsen as dusk wore on. His glum reverie was interrupted by a snort, and Peter glanced over to the family's old mare, Bess, who seemed no more impressed with his hunting skills. “Like you could do better,” he grumbled through his wool scarf, weighing the cost of returning home empty-handed.

In the ensuing silence, the sound of running water caught Peter's ear.

The pair passed through another glade, right to the edge of a clearing set around a pair of foothills. A narrow brook wound its way down one and around the other, while a small doe on the far bank lapped at the water where it fell from the highest stones.

Peter tried to remain calm. He knelt, shouldered his weapon, and sighted down toward the doe.

At that moment, the buck burst from the underbrush. He took up a position between the doe and Peter, who immediately re-sighted toward him. The animal held his gaze down the barrel of the gun, his whole body tensed.

The brook burbled. The doe poked her head up from behind the intervening buck, peering toward the boy. Bess snorted.

Peter lowered his rifle, sighing as he did so. “Forget it,” he muttered, turning back to his horse. “Come on, girl.”

He took one step into the clearing and felt the ground give way under his boot. The whole patch of turf from the treeline to the hill collapsed, and man and beast rolled helplessly forward as a great cloud of dust plumed.

They landed in a heap at the bottom of a dark tunnel. The horse was the first to regain her footing, lurching into the unknown. “Bess!” yelled Peter, fumbling around for his rifle.

He gripped the weapon and stumbled after, following the sounds of terrified whinnying through rough-cut channels under the earth. The weak evening light was well behind him, but an eerie blue luminescence clung to the tunnel walls.

There was an ear-splitting shriek, followed by the sound of something heavy falling. Peter surged ahead and around the next blind corner. He emerged in a wide, low chamber.

The space was littered with bones and antlers, grisly trophies of a dozen feasts. At the far end, Bess lay on her side, breathing weakly, two neat puncture wounds in her torso. Peter scrambled over to her and laid a hand on the mare's flank. Her flesh was hot to the touch. “What...”

The boy's confusion was answered by a low, alien hiss. Framed by the entrance to the chamber was a monstrous insect, almost as large as the stricken horse. It had six legs and polished chitin, but its head was twisted into a bestial shape that reminded Peter of a great cat. Wicked fangs dripped black oil onto the dirt, where it sizzled.

Peter brought up his rifle and fired. Click. The bottom fell out of his stomach as he pulled the trigger again. Click click. Something rattled loose inside the barrel.

The antlion lunged forward, all snapping mandibles. Peter backpedalled, bringing the rifle around in his hands to swing as a club. The wood of the stock caught in the jaws of the creature, blocking its maw for hardly a second before it bit clean through.

“Ngh!” The jolt of his weapon breaking sent Peter reeling backward, tripping over a bone. The monstrous ant loomed over him, thrusting its hideous jaws forward. Peter managed just barely to fend off the attack with his boot, but the antlion bore down on him with its full weight.

Peter groped blindly around for a weapon, but couldn't reach the belt knife pinned at his back. His fingers instead closed around a broken length of antler and, with speed born of desperation, he plunged the bone under the plate protecting the antlion's neck.

It screeched, recoiling in pain with the horn tip trapped in its throat. The antlion thrashed in the enclosed space, toppling backward into a heap as its legs kicked and black ichor pumped across the floor of the tunnel. The death throes shook the chamber, splitting cracks in the roof that let starlight spill in.

Peter scrambled away from the dying monster, watching as it gave one last cry and fell still.

A pitiful whinny brought Peter back to his senses. He ran to his fallen horse and dropped to his knees. “I'm sorry, Bess,” he choked. “This's all my fault...”

Bent double and sobbing, it took Peter a few moments to notice the soft white glow. The light pooled and spread across the ground.

In the middle of the chamber, bathed in starlight, stood a serene white stag. Its horns were immense, defying the dimensions of the low tunnel. It gazed upon the awed boy, turning its attention to the wounded animal behind him. The great stag tilted its head down and rested one antler point against the bite.

The gentle glow became a brilliant corona.

***

Peter emerged from the mouth of the antlion's tunnel, leading Bess carefully by the reins. The horse's gait was wobbly, but sure enough to pick her way. He turned toward the brook, and there saw the buck lying passively at the water's edge. Behind him, Peter saw the outline of other deer shifting in the trees.

He turned back to Bess. “C'mon. Ma's probably worried.” The pair set off toward the open moor, where the distant light of gas lamps flickered up into the night sky.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







crabrock posted:

give it to me you coward

Your protagonist is convinced they do not exist

Staggy
Mar 20, 2008

Said little bitch, you can't fuck with me if you wanted to
These expensive
These is red bottoms
These is bloody shoes




Your beast is the Lizard.

And with that, submissions are closed. Get writing!

Except you, Dolash. Goddamn, take a rest.

Punkreas
May 13, 2013

*chews on head*


Lipstick Apathy

What’s Spine is Yours
Prompt: “hedgehog
789 words

“Juicy grapes are better than some poo poo apple, Parosh!”

Parosh scoffs, a large apple stuck to his back. “I bring this luscious apple, yet you think me outdone by dirt-encrusted grapes on your spines?”

Fior hisses in response, then rolls hard into Parosh, knocking him over.

"Enough of this!” demands a third hedgehog as she appears at the burrow entrance.

“Ourra, please,” says Parosh, struggling to gain his feet, weighed down by his apple. “Do not disparage me for this ruffian’s actions.”

“Piss on his words, Ourra!” says Fior. “See the bounty of grapes I bring you? The strength I show?”

While helping Parosh to stand back up, Ourra says, “Fior, all I see is a bully covered in juice and shredded detritus.”

“Quite the fool you’ve made of yourself, Fior,” smirks Parosh.

“You are just as foolish, Parosh, for engaging in this,” says Ourra. “As foolish as thinking an apple good enough to win me over. Go away, both of you.” She disappears into the burrow.

“Clearly a mere apple was a mistake,” says Parosh. Waddling away, he adds, “I will strive to outdo myself and, thus, easily outdo you, Fior.”

“I’d be an rear end to be shown up by that fop,” Fior says to himself. “I’ll seek help from generous Gruyere to ensure my advantage.”

Gruyere lounges in front of his burrow, his spines heavily adorned with gems of astounding beauty. He calls out as he sees Fior approach. “Fior, my hog! Have you come to talk of treasures?”

“Not today, Gruyere,” Fior says. “I am here to ask for one of your gems so I can win Ourra’s affection.”

Gruyere says, “I will do this for you, my friend.” With that, Gruyere begins to shake like a wet dog, spines and gems flying into the air.

When Gruyere stops, Fior looks over the dropped gems unimpressed. “These are fine,” he says, “but that bastard Parosh might do better.” Gruyere nods, understanding, and resumes shaking. More spines and gemstones shower onto the ground. A fantastic collection lies before Fior, yet what catches his eye is the solitary gem remaining attached to Gruyere. “There! That is the gem that will shame Parosh.”

“I haven’t much left to lose, my scrupulous pal,” says Gruyere, “so it is yours.” He grunts and shakes as hard as he can until the last of his spines, and the final gem, fall free.

When Fior approaches it, the gem dances from one mesmerizing color to another. “It’s perfect,” he says, rolling upon the gem, sticking it to his spines. “Now to put Parosh in his place.”

Shortly after Fior leaves, the naked Gruyere begins to feel the seeping chill of the autumn air. “A walk will warm me up,” he decides, following after Fior.

Standing before Ourra’s burrow, Parosh is no more than a snout sticking out from three large apples. “I can only hear your approach, Fior,” Parosh says. “However, I do not need my eyes to be certain of my triumph.”

“Parosh, I’d knock those stupid apples right off you if they didn’t make you look so pathetic,” says Fior.

“Not you two again!” Ourra wails as she emerges from the burrow.

“My veritable banquet of delicious fruit will surely make up for this intrusion, Ourra,” says Parosh.

Ourra laughs. “Oh, Parosh! I am genuinely impressed, but only with the predicament you have gotten yourself into now. With your love of apples, perhaps you should be courting an orchard instead of me?”

“Her rejection cannot be any more clear, Parosh,” Fior says. “Let us be off, Ourra, and be rid of this dreadful company.”

“Yours is the most dreadful company of all, Fior,” says Ourra. “All you’ve done is take advantage of Gruyere, who shivers half-hidden in the brush behind you.” She calls out, “Come into my burrow, selfless Gruyere, and we will use my spines to keep the cold air out.”

Ourra shakes, her own spines blanketing the burrow, stopping once she is as bare as Gruyere. The two use Ourra’s spines to cover the entrance as they make their way underground. Ourra and Gruyere never regrow their spines, happily spending the rest of their lives below the surface; thus the first naked mole rats came to be.

Watching Ourra and Gruyere leave, Fior says, “I have made myself out to be quite the rear end.”

“Yet your alacrity is admirable even when you are brash and brusque,” admits Parosh.

“And you, carrying those apples, possess more strength than I would have guessed," returns Fior. “I’ve underestimated you as a rival.”

Pausing thoughtfully, Parosh says, “Perhaps you will join me, Fior, in enjoying them.”

“Well ahead of you, Parosh,” Fior says through a mouthful. The two hedgehogs leave, side by side.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Necessary Evil
790 words


The flyscreen banged and Bram winced. He could just make out the white bone of his grandfather’s hunting trophies in the pre-dawn darkness. The huge-antlered skulls leered at him. I’m not the one who murdered you and stuck you on a wall, he thought, as he snuck across the porch.

The dewy grass was cold against Bram’s bare feet and he shivered in his pajamas. Only the cry of a lone ruru broke the quiet, two clear notes like a distant bell. The pig dogs watched him from their spartan kennels. Bram wished he could’ve brought Scout with him, but Frank wouldn’t let dogs in the house. Bram hoped his mum was letting Scout sleep on his bed, like he’d made her promise.

Bram had stood by, sullen, as his grandfather set the traps along the edge of the huge stand of totara the previous afternoon. Frank said he had to trap the stoats or they’d kill all the birds. Bram had refused to say anything. Instead he’d watched, closely observing how the traps worked.

The sky was shading to grey as Bram reached the last trap. All the others had been empty, but from the final box he heard the stritch-scratch of claws against wood. His throat constricted as he lifted off the wooden lid and saw a stoat trapped by its back legs and tail. The animal hissed at him, baring teeth like needles.

“Don’t worry buddy, I’m going to help you,” said Bram, blinking back tears.

The stoat regarded him with black eyes. Then it twisted its upper body, exposing its pale belly fur to Bram. His hands shook as he reached in and released the trap. Suddenly free, the stoat dragged its long body from the box with its front legs.

A second, smaller stoat slid from the shadows. She coiled herself around her damaged mate, chirping softly. Bram stared as the two creatures joined themselves by their mouths. Their bodies writhed, the male’s snapped back legs flicking and twisting against the dirt. Eventually they quieted. The smaller stoat broke the hold with her mouth, and the male collapsed to the ground.

Bram crept forward on his hands and knees and gently touched the soft grey-brown fur. The stoat didn’t move. Bram hugged his knees and began to cry in earnest.

The female lay between two thick roots. She had rich brown fur and a plump body. From her ear a miniscule snout appeared. Its whiskers quivered, then its whole head pushed forth. The tiny pup slithered from its mother’s lobe, its snake-like body expanding so that by the time its claws touched the ground it was as long as Bram’s hand. With a flash it disappeared up the trunk.

It was followed by another, then another. The female’s body convulsed and pup after pup was birthed from her ear. They spiralled up the totara, lithe, hungry bodies streaming up and along the branches.

A cacophony of screeching and cawing rose into the pale dawn sky as the stoats raided the sleeping birds’ nests. Bram saw a ruru with pup in its talons just as another rushed from her nest with an egg in its mouth.

BAM!

Bram screamed as the blast from his grandfather’s shotgun sent the egg-thief tumbling to the ground in a cloud of fur and yolk.

BAM! BAM!

More stoats fell from the trunk. Bram turned to his grandfather to yell at him to stop when -

BAM!

With a final shot his grandfather hit the female, another pup half-protruding from her ear. Her body slammed into the bloodied dirt and the pup slid from her, dead.

***

Bram was sobbing on his bed when there was a sharp knock on the bedroom door. The duvet cover was smeared with dirt from the seat and knees of his pajama bottoms.

“Go away!” he shouted.

Frank opened the door. He was holding two spades and a big cardboard box.

“Get up,” he said. “Can’t just leave their bodies like that.”

Bram followed his grandfather back down to the edge of the bush. Frank chose a spot and handed Bram a spade. Bram watched as Frank carefully gathered the bodies and laid them side by side in the box. Two tui swooped past, squabbling over territory, while a fat kereru snoozed in the sun. Little piiwakawaka danced around Bram, snapping up the insects disturbed by the turned earth.

When they were done Frank lowered himself, grunting at his bad knee, onto the grass beside the little grave. The old man lay back and looked up into the trees, shielding his eyes against the sun with a weathered palm. Bram hesitated, then squatted beside him. Together, they sat and listened to the chorus of birdsong.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Oh, and my prompt was the weasel

HopperUK
Apr 29, 2007

Why would an ambulance be leaving the hospital?



Salamander 792 words
It is said that the scales of a salamander will, if properly cared for, grow into live young.

When I was small and cried for cold or hunger, my sister would gather me in her strong arms and tell me the story of how our mother died.

My mother was tall and red-haired and had an easy laugh. She was easy for us children to love, but she did not govern her tongue around those she thought foolish, so some people in the town conceived a hate for her. When she went out to help the women, in their sickness and their childbirth, there were those in the town who would spit and turn away, and swear they would never ask such an indecent and unholy woman into their houses. But still she saved lives, and the silver her saving brought saved us, too, when work was hard to get and my father sat idle week after week, and we wanted for food and drink.

One such man who hated her rose up in the town, rich and prosperous, and he spoke poison about her to others, so her friends grew fewer, except among the poor women who relied on her help. And then, in a famine year, it came to be known that there was a witch hunter abroad in the county, going from town to town. The rich man told lies of my mother, how she had looked upon his horse and it died, and how she attended a birth and the child was born alive and my mother saw it die. In those days the town was weary with hunger, and they turned easily on someone who spoke out so roughly as my mother did. The rich man denounced her a witch, and when they came to take her from our house, she swore and struck the sheriff's man with a stone, so he was unconscious three days.

They would have hanged her for that, but she was determined she would burn. She pretended meekness and when their hold loosed she leapt at the rich man and she tore out his throat with her teeth. The blood, my sister said, stained the very step of our house.

The guardsmen had some difficulty in keeping the people of the town away from the cell where she waited for the time of execution. My father took us smaller children into the countryside and hid there with his brother, but my sister hid herself close to the place and she saw it.

They brought out my mother with her head high and her eyes blazing. She called out to each person she saw as the sheriff's men walked her to the place. "Margaret, did I not deliver your daughter's child safe into the world? Osric, did I not cure your wife's vomiting so she still lives today?" There were those, my sister said, who turned away with their faces red and ashamed, but most did not. Most stood cold and furious, and hated her.

She let them tie her to the stake, in her long white dress, and she would not let the executioner come with his rope and give her the mercy of strangulation. She spat at him and drove him away with curses. They piled fuel around her feet and set it alight, and she did not cough, my sister swears this. She did not cough nor cry out. Her dress caught and flared up with a brightness like the sun, so folk could not look on it. She gave one cry, one loud shout of fury, and then, my sister said, her body writhed strangely in the flames.

Her body peeled apart into a thousand burning shapes that spilled out through the fire and into the crowd that had gathered there, and everywhere they touched, the flames sparked up and people began to scream and die. And my sister said that even those who fled and put out the fires sickened thereafter and died of poison, and the wells of the town were invaded by the burning shapes and were foul thereafter.

My sister said that one of the shapes ran by her, and it was a thing like a fiery lizard that looked on her and knew her, and ran on to find new fuel. She stole away and fled to my father and told him, and he forbade her to speak of it, so in the years that followed as we fled to a new home in the north, she would only whisper it to me as she held me in her arms.

Now I am grown, and sometimes, when I am afraid of the world and its anger, I think I feel the scales beneath my skin, and the fire burning in my heart. Let them come for me, one day. I am ready.

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

📡scanning🛰️ for good game 🎮design🦔🦔🦔


Sorry for making a ruckus about deadlines, because it turns out my internet does work. Really cannot expect a technician to come and actually fix things the day after it breaks, though.

Prompt: The Mouse

A Nugget of Truth in Every Mouse
797 Words


“Papa, may I gut the mice as well?”

“Son, you may not. For the work is hard and needs be done with haste.”

My resentment grew some more, as my suspicions were confirmed: that father hid our hunt’s true purpose. But unbeknownst to him, I saw his motivation clearly.
Every month, he would excuse himself one night and day to kill a hundred mice. His wife would curse him crazy and obsessed, but heedless he would leave, towards the city down the coast. And while she did not birth me, I call her mother, and agreed.
Years of mystery had passed and bewilderment became acceptance grudging, when the stranger washed ashore and made the truth apparent. He was fevered, dying from his illest-fated journey off Constantine’s great town, but in his final moments, we learned from him the secret of this place.
In Chaldia, the mice feast not on iron, but on gold.
And this is why, once greatest loss he suffered, my father moved us here to start anew: base greed, for riches in mice’ bellies, and never shared with those as well deserving.

“You move too slow! Idle hands make mice hide in their birthplace’s soil.”
“This is not easy work, Papa, I’m trying.”
“Bellyaching loudly makes them flee as well.”

Heavy was my sigh as I recalled his lessons. We had not had much time to train; as soon as buried was the stranger, I asked to join my father on his next excursion. He was surprised as much as mother, and convincing him was hard; my age of fifteen did the trick, as learning trades of adulthood was overdue. So quickly snaring, stalking, hunting, killing I was taught, and off we went before the full moon bloomed to help us light the mice-rich fields. Towards Trapezus and her mines.

---------------------------

I did improve with practice soon, and presented an entire bag of tiny corpses to my father. Heavy did the precious metal in them weigh, as did the treachery committed by the man I called Papa.

“Fine work this is, my son.” His great hand rested on my shoulder. “I do be glad we share this moment. I felt some distance from you, and hope to close it further.”

Yes, of course, Papa; the distance between family and you, put there by yourself! Off ‘hunting’ every month, to earn the mice’ gold for you and only you to use! Spent behind the city’s walls looming not so far away, on whores and drinking as one does!

Not yet is gone his poisoned touch. “Did ever tell you I that this is something father did with me?”
I had to shake my head, for indeed this was news to me, like many things in Papa’s life.
“We used to hunt the full-moon mice, Papa and I, back home before to move we had. It is my greatest memory, and son, I wish it to be yours as well.”

This took me by surprise, I must confess, and falter did I in resolve to bring his greedy ploy to light. Then he squeezed my shoulder hard before release, and built the iron in me up again.

“Now back to work you go! Two men we are, so twice as many mice we need!”

I realized that naught had changed; he merely wanted me to join his side, gather only gold for two this time, and cheat my mother and her children of what was theirs to spend as well.
To the hunt return I did, with vigor fueled by hate; I would finish here, confront my father, and bring back the bounty to the ones it was kept from for so long.

And finish up we did, and then he handed me a knife.

“Now the gutting I can show you. Sit beside me, learn the delicate removal.”

The knife was sharp and seemed a little long for mice. For humans, though…I sat down slightly trembling at my thought. How far was I prepared to go to make things right?

“You stab here shallow and deep here, then twist like this and get the prize. Do you understand now what to do?”

Yes, of course, Papa; my path is clear as star-bright sky above. I grip the knife, as he removes the cursed nugget from his mouse.
It is an organ.

“See, the liver is the fattest at full moon. We fry them up, and taste you will how worthy a reward it is.”

I choke and stammer my response.

“Papa, is livers all you came here for?”
We came for this, my son. It is a meal for men, hard earned and well deserved, and I am proud to share with you.”

I start the gutting.

“And glad I am to be your son, Papa.”

Auraboks
Mar 24, 2013

...huh?


Beast: Manticore

Peaceful Cohabitation
(745 words)

"Not another step, Barry." I point to the white line painted across the center of the room, and the single red paw that just stepped over it. "You stick to your half!"

I glare at Barry. His eyes narrow, he crouches low, his barbed tail sways slowly back and forth. I've seen him do this dozens of times, but the sight of a predator about to pounce still triggers an instinctive cold sweat. Without breaking eye contact, I reach for the paper I was reading, crumple it up, and toss it at his face.

Barry flinches, and he pulls back his paw. The paper ball sails wide and tumbles to the floor, blending seamlessly with the discarded food containers and torn-up cardboard boxes that litter Barry's side of the living room.

"I was just playing, man. Chill out," he says. His voice grates on my nerves like an off-key instrument. He stretches, yawns, and prances over to lie down on the mutilated pile of stuffing that used to be my couch cushions. I'd pondered taking them back — just as a matter of principle — but it really wasn't worth stepping foot in Barry's territory for.

I ignore him, try to go back to my reading, but of course I'd just thrown that away. Once again, I ponder finding another place to live. Once again, I remind myself that Barry is paying three-quarters of the rent, and I can barely afford my share as it is.

A long, resigned sigh later, I resolve to go grocery shopping. I'll have to cross the neutral zone, but hopefully Barry's in one of his standoffish moods after what just happened. I'm nearly out the door, tying my second shoe, when his voice startles me from behind.

"You're going out?" Barry asks. God drat soft paws making him sneak everywhere. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Just gotta keep my cool, and hopefully this won't take long.

"Yes, Barry," I say through clenched teeth. Be calm, be polite. "Do you need anything from the store?"

"Nah..." he says. "Can you help me with a thing before you leave, though?"

loving...! Every time I try to go out! Every single time! "What?"

"I've got this itch. It's in my mane, I can't reach it by myself." He rubs his neck against the wall, as if to say: "This is what will happen to your furniture if you don't help me. Manticore hair everywhere!"

"Fine," I say. Intended or not, Barry's threat was clear enough. "Get over here."

He closes the distance in the blink of an eye, drat near giving me a heart attack in the process. I collect myself, then shove my hand into his crimson hair, somewhere in the transition zone between his humanlike face and leonine torso. His tail hovers at the edge of my vision, threatening me like giant, silent wasp. Of course, he would never do it. That'd be like signing his own death warrant — even manticores can't get away with murder.

"Hey, uh, listen," Barry says, "I'm sorry about this. I know it's stupid, but it's just my nature, you know? Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim..."

Now this was a rarity! Introspection, from him? I almost feel a twinge of sympathy — but of course, he's just making excuses for being an rear end.

"It's fine," I say. "Are we do-"

A flash of movement in the corner of my eye, and a searing pain shoots through my spine. Barry's tail retracts in slow motion as I fall to the floor.

"loving god drat it Barry!" The words come out as a hoarse whimper rather than a yell. A numbness is spreading from the spot where he stung me; I can't manage to turn my head.

"What?!" says Barry, sticking his face into my field of vision. He actually looks upset that I cursed at him. "I said I was sorry! Part scorpion, man, I gotta sting!"

I try to curse at him some more, really let him know how I feel before I expire, but all that comes out of my mouth is froth and gurgling noises.

"Well, if you're gonna be like that," Barry says, turning around, "I won't even bother eating you! Hmph!"

My last sight before the venom takes me is Barry's rear end, as he brazenly saunters into my side of the living room. My last thought is a vow to haunt him till the day he dies.

Barnaby Profane
Feb 23, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2021


The Onocentaur's Revenge

Barnaby Profane fucked around with this message at 17:56 on Jan 3, 2020

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


SUPER ON-TIME JUDGE CRITS: WEEK 305

“Offerings for the Dead” by Spark That Bled
Song’s not great. The instrumentation is as minimal as you can get, and none of the lyrics really jump out to me.
What it is: A Japanese family accepts a foreign exchange student, though their daughter, Nana, objects at first. The student is a black boy, Trey, who accidentally leaves his chopsticks pointing straight up in the bowl. This offends Nana, but after she explains that this signals that the food is for the dead, he keeps doing it, eventually putting the food on the altar after the family explains where to put it. Nana asks him why he’s doing it after months, to which point he says he’s offering charity to any local ghosts, and that he can see ghosts. Nana lets slip that she’s surprised that he can see ghosts because he’s either black or foreign, but she apologizes and starts leaving food for ghosts, too.
How it works: Perspective is rooted with Nana, leaving her understanding of Trey to evolve with the audience. Trey at first looks ignorant, then inconsiderate, then hippy-dippy (when he expresses concern for ghosts before revealing he can actually sense them), before he turns out to be a decent guy, as we all knew he would. The reveal that Nana has some unconscious bias isn’t a surprise, either, since her indignation at having to share a house with another teen (I’m assuming she’s a teenager, at least, though this makes me wonder why she has a job and he’s a student.) comes across as teenage petulance.
What I thought: It’s fine. Kind of bland, predictable and simplistic. Could do with some fleshing out.

“Messiah and the Devout” by Sitting Here
Much better song! I’m glad the Goats can work with a tempo this fast, and I hope they’ve done it more often. Saved.
What it is: The narrator is a devout theist on a play-it-by-ear pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. On the way she meets another of the faithful and they bond over their belief in God. When the other woman, Charity, invites her to a gathering of Charity’s flock, the dinner proceeds awkwardly when the narrator and Charity refer to God by different pronouns. At night, she is approached by a male cohort of Charity’s, who has been tasked with impregnating her and is reluctant to do it. Realizing that the difference between her faith and that of Charity’s flock is irreconcilable, the narrator invites the man to come with her instead, and he agrees.
How it works: This story has an immediate edge to it by considering an unusual point of view. Both the narrator’s faith and Charity’s aren’t what I’d usually think of when considering Christianity or monotheistic religion, and it’s interesting to see them play off. Still, it does draw on some of the scarier aspects of devout organizations like Charity’s sect, such as the united wall of awkwardness that greets the outsider, the narrator, and the dubious treatment of consent and treating women’s wombs as property to be exploited. Thankfully, the narrator’s faith in her ordained path, which sits comfortably on the edge of believability, keeps things on an empathetic path rather than an ugly and exploitative one.
What I thought: SH knocks it out of the park again. Not that sure how the song relates to the story, but I really like both.

“Eviction Notice” by Captain_Person
I like the lyrics in this one. They’re pretty evocative.
What it is: James is unemployed, and he gets an eviction notice from his employer. If he’s evicted, he has nowhere else he can live, and it causes him considerable distress. His landlord, Anthony, comes to talk to him, revealing that Anthony’s daughter needs a place to stay. James refuses to leave, and lots of time passes as more notices come in, getting harsher and harsher, culminating with a threat of police action. Almost a year later, James decides to leave, as the cumulative stress of being there gets to be too much for him. He packs up a minimum of possessions and drives nowhere in particular.
How it works: This story is one of a type that gets deep into the head of a withdrawn and self-involved protagonist, lodged in his mind like an impacted tooth. For most of the story, the narrative piles stress onto James, not helped by Anthony’s admission that James is being evicted through no fault of his own, but to help somebody who has a similar problem that’s probably more temporary than his. (Anthony also never explains why his daughter can’t stay with him, and James doesn’t ask because he’s too overwhelmed with emotion to say anything more complex than “I refuse.”) However, his decision to leave comes arbitrarily, without so much as a final straw to provoke it, and I’d really rather there was one.
What I thought: Aside from an ending that doesn’t quite connect with the rest of the story, this is a pretty good entry, though I’m biased toward the subject matter.

“Fissures” by Thranguy
A basic folksy beat married to some nice climate and weather imagery, though what it adds up to is vague.
What it is: Aaron watches ice crack and melt with the changing of the seasons, and someone named Derek asks him why he came. This prompts Aaron to flashback to high school, when a girl named Daphne joined his class. She wrote a vulgar message on the whiteboard in permanent marker, and when the teachers assume she had an accomplice she names Aaron, and they serve detention together. After some time they spend pulling pranks, Daphne tells him about Derek, who died after they fell through ice on a lake and froze together. Then she has to move away, content to leave only that blackboard to remember her by. In the present, Aaron is alone, the voice of Derek having been his imagination, but then Daphne comes to meet him.
How it works: There’s an element of fancy here with the mildly spontaneous decisions Daphne gets up to, but more than that there’s an element of casual, familiar shorthand. “Well, there’s this girl” is the kind of phrase that carries the implication of “you know what I’m talking about, I’m sure.” The initial meet-up with Daphne feels like it’s from a romcom written by John Hughes, then we get an abrupt shift into the confession of a painful secret. It’s not as jarring as it could be, since the crying is prompted by something innocuous that Aaron asks a question about, but the relationship doesn’t feel like it’s earned this moment of confession because it still feels like they’ve just met. You paper over the passage of time with two brief montage paragraphs that have little weight or substance to them and are easy to gloss over. Also, I know why Daphne felt suicidal at one point, but Aaron’s suicidal thoughts have no grounding in anything else that happens, as far as I can tell.
What I thought: The pace is too fast and disjointed to really get me invested, and the piece feels overstuffed as a whole, like something I’d write. I wish you made something more coherent out of this, but sadly you didn’t. Also, this is the biggest stretch of the non-song part of the prompt yet. What different paradigms are at play here?

“A Mistake” by QuoProQuid
This song isn’t really doing anything for me.
What it is: Alice is a reporter for the St. Cloud Gazette, assigned to cover a major economic conference, but thanks to a booking error she didn’t get her press pass in time to get in and cover it. She fumes and observes other people outside as she ponders her future, then a car splashes her. Since the car and the man inside look important, she pretends to be a porter helping him inside. The end.
How it works: This might be my fault for falling behind the times with the hippest lingo and freshest memms, but the phrase “bookoo bucks” makes me want to spit on people. Even aside from that, nothing about this works. You’ve got a protagonist with the barest token of efforts to make them seem sympathetic by threatening them with unemployment, and even then I get the impression that this would just be a minor setback, as opposed to the situation in Captain_Person’s story. The descriptions of the people outside, the variety of other people who are too little to get into the conference, are nice but undercooked and barely connected to Alice in a thematic sense. What’s most galling about this story is that you seem to think that the coincidental event of Alice piggybacking onto this VIP to get inside is a natural ending point for the story instead of the Act 1 or 2 complication that it would work much better as. You end the story before what should be its most interesting part, and on an unearned note of ambiguity at that.
What I thought: Not much point to this. Scene set, problem established, problem maybe solved? Nowhere near enough meat on these bones. I’m guessing you ran short on time, because I know you can do better than this.

“PCS” by Djeser
Definitely my favorite song used in the prompt, with the same venom that originally drew me to The Mountain Goats in “No Children.”
What it is: The narrator is a new kid at high school, taking in all the various details of his first day and recounting his worries about fitting in. He meets a girl who draws anime characters in art class, talks to them, learns about her parents’ divorce, tries to ride home with her, then gets thwarted by the bus driver and awkwardly talks to her again later.
How it works: In terms of little details and overall descriptions, this wins out over every other story. As a setup for your protagonist’s life, it has just enough focus to be a perfect tone-setter to a longer story about a formative experience in this young person’s life. Problem is, this isn’t that story, and the events of the story get lost in all this thick tone, not helped by the complete lack of dialogue. I had to reread the latter half to get a good grip on what happened, not that it actually amounts to much. It’s the fumbling start of a relationship, or at least I hope it is. I’d be disappointed to learn that this was the extent to which these kids ever interacted.
What I thought: Like the last story, it feels like just the prologue to something better, but this time it’s the prologue to something I actually want to read.

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010




El Oso
992 words
Prompt: the Bear. Flash: A hibernating bear's dreams of the future always come true.

Raul accepted the offered mug, trying not to grimace as he sipped the sour, slimy pulque. An oil lamp on the rough table and a low fire made the only light in the old ranch house. The faces of the outlaws around him were dim shapes in the dark.

"Now that you're here," Martin said, "you'll have to stay until El Oso wakes up. He has been sleeping for two days. I think he will wake up tomorrow."

"Does he really dream true?" Raul asked. "The people in town say his dreams tell him what will happen."

"Yes," Martin said, "I've seen it." He drained his own pulque cup. "You took a big risk coming up here. How did you know where to find us?"

Raul looked down into his cup. "A man in town pointed at a man and told me, 'That's one of El Oso's.' I followed him here and hid in the rocks until I found enough courage to come down."

"Which man did you follow?" one of the others asked, leaning forward into the lamp light. Raul said nothing. The other stood and stepped forward. Martin raised a hand.

"Lucas! He will not betray that man, understand? Discretion is good in our work."


Lucas sat down. Martin turned back to Raul. "Why did you come to us, boy?"

"My uncle had a farm in the north. Then there was the drought, and I couldn't find any work--"

"It's the old story. We all know it. We will find you a bedroll for tonight. Remember, because you are here now, you must stay until El Oso wakes. The Brothers will stop you if you try to go." At this he made a small gesture toward two men sitting against the stone wall, lit dimly by the fire. One was sleeping, the other sat motionless. Both were whip-thin and dark, with long mustaches. Each had a Winchester carbine across his knees. The one who was awake saw Raul looking and met his eye. Raul looked away quickly.

The next morning, El Oso woke up. He stomped heavily down the rough ladder from the attic where he had slept, his bulk making the ladder legs shake and skitter on the floor. He yawned widely and raked his hands through his thick black hair, then scratched his beard. Martin pushed a cup of coffee into El Oso's hand as the rest of the desperados circled around.

"Dios," Raul whispered, "he's even bigger than they said." As though he had heard, El Oso looked up and saw Raul. A huge smile broke on his face.

"Raul!" he shouted, crossing to him and clapping his shoulder with one gigantic hand. "I wondered when you would show up! I dreamed about you, farm boy. You are not a very good rider, eh? I dreamed you will fall of your horse, right after Lucas gets shot."

All faces turned to Lucas, who went very pale. "Don't worry, Lucas," El Oso boomed, "my dream didn't show you dead. Only shot. Maybe it will be a little wound."

"Now, compadritos," El Oso continued, "my dream showed me where we will go. The stagecoach will stop in Mesilla at dawn tomorrow." He said there would be gold from California hidden at the bottom of one of the mail sacks. He told each man which horse he must ride. "No one shoots until the stagecoach guard comes back out. He will shoot first. Remember this, friends," he ordered.

They rode the next morning in the chilly pre-dawn, splitting up outside Mesilla. Raul thought Lucas would surely have slipped away in the night, but he was there, his face set and unreadable. Each man made his way into town separately and tied up along the main street, close to the stage stop. When the stage came, they waited until the coach guard went into the bank, just as El Oso said he would. Raul saw that the Brothers had moved in opposite directions to the far ends of the street. They sat their horses without moving, with their Winchesters in scabbards hung from the saddles.

El Oso walked slowly down the street until he was near the coach, then bounded up to it with surprising agility and ripped the thin door off its hinges. He tossed the door aside and began pulling out mail sacks, hefting each one to see if it held gold. Martin ran over to help. Raul, Lucas, and the others mounted their horses and drew their guns to cover them. The Brothers watched from the ends of the street.

The guard came back out as El Oso found the right bag and slung it over his pack horse. The guard started shooting immediately and El Oso's men shot back. Raul's attention was divided between trying to keep his shaking gun hand steady and watching to see if Lucas really would be shot. He saw Lucas backing his horse as he fired, backing up until he was close to the porch railing of the land office. Finally, he leapt from his horse, landed on the porch and sprinted to the door. He grabbed the handle and tried to open the door, but it was locked. At that moment, someone finally managed to shoot the guard.

Lucas stopped shaking the door as the shooting ended. He looked around wildly, then started running for the nearest alley. A single shot cracked, and Lucas dropped. Raul spun around and saw one of the Brothers lowering his rifle. He turned back and saw El Oso looking at him expectantly.

This is when he dreamed I would fall off my horse, he thought. He saw the other Brother looking at him, rifle half-raised.

Raul slipped his left boot out of the stirrup and pitched himself off the right side of the horse.

"Ah, haha!" El Oso laughed. "See, Raul, I knew you were a clumsy rider!" Raul laughed with him from the ground.

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!







794 words

Amphisbaena .

The World is a Rat

archives

flerp fucked around with this message at 21:28 on Apr 12, 2019

theblunderbuss
Jul 4, 2010

I find dead men rout
more easily.


One Last Job
Caladrius
Wise men know that the caladrius cannot stand the light of the moon.
999 words

Sand downed his vodka with a wince, feeling it burn all the way from gullet to stomach. It hurt more than the last one. Not a good sign.

"Another," he said.

The barkeep gave him a wary look. "You sure? It's not good for you to --"

Sand managed half a profanity before the coughing fit took over. He spat blood into the glass once it passed. "Another."

"You got it."

The bar was a dingy one, nestled deep in the Peddlers' Quarter. The back door opened onto a canal, which was useful when you needed to dispose of a body in a hurry. There were no windows.

"You're not catching, are you?" the barkeep said when she brought a fresh glass. Sand snorted.

Five days now. He'd seen the light glint off the viper's eyes just too late, felt that nauseating sense of overwhelming, fundamental wrongness as it nicked his calf. Served him right for robbing an alchemist rich enough to keep exotic guard animals.

You've got a week, the apothecary had told him afterwards.

What then, he'd asked.

Then your guts dissolve and you poo poo out your lungs, she'd said.

"It's hereditary," he said, and knocked the glass back.

The door opened to reveal Bari. Good kid, Bari. Did what he was told. Not long now since the gang was more than the two of them, but, well. poo poo happened.

"Coast's clear, boss," Bari said.

"Let's do this." Sand dropped a half-crown on the bar. "Keep the change. Probably won't need it myself."

The streets were empty, rendered silver by the full moon. The night was humid, stifling. Bari fell into step behind him. "You okay, boss? You don't look okay."

"No, of course I'm --" Sand caught himself. Kid meant no harm. "I'll manage."

"They brought the bird in today," Bari said as they passed into the Regal Quarter. "Pride of the menagerie, they said. They sent any guard with so much as a cold home, just in case it looks at them and does its healing thing and then --"

"Shut up, Bari."

"You got it."

The caladrius could cure any disease, they said, just by looking at you. That was why the Duke had spent thousands on this one. That was why they'd hang Sand if they caught him. It was worth more than he was.

The Menagerie dominated the skyline here, a wide tiered building too large to patrol effectively. They crouched in an ornamental hedge by the side wall and waited for another coughing fit to pass.

"Right," Sand said, once he could speak again. "You make yourself scarce. When... If I'm not back by dawn, you leave town, got it?"

"I'm coming with, boss," said Bari.

"No, you bloody well aren't."

"I am."

"Maybe," Sand said, "you weren't listening when I said they'll send any trespassers to the gallows. Or maybe you're just an idiot."

"I was listening, boss. They'll hang you too."

"Do I --" Sand began, and broke for yet another fit. "Do I look like I care?"

"If you go in, I'll follow you. I'm fitter than you. Let me help. I want to help."

"For gods'... What are you, a puppy?"

"I'm a person, boss," said Bari, confused. "I thought you knew that."

"No, I mean... Never mind. Fine. Just keep quiet."

Bari went in first, scaling the wall like a ladder and lowering a rope after him. He was a good climber. Sand hoped he didn't die.

They dropped into the bestiary through a skylight, between a siren and a pair of halfbreed cerberi. They slipped past the guards into the aviary, where golden doves and rukhs and a newborn phoenix slept fitfully in cages too small for them. The room was dark and preternaturally quiet.

The caladrius sat alone in its cage, motionless. Someone had covered its head with a hunting hood. It was tall, white, thin. Regal, somehow.

"Let me get that for you, boss," said Bari. It took him seconds to pick the lock. He was good at that, too.

Between them, they manhandled the bird out of its cage and set it down on the floor. It didn't seem to mind, or possibly notice.

Sand sat down in front of it.

"Careful, boss," said Bari. "They say it can break your arm with one wing."

"That's swans, Bari," said Sand, with his last dregs of patience, and pulled its hood off.

They stared at one another, man and bird. Sand fixed his gaze on the caladrius' depthless eyes, waiting. He saw something there.

What do you expect me to do? its eyes said. I'm just a bird.

Sand started to laugh.

It hurt. Gods, it hurt so much, but he couldn't stop, even once he could no longer tell whether he was laughing or choking.

The caladrius honked quietly and looked away, more interested in the rest of the menagerie than in him.

"Boss?" said Bari, concerned.

"It's... it's just a bird," Sand managed. "It's a bird. What did I expect?"

"Maybe it can't see you." Bari hurried to the nearest window and pulled the curtains apart. The room shimmered into dazzling silver light.

The caladrius' head whipped around, eyes wide in the moonlight, and it screamed.

"Whoops," said Bari.

One by one, other birds woke and joined the cacophony. Sand heard distant shouts of surprise, barely audible over the din.

Bari grabbed his hand. "We have to go, boss."

"Go where? The only way out is through --"

Sand stopped.

If they catch us, they'll hang us.

If they catch me, they'll hang me.

"Hide," he said. "Let them find me. When they do, you sneak out."

"What about you, boss?"

"I've got this."

"But --"

"Bari," said Sand. "Piss off. Now."

He sat there, watched the kid duck into the shadows by the door, waited for the guards to come arrest him. The caladrius sat beside him, screeching every time the stupid thing caught sight of the moon.

"You're an arsehole," he said.

It helped, somehow.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


SUPER ON-TIME JUDGE CRITS: WEEK 308, PART 1 OF 3

“Searching for the Bottom of the Sea” by Yoruichi
I’m not going to disagree with the choice to make the sea and ocean imagery metaphorical and reflecting this guy’s mental state to fit the prompt. What I will fault is that the story doesn’t flow. It jumps around to a bunch of different things happening like our protagonist keeps blacking out for minutes at a time. It’s a trip, but you’re going for emotional closure and reconciliation, which this presentation actively works against. Not great.

“Last Breath, 897 Words” by Felime
This is a decently written action scene with a hint of flowery imagery in the prose. I’m not enough of an expert on action scenes or prose to evaluate the strongest, most front-facing aspects of your story, so I’m going to assume for now that you nailed it (aside from the typos). What I can say is that most people, when considering the action scenes that stick with them the most, will either go for a novel idea in execution or emotional resonance with characters they care about, and this story doesn’t have either. I’d prefer going the latter route, which requires set-up before the action and preferably follow-through afterwards. As it stands, I don’t know why this immortal woman decided to engage in mortal combat with two men, nor why there’s a crowd applauding a death at the end. It feels like I’ve just seen a performance art piece without anything to say except “wasn’t that pretty?”

“Sacrosanct” by apophenium
This one’s alright by me. For some reason I didn’t understand what this story was when I first judged it, but now I appreciate that the sparse descriptions and short sentences make it much easier for you to fit a longer chain of events into the narrative. It’s not a narrative that conveys much of anything but an act of kindness repaid, but it works and I know just enough about the world it explores to get a sketch of it. Maybe this would have HM’d in another week with less competition, and with a prompt you could have interpreted less literally.

“The Trap Card” by Ironic Twist
So I think I get what you’re going for in interpreting the prompt. You saw a plane where people battle for fun and interpreted that to mean a card battle, but what you channeled that into was something obnoxious. I originally thought that this was going to turn into LitRPG, that embarrassing black sheep subgenre of fantasy, but no, this reference to life points and HP et cetera is just ribbing me for no reason. I legitimately have no idea what triggers the transition between the main character getting an opportunity to reliving all of his dying days. Was he hit by Gold Experience Requiem when he wasn’t looking? You cranked out some annoying nonsense and got what was coming to you.

“Canto III” by SurreptitiousMuffin
Much better. It’s a powerful and evocative portrait of a man with a unique malady passing on a different malady to his child. Nice imagery and use of the prompt, nice hook that keeps me looking like a nasty car accident, nice pacing and nice everything else. A well-deserved win.

“Dust” by Antivehicular
The mood at the start of this piece makes me think it’ll be a tense story of a man insane enough to smuggle out a valuable culture of alien bacteria through his skin, seeing the world through a hyper-anxious lens because he’s been driven to desperation to get himself infected and sneak away from the company in the dead of night. Instead he just got this way by accident and this is entirely about the process of him getting sick and then having to enter quarantine, so the interesting part is pretty much just what exactly the disease is doing to his body, and it’s more gruesome than it is interesting.

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:

“The Trap Card” by Ironic Twist
I legitimately have no idea what triggers the transition between the main character getting an opportunity to reliving all of his dying days. Was he hit by Gold Experience Requiem when he wasn’t looking?

Did you just make a Jojo's reference while blasting Twist for writing nerdy? Seriously?

Brawl me, you doofus

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Antivehicular posted:

Did you just make a Jojo's reference while blasting Twist for writing nerdy? Seriously?

Brawl me, you doofus

well poo poo i guess you got me
who wants to judge

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

rock
ice
storm
abyss



It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

*


Antivehicular posted:

Did you just make a Jojo's reference while blasting Twist for writing nerdy? Seriously?

Brawl me, you doofus


Solitair posted:

well poo poo i guess you got me
who wants to judge



Don't make me turn this car around, kids.

Write me 1200 words about a nerd on a family vacation who doesn't want to be there.

Any genre, any destination, any kind of nerd. But I want to feel your feeble, impotent geekrage.

Deadline is one week from the timestamp on this post.

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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



Anomalous Blowout posted:



Don't make me turn this car around, kids.

Write me 1200 words about a nerd on a family vacation who doesn't want to be there.

Any genre, any destination, any kind of nerd. But I want to feel your feeble, impotent geekrage.

Deadline is one week from the timestamp on this post.

:toxx:

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