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Velyoukai
Mar 4, 2011


I hate Suits. All of them.


These words didn't come so easily, and this isn't the title this time around.

Trivial: 918 words

A trickle of blood slid down the side of my head, but I ignored it in favor of the beast standing in our way to the demon's lair. The rest of the beast's kind had already been dealt with. Their bodies paved the path from our portal to the demonic castle in which our greatest foe waited. I rushed forward and brought my axe down, cleaving through ichor and blackened bone to defeat the monster.

Our path was finally clear, and with it, we could-

"Jeffrey!"

"Goddamn it!" I snarled and glared back at the door to my room. I got up from my computer desk and stormed over and outside to the railing by the stairs. It didn't take much effort to calm down, but the fact that I even had to just made me even more angry inside. "What is it, Mom?"

"Jim and I are leaving for our date." Really? They were going out again? Why did I even need to know? "Take care of your little brother while we're out, sweetie!" Oh.

I seethed from the top of the stairs as the sounds of their footsteps and the closing of the door slowly faded. Of course they were leaving me to take care of Chris. God loving forbid either of them actually act like the parents they were supposed to be and take care of their own kid. Bad enough they already had him picking the brat up from school when they were 'too busy with work' to do it, now they were just ditching both of them to go out and get drunk.

"Useless fuckers..." I scowled and turned around to go back to my room and friends, but stopped. Chris stood in the doorway to his own room, probably woken up by our mother's screeching. He looked at me quietly, but I could tell he was going to ask me for something. I could see it in his eyes and I knew I wouldn't be getting back to my game soon.

"What do you want, Chris?" Waiting for him to speak would just be a bigger waste of time. He was too shy and spineless to act first without taking practically ten minutes to work up his courage over countless stuttering and half-word mistakes. It was pathetic. "Well?"

He mumbled something and stared down at his feet. I waited a few seconds for him to continue and actually give me a response, but he just kept staring at the drat floor. I sighed and turned around to go back into my room. If he wasn't going to talk, then I wasn't going to bother.

"He-He-Hey!"

Seriously? I bit back my temper and turned back around to face my brother. He was still standing in the doorway, but once he saw my face, he went back to looking at the floor and holding the door knob. I waited, again, until he actually remembered how to speak like a human being.

"M-M-M-Mom s-said you g-g-gotta f-feed m-m-m-me."

I rolled my eyes. "Chris, you're practically eight. You know how to get your own food by now, right?"

"But M-M-Mom said-"

"Seriously, Chris. I heard her, but you can-"

"B-But-"

"For the last goddamn time, just shut up!"

I slammed the door as hard as I could. I didn't care if the little poo poo got hit by it or not, as long as he just stopped whining. Seriously, I even went out of my way to try and feed him when I was already busy, and all I get in return is his pathetic backtalk?

"Just stay in there and keep quiet!" I snarled and kicked the door again to make sure he got the point. He was an idiot, especially for my little brother, but even he couldn't misunderstand the mood now. "Go to sleep. And. Don't. Bother. Me."

I was so furious from that little poo poo's annoying attitude that I stormed back to my own room, stomping the entire way. I passed by my parents' room along the way and almost spat at their door. It was entirely their fault that I was in such a foul mood and Chris was probably crying like a baby in his room. They just had to go out on their stupid date to try and fix the relationship they'd been loving over since I was a kid? Like hell it'd even do anything.

"Heh." I sneered and stepped back into my own room. My computer was still on and I already knew getting back online would calm me down. "I bet they'll just have a fight and gently caress up anyway."

By the time I'd relaxed in my chair and logged back online, most of the frustration had left. Seriously, dealing with all the bullshit those people who were supposed to be my family caused was just tiresome. They couldn't even handle the simplest things on their own, and instead felt like I owed it to them to get it done instead. I shouldn't even be surprised that my only relief from them would be in my online game's world.

"Sorry about the wait, guys," I typed and let the thoughts of those lovely parents and the whining brat fade away. We had a dragon whose rear end was going down tonight and that was what needed all my attention.

"Just the usual family poo poo."

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Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Baggy_Brad posted:

The Fourth Temptation

Jesus, that was preachy.

Omniphile
Apr 5, 2010

ANIKI!!


I hadn't originally intended for this to get a political bent, whoops.

Personal Conspiracy Theory (965 words)

"And what I'm saying is, there's absolutely nothing wrong with eating babies. Especially if they're black, or have some other horrible birth defect."

"If anything, it's a service."

What the gently caress?

I don't get how anyone could talk like that and believe the words that are coming out of their mouth.

That's not even a joke, or dead baby comedy. That's just bad taste on so many levels.

I can't believe this guy was nominated to represent any kind of party in the national election. Yet here he is, right on the television screen.

And the worst part?

"I agree," says the guy next to me, taking an emphatic swig of his Coors. "He is so right."

Thanks to assholes like him, he's up in the polls.

"Excuse me?" I rap on the bar. "Another Guinness, also can we change the channel? Thanks."

The bartender shakes his head. "No can do. Watching the speech."

"Fellow citizens, let me be straight with you," drawls the candidate. "If we really want to solve the rising cost of health care we should terminate anyone too old to work. And those with chronic diseases."

"Like the homosexuals, and the prostitutes with their STDs. All of them should go."

I point at the screen. "What is there to watch? There's this horrible guy with horrible opinions I'm not going to vote for. I'd rather look at flaming airplane wrecks and car crashes than listen to any more of this. For the love of God, change the channel and get me my drat drink."

Every head in the bar swivels to look at me.

"You're not voting Parker?"

"Nope."

"Then you're not welcome here anymore." The bartender gestures at the door. "Pay up and get out."

I laugh.

Then I realize he's not kidding.

"You can't be serious. I come here every week-"

"Not anymore you don't." He shakes his head. "You know what, forget the tab. Throw him out, boys."

"Wait!"

I get tossed right out onto the pavement, hitting the concrete with a hard thud.

I struggle to my feet, cursing under my breath, and start the long walk home.

I thought the guys in there were better than that. I thought this city was better than that.

Everywhere I go tonight, I have to see or hear that son of a bitch Parker. Every TV in every bar, drugstore and electronics shop has his face plastered on it. Those dumb kids who blitz by with their bass all the way up are blasting Parker instead. And it's being broadcast across every single station on my TV like one of those breaking weather broadcasts.

The world's gone pear-shaped and I'm the one left holding the bag. I can't even get away from this poo poo in the privacy of my own home. I've had it.

The news ticker at the bottom of the screen reads 'Live From General City Convention Center'. That's not that far.

I throw my jacket back on and head out into the night.

As I approach the convention center, I see something odd. There's no security outside. Even less than the usual one bored-looking security guard.

It's more than a little ominous.

I enter the building, following the cheap print-out signs with arrows pointing the way towards the auditorium. All the while, his drawling voice echoes out over the loudspeaker.

I see some janitorial staff, guards and receptionists here and there, but they don't even acknowledge my presence. They just stand stock-still, listening. As if they were being-

Suddenly, everything falls into place.

I burst into the auditorium.

"Parker!" I shout. "You let the people of this city go right now!"

The man himself turns to look at me, a look of mild-mannered surprise on his face. "Why, I have no idea what you're talking about. Should I know you?"

"All you should know about me is that I'm not falling for your tricks." I walk down the aisle. "What're you using, Parker? A pocket watch? Some kind of spinning device? Suggestion? What are you using to hypnotize all these people into listening to your bullshit?"

He stares at me.

Then he laughs. It's not the kind of laugh you'd expect from someone so horrible, oh no. It's a belly laugh, the kind of laugh Santa would have if he were real, a long, jolly belly laugh that turns into a boisterous guffaw.

It sends chills down my spine more than anything else ever could.

"What's your name, son?"

"Jamal."

He spreads his arms wide, beaming. "Jamal! What a ghetto name. Your momma must be one of them crack whores, no wonder you came all the way here."

I grit my teeth. "My mother is a pediatr-"

"A pedophile? I bet she is, with the way you turned out. How'd she touch you down there, boy?"

I know what Parker's game here is. He's trying to make me too angry to string together a coherent sentence.

It's working.

He casually lights a cigar. "Anyways, let me tell you something, Jamal. You can't hypnotize anyone who doesn't want to throw their willpower away in the first place. That's not how it works."

"Now, I could kill you here and now. I could say the word, any random word mind you, and these people, these fine stooges in the audience, they would tear you limb from limb. But you know, I think that would be too easy. I think I want to kick off this life-long term of mine by drilling something right into your brain, in a way even a little dipshit like you can understand."

Parker whips out a .45 and points it right between my eyes, a smug, self-satisfied smile on his greasy face. Right on national television.

No one moves a muscle.

"You're outnumbered."

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


Who's ready for a gimmick?

Cleaning
It had been about a month since I snuck into my sister’s room when she was asleep. She was preparing for that entrance examination and doing it mostly overnight. I told her that not sleeping wasn’t healthy, but she assured me that she just became an owl; she slept in the day, on a quiet spot in a nearby library. Well, that wasn’t any good; everybody could see me messing with her if she was in a library. I need to put her to sleep somehow.

A tape of classical music couldn’t do it. She found it interesting somehow. Lowering the room’s temperature didn’t work either. She just went to the toilet more often and all the walking kept her awake. I am getting frustrated as time went. She hadn’t taken care of herself these past days, her long black hair becoming more frazzled. I’m sure she hadn’t had time to clean her ears at all.

Finally I stumble upon the key to my salvation: sleeping pills. I obtained some from my older friends (from whom I also learned the proper dosage) and put it into a cup of tea.

I knocked her bedroom door. “Come in,” she said.

I entered the room. There were several books on the floor around the desk and on the bedside table. Cards littered the desk, where my sister leaned over, focusing on a piece of paper. “How is it?” I asked.

“It’s improving,” Sister said. She pointed to a table tacked to the wall in front of her. “Half of Physics doone. After that, all I have to do is review all the subjects.”

I had told her studying this way wasn’t efficient, but she wouldn’t listen. I moved a biology textbook away to put a cup of tea on her desk. “Have some sugar.” She patted me in the head before I left the room.

Few hours later, I sneaked a peek into her room. As I expected, she had fallen asleep. I quickly went into my room, picked up my Box and slowly, slowly, entered my sister’s room.

The only sounds were her breathing. She was lying up on the bed. There were several papers on the bedside table, with a pen on the ground close to it. She had attempted to study on the bed and had succumbed to sleep. I moved closer to her, moving the table away just so I can have better access to her head. She was still pretty. I moved her hair to reveal her bewitching right ear. It’s a shame that her earlobes were attached, I loved the sensation of earlobes between my fingers, weakly flicking it up and down. Her earlobe is also quite thick, which made it even more of a pity.

I noticed my rapid breathing and consciously slowed it down. I need to relax. Her right ear was there, just there, making me excited and I can’t be too excited. I pinched her right arm to test if she’d wake up. She didn’t. I opened my box and pulled one cotton bud. I licked my lips. One month of frustration will finally be over.

First I let the bud touch the scapha, the flat area on the top of her ear. Dear god, the sound. As the bud moved along the scapha just below the helix, I could hear the small sounds of scratching. I reached the lobe before moving it up again on the antihelix, that elevated path. She moved a little, but I couldn’t care less. The bud moved gracefully along her antihelix, the soft sounds of friction slowly overwhelming my hearing. I got into the fossa, going down into upper part of the concha, and then landed into the concha just outside the ear canal. For a short while, my breathing stopped. Her canal was just there, right in front of me. Her canal that I’m sure she hadn’t bothered to clean for this month. My fingers shook. I removed the bud, looking at the dead skin collected on the cotton. I flipped it and began plunging my sister’s ear hole.

The bud slowly entered into that dark cavity, moving in a circular manner as it brushed the tract. I increased the force and the sounds got louder. It should only be a few seconds, but it was the most intense seconds I’ve ever had. I pulled the bud out, looking at the yellow substance now covering the white cotton. Yes, she was dirty. Too dirty. This could take three, four buds just for one ear. I smelled the wax, its slight odour robbing my rationality for the briefest of moments. Her wax was the wet-type, with brownish-honey colour. I licked the bud. The bitter taste was fleeting, only felt on the tip of my tongue for less that one second. I licked it again, desperate for more of that taste.

She squirmed, her mouth making random noises. I thought she was going to wake up. Should I stop now? Should I continue?

#

I couldn’t choose. I just stood there, breathing close to my sister’s right ear, a dirty bud on my hand. I stood up, looking at the figure of my sleeping sister. There were blisters on her fingers and her cheeks were thinner due to the intense studying. It’s truly a miracle that ear shapes were not affected by improper diet. The ear just remained in that form, perfect. I looked at her right ear again. Just like me, she had a prominent bump on the helix, the ‘Darwin’s tubercle’. It’s thicker than usual, too. I touched it with my fingers, playing around with it as if it was a really small button. I flicked it, pinched it and pulled it. Just touching ears were boring. I stood up and exited the room.

As I lie on my bed, I looked at the one ear bud. The wax was still there, though it had now become dry and brown. Still good. There were still other nights to visit my sister.

END

This path has 1005 words.

For reference:

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

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

Fallen Rib

Missions
(1090 words)

Terry was on a mission. Standard procedure was to get out, and get back within a few hours. He'd left his mission jacket in his backyard overnight on the roots of his tree. It'd accumulated enough moisture and grime to send the signals he wanted sent. No shave and shower that day either, and he'd left his cell phone on its charger. Cutting free from those things not only freed up time, but made the mission more fun. A handful of one dollar bills was all he'd need, in terms of assets this time.

He stepped aboard the bus, slipping bills into the receptacle, savoring the texture of the cold metal on his fingertips while the rest of his hands were warmed by fingerless wool gloves. He sat down and repressed the urge to brush his greasy hair out of his face, and let the inertia of the vehicle in motion overtake him. His empty stomach made him jittery, and this only added to the sheer euphoric thrill he was experiencing.

Last week was the typical routine of work and socialization and all of that, but this was a special sort of weekend he kept all to himself. He'd even called in sick to his friends. Friday night he'd driven around with his running lights off, stealth mode and binoculars, acquiring mission intel. It took an amount of restraint to not go in right then and seize the objective that Terry found absolutely pleasurable. Knowing he was capable of that restraint, and that he could hold it indefinitely, was part of the reason he had the missions anyways.

His stop had come up, outside of a half-boarded up strip mall. As he reached to pull the bell cord, he felt the wool snag underneath his fingernails and became aware that he'd spent the whole ride clenching his hands into fists. Even his body knew he was getting closer. He shambled off the bus, brushing past people who were pointedly ignoring how decrepit he looked. That was a sort of power to Terry but it wasn't what he wanted.

He ducked behind the strip mall and followed along a chain link fence until he'd found the spot where it had been clipped through. Back here was sparse trees and dense brush, and slipping into it the noise of traffic dissolved. The action of his lungs and heart filled the silence. His senses were firing on all cylinders, and he immediately saw the thinned out section of brush, indicating a trail. The mission was now behind enemy lines.

Terry had read that the most important thing in maneuver warfare wasn't overwhelming force of arms, but the idea of controlling the tempo of the battlefield. Forcing your enemy to react, keep them on their toes, and keep them guessing. He briefed himself for the missions with this in mind. That was the power he wanted. And Terry knew that exerting it on some random homeless person across town was more ethical than starting trouble with someone he knew, or someone in his neighborhood. This was why he adhered to the mission structure so strictly.

He inhaled sharply through grinning teeth as he spotted the makeshift tarp shelter. He let his senses flow outwards, listening for any sign that he should make a tactical retreat. Just wind. He walked right up to the pale blue tent and began thinking. There was a mattress here, and quite a few trinkets littered around it. Some were in a milk crate. This was the hardest part for him, since he wanted to act with utter precision. He could simply cut the rope that held the tarp down across the tree branches, but that would be easy and obvious. The objective of the mission was hard for Terry to even define, and he would usually know it when he thought it up in the field. He could tip the milk crate over, or turn it upside down, just to force the owner to wonder how it had happened. That wasn't quite the effect he wanted.

Last month Terry had, in what he felt was a particular stroke of genius, taken a collection of porno mags he'd found on-site and burned them, leaving the ash pile where they'd been stashed. Once he'd found a picture frame of someone's family and he'd carefully opened the frame up and slid the picture out of the glass and folded it up and taken it home. Once he'd cut a dog's leash (getting close enough to do that was exhilarating!), and ran off before the owner could do street justice to him. The first mission he had was simply taking a water bottle and burying it some mud, where it'd be impossible to find. There was something special to each mission that made sense to him only when he was doing it. Terry was giggling as this new objective came to mind.

There were empty liquor bottles here, and he immediately began picking them up and throwing them at the tree. Some shattered instantly, while others missed or glanced off of it. He had to stop and look around every few pitches, since it was making an awful lot of noise. Once he'd rendered them all to shards and re-secured the perimeter, he began carefully scooping the glass into his palm, thanking his fingerless gloves for protecting them, and spreading it out evenly on the mattress. This was art. This was beautiful. He grabbed a few pieces of newspaper and used it as protection as he ground the glass deeper into the grimy fabric of the mattress. This was levels deeper than anything he'd done before, and Terry regretted not having his phone on hand to take pictures. He took his time, making sure each inch was embedded with tiny glittering blades. He sighed as he finished his work, clapping his hands and brushing the dirt off of his knees.

He was giggling on the bus ride home, and people were trying very hard not to look at him. That was still a sort of power, but he couldn't stop thinking about the pure moment of when the mattress's owner would return. Would it be dark? Would they immediately notice what had happened? He didn't care if the mattress caused harm, or if it would simply be turned over. He'd completed his mission, he'd gotten out, left his mark, and gotten back. It didn't matter what their response was, or what his own next move was. Terry controlled the tempo of his target.

slothmonster
Sep 28, 2009

Mashed keyboard to write about a woman getting murdered rather than potatoes. WTF

THUNDERDOME

I'm not only a terrible writer but apparently a terrible person.

Work to Do.
(1180 words)

He zipped his pants and began to leave the room, tossing one cursory glance back at the 16 year old on the bed behind him. Belt still around her arm, the spike lay drained on the bedside table. “Fuckin' junkie stinkyhole” He laughed as he exited the backroom and into his office. The air was heavy with stagnant cigar smoke, a half finished bottle of scotch stood next to the mirror and the razor blade.

He fell backwards into his chair, contented. “Hey fellas,” He called to the two men standing on opposing sides of the door. “How's about a Christmas bonus for the two of ya? The little stinkyhole on the bed in their is spent. Do what ya want then call Angelo and get him to take her someplace nice and quiet.”
The two hulks looked at each other, lips peeling off of teeth into greasy smiles, they began to walk towards the back room.
“Hey you fuckin' mongoloids, at least one of you fucks needs to be watchin' the door.” They stopped and entered into a game of rock paper scissors.
“Not fair you always get to go first” Hulk-One argued.
“Hey rules are rules hombre” Grinned the second.
“Shut the gently caress up the two of yas, I got fuckin' work to do.”

Outside flurries of snow hung weightless in the air, illuminated by streetlights into tiny terrestrial stars. It was Christmas Eve and Donnie DeLuca wasn't the only person on this block who had work to do.

Inside the club Donnie chased a line of coke with a mouthful of scotch. Hulk-One stood dejected guarding the door when there was a knock. The grainy black and white display on Donnie's desk revealed Frankie Baglio. “Let him the gently caress in.”

“The goddamn niggers Donnie, they took the loving truck!” Frankie was panicked.
“The gently caress you mean the niggers took the truck?”
“I mean they took the loving truck, Chrissy took a bullet to the gut” Donnie stood up from his chair. “It ain't lookin good for him neither he was bleedin' all over the fuckin' place-”
“I said WHAT the gently caress do you mean the NIGGERS took the TRUCK” Donnie gripped the bottle of scotch and stepped around the desk. Frankie took a step back, his eyes widened.
“I.. I mean, There was nothing we coulda-”
The scotch bottle splintered into a crystalline shower off of Frankie's head, the jagged remnants left in Donnie's hand slid down Frankie's face, drawing a line of deep red. Hulk-One shuffled quickly to the corner, Hulk-Two burst from the back room, pants held up with one hand, the other gripping a 9mm. Frankie crumbled to his knees and fell forward.
“I SAID, THE gently caress DO YOU MEAN THE NIGGERS TOOK THE TRUCK!?” Donnie screamed at the limp body that lay before him. “YOU WORTHLESS gently caress” A sickening crack rang through the office as Donnie's boot connected with Frankie's face, his head cocked back, blood spattering the floor.

“Jesus Christ boss, that was Frankie!” Stammered the first Hulk.
“gently caress 'im, throw that worthless gently caress in the room with the little stinkyhole, Angelo can take him someplace nice and fuckin' quiet too.” Donnie opened the humidor on his desk and removed a cigar. “You, you fuckin' ungrateful prick, go get me another bottle of Johnny and see if that who-ah Jessica is dancing tonight.” Donnie lit his cigar as Hulk-Two stumbled from the room.

Jakob was sitting at the bar nursing a drink when the fat man stumbled from the side door. He brought the glass to his mouth and drank. The fat man was beside him now, dripping sweat and visibly shaken.
“The Boss needs anotha bottle of Johnny, and uh, is Jessica dancin' tonight?” Jakob eyed the fat man then turned to the bartender.
“Nah she ain't workin' tonight Rizz, what's the big man see in her anyway?”
“hosed if I know, the guy's sick.” and with that the Fat man was walking back to the door.
Jakob finished his drink and slipped into step. From afar at first and then closer, closer, till the door opened and in an instant the Fat man was pushed to the stairs and the door shut behind them. Jakob pressed the nose of his magnum to the Fat man's lower back.
“You know what this is you fat gently caress?” Jakob spat through gritted teeth. “It's a goddamn fortyfour, I squeeze this cocksucker right now you'll never feel your loving dick again, that's if it don't loving kill you.”
“Wha- Wha- Waddya want, anything you want the Boss's got it.” The Fat man blubbered.
“You're loving right the Boss has what I want now get the gently caress up.”

In the back room the girl slept in her dope haze, Frankie beside her, a broken heap. In the office Donnie laid back in his chair, slurring drunkenly to the tune of Oh Christmas Tree
“Oh Frankie B. Oh Frankie B...” A knock at the door interrupted his song. Hulk-Two stood on the display. “Let him in.”

Jakob was crouched behind the Fat man when the door opened, he stood quickly and pulled the trigger. An explosion of brain, bone and blood erupted from the top of the Fat man's head, painting the room Christmas red. Jakob kicked the lifeless body forward and stepped in. He caught a glimpse of Hulk-One reaching for his tool, spun and vacated his cranium as well. The Hulk slumped and slid down the wall to the sound of laughter. Jakob turned and looked at Donnie.
“What the gently caress are you laughing at DeLuca.”
“You come in here and you, you try to gently caress me in my own house?” Donnie looked down and insufflated a line. “You come in here, playing cowboy? you know who the gently caress I am you snot nosed little poo poo-smear?”
“Where the gently caress is she DeLuca!?”
“Where the gently caress is she DeLuca!?” mimicked Donnie. “I'll tell you who the gently caress I am, I'm Donnie The Demon DeLuca you cocky little enjoyable human being!” The front of the desk exploded into buckshot and splintered wood. The combined shrapnel shredded Jakob's legs, sending him to the ground screaming. Donnie stood up. “I assume you're looking for the little junk pussy in the back room?” He walked around the desk. “What is she to you cowboy?” Donnie kicked the magnum that much further from Jakob's reach. “She your sister? Girlfriend? Huh? Tell me Clint.” Donnie leaned in close.
“gently caress You.”
“Oh gently caress Me? Funny you should say that, because that's what I did to her, same with that brainless mope right there, he hosed her too.” Jakob looked to the man slumped against the wall.
“I'm gonna loving kill you DeLuca”
Donnie stood up. “No ya fuckin' ain't.”
Footsteps approached Jakob from behind.

“Angelo! So nice of you to join us!”

dromer
Aug 19, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Table of Values - 945 Words

A man stood beside a bed where his wife lay. She was pale, and was so skinny it almost looked as though the weight of the sheets would crush her. He placed his hand over her forehead, and it burned like a red hot brand. She had been sick for too long. She may not be long for this world. The man picked up a newspaper laying on the table near her bedside and threw it bodily into the fire. The garish words on the front page, "WHORE WIFE" disappeared as the newspaper turned black.

What we create is a reflection of ourselves in some form or another. A value is shorthand for a perfection we can never achieve. Liberty, security, justice. A villain is nothing but a distortion of those values to a negative effect.

The papers rolled hot off the press. They weren't as hot as the surrounding area, which was cooking at a toasty 373 degrees Fahrenheit. The mortar surrounding the bricks in the wall popped from the heat of the interior. The wooden stairs provided even more kindling for the fire. Somewhere in the building, a man was writhing along with his publication. The sign outside the door fell to the ground. It was a simple sign declaring the name of the publication that was manufactured inside, "The Liberator".

But values are finicky things. At first glance, they seem universal. But everything must be balanced, or we'll soon find we become the evil we so despise.

Take, for example, liberty. Ever since the Enlightenment, we've always condoned and praised the concept of somebody's natural rights. But what happens when those rights infringe upon each other? Liberty and freedom allow heinous acts to be committed in their name. A person has the right to bear arms, and an equal right to use those arms. But what happens when those rights infringe on another's right to life?

The night was bright with fire that surrounded the neighborhood. People ran to and fro, setting fire to the buildings and throwing stones into the windows. The screams of beatings and murder carried through the streets. A family, hidden in the shadow watched as their business burned. On the coats they had discarded behind them were blue stars of David.

Liberty's sister, Justice, comes into play. She's a much harsher mistress, but a much more nebulous one as well. What is justice? To each their due? An eye for an eye and everyone's blind. A criminal justice system? Over ninety percent of criminals in the system today will go to jail for another crime later in life. Is justice a form of glorified revenge?

The screaming of a crowd before the stage deafened the executioner. He waited silently as the judge listed off the crimes of the accused. Witchcraft, enchanting the Jenkins' boy to do the Devil's bidding. After the judge read the sentence, he waited quietly for a moment as the crowd threw stones, tomatoes, and any other small object they could find. Finally, the judge nodded and the executioner pulled the lever.

Temperance enters to stays Justice's hand. But how much is too much? What abuses are over the line? Why would hurting a fellow man solve any issue?

As the thin lady switched the lights on, she was surprised by how fast the evening had passed her by. After they had taken the tabs, everything seemed to flow together, from the singing to the driving to the creepy crawl. At least Manson seemed pleased. He always was after a creepy crawl. Two others walked in, carrying a bloodstained pair of clothes.

Security and Prudence guides Temperance's judgement. But they are not without their own worries. Who is to say what is right and wrong? What is practical and useful? Everyone is a threat to security, in the strictest sense. What prevents the value of security leading to the imprisonment of every man? For they are all dangerous in their own right.

The craftsman hung up his bloodstained apron and headed upstairs. A man in white clothes greeted him. The torturer informed the man of his failure. The man simply said okay, and told him to leave the body where they usually did, and that there were plenty more. After all, heretics were like rats, numerous and cowardly.

Liberty informs Prudence, and together they form Tolerance. That is but one cycle. Society is built like a house of cards on a table, each value leaning on the next, requiring each other to remain standing. But the table, the table is the most important element. It is our moral standards, our objective view of right and wrong. And with the right nudge, one can offset the table oh-so-slightly. The cards slowly slip towards the edge. Everyone watches, everyone knows what will happen, but they all feel powerless to help it. If they tried to counterbalance the table, to make it even again, wouldn't they risk knocking the cards themselves down? And then everyone would blame them for knocking the cards over.

The President sat in his office and sighed. The world was inches away from a nuclear war and that drat Russian still won't pick up his phone. The secretary entered and declared that a visitor was waiting. The president nodded and allowed the visitor to enter. The Secretary of War entered the room, and advised towards preventative action. Of course, he argued, preventative action was the only logical course now. The Russians had played their hand, and now we would play ours.

That would be unacceptable.

The question, the President replied, was not whether it was logical. It was whether or not it was right.

---
Did I put in line breaks correctly? I thought I did last time but apparently I didn't.

Bear Sleuth
Jul 17, 2011



Just a bit of Halloween fun.

One Eviscerated Evening - 831 words

Vladimir Sarcophagus waltzed through the crowd of draculas and mummies and other assorted monstrosities. Sure, there were some big wigs here1, but as the only dracula mummy in existence it was clear that his coiffure was the most colossal. Adjusting his dracula broach, Vladimir swept onto the dais at the front of the hall and seated himself at his throne2. Slowly the loose ends of his tattered wrappings settled into place as he gazed out at the assembled undead.

"Why have you summoned us here, Sarcophagus?" demanded a voice from the crowd. Vladimir found its owner, Phrond, one of the slug princes from the lesser bogs. He was known for getting rather boisterous when drunk and judging from the paper cups littered about his foot he had left sobriety long behind. Very well, if Phrond was so impatient to be started than he would be first. Vladimir nodded towards one of the wings of his great hall and from it emerged a zombie butler carrying a large glass decanter on a tray.

It didn't occur to Phrond what might be happening until too late. In his drunkenness he had no time to react as the zombie butler tossed the potent saline cocktail into his face3. The popping and sizzling was drowned out by cries of shock and outrage. Vladimir nodded again, this time in the direction of the balcony. A shot echoed around the hall as another zombie butler fired a silver bullet into a therian's head. There was more panic as the body fell, phantom limbs splayed grotesquely. Most of the crowd tried to flee but found they were held in place by Vladimir's mummy curse.

Vladimir watched with a small smile as two more were-whatevers were sniper shot. The cries of confusion and demands for explanation fell on deaf ears4.
At a gesture bright UV lights that had been installed in the celling were activated, filling the room with a painful glow. Painful, that is, if you weren't half sun-god6. As the screams turned from shock to agony and the room filled with the smell of crisp dracula skin Vladimir rose and stepped to the edge of the dais.

"For those of you still alive to hear," he said addressing the writhing throng, "know that this isn't a coup or bid for command, not that I, the unending scourge and lord of the two lands, would have any need for such acts." He raised a hand and a squad of zombie butlers charged at the frankensteins with torches and pitchforks. "Nor is this a plot to steal your shares of Spook Inc.7 In fact this is not part of a conspiracy of any kind." At this Vladimir strode over to a table which had been covered with a white cloth.

"I'm not doing this to fulfill a perverse sexual need," he said has he pulled off the cloth with a flourish. Underneath were several rows of mummified hearts. "You should be more careful with what you leave in your pockets at the coat check," he said in response to the gasps of surprise from the assorted Egyptian dead. "And this isn't for the sadistic psychological thrill," he continued as he began crushing the hearts one by one. "Though I must admit I do enjoy it," he added as an aside.

"No, all of this," he gestured to the writhing corpses, flaming bodies, and piles of ash, "is merely an exercise in power. An application of force to keep from getting rusty. A casual genocide," he said as a zombie butler put a harpoon through the last existing Black Lagoonigan. "And as modern medicine is so keen to remind us, it is important to exercise regularly."

The last of these words were voiced unheard, for by this time the entire assemblage had been eradicated. As the final act of the evening Vladimir ordered the zombie butlers to crowbar each other in the skull. Then he went upstairs and drew himself a bath.


1 Literally, in some cases.

2 Contrary to popular opinion most dracula thrones are not crafted from bones and skulls, that particular style being out of vogue for nearly 400 years. Indeed, Vladimir's throne only had one small skull, located near the back, and was only included for tradition's sake.

3 A note of caution: if you are a med-student or nurse's aide and find yourself accosted by a slug man with nothing but a patient's IV bag at hand, using it as a deterrent is unlikely to work as depicted here. The answer to why Vladimir's assassination succeeded is the decanter was magic.

4 Mostly because Vladimir's ears were buried under several tons of sand in a canopic jar of Senebhenaef5.

5 Traditionally, only the viscera were removed during mummification but there are no rules for preserving a dracula and the embalmers were playing it by ear.

6 And 1/16th unknowable space horror on his mother's side.

7 Vladimir, of course, already had majority control.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


removed

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Serial

392 words

The first was easy, first times often are. A tap on the shoulder for misdirection, plant the knife, lean in real smooth. A sharp blade goes through flesh like butter. I treasure the memory; her little gasp, the outlet of breath. Cut up the body, hid the bits.

The second was a corporate job. Tickle the stats, massage the spreadsheet, bump up the quarterly profits, bam. The reports a year later about the babies sucking down gobbets of melamine with their night-time yumyums gave me a tingle. Not the same, not personal, but professional. Job well done. Cut up the bodies, hid the bits.

Third time round was most delicious of all. Bhopal. Say no more. The choking, the gasping, the dying. Most of all the dying. Dyeing, even - cyanosis turns the extremities blue. A joke, there - you see I have a sense of humour. Cut up the bodies, hid the bits.

After that I started in on a peace keeping action in the Sudan, flirted with the trenches of Ypres, skipped through a few mediaeval oubliettes. Cut up the bodies, hid the bits.

And now we come to you. You've smelt me in the shadows, waiting behind the folds of time and space, like a spider. And when you see me, the flash of analogy that goes through your brain before the entropic janitor turns the lights off will almost certainly be 'spider'. The coiling, bristled limbs, sparking with colours that you have no name for, the whirling eye spots, the gaping, velvety maw. It's a comparison I've come to treasure. They are industrious, beautiful creatures. And the webs they build echo our own work, as a match echoes the sun. Of course,we took a much more catholic approach in building our web.

But the end of our time together draws near. Soon you'll catch sight of a pretty girl in a yellow dress, turn to look, miss the truck coming from the side streets. The impact will be horrid, total, driving a spur of metal through your chest and pinning you to your seat, sending a spurt of hot blood up your throat and out your mouth. You'll see me for a fraction of a second with eyes already dimming, and think I look like a spider. And I will cut up your body, hide the bits.



Edit: Added title, wordcount

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


sebmojo posted:

Breaking kayfabe for a moment. I wrote nothing but the occasional tabletop RPG recap for the last ten years, thunderdome has been amazing. Thanks to Martello and Shorn Ballsack and the Stuporstar for setting this up. ALL HAIL THUNDERDOME. LONG MAY IT REIGN.

As long as people are enjoying this and I have any free time at all, I will continue to run Thunderdome. The idea was for people to have fun and practice their writing, and if that's happening then I'm happy.

So get to writin', bitches!

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

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

Fallen Rib

Through some sort of twisted magic writer karma, at 4AM this morning a drunk driver smashed through the front of the store I work at while I was stocking shelves, so I spent the rest of my shift cleaning up broken glass.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

sebmojo posted:




Edit: Added title, wordcount



I haven't read any pieces yet but this, this is my favorite thing.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


I have been sitting on a train to the arctic wastes of Scotland all day. Getting around to reading all the entries right now. Soon the hive-mind that is the judges will confer using terrifying brain-telepathy and score them through tasty extispicy. Stay tuned.

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.


I was on a wonderful date, so I give exactly no fucks about being late. Editing this with that in mind is kind of disturbing, considering the subject matter.

Creative Soul - 286 words

They dance again tonight. He leads and she follows
From bedroom to kitchen and into the living room
Bang into the table and it'll bruise a little, but she keeps her legs covered. Long skirts
Waltz into the wall where her throat will bruise, but if the makeup won't cover it she'll wear a scarf
It's the cold season, he says
He laughs, even while the bruises are fresh. It's a joke; of course it's not cruel
We joke about everything, we've always done that
Of course we have
I love you

When he goes up to the bedroom to think, she breaks down by the bookcases
Right in the corner where there's a little crook
The shadow covers her, safe somehow
She'll grab a book, Henning Mankell
Wishes it could take her back

Study hall, and she's reading Mankell
So is he

Tomorrow she'll find another excuse
He knows she always does. Last time it was the past
He knows he can always rely on the oldest trick
Bloody pair of panties in a restaurant, cramps as they were eating
Ruined a nice dinner
Ruined Sam. Samantha. Whatever
It didn't last long enough, they never figured out what to call it
Her fault

Tomorrow he'll be calm. That's how it always is
But she'll keep her distance, try to tell him
Something
But she won't win this one
And for some reason, his arms will comfort her

The oldest trick is boring. He'll find another way to break her, maybe tomorrow
He enjoys the creative exercise
She'll expect him to be calm
She'll expect his arms, he laughs at the obvious joke
It's only eight in the evening, he's not finished.

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.

Oh yeah this was due like a day and a half ago, weeeellllp. Guess I'll churn out something in the next hour or so.

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.

Yeah OK here's a thing.

The Cure

Farai came in on a Sunday morning to bother me, and he knows how busy and important I am. “Excuse me, wise Anesu; sorry to bother you, I know how busy and important you are. It’s about Petiri.”

Ah yes. Petiri. I’d seen him the week before. “What about him?”

“Well, he’s asked to marry Nyasha. He said it was your idea.”

“Well, I didn’t mention your daughter exactly.” Some clever thinking by Petiri, though.

“He says he told you she could cure him.”

“Well, I specifically told him that an untouched girl could. I assume she fits the description.”

“Are you sure? I mean, all the doctors say that doesn’t work. She’s my only child.”

The nerve of this insolent wretch, to challenge what I say. Doctors? Preposterous. “And what cure have the doctors offered?”

That shut him. He stared at the floor. “None.”

“And yet you are still prepared to listen to their words on the subject? Listen, Petiri is rich, isn’t he? This could end up being the best thing for everyone involved.”

Farai nodded. “You speak wisely, Anesu. I’m sorry to have bothered you.” And then he was gone, and I was able to forget this annoyance for the few months it took for them to work out the details and the couple to get married.

-

It was a month after the marriage, and I had forgotten all about the annoyance. It was a Friday afternoon; Petiri came in to make a nuisance of himself, and he knows I hate to be disturbed on a Friday afternoon. “Excuse me, wise Anesu; sorry to be a nuisance, I know you hate to be disturbed on a Friday afternoon. It’s about Nyasha. Well, about both of us.”

“Ah yes, how is your beautiful wife?”

“She’s well, but… I still have the disease. You said she would cure it.”

I shook my head. “I never even mentioned Nyasha. I said lying with an untouched girl, a girl pure in body and spirit, would cure you. Are you certain she was a virgin?”

Petiri frowned. “Yes. It is beyond doubt.”

“It must be her spirit, then, rather than her body.”

Petiri looked uncertain. “Her spirit? What does that mean?”

I shook my head again. Petiri could be slow sometimes. “There is a demon inside her. You must drive it out.”

“How am I to do that?”

“You must beat it out of her. Beat her hard enough, and the demon will leave. Drowning will also work; just make sure you bring her out of the water before she dies.”

Petiri looked worried. “I don’t want to hurt her” he said. “She is a very fine wife. Could there be another explanation? She doesn’t seem possessed.”

“Absolutely not.” Twice now I had been questioned in regards to this matter. It was quite unacceptable. “If she was definitely a virgin when you lay with her, and you were not cured, there is a demon there. It is the only explanation.” He still seemed unconvinced. I think the fool had let himself get attached to her; he was forgetting that she was nothing but a walking cure. I had to try a different tack. “Come now, it is the best thing for her. It is not healthy to be living with a demon inside you.” He nodded, then left, without even a thank you. And that was the last I heard of it for a couple of weeks.

-

A couple of weeks later, it came out that Petiri had killed Nyasha. It was unclear if it was the beatings or the drowning that had killed her. He’d tried to blame me when the police had come down from the city, but that was ridiculous; I’d told him not to kill her. In a way though, my problem was solved. Petiri was locked up in the city and I no longer had to deal with the headache of a disease that just would not be cured.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


Daddy, is the contest over yet?

Daddy why are you not saying anything

daddy are you still there

daddy?

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


toanoradian posted:

Daddy, is the contest over yet?

Daddy why are you not saying anything

daddy are you still there

daddy?

Should be reporting back tomorrow evening. I've gone over all the entries, just waiting on combined judgement force.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


Thunderdome Week XII Results

This week saw a drop in the number entries and I daresay, a drop in quality also. The prompt, and therefore I, am partially to blame for that but regardless - there was some unquestionably good stuff this week, but much of it strayed far off prompt and was therefore not in contention, and there was also a bunch of stragglers who were consequently ineligible.

Moving onto brighter things, every contestant submitted something. So no total failures on that front, a trend that ought to be maintained. But enough chit-chat, without further ado, this week's undisputed winner is Fanky Malloons for her [cheeky male assumption edit] chilling rendition of a woman freeing herself from familial affection in a merciless fashion. Honourable mentions go to Black Griffon for his great but late poem about domestic abuse and toanoradian for his extremely unsettling Roald Dahl-esque CYOA about a little kid and earwax.

And coming full circle back to darker matters, this week's loser is Baggy_Brad for his attempt at a subversion of Jesus and the Devil that had potential but fell very flat indeed with awkward preachiness throughout, compounded by clumsy dialogue and slapdash characterisation.


Baggy_Brad

+ve - Decent idea.
Hints of some decent dry humour.

-ve - Stilted dialogue.
Difficult to get a handle on the character's personalities.
Ham-fisted shoehorning of current affairs.

Noah

+ve - Actually sticking to the prompt correctly.
Pacy, mostly convincing dialogue in first half.
Decent painting of a narcissistic sociopathic character.
Nice open-ending.

-ve - Listing exposition of the build-up to the suicide deflates the pace and involvement of the reader.
Some parts seem very abrupt.
Kind of contrived suicide note plot-device.
jog-walk joke???

Velyoukai

+ve - Personally I was fond of this entry. It sticks to the prompt while managing to twist away from our usual conception of a villain.
A great appeal to the inner-goon hatred of MRA/Neckbeard psychology.
Good use of internal monologue and italics to convey emotion successfully.
Nicely misleading opening para.

-ve - Perhaps the character straddles the line between hatred and pity a little closely.
Never really reaches a climax - more could be made of the brother's relationship I feel, to push the character into being more hateworthy.

Omniphile

+ve - I dig the unsettling vibe of the story. You already get the impression something is wrong, long before we see the reason.
Decent use of clipped sentences to convey character.
Pacing mostly good.

-ve - IT ALL FALLS INTO PLACE revelation is cliché and trite.
It fails to make me hate 'Parker' - spends too long on the protag.
Some truly teeth-grinding cringe insults. So bad they break connection to the story.

toanoradian

+ve - Good ol' fashioned decent prose.
Excellent toying with the imagination of the reader about kid's intentions.
Ballsy CYOA choice.
Knowledge of the ear.
Creepy.

-ve - Ballsy CYOA choice.
That ending where she knows he cleaned her ear and wasn't freaked the gently caress out. Really?
Failing to stick to the prompt. Where was the hate? Unsettling is not hateful.

Capntastic

+ve - Close contender for honourable mention with interesting and creative idea.
Paints compelling picture of a schizoid military nut, aided by appropriate use of language/terminology.
Decent writing, description etc.
Nice tension build.

-ve - The character is bizarre, but fails to inspire hatred.
Total failure of Chekhov's gun at the start. Why does he need lots of $1 bills?
Gotta say I wasn't convinced by the whole 'tempo' thing.

slothmonster

+ve - Actually attempting to stick to the prompt.
Some rather good use of imagery at points.
Insufflated.
Frankie B/Christmas Tree rhyme.

-ve - Hulk-One/Two device tends to come off as amateurish.
Don't use caps as a cheapshot to come across as anger.
The context in the story is poor to non-existent. This makes it confusing to read.
Too many characters for 1.2k words.

dromer

+ve - Alternation between philosophical musing and external description achieved well with italics.
Fairly engaging consideration of the issues of liberty/security. I like the house of cards image.

-ve - I'll be honest, I've taken a long time reading over this story again and again, and even now I barely understand what the gently caress is happening. Honestly you're going to have to satisfy my curiosity and come out of the woodwork to say what is happening. This isn't poorly written in a purely mechanical sense, which saves you from double Thunderdome-loserdom, but my first impressions were along the lines of: There is a fire? In a newspaper building? Also Jews, Witchcraft trials, characters alluded to once then abandoned, the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, a torturer and some thin lady who takes drugs and may or may not be the WHORE WIFE who was feverish at the start. Help.

Some rereadings later, if I've got it right, there's a reference to an anti-slavery newspaper being attacked. Then Kristallnacht or something. Then back in time to witchcraft trials. Then the Manson family. Then the Spanish Inquisition? Then the Cuban Missile crisis.

Feel free to leap in and correct any of this. The writing is schizophrenic and it is very hard to follow your train of thought. I get that opposing values are meant to tie these threads together, but it fails big time. Don't worry though, your line breaks are fine.

Bear Sleuth

+ve - Its funny!
Notation is a nice and underused tool in fiction.
Dialogue is nicely sardonic.
Best part is the effectively generated sense of universe-depth. That you could write more about it easily, but choose not to.

-ve - THIS IS NOT WHAT I ASKED FOR IN THE PROMPT. I come to love the character, not hate him.
7 notations is too many for 800 words, in my opinion.
I think we all know its Black 'Lagoonian'. Tsk.

Fanky Malloons

+ve - Tight balance between description and dialogue.
Plot progression smooth without hiccups.
Elucidation through implication, not exposition.
Twisted ending. Also bonus points for circularity.
Takes the prompt and succeeds like a star, successfully creating a villain who the reader hates.

-ve - Maybe a little too unclear what the context actually was, but there isn't enough space to fit everything in, so perhaps that is too picky.
Words about horses are better spent about the vital characters/situation.


sebmojo

+ve - Short and sharp. Takes the idea of a villain and gets imaginative.
Nice use of repetition.
A maintained impression of wry, drawling inhumanity.
Imagery skilfully woven into the story.

-ve - The villain painted is far more mysterious than hateful.
Really not much to say, but there is always more to work on. Is it possible to be hit by a truck non-totally? The villain(s) is built up more animal than anything else - time is taken to illustrate its gaping maw and the way it finds the killing delicious, which then rings a little hollow with the professional killing, which seems more appropriate to a human assassin. And why hide the bits?

My vision of the killer wavers between Mieville's dancing, chittering Weavers, interdimensional spider-gods to whom time and space have no meaning, to some shadowy cult of time-travelling psychopath killers. Both are good, but it'd be even better if you could nail only one down.

Black Griffon

+ve - Actually manages to characterise and make me hate somebody sub-300
Poetry, woo.
Final stanza adds a new sinister level to the already unsettling air of the poem.
Nice dancing metaphor.
Effective line-breaks.

-ve - Not a fan of randomly missing punctuation.
Don't see the point in the random bit about Henning Mankell.
Motherfucking LATE AS BALLS. Dates are expendable, Thunderdome is forever. Priorities, man.


Chairchucker

+ve - Makes a passable attempt at building a hateable villain.
Good plan to bounce naive and innocent characters off of him to show the contrast.

-ve - Damp squib of an ending, reliant on exposition.
LATEST OF ALL THE LATE.
Dialogue was very simplistic.
Borders on a kind of off-the-cuff Western racism.
On the whole, it was pretty half-hearted. Was not sensing much will to succeed behind this.






Jeeeeeeeeeeesus that took a long time to write-up. Hope that is even remotely useful to people who entered, or at least successful in massaging some egos or spurring on improvements in writing style. Congratulations again to this week's winner Fanky Malloon. Get thinking about your prompt for the upcoming week.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


"The Fourth Temptation"

by Baggy_Brad

This was desperately preachy, and failed miserably at making me hate Jesus who I guess is the protagonist? Way to make Jesus into a Westboro Baptist shill and then go on and on about molesting ministers (wasn't that priests or something? there's a difference) and blah blah God is evil and the Devil is good, yeah nobody's ever seen that one before. Pretty much this story made me hate you, so now you're the loser.

"A Friend in Need"

by Noah

This was pretty good, actually, but not winning material for me. I did really hate the protagonist though. The story as a whole was a bit bland, which is why it didn't win. Sold story overall, but it needs punching up. Maybe make the suicide more interesting, or describe it more. I also want to see more inside Mason's head, what a hosed-up and twisted kid he is.

"Trivial"

by Velyoukai

Another solid offering, but it still didn't blow my mind. I like that the dude's an awful goony WoW (or whatever) addict and that's why he's so evil, but that also made it almost a little too smugly self-aware. I also kind of want him to abuse the little brother a little more, maybe emotionally. It would make him more hateful. As it is, I'd give him a nice rear end-kicking if I met him irl but I don't want him to die or anything.

"Personal Conspiracy Theory"

by Omniphile

I'm not sure what the gently caress this is exactly. I can't tell if you're actually shooting for serious political commentary, because if so it's worse than Baggy_Brad's. It's just a kind of juvenile story with the easy mind control and the stupidly overt bigotry and so on. But it was more amateur and heavy-handed than anything else. I suitably disliked the political dude, but I didn't like anyone else either. And "General City" -- seriously dude? What are you, a 60's DC Comics writer? Place your story, don't do that "Anywhere, USA" bullshit. It's overplayed and it's old and it was never any good. I don't hate you yet, though. You slipped by this time.

"Cleaning"

by toanoradian

This was creepy as gently caress, dude. Luckily I've talked to you a good bit and read your other writing, so I don't think you're creepy, but it's a near thing. I didn't really hate the protagonist though, I just really dislike him and hope he's not real. The choose your own adventure thing almost got you the win, but not quite.

"Missions"

by Capntastic

Nice weird feel to this, you gave us a good look into the protagonist's off-kilter brain. But overall this story is too detached, too backseat. I need to know more about what's going on here -- is the target area a squat and he's playing strange and abusive pranks on homeless folks? Is he ex-military? What's this dude's deal? I don't really hate him, I just wonder what the gently caress is going on.

"Work to Do"

by slothmonster

Punchy as gently caress, and kinda fun for a sadistic Mafia romp, but you really need to work on your craft, dude. Line breaks between sentences, and work on that syntax and punctuation. The characters were cartoony, but I'm assuming you meant them to be that way. I still hated Donnie so that worked. Work harder on this poo poo, bro, and give us something better next time.

"Table of Values"

by dromer

What the gently caress, exactly, is this story supposed to be? You used too much summarized dialogue and that italics internal monologue poo poo, and I don't even know what's going on in the story itself. Who's the man in the beginning? Is his wife the WHORE WIFE? Why is she sick? Is it a WHORE WIFE STD or summat? Who's the President and when is this set and why are there heretics and inquistion and oh god what the gently caress even is this.

"One Eviscerated Evening"

by Bear Sleuth

I love this one. This is my favorite story, but I can't pick it as winner because I don't hate the protagonist. I love the protagonist! I want to be friends with him. This actually made me laugh. For some reason my favorite part was the "1/16th unknowable space horror on his mother's side" footnote. Really, this was a good funny Halloween story but didn't fit the prompt at all. Good job anyway.

"Horses to Water"

by Fanky Malloons

Anya is loving evil, man. I really hated her, and this was also just a very well-written story. I'm curious what else is going on here, though. Is this a post-apocalyptic setting? It feels like it must be. I actually would have liked to see a little more background detail here, but as it is you distilled the wickedness of the protagonist and the despair and horror of Ray's people into as many words as you had. Good job, this was an easy winner for me. The one fly in the ointment was you and your name changes in the middle of writing a story - you left one "Martha" in there.

"Serial"

by sebmojo

I liked this one, but the protagonist is too inhuman for me to hate it properly. I want to see more about this. Is he some kind of Slender Man-like cosmic horror thing? Is he a superpowered assassin? The spider photo was ultra- too.

"Creative Soul"

by Black Griffon

This is really loving sinister, dude. Sinister in a very mundane, everyday way that makes it that much more awful. I also liked that you went with a freeverse poem, too. Really, if you hadn't submitted late, this could have been the winner, although that would have made choosing between yours and Fanky's very difficult.

"The Cure"

by Chairchucker.

This is easily your best story to date. Why the gently caress did you have to submit it late? This was also a very strong entry and could have been the winner if it had been on time. That whole "loving virgins cures AIDS" thing is one of the most horrifying pieces of evil that I've heard of in a long, long time. I had forgotten about it, and this story brought it all back and made me hate whoever came up with that poo poo all the more. This is how you do a political/social commentary story, people. Not that other heavy-handed, slap you in the face with a wet left-wing penis poo poo.

And Jeza, just an FYI -- Fanky is a lady, but she prolly lifts more than you do. If you don't work out already, you should.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

"Serial"

by sebmojo

I liked this one, but the protagonist is too inhuman for me to hate it properly. I want to see more about this. Is he some kind of Slender Man-like cosmic horror thing? Is he a superpowered assassin? The spider photo was ultra- too


Glad you liked it - it was hammered out in fifteen minutes after I realised I'd completely misread the deadline.

I wanted to do a headfake with the serial killer/transplanar abomination switch, and maybe imply that human history was created so these creatures could have something to feed on. But that's about as far as it went, and as you say it's hard to hate something so inhuman.

That prompt was hard as balls. A Good Prompt. Congrats to Fanky!
edit:

Sitting Here posted:

Sebmojo-Serial
AAAWE look at the widdle guy and his big ol eyes and his fuzzies and his little feets and all the pretty colors and yeah, Seb, you did alright. I like the repetition of the "cut up the bits" line, but this is one of those one-off clever bits of stream of consciousness-type prose that competent writers like to write when they're feeling lazy but still wanna show off. But OMG the little spider Cheap, but not awful.

I'm more than pleased with that judgment, cheers. I knew it was sort of a cop out as I was writing it but thought it would squeak in.

I will say that the HORRIBLE BUT NOT TOO HORRIBLE BECAUSE YOU'LL PROBABLY GET MOCKED/BANNED is part of what made this so hard. But instructively so.

Omniphile
Apr 5, 2010

ANIKI!!


It was more tongue-in-cheek than an attempt at serious political commentary, but hey, if I squeak by I squeak by. Now I have a gauge on what Modern English Lit majors this place expects.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


Ooh, look who's grown comfortable with links!

Martello posted:

The choose your own adventure thing almost got you the win, but not quite.

Wait, really? Why? I did it because Jeza said any format would do and I was just being my usual 'annoying poo poo' thing. It's a gimmick I expect to get me negative points (and some sass, cuz I love sass). Also because I love links. Have I told you I love links?

Martello posted:

I didn't really hate the protagonist though, I just really dislike him and hope he's not real.


But yeah, I was feeling uneasy on trying to make someone be hated just because of their fetish. If I myself don't hate the character, I can't make someone else hate him.



Jeza posted:

this week's undisputed winner is Fanky Malloons for his chilling rendition of a woman freeing herself from familial affection in a merciless fashion.

what

what are you doing

run

the fanks the fanks!!!!

Peel
Dec 3, 2007



Harsh prompts that leave the contestants broken on the floor are as vital for Thunderdome as amazing prompts that take us to the depths of cosmic realms.

Suggestions that it had some influence on my decision to join this week are unfounded slander (but I have been writing other things).



A mercenary question: I've decided I was onto something with the Betrayal story and I'm planning to revise it and throw it at some magazines (for the first time ever with a thing I wrote). But a look around suggests they're likely to take exception to it being up on a public website (once CC moves back out from under the paywall that is). So 1. is this a real concern (it didn't come up with the surprise submission stinger before) and 2. is it okay to edit my story out of the post since obviously the Thunderdome thread itself can't be sunk?

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

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

Fallen Rib

Martello posted:

"Missions"

by Capntastic

Nice weird feel to this, you gave us a good look into the protagonist's off-kilter brain. But overall this story is too detached, too backseat. I need to know more about what's going on here -- is the target area a squat and he's playing strange and abusive pranks on homeless folks? Is he ex-military? What's this dude's deal? I don't really hate him, I just wonder what the gently caress is going on.

Yeah, I'd hit 1,500 words and ended up paring down quite a bit, haphazardly, to get it in before the cut-off (unlike everyone else!). Essentially, yeah, he specifically revels in doing great harm to the poor by damaging or stealing their few precious objects.

Either way, my own stated 'mission' with Thunderdome beyond 'write more often' is to improve, and mainly to do so by cutting the fat from my writing. It's hard to get specific esoteric concepts across in a sentence or two, but I know it's possible. I need to get sharper.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

I didn't write my feedback in bare legible scribbles on crumpled paper this week, hooray.

Some general commentary:
I have to say, these entries didn't go as far with the prompt as I would lave liked. Last week we saw some neat use of the art prompt, and Jeza gave you a pretty open-ended place to start.

It seems like everyone did exactly what the prompt said, and no more. Everyone did indeed write characters with traits that are traditionally recognized as detestable. Horrible people did horrible things, the end.

But anyway.

Baggy_Brad-The Fourth Temptation
I thought this was pretty ham-fisted. There are a lot of interesting ways to make Jesus a loathable guy, this sorta just stuffs current right wing conservative talking points in his mouth.

Noah-A Friend in Need
Not awful, and Mason certainly is an rear end in a top hat. I guess this story suffers from my main complaint, which is that a bad person did a bad thing, end of story.

Velyoukai-Trivial
The first sentence is kind of a weird mouthful, I would read it out loud to yourself to see what I mean. The "villain" as a stereotypical gamer was amusing, but his seemingly baseless loathing of his little kid brother was a bit of a stretch. Again, not awful, but another story that followed the prompt to the letter and no further.

Omniphile-Personal Conspiricy Theory
This reminds me of the sorts of stories my six year old brother makes up sometimes, and while he is rad as gently caress, this is more of the same: "write a Bad Person because the prompt said write a Bad Person."

toanoradian-Cleaning
This actually grossed me out, which is sort of like hate, so good on you. And I learned a lot about ear anatomy. But there were a few errors here and there, and I want you to read this paragraph until you can see all of the tense-related errors:

quote:

I noticed my rapid breathing and consciously slowed it down. I need to relax. Her right ear was there, just there, making me excited and I can’t be too excited. I pinched her right arm to test if she’d wake up. She didn’t. I opened my box and pulled one cotton bud. I licked my lips. One month of frustration will finally be over.


This was interesting and definitely made creative use of the prompt, though.

Capntastic-Missions
I liked this one, though oddly enough your character came across as weirdly sympathetic. Maybe that's just me. There were a few errors here and there, and things like this:

quote:

He ducked behind the strip mall and followed along a chain link fence until he'd found the spot where it had been clipped through. Back here was sparse trees and dense brush, and slipping into it the noise of traffic dissolved

Just for example. Not awful, though.

slothmonster-Work to do.
This veers close to breaking my edict against things that make me hate the author and not the character. I like writing that is abrasive, I like writing that is gratuitous, but this kind of goes too far in that direction with no real payoff for the reader. Bad people are bad, then more bad things happen.

Dromer-Table of Values
This was confusing to read, and my eyes wanted so badly to scan through the pseudo-philosophy bits. This piece wanted to be poignant, ended up a little convoluted and there was no real character to hate. I mean you have the president at the end, but everything up until then is kind of a jumble.

Bear Sleuth-One Eviscerated Evening
This was charming and I liked the title. It was a rough batch this week, but this was in my favorites. Also footnotes, I am a sucker for footnotes.

Fanky Malloons-Horses to water
This felt the most complete and fleshed out to me, and the writing aint half bad. Definitely in my top favorites for this week. Good use of the prompt, I thought.

Sebmojo-Serial
AAAWE look at the widdle guy and his big ol eyes and his fuzzies and his little feets and all the pretty colors and yeah, Seb, you did alright. I like the repetition of the "cut up the bits" line, but this is one of those one-off clever bits of stream of consciousness-type prose that competent writers like to write when they're feeling lazy but still wanna show off. But OMG the little spider Cheap, but not awful.

Black Griffon-Creative soul
Ballsy to use free verse this week, and I like balls. It's effective, if a little distant. Not your worst, not your best, you get a solid "decent" from this judge.

Chairchucker-The Cure
This sure is a thing. It didn't make me wanna claw my eyeballs out, but once again it is a piece that suffers from the same issues apparently endemic to this week.

I'd like to say well done this week, but much like most of the entries I could only muster a "meh".

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Peel posted:

A mercenary question: I've decided I was onto something with the Betrayal story and I'm planning to revise it and throw it at some magazines (for the first time ever with a thing I wrote). But a look around suggests they're likely to take exception to it being up on a public website (once CC moves back out from under the paywall that is). So 1. is this a real concern (it didn't come up with the surprise submission stinger before) and 2. is it okay to edit my story out of the post since obviously the Thunderdome thread itself can't be sunk?

Yeah just edit it out and put something like "gonna submit this" or whatever. I've done that with several stories around here already.

Sitting Here posted:

I like balls

Heh.

Peel
Dec 3, 2007



Cool, thanks.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


Apologies for assuming general manliness. And she can probably not only lift more than me Martello, but also break my brittle writer's bones like twigs. I've edited in C+C, to pile on top of the great stuff you dogs have already got from my fellow judges.

And, to riff off Omniphile's vague accusation: how many of us actually are or were Eng Lit majors? Would be quite interesting to see. For the record, I am not.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


I can't even read.

Peel
Dec 3, 2007



I have a physics degree and my writing history before this year is almost entirely devoted to spaceships.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


I was English Creative Writing.

P. sure I'm not a lit major writer at all though.

And Jeza, it's never too late to start picking up heavy objects and setting them down repeatedly. I'm thumbing this post into my phone while sitting on an incline bench between sets.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

I'm an uneducated, unwashed plebe. I'm not sure if I technically graduated high school because there were a few textbooks I never returned, so they never officially sent me my diploma.

Omniphile
Apr 5, 2010

ANIKI!!


Haha, Creative Writing was my second choice of vague accusation, followed closely by Philosophy/obscure miscellaneous liberal arts major/went to college where you were free to make up your own major. I myself was Geology, for all the good it did me.

I am more than a little relieved that the pedigree of THUNDERDOME is not purely literary, though. James Joyce I ain't.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


Omniphile posted:

Haha, Creative Writing was my second choice of vague accusation, followed closely by Philosophy/obscure miscellaneous liberal arts major/went to college where you were free to make up your own major. I myself was Geology, for all the good it did me.

I'll put my hands up to being a Philosophy major (well, UK equivalent). But unless things are vastly different stateside, Philosophy isn't all wishy-washy humanities. Feast your eyes on my current light reading:

http://bbi-math.narod.ru/russell/part07.html

I get touchy about people classing my subject with other humanities sometimes

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Enough dickthumping about your stupid degrees, get with a new prompt.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


The judges can't help it, they're chronic dickthumpers.

Velyoukai
Mar 4, 2011


I hate Suits. All of them.


It's my steadfast hope that these prompt contest thingies will motivate me to start writing longer stuff again, so thank you for another week, Thunderdome.

Bring on the next one.

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Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Noah posted:

Enough dickthumping about your stupid degrees, get with a new prompt.

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