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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



Central Character is… UNDER 18 +51 words
Setting is… IN A HOTEL +26 words
Genre is… MYSTERY +181 words
Song is… Banana Boat Song (Day-O),by Harry Bellafonte +178 words

A Letter, Never Opened
833 words (of max 1213)

Dear Magister Xavier,

You don't know me. I work in the kitchens. I've been there five years, since I could reach the counters and hold a knife steady. A clerk is helping me with my writing, and you don't know him either. You don't know anything about the servants except how to kill them.

You didn't even do a good job hiding what you did. You left Edmund's body in the jungle, alongside a laborer you shot in the back, but didn't you know the harvesters would find them before they rotted away? Or did you not care? My sister was with them, out cutting down tayabak. It's been a month and she still cries every night.

It didn't take long for everyone to know Edmund died of kingsfruit poison. I thought you'd know that yourself, how someone looks who dies of kingsfruit. You've survived twenty Grand Banquets, haven't you? You've watched twenty Magisters die of it. I've only seen two, and even I know they turn green-grey, like dirty swamp water. Did you think nobody would recognize it? Or did you still not care?

I have to think you didn't care, because everyone tells me how smart the Magisters are, but a smart person who cares doesn't make mistakes like this. You didn't care, and you didn't think much of anyone who'd notice.

The rumors said he must have stolen the fruit and been twice unlucky: once to steal from the crown bunch, then to get the one poisonous fruit in the lot. We in the kitchens knew better, though. We know how much the crown bunches sell for, and they're locked up and under guard. Edmund was a sneak-thief, but he wasn't that good or that dedicated, even for kingsfruit. I had to ask the clerks, beg for records, before one of them told me that you'd bought a crown bunch straight from the Corporation -- for an experiment.

The bellhops who survived told me everything. It took them a long time to say anything, because they care about this place more than you do and bellhops keep their guests' secrets, but they all had the same story: a dozen of them in your suite, one kingsfruit for each of them from a crown bunch, and you waiting to see which one would die. They talked about what you told them. They said you had a theory, that it wasn't one unlucky fruit but some magic in the whole bunch that struck down the most wicked person to eat from it. You said kingsfruit sorted the good from the bad, found traitors and killers, and then Edmund died and they were all sure you were right, because Edmund was a bastard, wasn't he?

(They didn't say anything about the other man, the laborer, but I think he must have carried the body out for you, because you couldn't have done it yourself. Maybe magic could have, but why use magic when you have a strong man and a gun to make him obey? His name was Aloysius. I didn't know him, but he had friends, and I'm sure someone's crying for him too.)

Edmund was a bastard. I won't say he wasn't. My sister loved him, though, and I think he might have loved her, and she's having his baby. He made promises. Maybe he wouldn't have kept them, but now we'll never know.

What I want to tell you is that I know what you did, and I know that you're wrong. Kingsfruit might be magic, but when it comes to its poison, it's just a plant. The other Magisters are wrong, too. When you gather at the table for your Grand Banquets, and the twelve of you split a crown bunch of kingsfruit between you, it's not chance that chooses who dies. It's us. Everyone in the kitchens can tell poisoned kingsfruit from safe. I won't tell you how. Smart men like you could learn, if you ever paid attention, but why would you? You're important, and you're only here to oversee the harvest. We're here all the time. We know the harvest, and we know the kingsfruit, and the head waiter gives the poison to the cruelest of you every year.

You killed two men, and widowed my sister before she was married, and hurt so many of us who knew them. Maybe that's enough cruelty that it's your year to die, and I wish I could say I was sure, but I don't know. It's a big hotel and a bigger plantation, and plenty of us are good at staying silent, because what can we do? All we have is the Grand Banquet. I've pled my case to the head cook and the head waiter that it's your year, but others have their own cases, and maybe they're more worthy. Do you trust your luck, Magister Xavier? Do you trust your virtue?

I know what you did. I'll be watching you at the Banquet.

Yours,
A Kitchen Girl

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apophenium
Apr 13, 2009


Setting is… ON A STAGE +64 Words and a…. DIAMOND CAPSULE
Genre is… COSMIC HORROR +68 Words

453 words

We feed on you, as you perform. Your eyes look on us and see whatever you can. Not much, perhaps a truthful fragment, but not our totality. We have kept track of you, all of you. You in the black robes; you nude; you bathed in flames; you in the mouth of the larger you; you made smaller by mirrors.

Each new you glances at us, and away, afraid to lose more than what has already been given. You dance across your stage, singing, uttering, looping sounds that mean little to us, but are laden with meaning.

You say you perform what the coin toss dictates. We do not know this to be true. But we know you believe it. And we want more of you to look out on us, your audience. You pause. We wait. Perhaps this current you is unnerved. You shake, and look. We lap up your attention. We gibber, you gasp.

You say With this dagger I lock you down, evil one. You thrust at yourself, and you dodge. You say My power cannot be contained by one blade alone. More of you arrive, creating a clamor. We pulsate. All of you look out on us. We made too much noise. One of you has seen too much and falls down. We reach out and pull this you into us. We are silent now.

One dagger became many in your other hands. You cower from the collective might of your opposition. We shrink. In a disgusting act, you turn away from us and we cannot see you. We rage. You fall. You say Please, audience, we mean no offense, it is only part of the performance. But we are not sated. We make you face us. We see your terror, once performed, now real. You do not understand our intentions. We do not understand yours.

You hear us announce the end. We move out of your physical presence.

We let time pass. We discuss you. What else is there? From the blankness we were summoned, to witness you. It pains us to leave; it pains us to stay. We come to a plurality, and return.

You rise when we enter, and resume the dance. You say Foul demon, you are trapped now. You hold the daggers over yourself and we wait.

When we think you won’t, you lower the daggers in unison and imprison yourself forevermore. You accept your fate and turn your eyes towards us. Is this penance? Apologia? We reward your pain and you become us.

The rest of you stand up, turn around, leave. We do not wait for more. It is done. We smile upon your offerings and evaporate. Your blue home is safe.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

It looks like it's time for another reminder: Don't put your prompts or flash rules behind spoiler tags! What, do you think you're a bunch of Frenchmen eating Ortolan buntings over here? Neither napkin nor black bar could suffice to hide your shame from God.

BabyRyoga
May 21, 2001

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2021


Central Character is… A FARMER +170 words
Setting is… VIRTUAL REALITY +186 words and a…. DIAMOND CAPSULE
Song is… Silhouettes, by Colony House +54 words
Genre is… POST-APOCALYPTIC+ 188 words
RFT is… A PROPHESY! + 102 words
----------------------
1477 Total Words Max

Incremental Progress

1398 words

I reach for the lid of my baseball cap and give it a quick, slippery twist to satiate the itch tickling my forehead. That big ball in the sky glaring down my neck never ceases to get the sweat rolling, but the paltry discomfort is a minor inconvenience when weighed against the prospects of a good harvest.

I stride confidently out into the field with my burlap sack in hand, kneeling beside a particularly fertile spot in the soil. I dig a small hole and knead the soil with my hands. I can tell the most important nutrients are present: Nitrogen and Potassium in abundant qualities, as well as a passable degree of Magnesium. The texture of the soil denotes a perfect balance of organic matter, sand, silt, and clay; it could hold water for an impossibly long period of time. The composition is perfect to the extent of being unnatural, I think, as I continue to examine the dirt. A voice calls out from over my shoulder.

"Aint gonna do you no good."

I catch a pungent whiff before even turning my head.

"Hitting the bottle as usual," I say, looking up to meet his eyes. I sigh. Octavio gets on all of our nerves. He has all of the answers, and the booze makes sure everyone else knows. I grab a handful of seeds.

"Just sayin, aint as easy as it looks when you don't know what you're doing."

"One hurdle at a time," I reply, sprinkling a couple dozen seeds into the hole I just dug.

He laughs, almost stumbling over in his stupor. "You wouldn't be trying to bake a cake with spoiled eggs, would you now?"

I ignore him and fill in the hole, patting the fresh soil down gently. Textbook agriculture - a job well done.

***

I adjust the rim of my fedora. Today, I'm doing things a bit differently. I've decided to make more efficient use of the space available. Work over a large space, and see what keeps - that's the theory.

In the corner of my eye, I notice A white and black patrol car silently pulling up on my back left. Paying little attention to the visitor, I continue, walking down the line and exhaust the last handful of seeds from my sack. I hear the sound of a car door slamming shut.

"At it again, eh?" A uniformed man walks up. A gold badge emblazoned with a Grimmof bird hangs off his breast pocket.

"Another lecture?" I sigh. "Frustrating enough getting these things to grow without the daily ridicule."

He chuckles a bit.

"You're a smart kid. Don't wanna see ya waste your livelihood on somethin' you aint suited to do, ya know?"

"Already been at it for years," I shrug, brushing the build-up of sweat off my forehead. It's hotter today than usual, no, possibly hotter than i've ever experienced in my life.

He frowns in my direction, clearly frustrated. "I reckon you aint making much progress. Someone's gotta say it - you're a poo poo farmer.."

"-and you used to be a hopeless drunk," I interrupt him. "My luck will change. Just like yours did."

His frown has turned to a glare at this point, and he turns to walk away. "G'dday, Officer," I call out to him.

He gets back in his car, which hovers away with a barely audible hum.

I return to work, grabbing the hose and spraying the fermented soil with a torrent of water.

***

After a while, you develop an eye - It's like a sixth sense. I can tell where the best soil is with just a cursory glance. It makes the labor much more lenient. I've noted the most favorable spots and planted my crops in just minutes.

The more practice I get, the more my general knowledge of agriculture and understanding of the techniques employed to produce the highest quality yield improves. I don't even need to refer to the original manuscript routinely to review the basics anymore. I've even learned enough to account for the missing section, at this point.

I will write my own revision one day.

"Hey, quit slacking over there!

The district foreman has caught eye of me floundering in my self-reflection. I snap to my senses and quickly pretend to do something productive, to avert his suspicion. As he passes by, I tip the brim of my top-hat in his direction.

"You're lucky General Octavio likes you, I'd have you working in the mines rather than the fields," he comments, before continuing his patrol.

I had been able to distance myself from the blazing heat coming from above while meditating on my occupational growth, but now that I'm back in the fields, the sweat comes dripping down.

***

It's frustrating trying to focus on work with so much weight on your shoulders.

Maybe I'm in too deep.

I feel like no one understands me anymore.

***

Octomadmagon has terrorized this village for the last time.

Today I'm going to the blacksmith to find something that can slay the cursed thing. I push the visor on my iron-plated close helmet shut, and start down the road.

I'm not sure why I'm even here, guess I needed a vacation.

***

The GSX-HR08 buzzed loudly.

"OPTIMAL CONDITIONS DETECTED. CHANCE OF SUCCESSFUL OUTCOME 99.9999997 PERCENT," it screeched at me, as I kneel in the dirt.

I fashion a cocoon of soil in my hands and gently push a lone seed into the center. I slather a handful of water onto the cocoon and carefully massage it until it is a perfectly smooth oval, then set it down inside the ditch. I slowly fill in the hole with a mixture of the surrounding soil, and a special blend containing minerals I collected by using the GSX-HR08's advanced scanning capabilities to find deposits in the surrounding land.

Nothing more to learn, I think to myself.

I pick myself up and march confidently back towards the barn.

***

I take off my space helmet.

I take off my hallowed dragon whelp skull.

I lift the tribal headdress off my head carefully.

I take off my sombrero.

I take off my straw hat.

I unwrap my turban.

I untie the scarf around the bottom of my face.

I remove my disposable face mask.

I take off my top hat.

I take off my derby hat.

I take off my fedora.

I take off my fez.

I take off my beanie.

***

I take my baseball cap off and throw it haphazardly to the floor of the hangar. After a brief moment to reorient myself, I'm ready to go. I rise to my feet with excitement. Just as I am about lunge for the door, I jerk myself backward and look over at the cap, now laying over in the corner.

As I look at the cap, I sense an overwhelming flood of loneliness. For just a moment, the buzz of technology that fills the hangar with countless humming harmonies and trills is completely drowned out. Not sure if i've ever been one to believe in something as silly as the idea luck, but that hat did end up leading me down the right path. Surely if luck were a real thing, that hat must have been blessed with it by some supernatural force.

I pick my lucky baseball cap up, brush it off, and set it on the desk against the hangar wall on top of the torn agriculture manuscript. I make my way to the door, walking under countless variations of headgear hanging from the walls on the way.

My hair blows in the wind as I walk out into the fields. Too long has it been. I feel chills as I walk into the fields of the place I remember as home.

After discovering that old manuscript as I was rummaging through some nearby ruins, I finally had the solution to a renewable source of food in this broken world. The hats take me places that have their own charms, but I feel more comfortable here. No more glare of that giant sky-lamp slowly burning the eyes right out of my skull, looming behind my back and draining my body of its liquid reserves.

It took so long, but I had to be sure to learn everything possible about agriculture. It will be even more difficult to work here, in the dark, but I think I can manage.

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

rock
ice
storm
abyss



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

*


Chili posted:

Anomlaous Blowout your…
Central Character is… ANGRY! + 88 words
Setting is… IN A HOSPITAL +158 words and a…. :siren: DIAMOND CAPSULE :siren:
Song is… Stone Cole Dead in the Market, Ella Fitzgerald +84 words and a…. :siren: DIAMOND CAPSULE :siren:
RFT is…Flight! + 60 words
Total: 1167 Words

The Devil’s Trill
1166 words


This story edited out of the thread for search engine anonymity reasons.
You can read it on the TD archive, though!
https://thunderdome.cc/?story=7593&title=The+Devil%5C%27s+Trill

Anomalous Blowout fucked around with this message at 04:53 on Dec 30, 2019

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


When Thomas Met Thomas
963 words
Setting is… IN PRISON +144 words
Genre is… HISTORICAL FICTION +195 words


In the black cells of the Tower of London, a bearded man in threadbare dress sat in his cell, praying with his back to the corner. The sounds of footsteps echoed on stone, and he opened one eye to behold a clean-shaven, chubby man on the other side of the bars.

"Back so soon, Cromwell?" the prisoner asked. "What's changed?"

"Nothing, More," Cromwell said. "I only worry about your sanity. You have nobody to talk to up here."

More smirked and waved his hand in the air. "I do have the twins."

Cromwell looked bemused. "Richard and Edward?"

"There's so much they never had the chance to learn. And then there's God. It's a wonder anyone in court bothers with Him these days."

That made Cromwell scowl. "You speak falsehood again. His Majesty and those who serve him are as devout as anyone in these sceptered isles."

"If he was that devout, he would trust in his wife rather than whore himself out to the Boleyn woman," More said. He flinched when Cromwell gripped the bars, but regained his composure soon afterward. "You expect me to mince words in a place like this? Ah, but I forget you keep pestering me with demands to accept his false church. My answer remains no."

Cromwell balled his hands into fist and shook them before remembering himself. "I don't understand. You claim that His Majesty is too base and selfish to serve as a conduit to God, but what makes the Vatican any better? Have you researched the Popes of old? Wars, genocides, orgies, cannibalism... I wouldn't trust a heaven that would admit half those so-called holy men."

"Then why not support the Lutherans?" More snapped. "You sound like someone who would trust the rabble to interpret the word of God, but you cling to worldly royalty instead. Why is that? Could it be that only one man can ensure you a comfortable life in court?"

"For God's sake, a man has to know the limits of what he can do!" Cromwell threw his hands in the air. "A honeyed word to the king can take the realm one step toward stability. You could have followed my path, but you're hellbent on dashing yourself against the rocks of royal authority. The world doesn't work like your vaunted Utopia!"

More gave Cromwell a level stare. "Did you even read Utopia?"

"I-it doesn't matter. I just..." Cromwell sighed. "I thought you had more sense than this, Thomas. I didn't know you were in such a hurry to die."

A moment passed, then More got up and stood next to the bars. "I trust in the Lord to see me through to the end, just as I assume you do. The difference is, you also trust a loudmouth, spendthrift, volatile man who may never be allowed an heir. Who are you to say you can weather the storm of his reign? I won't flatter his sensibilities long enough to find out."

Cromwell stepped back from the bars. "So be it. If you won't take the Oath of Supremacy, I will see you dead within the year. May the headsman's stroke be clean, and may you find succor in death. Until next time." He retreated into the stairwell and vanished from view.

-----

"Back so soon, Cromwell?" More's specter asked, years later. "What's changed?"

Cromwell only growled in response, and reached for More's neck with both hands, grasping nothing more substantial than smoke. He panted from the exertion, his face flushed. His whole countenance looked shabby and flecked with sweat, and he took several moments to catch his breath.

"Being mortal, I'm not here to judge," More said as he floated to the opposite corner of the cell. "Only to be a sympathetic ear. Anne told me about her marriage, so how many wives has His Majesty had now?"

With a sigh, Cromwell said, "Four, soon to be five. I'm here because I arranged the fourth. I should have known everyone had their knives out for me, and that was their chance to cut me loose." He wrung his hands. "How could he fall for it? How could we be so unfortunate?"

More shook his head. "It is as I said. The will of God lies with the Vatican, and such is the fate of all who oppose it."

"Then why are you here, spirit?" Cromwell shouted. "Why are you not in paradise with Him?"

More paused. "An excellent question. I don't have an answer as of yet."

"Looks like we're both in the mood for mercy," Cromwell said, his voice quavering. "His Majesty is a man of many moods. He may yet come to his senses. I suppose it's too much to hope for my titles back, but I can at least hope for my life, can't I?"

"The Lord may yet be merciful. Will you admit defeat? Will you accept the Vatican as the conduit of the Lord's will?"

Cromwell glared at More. "Never. Just because..." He took a deep breath. "Just because I may die soon doesn't mean I was wrong. It was God's will that England leave that horrid church's influence. I still believe that now."

More leaned forward and stared at his shoes. "We'll see eventually. I'm no Pope. I don't know what the Lord is thinking. All I know is that England no longer concerns me, and it might not concern you anymore. Where this nation goes from here, who knows."

Silence reigned, before Cromwell spoke again. "Was the stroke clean?"

"Oh yes. The headsman was kind enough not to touch my beard, actually."

This made Cromwell smile. "Well. My neck's a great deal thicker. Hopefully if worst comes to worst, I'll at least have your fortune."

More smiled back.

Lily Catts
Oct 17, 2012

Show me the way to you
(Heavy Metal)


gently caress, the post by the TD Twitter account summoned me here but turns out it's late and the prompt is over...

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





quote:

Central Character is… 7 FEET TALL +55 Words
Setting is… IN A DINER +66 Words and a…. DIAMOND CAPSULE
Genre is… TIME TRAVEL +70 Words
Song is… My Boy Builds Coffins, by Florence + The Machine +28 Words https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clF_Df_Jrm0
RFT is… ELEMENTAL PROBLEMS +179 Words


A circle has no end

1000 words

Tall Paul kicked in the door of the diner and strode through it. The swing door hit the rubber stopper and rebounded, hitting him on the knee.

“That didn’t hurt,” Paul said.

Warwick Spotto the coffin-builder, seated at his usual stool by the coffee machine, wasn’t laughing; but there was something about the curl of his floridly moustachioed lips that suggested he might want to in the near future , so Paul glowered at him as he limped to the counter. Outside the sun was setting, baleful and red, into a hellish roil of crimson-stained clouds.

“The weather,” said Warwick. “A little ominous, don’t you think.” It was not clear who he was talking to.

Sally-Mae the waiter slapped down water glasses in front of them. “Good Lord may have decided he’s had enough of our wickedness,” she said brightly. “Cleansing rain of hellfire and damnation, wash us all away to Hades!”

Paul had his mouth open and ready to order, the phrase “ham, hash and eggs over easy, darlin’” nestled in his mouth like a baby rabbit ready to bound out of its hutch for the first time, but she was already gone with a bang through the swing doors to the kitchen, leaving them flapping behind her.

The corners of Paul’s mouth turned down. He looked around, but all the booths were full so he settled himself carefully down on a red vinyl stool.

“I saw a two-headed calf this morning,” said Warwick. “Right as I live and breathe.”

Paul considered this. Then, after a moment, he took a sip of his water and belched. “I don’t give a good goddam, Warwick you death-box building son-of-a-bitch.”

Warwick’s heavy-set eyes were still, then blinked. “Just making conversation, friend.”

The trouble with living in a small town was that everyone knew everyone’s business. Everyone knew Warwick had cashed his chips with Tall Paul a long time back when he accidentally incinerated Paul’s deceased former wife’s wedding ring. There were those that said it was an innocent mistake but Paul was not one of them. He carried the ashy nugget around his neck as a lucky amulet. It had not stopped him from having terrible luck in all of his endeavours, but he consoled himself that his luck would almost certainly have been worse without the talisman.

Warwick looked down. “Is there supposed to be so much water on the ground?”

Paul looked down, suspicious; but he was right. The black and white lino was awash. It seemed to be coming from under the kitchen doors. “Sally-Mae, you got a leak back there?”

There was no response. None of the other patrons seemed to have noticed the water on the ground. Paul frowned at them. They weren’t good customers at all.

“A mysterious conundrum,” said Warwick, rolling his ‘r’s. “Shall we investigate?” He was a short man and his feet didn’t touch the ground, so the water splashed up on Paul’s pants when he hopped down into the water. Paul stood, bowing his head a little so it didn’t hit the SPECIAL OFFER TODAY sign above his head.

There was a flickering light coming from the kitchen, Paul noted. A yellowish, fiery sort of flickering that was accompanied by the familiar acrid tang of smoke. They rounded the corner of the counter and pushed open the doors, one on each side.

The kitchen was awash with flames, dancing from burner to lamp fitting to cupboard where Sally-Mae kept broom and mops. The flames were bright, gleeful, and had the shapes of tiny goblins or children, leaping on to shelves and kicking open cupboards. Sally-Mae was nowhere to be seen.

The two men were taken aback.

“What is the loving protocol here,” said Warwick. “Call the ...fire brigade?"

Paul was about to agree with his nemesis and go for the payphone by the front door when the earth shook. They ran a few steps to the left, then back to the right. "God in heaven it's the end of the goddam world," Paul yelled. Through the wildly flapping swing doors he could hear the patrons shrieking in dismay.

The door to the cupboard slammed open and a clattering mass of splintered broom and mop bits exploded outwards, one of them embedding itself in the wall next to Paul's head. He cowered back against the wall, raising an arm against the blinding light that was streaming out of the broom cupboard. There was a human figure in there, limned in light.

"M-Marianne?" said Warwick.

Paul put his arm down. It was his deceased wife, wearing some kind of diaphanous shift dress that swirled and sparked, catching the light from the fires that were now burning brightly all round the kitchen. He tried to speak, but the smoke caught in his throat and he coughed instead.

She wafted towards him, trailing streamers of glory, and reached out towards him. Baffled, with the ground shaking beneath him, he held out his hand. Instead of taking it she plucked the nugget from round his neck. In her palm it melted, swirling around like mercury, before forming back into a ring.

"Forever means forever," she whispered, as the cracks in the foundation of the diner made it to the floor, gaping open above an endless fiery void, down to the dark heart of the world.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

And that does it!

All unposted diamond capsules have now permanently sealed and their owners will be shamed!

Take 3 more hours, or whenever one of my esteemed West Coast co-judges goes to sleep, to submit any last-minute stories to scrape by without a DQ. But, no diamond capsules for you last-minute Charlies. Those are reserved for the good little domers who got their stories in on time.

Chili fucked around with this message at 04:03 on Jul 29, 2019

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019



Honey and Vinegar
730 words


It was three weeks after Chas Monaire’s death before someone from the company showed up at the home. He brought a briefcase full of documents. He brought a single pen. He had a single goal. No problem.

“I’m not signing that,” said Grace at the front desk, barely looking up from the TV.

He had a problem.

“Look, I don’t want to be a burden,” Rin said. He wore a nondescript gray suit and thin wire glasses. His face was a not-quite-convincing mask of sympathy. “None of us are happy about the unfortunate outcome here, least of all us. I certainly wouldn’t want to be an imposition on anyone. All I need is a quick signature here, and I’ll be on my way.” He opened the bulging glossy folder to its topmost page, and marked an X on the line at the bottom.

She shook her head, eyes still glued to the screen.

He tapped his pen on the dark wood counter. “Could I speak to the supervisor here?”

“That would be me.” Grace still didn’t look up.

Your supervisor, then.”

“No.”

“No!” Rin said, with a thin, patronizing smile, and waited. He could wait a long time when he needed to.

But she continued implacably staring at the screen.

“Miss…” he began, waiting for her to pick up her response again. But she just left it lying there on the counter.

Nothing. The clock on the wall above her head ticked over to the next orange glowing digit.

“So.” Rin closed his eyes. He inhaled through his nose. He pushed his glasses up. “I have a very simple set of papers here with me. I just need a rep from the company—your company—to sign and warrant this as true. Just a simple indemnity—”

“Indemnity nothing.” Grace gave him a sidewise glance, then went back to watching the TV. “I’m not signing a thing without the lawyer present. And no one else will, here, either, even if they did have the authority, which they don’t. And don’t you go creeping around and hounding the nurses or I’ll have you ejected from the property.”

Rin took a deep breath. “Miss Grace. All we need to do is this one thing, and we can move on, put this whole thing behind us.”

“Why don’t you just leave that on the counter? Then you can move on. Leave the form right here. We’ll get it to you.” Her eyes flicked up at him then, catching him squirm.

“I need a witness, Miss Grace.”

“My attorney can notarize it for you.”

He heaved an elaborate sigh. “Fine. But the due date is in one week. Don’t be late—we need that. It’s a strict cutoff. We don’t want to get the courts involved, but…” He shrugged.

She watched him leave the thick folder on the counter and slink away, following his travel through the front door and out towards the parking lot on the closed-circuit array.

Then she picked up the phone and dialed.

“Hey, Phil. Pharma guy just showed up. Lawyer. Wanted a signature. No, of course I didn’t. Waiting for you. Yeah, he left a copy. Let me fax you the whole thing.” She picked up the sheaf of papers and walked off.



Rin stewed after he opened the response from the retirement home. Can under no circumstances accept these terms, he read. We propose the following instead:

They laid out a set of demands like hostage-takers. As if they held all the leverage. They seemed to think his company’s product had killed their patient. Maybe that was technically true, but damned if they were going to get him to admit it. He was going to make them regret this.

He closed out of the email client, opened WordPerfect, and started a new legal filing.



The case quickly settled and the Monaire estate received a small disbursement. Chas died intestate, and no next of kin could be found, so the money went to the state. Rin retired and took a lobbyist job at the capitol, where he was ensnared in an influence-peddling scheme three years later thanks to a comment picked up by a hot mic, and sentenced to seven months in the pen. He lost his job, fell behind on his rent, and died penniless from an overdose of a street form of the same drug that killed Chas Monaire.





capsules:
Central Character is…A MURDERER! +51 words and a…. DIAMOND CAPSULE
Setting is…A RETIREMENT HOME! + 117 words
RFT is… A PHARMACEUTICAL TRIAL +69 Words

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

The following is a list of all rewards won by the esteemed thunderdomers who had the bravery to post a story.

Some prizes will take a little bit to cobble together, if we need information from you, feel free to pm it to me or any of the other judges.

Judgement will happen, but it will not be fast. So that means...

:siren: TAKE IT AWAY SPARKSBLOOM! :siren:

Exmond:

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A HAIKU VOUCHER

Propose a topic and each judge shall construct a piece in Haiku just for you!



Ironic Twist:

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A HAIKU VOUCHER

Propose a topic and each judge shall construct a piece in Haiku just for you!


You open your 2nd diamond capsule and find inside…

PONY ISLAND

A wonderful steam game, with a screwy story! PM me for your activation code!




Yoruichi:

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A picture of chili’s birds! It’ll be on its way to your PM BOX. HOORAY!


You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A deep crit of your entry! Pick an entry of yours, it can be this one or any other, and one of the judges will go to town on it!


You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

Compliments! Be on the lookout Yoruichi, all of the judges are going to be complimenting you as a person, with complete sincerity, sometime soon in this very thread!




Chairchucker

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

Compliments! Be on the lookout Chairchucker, all of the judges are going to be complimenting you as a person, with complete sincerity, sometime soon in this very thread!



You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

10 Dollar Something Awful Gift Certificate. It’s on its way to you!



Uranium Phoenix

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

Compliments! Be on the lookout UP, all of the judges are going to be complimenting you as a person, with complete sincerity, sometime soon in this very thread!




Fleta McGurn

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A Dramatic Video Reading of your entry! Holy Cats! I’ll be handling this, when possible and posting it to youtube within a week or two.




Staggy

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

Compliments! Be on the lookout Staggy, all of the judges are going to be complimenting you as a person, with complete sincerity, sometime soon in this very thread!



Pham Nuwen

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A 20 Dollar Donation to the Charity of your Choice! Pick one and they’ll be receiving the funds imminently.



Black Griffon

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A Dramatic Video Reading of your entry! Holy Cats! I’ll be handling this, when possible, and posting it to youtube within a week or two.



Thrangy

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A deep crit of your entry! Pick an entry of yours, it can be this one or any other, and one of the judges will go to town on it!


You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A HAIKU VOUCHER

Propose a topic and each judge shall construct a piece in Haiku just for you!




sparksbloom

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…


Miasmata! A game to be redeemed on steam. Message me for the Steam Code.



You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A TITLE VOUCHER

You get to decide, right now, the title of sittinghere’s next thunderdome entry! OHAMGOSH




Nikaer Drekin

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A TITLE VOUCHER

You get to decide, right now, the title of curlingiron’s next thunderdome entry! OHAMGOSH




Pepe Silvia Browne

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A picture of chili’s birds! It’ll be on its way to your PM BOX. HOORAY!




Megazver


You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

We Are The Dwarves

A wonderful steam game! PM me for your activation code!




Tyrannosaurus


You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A Dramatic Video Reading of your entry! Holy Cats! I’ll be handling this, when possible, and posting it to youtube within a week or two.


You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A TITLE VOUCHER

You get to decide, right now, the title of chili’s next thunderdome entry! OHAMGOSH


You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

10 Dollar SA Gift Certificate! Wowa!




apophenium

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A deep crit of your entry! Pick an entry of yours, it can be this one or any other, and one of the judges will go to town on it!




BabyRyoga

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

HOLLOW KNIGHT!

The awesome steam game. Message me directly for your code.




AnomalousBlowout

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

Compliments! Be on the lookout AB, all of the judges are going to be complimenting you as a person, with complete sincerity, sometime soon in this very thread!

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A Dinosaur! Well, a kickin rad, drawn dinosaur by none other than Curlingiron!\



sebmojo


You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

Last Leviathan! A cool game that you can play on steam! Message me for the code!



fuschia tude (because curlingiron is awesome and generous)

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

A Dinosaur! Well, a kickin rad, drawn dinosaur by none other than Curlingiron!



Liquid Communism

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

a 20 Dollar Donation to the Charity of your choice! Let us know which that is!

Chili fucked around with this message at 04:29 on Jul 29, 2019

Hawklad
May 3, 2003


Who wants to live
forever?


DIVE!

College Slice

Thanks for taking the time to organize all of this frivolity!

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


Yeah, such a fun week, and I gotta say that my reward sounds better than both games and money. Looking forward to it!

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Chili posted:

Liquid Communism

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

a 20 Dollar Donation to the Charity of your choice! Let us know which that is!

RAINN, please. Thanks y'all for running this!

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Come fight terrifying creatures in the THUNDERDOME!


Chili posted:

Take 3 more hours, or whenever one of my esteemed West Coast co-judges goes to sleep, to submit any last-minute stories to scrape by without a DQ. But, no diamond capsules for you last-minute Charlies. Those are reserved for the good little domers who got their stories in on time.

And we’re done! Goodnight, sweet Dome, and Happy Birthday! :toot:

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


:siren: Thunderdome Week 365: Leo Season :siren:

It's a dialogue week, and that means I want you to write a story that's about half dialogue (or more!) Vignettes are fine; what I'm looking for are memorable characters who want something, and the shape of their arc is less important.

Every entrant will be assigned a profile of a mystical or pseudoscientific personality type: right now I'm thinking astrology, MBTI, and Enneagram, although maybe I'll think of something else. Please use these as a jumping-off point, not a D&D character sheet. If you toxx, I'll assign you a second type for your second character.

The theme for this week is an unexpected guest.

Entries close at: 3:00 AM EST, Saturday, August 3rd
Submission close at: 7:00 AM EST, Monday, August 5th

Max words: 800

Judges:
sparksbloom
maybe you
maybe you

Entrants:

sparksbloom fucked around with this message at 19:31 on Jul 29, 2019

derp
Jan 21, 2010

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



Lipstick Apathy

okay fine but i hate fantasy

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


derp posted:

okay fine but i hate fantasy

Your character is an Enneagram 8!

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


in

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




In

BabyRyoga
May 21, 2001

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2021


Chili posted:

The following is a list of all rewards won by the esteemed thunderdomers who had the bravery to post a story.


BabyRyoga

You open your diamond capsule and find inside…

HOLLOW KNIGHT!

The awesome steam game. Message me directly for your code.



It is an awesome game, I actually already have it.

Is there by any chance anyone amongst our numbers here that has been waiting to play it but hasn't been able to yet? If so, speak up!

Davin Valkri
Apr 8, 2011

Maybe you're weighing the moral pros and cons but let me assure you that OH MY GOD
SHOOT ME IN THE GODDAMNED FACE
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!


sparksbloom posted:

:siren: Thunderdome Week 365: Leo Season :siren:

It's a dialogue week, and that means I want you to write a story that's about half dialogue (or more!) Vignettes are fine; what I'm looking for are memorable characters who want something, and the shape of their arc is less important.

So is the intent a told story a la The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (where most of the story is technically someone telling a story to another) or more like They're Made Out of Meat?

Either way I'd like to give this a try. In!

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006


In

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




In

Doctor Zero
Sep 21, 2002

Would you like a jelly baby?
It's been in my pocket through 4 regenerations,
but it's still good.

Davin Valkri posted:

.. or more like They're Made Out of Meat?

poo poo, that gives me an idea. In.

If we toxx do we get more werdz?

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


Doctor Zero posted:

poo poo, that gives me an idea. In.

If we toxx do we get more werdz?

No extra words at this time. Your character is an Enneagram 3!


ENFJ


Scorpio Sun Cancer Moon

Davin Valkri posted:

So is the intent a told story a la The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (where most of the story is technically someone telling a story to another) or more like They're Made Out of Meat?

Either way I'd like to give this a try. In!

I'm not sure what either of those things are buuuuuuut basically I'm looking for a story where two (or more!) characters are having a conversation about something. Your personality type is Enneagram Type 2!


ISTP


Sun in Pisces, Taurus Ascendant

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009


In

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


In!

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

rock
ice
storm
abyss



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

*


BabyRyoga posted:

It is an awesome game, I actually already have it.

Is there by any chance anyone amongst our numbers here that has been waiting to play it but hasn't been able to yet? If so, speak up!

I'll snag this if nobody else has! I've been meaning to play in and I am a cheap goon bastard.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh


Yeah if someone wants to trade me a SA gift cert for the Pony Island code I'm open to that, also.

in, btw.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




I fuckin' love dialogue, I'm in.

QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012

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


in

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006



Socionics INFp

Liquid Communism posted:

I fuckin' love dialogue, I'm in.

Aries Sun Pisces Moon

Ironic Twist posted:

Yeah if someone wants to trade me a SA gift cert for the Pony Island code I'm open to that, also.

in, btw.

Enneagram 5


Enneagram 9


INTJ

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


in

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


o yeah in

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Im judge this I have strong views on dialogue hell rules on request w/toxx

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


lol k :toxx:

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006



You are an ESFJ!


You are a Taurus Sun Aquarius Moon

sparksbloom fucked around with this message at 23:24 on Jul 30, 2019

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk






:siren: Your dialogue participants are unconscious :siren:

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Go on then gimme a hell rule too :toxx:

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