There's a time limit in there. Are you blind?
Yes. Got a problem with that you drat ableist?
And Pipes is the best!
|# ? Aug 14, 2012 07:27|
|# ? Dec 6, 2023 13:49|
This thread looks like fun, so I'm going to join in. Hooray!
|# ? Aug 14, 2012 12:38|
Post-apocalyptic counts as dystopian for the dumbasses who asked such a dumbass question.
|# ? Aug 14, 2012 12:49|
I have never done any creative writing outside of a class before (and that was over ten years ago). That said, I'm willing to bet it all here in the Thunderdome. Best to learn how to swim by potentially drowning myself.
|# ? Aug 14, 2012 13:36|
P.S. Say thank you to pipes! you bastards.
Thank you, but there's no real reason to do this. I'm just happy to see everyone having fun and participating.
|# ? Aug 14, 2012 13:50|
Never read chick-lit before, so this'll be interesting, but the Thunderdome calls me back for redemption. Let's do this.
|# ? Aug 14, 2012 14:58|
Count me in, I love me some dystopian chick-lit.
|# ? Aug 14, 2012 15:15|
I've never read chick-lit before, and I've never done any creative writing before. My first time writing anything for fun. Here goes nothing.
The Flavor of Fish (500 words)
Sandra awoke to the sound of warm rain pelting the tenement. She glanced at the corp-provided monitor in the corner of the room: 4:36 AM. Nobody else in her block was awake yet, despite their shift beginning at six. Their room would belong to third shift in a few hours. She rolled out of bed, cleaned up, and headed for the commissary. The typical retina scan, the typical packet of Orga-paste. The stuff wasn’t too bad once you got used to the flavor and didn’t think about where it came from. Sandra vaguely remembered a time when employees were provided with daily nutritional bars and fresh-frozen greens once a week. That all changed once the government shuttered the FDNSA, thereby allowing the processing of Parasites.
She choked it down. She wouldn’t have to worry about the origins of Orga-paste or staying under the protection of a Corp much longer. It was only a matter of time before Bryce would return for her as promised. Together they’d eat fruits, greens, and rare wonderful things she had never tasted before, like fish. She sat there recalling the day they had met: she was working the line, plain in appearance, trying her best to go unnoticed. It wasn’t hard so long as she made quota. The overseers seemed on edge and she could hear her number being discussed by the Lineman and Supervisor. She was pulled and had no idea why.
She was led to a luxurious boardroom overlooking the snow-frosted complex, left alone save for one man seated near the window. The first thing that struck Sandra were his eyes: two beautiful light-blue gems resembling a morning sky, set into what could possibly be the most gorgeous face she had ever seen. He wore a trimmed navy pinstripe suit that seemed tailored to fit his toned and tall body. Sandra could feel her blood turn hot in her cheeks. She had always been shy.
The moment was so surreal she couldn’t recall the details of the conversation. The gist was that Bryce, an up-and-coming Captain of this Corp, cared so much about his workers that he personally reviewed every one to ensure that they were happy and healthy. The reason he had called her here today, “and this is crazy”, he admitted, was that he had read her file and wondered how a woman of such striking beauty could be sent to the line and not be snatched up immediately as a wife to a higher-up. Bryce told her that soon he’d make her his wife; she’d never have to worry about staying with a Corp again. He felt that strongly about her, his soul-mate (he was certain), that he would break ranks and make this happen so long as she could give her whole self to him...
The first shift buzzer snapped her back into dull reality. “He’ll come for me. Just a bit longer.” she mused, smiling to herself. She left the commissary for her place on the line.
|# ? Aug 14, 2012 15:40|
The sound of warm rain...
The sound of it.
I have never done any creative writing outside of a class before (and that was over ten years ago).
*2 Hours Later*
I've never done any creative writing before.
|# ? Aug 14, 2012 16:20|
Maybe I can play it off from an "outsider art" angle?
The sound of warm rain...
VVV You may be right. I'll shove it and steel myself for my fate in the Thunderdome without another word in my own defense. Better to die with a shred of dignity left. VVV
|# ? Aug 14, 2012 16:21|
I can't say with any certainty what honesty might profit one in the Thunderdome... but I pray that the deceitful and those who would use humility as a shield meet ignoble, wretched deaths.
|# ? Aug 14, 2012 16:28|
For someone without a familiarity in creative writing and with only 2 hours work that's pretty okay. I've certainly seen worse.
Posting to say I'm in for this though. I have no experience in chick-lit so expect a dystopian version of Gossip Girl
|# ? Aug 14, 2012 17:46|
THANKS TO PIPES!! PIPES IS HURRAH!!
TO THE PAIN, count me in.
(I quite like 'the sound of warm rain' it's nonsensical yet pungent.)
|# ? Aug 14, 2012 21:49|
I like you, kid. You've got pluck. Sadly pluckyness is not an accepted currency in the Thunderdome. Just grit, tenacity, and pocket change.
Pipes! is the god at whose right hand the judges sit. All hail Pipes!
|# ? Aug 14, 2012 22:01|
Diary of Bootstrapping the Apocalypse words: 494
Saturday 5 January 2064
81 pounds. No marauder king would want to snog with a bag of bones like me. On the plus side I think I had my last period, ever. Bad news: ate all the chocolate I had rationed. The sad truth of it all was that had I been sitting on my rump when this whole thing happened, living off food stamps and welfare, I would have had plenty of fat stores to maintain my status as a birther. Unfortunately, I was busy living my life and working hard for Hubert Goster (as dreamy as he WAS) so I could live in a small apartment, that isn’t cozy or quaint no matter how hard my mother tried to convince me it was, that I just didn’t have the time in the day to sit around all day and watch Maury. Maybe mum was right and I never should have moved to New York.
Anyway, with the Festival of Skulls looming, I just know I’m going to be last picked at the Reverse-Sadie-Hawkins Blood Pairing, AGAIN. But you won’t see me whoring myself out for some scraps of pig fat, no sir. I’m going to get picked because I worked my skinny butt off. I found some new burlap to sew onto my Festival dress from Bernice. She wasn’t using it anymore, if you know what I mean!
Looking at the Festival dress in the broken mirror, I could just imagine what my mum would say if she hadn’t been eaten by wild dogs.
“Brigdy, dear, the colours are all wrong. It makes you look sick.”
“Mum, but I am sick.”
”Yes but you don’t want to go around telling every boy at the Festival do you? And that hem, it looks like you ate the bottom half of it for lunch.”
”I had to teach myself to sew, no one-“
“Oh you know what you should do? You should get some of that pool tarp, no one uses pool tarp anymore. It’s got such a lovely blue. Gilly Steinman had such a lovely pool tarp dress.”
“No mum, I do not want a pool tarp dress. I like my dress, I made it myself.”
“Oh I know. Anyone who looks at it will know.”
I should really stop having fake conversations with my dead mum, even dead she won’t shut up! She never knows when to quit. Maybe I don’t want to look like that loose bottomed tramp Gilly Steinmen. You know she only got that pool tarp because shacked up with some Persian, or Indian, or whatever sheikh right away. Sorry mum, I’ve got some morals.
I’m going to that Festival Dance and I’m going to show off my stuff because its 100% me, and if you don’t like it, well sod off!
If I do get picked I hope he isn’t a grotty little mutant, ugh, wouldn’t that just be the worst?
|# ? Aug 14, 2012 22:54|
Dystopian Chick, Lit
Shana woke and pulled the soiled bandanna sleep-mask from her eyes. Between the gagging of tension-release in her core, she coughed up grunts and moans about the banging of a claw hammer against her head. That morning, she had woken up beneath an overpass. Tomorrow, who knows.
All her hung-over pain snapped to a single, searing point when Shana saw the lump of ugly flesh sticking out from the tattered, over-sized coat she called a blanket. It happened again. Gravel spewed as she scrounged back away from the moving lump, face twisting in disgust, "No. No no no."
The figure turned beneath. Shana gripped her clenching stomach and dry-heaved.
Covering her face with a shawl, she crawled to the top of the overpass and peeked over the side. Thousands of them. And every day there are more. Shana popped open her stash of anti-virals, the few left rattling in the bottom. She took one and packed them back into her bag.
The streets stank of sweat, and the mindless rambling of the infected rose to a constant, grating white noise. Shana edged along the buildings, looking away when the hideous creatures turned its gaze on her. A block down, she saw hope. Nearly tripping over herself, Shana ran to the liquor store and ducked inside.
Looking around, she found it to be clear. On the shelf was a gallon bottle of pure grain alcohol. Sweet nepenthe. She snatched at the bottle, and it pulled forward and stuck. With a loud creak, the entire wall rotated with Shana.
It can't be. Shana wept. She unwound the shawl from her face. This underground paradise stretched beyond sight. Buildings, flowers, and people were all lit by the incandescent bars running high above them.
There were other people here, all staring at her, their features bent in sympathy. Not a single one resembled the foul creatures outside. No more darkness, no more hiding.
A woman in a silver dress took her by the hand, "I assume you had an 'interaction' with one of them and went straight for the bottle to try and forget. Don't worry. That's normal."
Shana felt as if she was floating, guided by the hand of the woman in silver. "But, the oddest thing," Shana said, "I knew they were disgusting creatures, but I never got a good look at one of their faces."
The silver woman shook her head with a smile, "Do you really want to know what they look like? I can show you."
Shana fretted with her hands, "Yes."
The silver woman nodded and pulled a piece of paper from her pocket.
Shana held her breath as the unfolded the paper and saw:
Imagine that a small mirror has been placed here instead of the rest of the story.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 00:00|
yeah I'm in again
Also posting to say some playwriting major at my uni wrote this genre intentionally for a short competition last year and it was everything you hoped and more
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 00:55|
THANKS TO PIPES!! PIPES IS HURRAH!!
No seriously, please stop doing this.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 01:04|
Greed, Pay, Love
Melissa was a bad girl.
Started smoking at age thirteen, got expelled the following year for punching her history teacher and then joined a gang of cricket bat wielding psychopaths whose penchant for ultra violence and hard drugs placed them on every most wanted list this side of the Bass Strait Void Rift. But more importantly she believed that the community needed to regain ownership of its social services, to create a system where everyone had to put in but for which anyone could similarly take out.
She was a very bad girl indeed and she was also looking down the barrel of a high impact GPPC.
Her cricket bat mistakenly left at home and high on moloko she had been left alone by her gang as they went out “hunting” in the city.
“I don't need those pawee anyway”, she thought, “I'm a young and energetic luener I can do anything”.
So she wandered the streets looking for the next thing, some thrill or political debate. Anything to ward off the boredom.
To be stopped, while giving money to charity, by this man though?
Melissa glanced up passed the GPPC to Hobart's most famous crime fighter, Judge Market. Market was ruthless, selfish and had been granted the power of a CEO, Share Holder and Liquidator by the “Bosses”. She should have been terrified, this was after all her greatest foe. Instead Melissa was intrigued. She noticed that he held the gas powered potato cannon the same way in which she secretly hoped he would hold her, hard yet passionate. She was just a gangster next door, a hard working independent young luener seeking a corporation to crackabugga, he was the hero of the free market, the righteous sword of the tuggattapeeatto. Surely he could never fall for a girl such as her. Melissa's chest began to heave all the same.
“Identify political philosophy serial number”, came his demand. His voice, rich with determination and animal aggression, swept over her and she gazed into his optical sensor device coyly.
“1917”, she told him. “What's happening to me”, she thought to herself. “I'm the unhinged parkutetennar for a socially responsible system of governance, he should be my enemy. But there is just something so conformist about him that I can't control myself”. Melissa noticed that she had raised both an eyebrow and a shoulder at the man. She thought, “Am I really flirting with this tax hating machine lonener? Yes, yes I am dammit”.
“Scanning”, exclaimed Judge Market. “Political philosophy serial number '1917' is a non-compatible worldview. Prepare for eminent neutralisation”. Had it come to this, her whirlwind romance ending with a brutal execution. No, she could change him. Surely if he truly loved her he would stop his crusade for laissez faire free marketism and see the world her way.
“Tax this, commie”, he pulled the trigger.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 01:36|
It’s early morning and I’m waiting anxiously for a customer to choose me. I sit at a round table with several other prospectives, smiling awkwardly and making small talk. Across the room a door clicks open and my boss walks in leading a customer behind him.
“We’ve got some good stock in this week, I just got a new set of imports too if you wanna give em’ a look,” he says.
The customer quietly walks in front of the tables, examining each of us methodically. His eyes hover over me and I look down, I read somewhere that customers like that. He takes me by the hand and leads me to the center of the showroom. He rests a hand on my hip and holds my other hand up. Music swells up from the hidden speakers and we waltz.
“Your name is Amy,” he whispers into my ear.
Something clicks in the back of my head and I nod. We continue to waltz around the room.
“What’s your name honey?” he asks.
“I’m Amy, thank you,” I say.
The customer nods and lets me go. He walks over to my boss and starts to haggle. Twenty minutes later my papers are signed and I’m sitting in his car. His name is William. I haven’t been out of the showroom for a few weeks and it takes me a few minutes to adjust to the harsh sunlight.
“So, what are your hobbies? He said he’d thrown in a few extras for me,” he inserts his key and turns on the ignition.
Click click. “I can program in six different languages, I jog three times a week, and I enjoy playing and listening to classical music.”
“Sweet…what’yah say we go to the park and watch the sun set, show up all the other couples there.”
“I’d like that.”
We get out and go sit on a warm bench on the boardwalk. I’m picking up on his tone, his movement patterns, the way he rubs his chin when he’s not sure what to say next. We talk about the news, the weather, I tell him about the different species of birds around us. William laughs, that’s what’s important. We’re together in that shared space only people in love occupy, where we talk about nothing and everything all at once.
William looks at his phone and says it’s time to head home. I follow him back to his car and get in. He turns on the radio and pulls out.
“I only live a few blocks from here, it’s a nice place to jog.”
He pulls the car into the garage and closes the garage. He has me sit in an old wooden chair near his workbench. “I’ll see you in the morning Amy, OK?” William crouches down, reaches behind my head and depresses my power switch, turning me off.
What is love but a little bit of electricity? I ask oblivion.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 02:05|
50 Shades of Ash
The corpse dust was getting bad again. I blinked, wiped my eyes. God, a blanket would be nice. Sooo cold.
“Sarah!” boomed a familiar voice and I glanced up, remembering just in time to stifle my smile. No chance with him, silly. Keep those thoughts down where no one will see.
Our leader Brock Danford stood in the door of the shack, blocking the wintery light with his body. The riding crop he’d salvaged from the burnt-out stable jutted proudly from his belt. “I’ve found a way in! The Tabernacle is within our grasp!” He gestured towards the mountain, muscles coiling like otters under his tight leather shirt. He grinned, with perfect teeth, and turned to go. The door flap dropped behind him as he strode away.
I grabbed my gun and got up to follow. Halfway out the door, seeing the masked group gathered up around our mules I tsked at my forgetfulness and reached back for my own mask, hanging off a rusty nail above the broken light switch. My fingers were numb with cold and I bobbled it. I squealed as it dropped onto the rocky ground, bounced down the slope by Brock’s feet. There was a ripple of laughter from the onlookers. Oh no. Typical.
Brock was talking to Jake and Wilbur, legs spread wide on the hill. I scuttled out and crouched behind him, reaching through his legs to get my mask before he noticed. Wilbur coughed and Brock glanced down. He smiled and closed his legs, trapping me. His muscled calves gripped my wrist tightly, almost painfully for a moment before he released me. He reached down, picked up the mask and fastened it on my face. Blushing, I got up and scurried to my place in the crowd. Behind me I heard another titter, probably from that bitch Jessica Chambers. Oh Sarah, you’re such an idiot.
Two hours later we were deep inside the mountain, picking our way through the burnt and smashed wreckage of dozens of army vehicles. Tanks, armoured cars… I shone my torch into one of them and shuddered as I saw a skull staring back.
“Don't be afraid, Sarah”, came Brock’s deep voice from behind me. “They were parasites and got only what they deserved.” I nodded dumbly as he cupped my shoulder with a strong hand. He guided me over a pile of rubble.
“The Burning was a stage, you see. What burned were the inessential parts of humanity – the looters, the weaklings. Those of us who are left have been refined. Purified.” His eyes burned into me in the dim light and I gasped as his fingers crushed my shoulder. “It is time for your next stage. I will see you tonight when we reach Tabernacle.”
I smiled weakly. “OK?” I said. Oh God, I really need to pee.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 02:09|
one way to find out. (496)
There goes Shirley Meadows (R), President-elect and first female leader of the free world. She's strutting, that Shirley is, sauntering even as she click-clacks around this concrete conclave, looking stately yet sexy in a pearly hued pants suit that even Hillary wouldn't dare.
"Green is status quo. Armed but not operational." says one of the many men wearing glasses.
"Disabled comes up as yellow."
"And red?" Shirley interjects.
"Just for my own elucidation." she says with the smile that won Florida.
"Well, we've never been red. But red means go time. Bombs, uh, away."
"Perfect." Shirley says, her ruby red lips smacking together audibly.
The NORAD delivery system sprawls out in front of her, the apocalypse at her fingertips. She takes in each and every detail of this world defender and destroyer, stopping only to look at her reflection in one of the doomsday panel's glass screens ("Do my hips look big?" the thought, with "Nope." being the answer since 1996).
"And this one?" Shirley points.
"That's for where you would input."
"The daily code?"
"Your part, yeah."
Her lips literally pop.
"And you, Billy, may I call you Billy? You input the other half?"
Shirley's pantsuit is blinding at close range. During the campaign, the Los Angeles Times dubbed her "America's Angel."
"If a contingency has been met, yes." Billy replies.
"Meaning, we've been nuked."
"That is the only current active contingency."
"That's all I needed to know, thank you so much, Billy." she says, touching his arm in a way that women don't touch his arm.
"What time do you get off, Billy-dear?"
"I'd like to talk to you about something."
The touching seamlessly transforms into rubbing, Billy's uhs becoming gulps.
"Alone of course."
Contrary to popular pundit predictions, Shirley Meadows had actually benefited from being the first unmarried major ticket Presidential nominee in American history. Every man wanted in her pantsuit.
"I'll take that as a yes." she says, questioning her hips in the glass again, the same eighteen year old answer given.
Later, in a manner uncharacteristic for the normally tongue tied engineer, Billy will describe the President-elect to his co-workers as "shimmering." He will even, after his private meeting with "Princess Pantsuit" (Air America moniker), take to referring to himself (privately of course) as "The First Nerd."
None of this really matters to Shirley Meadows, who came to NORAD's HQ not because of some administrative need (she had been briefed extensively post-election), but for the testing of a hypothesis posed many pre-president years earlier:
"I wouldn't have sex with you if you were the last woman on the planet."
Indeed, this proposition, conjectured by Christopher Charleston, former captain of the Summer High lacrosse team, and currently the sole name on President-elect Shirley Meadows's Greenbier "Fallout Fundome" VIP list, was the primary motivating force for her becoming POTUS in the first place.
After all, there was only...
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 02:41|
As is my tradition, here's my own entry. DQ'd of course, which is lucky fer the rest of you since this would definitely take the gold.
Sex and the Wastes, post-Apocalypse (500)
The two girls, best friends, sat at the bar in Dane’s, drinking hard liquor and scanning the crowd. Prospectors, mutant-hunters, smugglers, and even a few slavers – Dane’s never turned down a customer, long as they weren’t mutants.
“Look’a’that bitch over there.” Susanna pointed with a dirty fingernail. Maryanne swung around, looked at the bitch over there. She was tall and slender, little muscle on her arms and legs, exposed by short-shorts and a t-shirt.
“I’d give her one day in the Wastes, dressed like that.” Maryanne sipped her whiskey. “Look’a’those Ray-Bans. Those things’ll be scratched to bits, first devilstorm she gets caught in.”
“Uh-huh.” Susanna set her glass down hard, tequila slopped over the rim. “And her t-shirt, obviously cut it low to show some cleavage. What’s she thinkin’, first giant scorpion she runs into’s gonna stop charging her to stare at her tits?”
“Right, sad little things that they are. And the gently caress is she gonna shoot it with? That stupid hand-cannon?” Maryanne gestured at the massive pistol strapped to the bitch’s bare, slender thigh.
“Like she could get any more stereotypical than a gold-plated Desert Eagle. Jesus, what’re the Wastes coming to these days?”
The bitch stood up and turned towards the bar.
“Ohmigod, Susanna, do you see those? She’s wearing loving garters!”
“No. Way.” Susanna leaned back against the bar and gawked openly. “loving garters.”
The bitch was looking at them now, and she didn’t look happy. She started to walk towards them when the door swung open. Four men stepped into Dane’s, and a hush fell over the bar. They were popesmen, Ernestine Knights. Scout’s clothing, flak jackets over buckskins.
Dane’s never turned down a customer, long as they weren’t mutants. Or Catholics. Texarkana was on the edge of the Holy Texan Republic, and it was a haven for Protestants, just outside the Pope’s grasping reach.
Gravel the bouncer rose from his stool and sauntered to the popesmen.
“You boys are gonna hafta leave.” His voice rumbled like his nickname. “We don’t ’low Papists in here. This’s a good Episcopalian bar.”
The shortest of the four men, his head shaved in a monk’s tonsure, scowled at Gravel.
“I’m Brother-Sergeant Joseph Angelus Myers. My scouts and I seek sustenance, food and drink. We mean to trouble no one.”
“Well, yer troublin’ me right now.” Gravel flexed his huge biceps as he cracked his big knuckles.
Susanna looked at Maryanne, and they both had the same thought. Those Ernestine Knights were positively dreamy. There was the challenge of purity vows, Waste-hardened muscle, this year’s buckskins, and those amber eyes on the Brother-Sergeant! Susanna'd never seen such eyes. Maryanne was more interested in the bigger man at the Brother-Sergeant’s right. He had silky black hair caught back in a silver ring, big hands. Maryanne knew what they said about men with big hands.
“Gravel, let those boys in,” they said in unison. The girls were going to see if they couldn’t get the Ernestines to break some purity vows.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 03:02|
Less than 24 hours until the contest entry deadline!
Submissions are still due 17 2130 AUG 2012
All the submissions so far are hotlinked to the contestant's name in the Week II post. This makes it easier for the judges and anyone wanting to read each contestant's story. I thought of it cuz I'm smart as gently caress.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 03:11|
Sincerely, "Enturbulated in Ronopolis" (500 words)
“You’re lookin’ a bit enturbulated, lady.”
Jonnie Tyler stepped from the shadows and leaned against a grimy column in his orange coveralls. I work so hard to remain upstat, but my epaulettes hung askew and I hadn’t even thought of sleeping since I received his message to meet here in this empty parking garage in Old Wogtown at exactly three a.m., and he was late. Of course I was enturbulated.
Then he grinned that infuriating grin-–all sparkling teeth and stubble and deliciously dirty. Adjunct Commodore Lewis, with the Sea Org’s Pacific Fleet at his beck and call, had no such weapon in his arsenal.
I found myself wrapped in his arms without making any conscious decision to move. As an OT-VI, I was supposed to have control over matter, energy, space, and time, but he held some kind of telekinetic sway over me.
“Don’t just stand there looking pleased with yourself,” I said, hoping my tone counterbalanced the sudden weakness in my thighs. “Why did you have to come waltzing back into my life tonight, of all nights?”
“I couldn’t bear the thought of that pompous windbag Lewis promenading you around the Gala tomorrow like a show pony--”
“You’re calling me a horse?”
His smile wavered.
“Like a diamond-encrusted--”
“Like a bejeweled trophy?”
“Better. Go on.”
“So I blew from the RPF.”
“Oh, no. No, you don’t just blow from the Rehabilitation Project Force. You’ll be Declared!”
“My Goldenrod Order was on the net five minutes after the eleven o’clock station check. I’m officially an SP, my dear.”
“Are you Type III? You’ll get us both killed!”
“Look.” He reached into his coverall pocket and produced a tiny speck of circuitry. He turned around. Now I could see the bloodstained back of his collar; the rust-red flakes leading to a hole behind his ear. “I’m off the grid. They can’t track me. Listen, I’ve got a Havana-bound hovercraft waiting. I want you to come with me.”
“Beyond the Atomic Curtain, where men walk free. Please. Samantha.”
I shivered at the way he said my name. His longing, his desperation--it was overwhelming. I looked up into his eyes, the irises a faded blue winter's day, and I knew.
“How does it feel?” I asked.
“How does what feel?”
“To be a Suppressive Person.”
He smiled that dirty smile.
“Honestly? I’ve never felt as free as I do right now.”
“Oh, Jonnie. Let me see your neck again. I’m sure a touch assist will make it feel all better.”
That’s when I hit him with the micro-taser and called in the Office of Special Affairs.
As they dragged him into the Bag Van, I could hear the accusation in his muffled screams. That’s life in the big city, Jonnie. You thought I’d go on the run just because you’ve got something that makes me quake when I see you, but you forgot:
I work so hard to remain upstat.
Realized I should add a glossary.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 05:11|
Well within the deadline this time.
Percussion-cap Blues, 499 words
“All right, Joanna,” I say to the mirror. “This is the day. You’ve proven yourself to everyone and you’re gonna make junior quality inspector.” I force myself to smile, but I don’t recognize the girl in the reflection, with her rictus grin stretched against hollow cheeks and sunken eyes. “Although you could stand to gain a few pounds,” I say to myself, poking at my ribs. The eighteen hour shifts were taking their toll, but at least it’s a steady job. And if I did get that promotion… well, no use dawdling.
Out of the block house, and Hilda’s waiting by the gate, which is just dandy. She’s harmless enough, but tends to go on about the most inane things.
“Well, there you are, Joanna. I thought we could walk to the manufactory together. Say, have you lost weight?” she says, words tumbling out.
“Hello, Hilda. Yes, Hilda,” I manage. That obvious, huh?
“That’s terrible! It’s so hard to watch your figure nowadays. I supplement with lard from the black market, you should too!”
“That’s great Hilda, I will, Hilda.”
“Did I tell you about the shoes I bought? Cost me sixty ration stamps, but they’re name brand, you know.”
“That’s good, Hilda.”
“Rizhskaya National Textiles,” she adds with pride. “With real cardboard insoles, not newspaper.” The munitions factory door looms over us.
“That’s great. Look, I’ll see you at the conveyor belt.” I run off without letting her reply, just wanting to find out if I’ve gotten the job or not. I assemble with the other applicants outside the overseer’s office, everyone avoiding eye contact in case it’ll jinx them. Finally, a tinny voice speaks over the intercom: “Drone Winters, please enter.” Being called first is a good thing, right? Or are they culling the losers?
I squint against the glaring lights as I step in. A massive desk towers over me. Somewhere up there, the overseer is peeking down, but damned if I can see him.
“Drone Winters?” he calls down, voice echoing in the chamber. “Your assembly line has done well.” My heart beats a little faster. “Your line regularly meets and exceeds the weekly quota.”
“Thank you, overseer,” I shout up at him. This is it. The job is mine.
“However—” Oh. Nothing good ever comes out of a ‘however.’ “—the rest of the assembly lines are not so pleased. You are making them look bad.” Oh. “This manufactory operates as a team effort. No one appreciates a show off.” I’m stunned. He continues: “Therefore, we must decline your application. We can, however, offer you the position in, oh, ten years time. Next!”
I take my place at assembly line D. Hilda chatters but I can’t hear her. The conveyor belt rumbles to life and I attach a percussion cap to every shell that comes down the line. For eighteen hours a day. Every day. For the next ten years. This is my life.
Well. At least junior quality inspectors get an extra sugar ration.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 05:51|
You forgot to put me in the signed-up post.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 05:57|
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 06:38|
I'm in. I have work off tomorrow so I'll channel my inner lit chick and come up with something.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 06:55|
Clone Love 491w
Sarah-1 watched from the balcony as the throngs of workers pushed and shoved their way into the factory. Lines of soldiers and tanks gave formed a narrow path to the factory doors, and to get to your place on the bullet presses on time you had to be assertive. One minute too late and you were shipped off for annihilation (and a new clone). Being one of the elite, however, had its privileges; Sarah-1’s father, Robert-Alpha, was a member of the ruling class and made sure Sarah-1 would never have to work. Due to recent events, however, Sarah-1’s non-worker status might be in danger.
Her mother, Elizabeth-Alpha, strode onto the balcony and handed Sarah-1 a glass of clean water, yet another privilege of power. Sarah-1’s eyes were red, and her mother noticed.
“Sarah, have you been crying?”
“Yeah.” Sarah-1 sniffled. “Alan-1 says his father bought us a new apartment over one of the lakes in the nature district.”
Elizabeth frowned. “That sounds wonderful! Why would you be crying, then?”
Sarah-1 whirled around, glaring at her mother. “Because I’m pregnant with Alan-2’s child, mother!”
“Does Alan-2 know?”
“I told him yesterday. He’s excited about it, he wants to tell his family.”
Elizabeth gasped. “But Alan-1 could have you disintegrated for adultery! Why would Alan-2 risk your life?“
“I don’t know. Alan-2 said he wanted to talk about it today. He should be here soon”.
The front entrance chimed, causing both women to look back as their robo-doorman ushered Alan-2, and to Sarah-1’s horror, Alan-1 inside.
“Mother, what should I do? I didn’t mean for this to happen!” Sarah-1 was hyperventilating. Elizabeth was speechless. Alan-1 and Alan-2 approached the door to the balcony, their strong, handsome faces set in determination.
Sarah-1, frantic, started to climb onto the railing of the balcony. “I can’t do this! I won’t be annihilated!”
She jumped. Elizabeth shrieked, darting forward to grab her daughter but just missing a snatch of Sarah-1’s dress. Sarah-1 closed her eyes, waiting for the impact. But when she opened them, she saw both Alan-1 and Alan-2 holding onto her arms. They quickly pulled her back onto the balcony, both hugging her tightly.
“Sarah-1, what’s wrong with you? Why would you do that?” Alan-2 stared intently, longingly into her eyes.
“Yeah, no kidding! Your clone wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful as you!” Alan-1 was smiling now, relieved that Sarah-1 was safely in hand.
“You can’t tell him, Alan-2! You just can’t!” Sarah-1 was crying now, looking back and forth between the two clones. Alan-1 moved forward to embrace her.
“I already know, Sarah-1. Alan-2 told me this morning about the baby.”
Sarah-1 sobbed. Alan-2 grinned, his perfect teeth gleaming in the artificial sunlight. She snapped.
“What’s so funny about this?”
Alan-1 was grinning too. “Because we want to raise the baby with you together!”
Sarah-1 was still crying, but tears of joy, not sorrow. She collapsed into the arms of her two clone lovers.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 13:26|
You forgot to put me in the signed-up post.
Or maybe I did that intentionally to reduce your self-confidence. You didn't think of that, did you?
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 14:36|
The Executive's Suite 497 words
Tessa fumbled at the hidden comms unit, hands slick with Harlan’s blood. Though trembling all over, she knew she had to make it sound as if nothing was wrong so she paused for a moment, took a deep breath, and forced a smile on to her face. It only looked a little unhinged around the edges, but luckily there was no one there to see except Harlan, and he was dead.
Wide-eyed, spattered with blood, and smiling, Tessa activated the comms unit and spoke a single sentence, “Lolly, Mr. Harlan would like to speak with you about my services.” Code for get in here right now. She thumbed the comms off and covered her face with her hands.
Tessa heard Lolly walk in and close the door behind her, but didn’t look up until she spoke.
“Tessa, what happened?”
Lolly claimed that there was nothing that could shock her, and indeed, her face remained impassive as Tessa lowered her hands and met Lolly’s eyes.
“He raped – he was raping me.”
“He’s an Executive, sweetheart, and you’re a whore. That’s your job if he wants it to be.” Lolly shook her head and sighed as she surveyed the scene, “This is bad, Tessa. They’d never let you off.”
Tessa pressed her hands to her chest, where her heart fluttered like a moth in a jar. “How can you make jokes right now? I’m going to get stripped, oh God, they’re going to Erase me. Lolly, what do I do?”
“Calm down. And be quiet.” Lolly walked over to Harlan’s body and studied it for a moment, frowning. She picked up the knife that Tessa had dropped by his body, “We can get away before they realise he’s missing.”
“We. I’ll take my chances in the Exclusion Zone before I let them Erase one of us. I know this guy, he works in IdentiCorp - he can switch our registrations so we can get out of the city.”
Tessa stared at Lolly, hands still on her chest. Her heart started to slow as hope began to replace panic. “Are you sure?”
“I’m sure.” Leaving Harlan’s body by the bed, Lolly took Tessa’s hands in her own, “Wait here, and don’t make a sound, okay?”
Tessa nodded, watching as Lolly opened the bedroom door and called out to Harlan’s bodyguard, “Quinn, can you come in here for a moment? Executive Harlan wants to show you something.”
Quinn entered, smirking, probably thinking the boss was finally going to let him play with the whores. As the door swung shut behind him, Lolly walked towards Quinn and stuck the knife in his neck, drawing it across his throat. She stepped neatly aside as he crumpled to the floor, blood gouting from the wound.
“Lolly, what are you doing?!”
“Don’t worry, Tessa, there’s no cameras in the Executive’s suite. loving sons of bitches.” She took Tessa’s hand again, pulling her towards the door, “Come on. We have to get out of here.”
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 15:07|
Cynthia (499 words)
They died smiling, all of them, each confident theirs was the right choice. Now the charred earth, the ashen sky, was the only indicator any of them had ever lived.
That, and the persistent need for an oxygen apparatus in the above ground.
“Just saying, ought to be grateful.”
“Oh ho ho, I’ve heard this before.”
“You don’t act like you heard it before.”
The first of the two exited the ruin, the once-basement of some decrepit grocer, family owned for six generations, the rest of the sign illegible. The hole in the sky was drifting, finally, enough to resume passage without getting fried. She brushed aside the rocks and the rubble, and the second followed after.
“You rather be dead?”
“Why do you ask me that question, mom, you know I hate that question.”
“Would you rather be dead?”
“No, no, of course not.”
“Then quit complaining. Be thankful you even have a tongue that can complain. Tongue that didn’t turn to ash and sand in a particle bath.”
The next safe zone was only a couple miles, but the bulk of the suits slowed them. The neighboring enclave would be in reach by early evening, if they kept good pace.
“Honestly, you kids. I was excited when it was my turn.”
“I don’t even know him.”
“I didn’t know your father.”
“I don’t even know what he looks like.”
“Didn’t know that either. Turned out alright.”
“Right, right, because they’re all as wonderful as dad.”
“Not what I meant, that is not what I meant.”
The daughter turned from the road, briefly, only to be caught by her mother’s hand.
“Should be happy. Honored.”
“Honored? I’m obligated. I’ve been obligated since I was twelve.”
“You both have. We all have.”
“So nobody gets a choice, and we’re all supposed to swim with it?”
“That’s how it works. How it’s been working.”
“Ah, yes, the Greater Good, preserving humanity.”
“Young lady, now you will stop this. Right now.”
She shoved her mother’s hand from her shoulder. They stood apart, masks fixed on one another. A minute ticked by in silence, her breath slowing with her temper.
“I…I understand the necessity of it, just…do I have no say in this? My own life? My own future?”
Her mother let the question float awhile before answering.
“Life’s never dealt anyone a fair hand. Not any of us. Maybe that’s the point of it all. Do the best you can with what you’ve been given. And we, well,” she turned, gesturing to the earth, the sky, “We haven’t been given a lot. But it’s not about what you’ve been given. It’s about what you do with it.”
Her mother extended a hand.
“You have to meet somebody. Somebody, somewhere. At least meet him. Nothing’s official till your 21st.”
She swayed on her feet, studying the contours of her mother’s gloves, stiff and crinkled. She sighed, and accepted the embrace.
“Just don’t let him be some idiot.”
“…Keep your expectations reasonable, Cynthia.”
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 17:37|
This was fun
The Department of Female Affairs - 423 words
"She called you fat." Andrea said.
"What?" Melissa looked to Andrea across the round table, shawled in darkness with the sound of heels clicking down the hall giving way to the hum of the central fluorescent light.
"Sophia, she inserted a regulation saying party official suits for women must be size 3 or less." Andrea brushed her hair behind her ear. "You're a size 5."
Melissa drew heavy on her cigarette and her eyes narrowed to the steely-eyed gaze that state traitors feared and party loyalists respected. "What the gently caress."
"I couldn't believe it either."
Melissa looked to the Chairman's portrait which watched over the board room, his eyes on some distant horizon, a small smile on his lips. It was a youthful vision of the geriatric that reigned now, his lack of heir sending chills throughout the many departments of the party. The state needed a son. The Chairman needed a wife. And the buzzing rumor was that his choice of advisor for the Department of Female Affairs would serve this role, for the good of the party.
"Has Sophia been seeing the Chairman?"
"She's been seen with the Chairman."
Melissa stubbed out her cigarette and crossed her arms. "What's that poo poo she always wears to board meetings? The lipstick."
Andrea quirked a brow, "Revolutionary Rogue?"
"Right." Melissa flipped on her console and tapped through. "I think we'll be rationing that brand this month."
"But the meeting has adjorned you can't make adju-" Andrea was silenced by a glare from above the opposite terminal.
"She's mentioned her cellulite too hasn't she? Stockings may be hard to come by for a while."
"She has such a large bags under her eyes from late nights working." Andrea bit her lip.
Melissa smiled, "Eyeliner and concealer shipments quaratined."
There was silence as Melissa finalized the document and sent it away. She collected her things, applied some lipstick, and undid the top button on her blouse before heading for the door.
"Meeting someone?" Andrea said.
"I think I'll be visting the Chairman on the way home." She smiled again and left without another word.
Andrea logged the night's actions and shut down her terminal. She stood, walking around the table, passing the two chairs of former board members who had disappeared the previous month. When the Chairman and the judges heard about the feuding between Sophia and Melissa, they would follow likewise. It was a state-approved anthem to Andrea's ears. She stopped before the portrait and ran a finger down the Chairman's cheek, a smile of her own curling at her lips.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 17:43|
Well within the deadline this time.
Ooh, look at me, I'm Found Sound and I can actually fulfill the minimum requirements!
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 17:47|
Apparently chick-lit means having a female protagonist, oh and um maybe chocolate or clothes or something . Unless you are all writing really good Rand-fiction. In which case carry on.
Oh god I can feel the judge-rage flowing through me. The power. So beautiful.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 19:03|
Oh god I can feel the judge-rage flowing through me. The power. So beautiful.
With great power comes great responsibility!
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 19:08|
We interrupt your regularly scheduled broadcast with this important message:
Thanks for giving it a read, writers.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 19:33|
Apparently chick-lit means having a female protagonist, oh and um maybe chocolate or clothes or something . Unless you are all writing really good Rand-fiction. In which case carry on.
I'm not gonna lie, I wasn't even sure what exactly defined "chick lit" and it just seems like the "rom-com" of the literary world. So pretty much ladies and chocolates and clothes or something. And maybe Ryan Reynolds. I think Randian overtones are almost mandatory.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 20:39|
|# ? Dec 6, 2023 13:49|
What are you guys talking about? The prompt was about a dystopian chick getting lit, obviously.
|# ? Aug 15, 2012 20:43|