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Debbie Metallica
Jun 7, 2001



sebmojo posted:

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.

You got it.

Exile
315 words

The first rock skittered out across the pond, thrown too fast to skip properly. The boys kicked at the dirt and extracted flat stones.

You have to do it right, you have to have the flat kind if you want it to skip a lot. Everyone has a cousin who got a rock to skip at least 40 times. Probably more but it went so far they couldn’t even count the jumps after a while.

Eric was gritty fingernails and grimy snot-trails down the front of his face, but still he wiped the earth off of his rocks by rubbing them on his jeans.

Four ducklings dropped themselves into the shallows. The other boys crouched down in by cattails to watch them swim, all agape, like you couldn’t see ducklings any time you wanted at the park. Back in the ravine, there’d been a dead doe just rotting there. Eric had nudged it with his sneaker toe. He’d thought all the bugs would come running right out of it, scared off just by the smell of him, even, but nothing had happened. Then the guys had just pushed him along like the pond was some big deal.

One of his rocks came close enough to earn a warning squawk from the mother duck. “Hey, watch it, you dumb poo poo. You almost hit them. Knock it off, Eric.” His next rock was closer still, and then he really started aiming. The first duck was underwater and gone and then the second, too. He didn’t even hear the other boys yelling as he threw harder and harder at the rest.

He waded in to get closer to them and was surprised at how shallow the pond was, but then he was all out of rocks and soaking wet. The three ducklings floating there weren’t even bloody when he picked them up. They just flopped in his hands.

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SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


sebmojo posted:

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.
I hope this is intentional.

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.

No added Goosebumps synopsis because terrible pseudo-horror for kids is, oddly, not something I ever got into.

973 words, including title. Contains Monster Blood kind of.

Sister Surprise

Gareth didn’t dare to pull over and check the damage until he’d reached the next building. The creatures wouldn’t generally attack actual settlements, but they didn’t seem to have figured out yet that they couldn’t pounce on moving vehicles.
Just a mild dent. A bit of greenish blood, some hairs. Nothing serious.
He appeared to have stopped at a petrol station, of sorts. Well, he was running a little low. He went inside to negotiate.
“Why hello there, dear. Welcome to Madame Natalie’s Bed, Breakfast and Brothel. I’m afraid we haven’t had any petrol for a couple of months, but we provide for everything else a man could need.” The speaker was a rather attractive older woman.
“Ah. I was really just here for the petrol.”
“Sorry, it’s rather hard to come by, these days. We’ve got somewhat secure parking though, solid locked doors, and warm girls.”
Well, it was rather late, thought Gareth. And he was hungry. And tired. And lonely. “How much is everything?” he asked.
“Rooms are thirty per night. Breakfast depends on what you’re having; there are menus in the rooms. As for everything else, we leave that to the customers to negotiate with the girls. Just remember that Lionel over here is always around making sure the girls are safe.”
Gareth hadn’t seen him before; he wasn’t sure how he could’ve missed him, he looked big enough to tackle one of the creatures with his bare hands. Lionel just nodded at Gareth and resumed being inconspicuous.
“Don’t worry about that” said Gareth “I’m ever so respectful.” He counted out three tens and handed them to her.
Madame Natalia held out two keys. “Room seventeen is empty” she said “or room twelve is occupied. Your choice.” Gareth barely hesitated before taking the key to room twelve from her.
The ‘secure parking’ was not. Not really. There was a dog chained up nearby. It didn’t look up as Gareth parked the car. Well, it was mostly just creatures out here, not many raiders. They didn’t know how to hotwire a car, and they tended to keep their distance.

The room seemed empty when Gareth entered. Perhaps he’d not paid attention when Madame Natalia had described the rooms. Oh well, it was probably for the best; he didn’t have all that much money anyway. He dropped his bags onto the floor and looked around for a menu.
“Why hello there” said a feminine voice from behind him. He turned around to see a young lady in the doorway, dressed in a formless black and white… well he assumed it was a dress, but most dresses didn’t have hoods, did they? “I expect you’re here to fornicate with some helpless young girl, aren’t you?” she said. Ah! It was a habit! Well, he wasn’t all that into roleplaying, but he could adapt.
“Yes, please” he said. “Listen, not to break character or whatever, but I’d prefer we settle terms beforehand, if that’s all right.”
“Do you know what the Good Book says about fornicating?” she asked.
“I don’t suppose it gives some good tips on positions, does it?” he asked. “Listen, I’m not paying extra for this, am I? I don’t necessarily object to the ‘naughty nun’ thing, but if it costs more I’d just as soon not worry about it.”
“It says not to” she informed him. “Flee sexual immorality are the exact words, I believe.”
“Ah, listen,” he told her “I think I’m just not into this kind of thing, OK? Altogether too much talking, so I might just pass this time if that’s OK.” He yawned theatrically. “And it’s rather late, so I think I’ll just turn in.”
“As you wish” she said. She curtseyed and excused herself from the room, closing the door behind her.

He slept better than he had in days. Say what you want about brothels, he thought, but their beds can’t be beat for comfort.
“How was it?” asked Madame Natalia when he came to the front to return the key and order breakfast.
“Best sleep I’ve had in days,” he said “although that’s all I ended up doing. I don’t think I was into what she was selling. I will have some breakfast though before I leave.”
She shrugged. “The customer is king. We have one other patron this morning; are you happy to share a table? It makes cleaning up easier.”
“Sure” he said. She showed him into the dining room; it was empty, although one of the tables had been set up and had a small duffle bag sitting on one of the chairs. He ordered bacon and eggs and sat down.
He didn’t hear her enter, but saw her walk past from behind him, a flash of black and then as he focussed, that same black and white habit. “I don’t think I introduced myself earlier” she said with a smile and an extended hand. “I’m Gladys.”
“Still in your work clothes?” he asked as he shook her hand.
“Oh, I don’t work here” said Gladys. “I’m glad you took my advice to heart last night, by the way. Don’t worry, I told the girl that you were sleeping.”
Gareth frowned his way through breakfast in silence, occasionally punctuated by Gladys’ exclamations of how delicious it was. As he got up to leave, Gladys asked “Say, is that your vehicle out the back? Could I trouble you for a lift to wherever you’re headed?” Stunned, he didn’t answer immediately, and she hastily went on “I’ll be no trouble at all, honest, I’ll even pay you, and your eternal rewards will be richer still.”
“OK, sure” he said, not entirely sure why he had agreed. They both paid and made their way back to his car. It was still intact; the two of them drove off down the road.

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

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

Fallen Rib

I have spent a good deal of time in deep meditation on Gary Numan's ceramic legacy, and my assigned song. I have refined the essence of that experience into my submission here, as follows. Peace be upon you all.

Gunfarm, based on Gary Numan's "We Have a Technical". 1171 words.

Gunfarm is on neutral turf. Decades ago that name might've evoked some sort of dopey franchise title, but no, now Gunfarm is just the right place to get your blazing poo poo bought and built. Thick and grimy tank traps made of graffitied concrete blocks ring the Damned place, and parking is a Bitch, to say the least. First off, you need an appointment, which means you need to know a guy who works there, or a guy who does. Second, well, you touch something that's not yours when you pass those graffiti rings, and you get your rear end blown the gently caress back. Well, it's fair that way, I think. They do good work there.

What happened was, when I was laying low there, was I saw a dude get killed. Not like, shot or beat the gently caress to death for his own Damned insolence, but really just an honest mistake I think. Anyways, how it was, was that this was a few years ago, and I was "packing heat". That's a joke really, what I mean is, I was sorting parts out and putting together what I could. This goes with that. Taking broke poo poo and making it work out. Taking care of small orders. We need some rifles, or we need some claymore mines or whatever the gently caress. Sometimes some rear end in a top hat would just want his gun cleaned with jojoba oil or something. Suits them, so why not? We got good trades, too. Clean gas, batteries. None of that Bitcoin trash, like we'd just give some twitchy rear end Fucker a grenade just for making us laugh at the offer. poo poo, we'd even get cracked videogames and descrambled porn. Life on the farm is good, and I'd be a Damned liar if I said I didn't miss it every day.

Well, the thing is that we worked on cars too. Putting in batteries, clearing out lines, getting some Shithead's tires to spin right, whatever. It was all about connections. You know how you can't get anything at all without knowing the right people, right? Well it's like that everywhere, and Gunfarm's one of those places. Some boss's boss somewhere, and his guys, they needed us to rig together a technical for 'em. Not a fifty cal, like some guy who killed the right Fucker. No, he had a rocket launcher. One of those nasty rear end things like a beehive hosed a boombox. It was, truly, a beautiful thing. Four dudes hauled it into one of our workshops in a big loving crate stuffed with newspapers. Pulling the trash out the holes, I gotta admit, I was afraid I'd come eye to eye with some bees or a rocket. No such luck. Anyways, the thing is that it was a one night job, and we had to get the poo poo in and out fast, and we were working in a pair. Me and Kirkman got assigned this top tier job and that Fucker died because he didn't keep his eye on his work.

It was warm and we had the flood lights on so we could see what we were doing. The truck was in good enough shape I think, and was ringed with barbed wire and cow catchers and poo poo on all sides. Not bad work, though some of the welds were a bit crummy. Like people don't know that you gotta melt the loving metal all the way to get it sticking right. I dunno. Anyways, we were gonna break the engine down and clean it up and make it new and all. We had the electric winch putting it back in and it did the whole thing, and I remember the crisp shadows the contours the lights made the engine cast as we put it back into the truck. Well anyways, break time I guess, right? And Kirkman is telling me all this poo poo about how he doesn't love the big engine or the rocket launcher or what the gently caress ever, but he loves the 'idea' of 'em. Saying that guns and engines and poo poo are all the same, that they combust a thing to make another thing go. The sacrifice of one stable thing to propel another Damned thing. Skinny Fucker always running his freckled mouth.

So I'm in the cutting room with the laser torch trying to get this stupid as poo poo control box rigged together, since we've gotta make room for an LCD display so you can target from the passenger side instead of just ramming your hippofist onto the big red button and hoping you kill a Fucker. Honest enough work, getting these control systems set up. You start with the box, then make spots for the switches and buttons and whatever, and then wire it up with the conduit facing out to connect it to the juice and to the rocket launcher itself. Where the gently caress were we before microprocessors? So I'm cutting away at this box, making rings in the brushed aluminum, and I hear Kirkman shatter his boney rear end. I run into the garage and he loving deserved it, I think. What he did was he was standing in the bed of the truck, trying to use the winch to balance the rocket launcher on its mount and it tipped over and crushed him.

Not like it crushed him entirely, but the whole thing was resting on its corner and that corner was pressing down on his collarbone somehow. What a loving idiot. Blood's just pouring out of him and he's trying to talk. I hop up into the bed of the truck with him and his hot blood is soaking into my denims. I'm trying to pull the thing off of him but that just makes the blood spurt out more. I put it the gently caress back, and hope he goes quickly. He doesn't, somehow. He tells me all this poo poo about how he came to Gunfarm to be safe, and how he hated all the fighting "out there". Saying how he doesn't even mind dying this early, since poo poo was so bad all over. Saying how he just wanted to make a decent life and go somewhere quiet. And now, he's screaming out whispers through all the blood in his throat, saying how it's not even the launcher that's crushing him, just his own Damned body. I nodded as he finally kicked off.

Well, I disagree with him in a sense. I got fired because we didn't finish the job, severance package was a few rations and some water to try my luck elsewhere. Seems like I lost out on having the best loving job I could ask for. I'll always miss Gunfarm. On the other hand, I haven't seen a gun in months, and no one's asked me to douse their revolver in jojoba oil. What can I say then? Sometimes I think he did it on purpose. But Kirkman's stupid death set us both free. All it took was scuffing up one Hell of a kick rear end rocket launcher.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

What is Illuminated
800 words

I'm on my knees and the light is there. For the first time, it's there. It casts a honey-golden circle in the otherwise boundless black and I am in the very middle. The light gives me shape. I reach back, over, under to feel all of these facets and planes of myself that the light illuminates and makes solid. Infantile, adult, I touch my mouth and know that I am smiling.

From inside my circle I see that the darkness beyond seethes. I hug myself, careful to stay away from the edges of the light, grateful that it shines on me and sets me apart from the formless, infinite sludge. So it goes, and my whole being is the trifecta of light above, me within, and dark without. The light offsets the dark, my form defies the formless.

Then a fourth quality emerges, a pearl of awareness that grows in the tension between the light and the black. Resent. I grow to resent the darkness.

I strain my eyes to peer past the curtain of light, look for others like me in that hideous beyond. I see no one, only the now-hackneyed press of nothing against my kernel of something. For the first time I scent something familiar in the black, something bovine and tart, fetid and sweet, like the contents of some carnivore's belly.

There is no other light.

Soon staring at the glory of it isn't enough, so I crawl. I reach out. I touch.

Screams, a noise louder than thunder, then the darkness erupts into pulsing flashes, little spherical bursts of lightning that leave scars of color on my eyes when they pass. I look up and out, see that the void has taken on the quality of an arena where thousands upon thousands of the little flashing lights flicker on and off, some close enough to touch, others far enough to be whole galaxies away.

And, of all this, I am the center. I try to move away from the edge, back to the middle of my little golden oasis, and the screams grow louder, more agitated. I feel something forming on my tongue, a weight made of days and nights and faces and colors. It grows bigger until my jaw almost unhinges with the effort of ejecting it.

There, sprayed in the spatter of vomit, is a life. My life. I see dreams: Mechanical wings extending outward from the edges of my peripheral vision, the hum of a motor. A patchwork toy world spreading outward, and no backyard or back road or greenbelt or hidden pond is forbidden. I loop and twirl and the engine is my song.

I see shame, toe-curling, bladder-loosening shame. Rejection. Incomprehension. My own arrogance thrown back at me in the form of editorial. Remoteness, myself as a facsimile human approximation.

The crowded darkness goes wild. I am on my knees, in the light, and all that I am is there, between hands planted like feet on the ground. Click. Click. Click. The storm of flashes is in perpetual climax, and I am at its center. I am the center.

I crawl, aching for the warm dark of the anonymous beyond, but the light follows me. The darkness peels away like the parting of the Red Sea wherever I go. I can feel the vitriol of the jealous, voyeuristic black, and I know that I am its focus because I am illuminated. Still, I can't escape the light.

I try to stand, but the weight of the brilliance overhead crushes me back onto my knees. And all the while, my mouth contorts around the purging of my life onto the perfection of the golden circle. The darkness beyond writhes and roars and flashes, lapping up my expulsions as they run in rivulets to the edges of the light.

Life running like blood; lifeblood. And then I understand. For there to be no spectacle, there must be no spectacle. I heave myself onto my back and my naked belly burns. Heat upon heat. Images of my life continue to gurgle out of me as if pulled, so I cover my mouth with my hands and breath deep. Psychic effluent seeps up through my fingers, but most rushes back into the vacuum below my trachea and now I am asphyxiating on the very stuff of my self.

I will myself to die so that this hell will die with me. The panic of suffocation is like a balm. Outside of my shell, the darkness first roars in affirmation of the indignity before them, then grows quiet, then begins mewling. The flashing lights stop. But it is too late.

The honey-gold light fades to a flickering orange, then a dusky pink, then nothing.

I die and without the light, the darkness dies with me.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

Who has the strength to save us all?

I see Halo in my sleep these days. The ringworld arcing up and over me. I’ve been playing it a lot. The original one, of course; Bungie made others but they never achieved the same precision, the same purity of vision.

Sarah was always very precise. Her words, actions, clothing; precise. Even the way she closed the door; no slam, just a firm sweeping arc and a final exact tug to seat the lock. She wasn’t a fan of games, but she indulged me. ‘Are you killing baddies darling?’ she’d ask as I sidled off to the console. I’d nod and smile. ‘There are still so many,’ I’d say in mock despair.

I’ve been playing Halo for years, but I’m not very good at it. I do still like the main menu screen though - Gregorian chanting, blue wireframe spinning in the glowing void. Difficulty: Legendary. The screen reads “This is suicide.” I press Start, again.

Halo begins on a starship under fire. Humanity is at war, facing extinction. The player is a tall, untiring soldier. Master Chief. Sarah always thought that was hilarious. She’d say his name in funny voices, drawing out the syllables or truncating them to extract maximum comic potential.

I leap through the air spraying bullets, controller buzzing in my hands. The screen flashes red as I land, plasma blasts peppering my shields. I flick a grenade around the corner, wait for the beeping of my overtaxed defences to stop, run for the escape pod. Then slump further down and rest my controller on my belly. Cortana the Chief’s holographic AI companion is saying something about the enormous ring the ship is flying towards. A cutscene, nothing I can do.

I’m still wearing my wedding ring. I’m not sure I could even take it off now. I’ve put on some weight and it’s scored a furrow in the flesh of my finger. I turn it around with my other hand while I’m waiting for the loading light to grow, the chord to complete.

The capsule crash-lands on the surface of the ring. My companions are dead. I am alone. Aliens come chittering towards me, fly overhead, blasting at me. I shoot back, grenade back, dodging, jumping. Mount the crest and see the house. It’s not actually a house, more of an …. installation? Halo is full of inexplicable things like this, but it has ramps up the side, battlements on top. It’s a place where you can shelter.

When we had our baby he cried a lot at first. To give Sarah a rest I’d sit up with him in the room I’m in now. If I kept the volume down he’d eventually sleep. Once I looked down and saw him staring at the screen, eyes wide.

I run down the hill, aliens are waiting for me to kill them at the bottom. As I finish the last of them a marine runs up and says “It’s a mess, sir”. My hands are sweaty from the fight and as I wipe them I look around. It is a mess. Dishes are piled up, clothing. Outside it is probably still cloudy – I can’t see through the curtains.

Not long after the accident we stopped talking to each other. I can’t speak for Sarah of course but I felt like she needed time to get used to the absence in her own way. And there was the guilt. I suppose.

The hardest difficulty level of Halo is fiendish. The aliens, the Covenant, fire twice as fast. There are more of them. They swarm. I am being overwhelmed. My space marine allies are lost, my shield is down. I shelter in a cul de sac, eye my last grenade, reload. An elite leaps round the corner, I plant the grenade on him, empty my last needler clip, jump back as he explodes.

We had one of our last conversations three months after the funeral. “This is it”, she said. “This is how it will be forever.” I waited for her to keep going, but she didn’t.

The Master Chief stands in a nest of pipes, waiting to die and my head is suddenly filled with light, explosions, a devastating wave of fire that spreads to obliterate everything and everyone. I’m shaking, crying, clutching the controller so hard the plastic creaks.

When I open my eyes ten seconds later I’m looking at the game over screen. I breathe out slowly, blink a few times. I press Start, again.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW



If we pick you for loser, will you please change your handle back to Duchess Gummybuns? I saw an old thread recently where the OP was BANNED by Duchess Gummybuns and I was all for about two hours.

Actually, I recommend you change your name to that regardless of what happens in the Thunderdome.

Baudolino
Apr 1, 2010

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Whoee! This was fun, altough i fear i may have attempted a fligth beyond my feathers. Better to die trying then die untried.

The last bombardment.
(994 words)
Anthony had been looking forward to this. The 3rd Bombardment Division was to deliver the final aerial assault on Berlin before the Russian attack; he and the crew were going to make history once again.

Despite his piloting duties Anthony still found time to reflect. Dresden had been fun, firstly because of the flawless fire tornado that they managed to pull off. Secondly because he had taken a huge risk and descended low to observe the man-made inferno up close. Oh and the strafing that Joe did on those refugees was just glorious. In particular he remembered a glimpse of a crying policeman standing shivering beside his car before Scplosh! Bullets tore him apart.

Too bad not everyone gets to see stuff like that. Before civilians had seen the beauty of a good bombing themselves they could never understand why he loved his job so much. Like Mr Ashwood, that old British singer who had invited him for drinks at the Bristol. I told him the truth in full of what we did. How could I know that he was such a drat softie? Goddamn it he looked at me like I was a monster, like I’m the bad guy and not those Krauts that blitzed the city he lived in. loving civvies!

Hours later as the formation passed by the Zeelow Height’s and into the suburbs flak fire could be seen coming from various directions. It could barely scratch them but it would still prevent descending for a closer look. Anthony was dismayed by this and thought.
I wish to bomb at ground level.
To fight at zero feet.

OuuieOuuie… the sirens on the wall screamed to the heavens. Eva Schmidt could never get used to that horrible sound and nearly dropped her small shopping net. Everywhere a panic gripped the people trying to navigate through the endless grey ruins. Eva and everyone else around her, mostly women and foreign workers started to run.

With her feet pounding like drumsticks Eva propelled herself forward, she had to find some kind of shelter quickly or there would be no room. She and thousands more headed for the nearby U-Bahn station . Eva was quickly trapped by the desperate crowd. To stop or even to change direction would mean certain death.
In the corner of her eye she saw what looked like Mrs Christina Fischer kicking an emaciated and disheveled man lying in a fetal position clutching a tiny shopping net. Given the constant push from behind and Mrs Fischer robust physique there was neither time nor need to stop and help; all Eva could do was to follow the human river down the street.

At last the U-Bahn station entrance came into view, as always the old men keeping guard were completely overwhelmed. Descending like in a waterfall down the concrete steps she hears the first distant booms of detonating bombs filling the air. Eva sees a pale little girl a few feet below leaning against the wall crying” Mama, Wohin bist du”. Unnoticed by the crowd the Girl is dragged along a man’s coat, and disappears beneath countless running feet. Consumed by fear Eva hardly notices as her flat sensible shoes bury into something soft and wet.
A thought appeared to her as she found her place among the tightly packed Berliners taking refuge in the tunnels.

I wish bombers had to at ground level and see the carnage up close.
That they had to fight at zero feet.

To Anthony the ruinous city below seemed still and dead like the grave. There appeared not to be a single undamaged building left . Yet the Germans held on somehow surviving one deadly shower after the other. But it must be hell, I bet there are more than a few junkies down there pulling needles from their arms right now, hoping to float away forever on a dopamine cloud.

A gust of icy wind from behind told him that the bombing port had been opened; seeds of death began to spill out. Thousands had to face the bombardment in the open, heaps of debris being their only shelter. Ruins began to fall on ruins as the ground was hammered from above.

Way below Eva sensed the earth gently rocking every second or so. People attempted to get comfortable, some were telling that old joke about Berlin being a city of warehouses, and others were chatting as best they could about the price of milk. Well they were all trapped her now, probably until nightfall so why not make the best it she told herself.

They are getting closer someone said- no you dolt can’t you feel the shocks weakening; they are moving away from us. She paid no attention to this, her mind focused on the last time Hans had been home on leave. All Christmas he had been aloof, cold and just…disturbed. She knew of course that her boy must have seen and done horrible things in the east. Gone was the young boisterous man she had known. The man she saw board the train that cold January morning was a weary veteran, broken in some way she could not begin to fathom. In that instant she felt certain that he would never return.

Antony could see enormous columns of smoke rising from the undead city . This delighted him, it meant they must have hit something that was still worth hitting. A fuel depot perhaps.

The Germans hide wherever they can ,in bars, in dank rooms and broken railway cars. But we see you, the USAAF know where you are.
I am a Bomber man Anthony told himself, and I wish, I wish so but for one thing.

To bomb at ground level.
To fight at zero feet.

Seldom Posts
Jul 4, 2010


The Sound

Dave Berry was sick with anxiety and coated in cold sweat. The bus trundled towards the gates of the pit. The great mass of pickets began to surge forward. Dave wished he wasn’t next to the window. It was covered with metal grating, but it didn’t seem like enough. He took his house key out of his pocket and ran his finger down one side and then the other. Some of the other guys on the bus bent over or hid their faces. A glass bottle shattered against the grating. Brown foam hissed and momentarily blocked the light. A group of pickets holding a giant legless effigy of Thatcher on a stick began to slam her against the windows. Her skin was pale white and her eyes were ringed with black kohl. The bus began to rock back and forth as the pickets grew bolder. It slowed to a crawl.
Dave looked at the man next to him. He was staring straight ahead, making no attempt to hide his face. His long twisted jaw seemed to occupy his entire profile. Dave saw that the skin on his neck and under his patchy beard was ravaged. Deep burns tapered across his face and nose. Dave kept running his finger up and down his house key. If the man felt Dave looking at him, he made no sign.

“What a bugger this is” Dave said to no one. “I wish we’d get inside.” The burned man did not acknowledge his speech. The bus finally crawled through the gates, which were quickly chained behind them again. The guards brought around a high pressure hose and backed the pickets off from the gates.

Dave departed the bus behind the burned man. As he placed his hand on the door, Dave saw that it was also burned and missing half of the ring and pinky fingers. Dave’s finger went up and down on the key. The bus riders all lined up by the foreman’s shack. The burned man looked over at Dave:

“Were you scared?”

“No.” The burned man looked at him a long time.

“You should have been. Those guys will kill a scab.”

“What’s a scab? I need money. Parts for my synthesizer.” The burned man chewed on something.

“Money, yeah, they need money too. For food. You understand that? What it’s like?” Dave didn’t understand what he was saying, so he didn’t respond.

The foreman came out and told them where to go. Dave was put with the burned man and some others and sent down into the pit. He took his house key out again. As the winch whined, the distant thumping of pistons could be heard. Daylight disappeared as they descended, and the sound of pistons increased. They turned on their torches. At the bottom of the pit, the noise enveloped them. The whine of a conveyor belt enmeshed itself with the thunder of the steel drum that rolled back and forth over the coal seam. The teeth of the drum ground into the coal, and the threshing sound coated the percussion of the belt and drum like a film. Dave was entranced. This was it, this was the sound. This was what he wanted. Here, of all places. He stood in the middle of the corridor with his eyes closed and listened. The other workers pushed and shoved past him irritably.

The lead hand came up behind him and smacked him in the back of the head. He pointed down to the end of the room. “Down there, wanker!” Dave hustled down to the end of the room. Each room’s lead hand pushed him on further and deeper into the pit. The sound continued, sometimes growing fainter, sometimes louder. He found himself in a newly dug room without a machine and was put to work shoring timber. He could still hear it, but every time he stopped to listen, someone would yell at him to get back to work.

The work was hard and seemed to have no end. The burned man found fault with their work often, but only communicated through snorts and derisive grunts. Dave didn't notice. The lead hand ignored it. After a few hours he started talking to Dave and the others. “You guys ever see a coal dust explosion? No? They can happen out of nowhere. The dust ignites itself.” He waited. No one responded to him.

“None of you guys have ever been in a mine before have you?” He stopped working. The lead hand looked at him and the burned man looked back. The lead hand stopped looking. “Boom! Just like that.” He held his hand up. “That’s how I lost my fingers. That’s how I got this face. You have to be careful.” He strode over to the entrance-way, putting himself between them and the exit. “Course, with the Union, the mine wouldn’t dare to not take every precaution. With the Union. But there’s nobody here with the Union is there? Nobody’s loving here with the Union is they?” He roared this last bit. “This room’s got no ventilation does it? No! This room’s not been watered has it? No!” He pulled out a lighter.

The lead hand bolted for the door and pushed past the burned man—the others were in a mad scramble behind him. The burned man grinned as they ran. His smile faded when he saw Dave was still in the room. “What the gently caress’s the matter with you? You too proud to run?” Dave looked at him. He didn’t have a clue what this guy was talking about. “Have it your way, scab.” The burned man began walking around the room, casually flipping the lighter on and off. “loving scabs, loving scabs” the burned man kept repeating over and over again. Dave knew that he wasn’t supposed to be doing that. He looked at the burned man. He headed for the door. The rooms ahead had all been cleared. He came to a room with a giant shut barrier. He couldn’t get past. He pounded on it. It didn’t open. He saw another barrier where he had come into this room. He pulled it across just as the thunderclap began.

Dave was on his back. He couldn’t see. His torch was gone. He was incredibly thirsty. He could roll over and sit up partially but could not move other than that. He could feel the sound through the rock. The pumping threshing hissing symphony.

Nyarai
Jul 19, 2012

Jenn here.


Lies in a Box
791 words

“You bitch!”

Alyssa bolted awake, arms raised to shield her face, then breathed an uneasy chuckle. It was only the television. The clock underneath it read 1:15. That new prescription worked wonders, but anxiety tugged at the back of her mind. Heart thumping, Alyssa pulled herself off the couch and padded into the kitchen. A Post-It note adhered to the fridge.

LAUNDRY

18:00

Jay used to leave such sweet love notes, sometimes even poems. Now it was just ‘CHORE’ and ‘RETURN TIME.’ Maybe he’d have the energy to write again if his shirts were folded right. Maybe... Alyssa set the laundry basket against her hip. No time to waste. The washer opened with some resistance, and she dumped most of the clothes in. One of the dress shirts was... stained, though. Sickly hot rage welled in her chest at the sight of blood. Jeremy was a passionate man. Alyssa should have known better than to provoke him, but did he have to rub her nose in it?

She wasn’t being fair. Jay worked so hard to support them. Laundry was the least she could do. Alyssa sprayed the shirt before tossing it in with the rest. She started the wash cycle, then padded back to the couch. Pain coursed through her tender shoulder. Eyes closed, Alyssa remembered fondly when her bruises were from karate class, black eyes from tennis, and broken wrist from horseback riding. Her life was in those lies. The escapist fantasy had vanished along with her friends. Even her family had stopped calling. Jeremy was the only person she could count on.

Alyssa’s stomach growled. The food in the fridge was rotten; Jay preferred take-out anyhow. She used to have a credit card of her own, but he cancelled it after ‘strange charges’ appeared on the bill. Alyssa had to take his word for it. Everything was in his name. Jeremy wouldn’t leave cash around either. That attracted thieves, he said. That made sense... but not really. Her hand idly twitched over to the other cushion but caught only air.

Where was the cat?

Alyssa dashed to the kitchen. The dish was empty. If she didn’t wake up, then Tammy would have woken... Her chest tightened. “Tammy?” Like a cat would come when it was called. She checked under the bed. “Baby?” The closet door was shut tight. She had to be here. Somewhere. Oh please. Oh God. Oh no. Alyssa bolted out the back door and ran, barefoot, to the garage. Jay. Tell me you didn’t. She clasped both hands over her mouth. Tammy was slumped next to the trash cans. Her little neck jutted at an unnatural angle. A furious sob burst from Alyssa’s throat. Saliva dribbled down her chin. The garage door flew open in a chorus of rattling metal. Jay was obsessive about his tools, which made the shovel easy to find. A battered shoebox caught her eye, and she scooped it towards her. I’m so sorry, Alyssa thought, as she laid Tammy inside the box and closed it.

The house seemed so much smaller from the outside. It was a mere dozen steps from garage to the garden. She’d always wanted to grow vegetables, but the relationship sapped her energy. Jeremy had at least mucked around with the soil. Small miracles, she supposed. Droplets splattered against her bare shoulders. So much for that, then. Alyssa dug with a fervor not seen over the past year, rage bleeding out of her and into the ground. This was her life. Housekeeper, and now, gravedigger. What was wrong with her? She went to college, for Christ’s sake! Thoughts roiled in her mind with each scoop of dirt. Alyssa needed to vent to someone. Number, numbers... poo poo. Whose numbers did she still remember? Her contacts were gone. Jay ditched their cell phone plan without consulting her. Too expensive, and besides, they had the landline. She was soaked to the skin. Mom lived nearby, but her car was gone too, another ‘needless’ expense. Her arms trembled with exhaustion as she tamped down the grave. Alyssa hung the shovel on its peg, then tromped back inside. She laid down on the couch, mindlessly staring at whatever daytime crap was on the television.

A phone blared. Her phone. Its shrill tone cut through her fogged mind, and Alyssa’s heart pounded. The number displayed on the screen wasn’t Jay’s office. She nearly tripped her way into the kitchen. Could someone have decided to reach out to her after all this time? Nerves tingling with excitement, Alyssa picked up the receiver.

“Hello?”

“Wrong number. Sorry, man.” Click. Her hopes had soared and been vanquished. Just like that. Dial tone taunted her, joined soon after by the washing machine’s buzz.

TequilaJesus
Mar 17, 2009

CONFIRMED FOR JAY

sebmojo posted:

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.

This sounds like a trap. But this is the thunderdome. I am fearless.

TequilaJesus
Mar 17, 2009

CONFIRMED FOR JAY

Down, in the Park


Bloody fool. I scanned the field again, disturbing the branches around me as little as possible. "Late for work?" That was your excuse for cutting through the park? I could only afford a few seconds of proper visibility. I pulled my head back into my wooded shell. I don't think any of them saw me. Come to think of it, I don't think I saw any of them.

Ten hours I'd been up in this tree. When the Machmen descended upon the park, screeching their horrible siren from their ultra-voces, we'd all scattered. As I found shelter up high, far out of sight, I was exposed blindly to the sounds of death. The mechanical noise- the buzz-saws, the pneumatics- those weren't the worst of it. Nor were the screams- those of the fools who'd tried to run rather than hide. The worst was the quiet that followed. The silence of slaughter.

For hours, that silence tormented me. Tempted me. It told me little white lies; told me their game was finished. That they all had left. But I knew better. I just have to wait until dark, then it'll be over.

All I had to do was wait.

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

It was dusk, and I hadn't eaten. Zom's was only a few hundred meters from here. Zom's meant food, and safety. Even the cruelest, most blood-thirsty Machman wouldn't kill a human in a place like Zom's; our "rights" would be respected, there.

I chanced one more look beyond the leaves. The last sliver of light was falling beyond the horizon. Nothing moved in the field; no sign of the hunters. I had to squint just to see the bloodied trophies left behind.

It was dark enough. Time to go.

Slowly, deliberately, I climbed down the trunk of the tree. My feet quietly met the dirt, and I paused to scan the field one more time. Do I run and risk the noise, or walk and risk the exposure?

I ran. I'd been playing defensively all day, and was sick of it.

I don't know how far I made it. Maybe fifty meters, maybe even less. But it wasn't far before I heard the whirrs and clanks and knew I'd been spotted.

It was a pretty big one. Nine feet tall, maybe. Its chrome finish was dirty and badly stained. The dim light made it hard to pick out details, but its silhouette suggested it was a masher, with powerful, but humanoid, arms, rather than a slicer. It ran toward me at a speed I couldn't possibly match.

No point trying to outrun it. I suppose there wasn't a point in trying to fight it, either, but I had to try something. I looked around. Nearby, a park bench had been smashed to bits. That'll do.

As my pursuer quickly closed the distance between us, I picked up a broken board. It was long, and felt heavy in my hands. Still, I felt foolish: anyone watching right now would've laughed at how hopelessly outmatched I was.

Right before the Machman reached me, I swung that board with a might I didn't know I possessed. Yet it did little more than harmlessly *clank* against the robot's chest, leaving just the smallest of dents. Then the machine broke my shoulder, and I screamed.

No, to say it merely "broke" my shoulder wouldn't do any justice to the robot's strength, nor "screamed" to my reaction. The Machman shattered my shoulder with hundreds of pounds of force, and I wailed like a child. As it lifted me off the ground by a pulpy mess that once contained bone, I grabbed the board with my off-hand, and swung at it with all the strength I could muster.

This time, the board stuck to the machine. Specifically, a large nail near the end was caught in a gap between metal plates on the Machman's chest. With a couple of good yanks, I managed to pry open a hole. I dropped the board, and grabbed blindly at wires just beneath its "skin."

The robot tore my arm backwards in self-defense, tearing it from its socket, but it acted a second too late. Along with my arm, it also pulled out the wires I had grasped, and sparks burst from its gaping wound. The Machman toppled forward, and fell to the ground with me underneath it.

gently caress!

In his death throes, the machine released its grip on me, but my broken body was still pinned underneath its. My arms were broken and useless. I had difficulty breathing and, despite the enormity of my pain, I couldn't find the breath to cry out.

It was completely dark. If no other Machmen had come to aid their fallen comrade by now, then the hunt must be over for the evening. With some luck, humans would sneak into the park under the cover of darkness, searching for survivors. Less luck, and I would pass out soon and die quickly from my injuries. Or, worst of all, when dawn came and the sun cried morning, the hunt would begin again. Then, they would find me.

All I had to do was wait.

HiddenGecko
Apr 15, 2007

You think I'm really going
to read this shit?


Do You Wanna Come With Me Now?
Word Count:900

“Do you wanna come with me now?” the human child said. It held out its small hand to Kos.

Kos looked up at the slimy white slug of a human. He loathed it. It had hunted him, The Great Green Kos. He’d fled across the stars, through primordial fields of interstellar gas, through nebulas older than creation Now it had trapped him on a barren meteoroid hurtling through empty space. Kos snarled at the human.

“I’ve been waiting far too long Kos.”

Kos put his hands on his ears and tried to block out the sound of the human. He rocked back and forth and focused, one wrong move and he’d get flung off the meteoroid like a bullet. He could manipulate matter in all its exotic forms. He didn’t know how or why. For him it was as natural as breathing. But the child was outside his power, no matter what he did to it the child came back every time.

He lashed out at the child with one arm, it swung like a whip. The child was gone, he was alone again for now. Kos adjusted the path of the meteoroid slightly and went to sleep.

He awoke to heat and friction as he entered the atmosphere of a planet. Several thousand years must have passed since he closed his eyes. The meteroid’s ice was shedding around him and a great tail of gas and flame stretched out behind him. He closed his eyes as the sea engulfed him.

He was familiar with water. It would do as he commanded. But for now he floated on the surface right in the epicenter of the impact. Around him a circular set of tidal waves rushed away from him quickly. He formed the water underneath him into a complex crystal array and sat up on the newly hard surface. Quiet bubbly sounds were the only thing he noticed in the vast expanse of blue.

Then he saw the pale figure in the distance plodding its way towards him. Kos got to his feet and edged in the opposite direction, He didn’t care where he went as long as he was away from the pale demon. Even now, eons later, it had found him.

After a few hours of moving Kos looked down. He hadn’t seen his reflection in ages and he couldn’t recognize his face. He had been something else before, something that the human desperately wanted him to be again. But what was it? He had a nose, a mouth, eyes. All superficial of course, their sole purpose was to help him keep his already tenuous grip on reality centered.

Then the surface of the water broke. Something, a hand, yanked him through the solid surface he’d created. Nothing in the universe should be able to upset his matter arrangement like that.

Another yank and Kos slipped a few yards under water. The triple suns above began to dim. He looked down and saw the visage of the human child. It wasn’t angry, it looked disappointed. Kos almost expected it to scold him for being away for so long.

“I’ve been waiting for you Kos, do you wanna come with me now?” the child’s voice was clear, a jubilant scream in his head.

What do you want with me human, I run and you follow, I evade and you’re there, waiting. Koss replied.

“But now the weakness comes,” the child yanked and Kos continued his descent, “be with me, please? I’ve been waiting for you, and I won’t be here for long.”
Lies.

But reality pressed in on Kos. He felt water rushing through his figurative nose. His imaginary lungs were filled with cold salty water. The pressure pressed in on his nonexistent ear drums. The human was going to kill him and he could do nothing about it.

An errant image, a human woman, a man by her side. Not of Kos’s making. A long forgotten dream. Now Kos faught to breath. He tried without success to change the water around him into gaseous air. He tried to wrench his foot out of the human’s grasp but it only got tighter. The water was blackening white specksof matter floated past him. Kos was going to die.

“I’ve been waiting far to long Kos.”

Why won’t you let me be? What have I done to deserve this?

“We’re leaving this place together, Kos. We can leave when you see the truth.”

The image of the man, the nose, the mouth, his image mirrored in the water above. He’d never considered that he’d started as anything but Kos. Old memories rushed to the surface. On a planet green with plants and wet with cool water. He’d left them, long ago. He’d left him in the past where he belonged. The planet probably didn’t even exist anymore.

He looked down and the human child was gone. The child had never been there. He’d just been a phantom. Hundreds of thousands of years of running from a memory. And now it was gone. Kos’s lungs filled with water and his eardrums burst and he didn’t care. It was quiet down here, quiet and cool. This is where it ends then. Not with a bang but a pop.

budgieinspector
Mar 24, 2006

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



gently caress. I've gotta leave the house, so I'm not going to finish before deadline. Here's the incompleteness. May Thunderdome recognize that I went down swinging.

"The Ballad of Puree Tomateaux"

It was late January when I offered to let Puree Tomateaux stay in my spare room.
I barely knew the guy. Hadn’t even thought about him since I dropped out of the LA industrial club scene five years before. Our mutual friend, Dez, called me out of the blue.
“He’s had a bad run,” she said. “Bad divorce, lost his job, moved into a flophouse on Skid Row. Finally found a new gig a couple days ago, but he had a bad allergic reaction to something and had to visit the emergency room. That used up the last of his money just in time for his rent to come due. They kicked him out. He slept on the roof of a Petco, last night, before getting in touch with me. Now he’s sitting on my couch with everything he owns in a duffel bag.”
“Ouch. Sorry to hear it.”
“So, can you put him up? The new job starts on Monday. I’d let him stay here, but my family’s coming to town tomorrow.”
I hemmed and hawed. My girlfriend had just left me to live with some mook in Philly that she’d met online. I wasn’t in the mood for company.
It started raining. I pictured Puree, all of 5’5” and 110 pounds, trying to find shelter in downtown LA on a rainy Friday night. I caved. Dez drove him over.
He was wearing his trademark ruby-red sunglasses and too-large black blazer, a bright orange duffel slung over his shoulder with “CAUTION: LIVE COBRAS” stenciled on it.
“You don’t actually have cobras in there, right?”
“Not at the moment,” he said.
“Hope this’ll work for you,” I said, as I led him to the room I’d been using as an office.
He set his bag down on the futon.
“My last place had signs in every room warning against hoarding urine. This is a definite improvement.”
“Cool. Well, you’re welcome to whatever’s in the fridge. Towels and extra blankets are in the closet in the hall. And fell free to use the computer.”
I indicated the eight-year-old Dell on the desk. He glanced at it, tsked, and produced a laptop from the duffel. It was boxy, obviously homemade. He plugged it in and it booted up faster than anything I’d ever seen.
“What’s your WiFi password?” he asked.
“Er… not sure anymore. Let me try a couple things.”
He hesitated, but handed over the box. It thrummed powerfully in my hands, but hardly made a sound and was cool to the touch. Three attempts at variations on my standard passwords later, and it connected effortlessly to the router.
“I can upgrade that dinosaur for you,” he said, staring at the Dell like it crashed his party.
“Nah, that’s okay. I mainly use my laptop, these days. Don’t really need to sink more money into the desktop.”
“No charge. It’s what I do. Let me look around for parts.”
I warily accepted, thinking it a gesture of gratitude. There wasn’t really anything on the hard drive that I needed, in case he destroyed the thing by accident. But if he’d built his own laptop, maybe there was an advantage beyond human charity to letting him stay.
I woke at three in the morning. I could hear the unmistakable sound of Kraftwerk’s “The Robots” coming from the office. Beneath it, the whine of an electric screwdriver.

#

I only saw him a few times over the next week. From what I could tell, he left the house before I did, came home before I did, and stayed in his room. Feeling like a bad host, I tried to coax him out during the first couple days.
“I appreciate it, but no. I’m working.”
Never really got an answer as to what it was he did.
Nothing was added to or taken from the fridge which I couldn’t account for. I assumed he was feeding himself on his own dime, which was great. I just wasn’t sure how he could afford to eat things that didn’t require cooking.
One morning, I woke up around 4:00 from a nightmare. Something about self-replicating machines giving birth. I got dressed, passed the room where the lights were still on and Neubauten’s “Halber Mensch” transitioned to And One’s “Deutschmaschine”, and went outside. I shivered on my step in the crisp air, watching the occasional car float down Ventura Boulevard. I heard a noise from the other side of the building, and peeked around the corner. I found Puree helping a girl through the office window. I cleared my throat.
“Oh,” he said.
“Hi,” she said, her voice flat as her expression. “I’m Mary.”

#

Mary was a dishwater blond with haunted eyes and razor-sharp clavicles that seemed bound to slice through her faded pink blouse at any moment. Puree had apparently been taking midnight strolls, and discovered her while wandering.
“Dude, I’m not going to say you can’t bring chicks home—”
“It’s not like that.”
“Whatever. Just, y’know, keep an eye on her. Make sure nothing goes missing from my house.”
He stiffened, indignant.
“I’m sure you don’t have anything she needs.”

#

A few days later, I came home to find a line of lost souls trailing up my driveway. I parked in the street.

HiddenGecko
Apr 15, 2007

You think I'm really going
to read this shit?


Puree Tomateaux is perhaps the most original name I've ever encountered in fiction. Ever. I like it.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Me! I Disconnect from You! Word Count: 1080

Static. For just a second, static. The reverie broke. Serial-36’s face scrunched around his forehead and eyes. Teeth grit and slid side to side. Perspiration ran down his temple. The video resumed but he was no longer enthralled. At an increasing rate static took over the feed. Serial-36 stood, his legs tingling with sleep. The headset jostled, too big for his skull, and he pushed it off with thin, pale hands.

Clattering to the ground the headset continued to display video across the visor. Sitcoms now, war documentaries to come soon, Serial-36 knew there was a kind of pattern to the video displays, nothing exact, but subconsciously knew how the patterns effected his emotions. Ups and downs, neither lasting long, always changing, engaging, absorbing his thoughts.

Serial-36 stretched, his weak muscles clinging desperately his boney frame. The metal plated wire-tubes protruding from his skull and spine were heavy but not unbearable. Six in all, placed in even succession from the middle of his spine to the base of his neck, each the width of a garden horse, slithered behind him and up a dark staircase.

Creeping out of the darkness of the stairwell were more sets of wires, bundled together and splitting off in other directions of the room. There they sat, other Serials, 45, 51 and 39, crouched or pacing, the blue light from their video visors illuminating their solitary spot in the darkness.

Serial-36’s eyes adjusted to the new darkness, the concrete basement was empty save for the metal pillar in the middle of the room. Water and feed troughs ringed the pillar. Serial-45 shuffled his feet across the dusty floor, his wire-tubes making a shiff, shiff sound as they dragged. A small grin strained across his face as he put a brown pellet of food into his mouth. He chewed with his mouth open, particles of pellet and saliva lining his chapped lips. He never stopped watching his video visor.

Serial-36 pulled a little on his numbered ear tag. He looked at his video visor on the floor and saw the static flicker continuously now. Reaching behind his head he felt the chaffed and scabbed skin of his neck plug. Dead, agitated skin flaked off onto his fingers and he made his way to the staircase.

“Mama,” Serial-36 said. “Ma-mah.”

“My little spark,” Mama said.

Serial-36 stood at the top of the staircase looking in on a room lit from a large glass tank in the middle of the room. A bank of video screens encircled the front of the tank, the tank refracting the light across the room. Between the tank and the video screens, a bulbous woman with thinning hair sat. Her lower half completely fused with machinery of the pod she occupied, her back lined with wire-tubes that spread out like a spider’s web. Some of the tubes attached to the tank of viscous liquid, others connected to tubes that ran to the other Serials, like 36’s. Half a dozen more Serials flitted about the room, younger, on shorter tethers than 36.

”Give it back, Ma-Ma,” Serial-36 said.

”I’m so sorry, my beautiful spark,” she said. Her body shifted and leaned at an angle, her eyes never leaving the bank of screens.

“I said, give it back,” Serial-36 said.

“No more, little spark, no more. Your light dims and fades. No more.”

“I don’t understand.”

”New sparks,” she said. 36 looked around the room and saw him: Serial-54, young, fidgety, tugging on his wire-tubes as he tried to move around the room.

”No. Give it back,” Serial-36 said, his voice rising.

”Your spark is gone, my burnt out little star,” she said. She pointed to a door on the side of the room. Serial-36’s stomach tightened and flipped.

“No, Ma-Ma!”

“You are—disconnected,” she said. A ball of heat grew in 36’s belly, rising through his chest. His face flushed and he saw visions of artillery, planes, fire and blood in his mind. He remembered how this felt, and he knew catharsis would follow very soon.

Light glowed through the cracks of the door frame, lining it in glow. 36’s heat did not diminish like it always did, but grew in intensity. Anxiety crept into his body as his expectations of relief did not come.

Mama cooed and her eyes rolled back into her head. “Oh, my little spark,” she said. She slumped in her pod and her arms relaxed.

”No! Give it back!” Serial-36 grabbed at the tube’s coming from his neck. He followed it along in his hands, to the back of Mama. “Give it back,” he shouted.

The tank bubbled furiously as 36 clawed at the other end of his tubes. 36 put a dirty foot against the supple flesh and grasped the bundle of tubes. The door on the side of the wall clicked open and began to swing, spilling blinding light into the room.

”Give it back!” Even as 36 pulled at the tubes, Mama gurgled in pleasure. The harder he pulled the louder she grew. Serial-36 felt play in the tubes, he felt the wires begin to free themselves from flesh. Mama’s groans turned to sharp gasps and she began to regain her senses.

”No my spark, no.”

The plug ripped from Mama like fleshy Velcro, wet and soft but with an awful tearing sound. Serial-36 flopped backwards, completely un-tethered from Mama. She seized and shook for a moment before losing all composure. 36 grit his teeth and pulled back his lips. Emptiness came, a sinking, cold emptiness. 36 grabbed his bundle of tubes and ran to the outside, into the blinding light.

Shielding his eyes, 36 could make out shapes looming in the brightness. Fuzzy, large rectangles became buildings, gray and concrete with few windows. Clicking shut behind him, the door locked. He turned to the door, no handle. Flipping round he saw streets, empty streets, stretched out into the horizon. Buildings were everywhere, the only reprieve from the bright whiteness of the sun.

Scattered along the street were more Serials in various stages of decay. They were sprawled in alleys, on corners or collapsed in the middle of the road. Some still with their wire-tubes stretching behind them like tails. Others with their video visors, clutching them with mummified hands.

Serial-36 turned and threw himself against the door. He pounded on the door.

”No, Ma-Ma! I’m sorry, Ma-ma! I’m sorry!” The dust choked him as he wailed. “Give it back, Ma-Ma. I’m sorry Ma-ma, give it back!”

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


budgieinspector posted:

gently caress. I've gotta leave the house, so I'm not going to finish before deadline. Here's the incompleteness. May Thunderdome recognize that I went down swinging.

"The Ballad of Puree Tomateaux"

Official Listtm of Thunderdome: Week V posted:


I've got you in my list. That is all that matters.

September 8
DID YOU KNOW: Stuporstar is officially classified as Category 6 mecha-hurricane? From CANADA? Literally, the worst thing.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


One hour left!

I'm on 24-hour duty until 0900 tomorrow so I'm ANGRY and I'll be reading the recent pieces angry and in my uniform.

So they better all be good and make me feel happy.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


THE SHADOWTHIEF

I’m supposed to take another pill now: that’s part of the rules. Stay on the corner, sell the flowers, take the pill, no stealing. I know it’s time, because I can hear the shadows buzzing. They feel me waking up and whisper to each other, a shadowthief, a shadowthief is here. Shadows feel best in the gold light afternoon. Cool purple caresses, cries of delight and recognition: they are my true friends. Much nicer than the solid people. I don’t take the pill.

I hear an old wounded shadow begging its person, no no no, not there, don’t walk there by her, but of course the person can’t hear them. You can’t hear shadows when you have your own on. That’s why most people never hear them at all. I try to reassure it, it’s okay, it’s okay, I won’t take you. When it crosses, the horror runs right down my spine and I have to sit down and plug up my ears or I’ll start screaming, too. Then they’d find out I broke the rules and keep me inside under all the fluorescent lights that I hate and not let me sell the flowers and see the shadows.

Finally it’s gone. Get up, smile at the people going by, no one’s looking, good. But then I hear her, whimpering please please please right up the cobblestones to my feet. A young girl, my age? But no, don’t think about that, it can’t be my own. Please, she begs. She’s sewn up to a smug, balding man. He’s wearing her right out in public, dragging his perversion down the street assuming no one can tell. My stomach’s in such a tight little knot that it might squeeze a scream right out of me. I shake my head.

“I can’t,” I whisper. No stealing. Not even shadows, though of course that’s not explicitly in the rules. She’s so scared though. And he stole her from someone else. No, not himself. He could feel her, get off on her fear and the cool, slick touch of a child’s shadow, but that was it. He didn’t hear her or he wouldn’t have come so close to me. He doesn’t know what I am. The please, please, pleases fill my ears, even as she limps after him. She’s definitely about my age.

I’m running after her. Stop, please stop, I beg my own legs. I’m definitely not on the corner anymore. She’s reaching back, stretching so far along the street I’m scared she might rip herself in half, but I finally catch up to the man. Crash right into him, drop all the flowers I was carrying.

“So sorry,” I mumble. He smiles at me like a perfect gentleman and the scream of “Pervert! Pervert!” launches up so fast out of my belly that I can barely bite down and keep it inside. I bend down towards the flowers, but don’t pick them up. I start cutting the shadow free as fast as I can, but I have to be careful. His boot hits me hard in the chest. Caught!

“Thief!” he yells and then the footsteps are coming from all around. She’s still attached by a tiny shadoweaver’s thread, but I hang on to her hard. If I can just get in one last snip. Four strong hands grab me and hold me down, the police. The man is trying to get away, but the girl won’t let go of me either. She’s starting to tear. No, no, not that. I can’t keep the screams in any more. I try to push her away, but she hooks into me with ten long clawed fingers and wrenches herself off his feet. She’s crying and gasping for breath through the pain. And she’s definitely not my shadow because I can still hear her and I feel like my own feet have just been ripped off. The screams get out then. The doctor appears and put’s the pill in my mouth and makes me swallow it.

The pervert rages and demands I be whipped and flogged, but he can do nothing. No one would even believe him. And now everyone knows he’s a pervert. The police lead him away to do paperwork and scraps of her flutter lifelessly around his polished boots. She’s with me now, quieted down to a whimper, it’ll be alright. Maybe we can find her right person someday. But right now I can’t hear her at all.


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.


Complex - 573 words

The beam piercing my hip hurt the most, but everything else was a close second. I'd been thrown halfway through the side window of my personal aircraft, left angry lines of blood on the floor of the restaurant.

I looked at the Subway employee, "I'm in deep poo poo, aren't I?"

"Please don't swear at Subway employees, sir."

"This is going ruin my family. They’ll be hosed."

"Sir, I can offer you a complementary sub, but you'll have to sign a contract that we'll be able to use your face in commercials."

"No, God no. I can't let them see me like this. Don't let them see me like this."

"That's up the police, sir."

Guests took photos, Google Glasses clicking, flashing and whirring. I'd plead, but that would just make for a great photo opportunity.

"Can you please remove the vehicle from the restaurant?"

I tried to turn to the voice, but that hurt my head more than anything.

"Sir, your vehicle is blocking our fire-exits, I need you to move."

"Who the hell are you?"

"Sir, please don't swear at Subway employees. My name is Devin, I'm the manager."

"I'm halfway through the loving window, my craft is wrecked. How the gently caress do you expect me to move this?"

It was here I heard his voice crack. Maybe a part of the brainwashed exterior being undermined by the actual person underneath.

"Sir, I can offer you a complementary sub, but you'll have to sign a-"

"Go away, just go. Leave me to the cops."

I couldn't really scream with a three inch piece of glass in my lung, but I did my best. Reflections of red and blue filled the side mirror, and I closed my eyes.

The manager spoke first, but I guessed they approached him first as well. Murmurs of insurance and fault drifted over, but I didn't want to listen. I opened my eyes; one of the uniforms was staring right at me, red film light on his glasses.

"Please, keep my family away."

"I'm sorry sir?"

"Don't let them see me, don't make them lie about this."

"Sir, could you tell me what happened?"

"I was on my way past the restaurant, cruising at 120 or so. Hit in the side and it threw me right into the window."

Oh god, the adrenaline was going. This hurt.

"They tell us you drove quite irresponsibly."

"I had the right of way, I was under the limit."

"When you're under Subway's jurisdiction, that's not a point."

The ping of cooling metal drove spikes through my head. Such a little sound.

"Sir, you understand how serious this is?"

"Please, at least don't pull my family into this."

"That's up to subway, sir."

I closed my eyes again. I guessed he was moving closer by the footsteps.

"Grant, that's your name?"

"Yes."

"Grant, they get to lie, your family. Subway can't."

Sometimes it's there, beneath the exterior.

"Do you want them to tell the truth, Grant? As hosed up as the truth is, the fact that Subway needs to tell it might help you. Them."

I wanted to hug him. I wanted to walk away. But I'd gotten all I could. I'd just wish they'd never get to see me like this, that they'd never have to lie. But I knew everyone lied, and I knew it was the only choice. The metal ping and blood drip made a kind of rhythm.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Submissions are closed as of 8 minutes ago.

Now, fucksticks, stew while the judges decide your fate.

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:

Now, fucksticks, stew while the judges decide your fate.
What kind of stew? I've got the kitchen all ready but I don't want to mess up and cook the wrong thing.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

What kind of stew? I've got the kitchen all ready but I don't want to mess up and cook the wrong thing.

Fuckstick Stew. Comma was a typo.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


sebmojo posted:

Fuckstick Stew. Comma was a typo.
So I put my dick in the broth and leave it there for an hour? That sounds dangerous.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


Thank you for the contestants for submitting their entries. I really appreciate your stories. In fact, let me say something about each of you beautiful contestants and your magnificent products. I think you can lean from this which story I hated the least

kangaroojunk, your God of War/The Office crossover sucks

Fanky Malloons, your scathing criticism of traditional publishing method in scientific journals sucks

Wrageowrapper, your 'unique' sitcom pilot script sucks

Benagain, your motel room review sucks

swaziloo, your walkthrough for Getting Lost in Big City Simulation sucks

SurreptitiousMuffin, your "boy who cries wolf" remake sucks

Y Kant Ozma Post, your heartwarming duck porn sucks

Chairchucker, your terrible pseudo-horror for teens sucks

Capntastic, your rocket-launcher user manual sucks

Sitting Here, your confusing Kingdom Hearts plot analysis sucks

sebmojo, your self-aware goon diary entry sucks

Baudolino, your anti-millipede screed sucks

Seldom Post, your dust explosion fetish piece sucks

Nyarai, I thought you were a . Also your house gardening advice sucks

TequilaJesus, your Super Slap Chop advertisement sucks

HiddenGecko, your Farting Superblob #337 transcript sucks

budgieinspector, your robot hobo adventures sucks

Noah, your insider document on how Nielsen really creates its rating sucks

Dr. Kloctopussy, your insight about the status of flower-selling business sucks

Black Griffon, your bureaucratic free bread agreement sucks

Now off to the proper judging.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


>CONTINUE
No, I couldn’t stop now. It would be a waste of hypnotic drugs. I just need to make sure I’m a bit more careful. I inserted a new bud into her canal, looking for her ear membrane, the limit of my exploration. While doing it my left hand wandered to her left ear, pressing the lobe between my fingers. Her lobe felt cool and soft. I continued brushing against the walls of her inner ear, pulling it out to smell the wax occasionally to soothe this rapidly beating heart. Two buds and the night remained still, time remained silent. Three buds and the smell of wax filled me whole. Three and a half buds, my disappointment soared as her right ear was now clean. I moved to the other side of the bed, preparing a fresh set of four buds to satiate me. I held down my rapid breathing, not wanting any other sensation to disturb the perfection of my sister’s wax.

Its taste remained divine through the night, its smell fantastic.

#

My mother’s earlobes were not attached. She had been really busy this month, too.

END

This path has 1023 words.

For the sake of Thunderdome I licked a dirty cotton bud.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


I don't like how this thread goes dead quiet between closing time and results. C'mon guys, Thunderdome is a party!

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

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

Fallen Rib

I will smash a beer bottle on someone's skull if it helps.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


I light the candles just before I set the steaks out to rest. I really want tonight to be perfect. I've thought about it a lot over the past few days, and I've finally mustered up the courage to tell Martello the truth: his critiques really hurt my feelings.

I won't say it like that, of course. This is Thunderdome and I don't want to look like a pussy. Looking like a pussy is basically signing your own death warrant here. So no, I won't say it like that. I'll say it the way I've planned: real casual like.

"Hey baby, you seem a little stressed lately, is anything bothering you?" That's how I start the script.

"No, everything's fine." That's not really on script, but I persevere.

"It just seems like you've been a little...harsher....than usual." His eyes narrow; I know that I have hosed up. Big Time. His nostrils flare as the scent of my weakness literally wafts across the kitchen. The feeding frenzy will start soon if I don't loving metal up.

"On those other spineless shitheads!" I try to say it bold, but it comes out a wimper. Martello spears his rare cut of sirloin and devours it in two easy bites.

I open my mouth to say those last three desperate words that might save us all, but his fist hits me hard and fast. I taste blood and know that I deserve it. We sit quietly for a moment, reflecting on our respective positions.

"I'm leaving for a month," he says, "army poo poo, you know."

I don't know. What does it mean?

"Will you miss me?" I ask hopefully.

"No," he says without flinching. "But you will miss me." He is right, as always.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Good morning, motherfuckers.

I did a sick interval run workout, hit the weights for an hour, signed out of 24-hour duty, and came home to make breakfast. Scrambled eggs, bacon, and leftover polenta fried in the bacon fat, all washed down with organic Peruvian coffee.

I'm ready to gently caress some poo poo up. Because this is Thunderdome and the rules are never the same, I also will be posting my opinion of each piece before the winner/loser announcement is made. Expect that news later today, once that lazy Canadian broad rouses herself from painkiller-addled sleep, and the two new bloods crawl out of whatever soiled sleeping sacks they remit their sweaty, sun-starved bodies into each night.

My own remarks on each story will be up within the next few hours.

TequilaJesus
Mar 17, 2009

CONFIRMED FOR JAY

The only reason this thread's so quiet is we're all too busy ing to place our fingers on the keyboard.

Nyarai
Jul 19, 2012

Jenn here.


TequilaJesus posted:

The only reason this thread's so quiet is we're all too busy ing to place our fingers on the keyboard.

What he said.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


TequilaJesus posted:

The only reason this thread's so quiet is we're all too busy ing to place our fingers on the keyboard.

Actually, I've been busy practicing my spine-snapping technique, but each to their own.

kangaroojunk
Aug 17, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

It is possible that people are quiet because they in the middle of an orgy/feast of freshly strewn sea lion remains.

Possible...

TequilaJesus
Mar 17, 2009

CONFIRMED FOR JAY

I'm beginning to think this long wait is punishment for what the judges believe to be a bad crop of stories.

E: Seriously, I have work in 7 hours but I can't get to sleep without some closure. INSULT OUR ABILITIES, ALREADY!

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


I read each story with the associated song playing.

Elbow, Backfist, Strike

by kangaroojunk

Easily the most metal title since Thunderdome began. I love the hard-hitting martial arts - your significant real-world training and experience in multiple disciplines really shows through here. I did a piece on writing combat and fight scenes in the Fiction Advice thread, and this piece is a great example of how blow-by-blow martial arts can actually work. I can really feel and see each strike, although I'm not schooled enough to identify exactly which styles Mark is using. I'm guessing at least Wing Chun, only because I know that's your favorite. Backfists are popular in both Tae Kwon Do and Karate, so maybe that too, although I also know you're not a fan of either of those.

You still need some work on your word choice, syntax, and some other craft issues. But this is a solid story. Unlike the other judges, I have the unfair advantage of knowing where this story comes from, and that makes me like it more. I can feel Mark's insane, almost casual rage. The device of the news report to frame the rest of the story also works well. Like I said, you need to tighten up your actual art of writing, though. I'll give you a line-by-line of this later.

You made good use of the song and the prompt. The violence of the story works with the violence of the song, and the lyrics you pulled as subtitles were perfect. Everyone being trapped in the office with Mark was also a good twist on the prompt.

My final issue is as follows: Why do you suck at using chopsticks so bad? It's not right when a Sicilian is better at wielding the 'sticks than an Asian man. I don't care if you Filipino jungle-folk are used to eating with your hands. You're Asian, therefore chopsticks.

Overall: Pancetta

The last bombardment

by Baudolino

I dislike your usage of "whoee," almost as much as the exclamation point at the end.

You used the prompt well. I liked where and how you inserted the lyrics. The odd, upbeat tempo of the song matched the same feeling in your story. WWII stories are pretty overdone at this point, but you pulled something new out of the era. Anthony's reflections on Mr. Ashwood's reaction to the truth of the Dresden bombing is interesting - my fellow US Army soldiers and I often feel the same way about Iraq and Afghanistan, though I like to think we never did anything quite that bad in the two sandboxes.

The visual of the "human river" is good, and none of it was confusing. I also learned from your story that Germany has had a U-Bahn for longer than I would have thought. I still hate that place after living there for three years though.

Your editing skills need serious help. The typographical errors are many and atrocious. You have unnecessary spaces before or after punctuation marks, or no space at all when it's needed. You need to learn to use commas, because you don't use them when you should. Don't believe the lies of the resident aging Kiwi cyborg - he only wishes to mislead the younger contestants to make his own offerings look better. Also, you hosed up with "the flak guns won't scratch us." That's not true. Those German eighty-eights were loving brutal on airplanes, and even pretty good as makeshift ground artillery and tank-killers. The Allied bombers would avoid FLak kills by flying outside their effective ceiling. Always do your research for anything in a story, but since I'm an active-duty soldier and a military history buff, you better have your military poo poo squared away for future Thunderdome offerings.

Overall: Schinkenspeck

Brain Chemicals

by Benagain

Sometimes I wish I did a lot of drugs so I could more properly understand these trippy-rear end stories some of you guys submit to Thunderdome. Instead I must substitute being stinking drunk.

This one also makes good use of the song. Star Wars Stormtroopers wearing dresses was exactly what I thought of from the title of the song. Somehow you were also able to recall the lyrics using the words in the story without actually cutting and pasting any lines from the song verbatim. I also liked the repetition of the theme at the end.

I can't come up with any major issues with this story, so I'm going to use bullshit criteria because I rule and I can. Not enough violence. After warming up with insane Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu in Office Space meets the beginning of that awful Wanted disaster, and moving on to gleeful Dresden bombing and little girls being trampled to death in Berlin, some loving neckbeard lying on a bed high as a kite and agonizing over his tutu and plastic armor outfit was a major letdown. I also find your avatar disconcerting. Those two motherfuckers better stop looking at me like that before I kick their cartoon teeth in.

Oh yeah, and he also isn't really very "trapped."

Overall: Bresaola

Complex

by Black Griffon

What the gently caress is this? It's like some kind of whacked-out Snow Crash rip-off. I appreciate the Google Glasses product placement, but I just have no clue what's actually going on here. I mean, I can't really tell what the point of the story is, and furthermore I'm having a hard time picturing the action. He's in a little mini-copter or some such, and he crashed into a Subway? Is he horribly injured? He has glass in his lung but he seems calm. Is this like Paolo Bacigalupi's awesome short, "The People of Sand and Slag," where humans are super-evolved to the point where they're close to indestructible? Seriously, what?

I guess he's trapped, though. So at least you got that part right.

Overall: Hard Salami of uncertain pedigree, from a grocery store that isn't Wegmans

Exile

by Duchess Gummybuns

This goes from to in like 5 seconds. It's pretty drat good, especially considering that you only used a measly 315 words. Most other contestants in the past four weeks have had trouble coming up with anything cohesive in 500 or more words. The kid feels real, even though he doesn't utter a word of dialogue. It's true, everyone knows someone who can skip a rock like 40 times. It's a scientific fact, actually.

I guess the story more or less captures the morose feel of "Exile," but the connection is tenuous at best. I see you also bought into the elderly Kiwi's lies, which is shameful. Even more shameful is that there was nothing here about anyone being trapped.

Finally, this made my cold black heart warm slightly and then feel sad, which is unacceptable! Also, I will continue to hold a grudge against you until you change your handle back to Duchess Gummybuns.

Overall: Sudtiroler Speck

The Ballad of Puree Tomateaux

by budgieinspector

I read this while listening to the original Numan version and The Dead Weather's cover simultaneously on YouTube Doubler. Didn't intend for that to be done? Too loving bad.

gently caress yes for live cobras in a bag marked as such. gently caress no for not finishing your goddam story.

Awesome lines -- "...staring at the Dell like it crashed his party."

But anyway, what the gently caress is going on in this story? Is Puree a robot? Is the homemade laptop a robot? Are Puree and the laptop both robots? Are they making the ancient Dell into another robot? Or, in a Blade Runner fan theory twist, is the main character really a robot? Who's a loving robot and are they electric and/or friends?

Finish the goddam story and post it here! And there better be some poo poo about being trapped, or you're even more shameful.

Overall: Half a strip of reg'lar, not thick-cut or maple-glazed, bacon

Gunfarm

by Capntastic


What's up with capitalizing all the naughty big-boy words? Damned, Bitch, rear end, gently caress, and so on are not Proper Nouns. Capitalizing them makes them jump out more than they should, loving up the pace of the story. Pretty much ruined the whole thing, actually. Good job.

I like the line "like a beehive hosed a boombox" but I have no idea what it means. What kind of rocket launcher is this supposed to be? Post a photo immediately.

I also like the cool post-apocalyptic or at least dystopian warscape. The idea of Gunfarm is awesome, and the wandering road gangs or whatever coming in to order a nice technical or get their gun oiled up or whatever. But holy poo poo, Bitcoins? Seriously? C'mon dude. How the gently caress are Bitcoins still gonna be around in a dystopian world? I want more, without the capitalized swear words and cocksucking Buttcoins. It's like you had a great idea and then just executed it badly because you suck.

The song is longer than the story and I'm not sure how well they go together. But I appreciate that you used my technical combat vehicle interpretation and ran with it.

I don't see anything about being "trapped." gently caress, people, read the whole rules post.

Overall: Oscar Meyer Bologna, the kind all these dumb pale-whites pronounce "baloney"

Sister Surprise

by Chairchucker


Your lack of understanding of pretty much anything ever in all time and all the world counts against you right off the bat. Just so you know.

Another story where I have no loving clue what's going on. It's another post-apocalyptic setting, I believe, which automatically makes me like it better, but you're not making good use of it. The "creatures" are a very weak plot device at best, a meaningless distraction at worse. What's up with this Gladys broad and her nun habit? I don't get it.

This could maybe be good but it isn't right now. It just cuts off, there's no ending. Not in a good way.

Also, I don't see the Monster Blood except that the "creatures" have green blood or summat. And where's the "trapped" part? Not seeing it.

Overall: Bridgefield Peperoni

Dr. Kloctopussy

THE SHADOWTHIEF


I disapprove of ALLCAPS titles.

I approve of the weird, mystical quality to this story. It's pretty sad, and I like that. The tone of the song doesn't really go with the story, but the content definitely fits the song title.

The idea of shadows being sapient, and people kidnapping them against their will, is very cool and works very well.

Finally, that completely random little piece you posted today was amazing. Casting me as an emotionally abusive spouse/boyfriend who eats rare sirloin (should be NY Strip though) made me . Are you single? And a girl? Cuz we can make that little story a reality, baby.

Overall: Bacon

The Sound of Metal

by Fanky Malloons


If I hadn't looked at your TFLC log and knew that I could bench press you while you're bench-pressing your max lift, I'd be terrified of you. As it is I simply give a Boushh-like head nod to your Boba Fett out of respect for your "gently caress you," threats of spine-snapping, weight-lifting, and so on. Except in this case you're really a broad disguised as Boba Fett, and I'm actually a heavy-smoking alien dude for real. Kinda like one a them gender-swaps the weird Japanese cartoon anime fans are always doing on deviantArt.

"Metal" is my least favorite song so far. It's much more 80's than the rest, in a bad way. However I will not allow that to affect my judgment. Probably not at least.

...and your story is...holy poo poo

Metal as gently caress! Mother of god, this Marta woman must really hate Mallory! She put him in the loving Bronze Bull. Serious loving business, there. Points for excellent knowledge of ancient torture devices. Your literal interpretation of the trapped prompt worked very well.

But seriously, how loving awful is Mallory or how psychopathic and evil is Marta? Seems bronze-bulling a fellow is pretty over-the-top for run-a-the-mill sexism.

Overall: Really loving spicy venison jerky (deer meat, since you British fucks call anything venison apparently)

Do You Wanna Come With Me Now?

by HiddenGecko


Huh.

This is a loving story, indeed. Is the dude a super-evolved human? I like the tone and the fuckoff cosmic sci-fi setting. The story goes almost perfectly with the song, using the lyrics and just the general tempo and sound of it. I feel like you probably wrote this while listening to "Berserker."

It's interesting that Numan's whacky, 80's sci-fi thing has really bled into most of these stories. This one most of all I think.

Kos being trapped in his own insane psyche and the comet is good use of the prompt.

Overall: Soppressata

Me! I Disconnect From You!

by Noah


This is loving rough, man. Cracked out cyborg baby matrix poo poo. I like it. I want to know more. Who and what is Mama, and why is she doing this? Is she birthing these little fucks or are they clones? Why do they die outside the building? Where are the rest of the humans?

loving nuts.

This poo poo needs illustrations.

Overall: Coppa

Lies in a Box

by Nyarai


Holy poo poo, I didn't expect no-poo poo women's lit for this week. This reads like a combination of what I imagine a decent Lifetime movie would be like and that awesome short, "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

This is pretty loving depressing, and good that way. The awful emotional and physical abuse really shows through without you having to show it actually happen.

What's the dude's name, though? You say both "Jay" and "Jeremy." Not sure if Jay is supposed to be his nickname, but it just comes off as confusing for me.

She certainly is trapped, too, maybe one of the better trapped things

Of course there's a cat in this story. I wonder if she was thinking "oh no oh no i am a bad cat" when that monster broke her poor widdle neck?

Overall: Pastrami

Who has the strength to save us all?

by sebmojo


You made vidgames into something serious and scary and sad and emotional.

Good job you sick gently caress.

Overall: Salame al Cacciatore

The Sound

by Seldom Posts


You wrote a story about a crazy 80's synth-musician who scabs at a coal mine just to hear "the sound."

Well done. The setting and visuals are evocative and effective. The characters are realistic and relateable. The explosion is big and banging.

The trapped part is pretty good too.

Overall: Genoa Salami

What is Illuminated

by Sitting Here


This is too abstract for me. The language is interesting and the visuals are good, but it goes nowhere.

Back to Pacific Northwest post-apocalyptic fiction, you!

Overall: Unidentified ham-type stuff that claims to be "capicolla"

pink slip

by SurreptitiousMuffin


Oh-Em-Gee, you didn't use capitals. gently caress you.

However even if the rest of the story sucked, this line redeems all:

"you brute, you swine, you backwards dogfucking lovebandit"

This is a loving insane goddam story, full of what-the-gently caress and holyshit. I like it.

One of these weeks, prolly when I get back from NTC, I'll make you write a story that's about reg'lar people set in the Real world, to see if you can do it. No insanity, no world-bending, no crazy loving sky shattering awesomeness. It'll be like telling me I'm not allowed to write cyberpunk.

Overall: Headcheese

Replicas

by swaziloo


Another crazy dystopian thing.

This doesn't move me like some of the others did. I appreciate what you're trying to do, but you need to punch it up a little more, put greater feeling into it. I don't know if you're not giving me enough information or if the ambiguity is
beneficial.

This is just a little too bland for me. Needs more spice, more fire. Some of the emotion is there, but I need more.

Overall: Boar's Head Turkey Breast

Down, in the Park

by Tequila Jesus


Man, everyone's writing dystopia around here. I guess it's appropriate for 80's sci-fi music.

I like the setting and the visuals, but I'm not feeling the character. He has no motivation besides base survival. Give him more. Also I'd like at least a hint of why the world is now run by our new machine overlords that I, for one, do not welcome.

Good use of the song.

Overall: Finnochietta

A Recipe for Conscious Glass

by Wrageowrapper


Potatoes are still your best medium. I should have picked you for winner in Week I.

You pulled it off, you made the ingredients in glass interesting and amusing. Well, I think glass is awesome anyway, but interesting to normal people I guess.

This is also loving crazy, and you really love anthropomorphizing inanimate objects, don't you? It's not quite good enough, though, the metal loving potato slaying has yet to be topped.

Overall: Guanciale

Seldom Posts
Jul 4, 2010


Alright, I wrote this to entertain people before Martello posted. I am going to stick it up anyway, but there's understandably more important stuff going on.

I was in the mighty thunderdome slain
By the anxious awaiting of earned pain
I am a smudge of talentless fluff
Yet I live on, write on, making GBS threads out stuff.
For the greater glory of the dome
I will write this crap parody poem;
To entertain by curtaining ego,
I say to the entrants hasta luego .
How delightful when the judges at last show
We all crowd around for the horror show;
We respect them a lot, of course, except
Those who don’t post their own work must be inept.


edit: Just read Martello's comments. loving awesome. Thanks for putting so much work into each story.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


But the cop used capitals because he's part of the system, maaaaaan.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Martello posted:

But seriously, how loving awful is Mallory or how psychopathic and evil is Marta?

You've clearly never met anyone who has spent an extended amount of time amongst the ivory towers of academia.

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Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


The elders have convened

We have returned from the sacred grove. Our naked bodies are smeared with dried blood of uncertain origin, animal fat, horse dung, and black mud.

My arms outstretched, I step forward and raise my spiral-carved staff above the heads of the terrified, slavering masses. On my head is the skull and skin of a wolf, fangs hanging before my pointed brows.

Stuporstar stands just to my left, eyelids fluttering, full, bloodstained lips moving in a rapid chant. Her hands hang at her sides, fingers twitching. Her hair is matted with fat and blood, hanging to her mud-caked breasts.

Behind us stand toanoradian and areyoucontagious, both with palms together and heads down, muttering each their own different mantra. toanordadian's head is adorned with the skullcap and antlers of a magnificent stag. areyoucontagious wears the ancient skull of a long-dead giant, patterns scribed into the yellowed bone that dare the eye to follow the strange geometry.

I say a word, and the masses twitch and shiver. The sound is wrong, almost inaudible, but it reverberates through skulls like a thousand tiny silver hammers.

The other elders cease their chanting, all four with heads high and eyes rolled back behind flicking lashes.

"We pass judgment," I say, my deep voice booming across the glade. "The champion of this bloodstained soil is Nyarai. But for a parry here, a thrust here, Dr. Kloctopussy or kangaroojunk would take this carven staff. Such is the Thunderdome."

The masses cheer as one, voices hoarse with elation, exhaustion, and fear. I wave the staff for silence. My visage turns grim, terrifying, lips pulled back from long canines and large flat incisors.

"There is one among us, one who has lost this holy contest. This one man shall be laid upon the altar, and for the second time. His soul shall be given to those who shall not be named."

The people fall still, eyes wide and skin crawling.

"This man's name..."






"...is Chairchucker."

The people groan as one, some covering their eyes. Sobs are heard, as well as a few fevered chuckles. I slam the horn-capped point of my staff into the mud, and again silence reigns.

"Nyarai, come forth and take the staff. This is Thunderdome. We have spoken."

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