I’m Very Happy Together
There’s always a time when things aren’t that comes before the time when things come to be. Like at one point before we were friends, we weren’t. But I don’t remember too much about that.
What I’ll always remember is that time when you were just minding your own business in the library, and that mean girl started pulling your hair. I tried telling her to stop but she wouldn’t listen.
We always sat together in the canteen at dinner break. But there was more kids than chairs so it was always packed at the tables. Often someone came and sat in my seat so I had to stand up for the rest of dinner, but I didn’t mind. I soon got used to that sort of thing.
All those times the teacher told us to pair up for sports, you were always my first choice as a partner. But for some reason the teacher always made you go in a three with some other kids who didn’t like you.
I always said to you that things would get better when you were older. But that wasn’t exactly true. There was that time you really wanted to see that new film and I convinced you to be brave and go even though you were scared. You bought us some popcorn and a drink to share, and we took our seats. It was fine until some teenage boys came and sat behind us, started pelting you with popcorn and shouting, “Billy no-mates!” I tried to throw some back at them, but it didn’t work.
But who cares about other people? You’ve always got me. We’ve been friends for all of my life, and most of yours. And that’s why I’m so happy that you’ve decided to marry yourself. And yeah of course I’ll be your best... individual. But just one thing. You’ll have to read my speech for me. Because I’m sort of, you know, imaginary.
|# ? Feb 8, 2020 22:35|
|# ? Jul 2, 2022 02:54|
The Song of the Slayer
Let me tell you a story about the kind of person Jaime is. One time she was out grocery shopping when she met a wizened, pointy-eared old man wearing a white robe right in the middle of the frozen aisle.
“Jaime, you are the Chosen One!” the man said, drawing a shining longsword from the freezer case. “You must take this, the Blade of Lethonel, and travel across the Sundered Sea, over the Mountain of Peril, and into the Valley of Bogrum. There you will find the wicked Orc Queen Nargol. You must slay her before her army devastates the Nine Realms!”
Jaime shrugged. “Okay, I can do you a solid. Besides, it’s not like I had any plans for the weekend.”
So Jaime took the Blade of Lethonel and marched forth from the Piggly Wiggly. She crossed the Sundered Sea, scaled the Mountain of Peril, and walked into the Valley of Bogrum. Nargol’s camp stretched out before her, hundreds of clan banners flappings amidst the dusty tents.
Twenty fearless orcs went out to challenge Jaime as she strode through the camp, and twenty lay in the dirt as she entered the largest tent. There was Nargol, surrounded by her captains, bent over a table bestrewn with maps.
“Hey, Queen!” Jaime kicked over the table. “I’m here to stop you and all your evil…ness!”
“What are you talking about?” Nargol scowled, fangs showing. “I’m trying to save my people from a elven invasion.”
“But … this old man told me you were an evil queen.” Jaime scuffed her foot in the dust. “I’m supposed to save the Nine Realms from you.”
“Oh, old man, huh? ‘Evil queen,’ huh? That rat bastard of a wizard!” Nargol punched the fallen table, smashing it to splinters. “Uldor’s been a thorn in my side for ages! He’s Emperor Ardreth’s stooge. Emperor Ardreth, of course, is the one leading the ‘preemptive strike’ against us. And I’m not a queen, I’m an elected warleader! This is a republic!”
“Huh.” Jaime thought about this for a minute. “So … you’re the good guys?”
“Oh. Do you want me to help you stop Emperor Ardreth?”
“Hah! I thought you’d never ask.” Nargol gave Jaime a friendly clap on the back, sending her sprawling to the ground. “Let’s get planning, shall we?”
And so Warleader Nargol and Jaime and Nargol’s seven thousand warriors crushed the Army of the Nine Realms in glorious battle. I won’t bore you with the details, but I will tell you that Jaime personally sank the Blade of Lethonel into Grand Wizard Uldor’s lying chest and struck the head from Emperor Ardreth’s body. After the battle was won, Jaime said her farewells and left the Valley of Bogrum. She scaled the Mountain of Peril and crossed the Sundered Sea and went right back into the Piggly Wiggly, where she bought her beloved pizza rolls.
Because that’s who Jaime is: a humble woman who always does the right thing – eventually.
|# ? Feb 8, 2020 23:13|
Consider the Sandwich
Smoke curled upward from the glowing end of the joint into the warm night air beneath the old oak as we passed it back and forth between coughs. The lights of the skyscrapers twinkled, miles away.
“D’yever hear how there’s no definition for a sandwich that makes sense when you, y’know, really dig into it?” you asked.
“What? Sure there is,” I responded, passing the joint. “It’s a loving sandwich.”
“Okay then, hit me with a definition.” More smoke wafted upward. We were the only people for miles.
“A sandwich is food between two slices of bread,” I said dismissively, taking the joint back and sucking on it. “Dude quit gumming it. This thing’s soaked.”
You pushed me playfully and I almost dropped it. “I’m not gumming it you’re gumming it. Gummummumming it. But okay okay, what about like...a whole cake between two slices of bread. You’re not gonna tell me THAT’S a sandwich are you?”
I could eat a whole cake right about now. “Okay maybe not. What about the definition in the dictionary?”
“Nah man. Me and Dr. Schwarz spent like two hours talking about this after class on Tuesday and he agrees.” You pantomimed adjusting his Coke-can glasses and mimicked his voice to say “Ze content of ze dictionary is a matter of robust debate vizzin ze linguistic community.” I laughed so hard no sound came out. “CheckMATE motherfucker. Dude’s got a PhD in philosop-, phisophilo-, philingui-”
“Dude you’re so stoned” I gasp between laughs, leaning back on the grass. “Philosophy of linguistics. Use your words bro.”
“But seriously man. Just...think about it. If there’s no agreed definition on what constitutes a sandwich, is it even a meaningful concept?”
I stared up into the night sky at the handful of stars we could see. No one else I knew asked these kinds of questions.
“And like, if something as simple as a sandwich can’t be properly defined and conceptualized, what about something more abstract? What about love, dude?”
I sat up to look at you. “What about it?” I asked, “Something up with you and Michael?”
You gazed into the distance, brow furrowed, for several seconds.
“How is love simultaneously so important and so ill-defined? Nobody can tell me what it means to love someone, and all the ‘loving’ relationships I see look completely different. If the word ‘love’ can apply to contradicting things, does it even mean anything to say you love someone? What I intend when I say ‘I love you’ might not be what the other person hears. How do I even know if I love someone if I can’t even say what love is?”
The full moon came out from behind a cloud. “I guess… you two just have to find your own definition,” I said. “I suppose in the end love is what you make it.”
We laid down onto the grass, looked up into the night, and imagined all the varieties of love life had in store for us.
|# ? Feb 9, 2020 00:22|
I’m outstanding on a small number of crits. According to the archive, that small number is 44. I’d like the record to show that 18 of those (Rosa Flores week) can be found here. The remaining 26 can be found below.
conspiracy theory week
If you throw a bunch of esoteric mumbo jumbo in your first sentence my eyes are just gonna glaze over and that’s exactly what happened here. I’m three lines in and I don’t particularly care about finishing it. That’s bad. If it’s better to say “this young lady's guts are shredded” then maybe just do that from the get go? For such a heavy dialogue story I don’t particularly love your dialogue -- who is talking in any given moment? It takes a minute to figure that out. You also jump around a bunch in time and place. The writing isn’t awful there’s just a lot to clean up.
I was surprised your spider story for fantastic mr cockroach didn’t win. That was really, really good writing. .
I’m a sucker for a nutty concept and Elvis being an alligator is loving great. This was the poo poo I wanted when I came up with the prompt. Okay, so, you have an awesome concept, yeah? Why gently caress around? Why not start with the cool scene of Elvis with his pants rolled up, feet dangling in the water, whispering to reptiles? Lead strong. Cut the the “measly payout” and we’re off! You’ve hooked me! That will help free up some words to expand on your more interesting points, as well.
Well written but I feel like this lacks anything of real substance. Okay, we’re going to find Finland. We found Finland. It’s, unsurprisingly, a massive aquatic creature. Fin. Maybe your prompt assignment was too difficult, I don’t know.
Interesting setting. Convoluted story. Very slow to get to point. That’s often the problem when you’re doing grand word-building: you run out of space to actually tell a story! Next time, try to interweave details with dialogue. You don’t need to infodump everything all at worse. Give me a slow drip of the world and use it to enhance the story you are telling rather than just throwing it all at me and then beginning with characters and plot and all that
I’m not sure what the point of this was. Like, any of it. I don’t get the plot. I don’t get the motivations of the characters. I don’t get it. And you didn’t really follow the prompt either so… yeah.
Hah. I dig it. Fun twist, great sacrifice line (blood, wine, and salt water), always enjoy a solid end of the world. It’s a little short, though. And it skews a little closer to a funny idea to type some words about than an actual story. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I do that, too. It’s just a thing to note. I liked this.
This is publishable. I have no notes. Strong opener. Powerful ending. Incredible voice. Just great.
This was silly and clever and for the exact same reason. I love that you flipped the prompt around in the way that you did. The dolphin character kind of came out of nowhere. You should consider a little more foreshadowing of his existence -- not necessarily that he’s, like, a dolphin. Just that he exists at all.
I have a bit of an aversion to mermaid stories due to thunderdome christmas lunacy. So the fact that you overcame my natural inclination of dislike says something about your writing. This is haunting and sad and I’m strangely glad nothing is properly resolved. It makes the story sit on my tongue like a pill, bitterly dissolving, lingering lost past when it should. Good poo poo.
I think my cojudge disliked this a lot more than I did. My biggest issue with it is that you swung for the fences on a bold style and just didn’t land it. At all. It’s more difficult to read than it should be. Your dialogue doesn't cover enough gaps to cover the general lack of descriptions. Even the story itself doesn’t make a lot of sense. One woman with a gun can’t hold an entire facility hostage indefinitely
I don’t remember why we didn’t dm this on principle. You didn’t fulfill the prompt at all. You just wrote about the queen being a cannibal. Which is fine, I guess, but it wasn’t the point of the week.
Brutal title. Just brutal. Which reminds me, I think I owe someone a title from Gachadome. I need to look into that… Anyway, you had an additional (and extremely difficult) modifier to the week with your title and you managed to pull it off. That in itself is an accomplishment. I especially like the little moment of the demons going “oooooh” post gsm reveal. You do kinda end on “and then the real story begins” bit which I’m never a fan of but it’s fairly forgivable here. This reminds me of Umbrella Academy in a way (the show, strangely, is better than the original comics, at least imho -- you’d probably dig it [the show, I mean])
Fascinatingly original yet familiar feeling at the same time. A well pulled off feat. Lots of little things in here that are delicious: “They mean it's choreographed. Of course it is.” or “ I know his uncle's hired him the best shamanic tutors in the business, but it takes time he hasn't had.” You use your words really well. You carry a lot of meaning in small sections. Slick. Very slick.
You tackled a very difficult subject and you did it with grace. Great job with the breadcrumbs and the foreshadowing. By the time you play your reveal, it leaves a pit in my stomach. Like, of course. How else could it have been? But you don’t see it coming until it’s right there. I reread this several times. Very sad. I feel it in my gut. Good work.
This is hilarious. Ludicrous but hilarious. I really enjoy how you tied the two extremely different concepts together, especially at the end. Somehow, you managed to make this feel totally realistic even though it’s nuts. A fun read.
country western week
Big Fluffy Dog
You take too long to find your footing. I’d say your first 200+ words are just setting up your story -- which isn’t great because your story is 800 words. And you had 1600 to play with. Which is also not great. Blah blah blah Santa had a bad son. See what I did? Summarized everything in less than ten words. That’s all that was actually important in your opening bit. Everything else is meaningless. Pretty words? Maybe. But meaningless. Similarly, your submission isn’t really a story. It’s a summary of an interesting idea. I’d like to see what happens when you take your interesting idea and make it dance with a plot, with character development, with conflict.
You have a good voice without putting apostrophes for an accent. Fighting side. Hollers. That sort of thing. I have no idea what’s going on here. But I like it. Whatever weird world you’ve built, whatever strange machinations are occuring, I’m into ‘em. This has a very O Brother vibe in all the best ways.
There are certainly better writers (and teachers) here in the dome that could help correct some of your issues here. Formatting could use some work. Your ending is abrupt and perhaps unneeded. Sections of your descriptions (especially in the beginning) drift towards being long winded. But this beautiful in a way I can’t describe. Every sentence is evocative to me. The pain of the man reaches out and takes hold of me. His letter, in particular, is striking. So often when I read stories like this there isn’t a break between the voice of the narrator and the voice of the character but you’ve done a remarkable job of creating a completely different voice. It truly sounds like a letter. A real letter. Not a narrative device used by a writer but something someone actually wrote. Even the man’s words at the end. His hopefulness and belief of his own ability to change is… He’s hopeless. And the juxtaposition there is great.
I had to reread your first sentence several times to figure out that it was describing a train. And this is during a week where I’m specifically looking for trains. I dig the setting. Dead and living working chain gangs is a good line. Its a little heavy on action and a little light on everything else though. Sprinkle in some more character development and we’re in business.
Tense issues in the first paragraph -- not a great start. You could use some more sentence variation, too. There is a lot of: she is this way, he is this way, she can’t do this, he wants to do that, da dum da dum da dum da dum. Break things up some more would you? You tied everything up with a bow at the end. You didn’t need to do that. Don’t tell me she’s at peace. Let her be at peace. Trust me to get it. Or figure out why I’m not and write better.
“Do the needful.” Soliiid voice. Good story overall. The only thing I’d like some more clarification on is why Mother Coyote is doing what she’s doing. Perhaps I’m missing some sort of cultural knowledge? I know coyotes are typically tricksters but this is a bit further along than that, yeah?
Pepe Silvia Browne
I guess that counts as using Athena but I'm not happy about it. Also, I prefer italics to all caps for emphasis -- maybe that's your style but most of the time I find it a bit amateurish. You spend a lot of time describing their situation in nice words but those take up a lot of space that could be better used moving the story along. This feels more like the start of a much longer story rather than something self contained.
Ha, great opener. I'm already digging your voice and I'm itching to see what comes next. Yeah, so, this is just really well done. You sprinkle in world building and setting as you move a long the plot rather than info dumping me. And it's interesting. Interesting characters, too. Enjoyable read.
I don't have a lot to say. Good voice. Good characters. Funny, appropriate, ending. Complete prompt. Hits some emotions. Oh, and funny use of your assignment. Nice read. I dig it.
I guess maybe you just didn't want to fail? Like I said in the judgement post, I'm not sure how you managed to make an Armageddon rip-off and replace the giant meteor with a dragon and have me dislike it but you did. This should have been a hit.
|# ? Feb 9, 2020 04:46|
The Speedboat and The Seaplane
The speedboat and the seaplane were passionately in love, but the yachts would never let them be together. The yachts said their relationship was disgusting, unnatural, like a seagull wanting to gently caress an otter.
But it wasn’t the fact that they both went on water that brought the seaplane and the speedboat together. It was the roar of their engines. The heady smell of burning diesel. The first time they met, the speedboat had gunned her engine, pressed her rear end against the lake and sent her wake arching up in a cockerel-tail challenge. The seaplane loved her immediately. Their propellers had throbbed in perfect synchrony as they raced across the lake, alone in their speeding bubble of love.
The yachts had puffed up their spinnakers and snapped their halyards against their masts, but the seaplane and the speedboat ignored their windy protestations. So, you know what those long-hulled bastards did? They locked the speedboat in the marina.
Inside her prison the speedboat watched her lover descend, wings shining in the morning sun, towards their meeting place. The yachts’ sails crackled with laughter. The speedboat felt like someone had yanked out her bungs and she was slowly sinking to the dark and silty bottom.
In the river mouth opposite the marina a chattering family of otters caught the speedboat’s attention. A sleek-furred female with a frog dangling from her mouth trotted up the bank towards a waiting seagull. The seagull and the otter rubbed their necks together, then settled down on the warm grass to share the frog. The speedboat thought of her lover, waiting for her. She felt a surge of anger, so strong she thought her heart might burst.
gently caress those yachts. The speedboat gunned her engine and let out a deep, throaty roar. She red-lined her rev-counter and hurled herself around in a tight doughnut. With each rotation she sent a bow-wave rolling out under the marina gate and across the lake.
The seaplane, anxious and adrift, felt a series of waves pulse against his floaters. His heart leapt as he recognised his lover’s rhythmic touch. He spun his propellers and slapped his floaters against the surface in response.
The speedboat’s motor trilled as the seaplane’s waves kissed her hull. She spun faster, and out on the lake the seaplane leapt and bounced, until the whole lake was rocking and rolling with their exertions and the stuck-up yachts cried out in alarm.
Water sloshed over the marina’s low wall and the speedboat saw her chance. She jammed her stern down, lifted her prow and opened her throttle all the way. She winced as the concrete scraped her keel but then she was over and accelerating past the mortified yachts. She joined her waiting lover and together their propellers sang a song of roaring wind and speed and love.
The seaplane and the speedboat didn’t wait to see whether the yachts learnt their lesson and mended their prejudiced ways. Instead, they moved to the coast, where they lived happily ever after.
|# ? Feb 9, 2020 05:36|
Liam Was a Working Man
Here's what you all need to know about Liam. So it was about a week before Christmas, and we're putting on a party, the guys in the local spreading cheer to the neighborhood kids. Only Banya is sick, got himself a mad flu, and he's the only person we have with the body type to pull off Santa. Well, Liam steps right up. He stuffs every pillow in our apartment inside that big red suit, and springs for a nice twenty-dollar fake beard from the costume shop, the kind you glue on. He steps out on the stage, and we're all trying to keep ourselves from busting a gut right there. But then the kids show up, and it's like magic. He has them all believing in Santa, the Christmas spirit, and the IWW, even the ones too old for that first one.
So we finish up handing out all the presents to the kids and Liam and I decide we're not quite ready to head home, so we hit up a couple of bars, generally have ourselves a time. We're in no shape to drive home, so we walk. But on the way we get braced by a half dozen Salvation Army Santas. We had ourselves a difference of opinion. They object to a publicly drunk Santa. We object to about a century of bigotry and supporting the bosses. I get into their faces. They poke at Liam's pillows. He starts singing The Preacher and the Slave. I join in at the chorus.
"You'll have pie in the sky when you die."
So I get sucker-punched. When I get up Liam's being pummeled from all sides. The pillows help a bit, though, and he's fighting back. I jump in, but it's six on two. We got our licks in, but at the end of it it's us moaning and bleeding in the alleyway.
We stay there for a while, a bit too drunk and hurting to get up for long. But then we start to hear something. Something rustling behind us, something making yipping noises from the Texas Table dumpster. Liam gets up. I do too, staggering and leaning, and we can see someone has put a cinder block on top of the lid.
Now I'm thinking skunk, or maybe raccoon, and I say as much. Liam just shrugs. "Nothing deserves to be caged up like that." He lifts the block and drops it. I have to jump back to keep it from hitting my foot, so I can't see in when he opens up the dumpster.
"What is it?" I ask.
"Calm down little fellow," he says. I figure it isn't to me.
We ended up late on the rent that month, thanks to the vet. But that turned out to be the sweetest little dog I've ever known, and Liam let me keep him when he moved in with Misty. Little mutt, black hair, probably mostly Collie. We named him Nicolas.
|# ? Feb 9, 2020 09:47|
Maybe It Was The Rain
It was raining a decade ago, and not everyone had smart phones.
They had arranged a meeting in a public place. After all, they were strangers on the internet. Sure, that smile in the pictures was radiant. Sure, she sounded genuine in the hilarious profile that talked about pie and video games. Can never tell, though. Best not to exchange numbers until meeting in person.
Daria reconsidered as the time of the date passed. Five minutes turned to ten, twenty.
She finally ordered food and the surly waitress might have had a sympathetic tone as she asked if she could get Daria anything else.
As she was finishing her sandwich - avocado, sprouts, greens enough to satisfy - Daria wondered if her date had gotten lost. The woman was driving an hour and a half. Something else might have come up. Daria wouldn't know until she got back online. Or she might never hear from this woman again.
C'est la vie, she thought, and took out her book.
The door opened, and a woman with fabulous breasts, a bright green raincoat, lightly flushed cheeks, and rain droplets in her hair came in.
“Daria? I'm Grace.”
Daria smiled as the story spilled out - this little restaurant was down an alley and Grace had started going the other way and had grossly underestimated rush hour traffic and she had assumed that Daria would think she had been stood up and go home, but Grace wanted to try the restaurant before driving all the way back.
Then they were talking, and Daria found herself talking over Grace, but they both kept doing it, the words and stories and thoughts tumbling out of them both with no offense taken or meant. It was so comfortable, like they were friends catching up after years apart. Like old souls meeting again this time around. They talked of tractors and National Public Radio, of books and movies, favorite Final Fantasy games, and future dreams. Grace's eyes were bright and that smile was even better in person.
There was finally a pause in conversation as well as a pointed clatter of dishes being bused next to them. Four hours had passed that seemed like mere minutes.
Daria walked Grace back to her car. It was still raining, but Grace had taken Daria's hand. They ended up walking around for half an hour trying to find which garage had Grace's car and Daria worked up the courage to ask for a kiss before Grace went back.
Soft lips and stopped heart like being sixteen again, like her first kiss ever but so much better because Daria knew what she wanted from life now. And when she could open her eyes again she saw wonder and joy in Grace's face. Daria wanted to see a lot more of that; she wanted more of this beautiful woman in her bed but also in her life.
“Drive safe. I can't wait to see you again.”
|# ? Feb 9, 2020 13:51|
The Soda Story
Word Count: 444 words
a friendly penguin fucked around with this message at 12:12 on Jan 3, 2021
|# ? Feb 9, 2020 14:20|
How I Met Your Mother
Strands of hot, melty cheese stretched and pulled taut before snapping and curling back towards the pizza. Jerry lifted the slice towards his mouth and devoured it in three, near inhuman, bites. Strands of cheese clung to his cheeks like veiny rivulets as he chewed eagerly, listening to Hugh tell a litany of stories that flowed seamlessly into one another.
Boss fights to bad dates, once Hugh got going you were just in for the ride and Jerry didn’t mind one bit. Hugh ran his mouth while Jerry filled his. Somewhere between a story about a flat tire and his aunt’s wine addiction, Hugh decided he needed a drink, and Jerry agreed, as he wiped away skeins of loose cheese onto a napkin.
He got up from his chair, all six and a half feet of him, and turned smack dab into a cartoonishly dressed burglar. Wool knit balaclava, leather gloves that some how managed to only cover about 50% of his hands, and a stolen red pleather purse with an owner frantically chasing after it.
The burglar groaned as he crashed onto the sidewalk. Jerry who had begun to process what was happening, with the rationale that only five beers and four slices of pizza could provide, leaped into the air, all three hundred pounds of him, and dived onto the thief like a drunken wrestler.
Debbie caught up just as Jerry had pinned the crook, but between beers, pizza and sudden heroics, his stomach took a turn for the worse and he regurgitated his booze fueled dinner all over the burglar.
Debbie and Hugh stepped back and began to retch, as the burglar vomited through his balaclava, thoroughly disgusted with chewed pizza chunk and bile infused beer that had seeped through his mask.
Then Jerry, nauseated by the display, vomited again, causing Debbie and Hugh who had been holding it together up until that point, to finally let loose the contents of their own stomachs.
When the police finally arrived, Jerry had against all grotesque odds, managed to get Debbie’s number, while pinning a vomit caked criminal to the ground no less.
|# ? Feb 9, 2020 18:48|
Tony had always liked to listen to Mary’s music. At first she’d thought it was flattery. Nice words for first dates, like always. But even as they grew closer, he’d never stopped bopping his head to the rhythm of her guitar. Humming along with her words. Something about her music “touched him”, he said, “in the corniest way possible.”
“I think you should audition for USA Superstar,” he said one day.
It was a stupid idea, but to her annoyance, he kept bringing it up, and to her even greater annoyance, one day she caught herself daydreaming about it, and well, if you knew her, that was pretty much that.
They’d prepared for the audition for weeks. Every night she got home from one of her day jobs, waiting tables at the café down the road, or standing in attendance at Boode’s, the fancy bag store over across the river, where the rich people lived. And her feet always hurt, but her hands were eager to play and Tony was eager to listen to her, no matter how long his day had been.
At some point he started handing out stickers to her. “For excellence in kicking rear end at music.” It was one of those stupid things that made her practice even when life sucked some days. She’d stick each one on her guitar, wearing them all like badges.
Things changed when Tony got sick. At first he’d just lose a little appetite. Push the plate away a few bites sooner. Then he’d have stomach aches, or fall asleep while she was playing. Then came the vomiting and the fevers.
The diagnosis – appendicitis – came two weeks ahead of the audition. The surgery would be the day after. They talked, and Tony’s stance was clear: she had to go.
It was their first major argument, and it kept going back and forth for days: her insisting she wouldn’t leave him the night before his surgery, him insisting he would be fine without her for a night, and more importantly: that she would be fine without him.
“You got this,” he said, even still from his hospital bed. He won the argument there. Insisted it wasn’t a dangerous surgery. That he’d be fine. He kept saying that even long after he’d convinced her. It was only on the way out that she realized he'd been trying to convince himself.
Their cheap ‘93 Ford Escort was waiting for her in the parking lot. She opened the door to the driver’s seat, and then closed it again. Instead, something made her go for the trunk. The guitar inside was polished to perfection, to hide the blemishes, the age. She’d only left the stickers on. In the reflection of the sundown sky, they almost seemed like happy little clouds.
She took the guitar out of the trunk and went back inside.
“Baby,” Tony said. “Come on. Not tonight.”
“Shut up,” she said. She pulled up a chair and started playing.
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 00:01|
"Maybe we can turn him upside down and, like, shake him?"
Ivy looked at Matt, exasperated. Ruffles sniffed around their feet and looked up with watery eyes, seemingly hurt by the suggestion.
"Aisha can't find out. Dave's been on her about getting rid of the dog with the kid on the way. This'll seal it."
Matt scratched Ruffles behind his ear and looked over at Ivy with surprise.
"Give away Ruffles? But Ivy's had him since he was a puppy. This little pile of fuzz?" Matt gave the dog a vigorous scratch.
The basset hound let out a belch. Matt scanned the ground. Nothing. Ivy lifted an ottoman, then turned back to Matt.
"You're sure he swallowed them, right? Like, they're not just under a chair?"
Matt was massaging the dog's belly, hoping for another belch.
"Yeah. I mean, I'm pretty sure. One second he's the doggy ringbearer, then the case is open, the rings are gone, and he's sitting there drooling."
Ivy was looking at her phone, barely listening. "It says here that dogs take like 6 hours to poo poo out something they ate. We're totally hosed, Matt. And even if we weren't, I'm not digging through dog poo poo."
Matt was solemn. "I'll dig through poo poo if we have to."
Ivy touched him on the shoulder. "Dude, the ceremony is in a couple hours. We're not even in the realm of poop."
Matt had started pacing. Ruffles followed.
"Okay, we could take Ruffles on a run? Like, maybe that would get things moving faster?"
Ruffles perked up at the mention of running, his tail dancing. Matt kept talking.
"We could go to the store and get him some ex-lax. No! I've got it." He looked at Ivy.
Ruffles' tail went still.
"You take off your wedding ring, I take off mine, we put those in the box, they're not going to call it out at the ceremony, and then afterwards we explain the whole thing."
Ivy shook her head.
"One, I'm not running in this dress. Two, the ex-lax idea ends in two lost rings plus a very sick and potentially dead dog. I'm not even going to dip into idea three." She frowned. "It's stupid, Matt. Real, real stupid."
Matt knelt down. He put his hands on the dog's head and looked Ruffles in the eye.
"What if ol' Ruffles is just scared? I mean, they get married, Dave makes Ivy give him away, and Ruffles ends up at a, uh, nice farm upstate. So he ate the rings."
Ruffles let out a mournful bay.
For the first time, Ivy stopped to regard the dog. She sat down next to Ruffles and gave him some love.
"No one's gonna send you away, pooch. Not over some dumb rings."
Ruffles snuffled and let out a colossal belch. Two rings tumbled to the ground, sticky with saliva. Matt looked down at them. Ivy put her hand to her mouth.
Ruffles wagged his tail.
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 00:58|
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 01:05|
No story chat in the thread, go to discord or fiction advice.
stfu you chuntering buffoon
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 01:10|
A Good Act of Contrition
The old man left a mess, when he died. Boxes piled on bulging boxes, dust-covered jars full of stuff, endless tins of screws. I got there on Wednesday morning, fired up and ready to clear it out so we could sell the house. By Thursday evening, I was broken and was lying on the carpet, looking up, waiting for my brother.
It was a good roof. Nice rose pattern round the lampshade. The plaster had cracked off in the corner but that was to be expected: things fall apart. Adhesion fails. The broken bits on the roof looked like an angel. A big-arsed angel with her wings stuck out. When was the last time I’d talked to my Da? December? No, the month before. It hadn’t gone well, he’d been drunk, I’d been angry. Probably because I couldn’t join him any more. Curse of the Irish, we’re born in a puddle of liquid and spend our lifetime trying to get back in it to finish the job.
I let the notion of popping the bottle of uisce I’d found tucked away behind the wainscoting slide into my mind. I’d given it up, of course, nearly six years now, but no one would blame me. It would almost be a virtuous act of remembrance. I was running through exactly what it would be like to twist the cap – that little crick – when the front door slammed open.
“Death Inspector, anyone dead here, looking for a stiff, hello,” called my brother. He’d always been annoying but right then he was exactly what I needed so with a physical effort of will I converted the act of standing up into a peristaltic squeeze that alley-ooped all thoughts of booze out my brain sphincter.
“I’m in here ya eejit,” I yelled back. “Three tenths of a living man on current reckoning.”
He poked his head round the corner, big bearded face grinning. “You’re covered in dust. Like a mummy. How’s it been?”
I gave myself a pat or two, then looked at the white powdery stain my hands left. “Better, I think. How’s yourself?” His face blurred a bit as I was looking at him.
Brendan opened his yap to say something then closed it and took a few steps and grabbed me tight. I grabbed him back. He felt good to put my arms around, all big and warm. I rested my chin on his shoulder and felt the tears trickle for a bit. They felt companionable.
“Do you remember,” he said. His voice was thick. “D’you remember the Sunday lunches in here?”
I nodded, and gripped him tighter.
“There was you, and me, and Mam. Da at the head, with his bitty glass of red. And he would conduct us in the hymn, with his glass? Sun coming in that window through the leaves, in summer.”
“Jam tart, for afters,” I said quietly.
“Aye. That was good.”
We stood there, swaying, alone together, adrift on a raft of memories.
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 04:04|
The Thing About That Guy in the Tux
Billy was our go-to accomplice. Needed help hiding kegs for Winter Break? Billy was glad to move them for ya. You wanna superglue a teacher’s eraser to the chalk tray? Billy would run interference. Dosing a mascot’s Gatorade with laxatives? You get the idea. So junior year, when I asked Billy if he’d help me throw an in-class barbeque at the Calculus Exam, I knew it was good as done.
Here’s how we did it: my backpack held condiments, soda, and two George Foreman grills. Billy’s had raw meat, icepacks, buns, and cheddar. Like with any other exam, all backpacks went under our desks. But I’d grabbed a spot so close to an outlet, I managed to preheat the grills, plugging them in while making like I was lacing up my shoes.
Billy and I powered through the exam. When it got to about an hour left, we nodded at each other from across the room, walked our backpacks to the classroom’s rear, and dumped our barbeque stuff onto a table.
Luckily it was Mr. Divorski proctoring; we were pretty sure he couldn’t stop us. When he saw what we were doing, he stood up, tugged the bottom of his sweater vest and said, “Young, men? EXCUUUSEE ME.”
And Billy was all, “‘Eyy, Divorski, how d'ya like your burgers?”
So we stuffed various meats into the grills. The class looked on, stunned. But soon as the barbeque smell filled the classroom, people were fixing to get some.
Meanwhile Divorski was stomping his feet, appealing to our good reason, saying, “I doooon’t think you gentlemen are certified for food service in schoool.” Then Billy pointed out his fly was down, so Divorski got all red-faced and excused himself to the bathroom. He even took a hall pass on the way out.
The few remaining exam-takers cheated in Divorski’s absence and everybody else got fed. Random faculty in the hallway were asking “what smells so good on this floor?” We even invited a hall monitor to try a sloppy joe.
Anyhow, the next day we were getting blistered in Principal Schalot’s office when Billy offered to take full responsibility. Now remember, the whole thing was my idea. Billy could’ve ratted me out for leniency. Instead he took it all upon himself, facing possible suspension and everything. I came clean to Schalot regardless, but Billy wasn’t having it. He insisted he’d made me do it. Ended up we just got mandatory cafeteria service. Under his breath, Schalot even praised Billy’s sense of loyalty.
Everybody knows Billy’s made some oddball decisions over the years, but one thing that’s still true about him is the loyalty. Doesn’t matter who he’s with, he’s ready to sacrifice for them. That goes for me, for his family, and lately for father-of-the-bride and all-around good sport, Mr. Divorski himself. And in case you’re wondering, any barbeque we went and served in the cafeteria never saw the inside of a backpack.
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 04:23|
The Tipping Point
As the sea kayak flips and Mike hits the water, he knows at once that he's going to die. He's on his back, limbs flailing, woozy with terror, until he realizes his life vest is keeping him afloat. He takes a few heaving breaths and tries to coordinate his limbs. Maybe he's not dying today. Maybe.
Mike focuses on righting himself in the water, and he remembers Danielle. He can hear her laughing, somewhere close by, but where is she? He sees one of her flip-flops floating away, a little scrap of purple foam on a wave, and grabs for it, but his clumsy thrashing seems to only send it further away. Mike realizes his blurry vision isn't just from water; his glasses are gone. Somewhere, Danielle is still laughing.
This is it, Mike knows: this is the point where it all starts going wrong. This is the story that Danielle will tell her next boyfriend about him, as the moment she'd lost the last bit of respect for him, when he'd proved himself too fundamentally incompetent to love. Why the drat sea kayak, when he hadn't even gone swimming in ages? How did he always, always, manage to fail some stupid little task that a proper adult would have aced? Chest tightening, mind in free fall, Mike can barely tread water.
And then Danielle's by his side, face blurry, possibly smiling? She's very still in the water; it takes Mike a confused second or two to realize she's standing. "Babe, put your feet down! We're in the shallows."
The moment Mike's feet find the sand, the body-terror ebbs away, and he realizes a few things in quick succession: one, the water is about four feet deep; two, his glasses are hanging off their cord, resting on his chest; three, Danielle has a hand on his waist, to keep him steady.
"God," he sputters, "I'm so sorry. I'm an idiot -- freaking out in shallow water. I couldn't even get your flip-flop back."
"And that's what, three dollars lost? Just buy me a new pair if you feel that guilty about it. C'mon, let's walk this boat back to shore."
It's a short walk to the relative solidity of hot sand and a towel for Mike to wipe his glasses off. When he can see Danielle properly again, she's still smiling, and it seems real -- no frustration, irritation, disgust. She's just Danielle, smiling absently as she picks through their cooler and pulls out sandwiches. "What's best for lunch after aquatic disaster?" she says. "PB&J or chicken salad?"
"Chicken. Or albatross."
When Mike tells this story later, at the wedding reception and all the decades after, he undersells his fear. It's easy to play up the panic, the body-terror, and better to ignore all the rest. He always ends, though, on the one thing his gut is right about that day: that he's Danielle's, then and forever.
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 04:42|
End the cull-serpent. So commanded the God-Empress, Thaeo’s wife-to-be.
Thaeo raced Mateus toward the writhing, scintillating horizon, where the huge snake was methodically flattening the world under its jewel-encrusted bulk. Thaeo noticed with rueful satisfaction that his young paramour matched him bound-for-bound; soon, they would be of a common strength, and Mateus would be well within his rights to challenge Thaeo for the Sacred Drinking Horn of Masculus.
What that meant for their arrangement, neither man could say.
Presently, the Horn—a hollow coil of banesheep’s horn filigreed with silver runes—hung in its customary place at Thaeo’s side, swinging in time with his movements. He felt the Horn’s power thrumming against his body, as though the artifact were straining against its own shape, yearning to unfurl into the world.
The two men emerged onto the cracked and blistering Fugue planes. The air was choked with mountainous dust clouds churned up by the cull-serpent’s thrashing, and the world shook with the weight of trillions of tons of living diamond as the snake threw itself against the earth again and again.
“No games,” Thaeo said. “Go straight for the killing place behind its head, where skull meets spine.”
“That’s it? Do you not wish to taste my lips for luck before we face our doom?” Mateus’s tone was too light, too ironic.
“There’ll be time for that after we do what we came here to do,” Thaeo snapped. “Don’t be frivolous.”
He charged forward into the wind and dust before he could see the hurt look on Mateaus’s face. It was bad luck to kiss before battle, anyway.
The serpent was the size of a city. In the dust-churned air, only the scintillations of its diamond hide were visible through the billowing murk, so Thaeo followed the bellows of its breath to its wedge-shaped island of a head. As he ran, he lifted the Horn of Masculus to his lips, allowing restless, pent-up power to flow into his body and invigorate his limbs.
He lunged for the serpent’s molten eyes, was greeted instead by its onyx teeth, each as long as the God-Empress's palace was tall. He warred with the snake’s mouth, growing more certain with every moment that Mateaus lay crushed and broken beneath the glittering leviathan’s bulk.
A great shudder went through the cull-serpent, a morbid clattering of diamond scales as the snake collapsed onto the Fugue Planes. Thaeo spilled out of the impossible beast’s mouth, breathing hard, feeling the power of the Horn recede from him in the wake of battle.
Mateaus emerged from the dusty murk, body coated in quicksilver blood, sword dragging a line in the cracked earth. His eyes wandered down Thaeo’s tired body to the Horn at his hip, and in that moment Thaeo knew he could no more protect the Horn than fight another cull-serpent.
Mataeus knelt down, extended a hand—
And revealed a feverish sliver of blue: a shard of the snake’s heart.
“For your God-Empress wife-to-be,” he said, smirking. “Now, will you taste my lips?”
Thaeo did, the kiss lasting long past the final shudders of the cull-serpent’s body.
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 04:52|
Submissions officially close in a few minutes but I'm pretty sure everyone has now submitted. Arbitaryfairy, please email me at [redacted] so we can wrap up the week with a little fjgj.
Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 10:43 on Feb 10, 2020
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 04:55|
I want a story that is short and sweet and maybe a little funny that could be used in a speech.
I feel like that's pretty explicit. Was this not clear? Was I overly vague in what I wanted this week? I have to assume that I did something wrong because, like, half of you managed to gently caress this up. Honestly I'm at a loss for words. I wanted the challenge to be the word count. Not the loving concept. I guess it was too much for me to expect loving goons to have ever gone to a loving wedding before. Jesus.
AstronautCharlie loses. As much as I squint at this, as much as I try to give you the benefit of the doubt of writing in good faith, I feel like your eyes just glazed over the prompt. Like, yeah, you write about love in a general sense. And your writing in of itself isn't bad! But drat if this wouldn't be horrible to listen to during a wedding speech. Just awkward and uncomfortable.
Azza Bamboo dms. This was... I don't... God. Me and my cojudge had an honest discussion as to whether or not you were trying to lose on purpose. If you were, let me know and I'll also award you the loss. We can just have two losses this week. Ultimately, we decided you were just writing a joke piece that we simply didn't find funny. Again, though, correct me if we were wrong.
Doctor Eckhart also dms. You got cute with the prompt. Sometimes that pays off. Sometimes it doesn't. This time it didn't.
Pththya-lyi hms. Arbitraryfairy really liked your story. I liked it good enough not to argue. Even if you didn't quite stick the ending.
Antivehicular also hms. This was great writing. This was what I was hoping for when I made the prompt. Everyone should read this story and then read theirs and see the difference. Thank you! This was a pleasure to read.
Anomalous Amalgam wins by hair. You wrote a little dangerously but you struck a cord with both judges. Congratulations. The blood throne is yours.
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 09:57|
Anomalous Amalgam is a winner, yet he bears the losers mark. This will not do: scroll him up.
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 10:35|
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 14:36|
Post a prompt
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 14:40|
Against all odds, I have somehow triumphed over you meat bags. This being the case, I want you to look forward towards the future, far beyond the span of our mortal reign... I want you to peer into the nebulaic dreamscapes of our mechanical descendants and bring back fantastic stories from their dreams about what may be. Your human life has ended, your machine life has begun.
When you sign up I'll give you three images from Artbreeder
Put simply, not a lot of constraints here - take the images, stew over them, extrapolate and present a story so that you too may sit upon this blood throne.
If you request a flash, I'll give you a song to draw inspiration from, but it'll be metal.
Sign up deadline: Friday, February 14th 11:59 PM US CST
Submission deadline: Sunday, February 16th 11:59 PM US CST
Word Count: 1,000 words, an extra 500 with a flash song.
Organic Transcription Devices...?
Anomalous Amalgam fucked around with this message at 21:46 on Feb 16, 2020
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 15:50|
IN hit me with that metal flash.
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 16:03|
In and flash
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 16:12|
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 16:14|
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 16:16|
wedding speech crits
Saucy you dumb poo poo. This is stupid and absurd and it made me laugh pretty much consistently the whole way through. It also, technically, falls within the prompt in the broadest interpretation of it so I can’t be outrageously irritated because you kept your writing within the confines of the it. What else, uh, the name gag is good. The shirt bit is good. The ending is almost stunning in the simultaneous stupidity and cleverness of the reveal. You’re a treat and I’m always glad to see you sign up.
I told you you didn’t have to say anything like “What can I say about my homie, Macaroni? How about I tell you the story of how we came to be together today” and yet here we are. With that being said, I like the way homie Macaroni rolls off the tongue.
Oh this is about food
Oh I didn’t like this
This is what I get for wanting a nice prompt I guess.
Pasta way is funny if you like puns (I don’t but how could you know that?). Al dente is solid word play post food reveal. The anus line, in the moment, struck me as almost shudderingly grotesque. I wonder if you’d used “butt” instead if that would have made a difference. I haven’t made up my mind on it, though.
Also, I know you weren’t trying to lose on purpose. That was just a little kayfabe. I actually appreciate that you took a risk and I hate that I had to dm you. Unfortunately, them’s the ropes when you write jokes in Thunderdome. If they hit, awesome. If they don’t… You know, I wonder how I would have liked this if I hadn’t immediately read Saucy_Rodent’s absurdity beforehand
So everyone is just going to be cute with the prompt this week huh? gently caress me. Okay, so, this technically fulfills what I asked for if I open myself up to super broad interpretations. And maybe if the previous two entries hadn’t been what they were I’d be in a better mood about this (so I guess that’s not really fair to you but what can ya do?). This is a sad little story. I appreciate that it makes me feel something so you do have that going for you. I think you could have done more with the imaginary character than just “oh i can’t ever help you.” Have the character be more emotionally supportive in lieu of their lack of physical presence and then you might actually have something for me to sink my teeth into.
“Let me tell you a story about the kind of person Jaime is.” I was pretty open in the prompt that this wasn’t necessary. Yet I have another story that did it anyway. I should have been more explicit that I didn’t want it.
Ha, I like that she left a Piggly Wiggly. First off, it’s just a funny name. Second, I have a lot of stupid yet amusing memories involving Piggly Wigglys so you accidently slip into a bonus point. Nice mish-mash of fantasy and absurd realism. Doesn’t seem like it should work on paper, to be honest. If someone told me the summary of your story before I read it I’d be like… eh… But you mostly pull it off! I’m not sure that “doing the right thing -- eventually” is actually the moral of the story.
Here’s my question to you: do you really think this is a story that could be told in a wedding speech? Because I don’t think it is. I don’t hate this, by the way. I mean, I don’t particularly love the gumming it part -- distracting and unnecessary. The “I could eat a whole cake” aside did a fine job on its own of getting across how high they are. Also you can use italics instead of all caps. But it is pleasant enough to read. It doesn’t really fulfill the prompt, though. Which is disappointing. There are objectively worse stories this week but this is the one that is the most egregiously out of sync with what I was asking for.
Another “cute” take on the prompt. Whyyy?
Yeah this is fine I’m just disappointed. As for crits… uh… gently caress those yachts is a good line. The action is easy to follow. I like that they didn’t wait to see if the yachts learned their lesson. All in all this is fine I guess. I just don’t know why you chose to write this for this prompt. This week wasn’t a general love/wedding week. I was kind of asking for something specific. I’m not going to dock you points though because clearly I did something wrong. This many people shouldn’t all be loving up this badly.
“Here's what you all need to know about Liam.” Was I not clear that this was unnecessary? I feel like I’m losing my mind… I guess I should have all caps DON’T INTRODUCE UR CHARACTER-ed the prompt. Ah. Well. Whatever.
Getting jumped by Salvation Army Santas oh that’s funny. That’s just a funny concept.
So, yeah, this is pretty solid. Good use of your words. It’s a good fulfillment of the prompt in that it demonstrates a positive quality/experience in a short and sweet little bit. It’s not overly love related, not particularly romantic, but it’s easy to see how a best man could incorporate this into a speech. A sentence at the end telling the bride/groom how lucky they are to be with this guy and cheers, we’re tapping champagne glasses (I’m not saying you should have done that -- in fact, I’m glad you didn’t).
One sentence in and I’m intrigued to see how those things fit together.
I was with you until the fabulous breasts bit. Not sure why you thought you needed to include that. Seems unncessarily crude. Very r/menwritingwomen which is going to be weird if you’re a woman sorrryyy.
I’m assuming you copy pasted this from a word doc or something because you have too many spaces between your lines. Always always always do a last second format check before you post.
So, yeah, your opening sentence was actually pretty perfect. It was out there enough to make me stop and think and then you tied together during the story. The in-between, though, needs some work. I need to know what makes this so special. There’s an old adage of “show, don’t tell” and that definitely applies here. You told me they fell in love and talked about a million things. And that would be fine if there was generally more to this story but them falling in love is literally the point of it.
A friendly penguin
I didn’t laugh out loud but I audibly exhaled twice so there’s that. I’m not particularly a fan of puns (I hate them) but I like the “you’re doing great” bit. Casual sexual harassment seems a bit of a weird thing to have come up in a wedding speech if I’m being honest. Since this is fiction and not real life and you can make the issue literally anything, I think you should have made it almost literally anything else. With that being said, my cojudge put this story in their top four so maybe take my crit with a grain of salt.
You made that pizza sound loving delicious
Oh, nice, this made me laugh.
Okay so this is just grande. This is exactly the sort of thing a bride and groom wouldn’t want to hear but that a best man would say anyway. People would laugh. People would be disgusted. A+.
Bad title by the way. Very bad title. You could have just titled “Best Man Speech” or, like, anything else and I’d have been fine with it.
My. Dude. This is an excellent story. Great economy of words. Nothing is wasted. Everything is slick. I don’t have a lot of notes. My only issues relates to how it fits the prompt. Like, how does this get brought up at the wedding? “I want to thank my wife who I supported and loved and encouraged for years to go to this audition and who didn't because I was having surgery?” Not great. Not great. Maybe tack on a “there’s always another audition” or something at the end. Other than that, I liked this.
Carl Killer Miller
Okay so this is super nitpicky and I know that and I'm tempted to just not include it in my crit but here we go: Ruffles was a bad choice for a dog name. You might as well of named it "Fido” as far as ho hum dog name dog name. Stereotypical, yeah? I mean, there's a children's book named Ruffles the dog. Also, Ruffles for a basset hound? Feels off, my guy. Maybe that’s just me and it’s kind of a bullshit crit anyway but I was very distracted by it. Moving on -- I think it would have been better if the dog didn’t throw the rings up. Up to that point I was thinking this works, okay, this works. And now it’s more of a story that maybe wouldn’t get told at a wedding? Especially given that Aisha wants to give the dog away? You went from a story that is going to be a little upsetting but will get funnier over time to just a kinda gross. You know, actually, this might have to be a medical procedure with a vet. I feel like diamonds are not good for doggy intestinal tracts. Now it's not funny again. I'm all over the place here.
Nice little slice of life piece between two brothers. I always dig a good story of two brothers that love each other. And I could see how this could be used in a speech -- detailing how one is always there for the other. Even in the roughest of times. This is sweet and sad and good.
Having been a teacher, you wouldn’t leave the classroom to zip up your fly. Especially during an exam. So, like, plot-wise there is a lot of stuff you might need to rework. Maybe toss out a line of “well, I don’t think you’re certified to dispose of food, are you?” That might could work, especially if the teacher is established as a droll, blind rule follower. I guess? Then he would leave to get the principal and possibly a cafeteria worker which has potential for humor. Don’t have the principal praise his loyalty under his breath. Either make it overt or say that you could see in the principal’s eyes or in his handshake or something. We both liked this story but we both agreed that it was a little far-fetched.
Aw this is sweet. And it feels so real. So very believable. This was the kind of thing I was hoping to get this week. Sweet story. Well written, too. Which is probably more important as far as thunderdome is concerned. And great economy of words. Everything is slick. No wasted space -- which is great seeing as how you’re right along the word limit. I don’t really get the albatross line. This is a contender for the win.
Assuming that you wrote this is in good faith and with intentionality towards the prompt, it's actually quite interesting. It's a story of heroism. Of "good" triumphing valiantly over "evil." And it's one that would surely be spoken of in great detail during the lavish, spectacular wedding to the god-empress. Yet the story told would be incomplete. Vital details of the love between Thaeo and Mateus would be left out (and for good reason since, you know, it's a wedding to someone else). Instead they would simply be friends, comrades, brothers-in-arms. So, yeah, I love the layers to that. Again, though, this is assuming that it's all intentional and that you didn't glance at the prompt and "lol weddings got it" and dashed off with no further thought. Also, I love that the horn is the horn of Masculus. Very nice.
Speaking of taking things too far, I like to think this is basically just a self-insert thunderdome metaphor piece. You're the god-empress (which, truly, you are, o blood queen, o wicked pen liege, o sharp-tongued word master) and I'm the serpent. Which would make Mateus maybe... Thranguy? He's coming up quick in third right now. Mojo? Possibly anti? I'm not up to date on my 'dome meta since I'm not in discord anymore. But I love the thought of you calling foe someone to take my head before I take yours. Which I know I'm totally 100% fabricating on my own but it's fun all the same. Also, I should come back to the discord. I've missed chatting with everyone I've just had a lot come up in my personal life all at once and I’ve needed to take a break from discord, td, and the internet in general for the last couple of months.
Anyway, race you to 27, yeah?
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 16:29|
writing about robots??? a strange departure for me but i'm in
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 16:58|
In with flash
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 17:09|
I think what we saw was a failed metagame where everyone was expecting cute stories about people so wanted to stand out with a risky take, only to be in among risky takes and actually not stand out as a result.
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 17:27|
Cool, me too
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 18:08|
Cool prompt wanna write about robots in
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 18:52|
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 19:04|
I will write a thing
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 19:38|
I am extremely IN
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 20:23|
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 21:44|
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 21:50|
Hey, AstronautCharlie, brawl me.
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 22:37|
|# ? Jul 2, 2022 02:54|
in. Flash me.
|# ? Feb 10, 2020 22:38|