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V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Ever Victorious 832


The sampan rolled under the weight of the man stepping out onto the small jetty. Leaning on his cane he pushed up onto the pier leaving the two men in the small boat hanging on as it rollocked back and forth.

‘Good gods Bertie, how long has it been since we were here man? Forty years hmm? Fifty? This demned malarial deathtrap hasn’t changed a bit. Look over there, I’m sure that’s the river bend where that rat Lao Che tried to ambush us that night we were sneaking up to Sooching. Cunning yellow bastard caught us like a Covent Garden catamite with our pants down, pizzle in hand!’

‘Maybe, George,’ said Bertie, grunting as he used his own cane to climb out of the sampan. He looked out over the turgid brown river, running through a flat landscape of rice paddies holding a labyrinth of canals. ‘It’s a long river and these rice paddies all look identical.’

‘No, no, I’m sure this is the spot. Gods, I’ll never forget that night, wild banshees came screaming out of those reeds, took out my batman with their first shot. What was his name, Tuckman? Buckman? Good man; had played rugby at Oxford with Wolseley.’

‘I think it was Dignam’

‘What? No, Dignam was in India – got himself invalided home after the Patar campaign. Buckman it was, Thomas Buckman I remember, went straight the bottom of the Po over there. Guns going off everywhere, those cursed scythes these heathens use flashing in the moonlight. I don’t know how we survived Bertie.’

George stood leaning on his cane on the end of the pier, staring at the eddying water. Bertie hauled a bag out of the sampan. The boats owner pushed off the bank with the long oar, back into the current and drifted away into the heat haze.

George turned back, limping with his cane. ‘Yes yes, definitely the spot. Know this river like the inside of my pockets. I told the Colonel that. I said you need an old hand in this part of the world, not some drafted cockchafer from Luton with his mothers milk fresh on his lip. You know what he said to me Bertie? ‘I wish I had someone with your wisdom and experience fighting under the colours still’.

‘The Colonel was being polite George’.

George slammed his cane onto the wooden pier. ‘drat your eyes Bertie, I know how brass works, you can’t strip a coolie these days without say so from the BG. No, this is our place. We’ll shufti the demned rebels and be back at HQ for tacks.’

Bertie glanced back over the barren fields. A waterbuffalo stood in a paddy a mile inland. A lone fisherman’s shack sat on the riverbank a few hundred yards downstream. The rest of the landscape was empty. ‘If there’s a rebel army here George, then they’re demned good at hiding.’

‘Bah man, this way.’

George shuffled down the jetty on his cane and turned towards the shack. Sighing, Bertie took up the duffel and slowly made his way after him.

The shack was barely a lean-to, an afterthought of scrap wood and brush designed to provide shelter from the merciless sun now high overhead.

A small cadaverous man was haunched down in the shade, cleaning a fish with a small filleting knife. He had frozen when the two men came into view, a rictus grin on his face.

‘Now here we are Bertie, a coolie who can tell us what we need. You interpret for me’ George turned to the fisherman. ‘Now man, where is Tsung Ha?’

Bertie sighed again: ‘Don’t be afraid, we are your friends. We are looking for Tsung Ha.'

The fisherman’s eyes darted to Bertie and then back to George.

gently caress you old man

‘What did he say?’

‘Uhh, he doesn’t know.’

‘Bullshit Bertie, look, he’s obviously a scout foraging for the men.’ George stepped forward, raising his cane. The fisherman ducked back, still grinning. His eyes darting from the cane to the fish to the cane again. He darted forward, knife extended burying it into George’s mid-riff, grabbed the fish and sprinted out into the fields.

George pressed his hand to the blood spurting from the wound. ‘Oh gods Bertie’, and collapsed. Bertie knelt down, lifting George’s head.

‘I bet that was Lao Che’s grandson, the bastard had the last laugh after all.’

‘I think he was just a fisherman George.’

‘Doesn’t matter now. drat this. How does it look?’

The knife had done its work, one quick blow had shredded the linen shirt and blue ropes bulged from between George’s fingers.

‘You remember Salisbury?’

‘Oh god, that bad.’

‘Yes.’

‘Oh god.’

Blood pooled into the dirt. Against the drone of crickets in the background a mayfly buzzed though the air.

‘You know Bertie.’

'I know George.’

‘Oh god...’

Herbert leaned forward and gently kissed George on the mouth.

Like a faint drum beat, a cannon fired in the distance.

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V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

It will always be October 4 in my heart. Signing in.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Sacrifice

It wanted to sacrifice one of the new iPads. You know, the whole deal – candles, pentagrams, incantations – with a shiny slab of glass and metal ‘designed in California’ sitting right there in the middle of it all. Not working of course. (The whole ‘eons of darkness’ thing was bit of an own goal in retrospect). But that didn’t stop the ceremony going ahead. The end result was a small, charred pile of glass and metal. Pretty much the exact same result as the attempts with the iPad 2, the iPad and the various iPhones we had tried.

At least the Apple gizmos were physical objects. I mean, geez, there was a hell of an argument when It wanted to sacrifice a sub-prime mortgage. How do you explain collateralised security to something which only has a loose concept of time? Let alone the idea of ‘commerce’. Didn’t matter. The name had been descryed so we had to sacrifice it. I think It was a bit disappointed when It saw just a small piece of paper on the altar. You can never tell what It’s feeling I know, but all those blood gutters had been hewed into the obsidian for a reason.

There was an easier run after that. The portrait of Mao from the Tienanmen Gate, the left hand of Christ the Redeemer, the Magna Carta. Don’t get me wrong, it was still pretty busy, but it wasn’t complicated like.

Global warming was tricky. How do you ritually disembowel four hundred and fifty parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere? An SUV? Too gauche. Carbon Trading Permits? That would just be the sub-prime disaster all over again. In the end we stuck a polar bear up there. It’s kind of symbolic I guess, and I thought some good old fashioned blood-letting might cheer It up a bit.

I still don’t know why terrorism came up. Good grief, It is literally the ‘Lord Of’. The whole place runs on terror; it’s our religion, our currency, our daily bread. And now it wanted to sacrifice it? I just didn’t know what to do.

‘I will be the sacrifice’ It said.

‘How can you sacrifice yourself? Kind of defeats the purpose doesn’t it?’

‘Do you remember why we came here? What we did all this for?’

‘Doesn't matter.'

'Do you still love me?'

Gordon Bennett. Is that what this was all about? 'You're not my wife anymore. You're the Dark Lord.'

She smiled that smile that creased the corners of her soft blue eyes. 'That ends now.'

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I wasn't happy with how the polar worked out in the end - I wanted something a bit more Barthelme.



I'm in.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER



The Trial

Pohl stepped out of his cell into the Passage.

The Heilt Sacah, the steady dry wind of the Passage, blew as always from his right hand side, the Upwind side. You had once been able to see forever down this hall. People like mice against the vastness; traders moving Downwind and other acolytes running chores. As a dare he had once walked Upwind as far as he could. The Heilt Sacah was not strong, but it was relentless. After four hours he was panting. After six hours he was exhausted, slumped down on the red stone of the floor. A Trader passing by had snorted at his foolishness. After he caught his breath he stood up, defeated, and headed back Downwind to the dormitory.

That had been an age ago. Now the Passage was dark and utterly deserted. Pohl looked Downwind and saw Nym, the only other acolyte stepping out of her cell a few doors down, dressed in the same gray robe.

‘Well’ she said. ‘It’s time.’

Pohl fell in next to her and they began to walk Downwind together. Pohl glanced across at Nym. Her brown hair sat short and rough. ‘You sliced your hair?’

Nym looked at him. ‘I didn’t want long hair getting caught up in the Trial’

‘We don’t know what the Trial is, maybe long hair might help’.

Nym snorted. Pohl didn’t know what else to say.

They continued on in silence. Ten minutes later as they reached the Crest, Pohl felt Nym’s body tense. Downwind from the Crest was the only short slope in the known Passage. The floor dropped by only a foot over a hundred yards, but in the unrelenting flatness of the Halls, this was vertiginous. It was great sport amongst the acolytes to sprint down it. Even today, of all days, Pohl knew Nym could not resist racing. As they touched the Crest Nym cuffed Pohl on the shoulder yelling ‘shalat’ and sprinted down the slope. Pohl raced after her, his longer legs catching up easily. As they reached the bottom, Pohl shortened his stride slightly, and Nym crossed ahead of him.

She turned to him, eyes bright and breathing heavily. ‘I knew I could beat you.’ Pohl tried not to look at her chest heaving up and down. It had filled out considerably in the last year. He smiled. ‘I am shalat. You win.’

Nym grinned victoriously. ‘A good omen’.

‘Good for who?’ replied Pohl.

Nym’s grin faded.

‘Come on’ said Pohl. ‘We’re nearly there.’

The door to the reliquary stood in the wall of the Passage like every other door. Only the covered lantern hung outside distinguished it from the thousands of others. Behind the door, a long straight passage took Pohl and Nym to the sanctum sanctorum. Of the thousand candles that had once burned in this place, only a handful still spluttered on their dying wicks. Even as the acolytes entered another one snuffed out, lowering the gloom even further. A hoarse, stentorian breath echoed from the recesses.

‘Ah, and here we are. The last pupils of Yallasht, come at last.’

In unison, Pohl and Nym knelt on the floor. ‘We are the pupils of Yallasht. We are the hope of...'

They both trailed off as a figure limped into the candlelight.



At some time in the past, he had been skinned alive, and then had his flayed flesh wrapped back around his body with rivets and staples. Slowly, very slowly, he shuffled, the agony of his torture still fresh as blood seeped through his skin. He stopped and stared at two kneeling on the floor. 'At last Mishka,' he slurred through his mishapen lips. 'We come to the binding of all things through the whorl of mind's eye. Two and two. The thrones of Yallasht. Two there are for the children of Yallasht.'

Pohl glanced at Nym and then up at the figure before him. 'Your Holiness. We have taken instruction. We come for the Trial.'

The tortured figure continued. 'I broke the marrowbones of kings and lived through the Fall. Passage bought is passage taken.'

It turned to the high altar in the centre of the chapel and touched the frontspiece. With a slow grating rumble, the tabernacle turned, revealing an open doorway. Pohl and Nym moved forward. The space behind the door was not just dark. It was an utter void. Nym reached and took hold of Pohl’s hand and together they stepped across the Final threshold and out of this world forever.

Step.

Nym’s head was fastened in the jaws of the beast. Its talons had slowly ripped a wide, black tear in her stomach. As Pohl watched, a wet, scarlet tongue slowly slid out of the opening, tasting the air.

Pohl looked down at his arm. The skin had dried completely and turned to parchment. He could only stare at his other hand as it reached across and began tearing at the dry flaky substance, ripping deep into his paper flesh.

Pohl screamed.

Step.

Ahead of them stood a skeleton throne, topped by a grinning death’s head. Pohl looked around. One throne. He looked across at Nym, her torso hung off the slick, black creature crawling its way out of her stomach. Her head lolled drunkenly as her eyes bulged, staring into nothingness. Pohl looked back at the throne, his body in agony as his hands continued to rip away his own brittle flesh.

Step.

Pohl had reached the throne’s pedestal where blank faces had been carved into the relief. Nym lay next to him, her nightmarish prodigy had finally worked its way free, leaving a gaping red wound. Her eyes flicked to the grinning skull on the throne, and then met with Pohl’s. The madness faded away and she began clawing at Pohl, tearing away fistfuls. With his last remaining strength, Pohl thrust his leg out against Nym, pushing her back into the embrace of her creature. It hungrily snatched her up , and began tearing into her skin again.

Pohl crawled up onto the throne. As he finally shrugged down into the skull’s cold embrace, another long red tongue snaked out of Nym’s body.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

love this prompt - I'm in.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

The Day Shift (406)


You think you want this? Really? OK here’s what you got to do.

Get up at half-four, every day, and hustle to the corner of Abercrombie and 10th where the night shift is coming off. You’ve got about 10 minutes to find your changeover and work out what’s happened while you were gone. And man, the night workers, they’re the ones with the real bad piece so they don’t give a poo poo about you. Once they get their cuts stitched up then they just want to get the gently caress out and gently caress and sleep and forget the world. So, yeah, good luck talking to them.

But you got to because otherwise the next twelve hours won’t just be painful, it will be like running around with a lit match in your dick.

Then you’re out and bam, bam, bam you’ve got to hit those marks, like a regular metro-loving-nome. Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. Miss one and oh boy, work not twice as hard, three, four times as hard to get back in black. And you know that ratfucker Busload is stealing around on 17th to cut you off ‘cause he saw you miss a beat. And now you have to cut in on 6peat to make up what ratfucker took and 6peat is a mean sumabitch.

And it ain’t even noon.

West side and the Sisters, the Cave, the Rolled September, UpandOver, the Crash, Moons and Aces, Token, Vaglife – don’t kid yourself, it doesn’t get any easier. You got miles and miles to go. There’s a new mob moving down from the north and they will be doing their best - and their worst is a hell of a lot better than your sorry pathetic best - to gently caress you and gently caress us all. You see them, you get the gently caress out. But don’t miss your loving beat.

Then there’s the dead zone. Like a hotshot up a junky’s arm it stops everything. But you don’t stop. When your legs are screaming like they’re being ripped off and the air is like tar you don’t stop. Never stop. You stop and you’re dead or you’re dead to me and let me tell you, you don’t want either. If you’re bleeding keep going. If you’re hallucinating, keep going. If you’re hallucinating a gently caress off huge clown is raping your rear end: Keep. loving. Going.

And then come back.

And that’s just one day.

Not so keen now huh, bub.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Chickencheese Chicken



Cheese. Chickencheese. Chickencheese.



Chicken. Chickencheese.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Reporting in.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Sitting Here posted:


V for Vegas-The Day Shift
This one made me feel dumb. I'm not sure if I don't know what's going on because I'm stupid, or because it's intentionally vague. I like the vaguely Tarantino-esque feel to the voice, I just don't like feeling dumb


I paraphrased the prompt as 'insight dampens ardour' and wrote about a bike courier telling an eager rookie what was actually involved in a day's work.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

A small, orange flower on the corner of west 34th street 749.


In 1743, the German naturalist Traugot Gerber unexpectedly left his teaching post at Moscow University and attempted to flee the country. He died suddenly in the city of Vyborg, near the Finnish border. His herbarium of 2,400 different species, which he had collected throughout his life, was never found.

In 1884, in South Africa, the orange gerbera daisy (Asteraceae) was discovered growing naturally on Table Mountain. Its taxonomy was classified as the same as a flower collected by Gerber on the Volga river over one hundred and fifty years earlier. No one has explained why it was growing at that latitude.


The hothouse flowers reached up to the lie of the cold December sun that broke through the conservatory's glass ceiling. Lara shuddered briefly as she moved inside the humid, equatorial room from the brisk New York morning outside. Rows of orchids, Amazonian lilies and begonias filled the roof-top greenhouse, obscuring the view of the nouveau skyscrapers outside.

Lara pulled off her coat, hanging it on the small rack next to the door. Moving through the lush vegetation she emerged into the centre of the room where an old man sat at a table, potting saplings in small terracotta urns.

'Jean-Paul' said Lara smiling.

'Ah, mon cheri, Lara, bienvenue to my garden enfolding spots of sunny greenery.'

'This is a true pleasure dome Jean-Paul. It even has its own caves of ice.'

The white-haired Frenchman gave a brief smile and turned back to the plants on the table, picking up another seedling and gently tapping it out of its pot, encouraging it to take its first steps in the world. Lara sat down on the opposite wooden bench and took up another seedling, teasing out the roots for transplanting in the waiting pot.

'I see you have not lost your les pouces verts, your thumbs green since going to Langley' said Jean-Paul.

'You didn't ask me here to spread mulch Jean-Paul. What do you want?'

Jean-Paul sat back. 'Non, no I did not.' He pointed to the seedling Lara was potting. It had sprouted a small, orange flower.

'What is the plant you have there now?' he asked.

Lara looked at it more closely. 'I'm not sure' she said. 'It looks like a genus of daisy.'

'Qui, tres bien. It is a member of the Asteraceae family. An interesting fact about the Asteraceae family - they all have either fifty-five or eighty-nine petals based on the Fibonacci system which...'

'I know Fibonacci numbers Jean-Paul, I watched The Da Vinci Code.'

A slightly pained look crossed Jean-Paul's face. 'Well then, count the petals on that flower.'

Lara paused and studied the small flower in her hand. A mayfly meandered over the table.

'Sixty-one' she declared. 'That can't be right.'

'Non, it cannot be right. Yet there we are having. I have been cultivating that plant for over a year now, and each cutting will produce flowers with different numbers of petals. Any odd number from fifty-seven to eighty-five. But never fifty-five. And never eighty-nine.'

'From the same cutting? But that is just...'

'Matériellement impossible! D'accord! But it is fact.'

'There must be some explanation. A mutation?'

'Non!' said Jean-Paul. 'There is not, it cannot happen in nature this, this, obscenity.' His face had become flushed. 'This is something else.'

'What do mean 'something else.'

'I have studied the taxonomy of this plant, its history. And let me tell you Lara, it has a very strange history. I even went to the length to give it to my friends at MIT to complete a cellular analysis. And what came back...'

'What was it Jean-Paul?'

'It is not a plant, mon cheri. It is a machine. And it is everywhere now you know' he said. 'Wedding bouquets, street corners, potpourri. Just another flower that is kind of nice to look at, nothing more.'

Lara looked down at the delicate flower cradled in her hand and dropped it as if stung. 'What do you mean it is a machine?'

'Just so. An object mechanicale, a device with a creator, unknown and unknowable that can do two things.'

Lara's voice sank to a whisper. 'What two things?'

'It can reproduce' replied Jean-Paul. 'And it can absorb and store information from the environment.'

He picked up the flower that Lara had dropped, crushing it between his fingers.

'It is watching us.'

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

sebmojo posted:

Haha oh god you too

Some kickass stories this week. A Good Prompt.

Though I'm itching to red-pen V for Vegas' French. Itching.

Quelle horreur!

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Thought I would experiment with that, but it didn't quite work out how I thought it would.

Oh well, THAT'S THUNDERDOME!

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

很明显我不会说法语!

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Oxxidation posted:

The bottom? Christ, and I thought I felt some decent energy running through that piece, too.

Guess I'll think up a prompt, though it's not something I have any experience with. Give me a day or so.

(incidentally, The Saddest Rhino's piece was the winner in my mind)

FAST PROMPTIN' = GOOD PROMPTIN'

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Proposing peculiarly prescriptive prompts promotes passionate participation. I'm in.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

A Madman’s Diary 715

I

Tonight there are two moons in the sky, one light and one dark. It’s been many years since I saw them, but were there always two? And why is the second moon looking at me that way? It has the entire world to look at, to spy on. Why spy on me? I hid through the back door of the house into the kitchen. It can’t see me. But it knows where I am. I will have to stay inside until morning. I make a pot of tea. Tea is best picked on a cloudless night like tonight when the leaves are damp and covered in dew. But tonight something is wrong, I do not even notice the water boiling.

I sit down at the kitchen table. There is a red-haired girl sitting across from me; she must be hiding from the moon as well. She looks not all there, a semi-vacant stare. She tells me she has seen death. I tell her I am having my tea. I can't give you a cup because I didn't know you were coming. When you make tea you have to measure it properly for the number of people drinking it. This is very important. Why don’t people LISTEN when I tell them about tea. It is not HARD to UNDERSTAND.

II

She is not stupid, I see that sly glance she gives me when she thinks I am not looking. There is no moon in the sky tonight but I stay inside anyway. I make enough for her and add some honey to hers as well; girls like sweet things. I give her the tea in the Nice Cup because it is Polite. She slurps the tea and doesn’t say anything about the honey. I will not serve her tea in the Nice Cup again.

III

Day is the time of yang, but night is the time of yin. Moonlight is the energy of yin. Dew is the water of the night and is also yin. When the night is full of yin's influence (moonlight and dew) the yin of the tea picked at this time is strengthened and in harmony.

I serve tea to the girl in the Chipped Yellow Cup. I don't think she notices. She tells me when she was a young girl, she was allergic to sunlight and could only go outside at night. In the deserted playgrounds she could climb and play on the swings and slides. Her only friend was the moon's cold light.

She says she can be my friend. But her eyes tell me something different. She is yin, she is darkness. She wants my flesh. She wants to kill me.

I am afraid.

IV

We sit at the table in the moonlight. Neither of us moves, watching the other. If I take my eyes off her I know I will be lost. I know her for her true nature now and her yin no longer hides behind a vacant stare. A tongue the colour of a tea leaf slips out between her lips, and she smiles. The tea goes cold in the pot on the table. We sit for hours. Then weeks. Then years. The world slips by outside unnoticed as we sit together, locked in our silent vigil. She is the daughter of the moon; the spirit of the witching hour who has come to claim me with hideous strength and take me back into the silent planet.

And yet. There is something else, eclipsed behind her eyes. Like the moon is only a reflection of the sun, she is but a poor soul's cold twin sister. She is near yin, but not of it. I reach out to the tea sitting on the table and pour her a cup. Her cup is full and I keep filling it, tea running out over the rim, over the saucer, over the table. Her hand snakes out latching onto my wrist. She hisses but I do not stop until the pot is empty and the tea puddles and drains off onto the floor. A cloud moves across the moon, plunging the kitchen in shadow. The tea drips steadily. I wait for the moonlight to return but it is has gone and so has she.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Oxxidation posted:


With special guest star Nice Pete.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Alright buckle up chucklefucks. This next week is going to be a hell of a ride.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

TWO MEN ENTER, ONE MAN LEAVE

Time to put the thunderdome back into this Thunderdome. We are talking about one on one, no holds barred grudge matches where the enemy is not the judge (although we are not on your side) but your fellow Thunderdomers.

Sign up starts now, and lasts 24 HOURS ONLY. Once you have signed up, you will be matched up with another competitor and given a prompt. Each pairing will have a different prompt. Pairings may be random or may be seeded. Who knows?

YOU MUST SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY BETWEEN 24 AND 48 HOURS AFTER THE PROMPT IS GIVEN. WORD LIMIT 800.

I know you are all retarded and cannot even read a clock so to make it simple for you here are the times.

Sign up starts: NOW

Sign up ends: 5 December 2012 - 1pm California, 4pm New York, 10pm Stockholm.

Round one entries open: 6 December 2012 - 1pm California, 4pm New York, 10pm Stockholm.

Round one entries close: 7 December 2012 - 1pm California, 4pm New York, 10pm Stockholm.

After the first round, the winners will proceed to the Battle Royale where they will have another 48 HOURS to compete for the:

WINNER OF ALL WINNERS

The losers of the first round will proceed to the Battle Royale with Chickencheese where they will attempt to avoid the ignominy of being declared the:

LOSER OF ALL LOSERS

Some general guidelines (not so much guidelines as goddamn Commandments Written In Stone):

Action. I want these stories, no matter the prompt, to have some movement, some weight, some kinetic bloody energy. Write a story with two people standing in a room talking to each other and I will knock you down to losertown for seven generations.

There is a ZERO TOLERANCE policy to cliché, idioms, stock characters/ expressions etc. If you can't be bothered writing a few hundred words of original prose, why the gently caress should I be bothered reading it?

Thunderdome begins NOW.

The following have chosen to spin the wheel:

SurreptitiousMuffin
Benagain
Peel
Sitting Here
Rose Wreck
Greatbacon
Capntastic
Zack_Gochuck
Velyoukai
Tender Child Loins
sentientcarbon
Jeza
Bear Sleuth
Noah
The Saddest Rhino
Etherwind
Seldom Posts
Jonked
Erik Shawn-Bohner
Fanky Malloons
Bad Seafood
sebmojo
Found Sound
AutoSnakes
Canadian Surf Club
Ronnie_Long

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Prompts will be delivered at the end of sign up. Right now I have at least 12 to write up.

If there is an odd number of suckers contestants I will sign up to even the pairs.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

For those of you waiting for a prompt, or on the fence about getting in - here is a teaser prompt.

Only ONE pair will get this prompt. So you can start writing for it now but do so in the knowledge you have, currently, a 1 in 10 chance of being allocated this choice.

A Horde of Corpses



From the latest 'Recommended Reading' by Electric Literature.

quote:

“James Stewart with his haunted expression is dead, and the balding man at the bar behind him (his blonde hair brushed back from his calvity) dead, and the romantic trio in the background (the woman in the dovegray pea coat, her date in his charcoal suit, the tall gentleman chaperoning the two of them) every one of them dead, struck down by the last half century.”


Write the story of the death of one (or more) of these characters. The dead person cannot be Stewart, although he should be involved in the death in some way.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Sign ups close at the top of the hour.

26 contestants at the moment. That's 13 death matches.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Sign ups CLOSED

Draws coming up.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

THE DRAW

SurreptitiousMuffin v Erik Shawn-Bohner

Sitting Here v Etherwind

Jonked v Jeza

Capntastic v Zack_Gochuck (AKA the battle of the Losertars)

Bad Seafood v Tender Child Loins

The Saddest Rhino v sebmojo

AutoSnakes v Ronnie_Long (Congratulations, one of you will win in your very first Thunderdome! And then go on to be smashed)

Benagain v Noah

Velyoukai v sentientcarbon

Found Sound v Seldom Posts

Canadian Surf Club v Rose Wreck

Peel v Greatbacon

Bear Sleuth v Fanky Malloons

LordVonEarlDuke v Martello

Trash talking your foe is not against the rules.

Prompts will be coming up over the next hour.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

SurreptitiousMuffin v Erik Shawn-Bohner

Julia Blackmon – Fire



Sitting Here v Etherwind

What’s he building in there. This doesn’t necessarily have to answer the eponymous question. It should evoke the atmosphere.

Jonked v Jeza



Write a ‘Man in a Hole’ Story. Setting – the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

Capntastic v Zack_Gochuck

Hope you have been doing your homework! You get Hordes of Corpses

Bad Seafood v Tender Child Loins

The Isaac Asimov Challenge

Write a story set in the far future with fantastic technology. The kicker, they still have to deal with the same bullshit we have to deal with, technology just makes it worse.

The Saddest Rhino v sebmojo

Transgressions of Boundaries. That’s it.

AutoSnakes v Ronnie_Long

Summer in Munich

Eliot reads Eliot

quote:

Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.

Benagain v Noah

Caprice Pays Paul an Unexpected Visit, with Motives



Velyoukai v sentientcarbon

Three Nantucket men in a fishing trawler. One of them is having an affair with another's wife. Something unexpected happens.

Found Sound v Seldom Posts

Driving in China

You are one of the drivers in this snarl - must be written in first person present.

Canadian Surf Club v Rose Wreck

Write a noir story using the oeuvre of Trent Reznor – AKA Nine Inch Nails.

Peel v Greatbacon

Capitalism Works For Me



Peel - write a story where for one of the characters this is 'true'.

Greatbacon - write a story where for one of the characters this is 'false'

Bear Sleuth v Fanky Malloons

Solovki, White Sea, Russia



Dogs should feature heavily in this story.

LordVonEarlDuke v Martello

Brazil

quote:

Brazil
When hearts were entertaining June
We stood beneath an amber moon
And softly whispered someday soon

Write a story about bureaucratic error ruining a person’s life.



NO ENTRIES ARE TO BE SUBMITTED FOR ANOTHER 24 HOURS

AND REMEMBER THE GODDAMN RULES!

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

RULE CHANGE

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

All Thunderdomers with a picture in their prompt now have a minimum word count of 1000 words.

The rest of you have 800 max.

There may be more rule changes during the non-submission period. Keep watching the skies

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Etherwind posted:

Does a video count as a moving picture?

No correspondence with the judges will be entered into. Make the call and live with your decision.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

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.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Just to be clear, we're not allowed to submit for 18-ish hours yet, then we have a day.

I'm not done yet or anything, it's just for reference.

You are, for want of a better term, a Lemur.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

People can now submit their entries - I had some more rule changes planned but you can thank your lucky firmament that the forums conspired to thwart my plans / I had passed out.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Well poor old 'Boneitis' Boner isn't even going to submit so just write 'BONER IS A JERK' 250 times and you win!

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

One hour to the close of Round 1.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Round one is Over!

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I'll allow Canadian Surf Club.

NOT SUBMITTED: Rookie AutoSnakes and Martello!

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

PMs sent.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

All judges will be posting their picks - best of three wins.

SurreptitiousMuffin v Erik Shawn-Bohner -ESB

These are both very good. I would give it to ESB on points for the premise.

The problem I had with SM's entry was the voice of the protagonist. That's the tricky thing with writing in first person is that the language the person uses has to be congruent with the character. For this story, I felt the voice was SM's, not the storyteller's. That problem then fed into some poor sentence choices like "It is the second most fierce and beautiful thing I have ever seen" (a Get Smart joke??) and references to 'the heat death of the universe'. These were not things I felt this character should be saying.


Sitting Here v Etherwind - Sitting Here

Etherwind, I'm impressed. After last week's effort I had low expectations but this kept me interested. However, Sitting Here, even though his ending felt off to me, I loved loved the first half - 'Oh ho!'

Sitting Here. I always consider it better to be revealing than to be revealed and I would have been much happier if you're story didn't go where it did, but stuck with the sing-song delirium at the start.

Etherwind - Like I said, pretty good but a few things just irked me while reading. The opening quote (from Dan Simmons(?!) of all people) seems to be hanging there without reference to what happens in the story. I'm sure you've got a good reason but it was opaque to me. Also - using a reflection in a mirror to describe the appearance of the character - a dangerous flirtation with the 2nd rule there.

Otherwise pretty well done following the internal monologue of the character.


Jonked v Jeza - Jonked

Of the two, I actually think Jeza's was the better written piece, but the cheesy story telling yei yei in Jonked's story got me.

Jonked I actually groaned when you interpreted the prompt literally as well as thematically, but you know what, as a piece of mythology it worked quite well so I take back that groan. I really appreciated the little touches in the story, like the poems written in Hakka and the perverse twisting of praise of Mao into criticism. A great touch!

Jeza, while your story was good, I think it didn't meet the prompt as well as Jonked. Firstly, your piece could have used a few more flourishes like Jonked's that set it in it's place. While it was probably more accurate as to the horrors of the times, and you had some good lines (like referring to the fact that metal had all been used up) it didn't feel as rooted in the setting. That feeds into the second issue in that it was ultimately a revenge story, not a man in the hole story, that could have been set anywhere.


Capntastic v Zack_Gochuck - Zack_Gochuck

Hallucinatory characters get me every time. Honestly, Capntastic I didn't really gel with your character. Maybe that's just me.


Capntastic - The first paragraph sends this down the wrong track. I don't see where in the story you go with the conceit that small problems ripple and expand into large problems. If you've got Chekhov's ripple in the first paragraph, you better make sure it's a big old dirty rock thrown into the pond by the end. Here, the guy gets ready to go to work, goes to work and has a lousy night, sneaks into a closet for a smoke and dies in a fire. Maybe I'm not getting something here but the whole story just seemed to be this happened and that happened and then he died. It didn't tie back to the promise you made at the start.

Some other things with the writing could have been tidied up, eg the second paragraph could be made much better by getting rid of the adverbs and simply describing Eric's preparations precisely, not calling them precise.

Zack - On re-reading this I have absolutely no idea what this has to do with the prompt. Did Jimmy Stewart used to do mescaline? It's a good story on it's own, but no one dies?? COME ON SON. At least Capntastic had the Waldorf Salad connection.


Bad Seafood v Tender Child Loins - Tender Child Loins.

Bad Seafood, you had me up to the final line! You needed an flawless performance to beat TCL's down home swamp techno story.


The Saddest Rhino v sebmojo - The Saddest Rhino.


I liked your final line sebmojo, but the story didn't feel all there for me.


AutoSnakes v Ronnie_Long - Ronnie_Long by default

Still a good piece, this was a tricky prompt.


Benagain v Noah - Noah

Again, I have a thing for stories with hallucinations.


Benagain - to coin a phrase popular in these parts, I bounced off this one. Caprice and Paul went through the motions of a heist but I didn't get any sense of them as characters. You try to inject a little history in their 'fake laugh' banter, but it's not really enough for me. More on their relationship and having them do the heist alone would have been more satisfying.

Velyoukai v sentientcarbon - Velyoukai

I think you pulled off the 2nd person narrative quite well.


Found Sound v Seldom Posts - Seldom Posts

It was obviously a humorous post and you took that and ran with it. Well done.


Canadian Surf Club v Rose Wreck - Canadian Surf Club

Sorry Rose Wreck, I know that the Nails may not be your thing, but just reading the occasional cameo of an album cover in the story was kind of jarring when reading it.


One of the reasons I chose this prompt is that I loving love NiN. I really dig the concept that the band is just one guy, playing all the instruments and laying down one instrument track on top of the other until you reach this deep, layered and complicated sound. Did you know his first album, Pretty Hate Machine, came out in 1989! That’s forever ago, but you go back and listen to his old stuff and it sounds fresh and new – it must have been incredible hearing it back then.

So that’s the baggage I’m bringing in when I made a prompt that talked about NiN. Obviously, for someone who does not listen to the music or most probably dislikes it, we are not going to be ad idem on what a story which draws on the music will be like. But hey, that’s interesting as well and it certainly isn’t a black mark on what has been written, I’m always fascinated to see what someone else’s opinion is on something that is old to me, but new to them.

I take your point that the story was about the music, not just throwing in titles, but goddamn they were annoying to read. Please never, ever, ever do that again. I went back through your story, pasted it into word and then deleted all the song references. You know what? It instantly became a million times better and I can see where you were going with it.



Peel v Greatbacon - Greatbacon

Both good stories. I liked the incompetent hustlers better.

But I want to say Peel, for a little but I was giving your president a mental fist pump and a little 'gently caress yeah' for his speech to his killers. If you could have expanded that (i don't know how) it would have been really good.

Bear Sleuth v Fanky Malloons Fanky Malloons.

I loved 'The Thing' premise. And Bear Sleuth you lost me with 'shall' as an article of clothing??



LordVonEarlDuke v Martello - LordVonEarlDuke

I also liked both of these, but the Duke was more in keeping with the Brazil theme.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Confirmed winners in the first round -

SurreptitiousMuffin
Sitting Here
Jonked
Zack_Gochuck
Tender Child Loins
Ronnie_Long
Noah
Seldom Posts
Canadian Surf Club
Greatbacon
Fanky Malloons
LordVonEarlDuke

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

ROUND TWO

One of the best flash fiction authors was, of course, Donald Barthelme. I first read about his stuff a while ago in George Saunder's book - the Braindead Megaphone where Saunders dissects Barthelme's story - The School. Saunders of course is a great writer himself, who has written a bunch of funny short stories, like Comm Comm

Given this week's stories have, for the most part, been pretty grim (honourable exception being LordVonEarlDuke ), for the Battle Royale with Chicken and the Battle Royale with Cheese here is your assignment:

Write a humourous satirical story. 500 words. The losers have to incorporate 'cheese' into their story. The winners have to incorporate 'chicken'. It can be central or tangential to the story.No other rules. (Etherwind, if you make a post asking what 'no other rules means' so help me God...).

You have 48 hours from NOW (that's Sunday midnight eastern, Sunday 9pm western, god knows when European)

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V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

SurreptitiousMuffin v Erik Shawn-Bohner -ESB


The problem I had with SM's entry was the voice of the protagonist. That's the tricky thing with writing in first person is that the language the person uses has to be congruent with the character. For this story, I felt the voice was SM's, not the storyteller's. That problem then fed into some poor sentence choices like "It is the second most fierce and beautiful thing I have ever seen" (a Get Smart joke??) and references to 'the heat death of the universe'. These were not things I felt this character should be saying.


Sitting Here v Etherwind - Sitting Here


Sitting Here. I always consider it better to be revealing than to be revealed and I would have been much happier if your story didn't go where it did, but stuck with the sing-song delirium at the start.

Etherwind - Like I said, pretty good but a few things just irked me while reading. The opening quote (from Dan Simmons(?!) of all people) seems to be hanging there without reference to what happens in the story. I'm sure you've got a good reason but it was opaque to me. Also - using a reflection in a mirror to describe the appearance of the character - a dangerous flirtation with the 2nd rule there.

Otherwise pretty well done following the internal monologue of the character.


Jonked v Jeza - Jonked


Jonked I actually groaned when you interpreted the prompt literally as well as thematically, but you know what, as a piece of mythology it worked quite well so I take back that groan. I really appreciated the little touches in the story, like the poems written in Hakka and the perverse twisting of praise of Mao into criticism. A great touch!

Jeza, while your story was good, I think it didn't meet the prompt as well as Jonked. Firstly, your piece could have used a few more flourishes like Jonked's that set it in it's place. While it was probably more accurate as to the horrors of the times, and you had some good lines (like referring to the fact that metal had all been used up) it didn't feel as rooted in the setting. That feeds into the second issue in that it was ultimately a revenge story, not a man in the hole story, that could have been set anywhere.


Capntastic v Zack_Gochuck - Zack_Gochuck

Capntastic - The first paragraph sends this down the wrong track. I don't see where in the story you go with the conceit that small problems ripple and expand into large problems. If you've got Chekhov's ripple in the first paragraph, you better make sure it's a big old dirty rock thrown into the pond by the end. Here, the guy gets ready to go to work, goes to work and has a lousy night, sneaks into a closet for a smoke and dies in a fire. Maybe I'm not getting something here but the whole story just seemed to be this happened and that happened and then he died. It didn't tie back to the promise you made at the start.

Some other things with the writing could have been tidied up, eg the second paragraph could be made much better by getting rid of the adverbs and simply describing Eric's preparations precisely, not calling them precise.

Zack - On re-reading this I have absolutely no idea what this has to do with the prompt. Did Jimmy Stewart used to do mescaline? It's a good story on it's own, but no one dies?? COME ON SON. At least Capntastic had the Waldorf Salad connection.


Benagain v Noah - Noah


Benagain - to coin a phrase popular in these parts, I bounced off this one. Caprice and Paul went through the motions of a heist but I didn't get any sense of them as characters. You try to inject a little history in their 'fake laugh' banter, but it's not really enough for me. More on their relationship and having them do the heist alone would have been more satisfying.


Canadian Surf Club v Rose Wreck - Canadian Surf Club


One of the reasons I chose this prompt is that I loving love NiN. I really dig the concept that the band is just one guy, playing all the instruments and laying down one instrument track on top of the other until you reach this deep, layered and complicated sound. Did you know his first album, Pretty Hate Machine, came out in 1989! That’s forever ago, but you go back and listen to his old stuff and it sounds fresh and new – it must have been incredible hearing it back then.

So that’s the baggage I’m bringing in when I made a prompt that talked about NiN. Obviously, for someone who does not listen to the music or most probably dislikes it, we are not going to be ad idem on what a story which draws on the music will be like. But hey, that’s interesting as well and it certainly isn’t a black mark on what has been written, I’m always fascinated to see what someone else’s opinion is on something that is old to me, but new to them.

I take your point that the story was about the music, not just throwing in titles, but goddamn they were annoying to read. Please never, ever, ever do that again. I went back through your story, pasted it into word and then deleted all the song references. You know what? It instantly became a million times better and I can see where you were going with it. Good work.



Peel v Greatbacon - Greatbacon

But I want to say Peel, for a little bit I was giving your president a mental fist pump and a little 'gently caress yeah' for his speech to his killers. If you could have expanded that (i don't know how) it would have been really good.

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