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Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Sign ups are closed.

Bad Seafood, thanks. I might have to take you up on that, but I will try not to.

Noah fucked around with this message at May 24, 2013 around 06:30

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Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


sebmojo posted:

We do what we must, because we can.

In.

How's about that duel?

monkeyboydc
Dec 2, 2007

Unfortunately, we had to kut the English budget at the Ivalice Magick Ackcademy.

Bad Seafood posted:

MonkeyboyDC - Two kinds of spurs

I'm not sure what Big Brother future you're running here that a full night's sleep constitutes a potentially criminal offense, but what do I know. Overall a fairly silly story where not much is really established or accomplished. Certainly wasn't melancholy, and I didn't really get much out of the spurs beyond this guy's dad having a serious crush on cowboys.

It has a nice energy to it though, for all its shortcomings. I'd encourage you to write more, as I get the feeling there's a niche you just haven't found to fill yet. This prompt, however, wasn't it.

Thank you for the crit sir. Yeah, I think I have a problem putting things down that don't need to be there and leaving things out that do. Practice and reading are the only things that will fix that I suppose.

Noah posted:

Sign ups are closed.

Oh no! I thought tonight at midnight was the deadline. Serves me right for waiting to the last minute to join. Well, good luck everyone, and to you as well Noah - looks like you're going to have a lot of work for the weekend. The time I was going to re-write will be spent, at least partially, catching up on my drinking instead.

monkeyboydc fucked around with this message at May 24, 2013 around 14:46

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


If you want in, I'll allow it.

monkeyboydc
Dec 2, 2007

Unfortunately, we had to kut the English budget at the Ivalice Magick Ackcademy.

Noah posted:

If you want in, I'll allow it.

Oh, definitely. Thanks! Time to edit this bitch

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

My schedule got all messed up, I'm out this week.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


The nature of the beast

The night grows ever darker. Only the fire remains, to keep shadow and her children at bay. A fierce fire we have built aye; she devours the food we put to her and spits back fragile embers of black and white. Meltwater from the trees above drips on our heads and down our necks. We shiver, not all from the cold. There is no end to this forest, though we were told it stretched only to the coast. Would that things were so simple: the clear path has been lost.

On the ninth day, we found the carcass of the man named Wolf. The noose had snapped, then the real wolves had come. His mouth hung dumbly and the soft meat of his tongue had been torn away. His chest and belly were split open and lay nigh-empty, their torn contents apart, staining the earth. He deserved neither burial nor burning, so we left his hollow shell to rot. A fitting end for the man named Wolf, for whom we sharpened steel and crossed the whale-roads.

Seven and seven more days have we been lost in the forest. I name it seven and seven, though there is no sun nor moon by which to tell time. Young Flynn climbed through the canopy and told us of only darkness above, though Young Flynn loves to spin a story. A starless night, perhaps, and the moon behind a cloud. Such is the folly of youth: thought without action, action without thought.

In all my wandering, I have never seen trees such as those that surround us. Their wood is dark and covered in thorns. Though hard, it falls well enough to an axe and burns brightly; blue with a red fringe. It smells foul, like a hot mountain pool gone rotten. The men think there is something unhallowed to it, but I have wandered far and seen stranger things.

We have not seen another living creature since we landed the boats. We have heard them, found their prints, their poo poo and their discarded meals, but we have not seen them, and that troubles me. My men are hunters all, moving as ghosts, yet we have stumbled across no deer, no boar, nor any wolves save the man named Wolf. Now he is dead, we will go home and speak no more of it. His lady wife Sigurd cursed and spat as the boats pulled away but she is only a woman, and weak in her emotion. Wolf too, was weak in his emotion; a hollow shell filled with treason and lust. Sigurd was not enough for him, and now the wolves have torn out his sin, along with all else. A fitting end for the man named Wolf.

The night dances around our fire. The shadows twist to form faces of lovers and thieves. Wolf stole from me, and had all stolen from him in return. It is fitting. The shadows are memory, no more. Tricks of the light. Action with thought, thought with action. Wolf failed to heed those words. He died a coward's death, with a rope around his neck and a cry for mercy on his fragile lips. One man, Hroth the Grey, had shaken his head and walked off through the woods, towards the coast. We have not seen him since, nor have we seen the sun. The man named Wolf had pleaded, so the wolves tore out his tongue to spare themselves his groveling.

There is a shadow of memory, something hidden behind dark trees ringed with thorns. Wolves, words, then the long silence. Young Flynn likes to tell stories, but he cannot because he has no tongue. It was torn out by wolves, some time ago. Perhaps seven days, perhaps seven years. Forgive me, I speak in circles. The night grows cold. Though we have fire, it gives no warmth. I sleep fitfully and dream of my lady wife, Eta. I long to see her again, but she is on one island and I am on another. She was stolen from me by the man named Wolf, then I stole from her. It was fitting, though we took no joy in it, my hunters and I.

Memory stirs from behind a veil, then is gone: a dancing shadow, a trick of the light. It is nothing. Thought without action, action without thought. The folly of youth, and I am old. Seven and seven and seven, I do not know; I have not seen the sun in a long time. The wolves took my tongue, then my teeth, then my fingers and heart. There is little left, though I push on, towards the coast. This forest never ends: I am going in circles again. There is a noose and a distant howling. The man named Wolf sinned against me, and I sinned against him. It was fitting. I am going in circles. My lady wife used to circle the house and chew her nails while our boy Flynn was out hunting, now she circles no more. I saw to it myself: I tore out her lying tongue and fed it to the dogs. Fitting.

Tongueless, missing teeth and fingers, pushing onward for seven and seven and sevenfold every sin revisited through this endless forest of nooses and thorns. If I were to count the things I have lost to the man named Wolf, I would never stop counting. My chest is hollow but for fire, though it gives me no warmth- only fragile embers of black and white.

We push on, my hunters and I, though the night grows ever darker.







[940 words]

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


I'd like to pre-emptively apologise for not calling it OUR ADHERENCE TO A HIGHER MORAL CODE IS THE ONLY THING SEPARATING US FROM ANIMALS (AND THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH) but I want to think you're all smarter than that.


Now if anybody can identify the two poems referenced in there, I'll actually be a little impressed.





edit: and Jutes are totally unconventional. When was the last time you read a story about Jutes? A long-rear end time ago.

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at May 26, 2013 around 06:51

Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

I really enjoyed this week. Two sins in one.

The Dog Who Fell In Love With A Gun

If, on one particularly promising Sunday, you were to divert yourself from your usual morning walk around the parks of East London and turn down into the industrial streets of Bow, you would find a whole other society entire nestled beneath the one you knew. Ask any citizen of the late night or early morning, kebab chef or postman, and they would tell you: the dogs own the night. If you were to linger at those places where the corners are dark and the roofs do not leak, if you were to develop a certain keenness of hearing; you might hear the stories they tell each other.

I have lingered long enough to ask them: can such stories be true? They all give me the same response: a quizzical tilt of the head as if to say what is true?, before loping off to comb the bins for treasure. I find myself agreeing with them.

--

They tell of a certain Dog, long ago, who simply could not master its own ignorance. You will have seen many dogs appear foolish – yapping and wagging at you in the street or whilst taking a turn around the park, though you scarcely know them – and yet, have you not found yourself giving them your biscuits, playing with them, becoming their friend? Dog-kind understands that foolishness has its place within wisdom.

This particular Dog, however, was a pitiably ignorant thing. It would sit for hours beneath the shuttered windows of a fishmonger’s, yipping for scraps, though the owner had long since gone to bed. It would try to stake out its territory in the park, turning its flea-bitten face this way and that to scare away intruders, but would always be thwarted by another, identically flea-bitten face growling up out of the water whenever it looked. Always it tried to carry out the chief duties of dogkind, but always it was thwarted.

The other dogs of the land watched its behaviour with amusement. “There he goes!” they would rumble at each other. “Off to chase his own shadow, no doubt!” They would squat in ranks along the canals and watch this dog diving into the river after a particularly annoyed-looking duck – for dogs have as much of a sense of spectacle as anyone.

One particular morning, the Dog’s morning duck-hunt went spectacularly wrong. This duck, who had been feeling victimised, summoned the rest of the flock and instead of running away, turned on the poor Dog in feathered fury. The Dog fled, panting and burbling beneath a torrent of pecks and scratches, until it struggled onto the bank, at the feet of its fellow dogs. They jeered and made quacking noises at him. A dog trying to quack is quite the worst sound there can be.

The Dog struggled to its four legs, and shook out its matted fur. A shower of dirty water sprayed in all directions, covering the dogs. At once their laughter turned to anger. “You are no dog!” they growled. “You are not even a duck! Get lost!”. They nipped at his mangy tail, chasing him down the street and away from their kingdom.

And this is how the Dog found himself at a deserted bus-stop, streets and streets from what it thought of as home, lost, and unloved. It settled down beneath the bench in the dirt, laid its head on its paws, and flicked its tail. It envied the cunning of its brothers, and even of the ducks, who had their own waterfowlish sort of wisdom.

“Why won’t anyone listen to me?” it howled.
There was a strange, metallic rasp, like an old gate, and a voice said, “Hey buddy. I’ll listen to you.”

The Dog, startled, jumped up and banged its head on the bench. It looked over and saw where the noise was coming from.

“Are you a... plastic bag?”
“No, idio-I mean, friend. I’m in the bag!”
The Dog crept over to the bag, a thin orange thing, and gingerly opened it with its long nose. Inside was a stubby black metal tube, with a kind of handle coming off at one end.

“Hey buddy,” said the thing.
“Hello,” said the Dog. “My friends all kicked me out because I’m ignorant. What are you?”
“An outcast like you,” said the thing. “Some people cannot bear the responsibility of having a gun.”
“What’s a gun?”
“A very powerful object,” said the Gun. “Whoever holds the gun is king. Everyone listens to him, and all his friends have to include him. It’s the law.”

The Dog wagged its tail in excitement. “Does that mean...”
“Yes,” said the Gun. “Together, we can do anything we want. Just pick me up.”
It was a bit of a to-do, but eventually, the Dog had the Gun in its mouth, with the tube-bit pointing ahead like a snout. The Dog felt rather silly, but the Gun said, “you look terribly important. Now, where shall we go?”

Just then, a bright red bus pulled to a stop before them. “I’ve always wanted to ride one of these,” said the Dog, “but dogs from the street aren’t permitted.”

“The King,” said the Gun haughtly, “is permitted. Just wave me around so people know who you are.”

The Dog jumped aboard and swung his new snout around in what he hoped was a grand fashion. All the people in the seats seemed to stiffen and fall silent in some kind of salute, so the Dog trotted up the stairs to the upper deck, and sat in a seat at the front. It had grown up seeing everything from the ground, and from the seat on the bus it was like flying over the land it had been chased and pecked and rejected by.

“Much more like it,” said the Dog.

Just then a little girl jumped forward, ignoring the cry of her mother, and petted the Dog. The Dog yipped a little with delight, for it had not been touched in kindness before, but the Gun hissed and clicked his chamber.

“She doesn’t respect you,” said the Gun. You can’t let that happen!” So the Dog turned and growled, making the girl turn back to her mother’s arms.

“These people don’t understand us,” said the Gun. “Let’s go.”

They hopped off the bus and walked down the road. Wherever the Dog turned its head, people stopped and stared.

“See?” said the Gun, “they know how powerful you are. We can do anything!”

Truly, the Dog did feel all-powerful with the Gun in its mouth. It did not feel any less ignorant, but it supposed such things were not a concern of the Very Important. All around them, a kind of honour guard were forming: men and women in black suits wearing reflective jackets crouched on either side of the street, talking nervously into little boxes. The Dog supposed it should say something momentous and important, but it could not think of anything to say – and then it saw something that plucked a primal chord in its soul.

Far down the street, no more than a speck but looming huge in its nostrils, was the butcher’s it had spent long nights howling against. And it was open. The mingling meaty smells dragged it down the street, and in an instant it was at the door.

“Take what’s yours,” said the Gun.

The Dog waved its metal nozzle at the round butcher, who jumped, then ducked behind his counter. He emerged with a long string of sausages, and threw them out into the street. The Dog saw the briefest expression that the thought was a mixture of sadness and confusion – but those sausages pulled at the dark parts of its heart and it followed them into the street.

A crowd of other dogs, dogs that had spurned him, had formed around the sausages. They stared at them, and the Dog saw how desperately hungry they all were. At once, the Dog sprang forward, waving the Gun with greedy fury and snarling like a hound of hell. The dogs fell back, the honour guard fell silent, and the Dog felt its anger and power swirling inside it.

Then it looked down at the coil of sausages. It decided then and there to eat every last one in front of its subjects, to show them all its power. It loosened its grip-

The Gun cried, “no, wait!”-

-and the Gun fell out, clattering onto the floor. From the pavement, the Gun did not look so regal at all; just a rusty, stubby L of metal. The Dog’s feelings of power and anger melted away. All it saw were the sausages. Ignoring the Gun’s angry shouts, the Dog tucked in. Soon, it felt a strong hand on its back. It turned, and saw the butcher. His eyes had the same friendliness as the little girls, and he nodded. The butcher turned, and the Dog found itself following. It could faintly hear the Gun’s muffled protests as it was taken away, but the Dog decided to let it go. A king’s power and a Dog’s ignorance were all very well, but perhaps they did not belong together.

[1534w]

Symptomless Coma fucked around with this message at May 26, 2013 around 12:52

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


This is terrible, but knuckling down and forcing myself to write something I'm not experienced with did feel kind of good in its own way. I could write a whole lot of criticism for this myself, but I don't want to start again and rush something. Sometimes you just have to let these things go.

[2000 words]
Lord Fox Goes Forward (I am bad at titles)

Lord Fox worked on floor W8. He would sit in his cubicle from 9am-5pm on weekdays, talking on the telephone, except for Fridays, where he would finish an hour early. On these days Lord Fox would often plan something special with his family, such as going to dinner and a movie.

It was a Monday, and Lord Fox reflected on the movie from the week before as he spoke to Lady Cow on the phone, discussing insurance plans for her milk. They were finally reaching a conclusion. As Lady Cow thanked him Lady Badger peeked around the edge of his cubicle. Lord Fox smiled and nodded at her, then made a rotating motion with his paw, Lady Badger nodded back. Lord Fox ended the call.

"Can I help you, Lady Badger?" he enquired.

"It's Lord Rabbit, he'd like to see you. In his office."

"Thanks," he replied, standing up. "No idea what that's about. Did he sound all right?"

"A bit glum, but you know how he gets."

"Yes, quite. Well, thanks Lady Badger, I'd best be off."

He walked along the cubicles at a measured pace. As he walked to the end of the hall he passed a few empty cubicles. The company was going through a rough patch. Not as many people have the money to insure things as they used to. Lord Rabbit had been in a slump for quite some time about it.

He stepped into the elevator and pressed the button for W11, the deepest floor, where all the admin offices were located.

***

Lord Rabbit stood up as Lord Fox entered, and gripped Lord Fox's paw in a firm shake. "Good to see you, old boy, please, please have a seat."

The two sat, and Lord Rabbit picked up a half-chewed carrot from his desk and began to gnaw it idly. There were bags around his beady eyes.

He stopped chewing. "You're probably wondering why I asked you here."

"Yes, Sir."

"Look, I like you. I like to think I've been a good boss over the years. I like to think some of my employees, you included, would see me as a friend, which is why this tears me up so much."

"Sir?" Lord Fox frowned.

"I'm not going to beat around the bush with you,. We're going to have to let you go. If there was any other way...”

Lord Fox tore his eyes away from Lord Rabbit's, and looked down at the floor. Noticing this Lord Rabbit began to chew his carrot more furiously.

"We'll keep you on retainer, should we get through this, but to be quite frank I don't think we will."

Another moment of silence passed.

"Look, you have all day to clean out your desk, and I can give you your redundancy package right away. About 2000 pebbles in all. It should be all right. And while you're still here, Lady Owl in HR should be able to help talk you through all this. An immensely helpful girl. Just a couple of offices down."

"Good thing she still has a job than, eh?" replied Lord Fox through sharp, gritted teeth.

"Well, I–"

Lord Fox slammed his paws on the desk, causing Lord Rabbit to jump and drop his carrot. "After all I've done for this company?"

He muttered something unintelligible and slammed the door as he left,

He stormed toward the elevator. Lady Owl's door was open as he passed and he slowed down. She was sat behind a desk, her eyes lost in her laptop screen. Behind her hung a large calendar. November 26th. The photograph on the calender showed an idyllic town amongst a field of olive trees somewhere in Italy.

Lady Owl looked up from her laptop to the door, but there was nobody there.

He told her Lady Badger everything was perfectly fine as he collected his jacket, that he was just going out to lunch.

He collected his redundancy package from reception, and then drove home, not caring about speed limits.

***

Lady Fox was in the back garden when Lord Fox got home. She was wearing an old pair of dungarees, and crouched down with her tail in the air as she pruned some roses.

She didn't notice as Lord Fox came around the side of the house. She wiped her brow with a cloth, and started on pruning the single olive tree that she maintained in the garden.

"Hey, honey?" called Lord Fox.

"Oh," she jumped, turning around and smiling at him. Then she returned to working on the olives. "You're home early."

"Yeah." Lord Fox watched the sun dance in her red-brown hair as she worked.

"How come?"

"Oh, I..."

Lady Fox turned. "Not that I mind," she said, walking toward him and embracing him. "It gives us some alone time before Fox Jr. gets home from school."

"Yeah, there was just a thing. We just finished early today is all."

Lord and Lady Fox went inside their house.

***

Lord Fox was sat in the front room staring at an open book when Fox Jr. came in. He checked his watch.

"A bit late, aren't you?"

"Well, I wouldn't be if you'd get me a bike like all the other kids," he said with a scowl as he slunk off to his room.

Lord Fox put down the book and meandered into the kitchen, where Lady Fox was stuffing a chicken for a dinner. "Did I mention I said I'd go out for a drink with Lord Dog this evening?"

"No, you didn't."

"Well, I am. Is that quite all right?"

"I had hoped coming home early would allow you to watch some television with us this evening. But no, it's fine.”

"Sorry, dear."

Lord Fox stepped outside and phoned Lord Dog, asking him to meet him at the Mushroom Top in town.

***

Lord Rooster poured the two pints of stout slowly. Lord Fox and Lord Dog, having met outside the Mushroom Top, watched the ritual take place in silence. They didn't speak again until they sat down at a quiet table in the corner.

“So what's up, mate?” asked Lord Dog.

“Nothing's up,” replied Lord Fox, placing his glass on the table.

“Drinking with me on a Monday night? Something's up. Lady Dog thinks so too.”

“You've been talking about me?”

“Not really, but Lady Dog has been talking to Lady Badger.”

“Oh.” Lord Fox took a deep swig. “Well, then yes, something is a bit up, I suppose.”

“Do you want to talk about it?” Lord Dog reached to the bowl of assorted snacks on the table – salted peanuts, cashew nuts, sliced green olives, and diced cheddar cheese. He chose the peanuts, and threw them into his muzzle. Saliva dripped down his chin as he chewed.

“No, not really.”

“Look, if you need help with money or anything, you know we can help you out. Gotta stick together. These days especially. For our kids, too, you know?”

“I know, I know. It's okay, really, I couldn't. I got some money from the company. Should help for a little bit.”

“How much?”

“2000 pebbles. But with Christmas coming up, and then New Year's. And Fox Jr. wants that bike. It'll break his heart if he doesn't get one another year running.”

“New year, new opportunities, you know? There might not be a lot of work right now, but it might get better.”

“Might it? It's been like this for months. Look at Lord Frog. Eight months of unemployment. And he didn't have a family to feed. Next thing you know he's on the streets a few weeks, then boards the river steamer, never to be seen again.”

“It's tough.”

“I can't have that happen to me. I just– I just can't.” Lord Fox downed the rest of the glass.

“Come on. Let me help you out. Business is surprisingly good right now. Probably because of the problems, ironically enough. Least let me help you out with Fox Jr.'s bike.”

“No. I couldn't. I just couldn't.”

“Just borrowing.”

“No way.”

“Let me buy you another drink at least.”

***

Lord Fox and Lord Dog parted ways in the dark, and Lord Fox stumbled the streets. By chance his way led him past Lord Toad's casino, and the friendly glow and chimes lured him in.

“Give me some chips. 1000 pebbles worth,” Lord Fox demanded to Lady Ferret, who stood at attention next to a roulette wheel. Her eyes narrowed, and she stopped toying with the stick of olives in her Martini.

“You sure, sugar? You don't look in the best of sorts.”

“I'm fine. Give me the chips.”

She bit her lip, but obliged.

Lord Fox took the chips, and placed them all on black.

***

Lord Bear's eyes widened when he stumbled across Lord Fox on his morning beat, just as the sun was rising. He was propped up against a brick wall in the entrance of an alley. What could have happened? It did not seem like him. He rushed over to see if Lord Fox was all right. Lord Fox was breathing almost as heavily as Lord Bear. Lord Bear shook Lord Fox.

“Lord Fox, Lord Fox, are you okay? What happened?”

“It's all gone,” mumbled Lord Fox as his eyelids fluttered. His features pulled inward as he was greeted by the imposingly large figure of Lord Bear stuffed into his olive green police uniform.

“What's all gone? Were you robbed?”

Lord Fox swayed and shook his head slowly. Lord Bear had to hold his shoulder to stop him from falling onto his side. “Not robbed. All gone.”

“What? I think you should come with me, Lord Fox. We'll work this out and make sure you're okay.”

“No, it's all gone, go away.” This was the first time Lord Fox spoke without the confusion of sleep in his voice. It was sharp and acute. “Go away.” He buried his muzzle in his paws.

Lord Bear stepped back, and folded his arms. “This will not do, Lord Fox. This will not do. You are a good animal, but you shouldn't have to, or be expected to, bear the burden of whatever-mess-this-is on your lonesome, old friend.”

Lord Fox looked up at Lord Bear, his brow furrowed. A soft whine escaped from his throat, and tears poked at the corners of his eyes.

“Come with me, we'll sort this out.” Lord Bear held out his green-sleeved paw, and Lord Fox took it.

***

When Lord Bear and Lord Fox arrived at the police station, they found Lord Dog already there. When Lord Dog saw them enter, his eyes lit up, his ears stood on end, and he bounded over, tail wagging.

“Lord Fox! There you are!”

“Here I am indeed.”

Lord Bear explained to Lord Dog the state he had found Lord Fox in. Now, both Lord Bear and Lord Dog questioned Lord Fox about what had happened. Lord Fox told them about losing the redundancy money out of drunken folly and desperation. At first he avoided their eyes, but as he opened up to them gradually he looked up, until he could meet the gaze of his friends.

Lord Dog put a paw on Lord Fox's shoulder. “We understand. We can all work through this together. A team. But first thing's first, we should make tracks together. Lady Fox is worried sick. She and Fox Jr. are with Lady Dog and Dog Jr. at my place now.”

“Of course, we should hurry! She doesn't even know about my job situation yet. I have been a fool. I hope she can forgive me, and I hope Fox Jr. isn't ashamed in his father.”

“I'm sure she'll understand. Family is important. As are friends. You can't carry everything on your own. You have to accept help when you can.”

“I could give you both a lift in my patrol car if it will help you get there faster,” piped in Lord Bear.

And with that, the three animals hurried out of the police station.

[2000 words]

Chernobyl Princess
Jul 31, 2009


This is my first Thunderdome entry and my first fable. It was fun to write, though probably not very good. I'm going to have to do these more often.

What Little Johnny Deserves (2000 words)

In the marshes of the Chesapeake watershed lived a very spoiled muskrat named Little Johnny. He lived in a fine burrow constructed and maintained by his father, who was always adding new chambers for Little Johnny’s pleasure. The larder was always kept stocked by his mother, Mrs. Muskrat, who tirelessly foraged for her son and her husband.

Little Johnny had ten siblings, all of whom had left to build burrows of their own. His sister, Fat Bertha Muskrat, had already married and had her own children.

“I worry about little Johnny,” Fat Bertha told their mother when Mrs. Muskrat came to visit the grandchildren. “He’s nearly eighteen months old, Mother. He ought to have his own burrow by now. He ought to be competing with the other males in the springtime. It’s not natural for a full grown muskrat to sleep all through the night!”

“Oh, but Fat Bertha, he tries so hard,” Mrs. Muskrat said, a note of pleading in her voice. “Why, just yesterday he came out of his den and got food from the larder all by himself!”

“I’d be impressed if he were foraging for himself. You coddle him, mother.”

“You don’t understand, Bertha. Johnny is a special boy. He’d get hurt by the wide world.”

Fat Bertha shook her head and turned back to her babies, all furry and helpless. “He’s more trouble to you than he’s worth.”

When Mrs. Muskrat got home, Little Johnny was rolled onto his back, screaming and kicking his huge, webbed feet against the walls of his chamber. “MOOOOOOM!” He howled. “MOOOOOOM WHERE ARE YOU?!”

Mrs. Muskrat hurried over, wringing her paws. “Mommy’s here, Little Johnny,” she said. She’d given him the name when he was the runt of the litter, his fur an unhealthy orange instead of the ruddy brown of his siblings. But Johnny wasn’t little anymore. He was fatter than Bertha, but where her fat was the healthy, sleek fat of a mature muskrat, Johnny was merely obese. The rest of the burrow smelled pleasantly of musk and marsh thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Muskrat’s efforts, but little Johnny’s room stank of musk and worse. “Oh, little Johnny, have you been messing in your chamber? There’s a midden just down the passage.”

“I don’t CARE!” little Johnny cried, his beady eyes screwed shut. “I don’t CARE because YOU don’t care about ME!”

“We do care little Johnny,” his mother soothed. “We care very much.”

“Then WHY are there only CATTAILS in the LARDER?” Johnny punctuated every sentence with another kick, threatening to punch through the dry earth walls. “I HATE cattails! You KNOW I hate cattails!”

“But little Johnny, I filled it with duckweed and crayfish just yesterday.”

He rolled over onto his feet to face her, his tiny ears twitching. “I ate them already,” he said in a petulant voice.

Mrs. Muskrat was stunned. “Johnny that was a weeks-worth of food. We were going to have the crayfish for your father’s birthday.”

“So? I don’t care about that. I want more duckweed.” He started kicking the walls again. “I WANT MORE DUCKWEED!”

“Okay, okay little Johnny,” Mrs. Muskrat backed out of his chamber, went diving out the underwater exit of the burrow, and bounded up to their push-up, where Mr. Muskrat was repairing their roof.

“drat deer keep eating the ferns,” he said as she approached. “Menaces. I saw one of ‘em get hit by a pickup truck the other day. Couldn’t breathe for laughing.”

“That’s not very kind, Mr. Muskrat.”

“Serves ‘em right,” he grumbled. “Eating up an honest muskrat’s house.” He set down his work and turned to his wife. “What’s troubling you, Mrs. Muskrat?”

“It’s little Johnny,” she said plaintively. “I don’t know what to do with him. He ate all our food and now he’s kicking down the burrow from the inside.”

Mr. Muskrat sighed. “I can repair the damage. But I’m not as young as I was. I worry about Little Johnny. What will he do when we’re gone? And you and I, we can’t keep living like this.”

“So what do we do?” Mrs. Muskrat asked plaintively. “Abandon him?”

Mr. Muskrat frowned. “No,” he said. “No more than we’ve abandoned our other children. But we can’t keep on like this. We need to send him away.”

Little Johnny Muskrat didn’t take the news well.

“You’re kicking me out?!” he backed into his fetid chamber, bumping his tail against the wall. “You can’t do that!”

“We aren’t kicking you out,” his father said firmly. “You’re welcome to visit. Johnny, you’re not so little anymore. You need to go out into the world and make your own way.” His father turned and trundled off down the passage. “Come along, and I’ll show you how to build a burrow. Your mother can show you the best spots to forage.”

“I knew this would happen!” Johnny screamed, refusing to budge an inch. “You hate me! You don’t care about me! If you cared about me you wouldn’t abandon me! I deserve better!”

“We’re not abandoning you, Johnny,” Mrs. Muskrat said, but Johnny rounded on her, pushing his blunt, furry face into hers.

“I HATE YOU!” He shouted. “I hate you and I hate father and I hate everyone who ever lived in this burrow and I’m LEAVING!” With that, Johnny dove into the waterway, kicked his webbed feet twice, and left his parents for good.

He stamped and grumbled and groused his way through the marsh. Anyone bothering to listen would hear his ranting: “They never cared about me,” he said to a bullfrog, who croaked at him. “Now where am I supposed to go?”

He came upon his sister who was foraging near a golf course. “Fat Bertha, mom and dad have kicked me out,” he said.

Fat Bertha looked him up and down. “You’ve been swimming,” she said, astonished.

“I can do that, who said I couldn’t do that?” Johnny said, crossly.

“Well good for you. Would you like to stay with us for a day or two while you find a place to build your burrow?”

Johnny nodded. “That would be nice.”

Fat Bertha introduced him to her babies, all nine of them, and her husband, who grunted at him but offered him some cattail. “I don’t like cattails,” Johnny said. “Do you have anything else?

Fat Bertha’s husband gestured to the marsh. “What you see is what you get,” he said. Little Johnny decided he didn’t like Fat Bertha’s husband very much.

Three days into his visit, Fat Bertha caught Johnny holding one of the babies under water.

“What are you doing?!” She snatched the child out of the water. “Johnny, you fool! They’re barely three days old! They can’t swim yet!”

“I wanted to teach them to swim,” Johnny said. His whole body was a cringe, a whine.

“Johnny, they’ll do it on their own, just as you did when you were young.”

Little Johnny drew himself upright. “Well, if I’d know you wouldn’t appreciate me, I wouldn’t have ever tried! I should have known you would be just like mom and dad!”

Fat Bertha stepped back, surprised. “What did you say?”

“I said you’re mean and you’re stupid and you don’t CARE about me! I deserve better!”

“Get out of my burrow!”

“Fine! I’m going!” Johnny stomped away, pausing only to spray musk around the place before diving into the waterway.

“Nobody loves me!” Johnny declared to the marsh. “Nobody cares about me here!” He wanted to run away, but could only run a few steps without wheezing. “I’ll find another marsh,” he said to himself. “A better marsh. One where they appreciate muskrats of distinction.”

As he was wandering, he came across Mrs. Groundhog, a friend of his mothers, who looked surprised to see him. “How are you, little Johnny Muskrat?” She asked.

“I’m terrible, Mrs. Groundhog. Mom and dad kicked me out.”

“Oh that’s sad,” she said. “Well, would you like to come by for a drop of algae tea?”

“Yes I would.”

Mrs. Groundhog’s burrow was very different than what Johnny was used to. It was cool and dry, and it didn't smell like anything. “You can stay the night if you like,” Mrs. Groundhog told him. “I know it’s hard out there for a young rodent.”

Little Johnny couldn't get comfortable in the dry, sandy mound. He liked it wet and cool. So he ran out in the daylight, soaked himself in water, and shook it all out in the chamber, over and over, until there was a fine mud. He eyed his work approvingly. This was much better. He slapped his tail against a wall, not noticing it beginning to slump, and fell asleep.

“What have you done?” Mrs. Groundhog demanded when Johnny dragged himself out of the ruined chamber, coughing and digging mud out of his fur. “You've gone and wrecked the guest bedroom!”

“It was too dry for me,” Johnny whined. “I thought if I brought some water in, it would be more comfortable.”

“Little Johnny, a groundhog burrow is different than a muskrat burrow,” Mrs. Groundhog said patiently. “It’s not meant to be wet.”

“But you knew I’d be here!” Johnny said. “You should have made it right for me and then I wouldn’t have done what I did! I deserve better!”

Mrs. Groundhog shook her head. “I think it would be better if you left,” she said firmly. “Give my mother your best, Johnny.”

“Fine! You’re just like my sister! Just like my mother! You’re mean and greedy and you don’t CARE about me!”

Johnny stormed out of the den, fury making every hair stand on end. “Why are they all so MEAN!?” he shouted.

“Who’s mean?” The voice came from above him. Johnny looked up, and saw a tall, blue heron looking down on him with her mad, orange eyes. She rattled her beak companionably. “Who are you talking about?”

“My mother’s friend, Ma’am,” Johnny said as respectfully as he could, for all herons are witches and it is wise to show respect. “Her house was built wrong, so I fixed it but she threw me out.”

The heron spread her wings. “I see.”

“And my sister threw me out because I tried to help her baby learn how to swim.”

“Is that how it happened?”

“And then my parents threw me out because they don’t love me or care about me.”

The heron strode forward, jabbed at him with her beak. “I know you, Little Johnny. Herons see everything. I’ve seen your troubles. And I know if you go back and ask your parents nicely, they’ll show you how to build a fine burrow, and your mother will teach you to forage.”

Johnny hesitated. It sounded like a good idea, but he wasn’t convinced. “If they really cared about me, they’d do it for me.”

The heron gave a croaking laugh. “Oh, Little Johnny. You are spoiled rotten.”

“They’re never respectful of me! If they were they’d just do what I wanted them to!” But he was shouting at empty air. The heron had flown away.

Johnny flopped down in the mud and started to cry big, blobby tears. “It’s not fair!” He moaned.

“I deserve better than this! I deserve a nice place to live like dad has! I deserve babies like Fat Bertha! Why doesn’t anyone CARE?”

A shaft of sunlight caught on something silvery, off in the marsh. Johnny’s ears pricked forward. Curiosity overcame misery as he approached.

It was a little den! Floating on top of the marsh! And there was food already in it! Little Johnny ran about in circles, squeaking excitedly. “Someone listened!” He cried. “I’m gonna get what I deserve!”

He dove into the new den. He grabbed fistfuls of the sweet, strange food that had been placed there for him.

“Finally, somebody cares about me!” He stuffed his face full of food and fell fast asleep in his brand new home, never noticing the trap swinging shut behind him.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


12 hours remain.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Grimey Drawer

It's Hard to Get By Just Upon a Smile
1711 words


All the world that was not the sea was pervaded with gently rolling hills replete with lush grasses. The grass grew thick and tall, and 'most everybody was happy.

Rabbit spent her days munching on grass and nursing her babies, and she was happy.

Gopher dug his long tunnels underneath the grass, nibbling on the thin roots, and he was happy.

Bird pulled the worms that aerated the grasses from the soil, and he was happy.

A small sapling shivered in the shade of the tall grasses, thirsty and riddled with parasites, and he was the unhappiest thing the hills had ever seen.

Rabbit bounded from her warren as she did every morning. “Time to fill up!” she said. As she ate and ate, she came across the little sapling.

“You are a funny looking piece of grass,” she said.

“I am not grass; I am a tree,” said the sapling.

“What kind of creature is a tree?” asked Rabbit.

“A tree is the most important living thing. We grow big and tall and serve as homes for other animals, and food for others. During the winter you chew on the lichen that grows on our branches,” said the sapling.

Rabbit laughed at the silly sapling. “You don’t seem very mighty: you are barely bigger than a blade of grass. Why, I could eat you right now if I wanted to,” she said.

“Please don’t eat me,” the sapling begged. “I can’t grow and become strong with all of this grass in my way, perhaps you could help me?”

Rabbit had important things to take care of back at the warren, but she felt sorry for the tiny sapling. Plus, she always enjoyed taking care of the bunnies, and thought that it might be fun to take care of a baby tree. So she spent the day eating the grass around the sapling until it was standing tall in the sunlight.

The next day Gopher popped up from a hole near the sapling which had grown overnight so that it was now five centimeters thick.

“Wow, look at this huge piece of grass!” Gopher shouted. “Its roots will feed me for a week!”

“Please don’t eat my roots, Mr. Gopher. I am not a piece of grass but a mighty tree,” said the sapling.

Gopher’s face scrunched up with confusion. “What is a tree?” he said.

“How have you never heard of a tree?” The sapling said with astonishment. “We are the best things ever created! We can give you shade on a hot summer day, or keep you dry when it rains. There is little a tree cannot do to help others.”

“But you are so small! I would be roasted alive if I tried to take refuge under you!” said Gopher.

“It is because the grass around me soaks up all my water. I will never grow massive without water,” said the sapling. “Perhaps you could help me by eating all the roots of the grasses around me?”

Gopher did not like to eat all the roots in one place, because he knew that they were slower to grow back, which meant he had to spend more time searching for food. But he also hated being rained on, and if the sapling could grow into a tree and give him a place to hide from the rain, then it would be worth it. He spent the rest of the day eating the roots of the grass around the sapling.

That night it rained, and there was nothing to steal the saplings water, and its girth increased to a more respectable size.

The next day Bird was flying around looking for worms when he saw what he thought was the largest snake he’d ever seen standing straight into the air.

“Snake! Snake!” he yelled in alarm.

“I am not a snake!” The sapling yelled back. “Come, sit in my branches and see that I am a tree.”

The bird alighted onto the wobbly branches of the sapling. “If you are not a snake, what sort of creature are you?” He asked.

“I am a tree! The most majestic creature to grow in the hills,” said the sapling. “When I am finished growing you will be able to sit on me and see for miles around. You will know if there is a wildfire from lightning or a hungry snake from the river coming towards you and your friends. You can do this without having to spend all your time in the sky and leaving your eggs alone for hours on end.”

Bird chuckled at the thought of grass thinking it could grow into the clouds, for he knew only he could get that high up. “You are just a little plant, look at how you sway in the wind,” said Bird. “I can barely stand on you, let alone build a nest in you.”

The sapling creaked and moaned as a large gust of wind threatened to blow it over. “I cannot grow sturdy with all of these bugs eating my leaves,” said the sapling. “Perhaps you could help me out by gobbling them up?”

Bird was tempted by the thought of building a nest for his wife that was not on the ground, but feared that without his watchful eye, the other animals might be in danger. Still, if the sapling was telling the truth, it would save a lot of animals in the future. “Sure, I can eat the bugs, if you keep your eye out for snakes,” said Bird.

The sapling watched for snakes while Bird ate every last aphid and caterpillar from its leaves. That night the sapling grew a layer of hard bark and no longer swayed in the wind.

The sapling continued to grow and grow, until he became the august tree that he had promised. The other animals looked up at him with awe and wonder. His branches grew out in all directions and blocked out the sun. Under the expansive canopy, the grasses withered and died.

Rabbit could not find anything to eat around her warren.

“Hello Tree,” said Rabbit. “Do you remember me?”

“Of course,” said the Tree. “I remember when I was trapped under the shade of the grasses and you made fun of me, saying I was small and threatened to eat me.”

Rabbit frowned. “But I helped you by eating all the grass that hindered you, and you promised to help when times were tough.”

Tree pondered this for a moment. “You are the one who ate all the grass. Maybe you should not have been so greedy and saved some for hard times,” he said. “I cannot help those who cannot help themselves.”

Rabbit protested, but Tree was silent. Rabbit went back to her baby bunnies, hungry and cold.

The next day the skies were angry and dumped the contents of the clouds on the hillside. Without the roots of the grasses, Gopher’s tunnels collapsed in the deluge and he struggled to the surface.

“Hello Tree, remember me?” asked Gopher.

“Yes,” said the Tree, “I remember when you made fun of me and doubted that I could ever be useful.”

“But I helped you by eating all the roots of the grasses and now my tunnels are destroyed. Surely you could help me by allowing me to tunnel under your protective roots where the dirt will be dry and stable?” said Gopher.

Tree scoffed at Gopher’s naiveté. “I am a yew tree, and my roots are poisonous. You will find no respite among them. Please, do not come to be with your petty problems, and leave me be.”

Gopher sat under the tree, but soon learned that the drops that fall from its branches are fatter and heavier than those that fall from the sky.

The next day, after the storm had passed, Bird landed on the serpentine branches of the tree. “Hello Tree, do you remember me?” he asked.

“Yes I remember when you teased me for being weak,” said Tree.

“But remember that I picked bugs off of you to keep you safe when you were vulnerable, and you promised me that I could build a home for my family in your branches?”

The tree considered Bird’s argument. “True, I did say that if I grew you were welcome to take up residence, but there are others that would call me home as well,” said Tree.

Bird noticed that all that he thought as branches were not so. They writhed and curled. “Hello, Bird,” said a snake.

Bird took to the air and flew around the tree, and saw that there was no safe haven to be found within its dense undergrowth. He had no choice but to return to his wife and their muddy nest on the ground.

When spring came, Tree let loose his thousands of cones. The hungry animals devoured the seeds inside and spread them far and wide in their droppings. Thousands of saplings sprung up across the plains. The grasses died and the grounds turned muddy; one by one the animals were forced to leave their homes. The hillsides crumbled and trees filled the land with their poisonous roots. Snakes infested the forest and killed anything that came close to the dark wood that permeated the hills.

Tree looked around at what he had created, and was proud of himself. “This, my brothers, is what you can achieve with hard work and perseverance,” he said to the other trees around him. “Let us all take lessons from the careless rabbit, the ignorant gopher, and the cowardly bird. Every opportunity was given to them to grow large and powerful, but they eschewed that gift. Let their misjudgments and simple worldview live on as a warning to those who would take what they can to live a better life.”

The other trees swayed in the wind and to the erstwhile sapling, it sounded like applause. Over the years all the animals of the forest died after grueling lives filled with misery and suffering. Tree, and all of his descendants, lived on throughout the years in luxury.

If one is to live a happy and comfortable life and leave a legacy for his descendants, he cannot ignore the lesson of the yew tree.

crabrock fucked around with this message at May 26, 2013 around 23:32

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


The Book of Kevin
[1746 words]

1:1 And so it was thus that THE LORD sought conference with Lot in heaven. It had been many years since THE LORD and Lot had reason to meet. Lot was nervous.
2 THE LORD said unto Lot, Put your mind at ease. I have summoned you here to take bread and drink from the cup. I have asked you here because you are MY trusted adviser. I am seeking your advice on the ways of sin and man.
3 This relieved Lot only a little. But he smiled unto THE LORD and said, Oh mighty GOD, I am YOUR servant and will always do YOUR bidding.
4 THE LORD laughed and the heavens rumbled. THE LORD clapped Lot on the shoulder and said unto him, You should really have gone into the mountains.
5 Lot said, Yes LORD, I have learned my lessons and I will not forget them.
6 THE LORD said, Of course. I am not here to dig up the past, old friend. How are the grandkids?
7 Wonderful, LORD, thank you.
8 And so THE LORD stood from HIS barstool and said, Lot, I will tell you why I summoned you here today. As you know, I created you and all of mankind in MY image. Your blood is MY blood. The air you breathe is MY breath. The water you drink is MY tears. I made you from a mis-shapen lump of clay and I put MY breath into you and then you were man. Maybe I shouldn't have chosen clay because it all went wrong pretty much right away. Man cannot abide ME. Oh, at first I tried to make it clear enough. It was 'Don't do this'! and 'Do that or else!' Then I had to get creative and tell people to kill their kids and turn people into salt. Sorry about that. Like I said, you really should have gone into the mountains. But it all kept going straight into the crapper. Then I just said gently caress it and let Jesus handle it. I think he did a pretty good job. Lot, do you have someplace else to be? Why are you looking at your watch?
9 Lot replied, No LORD. I was just checking a mole on my arm. I fear it may be growing.
10 Lot, you know you cannot lie to ME. This is MY domain, THE LORD replied.
11 I am sorry LORD, Lot said. It's just that we have been over this ground a few times before.
12 Well okay. Let me get to the point because I guess your eternal afterlife is kind of busy.
13 And so THE LORD sat back down on HIS barstool and told Lot the story of Kevin.

2:1 Kevin was a slothful and gluttonous man. He had no children by his wife, Samantha. And he had no children by his mistress, Marlene.
2 Samantha worked long hours in hospital administration to bring food and money into the home. Kevin worked only some days on a shrimp boat and made little money. The boat was not blessed with bountiful catches and many mornings Kevin could not make it to the dock in time and the boat left without him.
3 Kevin liked to sit on a barstool by the video poker machine, which he played when new pictures of unclothed women appeared in it.
4 The name of the bar was The Rusty Nail.
5 Now it was Sunday, and many stayed away from the dens of vice in meager observance of THE LORD'S will. But not Kevin.
6 The bartender's name was Ty. Ty was a friendless man who gave away the meager profits of the bar in free drinks to keep himself surrounded with people.
7 But the patrons were wroth with Ty because, they said, his drink prices were too high. They ignored the man's generosity in free drinks and sought to tear the last chunk of flesh from his hide.
8 And lo, on this night Ty emerged from the bathroom. And unto that bathroom there had been brought Hell.
9 And Ty said unto Kevin, Kevin, you are indeed foul. What is in thou that such a thing could linger for 2 hours and 20 minutes?
10 In response Kevin was merry. He said, It is your doing that you serve cheap sausage rolls. What comes out is only what goes in.
11 No, Ty responded, there is some foul humor in you that makes for that kind of putrescence.
12 Kevin said, If I give you some money tonight, will you fetch for me another plate of sausage rolls and another beer and a shot?
13 Ty got these things for Kevin and Kevin did not pay him.
14 When Ty asked for the money, Kevin responded to him by saying, I only asked you if I paid you. But I'm not going to.
15 The bartender Ty went to the other end of the bar to talk to the man Slappy, a thin aged man whose head was slung low.
16 Kevin did guzzle much beer and shove many sausage rolls through his corpulent lips.
17 In the parking lot, the brown Chevy truck numbering 20 years and 3 whined and wheezed. Kevin went hard at the ignition, but to no avail. There was only a clicking noise.
18 Kevin went back into the bar. He plead with Ty, Help out a friend in need., he begged.
19 Ty said unto him, You drink of my kindness and fill yourself with my sausage rolls. And you repay me by defiling my bathroom and driving away my paying customers.
20 And yea, Ty urged Kevin to get bent.
21 The old man Slappy rose miraculously from his stool and offered his help. It was known to many that Slappy was a skilled boat mechanic from the old times, so Kevin took him outside.
22 Slappy wavered and wobbled over the decrepit Chevy.
23 When Kevin asked him if he could help, Slappy replied by vomiting onto the engine, which was still warm from when Kevin had arrived.
24 And the smell that arose to the men was astounding.
25 Kevin cried out in anger. Slappy laughed and returned to the bar.
26 Kevin hailed a cab and upon arriving at Marlene's apartment he did deny the cabbie his rightful due..
27 And the cabbie did yell and scream at him, but Kevin heeded not his words and instead went inside and upstairs to apartment 3C.
28 In 3C Kevin did command his mistress Marlene to perform oral pleasure for him, though he was unwashed and would not return the kindness.
29 Afterwards they lay on the couch. Kevin ate her Doritos and drank her whiskey while they watched reruns of the program The Love Boat.
30 Kevin could not hail another cab on the street. The cabbies did confer with one another and they vowed to never pick up Kevin again.
31 Kevin walked home and when he finally arrived it was late. He was still drunk and because of sweat he smelled very bad.
32 In the kitchen of his own apartment Samantha sat. There were many cigarette butts in the ashtray and she too had imbibed much vodka.
33 There was much yelling and gnashing of teeth. Samantha did declare that she knew about Kevin's mistress. She said unto him that it was over.
34 Kevin had heard these threats before. He told her to go to her mother's to cool down. She went into the bedroom and shut the door with mighty force.
35 Kevin did prepare himself a frozen meatball sub in the microwave and he did down 3 bottles of beer while waiting.
36 He lamented at the television when he discovered that the Red Sox were being clobbered.
37 He said unto himself, I have no luck. The Red Sox are an abomination unto my eyes, this meatball sub is still frozen in the middle and these beers aren't cold.
38 It was then that a loud popping noise came from behind the bedroom door.
39 Kevin arose, prepared to exact his vengeance on Samantha if she had broken his poo poo.
40 When he broke through the door and saw Samantha splayed out on their matrimonial bed, covered in blood and dying, he did fall to his knees.

3:1 And then he begged YOU to make it right? Lot asked THE LORD.
2 THE LORD responded, yes. He is a callous and solipsistic man.
3 Of course, LORD, Lot said. He is those things and more. But LORD...
4 Lot hesitated for he did not want to anger GOD.
5 Lot said, I do now want to criticize THE LORD.
6 GOD said, I asked you here for your counsel, Lot. You may say what you wish.
7 Lot said unto HIM, LORD, this type of man is common in this day.
8 Yes, THE LORD said, more and more common. I know not what to do.
9 LORD, said Lot, in olden times you would handle this type of thing much differently.
10 Yes, those days are over now. We know Peace and Love now. But it seems to be to no end.
11 No, LORD, you misunderstand me. If they ask not of your grace and forgiveness then give it not.
12 Lot said, In our time, LORD you would have razed many cities or cast an entire peoples into the ocean. Perhaps now vengeance needs a revival.
13THE LORD did finish his wine and he said unto Lot, I really am sorry about your wife.
14 She probably had it coming.
15 We should do this again. THE LORD left Lot to pay the tab and went back out into HIS kingdom.
16 And so it was that Kevin fell to infirmity and sickness. He lost a leg to diabetes and was banned from every bar in town. He was dragged down into the gutter and lived among the poor, scrounging for nickels for a cheap flask of vodka.
17 And it was also so that his family fell to illness and death. THE LORD set their house ablaze when they sheltered Kevin and many died in the fire.
18 And from then on THE LORD did truly say gently caress it you're going to get what's coming to you when you become mired in your own mud.

Overwined fucked around with this message at May 26, 2013 around 20:23

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Not going to make it this week

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


PoshAlligator posted:


[2000 words]
Lord Fox Goes Forward
Butt Fox worked on floor W8. He would sit in his cubicle from 9am-5pm on weekdays, talking on the telephone, except for Fridays, where he would finish an hour early. On these days Butt Fox would often plan something special with his family, such as going to dinner and a movie.

It was a Monday, and Butt Fox reflected on the movie from the week before as he spoke to Butt Cow on the phone, discussing insurance plans for her milk. They were finally reaching a conclusion. As Butt Cow thanked him Butt Badger peeked around the edge of his cubicle. Butt Fox smiled and nodded at her, then made a rotating motion with his paw, Butt Badger nodded back. Butt Fox ended the call.

"Can I help you, Butt Badger?" he enquired.

"It's Butt Rabbit, he'd like to see you. In his office."

"Thanks," he replied, standing up. "No idea what that's about. Did he sound all right?"

"A bit glum, but you know how he gets."

"Yes, quite. Well, thanks Butt Badger, I'd best be off."

He walked along the cubicles at a measured pace. As he walked to the end of the hall he passed a few empty cubicles. The company was going through a rough patch. Not as many people have the money to insure things as they used to. Butt Rabbit had been in a slump for quite some time about it.

He stepped into the elevator and pressed the button for W11, the deepest floor, where all the admin offices were located.

***

Butt Rabbit stood up as Butt Fox entered, and gripped Butt Fox's paw in a firm shake. "Good to see you, old boy, please, please have a seat."

The two sat, and Butt Rabbit picked up a half-chewed carrot from his desk and began to gnaw it idly. There were bags around his beady eyes.

He stopped chewing. "You're probably wondering why I asked you here."

"Yes, Sir."

"Look, I like you. I like to think I've been a good boss over the years. I like to think some of my employees, you included, would see me as a friend, which is why this tears me up so much."

"Sir?" Butt Fox frowned.

"I'm not going to beat around the bush with you,. We're going to have to let you go. If there was any other way...”

Butt Fox tore his eyes away from Butt Rabbit's, and looked down at the floor. Noticing this Butt Rabbit began to chew his carrot more furiously.

"We'll keep you on retainer, should we get through this, but to be quite frank I don't think we will."

Another moment of silence passed.

"Look, you have all day to clean out your desk, and I can give you your redundancy package right away. About 2000 pebbles in all. It should be all right. And while you're still here, Butt Owl in HR should be able to help talk you through all this. An immensely helpful girl. Just a couple of offices down."

"Good thing she still has a job than, eh?" replied Butt Fox through sharp, gritted teeth.

"Well, I–"

Butt Fox slammed his paws on the desk, causing Butt Rabbit to jump and drop his carrot. "After all I've done for this company?"

He muttered something unintelligible and slammed the door as he left,

He stormed toward the elevator. Butt Owl's door was open as he passed and he slowed down. She was sat behind a desk, her eyes lost in her laptop screen. Behind her hung a large calendar. November 26th. The photograph on the calender showed an idyllic town amongst a field of olive trees somewhere in Italy.

Butt Owl looked up from her laptop to the door, but there was nobody there.

He told her Butt Badger everything was perfectly fine as he collected his jacket, that he was just going out to lunch.

He collected his redundancy package from reception, and then drove home, not caring about speed limits.

***

Butt Fox was in the back garden when Butt Fox got home. She was wearing an old pair of dungarees, and crouched down with her tail in the air as she pruned some roses.

She didn't notice as Butt Fox came around the side of the house. She wiped her brow with a cloth, and started on pruning the single olive tree that she maintained in the garden.

"Hey, honey?" called Butt Fox.

"Oh," she jumped, turning around and smiling at him. Then she returned to working on the olives. "You're home early."

"Yeah." Butt Fox watched the sun dance in her red-brown hair as she worked.

"How come?"

"Oh, I..."

Butt Fox turned. "Not that I mind," she said, walking toward him and embracing him. "It gives us some alone time before Fox Jr. gets home from school."

"Yeah, there was just a thing. We just finished early today is all."

Butt and Butt Fox went inside their house.

***

Butt Fox was sat in the front room staring at an open book when Fox Jr. came in. He checked his watch.

"A bit late, aren't you?"

"Well, I wouldn't be if you'd get me a bike like all the other kids," he said with a scowl as he slunk off to his room.

Butt Fox put down the book and meandered into the kitchen, where Butt Fox was stuffing a chicken for a dinner. "Did I mention I said I'd go out for a drink with Butt Dog this evening?"

"No, you didn't."

"Well, I am. Is that quite all right?"

"I had hoped coming home early would allow you to watch some television with us this evening. But no, it's fine.”

"Sorry, dear."

Butt Fox stepped outside and phoned Butt Dog, asking him to meet him at the Mushroom Top in town.

***

Butt Rooster poured the two pints of stout slowly. Butt Fox and Butt Dog, having met outside the Mushroom Top, watched the ritual take place in silence. They didn't speak again until they sat down at a quiet table in the corner.

“So what's up, mate?” asked Butt Dog.

“Nothing's up,” replied Butt Fox, placing his glass on the table.

“Drinking with me on a Monday night? Something's up. Butt Dog thinks so too.”

“You've been talking about me?”

“Not really, but Butt Dog has been talking to Butt Badger.”

“Oh.” Butt Fox took a deep swig. “Well, then yes, something is a bit up, I suppose.”

“Do you want to talk about it?” Butt Dog reached to the bowl of assorted snacks on the table – salted peanuts, cashew nuts, sliced green olives, and diced cheddar cheese. He chose the peanuts, and threw them into his muzzle. Saliva dripped down his chin as he chewed.

“No, not really.”

“Look, if you need help with money or anything, you know we can help you out. Gotta stick together. These days especially. For our kids, too, you know?”

“I know, I know. It's okay, really, I couldn't. I got some money from the company. Should help for a little bit.”

“How much?”

“2000 pebbles. But with Christmas coming up, and then New Year's. And Fox Jr. wants that bike. It'll break his heart if he doesn't get one another year running.”

“New year, new opportunities, you know? There might not be a lot of work right now, but it might get better.”

“Might it? It's been like this for months. Look at Butt Frog. Eight months of unemployment. And he didn't have a family to feed. Next thing you know he's on the streets a few weeks, then boards the river steamer, never to be seen again.”

“It's tough.”

“I can't have that happen to me. I just– I just can't.” Butt Fox downed the rest of the glass.

“Come on. Let me help you out. Business is surprisingly good right now. Probably because of the problems, ironically enough. Least let me help you out with Fox Jr.'s bike.”

“No. I couldn't. I just couldn't.”

“Just borrowing.”

“No way.”

“Let me buy you another drink at least.”

***

Butt Fox and Butt Dog parted ways in the dark, and Butt Fox stumbled the streets. By chance his way led him past Butt Toad's casino, and the friendly glow and chimes lured him in.

“Give me some chips. 1000 pebbles worth,” Butt Fox demanded to Butt Ferret, who stood at attention next to a roulette wheel. Her eyes narrowed, and she stopped toying with the stick of olives in her Martini.

“You sure, sugar? You don't look in the best of sorts.”

“I'm fine. Give me the chips.”

She bit her lip, but obliged.

Butt Fox took the chips, and placed them all on black.

***

Butt Bear's eyes widened when he stumbled across Butt Fox on his morning beat, just as the sun was rising. He was propped up against a brick wall in the entrance of an alley. What could have happened? It did not seem like him. He rushed over to see if Butt Fox was all right. Butt Fox was breathing almost as heavily as Butt Bear. Butt Bear shook Butt Fox.

“Butt Fox, Butt Fox, are you okay? What happened?”

“It's all gone,” mumbled Butt Fox as his eyelids fluttered. His features pulled inward as he was greeted by the imposingly large figure of Butt Bear stuffed into his olive green police uniform.

“What's all gone? Were you robbed?”

Butt Fox swayed and shook his head slowly. Butt Bear had to hold his shoulder to stop him from falling onto his side. “Not robbed. All gone.”

“What? I think you should come with me, Butt Fox. We'll work this out and make sure you're okay.”

“No, it's all gone, go away.” This was the first time Butt Fox spoke without the confusion of sleep in his voice. It was sharp and acute. “Go away.” He buried his muzzle in his paws.

Butt Bear stepped back, and folded his arms. “This will not do, Butt Fox. This will not do. You are a good animal, but you shouldn't have to, or be expected to, bear the burden of whatever-mess-this-is on your lonesome, old friend.”

Butt Fox looked up at Butt Bear, his brow furrowed. A soft whine escaped from his throat, and tears poked at the corners of his eyes.

“Come with me, we'll sort this out.” Butt Bear held out his green-sleeved paw, and Butt Fox took it.

***

When Butt Bear and Butt Fox arrived at the police station, they found Butt Dog already there. When Butt Dog saw them enter, his eyes lit up, his ears stood on end, and he bounded over, tail wagging.

“Butt Fox! There you are!”

“Here I am indeed.”

Butt Bear explained to Butt Dog the state he had found Butt Fox in. Now, both Butt Bear and Butt Dog questioned Butt Fox about what had happened. Butt Fox told them about losing the redundancy money out of drunken folly and desperation. At first he avoided their eyes, but as he opened up to them gradually he looked up, until he could meet the gaze of his friends.

Butt Dog put a paw on Butt Fox's shoulder. “We understand. We can all work through this together. A team. But first thing's first, we should make tracks together. Butt Fox is worried sick. She and Fox Jr. are with Butt Dog and Dog Jr. at my place now.”

“Of course, we should hurry! She doesn't even know about my job situation yet. I have been a fool. I hope she can forgive me, and I hope Fox Jr. isn't ashamed in his father.”

“I'm sure she'll understand. Family is important. As are friends. You can't carry everything on your own. You have to accept help when you can.”

“I could give you both a lift in my patrol car if it will help you get there faster,” piped in Butt Bear.

And with that, the three animals hurried out of the police station.


Moral: Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. Pride here is the biggest sin, that Fox believed he were capable of risking his entire severance/redundancy pay on gambling. You have a lot of instances where you are narrowing in on something, but then there’s a timeskip. You’ve segmented your story in so many places that there’s no direct through-line.

But if you want to focus on the folly of Pride, why not put the ENTIRE story inside the Toad’s Casino? I don’t need to see the scene of him being fired.

Symbolism: You have too many characters. The lord/lady thing isn’t working. You have 100 instances of the use of Lord or Lady. I’ve gone through and replaced them all with the word Butt. Do not take offense, instead see it as superfluous words.

Another problem with your symbolism is that you use these animal characters, yet there is nothing distinct about them. The purpose of fables is to allow you to have clear, identifiable traits in a short amount of space. Everyone knows foxes are clever, owls are wise, etc etc. You’ve taken the animal aspect of the fable but you haven’t applied the reason why you’re using fables. There’s nothing here that is distinct about the characters you’ve decided to use.

Suggestions: You have the trappings of a great moral fable about pride. If you were going traditionally, you would put a large, majestic animal like a lion, or a bear, or something that you can see as being arrogant of his own ability. Or, a fox could work if his pride was inextricably linked to his cleverness. He thinks he can outwit the Toad’s casino, and therefore loses his money, and there we have a moral lesson about the folly of pride. Now his fox babies are loving dead.

If you were to go an unconventional route, make the prideful be something holding a trait you wouldn’t expect in the situation, like a turtle. A turtle, who is notoriously slow but relentless, or undeterred could easily be turned on its head to be stubborn, or thinking he can outlast a casino game, maybe like roulette. The turtle continually places higher and higher wagers on roulette, thinking that his persistence will pay off, but it turns out his resources are finite. Here you only need 2 characters, Toad and X. Flesh them out (though I don’t know how you would fit a toad as a casino owner).

These are suggestions, but I think if you centered your story in one place, cut down your characters, cut frilly words, and really focus on what makes your characters and settings unique you will be on to something.

Re-write it, and send it to me again.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Symptomless Coma posted:

I really enjoyed this week. Two sins in one.

The Dog Who Fell In Love With A Gun

If, on one particularly promising Sunday, you were to divert yourself from your usual morning walk around the parks of East London and turn down into the industrial streets of Bow, you would find a whole other society entire nestled beneath the one you knew. Ask any citizen of the late night or early morning, kebab chef or postman, and they would tell you: the dogs own the night. If you were to linger at those places where the corners are dark and the roofs do not leak, if you were to develop a certain keenness of hearing; you might hear the stories they tell each other.

I have lingered long enough to ask them: can such stories be true? They all give me the same response: a quizzical tilt of the head as if to say what is true?, before loping off to comb the bins for treasure. I find myself agreeing with them.

--

They tell of a certain Dog, long ago, who simply could not master its own ignorance. You will have seen many dogs appear foolish – yapping and wagging at you in the street or whilst taking a turn around the park, though you scarcely know them – and yet, have you not found yourself giving them your biscuits, playing with them, becoming their friend? Dog-kind understands that foolishness has its place within wisdom.

This particular Dog, however, was a pitiably ignorant thing. It would sit for hours beneath the shuttered windows of a fishmonger’s, yipping for scraps, though the owner had long since gone to bed. It would try to stake out its territory in the park, turning its flea-bitten face this way and that to scare away intruders, but would always be thwarted by another, identically flea-bitten face growling up out of the water whenever it looked. Always it tried to carry out the chief duties of dogkind, but always it was thwarted.

The other dogs of the land watched its behaviour with amusement. “There he goes!” they would rumble at each other. “Off to chase his own shadow, no doubt!” They would squat in ranks along the canals and watch this dog diving into the river after a particularly annoyed-looking duck – for dogs have as much of a sense of spectacle as anyone.

One particular morning, the Dog’s morning duck-hunt went spectacularly wrong. This duck, who had been feeling victimised, summoned the rest of the flock and instead of running away, turned on the poor Dog in feathered fury. The Dog fled, panting and burbling beneath a torrent of pecks and scratches, until it struggled onto the bank, at the feet of its fellow dogs. They jeered and made quacking noises at him. A dog trying to quack is quite the worst sound there can be.

The Dog struggled to its four legs, and shook out its matted fur. A shower of dirty water sprayed in all directions, covering the dogs. At once their laughter turned to anger. “You are no dog!” they growled. “You are not even a duck! Get lost!”. They nipped at his mangy tail, chasing him down the street and away from their kingdom.

And this is how the Dog found himself at a deserted bus-stop, streets and streets from what it thought of as home, lost, and unloved. It settled down beneath the bench in the dirt, laid its head on its paws, and flicked its tail. It envied the cunning of its brothers, and even of the ducks, who had their own waterfowlish sort of wisdom.

“Why won’t anyone listen to me?” it howled.
There was a strange, metallic rasp, like an old gate, and a voice said, “Hey buddy. I’ll listen to you.”

The Dog, startled, jumped up and banged its head on the bench. It looked over and saw where the noise was coming from.

“Are you a... plastic bag?”
“No, idio-I mean, friend. I’m in the bag!”
The Dog crept over to the bag, a thin orange thing, and gingerly opened it with its long nose. Inside was a stubby black metal tube, with a kind of handle coming off at one end.

“Hey buddy,” said the thing.
“Hello,” said the Dog. “My friends all kicked me out because I’m ignorant. What are you?”
“An outcast like you,” said the thing. “Some people cannot bear the responsibility of having a gun.”
“What’s a gun?”
“A very powerful object,” said the Gun. “Whoever holds the gun is king. Everyone listens to him, and all his friends have to include him. It’s the law.”

The Dog wagged its tail in excitement. “Does that mean...”
“Yes,” said the Gun. “Together, we can do anything we want. Just pick me up.”
It was a bit of a to-do, but eventually, the Dog had the Gun in its mouth, with the tube-bit pointing ahead like a snout. The Dog felt rather silly, but the Gun said, “you look terribly important. Now, where shall we go?”

Just then, a bright red bus pulled to a stop before them. “I’ve always wanted to ride one of these,” said the Dog, “but dogs from the street aren’t permitted.”

“The King,” said the Gun haughtly, “is permitted. Just wave me around so people know who you are.”

The Dog jumped aboard and swung his new snout around in what he hoped was a grand fashion. All the people in the seats seemed to stiffen and fall silent in some kind of salute, so the Dog trotted up the stairs to the upper deck, and sat in a seat at the front. It had grown up seeing everything from the ground, and from the seat on the bus it was like flying over the land it had been chased and pecked and rejected by.

“Much more like it,” said the Dog.

Just then a little girl jumped forward, ignoring the cry of her mother, and petted the Dog. The Dog yipped a little with delight, for it had not been touched in kindness before, but the Gun hissed and clicked his chamber.

“She doesn’t respect you,” said the Gun. You can’t let that happen!” So the Dog turned and growled, making the girl turn back to her mother’s arms.

“These people don’t understand us,” said the Gun. “Let’s go.”

They hopped off the bus and walked down the road. Wherever the Dog turned its head, people stopped and stared.

“See?” said the Gun, “they know how powerful you are. We can do anything!”

Truly, the Dog did feel all-powerful with the Gun in its mouth. It did not feel any less ignorant, but it supposed such things were not a concern of the Very Important. All around them, a kind of honour guard were forming: men and women in black suits wearing reflective jackets crouched on either side of the street, talking nervously into little boxes. The Dog supposed it should say something momentous and important, but it could not think of anything to say – and then it saw something that plucked a primal chord in its soul.

Far down the street, no more than a speck but looming huge in its nostrils, was the butcher’s it had spent long nights howling against. And it was open. The mingling meaty smells dragged it down the street, and in an instant it was at the door.

“Take what’s yours,” said the Gun.

The Dog waved its metal nozzle at the round butcher, who jumped, then ducked behind his counter. He emerged with a long string of sausages, and threw them out into the street. The Dog saw the briefest expression that the thought was a mixture of sadness and confusion – but those sausages pulled at the dark parts of its heart and it followed them into the street.

A crowd of other dogs, dogs that had spurned him, had formed around the sausages. They stared at them, and the Dog saw how desperately hungry they all were. At once, the Dog sprang forward, waving the Gun with greedy fury and snarling like a hound of hell. The dogs fell back, the honour guard fell silent, and the Dog felt its anger and power swirling inside it.

Then it looked down at the coil of sausages. It decided then and there to eat every last one in front of its subjects, to show them all its power. It loosened its grip-

The Gun cried, “no, wait!”-

-and the Gun fell out, clattering onto the floor. From the pavement, the Gun did not look so regal at all; just a rusty, stubby L of metal. The Dog’s feelings of power and anger melted away. All it saw were the sausages. Ignoring the Gun’s angry shouts, the Dog tucked in. Soon, it felt a strong hand on its back. It turned, and saw the butcher. His eyes had the same friendliness as the little girls, and he nodded. The butcher turned, and the Dog found itself following. It could faintly hear the Gun’s muffled protests as it was taken away, but the Dog decided to let it go. A king’s power and a Dog’s ignorance were all very well, but perhaps they did not belong together.

[1534w]

Moral: Here’s the thing, you don’t have one. Your last sentence tries to say you have one, but you don’t. Nothing happened that would indicate a choice had been made, and someone suffered for it. No lesson was taught.

You literally have Chekhov’s gun here, and it’s never used.

Suggestions: This story needs an entire re-write. You focus too much on the descriptions of how these animals are being animals. Nipping at tails, growling, none of that is necessary. Cut all that stuff out. This is a story about a dog and a gun. That is what you talk about, and only that.

Ask yourself the question: What would a dog do if he had a gun? You touch on it with him getting on a bus, but what else? This dog should know exactly how powerful this gun is, but if you want to use ignorance, he squanders this power on trivial matters, when he could have used it to actually change his life.

For instance, the bus, or the sausages. He uses the gun to acquire these things, but they’re so inconsequential that he is abusing this power because he doesn’t know any better. BUT, and a big BUT here, WHY should he know better? If your sin is ignorance, how he is sinning by just being too stupid? That’s not fair. A sin is a choice. If he chooses to be ignorant when he has been shown how to not be ignorant, then he has sinned. If he uses this gun in an ignorant, and irresponsible way, even though he has been shown how to use it differently, then he is ignorant.

Your story could so, so, so easily be a criticism of soldiers, gang members, violence in general. You give an animal a gun, and he’s still an animal, but you have to show that he could have been more.

Stand back and think about what you want to say with your moral lesson, then re-write it and re-send it.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Mine Before Thine
(688 words)

Mother Cowbird didn't want the bother of raising children, and she'd found a way around it by sneaking into her neighbors' nests when they were away and laying her eggs beside theirs. Unburdened, she was free to fly far and feed well while Mrs. Cardinal, Mama Sparrow, Papa Bluebird, and others took care of her demanding babies. Some parents rejected the fosterlings, but most endured them, knowing what would happen if they didn't.

Take the Goldfinches: they had dared to toss out one of her eggs, so Mother Cowbird now stood claw-deep in broken shell and yolk in the Goldfinch nest. She nipped at a spot of blood amidst the slime. Mr. Goldfinch sped in on flurrying wings, too late. Mother Cowbird flew away from his chittered screams with a bit of shell still stuck to her beak.

Chortling, she soared across a wide clearing and nearly became dinner herself. Hawk's cry high above warned her to dive for the trees; Hawk's claws grabbed at her tail feathers and pulled one loose. The larger bird chased her through the canopy of the wood. "Why are you after me?" Mother Cowbird shrilled. "You should hunt the Cardinals! They're so easy to see!"

"I did, when there were more of them," Hawk retorted. "Old Mr. Cardinal is canny, and there haven't been any young Cardinals to chase for at least two years. I wonder why that is?"

Fast as he was, Hawk couldn't follow her easily amid the tightly woven branches. She escaped into a tree hollow and waited for him to leave; to find someone else to eat, she hoped.

After he'd gone, she went to hunt insects by the forest pond. She snapped up beetles and spiders left and right and soon forgot about Hawk. She spread her wings wide and sailed over the water, enjoying her full stomach--until a sticky tongue hit her from below.

Mother Cowbird pulled free without much difficulty. Frog sat on his lily pad down on the water, gazing at her with golden eyes. "What!" she yelled at him, flying back and forth just out of his reach. "I'm too big for you to eat! Why aren't you snatching up Sparrows?"

Frog croaked, "I haven't seen a Sparrow in days, and I'm so hungry. I'll keep trying to get you until one of us dies," and he jumped toward her, tongue lashing out, to prove it.

Unsettled, Mother Cowbird left the woods entirely for the open fields cleared by her old friend, Man. She flew to his big white farmhouse and settled on his backyard fence. Man sat out on his porch. To her shock, he picked up the rifle that leaned against his chair and took aim as soon as he saw her; she barely evaded the bullet.

"Why?" called Mother Cowbird. "I haven't done anything to you!"

"I miss the other songbirds," Man said. "Besides, there are so many of you Cowbirds around now, you make good target practice. If you won't land on my fence anymore, I'll just have to hunt you in the wood."

Mother Cowbird fled in a panic. Hawk would chase any prey he could, Frog wasn't a real threat to her, but Man didn't forget his grudges. She huddled on a high branch in the forest, her heart beating frightfully fast.

But there--Papa Bluebird perched two trees away, his plumage bright even in the shade. Mother Cowbird flitted over to him and said, "I need your help! Man and his gun are after me! And my children, I suppose. Where can I hide and be safe?"

Papa Bluebird looked down his slender beak at her. "Because of you and your children, I have no children," he said. "Man can shoot you all for all I care." He left her alone in the tree.

Maybe Mr. Goldfinch would help her, Mother Cowbird thought. But probably not. Maybe the Cardinals had forgiven her for their broken clutches. Maybe the Warblers didn't mind their dead fledglings. Maybe--

"There you are," Man said.

The shot echoed through the forest; spots of blood marked the feathers that drifted down.

Mike Works
Feb 26, 2003


Is it okay if we post a link of a PDF of our story to retain the formatting (and I suppose digital publishing rights, though who knows with that stuff)?

JonasSalk
May 27, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Fairy Tales (718 words)

The darkest room in the house belonged to Cinderella and she spent long hours in it, because her stepmother was a cruel evil bitch. In fact, Cinderella was quite sure her stepmother was The Cruel Evil Bitch.

Her mother had died several years earlier, and her father had been quickly snatched off the market by Stepmother (Cinderella had been instructed by Stepmother to refer to her only as Stepmother). Almost over night, Cinderella’s relatively peaceful home life had been cast under the shade of what was, at the best of times, malicious neglect.

Recently, things had begun to take a turn for the better; Cinderella met her fairy godmother, and went dancing at a local ball thrown by the most charming man in the realm.

Prince Charming was perfect, and that night she left him a glass slipper as a token of her appreciation. Somehow, Stepmother had found all this out (curse Twitter) and when Cinderella arrived back home she found that her glorious high speed Internet had been replaced with dial up and adding Prince Charming on Facebook was drat near impossible due to parental blocks that had been placed on her account.

Time and time again, Cinderella had been beaten by her stepmother (she had the bruises to prove it) but this time she’d been cut off from the one thing she could not live without. What was a girl to do?

Strangely, Stepmother had not seen fit to remove access to the infamous AOL chat rooms—unbeknown to Cinderella her stepmother was actually hoping she’d be abducted—and it was on one of these that Cinderella found out her stepmother’s secret.

While perusing XXXFANTASYTALES, Cinderella was drawn into chat with a strange man:

WickedSecrets: ASL?

CutFeet: 17, F, English.

WickedSecrets: How are you?

CutFeet: Not so well.

WickedSecrets: Aww … What’s wrong?

CutFeet: My stepmother is a bitch. She disconnected my broadband and got us hooked up with dial up instead.

WickedSecrets: …

WickedSecrets: Wow. Give me a sec.

CutFeet: Ok.

RudeandNasty enters XXXFANTASYTALES

RudeandNasty: This is so loving gay.

RudeandNasty exits XXXFANTASYTALES

WickedSecrets: https://www.thebitchisevil.com. Go there. Sounds like it might be up your alley.

CutFeet: What is it?

WickedSecrets: Answers to your problems.

CutFeet: Thanks. I’ll check it out.

WickedSecrets: Cool. You want to cyber?

CutFeet: No.

CutFeet exits XXXFANTASYTALES

WickedSecrets: That’s the last time I try to be a nice guy.


Cinderella had visited the site and been surprised (and a tad disappointed) that it wasn’t some weird fetish porn thing. Instead, she found a tumblr devoted to girls across the country who had been plagued by an evil stepmother. The details of how the evil stepmother entered their lives bore an eerie resemblance to her own circumstances and the way each girl’s story ended was always tragic. One of the girls fell into a coma and never woke up. Another girl had choked to death on a piece of poisonous apple. Her body had been found in the woods by a gang of dwarves on work release from the state penitentiary.

The stepmother was always described as being tall and fair of skin and almost as beautiful as her victims. It didn’t take a genius to connect the dots and see that Stepmother was the same person as all these other girls stepmothers. Cinderella knew what must be done if she ever wanted to see her charming prince again.

The bitch in the room across the hall had to die.

She waited until she was sure that her stepmother was baking cookies (one must never kill on an empty stomach). After several cookies and three glasses of milk, she entered into battle with the beast. Her stepmother was bigger but caught off guard, and Cinderella was young and spry. After a few moments of struggle, the beast had been vanquished into the pizza oven. Her demon screams brought her father rushing into the kitchen, but Cinderella had the forethought to break the latch off the oven. She knew that her father was under Stepmother’s spell, and didn’t want him to do something they’d both regret later.

Epilogue

Prison had been bad for Cinderella, but the death penalty was worse. The state of Florida had tried her as an adult, and decided that her crime was of the most heinous nature. Somewhere, Stepmother was laughing.

fart particle
May 14, 2013

by toby


I'm an awful student and I need to dip out for now. Thanks for everything so far, I'll see you all again in the Summer...

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.



The Crescent of Fate - 70 words

Yeah, gently caress me and signing up for poo poo when I shouldn't. I have 400 pages of medical anthropology I need to get through, and I'm barely able too keep myself awake as it is. Might be I finish the story when I'm done with my final, which should be in about 36 hours. Might be I'm drunk for five days after that. Might be I do both. gently caress everything anyway.

Black Griffon fucked around with this message at May 27, 2013 around 01:55

Jopoho
Feb 17, 2012


Black Griffon posted:

Yeah, gently caress me and signing up for poo poo when I shouldn't. I have 400 pages of medical anthropology I need to get through, and I'm barely able too keep myself awake as it is. Might be I finish the story when I'm done with my final, which should be in about 36 hours. Might be I'm drunk for five days after that. Might be I do both. gently caress everything anyway.

Personally, I'd avoid the first person in a fable, but the moral is reasonably clear.

HaitianDivorce
Jul 29, 2012


When I signed up for this I thought it would be, if not easy, at least fun. Nope.

Exile -- 1807 words

There was just one way out, a single tunnel that cut straight through the fortress. Across each baked brick a message had been carved, in many hands and tongues: many crying out for home scarcely put behind them, some begging for clemency from the soldiers that even now moved to block the way back, a few looking forward to the future that awaited past the great wall.

For his part Jack left only a few words scratched near the exit: "There is nothing left to save." He lingered a while longer to admire his work, his tiny contribution to this monument to exile. Behind him the camel snorted and spat and he sighed and took up its reigns again.

I could hardly ask a better companion, he thought, and tried to smile.

The sun was rising behind them and drew the shadows out, so for just a few moments they had some small comfort. Still there was no mistaking the long journey they had before them: tracts of flat white sand stretched on so far that he could walk until his legs were nothing but bone and never reach the far mountains, heat shimmered in the air and threatened to draw the moisture from his body as surely as the cold would freeze him an hour after sunset, and the wind kicked across the level plains baring with it sand to scour his flesh clean.

A single road cut from the tunnel into the distance, marked by a few cracked wooden posts set down by a few brave or unlucky laborers. With nowhere else to go and eager to be away from the wall Jack followed it, stepping out into the sun itself without paying the wall that had shaded him any mind--there were rituals and superstitions aplenty to divine if an exile would ever return home again, but he had no interest in them. There was no reason to ever go home; his path was set. Exile was all there was.

No matter what the songs the other side of the wall might have said the road did not go on forever. Instead it ended when the wall was out of sight. A signpost, toppled over and half-sunk in the sand, pointed three directions to three places he had never heard of. He tried to make a guess as to which direction he should take to which place and found no answer.

Behind him the wall that guarded the way back to civilization had receded to a thin line on the horizon; before him the mountains were no nearer than they had been that morning. The sun had burned all the shadows away and left him soaked with sweat; the camel's water tank wouldn't last particularly long in this heat. The thought occurred to him: return. Return and beg forgiveness, and you might even be able to sleep in your own bed tonight.

The thought rang hollow. With a shake of his head he took the camel's reigns and led it further into the setting sun.

When the night came it chased away all warmth; Jack's hopes of moving in relative comfort were dashed when his breath froze in front of him. By starlight he pitched his tent and drifted off to oily uncertain dreams.

Sunlight crept over his face and stirred him awake. His eyes opened, gummy and dry, and for a moment he only laid there, uncertain. The canvas and fur lining flexed in the wind, the beast outside stamped its foot. He did not know who he was, or where he was, or why he was there. All he had was the need to keep going, on and on and on. He sat up, remembered everything, but still the need was there, only in context: he was fleeing that place.

The day fell away into the sound of his footfalls and the wind whistling around him. The sun scorched his fair skin red and the sand stung his eyes. Even worse his mind wandered, faces appearing out of the white dunes: a stern, bearded man, mouth turned into a snarl; a woman, face thin and narrow like a willow tree; a little girl with eyes deep and dark and very sad. That night as the wind picked up and blasted his meager tent, howling loud enough to wake the dead, he could almost hear their voices. Huddled under his blanket he muttered to himself in mock wonder: the stories on the other side were wrong again. Only the dead were supposed to cry out in sandstorms.

Days and nights afterward passed in equal measure and tedium as he travelled on to an uncertain destinatiom through the endless sands. Jerky and water dwindled away as surely as the days and miles piled up no matter how carefully he rationed them out. Their halfway point came and left without much notice; he swore to himself and pressed on. What he imagined he might find he did not know: though once, as a child, he had dreamed of a land past the horizon where the sun set and rose in opposite directions and all did as they pleased, stealing and mudering without end.

If such a land existed he made no progress towards it. The mountains pulled away as he walked towards them, the sun beating down upon his face as if in mockery. The clear stars at night did little to assuage his fear of death from starvation or dehydration. No friendly nomads appeared from over a hill; nothing moved or stirred all across the sands. He had been eager to travel away from that place, to see new lands, but now he would be happy to see anything alive, if anything could survive in this place.

One day he came upon a gradually sloping dune off to his south. The last of his water gone, the last of his strength failing, even his camel on its last legs, Jack looked at it and nearly cried. He had come so far, had wanted to go so much further, and he would die never even knowing what lay on its other side. He threw his head back, waited for the last drop of water to fall from his canteen and stood: he would see that, at least.

The hill was gentle and easy, but even so his legs burned and turned to stone. His camel's head drooped and at last it fell dead. Jack did not take a moment to mourn it: the desert, apparently so easily traversed, had made an even greater fool of him. After hours he at last stood at the dune's crest, and saw, further south, a cluster of lights to his south, near a green-blue river and the rolling white tide.

He stumbled into the city by the sea at night and dropped into a gutter. He awoke to find someone else with him; a traveler that had not been as strong or a citizen that had not been as fortunate: he was dead. Staggering away, barely better off, it did not take long for Jack to learn the city was a place without laws or customs, built by fellow exiles and travelers from squabbling and suffering in the only place in the desert that could sustain it. Nothing came for free but Jack had much to offer: when he recovered his hands were quick and his mind was quicker.

Days became weeks and weeks became months. Jack found employment with ships trawling the coasts and sailing the nameless sea, as a bouncer at clubs catering to all base instincts, in backrooms and backstreets meting out the city's version of justice for its owners. He was rewarded well-enough for his work and made sure to keep at least some of it for later days--a small virtue not left behind past the wall a world away, and perhaps the only one.

One day he came across a traveller, easily distinguished as having come from beyond the same wall. It had been many years since he had found the city but even so the traveller recognized him and spoke to him by name: not his given name but his family's.

For a moment Jack said nothing, for he had not thought of his family in years. He asked of them, and the traveller turned grave: his father was deathly ill. That night Jack took his fortune, purchased supplies and left go return across the desert.

Equipped and experienced as a traveller the journey was much easier, and toilless days rolled into one another. Before long he passed through the wall and found himself home: a place as green and verdant as he remembered it. If any of the folk on the other side recognized him, they did not betray it; instead they smiled at the weather beaten sunburnt traveller shaking the dust from his coat as though he were a close neighbor. Even his household guard, old enough to remember when he had left the place, let him pass without word.

From long and dangerous years of work Jack had expected the immediate rejection and barely hoped for anything more. But at his father's door his little sister, eyes already red from crying, embraced him without a word. Inside his mother's face softened and filled with tears of joy and she flung her arms around his neck. And his father, stubbornness still with him, took one of his hands in his own and folded it across his chest. Tears filled the old man's eyes and Jack's face burned red like it had in the desert years past.

"I am so sorry," he told his father, afraid to try and wrench his hand free. "If I upset you, I will go."

His father spoke, voice hushed and quiet. "Do not be, my only son. My prayers have been answered. At long last you return: the unruly boy that left us gone, made into a man, both beloved to myself and to our family. Always we have and always we will."

They spent the rest of the day speaking, not merely him and his father but also with his mother and sister too. As night fell his father slipped away, and by morning they buried him with the rest of their ancestors.

As the sun rose Jack looked on their familial grave, the resting place of all who had come before him. He would be buried there, one day; this he had known since he was a child. It had seemed a cold embrace, to accept one only after they had gone, but in the dawn he saw his family and understood: always his family loved him, from when he was born to long after he died, always and unconditionally.

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.



Jopoho posted:

Personally, I'd avoid the first person in a fable, but the moral is reasonably clear.

Thanks for the feedback, and I forgot to add a title, silly me.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Hey I have the goddamned greatest concept for a story and over 3,000 words written. I'm editing, I swear to God this is going to be the greatest thing I've ever written, guaranteeing me a spot 4 from the bottom.

So - just so you know. I'm going. I'm going. Hold your horses.

Jopoho
Feb 17, 2012


The Penguins and the Blizzard - [639 Words]

Seven penguins lost their way in a blizzard. They searched and searched, hoping to find their family, but they could scarcely see past their own beaks. Sometimes they would waddle, and sometimes they slid on their bellies, but no matter how far they went, they didn’t seem to get anywhere. Their pace slowed, and eventually they could hear the rumbling of their bellies over the howling of the wind. They prayed that they might survive the storm and see their family again.

No sooner had they finished their prayer than the youngest one nearly fell into a pool of water. “If we have found the water," he said, "then we are nowhere near our family! We will never make it back to them in this blizzard!”

The oldest and wisest and strongest brother thought a moment, and said, “If we are near the water, are near fish. Let’s catch as much as we can, and meet back here to huddle together for warmth. Still we must hurry back before the light fades, or we might never find each other again.”

The other penguins all agreed this was a good plan, and they each dove into the sea.The icy water chilled the air in their lungs, and even the oldest feared the cold might kill him. Still, he knew his duty to his family, and he managed to snatch up seven fish within an hour. Satisfied with his results, and worried that the sun would soon set, he returned to their spot on the ice. He hoped his brothers would not lose their way.

Fortunately, everyone made it back to the edge of the water, each brining an excuse in place of fish. The youngest claimed that he was much too tired to look for food. The second decided to eat his fish rather than bringing them back. The third had brought back a collection of colorful stones he though looked pretty. The fourth had chased after a lady he thought he had seen in the murky depths. The fifth tried to snatch away fish that the sixth had caught. The sixth, furious with the fifth, let his haul get away, so that he could not have it.

The oldest looked on each of his brothers with contempt and said, “I have tried to show you how to act well and do your part. Yet not one of you has come back with anything useful. You let your failings get the best of you. I will not share what I have caught with any of you.”

He sent them away, wishing that his brothers could be more like him. He watched them fade into the wall of white before eating three of the fish he caught. Almost instantly, the rumbling in his stomach quieted.

“If only my brothers could be good like me, they might have been spared.”

As the light continued to fade, it grew colder and colder. The oldest brother wrapped his flippers around his belly, but the wind blew straight through him. In the darkening gray, he felt the beginnings of icicles form along his beak. He tried to eat another fish, but they had frozen.

He knew night would fall soon. He admitted to himself that he no longer felt terribly proud about his virtuous behavior. He really didn’t feel much of anything, except the cold biting at his face and his feet. He tried calling out to his brothers, begging them to return so that he could be warm, but the wind snatched his words away.

When the blizzard ended, a family of seals happily gobbled up the body of the oldest penguin. They spotted six live ones off in the distance, but they didn’t bother giving chase. The penguins had a good head start, and they looked scrawny anyway.

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


Realised I got too ambitious with too little time for research and probably need more words, so I'm bowing out even though I like $

E: When I finish it i'll put up a new thread

The Saddest Rhino fucked around with this message at May 27, 2013 around 03:18

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


crabrock posted:

It's Hard to Get By Just Upon a Smile
1711 words


All the world that was not the sea was pervaded with gently rolling hills replete with lush grasses. The grass grew thick and tall, and 'most everybody was happy.

Rabbit spent her days munching on grass and nursing her babies, and she was happy.

Gopher dug his long tunnels underneath the grass, nibbling on the thin roots, and he was happy.

Bird pulled the worms that aerated the grasses from the soil, and he was happy.

A small sapling shivered in the shade of the tall grasses, thirsty and riddled with parasites, and he was the unhappiest thing the hills had ever seen.

Rabbit bounded from her warren as she did every morning. “Time to fill up!” she said. As she ate and ate, she came across the little sapling.

“You are a funny looking piece of grass,” she said.

“I am not grass; I am a tree,” said the sapling.

“What kind of creature is a tree?” asked Rabbit.

“A tree is the most important living thing. We grow big and tall and serve as homes for other animals, and food for others. During the winter you chew on the lichen that grows on our branches,” said the sapling.

Rabbit laughed at the silly sapling. “You don’t seem very mighty: you are barely bigger than a blade of grass. Why, I could eat you right now if I wanted to,” she said.

“Please don’t eat me,” the sapling begged. “I can’t grow and become strong with all of this grass in my way, perhaps you could help me?”

Rabbit had important things to take care of back at the warren, but she felt sorry for the tiny sapling. Plus, she always enjoyed taking care of the bunnies, and thought that it might be fun to take care of a baby tree. So she spent the day eating the grass around the sapling until it was standing tall in the sunlight.

The next day Gopher popped up from a hole near the sapling which had grown overnight so that it was now five centimeters thick.

“Wow, look at this huge piece of grass!” Gopher shouted. “Its roots will feed me for a week!”

“Please don’t eat my roots, Mr. Gopher. I am not a piece of grass but a mighty tree,” said the sapling.

Gopher’s face scrunched up with confusion. “What is a tree?” he said.

“How have you never heard of a tree?” The sapling said with astonishment. “We are the best things ever created! We can give you shade on a hot summer day, or keep you dry when it rains. There is little a tree cannot do to help others.”

“But you are so small! I would be roasted alive if I tried to take refuge under you!” said Gopher.

“It is because the grass around me soaks up all my water. I will never grow massive without water,” said the sapling. “Perhaps you could help me by eating all the roots of the grasses around me?”

Gopher did not like to eat all the roots in one place, because he knew that they were slower to grow back, which meant he had to spend more time searching for food. But he also hated being rained on, and if the sapling could grow into a tree and give him a place to hide from the rain, then it would be worth it. He spent the rest of the day eating the roots of the grass around the sapling.

That night it rained, and there was nothing to steal the saplings water, and its girth increased to a more respectable size.

The next day Bird was flying around looking for worms when he saw what he thought was the largest snake he’d ever seen standing straight into the air.

“Snake! Snake!” he yelled in alarm.

“I am not a snake!” The sapling yelled back. “Come, sit in my branches and see that I am a tree.”

The bird alighted onto the wobbly branches of the sapling. “If you are not a snake, what sort of creature are you?” He asked.

“I am a tree! The most majestic creature to grow in the hills,” said the sapling. “When I am finished growing you will be able to sit on me and see for miles around. You will know if there is a wildfire from lightning or a hungry snake from the river coming towards you and your friends. You can do this without having to spend all your time in the sky and leaving your eggs alone for hours on end.”

Bird chuckled at the thought of grass thinking it could grow into the clouds, for he knew only he could get that high up. “You are just a little plant, look at how you sway in the wind,” said Bird. “I can barely stand on you, let alone build a nest in you.”

The sapling creaked and moaned as a large gust of wind threatened to blow it over. “I cannot grow sturdy with all of these bugs eating my leaves,” said the sapling. “Perhaps you could help me out by gobbling them up?”

Bird was tempted by the thought of building a nest for his wife that was not on the ground, but feared that without his watchful eye, the other animals might be in danger. Still, if the sapling was telling the truth, it would save a lot of animals in the future. “Sure, I can eat the bugs, if you keep your eye out for snakes,” said Bird.

The sapling watched for snakes while Bird ate every last aphid and caterpillar from its leaves. That night the sapling grew a layer of hard bark and no longer swayed in the wind.

The sapling continued to grow and grow, until he became the august tree that he had promised. The other animals looked up at him with awe and wonder. His branches grew out in all directions and blocked out the sun. Under the expansive canopy, the grasses withered and died.

Rabbit could not find anything to eat around her warren.

“Hello Tree,” said Rabbit. “Do you remember me?”

“Of course,” said the Tree. “I remember when I was trapped under the shade of the grasses and you made fun of me, saying I was small and threatened to eat me.”

Rabbit frowned. “But I helped you by eating all the grass that hindered you, and you promised to help when times were tough.”

Tree pondered this for a moment. “You are the one who ate all the grass. Maybe you should not have been so greedy and saved some for hard times,” he said. “I cannot help those who cannot help themselves.”

Rabbit protested, but Tree was silent. Rabbit went back to her baby bunnies, hungry and cold.

The next day the skies were angry and dumped the contents of the clouds on the hillside. Without the roots of the grasses, Gopher’s tunnels collapsed in the deluge and he struggled to the surface.

“Hello Tree, remember me?” asked Gopher.

“Yes,” said the Tree, “I remember when you made fun of me and doubted that I could ever be useful.”

“But I helped you by eating all the roots of the grasses and now my tunnels are destroyed. Surely you could help me by allowing me to tunnel under your protective roots where the dirt will be dry and stable?” said Gopher.

Tree scoffed at Gopher’s naiveté. “I am a yew tree, and my roots are poisonous. You will find no respite among them. Please, do not come to be with your petty problems, and leave me be.”

Gopher sat under the tree, but soon learned that the drops that fall from its branches are fatter and heavier than those that fall from the sky.

The next day, after the storm had passed, Bird landed on the serpentine branches of the tree. “Hello Tree, do you remember me?” he asked.

“Yes I remember when you teased me for being weak,” said Tree.

“But remember that I picked bugs off of you to keep you safe when you were vulnerable, and you promised me that I could build a home for my family in your branches?”

The tree considered Bird’s argument. “True, I did say that if I grew you were welcome to take up residence, but there are others that would call me home as well,” said Tree.

Bird noticed that all that he thought as branches were not so. They writhed and curled. “Hello, Bird,” said a snake.

Bird took to the air and flew around the tree, and saw that there was no safe haven to be found within its dense undergrowth. He had no choice but to return to his wife and their muddy nest on the ground.

When spring came, Tree let loose his thousands of cones. The hungry animals devoured the seeds inside and spread them far and wide in their droppings. Thousands of saplings sprung up across the plains. The grasses died and the grounds turned muddy; one by one the animals were forced to leave their homes. The hillsides crumbled and trees filled the land with their poisonous roots. Snakes infested the forest and killed anything that came close to the dark wood that permeated the hills.

Tree looked around at what he had created, and was proud of himself. “This, my brothers, is what you can achieve with hard work and perseverance,” he said to the other trees around him. “Let us all take lessons from the careless rabbit, the ignorant gopher, and the cowardly bird. Every opportunity was given to them to grow large and powerful, but they eschewed that gift. Let their misjudgments and simple worldview live on as a warning to those who would take what they can to live a better life.”

The other trees swayed in the wind and to the erstwhile sapling, it sounded like applause. Over the years all the animals of the forest died after grueling lives filled with misery and suffering. Tree, and all of his descendants, lived on throughout the years in luxury.

If one is to live a happy and comfortable life and leave a legacy for his descendants, he cannot ignore the lesson of the yew tree.

This is a unique take on the prompt, and one I hoped writers would entertain.

Moral: Sometimes the bad guys win. There is an element of truth to fable as it relates to the world. I appreciate that you used a non-conventional character of the yew tree, which allowed you to have more stock characters such as the Rabbit and Bird.

Symbolism: In my opinion I think you should have named the Yew tree much sooner. This shouldn’t be a reveal, because when you set up that the tree is a yew tree those that know the tree is toxic will be intrigued by how this is going to happen, and those that don’t know what the yew tree is will be surprised anyway.

With the introduction of the yew tree as is, it does evoke a scorpion and the frog myth, with a nice twist. I really enjoyed this fable.

Suggestions: This story needs a line by line, because I don’t think you need a re-write at all. There’s places where you can reduce and cut words. Some sentences are redundant, and with how you set up the beginning, I’d like to see the Yew talk a bigger game than he does. The animals so far live a happy life, and then this strange little yew tree appears, and promises them all these things, and then they get hosed for it. The lesson would also to be skeptical, and some things are in fact too good to be true.

Also, by introducing the yew tree as a new thing would fix the problem of the animals not knowing what a tree is. All the animals should know what a tree is, but not a weedy looking yew tree.

Solid work.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


I'm going to leave submissions open until I wake up on Monday the 27th. Make use of this time.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


What? Extension!?! But, but I'm done!

Rock, Paper, and Scissors, 1,488 Words
Rock moved along the dirt road, headed towards the county fair. It was finally spring, and the trees were showing off their new growth. The sun was shining, warming the chilly morning air, and Rock was excited. The fair only came once a year, and all his friends would be there.

The path wasn't too long, the carnival wasn't too far away. As Rock plodded, a shiny thing, lustrous and polished, glinted at the top of the hill. Rock continued along the path towards the hill until eventually he was there, next to Scissors.

Scissors had one point stuck in the dirt. No matter how much she would spin or snip, the point wouldn't come loose.

"My! You seem to be really really stuck, don't you now!" Rock said.

"Yes. Yes I am stuck. I was on my way to the fair, and in my excitement, I guess my stride caused me to bury my point too far in this dirt."

"So. You're stuck, yeah?"

"Of course I'm stuck, idiot. Any fool can see I'm stuck. But I'm sure, if I just keep snipping, I'll be able to finally --"

Rock threw himself into Scissors, knocking her loose. 

"Hey!" she screamed as she fell to the ground. "Now look what you've done! You've scratched up my legs! Look at this!"

Rock looked and said, "I was trying to help. You seemed to be stuck, I figured I was big enough, I'd just nudge you loose."

"Oh you nudged me all right. Look at these scratches! What kind of a fool would just bump without thinking?" Scissors was clearly upset, and Rock wasn't sure what could be said to cheer her up.

"Honestly, I'm very sorry. I only meant to help. Look. Let's go to the country fair together! I was already heading that way, and you said you were going. Let's go together. Maybe I can cheer you up with a song."

Scissors gave him a sardonic grin. "A song? You think a song can help? I'll be on my way. If you think you can keep up, then, well it's your choice. But I'm not going to wait around for you."

"It's settled then! Let's go!"

The two, Rock and Scissors, continued down the hill, on towards the county fair. Not a word was said between them. Rock was happy to be in the silence, he wasn't one for words. Scissors on the other hand was becoming more and more agitated, having a guest on the road who was not one for conversation.

Soon the sun was directly overhead and a shadow flittered in front of them.

"Oh my! Look at that!" Rock said. Up, in the air, was Paper, riding on the spring winds. Paper would twirl and float in the breeze. Sometimes she would move far on down the path, and then the wind would change direction and she would float back towards Rock and Scissors. The bright sun shined through the orange-hued parchment whenever Paper would pass directly between the sun and Rock or Scissors.

"Oh look at her," Scissors said with a sharp tongue. "Thinks she's just all beauty and perfection, flying and flipping through the breeze. She'll get stuck up in the branches before she knows it."

"Oh but I think she's just beautiful!" Rock said. He'd stopped in his track, transfixed by Paper's merry twirls and twists in the air. "Hello there! That looks so fun!"

"It is! I can see everything from up here!" Paper said.

"Can you see the county fair?" Rock called up to her.

"It's just over the next couple of hills! It looks amazing!" Paper was coming closer to them, settling on the lower breezes. "Are you two headed to the fair?"

"Is there anything else we'd be doing on this filthy road?" Scissors snipped at her. "If I had my way, I'd be on a cart. Or even better? I'd have stayed home. I should have known better than to get out today."

"Are you mad? Today is just beautiful!" Paper laughed and then caught a draft that sent her way into the air.

"Mad enough to turn back? Yes. Mad enough to watch you float like a bubbly chirpy flap? I doubt it." Scissors was having a hard time walking and watching Paper.

"Turn back?! Nonsense! The fair is right beyond that creek, and your shiny legs will be the admiration of everyone there!"

Scissors and Rock looked further down the path and saw the creek. It wasn't very wide, and not very deep.

"Oh I don't know about this," Scissors said. "That water will rust my legs, and the stones in the creek bed will dull my points. I'm not going. I knew this was a bad idea."

Rock smiled and said, "Not to worry. It's not so deep. I'll cross it, you can stand on top of me and we'll be across shortly."

"And get my feet wet? Did you hear me say I'm not going to get my tips rusted?" Scissors voice rose. "And what about Paper? Paper can't cross on top of you, she'll get wet."

"Paper will be fine I'm sure. Look at her, she's so high up and can make it across without our help at all."

“Oh I can't cross by myself," Paper said. "There's a breeze following the creek. Every time I've tried to cross, the wind from the creek threatens to take me into the water. I'm afraid of the water. But look! There's a rope bridge! Scissors, you could hold me while you went across on the rope bridge."

Scissors considered it and said, "Nope. My blades are far too sharp for a rope bridge. I'm sure I'd cut the rope and we'd both fall into the water. Besides, how can you trust me not to harm you? I'm sharp and pointed. One slip and I might slice you to slivers as I fell into the water."

Paper hadn't considered Scissors a threat until then. "Yes indeed. Your points, your blades, you're nothing but danger to anyone near you! You must have to be careful constantly."

"I manage. But, just to be safe, a rope bridge won't do."

Rock looked farther down the creek. "Look! There's a stone bridge! We can all three of us cross there! This is fantastic isn't it?" Rock began rolling towards the bridge.

"You just wait a minute. If standing on top of you is a problem, don't you think walking across a stone bridge is just as bad? You really are slow, aren't you?" Scissors had planted both her points firmly in the ground.

"Oh come on now," Paper said. "He's just trying to help. If you won't take the rope bridge, and you won't take the stone bridge, then I guess we'll just go without you."

Scissors began walking behind Rock. "No! I can do it. Don't leave me. Let's go. Fine. The stone bridge will have to do I suppose."

Paper laughed and landed on the ground in front of Scissors. "You're just an old grumpy hag. I don't know why Rock puts up with you. Rock. Let's get out of here and leave Scissors behind. I'll ride on your back, and we'll go over the stone bridge."

Rock stopped short. "That won't do. If you cover me, I'll suffocate. We need Scissors to carry you."

Paper was laying flat on the ground by now, and the breeze had died down. Scissors walked towards Paper, and pushed the tip of one point into the edge of Paper. "So I guess you do need me then, don't you?"

"Ouch! Stop that!" The point dug into the ground, through Paper, causing the slit to tear.

Rock turned and saw Scissors, smiling, while she drove her other point into Paper. "No! Stop! You're hurting her!"

Scissors began to bring her two points together. The gash in Paper was growing, and Paper was in so much pain she screamed a shrill yelp. But Scissors kept cutting and hacking. She stabbed Paper, and cut and snipped and clipped.

Rock slammed into Scissors. "You have to stop that! You have to!" Rock continued to bash Scissors. The fastener broke, and Scissors fell apart, her two blades motionless, but Rock kept hitting her, denting her smooth metal legs, turning them into metallic twisted fingers.

"Oh Paper, no. No." Rock wept. He tried to pick up Paper, gathering as many pieces together as he could.

Paper whispered quietly, "why did you wait so long before stopping that foul shrew?"

Rock held Paper in his hands and said, "How the gently caress should I know, I'm just a rock talking to a shredded piece of paper, next to a bitter broken pair of scissors. Like any of this is supposed to make sense? Bitch please."

And then Rock went on to the fair and had the time of his life. gently caress bitches man. gently caress em.

magnificent7 fucked around with this message at May 27, 2013 around 03:50

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 just got back from work and now I'm gonna start making up something hella preachy, woo. Hopefully have it here before Noah wakes up.

Jagermonster
May 7, 2005

Hey - NIZE HAT!


The Pride [1654]

After Man was cast out of God’s garden, but before the great human tribes scattered into the Wilderness, he, along with all the other animals of the Earth, lived under the dominion of the Lion. Having been stripped of his divine authority, Man proved no match for the Lion’s strength, ferocity, numbers, and organization. Like the mighty Elephant, the stalwart Rhinoceros, the clever Ape, and the swift Cheetah before him, Man submitted to the dominant lion pride, Superbia.
Superbia began as six lions with one conviction: lions were the greatest animal God created. Believing it their destiny, lions Luxuria, Gula, Avaritia, Acedia, Ira, and Invidia banded together to unite all Liondom in conquest over the lesser animals. Many ambitious lions rallied to their cause. Defiant rivals were defeated. Pride Superbia’s ranks swelled with the lionesses and cubs of assimilated prides.

Luxuria took on the role of official pride matchmaker. He was obsessed with perfecting the next generation of the pride in order to safeguard Superbia’s future superiority. He also directed the best mates to the six founding members’ harems.

Gula became the pride quartermaster. No longer would buzzards and hyenas profit from the hard work of lions. The lesser animals would find only clean-picked bones after Gula saw to it that every lion, young and old had their fill from fresh kills.

Avaritia managed Superbia’s territory. He divided it amongst the pride, rewarding the strong and loyal for their service. He also policed it, harshly punishing all trespassers. Disrespect to Superbia territory was challenge to its rule.

Acedia maintained order within the pride. He provided each member with a role to play in contributing to Superbia’s strength. There were no idle paws under Acedia’s administration.

Ira commanded Superbia’s sorties against enemy prides and species. It was not enough for either Ira or Superbia that the other lion prides fell in line or that the lions’ natural rivals submitted to Superbia’s authority. Ira did not relent in his campaign of dominance until all animals bowed to Superbia.

Invidia focused his energies on analyzing the other prides, and once they had all been conquered, the other animals. Defeating the rival predators came easily. Ira prevailed with strength and ferocity alone. Other animals, however, required Invidia’s and the other founders’ full strategic efforts, as well the full weight of the pride.

“Submit to Superbia’s authority or perish,” Invidia said to the largest bull of the dominant elephant herd.

The bull grunted with laughter. “Be gone, cat,” he said. “Go rule over your little fiefdom of hyenas and antelope. We have no quarrel with you. But I will not hesitate to trample you if you threaten me or mine.”

As the big bull turned to tend to his herd, Invidia pounced, clawing viciously at the elephant’s thick thigh. The bull elephant trumpeted with rage. He charged Invidia, but the lion disappeared into the jungle.

“I gave you a chance to surrender, oaf,” Invidia growled from the thick underbrush. He roared, giving the signal to his pride. Dozens of lions sprang from the jungle, ambushing the elephant herd. They clawed bulls, slashed the females, and murdered the calfs, before disappearing again. The elephants stampeded in panic and rage. When the elephants regrouped, the lions pounced again. After weeks of starving, sleep deprivation, and death, the big bull yielded. Bleeding, and dehydrated, the elephant bowed before Invidia.

As a dozen lions tore the former elephant leader apart, Invidia said, “That is for the superior animals you so recklessly trampled.” He addressed the rest of the kneeling herd, “Do not despair, elephants, soon all animals will join the fold. You now serve your betters.”

With the elephants under their command, Superbia was able to beat the Rhinoceroses into submission. When the tree-bound monkeys resisted and fled, Ira and Invidia stationed lions at all the watering holes until, out of desperation, the apes acquiesced to lion rule. Cheetahs, and other related cat families, were welcomed into the pride as equals. When they realized they were subjects like the rest of the animals, it was too late to flee, for they were now thoroughly surrounded by their suspicious superiors.

As Superbia’s victories mounted, their pride multiplied exponentially. Their rule grew increasingly tyrannical.

Luxuria diverted more and more lionesses to the six Superbia founders. Worse, he issued directives to the subjugated animals, limiting their reproduction, especially of those that could someday threaten the pride.

Gula rationed less and less food to the inferior animals. Many starved.

Avaritia relocated animals from their ancestral homes in order to give Superbia the choicest land.

Acedia blamed subordinates for any failures, yet continued to delegate responsibility. Lions and lesser animals alike were killed in mass purges when unforeseen natural disasters disrupted the pride’s progress.

Ira perceived tepid discontent from the subjugated populations as outright insurrection and publicly executed the agitators.

Lacking any more targets or enemies to analyze, Invidia turned his scrutiny inward, developing the best strategies to remove popular lions or lesser animals before they could challenge the original six’s rule.

Still, despite this ever increasing cruelty, Superbia’s reign endured, for none were strong enough to oppose it. Having only recently been expelled into the Lion’s domain, Man was the last to bend the knee to Superbia. He too lacked the strength to oppose the lions head on, but he had one thing that the lions lacked: knowledge. Man had eaten from the Tree of Knowledge and knew sin. Although no names yet existed for them, Man saw the sins eroding Superbia’s integrity. Just like Man’s sin had led to his banishment from paradise, the Lions’ belief that it was the greatest, and that its greatness entitled Lion to its dominion, would be their downfall.

Since Man had once been favored by the Creator, the lions kept Man close as a trusted advisor. From his privieged position, Man whispered to Luxuria, whose authority over courtship and bloodlines had transformed into lecherous desire, “Look how the other animal families reproduce and flourish, while Lion must mate with the same stale population of lionesses. If you were truly the greatest, you would mount the females of every species.”

Man whispered to Gula, who had grown fat from feasting, “Lions rule the other animals yet still know hunger. You fast for hours and even days between fresh kills. If you were truly the greatest, there would be no time of the day the other animals weren’t serving you their best delicacies.”

Man whispered to Avaritia, whose supervision of territorial holdings had intensified into mania, “How can you allow the other animals to hold so much land if they are nothing but subjects to the Lion? If you were truly the greatest, you would control all the lands the other animals occupy. Your freedom to roam as you please is fleeting. The other animals do not respect you as true owners of all territory.”

Man whispered to Acedia, who had grown feeble and dependent through perpetual delegation, “You are taxed and overburdened for a creature of such superiority. Why do you Lions take on so much responsibility? What is the point of ruling, of having dominion over others, if you must still do everything yourselves. If you are truly the greatest, the other animals should be bound to your will, bent to complete servitude, enabling you to lead a life of complete leisure.”

Man whispered to Ira, who had become more bloodthirsty conqueror than tactician, “You have defeated many adversaries, but your victories are hollow while your enemies still roam about. They taunt you with their very existence. They think you weak. Lions can only be the greatest when the land becomes permanently stained with the blood of the weaker species.”

Finally, Man whispered to Invidia, whose constant analysis of others had turned into covetous obsession, “Look how the other animals strut about when you are not watching. They may fear you when you are upon them, but they laugh at your authority the second you turn your back on them. If you were truly the greatest, the other animals would have nothing at all, not even their lives.”

With those seeds planted by Man, the six ruling members of Superbia called a summit of lions and the leaders of the lesser animals.

Luxuria’s proposal of sexual conquest of all species horrified lion and inferior species alike. It seemed to all an abomination.

Gula’s plan of keeping all food for the ruling lions appeared unworkable to even the most fervent lion supremacists. They lions could not just starve all the other animals.

Avaritia’s new scheme of land division, giving all rights and titles to the lion ruling class, reignited old grudges and seemed unnecessary overkill to most lions.

Acedia’s desire to have the inferior species serve lions even more completely and subserviently infuriated lion and lower animal alike. Lions saw it as weakening their ability to effectively govern. The other animals perceived an increasing reliance on other animals as an admission of incompetence and weakness.

Ira called for all-out war and annihilation of the lesser animals. “Kill them all!” He roared. “Now is the time to strike.”

His increasingly rebellious lions hesitated in striking the other incensed animals. They turned to Invidia for guidance.

“Ira is right,” Invidia said. “Lions are the greatest creation of God. We are the only animal worthy of this gift of life. Kill the other animals. Kill them all.”

Seeing that their leaders and founders had succumbed completely to their madness, the lions joined their fellow animals in opposing Superbia’s ruling lions. In the ensuing melee the founding lions wore torn asunder. Superbia was fractured into hundreds of smaller prides. The reign of Lion ended.

Man reasserted his dominance over the animals of the world. Lions still know they are still a great and regal animal. However, they now fear buying into that belief completely. They know that where pride rules, all sin follows.

Jagermonster fucked around with this message at May 27, 2013 around 04:11

Truman Sticks
Nov 2, 2011


Happy for the extension, since I'm 10 minutes late putting this in. Thanks for your consideration!

Crushed Underthumb (996 Words)

Manu was a man who lived in the great city of Ygriega. He was so fair in body and in face that he was adored by the womenfolk of his town, from the young to the old, be they virgins or betrothed. He was the son of a well-known lord in Ygriega, expected to follow in his father’s footsteps, but spent his time gallivanting about with the ladies of Ygriega, believing that his father’s work was beneath him.
Manu’s efforts were instead concentrated on maintaining his infamous beauty. He bathed in milk, rubbed himself with aloes, took herbs, and followed ancient remedies, all to keep his skin as clean and clear as Lake Alitheia, Ygriega’s renown source of fresh water, and a popular destination for travelers.

It was in this same lake that Manu was taking a swim, just before the break of morning; a habit Manu had maintained at such an hour as to avoid the masses of commoners, pilgrims, and other unwashed folk which Alitheia was lousy with during the day. On this occasion, Manu came under distress when his foot caught on a branch, pinning him underneath the water’s surface. He very nearly lost his life to Alitheia when he was rescued by a cloaked stranger who freed his trapped limb and pulled Manu to shore.
As Manu regained consciousness, he heard labored breathing from a figure leaning over him. He blinked his eyes open and could just barely make out the horribly carbuncled face of his savior. Shocked, Manu sat up sharply, accidentally bumping heads with the man, and recoiled in disgust.

“Do not be alarmed,” the cloaked figure told Manu. “My name is Spiro. I know my condition seems frightful, but I’ve taken great care not to touch the bare flesh of your noble body as I pulled you from the lake.”

But Manu remained repulsed at the sight of Spiro, and at the thought of having been rescued by such a lowly, pathetic creature. He ran off, clutching the spot on his face where he had collided with Spiro, without saying a word of gratitude. He used his father’s influence to have Spiro located and properly exiled from the city under the guise of protecting the people of Ygriega, but otherwise told nobody of the incident that had transpired at the lake, even after an abscess appeared on his cheek.

It was after a few nights that Manu began hearing a tiny voice emanating from the blemish. He ignored it at first, but the voice grew as the blemish itself did. Manu had planned on avoiding leaving his commons until his skin reperfected itself, but he’d grown restless and elected instead to grow a beard in order to cover it up, allowing him to continue his nightly traipses. The beard muffled the voice as well, giving Manu much relief, and he soon forgot about his lesion.

***

“You mustn’t ignore me!” cried the tiny voice, enveloped in fear and darkness.

“Silence,” came a sharp reply from seemingly every direction. “I am Krypsis, and I have been summoned to protect the world from your existence.”

“Protect the world? By covering me up? I don’t understand.”

“You are an abscess on the face of the world,” Krypsis retorted. “You deserve nothing but darkness and silence. You offer us nothing of importance.”

“My name is Pyo,” the first voice answered, protesting, “and I can’t help the way that I look, ok? But if you’re just going to ignore me completely, and deny me the help that I need, then I may do something bad and put your world in danger!”

“Enough!” Krypsis roared. “You are a blight, and are not worthy of help. I seek only to hide you and smother you from existence.”

***

Time passes, and Manu becomes increasingly bothered by his blemish. It itches beneath his beard, and causes him pain to the touch. It begins to affect his womanizing, as his former admirers find his lengthening beard off-putting as he pulls at it with increasing frequency.

Finally Manu has enough. He digs into his facial hair, and taking the offending zit between his thumb and forefinger, he grimaces and squeezes until it explodes, spewing pus throughout his whiskers. Not satisfied, he takes a razor and begins angrily chopping away at the beard until there is no hair left, exposing finally the fresh scar from where the pimple had just been. Much to Manu’s horror, however, the infection slowly spreads across his visage, infesting the tiny cuts on his cheeks and jaw caused by his overzealous shaving.

He is forced to come clear to his father about his condition, as he can hide it no longer. Ygriega’s finest medicine men are baffled by the affliction. Manu’s father instructs his son to locate Spiro outside of the city in the hopes that the man may know more about the malady. After a great search, Manu finally does locate Spiro, who sits alone on a dried out tree stump within a nearby forest.

“Yours is a face that is almost unrecognizable, yet so familiar to me,” Spiro says as Manu approaches, looking upon his lesioned face. “You were the one who had me exiled. Why do you leave the city to find me now?”

Manu sighs deeply and replies, “Because, sir, I realize that I have wronged you in so many ways. You risked your life to save mine, and I never thanked or rewarded you for your selfless actions. I was wrong to think myself better than you, or anybody else, simply because of their appearance. I, and the people of Ygriega, have wronged you by ignoring you for so long and neglecting to offer you the assistance you need. I come to you, Spiro, to ask you for your forgiveness, and for your help.”

Spiro smiles. “Then you have learned your lesson, young man. I will help you.”

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.

Sloths

One afternoon, Barry the sloth was destroying noobs in Rise of the Megatherium when he heard the sound of a chainsaw. At first he ignored it, because he was on a really good kill streak and, besides, he hadn’t had breakfast yet, and he hated to go outside before he’d had breakfast. Then his tree started vibrating, and although he tried to block it out with his superior training, he was distracted enough to fall prey to someone’s mole mine.

He slowly made his way over to his greeting branch, grabbed a handful of leaves to munch on, then hung from the branch and gazed downwards to where the chainsaw sound was coming from.

The chainsaw sound was coming from a chainsaw. The chainsaw was held by James the Beaver. James looked up and saw Barry, then looked down at his chainsaw, then up at Barry again, and then switched off his chainsaw. “Hey,” said James. “Gonna have to ask you to clear the area, Sir. Got an order to fell this here tree.”

Barry chewed his mouthful of leaves pensively, considering James’ words. He swallowed, then grabbed another bunch of leaves, put them in his mouth and chewed them. After swallowing the second mouthful of leaves he looked down at James and said “What do you even need the chainsaw for?”

James looked at the chainsaw. “Well, to cut down this tree. I don’t… what kind of question is that, even?”

“Uh.” Barry considered this. “But you’re. I mean. What’s the point of you being - OK never mind.”

James frowned. “So. About the whole you getting out of the tree so I can continue cutting it down thing. How about that, eh?”

Barry frowned and ate some more leaves. “I’ve given it some thought,” he said, “and given that it is my tree and I live in it, I would prefer it if you didn’t actually cut it down. Have you given any thought to not cutting it down? Because that’s the outcome I’d like here. An outcome where you don’t cut down my tree.”

James pulled out a piece of paper and looked at it carefully. “The work order doesn’t say anything about me not cutting down any trees. In fact, it says exactly the opposite. It is telling me to cut down this tree, which is what I’m doing.”

“Yes, but, see, it’s my tree. Someone else can’t tell you to cut down my tree, can they?”

James furrowed his brow and absent-mindedly chewed on some bark. “Oh wait. Yes. That’s the thing. The thing I was meant to tell you. You don’t own the tree anymore.”

Barry was quite vexed at this. “This vexes me greatly,” he said, backing up my narrative description quite nicely. “How could I come to not own it? I’m no expert in legal matters, but I’m pretty sure that, well, that sounds unchill.”

“Right, well,” said James. “Well. Here’s the thing. This is what the thing is. Apparently you haven’t paid some bills. For about three years. And they sent you mail about it and everything and basically your tree is being repossessed. And also cut down.”

“Hey, hey,” said Barry. “Hey. I was totally gonna get around to those bills. Seriously. It was on my to do list.”

“Right. Well. You should’ve done those things,” said James. “Those things on your list of things to do. Because now I’m going to cut down your tree.”

Barry thought about this and realised that he hadn’t dropped out of his game in Rise of the Megatherium, and he might be giving up some easy kills, so he went back inside and started playing again, reasoning that he could probably get used to the vibrating for as long as it took James to cut his tree down.

The moral of this story is something about avoiding sloths and their razor sharp claws or whatever.

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.

Wait, not story. Fable. Moral of this fable. Hey, screw you.

Horrible Butts
May 7, 2012


Lizard and Rock Quit Smoking (474)

One day, as Lizard was basking on the back of Rock, the two agreed that they had reached a time in their lives when smoking just didn't make sense anymore, and together they smoked the last of Rock's Kools and swore never to buy cigarettes again.

The next day, Lizard was feeling it.
“Good morning, brother Lizard!” called Pig as he jogged past, “You and Rock are enjoying the sun, I see. You going to my party tonight?”
“I know you didn't say anything pushy just now,” Lizard started “but I just quit smoking and everything is getting to me and sorry if I snap at you.”
“Oh!” said Pig, slowing his pace “It's no worries. Good for you!”
Lizard gave nothing but a grunt, and so Pig shrugged and went on his way.
“gently caress.” said Lizard, “You going to that party, Rock? I don't think I should.”

Two days after quitting, Lizard's throat was sore and his hands felt half-asleep.
After spending the day commiserating with Rock, Lizard noticed Cow making her way down a nearby path, the cigarette in her mouth glowing against a darkening sky. Cow, feeling Lizard's gaze, looked his way and gave a quick smile. Lizard hopped off Rock and wandered over.
“Hello brother Cow! Mind if I bum one of those?”
Cow nodded, swallowing her cud to speak “Everyone calls me brother, I don't get it.” she said, handing him a cigarette “I heard you were trying to quit. Not that it's- I mean, you know.”
“Yeah, I'm trying to." said Lizard. "Not buying my own. Who told you?”
“Oh, I couldn't say. I mean, I don't remember. I wish you wouldn't call me brother, though. I had a good talk about it last night, Pig had a party.”
“Ah, Pig told you. Okay.” Lizard held out the cigarette “You're right though, I shouldn't. It's just hard. Only been two days.”
Cow awkwardly took her cigarette back, mumbling an apology mixed with a goodbye, and continued on her way.
“Well that sucked.” said Lizard to Rock, after cow had disappeared into the night “Did you hear any of that? I'm heading home.”

Three days after quitting, Lizard didn't care about how crummy he felt, he just wanted a smoke.
And so he made his way not to Rock that morning, but to the gas station near his place. Not halfway there, Lizard found himself suddenly in the mouth of Crow, rising urgently back into the sky.
“Thorry,” said Crow “nuffing persugal.”

Thousands of years later, some beaver drops the stub of his still smoldering menthol onto the back of Rock, where Lizard used to lie. Rock, thinking “gently caress it” smokes it straight down to its filter.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

The nature of the beast

The night grows ever darker. Only the fire remains, to keep shadow and her children at bay. A fierce fire we have built aye; she devours the food we put to her and spits back fragile embers of black and white. Meltwater from the trees above drips on our heads and down our necks. We shiver, not all from the cold. There is no end to this forest, though we were told it stretched only to the coast. Would that things were so simple: the clear path has been lost.

On the ninth day, we found the carcass of the man named Wolf. The noose had snapped, then the real wolves had come. His mouth hung dumbly and the soft meat of his tongue had been torn away. His chest and belly were split open and lay nigh-empty, their torn contents apart, staining the earth. He deserved neither burial nor burning, so we left his hollow shell to rot. A fitting end for the man named Wolf, for whom we sharpened steel and crossed the whale-roads.

Seven and seven more days have we been lost in the forest. I name it seven and seven, though there is no sun nor moon by which to tell time. Young Flynn climbed through the canopy and told us of only darkness above, though Young Flynn loves to spin a story. A starless night, perhaps, and the moon behind a cloud. Such is the folly of youth: thought without action, action without thought.

In all my wandering, I have never seen trees such as those that surround us. Their wood is dark and covered in thorns. Though hard, it falls well enough to an axe and burns brightly; blue with a red fringe. It smells foul, like a hot mountain pool gone rotten. The men think there is something unhallowed to it, but I have wandered far and seen stranger things.

We have not seen another living creature since we landed the boats. We have heard them, found their prints, their poo poo and their discarded meals, but we have not seen them, and that troubles me. My men are hunters all, moving as ghosts, yet we have stumbled across no deer, no boar, nor any wolves save the man named Wolf. Now he is dead, we will go home and speak no more of it. His lady wife Sigurd cursed and spat as the boats pulled away but she is only a woman, and weak in her emotion. Wolf too, was weak in his emotion; a hollow shell filled with treason and lust. Sigurd was not enough for him, and now the wolves have torn out his sin, along with all else. A fitting end for the man named Wolf.

The night dances around our fire. The shadows twist to form faces of lovers and thieves. Wolf stole from me, and had all stolen from him in return. It is fitting. The shadows are memory, no more. Tricks of the light. Action with thought, thought with action. Wolf failed to heed those words. He died a coward's death, with a rope around his neck and a cry for mercy on his fragile lips. One man, Hroth the Grey, had shaken his head and walked off through the woods, towards the coast. We have not seen him since, nor have we seen the sun. The man named Wolf had pleaded, so the wolves tore out his tongue to spare themselves his groveling.

There is a shadow of memory, something hidden behind dark trees ringed with thorns. Wolves, words, then the long silence. Young Flynn likes to tell stories, but he cannot because he has no tongue. It was torn out by wolves, some time ago. Perhaps seven days, perhaps seven years. Forgive me, I speak in circles. The night grows cold. Though we have fire, it gives no warmth. I sleep fitfully and dream of my lady wife, Eta. I long to see her again, but she is on one island and I am on another. She was stolen from me by the man named Wolf, then I stole from her. It was fitting, though we took no joy in it, my hunters and I.

Memory stirs from behind a veil, then is gone: a dancing shadow, a trick of the light. It is nothing. Thought without action, action without thought. The folly of youth, and I am old. Seven and seven and seven, I do not know; I have not seen the sun in a long time. The wolves took my tongue, then my teeth, then my fingers and heart. There is little left, though I push on, towards the coast. This forest never ends: I am going in circles again. There is a noose and a distant howling. The man named Wolf sinned against me, and I sinned against him. It was fitting. I am going in circles. My lady wife used to circle the house and chew her nails while our boy Flynn was out hunting, now she circles no more. I saw to it myself: I tore out her lying tongue and fed it to the dogs. Fitting.

Tongueless, missing teeth and fingers, pushing onward for seven and seven and sevenfold every sin revisited through this endless forest of nooses and thorns. If I were to count the things I have lost to the man named Wolf, I would never stop counting. My chest is hollow but for fire, though it gives me no warmth- only fragile embers of black and white.

We push on, my hunters and I, though the night grows ever darker.

[940 words]

Moral: You’ve gone the parable route with a tour de force of sin. Wrath I believe is the most important aspect here, and the cyclical nature of violence. The one thing that the parable and fable structure do differently than just a story is the clear, defined lesson that is taught as a result. This is at odds with the message of your story, that the spiral of violence increasingly muddies all else. The darkness they find themselves is the darkness of themselves.

Thematically it works as a story, that this downward spiral confuses the narrator and reader alike. As a parable, I’m not so sure this fits in with the structure.

Suggestions: I’d really like to see you expand this and play with the surreal elements even further. I think there’s a fine line you can walk about telling a story with an unreliable narrator, while still preserving enough for the reader to follow. You might have too many elements of confusion at work. I need some more concrete elements in the story so I can feel grounded, even when I don’t know what’s going on.

I would honestly really like to see what you could do with this given a larger narrative arc.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Chernobyl Princess posted:

This is my first Thunderdome entry and my first fable. It was fun to write, though probably not very good. I'm going to have to do these more often.

What Little Johnny Deserves (2000 words)

In the marshes of the Chesapeake watershed lived a very spoiled muskrat named Little Johnny. He lived in a fine burrow constructed and maintained by his father, who was always adding new chambers for Little Johnny’s pleasure. The larder was always kept stocked by his mother, Mrs. Muskrat, who tirelessly foraged for her son and her husband.

Little Johnny had ten siblings, all of whom had left to build burrows of their own. His sister, Fat Bertha Muskrat, had already married and had her own children.

“I worry about little Johnny,” Fat Bertha told their mother when Mrs. Muskrat came to visit the grandchildren. “He’s nearly eighteen months old, Mother. He ought to have his own burrow by now. He ought to be competing with the other males in the springtime. It’s not natural for a full grown muskrat to sleep all through the night!”

“Oh, but Fat Bertha, he tries so hard,” Mrs. Muskrat said, a note of pleading in her voice. “Why, just yesterday he came out of his den and got food from the larder all by himself!”

“I’d be impressed if he were foraging for himself. You coddle him, mother.”

“You don’t understand, Bertha. Johnny is a special boy. He’d get hurt by the wide world.”

Fat Bertha shook her head and turned back to her babies, all furry and helpless. “He’s more trouble to you than he’s worth.”

When Mrs. Muskrat got home, Little Johnny was rolled onto his back, screaming and kicking his huge, webbed feet against the walls of his chamber. “MOOOOOOM!” He howled. “MOOOOOOM WHERE ARE YOU?!”

Mrs. Muskrat hurried over, wringing her paws. “Mommy’s here, Little Johnny,” she said. She’d given him the name when he was the runt of the litter, his fur an unhealthy orange instead of the ruddy brown of his siblings. But Johnny wasn’t little anymore. He was fatter than Bertha, but where her fat was the healthy, sleek fat of a mature muskrat, Johnny was merely obese. The rest of the burrow smelled pleasantly of musk and marsh thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Muskrat’s efforts, but little Johnny’s room stank of musk and worse. “Oh, little Johnny, have you been messing in your chamber? There’s a midden just down the passage.”

“I don’t CARE!” little Johnny cried, his beady eyes screwed shut. “I don’t CARE because YOU don’t care about ME!”

“We do care little Johnny,” his mother soothed. “We care very much.”

“Then WHY are there only CATTAILS in the LARDER?” Johnny punctuated every sentence with another kick, threatening to punch through the dry earth walls. “I HATE cattails! You KNOW I hate cattails!”

“But little Johnny, I filled it with duckweed and crayfish just yesterday.”

He rolled over onto his feet to face her, his tiny ears twitching. “I ate them already,” he said in a petulant voice.

Mrs. Muskrat was stunned. “Johnny that was a weeks-worth of food. We were going to have the crayfish for your father’s birthday.”

“So? I don’t care about that. I want more duckweed.” He started kicking the walls again. “I WANT MORE DUCKWEED!”

“Okay, okay little Johnny,” Mrs. Muskrat backed out of his chamber, went diving out the underwater exit of the burrow, and bounded up to their push-up, where Mr. Muskrat was repairing their roof.

“drat deer keep eating the ferns,” he said as she approached. “Menaces. I saw one of ‘em get hit by a pickup truck the other day. Couldn’t breathe for laughing.”

“That’s not very kind, Mr. Muskrat.”

“Serves ‘em right,” he grumbled. “Eating up an honest muskrat’s house.” He set down his work and turned to his wife. “What’s troubling you, Mrs. Muskrat?”

“It’s little Johnny,” she said plaintively. “I don’t know what to do with him. He ate all our food and now he’s kicking down the burrow from the inside.”

Mr. Muskrat sighed. “I can repair the damage. But I’m not as young as I was. I worry about Little Johnny. What will he do when we’re gone? And you and I, we can’t keep living like this.”

“So what do we do?” Mrs. Muskrat asked plaintively. “Abandon him?”

Mr. Muskrat frowned. “No,” he said. “No more than we’ve abandoned our other children. But we can’t keep on like this. We need to send him away.”

Little Johnny Muskrat didn’t take the news well.

“You’re kicking me out?!” he backed into his fetid chamber, bumping his tail against the wall. “You can’t do that!”

“We aren’t kicking you out,” his father said firmly. “You’re welcome to visit. Johnny, you’re not so little anymore. You need to go out into the world and make your own way.” His father turned and trundled off down the passage. “Come along, and I’ll show you how to build a burrow. Your mother can show you the best spots to forage.”

“I knew this would happen!” Johnny screamed, refusing to budge an inch. “You hate me! You don’t care about me! If you cared about me you wouldn’t abandon me! I deserve better!”

“We’re not abandoning you, Johnny,” Mrs. Muskrat said, but Johnny rounded on her, pushing his blunt, furry face into hers.

“I HATE YOU!” He shouted. “I hate you and I hate father and I hate everyone who ever lived in this burrow and I’m LEAVING!” With that, Johnny dove into the waterway, kicked his webbed feet twice, and left his parents for good.

He stamped and grumbled and groused his way through the marsh. Anyone bothering to listen would hear his ranting: “They never cared about me,” he said to a bullfrog, who croaked at him. “Now where am I supposed to go?”

He came upon his sister who was foraging near a golf course. “Fat Bertha, mom and dad have kicked me out,” he said.

Fat Bertha looked him up and down. “You’ve been swimming,” she said, astonished.

“I can do that, who said I couldn’t do that?” Johnny said, crossly.

“Well good for you. Would you like to stay with us for a day or two while you find a place to build your burrow?”

Johnny nodded. “That would be nice.”

Fat Bertha introduced him to her babies, all nine of them, and her husband, who grunted at him but offered him some cattail. “I don’t like cattails,” Johnny said. “Do you have anything else?

Fat Bertha’s husband gestured to the marsh. “What you see is what you get,” he said. Little Johnny decided he didn’t like Fat Bertha’s husband very much.

Three days into his visit, Fat Bertha caught Johnny holding one of the babies under water.

“What are you doing?!” She snatched the child out of the water. “Johnny, you fool! They’re barely three days old! They can’t swim yet!”

“I wanted to teach them to swim,” Johnny said. His whole body was a cringe, a whine.

“Johnny, they’ll do it on their own, just as you did when you were young.”

Little Johnny drew himself upright. “Well, if I’d know you wouldn’t appreciate me, I wouldn’t have ever tried! I should have known you would be just like mom and dad!”

Fat Bertha stepped back, surprised. “What did you say?”

“I said you’re mean and you’re stupid and you don’t CARE about me! I deserve better!”

“Get out of my burrow!”

“Fine! I’m going!” Johnny stomped away, pausing only to spray musk around the place before diving into the waterway.

“Nobody loves me!” Johnny declared to the marsh. “Nobody cares about me here!” He wanted to run away, but could only run a few steps without wheezing. “I’ll find another marsh,” he said to himself. “A better marsh. One where they appreciate muskrats of distinction.”

As he was wandering, he came across Mrs. Groundhog, a friend of his mothers, who looked surprised to see him. “How are you, little Johnny Muskrat?” She asked.

“I’m terrible, Mrs. Groundhog. Mom and dad kicked me out.”

“Oh that’s sad,” she said. “Well, would you like to come by for a drop of algae tea?”

“Yes I would.”

Mrs. Groundhog’s burrow was very different than what Johnny was used to. It was cool and dry, and it didn't smell like anything. “You can stay the night if you like,” Mrs. Groundhog told him. “I know it’s hard out there for a young rodent.”

Little Johnny couldn't get comfortable in the dry, sandy mound. He liked it wet and cool. So he ran out in the daylight, soaked himself in water, and shook it all out in the chamber, over and over, until there was a fine mud. He eyed his work approvingly. This was much better. He slapped his tail against a wall, not noticing it beginning to slump, and fell asleep.

“What have you done?” Mrs. Groundhog demanded when Johnny dragged himself out of the ruined chamber, coughing and digging mud out of his fur. “You've gone and wrecked the guest bedroom!”

“It was too dry for me,” Johnny whined. “I thought if I brought some water in, it would be more comfortable.”

“Little Johnny, a groundhog burrow is different than a muskrat burrow,” Mrs. Groundhog said patiently. “It’s not meant to be wet.”

“But you knew I’d be here!” Johnny said. “You should have made it right for me and then I wouldn’t have done what I did! I deserve better!”

Mrs. Groundhog shook her head. “I think it would be better if you left,” she said firmly. “Give my mother your best, Johnny.”

“Fine! You’re just like my sister! Just like my mother! You’re mean and greedy and you don’t CARE about me!”

Johnny stormed out of the den, fury making every hair stand on end. “Why are they all so MEAN!?” he shouted.

“Who’s mean?” The voice came from above him. Johnny looked up, and saw a tall, blue heron looking down on him with her mad, orange eyes. She rattled her beak companionably. “Who are you talking about?”

“My mother’s friend, Ma’am,” Johnny said as respectfully as he could, for all herons are witches and it is wise to show respect. “Her house was built wrong, so I fixed it but she threw me out.”

The heron spread her wings. “I see.”

“And my sister threw me out because I tried to help her baby learn how to swim.”

“Is that how it happened?”

“And then my parents threw me out because they don’t love me or care about me.”

The heron strode forward, jabbed at him with her beak. “I know you, Little Johnny. Herons see everything. I’ve seen your troubles. And I know if you go back and ask your parents nicely, they’ll show you how to build a fine burrow, and your mother will teach you to forage.”

Johnny hesitated. It sounded like a good idea, but he wasn’t convinced. “If they really cared about me, they’d do it for me.”

The heron gave a croaking laugh. “Oh, Little Johnny. You are spoiled rotten.”

“They’re never respectful of me! If they were they’d just do what I wanted them to!” But he was shouting at empty air. The heron had flown away.

Johnny flopped down in the mud and started to cry big, blobby tears. “It’s not fair!” He moaned.

“I deserve better than this! I deserve a nice place to live like dad has! I deserve babies like Fat Bertha! Why doesn’t anyone CARE?”

A shaft of sunlight caught on something silvery, off in the marsh. Johnny’s ears pricked forward. Curiosity overcame misery as he approached.

It was a little den! Floating on top of the marsh! And there was food already in it! Little Johnny ran about in circles, squeaking excitedly. “Someone listened!” He cried. “I’m gonna get what I deserve!”

He dove into the new den. He grabbed fistfuls of the sweet, strange food that had been placed there for him.

“Finally, somebody cares about me!” He stuffed his face full of food and fell fast asleep in his brand new home, never noticing the trap swinging shut behind him.

Moral: What you’ve got here is more of a children’s story than it is a fable. It’s true many fables are children stories, but not all children’s stories are fables. Your sin here is greed, callousness and jealousy. There’s a moral lesson in here, but you’ve got it buried under a lot of superfluous layers.

You don’t need Fat Bertha, you don’t need his parents, and you don’t need that many other extra characters. Continue to distill your story and at its core it’s about a person searching for perfection, without any work on his own part. And when he suffers a cruel fate because he took the easy road, that is the moral lesson.

Symbolism: Why is your character a muskrat? It seems arbitrary to me. Could you have changed it out with another creature? Is a muskrat known to be industrious, like a beaver? Could you find an animal perceived to be lazy to enhance your character? Or could you use something like a beaver, and flip the stereotype. He’s supposed to be an industrious animal, and during his journey he’s presented choices of either to be lazy, or to do work, and as he increasingly chooses to be lazy, he finally learns there’s no such thing as free shrimp?

You need a re-write, but you also need to work on your mechanics. Your dialogue attributions are too child-like. There’s no need for adverbs. If your characters are speaking appropriately, there’s no need to describe them after the fact. Change all of your attributions to “said.” Then re-read the sentence, if for some reason you don’t think your dialogue is describing how you want your characters to sound then change the words. Change what they say, and avoid telling us how they say it, show instead.

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Chexoid
Nov 5, 2009

Now that I have this dating robot I can take it easy.


Gravitation- 1158 words. Phew. Had this story ready a few hours ago, and right when I'm about to post it my internet goes out. Got it back just in time.
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The eight planets of the solar system lived by a very simple rule, laid out for them by Sun. All planets would stay in their orbits, and no planet should affect the orbit of another. All of the planets agreed, and each was left to their own devices, leading their own lives with their own paths.

Every so often though, two planets would orbit so close to one another that they could speak with one another, sometimes just to chat, sometimes to gossip about celestial goings on, like Earth’s fungal infection or who Saturn had to blow to get those rings. Rivalries would flare up, and friendships made. A popular target for gossip was massive Jupiter. Jokes about his great size, or his unfortunate red spots, including a colossal one on his face, were commonplace. Sun would say nothing, satisfied that the laws remained intact.

The only one to come to Jupiter's defense was Mars. She took pity on Jupiter, and would delight in cheering him up whenever their orbits brought them together. They would spend days joking through the asteroid belt, and on these days Jupiter was filled with joy.

Jupiter found that the longer he stayed with Mars, the more he missed her when she was gone. Left alone, he began to ruminate on the other planets taunts, hating his spots, his size, and his cowardice at their comments. He found himself counting the days until Mars would come back. Every time she did, his clouds swelled at the slightest glimpse of her, bits of her red rock peeking through the asteroid belt.

Then one day, when Jupiter was feeling particularly lonely, he looked to one of his moons, so close to him. It never left him, though it never had much to say. Why should Jupiter have to go on floating through space alone, without his closest friend? Left alone to be taunted at by planets like Saturn, who flaunted his rings at every opportunity.

It was then that Jupiter hatched a plan. With his many moons and great mass, Jupiter’s pull was much larger than any of his friends. When Mars came back around, Jupiter told her of his idea. She should orbit him, and then they would be free to talk all the time!

Mars was caught off guard, no planet had ever strayed from their orbit since the law was laid down. Still though, it seemed fun enough, and she did enjoy his company. After a bit of thinking, she agreed to orbit him, for a little while at least. Jupiter quickly strained as hard as he could, his pull dragging her out of Sun’s orbit. Mars bumped and scraped her way through the asteroid belt, planetoids chipping away at her body. Jupiter didn't notice though, and kept pulling her in deeper and deeper until she orbited him, like one of his moons. Mars, now fairly marred, was starting to rethink the proposition, but there was nothing she could do. She couldn't escape his pull, and besides, Jupiter was his friend, she didn't want to ruin that by upsetting him. So, she tried her best to enjoy her time with Jupiter.

It was actually fun, for a time. Jupiter and Mars, never separated, talking endlessly as they floated through the cosmos. The other planets saw this and rumbled with discontent, Jupiter had broken the laws of the system. But Sun said nothing of it, and since Mars seemed content, the others did nothing. Jupiter ignored their grumblings as mere jealousy.

Soon though, Mars began to tire of Jupiter’s constant attention. With no time apart, Mars began to miss the company of others, even the ramblings of Earth. She looked out across the blackness and saw the others moving on their own, on their own routes, their own lives. She made up her mind up. She asked Jupiter to let her free.

Jupiter refused. Now that he had known her constant company, he couldn't bear to be alone again. Alone with all his doubts and uncertainties. He decided that if Mars wanted to see the others, then he could bring the others to her. With Mars’ added mass his pull was stronger than ever, and he strained and strained until Earth was pulled to them, and then Venus after that. Jupiter's pull grew and grew, until even Saturn, the only planet close to his size, was pulled into his orbit, the pull shredding his magnificent rings. Uranus, Mercury, and Neptune followed, until Jupiter was like a Sun unto himself, with his own solar system of friends. Each one shouted and strained, trying to escape, but it was no use. Sun simply watched, radiating a dull anger.

Jupiter ignored their pleas, now no one had a reason to leave, they were all here, all orbiting him almost as close as Jupiter's own moons. Now Mars would be happy, and now the taunting would have to stop. After all, they were his now. He knew that if they just took the time to get used to it, they would love being so close together.

Jupiter’s plan would not last, however. With so many planets in such a small orbit, collision was inevitable. Mercury pinged off Venus, Saturn ponged off Neptune, and Mars nearly scraped the fuzz off Earth. All around Jupiter his friends collided with one another, leading to arguing and bickering, with nowhere to go to escape the conflict.

Then he noticed Mars heading straight for massive Neptune, whose impact she would surely not survive. Jupiter strained to pull them apart, but at this speed there was no chance of slowing them down. As a desperate last resort Jupiter released his grip on all of them, reversing his pull to expel them all back into space.

Each one flew out at a fantastic speed in random directions, some threatening to leave the system entirely. Then Sun flared to life.

Her flames broiled and churned, and her massive grip, exceeding Jupiter’s by a thousand fold, scooped up each and every planet. Then, with great care, placed each back in their original path, and gave them a gentle nudge to be on their way.

Jupiter radiated apologies to all of them, but the scarred and battered planets, and Saturn and Neptune without their rings, refused to hear him. Even Mars quietly slipped past him when their orbits brought her close.

Distressed, Jupiter begged Sun for what to do. Sun answered that there was nothing he could do. He had broken the law, and in so doing he had taken the others freedom away. He had no power to force their will, and no right to their forgiveness unless they gave it freely. He would just have to be content with being alone.

Jupiter was filled with sadness. Silently, he hung in space. Once again dreaming of when Mars would arrive, but knowing that she must also leave.

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