I'm in, like a...bin? Sin? Gene? Sp...leen? Hang on, let me find a suitable rhyme for this...
You've never heard of 'in like Flynn'? Or ?
|# ? Jan 17, 2013 23:27|
|# ? May 20, 2019 04:49|
You've never heard of 'in like Flynn'? Or ?
V for Vegas, your story shall contain a character from Jakarta who is incredulous that the characters in your small town aren't familiar with Indonesian customs and colloquialisms.
|# ? Jan 17, 2013 23:47|
That should be very simple considering that Indonesia has like a billion languages spread across its 13000 islands. I've lived in 4 cities from two islands and they all have different languages. Then you have them mixing 'proper' Indonesian with their own regional vocabulary and that lead to some confusion. You don't even have to get out of Java, older people still speak in mostly Javanese with some sprinkles of Dutch. Also we're all tribal racists. This is the chance for you to knock the Judges out of their old wrinkly panties, V for Vegas! Good luck!
Also that's not fair, budgieinspector, he didn't even mock the Judges. i expect fairness and mercy from thunderdome: the cuddly edition
|# ? Jan 18, 2013 01:23|
I have to say though, there was a palindrome in the poem and it wasn't really about a fisherman, so I question the closeness of your reading.
Do you really think reading this piece of poo poo any closer is going to make it less of turd? No, I don't think so. Suck it surf club.
|# ? Jan 18, 2013 01:31|
I've already written most of it as well. Back to the drawing board.
|# ? Jan 18, 2013 03:17|
Also that's not fair, budgieinspector, he didn't even mock the Judges.
I briefly considered decreeing that you use the cast of Scooby-Doo as your main characters, in order to even things up. We may have different ideas of "justice".
i expect fairness and mercy from thunderdome: the cuddly edition
As well you should. Good thing such a travesty does not exist, yes?
|# ? Jan 18, 2013 04:18|
I said no flash rules. You're undermining my authority! I'm going to have to shiv one of them now, to show them who's boss.
|# ? Jan 18, 2013 04:22|
Good thing such a travesty does not exist, yes?
my jokes why do they keep sucking
Also yeah, I was just about to ask what's up with the flash rule because I just realized SurreptitiousMuffin said there should be no flash rules. Also when is the secret judge coming?
inter-judge brawl come on come on come on
|# ? Jan 18, 2013 04:29|
I said no flash rules.
If there is a guiding principle to Thunderdome judgment, it is that capriciousness trumps any contract, explicit or implied, that any judge enters into with the contestants.
show them who's boss.
Muffin/BudgieBrawl: Round 2
|# ? Jan 18, 2013 04:49|
Right, that's it.
For callous disregard of the rules as laid out, budgieinspector is now an entrant for this week.
|# ? Jan 18, 2013 04:55|
Signups are closed.
|# ? Jan 18, 2013 11:01|
Do you really think reading this piece of poo poo any closer is going to make it less of turd? No, I don't think so. Suck it surf club.
No, but for something so poo poo simple you failed to grasp basics concepts and the best critique you could offer was "don't rhyme" (wow, thanks!) before meandering off into your own bullshit and beating your chest so the other gorillas know you're Hard Stuff. It's a waste of time to work on something and post it if all you get is empty first glance shitposting in response.
This is for future reference.
Canadian Surf Club fucked around with this message at Jan 18, 2013 around 15:55
|# ? Jan 18, 2013 15:52|
I smell a challenge aborning.
|# ? Jan 18, 2013 19:28|
I'm introducing a real flash rule because I can and gently caress the police.
Before you submit, read this: http://www.brainpickings.org/index....-kurt-vonnegut/
Choose one (or perhaps more) and apply it to your story with gusto. Identify which you were attempting by putting the number at the top.
|# ? Jan 18, 2013 22:44|
Here's a story while Maccas' wifi is briefly letting me do things. Retroactively claiming that the following rules of Vonnegut can be sorta kinda applied to my thing: 1, 5, 6. Oh and 3 and 7 a bit.
Hope You Guessed My Name 1666 words, how thematically appropriate, oooooooh horror.
Jeremy had gotten the old book from Old Mordecai’s Book Emporium. The store was not actually owned by a Mordecai, but Old Simon’s Book Emporium lacked the authentic old timey ring that he felt customers expected from a quaint, dusty second-hand store such as his. Jeremy had not paid for the book, of course. And he’d gotten it more as a backup in case he ran out of toilet paper than with any intent of reading it. That one page had caught his eye, though.
Ritual fore Summoning yon power full Being.
Jeremy had seen Aladdin. He knew what was what. He was gonna summon the hell out of this creature.
Peter was less confident. “Eye of newt? Why’s it always gotta be eye of newt? That’s gross, dude. C’mon man, forget this crazy ritual, let’s go down to the pub and see what time Lily gets off. If you know what I mean.”
Jeremy ignored him. “If you’re not gonna help me summon this critter, I might not let you have any of the wishes.”
“And when I say ‘what time Lily gets off’” explained Peter “I meant ‘will she have sex with us.’ And I’m pretty sure the answer is yes. Yes she will.”
Jeremy had finished liberally sprinkling limbs of various hapless animals around the barn. “OK, be quiet for a moment, I’ve gotta read these words out.” And he did.
“See, doesn’t work” said Peter. “Pub time. And by pub time, I mean-“
And suddenly, there was the creature. It looked down at the two of them. “Hmmm” it said. “Not precisely what I expected.”
“Yes!” said Jeremy. “Hell! Yes! I summoned the hell out of that creature!”
“Other way around, actually” said the creature.
“Huh?” said Jeremy. Then “Give me my three wishes.”
“That’s not really my thing.”
“I think this is a mistake” said Peter. “We should put that thing back where we got it from and go to the pub.”
“Shut up” said Jeremy, then to the creature “Don’t give me your excuses, I’m your master now. Make with the wishes.”
The creature looked down at the ground. “Nice warding circle there.”
“What?” Jeremy looked where the creature was looking. “Yeah. Followed the directions closely.”
“You know,” said the creature “some people like to put the warding circle in such a location that it protects themselves from what they’re summoning. Just a thought for your very short future.” It took one step towards Jeremy and stared into his eyes. Jeremy stared back, suddenly shivering. “Jeremy Wright. Car theft. Torturing small animals to summon a powerful creature. Doing knock and runs at people’s houses and leaving a steaming turd in a brown paper bag on their doorstep, you disgusting maggot. How do you plead to these charges, before I go ahead and devour your soul for your sins?”
The defendant responded by soiling himself. Peter did not witness the ensuing unpleasantness, because he’d decided that discretion was the better part of valour.
“Ah, scarpered, eh?” said the creature. “That’s cool. I’ll still get there before you.”
It was a slow evening at the pub. Peter was not there yet, so it was just Edward, and he was not a happy drunk. He was not happy sober, either. Lily was pretending to wipe the counter so that Edward wouldn’t talk to her, and Joe behind the bar had been studiously cleaning a wine glass for the better part of an hour. Lily started as the door opened.
“Welcome!” she said. “We don’t get many strangers here. What’ll you have?”
The creature stared down at her. “I’m just waiting for someone.”
“A drink’ll make the wait shorter! What’s your name, anyway, stranger?”
“Rupert” said Rupert the creature. He stalked over to the bar. “Perhaps I will see a wine list.”
“Here you go” said Lily, handing it over. “If you don’t mind me saying so, Rupert, you look a little strange. Are you from Canada or something? I’ve heard there’s some weird looking folk up that way.”
“May I have the house red?” asked Rupert. “And in answer to your question, I am a demon. From Hell.”
“Not heard of them” said Lily. “Are they one of them bikie gangs? Is that what those symbols on your chest are about? And the facial piercings? And the body modifications around the head?”
“What? No. I devour souls.”
“Are you coming onto me, Rupert?” asked Lily. “Because I’m down for pretty much anything, but anything too weird will cost extra.”
Joe had gotten a glass of the house red and placed it before Rupert, who, welcoming an opportunity to put his perplexing conversation with Lily on hold, sipped it thoughtfully. “This is one of the better wines I’ve ever had the privilege to have tasted!” he said. “And let me tell you, I have sampled many a wine. Do you brew it yourself?”
Joe nodded, and was about to say something when the door was thrown open dramatically and Peter burst in.
“Ah,” said Rupert “you’ve arrived.”
“Oh, hi Peter.” said Lily. “If you’re here for your usual you’ll have to wait, Rupert was here first. But I’m sure I’ll have plenty of energy for you as well.”
“Just concentrate on the waitressing, eh?” said Joe.
“Right, well we’ll have to put all of that on hold” said Rupert “because now that our mate - Peter, was it? - has arrived, I can finish what we started down at the barn.”
He gestured and the bar door swung shut and locked.
“Hey buddy” said Edward, in the voice of someone who did not want to be his buddy, “I dunno what the hell your problem is, but I’ve been trying to drink my beer in peace here, and I’m finding that mighty difficult with all your talking.”
“Ah, you’ll be first then” said Rupert, and stared into his eyes. “Edward Treager. Hitting your wife. A lot.”
“What?” said Lily. “She told me she walked into the wall. And the door frame. And-“
“She knows what she did wrong” growled Edward.
“May I finish?” asked Rupert. “Now, I’m gonna go ahead and devour his soul if there’re no objections.”
“Uh, that’s a bit weird” said Lily “but whatever you’re into.”
“Although in principle I’m opposed to the devouring of souls,” said Peter,
“Prude” said Lily.
“I’m prepared to make an exception under the circumstances,” continued Peter “namely the circumstances of Edward being a wife beater.”
“Whatever” said Edward “don’t sling that mumbo jumbo with me, there’s no such thing as a soul.”
“Well,” said Rupert “let me know if at any point you decide to reconsider your position on the subject.”
It is possible that reconsidering his position on the existence of the eternal soul was among the things that Edward screamed, but the onlookers couldn’t really tell what with the unpleasantness that was going on with his face and his eyes and his limbs going every which way, and the bleeding, and then Peter fainting and Lily and Joe helping him up and onto a stool and by the time they’d helped him up the screaming and dying and general unpleasantness had been taken care of, and Rupert was standing in front of a lifeless pile of meat, and Peter looked over and fainted again.
Rupert turned and stared now into Joe’s eyes. “Joe Ketch.” He paused. “On second thoughts, you’re last. The man who brews that wine deserves that much.” He stared into Lily’s eyes instead. “Lily Helmsworth. Uh. Hmmm. Oh, and… right.” He thought about it for a moment, then “I’ll just file that lot under fornication, shall I?”
“Try me, first” said a new voice. Rupert turned to look at the lady who had spoken, standing in the open doorway.
“Pretty sure I locked that” said Rupert.
The newcomer ignored him and walked over to the bar. “House red please, Joe.”
“Good choice” said Rupert. “I’ll let you have a bit of that before I go ahead and devour your soul.”
“Appreciate it” she said. Money and wine changed hands, and she sipped on her drink. Then she swivelled on her barstool to face Rupert. “Go on, then.”
Rupert shrugged and stared into her eyes. “Gloria Sloane. Um. Hmmm.”
Gloria took another sip of her wine. “Go on.”
“Come on, this isn’t possible. Everyone has something.”
Gloria shrugged a shrug of her own. “I traded.”
She stood up, and Rupert took a step back. “Come on now, that ain’t playing fair. You gotta pay your own debts!”
“Guess now you’re figuring out who I’m representing?” Rupert nodded, frowning. “So either you can leave, or I can have a few words with Him and He can make you leave. One will be less pleasant than the other.”
“I can’t do that” said Rupert. “This is what I do.”
Glorio shrugged, and then said a few words. When she was done speaking, Rupert was gone.
“What was all that nonsense?” asked Peter, who had just recovered from his second fainting spell.
“Hebrew” said Gloria. “A bit rusty, hope I got the inflections right. Got the main points across, though.” She looked over at what was left of Edward. “I’m sorry I got here too late for him.”
“I’m not” said Lily.
Gloria raised an eyebrow but didn’t pursue the matter further. “Joe, your wine is as spectacular as ever.” She handed the empty glass back. “So. In light of this evening’s events, any chance I’ll see you lot Sunday morning?”
That lot looked at their feet a lot and mumbled things about liking to sleep in, and Sunday morning being such an awful time to do anything, it really ruined the weekend, you know? Gloria nodded. “Well, I’ll be there if any of you change your mind.” She turned to go.
“Think I’ll head home as well” said Peter.
“It’s gonna cost extra if you want me to clean that up” said Lily, when they’d both left.
|# ? Jan 18, 2013 23:09|
1746 words, influenced by King without being completely derivative. Vonnegut's fourth rule help me squeeze this one in under the limit; I tried to follow rules one, two, three, six and seven to varying extents. Being totally honest, I wrote with his other eight rules in mind.
Edit: If I'm allowed to claim rules from that second list, I'll call three, four, six and seven.
Edit: Unquoted. Wish someone had said earlier.
I'm not the simple girl they think I am.
I'd gone to bed early, exhausted. One moment the clock on my dresser said eight, the next I struggled to see through half-shut eyes, paralyzed and afraid. The effort was painful - like forcing my face through a two-inch hole - but I managed to make out the time: just after one. I shivered and sweated, my chest heavy, and in the corner of my eye a silhouette stretched over the covers. I choked as it turned toward me, then fell back through the hole.
When I woke the room was bright, the clock back at eight. Distorted talk radio blared from its tinny speaker. I was more tired than before, but any hope of rest went out the door as it opened.
"Constance! Get your lazy rear end up!" My grandma. "You ain't paid to sleep!"
The door slammed. I groaned. I was due at the diner in an hour, but gently caress her anyway. I stumbled out of bed and into the bathroom, leaned on the tiles as the shower washed away the worst of the night. I took too long, ran behind with my make up, but I still had to avoid her conversation as I left the house.
Canton is a lovely town, too far from New York to be anything but another also-ran, the kind of disappointment that makes them say "I thought you meant the city." The diner was opposite Planned Parenthood, and Pro-Life protesters littered the sidewalk as I ran through the kitchen door.
"Joe called in sick." The manager was Hailey, and her bad news always came with a smile. "That means you're scrubbing dishes."
"I bus tables."
"Not today you don't," her eyes turned hard, "unless you want nine-oh-five on your sheet again. Put on the gloves." She watched me go to the sink - cheeks hot to the touch - then headed out front.
"Tough luck," the fry cook grinned.
I ignored him. Since high school I was used to the phrase, used to sucking it up and doing my best when I got the blame and some rear end in a top hat got the handshake. It was still hard not to cry as I scraped the first plate and plunged it into brownish water.
My teachers had told me I was set for bigger places than Canton. Even if I went to St. Lawrence, they said, it would be on scholarship, and a degree would open up the world. I had a way with words and a head for reading critically. I could escape my childhood problems through academic success. Not that it mattered: my deadbeat mom could suck dick for heroin, for all I cared.
Then I flunked the SAT, twice. The first time they believed me when I said I felt tired, sent me to the doctor and scheduled a resit. People can be kind when they think you have prospects. The second went worse than the first and - just like that - nobody gave a gently caress. Part-time work as a waitress was all I could manage.
For five long years.
The street lights were flickering when I got home. In my room I stripped off the uniform and threw it in the corner: it would lie there another couple of days. My hands were red and my mind blank as I stared up at the peeling ceiling, sat on my bed in a cramped room that felt tighter than my skin. Not for the first time, my eyes went to the bottom drawer of the dresser. I locked the door first.
The gun was cold in my hands, a snub-nosed revolver, petite and black with two bullets in the cylinder. I'd found it at a gas station not long after flunking the second time: everything I was taught had told me to turn it in. Instead I'd driven home. On really bad days I would study it, comforted by the thought that I could go out with a bang whenever I wanted.
"Constance?" I jumped, thrust the gun under my pillow. My grandma was annoyed. "You need to go talk to that polack."
I glanced over to next door, a single window illuminating the dark. I didn't know the owner, Pryzbylewski: he kept to himself.
"Tell him he needs to mow his lawn or I'll report him!" My grandmother was a bitch to everyone. "You hear me?"
"I hear you; go away." I didn't like how petulant I sounded, and fumed as I threw on fresh clothes.
Outside the lawn was badly overgrown, the low house crouched above the grass like a waiting predator. I banged the screen door for minutes. Eventually a gaunt, middle-aged man peered through it.
"Who are you?" he asked in a whisper, all thin spectacles and worry.
"I'm Connie. We're neighbors." I was aware how I looked, hair greasy and sweater faded. "You need to mow."
"My gardener is sick. It can wait."
I was too tired to argue. "Whatever, mow it or we'll report you to..." I didn't know who. "We'll report you!" I turned away in embarrassment.
"I'll pay you to do it," he quietly called after. "Fifty dollars?"
I stopped. That was more than half what I earned in a day. "You for real?"
"Fifty dollars," he repeated, "if you cut it." He shut the door.
Later that night it returned. I strained as static filled the room, tried desperately to reach for the clock on my dresser. Fear held me - curled on my side - until a sharp head leaned into my mute but screaming face.
After that, it was nearly evening before I made it back to Pryzbylewski. A note on his door directed me to his mower and the compost heap; I went to work.
Why was I having nightmares? Too many reasons. I'd read about sleep paralysis - before my grandma cut the Internet - and knew the symptoms. The April sunshine made the last two nights less frightening, but I worried as I struggled through the back lawn.
Pryzbylewski was surprised when I knocked and asked for water.
"You live next door." He realized how tired I felt and let me into his kitchen, reluctantly, telling me to keep my voice down with a glance at the ceiling.
He ignored the question and gestured to the tap. "Help yourself." Everything about him was subdued, reserved, his hair shaved close, shirt plain. I caught a glimpse of a hallway as he left through the other door.
I finished the job in another hour, and by then it was dusk. Inside I knocked on the door and waited: no response. I called out his name as I turned the handle, hoping he would appear.
The hallway was dark and my eyes adjusted gradually. I felt my skin prickle, then realized: the walls and ceiling were covered in crucifixes. All sizes blanketed them, some with tortured figure and some plain, all made of metal and firmly secured.
I was about to leave when I saw light, followed it with growing dread into an elaborate study. Books were strewn across the floor, shelves stacked high, but my eyes stayed on a row of unlit candles against the opposite wall. Newspaper clippings were stuck there - covering more crosses - and when I read the headlines, pale, I recognized local obituaries.
"What are you doing?"
I breathed as he came into the room. "I was looking for-"
"Here's your money." He was frosty as he handed it over, pushed me to the door. "Now get out!"
Back home I shivered, thoughts on the shrine as I gave the pay to my grandma. As I left the room she asked, "Are you going to the funeral?"
I stared at the floral pattern on the back of her chair. "What funeral?"
"I tried to tell you yesterday: Mrs. Williams passed.
"The funeral is tonight!" she called, irate, as I went into my bedroom and locked the door. I looked out at the single lit window across the fresh cut grass; it was a long time until I slept.
The last night it came I was not so far gone, and I could see the clock clearly as the white noise pressed down. From the corner of my eye I saw it slink toward my bed, all angles and points, razor hands held up in font of its head - no face - until it reached my side and I felt buzzing pins bite into my legs. I gasped, choked, wanted to scream, groped feeble and blind as it leaned in-
Then I felt cold metal.
I sat up suddenly and without a word. It recoiled and glared with its needles as I held the gun, streaked in sweat. I pulled the trigger hard, heard the click of the empty chamber, and it ran for the wall, paint like water as it passed through. I watched it flicker across the grass and up the side of the other house until it vanished into the roof.
Pryzbylewski answered the door quickly that time. "You need to leave."
"There's something in there with you!" My hand was in my pocket.
A look of panic crossed his face, and he hurried me inside, into the study, where the candles burned. "I don't know what you think you know," he whispered as he shut the door, "but keep quiet and-"
I had the gun pointed at him, and he went silent, still.
"What is it?"
He didn't answer.
"How long?" I needed to know.
"Five years." He sounded resigned. "It followed me from-"
I don't know why I killed him. I just pulled the trigger, and he hit the ground hard, moaned. As the moment stretched a static hiss flared overhead, but Pryzbylewski laughed. "Metal stops them."
"Them?" I was dazed.
He nodded, coughed up blood. "In the city, I tried to... tried..."
I cleaned the gun and left it on the floor.
I washed and changed long before the cops arrived. It felt too easy to lie, and I didn't believe I'd got away with it until they announced they had someone in custody. He owned the murder weapon.
I don't feel guilty.
Meanwhile, I got religion and redecorated my room, the only two things I've done in years that my grandma likes. Lately she's been tired; I sleep soundly. The inheritance money should be enough to get me out of Canton.
Etherwind fucked around with this message at Jan 18, 2013 around 23:47
|# ? Jan 18, 2013 23:17|
1746 words, influenced by King without being completely derivative. Vonnegut's fourth rule help me squeeze this one in under the limit; I tried to follow rules one, two, three, six and seven to varying extents. Being totally honest, I wrote with his other eight rules in mind.
Please unquote for editor's sakes
|# ? Jan 18, 2013 23:42|
Also, I'm in a live editing session with HiddenGecko and twinkle cave. We are doing awesome edits. You guys are weak.
|# ? Jan 19, 2013 01:47|
I tried to work on rules 3. Regardless if I’m writing for work or for fun, I’m very verbose. Throughout this piece I tried to remove excess verbosity while also trying (and failing) to follow rule 4.
Amish Country 1343 words
It took a solid week of bargaining, begging, and nagging, but Ben finally convinced Katie to go. Ben’s obsession with antiquing had been cute when they first started dating, but after a year of marriage, Katie would have died happy never seeing another century-old end table. She knew when she got her assignment, an article on the Mennonites in Lancaster County, PA, there would be trouble on Ben’s end.
“Aren’t you excited? Think about all the history here!” Ben was looking out the window like an overeager puppy. Katie sighed, thinking about how her entire weekend was shot. If Ben hadn’t caught wind of where she was traveling, she could have been in and out in a day. Now, she was faced with at least 72 hours worth of boredom. But she loved the guy, and thus put on a happy face.
“Definitely! I can’t wait to see what some of these stores have to offer.”
Their drive took them through Adamstown, where Ben proceeded to purchase yet another coffee table, and Bird-in-Hand, where he snagged a mirror, when Katie finally had to interject.
“At some point I need to interview some people, so would you mind if we put the antiquing on hold for a bit?”
“Sure, sweetie, sorry to drag you along. You’re very good to me, did you know that?”
“I do now!” Katie smiled, and turned the car out towards the sticks.
The Mennonites in Lancaster county were a fixture in the tourism market. Many people came to the small towns scattered across the county to experience life at a different pace. Some admired the Amish for their natural, simple lives, while others came to ridicule their seemingly backwards ways. Katie had came to get their opinion on the recent tourism boom and how it affected their lives.
When she pulled up to the little village a half-hour outside of Bird-in-Hand, the first thing that stood out to Katie was the untarnished beauty of the landscape. She saw horse-drawn ploughs, people gardening and picking apples, and mothers doing laundry. It was a pure life, a wholesome life, especially contrasted with her life with Ben. Not that Ben was the problem, but rather their city apartment and the constant struggle with traffic, bills, and the hurry of modern life.
She and Ben managed to track down her contact, a man named Isaac Troyer. Many of the Amish in the area had the surname of Troyer, so it took time, but soon Isaac was leading them around the little village.
“The tourists don’t really affect us out here, in honesty. It mostly affects us down during the farmer’s market, where we take our crops. So many people look at us like we are not even men, but beasts in a zoo.”
“But doesn’t the city have ordnances that prohibit the harassment of your people?” Katie’s pen scrawled her shorthand, taking careful notes as they walked.
Ben was also taken with the Mennonite village, but for different reasons. Nearly every piece of furniture, every tool, even the houses, everything was an antique! These objects had been passed down for generations, and Ben was able to hear all the histories he could ask for. Everyone was happy to oblige him, always with an offer of pie or other food.
Katie had what she needed for her story.
“Thank you, Isaac, I appreciate your openness. Would you mind if I took your picture for my story?”
Isaac recoiled. “No! No, I’m sorry, but I cannot allow you to take my picture. It is against our teachings.”
Katie nodded, and put her camera away. “Of course, of course, I should have remembered that. I’m terribly sorry, I hope I didn’t offend you!”
Isaac shook his head. “It is not a problem. It was a pleasure to meet you.”
In the car, Ben asked Katie if she had her story.
“Well, did you get everything you wanted?”
“Sort of. I want a picture! Do you think we could go snap a few without them noticing?”
Ben grinned. “We could try!”
Katie and Ben crept forward. The sun was setting, and Katie didn’t have much time before she lost the light.
“Let’s just get a couple. Look, there’s a guy chopping wood. Come on!”
There was just enough light to catch a series of photos without the flash.
“OK, I think I got them! Let’s get out of here!”
Ben pulled the car out onto the main road when Katie gasped. Ben looked over, concerned.
“Jesus, Ben, stop the car!”
Ben pulled to the side of the road. Katie handed the camera to him, disgusted.
“Look at his face! What in the hell is going on?”
The picture was of the woodcutter. Everything was in focus, but instead of the bearded face Ben was expecting, there was the face of a leering demon. It’s fanged jaw seemed to be mocking them. Scanning through the pictures, Ben saw that every photo had that same face.
“This is weird, Katie. What’s wrong with your camera?”
“There isn’t anything wrong with my camera, idiot! What could possibly go wrong with my camera that would cause this?”
“Well, what do you want to do?”
“I want to take more pictures, dammit!”
Katie snapped a few images of Ben, but upon looking at them, they were normal.
“Let’s go back.”
Night had fallen, which made sneaking around the village easier, but it also made getting pictures more difficult. Katie gestured to a house where people could be seen sitting to dinner.
“There. I want to see what in the hell is going on.”
“Wait, wait!” Ben hissed after Katie as she ran up to the window.
Katie took a few more pictures, frantically gesturing to Ben. She handed him the camera, which showed a picture of a family of demons gathered around the dinner table. Every photo that included one of the Mennonites had the face replaced with a horrible monster.
“Good god, Katie, what does this mean?”
“I don’t know, Ben, but we need to get out of here. We need to tell somebody!”
They ran back to the car. When they reached the spot where they parked, however, they saw that their truck had been pushed onto its side.
“gently caress! We’re hosed Ben, we’re so hosed. Let’s just run!”
Ben was about to reply, when he caught movement on his peripheral vision. It was an Amish women, sliding across the ground with preternatural speed.
Katie fled through the woods. Ben had thrown himself at the women, screaming for Katie to run, run as fast as she could. She heard Ben continue to scream, although he wasn’t forming words anymore. It was just screams of agony, and they brought tears to her eyes. She continued to run until she was out of breath, tripping and falling to the ground. Realizing no one was following her, she turned back to face the village. A bonfire had arisen in the town center, and the faint echoes of screams could be heard on the wind.
She couldn’t leave Ben. Moving back towards the village, she finally caught sight of the bonfire. Ben was crucified on an inverted cross, with the Amish dancing around the flames. Ben was screaming and wailing as the Mennonites used knives to cut off pieces of his flesh. They were eating the pieces raw. Men, women, children, all capered forward to lick the blood and tear Ben’s skin.
Katie sobbed, muffling her cries with her sleeve. She crouched behind a woodpile, watching in horror as the demons pulled out Ben’s eyes and tongue. His guttural moans drew out another burst of tears. Then she found the axe. She looked at the blade gleaming in the firelight, and then back at the crowd around Ben.
“I’m going to loving kill you all.”
With a scream, she leapt from her hiding spot raising the axe high. She plunged into the crowd, swinging with all her might.
|# ? Jan 19, 2013 02:17|
"Dialogue" he or she said "and then some more dialogue."
|# ? Jan 19, 2013 04:04|
|# ? Jan 19, 2013 04:08|
Ok this is more or less as polished as it's going to get by deadline. I'd already written this pre Bohner's rule, but I'm going to cite 3, 4 & 5. Hadn't read Vonnegut's article before and they are, indeed, good tips. I'm particularly interested to see if you think I am pitying the reader enough (or, too much?) as I suspect this could be a weak point in my writing generally..?
[ninja edit] Oh, and I'm watching It the movie right now
~1749 words (processor counts em dash)
Frauds. They were a bunch of loving frauds.
The worst part, though, was still that smug, not-quite smirk on her father's face, when the intervention finished and she got into the car.
Of her own volition, mind you. You'd think that'd count for something.
Galton stood against the doorjamb, a file of papers – her file – clenched in his hand.
“Sarah, I've been meaning to speak with you.” He waited, his face unreadable as he studied hers.
She knew better than to react; no need to give them an excuse. “I'm listening.”
Galton moved into the room, and at once she felt uncomfortable, as if all the air had been displaced. He sat on the desk, his spread fingers dominating its surface, and leant back against the wall with a practised ease.
“Sarah,” he said again, “I'm a little disappointed.” He was staring into the ceiling, his bald head propped against the bricks, as if to say this situation is beneath me, but you, I don't know. She read him, clear as day; the only thing she couldn't figure out was if he knew it.
“We expected better. When you first came in, we thought, I thought, here's a girl who's got her head on right. Here's someone who knows what life's about, she just got sidetracked on the way. Here's someone we can fix.”
For fourteen thousand a semester. The cheek of the guy was unbelievable, and the speech was so stock, so obviously rehearsed, it made her hate him even more.
“Now I've been talking to Dr. Amarro,” he continued, an unfamiliar curtness to his voice, “and he says some things that concern me...”
She heard him out; she always did. There was nothing else to do, and once he was gone there'd be even less.
“I got something for you.”
She didn't turn around, but kept half-assedly digging the potatoes.
“C'mon, Sarah. I made it. For you. You'll like it.”
“C'mon, Sarah, I want you to have it. I made it for you, it's for you. It's yours. C'mon, Sarah –”
He touched her, lightly, on the shoulder; Sarah whipped around, an elbow raised towards his face, the hoe held high above her.
“gently caress off, Oren. I am not interested.”
He backed away, out of reach but still cloyingly close. “But – I made it – to keep you safe –”
She glanced at the small object in his hand. It looked like he'd used his own hair.
“Leave me alone, you four-eyed little tard.”
Behind the streaky lenses, his eyes widened; she'd hurt him. “Well, fine then! Be a bitch! Be a bitch, see if I care!”
He'd care, she knew; he'd always care, far too much, and it didn't matter what she told the staff, they'd never do anything about it. Unless –
The very thought was beneath contempt, but she did it anyway.
“How many was he offering?”
“I don't know.”
“And you don't know what they were.”
“He didn't say. Benzos, though, for sure, little creep wants me nice and relaxed.”
“Sure.” Galton frowned, leaning back into his chair, gazing fixedly at his paperwork.
“I'm serious. He's a loving rapist. I've told you about this before, I need you guys to do something. Get him away from me. You should be protecting your customers –”
The irony of the word was unintended, and she stopped, still fuming; already, that sense of defeat came trickling in.
“He's not a rapist. That's completely unfounded.” Galton looked at her across the desk, his dark eyes glinting in the half-light of his office. “But, as for the pills, well I appreciate your telling me. We'll deal with it.” He rose, and stood by the door. “Thanks, again.”
That was it, then; she considered protesting, but a look in his eye suggested otherwise. He clasped her arm, as she passed into the hallway.
“Rest assured,” he said, and she could smell the stale coffee on his breath, “I'll take this into consideration on your next appraisal.”
Yet again, she felt the urge to hit him; instead, she simply left. There was no point in making a scene, and there was no-one there to see it if she had.
She still had a cigarette, flattened up inside the lining of her jacket – one solitary smoke, and she'd been saving it for weeks. Tonight, though, was the night.
The loving cheek of the guy.
She'd climbed out of her window and was sitting on the roof – they still didn't know about the deadbolt she'd unscrewed. From here she could see right across the complex, all the way over the barrens to the two faint streetlights that demarcated Main Street.
loving Main Street. The only street. They could've just called it Street.
She'd been there, once, to go help with the shopping – a 'trust exercise', they'd called it – and of course she hadn't run away, she hadn't gone trying to whore for crack or whatever it was the rest of these scrotty bitches liked. She simply helped them shop, and went back to the centre like a good girl. Like she'd being doing all along, because there was no contest; no drug was worth your freedom. She knew this. She'd told them as much, mom and dad, and they'd packed her off anyway. Sectioned her, it felt like. And as for the staff –
gently caress the staff. They knew, too, the hypocrites; they knew she was ready, they'd known it for months. They just kept her here to keep the bills paid, at the mercy of these creeps, these loving lechers.
The thought flashed, unbidden, to her mind.
Well, no longer.
There was a large tree down by the building's north face; its limbs were too big, too expensive to cut down, and they'd grown out thick and strong, from the roof to the wall. In seconds, she'd already done it; pad across the corrugated steel, clamber into the branches, and swing herself down, over the wall, and onto the grass below.
My wallet. gently caress.
Never mind; she'd hitch out of this craphole, and catch up with Jamie – no Xanax, though, this time. In the meantime, she could use a place to sleep. A bridge, a bus shelter, a barn. There probably was a barn, around here. Fields in three directions, and a farm road, she remembered, to the west. She headed west.
It was darker than she'd realised, out here beyond the lights – or maybe it was the lights, now distant, that made it so dark, casting shadows over everything. Still, the rows of crop stood out against the soil, and Sarah learned to walk between them, where the dirt was most compact. The stars were out, some of them at least, peering through a screen of smouldering cloud. She'd never gotten used to seeing the stars, or to the silence, for that matter, in which her footfalls crunched with an unnerving clarity. The stillness of the place; the total emptiness, the miles and miles of void, no people, no –
A voice, piercing, cold. So, it was still happening, after all these months withdrawing –
– she couldn't boost her heartrate without that adrenal surge kicking in, and then –
– the anxiety, creeping slow, and that inevitably led to –
– dissociative thoughts. She was running, now, dead straight between the rows of stubble, scanning back and forth for any indication of the road. There had to be a road. No, I have to be calm. There would be a road, or a barn, or something. She just had to get out of the cold, somewhere she could curl up, away from these loving mosquitoes –
“It's in my head,” she said out loud, mist curling away before her face. “It's just in my head.”
But – was it? Because she could have been spotted, she could have been followed, it could be Dr. Galton out there somewhere – but why would I think that? If anyone, it would be Oren. Oren, limping after her on his weird, broken stumps.
For you, Sarah.
She wheeled around, nearly losing her footing on the clotted earth, her arms held out for balance, peering blindly into the night.
“If that's you, Oren, you deformed little rear end in a top hat –”
But the voice, when it came again, came from behind her.
Got something for you.
She ran, hurdling the furrows that rose up to trip her, feeling the chill air whip through the sweat-soaked crevices of her clothing. It's not too late, she realised, I could just head back, hit the intercom, gently caress the consequences. But she'd come too far; the lights had disappeared behind some plane of earth, there was no way to find her way back. So, nothing for it then; she kept on running, downhill, away from that voice that wasn't quite just in her mind.
It had stopped. She hadn't noticed when; but now there was only the silence between her heavy footfalls, her heartbeat raging through her ears, the ragged breaths booming like a cataract inside her. That's it, just work through it. Just let your body burn it off, feel your energy come back to normal. That's it. That's it.
There was something up ahead; she saw it only faintly, a darker black against the blackened night, a large, square-sided thing, and now it loomed up above her, its edges jutting up against the stars, a building, a barn.
“Thank God,” she whispered, panting hard, squinting into the darkness, fumbling for an opening. There – a metal knob – she twisted it, and a door opened before her, and she was inside. It was warmer, in here, substantially so.
“Oh, thank God...”
There'd be a lightswitch, somewhere, hopefully – she groped around the wall behind her, gingerly, cringing as her fingers gathered stiff, tacky cobwebs. She found it, flicked it on.
For you, Sarah.
A moan burst from her lips, before she could stifle it – her knees trembled, and she sank against the wall.
There was something in the centre of the barn – she couldn't tell what it was – it wasn't right, though, it –
Made it for you, Sarah.
To keep you safe, he'd said, but that didn't make sense, she didn't feel safe at all, and it was moving, it was unfurling towards her, knots and clumps and tangles, it was – looking at her –
vv oh yeah, thought it was Sunday today...
STONE OF MADNESS fucked around with this message at Jan 19, 2013 around 09:41
|# ? Jan 19, 2013 05:17|
Ok this is more or less as polished as it's going to get by deadline.
Y'all still have, like, thirty hours. Given thirty hours, you ought to be able to polish your balls well enough to blind unwary pedestrians.
I wanna see those balls SPARKLIN'!
|# ? Jan 19, 2013 05:33|
Ah, loving typo. I got so excited to post something that wasn't dogshit after three days of writer's block.
|# ? Jan 19, 2013 11:55|
20th century FOX presents
R.A.W. F.E.A.R. or something along those lines
1750 s Edit: Apparently, that bohner was for real, so this piece is all number 1. Obviously.
Scott was wanking to Scarlett Johanson at his computer when he heard a scream from the street. A kind of frightened, raspy female scream. His hand faltered and his imagination wavered. He thought that could be a scream of someone who saw a murder. Or was being murdered. He felt his junk slackening. 'gently caress, let me jerk off in peace!' Murders in the middle of the day didn't happen, at least here. It was probably some girl playing something active with her boyfriend. Angrily, he concentrated on the images on the screen. The puffy lips, the smooth skin, the boobs...
Then the doorbell rang.
gently caress. He sat back in frustration. 'Let the man engage in a little depravity, will you!' Nevertheless, he switched to a different tab, pulled his trousers up, tucking in his johnson, and went to open the door. Looking through the peephole he saw two blond girls. 'Right. You're gonna tease me now!'
“Hello. I am... we're your neighbors.”
He opened the door just a bit, trying to keep the bulge of his crotch out of sight.
drat, were they pretty. Starting with the perfect blue-eyed, sculpted faces to tight bodies to thin bare legs in shorts. In addition they appeared to be twins... He was probably dreaming.
“Hello,” one of the girls said again. “We're your neighbors on the floor above. Did you hear a scream just now in the street?”
“Yeah. Er.” Scott felt a little embarrassed about his previous sentiments.
“And they say on the TV there's rioting not far from here. At least they said,” the girl corrected herself. “Now they're showing something strange.”
“Yeah I don't watch TV,” Scott said, wondering where this was leading. “Thanks for letting me know. Wouldn't want to go out right now I guess.”
“Yeah,” the girl said, smiling.
“Can we use your phone?” the other girl interjected. “ There seems to be something wrong with ours.”
“Okay,” Scott said. He covertly checked that his crotch had a more or less presentable appearance, and let the girls in. “This way.” He made a couple steps towards the kitchen, then halted. “Do you mean the regular phone, or...”
“Yeah, sure,” one of the girls said. Yes, they were twins, and he wasn't even beginning to distinguish them.
He led them to the kitchen, realizing that he felt some not entirely asexual excitement, though his ding dong stayed docilely still. The legs were the most upsetting part, with their prominent lightness of naked skin.
One of the girls raised the receiver and somewhat warily brought it to her ear.
“What?” the other girl said.
The first girl held her breath for some reason. The she looked at her sister and said, “The same thing.” She frowned and turned to Scott with the phone.
“What's that?” he asked.
“I don't know. I guess words in a different language.”
Scott took the phone and listened.
At first it appeared to be white noise. Then he recognized that the sound crackled with distortion. It wasn't immediately apparent that someone was speaking, and after he got used to it he wouldn't testify that what he heard was human language (it wasn't English or French which Scott knew), but it was a voice anyway. It seemed to use an inordinate amount of very strong 'h's which contributed to noise.
“What the hell is that?” Scott said.
“I don't...” one of the girls began, but was interrupted by a thunderclap, very sudden, as if a lightning had struck just outside.
Scott and the girls froze.
“Okay, that's freaky,” Scott said presently. “It's winter. I've never heard thunder in winter.”
“Me neither,” one of the girls said.
Scott tried to keep his face straight. His two favorite things were happening at once: he was being paid attention to by stunning blond girls, and a rare natural phenomenon was taking place just next to him. Come to think of it, two phenomena.
That's when one of the girls said, “Okay, sorry for the trouble. I guess it's something... with all the phones.” She looked kindly at Scott and went to the door.
'Oh, drat,' Scott thought.
The second of the girls stopped on the threshold and turned around. In the hallway Scott could see an old man standing looking in their direction.
“So, what's your name?” the second girl asked.
Scott finally introduced himself.
“I'm Tina,” the girl said. “And my sister's name is Jen.”
“You live on the floor above?” Scott said.
“Yeah. Apartment 23.”
Scott took in the pretty face, noting to himself that incredibly some chemistry appeared to be going on.
“Well, bye,” Tina said. She had shorter hair and more mascara on (at least right now, but probably not by accident). He had to remember that.
Tina turned around, and was met by a venomous howl from the hallway. The old man lunged at Jen, raising something shiny, and the next moment the metallic tip of a sword, coated in blood, appeared out of Jen's stomach.
Several screams filled the air. But the loudest of all spoke the old man - “Adulterous witch!”
Jen looked in front of her, neither at Scott nor at her sister, with big sad startled eyes. Tina raised her hands reaching for her, but afraid to actually do anything.
Then the old man withdrew his weapon out of Jen with a spurt of blood, and Jen fell forward. Tina caught her in her hands. The old man raised the sword, spraying red droplets in an arc, a mad scowl on his face. It was an austere, ungroomed face, with an overgrown beard and leathery skin, Scott noticed before rushing to shut the door in front of it, and fumbling it locked with sticky hands.
“poo poo,” he said.
“Wrath of the Lord is upon you!” the old man roared through the door.
Tina sobbed on the floor over Jen who drew short choking, moaning breaths and clutched the wound on her stomach.
“Please don't die, please!” Tina said.
There was a dark red patch on the carpet under Jen, and it was drat big for such a short time. The shirt on her stomach was soaked.
“You've got to staunch the bleeding on her back,” Scott said. He grabbed a towel from a rack next to the bathroom door, crumpled it, lifted Jen's slippery waist and pushed the towel against the wound. His head swam.
“I'm going to call...” He paused for an especially vertiginous heartbeat. “gently caress.” He couldn't call anyone. There was some kind of conspiracy against them... Or maybe he could.
“I'll be back quick.”
He rushed into his room. The monitor was dark, and with a guilty longing he remembered his last moments in front of it.
His cellphone was on a chair next to his unmade bed. There was no reception.
On his way to the door, he heard the walls groan, and the ground under his feet shivered.
“He's breaking through the door!” Tina shouted.
Scott looked at the door. It was a steel door, its framing embedded in concrete. Or something like that. The concrete was cracking.
Scott tried to think.
“The Lord guides my hand!” the old man proclaimed from beyond the door.
poo poo. It was all wrong, and Scott felt the tears of indignation (and self-pity) almost welling up in his eyes.
“Do something!” Tina said.
Scott looked around. Right.
“Let's get her away. Keep the towel on the wound.”
He awkwardly got his forearms under Jen's body and lifted her up. She was light and cold.
He heard bangs from around the door, and turned in time to see it start falling outward. The old man screamed and the door crashed into the hallway.
Scott exchanged an apprehensive look with Tina. In the gloom the door, torn off the hinges, lay flat on the floor. There was no trace of the old man. 'Villains never go out so easily in the movies,' Scott thought. 'Do they do in real life?'
“Let's go,” he said, and began walking to his sister's room. It was furthest from the entrance, and it had a big old bed in it, which was made. They tangoed awkwardly with Tina who was keeping Jen's wounds dressed.
“Can you hear me, sister?” Tina said.
Jen moaned with half-closed eyes.
There were heavy steps in the direction of the doorway. Freezing, Scott and Tina looked back.
A man dressed in thick black clothes stood on the threshold. He appeared to be a policeman in riot gear and held a baton.
“Sir, are you the police?” Scott said.
“We are,” the man said.
Another man dressed like him appeared at his back.
“We are the only police. Sanctioned by our Lord God, and you are so guilty before his eyes.”
'poo poo,' Scott thought, then said, “Run.”
He pushed Tina into the room.
“Of first-degree lust, adultery, greed...” the man continued.
“Shut the door!” Scott told Tina, laying Jen on the bed.
“...greed, envy, fornication...”
“What the gently caress!” Tina said, closing the door and backing away.
“Lock it! Press the thing on the knob!” Scott shouted.
Two pairs of feet thumped up to the door. Tina pressed the thing on the knob.
The door flew explosively inwards, catching Tina, and smashing into the opposite wall. It slid to the ground, long bare legs kicking from under it.
There weren't coherent thoughts in Scott's head after that, but he perceived the two dark looming shapes enter the room. Something took control of Scott's legs, swung him around, dashed him forward and threw him out of the window. His apartment was on the ground floor, so he wasn't hurt much, except for a few cuts and scratches.
Dark shapes were marching down the street, herding people before them with batons and guns. People ran, people fell, people crawled and were trampled, people lay dead. Here and there among the dark shapes walked men of gray bones with parchment skin, laying the path with big staffs. Just above the crowd flitted men of white light, dropping now and again to ignite a human torch. People screamed and guns fired. Then, a new star lit up in the east, and a thunderous voice spoke, “Hello, I am officially back! I hope you haven't been naughty... Oh. I see someone's not getting a salvation today.”
In the thickening dark, as his cudgeled and trampled body gave in, Scott saw white balls of flame tearing through the sky towards the downtown.
supermikhail fucked around with this message at Jan 20, 2013 around 07:37
|# ? Jan 19, 2013 17:42|
"Sunrise" 1736 words Inspired kinda by Alan Wake, which is in itself inspired by Stephen King, so I think that counts. As for the Flash Rule I looked it over and saw it already kinda was 1, I trimmed down the introductory bits in accordance with number 2, and number 4 gave me the justification I needed to cut one of my favorite bits, seeing as I needed room and that part was repetitive anyway. Whoo here we go. EDIT: Forgot the Flash Rule stuff.
Five lights sat in the frontier town of Golding's Valley, illuminating five houses in five golden globes. There they waited, trapped in an endless night. Some time ago, the sun had sunk behind the hills, and had never come back. The moon was covered in dense cloud, leaving perfect darkness. The days, perhaps weeks, since then had seen a town of almost a hundred shrink to the handful of lit homes that remained. They were scattered about the valley, stars in a cursed constellation.
Around the five houses lay the rest of the town. Houses, stores, and barns, were all cracked open like eggshells, the possessions inside left untouched. No one dared step out into the darkness, no one made a move towards the telegraph station to call for help. Though there was no talk between the remaining houses, all of them knew the rule: only light kept it at bay. Only light kept you safe.
When the creature first arrived, no one knew the rule. They thought it was a curse the Apache had put on them, or perhaps a minion of Satan. They ran for the hills, fought hopelessly against it, or thought the darkness would hide them. The survivors learned that the night was its home, and their only safety could be found indoors, in the glow of their many lights. You could survive outside with a torch, for a time, but the beast possessed a powerful breath that, once focused, could snuff out any small light, and leave you defenseless. Only the brief crack of rifles revealed anything of the creature. Some people saw massive curved claws, others a gleaming yellow eye, as wide as a mans chest. The more they saw, the less they looked. Still, they were safe indoors, for a time, but soon lantern oil began to run dry, and candles started to melt. One by one, the lights in Golding valley started to go out, until only five remained.
Five lights, shining in the valley. Of those five, the church was the greatest. Father Lyle promised sanctuary to anyone who could reach him, the light of torches giving his normally narrow and pale face a holy glow. He cried out into the night the story of Maccabee and the Temple of Solomon, whose lantern blazed for days on end, until finally the Jews inside were saved. Many answered him, and his pews filled like it was Christmas Mass. There they stayed, singing hymns into the night. The creature was unmoved, and once the church's light began to fade they could hear it prowling outside, seeing dim traces of its tracks in the earth.
Floor boards were yanked out, and a small firepit was dug in the dirt beneath, smoke reached up to the vaulted ceilings, amd plate glass windows were smashed to let the fumes escape. Soon they began chopping up pews for fuel, and even the lectern joined the blaze. The fire grew huge, and lasted days, but still they could hear the creature's steps, its claws churning the ground beneath it. They looked for anything, anything that could burn and keep the beast away. Insane with desperation, hungry eyes turned to the holy books that lay near the altar, their shelves long since burned. Father Lyle denied them, shielding the pages with his own body. He offered up whatever else he had, his clothes, his hair, even his own flesh. His congregation deemed him insane, unfit to lead, and he was tossed out into the darkness, which took him quickly. The books were added to the bonfire, sustaining it for only a few more hours.
They piled on more and more, tearing panels from the very structure of the building itself. The fire grew wild and out of control, and it shot out sparks like a musket, which within moments caused the rest of the building to be ignited. The supports began to groan and shudder until, like the crash of thunder, the roof collapsed and the entire building went up in flames, keeping the creature well at bay, until it was just another smoking husk.
From their window, Lauren and Tyler Bradley watched it burn. Lauren ran for the door. When she found it locked she looked back to Tyler, tears in her eyes. He shook his head. There was nothing to be done. Stay here, stay safe. She returned to her chair in front of the hearth, eyes on the flickering flames, trying to block out the screams.
Four lights sat in the valley, slowly dimming. For the first time in a while, there was total silence. That is, until the Wyatts had their say. The Wyatts lived on the outskirts of town, and usually kept to themselves. Tonight though, their hooting and hollering cut through the night, and reached from one end of the valley to the other. Their barn doors flung open, and out from it thundered a stage coach, all of the Wyatts inside. Mama Wyatt took the reins, flanked on either end by lit torches. Inside the coach, squeezed between the rest of the family, was bottle after bottle of liquor, along with crates of ammunition. Hanging off the back of the stage a massive fire blazed, rising up from a blanket, dampened with lantern oil, then set alight.
The flaming coach streaked out into the darkness, horses mad with fear, with the blanket flapping in the wind like the burning tail of a comet. The Wyatt siblings, Edith and Kyle, moonshine steeling their nerves and dulling their wits, whooped and called into the darkness. They wildly fired revolvers and rifles, daring it to come after them. A rolling inferno, they streaked through the town, heading to the horizon like a drunken, backwoods Apollo. However, Mama Wyatt lost the battle against the drink in her blood, and let one of the wheels clip a large rock on the way out of town. The stage tipped and crashed, a torch rolling into the coach, lighting the volatile insides. The entire clan went up in a massive explosion, even brighter than the church bonfire.
Lauren looked up at the sound, seeing the curling fist of smoke rising into the sky. She turned to look at Tyler again, seeing he was already at the window, his fists clenching quickly. She stared at his back for a moment, until he, sensing her gaze, shook his head. Nothing to be done. They brought it on themselves. Nothing ever to be done. She turned back to the fire, and buried her head in her hands.
Three lights sat in the valley, gently gleaming. The Cartwrights lamps began to sputter next. Elijah, the eldest Cartwight, could hear the creature stalking the house, could practically feel its breath on his skin. It circled the house like a vulture, waiting patiently. His eyes drifted to the window, looking across the main street, to the well lit home of their neighbours, the Murrays. He had never much cared for that family. Foreigners is what they were, who had only arrived here a year ago from England, seeking the gold in the mountains. Within that year their eldest son had stolen his only daughter Mary from him, and even now she took shelter in their home and not his. Was he supposed to let his family, who had settled this land for generations, fall prey to that monster? While some strangers survived, after having taken from him his most prized possession? Without speaking to his family, he grabbed one of their last remaining lanterns.
Stepping out into the entrance way, his eyes weighed down by heavy bags, he watched the Murray household, flashes of the Church blaze, and the light and temporary safety it provided, consuming his weary mind. He spat into the dirt, then heaved the lantern across the street, sending it crashing against the side of the Murray home. Almost immediately it was set alight, the fire growing and growing until the blaze illuminated the whole street. Elijah returned inside, informing his family of the tragic accident that had befallen their neighbours. The Wyatt's weren't the only family with a fondness for firearms though, and eventually the blaze found its way to the Murray arms pile, and caused the whole building to burst. Flaming debris was launched into the sky, streaking through the night like fireworks. One large flaming beam crashed into the Cartwright home. Elijah didn't even have time to fall to his knees and pray, before his home was engulfed. Two massive fires lit up the valley.
Now Lauren and Tyler both stood at their window. They had seen everything. Now they watched both homes be consumed. From the flames though, a figure emerged. Elijah Cartwright, fleeing from the inferno. Coated in soot, brandishing a flaming torch before him, Elijah ran. Every so often he would turn and swing the torch around at the darkness behind him, at something Lauren and Tyler could not see. With a few great strides Elijah reached their porch. They heard his fist pounding on the door. Lauren made to open it, but her husband grabbed her wrist. She looked back at him, and opened her mouth to beg him to let her go. He raised a finger to his mouth and slowly shook his head. Nothing to be done. He brought it on himself. Again Elijah slammed his fist on the door. Lauren looked out the window to see that dust was kicking up.
She had had enough. She wrenched her hand free from Tyler's and opened the door, letting Elijah stumble in. Cold wind flew into the house, giving Lauren a start. She slammed it closed, and turned to face Elijah. He was standing in the centre of the room, eyes locked with Tyler. Then his gaze was drawn away, to sparks that were leaping off his torch and onto the floor. His eyes crawled up to Laurens, and he quickly stamped them out. Without a word, he turned and walked over to the fireplace, crackling with a tiny flame. He leaned over and tossed his torch inside. Immediately on contact the fireplace sprung to life, a huge flame swelling out and up the chimney. The room brightened, and the beams from the fire and other lanterns hit the three from all angles, casting dozens of shadows.
One light shone in the valley, now slightly brighter than before, as they waited for the sunrise.
Chexoid fucked around with this message at Jan 19, 2013 around 22:29
|# ? Jan 19, 2013 22:25|
12 hours to go people.
|# ? Jan 19, 2013 22:46|
gently caress I forgot to double check my Judaism reference and hosed it up. I hate everyone.
Chexoid fucked around with this message at Jan 19, 2013 around 23:19
|# ? Jan 19, 2013 23:17|
The judges are gonna get spooked to death this week, I can feel it (in my bones!!)
|# ? Jan 20, 2013 00:19|
1745 words, and I have no idea how I feel about this thing.
e: Mr. Erik Shawn-Bohner, you are terrible. I think I have 5, and definitely 4. Possibly 2 but don't quote me on that.
The airplane taxied into Silchar airport with a screeching noise, jolting Rhea awake. It had been a short flight, barely an hour, but she had slept right through the babies and the general noises of all the people who were more than happy to be home at last. They weren’t the sort of people that traveled easily, preferring to live cloistered in their small town lives where nothing really happened and when something did, it was always a blatant lie on the part of the outsiders. She glared at the couple behind her, who had pushed her aside to get at their luggage, with a quiet “gently caress you” to herself. She wasn’t about to risk getting beaten up, or worse, before she had even managed to reach her destination.
The airport was nearly empty, and it took only a few minutes for her to collect her luggage and make her way outside to where her uncle’s car awaited. Rather, it was a tiny Alto that had no chance of fitting her two massive suitcases and her without some adjustment that left her sitting with a fifty pound suitcase on her lap for the entire two hour journey to the hospital.
“Ah, you’re here early.”
Rhea’s uncle, Kumar, greeted her with a smile on his face. She grinned nervously back at him. It had been a good few years since they had last met.
“Hello, mamu.” She said.
“Good to have you here. Ah, yes, there’s one thing we need to get sorted out before we go see Shubho upstairs.”
“We’ve had a few nasty accidents in the last few days. People falling down and getting hurt. That sort of thing. So the guesthouse is rather full right now.”
“Normally, I’d have given you the president’s room, but I need him here to help manage the place so you’ll have to live at the old guesthouse. It’s not very modern, and you’ll have to come back here to eat but at least it’s better than sleeping on the floor. Shubho’s room means you’ll never get any sleep at all.”
They carried her suitcases up to the guesthouse behind; an old rambling building with overgrown grass surrounding it. The skyline was covered by tall teak trees that she was told would be sold eventually for the hospital’s funding. Then back through the thick grass to where her grandmother was. There was the strangest smell in the room. It smelt familiar somehow to Rhea. Something she had smelt before sometime during her studies.
The old woman did not react to Rhea. She stared blankly ahead, muttering to herself. Then a scream.
“They’re all over me… they’re coming… no… no…”
“Nani? What’s wrong?”
Shubho looked up. No recognition in her glassy eyes. Her hands were shaking, and she was lurching back and forth. She had a chocolate wrapper in her hand, which she was forcing into her blanket. Over and over again.
“Accha beta, eat this quickly!” She said with a big smile on her face.
Rhea stared at her.
“You know,” Shubho said to her, “my granddaughter loves chocolates. So I’m feeding them to her.”
“Oh. Oh, I see.”
“Don’t you love chocolates, Rhea? Come on, eat up. I’ll feed you lots and lots!”
Her caretaker had a big smile on her face that didn’t reach her empty eyes. Rhea smiled weakly, patted the blanket and then slowly left the room. Her lip was shaking as she left. Outside, she leaned against the wall and took a few deep breaths. Her vision was blurry and there was a strange catch in her throat. She swallowed, and turned to see the caretaker morosely standing next to her.
“Ah, what the gently caress?”
“You should leave.”
“Oh god, where did you come from?”
“Didi’s room. Go. Get out of this house. You aren't wanted.”
‘Oh geez there’s a weird lady who talks like a horror movie poltergeist looking after my grandmother. No wonder she’s being weird.’ Rhea stared at her for a bit, before quickly backing out of the room, and into the common area.
“What the poo poo is happening in this place?” She said, kicking the plastic chair. It clattered to the ground, prompting a swift deluge of curses at the world and the loving chair and this loving old rear end hospital as she picked it up and put it back.
It had already gotten quite dark as she made her way back to her room in the old guesthouse.
“Well, poo poo. Should have borrowed a torch or something. Not going back there tonight though. Too loving weird.” The grass cut ominous shadows against the ground in the moonlight, and the path was barely visible. “At least we know why there were accidents. How do you even stay on this goat-path in this light?”
After stumbling over the rocks while trying to stay as far away from the edge of the hill as possible, she made it back to the guesthouse and unlocked the padlock on the door. It squealed in protest, shedding dust over her. It hadn’t quite hit her earlier that evening just how desolate the place really was. It was complete silent, and when she flipped the switch, nothing happened.
“Oh poo poo. A power cut. Like, is life mad at me or something right now because I really think it is. poo poo. Okay. Deep breaths, Rhea, deep breaths. You can see in the dark. Probably.”
Carefully feeling her way around the walls, she managed to get back to her room. It was completely dark but her eyes were getting used to it when a sudden sharp pain at the end of her finger after she brushed against something strangely rough and squishy had her jerk back into the corridor wall.
“Oh god that hurts. What the hell… holy balls that is a huge spider. Hope it’s not poisonous or something.”
The spider was the size of her palm, with the legs extending out even further. It looked at her with all of its beady eight eyes, prompting a hasty exit from the corridor and into her room. A mosquito net had been left on the chair for her.
“Ah, guess I’ll have to put that up before I sleep. Yeah, unless I want to get eaten or something.”
Later that night, there was a knocking on her door.
“Oh go away; I’m not getting out of bed.
One knock. Two knocks. Over and over again. It wasn’t even a knock anymore. Rather the door was desperately shaking on its hinges.
“Oh, come the gently caress on!”
She opened the door, and jerked back almost immediately as a silvery object came hurtling towards her.
“What the ever-loving poo poo?” She screamed, holding her cheek.
A cold wet feeling was sliding down, and suddenly it felt as though something had touched a hot iron rod to her face. The figure with the knife lunged towards her again, and she grabbed its wrist out of panic, a mere few inches away from her face. It was the caretaker. She was strong. Maybe too strong. Rhea was no pushover, having done weights for the better part of the last five years, but somehow the crazy old woman was overpowering her and coming ever closer to her face.
“Oh god. Oh my god.”
“Leave this place…” The caretaker said, in a hollow voice.
“I’d love to, if you stop trying to stab me in the loving face!”
Rhea pushed, and heaved her over and into the dresser. The knife clattered to the floor, and something snapped in her. The strangest, angriest feeling that she absolutely had to drive the knife into the soft fleshy body in front of her; that there was no feeling more appropriate or wonderful and she had to do it right then or everything would be wrong in the world and she would have to die. She smiled. It felt perfect in her hand. Cold and just the right weight, and the caretaker was just lying there, prone on the floor. And then the pain hit her again. Her leg was gushing blood onto the floor.
“Wait, what just—I don’t—did I just stab myself in the loving leg?” There were tears in her eyes.
It hurt. It hurt so very much. Rhea picked herself off the floor, her head filled with worry for her grandmother. She could barely walk, and the thought of making her way down the path terrified her, but it had to be done. She made a bandage for the injury with some sheets, and though she knew it was a bad idea, limped out of the house. Each step hurt as she moved. Each stumble left her struggling to get back up. The bandage was already soaked with her blood, and her vision was blurring slightly. It took what seemed like forever to get to the other guesthouse, which was deathly quiet. The strange smell from earlier was stronger than ever, and it suddenly struck Rhea where she’d smelt it before.
“The morgue. Oh gently caress. It’s the smell of old blood and corpses and poo poo.”
Up the stairs she struggled, leaning heavily against the railing and trying to put as little weight on the injured limb as possible. The knife was still in her hand, and she tightened her grip on it, readying herself for the absolute worst. The smell grew even worse as she got closer to her grandmother’s room, and she could hear a buzzing sound.
“Flies. But how? They don’t appear that fast, do they?”
She entered the room. It was completely silent except for the buzzing. The smell made her reel, and she had to hold the rail on the bed for support. The old woman was sleeping on the bed, and the flies were all around her. Rhea moved her, and recoiled as bits of flesh came off in her hand.
“What the actual gently caress is going on. Nani, what is this poo poo? Come on, wake up. Wake up.” Her voice shook as she lifted up the body.
There was a strange hole in the back of the old woman’s head. A maggot came out of it, fat and engorged from its feed.
The strange feeling came over Rhea again as she stared at the dead lady. It had been too soon. Way too soon. She smiled again as her fingers tightened around the knife, and everything went dark as she brought it to her neck.
SC Bracer fucked around with this message at Jan 20, 2013 around 04:22
|# ? Jan 20, 2013 00:35|
12 hours to go people.
Guess I better start then!
Either I am going to write this bitch or I am going to fall asleep in my chair. I don't want to go 2 weeks without submitting.
For fear of getting too E/N, I'm just going to say that I'm pretty fed up of feeling unmotivated and uninspired in pretty much every aspect including writing. Maybe I'll figure out how to sort my poo poo out, but until then I'm going to write a short horror story at 1 in the morning.
|# ? Jan 20, 2013 01:09|
For fear of getting too E/N, I'm just going to say that I'm pretty fed up of feeling unmotivated and uninspired in pretty much every aspect of blowing men for crack. Maybe I'll figure out how to get my poo poo pushed in, but until then I'm going to swallow loads at 1 in the morning.
You missed a comma after "but until then"
|# ? Jan 20, 2013 01:12|
And you forgot to put a period at the end of your sentence.
|# ? Jan 20, 2013 02:23|
This sucks, but it's better than not submitting. Tear it to shreds so that I may one day work it into becoming a decent story. I kind of like some of the ideas but I am not satisfied with the implementation, because the implementation was hurridly churning it out in the wee hours of the morning. Was mostly going for the 3rd key, and I know I incorporated the 4th one too a few times.
I may also have been too subtle with some of the themes. I'll find out if nobody figures out what her secret was. Or maybe it's better to have it be ambiguous? I don't know. Let's just see what happens, eh?
Extracurricular Activities - 1,451 words.
I always figured there was something kinda weird about that so-called "debate club" at my kid's middle school. I do wish it had remained nothing more than a simple suspicion, though.
So I was at one of those... I don't know what they're called. Those days where the parents have to come in after school and chat with the teachers about how well or otherwise their child is doing at school. I was trying not to show it, but I think I was even more bored than Sandy, my twelve-year-old, was from listening to her teachers repeat the same shtick about how they knew Sandy was a bright girl, BUT...
It was finally over, and we were heading out to my car where Carl was waiting, when my bladder decided to alert my brain to the fact that it was actually pretty drat full and had been for some time but just didn't want to make a fuss. So I told Sandy to go on ahead and wait with Carl, her semi-new step-father. The two of them got on alright, which was good. I'd hate for my family to devolve into one of those horrible movie clichés. I was on my way to the ladies', remembering the days when I went to this school myself. I found myself reaching for my cigarettes, remembering what I used to get up to in there. That was when I passed by that debate club. It took a second for it to occur to me that it was kind of odd that the club would be running at this time in the evening. I peeped in on 'em, through the glass door. They were just talking, like you'd expect. Something was weird with their mannerisms, though. The subtle stuff. Those kids were wrong, somehow. I just shrugged, and left.
Then I found myself at my old locker (I would recognise that thing anywhere from the dent in the door). It reeked. The thing loving stank like something had curled up and died in there. So, naturally, I opened it to see what the source of that god-awful stench was. That was a mistake. I found a wet, fleshy lump in there, glistening in the weak yellow light of the hallway. I only have a limited knowledge of anatomy, but a woman's entire reproductive system is quite recognisable when you've seen a diagram of it before. gently caress. That. I stifled a cry, and slammed the door shut again. I retched a few times, then decided it wouldn't be a bad idea to get the gently caress back to my car and leave. But I couldn't find my way. The school's layout wasn't the same as I remembered. The corridors twisted in unpredictable ways and for the life of me I had no idea where I was. The sun was starting to set outside, the light of the low sun shining through the windows in the doors to the classrooms. I was standing alone in that corridor, trying to get my bearings, when I heard the steady dripping of some liquid somewhere. I shivered. Still had the image of what was in that locker in my head. But I could have been relieved to know it was just water. I would have, if I didn't see that the source was May, my classmate. She was stood not far from me, hunched forward with her back to me, soaked from head to toe and quietly dripping water onto the floor. It couldn't be her, though. She was the same age as me. This girl was only about thirteen or so, but she looked exactly how I remembered her. I approached, and she turned around. It really was her, no mistake. She grinned when she saw me.
"Good to see you again!" She ran up to me and wrapped her arms around me in a hug. My body stiffened as I felt the moisture seep through my shirt and start to run down my back.
"May, what the hell is--"
"Fell in the pond again! Thought I'd make the best of it, though. Come help me dry off." She grabbed my arm and started dragging me along with her. To be honest I was too confused to protest at that point. It wasn't until she pulled me inside the girls' changing rooms that I snapped out of it. She'd started pulling her wet shirt over her head, and I suddenly realised I was alone in a school with a young girl who was undressing in front of me, and that was just one of those situations that an adult really, really needs to avoid these days. I was about to protest her actions, when I noticed an odd mark on May's right shoulder. Something about it stood out somehow. She noticed too.
"Would you look at that," she said, and scratched at it. It came off like a partially healed scab, still stuck to her skin. She tutted and pulled on it, but it wouldn't come off. She pulled harder and it came loose but there was some kind of strand attached to it, leading under the surface of her skin. She pulled on it more and it came out and the strand got thicker and at this point the mark on her shoulder was more of a grievous wound, widening as she pulled and she started dripping again, this time with blood, spiralling down her arm like a barber's sign.
"May, stop! What are you do- oh my god!" This last exclamation was in response to her giving a final tug and dislodging the item that had been buried under her skin. It was a god drat condom. I couldn't get over how bizarre it was.
"How did that get there?" May said, ignoring the blood oozing out of the deep wound in her shoulder, which at that point had reached adequate size for me to see right through to the bone. I felt faint, but my legs suddenly unlocked themselves and I very quickly ran the hell out of that room, and kept going until it was out of sight. I bent over, panting, and threw up. I felt the stirring of air behind me, and a hand grabbed me roughly and turned me around.
"You loving bitch, Karla," May said. She was scratching at the skin around her wound. "You know this is your fault, right? You god damned slut!"
"Shut up!" She started decaying. Her flesh literally started to fall from her bones. I couldn't do anything to stop it. I had already explained myself back then, and if she was going to be this damned immature about it then what was I supposed to do? Was I supposed to just go up to Dean and tell him his girlfriend wasn't really interested in him after all? Oh god her jaw. I couldn't make out the rest of what she was trying to say, because her loving jaw had come loose. I just heard angry gurgling as she tried to rant through a mouthful of blood with a face that was ceasing to function. I forced her off me, and little wads of her flesh remained on me as I broke free and ran. I kept going but it got harder to run because the walls and ceiling were getting further away and the floor was getting sticky and holy poo poo the place was alive. The corridors were becoming flesh with shards of tooth and bone and hairs sticking out and it was pulsating and breathing and I couldn't stop because she was going to catch me and then she'd tell everyone our secret and then I'd melt too, and I tripped and fell forwards onto my hands and knees and I was crawling along the warm, wet floor as the hot breath washed over me stinking of old blood and half-digested meat. I was sinking below my knees and wrists now, and I couldn't move, I was stuck, but I managed to turn over onto my rear end, feeling the flesh grip hold and pull at me and try to wrap around my midsection and hold me down and I could see those loving kids leering at me. Those kids from that pretentious loving debate club, and they were laughing at stupid little Karla. The oesophagus corridor twitched and gulped and swallowed, and the shards of tooth and bone scratched at me, cutting my skin, and the stomach acids rose up around me and burned away at the open wounds and I couldn't breathe and I couldn't move, and it writhed once more and sucked me down and I was gone.
|# ? Jan 20, 2013 03:17|
Tear it to shreds so that I may one day work it into becoming a decent story.
You have seven hours. Double-space your paragraphs and dialogue, at least. Message board spacing =/= manuscript spacing.
|# ? Jan 20, 2013 03:46|
While we're in a writing mood, the current Glenn Beck GBS thread has turned into an amazing short fiction rodeo about life in a libertarian hellhole and I feel like Thunderdome should get in on that action.
|# ? Jan 20, 2013 03:55|
I want to read an exciting novel or collection of stories. Suggestions?
|# ? Jan 20, 2013 03:56|
I want to read an exciting novel or collection of stories. Suggestions?
Well, the upcoming Cipher Sister anthology sounds like a hoot.
I hear it's due out in early summer.
|# ? Jan 20, 2013 04:03|
Suspending bullshit for a second: I strongly recommend Iain Rankin if you're looking for extremely well written crime fiction that reads smooth as glass. His Inspector Rebus series is definitely an exemplar of Scottish fiction, and you pretty much can't go wrong with any of it (though the older novels aren't quite as good as the later ones; he got better with practice).
If you want to give those a spin, I recommend "Hide and Seek", "Black and Blue" and "Resurrection Men."
If you want to investigate his more recent books, I recommend "The Complaints" and "The Impossible Dead" as a pair of of good crime novels that don't involve Inspector Rebus.
Finally, nowhere near as good, I'm quite fond of "Witch Hunt", which stands entirely on its own.
Edit: for a different take, Ian Banks (that is, Ian M. Banks when not writing Science Fiction) is enjoyed by quite a few. "Whit" is always good, if not quite as famous as "The Wasp Factory."
Finally, well, there's always "Trainspotting" by Irving Welsh if you can stomach the way it's written. The only thing I'd say is that it paints things much grimmer than they actually are, very much for shock value, and some of the Scottish English in it is pretty suspect.
This concludes the prostitution of my country for your amusement.
Etherwind fucked around with this message at Jan 20, 2013 around 04:21
|# ? Jan 20, 2013 04:13|
|# ? May 20, 2019 04:49|
740 Words I did my best to do 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. I really hope this is not poo poo.
It was cold in the freezer. The sort of cold that attacks the nerves in your fingers until every graze burns. It was
cold and he was alone … with them.
The robbery had not gone as expected. In fact, some would say that it had turned into a slaughter. His entire crew was
taken out within minutes by the things that worked here in this restaurant. Things that were now searching for him.
Things that would find him. Things that would kill him. Already, he could hear them outside the door. They were
whispering to him. They knew him. The handle was turning, the door was opening, the end was upon him.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Too far ahead. Let’s go back to the dawn of the day. Let’s go back to the
Shep and his crew had taken their positions around the restaurant. Some stood in line, others sat at tables, and one
stood at the door. This door was the only way in and out of the building. The town, having a strange fear of
outsiders, had mandated that any building built by a man whose father had not been born in the town must have only one
exit. All were held to this law, and since a corporation possessed the same rights as an individual it was also to be
bound by the laws of the individual.
Shep, standing at the entrance, had found this to be ironic. Having spent a small amount of time working at this
place, he knew that individuality was not a thing among these hamburger fanatics. He’d been the only townie among them
and he’d seen first hand their ways of interacting. It was downright creepy the way they would finish each others
“Shep,” said Jeff, a small man standing off to the side near the restroom, “ are you sure about this?” Jeff was always
asking Shep questions, always making sure that he was sure. Shep might have been the brains of their group, but Jeff
was the conscience.
“Of course, I’m sure.” Shep replied.
And he was sure. He was sure this would be easy, and that the freaks would give up quickly. They were a docile lot:
always eager to please and brimming with humility. Shep gave a quick signal, and his friends pulled out their guns. It
was time to get this show on the road.
“Alright, guys,” Shep said, not leaving his point on the door, “you may remember me from a little while before. I used
to work here, but that was a front. I was casing this place, and now I’m robbing it.”
Shep found that these things usually went better when you were up-front about them. Normally, the people would all
start to scream and his guys would do floor work, keeping the situation under control. They robbed businesses early in
the morning, in order, to minimize the amount of people present. At this moment, the only people in the building
present were Shep’s crew and the employees. This should go smoothly, the operative word being “smoothly.”
After Shep had made his announcement, he’d expected his hostages to become agitated, maybe even try to resist. He had
not expected them to continue about their tasks as if men with guns were not standing all around them. He’d not
expected a lot of things. He’d not expected to hear the crunch of bone as Jeff was embraced by one of the employees.
He’d not expected to see the head ripped off of the man nearest him. He’d certainly not expected to reach behind him
and find the handle of the door to be locked.
“Well this isn’t going well,” he said, emptying a clip into the nearest creature. The thing, certainly not human,
didn’t even flinch as the bullets bounced off of its body. With nary a thought for his compatriots, Shep ran to the
nearest barrier between him and those things that he could think of; The Freezer.
The door was opening, and a creature was in the room in less time than it took a man to think about blinking.
“Hello, human,” the creature said, “I am Legion. I am not your end. I am your beginning. You shall be part of me, and
I shall be part of you. Who are you?”
“I am Legion,” Legion said.
|# ? Jan 20, 2013 04:45|