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Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

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

Fallen Rib

Leashes
(247 words)

It never mattered how much got on him in the process, Cyril loved the feeling of tracking mud on the floor like a dog. It was the weekend for him, so he pulled up his hood and, in doing so, took off his leash. He circled a dead lamppost and waited. Someone was going to deal with his pawprints tonight.

Standing around looking and feeling dangerous was something he'd learned to savor. All too often the meat of the night was over and done with in the time it took for his heart rate to return to normal. Just scraps, really. Even tonight, as soon as he saw a reasonable enough mark, his biology kicked in. Running up, chewing through the purse's strap with a utility knife, yanking it away and fleeing was all automatic. It wasn't until he'd tossed his treat over a chainlink fence and followed it that he realized how unsurprised the woman had looked, staring downwards. She'd reacted with more of a yelp than a scream.

His breathing calmed, and he dug through the purse with saliva in his mouth. The zipper caught on plastic. Inside was white. Each lipstick, tampon box, coupon sheathe, the pocketbook, the cell phone, all were wrapped in their own plastic bag. Cyril whimpered. He hadn't left streaks of mud on this person's linoleum. He'd pulled up the floor entirely. He walked home with his hood lowered, wondering if returning the purse would do even more harm.

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toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


This story was a spaceship, 250 words long, floating in the page. The lone captain yawned; he added a semicolon without thinking. There was nothing worthy of response {note, acknowledgement, description}.

The bracket and its tumour stabbed through the ship. Surprised, the captain fired at that section.

He deleted the title instead. He sweated. Rogue punctuation littered drafts, yes, but never a curly bracket. He re-checked the ship’s status: commas, periods and other punctuation (the wild-type bracket included) still worked, spacing and double-spacing still functioned, and he could still make his sentences long. Everything seemed okay…

Something crashed! Energetic! Marks! everywhere! “Stop,” the captain said. He forced the sentences to end with periods. Unfortunately It was at this point that he noticed the disappearing commas.

He panicked. He despised long comma-less sentences. He preferred frequent stops. He looked over the monitor. He tried to identify the source of the curly bracket. The curly bracket struck as the first paragraph ended. He soon noted {saw, observed, found} that it could strike anywhere. He looked for help from nearby stories. He failed.

“Oh lord!” the captain shouted. “Have mercy!

The captain dropped to the ground as his quotation mark disappeared. He had no way out; this is the end for him

He lost the period as well! Now it was truly over; all he had to end his sentences were lousy exclamation marks!

He lost it too…

Lacking ellipses he used the last punctuation available to him

He was glad that spacewasstillthere

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.


Article from the Denver Post, 12.20.12 - 223 words

The man found dead near Lake Arbor Tuesday night has been identified as Peter Banner by Denver police. Police suspect no foul play, but the investigation is being kept open while the police follow up any remaining leads.

Police declined to comment on the cause of death when contacted by Denver Post, but independent sources speculate that Banner froze to death in an attempt to live in Lake Arbor Park.

"The strange thing is that he had a nice house. Nice car and looked well off," said Sarah Fines, who has lived in Banner's neighborhood for fifteen years. Campaign signs from the last presidential campaign are still in Banner's yard, more than a month since President Obama earned his second term.

Fines speculates Banner might have felt uncomfortable in the changing neighborhood, “You know how it is. This neighborhood has changed a lot since I moved here. Twelve years ago we all voted Bush, this year we all voted Obama. We didn’t know much about Banner, we saw he didn’t change much.”

It remains to be seen what the police say, but another neighbor who declined to give his name told the Post that Banner had an altercation with a family member shortly before he “moved out”. The Post will follow the story and welcomes any tips.

Toaster Beef
Jan 23, 2007

that's not nature's way


You were two minutes late. I'm only allowing your entry because I just got back from Skyfall and I'm feeling chipper. You poo poo.

No more entries! The Thunderdome has spoken.

And now, to judge.

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

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

Fallen Rib

Pleased that so many people bit the 250 word bullet alongside me. I'd planned ahead for mine. Getting better at wringing flavor out of every word is important.

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.


Toaster Beef posted:

You were two minutes late. I'm only allowing your entry because I just got back from Skyfall and I'm feeling chipper. You poo poo.

I was going to submit it on the dot just for the gently caress of it, but my internet crapped out and everything turned into a failure.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


I was trying to corner the 250-word flashfic market but instead the market cornered me. Everything turned into a failure.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

toanoradian posted:

I was trying to corner the 250-word flashfic market but instead the market cornered me. Everything turned into a failure.

I liked yours, it was very Moseresque.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

JUDGES WAKE THE gently caress UP

Toaster Beef
Jan 23, 2007

that's not nature's way


I HAD JOB ORIENTATION TODAY

ALSO I HATE YOU

ALSO ALSO THE OTHER JUDGES SHOULD PM ME OR SOMETHING (OR EMAIL ME AT ROBERT DOT E DOT PRESS AT GMAIL DOT COM). So we can get our ish together.

Caps are ugly.

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.

We should revolt. Throw off the shackles of these so-called judges and make our own decision. My vote: everyone is a loser and gets a losertar.

pipes!
Jul 10, 2001


Nap Ghost

If the current judges don't get their poo poo together by tomorrow I am arbitrarily selecting the next round's judges because yes.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


pipes! posted:

If the current judges don't get their poo poo together by tomorrow I am arbitrarily selecting the next round's judges because yes.

poo poo is being gotten together as we speak (type?). Well, providing the other judges are awake, anyway.

pipes!
Jul 10, 2001


Nap Ghost

Fanky Malloons posted:

poo poo is being gotten together as we speak (type?). Well, providing the other judges are awake, anyway.

Toaster Beef
Jan 23, 2007

that's not nature's way


We have RESULTS, asswipes!

After a complete lack of intense deliberation followed by no introspective soul searching whatsoever, we've agreed upon a clear winner: Sitting Here, for a truly wonderful effort that makes the rest of you look like straight-up butts.

Notable mentions go to Swinemaster and sebmojo. You're all winners in my book. Which counts for nothing, but still.

Also, shout out to Chairchucker for Most Improved, because .

Our LOSER-rear end LOSER this week is Black Griffon. Shame on you. Shame on you to HELL.

Critiques to come, obviously.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


I refuse to apologize for having a RICH SOCIAL LIFE and engaging in VETERAN'S DAY ACTIVITIES

But yeah, good job winning AGAIN, Sitting Here. Send me an email, you know the drill.

Black Griffon, jeez, disappointing. You're usually such a strong competitor, too. I dunno, maybe I just didn't "get it," but I doubt it.

I'll post critiques later tonight.

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.


drat it, drat it all to hell. My shame knows no bounds.
Edit: What's that site to see your previous avatars again?
Edit2: I carry my shame for a very short time.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


This prompt brought home some good bacon. Worthless non-judge opinion that on top of worthy winner and honourables, I enjoyed the creativity in SaviourX's and toanoradian's pieces.

Also best line of the week "Doest ye even heft?"

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

MMm yes let me just settle down into the well-worn grooves in the judge's chair caused by my rear end frequenting it so frequently.

Thanks guys. Martello, go lift up your email inbox and check underneath it.

I have this random idea that I want to draw a scene from the winner's story this week as a "prize" if you want to call it that. We'll have a fresh steaming prompt out for you in a jiffy, though.

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.

Toaster Beef posted:



Also, shout out to Chairchucker for Most Improved, because .


Woo!

Although given the reaction to my last one, I don't know if this is a compliment or not...

Toaster Beef
Jan 23, 2007

that's not nature's way


Here are my critiques! Eat them. EAT THEM.

The Girl in the Plastic Bubble — The Swinemaster

Good use of the prompt. I wish you'd waited a day or two, though, because I think chopping this down would benefit it greatly. Get in, smack a bitch, get out. It's a fine story as it is, it just could stand to be tighter. Still, kudos. I especially enjoyed that last sentence.

The Qun-Qunor — Canadian Surf Club

Not gonna lie bro you're kinda at a disadvantage here when it comes to my judgment because I hate this sort of stuff but I'll do what I can to be objective (but i hate you).

Yeah okay, this is pretty good. It's very well written, and the descriptive language is drat fine. I can visualize everything really clearly, and I like that. I also like that there's very clearly a much bigger story going on here that we're only getting a brief — albeit critical — glimpse at. Solid work.

Life-savings — Jeza

This is fun, but in desperate need of some heavy editing. Not necessarily to chop it down length-wise, so I understand how time might've been a factor, but little errors here and there really take away from the final product. I'm intrigued by this world, though, and I'd love to see another attempt at this piece.

The Red King Quandary — The Saddest Rhino

You know how I was like 'hey Canadian Surf Club gently caress your subject matter'? Well the opposite goes for Alice. Can't help it. I did what I could to be objective, though.

This was pretty loving good. As with many of the entries, there's some chopping to be done here or there (I get what you were going for with the 'Sitting down on dust settled before I was born' paragraph, but you were laying it on pretty thick there and I think it took away from the rhythm). This was well done and prettily forlorn.

Internship — Noah

You rear end in a top hat

Qualms: It's weird for a story that's only 450 words to take a while to get moving, but this managed. Still, it was somewhat worth the payoff. I do have some questions about pacing, though, because we spend a while wondering what Sarah's deal is only to have it revealed pretty cleverly — but then we dwell on it for the entire second half of the piece. I'd try and push the reveal back a bit. Not that you're going to pull a HOLY poo poo twist out of nowhere by doing that, but I think it'd improve the pacing.

In the Details — SaviourX

I really like the idea behind this, and some of it really caught me off guard with how fun it is, but overall it's a bit of a jumble. I fear this is the sort of story you'd just need more space for, really, and that's why this week's Thunderdome is such a douche. Maybe another 250 words or so makes this story complete, maybe it doesn't, but personally I think it's something that warrants more than flash fiction.

Also happy birthday.

Atlas Benched — Bear Sleuth

I loving loved this. I want it on my wall. I don't even have anything bad to say about it.

Like Fishermen's Wives — Sitting Here

And then this clown comes along and makes me wish the rest of you had some goddamn sack. This was gorgeous. Rhythmic, not a word wasted, beautiful descriptive language, carries itself with incredible weight and power … unf. Your words made love to my eyes. Forcibly.

Brain Scoop — Kleptobot

This was … okay. You tried to pack an awful lot into less than 650 words, and the result — in my opinion — sounds like someone describing a television show as they're watching it. One of the neat aspects of these super short stories is you have the option to, among other things, give us a very quick glimpse of something epic or give us a very focused glimpse of something small. What you're attempting to do here is somewhere in the middle, and that doesn't work too well.

After the Curfew — sebmojo

Solid stuff. I'm not completely enamored with it, but you painted a brief picture of an interesting world and didn't overstay your welcome. I have only one issue with it, really, and that's the line wherein Jeb thinks back on the extent of his planning. I don't think we need to know about that. It seems an almost shallow attempt to create an even deeper back story, but I don't think we really need that because we're already in the mindset that there's plenty going on behind the scenes here we'll never know about fully.

Needles — Chairchucker

I think I'm in love with you; I hope that's not going to make things awkward.

Leashes — Capntastic

This is exactly the kind of 250-word entry I was hoping to read when I made the rules for this week. It's succinct, it's layered, the thought you put into it shows, doesn't at all suffer for its brevity. Kudos. This is impressive.

Article from the Denver Post, 12.20.12 — Black Griffon

I'm not sure what to make of this, honestly. It doesn't really do anything for me, and on top of that it needs some serious editing (errors! In a 225-word story! Augh!). BOO THIS MAN.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Toaster Beef posted:

We have RESULTS, asswipes!

After a complete lack of intense deliberation followed by no introspective soul searching whatsoever, we've agreed upon a clear winner: Sitting Here, for a truly wonderful effort that makes the rest of you look like straight-up butts.

Notable mentions go to Swinemaster and sebmojo. You're all winners in my book. Which counts for nothing, but still.

Also, shout out to Chairchucker for Most Improved, because .

Our LOSER-rear end LOSER this week is Black Griffon. Shame on you. Shame on you to HELL.

Critiques to come, obviously.

Sitting Here gave good story, for def. But I'll take that notable mention to the bank.

The teller will look at me as I slap it down on the counter, grin at him all crazy style. "This... this is a notable mention," he will say. "We only hold money." And I will unhinge my jaw like an anaconda swallowing a baby sloth and scream "THUNDERDOOOOOOOOOOOME!" into his stupid face.

And swarms of blood-gorged hornets will fly from my mouth, filling everyone else in the bank with their wine-dark venom. The teller will be left, trembling, the last stalk of wheat in a mown field of corpses. Just him and me. I'll tap an imperious index finger on my notable mention. He'll take it, and he will put it in the loving bank.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


sebmojo posted:

Sitting Here gave good story, for def. But I'll take that notable mention to the bank.

The teller will look at me as I slap it down on the counter, grin at him all crazy style. "This... this is a notable mention," he will say. "We only hold money." And I will unhinge my jaw like an anaconda swallowing a baby sloth and scream "THUNDERDOOOOOOOOOOOME!" into his stupid face.

And swarms of blood-gorged hornets will fly from my mouth, filling everyone else in the bank with their wine-dark venom. The teller will be left, trembling, the last stalk of wheat in a mown field of corpses. Just him and me. I'll tap an imperious index finger on my notable mention. He'll take it, and he will put it in the loving bank.

you probably win the current week just for this post imo

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

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

Fallen Rib

Yeah, I think this week was a cut above some of the previous ones. I really feel like the extra bonus challenge revved people up.

Canadian Surf Club
Feb 15, 2008

Word.


Can you define "this sort of stuff"? Light Fantasy? Something else?

Also the results seem oddly misaligned with the critiques (unless other judges had way different opinions) but good effort on everyone's part, especially those sub-700 entries. Braver men than I

Toaster Beef
Jan 23, 2007

that's not nature's way


Light fantasy. I didn't take that into consideration when judging it overall, especially since it was very well written and I'm not that lovely a judge, so no worries.

And the only thing all three judges agreed on was the overall winner. There were scattered results elsewhere, for the most part, and I gave Fanky and Martello's opinions a lot of weight so my critiques may not mesh all that well with the overall standings.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry




Prompt "Sharp Vision Sooths Strong Reaction"

750 words MAX

no streams of consciousness

all stories must contain an identifiable plot arc

Bonus feature: I will draw for you the one I like best. That might not be the winner.

Judges
Sitting Here
Martello
Fanky

Absurder is betterer, but don't be a dick.

Enter by: 11:59 PM PDT on Thursday the 15th

Submit by: 11:59 PM PDT on Saturday the 17th

b]Fodder[/b]
Jeza
Bear Sleuth
Sebmojo
V for Vegas--Submitted
Canadian Surf Club
Chairchucker
The Saddest Rhino--Submitted
WHR 49.5--Submitted
The Swinemaster
LordVonEarlDuke--Submitted
Black Griffon
Dromer
Kleptobot--Submitted
Capntastic
Noah
Dr. Klocktopussy

The Swinemaster
Dec 28, 2005



Sitting Here posted:



Prompt "Sharp Vision Sooths Strong Reaction"


What does that even mean? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBid2yMqxpU

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry


That's a good question and specifically why we hired you in this internet thread. I expect your report by the end of the week.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Sitting Here posted:

Toaster Beef/Fanky, whichever of you want to stay on this week.

I do quite enjoy judging it up, and would like to continue to do so as long as people aren't tired of my poo poo. Not that I was around last week to give you guys any.

Also, I will post my critiques soon, dear hearts. I am just finishing them up for you.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


In like the icy dagger through my heart upon finding missing words and apostrophes in my piece. Also, I dig abstract promptage.

Bear Sleuth
Jul 17, 2011



Sitting Here posted:

but don't be a dick.

YOU don't be a dick!!! (I'm in)

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Toaster Beef posted:


After the Curfew — sebmojo

Solid stuff. I'm not completely enamored with it, but you painted a brief picture of an interesting world and didn't overstay your welcome. I have only one issue with it, really, and that's the line wherein Jeb thinks back on the extent of his planning. I don't think we need to know about that. It seems an almost shallow attempt to create an even deeper back story, but I don't think we really need that because we're already in the mindset that there's plenty going on behind the scenes here we'll never know about fully.

That's a fair criticism - I think I had some idea of the flash gum being from a fantasy photography studio and explaining it in his little flashback, but you're right - the story doesn't need any more context. And it's not like I even explain the flash gum. HUH.

In btw.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

love this prompt - I'm in.

Canadian Surf Club
Feb 15, 2008

Word.


Toaster Beef posted:

Light fantasy. I didn't take that into consideration when judging it overall, especially since it was very well written and I'm not that lovely a judge, so no worries

Yeah it's cool, just wanted to make sure.

Interesting prompt, count me in

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Fanky Malloons posted:

I do quite enjoy judging it up, and would like to continue to do so as long as people aren't tired of my poo poo. Not that I was around last week to give you guys any.

IT IS DONE

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?



gently caress yeah, judging forever!

Here, have some critiques you worthless hounds:

Swinemaster
I'm, probably biased because I love end-of-world scenarios, but I really enjoyed this - the inversion of the bubble being for other people's protection was pretty cool. It could use some tightening up - for example, I think somewhere you said she "tasted the x taste of y", which was redundant -- but otherwise great. This was one of my faves of the crop.

Cdn Surf Club
I liked the idea, and the "oh poo poo" nature of the story, but I hated the ending. That last paragraph was way overdone, and it would have been much better to just cut the whole thing.

Jeza
This was hilarious, but not over-the-top, which I enjoyed. I really like the idea of a world where zombies are just an everyday annoyance. This was another of my favourites, but it could still use some editing -- you have a habit of over-describing things, which is kind of wearing sometimes. For example, the line "Jericho howled in a screeching blah blah blah..." would work just as well if you left it as "Jericho howled."

The Saddest Rhino

This was an interesting attempt, but oh God, the tense shifting was so irritating. Also, the repetition of the first two lines at the end seemed arbitrary and pointless to me. Not a fan.

Noah
I really liked this interpretation of the prompt. Again, even though you were aiming for brevity, there are still things that can be cut.

Saviour X
Something about this feels off, perhaps because you had to cut it down so much. It seemed a little bit all over the place, and I just wasn't feeling it.

Bear Sleuth
Dost ye even hefte?
This was hilarious, but had some glaring semantic issues and and and and and

Sitting Here
This is just beautiful. I love it.

Kleptobot
You defnitely had too much action happening for a 650-word story -- everything just sort of falls apart and becomes a jumble of images after the emergency stairs. The idea is to do a lot with a little, not to cram as much story into as few words as possible.

Sebmojo
Solid story, and a nice use of the prompt. This was another of my favourites and might have even won, but was overshadowed by Sitting Here's masterful effort.

Chairchucker
This was actually pretty rad, way to go! You should write things with less words more often. However, you're still showing this weird compulsion to insert terribly unfunny jokes into your stories with the line “Hey, what on God’s green earth – actually two thirds blue but the point stands - does this clown think he’s doing?”

Capntastic
This was nice and tight, but I read it a bunch of times and I just...didn't get it. Maybe I'm just dumb, but the punchline/concept eluded me, and it was annoying so I'm going to blame you instead of myself

Toanoradian
This was fun, but was more like an exercise in explaining punctuation. Nevertheless, I applaud your originality and esotericism.

Black Griffon
This was probably the most boring way you could have presented that story. Even if it was a real newspaper article, I'd still be bored. You kind of went the opposite way to Kleptobot in that you stripped everything but the barest facts, and that didn't really work for me either. Welp.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Fanky Malloons posted:


Sebmojo
Solid story, and a nice use of the prompt. This was another of my favourites and might have even won, but was overshadowed by Sitting Here's masterful effort.

Thanks! Sitting Here's story owned pretty goddam hard so no shame there. One of the best ones in the Tdome to date, I ween.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

D'awe. Sebmojo I was moved to illustrate your trip to deposit a notable mention in the bank. But then I was at work and it was busy and somehow my senseless doodles found their way into the shredder with stacks of meaningless reports

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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.

In but I can't make any promises about not being a dick.

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