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Found Sound
Jun 8, 2010

This is what you get for running under the wire.

THUNDERDOME


All right, I'm in. I can't not write about spuds.

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Arivia
Mar 17, 2011
Arivia was right


Yes, now too


Arivia isn't wrong, Arivia is just an asshole


Here's mine. I'd be especially interested in any critiques at the end, as this is the first piece of creative writing I've done in, well, ever.

Chantilly Potatoes (744 words)

Bernard was not too tall, not too small. Bernard was a common Frenchman, in every sense. That was his downfall, Bernard reflected.

While his friends - men of wealth, beauty, magnetism - had been able to get all the girls they wanted, Bernard was left alone at night, Chantilly's soft streetlights streaming through his small flat.

Until Bernard found his trick. My trick, he repeated, as if being asked by a pleading disciple on the Rock. Potatoes. Potatoes, the apprentice repeats, eyes open with the gleam of knowledge promised. Potatoes, said Bernard, gesturing with a can of Stella Artois.

Stella was really the beginning, Bernard thought. A medium man, with a face that called no one to Troy or the leper's colony: what chance did he have? Even the ugly got pity fucks. But Bernard knew his trick.

His costume was simple: striped shirt, tiny beret. Something that would get him laughed at by his friends, by polite company; but the stereotype worked all the better on his prey. Ah yes, his prey: he would approach a group of young American women, the kind on scholarship or vacation, one of their funny "gap years" between childhood and really living. And just as he gestured with his glass of Stella, just as he sat down, just as the girls turned to him to say "get away," like you would to the normal Frenchman, the medium Frenchman, he would say a simple phrase: "Have you ever tried French potatoes?"

As he did it, he would look at the one girl. That girl who later on, after a bit too much wine and self-awareness, might try to say in her doe's awkward French "Je t'aime les pommes frites-" and then break out in anxious laughter "-a little too much." The girl who wouldn't get a handsome Frenchman, a tall Frenchman, a good memory to share with her friends in years to come. That was Bernard's girl.

Bernard smiled. After that first line - after he had the girl - little Bernard said actually mattered, but he always went on anyway. "You see, mademoiselles," and here Bernard would take a swig of Stella, as if to fortify himself against some secret police, "there is more to the humble potato in France than just the common pommes frites." A knowing smile, a winking eye across his crowd, even taking the attention of the brunette perched over her phone.

"So much more. And I will be happy to show you the culinary delights of France with just one of your simplest vegetables! Imagine a mash so thick, so creamy, you can cut it with a knife; or the grated potato so crispy and thin it melts in your mouth." His prey's mouth would open an inch in anticipation, the other girls' faces brightening at the hint of forbidden delights. "And best of all, the potatoes named for this beautiful city you are in right now. The Chantilly Potatoes. So creamy, cut with the sharpness of a good cheese, and massaged with the spices of only the best peppercorns." Bernard stood up, leaving his glass of Stella on the table. "So, mademoiselles, shall we taste the true flavours of France?"

What happened for the rest of the afternoon was irrelevant, Bernard thought. Certainly, there was a progression of cafes and restaurants, waiters who knew exactly what little trifle Bernard needed from the menu from the day before and the week behind that: but none of that played to Bernard's goal. Bernard took another sip from his can of Stella. What did matter - and here he raised his hands to the apprentice, giving the great sermon - was the moment that night, when the girl slumbered on his thin plain bed, as Bernard stood at the windows, his cock jutting out among the shadows. What mattered was not the pots and pans filled with half-mashed, all-forgotten potatoes in the tiny kitchen without room for two to stand except inside each others throats. The streetlights streaming through the window, breaking over the girl's pudgy curves: that was Bernard's goal.

And now? Now Bernard was undone, his one jacket clutched around him in the winter cold, his striped shirt threadbare, his can of Stella nothing but dregs. He sucked out the hateful last and threw it across the street. The can hit a window and bounced off with a clang, a window where the streetlights streamed in and potatoes boiled inside.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


The Potatomachy of Farmer Ned

I stood in the field, that day, the sun above a fiery griddle cake sliding down the red-hot sky. I stood there and gazed at my fields. They gazed back like a naked child in a puddle of piss. Feckless, defiant, damp. And devoid of sprouting green.

I shook my head, at last. This maundering booted naught. With heavy tread I plodded across my barren land to the house where I slept of a night. The door was closed. “Woman,” I called. No response came. I banged on the door and she opened it with a jerk as I raised my hand to do it again.

“Jack,” she bellowed, gusty beer breath stinging my eyes, gobbets of watery scurf flying from hers, “Where are the potatoes gone? What will we do? How will we live?”

“Hold!” I commanded. “It is the King of the Fairies who has done this thing.” She gasped. “And I am minded to teach him his error,” I continued. A moment’s fear crossed her eyes like a shadow then they narrowed and I knew I had chosen aright those many years ago. “Hold, husband,” she said and disappeared into the cool dark of our house.

When she returned a moment later she bore a length of thick rope. It was tied in a loop at one end. “This rope may bind him and command a service, my grandpa told me when I was a girl,” she said. “But…”

I held out my arm and she slid the rope over my shoulder. It nestled there like a falcon. “But?” I asked. “A price,” she said quietly, “I can say no more, for no more do I know.”

I grinned. “A price? Why then it is good I am the finest haggler in the land or under it!” She smiled at me as brave a smile as ever a man might want to see, and I turned before she’d see aught that might bely it.

The sun was setting soon but I knew the way to the fairy kingdom was near. I took three turns, muttered a song and jumped from a log, for such is the way that you must go. Though easier always to go than to return.

Where my boots came down the earth was cold. All around was mist and noise both strange and fearful. I shouldered my rope, sniffed the air, chose a direction. As I marched forward I sang my soldier’s song.

The mist curled around me like hands grasping, but I gave them no mind. Nothing in this place had any purchase on a man until he gave it heed, and even then the King was the only sovereign, just as the sun is the king of the sky. And as I thought that thought a light bloomed before me like a rose of fire. I saw a figure wreathed in flame and knew I’d found my man.

“Ho!” I cried and he opened his eyes. They shimmered like the noonwraiths that trouble the grain field on a midsummer afternoon before the reaping. He opened his mouth to enspell me but I was ready.

With a sweep and a whoop, I swung the rope loop of my wife’s father’s father around in a great circle and flicked it over his head. It landed true and he screamed, a girlish noise. I gave it a tug and commanded him. “Lord of elves my fields you’ve spelled! Loose them lest you still be held!”

It is thus you must speak to the fairies, understand. They perceive no sense in speech unless fashioned into words that jingle like the purse of a boy at his first fair.

He hissed at me and the hissing became words. “Your tubers yet will forfeit be, till ne’er again the sun you see!”

I smiled at this, for I knew he was beat. I pulled him close and saw him wince. “And I will keep you close and tight, unless you bless the rest of my sight!” I looked at his glowing face, heard the gasp from the goblins around us.

I spat on my left hand, held it out for his, kept hold of the rope. I knew it would hurt me sore but a man that wound up choosing his affliction in the kingdom of the fairies might count himself fortunate indeed. The king nodded, clasped, squeezed, and I could not hold the scream that pulled me up and out of his land.

I woke, besmirched and burnt, hand a blistered lump upon my arm. Beside me a length of rope, one end blackened as from a flame. Around me a field already green and bristling like a young man’s cheek. I blinked, and raised my eyes towards the morning sky.

Overhead, in pride of place upon the heaven’s mantle, hung the hugest potato that might be imagined. But no sun did I see. Then, or ever yet.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Thought; if someone loses and gets an embarrassing custom title, if they WIN another week, it gets taken away.

Incentive to improve and all that.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Thought; if someone loses and gets an embarrassing custom title, if they WIN another week, it gets taken away.

Incentive to improve and all that.

What but I want the scar of my first loss to be there for eternity, so when I'm rich and famous for my potato-based low fantasy epic heptalogy I can look back at it and weep.

Also I'm signing up.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Hoedown or Throwdown.

Thought: Everyone has to sign up by some arbitrary date. Those who promise and don't deliver get a custom title to that effect.

I say this as someone who didn't post here until I had a near postable draft so I could chicken out if need be.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Thought; if someone loses and gets an embarrassing custom title, if they WIN another week, it gets taken away.

Incentive to improve and all that.

Good idea. We might end up doing that.


Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Hoedown or Throwdown.

Thought: Everyone has to sign up by some arbitrary date. Those who promise and don't deliver get a custom title to that effect.

I say this as someone who didn't post here until I had a near postable draft so I could chicken out if need be.

I was already planning on doing something to this effect.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Here's my entry for the contest: Martello's post history holding a potato.

I feel agony when I read them, anyway.

There's approximately 14 hours until the due date. You have been warned.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Like Nautatrol said, you have less than 24 hours until 0200 EST on Friday, 10 August. If you don't submit by then after signing up, you'll have a shiny new avatar.

Mecca-Benghazi
Mar 31, 2012



Martello posted:

Autumn, bring JHM in here.

SC Bracer posted:

I dunno, having all three of you in one thread sounds beautiful.
Don't you bastards tempt me.

This is my first attempt ever at a present-tense narrative. Figured I might try something new; I've been doing low fantasy third-person for forever.

Sacks, 653 words
“One potato, two potato, three potato, four…is that how it goes?” He tugs at his sleeve, trying to remember, but gives up. The memories are too hazy at this point.

The man pushes the gate open with a light touch. A path heavy with dust and memories winds its lazy way through what looks to be the last survivors of a garden. On the other side of the gate, sack in either hand, lies an elderly man, hair white and wild like a proper scientist, wrinkles like a swimmer’s hands after a long day. His chest moves up and down.

“Mister Zivon Venera?”

Venera’s eyes open, widen. He stands up and backs away, holding the sacks behind him.

“I assume so…will you come with me Mister Venera?”

Venera backs away even further, back against the pitiful remains of a hedge. The sacks are clutched in front now, tighter than any mother would—should—hold her new-born. “Get away!”

The man clicks bony fingers against the handle of a scythe. “Come now Mister Venera. That’s not fair.” He has heard this before and rather would not hear it again. “There is nothing left you know,” he adds, not unkindly.

“You—you…they…they can’t—”

The man moves forward and holds his free hand out. Venera pauses, jerks a hand back, moves to hand it over, jerks his hand back, hands over one of the sacks, letting it drop into the other man’s hand. “I know.” He sets the bag down gently and opens it. Potatoes. About six or seven of them, still coated with dirt.

Venera shakes his head, like the sun has finally peeked out from behind a cloud. But that is impossible. “Do…do you want one?” Venera asks, unclenching the hand with the other sack and leaning back against the hedge. He slides down into a sitting position, head in hands, letting out a long sigh.

“I would not be able to enjoy it if I did have one. Mister Venera, why don’t you try?”

“No…no… I couldn’t. I couldn’t.”

The scythe-man tilts his head to the side and peers at Venera. “And why is that?”

“There’s a little boy and girl, Drake and Rowena, no parents, over there.” He jerks his head to the right, further down the dusty path.

The man says nothing at first. He bends down and grabs Venera’s chin with a bony hand. Eyes meet nothing. “I will bring them over.”

“Thank you.”

Venera pushes the second sack towards the standing man, who is upright again. Venera’s breathing is more ragged now. His eyes are cloudy. “What is your name?”

“Don’t you know?” he says, genuinely surprised. “I thought it was obvious.”

“I know who…what… you are… I don’t know your name.”

The man picks up the two sacks and slings both over one shoulder. He starts forward to help up Venera, but the old man shakes his head. “Are you sure?”

He nods. “Don’t want them to see.”

“Well, in that case Mister Venera…” He shifts the sacks slightly. “My name is Azrael.”

Venera smiles, briefly. “I see. A bit of a let-down.” He pauses. “Will it be fine, for—” His hands shake and his voice catches. His breathing grows heavier. “I—I…” He shakes his head again, trembling. The cloud is back.

Azrael stops. “Oh dear.”

With what should be impossible in his current state, he leaps up and tries to snatch a sack back. The scythe-man steps back swiftly and lets Venera fall, face-down, into the dust. Venera shudders and says nothing.

Azrael turns away from the gate and starts down the path. “I will be back,” he calls over his shoulder. He adjusts the sacks’ position over his shoulder again, letting them hang lower.

A potato rolls out. Azrael considers stopping to pick it up, but he knows they will not need it.

Jonked
Feb 15, 2005

by exmarx


Yes, I am quite clever. If I get declared the Loser, I can claim this piece was just an experiment. And I don't even have to say what the experiment is, because that would screw up the results! (oh god I hope I'm not the Loser)
It also bent the prompt a little bit, but it was literally the first thing I thought of when you told us to write 'potato stories', because I am secretly a 12 year old boy.

The Priest's Choice - 688 words

"It's just that... if I give up my potatoes, will I...? It's not that simply, you have to understand. It's a big deal." Renaud stared into the sunset, trying to ignore Gerald's presence. His scent.

"Aren't you a little old to be using euphemisms like that, Father?"

He couldn't ignore his body... his masculinity anymore. Not once he started talking. "I don't like how you say it, that word."

"What word?" Gerald smiled. "Father?"

"Yes. You know that. I don't like it when you mock me like that. I wish you'd understand."

Gerald's smile faded. He knew it was cruel, throwing out barbs like that at a time like this. He grappled for words, his hand clenching at nothing. "I'm sorry. But you said it yourself, it's a big deal. Can't we talk about it like adults? And anyway, you don't have a choice. There's only one option."

"It's not that simple!" Renaud turned, his hands halfway between a prayer and trying to wring Gerald's neck. "Faith isn't that easy! I'm dealing with something that's... look. I know you don't buy into it. I'm fine with that... I'll admit it, I like that. But it's important to me, don't you see?"

"Isn't it what you've always wanted? To be free of your 'burden."

"It's not that simple." Renaud repeated, slumping down against the balcony. "They say it affects your sex drive. Dampens it. What if I no longer feel the temptation?"

"Temptation?" Gerald whispered, "Is that all it is?"

"You know it isn't, you bastard. If you're going to be cruel, you can just leave right now. I've had enough, right now. I don't need you.... pulling me apart like that."

Gerald stared down at his hands, feeling the hot rush of shame and guilt across his face. Renaud was right, he was being cruel. He couldn't understand what the priest was going through. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. I just thought you'd be happy. It's always been a burden for you. Isn't it God giving you relief?"

The silence stretched out before them, interrupted by the quiet sounds of the country side and low rhythm of the forest. The cry of an owl was the only interruption, the solo in this grassland jazz.

"'Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.' It's quite clear - the crippled, the blind, the disfigured... the castrated. He should not approach God. Why would His relief take me away from Him?"

Gerald stepped forward, gently placing his hand on Renaud's shoulder. "That's not the scripture you always preached. 'The one who can accept this should accept it.' Isn't that what you always told me? Every time I asked you if you'd... that's what you always said. Isn't it the same?"

"I don't know. How can I? On the one hand it's a curse... on the other hand it's a blessing. How can I know what to do? How...?" The man, still young and handsome, wept. Silent tears wracked his body, great shuddering gasps with only the deep intake of breath to mark their coming and going.

"It's not just God you're worried about, is it?" Gerald whispered. "You're afraid that it's all... that we're an illusion. A 'base desire', you called it. Right?"

Renaud stayed silent, the tears streaming down his face.

"You know I don't care about that." Gerald pulled him into a tight hug. "I wouldn't still be here, if that was what I cared about. It'll change you, I understand that. But you'll still be you. It'll still be the same man underneath... I know that."

Renaud finally let loose a cry, a low sad groan of anguish. He gasped, and another one escaped his lips. "Why me? Why me?"

"I don't know," whispered Gerald, squeezing him tighter still. "I don't know. We've just got to live with it. I don't know why the cancer... I don't know. But I'll still be here. I promise."

Gerald held him like that, something beyond a mere lover, as Renaud cried into the night.

SC Bracer
Aug 7, 2012

DEMAGLIO!


I dreamed of potatoes last night. 373 words, and my asterisks refuse to stay centred. If I lose, I want my title to be "Couldn't become the potato" or something like that.

A Potato Bet

"Hey, new guy! Wanna make a bet?" Said a loud voice, cutting through the din of the bar. Jim looked up to see his neighbour sneering at him from across the table.

"A bet?"

"Yeah. I heard, uh, yer pretty rich and stuff right? But yer still coming down to drink with us common folks. I like that in a guy."

"Thank you."

"So I was thinking, let’s have a drinking match. I win, I get the fancypants watch you’ve got on, and you take these blasted taters the hell away from me. Whaddya think?"

“Are you crazy? Why would I trade in my watch for a sack of potatoes and hangover? Why are you giving me your potatoes anyway?”

“Hey, I don’t like taters. I got this from some other guy who ran out on his bill and needed the cash. I don’t want ‘em. Thought I’d make things a little more lively for ya.”

* * *

The man hefted the sack over his shoulder, trying to ignore the snickers behind him. Glaring at the path leading to his house, he began the long trudge uphill. A couple rolled out of the sack, and the tubers stared mockingly at him. He kicked them away and kept moving. Setting the sack down near his fireplace, he looked at them dully for a few minutes before sighing and leaning back.

“gently caress me. Why’d I fall for such a stupid taunt?”

He fell asleep, dreaming of potatoes and watches all night, and when morning came, he felt as though only a few seconds had passed. Breakfast was potatoes, and so was lunch. Days passed and he kept eating the potatoes, frightened of whatever derision he would receive from the other villagers. He didn’t leave for the market – only rushing out early in the morning for his job and rushing back in after he was done.

Years later, the mention of that village and potatoes always brought a tear to his eye.

“Please, stop bringing that up.” He would say, grimacing with agony over the memory of having eaten nothing but potatoes for nearly a month and losing his job a few weeks later for having "poor interpersonal skills and an inability to take criticism" in his evaluation.


e: Took out a misplaced double quote.

BirdOfPlay
Feb 19, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Hoedown or Throwdown.

Thought: Everyone has to sign up by some arbitrary date. Those who promise and don't deliver get a custom title to that effect.

I say this as someone who didn't post here until I had a near postable draft so I could chicken out if need be.

Yeah, I was rather curious about this myself. Seemed a little unfair to have signups, but also allow people to participate without signing up, thus avoiding ridicule.

Martello posted:

I don't know what you're saying but I'm pretty sure it means you want to enter. Great, you're added to the OP. If you welsh you'll probably end up being The Loser or at least a secondary Loser. Indecision is the worst decision you could make. Post something.

Martello posted:

BirdOfPlay (Keep an eye on this one, it's squirrely)
Dagnabit.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Hoedown or Throwdown.

Thought: Everyone has to sign up by some arbitrary date. Those who promise and don't deliver get a custom title to that effect.

I say this as someone who didn't post here until I had a near postable draft so I could chicken out if need be.
I like this, because if it's weekly, missing the deadline isn't that big a deal.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

I like this, because if it's weekly, missing the deadline isn't that big a deal.

You'll like what is served to you by your Orwellian masters, aka the triumvirate.

Submit (in both meanings of the word) or suffer. Rise to the top and become a ruler! Make unreasonable demands of contestants! Craft new and interesting ways to cast judgement on your peers and humiliate them with custom titles!

Would you like to know more?

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Nautatrol Rx posted:

Would you like to know more?
I would!

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Seven and a half hours until the time of reckoning is at hand.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


The Potato Bugs attacked Rio! We're going to war!

Mecca-Benghazi
Mar 31, 2012



How long is this glorious competition going to last?

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Until the Triumvirate tires of laying judgement upon the unwashed goonmasses.

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

A dog begins eating a dusty old coil of rope but there's a nail in it.

Fallen Rib

Life Under Soil, 857 words.


It was gradually passing noontime, and Mike was in his bed trying to shield his eyes with a sock. Sunlight was pouring in from the slats of his venetian blinds, and he wanted to nail his blanket over the window entirely, though that would require him getting up from his half-fetal-position sprawl, which would require untangling himself from the sheets. The oncoming night terrified him. He had allowed himself to be invited to a dinner party, and he had allowed himself to have the suggestion of bringing a side dish placed upon him. His throat was filled with stomach acid. He had decided on mashed potatoes, solely because he felt they would have the smallest probability of offending any one of the strangers and friends he knew would be at the party. His lungs hurt, and he wondered if his stomach acid had gotten into them. He clenched his eyes and felt his lashes thread between the poly-cotton fibers of the sock. He laid there for some time.

He opened his eyes and saw grey, and he felt his heart pumping stomach acid through his body. The noise of his front door opening and footsteps, when he lived alone, had this effect on him. He dragged the sock off of his face, and peered out the slats of his venetian blinds. There was a clean white SUV outside of his house, reflecting clean daylight in all directions. He almost couldn't look at it, so he looked down at the windowsill, focusing on the dead flies there. Out of the corners of his vision, he noticed that the SUV was full of people. Next to the SUV was a woman in a black pantsuit, with a gold necklace, and a gold bracelet, and gold earrings. In her hand was a bible, and he could only tell this because of the gold trim on the pages. He didn't want to have to talk to this person. He heard footsteps in his kitchen. Even his fingertips were full of stomach acid now, and as he untangled himself from his sheets and tried to stand up, the heels of his feet were soaked with acid as well. He draped himself in the bathrobe he never washed and slunk down the hall, leaving slick footprints of caustic sweat on the cool tile. Mike dreaded what he would see in the kitchen.

The kitchen was as it always was, and would be, outside of one key thing: There was a child here, wearing a miniature suit that fit him surprisingly well. The kid opened his mouth and spoke in a way that left Mike puzzling out that, no, this was not someone that would normally wear such an outfit.

"I need to go to the bathroom, and my mom said it was an emergency. We're on our way back from church."

Mike took a moment to swallow before replying, and indicated where the bathroom as calmly as he could manage. He felt some measure of anger, having his solitude broken. He reflected on the possibility of getting the SUV's license plate number, and later calling the police to complain. His anger was dampened as he inadvertently realized he was listening in on a child pissing, flushing the toilet, and then coming out of the bathroom.

"Thank you! Have a blessed day!"

Mike spent some minutes reassuring himself that he had made the ethical choice, letting the child use the restroom without fuss. He tugged at his bathrobe and tried to let the stomach acid run its course. He was in his kitchen now, and the venetian blinds here, too, were showering him with light. On the counter he noticed that the sack of potatoes he had purchased the previous night in preparation for the dinner party. The sack was opened, the green plastic wrapped wire that held it closed crumpled up neatly next to it. One potato was, through no mistake of physics alone, placed at the far edge of the counter. It was clear to him that the child had handled at least one of potatoes. And the stomach acid flowing through his brain ran cold. Could he prepare these, now? The child clearly had no hygiene protocols, having not washed his hands just minutes ago. But he had touched the potatoes, at least one of them, before urinating. What if he'd grabbed one from the bottom of the bag? Would it be ethical to waste food? They would have to be boiled, anyways. But would it be required of him to tell the strangers and friends at the dinner party that their side dish had a possibility of being tainted by a small child who didn't belong in a suit? He couldn't take that risk. Mike knew deep down in his spine that he would have to tell each and every person who had so much as a dollop of the mashed potatoes what they were possibly consuming. He knew how it would make him look.

He dug a large saucepan out of a cupboard and began to pour tap water into it. He was crying, and the tears burned his face.

Canadian Surf Club
Feb 15, 2008

Word.


A little bit over and I'm not in love with it but I did what I could within 24 hours.

The Silence of the Potatoes - 1123 words

Ed didn't own a car. He didn't own a cellphone, nor a computer, nor a television. Ed knew what many knew but chose to ignore, that these so-called advancements in technology were only tools for the corporate elite to subvert the minds of the populace at the behest of their reptilian overlords.

Plain and simple.

Ed owned a bed, he owned a radio, a few books written by minds that had woken up to the world, and a garden of everything he needed to sustain. A clear plastic tarp hung over the garden and kept out chemicals seeded by passing aircraft and it was the same material he sealed over his windows, his ventilation, his doorways. He would occasionally leave to collect a newspaper and gasoline, but much of his time was spent reading, writing his own manifesto, and preparing food from the garden.

He sliced tomatoes and diced carrots and chopped onions but the one he liked the best was the potato. It was among the oldest of vegetables and as one book said "all a man needed to live on". The Incas had thrived with it and the Spainards had brought it to Europe and ever since the hidden rulers centuries old had tried their best to squash it out, to rid the world of its brown rebellion, but they could not quench even the Irish of it and so it was to this day. But most of all he liked them because they never screamed.

"Do what you must." The potato said as he took the peeler to it.

He cut the vines and plucked the eyes and stripped the skin for later, boiling the white lump for a stew. They'd hum a tune as he worked under the sun, the plastic hood dripping condensation which he wiped on his face to cool off. He'd pluck one by hand and listen as it told him the way of the world and he could not help but smile when they were willing to give their all for him. Sometimes he'd speak to them, sit among the furrows and read to them, and they would listen and thank him when he finished and went back inside. They knew as much as he did and maybe more but when he asked questions they were quiet or playful. He never argued with the potatoes and was only angered by one long ago who would not speak but was delicious all the same.

He had gathered a sackful and returned inside when there came a knock at his front door. Ed stopped and stared and his heart beat through its cage.

"Answer it." the potatoes said, repeating themselves quietly in their sack by the oven but Ed was motionless, silent, hoping it was a mistake.

Another knock came. And then another, quicker than before. Ed clenched his hair.

"They wouldn't knock." said a potato and the others repeated the phrase and they were right.

Ed checked the peakhole and didn't see anything. He nudged the door open, pulling the chain tight so only a sliver of light from the hall broke through. A boy was bent over, holding a dog back by its collar.

"Is this your dog?" The boy asked.

Ed slammed the door shut. They had found him. The dog was for sniffing out excuses to bust in, this much he knew, but why send a child? No, he knew why. They were evil, moralless, perfectly willing to use children to lure him in. But how did they find him? His building was forgotten, tenatless, a rotting fortress on the outskirts of town. But they had planes, satellites, they must have seen the reflection from his garden cover. The tin-foil hadn't been enough, they must have squared him in. Ed moved to his bed and loaded his rifle and sat, watching the door, waiting. He watched for hours but his eyelids grew heavy and not panic could resist sleep.

The moon hung pale and he looked out over his garden all bathed in blue light. The potatoes were singing and muttering among themselves but they were not speaking to him as they did. They were speaking to each other and among them Ed saw the secrets float and he knew none of them. He tore at the plastic seal and opened his window as they went silent.

"I want to know!" he shouted to them and they rustled in their roots, squirming from the soil and writhering until they stood tall, their sprouts stretched out like the arms and legs of men. They climbed to his window and he fell back against the wall screaming as they slithered into his mouth and nose and then he was awake and sweating, the rifle falling from his lap.


Ed stomped to the window, the plastic seal still in place, the fruits still buried, the potatoes still potatoes. How could they have found him, he had made every precaution against their prying claws but still they had come to his door, seen his face through its crack. He had checked for every bug, every delicate sensor, every ear and eye digital, alien, or natural and still-

He paused and from within the pit of him a swelling stole his breath, lumped in his throat, and made him clench his hair. The eyes, it was the eyes. Before him was a watchful garden, eyes that could speak, pass a secret, safe harbors for any agenda if the price was right. Ed knew the market but not the moral price a potato held and he steadied himself against the wall as the floor seemed to fall out from under him. He had accounted for every liability but the one his heart and stomache blinded him to.

He grabbed a shovel and went out into the garden. The potatoes were humming joyous and he spared them any more lies and swung the shovel, knocking one from its root and bouncing it against a sheet metal wall. He swung and sliced another, white chunks splattering against the deep browns of soil. Their humming stopped and he flattened and smashed and severed like some knight of old, a blind rage that left no veggie untouched and not even the tomatos or carrots knew his mercy. The shovel dented and crusted with juice and their sprouts stuck from the ground bent and withering, pleading arms that he uprooted wholesale and tossed or buried under mounds never to see the sun again. He finished them off with the hose, watching the water run over the furrows until only a brown muddy pit remained and there were no survivors he could see. His eyes watered and he wiped them and stood for a long time in the silence.

Honey Badger
Jan 5, 2012

^^^ Like this, but its your mouth, and shit comes out of it.

"edit: Oh neat, babby's first avatar. Kind of a convoluted metaphor but eh..."

No, shit is actually extruding out of your mouth, and your'e a pathetic dick, shut the fuck up.

Screw it, I'm in. I haven't written anything in years but I'm sitting here in a hospital waiting room with nothing to do for a few hours so why not. Time for a potato-fueled writing furor.

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005

Now, in the quantum moment before the closure, when all become one. One moment left. One point of space and time.

I know who you are.

You are destiny.


Jim Robinson on Spotify - 617 words

This day always came; when the previous nights had stacked beer and bourbon after beer and bourbon on old frames. The week's worth of alcohol would buzz in their veins; creep along tired arms and legs as the soft feeling of sleep approached. They'd sit down in Mackey's Old Jazz, the only place you could talk without yelling, and little revelry outside would reach them. In the windows, they'd see the lights and the crowd's motion, as thousands moved in unison to wild music. A Cajun word or two would persist over the parade, common enough in New Orleans, but obscure enough to be noticed.

Kurt had the bourbon on the rocks and Ray had the beer. They weren't the only seniors in Mackey's, but weird hipster types had replaces most of the crowd; pretentious enough to talk about "The Old New Orleans" but kind enough to do it quietly. In Kurt's glass, the ice had melted to tiny pellets, the drink forgotten as he talked.

"And the worst part is these Japanese cartoons, these 'Animes'." He pronounced it like "a-naim", his son would have berated him.

Ray took small sips from the beer, savoring the drink, where Kurt had forgotten his, "Well, we both read Superman comics until we were forty, is it that different?"

"Superman never had girls with breasts the size of a house, or... Hell, I don't know how to describe it."

"Boys have strange interests. We did."

"And he'd watch it all the time when he was home for summer. Every day he'd watch some Japanese cartoon, and we wouldn't understand a word of it."

"What about college?"

"He dropped out, after a year."

"Well, where does he stay?"

"Got some friends, apparently of the same type."

They sat in silence for a while. Colored stripes moved along the bright white walls, projected from the windows. On the rare occasion the door opened, noise hit the two old men like a shotgun. The silence after filled with softer music, like the whole place recovered from a grenade blast.

"Have you mentioned the farm again?" asked Ray.

"Yeah."

Ray looked at him, cheek in hand and elbow on table, he knew the tone.

Kurt downed the rest of the bourbon, "When I called him after he dropped out, he started yelling at me. A minute into the call and he was screaming at his own father."

"What did you say?"

"I thought I could appeal to him with statistics and all that. That's what he'd studied after all. 'Louisiana produces fifteen percent of sweet potatoes in the US', and then the yelling began."

"Why did that set him off?" Ray took longer sips, he'd leaned back in the chair, face worried.

"He doesn't want to be a potato farmer. He think it's loser work."

"I thought he was one of those new-age liberal types. Didn't think he'd object that strongly to some independent farmwork."

"New-age liberals are drat good farmers. I have no idea what he is."

"So what will you do?"

"Sell, I guess."

A new beer and bourbon passed before they spoke again. In the years they'd known each other, they'd learned to appreciate silence. It gave room for questions and answers to form, time to anticipate.

"And then?"

"I love this town. I've looked around; people are selling around here too," he took a deep sip bourbon, "You never really recover, you know."

"Gives you a chance to start again."

The two men leaned back in their chairs, Ray closed eyes. A few tables over, a girl with thick-framed glasses explained libertarianism to a man with a Dali moustache.

Ice Cream played on Spotify, and Kurt was fine with it.

BirdOfPlay
Feb 19, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Had to shave 150 words to slip it under. Might've lost something in the transition, but I cut at least 100 in the first edit.

"Blue Ribbon... Potato?" - 981 words
################################

Justin was enjoying his role in Westmoreland County's fair. As the native son that left and came back with the new chemical plant, he had been named Master of Ceremonies for the fair. Most of his duties were of little import and not difficult: turning on the Ferris wheel's lights and drying off Wilma, the diving pig. But he'd rather be wiping down the sow's belly, then being the third member of a deadlocked, potato-judging panel.

The other judges agreed mostly on the order. Patrica's Russet Burbank was heads-and-shoulders above all the others, the skin colorization alone put it in the top 5. Wilford surprised a lot of people with his Atlantic, after a dismal showing in years previous. With Agatha's Red Pontiac rounding out the list simply because nothing was wrong with it. The debate raged about the new resident's potato and it's legality.

“Now, Margaret, I understand your hesitation,” Floyd said. “But it clearly is the superior potato here.” Floyd Callahan was a vegetable judge that traveled around the country.

“But that's clearly the question, is it a potato?” Margaret was the local grocer and had been a judge for the Fair for every year since '79.

The potato in question, or “tuber” as Justin had recently learned, belonged to Hubrecht who was Dutch, but not the Dutch from the est of Pennsylvania. He was some sort of cultivator. It was at Margaret's insistence that he participated in the show, but now it seemed that she didn't even want him to compete. “If we even allowed it to be judged, much less given highest honors, what would that say about about our integrity? How could we tell Jackie that her strawberries aren't a flower, if we consider this... thing a potato?”

“But it's not a strawberry. It's a potato.”

Neither were making much headway and weren't helping Justin make up his own mind. He walked back over to the large specimen. It was almost perfectly egg-shaped and about as big as both of his fists put together. But it was its skin, not size, that really drew him to it, it was crimson without a single dent or divot along it's entire surface. Dull, brown eyes formed a ring around the both ends.

Was it really a potato? Should it be allowed into the show? To Justin, it really wasn't like any he had seen previously. Granted, his experience began and ended at the supermarket. He stroked the spud and felt the same rough skin he felt on all the others he had reviewed that day. And then, it began to giggle.

With a start he quickly surveyed the area and saw the line of children at the cotton candy tent. Potatoes didn't giggle, it was the children, but he still wasn't sure if this was a potato.

“I'm still not fully convinced, Mister Callahan. I'll accept that it's a very fine specimen, but don't think it's a potato.”

“Well, I think we should ask what our honorary Judge thinks.” Floyd said, having long since grown tired of Margaret's stubbornness. “So, Justin, what do you think?”

“Well, I understand both points of view and find merit in both.” He said, still doing coin flips to decide. “A decision such as this, requires a careful and clear approach.” All he could think about was his chemistry eduction and the simple joy of learning what things were made of. And how to find out, when you didn't know. “With that in mind, that I propose cut into it.”

This took his fellow judges by surprise, but it was Floyd that found his voice first. “If it will end the debate, I agree.”

“What, are yinz mad,” said Margaret. “No where in the rules does it allow for the cutting of a potato. Why in '88 the Burtons-”

“Look, Mr. Foster, I've got a knife right here. Let's go ahead and get this done.”

Justin took the knife and unfolded its two-inch blade. “I think this should work, thank you.” He turned towards the stalls and walked to Hubrecht's entry.

Margaret's objections were not only being fallen on deaf ears now, but she also was about to be a party to a serious infraction of the vegetable show. “I, I. I can't believe what I'm seeing here. I'm going to speak to Frank Turner this instant and when he learns about what yinz intend to do.” She stormed off, hoping that her threat was enough to dissuade them, but that would've required either to have heard.

Justin had just barely cut the skin when the screaming started. This time he couldn't just pretend that it was children playing in the nearby midway. It was shrill and so loud, it was the only thing he could hear.

The knife blade slid deeper. Blood began to gush out of the wound he had made. Bright, almost florescent orange and the more that came out, the more the screaming got louder and shriller. Its eyes switched from brown to bright green and doubled in size. The screaming pierced all the way through his brain. He wanted to start cutting, just run away, but his hand continuing cutting.

His vision went red. The fillings in his mouth rattled and broke the teeth that housed them. Blood began to flow from his nose. He finally stopped cutting when his legs gave out.

Justin saw that Floyd had already fallen, but couldn't see Margaret anywhere. The screaming never stopped as his vision went from red to black. The blood from his breaking teeth had begun filling his mouth. He tried to spit it out before he lost consciousness, but couldn't beat the clock. And Hubrecht's potato continuing to scream, even after it had dispatched its attacker.

Honey Badger
Jan 5, 2012

^^^ Like this, but its your mouth, and shit comes out of it.

"edit: Oh neat, babby's first avatar. Kind of a convoluted metaphor but eh..."

No, shit is actually extruding out of your mouth, and your'e a pathetic dick, shut the fuck up.

Alright, here we go. Played it a little loose with the prompt, hope that's alright.

Room 418 (404 words)


At four-thirty, like clockwork, the curtain parted and one of the floor nurses wheeled in dinner on an aluminum tray.

“Mr. Ballard?”

He was trying to identify some insect that had wriggled out of a crack in the ceiling plaster, but his eyes wouldn’t focus.

“Well, I’ll just set this here for now. Buzz if you need something, alright?”

Broiled beef and potatoes. He had eaten it many times before, but whether by some synaptic fluke or a reaction to new medication, the smell of it now called to life a Christmas Eve almost two decades ago.

There was the Wonder Emporium. He had gone immediately after his shift ended and arrived just before closing. Past the greeter and into the maze of aisles and shoppers, looking for the Mrs. Potato Head that Sophie had been begging for since November. A wave of relief when he found one tucked behind some board games. Panic when he stepped out into the parking lot and realized, as the lights dimmed behind him and the last cashier locked the doors for the night, that he had a grabbed a knock-off by mistake.

That Christmas morning, too, played over in his mind as he lay in room 418. He saw himself squirming on the sofa while Sophie tore away long strips of wrapping paper. At last she help up the counterfeit gift, “Paula Tater” written in enormous, accusatory block print across the front. Sophie’s face darkened and he knew that to a child who had scrutinized every commercial and even knew the grating jingle by heart, this must have seemed for all the world like a deliberate betrayal.

Mr. Ballard squeezed his eyes shut and the scene dissolved. His face felt hot. In the silence he found himself wondering, as he sometimes did, whether that single moment had been responsible for the distance that had grown between them, so that now his own daughter had called him only once and visited not at all since his admittance. It was absurd, ridiculous, but he couldn’t accept any alternative. In room 418 the shadow of that three-dollar toy hung over him.

When he opened his eyes again there was fuzzy movement at the foot of his bed. She had finally come after all. He would apologize, hug her, make amends.

“Mr. Ballard?”

No. Not Sophie.

“Mr. Ballard, your food is getting cold. If you don’t eat you’ll make yourself sick.”

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Four hours and twenty minutes left for submission!

The following have not submitted yet:

slothmonster
Found Sound
toanoradian
Dr. Kloctopussy

Hurry the gently caress up!

Or don't, I'd love to see some "I couldn't write 150 words in five days" avatars around.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


Oh no you don't talk about my word per day, sir, I am sickened by your fast typing privilege.

Man, it's really hard to write shorter. This is the perfect spot to use The 10% Solution but I have no time because there is futurama to catch up

Man Who is Immune to Tranquilizers (986 words)
The anguished screams filled the room. It shakes the medical machines strewn everywhere around. He screamed louder, his body contortioned to respond to the everlasting pain. He looked around, noticing the lack of nurses or doctors. He tried to move his attention away from the sensation of a thousand burning belts on him.

A doctor entered the room, followed by a woman, clad in black lab coat. She looked around the room checking some of the machines. The doctor pulled her to the patient.

“You’re his last hope, Genada,” the doctor said. He gave her a folder filled with the man’s medical records. He tried restraining the man.

The woman browsed the papers. “Pain described as ‘crushed by snakes on fire’. So painful he hadn’t been able to sleep for three days. Shouldn’t he be in a hospital room?”

The man struggled free. His hands flew in random directions, almost hitting the doctor. “He refused to move to another bed. He made it himself.”

“Use tranquilizers.”

“He’s immune to them. Any dosage. Any kind. He is immune to all tranquilizers.”

Genada licked her upper lips. “Ah, that’s the unique part.”

She moved closer to the bed and grabbed the man’s wrist, pinning his left hand to the bed. The man convulsed some more, but her grip remained. She then placed her other hand on his chest and pushed it down. She looked at his eyes, ignoring the shriek.

“Is there something in his eyes?” the doctor asked.

“His eye colour didn’t change, so this is not Mendriff-Duecil. Not translucent either, so not Palandrote disease.”

“None of those diseases have the symptoms he expressed,” the doctor said.

“Sometimes diseases stack. To find the main disease, the other sickness must be removed.”

“What?”

She lifted her hands. Instead of convulsing again, the patient became still, although his eyes are still open.

The woman then felt the neck, pushing her thumb into it while putting her ears on the man’s chest. Genada jumped back as the man screamed again moments later, followed by his body contorting. Cracks can be heard.

“What did you do to my patient?” the doctor asked.

“I simply override his pain response with fear. It had the side-effects of more harmful convulsions. Look,” she said, pointing to the man’s ankles, “it’s broken.”

“Why did you do that? You’re not here to add his pains!”

“I told you not to question my methods,” Genada said. “Besides, I’m getting closer to the cure. He didn’t have sagittarius.”

“You can’t tell he had super cancer just by listening to his heart!”

“Anyway, he needs to move to a different bed.”

“We can’t move him while he’s flailing around like that,” the doctor said.

“Yes, we need him to sleep.” Genada reached into the pockets of her coat and pulled a small box. She opened it and out came a needle, roughly thirty centimetres long. “Fire.” The doctor reached into one of the machines and pulled a metallic tube connected by cable. He turned on the machine and blue flames sparked from the tube. Genada pulled a cigarette, lighting it. The doctor did not ask any question.

“What are you going to do now?”

“Call your nurses to hold him down. I need his head to stay still for, say, ten seconds.”

The doctor pressed a button on a machine next to the bed. Within seconds five muscular nurses entered. Four of the nurses held each of the man’s limbs while the fifth climbed above him and held his head. Genada touched the man’s scalp. She grabbed the tip of the needle with her left index finger and thumb while her right palm is placed on the base of the needle.

“This is going to be a painful three seconds, sir,” Genada said. She pushed the needle into the head. The needle went through and soon all of it is inside. In three seconds, the man screamed his last anguish and closed his eyes.

The doctor ran towards Genada. “You stabbed him in the brain! You killed my patient!”

“I just put him to sleep,” Genada said. She ordered the nurses to leave. The doctor then saw the patient’s chest moving up and down.

“How did you do that?”

As Genada retracted her right hand, the needle is removed as well, as if stuck to her palm. She looked at the doctor and showed him the needle.

“Whoa,” the doctor said. The needle is special; it moved in several directions and able to split into multiple needles, until eventually they are too thin to see.

“Override his pain system, turn off all pain sensors, activate the sleep program, bob’s your uncle,” Genada said.

“That makes no sense,” the doctor said.

Genada shrugged and lifted the patient with ease. However, she soon dropped him and checked the mattress. She sighed. She looked at the doctor. “Take a blood sample and test his immune system. I have a theory.”

---

The man woke up. Something significant is missing from his life. His bed had changed. Also, his muscles no longer ache; he cannot felt the tentacles of an angry God anymore. He saw the doctor standing next to the bed, behind him a tall woman with green eyes.

“You’re in the hospital, Mr. Spud,” the doctor said. “You’re cured.”

“What caused it?” Spud asked.

Genada moved in front of the doctor, staring at Spud. “You are incredibly allergic to potatoes. Your pain is because you insist on sleeping on a bed made out of potato. To avoid further pain, stop sleeping on a potato bed. Or drinking from a potato mug. Or writing with potato pen. Avoid potatoes in general.”

“But doctor, I come from a family of potatocraftsmen. What else can I do?”

Genada looked at him. She pulled out a needle and stabbed herself in the forehead. “Let me check my database.” After a few seconds, she replied, “Try cucumber.”

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Martello posted:

The following have not submitted yet:

slothmonster
Found Sound
toanoradian
Dr. Kloctopussy

Hurry the gently caress up!

The rest of you are loving with the Jesus. Do you know who does that?

Paradigm shift: the due date has been cut back by one hour. Why? Because none of the other judges are awake/care enough to see! Suck on that, plebs.

New cutoff is ~1:30 hours from now, meaning 1am EST.

Martello says that he feels this way about entries just under the wire:


Let's see some hustle.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Nautatrol Rx posted:

Martello says that he feels this way about entries just under the wire:

That little dude looks pretty happy. Does that mean people should endeavour to be as close to late as possible?

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


With me at the helm and my desire to endow many with the spuditar of "Can't write 150 words about a potato in a week", they're welcome to take their chances that I won't make further reductions. They're just lucky I haven't made it retroactive.

P.S. I'm releasing my scoring rubric for you all now. It's (X+Y)-(X+Y)^2=Z where X and Y are the other judges scores and Z is mine.

In my book, you all lose. I hate potatoes.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


THE GORTA MOR (Edit: 962 words)

Black dust blew through chinks in the grey farmhouse walls and settled in the folds of the sheet wrapped around Old Jeremiah Flanagan. His cough was coming on again. Connor brought in a chipped jug of water and a mason pickle jar for a glass. Jeremiah slowly lifted himself to his knobby elbows, every inch chasing the pain to a new home. He took the jar and swallowed. Connor dampened a rag and wiped the dust from his Pa’s face, felt for a fever, found none.

“Ye can’t be gettin’ sick again, Pa,” Connor said, running the rag against his own lined forehead. “Times is tough already, and the potatoes…don’t see how I can sell ‘em... And so many mouths to feed.”

Jeremiah felt an old fear settle around his stomach, grinding against itself. Connor lifted his head, and in the grey wisps of hair and the hollows beneath his eyes, Jeremiah saw that his son had somehow grown old. Older even than his own father, when he had told Mum about the bad potatoes in green old Ireland.

Jeremiah had followed Mum and Father out into the field, pumping his short legs hard to keep up. Father had reached his strong, calloused hands in to the dark soil, and brought up a sick, brown, wrinkled thing. It didn’t look like a potato. It looked like Baby Catherine, wrapped in the white sheet when they put her in the churchyard month past. Mum gasped and fell to her knees. Father cut into it with his knife, and the thick, pungent smell of rot washed over them. Inside was mushy, wet blackness. The thing filled Jeremiah with terror.
“It’s the blight,” Father had said. He dug up a second, third, fourth, fifth potato, all black and rotten. He flung them to the ground and cursed. Mum made the sign of the cross. Jeremiah grabbed onto her legs and cried.
Then the Gorta Mor had stalked them. The hunger swallowed up Happy Nell, Charlotte, Micha, and finally even Father. Jeremiah’s stomach was gnawing itself inside-out when Mum at last gathered the children and fled the village, but in all of Ireland they smelled the awful rot and were hungry. They took a boat to America, but still the Gorta Mor followed and the boat grew crowded with corpses. Mum tried to cover his eyes when they threw the dead overboard, but Jeremiah looked and saw their swollen white faces sinking into the sea.

In America, they found peace. Jeremiah grew up, had many children, then grandchildren of his own. There were nearly thirty members in the Flanagan clan by 1928, when his son Connor had borrowed the money to buy the farm in Bingham County. Jeremiah had plead with him, begged him not to tempt the Gorta Mor, but Connor said these were different potatoes and called him a superstitious old man. Land was cheap and russets sold for a dollar fifty a hundredweight. The whole family had moved to Idaho to work the farm. But now everyone strong enough worked on other farms between harvests just to pay the mortgage. It was just Connor and Jeremiah to look after their potatoes and guard against the Gorta Mor.

When Connor told him about the potatoes, Jeremiah knew it was near. He had felt it coming for a long time now, but no one listened to him, a superstitious old man. He crept to the kitchen where his son was looking over his many papers, scratching at them in the dim light of the lamp. Despair creased his face and his shoulders sagged. Jeremiah whispered Saint Patrick’s Prayer for strength and slipped out into the night to face the Gorta Mor.

He walked to the edge of the field, slowed now by age instead of youth. The brown, dry stalks rustled in the wind as he knelt down in dust. He reached his old, gnarled hand into the dirt and scratched for a potato. With dread he imagined the soft touch of rot, Baby Catherine’s wrinkled flesh breaking open, blackness crawling under his fingernails. He shivered in the cold, empty night, and held back a coming cough. Finally his fingers found a root. He held his breath as he struggled to pull it up, and prayed it would not be someone long dead. The potato was gloriously firm and smooth, but Jeremiah knew the danger had not passed. He slipped the knife from under his dressing gown and shakily sliced into the potato. Its two halves fell apart and their pearly white smoothness shone in the moonlight. Jeremiah scrambled to his feet and dashed for the house. The Gorta Mor wasn't here!

Kneeling in the cold had frozen his stiff joints, and before two steps he stumbled. Connor was at the door and coming towards him.

“What have you done, old man?” he asked, helping Jeremiah to his feet. Jeremiah beamed and showed him his perfect potato.

“They’re alright, lad, they’re all right!” he wheezed. Connor helped him to the house and into the kitchen chair. He wetted the rag again, and wiped the dirt off his Pa’s face and hands and knees. Jeremiah still shivered, even though the kitchen was warm. Connor put him in the bed and got the extra blanket.

“There’s none to do about them potatoes, Pa,” he said. “It’s not the blight, it’s the price. It’s down to fifty cents a hundredweight and falling still. They’ll rot in the ground ‘ere we can afford to pull ‘em out.”

Old Jeremiah Flanagan lay down and let his own son tuck him in like a child. When Connor blew out the candle and closed the door, he pulled the blanket close and wept. The Gorta Mor had returned.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Nautatrol Rx posted:

Paradigm shift: the due date has been cut back by one hour. Why? Because none of the other judges are awake/care enough to see! Suck on that, plebs.

New cutoff is ~1:30 hours from now, meaning 1am EST.


I loving love the Thunderdome.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

I loving love the Thunderdome.

Shamus O'Mally gripped the firm, moist spuds between the bony fingers of his hand.

"Shara O'Hara, ha'ea ye oiled me spuds?" he cried.

The starchy juice sapped up the winding trails of his fingerprints as he gripped the eye'd tubers with rage.

They never found her body.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Those trying to sneak it under the wire have 10 minutes. The bar has been moved again. When I post the signal, it's over.

BirdOfPlay
Feb 19, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Nautatrol Rx posted:

Those trying to sneak it under the wire have 10 minutes. The bar has been moved again. When I post the signal, it's over.

Holy crap, I love the Thunderdome.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Closed. Deal with it. Why? Guess why.

Thunderdome, bitches.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Is ... is this death? Are you the devil?

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


It was the hour.

Broken lanterns illuminated the great cage, goons hanging from every bar, between every cranny. Their unwashed mouths carried the hum of the electrical current through the coarse fibers.

The chant broke out.

"Some dudes enter, most dudes leave!"

And spread.

"Some dudes enter, most dudes leave!"
"Some dudes enter, most dudes leave!"
"Some dudes enter, most dudes leave!"
"Some dudes enter, most dudes leave!"

Martello, Stuporstar, and Nautatrol descended upon the combatants amidst the tribal beat, the cries for blood and death.

It was time. It was judgement.

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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

I think I feel alive for the first time in my life


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