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  • Locked thread
Nyarai
Jul 19, 2012

Jenn here.


Noah posted:

Is there a signup deadline? Or is that open until the posting deadline?

Nubile Hillock posted:

Signups end on friday, whenever I wake up and log on.

So Friday morning/afternoon CST, probably.

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The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning


Authors Crit:

1. Nubile Hillock
2. Erogenous Beef

NUBILE HILLOCK - heartache/lockjaw 998 words

Everything had vanished. It must have disappeared overnight. Everything, except for his house and most of his yard, anyway. He didn’t believe it at first, so he walked to where his fence should have been and peered over. There was nothing. Well, nothing except for an endless grey expanse. He leaned over to see if the plumbing was still connected, but a few clumps of dirt shook loose and fell away. Dissuaded, he went back home. Everything was probably fine, anyway.

At the very least, it meant that his parents weren’t going to be home for a while. There was only one thing to do: shower sesh. I learnt a new thing today. I don't understand this activity at all but drat. There seems to be a sudden transition to why he decided on shower sheshing upon discovering that he is floating in the middle of nothing, which I think is meant to reflect his character - I would suggest doing slightly more characterisation before this, but this is a personal preference thing of course.

Suggest Paragraph Break. He let the hot water run good and long before getting in, making sure to keep the bong dry. Steam and sticky smoke filled his lungs, blowing out the blood vessels in his eyes.

Everything was still gone, need to mention that he has gone out of the shower by now but things were a little more wobbly now. The stairs to his basement seemed steeper; his Flying Burrito Brothers posters seemed less faded. I keep learning new things today. But the wheel was still taco’d, nice, but you didn't mention that it was connected to a bicycle and I think you may want to point out where it is in relation to the basement. leaning hard left just like last night. He sighed and picked up his screwdriver.

He loosened, tightened and the wheel took on another, different shape. Still wrong. He went at it again before spinning the wheel around; it caught, but less so. It was egg-shaped now though. He chose a spoke at random and tightened. Metal snapped loose and he cringed at the sound. He’d heard it before.

They’d been in a beer tent, downtown. A concert or show or something; the memories muddled and stretched with miles of associations. He remembered her with striking clarity. The thin traces of black around her eyes, that Ramones shirt she’d taken from him, the trucker cap and windswept hair.

“I can’t do this anymore” she said.

“So it’s over?” he asked.

She stood, wobbling slightly and steadying herself on the table.

“Are you sure you’re alright? I’ll call you a cab. We can pick your bike up tomorrow” he said.

“gently caress you! It’ll be gone by then.” She made an unsteady line between tables and out of the tent, fumbling to get her bike unlocked. These two actions shouldn't be in the same breath - pacing. Suggest that she got out of the tent. He slams the beer and followed her out, seeing her squatting on the ground fumbling/failing to unlock her bike. Also, note that "steadying herself" and "unsteady line" comes one after another - suggest change of phrase.

He followed, but not before slamming the rest of his beer. See above.

“Don’t do anything stupid, alright? You don’t gotta do this, really. What are you trying to prove? That I’m an rear end in a top hat? Look, I said I’m sorry.”

She wasn’t listening. Need to mention she's already unlocked and on a bike when on the cobblestones. She pushed off down the cobblestones, almost toppling over into a tree. She steadied as the bike sped up. Her teeth slam together when she rode it off the curb. She never saw it coming; too drunk to feel the pain. People were starting to look now, phones were coming out. He broke into a run.

“Hey! I said wait!”

She sped up, turning hard into an intersection.

He heard the horn a second before the bus slammed into her; she’d run a red.

Suggest paragraph break. Her face hit the windshield as the bike got pulled under. Suggest bike gets pulled under first as it is less important than her. Then we get to her face hitting the windshield which carries into the next sentence on how the hit affected her body, like so:[/b] The impact sent her sliding across the pavement, leaving a bloody streak.

Paragraph break suggestion. She didn’t move, not even when the paramedics came. He had blacked out, woke up in the hospital with the taste of puke in his mouth and a needle in his arm.

Another spoke broke free of the rim, the wheel went limp. No, that wasn’t right. That’s not how it goes has gone down at all.

He loosened all the spokes and started again, replacing the broken pieces. Groaning, creaking, and the quiet pop of beer cans. He wondered if the radio worked, but felt too heavy to get up and check. Bits of rust flaked off the old steel as he tightened everything up, again. He spun it ‘round – it didn’t catch this time.

Catching? Fish. That was it! It was a festival. They’d been camping when she’d told him it was over.

Setting sun over endless pine forest, outcrops of Canadian Shield and a mostly empty lake. She was wearing that hat, that headdress. That plush wolf thing that was tacky and impossibly cute. Behind them some no-name band with a droning electric melody refused to quit. BEAUTIFUL MOMENT SPOTTED I like that the description of situation comes only in second recollection. Drives further that he was high and bad with memories.

“I’m leaving after this,” she said.

“You mean after this set? I hear the next band’s better.”

No I mean, I’m leaving after we go home. I’m gone. I can’t do this anymore.”

“You mean it’s over? You really gonna call it quits while we’re out here?”

“No, I said after this. Nothing’s gonna change till then.” She took out a flask and downed half, offered the rest to him. He drank and tossed it in the lake when he was done. She didn’t say a word.

The next band wasn’t better, or maybe he was on a bum vibe. The festival ended sometime, days dragged into weeks, turned into months. He was still bitter he’d never seen her off at the airport; she’d never called when she got there. Lack of clarity at this point - was the earlier memory of her getting knocked down by a bus a revenge fantasy? Elaboration may help. The resolution of her leaving and going to the airport here is a bit sudden and not afforded the same weight as the accident, which may likely have contributed to the confusion.

Spokes groaned again, a grey glow still filtered in from the basement window. He closed one eye and started tightening, adjusting, spinning it round and round. It was getting better. Almost straight, almost good along the centerline, too. He spun it slow, keeping an eye on the line.

Suggest paragraph break, to emphasize fixing the spoke "fixes the world" in later part of story.There. The problem spoke.

The wheel aligned itself for a moment. He spun it – it spun true. Describe slightly more on the wheel working. He dropped the screwdriver,

Suggest paragraph break and join next paragraph to this. Sunlight filtered in through the window. A Gram Parsons vinyl played on the Hi-Fi. He took the steps by twos and threw open the door. His fence was there again, so was the neighbourhood and trees and the streets and every little thing that made up his life. He smiled, a warm breeze filled his lungs. His phone rang from inside, on the display was a number he knew by heart. "Display" part doesn't work. He's outside, how would he be able to see it? Say that he knew who was on the line because it was the usual time, etc.

He felt the spoke let go more than he ever heard it. Unclear - make the spoke letting go a stronger statement here. Everything disappeared again, he tripped on the first step and fell down the stairs on to the pavement presumably?. The heavy drunkenness returned "drunkneness" can't be correct - he was on drugs and this would serve to confuse. and he felt sick to his stomach.

Paragraph break suggestion. The wheel was sitting there again, bent into a mobius strip. Suggest switch to two sentences for emphasis on wheel's current state.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, but there are a number of parts that were a little unclear which I felt could be improved with respect to pacing and weight. It took a reread to figure out that the bicycle spoke - the act of fixing it - was his way of "fixing the world" in his mind, which wasn't driven home enough at the climatic moment where things became well (and then bleak) again.

---


EROGENOUS BEEF - Coup (967 words)

During the second hour of the national mourning procession, Vice Chancellor Milk arrived and assumed his reserved seat in the uniform-choked bandstand beside Harrison Glass, who murmured the required pleasantries and offered the appropriate frown. Milk’s lips trembled as his glazed eyes swept over the assembled crowd. He took out his forbidden smartphone and began playing a game, ignoring the passing Women’s Honor Guard as they stopped before a towering portrait and wept. Harrison is meant to be the POV character here, so you should be focusing on Harrison first instead. Harrison should see Milk arriving and murmur the pleasantries, and observe him playing with his forbidden smartphone. Also I thought it was a megaphone and was really confused at first but that's beside the point. I think "state-forbidden smartphone" would be better and describe "playing a game" with fingers twiddling moving a snake to an apple or something.

Harrison glanced back towards the deceased Dear Leader in whose immortalized shadow they sat. In the nosebleed seats beneath the portrait, Sherman stared down at them, flanked by other black-suited spooks. He grimaced, palmed a packet of menthols and nodded towards the stairs.

The justice minister and the secret cop Unclear. Who is who? Also, suggest to use the proper designation for "secret cop" instead to emphasize that this is a dictatorship. Using "KGB" and "secret cop" gives very different meaning to the dictatorship. met behind the bandstand and shared a silent smoke. Sherman took the last puff and ground the butt beneath his jackboot.

“A great loss for the revolution,” said Harrison.

“Not everyone seems to agree, Minister.”

“You’ll scrub that breach of etiquette from the telecast?”

Sherman waved a hand and plugged another cigarette into his lips. “Seen the toxicology report?”

Harrison nodded. “Sounds like an exotic cocktail. Who supplied it? The Americans?”

“Don’t know your own department, do you?” Sherman grinned. “We use the various bits unclear on what "various bits" are for executions, abortions and anesthesia. It’s an inside job. Someone with access.”

Fire ignited in Harrison’s veins, his knuckles glowed white as he clenched his fists. “Someone highly placed.”

“The honorable V.C. will be at his summer home this afternoon. Registered yesterday. Off for a month.”

“I think he’d enjoy some visitors,” said Harrison.

The cop flicked his lighter shut. “We can take my car. Saturday?”

#

“The Dear Leader put me into law school,” said Harrison.

Sherman flicked repetition of "flick" a cigarette butt out the window, one hand on the wheel. “Yeah, you were working some veggie patch before?” He smirked. “I’ve read all of your dossiers. Spent yesterday nose-deep in Milk’s.”

Harrison’s jaw dropped open. “You worked through the Dear Leader’s Interment? His Will said—“

“Ease off, don’t be one of those guys.”

They emerged from thick evergreens into a clearing. Manicured grass surrounded a whitewashed two-story house with a squat black Mercedes in the driveway.

“What’s the official line on the Dear Leader’s—“

“Cancer.”

Harrison eyed the bulges beneath Sherman’s coat. “Pity we didn’t catch the tumor earlier.”

The secret cop grinned and nodded towards the house. “Which floor do you want?”

“I’ll take the upstairs.”

They straightened their suits and approached the door. It swung open before they could knock, Chancellor Milk smiling mildly at them. Not entirely sure how you swing open doors then just smile timidly at people. Doesn't seem to make sense. Is he Chancellor now, by the way? I know you said he's registered, but just a single dialogue between Milk and Sherman saying "so he's Chancellor now etc" would work. He invited them inside, led them to an upholstered parlor, poured some cups of Darjeeling and toasted to their health. Harrison faked a sip.

Sherman cleared his throat. “Mister Milk, where’s your toilet? Been a long drive.”

“Past the bedroom, up and to the left.”

Harrison sat upright in his chair as he waited for an opening, resisting the urge to shuffle his feet. Milk stared past him, sipping tea. Harrison followed his gaze. A rose garden sprawled across the back yard, multicolored blooms hanging from thorny stems hand-tied to individual trellises.

“Yours? They’re quite nice.”

Milk nodded and finished his tea. “I think I’ll have a stroll. You’re welcome to join.” He stood up and stepped out through a screen door.

Harrison checked his watch. Sherman was taking his sweet time pissing. He went to the carpeted stairwell and, above him, a toilet flushed. Sherman rounded the corner, wiping his hands on his pants, and nodded to Harrison as he descended.

“Find anything, Sherman?”

“In five minutes? Who am I, Sherlock Holmes?” He pushed past. “I took a quick look, nada. Your turn.”

Harrison walked into the master bedroom. It was maid-tidy, the sheets folded back on the bed like a hotel and a little bowl of potpourri resting on the nightstand next to a big red book with a well-cracked spine: the Leader’s classic Meditations on Unity, required reading for any citizen, as common as socks in bedrooms across the nation. Run on sentence. Split to two - either after the sheets being like a hotel's, or after the bowl of potpourri resting on the nightstand.

Precisely the sort of thing someone in counterintelligence might miss.

He drew a razor blade and straight-edge from within his jacket and set to work, cutting out a thumb-deep square in the middle of the book. Suggest sentence break between "jacket" and "setting to work". He plugged a little glass vial of clear, need to note where the vial came from lethal liquid into the new hole and closed the book.

Sherman and Milk reclined on chairs amidst the roses, laughing as Harrison approached. He caught Sherman’s eye and mouthed ‘book’ before smiling at Milk. “These roses are lovely, Chancellor.”

“Thank you.” The Chancellor motioned for him to sit. “The secret to a good garden, Minister, is good weeding.”

“Pardon, I need to take another whiz. drat tea.” The cop hurried towards the house. See above comment on "cop" matter. Also, took me a minute to realise Sherman is the cop.

Harrison turned to his doomed superior. “Speaking of, I could do with another. Would you like one?”

“Certainly. Cream and sugar, please.”

Inside, the Justice Minister waited by the tea service. Sherman returned a moment later, face flushed. “It’s the same stuff.” He slid a dense memo printed on official letterhead across the table. “Glad I came prepared. Just sign here.” Lack of clarity on what is going on. What does he think he is signing and why? Story falls apart starting from here.

Harrison Glass inked his name beneath Sherman’s finger and the two men walked out into the roses, Sherman keeping one hand close to his chest.

“Mister Milk, I’m very sorry.” Sherman drew his pistol and glanced at Harrison. “He tried to hide it inside the Meditations.”

“I had dearly hoped the rumors weren’t true.” The Chancellor pressed his hands together, as if praying, and sighed. “Do you have papers?”

Harrison held out the memo. “It’s for the good of the nation, sir.”

“Indeed. And thank you for the signed confession.” Milk waved to Sherman.

The cop swung his gun to Harrison’s head. “Sorry, pal, but that was my book you cut up.” He fired.

Ending has some issues - I don't think it was ever elaborated what was going on towards the end. Was it (a) Harrison was trying to frame Milk by planting the vial inside, Sherman discovers it, tricks him into signing a confession; (b) Harrison and Sherman had planned all along for Harrison to take the fall, and it was part of the plan for Harrison to sacrifice himself for the good of the nation? This was made unclear because (a) why would Harrison put the vial in the book? (b) What did he think he was signing? He held out the memo later. It turns out to be a confession. Did he know that? and (c) Why was Sherman's book in Milk's study? The build up was all right but the story does seem really confusing towards the end, unless it turns out I cannot read at all which I think the whole thread silently agrees with.

PS where is BEAUTIFUL MOMENT ???

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


In.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Sitting Here, I hate you so much for giving me Total Eclipse of the Heart. It took me from Tuesday until just now to even finish my rough draft. The song has also been stuck in my head all week.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

systran posted:

Sitting Here, I hate you so much for giving me Total Eclipse of the Heart. It took me from Tuesday until just now to even finish my rough draft. The song has also been stuck in my head all week.

Weren't me ya mook

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005

Now, in the quantum moment before the closure, when all become one. One moment left. One point of space and time.

I know who you are.

You are destiny.


I'm back in, shitheads.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Black Griffon posted:

I'm back in, shitheads.



Griffon

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

O... it was Jeza. I hate Jeza then.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

systran posted:

O... it was Jeza. I hate Jeza then.

We all hate Jeza

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

I love Jeza because that song is dope.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

SIGN UPS CLOSED

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at Mar 29, 2013 around 18:45

Khris Kruel
Nov 5, 2003

Sometimes I just want to eat the world. Ask me about my wonderful posting!

aight, first submission to the thunderdome. 957 words. And yes, I have sharp glass in my rear end in a top hat. Lets keep it civil

Title: Vambraces at Sea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7fuuDc2hH0

Lena shivered in the sea air. Another wave threatened to soak her again. The boat rolled down a steep wave. She held tightly to the small mast as the sea water soaked her green cloth pantaloons and rabbit fur vambraces. It will matter little. Her rough leather cuirass will hold against her sister’s attacks.

Lena looked behind her to the small boat chasing her. She could see the ten men working swiftly to move the boat into position. Her sister locked eyes with her. Rama bowed irrespectively in her tightly fitted battle-maiden dress. The leather fit her firm torso and thighs with stone lines around her body to stop any slashing attacks. Her arms were covered in the fur of some unknown animal. Lena’s sister always dressed elaborately for murdering siblings.

Lena signaled for the sails to stop. The men cut the sails while Lena swiftly sliced through the mast. There was no retreat. The men dived into the sea. She was alone. She faced her sister with their slave-brothers. Let them come.

The silhouettes jumping through the air were betrayed by the lightning striking the sea in the far distance. Lena ducked through their jumping attack onto her boat and swiftly sliced through the first slave-brother’s bare chest. Red viscous fluid damped her blue silk sash around her waist as she carved through the screaming male. Their wooden daggers would not find purchase.

The slave-brothers came en masse. She stepped over the slain one, noticing his loin cloth had slipped off. Nothing but the best for her sister, Lena thought. You would think in this freezing rain they would have some other piece of clothing. Two struck out with their wooden daggers and fierce eyes. Lena just smiled as she sliced their hands off. They dove into the sea in fear.

“Sister. I did not know you so fiercely desired our throne,” Rama said seductively, walking past the slave-brothers into sight. Lena held her battle posture, gold circlet falling slightly over her eye.

“I survive to see you stay forever as princess, sister. All of Glaima will suffer at your hands. I will die before I let you ascend,” Lena shouted.

Rama squinted and smiled. She pulled a sword off her back. Lena noticed the water falling off her fur gauntlets and dampening her goose skin boots. She would not be as mobile as normal in this rain.

Lena struck first. She took two steps and slipped her right dagger along her wrist while thrusting to the side with her left. Let her attack my torso. Rama snapped the sword upward in her center and took a step backward. The slave-brothers jumped into Lena’s path. With Lena’s last step, she spun herself, slicing through the wooden daggers in her way.

Two slave-brothers lost their head to Lena’s athletic force as Rama burst forward. While spinning, Lena used her momentum and Rama’s attack to push herself upside down into the air, over Rama, as the sword entered an unfortunate slave. Rama’s puzzled look turned to shock as she realized her mistake. Lena took her hair.

Three slaves remained. Rama clutched furiously at her bloody stump of a head. The slave brothers kneeled. Lena laughed as she presented the five feet of hair removed from Rama’s head. The blue ribbon holding it together came apart. The hair was claimed by the wind and blew out to sea.

“You…Monster…” Rama screamed, every ounce of her flesh shuddering. The slave-brothers did not move. They served Lena now.

“Come, my sister. Let us see what cruel fate is in store for you,” Lena whispered, winking at her sister.

Rama screamed in rage and pedaled as hard as she could across the small boat. Her sword angled toward Lena and began to slash easily across the middle. Lena burst forward at the moment Rama was in the air between steps. Lena sliced the sword to the side and worked herself inside Rama’s defense. With a kiss on Rama’s cheek, the dagger pierced her soft silk dress and chest.

They both fell to the deck together. Lena dug the hilt of the dagger as far into Rama’s chest as possible. Rama coughed blood onto Lena’s dark emerald amulet. She cried out in agony before opening her eyes again. “My dear sister, it didn’t have to end like this,” Lena said softly, twisting the dagger through the leather sword holster on Rama’s back.

Rama sputtered blood and shook uncontrollably. Her tears and life slowly drained from her face. “Lena, I have one final request,” she stuttered. Her breathing turned to rasping.

Lena watched her sister’s eyes revert to her younger self. When they laughed and played together. This was her last family. She would be alone from here on out, even if her sister was a murderous psychopath. She leaned in closer, lifting her hand from the hilt of the dagger. “Yes, my sister. What is your request?” she whispered into Rama’s ear.

It slipped past her purple cloak, through her silk undershirt, and into her lung. No more breath. The dagger Rama had kept hidden. With every single ounce of strength left, Lena had been stabbed in the back. “Die with me, dear, sister,” Rama whispered. Lena gasped for air. There was only blood inside her lungs. They stared into each other’s eyes one last time. Rama stopped gasping. She moved no more.

Lena tried to reach behind her. She could not find the blade in her back. She fell off Rama to attempt to dislodge the perturbed weapon. It only drove it farther in. She lost the strength to move. Her eyelids became heavy. She felt no pain. She thought she would feel pain in her last moments. There was only light.

Khris Kruel fucked around with this message at Mar 31, 2013 around 18:57

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

by the way Rhino, I want you to have my word-babies

Rather Watch Them
Mar 28, 2012

Don't worry loves! NEED A CAVALRY HERE!


I have no idea what I am doing and hope that this fact is not conveyed through the text. Please, by all means, tear this to shreds if necessary.

(For your listening pleasure.)

A Young Man In Control (1042 words)

He wants to move the moon.

Like many romantic male leads, Sam wants the scene to be perfect. The location is suitable: in the open air of the patio, away from those grinding delinquents inside the meeting hall where his senior prom is supposed to be. He made sure to put on a silky baby blue tie in case she noticed, which she did. He wore his nicest black and white suit and wanted a little coordination with his date.

Uncomfortable as it may have been, Sam observed Lily at school: eavesdropping on her conversations, being in the right place to walk her path, and keeping note of the interactions in his sketch pad. He didn't dare let his portraits reach the public eyes--the dignity he has left is well intact--but his mind kept a vast repository of faces for him to put to paper in his room nights when he was cut off from everyday mental clout.

There he would draw her once or twice a week, trying to perfectly encapsulate what makes a Lily. Should her hair be let down to fall over her shoulders or tied into a bun? Should her blouse be yellow or blue? Sam took the direction of his personal freeze frame and printed it with such detail that he almost felt ashamed to be creating this vestige for his eyes only.

That was why, for the first time, the illustration that came closest to perfection by that Saturday night is in the back right pocket of his slacks, ready to present to her as soon as she comes down the staircase to meet him. This is going to be the night Sam makes his feelings known.

But t his isn't how he pictured it at all. Nature commanded tonight to be cloudy with no moon in sight. It rained recently, making the metal furniture wet in order to leave no dry spot to sit and discuss Sam's drawing after his and Lily's first passionate embrace. The situation is making him want to lasso the moon and drag it out of the clouds for the spectacle of their first kiss.

Lily is in the restroom, quickly checking her makeup and hair. Are her roots showing through the blonde bun on her head? Is her baby blue strapless dress exposing too much? How much of the matching nail polish has chipped off since dinner? She doesn't want to make a bad impression on Sam. After all, he's starting to blossom into his own despite his social setbacks, and even those can be fixed by having a prom date. Otherwise she wouldn't have asked him in the first place. He did come through with a ride to the hall and offered to pay the bill at that Italian restaurant. He might not be the silent creep other boys have been calling him.

Lily exits the restroom and steps outside onto the staircase where Sam is eagerly waiting for the scene to play as he envisioned it.

Enter Lily on top level. She smiles warmly noticing me and proceeds downstairs. I watch breathlessly. We meet near the staircase, one pace apart. I offer for the two of us to dance to the muffled ballad. She accepts my hand and we take position, my hands on her waist and hers on my shoulders.

So it proceeds with the two of them. It is during this ritual that Sam's moon breaks through the clouds to shine on them. This is as perfect as he can make it. At least, until Sam thinks about the many ways that this moment could be more perfect.

Blue just isn't her color.
I can tell she's not a blonde, so why hide it?
I don't understand why she can't wear her hair down like she usually does.
Where are her glasses? Her eyes just aren't as dark without glasses.
I don't know about that tan. It seems unhealthy.


While Sam distracts himself with his mind's eye, Lily steps closer to break the distance between them, each hand on a half of his back, her head resting on his shoulder. There he could gently step her back and go in for the kiss, but he's much too occupied to try that. She sustains her patience, eyes on the ground to count red bricks and make sure not to step on his feet or the end of her purple dress.

Lily examines her deep purple nail polish for any wear. She removes her glasses and observes them up-close for scratches, occasionally sweeping her dark brown bangs out from in front of her eyes. She marvels at the way her skin has faded from the cold of night.

Lily plants an arm on Sam's chest and separates the pair. The time right, Sam timidly remarks, “I have something to show you.” He removes the folded sheet of paper from his back pocket, unravels it and reveals it to date. She grasps the drawing between her purple fingernails and examines it--a blonde woman with blue eyes in a blue dress. Lily's eyes widen, her jaw becomes more heavy, and the paper slips down between her pale fingers.

Sam notices her strife and asks Lily, “Is something wrong?”

This reminder makes her tighten her grip on the portrait to the point of creasing the page, and alternate her vision between this woman and Sam's dumbfound expression. With each pass the glimmer on the purple thumbnail grasping the page grows more and more jarring. Finally she thrusts the sketch into the heart of its creator and runs off as best as she can, up the stairs and out of his sight.

Sam watches her go, flabbergasted by her reaction. Is this what all girls feel when presented something like this? He releases a stuttered sigh and flips the drawing back to face him. He thought he had perfected it: Lily's beautiful brown eyes and hair, her silky purple dress and fingernails, all set against her radiant pale skin.

After a brief deliberation Sam slips the paper back into his pocket, adjusts his deep purple tie, and chalks up another failure to find the girl of his dreams as he walks back into the meeting hall alone.

pug wearing a hat
May 29, 2012

please allow me to introduce myself i'm a man of wealth and taste


Seeds - 693 words
inspired by Heaven and Hell by Annie

Perrie kinda hated this bar but it was Harmony’s bachelorette party so she really didn’t have a say in the matter. Sure, it was loud and trashy, and the cigarette smoke made her queasy, but it was good to be out of the house and away from her mom for a while.

“That guy’s cute,” Harmony yelled like two inches from Perrie’s ear.

“What?”

“I said, that guy’s cute.” Harmony gestured with her vodka tonic.

“That guy’s shoes? I guess they’re okay.”

Harmony laughed, resting her hand on Perrie’s shoulder. That was another thing Perrie hated, how touchy-feely she was. Goddamn just let a girl have her space, y’know?

Perrie took a closer look at him. He wasn’t half-bad. Kinda greasy looking. Slicked-back black hair, wearing a tight black T-shirt. He was ripped. He was leaning against the jukebox (this place actually had a jukebox) (who still has those anymore). Normally Perrie preferred skinny guys in skinny jeans, but there was something alluring about this guy.

“I think I’m gonna talk to him.”

“Oh my god! Do it!” Harmony’s shrill, ear-piercing laugh cut through the crowd noise. She yelled something about how they were meant to be, but Perrie couldn’t really hear, couldn’t really care.

Perrie made her way through the crowd, her purse clutched close to her chest, until she made it to the jukebox. She cleared her throat. “Hey, uh. You must be a parking ticket. Cause you're the only ten I see.” gently caress!

He looked up. “What?”

“Oh god, I’m sorry. I said it wrong. I’m gonna go back over there for a while...”

“No, no! Don’t worry about it. That was funny.” He put down his rum and coke and extended his hand. “Name’s Hank.”

“Perrie.” She shook his hand and sat across from him.

“That’s a nice, firm handshake. Usually girls are a lot weaker than that.”

“You shaking hands with a lot of girls?”

“Well, I try to be a gentlemen. You saying I should go straight for the kiss first thing?”

Yeah. “No.”

“All right then.” He took a sip from his glass. “I like that shirt, by the way.”

“Oh, this old thing?” Perrie pulled at the threadbare Röyksopp shirt she’d stolen from her stepbrother. “Yeah, I saw them live once. It was cool.”

“Cool. I’m not a big fan of them myself. But it fits you drat good.”

(Perrie didn’t like them either. But drat if that shirt didn’t make her look nice.)

Hank cleared his throat and stood up. “Well, I should go.”

“No, no!” Perrie tugged at his shirt. His tight, tight shirt. “C’mon, tell me.”

“Tell you what?”

“Well, what did I do wrong?”

“Nothing.” Hank took another swig. “You’re perfect. I just didn’t want to monopolize your time. A pretty girl like you, you got your pick of any guy here.”

Perrie blushed. She didn’t really know what to say without sounding like an egotistical bitch, so she just leaned over and kissed him. She was a bit out of practice but he seemed pleased. What you lack in technique, you can always make up for in enthusiasm.

She was never one of those girls who believed in true love, a knight in shining armor. But feeling his strong arms wrapped around her made her think that maybe true love could be out there. His armor might just be a little dirtier than you’d expect.

Perrie felt her phone go off. One new text from Harmony.

hey, i see u 2 are hitting it off, we’ll see u at the hotel, be safe <3 maya says to wrap it before you tap it!

“Who’s that?” Hank asked. “Everything okay?”

“Nothing. My cousin. They’re going home early, looks like. I may need a ride home.”

“Sure. We can sober up at my place for a while. Then I’ll drive you home.”

“Sounds great.”

“Let me buy you a drink."

“Oh, that’s all right. I’ve had quite a few already.”

“No, no, it’s on me. What do you want?”

“Whatever you want.”

Hank ordered one pomegranate martini for the road.

pug wearing a hat fucked around with this message at Mar 30, 2013 around 01:50

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012


Oh, just in case I want to look into publishing in the future, is it all right if I post my story somewhere else and link it here?

SpaceGodzilla
Sep 24, 2012

I sure hope Godzilla-senpai notices me~


Nikaer Drekin posted:

Oh, just in case I want to look into publishing in the future, is it all right if I post my story somewhere else and link it here?

You can always just edit your post.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


SpaceGodzilla posted:

You can always just edit your post.

ill edit your posts fucker

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

Nikaer Drekin posted:

Oh, just in case I want to look into publishing in the future, is it all right if I post my story somewhere else and link it here?

I really wouldn't worry about this, bro.

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012


Brandy and Death- 1,191 words
Inspired by Take This Waltz by Leonard Cohen

While Griswold had dreamed up the curious notion that it would be a fine idea for me to accompany him to the grand ball, he was not blessed with any ideas regarding what to do with me once there. He left me drifting in a sea of black-tie blowhards and their dates without even having the courtesy to point out the barman’s coordinates. My borrowed shirt, over-starched, rasped against my skin and the old tux pinched at my joints whenever I had the audacity to move. To my secret pride and Griswold’s shame I went with a clip-on black bow tie. I would not tolerate even a figurative noose this evening.

Over in the north-west corner a string quartet droned out a wailing waltz, suspending the aristocrats in a fog of stodgy romance. Underwhelming as the party may have been, I was impressed by the space it occupied. Not even the Viennese ballroom itself, its marble walls etched with gold and draped in red silk tapestries, but the sheer size and scale of the place. A party of giants could manage comfortably in the space with still enough headroom for a top hat.

I ascended the carpeted steps to get a wide view of the place. At the top I leaned over the gilded railing and took in the sights of the dance below, the partners shimmering and sashaying, their fancy dark regalia speckling across the pale floor of the hall. I scanned the edge of the vast space until I spotted the bar on the side of the room furthest from the way I came in. The bartender’s face stood out as a dot of cream against the forest-green backdrop of the bar area. I made my way down the steps and began the journey through the mass of revelers.

Just as I stepped into their midst the waltz struck me. Time appeared to slow, and each couple drifted around me, somehow both self-absorbed and aware of the crowd as a whole. They moved in perfect synchronization, at least as far as I could tell. Clockwork could not have been smoother. Still, their bodies formed the walls of an intricate, shifting maze and I soon lost my bearing.

Then I was swept away. I lost control over my movements the instant that she stepped in. I suppose in a way it was a collision, the two of us meeting, but as the same time it is impossible for me to imagine anything gentler. My hand slid into hers, and we each clasped the other’s waist. It was not until this had already occurred that I truly looked at my partner.

Her face was lovely- small but framed gently and exquisitely by lush brown hair. Her eyes, crystal blue, were drawn into mine and held tight as if by an intense magnetic pull. She was clearly as surprised as I was by our meeting, and a corner of her mouth turned up in a wry, quizzical smile. I simply took everything in. She owned my soul in a moment.

Her dress and her form coalesced, each playing an airy game of back-and-forth with the other. The gray, gentle garment was not so much “worn” as it merely “happened.” Nothing could have been more natural, and I finally understood why women wear dresses like these. I imagine that they desire, perhaps subconsciously, the simple elegance and perfect union with grace that this girl achieved without effort. My hand rested against the silk. Its feel was akin to a slim, dense layer of clouds. One gentle but steady push through and I would reach paradise.

Partway through the dance—time had ceased existing to me, the dance could have lasted for a minute or for several hours by that point, who could care—I realized that I was not flowing aimlessly in space but moving towards a destination. Our eyes still held tight. The richest romance crackled through the conduit of our gaze and I knew that the sweetest ruin lay at the end of this path. Still we kept gliding, gliding, though not towards oblivion. My death was to be a limping, cognizant state that harbors a dull sting and a wild ache.

Then it ended. The waltz died down and I found myself at the edge of the crowd facing outward, the barman only a few yards away. Just as naturally as she first joined me, the girl melted away and vanished entirely from view. I stumbled to the bar, sat down, called for a brandy. The bartender poured and I put the glass to my lips.

After my first sip of the drink I knew I had to find her again. Belief in some kind force of destiny was something I’d always relegated to simple cowards, but now I longed to find such faith myself. Perhaps if the girl and I had met over a polite dinner my pull towards her would not have been so strong, but the waltz we shared was so perfect, so transcendent.

I slapped the glass on the bar and dashed back to the crowd of revelers. The quartet struck up a new waltz, this one quick, shrieking against my nerves. I jostled couples to the side, resenting them for taking up space between me and her. The maze of human bodies once again consumed me, but this time had the force of passion to drive me.

I wished desperately for a moment that this ball had been a masked occasion—I knew the Viennese would be able to put a face to my outlandish rudeness and mark me as one to shun from future social functions. However, I realized that, had she been masked, I would not have been able to properly see my partner’s radiant face. My regrets fell away at once.

I burst through the crowd at the far side of the ballroom. I saw her, in the entrance hall, standing beside a tall gentleman with auburn hair and mild lips. He stood with his back straight, and she leaned on him as if his steady form was a marble column supporting a sacred temple. She stretched upwards toward his light face, he bent down out of courtesy, and it was then that a crowd of cackling socialites passed right in front of me. As to whether she leaned up to kiss his cheek, whisper a vital secret, or mock some innocent fool she pandered to with a fleeting dance—I never discovered the truth. When the crowd that divided us dissipated, my girl and her man were on their way out the door, arm in arm.

I sat feeling empty and cheated at the bar until Griswold finished hobnobbing. I drank less than I expected—I knew it wouldn’t do any real good. Mostly I thought and regretted, all the while knowing how useless it was to dwell. Griswold finally emerged from his elite fantasyland to collect me and asked if I had made much of the evening, asked with a rakish smile whether or not my social horizons had been expanded.

“Yes,” I said. “In ways I couldn’t have anticipated.”

Nikaer Drekin fucked around with this message at Mar 30, 2013 around 03:29

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Flash rule: Write something that isn't poo poo.

Oh wait. You're you and you will always produce poo poo until you die.

SpaceGodzilla
Sep 24, 2012

I sure hope Godzilla-senpai notices me~


I had a lot of fun with this prompt. Last week my writing was described as sterile, so this week I tried to get my hands dirty. At least I'll have that excuse for when my work is called "lovely".

Wild Haunt - Words: 928
Inspired by Underground by Tom Waits

Last night under the 9th St. overpass (the one that’s been a week from demolition for a couple dozen years), the rats and the dwellers saw a strange sort of fellow. The guy strolled up in a fireman’s suit, canvas like dead flesh with black mold bullet holes. A filthy, gaunt tramp laughed his rear end off when he saw him. “Where’s the fire, friend?” he hacked out, his laughter spreading like smallpox to the other bums hanging around his flaming barrel.

The fireman walked past them, over to a rusty service door. He raised his axe and knocked the door twice with its shattered head. Two blows, two flowers of sparks that faded into the night quick as they came. Something metal behind the door squealed and clicked. The fireman shouldered his way through.

Behind that door was a steep dirt-and-wood staircase into the abyss. The fireman crept down, not concerned with the fact that the old gas lanterns hanging along the walls got dimmer and dimmer the further he went. When there was no light left aside from a tiny flicker in the distance above, the descent stopped and the Fireman stepped into a large mineshaft.

Not three seconds after stepping into that shaft, a smoldering set of bones came at the fireman hell-for-leather. The charred carcass clawed madly at him, black fingers drawing deep charcoal streaks across the canvas suit. The fireman pushed the bone-man away, staggering it long enough for him to raise his ruined axe and bring down a mighty swing. The skeleton exploded into a black ash and white smoke.

As soon as that dust and smoke had settled, though, it reformed like erosion played in reverse and attacked him again. And again. And just before this got to be a routine, more joined the fray. Skeletons the color of coal crawled from the walls and the floor and swarmed the fireman. He kept on beating them back with his axe until one of them wearing an old shattered headlamp stormed at him with a pickaxe. The fireman was so focused on this threat that he soon found himself swarmed by all the others. The skeletons held him in place as the macabre miner approached. Creaking and groaning, it hefted its pick and poised itself to strike.

Just then, a cacophony of hoots, hollers, and the stomping of feet and hooves erupted from down the mine. The black skeletons released the fireman and skedaddled in the opposite direction, a trail of black footprints following them. As the clattering of their retreat receded, the stampede grew in volume until its source came to a halt upon the fireman.

Before him was a plethora of ghouls of several species. Decayed cadavers of horse, man, dog, even some farm animals here and there. At the front of their ranks was a horse with an ornately carved wooden right front leg that gleamed with golden inlays in the light of the posse’s ancient railroad lanterns. It approached the fireman.

“Not ‘hurt’ are ya’?” The horse chuckled, a sound like crushing dried leaves. “Guess ya’ probably don’t know why you’re here, huh? I mean, ya’ probably know it has to do with gettin’ tired of wanderin’ ‘round up there, spookin’ the odd drunk… but not why ya’ came to this spot, at this time, and met my little motley crew.”

The fireman shook his helmet.

“Well ya’ might recognize some familiar faces, uh, so to speak…” The horse gestured with its head at the rabble behind him. The human ghouls, though quite literally faceless, were dressed in all manner of familiar garb from across the ages. There were policemen, construction workers, even other firemen.
“Ya’ see, all of us met our untimely ends in service to this country, one way or another. Be it keepin’ the peace or buildin’ roads, all of us helped to make this country what it is today. Me, I’m the leader outta pure seniority. I was on one of the first ships over here, but once we got on dry land I broke a leg haulin’ some cargo and had to be put down. Heck, that’s luck for ya’.”

A few of the other horses shifted awkwardly, adding up to a brief but harrowing chorus of dry grinding sounds.

“The thing is, friend, even after dyin’ there’s work to be done to keep this country goin’. Us productive types ain’t the only ones that die, as you can imagine. There’s still crooks and ne’er-do-wells all around, even honest people who just can’t deal with bein’ dead and wanna take it out on the livin’. Well none of us could just sit around on our bony haunches and let them get away with that kinda mischief, especially seein’ as the livin’ ain’t all that good at dealin’ with supernatural sorts.
“So whether ya’ knew it or not, that’s why ya’ were drawn to our little band a’ do-gooders. We ain’t the only one, but we’re a goodun. And I’m invitin’ ya’ aboard.”

The fireman did nothing. The crowd of skeletons reduced their idle rattling to a minimum, waiting for the fireman’s response. Finally, the lead horse spoke again as it lowered its head to the ground: “Aw, shucks… go on then. Ya’ know ya’ wanna’.”

The fireman dashed over to the horse and mounted it. Through his mask, he bellowed a mighty “Yee-haw,” barely hanging on as the undead beast reared up before breaking into a gallop. The other ghouls followed suit and the stampede rolled on, chasing demons through the eternal subterranean night.

Jimmy4400nav
Apr 1, 2011

Ambassador to Moonlandia


Ah man, I really hate to do this, but due to a family situation coming up, I'll be unable to participate. Sorry about that.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Reaper's Dance
(840 words)
Song: (Don't Fear) The Reaper, by Blue Öyster Cult


A Valentine's costume party wasn't the same thing as a masquerade ball, and it was unfair to hold a real event to the standards of creativity and effort she'd built up in daydreams--or so Kathleen reminded herself. Still, she'd hoped to see something more elaborate than the business suits at least half the men wore. Even the bed-sheet togas on a good quarter of the guests, men and women, heightened the atmosphere in comparison.

As she thought it, a man who'd invested in plastic laurel leaves and a swag of purple velvet caught her eye and saluted her with his glass. She smiled at him, then she moved on.

She'd come as Zeffirelli's Juliet. No act of man or make-up could make her look fourteen again, but wearing ribbons in her dark braid, the embroidered, cap, and the red velvet dress too large everywhere except the bosom, she felt that young. She shifted through the room, steering wide of the punch bowl and so free of most of the crowd; for now, she just wanted a good vantage point to see the more unusual costumes. A flash of light against metal paused her.

Was that a scythe?

The towering figure that held it--he or she, probably he, had to be nearly seven feet tall--wore a cowled black cloak, sure enough, and Kathleen guessed the skull mask before its owner looked her way. It was the weapon that intrigued her. She had to get a better look. Death had turned his face away again, but as she drew close, the black hollows that passed for eyes in his mask returned to her.

"Lady Capulet, you always were too fond of me," he said. She'd expected a baritone voice, but this Death spoke in a tenor.

Kathleen grinned and pointed at the scythe. Its blade stood level with her temple. "Where did you get that? How did you get it past the door?"

He angled the implement so the light shone on it more fully. "It's dull as dirt, I promise. Touch it and see."

"No, thanks. I'd rather not tempt fate," she said.

"Anyway, it's amazing the things you can find in old barns."

"You stole it," she accused him.

"I beg your pardon. The scythe properly belongs to Death." He tapped the butt of its handle against the floor. "This particular scythe properly belonged to a farmer who let me hunt for props in his barn before he knocked it down. Shame on you, making assumptions."

For a moment she thought she'd offended him; the noise of the party muddled his tone. She glanced away, her face heating. Dancers had gathered in the middle of the room, bouncing along with varying levels of enthusiasm to a Shania Twain song, of all things. It wouldn't be too hard to escape into that mess. She opened her mouth to apologize--

But Death had followed her glance and gotten the wrong idea: he held out a hand in a skeletal glove. "One dance?"

Kathleen hesitated. "What about your scythe?"

He leaned it against the wall. "I'm not worried anyone will steal it," he said. "Come on."

How many chances did one get in life to dance with Death, particularly to 'Man, I Feel Like a Woman'? She took his hand. The fingers in the glove felt nearly as slender as bone.

Except Shania's song ended before she and Death reached the dance floor, and the sound system blared the opening notes of a pop rock song she didn't recognize. Kathleen slowed, but Death pulled her in, and he led her to a clear enough space that they'd have room to move freely and room to be seen. "Don't be afraid," he said to her, and then they were dancing. Whirling, really. He didn't pay attention to the people around them; he twirled and spun her about without consideration for whether anyone else danced the same way. Her skirts belled around her feet, and she laughed. She no longer felt like a nervous child. Though he stayed more or less in the same place, with his assistance, she flew.

Some of the Greeks and tycoons nearby applauded them when the song ended. Kathleen grinned breathlessly and curtsied on wobbling legs. In her delight, she stopped judging their choice of costumes. They were here to have fun, weren't they, however they'd dressed? And wasn't she?

"Again?" she asked Death, even though she doubted her lungs were up to it so soon.

The grin of the skull didn't, couldn't alter, but it seemed friendly to her. "Another time, Juliet. Kathleen. I promise you."

He melted away, disappearing into the press of people faster than a man so tall or so distinctive should have been able to manage. The last she saw of him was one more flash off his scythe's edge, too bright for it to be dull at all; only after midnight, when the party was over, did she wonder how he'd known her name.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Prompt: Clothes, Song: Rock Around the Clock, with a side order of Greek Tragedy
Word Count: 1152

B-Side


Martin took a look at himself in the front window of the pub. Fantastic, he thought, and opened the door. A couple of heads turned as a gust of wind followed him inside, then more followed to see what the others were looking at. Next, in choral succession, came a couple of catcalls, a whistle and a “What the hell do you call that? Jeeeeesus!”

Martin smiled at Hannah. She was squeezed in between Terry and Sally at one of the tables. “You likee, eh?”

“You had better not have used our money for all that, you flaming gobshite,” said Hannah.

“Why, you worried I’m prettier than you?” Martin ran his hand across his brylcreemed hair.

“No, because our baby is gonna want to eat at some point in its bloody life, and if I have to feed it... Jesus above, I don’t even know what that coat is made of.

“It’s Vicuña.”

“And what the hell is a vikoona?”

“It’s kind of a goat. From South America. It’s the best.”

“Yeah, I do not think our boy is going to want to eat South American Goat...wool.”

“Yeah, but it goes with the waistcoat. It’s Brocade.”

“It’s a flaming tapestry!”

“My grandad used to have a coat like that,” said Terry, looking up and down at Martin’s outfit. He turned to Sally. “Call it a hunch, but I think our party Marty’s up for a dressing down”

“Not yet,” said Sal. “I don’t think Hannah’s seen the shoes.”

“The shoes!” said Hannah. “I am incredibly not worried about the shoes. I am worried that the father of my first and only child has decided to bankrupt us by buying a South American Goat coat, wrapping his scrawny chest in some emperor’s silky knickers and and thinking he can pull it all together by making his hair look like a wet duck’s arse.”

Then Hannah saw the shoes.

***

Martin sat drinking alone. It wasn’t, he told himself, anything to worry about. Hannah would calm down eventually. The clobber had been bought and, if not quite paid for, was to be taken care of in manageable, weekly chunks of dosh. And he’d been planning the purchase for a while; since he’d first heard ‘The Creep’ play and seen the Creepers and Teddy Boys in a dingy pub down Whitecastle. They’d been fantastic - practically American. Stylish, a little bit dangerous, definitely not like young fathers-to-be with an unplanned sprog on the way and everyone from Mum to the vicar looking at them like they’d made some kind of gigantic, life-ruining mistake. And tonight the Odeon was showing Blackboard Jungle. The soundtrack was supposed to be incredible. The Daily Express said there’d been trouble wherever it was shown.

Martin couldn’t wait. He’d had a ticket for weeks, and now he looked the part.

There was a breeze at his back and Terry and Sally came in. They sat on either side of him at the bar.

“She’s pretty ropable,” sad Terry, slamming Martin on the back with one hand, waving a note at the barmaid with the other.

“Nah, she’s been worse,” said Sal. “She’ll get over it. She knows you’re a good egg, sticking by her. You got your ticket? Still going?”

Martin nodded. He made a wry face, downed his pint and headed for the door.

***

The glass-framed foyer of the Odeon shone an alluring light over the crowd gathered outside it. Teddy Boys and their Judies congregated, all lacquer and shine, giving each other the once over. Cigarette smoke curled in night air, the wind not enough to drive it away. A few people glanced at Martin, his hands deep and warm in the pockets of his frock coat. One of them nodded as he passed and Martin felt a sudden rush of acceptance, though he was careful not to let it show. He handed in his ticket, made his way to the auditorium and took his seat near the front. Around him, Teddy Boys sat amongst the more ordinarily dressed, kissing Judies, taking swigs from concealed flasks, sprawling over three or four seats at a time. Martin waited until the lights went down. Bill Haley played Rock Around the Clock. Inner City High School drama filled the screen for an hour and forty one minutes and then Bill Haley played again.

One, two three o’clock, four o’clock rock

The theatre awoke with audience noise.

Five, six, seven o'clock, eight o'clock, rock

Martin felt a banging behind him. Someone was kicking at his chair, someone else was yelling - no, several people were. Some couples in front were up and dancing before the screen. Cinema staff came to try and stop them, but the lights weren’t up yet and it was hard to tell who was doing what.

Nine, ten, eleven o'clock, twelve o'clock, rock

The cinema screen waved and warped as someone threw a bottle at it.

We're gonna rock around the clock tonight

The theatre exploded. All around him, Martin could hear shouts in the semi-darkness. He turned his head left and right, saw be-quiffed young men tearing at the seats, saw a couple of Judies three rows back staring at him with wide eyes. He got up. Something hit him, bounced to the floor, but it was too dark to see what it was. He began to panic, tried to make his way along the pew to reach the exit, but someone else was blocking the route.

Put your glad rags on and join me, hon,
We'll have some fun when the clock strikes one


“Where ya going, bub?” he heard them ask. He tried to push past, but the Ted pushed back, and he went sprawling over the seat in front of him. He scrambled to his feet somehow, treading on people, but hands were grabbing at him. He heard a tearing, ripping sound. Oh Jesus.

When the clock strikes two, three and four
If the band slows down we’ll yell for more


This time he charged forward, climbing over someone, but he found himself being dragged back by his coat. He tried to turn around, pulling against whoever had him, yet the more he tried the less he found himself able to move, wedged between bodies so he could only move his head, Someone punched him in the eye. And again. And again. Darkness closed in. He heard bells.

When the chimes ring five, six and seven,
We'll be right in seventh heaven


***

When Martin was released from the station, one sleeve of his coat was barely attached, his waistcoat and shirt-collar were torn and bloodstained and his suede shoes were covered in god-knew-what sort of bodily fluids. Hannah met him in front of the station doors. She traced a finger across the deep cut on his forehead and then embraced him tightly. He clutched at her, the sound of her gentle swearing in his ear.

Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at Mar 31, 2013 around 00:44

CantDecideOnAName
Jan 1, 2012

And I understand if you ask
Was this life,
was this all?


The House Wins (OK GO)

A Lesser Breed
(670 words)



For Erica, the world had lost color.

It was like being in an old black and white film, without the grain. A teenage girl in an off-white tank top and dark gray jeans chattered on a phone as she walked past, her hair white in the harsh sun. A man on a park bench watched her approvingly, the gray of his shirt almost matching the gray of the bench, his eyes dark in a washed-out face. He didn’t even look at Erica as she drifted past.

How could he not? She was the only thing in color at all. The purple leggings that had seemed so faded only this morning were now as bright as the day she had bought them, her capris held the essence of the blue ocean and sky, and her yellow shirt was brighter than the sun. In this gray expanse Erica felt like the visual equivalent of a scream in a silent library.

No one gave her a second glance as she walked by. It wasn’t that they averted their eyes; they simply never noticed her in the first place. Maybe she was as colorless to them as they were to her.

She made her winding way through the park, marveling at how the simple knowledge of what colors things were supposed to be made things look. She could pretend the pond was slate gray, the sky eggshell white, the grass a strange shade of green.

If the color had been turned down, though, then the sound had been turned up. Erica could hear the shrill chirps of birds with ease. She could also hear every single car that roared past on the highway, the gentle lap of each wave on the shore of the pond, the shrieks and laughter of children running past, the footfalls of joggers, rustling leaves on branches, the whisper of the wind, the beating of her heart thudding in her ears. The din pressed in on her, surrounded her, a howling that she was acutely aware of. The chatter increased as she approached a group of boys and girls her age waiting at a couple of picnic tables.

Anna, black-haired and dark skinned, didn’t look up from her phone. Maria and Jordan were kissing, the smacking and sucking of their lips and tongues audible to Erica’s ears. Max was carving on the tabletop, fingers rasping against the wood as he scratched at it with a paperclip bent straight, and didn’t look at Erica when she sat down next to him. Janet and Jade, the twins, glanced at Erica and for a brief moment their clothes were daffodil- and rose-colored, their skins flushed with hot blood from the summer sun, and then it was gone. They said hello to Erica and resumed talking to Max, discussing something Erica didn’t know about. Jade’s dress, which had been hued crimson and gold, was now as drab as everything else.

Erica sat, and looked out across the park, and listened to her friends talk. No one asked her opinions, posed any questions, or really gave her any notice at all. Was this what it was like to be a ghost, she wondered? To be able to interact with the world, to listen to its sounds and see its sights, but walk among others unnoticed. Did ghosts ever wish they could see the world in color? Was that why poltergeists threw furniture and broke windows? So that when everyone looked over, that lost soul would see everything suddenly saturated with life and energy?

She took a deep breath, her blood thundering in her ears. Her blood ran cold, frozen in some sudden chill that covered the hot day in ice, amplifying the harsh noises in the air to a deafening roar. Every word her friends said pounded down on her, an arrhythmic drumbeat in contrast to her heart.

“Hey,” she said, “does anyone want to see a movie?”

The twins and Max looked over at her, and the world blossomed into color as they responded.

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006

WORST WIZARD, THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Daylight savings time means that the switch to BST is pretty much right now. That means I get an hour less in bed, which is upsetting. At least we have a four day weekend over here.

This is a Warehouse War 1199 words of joy

We had a ritual before we dropped, the four of us.

“Are you ready Steve? Andy? Mick?”

The three guys in front of me wore fluorescent vests, whistles and wristbands, and each nodded in turn. I was wearing a bright pink hoody that matched my hair and black lycra shorts - we looked ridiculous, and we were going to fit right in.

“Alright fellas - let's go!”

We were modern day gods of excess and ecstasy, going to mad parties and pushing our bodies and minds to the limit. From where we stood in a corner I could see a riot of colour and sound stretching away from us towards the stage. Steve and Andy were chatting to a couple of mates from the pub, laughing and hugging and telling each other things that they would never say if they hadn’t had a bag of E’s, but I was finding it hard to sit still. I didn’t feel loved up at all. I was actually buzzing, hundreds of ideas were fizzing in my brain, and I could see them grounding in the people around me. I grabbed Mick’s vest.

“Are you sure that was an E you gave me?” I shouted in his ears over the thumping music.

He broke off talking to some bird about how much he missed his dog but it was ok because life is temporary and he just felt really happy to have known him, tore his gaze away from her bra and looked up at me.

“Ali, are you ok? Everything is alright, you know?”

He said it with a stupid dreamy look in his eyes that I envied for a second. My need to move made me stand up before he managed to hug me and I pushed towards the noise. Loved up people are really annoying when you aren’t in on it, but having a go at him would be like kicking a dog: he wouldn’t understand why you were telling him off, but it would upset him for the rest of the night. I just wanted to dance.

I fought my way through the horde towards the stage, where a band with giant garish mohicans played keyboards and laptops, and lost myself in the euphoric music. I had no thoughts: seconds and minutes and hours no longer had any meaning to me. My limbs moved without any input from my conscious mind.

I had reached that point in the night where actions came without thinking, so later when someone shouted that the police had arrived I jumped up on the stage in a flash and took control of the mic. The band ground to silence and stared at me while I stood there at a complete loss as to what to say. Stage fright threatened to strike, but then I felt angry strength flow into me.

“I don’t want to go home, I want to dance, so gently caress it lets show them what a riot really looks like!”

And that was how it came to be that I was inciting a warehouse full of drugged up youths to riot. The opposition came through the door in full riot gear: massive boots, shields and helmets with reflective face visors. In the place where the faces should have been you could only see the angry crowd.

“You are trespassing on private property, this is an illegal gathering. If you do not disperse we will break it up by force,” a megaphone sounded from behind the ranks.

The warehouse went silent as the rave contemplated the conundrum. On one side there was a wall of shiny plastic, black leather and dark blue coveralls. On the other a ragged line of day-glo greens, yellows, pinks, oranges. Under the blacklights the crowd emitted light all across the spectrum, while the dark blues and blacks of the authority only seemed to suck all light into them. The two massed choruses faced each other across an empty no mans land. I had seen something like it at a festival, the “wall of death”. The crowd would be split into two, and then on a signal from the band the two sides would charge at each other. The situation was delicately poised, a single quiet tense moment.

Then a man at the back shouted, “everyone, ATTACK!” and it turned into warehouse war.

I cheered as the ravers pushed the cops back a couple of feet, and then watched in horror as the wave broke and the fluorescent army were forced back yards. I realised then that at the festival it wasn’t a bunch of kids in fluorescent rave gear against armoured police.

The force of the push from the dark blue stormtoopers made bodies press against the makeshift stage and it toppled under the pressure, depositing me on top of the crush. It was probably the worst timed crowd surf ever: I was thrown from head to head towards the inhuman figures striking in rhythmic beats with their batons.

I began to struggle and kick out at the people holding me up, and was rewarded by being dropped on my arse. I yanked on someones wrist band to try and pull myself to my feet, but it came away in my hand. I began scrabbling at the people around me and desperate tears ran from my eyes as I struggled to get off the floor before I was trampled.

“MICK! ANDY! STEVE! HELP!” I screamed, but my voice cracked as my vocal chords tightened in terror. Suddenly a hand grabbed my pink hood and pulled me up. I was on my feet just in time to see a truncheon smack into Mick’s dreamy smile, dropping him like downed telephone pole.

“Run, for gently caress’s sake, run!” someone was shouting at the back, wildly waving people towards a fire escape, and the crowd streamed away from the carnage, but to me escape seemed too far away. I could only look forlornly at the victims lying on the floor. We had not hurt anyone, not damaged anything except a padlock. I hated the massive riot police for coming here and hurting us without reason. I glared at the visors, trying to see some hint of humanity through them, but there was no sign that there were people inside the boilersuits. All I saw was a scared girl in a hoody glaring back at me. I was brought back from my reverie when someone tackled me and zip tied my wrists behind my back.

The strip lights blazed up while the last of the revellers fled, casting a harsh white light across the empty space, the band’s dyed mohicans were just visible among them. Next to me Mick bled from his ears with his eyes open.

Some time passed, then we were dragged outside and the sirens were so loud that they blended together into a thrumming cacophony of noise. The blue flashing lights stabbed into my eyes, and the riot police around me loomed threateningly so that getting into the back of the van was a relief. As we were driven away the motion soothed my nerves, and we moved in synchronization, swaying together as we rounded the corners.

-----------------

Song is Ballroom Blitz, like you didn't know that already.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Divergence 1100 Words

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvLNRO41o64
Song: Total Eclipse of the Heart

The recipe for immortality came to me in a dream. I travelled to Enfield by carriage the next morning to buy Indian saffron and various spices from the orient. By week’s end I held the elixir in my hand and drank. The bitter taste lingered as death turned around and spurned me.

--

I left Middlesex for Saxony after a number of years. I was known by too many in England and could not risk remaining there unaging. I had abandoned my relations and everything I had ever known or held dear. In Saxony I found the person whose shadow would follow me through eternity.

“You are sure you’d not prefer someone your own age?” He asked me. He was middle aged and thus slightly older than myself, though he thought me just barely twenty.

“Johann, before you formally ask for my hand, I must make a confession.”

“Confess whatever you’d like, I still will ask you to marry me, Emily. Even if you confess that your husband is searching for you back in England, I will not be dissuaded.”

I told him of my state and made him believe. I suspected he may abandon me, but he remained.

“Do you not find it wrong and ungodly?” He asked me.

“Do you find me immoral? Do I offend you?”

“No, but--”

“You said you cared not what I confessed and would take me as I am.”

“Yes, though I must ask: Can you watch me grow old while you stay as you are now?”

I ordered him to face away as I stirred the elixir.

“It’s ready. Turn around.”

He looked at the drink with realization.

I said, “It’s not immoral. You feel it in your heart that we should be together and at times I feel my sanity slipping away as I skip through time unchanged. I need you there with me to make it right.”

And so he drank.

--

“Emily, I am growing old,” He told me. We had both noticed the signs years ago but never spoke of it. “There is more grey in my hair and I haven’t the energy I once did.”

“Johann, you took me as I am and I shall do the same for you. Your hair may grey and your skin may wrinkle, but your eyes will always be just as vibrant. Even if I see an old man working in the garden, when you turn around and face me I see you only as the Johann to which I spoke my vows. That will never change.” I spoke these words and felt them to be true, but a rising dread filled my chest. Johann would always be dear to me for as long as he lived, but how long would that be?

“I shall soon be an old man. I do not think we can stay here. I know no one in Bavaria... there you should be my neice.”

Bavaria would be my fourth home. I wanted to argue, but I agreed we could no longer act in public as husband and wife.

--

Two weeks after Johann’s death, the doctor returned with the pretense of checking up on me.

“Good day Inge. I would like to introduce my Nephew, Jens Kleiner.”

“Good day Jens, forgive my dress, but as you can see I am still in mourning. Your uncle is a skilled surgeon and gave my grandfather peace in his final days, but even he cannot cure old age.”

“My condolences for your loss. My uncle tells me your grandfather was a righteous man. Are such hats the fashion now in Westfalia?”

It was always my hat, or my shoes, or some minor detail. How the young women dressed changed too rapidly. I not only had to emulate the fashion of a younger woman, but also that of “Inge’s” native Westfalia.

“Yes, I suppose they are. I’ve been in Weimar nearly a year now but still feel nostalgic for Westfalian fashions. Are you studying under your uncle?”

“The hat suits you very well. Though I think most fashions would suit such features.” He gave me a disgusting grin. “No... medicine is not my calling. I hold a clerkship for which I earn a sizable income. Perhaps you would go into town with me?”

I felt revolted by these advances and only wished Johann had not left or that I had left with him. I sobbed. Jens looked to his uncle for help.

“Forgive my grief. I was very close to my grandfather.” They left me mercifully and truly alone.

--

“How fast can you type?”

“40 words per minute,” I answered.

I had fallen apart twice since Johann’s death. Opium had come to Europe and had helped me through the century leading up to the Great War. During the war I had built up the courage to take my own life. Lethal amounts of opium had failed to take me, so I had shot myself in the head. I awoke the next day; blood had stained the apartment and my hair, but I hadn’t even a scar.

“Are you German or English? I can’t place your accent. Obviously it’s better if you’re English.”

“I’m Jewish.”

“Ah. That’s not great either, but at least you’re not a kraut. Why do you want this job?”

“I spent everything I had to come to America. I have nothing left.” I was an empty husk no longer capable of human emotion, but I needed to earn a sizable amount of money.

“Well, if you type as fast as you say you can, I can give you a job. There’s a typewriter on the desk back there. Turn around and show me.”

--

“I shouldn’t have to repeat this, but you’ll decapitate me after you do it. Then incinerate everything within the hour. I’ve paid someone else to make sure you do so,” I said to Aleksy, the man I had paid to end me.

“Yeah, I know. Don’t turn around. Keep your hands on the wall. Tell me when.”

Everything good had passed me by. The passion I felt for Johann was almost gone. Even a decade after his death I had loved him the same as when I had first met him, but now I could barely recall his features. This massive wall of time was so much closer to me than the once bright eyes of Johann; it eclipsed our time together and left me in darkness.

In those last few moments, with death once again facing me, emotion and humanity rushed back into my heart.

“Do it.”

angel opportunity fucked around with this message at Mar 31, 2013 around 17:01

Steriletom
May 11, 2009

My inability to write has angered the ghost of Thunderdome! Beware my example, lest you be haunted.


Give me my second poo poo crown. I give no shits. I had fun.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Through the Universe - 1000 words

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WANNqr-vcx0

Alice threw herself over the table, straining to reach the medicine cup with its single orange pill. She struggled and writhed with her arms entangled in the confines of the straitjacket she was made to wear most days—as white as the rest of the padded, locked and featureless room which she called home. Almost in reach, her tongue flicked out at the cup and she watched the pill spill out and roll slowly toward her as saliva flooded her mouth. The bitter, ashy taste on her tongue and her teeth as she crunched down brought an immediate end to the shakes that wracked her body. Alice plopped to the floor and smiled.

She heard her pupils dilate, the speed of light broken. She stepped out of the straitjacket and found herself in the Void. The universe was beside her and shrinking rapidly. Alice grew. She eyed the little thing. A ball of white light. Frightened, it ran from her. She watched it disappear until a distant memory pushed in and she remembered what she was to do. She gave chase. They flew through the Void for some time and for no time and sometimes through before time until Alice realized that she wasn’t pursuing. She closed her eyes and she was There.

Alice stared down and up at the sky. Galaxies swirled and pulsed and radiated, bathing her in indigo and fuchsia and viridian lights. A celestial disco ball spinning in eternity. A distant memory pushed in and she remembered something that needed to be done. She felt for home and found it in her heart. The lights shifted and she looked upon a little blue ball spinning around a giant yellow furnace.

The blue ball was engulfed in waves the colour of heat, striking it again and again. Alice traced the path of the energy flow up the heart of the universe and to the centre on the edge. She swam to the starting point and found the Queen dressed all in red. Buckets of blood used to get the colour just right. A shriek in her skull and the fires changed direction and struck her. A cry from Alice’s mouth and she tumbled up into the sky.

YOU HAVE COME AGAIN.

YOU WILL DIE AGAIN.

Galaxies imploded and Supernovas exploded as Alice fell through universe stuff. In her vision, singular points of light turned into long golden streaks. Alice stretched her arm out and grasped the edge, fingers in the Void, and pulled herself backward to the front. She burned, parts of her drifting off in ashes to form new galaxies. A cackle echoed back to her.

I WILL HAVE YOUR HEAD FOR GOOD THIS TIME.

YOU WILL NOT RETURN.

Invisible black holes flying on waves of fire pounded her body, tearing holes where the heat had made her brittle. Her consciousness frayed and she basked in the pain, shrinking to the size of a comet wandering the universe, lost. Not much longer and she was an atom, her own universe. A distant memory pushed into the nothingness and she remembered. There was no regrowth, she just was.

Alice marched back, galaxies falling into her gravitational pull. She stopped and tore a hole and stepped through behind the Queen. Alice plucked a spiral out of orbit around her head and brought it down on the Queen’s head. Blood flowed and a nebula formed where it fell. The Queen did not mind. New waves of fire, this time from everywhere and from within, burnt at Alice and she began to flake away again. The Queen blew at her and a hand vanished into the ether.

Alice remembered why she was there and this time Alice remembered where she was. She willed the Queen dead and the Queen was dead. The Queen had always been dead in the future. Nothing was left but a corpse in red floating out toward the Void and ashes drifting out in all directions.

Alice opened her eyes and pushed herself into a sitting position using only her feet. Both arms were completely numb from being pressed under her body during her stupor. She breathed in deeply; the oppressive heat was gone. The door to the padded room burst open and three men in lab coats marched in.

“You’ve done it, haven’t you!” said Dr. Hatter. “We were able to observe the atmospheric changes as of an hour ago.”

“Splendid job, my dear,” congratulated Dr. Hare. “Splendid!”

“It took you enough tries,” said Dr. Chesire, smiling.

The three men stood in a line in front of Alice, clipboards pressed to their chests. She tried to speak but the only sound that came out was a dry cough. Dr. Hatter rushed forward with a water bottle he had pulled from his coat, bending to pour it into her mouth until she was satisfied. He helped Alice to her feet and undid the straitjacket. Her numb arms fell to her side.

“I know you would like nothing more than to sleep at the moment,” said Dr. Hatter. “But you must come outside with us.”

“The people could sense something had changed almost as soon as it happened. The crowd outside the sanitarium has been growing rapidly for the last hour,” said Dr. Hare. “You can’t see the end of it.”

“You won’t need to give a speech or anything,” assured Dr. Chesire. “Just step out on one of the balconies and wave a little. The people need to see their hero.”

Alice walked out of the room for the first time in years and travelled with the doctors down a fluorescent hallway. As they neared the outward facing side of the sanitarium she could hear a noise coming from outside the walls like the swelling and receding and swelling back again of the surf. She did not feel any excitement or pride. The shakes had already come back again, sooner than they had ever before, and she broke into a cold sweat. Her mouth was salivating and she couldn’t take her eyes off of the bottle of pills in Dr. Hatter’s lab coat. They called to her.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe


STERILETOM

I will be kind to you. Prove to me that this work wasn't a fanfic of American McGee's Alice or its terrible sequel. You have until noon tomorrow. Get a legal affidavit saying you've never played these games, or explain to me why this work isn't derivative. Use proper MLA formatting, cite sources, 500 words.

If you want to recant, you have until noon tomorrow to submit another work or modify this one. If you take no action, the piece will be dropped as it violates the no fanfiction rule.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Time for some critiques!

Noah posted:

A Fine Day
John Warner lost his father and grandfather in the crowd, but he recognized all the men and women around him, and knew he was safe. He slipped through legs and danced around skirts to the barricade, which he could either barely see over, or duck to easily see under - This is a really awkward way to say that he had to stand on his tiptoes to see over it or duck to see under it. John Warner stood on his tip-toes. Policemen walked up and down on the other side of the barricades. There was a parade today.

And when the marching men came, they came with flags and uniforms and shouts. Red, white and navy, American but not. The shapes were distorted and twisted. Pairs and pairs of black leather boots stomped in marching time. John saw guns at their side, just like policemen. But John knew they were not policemen. Everyone behind the barricade was silent, their voices stolen. The shouting men stole the voices of the fathers and mothers and added them to their own. A marching man, with no hair under his hat, looked at John., And the man with no hair smiled at him in a way that made John feel empty. And the men would not stop shouting. John looked at the fathers and mothers around him.< Most pointless sentence ever.

There are myriad problems with this piece, least of all the fact that despite only using 375 words you still managed to include so many that were completely redunant. You're abusing the word 'and' horribly here, it's almost always uneccessary every time you use it. Imagine how many extra, good words you could have used if you had taken out all of needless repetition and the useless instances of "and". You could have built up some believeable tension to break when John throws the rock at the end, and made it more clear what exactly was going on. Who is marching in the parade? Who is watching? Why do they end up rioting? Why should we care?

I actually like idea contained in the third paragraph, because the little kid thinking he can burn up the men with his mind is a good instance of characterisation that makes John seem like more than a paper cutout, but tell me what's wrong with this sentence: "He envisioned heat, shimmery and wavy, rising off his body like pavement in summer."

The fact that you didn't proofread well enough to catch the stray 's' that indicates John has multiple fathers makes me think that most of the problems in this are just due to lazy writing, because I'm pretty sure that you can and have done better than this.


Your story was okay in the sense that it had words and correct grammar and elements of a story. However, it was really boring. I mean, if you were using that as a device to show us how monotonous and dull Ichiro's life is/was then well done, but I suspect that wasn't your intent. You know the phrase "show don't tell"? You're literally telling us things that Ichiro has been told by other people. Don't tell me that Ichiro has a routine that's utterly soul-destroying, show me what the routine is and why it's so awful. Reminisce about how his father, grandfather and father-in-law committed suicide. Describe Ichiro's broken, paralysed body waiting for death in the ravine. Anything but telling me the most mundane details you can think of.
Also, some of your sentences just scream "please take me seriously, I am a serious writer," like this one: There was a paltry coating of moss on it, mindlessly attempting to endure on the barren remains. Congratulations, you can use big words to make coherent, yet uninteresting sentences. Next time, use shorter, less pretentious ones and do something dynamic with them.

Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

This Land is Your Land
I would have liked this better if, instead of the ending after the italic section, there was more exposition before the flashback instead. It's not clear to me at all why Reggie randomly sets that guy on fire other than possibly because he sells jingoist shirts? Also, you didn't proofread well enough and left in a typo that makes it look like you switched tenses and that is MY BIGGEST PET PEEVE YOU JERK. On the other hand, I do enjoy it when people provide good examples of how to use descriptive language in a way that is both efficient and engaging, so well done on that front.

And now I'm done because I'm sick and trying to watch a movie and this is taking way longer than I thought because concentrating is hard.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

John Cage 4'33"

--------



































.

Steriletom
May 11, 2009

My inability to write has angered the ghost of Thunderdome! Beware my example, lest you be haunted.


Nubile Hillock posted:

STERILETOM

I will be kind to you. Prove to me that this work wasn't a fanfic of American McGee's Alice or its terrible sequel. You have until noon tomorrow. Get a legal affidavit saying you've never played these games, or explain to me why this work isn't derivative. Use proper MLA formatting, cite sources, 500 words.

If you want to recant, you have until noon tomorrow to submit another work or modify this one. If you take no action, the piece will be dropped as it violates the no fanfiction rule.

The last PC video game I played in full was Duke Nukem. The one where you poop into the monster's head on a football field after you beat the game. I'm not sure what the full name of that version was. I have no way of proving this but I'm willing to pay to notarize the above.

You got me on the fan fiction part(although, I don't think I could be considered a fan as I've never read the original and only seen the animated movie in snippets). Also, there is nothing in the prompt that says that fan fiction is verboten.

Like I said previously, give me the poo poo crown. I don't care because I had more fun writing this than anything else I've submitted. I just want a line by line critique to come out of my shame.

Steriletom
May 11, 2009

My inability to write has angered the ghost of Thunderdome! Beware my example, lest you be haunted.



Cute.

black.lion
Apr 1, 2004




For if he like a madman lived,
At least he like a wise one died.

Loosely inspired by Papa Was A Rolling Stone by The Temptations

Very loosely. 1193 words (please don't count my contractions as two words )


Gathering No Moss

A comfortable few nights had been afforded to Max by the woman he left in bed behind him. A bright spring morning in 1946, he slid out of the velvet sheets and gathered his scattered black articles of clothing from around the room. Practiced movements silently reassembled his suit, and he allowed a glance back at what he was leaving: deep purple silk poured over pale curves. Clipping his silver cufflinks into place, he eased the heavy oak door closed and settled into the seat of his black Lincoln. In the back rested a leather bag, the corner of a $50 bill caught in the zipper. Max pulled it free and slipped the bill into the pocket if his gold-patterned waist coat. He pushed his hair into place and headed home.

Max had last seen his family in the winter of 1940. His wife, Maddie, had suggested that he propose marriage after they graduated high school, so he did. Since being wed, she had allowed her husband the folly of being a tailor of middling skill, but their daughter Daisy was thirteen now and Maddie felt an improved financial situation would mean an improved social situation. As far as her mother was concerned, once Daisy was placed in a fiscally sound marriage Max could make as many bad suits as he pleased.

His shop closed, and Max arranged a meeting with a less-than-reputable “businessman.” While the man found him likeable, Max was not imposing enough to be suited to the less-than-legitimate work available. He’d been granted some consolatory attention by the young lady sitting at the bar, buying his drinks for a simple smile. He had few talents, but he'd always done well with women.

“I don’t know how long I’ll be gone” – he intended only a few months.

“Do I want to know what you’re doing?” Maddie asked curiously, not a trace of worry – “Whatever it is, you’re doing it for your family. We know that.”

Daisy clung to her mother’s yellow skirt, crying, refusing to look at her father. Now Max could scarcely remember his daughter’s face.

It took some months for Max to settle into his new craft. At first he was leaving in the night with a wallet or some jewelry, eventually realizing that women would often pay him willingly in exchange for a small deception and an exhaustive evening. He sent money back home, and the occasional letter. He never received a reply; he never waited for one.

Just before sunset, Max settled the black Lincoln at a motel a few miles outside of town. A diner shone across the street. Silver cufflinks flashed as he opened the door and eased into the nearest booth, black suit cutting an inky silhouette against the pastels and creams of the young couples around him. The diner’s interior was entirely white tile and chrome. He looked down at the menu as the waitress approached.

“What’ll ya have, sweetheart?”

“Just whisky right now, thanks.”

Max looked up to find a nose and cheeks sprayed with freckles, a body balanced between lithe youth and the fullness of maturity. Pinned to the blue checked uniform wrapped around her was a plastic nametag, reading “Ali.” He realized he was staring, but was rewarded with a shy smile. The dress barely contained her, he thought, watching her walk away with a pronounced swing in her hips. She brought the glass back and set it down, sitting again.

“Ali, like Allison?” he inquired.

“Like Ali!” she insisted playfully.

“Lovely…” he breathed, looking at her.

Biting on her lower lip, Ali chanced, “I’m getting off in a few minutes, so if you’re not hungry…”

Max pulled the $50 bill out of his waistcoat and left it on the table, rising smoothly to open the door and abandoning the whisky. She glanced over her shoulder before scampering out ahead of him.

Barely another word was exchanged before she was sliding the door lock closed and slipping her dress down into a puddle around her ankles. Six years without sleeping in a bed of his own: he intended to remember this last night, the feeling of her rolling hips, the sound of her quiet whispers in his ear.

The black Lincoln glided out under the rising sun, headed home. When he arrived he parked at the curb, ignoring the space in the driveway. The distant familiarity of the building surprised him. Maddie opened the door before he could knock, with a smile both wide and calm. Her dress matched the furniture she’d filled the once-spacious house with, plush maroon cloth with gold accents.

“Welcome home” she invited, moving aside for him to enter. He felt like a stranger in this woman’s house, but the bar hadn’t moved: he found a glass and a bottle. After a settling swallow, Max turned to his wife.

“How have you been?”

“I’ve been well – we’ve been well” she said, gesturing around.

“Happy to be of service” he offered, raising his glass awkwardly. He was unsure of what to say. He imagined trying “I’ve missed you” and found it lacking in conviction.

Maddie maintained the same relaxed smile and said, “I’m sure Alexandra will be happy to see you when she returns; her presence is so rare lately, I sometimes wonder if I have a daughter at all!” She giggled mechanically.

“You mean Daisy?” he asked absently, distracted by the decoration.

"A child’s name, according to her – she has preferred 'Alexandra' for some time now.”

The door behind them opened and a young lady stepped through in her blue checked dress. He could still hear her gasp, feel her shaking against him.

“Young lady, you knew to expect your father today. Where have you been?”

There was a swell of silence – their eyes met and the realization boiled between them. Max’s heartbeat filled his ears. He was vaguely aware of having fallen to his knees, tears pressing between his fingers and dripping over his silver cufflinks. Ali retreated a few steps before a long wail tore out of her – Max did not see her run. He awoke to Maddie’s stern voice; all he heard was “…not your home.”

Winter had eventually set in, and one of Max’s letters had won a response. Written was only a time and place at which Maddie would meet him. She was early to the coffee shop: bundled in a white fur coat, she ordered two cups and found a small table. She sipped one cup, leaving bright-red lipstick on the rim - she pulled a sugar cube from her purse and watched as it dissolved in the other. Max arrived, placed himself across from her, and reached for the full cup. He gulped nervously and glanced up, a wild look in his eyes. He hadn’t slept in weeks. She watched him quietly as he drank.

“Twenty-seven days ago I found Alexandra in the bath. She’d opened her wrists with my razor. She’s already buried.” Maddie’s words were calm as ever, and she immediately left. Max stumbled out onto the sidewalk toward his apartment, collapsing after a few steps. His final thought was of a young girl’s rhythmic moaning.


e: A typo that I swear I changed before

black.lion fucked around with this message at Mar 31, 2013 around 18:29

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

Steriletom posted:

The last PC video game I played in full was Duke Nukem. The one where you poop into the monster's head on a football field after you beat the game. I'm not sure what the full name of that version was. I have no way of proving this but I'm willing to pay to notarize the above.

You got me on the fan fiction part(although, I don't think I could be considered a fan as I've never read the original and only seen the animated movie in snippets). Also, there is nothing in the prompt that says that fan fiction is verboten.

Like I said previously, give me the poo poo crown. I don't care because I had more fun writing this than anything else I've submitted. I just want a line by line critique to come out of my shame.

You have until noon to provide an affidavit or the 500 words. You are waffling on your recantation, domer. You can't recant and not change the story.

Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

And also, to repeat from last thread since apparently we have to now: any fanfic of any type is punishable by shunning. This rule goes on forever and ever. You post fanfic, you get ignored. Not even a whiff of fanfic.

This isn't about making you loser, it's about whether you are to compete at all.

Steriletom
May 11, 2009

My inability to write has angered the ghost of Thunderdome! Beware my example, lest you be haunted.


Nubile Hillock posted:

You have until noon to provide an affidavit or the 500 words. You are waffling on your recantation, domer. You can't recant and not change the story.


This isn't about making you loser, it's about whether you are to compete at all.

Welp. I missed that.

Easter Sunday is a big deal with my people so no revisions will be forthcoming. Although, if it helps, the original story had no reference to Alice or any other characters from Alice In Wonderland; I just revised those in due to the lyrics.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

DQing myself this week for a fanfic, didn't realize, please forgive edit what am i thinking, my NOT typing is the best poo poo in here all week you people need me

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at Mar 31, 2013 around 04:37

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

DOMER, YOU ARE DISQUALIFIED

Should have known what you were getting into before Easter Sunday. I'm calling bullshit on your story not containing any relation to Alice in Wonderland so hard. A character just so happens to return to a land in her mind ruled by a red Queen? somehow the whole thing reeks of childish fantasy writing? No loving way, man. No loving way.

You'll still get a crit, though!

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autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

Steriletom posted:

What follows is a poorly narrated story with some bizarre, hard to follow actions sequences. If I wasn't painfully aware of what Alice in Wonderland was, this story wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Unclear narrative voice, incredibly poor characterization, an uninteresting take on an old schtick - all of this topped off with an ending by M. Night Shyamalan

Through the Universe - 1000 words


Alice threw herself over the table, straining to reach the medicine cup with its single orange pill.no tables in a padded room, bro She struggled and writhed with her arms entangled in the confines of the straitjacket she was made to wear most days—as white as the rest of the padded, locked and featureless room which she called home. Run on sentence here, consider breaking it apart, "which she called home construction" is terrible. Almost in reach, her tongue flicked out because she is a snake, yes? at the cup and she watched the pill spill out and roll slowly toward her as saliva flooded her mouth. The bitter, ashy taste on her tongue and her teeth it's a really good thing you mentioned that the teeth are hers, as I wouldn't have guess otherwiseas she crunched down brought an immediate end to the shakes that wracked her body. Alice plopped to the floor and smiled.

She heard her pupils dilate no, she loving didn't and I don't even care if you were going for ~whimsical fantasy~, the speed of light broken THE QUARKS AND GLUONS ASPLODED TOO. She stepped out of the straitjacket and found herself in the Void. The universe was beside her and shrinking rapidly. Alice grew. She eyed the little thing. A ball of white light. Frightened, it ran from her. She watched it disappear until a distant memory pushed in and she remembered what she was to do. She gave chase. They flew through the Void for some time and for no time and sometimes through before time until Alice realized that she wasn’t pursuing. She closed her eyes and she was There. This here, this kind of works. I'll give you that. It's kind of poetic, it's bizarre, it didn't want to make me vomit

Alice stared down and up at the sky. WHERE DID THE SKY COME FROM Galaxies swirled and pulsed and radiated, bathing her in indigo and fuchsia and viridian lights. cyan, magenta, yellow, orange, teal, obsidian, blue, red, green...hey, if we're listing colours I want to play too! A celestial disco ball spinning in eternity. The disco ball fits really well here, good job! A distant memory pushed into her butte and she remembered something that needed to be done. She felt for home and found it in her heart. The lights shifted and she looked upon a little blue ball spinning around a giant yellow furnace. I gotta say, you're a visionary. I'm blown away by how I have no sense of scale anymore. All this stuff is so magnificent and easy to imagine and it doesn't ruin the potential splendor of the cosmos at all, no sir.

The blue ball was engulfed in waves the colour of heat, striking it again and again. Alice traced the path of the energy flow up the heart of the universe and to the centre on the edge. see, this could be clever but it's just disorienting She swam to the starting point and found the Queen dressed all in red. VIDEO GAME BOSS FIGHT STARTS NOW Buckets of blood used to get the colour just right. Glad you told us, instead of showing. A shriek in her skull and the fires changed direction and struck her. Who's skull shrieking? What's hitting who? Where am I? What's that smell? Can I go home now? A cry from Alice’s putting two "s" sounds close together was a good idea, totally unavoidable too. Rock on. mouth and she tumbled up into the sky.

YOU HAVE COME AGAIN.

YOU WILL DIE AGAIN.

Galaxies imploded and Supernovas exploded OOH explode and implode, how symmetrical! as Alice fell through universe stuff. In her vision, Glad you told me she's seeing stuff singular points of light turned into long golden streaks. If you're sticking with fantasy "singular points" is off limits, as far as I'm concerned. Alice stretched her arm out and grasped the edge, fingers in the Void, and pulled herself backward to the front. She burned, parts of her drifting off in ashes to form new galaxies. A cackle echoed back to her.

I WILL HAVE YOUR HEAD FOR GOOD THIS TIME.

YOU WILL NOT RETURN.

Invisible black holes flying on waves of fire pounded her body, This is straight up terrible, you're terrible tearing holes where the heat had made her brittle. Who pounded who's holes? Her consciousness frayed and she basked in the pain, shrinking to the size of a comet wandering the universe, lost. Not much longer and she was an atom, her own universe. A distant memory pushed into the nothingness her butt and she remembered. There was no regrowth, she just was. She just was, mannnnn

Alice marched back, galaxies falling into her gravitational pull.But I thought you said she was tiny? She stopped and tore a hole and stepped through behind the Queen.DEUS EX MACHINA SPOTTED Alice plucked a spiral out of orbit around her head and brought it down on the Queen’s head. Blood flowed and a nebula formed where it fell. How is it falling if there's no 'down' or 'up'? The Queen did not mind. New waves of fire, this time from everywhere and from within, burnt at Alice and she began to flake away again. The Queen blew at her and a hand vanished into the ether.

Alice remembered why she was there and this time Alice remembered where she was. We're going straight to meta-fiction, fuckers! Remembering about remembering about memories! WOOOoooHOOOooo She willed the Queen dead and the Queen was dead. The Queen had always been dead in the future. Nothing was left but a corpse in red floating out toward the Void and ashes drifting out in all directions.

Alice opened her eyes and pushed herself into a sitting position using only her feet. Both arms were completely numb from being pressed under her body during her stupor. She breathed in deeply; the oppressive heat was gone. The door to the padded room burst open and three men in lab coats marched in.

“You’ve done it, haven’t you!” said Dr. Hatter. “We were able to observe the atmospheric changes as of an hour ago.” What in the everloving poo poo? How is this related to the atmosphere, at all?

“Splendid job, my dear,” congratulated Dr. Hare. “Splendid!”

“It took you enough tries,” said Dr. Chesire, smiling. YOU ONLY HAD ONE MANS LEFT AND NO MORE QUARTERS

The three men stood in a line in front of Alice, clipboards pressed to their chests. AND THEN TWEEDLEDEE AND TWEEDLEDUMB BURST IN AND...oh wait no more boring bullshit She tried to speak but the only sound that came out was a dry cough. Dr. Hatter rushed forward with a water bottle he had pulled from his coat, bending to pour it into her mouth until she was satisfied. He helped Alice to her feet and undid the straitjacket. Her numb arms fell to her side.

“I know you would like nothing more than to sleep at the moment,” said Dr. Hatter. “But you must come outside with us.”

“The people could sense something had changed almost as soon as it happened. The crowd outside the sanitarium has been growing rapidly for the last hour,” said Dr. Hare. “You can’t see the end of it.” But you see! Alice is a hero! How amazing, look at my hand-crafted world and tremble before its majesty!

“You won’t need to give a speech or anything,” like, totally, Dr. Chesire like yammered at Alice, with a Victorian drawl assured Dr. Chesire. “Just step out on one of the balconies and wave a little. The people need to see their hero.” And then she turned into master chief

Alice walked out of the room for the first time in years and travelled with the doctors down a fluorescent hallway. A whole hallway that was fluorescent!? I was picturing an old timey asylum, but now I don't even know, man. As they neared the outward facing side of the sanitarium They headed east down the west hall, veering towards the inner part of the outer wall she could hear a noise coming from outside the walls like the swelling and receding and swelling back again of the surf.if you hadn't said it swelled, receded and swelled, I might not have known how waves works. Thanks, bro! She did not feel any excitement or pride. So stoic, so brave... so fragile The shakes had already come back again, sooner than they had ever before, and she broke into a cold sweat. Her mouth was salivating and she couldn’t take her eyes off of the bottle of pills in Dr. Hatter’s lab coat. They called to her.

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at Mar 31, 2013 around 05:31

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