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Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

:frogsiren:NEW THREAD:frogsiren:

Current Week:
XXII: Schroedinger's Nihilarian

Past Weeks:
I: Man Agonizes over Potatoes (this post, dumb fucks)
II: Dystopian Chick-Lit
III: Check your Cis Privilege in Swaziland
IV: last man on the moon
V: Gary Numan, Fucksticks
VI: Week Six: It Rhymes with Dicks
VII: The goons who lose will pay the highest price
VIII: Martello's Girlfriend Said "I'm late!"
IX: Old Sex/Lawn Sounds
XI: Betrayal, by Zdzislaw Beksiñski
XII: Hateful Protagonist
XIII: Real Natural Horror, Bitches
XIV: You Shouldn't Be Here
XV: Sharp Vision Soothes Strong Reaction
XVI: Oh The Web We Weave
XVII: I Don't Know You
XVIII: Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves,Round Two
XIX: How Deep is my Fuckin' Love
XX: Face Your Destiny
XXI: Welcome to My Sensorium

Past Results:
I (still this post, you shitheads)
IX (Winner, Loser)
XVIII Round One, Round Two

Past Special Events:
1-on-1 Thunderbrawl, Martello vs twinkle cave: The Glove is Thrown Down, The Glove is Stomped Upon, Round 1 Prompt, Round 1 Results, Round 2 Prompt, Round 2 Results, Final Prompt,
Final Results.

This is the tough-as-nails, hard-faced, thousand-yard-stare, eats-raw-meat-and-shits-vegetables big brother to the mincing little pansy monthly fiction "contests" we like to have around here.

The Flash Fiction Thunderdome is a weekly fiction contest with ever-changing word-oval office, theme, prompts, and rules. Each participant has five days to submit their story, and each submission is final. Don't ask other goons for critque via PM, but also don't just slam your hairy buttcheeks on the keyboard and spray runny poo poo all over the screen. Do a couple edits yourself, make sure the story is at least presentable. Like you would make your daughter presentable before handing her over to the Albanian mob for a few thousand Eurobucks.

Each week's contest will have a winner, a loser, and a bunch of other people who don't matter.

The loser will get a "really embarrassing custom-title" courtesy of pipes!, as well as the everlasting shame of being the loser.

The three judges of this contest will start as Stuporstar, Erik Shawn-Bohner, and me. The winner of each week will rotate into a judge seat, or sometimes more than one person will rotate into a judge seat. To make it more clear:

The judges will be whoever I say they are, pretty much. This includes replacement judges for when Erik Shawn-Bohner is on a multi-week drunk, Stuporstar vanishes into the Yukon, and I go into the desert for thirty days of penitence Army training. Judge rotations will be based on my whims and those of the other Chosen, not any sort of algorithm or process. If your puny loving brains can't comprehend that, then go gently caress off to a Disney forum or some poo poo.

The winner will email or PM his choice of prompts to the other two judges and they have 12 hours to respond and agree, disagree, abort, retry or fail. To give the judges time to deliberate, the deadline for submissions will be exactly five (5) days from the time of each weekly contest post. The judges will take up to 48 hours to read each submission, and submit the judgment at the end of the week.

Each week can have a different format and prompt.

The format could be simply a different word oval office, or it could be something more elaborate. For example, the judges could require the submissions to be in audio format, preferably MP3 uploaded to Tindeck, but any decent substitute will work. Absolutely no Vocaroo allowed unless you want to automatically lose. Instead of prompts, the week's contest could be based on a theme - sci-fi, romance, lit-fic, whatever. Some weeks will have a limit to the number of entrants, or even daily 1v1, mano-a-mano smackdowns. This is the motherfuckin' Thunderdome. The only rules are those the judges come up with.

Week I - Complete

This week's word oval office is ~1000, the shorter the better.

This week's prompt is "Man agonizes over his potatoes."

Deadline for submissions is Friday, 10 August, at 0200 EST.

Send signups to me via PM or just post in here. I'll edit a list of contestants into the OP.

Remember where you are - this is Thunderdome, and death is listening, and will take the first man that screams.

Canadian Surf Club
Black Griffon
slothmonster LATE YOU loving LOSER!
SC Bracer
Bad Seafood
areyoucontagious :smith:
:frogsiren: Arivia - LOSER :qq::fh: :frogsiren:
:siren: Sitting Here - WINNER! :neckbeard: :siren:
Dr. Kloctopussy
Honey Badger


May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?

All right, you chuckleheads, I want to see you slaving over those potatoes.

Remember: bad can be good—if you're good.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW

Je Suis la pomme de terre.

balls balls balls

Martello looks at cat butts on the internet unironically.

Canadian Surf Club
Feb 15, 2008


I'm in, needed a reason to poo poo out more poop

Also can we get a hard due date and time in the OP? While I love words I'm terrible at math/just plain lazy!

Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

Good call, forgot to put that deadline in there. It's edited in, along with your name.

Jan 13, 2005

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

I'm throwing my honor down on the line like it ain't poo poo.

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005

gently caress yes, potato-fics. I'm in.

I also like the concept of A Loser.

Mar 21, 2010

Martello posted:

Deadline for submissions is Friday, 9 August, at 0200.
Because of timezones, someone gimme a ballpark for how far away this is? Because that was like 12 hours ago for me.

e: Dammit, got 6th/9th mixed up. I'm very good at reading. Still, what timezone are we talking?

I'm in. The chips are down.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Because of timezones, someone gimme a ballpark for how far away this is? Because that was like 12 hours ago for me.

e: Dammit, got 6th/9th mixed up. I'm very good at reading. Still, what timezone are we talking?

I'm in. The chips are down.

I'm gonna say it's US EST, meaning it'd be ~3:20AM August 6th right now.

Also, you lose one point for the potato pun. I'll retract that for now, but I've got my eyes on you.

Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

It is indeed EST. I forget that not everyone lives in New York.

e: I also forgot that I can't read a calendar. :saddowns: Friday is the 10th.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW

Great. So far, we've got judges and entrants that can't read. This is going to be a fantastic contest.

If anyone cries about not writing enough in any other threads, point them here. If you're on the edge on whether you want to join or not, go ahead and jump in. You have four days to write 1000 words max. It could just be 500 words. Remember that it's in your interest to lure a sacrificial lamb into here to be slaughtered, so the more the merrier.

Meanwhile, I'm going to work with Martello on some Hooked on Phonics and Sesame Street to get this reading and counting thing down.

Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

It could even be 100 words. The point is, don't be a bitch and throw your poo poo down.

And I prefer Dora the Explorer to Sesame Street. This is a bilingual world we live in, and it's important to keep up. :parrot:

Nautatrol, please use italics when writing the names of TV shows, novels, films, and any other work longer than an individual TV episode or short story. :eng101: When you don't italicize them it's embarrassing.

Sep 28, 2009

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


Count me in I need a reason to get off my rear end and write and as crazy as it sounds I kinda know potatoes.

Apr 30, 2009


I haven't written much in a while so this seems like a good excuse to change that around. Now I just need to become one with the potato to better understand its motivations.

SC Bracer
Aug 7, 2012


Count me in too. I knew when I saw that prompt that I had found something beautiful and true.

Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

slothmonster posted:

Count me in I need a reason to get off my rear end and write and as crazy as it sounds I kinda know potatoes.


Wrageowrapper posted:

I haven't written much in a while so this seems like a good excuse to change that around. Now I just need to become one with the potato to better understand its motivations.


SC Bracer posted:

Count me in too. I knew when I saw that prompt that I had found something beautiful and true.


Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.

Nautatrol Rx posted:

If you're on the edge on whether you want to join or not, go ahead and jump in.
Flipped a coin, turned up heads. I'm in.

Just be sure you properly display my burnt, smouldering corpse over the city gates when I lose. I won't settle for anything less.

sephiRoth IRA
Jun 13, 2007

"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality."

-Carl Sagan

I need to work on my flash fiction- what better way to improve than a fight to the death?

(Include me, please!)

Mar 17, 2011

I only accept Forgotten Realms lore that fits my personal headcanon, or the vaulted and unimpeachable works of my waifu, Ed Greenwood

I'm in.

Mar 31, 2012

SC Bracer is on Something Awful. :staredog:

Count me in. I need to get better at words.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007




Oh, put me down. I started writing about potatoes and forgot to post.

Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

Added the newest contestants.

Autumn, bring JHM in here. :frogbon:

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW

Martello posted:

Autumn, bring JHM in here. :frogon:


Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

Your argument is brilliantly eloquent and I find no flaws with it.:wotwot:

I've changed my mind.

Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

I'm disqualified from the contest by being a judge, but here's my entry anyway as an example. 225 words, with a beginning, middle, and end, and a full character arc. You can do it, people.


"Oh god, Mary, look at m'taters!"

Jimmy held his taters in his right hand, rolling them around.

"Leave 'em alone, Jim. There ain't nothin' wrong with 'em."

"They're all hairy and lumpy and knobby! And so big compared to m'shriveled wenis!"

Mary scowled at Jimmy, hands on her ample hips. "Wenis is the skin on your elbow. That's called a penis, drat it! And stop pullin' on it, I want it to work at least once a week."

"drat it, Mary, how can I make love to you when m'taters are so awful-lookin'?"

"I'm sick of your poo poo. I'm going to Maude's."

Mary stormed out of the frame house. Jimmy heard the '92 Reliant K start after a couple key turns.


Two days later, Jimmy heard from Bobby that Mary had shacked up with that nice black fella lived by the feed store. Bobby said that his wife Lisa said that Mary said the black fella had a dick size of a large groundhog, and a pair of balls like plums, all shaved and everything. Jimmy thanked Bobby for the down-low, and hung up the phone. He went into the bedroom, took out the old Smith & Wesson, put it in his mouth, and pulled the trigger. As his life shut out, Jimmy thought to himself that taters really weren't worth agonizing over.

SC Bracer
Aug 7, 2012


I dunno, having all three of you in one thread sounds beautiful. :v:

Okay, actual question, since I'm a stupid newbie: When we submit our entry, do we just post it in the thread or is there some other procedure involved?

e: ^^ Oh okay then.^^

Sep 14, 2004

I'm down.

Mar 21, 2010

LET'S DO THIS. :black101:

Horticulture at the end of the world
(nothing better to do in Invercargill)

Mashed or baked?

Wait, don't answer that; I know a physicist. Every time he gets drunk, his eyes go glassy and he tells me he's seen the angels that dance on the head of a pin in a field of pins, soaking in a rain of pins leaving little rose-bloom pricks on the skin but he says, "but" he says, "I've never seen a pincushion."

He says it in the measured tones of a priest, never once looking at me or his drink. I think I see the pincushion every day. I ventured this once and he didn't talk to me for a month. I see little tiny bits of pincushion. Millionths of billionths. Scraps of tinfoil, melted butter, mashed potatoes. All part of a GREAT COSMIC WHOLE.

If a potato is part of the GREAT COSMIC WHOLE and a potato can be mashed, what does that say of the GREAT COSMIC WHOLE? We are yet to meet our masher. Every poet and banker, every great love and quiet indignity, every dog, cat, rock, tree, broken cigarette and poorly-hidden cumstain could be crushed down to component atoms in an instant by the stainless steel Costco masher of God and we wouldn't know until the Great Weight pushed our shoelaces through our teeth.

If we must fear potatoes and be ruled by fear, we are ruled by potatoes; brown-jacket tyrants with buttery crowns. Every potato I mash is a victory, for I still have an arm with which to mash. I am the culinary Robespierre, the Agent of God; the carrier of the cosmic punchline. Mashed or baked?

There is no real choice. I can no longer eat potatoes, nor drink with physicists.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007




Alright, I'm throwing my hat/potatoes into the ring. It clocks in at a portly 571 words. Come ye sacrificial lambs.

Spudipus Complex

The gunny sack lay empty and forgotten on the floor. Stuart was frantically trying to push himself backwards through the closed doors of the kitchen cabinets. After a moment, the voice came again.

WHAT DO YOU SEE? The question rattled his skull like the belch of a cathedral pipe organ.

"I d-don't understand," Stuart whimpered.

WHAT DO YOU SEE? It rumbled from everywhere and nowhere.

"I see four potatoes sitting on a table." Which was true. It was Monday. Monday had been Meat and Potatoes day for as long as Stuart could remember. It was the fixed axis of the weekly cycle, a monolithic hub around which all other events moved with deference and predictability. Then Stuart's mother had died and he switched from red meat to Shitaki Mushrooms in a Sauce and Potatoes.

THERE ARE FIVE POTATOES, the four potatoes said.

They were all ordinary enough, lumpy and slightly larger than a man's fist. Each was dotted with empty eyes, except the left-most potato which featured a small sprout.

"I count one...two...three...four potatoes," Stuart said, then added "I'm sorry." Pain lanced through his skull and he fell to his knees on the patterned linoleum floor.

THERE ARE FIVE POTATOES, the potatoes thundered. YOU SEE FIVE POTATOES OR YOU WILL SUFFER. Stuart cried out. The whole world was pain and fields of yellowing tile. FIVE. FIVE. FIVE. FIVE. Each syllable felt like a shower of potatoes falling on his head. FIVE. FIVE.

The haze of pain resolved itself into static like snow on a T.V. screen. FIVE. FIVE. YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO GET MARRIED. FIVE. Stuart couldn't tell if his eyes were open or closed, but a woman's face materialized out of the fuzz in his mind, teeth gnashing behind wrinkled lips. FIVE POTATOES, his mother bellowed with the voice of the spuds. WE BRIBED YOUR FRIENDS TO COME TO THE PARTY. FIVE. HOW CAN YOU HAVE YOUR PUDDING IF YOU DON'T EAT YOUR MEAT. Thoughts, mother, potatoes; they all blended together as though whipped by an electric mixer.

Stuart found himself crawling belly-first to the fridge. "Meat marriage," he muttered. "Mother marry the meat..." He opened the refrigerator, flailed his arms at the contents until milk and packages of turkey and bologna rained down on him. "Four mother, it's four." He opened the bologna and stuffed a clammy slice into his mouth.

Back inside his head, the potato-mother screamed. FIVE. YOUR VIBRATING MEAT BOWELS DISGUST US. FIVE. Stuart writhed in a growing pool of perishables and bits of lunch meat. FIVE POTATOES. FIVE...POTatoes.....

His gut churned around cold cuts and he sweated from nausea. But the voice was fading. "More. Four. More meat. Four meat," Stuart said to the ceiling. Five. His eyes were open. The horrible vision of his mother was gone. He squinted. The air around the potatoes both swirled and was still, like an ever-receding invisible spiral that pulled the world in its wake. Stuart fell unconscious.

The afternoon sun shone into the kitchen when Stuart woke. A word, an imperative, resonated in his mind. Five. But it was a blunted, painless thought. He reeked of sweat and spittle crusted his chin. Slowly, tentatively, he raised his eyes to the table where the potatoes caught shadows in the divots of their skin. Stuart pushed himself to his knees, wiped filth from his face. He screamed.


Apr 30, 2009


poo poo just got serious in here, better lower the quality a bit.

The Potato Cult 809 words

An earthy hessian sack uplifted and a great hull of dirty tuberous beauties washed, like a mucky wave, over me bootless, hairy feet. The dirt instilling itself between the toes like a gravely tongue, licked its way into my spine with shivers. Boulders of vegie flesh pounded on me tips and stimulated the kinetic senses to heights otherwise unknown. And the smell, me sweathearts, oh the smell. It was a tingling me nostril hairs like I was being nasally penetrated by a musky, vicious hound. Pleasure.
There were bintjes galore, kennebecs in spades, pontiacs, toolangi, sebago and even a few small pink eyes, all a competing for me skins attention. But I loved em all I did and choosing one was going to be a feat akin to the myths of old. A saga of spuds I be telling ya.

I lied down on that old, dry and half rotten floor I did, amongst me taters. Practically submerged meself in em. Trying to find the one as each I rolled them across my tummy and onto my torso before they fell upon my side. Some went as far as crossing my nipples, others had little adventures around the rim of my belly button. They was all fine, but there was so far none that I could feel that was that special, that I could really get to know.

But I had to chose one. I couldn't leave unless I did. They wouldn't let me. But they just don't understand, they have no comprehension as to how much this means to me. The bastards.

They locked me in this here sorting shed and said,
“You want to be one of us, do ya? Well you get in there and you find yourself a nice little potato and may God help you if you don't”. So I stripped meselfs naked, it probably wasn't required but I did it anyways, and I found this ere sack a spuds and embraced myself upon them. But was it to ever be as I dreamt?

I started to get agitated and bad thoughts began to enter my mind. What if I couldn't find the one? What would those buggers do to me then? Would they peel my skin off instead? Or just fry me as I stood before them, a failure. What if the one wasn't here at all?

But there she was. Forgotten, alone and stuck at the bottom of the hessian sack. A poor little pink eye. I carefully removed her from the sack and gave the dear the once over with me eyeballs. Then I gave her the once over with me skin. And then I gave her a little sniff.

A bloomin' miracle it was!

I had found the one.
I also considered the possibility that perhaps the one had found me.

But that didn't last long for more bad thoughts began to enter my poor little mind. What would they do to her now that I had found the one? Would they peel her, would they fry her as she stood before them, delicious. I just couldn't accept any outcome as half as terrible as these. Don't these clowns know that pink eyes aren't for frying.

That's when I tried to look for another way out.

That dry sorting shed was a small old thing it was. One door, two rows of benches and sack a plenty And certainly none in the way of alternate exits. There was, however, corrugated iron as far as the eyes could see but not too much in the way of support. So I had just one opportunity. One chance of freedom with me darling and boy was I ready to take it. All the while I could here those buggers outside shouting at me, giving me the old,
“Come out ere ya mongrel” and the like. There words didn't work on ol me mind you.
I found what I supposed was the weakest panel and I ran I did. I ran towards with no regard for it or my body. I collected it with an almighty clatter and to my surprise and enjoyment the bugger came tumbling down with me on top of it. But I had no time to rest on this accomplishment and so I was up on me feet once more and running. I could here them carrying on and shouting the curses towards me, with a
“come back ere ya bugger” and a “you silly little codger, just wait till I back hand ya”. But I didn't care one little bit. I may have been naked and covered in mud but I had me freedom, I had me life and whats more I had me little sweetheart safe and sound.

And that's when I ran into you.

So do you mind if I go now?


Feb 19, 2012


So, do we have to state intention first or can we just creep in at the end? Like, I want to say I'm down, but then don't want to be laughed at if I don't submit...

Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

I don't know what you're saying but I'm pretty sure it means you want to enter. Great, you're added to the OP. If you welsh you'll probably end up being The Loser or at least a secondary Loser. Indecision is the worst decision you could make. Post something.

Sep 14, 2004

Formula 1845 (952)

It was with great malicious glee and an acute sense of the perverse that Jonathon "Little Jones" Jones injected Formula 1845 into his retiring father's field of sweet potatoes.

Gleeful, he sat there, alone in his enemy's lands, balancing the syringe on the potato's red flaky skin, barely suppressing a near-constant cackle, grinning the soon to be avenged man's grin. Perverse, he sat there, transforming these wretched taters, these pernicious spuds that had hung over him (figuratively of course) for his entire life, converting these terrible tuberous morning glories into his favorite thing in the world - bombs.

The younger Jones often wished he had born during the Great Depression. He admired the era's indifference to agriculture and especially idolized its progeny of elite explosives oriented engineers. When trying to think of new ways to "blow poo poo the gently caress up." he liked to pretend he was Robert Oppenheimer. He had called his dog Truman, originally because he really liked that Jim Carrey movie, but after in deference to that President and Atomic Era Apostle.

"Now I become death, the dude who fucks up your world." Little Jones had said, upon first successful detonation of a tater.

Big Jones was getting out of the potato trade, that much was true.

"What he wasn't doing..." Little Jones had started, in a tense that suggested murderous intention.

"What he wasn't doing is putting Little Jones in any of the equations."

What those equations were, and how Little Jones possessed a genius level command of chemistry and biology, but all the grammatical aptitude of an Idahoan (his state of origin, axiomatically) fifth grader, was anyone's guess.

Jones checked the dosage on the syringe, part of his established protocol for tater arming. It took exactly six milligrams of oil thick solution to load an insurgent spud. A microgram extra, and there would be some seriously fried potatoes.

When he had first stated his intention to go to college ("not even a big one, Big J, just like ISU or something."), Big Jones had scoffed and told his younger that "he was potato penning property, no more than a hoe to be hoed out to [sic]." He had stayed at the farm past any age mandated obligation (being now 25), mainly, due to poor grades and a series of Chem 101 "accidents" that that "fucker" Principal Fradkell made sure got plastered all over his permanent record.

Sweat beaded around Little Jones's eyes. He soaked it away with his wooly left hand, which was wrapped in a gauze centric, bloodstained bandage. A bandage that to local Idahoan farm-children told a foreboding fable about where not to put your fingers in a tractor's engine, but in truth was actually "all hosed up" at his "Trinity 1" test of Formula 1845. There was no gauze around the thumb because there was no thumb.

This thumbless, bloody, ineffective hand forced Jones to use his pointer finger to press in the syringe's igniter, which was a tricky proposition indeed. After some perspiration induced slippage and more wooly wiping, he finally got the drat thing lined up. It was showtime.

He took a deep breath. The potato was not designed to explode until ingested. It had something to do with the formula's introduction to the digestive track - chemical reactions and amino acids and all that. He took another breath. The second Trinity test had been a smashing success that resulted in the gruesome extermination of a completely out of its element field mouse, but still - he was missing his fricken thumb. He exhaled, and then took a third, destabilizing, brain fogging breath -- and pressed down.

A yellow dog put its nose in his butt.

"Get out of here Truman, you fucker. Go home." Jones said, spinning around with the now empty syringe thrust out like a shiv.

The yellow dog, apparently expecting a treat, jumped at Jones's hand, nearly snatching the needle in its maw.

"What the gently caress, dude!"

Jones kicked at the dog, missing the intended target of the skull, but scattering potatoes everywhere. Truman took off in a sprint after them.

"This loving state, man."

Little Jones turned back around, cursing Big J for retiring and leaving him nothing, cursing Big J for forcing Little J into a life of domestic tater terrorism, and most of all cursing his father for forever consigning him to the cognomen "Little," no matter how big or bold he would soon, you just wait and see, become.

Jones bent back down, looking for the potato he had just injected. He had marked every armed tater in red ink with the words "1845." It was a reference to the year of a particularly blight worthy Irish potato famine.

Jones scanned the ground. There were a poo poo load of potatoes. He started to pick through them.

A yellow dog put its nose in his butt.

"Truman, you fucker, go home." Jones hollered.

There was a whimper.

"Jesus Christ..." Jones muttered, turning to face the meddling creature.

The dog had something half-eaten in its mouth.

It looked like a potato.

"The lighting effects beggared description. The whole country was lighted by a searing light with the intensity many times that of the midday sun. It was golden, purple, violet, gray, and blue. It lighted every peak, crevasse and ridge of the nearby mountain range with a clarity and beauty that cannot be described but must be seen to be imagined..."
- Major General Thomas Francis Farrell (3 December 1891–11 April 1967), Deputy Commanding General and Chief of Field Operations of the Manhattan Project.

May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch

Would you like fries with that? word count: 567.

“Get me a cheeseburger combo, with fries, and a medium coke,” Grant said.

“What kind?” asked Charles.

“A cheeseburger, I told you.”

“No, I know that, what kind of fries?”

Grant paused and held the phone away from his ear. Placing the phone back to his left ear, he asked “What do you mean, what kind of fries?”

“You know, steak fries, curly fries, waffle cut, shoestring. What kind?”

The choice had never occurred to Grant. Most any other place you went to the fries were all the same. He found himself coming to a standing position in front of the couch. “I don’t¬¬--”

“Okay look, you better hurry up, I’m gonna be at the window soon. Do you want thick, meaty fries? Crunchier fries? Maybe au natural?” Charles asked.

Did his choice actually matter, Grant wondered. Is there something lurking in his subconscious that could be defined by the choice of his French fry?

“Uhh, regular,” Grant said.

“Dude, there is no regular. This is the Fry Hut, there is no regular.”

“They have to have regular, everywhere has regular,” Grant said. He was pacing now.

“They don’t. I’m coming up next, hurry the gently caress up dude.”

Steak fries were thick cut potatoes, large wedges of starch. Would it look like I was overcompensating for something, Grant thought. Curly fries are zestier, but greasier, am I a slave to my own gluttony?

Grant began to sweat. He could feel the moisture collect under his armpits and bead on his forehead. Grant was not circumcised and wondered if the choice of waffle fries would reveal this truth to his roommate. He had been called anteater in high school and loathed to confront the nickname now that he had moved away for college. But the shoestring fries were small, limp and soggy. Such a tepid choice would clearly reveal himself for the weak willed person that he believed he was.

“Okay, I want a number 4, grande size, with a mountain dew and steak fries,” Charles said over the phone. Steak fries! Grant could feel a hotness well up inside him. The confidence Charles had to order such an ostentatious food, Grant was disgusted, but envious. To be able to order such a small-dicked order with such flagrancy infuriated Grant.

“And can I get a number seven, with a medium coke, and, sorry, one second. Hey, what kind of fries? Grant? What kind of fries?”

A lump caught in Grant’s throat. The anger he felt was quickly replaced by embarrassment. His vision began to spin and he could feel his forehead become feverish. Knowing his entire life could be summed up into his choice of fry made Grant want to faint. Closing his eyes as hard as he could to prevent nausea, Grant whispered, “Regular.” The word came out of him like a typhoon. Air rushed out of his lungs and pushed him back onto the couch.

Grant could hear Charles sigh on the other end of the phone.

“And uh, regular fries I guess,” Charles said, “Oh. Uh huh, okay.”

Grant felt relief. There was nothing that could be said about regular. He knew there would be regular fries, every place has regular fries.

“…nt. Grant. Grant.” Grant could hear Charles coming in over the phone.

“What? What now?”

“Do you want spicy seasoning or garlic seasoning?”

Grant screeched and threw the phone across the room.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Yeah, put me down. Potato based flashfiction will be forthcoming.

sephiRoth IRA
Jun 13, 2007

"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality."

-Carl Sagan

The Tenant Farmer’s Lamentation (544)

Owen slipped a hand under his shirt and felt his ribs. He knew the very surface of his bones by feel, now, every imperfection magnified under his taut skin. Every aspect of his body was emaciated; his shrunken organs bulged like an overfilled sausage out of his stomach and his eyes sunk deep into the pits of their sockets. It had been three days since he had last eaten, instead making sure that his mother had what little food there was to eat. She was getting worse by the day; the suppurating wounds around her mouth grew more hideous and awful, surprising Owen with their virulence every time he came inside the house. He had already dug her grave.

He stepped into their one-room home, which was bare with the exception of the single bed in the corner. Owen had sold the rest of the furniture after his father died, as there was no way he could pay the landlord and pay for his father’s burial without the extra money. Drawing scraps of bread from a lone sack, he knelt next to his mother’s bed and tried to feed her.

“Owen, gie sum tah yer da. Needs it more than oi do, he needs ter be strong ter ‘arvest tha crop.” The words hissed out of her mouth, causing tears to well up in Owen’s eyes.

“Da ‘ad sum already, ma, yer need tah eate.” She took a small bite, and then pushed his hand away. He took her arm, massaging the ravaged muscles, what little was left, hoping to stave off what withering had already occurred. His mother moaned softly, continuing to push him weakly away. She was soon asleep. Owen watched her chest rise and fall with her breath long into the late evening. His own breath caught for a moment whenever her chest stopped moving, his heart bursting with dread and anticipation. Her breath would resume, however, and Owen would slump back into his interminable wait for the Reaper.

As night fell, Owen stood in the middle of his field. He feet scuffed the dirt, kicking aside the wilted and foul matter that used to be his crop. There would be no money this month. Not even a few shillings, certainly not enough to keep his mother alive. He had sent a letter to the landlord, spending an hour with the reverend to make sure the spelling was right. The letter begged for an extension, just another few days to see if the crop would grow.

He clutched the landlord’s response in his hand, the sweat from his skin marring the ink.

“What do we care about you or your black potatoes? It was not us that made them black. You will pay the rent on time, and if you don’t you know the consequences.”

Owen dropped to his knees. He threw the paper aside and scraped his hands through the earth, searching for some semblance of wholesome, healthy organic life. What he found instead was black with rot, burning with pestilence and wanted by no man. The devil himself had come to Ireland, and all the land was implanted with his dark seed. Owen stared at the earth, seeing his dead crop and knowing that he had died with it.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW

This contest is having the surprising side effect of producing stories I approve of.

May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?

It's the potatoes, man. There's so much you can say about potatoes.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.

It's time to ruin everything forever.

Starched Earth (677 words)


Ian Harrison, doctor, reporting. Date, [WITHHELD], early morning, both suns creeping up past the horizon.

Terraforming appears to have been a complete success. The constructors are currently disassembling, jumping tomorrow, leaving us watch over the Farm, the cultivators. Accelerated climate modifiers in place, our first harvest should be collected, frozen, and deepshipped in approximately six months, Earth estimate.

In the interest of economy, future transmissions shall be kept brief, only updated as significant circumstances warrant. The full contents of my notes will, of course, be present for examination upon completion of my shift.

Harrison, signing out.


Ian Harrison, doctor, reporting. Date, [WITHHELD], midday, seasonal ocean boil subsiding. I apologize in advance for any static interference.

Project progressing even faster than anticipated, cultivators filling the silos now. The Greenhouse is going over the samples—routine procedure, I assure you—making certain our bounty sees no adverse affects, grown so far from home. Hypotheses vary, mine personally: optimistic.

Harrison, signing out.


Ian Harrison…doctor, reporting. Date…the date is…[WITHHELD]. First evening. Second…sun…

The bulk of the first harvest…indeterminate variables, Dr. Langley speculates windfall, the corrosive ocean storms…the first harvest has proven fruitless. Nearly all samples exhibit toxic contamination levels unfit for human consumption. Secondary, tertiary samples submitted…all conclusive. Furthermore, the silos have become tainted, useless until properly sterilized.

Only the potato yield seems unaffected. Tests are underway to determine whether they might...find some method…


You know, I never…

Harrison. Signing out.


Ian Harrison, doctor, reporting. Date, [WITHHELD], late morning, suns in parallel.

The potato crop has multiplied sevenfold, spreading to the other quadrants. All silos, not contaminated, are presently filled to excess. The staff is debating what is to be done with the despoiled, favoring depositing it in the ocean. Viable means of cleaning the contaminated silos is still pending.

…They are indomitable little things.



Ian Harrison, reporting. Date, [WITHHELD].

Apologies for the delay, communication blackout. Solar storm hit mid-transmission, scrambling the signal, and the generator died during a second attempt.

Johansson commandeered over half the silos in an elaborate, makeshift potato battery. Currently, 40% of the Farm, 20% Residence, and the entirety of the Greenhouse are powered by it. Despite this miraculous recovery, the majority of the staff have become despondent and reclusive.

The number of potatoes continues to increase exponentially, reasons unknown.



Harrison, reporting. Date, [WITHHELD].

Presently, potatoes account for 90% of the arable land, 80% of our power. The still-contaminated silos have been filled, equally functional as batteries as their sterilized brothers.

Despite my best efforts, isolationism among the staff has grown increasingly pronounced. Langley, in particular, has taken to keeping his office locked at all times, and has not been witnessed leaving.

I have started naming the potatoes, a means of passing the time. Not the family I’d imagined having.



Harrison. [WITHHELD].

Langley is dead. Johansson informed me, my first human contact in…some time. I named a potato, in Langley’s memory, but Johansson reacted violently, smashing it, spewing such obscenities as I am loathe to recount, obviously distraught at the passing of a companion. Nevertheless, I found his behavior unacceptable, and proceeded to quell his tantrum.

I have named a potato in Johansson’s memory, next to Langley II.




I am running out of names to give to the children. I refuse duplicates, and worry the younger generation shall start to feel neglected.

Survey suggests I am the only human remaining about the Farm and Greenhouse, Residence locked down. It strikes me presumptuous, naming the next few after members of the staff, but I am rapidly running out of options.




My health has been steadily deteriorating. Malnourishment, I...think?

The children are upset. They worry constantly, telling me to eat, as if I could resort to cannibalism. Their unwavering faces are all that keep me going some days. There are still so many of them to name.

Langley II is asking about his older brother. I don't know what to tell him.



Feb 15, 2005

Consider me signed up. I wrote my piece, but I'm going to take some time to edit and rewrite it at least.