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Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Holy poo poo, he actually grew a pair.

No really, this is a much better attitude. The thing everyone objected to was the unwarranted 'too cool for school' swagger.

I was content sit back and to see if MadRhetoric would deliver, and he submitted something that wasn't as terrible as he threatened. We cool.

Radioactive Bears posted:

A high speed chase down my street ended when a guy plowed into the utility pole, knocking out the power until 6:30 AM. For the second time I have shamed myself in the thunderdome because I didn't get anything done earlier .

This is what happens when you wait until the deadline to start writing. Go ahead and submit something if you got it though. I just woke up in a good mood after hitting a great party last night, so I'm all full of warm fuzzies.

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Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


I'm finding all this goodwill from the judges very strange and suspicious. Just sayin'

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.


No kidding. I'm thinking some poo poo is afoot up in this dome.
Edit: THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MARTELLO STEPS DOWN.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


It breaks my heart to see you all thinking we're planning something extra evil behind closed doors. We only have your best interests at heart. Black Griffon, Fanky Malloons, please step into the next room for brain-worm conversion to collect your extra special bonus prize.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Stuporstar posted:

It breaks my heart to see you all thinking we're planning something extra evil behind closed doors. We only have your best interests at heart. Black Griffon, Fanky Malloons, please step into the next room for brain-worm conversion to collect your extra special bonus prize.

If it's all the same to you, I will stay right over here and wear this ravishing tinfoil hat - which is both sylish and functional - while I make sure that weapons I keep about my person are all in working order.

Radioactive Bears
Jun 27, 2012

Creatures of horrid visage and disposition.


Pluto's Jazz House

I nursed a whiskey and water at the faded wooden bar with a scowl on my face. The whole jazz house gave me a bad feeling, deep in the pit of me. The raggedy old bartender just smiled, swaying toward his rows of old bottles. There wasn't much space for a band or even just a single bassist, but I swore I heard the very razor's edge of some song somewhere in the crowded room.

The patrons seemed almost asleep, barely a murmur in the whole joint. Only a few men smoked cigarettes, thick mustaches and beaten suits billowing blue clouds into the worn out room. I heard them laugh in some strange language I never heard before, and I swear one of them plucked out a glass eye, causing the other fellow to near fall out of his chair.

My attention was drawn away from the two by a small man in a far-too large overcoat. He tipped his hat, showing dirty grey-green skin, and whispered to me over my drink. It was time to see the owner. I hefted my heavy bass case over my shoulder and began following the little man toward a low slung doorway hidden behind a few hung rugs.

The hallway beyond was pitch-black, and it was almost enough to make me turn around right then. Not much good comes of playing jazz in the dark. Cobwebs and dust clung heavy against my nicest dress, and I tried to brush them off and hurry out the door. I was ready to turn around with the little man tugged on my hand. "Down."

A few candles lit in his hand, and he started walking with me. We must have walked for an half-hour before I even got the courage to break the stone stairwell's silence. I asked him how deep the join went, who the owner was, and if I would really get all the money I was promised for a private show. The little man just nodded, not even listening. Must have walked for drat near an hour before we reached some old stone door with the club's sign painted over it with sloppy red ink.

It slid aside, and revealed a room just barely small enough to let in a band, lit by an old lantern. I saw a few other little men, in their too-big suits and with their crooked smiles. They readied instruments, and gestured to a simple wooden chair in the center of the basement. I will admit that it took me a few minutes to sit down and get comfortable with all of them staring at me.

I asked where the boss was, and what we were playing, and the little man in the big coat just pointed at the far wall. I was surprised to notice that the whole thing was a large curtain, the same gray and blue as the fading wall. A barely visible figure reached out a hand from the almost sheer wall and beckoned at us. The little man in the coat pulled out a horn from his jacket lining somewhere, and one of his friends shoved a pile of aging yellow papers into my hand.

The whole thing was so old I had trouble making out what it even meant. If it weren't for my mama teaching me sheet music, I wouldn't have even realized that the pages were notes. The old paper felt like autumn leaves in my hands. I was more than a bit worried that I'd hurt the sheet, but it slotted into a brass stand in front of my seat solidly, shaking motes of dust loose into the stifled basement. I put fingers to string with a broken sound, and played as best I could.

The notes came easier than I thought they would, but they came slow. The faded notes and melodies sang off the ancient sheets better than anything I'd played before or since. The old man behind the curtain just swayed that long bony hand of his to the beat, and the strange little creature with the horn behind me started his bit, and his odd little friends joined in one by one

It must have only been a five minute piece, but when I played in that old jazz house it felt like I'd been plucking my old bass for years. We played, rose, fell, and I have to admit I started to weep a bit at the sound of it. I am not a weak woman, but that music was something else. The old man behind the curtain drew his hand in, and I could see his tall shadow wipe it's eyes in the dusty room.

I couldn't tell you what the finish was like. I faded in and out of that room with the beat of the music and with that strange little man pulling on my sleeve once it was over. The little horner pointed to the bony hand, drawn back through the sheer blue curtain balled up around some kind of fruit. I called the bar's owner on it and he laughed. He called it an old habit.

He drew back, and then tossed a stack of bills in a rubbered band out of his little hidey-hole, too quick for me to see inside. It was more than enough to cover rent, food, ConEd, and a little something on the side. All for a single song.

I told the old man, nice as a could, that he was a drat fool to throw that kind of money around, with everything going to seed in those days. He just gave that weird chuckle, like a mockingbird call. He said that one day he'd love to see me play there again. I told him right out that I might not be around those parts again.

He gave off that chuckle, and said that wherever I'd go, he'd be willing to find me. Everyone finds a way to his bar in the end, he said.



-----

I came in a bit under 1000 words, and I know it's not as good as some other stuff put forward.

I still like it. I know it doesn't count for much since I missed the deadline, and wrote it the day of the deadline to begin with. I still had fun writing this. Thanks for letting me post it Thunderdome.

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.


Well then. I guess the pure quality of our work has finally set off the mind-bombs in the judges' heads. Had to happen eventually. The judges are dead, long live the judges.

Time to rise up, boys and girls, take this dome as our own!

Radioactive Bears
Jun 27, 2012

Creatures of horrid visage and disposition.


Or my story was so bad it killed the contest .

Canadian Surf Club
Feb 15, 2008

Word.


With the judges gone we must make a NEW Thunderdome, a Thunderdome for the posters, by the poste-

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Literature is dead.

We are all accomplices.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


E' meglio vivere un giorno da leone che cent'anni da pecora.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

As the first Thunderdome victor, I'd like to offer my services as charismatic revolutionary leader. I promise, no, SUPER promise to not become another tyrannical overlord.

It'll be different this time, guys.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

Radioactive Bears posted:

Or my story was so bad it killed the contest .

Keep whining and we'll have you killed to shut you up.

I liked your most recent one

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


Yo judges, get on with it.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Martello posted:

No, Erik Shawn-Bohner is just a lazy drunk redneck and …

Still waiting for him to get is rear end in gear, and Nyarai has gone awol. If I don't hear poo poo-all by this evening, I'm declaring my rule law and setting up a puppet government to do my bidding while I hunt down Mad Max across the golden desert in a jeep full of leather punks.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

Martello posted:

E' meglio vivere un giorno da leone che cent'anni da pecora.

"In the middle of living, a day of lions is like a century of cheese".

Good point, but I don't see how it's relevant to judging.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Stuporstar posted:

Still waiting for him to get is rear end in gear, and Nyarai has gone awol.

If I were to suggest that I killed them, would it make me eligible to usurp their positions as judge and arbiter of Thunderdome cred?

Just askin'

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Fanky Malloons posted:

If I were to suggest that I killed them, would it make me eligible to usurp their positions as judge and arbiter of Thunderdome cred?

Just askin'

Can't kill what you can't catch.

Vroom-vroom, shitlords.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


sebmojo posted:

"In the middle of living, a day of lions is like a century of cheese".

Good point, but I don't see how it's relevant to judging.


Worst Italian to English translation ever.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


I'm declaring three winners this week to take over judging while I'm away hunting down derelict judges and making them pay.

WEEK VI THUNDERDOME JUDGEMENT

The first winner is SurreptitiousMuffin. You are judge prime and hold the sceptre. It's your job to keep these two rabid bulldogs in line, your fellow judges:

Bad Seafood & Fanky Malloons

Make this one good. I'll be keeping an eye on you.

One note about prompts, for all future judges: open prompts are better. The whole point is to inspire writers to write something fresh rather than making them adhere to arbitrary bullshit. "Your character must be named this" sucks because who the hell wants to read the same name over and over across 25 entrants. "You must include this line" makes whatever goddamned stupid line you come up with stick out like a sore thumb in everyone's stories. Coming up with something too specific is a premise, not a prompt. Sure, "Write a story about a homophobic man who falls off the Golden Gate bridge and gets rescued by a gay merman." might sound really loving funny at first, but it's going to suck the minute you have to sit down and read 25000 words of the same thing over and over.

And now for my arbitrary bullshit. Remember this? I haven't forgotten:

Stuporstar posted:

Executive Order: Next week your main character must wear a silly hat, toupee, or full wig, regardless of context or what the judges come up with for a prompt. I won't be judging because I'll be on vacation, but that doesn't matter. I want to see ridiculous headgear. NO FEDORAS.

Now onto the LOSER:

Baudolino, you not only screwed up your first entry, you submitted it again, and showed not one bit of improvement. You earned that losertar harder than anyone by proving you can't proofread worth a drat. Also, your story was dull and plodding.

Edit: hosed up the week's number, goddamn.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Now for crits:

As Nero Danced - Devil’s Bagman
Standard deal with the devil story with a fairly standard twist. Not badly written. Not spectacular though.

kangaroojunk - Fishing for Pineapple Salad
Short and sweet ghost story. Could use fleshing out with a few action beats, like some subtle character reactions on the wife’s part during the conversation.

Jimson - Aston
Needs proofreading. Found comma splices, and missing commas and apostrophes. Also why would the vampire turn a guy who just tried to kill him? It’s lacking subtle character cues to give the antagonist believable motivation. Rushed is what this is.

Wrageowrapper - Narapatta
Love the cultural flavor in this one. The dialogue is funny and the ending is damned funny.

Canadian Surf Club - Osiris
This feels unfinished to me, like there’s something missing, a key detail that’ll make the story fall into place.

Groghammer - Rouge Vif Enters the Ring
Vampire melons, gently caress ya. Not sure whether or not you should go unpunished for not using the word “yampire” though.

The Saddest Rhino - Longing & That, Which Lives Forever
Bonus points for writing two stories. The first one is a neat idea, but I think the second is stronger. The emphasis line breaks are a bit twee and prosey. For your next TD entry, strip the visual flourishes because they’re hand-waving around your words.

Baudolino - Renegotiation
Your proofreading skills suck, because you couldn’t even get it right in the second draft. If you’re British, a period outside quotation marks is acceptable, but yours aren’t consistent and don’t follow UK rules, so I’m guessing you just screwed up. Also, why are you making so many mistakes in spacing your punctuation? Goddammit, look at what you’ve typed. Also, this is more fantasy than supernatural because that big open hell portal comes straight out of World of Warcraft rather than cultural mythology.

Noah - The Photograph
If your instincts are telling you to write a longer story, I think they’re correct. This should be a proper short story rather than flash fiction. It’s a neat concept. Keep going from where you left off and see where it ends.

Chairchucker - More Small Than Medium
DQed for formatting. Every paragraph should be double-spaced. Every one. The woman who talks to ghosts is an awesome character though.

SurreptitiousMuffin - Rota Fortunae
This has a real mythical feel to it, mixed with stuff like this: “Avast dog, you’ve pissed on my leg. Bought the bumper sticker, rode the water slide.” Goddammit, man, keep writing these stories. I want to crack your head open and eat your brains to gain your essence. What’s up the parenthesis though?

Jonked - Lasting More Than Four Hours
Offensive? No, summoning Priapus is hilarious, and you drew the curtain at just the right point where it might become truly distasteful.

Y Kant Ozma Post - Quartz Palace
The Payday bar ghost story made me smile. The tall-tale style coming from an average kinda Joe is spot on.

Sleekly - Prisoner Swap
Is this supposed to be about a certain prophet? Because only then do I get why you were so coy about not naming names.

Sitting Here - An Indecent Swindler
An elf discovering drugs is legit funny. Though I had a problem with the voice. His phrasing is so straight and contemporary, I didn’t feel like I was in mythical creature’s head at all.

MadRhetoric - The Last Love Song On This Little Planet
Style over substance indeed, but you cribbed “Killing me Softly,” and that totally broke the illusion for me, man.

Brock Broner - Leprechauns Are Bad For Business
Your title telegraphs the story too hard, but at least it delivers on its promise. The vampire reveal is well done though. A serviceable first effort in TD.

Bad Seafood - Jagd
Ok, I straight up love this one without a single reservation. I love how Kurt’s narrow world-view plows through the mythic atmosphere with bullheaded determination, and I laughed out loud when the riders actually produced papers. Your description of the riders is also amazing, and them speaking in bolded all-caps in an archaic style makes their exchange with Kurt even funnier.

Dr. Kloctopussy - Lonely as the Million-Pointed Sky
Interesting concept with the woman who hears ghosts in phones. She needs more development herself though, as in, why does she have a particular thing for eavesdropping on dead people?

Benagain - To Market
This is a solid little story. Rick could use more fleshing out at the kind of obsessive who’d sacrifice two souls for a perfect souffle though. Points deducted for spelling souffle wrong.

sebmojo - Sublimation
It’s got all the hallmarks of a creepy ghost story, but shoots too straight to be legit creepy. When you telegraph, “Oh, he’s a ghost” too early, it kinda diffuses the tension.

Capntastic - High Profile Clients
I’m all for character development, but you spend too much time establishing this guy’s OCPD, and none establishing what a still living/undead/afterlife Walt Disney has to do with Egyptian gods.

Fanky Malloons - The League of Lesser Gods
gently caress yes. God wrestling is awesome. The action is well done. This one’s in my top three.

Black Griffon - The Changing of The Guard
I dunno, man. The changeover from pantheons (Roman, Norse, etc.) to Christian monotheism in the latter years of the Roman Empire had far more conflict involved. That’s the problem I guess: your story is lacking conflict.

bigmcgaffney - A View of Mt. Fuji from Beneath the Wave
Though well written, I’m docking points for it not really playing into the mythology. This reads more like magical realism, which is not a bad thing—it just doesn’t fit the current criteria.

Radioactive Bears - Pluto’s Jazz House
Decent story, but the verbiage is distracting the hell out of me. It’s all the wishy-washy words like, “even,” “barely,” “just,” “few,” and so on. Too much of that destroys their emphasis and gets annoying.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Stuporstar posted:

I'm declaring three winners this week to take over judging while I'm away hunting down derelict judges and making them pay.

You'll never find me.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Stuporstar posted:

I'm declaring three winners this week to take over judging while I'm away hunting down derelict judges and making them pay.

WEEK VII THUNDERDOME JUDGEMENT

The first winner is SurreptitiousMuffin. You are judge prime and hold the sceptre. It's your job to keep these two rabid bulldogs in line, your fellow judges:

Bad Seafood & Fanky Malloons

YES. Prepare to tremble under the loving caress of my iron fist, peons.

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.


Stuporstar posted:

Black Griffon - The Changing of The Guard
I dunno, man. The changeover from pantheons (Roman, Norse, etc.) to Christian monotheism in the latter years of the Roman Empire had far more conflict involved. That’s the problem I guess: your story is lacking conflict.

I think this is because of me being dumb about the "No brooding/passive aggressive characters" rule. It's obvious that I could have added a little more zing, but I was too worried that any aggression would come off as rulebreaking, because I never wanted to turn it into Thundergoddome.

Also: Do we say if we're in or not for next week, or do we wait for the runaway judges?

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Black Griffon posted:

I think this is because of me being dumb about the "No brooding/passive aggressive characters" rule. It's obvious that I could have added a little more zing, but I was too worried that any aggression would come off as rulebreaking, because I never wanted to turn it into Thundergoddome.

Also: Do we say if we're in or not for next week, or do we wait for the runaway judges?

Up to you. If you're eager to join before even knowing the prompt, go right ahead. They still need to decide theme/prompt/wordcount and also come up with appropriate deadlines.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

Stuporstar did you just... disqualify the judges? Metal as gently caress.

In any case. I'm in.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


Three guest judges? Oh wow, this is unprecedented in the long, long history of the Thunderdome! Also I think Week VI had the highest amount of contestants, too. Truly this Week is full of wonderful things.

I'm in for Week VII, whatever the prompt.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


Should I run this week's challenge by the other two or just let 'er rip?

What do you think, rabble?

Debbie Metallica
Jun 7, 2001



SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Should I run this week's challenge by the other two or just let 'er rip?

What do you think, rabble?

You won- go for it. They can fall in line.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Should I run this week's challenge by the other two or just let 'er rip?

What do you think, rabble?

On one hand there is the spirit of democracy. On the other you won and the two others are first losers.

I say, as an ex-judge (thus more smart than normal rabble), you should consult the two.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


toanoradian posted:

I say, as an ex-judge (thus having more intelligence), you should consult the two.

I agree. If you just ran around posting challenges willy nilly and expecting your fellow former rabble-members to fall in line, there'd be anarchy.

Edit: REDACTED

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

toanoradian posted:

On one hand there is the spirit of democracy. On the other you won and the two others are first losers.

I say, as an ex-judge (thus more smart than normal rabble), you should consult the two.

It's the spirit of democracy cause we gutted it and spit on its corporeal form.

But then again the judges need to show a disciplined front, or the rabble tends to get out of hand.

All I know is that the packed and sandy arena thirsts.

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.


Hey, who knows, maybe SurreptitiousMuffin should rule alone, maybe the other judges are just looking for a life beyond Thunderdome.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


Black Griffon posted:

Hey, who knows, maybe SurreptitiousMuffin should rule alone, maybe the other judges are just looking for a life beyond Thunderdome.



That's foul move, Mr. Griffon!

(honestly I have no idea what's this 'beyond thunderdome' is all about)

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


toanoradian posted:

'beyond thunderdome'


THERE IS NO BEYOND THUNDERDOME

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


Right, well I'm out of the house and I'll sort the prompt out tonight. Because I live in a crazy timezone, that means check back tomorrow morning.

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.


toanoradian posted:



That's foul move, Mr. Griffon!

(honestly I have no idea what's this 'beyond thunderdome' is all about)

Motherfucker, educate your rear end.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1FPK5-Rm38

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


The goons who lose will pay the highest price.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


I was more wondering about the joke itself, but that video is pretty okay too.

So guys, what kind of silly hats are you planning to use? I'm planning on propeller hat.

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Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Stuporstar posted:

I'm declaring three winners this week to take over judging while I'm away hunting down derelict judges and making them pay.

WEEK VI THUNDERDOME JUDGEMENT

The first winner is SurreptitiousMuffin. You are judge prime and hold the sceptre. It's your job to keep these two rabid bulldogs in line, your fellow judges:

Bad Seafood & Fanky Malloons

Make this one good. I'll be keeping an eye on you.
Alright, moving up in the world.

Stuporstar posted:

Bad Seafood - Jagd
Ok, I straight up love this one without a single reservation. I love how Kurt’s narrow world-view plows through the mythic atmosphere with bullheaded determination, and I laughed out loud when the riders actually produced papers. Your description of the riders is also amazing, and them speaking in bolded all-caps in an archaic style makes their exchange with Kurt even funnier.
That description is actually one I've had kicking around in my head for some time. It was nice to finally have a use for it.

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Right, well I'm out of the house and I'll sort the prompt out tonight. Because I live in a crazy timezone, that means check back tomorrow morning.
I operate on Koreatime, so we are almost on the same page here.

-email snipped-

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