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sentientcarbon
Aug 21, 2008

OFFLINE GAMES ARE THE FUTURE OF ONLINE GAMING

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

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


I'm so goddamn in.

(oh no what have I done )

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sentientcarbon
Aug 21, 2008

OFFLINE GAMES ARE THE FUTURE OF ONLINE GAMING

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

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


Ashes (1000 words)

In the light of the setting sun, the last man waded his way down the still rivers of ash that filled the streets of the dead city. The great structures of the old world loomed above him on either side, towering and monolithic, like a cemetery of the gods, waiting for mourners who would never come. Ash-caked and grey, they watched impassively as he scurried furtively by, making his way to the outskirts of the city.

The man kept his head down as he walked, watching the streaks his shuffling feet sent through the ash as he trudged on. He feared looking up when he was in the city, afraid his eyes would catch on those bad words that seemed emblazoned on every billboard, spray-painted across every bare grey concrete face: PLAGUE and FEVER. The words stabbed at his mind savagely, bringing back searing memories of the bad times.

He’d been sick, profoundly sick. During the worst of it, he’d been submerged full in the miasma of a fever dream, and whether it had lasted a day or an eternity he couldn’t have said; Oblivion keeps its own sort of time. He’d awoken to a dead world of ash, a world that was his, and his alone, forever. It was something that he struggled to comprehend; the fever had spared his life, but left his mind a broken, singed thing.

So he kept his head down. The cans in the satchel slung over his back clinked together weightily, and the sound brought a timid smile to the man’s face as he anticipated the coming meal. He stayed away from the city as much as possible, it was a terrifying and hollow place, where the ash rose to twice the height of a man, but he inevitably made the journey every time the hunger became too much to bear.

The man crested a hill, and smiled as he saw his home in the distance. His joy was short lived, quickly replaced by fear as he drew closer. His front door swung free on its hinges, wide open.

His feeble mind raced. Had he shut the door when he left? He struggled to remember, but since the fever he hadn’t been so good at remembering. His heart thudded in his chest, and he was suddenly acutely aware of the cool air against the sweat on his palms.

A figure appeared in the gloom of the open doorway. A young girl, withered and naked, stood there in the entryway, and the man stood entranced as he watched her stumble forward. Her blonde hair was patchy and falling out in clumps, her white skin was dotted with patches of hard grey, her ribs were jutting cruelly against her skin as though they were trying to escape. She looked so fragile to the man, like something that could catch on the breeze and fly away. She was the most beautiful sight he could ever remember seeing.

The girl’s listless green eyes rolled in her head, looking every which way. She caught sight of the man standing motionless in the ash-covered street, and for a second there seemed to be a hint of awareness, and her throat uttered a squeak that could’ve been construed as happiness. Then her withered legs buckled and she reeled forward, her face smashing against the pavement of the front porch as her skull hit down with a sickening crack.

The man bolted across the street to her, dropping his satchel and spilling the cans into the shallow ash. He took her tiny body in his arms, gently lifting her ruined face from the cement, wincing at the tremendous heat radiating from her. Feeling like he was lifting nothing more than air, he carried her over the threshold and laid her on the nearby sofa, unsettling the thin layer of ash that had gathered there.

For the next three days he did not leave her side, and gave her all he had. He poured his last gallon of pure water over her cracked lips, begging her to drink, paying no mind to all that went wasted as it dribbled from her mouth, vanishing unnoticed into the ash on the floor. He covered her in blankets as violent shivering gripped her body, even as he lay uncovered and shivering in the dead of night beside her. He held her fragile hand in his and sang to her, begging her to get better, crying tears for reasons he could no longer fully understand.

She died on the night of the third day.

He knelt beside her for a long time in the still darkness, not knowing if he would ever move again. Then he lifted her, gently, and carried her from that tomb into the chill air of night.

He walked down the street, past his forgotten cans of food, half-buried in the ash. He walked for a long time, walked until every house and building fell away, until he was so far outside the city that the ash was no more than a thin veneer on the ground, until there was nothing around him but open fields and moonlight.

He laid her body atop the highest hill he could find, where the grass still rose bravely up through the grey sheen, green and alive. In the silver moonlight, he could see the cruel grey patches on her skin growing rapidly, engulfing all that had once been her. He could only watch as the disease took her.

It only took a moment. She lay there on the ground all grey and cracked, a fragile statue of ash, like some lonely stargazer, looking up into the sky, wondering at the beauty of creation, wondering what it all meant. Then a gust of wind whipped across the hilltop, shattering her body and scattering her ashes across the wide night sky.

A heavy cloud rolled in front of the moon, throwing the world into blackness, and the man wept in the dark, crying like a lost child.

sentientcarbon
Aug 21, 2008

OFFLINE GAMES ARE THE FUTURE OF ONLINE GAMING

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

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


Zack_Gochuck posted:

I don't want to edit, but I forgot to put the word count in there. It's 741 words.

Are we not allowed to edit even for little technical stuff like that? I copy-pasted my story in from MS Word and it screwed up the paragraph breaks, so I edited those in without even really thinking there might be a rule against it .







EDIT: VVVV Wow, what a helpful feature that I somehow managed to ignore for four years . Thunderdome: Warriors of the Blood God and tutors of basic forum functionality.

sentientcarbon
Aug 21, 2008

OFFLINE GAMES ARE THE FUTURE OF ONLINE GAMING

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

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


Wanna see dat prompt. I'm in.

sentientcarbon
Aug 21, 2008

OFFLINE GAMES ARE THE FUTURE OF ONLINE GAMING

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

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


I don't know who you are Velyoukai, all I know is that I suddenly hate you with a passion that burns hotter than the midday sun

sentientcarbon
Aug 21, 2008

OFFLINE GAMES ARE THE FUTURE OF ONLINE GAMING

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

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


V for Vegas posted:

THEY SHOULD BE HAPPY I DIDN'T SPECIFY SHE WAS A PROSTITUTE WITH A HEART OF GOLD AND HE WAS A WORKAHOLIC WITH MARRIAGE PROBLEMS.

Thunderdome: Workaholic prostitutes

sentientcarbon
Aug 21, 2008

OFFLINE GAMES ARE THE FUTURE OF ONLINE GAMING

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

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


A Difficult Conversation (790 words)

Eli felt his lips split open as James’ fist smashed against his face. He fell hard, the steel deck of the trawler refusing to yield as his skull banged against it.

“Youmufucknassole!” James howled, individual words swirling together in the tempest of his fury. Gabriel had gotten hold of James from behind and was struggling to keep him held; he had a good forty pounds on him, but none of the fury fueling his rampage.

“James, come, come on, ease up,” Gabriel pleaded impotently between huffs and puffs of exertion.

Eli flopped on the deck, rolling in the gutted innards of the day’s catch, his consciousness returning to him in fits and starts, coming in flickers and bursts like a dying light bulb. James briefly wrestled free of Gabriel’s grip and managed to land another solid kick in Eli’s ribs before Gabriel grabbed him again. Relative to the screaming agony of his jaw, the sensation of pain in his chest was muted, almost polite. As if his brain was telling him, Pardon me sir, I know you’re busy, but there’s something else that requires your attention when you have a moment.

Eli struggled up to a kneeling position, propping himself against a pile of dead fish. He reflected that he hadn’t even meant to tell James that he was sleeping with his wife, not really. He had meant to say something else entirely, something about the day’s catch, but the words had just fallen out largely unprovoked. They were slippery little things, as hard to keep a grip on as a writhing, suffocating fish.

“Why motherfucker, why’d you do it?” James asked. The blind fury had passed, but the rage was still etched across his face and over every straining muscle. Gabriel was straining to hold him back, his face beet read and his knuckles bright white as they gripped the other man’s biceps.

Eli hocked and spat before answering, almost gagging from the bouquet of coppery blood and fishy effluence in his mouth. “You want the truth?” he asked, trying to look as haughty as a broken man lying on a pile of dead fish could look. “The truth is, Janet came to me. Told me how lonely she was. Told me you hadn’t touched her, hadn’t performed your husbandly duties in months.”

Eli raised his arms and braced himself for another battering, but remarkably James held back. He kept his eyes locked on James, wary of any sudden movement. “I just wanted to give her a shoulder to cry on, but the poor girl, she was doubting herself, y’know, as a woman.”

James’ face clenched up and Eli reflexively scooted back on his fish pile. He expected James to lunge at him at any moment, expected the barrage of fists that he, frankly, had no chance of stopping. James was a solid six foot two of pure muscle; it was a miracle that short, pudgy Gabriel had been able to hold him back at all.

“Keep going,” was all James said.

Eli arched an eyebrow despite himself, perplexed by James’ response. “She…she asked me if I thought she was pretty. She asked me, if me and her were married, would I be like you, not touching her for months at a time?” Eli stood up, wobbly, wanting to at least be on his feet for the fight he was sure was coming. Instead, James only remained still, looking down at the bloody deck like a bashful child who had just been caught misbehaving.

“And what did you tell her?”

Eli looked around and shrugged exasperatedly, as if he could pluck some understanding of the situation from the gut-strewn deck around him. “I told her the truth. Told her she was a beautiful woman who any man would be lucky to have. Then I did what you couldn’t do for her.”

A vicious sob burst through James’ clenched teeth, so abrupt and unexpected that Eli leapt back and got tangled in a mess of fish and soaking net.

Gabriel let go of his arms as James stood there sobbing, his entire body shaking and trembling as he wept. Gently, Gabriel took James’ hands in his own, and leaned in closely to whisper softly:

“Let it go. It’s over, let it go.”

Their fingers intertwined as they clasped their hands together. Gabriel wiped away the tears from James’ eyes, and his face took on a pained look as he caressed his split knuckles. “Let’s see if we can find something for these cuts, ok?” Gabriel asked, gently smiling. James said nothing, but nodded, and Gabriel led him by the hand into the ship’s cabin.

Eli sat in stunned silence, alone on the deck, wallowing in the pungent aroma of fish.

sentientcarbon
Aug 21, 2008

OFFLINE GAMES ARE THE FUTURE OF ONLINE GAMING

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

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


Velyoukai posted:

sentientcarbon is an illiterate, noodle-armed, premature whippersnapper because there should be a comma in their statement located before and a semi-colon located after my name. <-you also forgot this common punctuation tool<



Hey everyone look at this chump with his second-person narrative, trying to write Bright Lights, Big Boat or something lol. You probably used second-person because you know that's the rank you're gonna get in this competition (second place)

(to me)

(jerk)

On an unrelated note, grinding out 800 words when you only have half an hour free to write is rather difficult

Edit: Double the Eli's?! Get out of my head old man!

sentientcarbon
Aug 21, 2008

OFFLINE GAMES ARE THE FUTURE OF ONLINE GAMING

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

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


Velyoukai posted:

You did well to best me, sentientcarbon. Now you just have to watch out for the legitimate monsters you're up against instead of an old man-avatar.

The real Demon's Souls Thuderdome starts here

Seriously though, I really liked your story, and was fully expecting to lose. 2nd person is difficult as all hell to make sound not-weird and you did a drat fine job of it.

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sentientcarbon
Aug 21, 2008

OFFLINE GAMES ARE THE FUTURE OF ONLINE GAMING

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

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


Meta (498 words)

One morning, Gregory awoke to find that he had transformed into a clucking, feathery beast sometime in the night.

“Oh dear,” he clucked furtively. “What on earth will everyone at work think? Will my friends think I’m less cool now? I hope I can still get chicks.” He nervously paced his room with a jerky, staccato stride, his long downy neck ticking back and forth involuntarily as he moved. “Maybe I should go back to sleep,” he thought. But he found that his rotund body made lying flat difficult, and in the end all he managed to do was claw up his comforter and get feathers everywhere.

“Gregory dear, it’s time to get up, you don’t want to be late for your job at the Wal-Mart.” His mother called from downstairs.

“I know Mom, God!” he tried shouting back, but all that escaped his beak was a garbled string of irate clucks. Gregory resented his mother for treating him like a child; he was a grown man of 26, with his own room and his own blog and everything. He quietly reflected that the adverse events of that morning would likely make a pretty sweet blog post, and immediately began mentally composing the inventive hyperbole he would use to describe just how taxing his life currently was.

“It’s that drat Wal-Mart that did this I bet, it’s so stressful.” His mother had forced him to take the job and he’d long resented her for it. “I’m an idea man, not a drone. Everyone just doesn’t understand how much smarter I am than all of them. A mind like mine needs time to think, I can’t be asked to stock shelves for twenty whole hours every week,” he clucked to himself.

The smell of his mother’s cooking wafted up to his room. He tried to lick his lips but he didn’t have any. Grabbing a poncho from atop his unkempt dresser, he quickly covered himself and strutted down the stairs to the kitchen.

His father was seated at the breakfast table reading his newspaper, and when Gregory approached he glanced over the top of the sports page. A mild look of confusion briefly passed over his face, followed by a quick shrug as he returned to reading the newspaper.

“Dear, why are you wearing a poncho and dressed like a chicken?” His mother asked gently.

Gregory mumbled something about a ‘promotional event.’

His father grunted from behind the newspaper. His mother only said “Oh, that’s nice.”

He mother placed a large omelet in front of him, and Gregory felt a profound unease ripple through his body. Still, it was a ham and cheese omelet, and he loving loved ham and cheese. He found the will to overcome his unease and ate everything offered.

When he got to work no one seemed to notice or care that he was a giant chicken. “Drones,” he clucked bitterly, scurrying off to the back where he could think about his blog some more.

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