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toanoradian
May 30, 2011


Fanky Malloons posted:

I like this idea, but I'm going to rule that your unlikeable protagonist must be believeable.

Ah, Muphry's Law in action! Again!

Edit: V You're also giving an example of the law! Brilliant!

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Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

toanoradian posted:

Ah, Muphry's Law in action! Again!
"Anything that can be misspelt, will be."

I think you chaps have just saved me from a cliche. Game on!

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


The Flash Fiction Thunderdome: Spelling Correctly is for Chumps

Zack_Gochuck
Jan 3, 2007

Stupid Wrestling People


I'm in. I am going to write a teen supernatural semi-erotica romance story, being the genre of literature I hate the most.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011


Alright, I apologize for all this misspeling stuff. I do have few questions though:

1) Fanky Malloons, can you put a link to the current time in the Week XXII OP?

2) Is this the EST we're using?

3) The time limit means the submission deadline is as January 6th is about to end and January 7th is about to start, yes?

swaziloo
Aug 29, 2012


Back from the holiday suffering. Include me in.

For my self-identified comfort-zone-smashing prompt I suggest a not-scifi, not-fantasy tween fiction that is self-contained (not part of a bigger - even if only implied - story.)

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Well I'm doing that head-to-head thing with twinkle cave so not much point in entering a fourth story this week. And "no male characters can speak" is pretty outside my comfort zone as it is.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk









Martello posted:

Well I'm doing that head-to-head thing with twinkle cave so not much point in entering a fourth story this week. And "no male characters can speak" is pretty outside my comfort zone as it is.

Speaking of that; 9 hours to go until deadline and next prompt.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


toanoradian posted:

Alright, I apologize for all this misspeling stuff. I do have few questions though:

1) Fanky Malloons, can you put a link to the current time in the Week XXII OP?

2) Is this the EST we're using?

3) The time limit means the submission deadline is as January 6th is about to end and January 7th is about to start, yes?


1) Yes

2) Yes

3) STFU. Obviously.

Zack_Gochuck posted:

I'm in. I am going to write a teen supernatural semi-erotica romance story, being the genre of literature I hate the most.

Okay. But no werewolves or vampires allowed.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


THUNDER BRAWL PART ROUND I OF III

(960 words)
TRAJECTORY

I didn't mean to kill her. No one let's me talk, that's the problem.

"Jack," sis said, "Don't speak just listen. Those stupid jerks are throwing bricks on our fort again." She motioned me to follow her.

Between our house and the house behind ours was an alley. A suburban no-man's land overgrown with vegetation and filled with sticks and trash and dangerous weird things. More DMZ than alley. On either side were 7' privacy fences. The zone between was rarely entered, but plenty of rocks and insults where thrown across it.

"Take that gingersnap," and over came another brick.
"We can do this all day snatchface," my sister called back. She heard dad say that word once, and stole it. Her real name might have been Lucy.

That's the thing, there was this barrier between our street and theirs. An invisible barrier with no official reason for existence. Everything from our street, Gary St, to the school was our side. Everything from their street, Wilson, to the highway was theirs. Most of us only knew the other kids by the sound of there voices across the gap.

"Take it," she whispered handing me a come-a-long.

You're not supposed to touch dad's tools, I started to say, but she covered my mouth with her hand. "Shush troglodyte, don't give away our position." Sis was the captain of our side , partially by bossiness incarnate, and partially because our backyard was considered the linchpin of the war effort.

"I see them, I see them," a girl called, "by the skinny tree." A hail of worn baseballs and golfballs pelted the area around us. My sister caught one on the shoulder.

"Yeowwww," she cried, then hit me for some reason.

She grabbed a few dirty balls and threw them back. Next she scrambled to the bucket of slime water she referred to as "bitch's brew". It was filled with all kinds of nasty from the yard and leftovers she stole from the kitchen and hid outside to rot. She called it "curing" her ammo.

She kept the concoction at the ready for fence climbers, but by the time she made it over, the little girl was gone. That's a brave girl, I thought. I'd seen her jumping rope one day at recess, a third grader.

"Alright snatchface, you've done it now," my sister said. Then she threw a broken piece of brick over the alley.

"Owe," we heard someone yell, then loud crying.

"That's what you get for climbing our wall," my sister yelled. I gave her a questioning look. "They've been throwing them all day," she retorted

Up to this point the brick throwing was for roof forts. They weren't meant for people, just damaging battlements.

"Loose the arrows," we heard snatchface yell and a group cry of , "Huzzah" went up. At that I grabbed our garbage can lid and we huddled under it, but only six stupid looking arrows came over, barely making it. No one had mastered the art of homemade bows yet.

Once the arrow volley passed, sis started climbing the skinny tree. She carried a length of yellow rope. Near the top she made a triple knot and threw the remaining rope to the ground. After climbing down, she grabbed the come-a-long and hooked it to the house's water spigot.

"Tie it off," she said. A warfare evolution. My sister was a bit of genius in these matters. She began ratcheting the tree down. "Help me," she grimaced as it got harder.

We worked the lever until the tree was shoulder high. Sis plucked the string making it twang. "Nice," she said. Next she took an old pan and duck-taped it on. She was rubbing her hands together now.

"We're going to kill you for that one gingersnap," we heard snatchface yell over. Sis ignored this and took a bag of landscaping sand and started to fill the pan. Once it was full she handed me a pair of scissors and said, "Wait for my signal," pointing to the rope.

She gamboled up the makeshift scaffolding that ran along the fence. The sun was high over head.  I was standing there sweating, scissors in hand, while she took a peek. Then I heard a commotion on the other side, followed by a frightened chirp. My sister turned just in time to avoid catching it in the face.

What I saw next was my sister standing there with her bright red hair on fire. She patted at it for a second as if checking for neatness, then jumped from the scaffolding screaming in a way I'd never heard. An animal fear-yell, more gut than throat in pitch.

That third grade girl had been given a can of spray deodorant and a lighter and ordered to sneak back across. Sis ran to the bucket of "bitch's brew" and dunked her whole head and face in. It sizzled and steamed, going out fast.

After dousing herself, still covered in filth, she became scary calm. Again, a new posture. You live with someone your whole life then you see them get their hair caught on fire and realize you don't know them at all.

"I'm really sorry," the girl at the fence said, "you surprised me... I was just trying to shoot a flame ball to scare you. It was an accident."

Sis was already dragging over a cinder block. She balanced it on the pan along with the sand. Again, I began to protest, "N...", and then she slapped me hard. "Cut it."

I think we were both surprised how well that tree catapulted the cinder-block. A beautiful spray of sand whipped across the sky and the block took a long lumpy trajectory before we heard it thud.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







I'm gonna sit out this week but if I don't come back to give some crits someone break my balls please

Also Chairchucker didn't hate my story yay :swoon:

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


Noah posted:

A Woman's Work


Nice story. I look forward to seeing you in the next round. Not sure if Martel will make it under the deadline DEATHLINE. Either he's shaking in his boots or he thinks he's hot enough to win while sitting one out. We shall see

-future HUMONGOUS

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFa1-kciCb4

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW



Male narrator in 1st-person, huh? Thin ice, there, pal. :colbert:

12 minutes late, we have this thing called snow up north so suck it.

Family Honor, Above All

952 words

The malicious sun was high and bright in the cloudless sky. Green poplars rowed both sides of the Lamberd lists, throwing pleasant shade on the spectator stands. A light breeze lifted the oppressive heat of the morning as it slid towards noon.

Bloody Hilda ven Ambord watched her son limber up before the duel, arms out, fingers fluttering. Godur wore a knee-length coat of finely-wrought mail under a pure white surcoat, a new one Hilda had ordered made specifically for the combat. Her late husband's sigil, a blood-red eagle displayed, wings elevated, stretched from his upper chest to his knees, the full length of the surcoat.

Godur raised his knees high a few times and swung his arms. He held his arms out so his twin brother Merd and older brother Sten could slide a kite-shaped shield onto his right arm and place his sword into his left hand. Godur's blade was a classic noble arming sword, straight and double-edged with a t-shaped hilt and a wheel pommel. It was just a hair short of the average at 26 inches long, to match Godur's height. Hilda's youngest sons were late bloomers, each standing shoulder to shoulder at five feet and eight inches even as they entered manhood at sixteen years of age. Their older brothers were all six feet and over, and none weighed less than two hundred pounds.

"How grand he looks," Hilda said to Lady Runa at her side. "Is your champion so handsome?"

"Egil is larger by half again a man," the Margravine of Lankert said without looking at Hilda. "You should have braced one of your elders against him."

Hilda turned to fully face Runa, and this time the Margravine met her eyes, as blue and cold as glacier ice. "I promise you this, my youngest boys are the more deadly by far than any of their brothers. Your Egil will learn soon enough."

Runa ground her teeth and turned to gaze at her own champion. Egil Hafdan was a cousin of her own late husband, Margrave of Lankert and former lord of Lamberd Castle. Egil was a third son of a second son, and had nothing to his name save his axe. But he had a square jaw and brawny arms, and had provided her many a comforting night after the death of her husband Tobain near a year since. Her own sons, all three of them, had died in battle on the fields before Dartemberd Castle in the command of the incompetent Landgrave of Torsin. Egil was all she had left, and still this vicious, man-sized she-wolf wanted to take all she had left. Castle Lamberd had been invested by the Landgravine's army for eight months, and Runa knew that Hilda knew the castle only held provisions for another month. She could have kept the siege until Runa was forced to capitulate, keeping her honor and hopefully her life. But no. Bloody Hilda, the She-Wolf of Modenset, she must take all that Runa had left. It was either this duel for the fate of the castle and her lands, or Hilda swore she would hand Runa over to those half-pagan hillmen of Clyff Gror for rough use after the castle fell. Runa's choice of the duel was the only one she could make, for the family honor. There was scant left after Tobain's stupid gaffe at the Council of Nobles, the way he had taken the bait of his effeminate cousin Oser in front of every noble lord in Marsend. And lost the duel, too! Oser was half-dressed and wielded a little Anathian thrusting blade, and he still slew her husband with little effort.

Now his distaff cousin and leash-holder, the bitch Hilda, would strike the final blow with yet another duel. Let the little boy strive against Egil! Runa laughed at the thought, but bitterly.

Hilda laughed in response, but hers was rich and confident. "I fear we laugh at much different jests, my dear." She patted Runa's arm, and took pleasure in how the shorter woman quailed at her touch. "Ah, the sundial is at the appointed mark. The duel must begin." Hilda stood from her seat and gave the order.

Egil strode from his corner of the lists, the ash shaft of his longaxe in both mailed hands. He was dressed like Godur, but with a gray surcoat bearing the blue Hafdan bull. Godur came to meet him, nearly gliding across the well-trodden grass.

"See how high his guard is," Hilda said over the din of clashing steel. "Who taught Egil his arms, a woodsman?"

Runa refused to speak, her jaw clenched.

Hilda clapped her hands as a roar went up from the crowd. "Ah, the red on Godur's blade! He's drawn first blood."

"Egil's had worse scratches in practice." Runa bit off the words too late.

"See how he stumbles!" Hilda showed her teeth.

Egil was on one knee, his axe braced overhead to block Godur's strokes. He lunged forward for a decapitating cut. Godur danced aside and back in, thrust home beneath Egil's square chin. The Hafdan champion wavered like an oak about to fall to the woodsmen. A fountain of blood spurted from his throat as he tumbled.

The roar of the crowd was deafening, and Hilda howled her son's victory.

Runa sat like stone, her hands folded. She bit her tongue and tasted blood. A bright dagger lay beside her bed, and the thought of it kept any tears from falling. In Egil's death, her family honor was preserved. Even Hilda would allow her to take her own life. Even that murderous cow, she who caused the death of all Runa's men, would allow her that small, final mercy.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk









I was literally writing my 1st round results post, giving it to your challenger. THIN ICE INDEED, CAPTAIN.

I'm heading out to get boozed with SurreptitiousMuffin, I'll render wrathful drunken judgment upon your efforts when I return. But before I go:

:siren:THUNDERBRAWL ROUND 2 PROMPT:siren:

Dylan Thomas was a drunken, foul mouthed god among men. He wrote Good Words. I want you to write me (up to) 1000 good words about his fantastic poem 'After the Funeral'. Reaction, explanation, continuation, inspiration, I don't care. But!

It must not be depressing

It must not be dull

He used no dialogue; no more may you.

You have a little more than 23 hours, get to work.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk









THUNDERBRAWL: ROUND ONE: THE JUDGMENT

Prompt: Duel in the sun.
Constraint: No male may speak.

Martello vs twinkle cave

These were both packed with fine, vicious wordjuice. Making the call was hard, and if I was less drunk on midnight-black beer and 20-year-old Laphroaig, I might even sleep on it. But I have thought deeply, balanced my humours, and come to a point of decision. To wait longer would be the act of a weakling.

Martello: Family Honor, Above All

This is stylish and iron-hard fantasy. Supping from the GRRM teat a little too plainly, but it works by laying out a web of social and familial relationships that make the duel (in the sun) brutally inevitable.

That said, the hint that the duel is between the two women rather than the combatants is tantalising, but could have been brought out better, by having some stakes for the women's discussion, rather than have it just be sideline sniping. With some pruning, there was room to do it. Do we really need to know the exact length of a traditional arming sword? Could we have hopped over some of Bloody Hilda's genealogy? No, and yes. But that's a subtle point, and it doesn't take away from the Mack truck hit of the final paragraph. That's just clean, brutal writing.

Also twelve minutes late, mind. We won't forget that.

twinkle cave: Trajectory

A world away in style, but also a fine piece. You capture the tone and total intensity of kids' fighting well, the sister is a great character and the echoes of siege warfare are kind of hilarious. Plus, the development from rocks to arrows to crew-operated support weaponry is seamless.

However the narrator isn't quite convincing as a younger brother - lines like "You live with someone your whole life then you see them get their hair caught on fire and realize you don't know them at all" and "A warfare evolution. My sister was a bit of genius in these matters" jar a little as seeming older than the character appears to be. Great lines, possibly should have been cut under the 'kill your babies' rubric.

Still, a drat good story, spoiled only by a brimming shitbucket of mistakes and typos. Including my least favourite, most hated specimen of the typo race: missing loving linebreaks. Let's see what else: 'where' instead of 'were', proper nouns not capitalised, spaces in front of commas, misuse of 'gamboled', 'let's' instead of 'lets', 'partially' instead of 'partly', 'owe' instead of 'ow'. Oh, and having your male narrator say 'N...' is a borderline prompt fail.

HOWEVER. You put it in on time. Should have proofed it better, but you still hit the deadline.

Round 1 Decision

I'm going to balance twinkle cave's typos and errors against Martello's lateness and ignore both.

While it's close, twinkle cave takes the round for making the most of his chosen scenario, while Martello left some drama on the table.

Advance, warriors.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Do I get included in any judgments/reviews for my piece?

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

Behold my brain the golden throne of my consciousness. In here I am seated. Shackled. From here I police the land.



Brief crits as I'm way busier than I thought I would be. Stories are like are sensational and stories I hate are dessensitised.

twinkle cave
I actually thought this was a nice take on the prompt and I like how on second reading you'd notice the narrator's reactions to her is similar to how one treats a friendly dog. Also like that whole hardtack thing. I think this would have a stronger reveal if you phrased her dog-like behaviour to not include actual references to dogs, like that line of her reminding the narrator of a golden retriever. Also the dialogue bits have some slight punctuation issues a quick proofread can fix. Otherwise this was sensational.

Fell Fire
The setup and the story was good, although there's some sense overload due to there being, drat, so many things going on just because someone touched him. I can't really tell whether he was blind or not, especially (as Chairchucker pointed out) that line on being blinded for a moment, and that beginning part on meagre light entering the room. Was the Greek thing the Sultan did blinding his prisoners? Sensational.

Martello
gently caress, I actually really like this the more I read and it was in the running for winner if Fanky didn't come in with her kitchen sink hugger (hippie chef). That poker scene was tightly paced and conveyed genuine tension, and the way Tommy spoke and acted really made his character stand out as the antagonist of the piece. That last line "thinking about the baby" is also killer. Sensational.

SurreptitiousMuffin
More riff track than story, I did enjoy the descriptions and creativity but I couldn't quite tell where it was going. It's like a rap battle except between synaesthetic poets and each line has to be paused so the audience can think and go "ohhhh". I like this because pug rolled in poo poo will never not be hilarious to me. Sensational

Fanky Malloons
Would have been a quirky girl but thank god, not quirky. I have already mentioned why I liked this in the judgment. Nevertheless I really like that you tackled the prompt with a girl who could not feel her body, and the description put into how complicated her feelings and emotions were compared to the small, insignificant actions was just masterful. Your entry contends with Martello's for the best last line this week. Also thanks to Twinkle Cave I'm reminded I have a copy of Sacks's Musicology which I really should bloody read. Sensational.

Noah
First of the quirky girls. I can't quite tell how (as you mentioned) her dad was making her sick. Was it his voice (which is weird because she should be used to it since birth)? The beginning line of "why did he taste like diet coke" was also a bit jarring, you probably meant his voice because I thought we were reading a cannibal's thoughts or a sexy-but-not-really story. Doctor scene was fine, but how she reacted to the phone call could be better. Desensitised.

Beezle Bug
Quirky girl. Like I mentioned in the judgment I actually liked the setup of her teaching him how to feel (like a human being and a true hero). It looked like it was going somewhere with him being poo poo to her (justifiably) but then, he says "I love you you know" and she says "I love you too" which uhrrrr what is this I don't understand emotions??? This would work better as part of a longer work and as a short story it fell flat a little. Desensitised.

sebmojo
Kieron Gillen quirky girl (go read Phonogram). I really did like this and I think, because I am a giant sap, that if you tie their relationship in with how accomplished he is with his music at the time it would be stronger. Like he was starting to sell out when Mariah cocksucking Carey starting turning up in her iPod. Sensational but you said bad things about cocksucking Carey and that's a little on the unforgivable side.

Bad Seafood
Daredevil quirky girl guy. Nice use of language on how the blind feels the world, but this feels like it should be part of a bigger narrative. Nothing much happened other than him saying hi to Caroline and happy birthday to his dad. I think you could have used more words to show the present tension between him and his father, or actually have something happen on dad's birthday. Desensitised.

toanoradian
YESSS I finally get to tell someone they did tense shifting. I thought the whole contrast between his taste and the work he was creating was rather clever actually. Some phrases in the early part of the story, such as the artist saying "at least the taste is gone" and "I like money" can be taken out and make the later bits where these are repeated a little stronger. In fact if you use "I like money" for the last line it would be great because who doesn't like money. Sensational.

dromer
Like I said, this put in a nice wad of tension for a game of dreidel and it was really nicely done. The line breaks stand out as glaring errors which made the pacing of your story go awry, since you're going for past-present-past-present formatting, but that's really nitpicking. Sensational.

Peel
Unfortunately I saw your explanation to Twinkle Cave by accident before reading your story, and I feel I can't really make a balanced criticism on whether you did too much or too little. I thought it had good tension though and the length of the piece illustrates well enough how short the walk actually was. Not entirely sure what that last line meant however. Sensational.

Benagain
Bearded quirky girl. Those puns are just lovingly terrible, especially the whole buildup of their philosophical pursuits to end with the "Die Jung" line. There are some parts which can do with some proofreading (the lion should be looking as him as if it were God, and at one point it read like he threw away the cage door), and I didn't like her unfreezing after the freezing. Otherwise sensational.

Sitting Here
I didn't find the puns as wonderfully horrible as Benagain's but the overall story was really fun, and I genuinely feel bad for Angie for having the most tumblr friend. She's like that sassy friend we all love who is nice to a fault but knows when to tell it like it is. Fun dialogue with a punchy ending telegraphed by the "snowflake" line but goddammit I wish I didn't know what "transethnic" mean. Sensational.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk









Noah posted:

Do I get included in any judgments/reviews for my piece?

Absolutely, sorry but it was late. I liked yours a lot, though it would come in a hair below the other two because they were both so strong.

Noah: A Woman's Work

This is a good use of the prompt and a decent, unsentimental evocation of the Old West. I like the no-nonsense main character and the way she marshalls her 'troops'. I also like how you imply a history for the characters through action.

However I think you could have made the geography of the house a bit clearer, since the story is about the main character moving about it. And while the writing is cleaner than some of your earlier pieces there are a few small infelicities that still stick out: "Louise shrieked, and a shotgun blast went off and two bodies hit the floor, along with the clatter of the gun." has two ands. "Another shot rang out. The still air had somehow grown even more silent" contradicts itself. Finally, I'm left unclear about why the duel is happening which is verging on a fatal error.

Still, a strong piece.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


sebmojo posted:

THUNDERBRAWL: ROUND ONE: THE JUDGMENT

Prompt: Duel in the sun.
Constraint: No male may speak.

twinkle cave: Trajectory
However the narrator isn't quite convincing as a younger brother - lines like "You live with someone your whole life then you see them get their hair caught on fire and realize you don't know them at all" and "A warfare evolution. My sister was a bit of genius in these matters" jar a little as seeming older than the character appears to be. Great lines, possibly should have been cut under the 'kill your babies' rubric.

Still, a drat good story, spoiled only by a brimming shitbucket of mistakes and typos. Including my least favourite, most hated specimen of the typo race: missing loving linebreaks. Let's see what else: 'where' instead of 'were', proper nouns not capitalised, spaces in front of commas, misuse of 'gamboled', 'let's' instead of 'lets', 'partially' instead of 'partly', 'owe' instead of 'ow'. Oh, and having your male narrator say 'N...' is a borderline prompt fail.

Advance, warriors.

Thank you for the critique drunken warrior poet. I agree whole hardheartedly with the kill your babies and the shitbucket. Written in a single sitting last night may account for the lack of infanticide. The typos are a cross between me being stupid and writing in .txt wordpad. I need my drat MS Word back. I'm honored to have nosed ahead of Martello's worthy piece, double thus since it was chiseled out in ice before being uploaded to his computer.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


sebmojo posted:


:siren:THUNDERBRAWL ROUND 2 PROMPT:siren:

Dylan Thomas was a drunken, foul mouthed god among men. He wrote Good Words. I want you to write me (up to) 1000 good words about his fantastic poem 'After the Funeral'. Reaction, explanation, continuation, inspiration, I don't care. But!

It must not be depressing

It must not be dull

He used no dialogue; no more may you.

You have a little more than 23 hours, get to work.

Taking a risk with this one, but this is what I was feeling. I was inspired by the poem to write.

The Town Where Old Grumvold Lived

After the Funeral there was a wedding,
The butcher’s boy to the baker’s daughter
They had been mooning and eclipsing
Waiting and praying to escape the slaughter.
Harvest time meant for everyone,
Young and old, flesh and bone.
Under the rusty moon, all to come.
But no more, when they packed in the dirt and stone.

After the Funeral there was a riot,
All in good fun and nothing broken.
Old Grumvold’s place, a fire set.
Any piece of loot, already spoken.
A candlestick for Goody Mags,
Hound dogs for Shepherd Dill,
For Preacher Malcom, a secret still.

After the Funeral there was a party,
Reveling, caroling, dancing abound
Be early, be on time, or be tardy!
Now that Old Grumvold’s in the ground.
Drink a pint of mead, a barrel of ale
Bottles of wine, guzzle it all down
Finish your cup, before it goes stale

After the Funeral there was a trial
A writ of transgressions: the eulogy
Murder, Incest, Bestiality and Demonology.
Barbarism, Cannibalism, Sadism, too many to file!

After the Funeral there was a guard
Or two, no three, better make it five!
Old Grumvold hadn’t been dealt the death card.
They chained him up and buried him live.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


THUNDER BRAWL - ROUND 2 OF 3

(799 words)

5 Stages

1
I placed one mind's corner at the bar and the other in the coffin. I walked my thoughts about the edges. "Ring, Ring," went the the barman's phone, launching a perimeter trace.

Soon I stepped over the city. Over the street lights, the apartments, the hills and trees, arriving in moments at the grave. I slid through the dirt and knocked.

Letting myself in, I nestled into the coffin corner, crossing my ankles, ready for a sample of wit, but nothing came. The silence of silk curtains and spring cushions. I slid closer until her dress accepted dual occupancy, her hardened body against mine. I attempted a few familiar motions, but she only lay there.

2
I returned to the bar by way of sewer slinking and was met by cold darkness that proved the length of intestines. The subterranean leavings of mankind ignored me as I made my way to a certain pipe, then slipped upward exiting the toilets mouth.

"What a waste of great tits," was scratched on the wall. I licked the words and bit my tongue bloody thinking of flesh now in the ground. Covered in stink, I ordered a glass to huddle against.

The barman wiped me with his towel then rinsed me into his sink where I came to and served myself a drink. Now one for each hand. I held them with my arms level to the ground while a procession brought in the casket and laid it on the table. I stepped up and inside to meet my first challenger.

Beating them with my fists of hardened sand until the next and the rest followed. Standing in the coffin with the bodies arranged like a fan on the floor, I began to walk toward the coffin’s head which extended as I stepped. Eventually, I was met with a wall of stone which I sat down at and ordered a third drink.

3
"Ring, ring," and up I went after only a sip, being patted on the back as if for a good job despite my condition and into a strangers car. She drove with her eyes straight ahead, hands ten and two, through houses and living rooms, people sitting down to dinner and TV. She never commented but only leaned forward as her bumper touched the stone.

I offered her a few coins for the ride, but she didn't respond, only lowered us into the ground until the coffin rested between us like a console, both our hands now flat against the wood, she tapped out a rhythm. I knew the beat, 1,2,3 - 1,2,3, and then the engine spent and exhausted me into the ground.

I heard the worms swallow as I was passed between dirt molecules, each pushing up a blade of grass or down a speck of water, through yards and parks until arriving as dust at the barman's shoe. He flicked me to my seat and set me down a drink.

4
"Ring, Ring." I swallowed and gulped at an endless glass that spilled over my face and filled me to my feet before tripping through the door and sloshing down the alley. Up and down stairs where I stumbled headlong into stone, scraped my shin and face, sucked up to the sky that didn't return my embrace. Only clouds ignored. Looking back into the dirt I began to crawl on my chin, making a chin-wide trail of my passing.

People tried to lift me by my hair and I had none of it, tossing them off with a sob, until after long night hours, I arrived back at the resting place and whittled my way down with the motion of my neck until I lay on its lid curled like a roach fossilized.

When it rained, it came from my guts and landed on my crusted skin, enacting a reanimation that scuttled me back to scurry through last nights pockmarked trail until I skidded across the barroom floor. I pissed myself at the stool and wiped my vomit with my piss. I bathed slowly borrowing the barman's towel, rubbing each unit of skin with appreciation. At the end, I shined my arm, drooling spit down and forcing it into the skin until it shone like a mirror. I brought my face closer and closer until I saw her outline and it wavered. I dipped my face in where it'd turned into a pool, but it wavered then evaporated from the heat of my breath.

5
"Ring. Ring." The barman opened the coffin door and sat me inside. He pulled a draft lever and the coffin slid away. I road it down the coiled telephone wire. I looked straight ahead as I crept through the spiral path. The ringing faded behind me as I went, echoing out.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


The Royal Funeral

1000 words

Bron ven Ambord and Tullia Marganix stood on the dais with the rest of the ven Ambords and other Loyalist nobles. Bloody Hilda herself stood in a place that subtly displayed her power and central role in this funeral, this funeral that ended a civil war. She stood a little behind and to the left of the young king Udor Skellan where he sat on the Rowan Throne. Her hand rested on the arm of the king's chair.

The coffin, carried by six condemned men, started the slow procession along the aisle from the great doors to the eastern end of the cavernous throne room and the throne itself.

Tullia leaned over to whisper to her lover. Bron had made little secret of their affair since it had started less than a year into his mother's campaign. His wife was many miles away in Ambordel, and Tullia was as lovely as she was intelligent. What noble lord would think twice of it? Tullia asked Bron why it was that Hilda hadn't placed herself on the Rowan throne instead of the boy Udor. She had as much claim to the throne as the boy; both were third cousins of the late Algrom III, and Hilda was a powerful lady commanding many fighting men and two noble fiefs. Udor was a mere thegn with twenty acres of land and a few old huskarls with more gray hairs than teeth. Or had been, before Hilda and the new Archbishop had put him on the throne.

All six pallbearers were lords and thegns loyal to Grughan Hrothlindson, the Usurper. They were stripped of lands and titles, and would soon lose their lives after executing this final duty to their chosen king.

Bron smiled at Tullia. He didn't fault her boredom, and humored her by answering. He explained that Hilda had but little Marsish blood in her veins. Bron's grandfather Viklar was half-Varig and as much a sea-wolf as a land-holding Marsish lord. His grandmother Alidh was a Sarcish highlander. Young Udor was of pure Marsish blood and bore the royal Skellan name, and all that held true gold.

The coffin was halfway down the aisle now. The crowd on both sides - nobles, clergy, merchant barons, and learned men – filled with murmurs like wind through the reeds, both for and against the Usurper’s death. But none would disrespect even Grughan's funeral enough to jeer or curse aloud.

Tullia rolled her doe's eyes at Bron's sonorous recitation of Hilda's ancestry and familial relations. She told Bron that she knew all of that, but wasn't Hilda the type of woman who would take what she wanted, blood be damned? It was her pride, Bron explained, and practicality. His lady mother wouldn't be called Usurper as Grughan had been, even in whispers. She wouldn't stand for it, especially after being called the She-Wolf of Modenset, the Butcheress of Dartemberd, and many other names less flattering. And few lords would kiss the scepter of a warrior Queen with Marsish blood so fresh on her langsax. Even Southern lords who had followed her into battle these three long, bloody years would quail at the notion of her sitting the Rowan Throne, when they had committed their blood and steel to a Skellan mounting the throne again. Could Marsend survive another civil war so soon after the last?

The coffin finally reached the dais and the Rowan Throne. Udor looked almost sick, and Hilda squeezed his arm. The boy set his jaw and locked his eyes on the Usurper's face, drawn and gray in death. His body had only just started to stink two days after the battle, but the Sisters of Saint Maerta had packed his coffin well with spruce resin and wildflowers.

Tullia perceived it was easier for Hilda to place the boy on the throne and then truly rule the kingdom behind him. She had no doubt it hadn't been the boy's idea to name her Lady High Chancellor, and neither did she doubt that he had any choice in the matter at all. She had spoken to him, he was a bright lad, and he must have clearly seen how precarious his seat on the throne and how powerful and fickle the bloody hands that set him there. Her fourth son Taid had already been named Thegn of the King's Huskarls, his younger brother Sten his second-in-command. The King's Huskarls had always been sworn to protect both king and throne, and had removed more than one unfit monarch since the reign of the first Skellan king of Marsend.

Udor stood straight as a spearshaft, the wrought-iron scepter in his right hand, ancestral crown on his chestnut hair. He passed the scepter over the Usurper's coffin, pronounced king's blessing on Grughan's spirit, turning it over to God and Saint Maerta for judgment. The Archbishop stood next, and raised his staff. He sang the death-prayer, asking God to judge Grughan justly, and for Saint Maerta to speed his soul on its way. As the Archbishop finished, all looked up at the monolithic statue of Saint Maerta where she loomed behind the throne. Her sleek bulk of white marble was carved by no human hand. Her lifelike features, wild sweep of hair and thrusting bosom, was shaped by no mere hammer and chisel. Dwarven hands and dwarven tools had crafted her downcurved lips, her muscular right arm held at a downward angle. A ten-foot langsax pointed to earth, the marble blade narrowing to milky translucence. Her left hand was thrust skyward at the arching roof, showing the way for departing souls to their place of final judgment in the heavens.

Tullia didn't need to ask Bron about the statue’s significance. She had studied Marsend even before she crossed the waters from Anathia. She knew Saint Maerta stood over the kings to remind them that they were all as mortal as the lowest peasant, and would also feel her stony embrace and know God’s unfailing judgment.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Hey dudes and dudettes!

Did I miss anything rad?

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk









Martello posted:

The Royal Funeral

1000 words of reported dialogue

Cheeky. Very cheeky.

Prompt to come in half an hour or so.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk









:siren:THUNDERBRAWL FINAL ROUND PROMPT:siren:

Prompt:
In a bar, at the end of the world. Three people, three sets of secrets. What happens?

Constraint: No one dies. Nothing earlier than the 20th Century.

Up to 1000 words, due 2400 EST.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


They come over here and they chop off our legs. They cut off our hands and put nails in our eyes. O'Grady is dead and O'Hanrahan's gone. We drink and we die and we continue to drink.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


The Saddest Rhino posted:

this feels like it should be part of a bigger narrative.
This probably describes a lot of my output, actually. I know Martello's called me on it once. And Sebmojo. It's a bad habit from my early years I've never really shaken when it comes to short fiction.

And now Rhino. Third time's the charm. Time to fix this.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011


Hmm, I smell something a bit rotten but with a tinge of cooked flesh...Oh! It's Bad Seafood burning up with promises of artistic progress! Will he be fully cooked or will he burn to ashes? Let's watch.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Daddy is back, and he's all stumbly and has his belt out tonight. I hope you don't mind if I step in on your dates, sebmojo.

Here's my flash rules:

Martello referred to me earlier as a "drunk with a bad temper." So, as a result, one of his characters must be named Erik and be portrayed in a positive light in his challenge story.

twinkle cave, there are ten million, million, million, million, million, million, million, million, million, particles in the universe that we can observe. Your mama took the ugly ones and put them into one nerd. Therefore, your story must include physics.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011


Wait, does that flash rule apply to their duel flashfics as well?

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk









Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

Daddy is back, and he's all stumbly and has his belt out tonight. I hope you don't mind if I step in on your dates, sebmojo.

Here's my flash rules:

Martello referred to me earlier as a "drunk with a bad temper." So, as a result, one of his characters must be named Erik and be portrayed in a positive light in his challenge story.

twinkle cave, there are ten million, million, million, million, million, million, million, million, million, particles in the universe that we can observe. Your mama took the ugly ones and put them into one nerd. Therefore, your story must include physics.

You took the words out of my mouth. Like a weird drunken word-stealer.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


toanoradian posted:

Wait, does that flash rule apply to their duel flashfics as well?

Considering that Martello pussied out of the actual event this week, I would assume that's all they apply to.


PS: Entry deadline is today, so sign up, motherfuckers.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011


Oh, right, he isn't doing this week's challenge. I just assumed he's in.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

Hey dudes and dudettes!

Did I miss anything rad?

yeah ur cue to stop posting forever lol

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Capntastic posted:

300 Word Bonus Fun Prompt: Why did the car explode

Since nobody stepped up I figured gently caress it

Boom

299 words

The bombings were getting worse and more frequent. Just last week, a radical blew himself up with a kilogram of obsolete American C4 wrapped around a flaked RDX core. The bomb was in his shoulder bag, and he detonated it with his phone in the middle of Kingsland Farmer's Market at the busiest time of the day. Nineteen people died including the bomber, thirty-two more injured, some maimed for life. Unless they had bundles of cash to buy vat-grown parts or the realistic cybernetics, most of them would end up with the cheap, obvious Medicare prosthetics.

Why does Alberta need a radical separatist movement? Nobody seems to be able to answer that. We've always been a quiet province. We don't even have a history of revolution like our cousins to the south. Some conspiracy nuts postulate that the US-Americans themselves are behind the radicals, trying to weaken our government so they can step in and take over. I scoff at those people whenever I meet them. As if the US has the time or money for that so soon after recovering from WWIII. They already have enough trouble with Texan secessionists, though at least they haven’t used suicide bombs. Yet.

I'm sitting on my third-floor apartment balcony, watching the world go by as I write, about life in Calgary and radicals and death and sorrow. Will anyone ever read it besides my handful of faithful blog followers? I don't know, and I don't care. It's what I do and what I'll always do.

There's a man parking an old white Camry on the street right under my balcony, one of the old gas engines. He's walking away now, and he takes out his phone. He steps behind a pick-up across the street, squats down.

boom, heat, shock, blood, light

Fanky Malloons posted:

Considering that Martello pussied out of the actual event this week, I would assume that's all they apply to.

lol stfu bro sign me up, magical realism freeverse

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


triple post of triple poems about triple goddesses for this week's submission cuz I'm a badass

total of 381 words

wet look catsuit (antimaiden)

108 words

she wears a wet look catsuit stalking down the street
black stretched over muscle and pretty little curves

she stole my heart and put it in a jar
onyx like milk and honey poured over fire

she tastes like habanero vodka
and smells like cème brûlée

she casts her spells of love
on any man she pleases

she keeps all their hearts
sealed in her onyx jars

she drinks their souls dry
they die young every one

she lurks the lower east side
in spandex slash top tall boots

she smiles and she beckons
lips hungry for life

she wears a wet look catsuit
hunting through the night

martha of the farmer's market (allmother)

176 words

martha sits her stall selling organic vegetables
eggs, cage-free; chickens, free-range
she smiles at customers men and women both
feel her power and gaze at her ripe bosom
can’t look away from coffee-colored breasts
thrusting up in a low-cut peasant blouse
ivory hair flows to wide hips
smooth plump upper arms
big thighs squeezed together on her milk-crate seat
feet in brown sandals worn with use
her fertility and duality garden and chicken coop
the bedroom, thrusting, moaning ectasy
each time a pregnancy but not her own
women in the city growing round and full
they thought themselves barren unable to bear
but life grows inside them and tears in eyes
lips spread in smiles, joy, peace, serenity
martha of the farmer’s market hands out her blessings
mother to all and wife to many
the marketgoers know her power and beauty
they worship her silently without a word
with bodies thrusting, lips parted, shuddering
with hot meals cooked and bellies fed
with children raised in the fullness of peace
martha just smiles hands out her gifts

the night nurse (twistedcrone)

97 words

the night nurse in the hospital halls
patients in beds terminal
she holds a hand and whispers a word
the morgue receives another cold slab
of flesh without spirit useless and dry
man in remission his dreams filled with joy
the night nurse touches his forehead
and smiles teeth white on pale lips
his cancer returns so fast the doctors
are baffled and tell him the horrible news
yet another body weeks later is given
to the embrace of the earth and a soul flies away
the night nurse in the hospital halls
smiling, touching, whispering, death

Beezle Bug
Jun 5, 2009

I love painting trees.

First to fire, let's do it.

Drag me Down -- 919 words, no flash rule.

I got my start playing piano at the Downtown Revue. Even after the wells dried up and the drunks staggered off to their hidden oases we did good business and it was all thanks to Maggie. To say Maggie had energy would be an insult--she crackled, sparked, she made all your hair stand on end if she so much as looked at you. One look, just one look and it was just you and her, alone in the world.

Most of the time I kept to myself, I ain't never been a real friendly guy, but Maggie wasn't about to let that slide. She didn't take kindly to people feeling left out and she would drag you kicking and screaming into the heart of a party. I never much liked being the center of attention, but when it was me and her with everyone looking at her, looking at me, wondering what the Hell it was she saw in me? I loved it. I lived for it.

I guess it didn't take long for her to get knocked up but truth is, I have no real way of knowing. My memories of Maggie are a whirlwind blur that slows to a crawl when things get real painful. Figures that only the poo poo that hurts would stand out but it kills me every drat time. I wish I could remember those nights on the pier, how her face glowed orange when she took a drag and faded into the shadows when she passed her smoke back to me, I wish I could remember that the same way I remember the tears pouring down her face when she told me she was having my kid.

It wasn't that we weren't happy--poo poo, at least I know I was. It's just her on a dancer's paycheck and me getting pennies on the playbill didn't exactly take too well to raising a kid. Times being what they were I guess I should have seen it coming but the day she told me her plan her words dropped like lead in my gut. The cops wouldn't play no mind to a little lady, she said, especially not a pregnant one, and she had some real good connections from before Amendment 18 spit in America's eye. Not too many folks take kindly to the law telling them how to run their lives and her friends sure as poo poo were no exception.

Looking back, I should have gone with her. I made plenty of excuses not to. It ain't like I didn't have the cojones to go toe-to-toe with anyone who wanted to hurt her, I just didn't wanna see her that way. I didn't wanna see what she had to do to survive. Maybe I was just a coward at heart but I did whatever I could so I didn't have to face up to it. Maggie said she wanted me at home, anyway, and even though I wanted to question that I didn't. I wish I had. She was always stronger than me and everyone could see it. poo poo, on the level? I wouldn't have been no help anyway.

I still don't know the details. What I do know is that the fuzz didn't hold back none. poo poo, I don't even know if they knew she was a part of it but when the bullets start spraying and people start to panic you never know who might get hurt. I was told she took a while to die, spitting blood and my name at anyone who got too close. It was hours before anyone told me. Maybe there was more important poo poo to deal with but I can't help but feel like I was being punished for not being there. Let her die, let my kid die, but don't let me say goodbye. Ain't that some poo poo.

Since then I guess I ain't been doing much. Her friends, the ones who survived, still got connections and they still let me use 'em. It ain't charity--everyone loved Maggie, not me. She was the only one who gave a poo poo about me, the real me, not the guy who tickles the ivories until they sing or the guy who's there, quiet but handy, who will do whatever he can to earn the scratch for another drink. The guy who I am now. poo poo, if I tried to play now they'd throw me out in seconds. I got no talent anymore. I got nothing. All I can do is drink myself to death with every clink of my coins in their coffers. They'll be draining me dry until my dying breath and I can only hope that gets squeezed out sooner than later.

I wanna look forward to seeing her again. Seeing my kid, if he's in Heaven. See, he wasn't even five months into her womb when they died and in my nightmares he's just this twitching bloody lump of flesh clinging to my trousers, screaming wordless, never letting go, never letting me let go until I've suffered enough. Maybe God wouldn't let that into His kingdom but the devil sure as poo poo would, not my kid himself but my dreams are a taste of Hell and I know what's waiting for me. Ain't no succor left in this life or the next.

poo poo, all this talking's made me thirsty as sin. You got any change, pal? I'll make it worth your while. I ain't got no dignity left. Maybe I never had none to begin with.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Beezle Bug posted:

First to fire, let's do it.

lol bro read the post above yours.

But real talk I really liked your story. Needs plenty of work, but it's a drat good story and that's all you need really. If I get time I'll give you a detailed crit.

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Beezle Bug
Jun 5, 2009

I love painting trees.

Martello posted:

lol bro read the post above yours.

But real talk I really liked your story. Needs plenty of work, but it's a drat good story and that's all you need really. If I get time I'll give you a detailed crit.

Ah poo poo, I thought that was for the mano a mano thing with you and Twinkle Cave.

But for real dude thanks, that means a lot and I'd appreciate that if you could.