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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.


THUNDERDOME!

IT IS TIME.

Go forth.

And remember the rules: In the form of a Battle Hymn.

Do not loving disappoint me, Domers. Do not loving dare.

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Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007

a negative influence


WHERE IS THE PROMPT POST IT IS RIGHT HERE

Since I've failed my way to the top, that means everyone who wants in on TD this week has to write stuff I like to read. You poor bastards.

Title: I Don't Know You

Prompt: A man comes home to find a girl there. The girl's not supposed to be there. By the end of the story, one of them will leave. They'll never see each other again.

There's your scenario. Here are your stipulations!

First, no other characters can exist in this story - not presently, retrospectively, speculatively, or in somebody's imagination. As far as your narrative is concerned, the world consists of these two people, in this place, at this time. Dance around this rule as much as you feel like risking, but if I see any other specific characters mentioned, even something vague like an uncle/aunt who reminds somebody of [x], I'll drop you down the memory hole.

Second, and most importantly, these two people must be complete strangers to one another. That means no shared relations, friends, or God help us, long-lost et cetera. No passing glances on the street or muttered rumors pertinent to either of them prior to this date. What's more, neither of the characters can even suggest they know each other. They have nothing tying them together in any way.

Everything else is up to you. Be as ambitious as you like with the details.

A lot of the Thunderdome entries up to this point have been strongly concept-based, so this is the other side of the coin. What I want to see here is how you establish, develop, and terminate a connection between these two people in 1000 words or less. Light a candle in the dark, and then blow it out.

Everything else comes down to the strength of your prose and whether whatever narrative skullduggery you pull/don't pull impresses me or not. Did I mention the word limit is 1000 words or less?

Word Count Limit: 1000 words
Signup Deadline: Saturday, December 1 11:59 EST
Submission Deadline: Sunday, December 2 11:59 EST

Your judges are me, The Saddest Rhino, and SurreptitiousMuffin.

Incidentally, I'm both very picky and outrageously passionate about prose that meets/fails my standards, and I know you'd like to know what those standards are, but you people are strangers to me. So you'd better get to work.

Participants
Jeza (submitted_
Benagain (submitted)
Jonked (submitted)
EchoClan (failed to submit)
V For Vegas (submitted)
sentientcarbon (submitted)
Etherwind (submitted)
dromer (submitted)
Zack_Gochuck (submitted)
Stuporstar (submitted)
The Saddest Rhino (submitted) (also judge)
SaviourX (submitted)

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


Prompt looks cool. In. Prepare to maybe quite like something I wrote buddy.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

I'm in, I haven't been failing at life sufficiently lately. I could use some harsh judgment.

pipes!
Jul 10, 2001


Nap Ghost

Chickencheese is here!





I realize that this is old hat for Thunderdome, but I demand strongly suggest posting Chickencheese-themed flash fiction there.

Jonked
Feb 15, 2005

by exmarx


Oh what the hell is this I guess I'm in.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



I'm in.

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning


Hello everyone I am a co-judge for this week. I shall look at your writings and touch them.

It may or may not be considered part of the judging process or criteria, but if you do not post writings on the chickencheese thread, let's just say I would not be pleased. To be direct I would just put a horn up your rear end in a top hat, shitmongering fuckface.

Thanks everyone I hope you all enjoy this week as much as I intend to

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Proposing peculiarly prescriptive prompts promotes passionate participation. I'm in.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Should I sign up? I'm not sure about this thread yet.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


Also co-judging. Posting in the chickencheese thread is not required. You could not post in the chickencheese thread. It's an option. It's an option that there, if you were that way inclined. Not saying anything about any particular judgements we're going to be making about your ancillary fiction work. Think about it, kittens. The clock is ticking.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Black Griffon posted:

THUNDERDOME!

IT IS TIME.

Go forth.

And remember the rules: In the form of a Battle Hymn.

Do not loving disappoint me, Domers. Do not loving dare.

I don't know what is a battle him so I posted dystopian chickencheese violent fiction namaste

sentientcarbon
Aug 21, 2008

OFFLINE GAMES ARE THE FUTURE OF ONLINE GAMING

The numbers don't lie. 99.99% of every Diablo 3 player wants the game to be offline. This is a FACT.

OH SHIT IS THAT A WEBCAM? HOLY CRAP GET THAT AWAY FROM ME! (I am terrified of being spied on, because I am a very interesting person)


I'm so goddamn in.

(oh no what have I done )

Canadian Surf Club
Feb 15, 2008

Word.


quote:

They have nothing tying them together in any way.

Not even...




fate?

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.

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:


You all failed the glory of Chickencheese, except Black Griffon and The Saddest Rhino. They are true rebels, not like you nancy-boy goody two-shoes.

I was rebelling by not doing what you told me. Man. You're not, like, my dad. I don't have to clean my room if I don't want to. Also you clearly lied by telling me I was special, jerk. I thought I was the only one. You took something from me and I can never have it back!

Oh also not in because I'll be in various places with no internet for a bit.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


Chairchucker posted:

I was rebelling by not doing what you told me. Man. You're not, like, my dad. I don't have to clean my room if I don't want to. Also you clearly lied by telling me I was special, jerk. I thought I was the only one. You took something from me and I can never have it back!

Oh also not in because I'll be in various places with no internet for a bit.
I told like, ten different people they were the chosen one and gave them all a different prompt because I wanted you all to fight for my amusement. Of them, only Black Griffon took up his standard and proclaimed HIS the true word, so truly, we will march on the BATTLE HYMN. Black Griffon is the Chosen One's Chosen One- the true Chosen One and I am not the puppet master.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 2067 days!


Soiled Meat

I don't generally come in here, but I noticed this thread due to the Chickencheese thread coming to Creative Convention, and I'm actually quite interested. Since I'm a complete newcomer/moron, can I ask for clarification concerning the contest rules?

As far as I've determined, entrants have to confirm entry by December 1st and submit their entry by December 2nd. The word count limit is 1000 words (questions: is that a hard limit, and is there a minimum word count?) and the subject of the story has to be a man coming home to find a woman present. The catches are that neither the man nor the woman can know the other, that no other characters can be introduced, and at the end of the story one of them must leave. The first submission is final, and no third-party editing or review can be involved.

Am I correct? Am I missing any other rules or elements that have to be present in the story, or stylistic assumptions that everyone participating usually works to? Assuming I've not completely missed the point (and given my track record, that's a pretty big assumption), I'm thinking of joining in for this one.

Thanks to whoever responds.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


Sounds about right. The thing you're missing: winner gets to set the prompt and judge next week's, while the loser gets an embarrassing custom title. If you miss the deadline for signups, you can still enter but you're eligible to lose and not eligible to win. If you sign up and miss the submission deadline, you automatically lose.

We tend to do a lot of shitposty trash-talk but don't take it too personally: Thunderdome loves someone who can give as good as they get. If someone has a go at you, shiv him in the eye to show everyone who's the real boss.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 2067 days!


Soiled Meat

Okay, that works. I'm going to sleep on this and see if it's still a good idea when I wake up, but I have a half-baked idea already. I'm probably not going to trash-talk much because I always, always pitch it completely wrong and just end up being offensive.

Regards my word limit questions... well, are there any answers?

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.

Hard limit, no minimum (unless specified.)

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Etherwind posted:

Regards my word limit questions... well, are there any answers?

IN the Thunderdome, the correct answer to anyone saying "You can/cannot do X" is

Do whatever, deal with the consequences

PS
I have plans for conceptual Chickencheese because I don't know what a Battle Hymn entails and I don't care to find out.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Etherwind posted:

I don't generally come in here, but I noticed this thread due to the Chickencheese thread coming to Creative Convention, and I'm actually quite interested. Since I'm a complete newcomer/moron, can I ask for clarification concerning the contest rules?

As far as I've determined, entrants have to confirm entry by December 1st and submit their entry by December 2nd. The word count limit is 1000 words (questions: is that a hard limit, and is there a minimum word count?) and the subject of the story has to be a man coming home to find a woman present. The catches are that neither the man nor the woman can know the other, that no other characters can be introduced, and at the end of the story one of them must leave. The first submission is final, and no third-party editing or review can be involved.

Am I correct? Am I missing any other rules or elements that have to be present in the story, or stylistic assumptions that everyone participating usually works to? Assuming I've not completely missed the point (and given my track record, that's a pretty big assumption), I'm thinking of joining in for this one.

Thanks to whoever responds.


I don't understand the point of this post. WRITE OR BE DAMNED, FOOL.

vvvv BETTER vvvv

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 2067 days!


Soiled Meat

Okay, I have an idea. Spoilers: no chickencheese. Consider me in.

dromer
Aug 19, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I'm in

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 2067 days!


Soiled Meat

I was thinking of working on this a little longer, but I decided to leave it mostly raw. 991 words. There was actually a little more I wanted to do with this, but I'd have needed another two hundred or so words to make it work.

Etherwind posted:

Bad News

"Who in hell are you?"

The woman by the window spun, putting down the picture she was holding. Her eyes were wide with guilty fear. "I'm sorry! I was looking-"

"I can see you were looking," he snapped back as he came in from the hall. "Why are you here?"

"I let myself in." She edged away from the windowsill, smoothing down the sides of her skirt, nervous. "I knocked on the door and nobody answered, so I-"

"You thought it would be fine to come in? To walk into someone's house, someone's property?"

"I was looking for Mr. Urgos." She waved a piece of card like it could deflect his wrath.

"Well you found him." His eyes seethed as he shut the door behind, standing between her and the exit.

She paused then, looking him up and down, swallowing as she regained composure. "My apologies, Mr. Urgos. You don't look like-"

"Like a native?" His anger flared. "Like I was born and raised? Like I belong here?" He was aware his hand was shaking as he raised it, his movements stilted, and he thought he might lose his temper despite the effort to restrain himself. "I have every right!"

"I meant you don't look foreign, Mr. Urgos." She was calmer, her words gentle and pleading. "The card said Dimitri Urgos, and I thought you'd be... please, I meant no offence, I'm with the care home-"

He stopped short, his mouth dry. "You mean the VA? You don't look like a nurse." Something between fear and anger swelled in his chest, and he smothered it with a repeated demand, "Who are you?"

"My name is Sophie," she answered slowly, palms raised. "Look, I'm sorry, but I have bad news and..."

He suddenly felt very tired, staring past her to the darkness in the window: it seemed to take the fight out of him. "I've had a long day," he said after the pause, "I don't need bad news now." He wiped his forehead, massaging some life back into his flushed face, and abruptly sat on the chair by the window.

Sophie hesitated for a long moment, clearly unsure whether to remain. Her white blouse and skirt looked crumpled around the edges and her hair was tied back in a working ponytail, no make-up or jewellery. She looked tired, too, but even with rings under her eyes he realised she was quite beautiful, tall like him. The thought she was only slightly younger than he was made him shake his head, look away in embarrassment.

"Mr. Urgos, may I make some coffee?"

He shot her a glance of suspicion, but nodded. She retreated into the kitchen, leaving him alone to listen to the hiss and clink as she worked.

"Make mine black!" he called after her, half surprised at himself. She returned with a cup not much later. "I see you found the instant."

"Yes," she shrugged, "most people keep it in the same place."

"Man, most people with sense." This seemed to please him, though he did not smile as she perched on the nearby couch with her drink. He waved at the block-like phone nearby. "You should have called."

"I didn't think you'd want to... to talk over the phone."

"I suppose not." He avoided the subject. "I was out, anyway."

"Where were you, Mr. Urgos?"

He felt irritation, but the unexpected concern in the question kept him placid. "I like to go for walks. I don't want to stay here too long, in case people come by. You know?"

"You don't like visitors?"

"I don't."

"What about... family?"

"My parents died young. Left me their house. Neighbours raised me, but they moved away, and I was grown enough to stay. All my friends were older, and got called up when the whole thing started."

"Mr. Urgos-"

"Dimi." He shrugged. "You might as well call me Dimi."

She sat back, went quiet for a time. "Dimi... it's nice."

"Better than Dimitri."

"Is it a family name?"

"Yes. Third generation," he said with pride, "and I still keep a few traditions. But if I ever have children, I'll give them it as a middle name. Let be normal kids, you know?"

Sophie coughed, closing her eyes. He watched her swallow, and unease returned. "Have I upset you?" he asked after a moment.

"No, miste-" She caught herself. "No, Dimi. I'm not upset."

"You look like you've been on your feet a while." He gave a dry laugh. "Man, never any rest for you people. At least the ones you treat are home..." He thought he saw a tear in the corner of her eye, stumbling awkwardly to a halt. He groped for something better. "Sorry. Maybe they're not so lucky. The whole thing's a mess."

"You have no idea." Her lips were twisted together.

"Maybe I don't see as much as you, but, man... I heard about people coming back messed up. Seeing things, hearing voices. Worse things than burns or missing legs. That scares me. Do you-"

"Are you afraid the government will call you up? Is that why you were out?"

Her interruption made him flustered, and he half-stood, thinking better of it as he remembered the coffee. "Yes." He grew agitated, staring at the rim. "Of course, drat it. I refused the board, you know? I haven't been. I was thinking of running, but there won't be anyone to watch the house." He gulped the coffee, winced as it burned, gave a hoarse cough that lasted too long. "God, I've been waiting for weeks now. I know they're coming. And every day I read the paper, and I see the casualties, and I know that's going to be me one day."

He made eye contact, seeing her pale. Part of him wanted to reach out, to take her by the shoulders; part of him wanted to demand she leave. Instead, he asked, "What are you here for?"

"I was just visiting, Dimi. I should go." Sophie set down her coffee and stood, giving him a smile that he returned in confusion as she left the room.

As she strode down the hall, the names on the other doors were blurred.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 2067 days!


Soiled Meat

I've just belatedly realised I may have screwed up part of the challenge:

quote:

Second, and most importantly, these two people must be complete strangers to one another. That means no shared relations, friends, or God help us, long-lost et cetera. No passing glances on the street or muttered rumors pertinent to either of them prior to this date. What's more, neither of the characters can even suggest they know each other. They have nothing tying them together in any way.

I'm not convinced that having a reason to seek a stranger out in their residence necessarily violates this implicitly, since it'd rule out any meetings other than utter randomness.

It's the judge's call. If I've inadvertently disqualified myself, fair enough, I'll accept the loss and the custom title.

Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007

a negative influence


Etherwind posted:

I've just belatedly realised I may have screwed up part of the challenge:


I'm not convinced that having a reason to seek a stranger out in their residence necessarily violates this implicitly, since it'd rule out any meetings other than utter randomness.

It's the judge's call. If I've inadvertently disqualified myself, fair enough, I'll accept the loss and the custom title.

That randomness was intentionally one of the main points of the prompt, because it shifts focus onto character interaction rather than easy motivation for the meeting.

I'll keep you in, but suffice to say I'll be taking this into consideration on my evaluations.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 2067 days!


Soiled Meat

What I took from it was the uncertainty and unfamiliarity of two strangers in an unusual situation, and the absence of a reason is something I tried to keep in the perceptions of the protagonist. As far as he's concerned, it is a random intrusion, and anything else is subtextual. I'll message you the rest I had in mind.

Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007

a negative influence


Etherwind posted:

What I took from it was the uncertainty and unfamiliarity of two strangers in an unusual situation, and the absence of a reason is something I tried to keep in the perceptions of the protagonist. As far as he's concerned, it is a random intrusion, and anything else is subtextual. I'll message you the rest I had in mind.

Word of advice before you bother PM'ing me: it's generally a bad idea to try and justify your stories after the fact, unless explicitly asked. Otherwise it's like trying to explain a joke that nobody laughs at. At best they'll start to pity you, but they still won't laugh.

I could've written a defense of my losing story half as long as the story itself, but I did not. I took the condemnation because I am a serious man who does serious things like balance a checkbook and stare contemplatively out the window. Your story will go through the careful ministrations of the judges just like everyone else's.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 2067 days!


Soiled Meat

I'm cool with it sucking, that's not what I was about. Thanks for the heads up.

Zack_Gochuck
Jan 3, 2007

Stupid Wrestling People


I'm in.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Etherwind posted:

I'm cool with it sucking, that's not what I was about. Thanks for the heads up.

Ok you're saying you're ok with sucking but you seem to care about it quite a lot.

This isn't your 5th grade persuasive essay contest, kiddo. This is hairyass balls to the wall un-loving-apolo-loving-getic mayhem. If you think the prompt is balls, or even if you just find that your story went in a different direction than you intended, just post that poo poo and let the judges figure out if your rear end-to-keyboard musings are worth the sweat you worked up typing them.

If you want my recommendation, you should keep posting in this thread until your ego is numb from the crusted layers of callus built up from your writing being raked over the hot bed of coals that dwell in the unforgiving eyes of each judge. You should post until you win.

You might get a stupid avatar, people might say mean words about your writing, but if you aren't a better writer after a few weeks of this poo poo then at least you know you didn't run out of an internet thread like a scared babby.

Anyway it's not the worst piece I've seen here. So there's that.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 2067 days!


Soiled Meat

I'm going to hang around and keep participating, but I'm not really interested in the faux-machismo.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


Speaking of crit, are the other judges from last week going to give us anything?

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Etherwind posted:

I'm going to hang around and keep participating, but I'm not really interested in the faux-machismo.

Our faux-machismo is 100% bullshit, and we all know it. Come on, get into the spirit of things.

Also, I'm in.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 2067 days!


Soiled Meat

Stuporstar posted:

Come on, get into the spirit of things.

Okay, just this once.

Look, I can't help it if your brain's so atrophied from sipping lattes in Barnes and Noble that you can't spot the difference between some mewling gently caress trying to justify his writing as good and the confidant, give-no-fucks attitude of a writer who knows his poo poo ain't roses but wants to talk all the same. Whether you're brain-dead or just dead-eyed after all the hours on the Kindle literotica store, I don't care: you should tell the difference between "This poo poo is totally fine for the contest, and here's why," and "This word-salad is the linchpin of my ego, pray, tread lightly." What the gently caress do you think I am - a mirror? gently caress no.

...And that's why, as a rule, I don't do faux-machismo.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


Etherwind posted:

...And that's why, as a rule, I don't do faux-machismo.
Nah bro we cool.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Etherwind posted:

..or just dead-eyed after all the hours on the Kindle literotica store...

Can't speak for anyone else but it's after those hours that I feel the most invigorated and ready to get my machismo on.

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.


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Speaking of crit, are the other judges from last week going to give us anything?

I was hit with poo poo tons of schoolwork and a terrible flu at the same time, I'll see if I can finish my crits soonish

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Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Stuporstar posted:

Our faux-machismo is 100% bullshit, and we all know it. Come on, get into the spirit of things.

Also, I'm in.

The hell are you talking about? Mine is for real.

Edit: Oh, I get it. A classic case of penis envy, thus no real machismo.

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