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Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

I'm going to throw down with Stormtroopers in Drag if that's all right.

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Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Brain Chemicals
659 words
Inspired by Stormtrooper in Drag

Frank was lying on a lovely motel room bed, staring at the ceiling and kind of half-heartedly wishing that people still used ceiling fans in rooms like these, because while air conditioning was nice staring at the same motionless white paint for hours on end really started to freak you out a little bit you know? All the visions that came to you weren't pulled straight from your subconscious, they had to have something to project on, and while the inexperienced user might think that this would be perfect Frank liked some rhythm and repetition to get his groove on and this motel room was disappointingly barren of either.

Time check. An endless eternity spent moving the phone in his hand to directly in front of his face, trying and failing a few times to then poke it with his thumb in the correct magical sequence that would make it release its secrets to him, unburden its tiny electronic soul of all the information it could possibly summon. He was having trouble for some reason, more trouble then he should have, but his mind kept sliding off the reason and eventually it worked anyway.

A name. Flashing there in the missed call log. How many times? He squinted a bit, trying to decipher the strange symbols. Reading, he decided, was a crude method of information transportation. The equivalent of land travel back in the old days, when getting on a boat was so much more quicker. He must discover how to float the information gently down the electronic waves from the phone to his head, where it could then be processed directly. A minor, slightly logical part of his brain pointed out that you could make the argument that this is what was happening with the reading and the reflected light and all, and the workaround completed his brain kindly allowed him to understand numbers again.

Holy poo poo, eight.. He must be pissed, calling eight times. Anyone was supposed to come when they were called seven times, that was a law or something, a higher law, and now here he was failing to show up after eight, the others must think so much less of him now, gossiping about him behind his back. Although. Come to think of it they were probably still here, he could talk to them.

Move, a slow remembering of certain muscle groups, a reactivation of body habits that had been blasted away by the chemicals, clenching his abdominal wall as his spine curved forward and then straightened again to take the weight of his body and evenly distribute it down into the mattress on which he sat, the springs flexing and themselves distributing the weight across the entire bedframe and from there into the floor to the foundation to the very earth itself and here he sat staring into a mirror. He was wearing a tutu, he remembered that now.

There was a voice buzzing at him from the phone. He stared at in confusion for a second, then spoke aloud. “Does anyone remember what we're doing here?” He heard a no, or he thought he heard a no, and then he tapped his armor a bit to make sure it was still doing its job. Still the same white glistening exoskeleton protecting his inner guts from the harsh miseries of the world.

His phone lit up again, a small flashing reminder : 4:15 PM meet for ComicCon drag show. Check the time, he thought. He'd been supposed to do that. Hit the phone again, remembered that he'd been wearing gloves the whole time. 4:52. That meant something, he thought, then lay down on the bed again to relax from all the effort.

Frank stared at the ceiling. The blank whiteness was starting to freak him out and he wished for a return to the days when rooms had ceiling fans, because while air conditioning was nice and all he liked a little rhythm and repetition in his trip, y'know? Something to help the groove.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Stuporstar posted:

Benagain What did you do again?

Story of my life right here.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

I'll throw down on this.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

3. is the Nephillim.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

To Market
791 words.

The alleys are long and dark and narrow, lined with stalls that are darker and narrower still. Rick walks through them staring straight ahead, not letting his eyes wander to either side even though he's curious about what's in some of those stalls, even though he occasionally catches a glimpse of someone he might know out of the corner of his eye. There are rules here, and one of the most important is that you don't concern yourself with things that aren't your concern, so to speak.

He comes to the end of a certain alley and stops, turns to the right and ducks under the awning of a stall with sign of a eye with five lashes, faded with age. There's a flap, and he pushes through into an interior that seems more spacious then it should be, crowded with shelves holding innumerable pots and jars, bags hanging from the ceiling filled with unidentifiable animal parts, filled with the smoke of burning incense. He doesn't cough, although his throat burns and his eyes water. It doesn't do to show weakness here.

Sitting cross legged on a pillow at the far end of the room is something that could be a human and could be something else but is most likely a bit of both. It's got two arms and two legs and a long narrow face, all covered in wrinkly grey skin that hangs in folds. It's got a hookah pipe resting in its mouth, and it looks at him with blank eyes that give away nothing. Rick looks back, meeting its gaze, and they stand there for a second among the various goods. Then it removes the pipe from its mouth and gestures towards a pillow sitting across from it.

Rick sits, mimicking the thing's posture as much as possible. It might have a few extra joints somewhere, he can't really tell. They stare at each other a bit more, then it offers him the pipe. He takes it and draws deep, sucking the smoke into his lungs as if it was pure oxygen and slowly exhaling a long thin cloud. He passes the pipe back. The creature nods, satisfied. “Why have you come here?” it rasps. “Surely a man of your stature has everything you desire. Surely my humble wares are of no interest.”

“I want a second chance.” Rick says firmly.

It cocks its head. “So does everyone, at some point in life. Most manage to find one on their own.”

“No, most people take another shot at the same objective. I want to attempt the same thing in the same way again.”

“You wish to travel back in time?” It chokes slightly, which might be its equivalent to laughter. It's hard to tell.

“No.” Rick spreads his hands palms outward. “I don't want to mess around with the time stream. I had everything set up just right and...it was ruined. Utterly. By a one time external event that I couldn't have forseen or prevented. I'll never again be in that kind of a zone, with everything set up just so. I'll never be able to make that attempt again.” He accepts the hookah again and takes a puff. “Without your help, of course.”

The creature studies him for a long time. Then it seems to come to a decision, nodding to itself. It unfolds from the cushion and rummages about amongst the various items before coming back with a small jar, which it sets between them.

Taking the pipe back, it inhales briefly and then begins to speak as if reading from a long memorized scroll.

“There was a monk, once, a student of Zen who meditated day and night in front of his shrine in search of enlightenment. One day, his eyes closed, he heard the sound of a single drop of water falling onto stone. This propelled his mind to the very cusp of realization.” Another brief inhale. “At that moment, he was slain by a wandering bandit, his head sent rolling along the shrine floor with one swift blow.” It nodded towards the jar. “That is a distillation of certain fluids in the poor monk's brain. Drink it, and it will take you to a moment of stillness and perfection within your soul. The next thing you attempt will be in harmony with the greater order of the universe.”

Rick nodded in satisfaction. “'I'll take it.”

“Of course you will. The price is two souls.”

***

Rick ducks out of the stall, tucking the jar into his pocket with a satisfied smile. This time, that souflee's going to be loving perfect.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

I'm in, because that pope hat thing is so annoyingly good that I must attempt to best it despite the near-certainty that I won't. Such is the glory and despair of Thunderdome.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Wait argh what
I will have something up by 5 CST tomorrow I got confused and also was busy helping orphan children cross the street so they could buy food for themselves using our hard earned tax dollars. Also Ronnie James Dio will rock forever, that's all I've gotta say.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

The thunderdome is merciless but fair and I must forfeit due to lack of preparation and confusion.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

I must redeem myself, and therefore am for-reals, balls pressed firmly against the wall in.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

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

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Thief

818 words

She was rummaging through his bedside table when he came in, looking for wallets or jewelery or one of the other valuable little things that people keep near them as they sleep and forget about on the weekend. He let out a high-pitched “poo poo!” which made her scramble backwards, both their eyes going wide

They both stood frozen for a second, staring at each other in perfect stillness, and then she straightened out and put her hands up. “Well, you got me.” she said, sounding rueful and annoyed. “Here's what I got already,” she tossed a few items onto the bedspread, “and now I'll be on my way. Sorry to trouble you.” She started to move towards the door then stopped and raised her eyebrow at him.

His mind was still busily trying to figure out what the hell had just happened and so he stood there for a second, staring at her. “I'm calling the police,” he said firmly, his brain finally coming up with something useful to say.

“Really?” she said lightly. “Fine. Go ahead.” He reached for his pocket only to realize that his phone was lying on the bed. She shook her head. “Should have bailed as soon as I saw that, instead of hoping you didn't remember it for a bit. Oh well, more fool me I guess.” She grinned and dropped her hands into her pockets, rocking back on her heels a bit.

“Look,” he said, trying to put some emphasis on his words, “You broke into my house and are in the process of trying to rob me. There's no way I'm letting you go.”

“So, what then? You're just going to stand in the doorway and prevent me from leaving forever? Sounds mythic.”

“Look, lady, I don't know who you are,” he said angrily

“Name's Brittany,” she said calmly.

He paused for a second, then collected himself. “Look, Brittany, I don't care! Why am I even using your name? You're a thief in my house and I'm going to call the cops and stop you from leaving and then you'll be arrested and taken to jail!”

“You're gonna call the cops and tell them you have a non-violent burglar in your house who hasn't stolen anything and wants to leave? I'm betting the response time on that won't be too great.”

“You could turn violent at any time. This,” he said, waxing eloquent despite himself, “this is a ruse. A ploy. You don't want to go to jail so you're trying to put me on the wrong footing and weaken my resolve. You're trying to confuse me, make me question whether I shouldn't just let you go and save everyone the trouble. Well let me tell you madam, I will do no such thing! I'm standing firm in my convictions here! I don't know how just yet but I'm not letting you out of this room until the police are here to escort you out!”

He'd been shouting by the end, and the silence was like being dropped into a pond. She looked at him inquisitively.

“Rough day, huh?”


His shoulders slumped. “It hasn't been the greatest, no.”

She tapped her chin with a finger, looking pensive. “Alright,” she said, spreading her hands wide. “You need the win, that's clear. I'll let you call the cops.”

He stood up straight, indignant. “What?”

“Hey, you're not having a great time. I can see that. I'll let you call the cops, I can say I got lost and there was a whole misunderstanding, probably knock it down to a minor trespassing charge if that.”

“Hold on, I don't need your pity. You can't just throw this to me!”

“No, no, you don't have to protest, I can see it in your eyes. You've been beaten up all day, least I can do is let you be the big drat hero and arrest me. Oooh! You can even shout something like 'here she is, officers!' as they're coming in the front door.”

He drew himself up and thrust out his chest. “Ma’am, you have severely misjudged me. I refuse your offer and demand that you leave my premises immediately.” He moved out of the door and imperiously waved her through it.

“What? You're kidding, right? C'mon, I'm not going to just walk out on you! I want to help you!”

“I don't need your help. Now please leave.”

She shrugged and walked out the door. “Can't help some people, I guess.”

He stood there, tapping his shoe and watching her leave until the door slammed behind her. Then his brow wrinkled for a second.

“God-dammit,” he muttered hopelessly. Then he threw up his hands, grabbed his phone and went out the door.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

I long for combat.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Noah I will gently caress your poo poo UP. I'm gonna kill you. With words.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

I loving hate writing, but I'm a huge submissive and get off from people calling me shitbitch and worthless.

But my bloodlust outweighs that so I'm still gonna win this thing.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Sucks to be you two.

"Paul," said Caprice, striding towards him heavily, "I'm going to slam into you because of inertia and the fact that I'm preggo with your baby."

"Holy poo poo!" said Paul, staring off into the distance. "This heroin's amazing and I need to leave right now to get some more."

The rest writes itself.

edit: NOAH DON'T YOU DARE loving STEAL THAT.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Criminal Minds
1284 words

Caprice breezed through the door, dropping her purse on top of the shelf before coming to a stop in front of Paul with her hands on her hips, the fabric in her dress still swirling around her. He was in the middle of his morning coffee and just stared at her over the edge of the cup at first, trying to think of something to say. They stayed like that for a bit before Caprice realized that she was going to have do break the ice.

“Hi, Paul. How're things?”

Hearing her voice broke the spell and he hurriedly put down the cup and jolted to his feet, awkwardly sticking out a hand she proceeded to ignore entirely as she swept him into a hug. When they pulled apart he was smiling and somewhat coherent.

“Hi back,” he said, grinning. “Still letting yourself into people's houses, I see.”

“Eh, saves time and lets me make a dramatic entrance” she said, waving a hand dismissively. “You want me to stay out, buy better locks.”

“I can't afford what I'd need.”

“Aha!” she said, raising a finger into the air. “Already you've hit on the reason I'm here, you destitute bastard.” She paused a moment, looking him over. “You up for some work?” she asked, her tone light and challenging. “Some real work I mean, not sitting around in a glass box waiting to die of boredom.”

He stiffened, then crossed his arms and shook his head.

“No,” he said, firmly. “Caprice, it's great to see you but I got out. For several very good reasons, not the least of which is that I'd actually like to die of boredom, instead of bleeding out in a back alley somewhere. I've turned a new leaf, dammit, and I won't let you drag me back down!” He glared at her and managed to last a whole five seconds before he let out a tiny snort and they both broke down laughing.

“You used to be able to hold it longer,” she said, chuckling.

“What can I say, I'm a little rusty after two years.” he said, spreading his hands ruefully.

“C'mon, escort me into what I'm assuming is a tastefully appointed kitchen, pour me a cup of coffee and we'll talk.”

* * * *

He was crouched by the junction box, comparing the tangled mess of wires in front of him to the schematic he'd been given. Laminated, which was another reason he always enjoyed working with Caprice. She thought of the little things, like “It might be raining and paper gets wet.”

Let's see, he thought, this tells the security company that the alarm's being tampered with, so it goes first, then we reroute this, snip this, aaaaand “We're in,” he said into the headset. “Alarms are safe, they can buzz all they want but no one's going to hear.”



“Pulling up front with the delivery truck now,” Caprice's voice came over the radio. “Head down to the back with Frank and Charlie.”

Paul had already rolled up his tools and begun heading towards the ladder at the back of the roof. It was a rainy night, miserably cold, and he was glad to get his gloves back on. Down the ladder and across the alley waited the two guys he'd been introduced to, Frank behind the wheel of the panel van they'd quietly stolen from a rental lot two weeks ago and Charlie sitting in the back holding onto two guns. He silently passed Paul one and they waited, not talking, until they heard the sound of the delivery truck coming down the back alley.

Caprice parked so that her truck blocked the van and got out without acknowledging them, just heading to the back door of the building and knocking on it. After a brief wait somebody opened it and they caught a few snatches of conversation.

“Rookie mistake, I'm sorry...”

“Nah, everyone does it at least once, just let me open the main door for you and back in nice and gently...”

Caprice headed back towards the truck, swinging it around as the main gate opened and then Fred hit the gas and they reversed into the loading bay. Before the solitary guard could even finish gaping Paul and Charlie had piled out of the back and Charlie had his gun in the man's face, telling him calmly to lie down on the floor, now, hands behind your back, good man, no one's going to get hurt just do as I say. They gagged him and zip tied his hands, then left him on the floor, off to the side. Caprice came in with her gun out.

“Same as always, two guards left in the front, both at the desk, not paying attention to anything.” she said.

Charlie and her headed off to deal with them. Paul stayed back at the loading dock in case somebody was moving around unexpectedly, but three minutes later they were back, pushing the two guards ahead of them.

Then it was just a matter of moving a series of locked steel suitcases from a room into the back of the van and within twenty minutes they'd peeled off, leaving the delivery van in the loading dock. They drove for a bit, stopped at a deserted warehouse and switched out the suitcases to two different cars they had stashed there, and only then did Paul crack a smile.

“Well, that's another one,” he said, giving Caprice a hug. “I'll see you in a week at the rendezvous,”

“Have fun and don't make a pass at Frank, you jackass.” she said, hugging him back. They broke off, and suddenly he saw Charlie with his gun out pointing at them. He threw them both to the ground, heard the shot go off, heard Frank start swearing and firing too.

Paul fumbled for his gun and got it out, tried to figure out who was shooting who and why but then he felt the hammer of God come down on his shoulder and he dropped the gun and fell to the ground, trying to scramble away to recoup but his vision went black and he fell into oblivion. The last thing thing he heard was Caprice yelling something, but he couldn't make out what.

* * * * *

He was holed up in a motel, bullets pulled out of him by a vet who didn't ask questions and no company but the drone of the TV. It'd been long enough that he didn't need the pain pills anymore but he still had some, so why not?

She breezed in again, even though he'd bolted it from the inside. He'd been expecting her on some level and so didn't flinch this time, just glared at her.

“Out,” he said. “I don't give a poo poo what you have to say, just turn around and get out. You put me in deep poo poo and I'm not going to give you that chance again.”

She looked at him, wounded, unable to speak, then turned her back to him and started shaking.

“You heard me,” he said sternly. “Don't pull this with me, it's not going to...ah hell.” he said, giving up and starting to laugh.

She turned back around, grinning wide. “I don't even know why you still try that.”

“Because one day I'm going to mean it and I need practice. You got my cut?”

“Sure do,” she said, and sat down on the bed to spread out the takings.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Noah now that we have traded blows honorably I can reveal that your avatar is loving terrifying. I keep imagining this dead bird coming to me in my dreams and telling me your story in the voice of a man.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Insufficient Cheese
260 words

The American government has determined that you are not eating enough cheese. The American government has spent money and time determining what the ideal amount of cheese consumption is and you fall far short. The American government would like you to consider the following cheese options as possible solutions for your horrifying cheese deficit.

Option one: You will be given a block of pure, grade A Wisconsin cheddar produced by American cows filled with American dreams and lactating American milk from their mutilated American teats into American milking machines. You will then devour it entirely before leaving the room. If you wish you may consume sausage in addition to this but it will not count towards your needed cheese consumption total.

Option two: You will be given gourmet cheese spreads that have been infused with various additional flavors to make them more palatable and easier to consume in sufficient quantity. You may choose from strawberry, garlic, or Freedom. The Freedom may have a metallic taste to it which you should learn to ignore. Failure to ignore the taste of Freedom is not recommended.

Option three: You will be given a cow. You will care for this cow. You will love this cow. You will give it nourishment, and it return it will give you nourishment and as much love as a cow is capable of. You will form a relationship of mutual benefit and support with this cow. Then both you and the cow will be killed for failing to eat your recommended daily level of cheese.

Eat your cheese.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

V for Vegas posted:

Benagain

How funny was it? Amusing.

Was it Satire? I think we're good on this one Jim.

Don't call me Jim. Also, would this have been better with a few jabs at those stupid frenchies? Qui bon!



Dammit, I'd just heard a radio report on French people dissing American cheese consumption, too. Such a missed opportunity.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

This is the prompt I was made for.

I can feel it calling in the night.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

God dammit. Serves me right for not checking the thread and assuming I knew the deadline. gently caress it, still posting mine.

Dharma

811 words

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTHNpusq654

It's a terrifying situation, being shot at by your ex. Even if it's only with a paintball gun. I'd been cut off from the rest of my team and now he was tearing through the trees with murder in his eyes as I ran like the scared little bitch I was.

“Look,” I yelled back over my shoulder, “I'm really sorry it wound up like this but could we just talk about it like adults?”

Paint exploded on a tree next to me and I shut up and ran harder. God, why the hell did I decide to break up with him just before a bachelor party? That was a loving bad idea even before I found out what we were doing.

I came to a hill and started scrambling down it as fast as I could, his posse's whoops coming clearly from behind me as they took potshots at me, the fuckers. It was probably karma that I wound up on the team with all the stoners. Poor bastards hadn't lasted ten minutes, paint burning through the air and covering them in the garish neon detritus of war as they stared hard in the opposite direction, not even reacting for a few seconds as the gloriously gory rounds beat a tattoo up their asses.

I spent a few moments regretting every single choice I'd ever made in my life as a cleared the air over a downed log.

Suddenly I saw a group of bodies ahead. I tried to freeze and twist around but it didn't work so well in mid-air, so I wound up sprawled on the ground between two groups of dudes which, y'know, under other circumstances and all but at the moment not desired.

Everything went still, guns pointing at each other but no one firing yet, no one wanting to be the guy who got return fire from the entire opposing team.

Jack stepped forward, glares angrily at me, then growled out “Just let me shoot him a few times. That's all I'm asking for.” gently caress, his voice is amazing.

Brad, the titular bachelor, who'd I always had a thing for even though he was doubling down on the straightness in a month, came back and spit out of the side his mouth. Not as attractive. Especially since he'd been chewing on some seeds or something and he wound up with a little particle geyser.

“I reckon I won't be doing that any time soon.” he said, rattling around the paintballs in his hopper. Oh god, he's talking like a cowboy. “Y'see this here feller's on my team, and there are bonds of loyalty that go with that. Pledges were made not even a half hour ago that we would have each other's backs until we broke for lunch and I intend to abide by that.”

Jack shook his head, frustrated. “Oh my god. Just let me shoot him a few times and I'll be fine.”

“I've got a better idea,” Brad said. “Why don't you use your words and try to talk this out. It's a horrible thing to shoot a man when you're angry at him.”

“See, this is what I was saying. We should talk, and then you can shoot me as much as you want!” I got to my feet slowly. “You've just been really overreacting to this entire thing and I think if you just took some time to think”

“Overreacting?” Jack yelped. “Overreacting? You were the one who freaked out and dumped me after I asked if you'd ever thought about getting married!”

“Well you were the one bringing up marriage to a guy you've been dating for three months! While I was shitfaced!” I took a few steps towards him, stopping when I realized he still had a loaded gun pointed right at me. “Look,” I said, moderating my tone, “you just sprung a poo poo ton on me and I've been having some difficulties processing it, is all.”

“So don't dump me! Talk to me!” he yelled. “I get that it was kind of freaky but c'mon man! I love you!”

He stared at me, panting hard.

“Yeah,” I said, sheepishly running my hands through my hair, “yeah I love you too. Never stopped and don't plan too. You just scare the poo poo out of me sometimes, with your emotions and your paintball gun and so on.”

He threw the gun away and spread his arms wide. “Aright, it's just the emotions now. Can you deal with that?”

I kissed him before he said anything else. The rest of the group celebrated by firing over our heads, a rainbow of color falling out of the sky.

Then they started shooting us, of course, but it was still pretty romantic.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

In! This sounds rad as hell. THIS TIME I WILL NOT BE LATE.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

I'ma sign up again. Because I hosed up but goddamn if I won't keep climbing that mountain.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Chairchucker posted:

To celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, I will be giving the gift of, like, a billion flash rules. Starting with:


Dear Benagain,

According to this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvqcoLK-rHI Jesus had a beard. For Christmas Thunderdome this year, and to make up for your failure last week, you must have more bearded people in your story than beardless people.

Love,

Your pal Chairchucker. Merry Christmas.

This is perhaps the greatest rule of all. Merry Christmas and God bless us, everyone.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Carnival Melange
644 words

When I ran my hands through his beard I heard rain, and I loved him for it. I loved him for many things but that was the touchstone I kept coming back to. My own personal rainmaker, I'd call him, and he'd laugh and I'd see stars.

We'd met at the carnival. I'd been a tattooed, bearded lady until the barker found a non-tattooed bearded lady who could bite the tops off of bottles. So I shaved my face every morning, in order to heighten the appeal of the tattoos. The razor sliding over my face sounded like a very long, drawn out violin string and I'd hum along to it. Got to the point that my roommate would hum along too without even realizing she was doing it, accompanying something she couldn't hear.

He was a lion tamer, which he always joked was basically just letting the lion do what it felt like and taking credit for it afterward. He had a few books on philosophy which he would read out loud to the lion as it sat apathetically in the cage, trying to explain the structure of the universe and the laws of ethics to it. He always said that he was testing it to see if it could understand its situation.

He always claimed to like me better with a bit of stubble on my face, and whenever I'd call him a liar he'd get very serious and make his voice profound and declaim that beards were the outward signs of God's blessing upon a person and that to not display them was to spurn God, and I'd laugh and kiss him to shut him up and his body moving against mine sounded like trumpets in the distance.

He'd get lost in my tattoos, tracing them with his finger, which sounded a little like jazz if he did it fast enough. The USS Friend on my shoulder, the camel on my toe. I'd gotten the entire script of Leviticus 19:28 done on my leg, my first tattoo, a stupid act of rebellion at the time but it led me to him and so how could it be anything but precious now?

I don't know what he saw in the cage that day. We weren't even doing a show, just on the road from one town to the next and he was sitting in the back with the lion, reading to it as usual, and I was leaning against him watching the world pass by out the back. Occasionally he'd run his fingers through my hair, which I'd told him sounded like bells once, and he'd always make a point to try and do it in time to make a sort of song for me.

Then he stopped, and I looked up and he was staring into the cage, staring at the lion and the lion was staring right back at him and I swear to you that they were talking somehow, reaching out across species and language and time to understand each other. He looked like he'd found God in that moment, and the lion looked as if it was God.

I was frozen as he closed the book and moved towards the cage, frozen as he took out the key, frozen as he unlocked the door and threw it wide. They stared at each other some more, and then the lion made one giant swipe of its claw and bounded out the open back of the truck and was gone. It never even looked at me.

I unfroze, went to him, lying there on the floor. His chest torn, his face bloody, he clutched at the book he was reading with one hand and grabbed my arm with the other, a sad little funeral note in the distance. “Live fast, die Jung,” he gasped out, and breathed his last.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Comedy answer: Submitting an entry on time.

Actual answer: I usually try to go for a smooth flow magical realism type of deal. So I'm going to go with narrative poetry, because I have never done anything like that and it sounds cool.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Picker
364 Words

The truck goes down the alley slow
nosing among the scattered dross, looking
for metal-sign, the glints and telltale sheen,
which lead to castoff treasures, abandoned gold.

The cab is silent today, no music
that kind of day. That kind of mood. He smokes
rolls down the window just a crack, cold breeze
outside whispering through, fingerless gloves
one tapping ash, one loosely on the wheel.

Eyes darting ceaselessly, searching for scrap
When found, it will be pried apart, gutted
then thrown together in the high walled bed,
piled haphazardly, bound together with rope.

Mostly it takes no time, no time at all.
Hops out the truck, grab it, throw, back in, gone.
The big ones, though, they need some care, some focus.

Like this one, almost blocking the way
left carelessly, with hope that someone else
would deal with it, remove the problem, please.

He stops the truck, steps out deliberately
strides towards the prize, a sofa bed, angled
up, pointing skyward, stained and forgotten,
hard frame beneath soft foam and cloth, the ax
swung high to crash upon it, stuffing thrown
into the air like snow, the harsh shriek of
metal on metal, clawing out the bones.

The gutted carcass left behind, he stoops
dragging the mangled frame behind him slowly
cacophony on pavement drawing stares
from passers-by, muttering, dark looks, follow
clinging to him like garbage stink. He's used
to both. Deals with them every day. Don't care.

He stoops and straightens, heaves, the jangled mess
refusing to cooperate, the truck
not helping either, worn out springs sagging
unpredictably. He keeps on anyway
grits his teeth, growls from his chest, ignores the crowd,
laughing at him, chuckling down in their throats.

When he manages to get it on, cheers
break out, the crowd clapping as he dusts off
walks stiffly around to the door, applause
heralding his ascent to the seat, cheers
as he shifts gears and rolls the window closed
smoke already starting to thicken up.

The engine's belching rumble echoes back
from tight-packed buildings crowded round,
exhaust billowing out behind, cold cloud
white in the morning frost, weak sun throwing
pale light on piles of trash and worn-out goods.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Poetry is really hard! I have never written any kind of it before and now I have a special loving respect for those who do.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Do the words make you feel things? Could they make you feel things more efficiently? Martello sucks.

These are the three pillars of your judgement.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Fer Surreptitious Muffin

Matters of proprietary


“I'm sorry Mr. Sotheby but Sotheby's holds the copyright to your name. You may under no circumstances call your-” James Arnold stopped and sniffed. The shop was crowded with the sort of strange knick-knack that people seem to love; 5p gee-gaws from trade-aid shops from every benighted county in England. Snowglobes and fake watches and in one corner, some sort of large clay pipe in the shape of a man clutching tightly to his oversized-

I like this bit of description here. You can instantly picture the place

phallus corrected Arnold, before his internal monologue took a turn into dangerous territory.

Not sure what the 'before his internal monologue' bit was supposed to be doing. If you were trying to go for a 'gay but doesn't want to be' I don't think you had the space and it kind of just sits there unnoticed. I would've dropped it and just left him correcting himself. Or just have him call it a phallus because that right there tells you a lot about the guy.

“-your emporium Sotheby's.” His glare fell on the fake Mr. Sotheby, “and unless you change the name by the end of the fiscal year, we will be forced to take legal action,” he said. There, it was all out in the open. Arnold turned his body slightly, to avoid having to see the indecent pipe. Sotheby noticed though, his bloodhound eyes perking up.

Think this should be a linebreak“Oh Sir, you've seen the peace pipe. Why, my wife Elda, God-Rest-Her-Soul, bought it back from Peru about fifteen years ago. They say if you blow-”

“That's quite enough, Mr. Sotheby. I believe we are done here. I'll leave you with the paperwork,” said Arnold as he beat a hurried retreat in the face of the Fake Sotheby's aggressive earnestness. The bell over the door gave a sad little jangle as he left, leaving Sotheby in the dark with his things. The peace-pipe loomed menacingly, casting the shadow of a clay mushroom onto the wrinkled hangdog of a man below.

“Elda,” he said, “what should I do, Elda?”

He looked up at the pipe, then down at his shaking hands and that very night, he hatched a plan.

'that very night he hatched a plan' feels off. You could've just left it at 'what should I do Elda.'
***


~ CLOSING DOWN PARTIE FREE DIRNKS AN SAUSAGES ~

SOTHEBY'S WONDERMENT EMPROIUM IS REGRETTABLIE SHUTTING IT'S DOORS BUT WE ARE GOING OUT WITH A BASH.

JANURY 22ND 4PM

RESPONDAY SEAL VOO PLAY

NOE PLUS ONES.


I like this. I like all your bolded things actually.

Arnold's lip twitched as he read the letter. “You are cordially invited,” Why is he quoting something that's not in the letter?he muttered. He laughed despite himself. Why not? It would be a fittingly sad end to the sad little shop that had caused him so much grief. His client has been on the receiving end of no less than three lawsuits after products bought at “Sotheby's” turned out to be less valuable than advertised. None of them had succeeded but they'd wasted a lot of time and made the grand old house look bad for the press.

Not really a good explanation about why the hell this lawyer guy is going here. It's a stupid little thing but I did not get the sense that this was a funloving guy with time to kill and yet here he is going to an almost assuredly lovely party at a place he doesn't like just to gloat.

Well, I've nothing better to do this afternoon he thought. He opened his closet and picked out his best suit. He hoped the other partygoers would appreciate it and at the very least, it would inject some class into the occasion. “Well,” he said to himself, “time to meet the hoi polloi.”

Nope, you lost me. I have no idea what this guy's deal is. You kind of set up two different interpretations of his character and now they're clashing. Or you tried to give him depth but didn't have the time to explore it, either way.

***


“Hello?” said Arnold. The shop was dark and quiet. He noted with some satisfaction that the 'peace pipe' had been taken off the shelf. The Fake Sotheby must've caught onto his faux pas and put it away. It was either that or someone bought the thing, which was too horrible to even contemplate.

The door swung closed with a little jangling of bells. “Mr. Arnold sir,” said a small voice. Arnold jumped hard enough that he almost slammed into a shelf of snowglobes. The little man was standing behind him, shrouded in shadow. Only his eyes were visible, shining and red-rimmed. He took a step forward and the lawyer noticed the vulgar clay impliment in his hands. “I had a talk with Elda and we agreed to keep the shop the way it is, sir.”

“Your- your wife, man? You said she was dead.”

“Yessir, these last 15 years. We had her cremated.”

Arnold's gaze was now fixed solidly on the pipe. “You surely don't mean-” So wait, is he smoking his wife, or is the wife baked into the pipe, or what?

“I surely do, Sir,” said Sotheby. He stretched himself out to full height and Arnold became accutely aware that the antique dealer was less a small man than a giant of a man all bundled up. He was unbundled now and his head touched the roof. The pipe was made of hard, red clay. It looked much larger up close. “There's no party Sir, that much should be apparent by now, especially for a smart gent like yourself. Now I'm not a man of letters but I know about men and I know you and your dogs are going to keep on coming back unless I give you something … special.”
I like that big man bundled up small bit. You've got good descriptors.


He raised the pipe high and Arnold cowered. All he could think of were headlines

LOCAL MAN MORTIFIED BY BIG COCK
REVENGE OF THE INCAS: MUCHO PENIS

or maybe even
PROMINENT LAWYER GETS SKULL hosed

Again, these are loving great.

and sombre police officers with a row of stone dildos and the lone witness saying “yes, that one!”

His whole life went before his eyes and it was horribly boring. “I never did see Belfast,” he managed to say before the clay connected squarely with his palms.

“I saw you looking at it Sir and I straight away knew you liked it. If I give you my wife Elda's peace pipe, will you leave us alone? A man like you probably has a very stressful job and could do with a little release from time to time if you know what I mean,” Sotheby said with terrifying geniality. Is there weed in the pipe. Is this secret code for sucking dick. I have no idea!

“Yes, yes of course,” said Arnold. He took the pipe in two hands, scared the hammering of his heart would shatter the clay. “I have never been more grateful, Mr. Sotheby. You really don't know what this means to me,” he said. The little-big man was grinning ear to ear. “Oh I knew it. You have a lovely day Sir,” he said.

The bells jangled once last time and James Arnold hit the street, clay bong in hand. He looked at it and its tiny clay eyes looked back. “Yes,” he said, “I could use a little stress release.” I can't stop seeing all this as a metaphor for sex. Am I supposed to?

He had never meant anything so much in his entire life.

This has some funny bits but I have no idea what happened. Why did this dude throw a fake party? Why did he act like his dead wife was talking to him? Also the headlines were great but they actually hurt the story since I'm just reacting to the jokes instead of getting more information about what the hell is going on. Possibly the dude should've come visit the lawyer in his office for an interesting role reversal, bringing the peace-pipe as a gift?

I liked individual bits of this a lot. When you were trying to be funny it worked, I loved the headlines and the fake dick. It just never seemed to gell. I actually think this would be awesome with a rework and more words, I can see this being a longer story. Takeaway: Good humor, crappy story, you might have tried to do too much with not enough room to work in. Also seriously what's up with this guy's wife and are he and the lawyer gay?

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Huh. The gay thing actually wasn't intentional; he's just meant to be super repressed and terrified of penises because they're improper. Now that you've said it, I can't stop seeing it either. All the double entendres about cock smoking are intentional but like, not in a gay way.

(I can't believe I just wrote that)

The whole point was me trying to cram as many dicks into 1000 words as possible.

The original story was that he smoked his wife in the pipe, then killed the lawyer and smoked him too but I realised it was too obvious and canned it. It also skirted 'no altered states' too much. Also also I couldn't figure out where he got a furnace from. I left the part about the ashes in because it was funny but I see now, it's just kinda weird and confusing without context.

That pipe totally exists by the way. My old flatmate owns it.

Yeah my current roommate owns one Okay your original explanation makes this all make so much more sense. I stand by what I said, with a good rework this could be really cool and I enjoyed the funny bits. Maybe make it a gay romance where two men from different worlds find love and healing in each other's arms or something.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Good: Good lines, colors.

Bad: No forward narrative movement. Poor punctuation.

Overall: The gently caress?

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Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Bad Seafood e-mail me at hahaha no email here so we can do super secret judge talks and poo poo on people. I AM AWARE SPOILERING DOES NOTHING BUT IT MAKES ME FEEL BETTER.

And if we're doing 13 simultaneous brawls while also trying to run a contest things could get overwhelmed. Perhaps nominate a neutral third party to judge individual brawls, with the judges stepping in when someone inevitably shits the bed?

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