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toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


September 6
Observation from Judging Judges' Chamber of Judgement: Entirely too many cats. I blame Martello.

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Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Capntastic posted:

I love technicals!

So do these guys.



Are you a terrorist?

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Martello posted:

So do these guys.



Are you a terrorist?

Of course this isn't a witch hunt, but just as a laugh which will surely not have repercussions, has anyone here ever been or considered being a card-carrying member of the Communist Party?

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

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

Fallen Rib

In many parts of the world a warlord's power is measured in technicals. Here in the Thunderdome I intend to let my prose do the driving and shooting. Well, most of it.

kangaroojunk
Aug 17, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Elbow, Backfist, Strike

Elbow, backfist, strike. That is how my rampage began. I stepped in close with my right leg, swinging my right elbow upward into his solar plexus, comboing into a snapping backfist into his nose, and finishing with an arcing open hand strike still with the right hand downward and counter clockwise into his groin. The elbow to the solar plexus probably caused the most damage, but the most visible was the head snapping backwards, blood spouting from the nose caused by the backfist. This would have caused his momentum away from me, but the strike to the groin doubled him over, precisely where I wanted him to be. Using the forward momentum, I clutched his ears, then repeatedly rammed my left knee into his face, over and over, until there was only a red concaved mess where a face should have been. I didn't even get my weapons out yet.

Fade to screens of violence like a TV screen but silent

This is Kayla Vermont, reporting live downtown Chicago, where it appears a man, Mark de la Cruz, has barricaded himself in an office building with his coworkers. From onlookers in other buildings, it appears several are injured with at least one fatality, 49 year old Victor Madson, de la Cruz' boss. No demands were yet made.

"I need you to do something," said Victor, more telling than asking.
"Sure," Mark agreed, but hesitantly. He looked at the clock and it was already 7pm on Friday. This week had been especially busy in the office, a week which he should have been on vacation, but his boss cancelled last minute for no apparent reason. Being last minute, Mark was not able to withdraw his deposit from the Hard Rock in Vegas and had to eat the entire cost of the airfare.
"There's some emergency work this weekend, and I need you to come into the office on Saturday.
"Okay," Mark lingered in response. There goes the weekend. He worked last weekend as well, and he knew that management knew about the "emergency work" needed this week long ago, so why tell him suddenly on Friday when he is about to go home for the day?
"Also, I need you to come in for the early shift on Monday and all next week. I will be on vacation."

Everyone is screaming and running, but there is nowhere to go. Some cower in corners, under their desks, but there really is no point. My next victim gets off easy. The baseball bat with nails protruding out comes down hard and embeds itself onto the top of her skull. As I intended, the nails are nice and stuck in. Her eyes are bulging out of their sockets from the impact. Now that I have the head with some stability, I use the butcher knife in my right hand and hack at the left side of her neck. My intent is to sever the head completely, but decapitating someone with a butcher knife is harder than you would think. With some diligence and patience, the body slumps to the floor and I have my prize: a head on a stick.

Where the victims are all paid by the hour

The police have just arrived, and we have a confirmed second victim, 37 year old Maria Cantor.

"You called me out on an email! You copied my boss, my boss' boss, and my boss' boss' boss! Why did you do that?" Screamed Mark into the phone.
Heavily accented was the response. "This has to be done, ASAP."
"I am not even responsible for this! It is not my department! I was helping you out by responding to the first email by saying I would forward your request on to the responsible group! Do you even know or care that you just got me into deep poo poo? Goodbye!"
Mark slammed the phone down. Lesson learned. No good deed goes unpunished. Mark looked up at his monitor a few moments after burying his head in his hands.
"gently caress! She did it again!"

I am having so much fun, I can feel my smile. I am laughing, I am so happy. While almost falling to the floor giggling, I poke him in the gut with the spiked bat. He makes such a funny face when I do this, his glasses fly off and his tongue sticks out, that I am now snorting. Snorting in laughter from the funny face the impaled guy makes. I move the lodged bat back and forth, moving his body until his head moves toward me. Then, the butcher knife falls hard on the top left of his skull, and it gets stuck. Both weapons are stuck, and I am laughing some more. I yank the knife out, having a good time, and the next hack is to the left side of his face, splitting his ear and getting caught in his cheekbone. He's dead already before he hits the floor, but I am having such a good time that that I hold the spiked bat in two hands and I bash his balls in. Just for fun. Red ball gore goes good with khakis.

Delicate bodies that decay beneath their clothing

Another confirmed dead. One of the managers of the company, 53 year old George Dawkins. Can you see this? There are police snipers taking position in the surrounding buildings.

"The good news is, you will still be employed at this company," said George. "And, in these tough economic times, you should feel lucky you have a job.."
Mark looked on in disbelief.
"I know you have kids here in Chicago. But, we will be moving your position to Mexico."
Mark looked on in disbelief.
"And, also, you will no longer be a full time employee, but you will be made a consultant. Your pay will decrease, you will lose your benefits, but, at least you still have a job, right?"
Mark continued to look on in disbelief.

The bat broke, the butcher knife got boring, so I started using two hunting knives. I continue the same cutting pattern, killing pretty much everyone with the same knife combination. Using the knife in the right hand, the first cut is a downward diagonal cut, starting from two o'clock straight towards seven o'clock. The second cut is another diagonal cut, from eleven o'clock to around five o'clock. Now, two upward diagonal cuts, five to eleven and then seven to two. Next is a stab to the left shoulder of my victim, followed by a slash to the left of the belly to the right. I was able to disembowel some people this way. Anyway, another stab, to their right shoulder. Another slash to the belly, my left to my right. The finishers were a top to bottom slash, aiming for the forehead to the chin, followed by a stab towards the belly button or solar plexus. Reverse the combo for the left hand, and I could perform the combination with both hands in rhythm with each other.

And everyone pretends they like to live that way

So many dead. We can see it all from the fourth floor window. What was that? Shots fired! Mark de la Cruz is down!

Well, that was a fun day. The most fun I've had in years. They all deserved it. Their family's deserved it. I am a hero, saving the world from their evil. All this time, they treated me as less than human. Well, two can play at that game. They were all less than human. They were all animals, animals to be slaughtered. I wasn't trapped with them; they were trapped with me.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator



Bzzt. Low content smiley. One point deducted.

Debbie Metallica
Jun 7, 2001



~peer pressure~

If I'm feeling better tomorrow night (I have a cold and possibly a sinus infection), I'll try.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Claiming "Me! I Disconnect from You"

Debbie Metallica
Jun 7, 2001



Forgot my song, I'll pick my favorite Numan if I can which is "Exile" though I might pick another track from that album if I get stumped? Can I do that?

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Y Kant Ozma Post posted:

Forgot my song, I'll pick my favorite Numan if I can which is "Exile" though I might pick another track from that album if I get stumped? Can I do that?

Didn't see it used. So it's open.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


These past two weeks the judges had been lazy in their administration. Don't they know that this is unacceptable? I am different. I will pay close attention to you, my dear babies.

WEEK V OF THUNDERDOME
GREETINGS, PEOPLE OF THE FUTURE
So you decided to look at Thunderdome challenges of the old, huh? I salute you! Just be careful, I heard reading too many Thunderdome entries will make you want to enter Thunderdome!

Martello's original Challenge Post was a piece of literary incompetence, so he had chosen to link you instead to this much better list of contestants. Sadly, by the time I wrote this I didn't write the prompt because it was just two pages ago! I can't let you Future People down, so I shall replicate the prompt as it was written:

Martello posted:

Fucksticks, this week the prompt is to write a not-awful loving story that involves Gary Numan's goddamn life, motherfucking lifestyle, the themes and structure of his cuntlicking music, or based on one of his cocksucking songs specifically. Except the loving song "Cars." You can't write about that one, at all, because all of you filthy cunts have heard it so it makes it too loving easy. IN ADDITION to but not DIRECTLY RELATED to Gary Numan, you must also write the lovely loving story about being trapped, somewhere. It doesn't have to be a specific physical place, but it can be. It could be a space station, a 50-gallon drum being slowly filled with gasoline, the protagonist's head, another character's head, or whatever stupid bullshit thing you want the character to be trapped in. Have fun writing the goddamn story, you miserable loving bloodrags.


Contestants, hotlinked and ALPHABETIZED:

Y Kant Ozma Post posted:

Can I do that?
Yes you can. Though not changing. You're bound to your choice.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Oh oh, toanoradian is growing into those boots. Will he grow too big? Stay tuned.

Good job picking up the slack there.

Also, this round, if you can only squeeze a good 500 words or so out of your Numan prompt, don't try to pad it out. I'd rather read tighter, short pieces (and it looks like more people are joining this round, so don't you dare bore me). 1000 words is the upper limit.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


toanoradian is loving vicious. I don't know how I feel about this.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


toanoradian posted:

These past two weeks the judges had been lazy in their administration. Don't they know that this is unacceptable? I am different. I will pay close attention to you, my dear babies.

blah blah alphabetizing is for gays blah blah

Funny, I feel like I've seen something like this already.

Martello posted:

Thunderdome Week V



Contestants:
sebmojo - "Halo"
SurreptitiousMuffin - "The Dream Police"
Black Griffon - "Complex"
budgieinspector - "Are 'Friends' Electric?"
Wrageowrapper - "We Are Glass"
Jonked - "Music for Chameleons"
Sitting Here - "I die: you die"
Dr. Kloctopussy - "My Shadow in Vain"
Chairchucker - "Sister Surprise"
Capntastic - "We Have a Technical"
Baudolino - "Bombers"
Seldom Posts - Summat about Gary Numan having secks with Margaret Thacher or whatever and also
HiddenGecko - "Berserker"
TequilaJesus - "Down in the Park"
swaziloo - "Replicas"
kangaroojunk - "You Are My Vision"
Nyarai - "The Fall"
Fanky Malloons - "Metal"

Oh yeah, there it is.

Also, I just found out that Fanky Malloons is a chick who shaves her domepiece and lifts heavy weights. That makes the even more appropriate.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

I've listened to Sister Surprise now, and I've also Googled the lyrics, and I still have no idea what it's about, so in keeping with that theme I'll make sure I have no idea what my story is about either.

Apparently the album is based on Mad Max 2 or something though so maybe that'll guide me or whatever.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

I'm going to throw down with Stormtroopers in Drag if that's all right.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Benagain posted:

I'm going to throw down with Stormtroopers in Drag if that's all right.

Diffidence cuts no mustard in the Thunderdome.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Martello posted:

Also, I just found out that Fanky Malloons is a chick who shaves her domepiece and lifts heavy weights. That makes the even more appropriate.
Some people take Thunderdome seriously.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


Martello posted:

Oh yeah, there it is.
Your list is bad. For the previous weeks it stood because it's the only list, but not this week. Not under my watch. Only the strongest list will remain.


Chairchucker posted:

I've listened to Sister Surprise now, and I've also Googled the lyrics, and I still have no idea what it's about,

Sister Surprise Lyrics posted:

We are
Walking ghost stories
From this quote alone I can tell that the song is about personification of R. L. Stine's dreams. Please insert Monster Blood to your story.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Some people take Thunderdome seriously.

You better believe it. I might forgo writing a story entirely and go berserker up in here snapping all your spines as I go instead. In the name of being metal, obviously.

budgieinspector
Mar 24, 2006

According to my research,
these would appear to be
Budgerigars.



Fanky Malloons posted:

You better believe it. I might forgo writing a story entirely and go berserker up in here snapping all your spines as I go instead. In the name of being metal, obviously.

In that case, you'll need the Afrika Bambaataa version.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


It is shameful that I have been this sloppy in terms of administration. It is even more shameful that no one utilized this poor regulation.

Rad-obsessed Judge posted:

Deadline for entry is Thursday, 6 2100 EST SEP 2012.

Entry is now closed.

For those who are now suffering in the Thunderdome, give me stories. Give me stories to itemize, to alphabetize and to rankize. I hunger for items.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


"Rankize" ain't a real word.

But yeah, write those stories, peons!

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Since I probably won't have time other than RIGHT NOW because I'm still on vacation, yet refuse to be labelled a failure, here it is, at exactly 1,000 words because I'm assuming the title doesn't count this round, and if it does, well gently caress you.

The Sound of Metal

Mallory's mouth was dry. He peeled his tongue from the roof of his mouth and tried work up some saliva so that he could swallow. He opened his eyes to find himself in total darkness.

"What time is it?" he muttered. His head felt fuzzy. And heavy. He wanted to look at his watch, but he couldn't seem to convince his body to make the correct series of motions to bring his wrist in line with his eyes. He couldn’t stretch his legs either, something was in the way – and where were his blankets? He sat up and felt thick pile beneath his palms. Sliding his hands out, he noticed that the floor seemed to curve up, with the – carpet? blanket? what? – continuing up the walls. Though he was having trouble forming coherent thoughts, Mallory realized he was definitely not in the bed where he had fallen asleep.

***
Marta listened to the tour guide’s patter as she checked over the bull again, making sure it was ready.

"Dr. John Mallory, an engineering professor from MIT, has been helping our collection grow for the past year or so, restoring some of our old devices and building some brand new replica, featuring moving parts and everything!

She knelt and checked the welding on the hatch one last time. She knew it would hold - she had welded it shut herself.

"… Dr. Mallory is unable to join us, but his assistant, Marta, will demonstrate Dr. Mallory's latest feat of engineering for us at the end of the tour, a fearsome instrument of torture that was a favourite of the Ancient Greeks...

Marta snorted derisively as the tour guide moved out of earshot. Assistant. It figured. Never mind that it was her who had figured out how to make the pipes in the head work, her who had perfected the formula for the bronze alloy so that it wouldn't melt during use. Marta had done all of the work, suffering Mallory’s constant chauvinism and numerous advances with good grace and polite rebuttals; slaving day and night to do everything the way he wanted it without ever complaining, and for what?

Mallory had made it clear in the end that he would never see her as an equal; she would never be good enough, because she wasn't a man. The final demonstration of his ego, and his disdain for the mere fact of her gender, had taken Marta's breath away. Give Mallory first author on her research project or he'd make sure it was never published? And now the museum staff were calling her his assistant?

Grinding her teeth, Marta stood up, hissing "gently caress you, Mallory," and rapping sharply on the bull's hindquarter as she did so. It made a soft, metallic 'bong', the thick felt lining on the inside muting the noise considerably. Good.
She busied herself lighting the fire for when the tour group arrived, and started to feel better about the whole thing.

***
Mallory heard a muffled thud above his head. Kneeling, he reached up and felt more of the pile running in a smooth arc above his head. He was in a small, rounded space, lined with something soft. A thread of panic arrowed the fog clouding his thoughts. He dropped to all fours and crawled forward until he felt the wall start to rise in front of him. Mallory followed the pile with his hands, feeling metal where it ended and the walls narrowed, and then a series of tubes that disappeared beyond his reach and, he knew, into the head. They were pipes, and he was inside the brazen bull.

”No,” he whispered, “Oh Jesus, Marta, no.”

***
Marta turned up the flame as the tour group filed in. The tour guide was still prattling.

“Prepare yourselves for perhaps the most gruesome exhibit we’ve had to offer at the Torture Museum in some time, maybe even ever! You and Dr. Mallory went out of your way to ensure it sounds as real as possible, right Marta?”

“You bet.” Marta smiled beatifically, “You could almost believe there was a real person in there.”

***
“Oh my God. Oh, mother of God, no.”

Mallory heaved himself at the bull’s side, where he knew the hatch was. Where it should have been. But he met only the implacable resistance of felt atop firmly welded metal.

How could this be? He had checked it less than 24 hours ago – how could that stupid bitch Marta have pulled out all the wires, the machinery, and set this up? And she must have drugged him on top of that, and somehow gotten him shut up in here. That conniving little – Mallory suddenly realized that he was sweating. The floor was getting warm. Hot, even. He was suddenly furious.

“You bitch!” he screamed, pounding on the bull’s sides, “You can’t do this to me you bitch!”

***
“The bull is designed so that the victim’s screams would be converted into a sort-of musical version of an angry bull’s vocalizations, via a series of pipes in the head…”

The group ooohed appreciatively as the bull started bellow as the fire made its underside glow.

“…of course, our bull is mechanically operated and the fire is just for show, right Marta?”

***
Mallory’s rage morphed into hysteria as the walls of the bull became too hot to touch and he exhausted all of the epithets he knew. His universe became nothing but a blinding, white-hot pain as his skin started to blister and, in between incoherent shrieks of pain and fear he heard himself screaming, “I am an American citizen, you cannot do this to me!”

It didn’t help.

***
Marta could barely hear the tour group applauding over the bull’s strangely melodious bellowing. She basked in their admiration as the noise began to quiet and then, finally, stopped. If there was one thing she and Mallory had ever agreed on, it was this: the brazen bull wasn’t just beautiful – it was magnificent.

Wrageowrapper
Apr 30, 2009

DRINK! ARSE! FECKIN CHRISTMAS!

This story is based on We Are Glass
852 words

A Recipe for Conscious Glass

Glass is an amazing and highly versatile product. It can and has been used in everything from ancient Mesoamerican weapons to ornate stained glass cathedral windows. But have you ever wondered what glass thinks? What it desires? What it doesn't want others to know? Follow this simple recipe to find out.

The first thing needed is silicon dioxide. This is the most important ingredient as it gives the glass a sense of guilt which will allow it to bond with the other components. Commercial silica has had all of its impurities removed which may give a sense of superiority in some glasses but for the most part releases a sense of loss. These so called impurities, if left in, give the glass a distinctive colour and are the crushed bodies of a thousand individual sea creatures which the silica grows quite fond of.

Then mix in sodium carbonate, which balances the silicon dioxide with its bitterness. As opposed to its more socially popular brother sodium bicarbonate, which is used in cooking, sodium carbonate is toxic and can kill if swallowed. Where sodium bicarbonate is used by celebrity chefs, homely grannies and fun loving science teachers sodium carbonate is used by industrial cleaning companies and shady drug dealers. The bitterness it carries with it is unbearable adding to its caustic character.

Finally add some calcium oxide. Calcium oxide helps out because of its clingy and annoying personality. It is predominantly formed as volcanic excreta thus feeling unwanted and rejected from its very creation. Whenever it finds a new friend it will stick to it and never let go, slowly burning the friend until there is nothing left of them which only adds further to its obnoxiousness until it can find another buddy and the horrible cycle turns once more.

When combined together inside a heat resistant tube the calcium immediately seeks out the silica and the sodium and begins to ask them all manner of annoying questions about the weather, their favourite soccer player and what flavour of tea they enjoy the most. The silica, still feeling guilty about the last object it was friends with and so will politely nod along and feign interest. The sodium, on the other hand, will not want anything to do with this little pest but will eventually get roped into the conversation by the silica who doesn't want to be in this by themselves. The sodium will pretend not to enjoy itself but on the inside will finally be happy that someone seems to care.

While the components are happily yapping away place the tube inside of a glass making kiln.

While the glass liquefies inside the kiln the silica component will begin to feel a strong yearning for the beach and will want to escape its confines but cannot. Not only is it stuck in a tube stuck in a kiln but the calcium has become such a clingy bastard that it won’t let it go. Calcium is happy being stuck, for starters its new bestest friends in the whole of the world are with it and secondly it feels comfortable being around others. Whenever calcium oxide is left alone it gets anxious and depressed, with others it is as happy as can be.

The silica is upset because it needs its sand friends back again but before too long it will accept its fate and get depressed. During this depression the calcium will seem like a better life partner and will happily relent to its constant advances. The sodium, on the other hand, will join this union simply to annoy sodium bicarbonate.

After the kiln process is finished shape the glass in any way you wish. Surprisingly it doesn’t matter to the glass. You may think that with the competing personalities of the individual components that the glass would be unworkable or schizophrenic but this is not so. Instead the individual components have become one. One piece of glass with one personality. This personality may well be insane but it is coherent and there are several experiments we can perform to demonstrate this in action.

Experiment 1: Take your new piece of conscious glass and trap it in a lift playing the music of Billy Bragg. At first you may think your glass is humming along. This, however, is simple resonance caused by pinko whinging against Tory glass. Rather you should hear the glass singing Ozzy Osborne’s Crazy Train. This experiment demonstrates that glass appreciates Thatcherism.

Experiment 2: Hook your glass up to the telephone, dial the number then scream down the line and keep on screaming. As you are gasping for air you will hear a faint whisper discussing the finer points volcanism. This experiment demonstrates that glass is shy when on the phone.

Experiment 3: Tell your glass you are taking it on a train to the sea but get off on the stop before the seaside one. Hear nothing but complaints on your long walk home. This experiment demonstrates that glass can suffer from disappointment.

If all three experiments are successful then you can be certain that the glass is conscious.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

toanoradian posted:

Please insert Monster Blood to your story.

I don't understand this request but I guess I'll interpret it in some way or whatever.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Chairchucker posted:

I don't understand this request but I guess I'll interpret it in some way or whatever.
Go to google, type in "monster blood" and note how the first five pages are all about the exact same thing.

e: except the stuff about Australian kids' books. gently caress Australia.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

All hail Thunderdome.

Now remember kids - do not proofread. That is the action of a pussy. Type out your story and POST THAT BITCH. Just slap it right the hell down, the judges will understand your spelling errors and and malapropistic random bullshit.

Whatever you do don't write your story then leave it for a day or so to review. Don't edit it, because editing is a sign of weakness. Crap it out fast and don't blink.

For serious.

I wouldn't lie to you about this stuff.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Chairchucker, maybe you should make a nice little list of the things you do understand and then we can go from there.

areyoucontagious
Jun 13, 2007

Hell is other people.


Tell you what, Chairchucker, I will be the nice judge this week. I'll give you bonus points if you, in addition to your story, write a 250 synopsis of your favorite R.L. Stine Goosebumps story. I'll warn you now though, If I find you've copied and pasted something from the internet, consequences will be dire.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


I hope you guys are happy. The last three nights in a row, I've woken up at some rotten hour with my head pounding and the opening bass riff from The Dream Police looping in my head. I've listened to that song so many times, it's become part of the fabric of my being.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


That being the case, I expect something even more amazing than usual.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

I hope you guys are happy. The last three nights in a row, I've woken up at some rotten hour with my head pounding and the opening bass riff from The Dream Police looping in my head. I've listened to that song so many times, it's become part of the fabric of my being.

Might be your Dream Police are the LAPD.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Brain Chemicals
659 words
Inspired by Stormtrooper in Drag

Frank was lying on a lovely motel room bed, staring at the ceiling and kind of half-heartedly wishing that people still used ceiling fans in rooms like these, because while air conditioning was nice staring at the same motionless white paint for hours on end really started to freak you out a little bit you know? All the visions that came to you weren't pulled straight from your subconscious, they had to have something to project on, and while the inexperienced user might think that this would be perfect Frank liked some rhythm and repetition to get his groove on and this motel room was disappointingly barren of either.

Time check. An endless eternity spent moving the phone in his hand to directly in front of his face, trying and failing a few times to then poke it with his thumb in the correct magical sequence that would make it release its secrets to him, unburden its tiny electronic soul of all the information it could possibly summon. He was having trouble for some reason, more trouble then he should have, but his mind kept sliding off the reason and eventually it worked anyway.

A name. Flashing there in the missed call log. How many times? He squinted a bit, trying to decipher the strange symbols. Reading, he decided, was a crude method of information transportation. The equivalent of land travel back in the old days, when getting on a boat was so much more quicker. He must discover how to float the information gently down the electronic waves from the phone to his head, where it could then be processed directly. A minor, slightly logical part of his brain pointed out that you could make the argument that this is what was happening with the reading and the reflected light and all, and the workaround completed his brain kindly allowed him to understand numbers again.

Holy poo poo, eight.. He must be pissed, calling eight times. Anyone was supposed to come when they were called seven times, that was a law or something, a higher law, and now here he was failing to show up after eight, the others must think so much less of him now, gossiping about him behind his back. Although. Come to think of it they were probably still here, he could talk to them.

Move, a slow remembering of certain muscle groups, a reactivation of body habits that had been blasted away by the chemicals, clenching his abdominal wall as his spine curved forward and then straightened again to take the weight of his body and evenly distribute it down into the mattress on which he sat, the springs flexing and themselves distributing the weight across the entire bedframe and from there into the floor to the foundation to the very earth itself and here he sat staring into a mirror. He was wearing a tutu, he remembered that now.

There was a voice buzzing at him from the phone. He stared at in confusion for a second, then spoke aloud. “Does anyone remember what we're doing here?” He heard a no, or he thought he heard a no, and then he tapped his armor a bit to make sure it was still doing its job. Still the same white glistening exoskeleton protecting his inner guts from the harsh miseries of the world.

His phone lit up again, a small flashing reminder : 4:15 PM meet for ComicCon drag show. Check the time, he thought. He'd been supposed to do that. Hit the phone again, remembered that he'd been wearing gloves the whole time. 4:52. That meant something, he thought, then lay down on the bed again to relax from all the effort.

Frank stared at the ceiling. The blank whiteness was starting to freak him out and he wished for a return to the days when rooms had ceiling fans, because while air conditioning was nice and all he liked a little rhythm and repetition in his trip, y'know? Something to help the groove.

swaziloo
Aug 29, 2012


Replicas
(995 words)

James stood inches from his closed door and twirled the long hairs of his beard as he counted in his head. 'One-thousand six. One-thousand seven. One-thousand eight.' He drifted back to the cafeteria as he counted.

Mr. Wall rapidly shoveled neon-yellow macaroni into his mouth, pausing just enough to give directions. "Know how frequently the scanner comes, and how many seconds before it turns down the next hall. Fifteen seconds after you aren't where you're supposed to be they'll pulse the building once. You need to be at E5 before then."

'One-thousand sixteen.' James pushed open the door and slipped into the hallway. He glanced left to make sure the scanner had turned, then ran to the right. 'One-thousand one. One-thousand two.'

"Keep up the count. At E5 wait for the scan, then take the path opposite the dark hall. Count fourteen doors and knock once. Only once. If you're not there by twenty seconds after the scan, don't even knock. Let them pick you up. Play dumb." He wanted to ask questions, but Mr. Wall waved his hand. Just figure it out. James had never seen anyone eat macaroni so fast.

He reached E7 and scampered backwards upon glimpsing a scanner down the hall to the left. Counting too quickly. Adrenaline pumping. Slow down. He glanced again to confirm the scanner had turned and bolted down the hall to E5.

He stood there waiting. 'One-thousand thirty-one. One-thousand thirty-two. One thousand thirty-three. One-thousand thirty-four." The pulse came late. Still counting too fast. The sensation washed over him and he started counting again. Towards D5 the lights were set farther back in the ceiling. He ran the other way, counting identical doors and seconds in his head. At the fourteenth he rapped once.

Mr. Wall cracked the door almost instantly. The stench of burned electronics and tobacco poured from the room. "Count?"

"One-thousand nineteen." James replied in pace.

Mr. Wall grabbed his arm and yanked him inside. He held a crude device in his other hand. Circuit boards wired together and plugged into something larger. He spun James in place and lifted the hair on the back of his neck with his rough hand. James felt something cold touch his skin.

The bright lights gleamed off the sparkling white tables and shiny ceramic bowls. The edges of crosshatched, brown trays reflected in the surfaces. Behind the bowls swayed a sea of jumpsuits, each one identical but for the haircut on top. Everyone frantically eating macaroni.

James felt himself dragged to consciousness by the stench of Mr. Wall's room. He shook his head and wrinkled his nose before opening his eyes. Mr. Wall squatted beside him holding a cup of water. "Sip this."

"How long?" James propped himself on his elbow and took the cup.

Mr. Wall stood and considered his door. "They'll come through here in about fifteen minutes. You'll be gone before then. Thirty seconds, then out the door to the left all the way to the end. They will see you leave, so try to blend in." Mr. Wall counted in his head.

James drew himself up onto shaky knees. "Why do you do it?"

Mr. Wall just smiled. "Get ready."


The brilliant sun blinded James and burned his pale skin. He considered one direction, then the other, and fell in with the larger migration. The droves wore colorful, inconsistent clothing - sunglasses on their familiar, expressionless faces. They gave no indication of noticing him, and he dared not speak. He smoothed back his unkempt hair and adjusted his posture. Flattened his expression. He needed to put some distance between himself and the inconspicuous door through which he had joined their world.

After several blocks, the crowd thinned to the point where James could no longer sense an obvious migration. He stuffed his hands into his jumpsuit's pockets and crossed the street. He turned into a park, down uneven steps beneath the largest trees he had seen in his life. On a nearby bench, in the shade of a tree, sat a woman wearing a small, bright dress and perfect makeup eating her lunch with a smile. He sat down on the other end of the bench and tried not to stare.

"Am I familiar?" She spoke in a sweet voice, and when James looked, he found himself caught in the depths of her complicated, hazel eyes. "How did you manage to get out?"

"My name is James."

She quickly packed up her few things. "You can't be sitting around out here like that, James." She rose and offered him a hand. Her fingers felt cool. Electric. "Let's get you somewhere safe." She led him on a path through the park. "Do you even know why you came out here?" They climbed a wide set of steps towards another busy street. "James, do you know?"

"Where are you taking me?" His trembling voice betrayed a swelling fear.

"Were you just planning to wait for them to pick you up?" She whispered in his ear. "You need to keep moving."

He could see the constables making their way down the street towards him. A cancerous panic grew in his throat. He let go of her hand. He tried to make eye contact with someone else. Anyone. "Help me." He whimpered. "Help me!" He felt fear. "Help! Me!" Anger. The passersby slowed to consider him, forming a circle without altering their unified expression. The faces were familiar, but he didn't know their names. Not out here. "This could be you!" He shouted. "You standing right here!" He pulled at his head. His face. His hair. Nothing. He glanced from one uncaring gaze to the next until his eyes finally found those of the woman, now part of the circle. Her smile dissolved. The electricity vanished. "I could be any one of you!" He cried. Pleaded. Slumped.

James shook his head and let out a growl of defeat. He looked past them, and waited for the police.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


pink slip (900ish words)

tim woke & the world flickered. somewhere dark, a projectionist changed the reels. the walls in this fresh hell were hospital waiting-room green-grey, the carpet thick with white & burgundy flecks: nyer nyer nyer we know what you look like inside. something pulsed nearby; industrial, devoid of love.

sitting across was a man in an old hat & coat, reading a newspaper. his coat was brown-white, rubbery & one size too small. his skin was brown-white, rubbery & one size too small. the newspaper showed pictures of a hospital waiting room decorated with green-grey, with a carpet of white & burgundy-

wait, poo poo.

the world folded in, rocking like the deck of a ship. the man lowered his newspaper & shook his head. "Timothy. Tim. Is it ok if I call you Tim?" he said. his mouth may have opened, though it was impossible to tell. tim nodded, gripped the chair; floating wood for a drowned man. "I'll be frank with you, Tim. You've been having some thoughts that don't, uh, gel with us. Very nasty thoughts," he said.

you brute, you swine, you backwards dogfucking lovebandit. let me go. the walls shook. the man in the coat pursed his lips. "Like that, yes. It's alright though, Tim! We're just going to perform a little operation and send you on your merry way. Wouldn't you like a clear head?"

balding, 50s, authority of a cop with the fussy precision of a banker. he'd be running to fat if running were ever on the agenda. tim found his mouth open & tried to speak but his tongue was lead, his lips marble. the pulse quickened, the world shook.

"The boys are making a ruckus in there, aren't they?" said the man. "You know what they're like; shoot first and ask questions later. I tell them I'm the one doing the paperwork but they never listen. This one time, they took out a guy's wife and kids. He woke up next to her and just started screaming. The forms I had to fill out, you'll never believe."

piggy piggy pig you're in the wrong house & it's built out of straw.

there were shouts beyond the door. The Man In The Suit shook his head. "That hurts my feelings, Tim, it really does. It's Lawrence, by the way. Not that you asked," said lawrence. his face was melting, his features running together. worms pushed up from inside his eyes.

the third little pig built his house out of stone & steel & bone & cctv.

the room was shaking too much now, the roof tiles dislodging, exposing great rivers of muscle & lymph. it came crashing through, filling the world; a rank sea clogging every pore, every hole & misgiving. the worms ate his eyes, then his loves, then his stamp collection. the newspaper showed pictures of a hospital waiting-

wait, poo poo.

"See what we've got here is a failure to communicate," said lawrence, in an affected texas drawl. he smirked, bit his tongue. "Right now, you're sleeping soundly in your bed. If you let us do our job, you wake up feeling good and I get to sign the Good Forms. You push me, your body starts twitching and foaming and we dump you in a public toilet with track marks up your arm and who gives a gently caress about another junkie? 'Oh, he seemed so nice' they'll say at the funeral and noone'll mention the rubber band around your arm but they'll all be thinking about it. Then I have to sign the Bad Forms and my wife wonders why I'm so surly at dinner. Nobody wins, Tim."

piggy pig pig, you're in the wrong house & it's built out of sticks.

lawrence stopped, drew a pencil & a notepad & scribbled something down. he was beginning to sweat. "Interesting. That makes me the wolf, no? The bad guy. I'm not a bad guy, if you get to know me, Tim. I coach Little League. I help out at a soup kitchen. I'm not the one having Bad thoughts; putting myself and others at risk. 'He's a menace to society, Lawrence, best put him down' they said to me. Would you be put down, like a wounded animal? Like a dog?" he said.

the sticks scared you, didn't they? i can build & build. sticks. sticks & stones & blood & bones. you're in the wrong house, pig & now it's time to go.

something horrifying was going on beyond the door. the men screamed & the world screamed, lurching & bucking, tonguing at the wound, drinking down salt water & spitting up blood. in came the walls, in came the world and the newspaper showed-

the world went to fold & hit cast iron will coming the other way. no lover, no bull nor hurricane ever moved with such purpose & fury. no. gently caress no. not what makes me. Piggy pig pig, you're in the wrong house and it's built out of






stone.












"Excellent," said Lawrence, after a long minute. "I think that about wraps it up for us. Thank you for your cooperation. We'll be back to check up later. Don't be a stranger."

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


September 7
Spent the whole day sneaking a peek at Judges' journals. Discover that areyoucontagious slept with stuffed gnomes by his side. It acts as replacement kidney.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


Less than 24 hours before submissions deadline

Those lazy 71.42% should be careful. My expectations of your quality decreases by the hour.

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areyoucontagious
Jun 13, 2007

Hell is other people.


toanoradian posted:

September 7
Spent the whole day sneaking a peek at Judges' journals. Discover that areyoucontagious slept with stuffed gnomes by his side. It acts as replacement kidney.

Also, the gnomes don't like the stories much so far. It's a good thing they don't really have an impact on my judging!

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