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No Longer Flaky
Nov 16, 2013

by Lowtax



Misunderstood

Clark jogged down the hallway towards the stage, he was gonna be late for his performance! His props jangled in his case as he made his way.

A stagehand said “You’re Clark Sanderson?”

“Yes,” Clark replied.

“All right Clark, they’re just about to announce your name, then they’re going to hit ya with the lights and that’s when you should start your act.”

“Ok, thanks,” Clark said. Clark quickly ducked across the stage and took his position in the puppeteer booth. He opened his case and began unpacking his puppets.

“AND NOW FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER ON PETEY PANDAS PLAY HOUR, WE HAVE A PUPPETSHOW FOR YOU GUYS! ISN’T THAT EXCITING KIDS!”

A mixed shout of “Yay!” and “Yeah!” erupted from the crowd. The overhead lights shone on his puppeteer’s platform showing the backdrop of grassy hills with a sun in the top right corner. Here goes nothing, Clark thought. He pulled out his first puppet, a brown dog, and began his act.

“Hello boys and girls, my name is Scruffy.”

“Hi scruffy!” The crowd chorused back.

“I am here to tell you about something very important. Something every good little boy and girl should know about.” Clark said, controlling Scruffy with his left hand. In his right hand was a long black snake puppet with a menacing grin displaying long fangs. “There is a monster that lives in the deep dark woods. A monster that is very sneaky. This monster has sharp gnashing teeth.” Clark made gnashing noises with his mouth and then continued, “He is long and ferocious and not even your parents can stop him!” Clark shrieked “He likes to eat pet doggies like Scruffy here,” Clark yelled, then wrenched his second puppet up and smashed it down on Scruffy.

Clark opened the mouth of the snake puppet and pulled Scruffy’s head clean off his body. The audience gasped. Clark pushed a petal at his foot and red fake blood squirted from Scruffy’s neck where his head used to be connected. Clark dropped Scruffy’s headless body behind the screen.

“HA! HA! HA!” Clark growled in a serpentine voice. “No one can stop me! I am the devourer of souls! I AM THE DESTROYER! BOW BEFORE ME!”

The crowd gasped, and children began to cry. Concerned parents covered their children’s eyes. Clark removed one of his hands from the back of the snake and put it inside his third puppet, a heroic knight that was going to save the day. Just then the lights illuminating his display for the audience were shut off. Petey the purple panda quickly waddled to the center of the stage.

“Forgive that display boys and girls, that was not true. There is no such thing, that was just pretend.”

Dammit, Clark thought, No one ever lets me finish my drat show!

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angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

CHARACTERS


Name: Magmarmidon
Age: 600 years old
Length: 1.2km with tail
Sexuality: Demisexual
Preferred pronouns:
Third person person nominative: zee
Third person objective: zen
Third person possessive: zeir
Third person reflexive: zeirself


Name: Spire-kiv
Age: Unknown, possibly immortal
Length: 2.4km
Sexuality: Autosexual
Preferred pronouns:
Third person person nominative: it
Third person objective: it
Third person possessive: it's (with an apostrophe)
Third person reflexive: it'sself

Setting and background information

Magmarmidon is demisexual, so zee can only have sex with someone who loves zen, otherwise zee has no sexual drive and can't even deploy zeir magmashaft.

Spire-kiv is autosexual, so it can satisfy it'sself and even reproduce with it'sself, but it hasn't had the desire to do so, until it meets Magmarmidon.

Story

Magmarmidon erupts from zeir 100-year sleep cycle--literally erupts form a volcano--and shatters bison-sized boulders tumbling into the lava flowing down the side of the shattered peak from which zee slumbered.

"I am awoken!" Zee roars.

#

Spire-kev snakes through the barren wasteland of grey crags in search of a meal. It is craving a legion or two of badass soldiers with shields and spears, but would settle for a battleship full of bronze-skinned oarsmen and sinewy sailors. But before Spire-kev can decide to sate itself with a ship from the sea or to snack on a sortie of soldiers, it senses a sharp and intense pang of heat from the mountain in the distance which rises above even the highest clouds (but Spire-kev does not know this, as it's thermal sensors can only sense heat, and clouds don't give off any heat unless they are heated up.)

#

Magmarmidon is lonely, and has always had a fetish for long, black, shaft-like objects, but zee can only fulfill this fetish with someone whom zee loves, and who loves zen just as much. Zee had often despaired that zee would never find such a long and black object, but now, high on the mountain, zee spotted what would change zen forever: A thick, ebony shaft longer than any zee had ever seen in zeir six-hundred years on this barren world.

Zee runs to it, stomping across spouts of lava and crushing boulders under zeir armored--yet supple--feet.

#

Spire-kev slides forward as the heat intensifies, it realizes that this thing is coming toward it as well, and it smiles. It had planned to autosexually stimulate it'sself after gorging on the sailors or soldiers (but to do so safely and thus not procreate,) but it now had forgotten all about this. It rumbles across the rock toward the source of heat, crashing through villages and killing thousands as it moves. It doesn't care.

#

The two converge, and Magmarmidon says, "You long, beautiful, black shaft, slide all over me. I beg you!"

Spire-kev obliges, and for the first time, it feels a stirring in its auto-reproductive organ, and it wonders what it would be like to raise another spire-like and spiked serpent--to raise it together with Magmarmidon.

Spire-kev can't speak, but it roars as if to say, I love you, and I want to autosexually reproduce and raise my immortal child with you.

Magmarmidon deploys zeir magmashaft.

Spire-kev stops cold in its tracks, and roars as if to say, Wait just a minute, I am autosexual, and I have nowhere to put that.

"Your throat, it's so deep and empty, AGH!" Shouts Magmarmidon.

No! I will autosexually reproduce, and you said you were demi, so really you are so close to asexual that you shouldn't have such urges. My mouth? God! Spire-kev seems to roar.

Magmarmidon strokes zeir magmashaft and magma spurts everywhere. It penetrates Spire-kev's plating, and burns through it's auto-reproductive organs.

Spire-kev roars, as if to say, Now I can never have children!!!

They look at each other and wonder, will they be alone forever?

To be continued...?

angel opportunity fucked around with this message at Dec 19, 2013 around 17:15

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



sebmojo posted:

Extra points if you make it a drawing room comedy set in the Regency period.

Okay!



Call a Spade a Spade
226 words

When the dust sheet fell away and Philipe's painting was revealed, Lord Henrick gasped. Lady Eustace nearly swooned into his arms. Lady Penelope started to shriek but caught herself before she broke all decorum.

"It must be symbolic," Penelope declared after a fraught silence. "Of course it is - Philipe wouldn't paint something so… Unusual, otherwise."

Every segment of the worm's armored rocky carapace and many-fanged maw was rendered in loving detail. It rose over the stone scenery like some demon out of Hell.

Philipe knew well what she'd wanted to say.

"It's a metaphor," Henrick announced. "For - war? With the teeth and armor?" He glanced to Philipe, who stared back, bemused.

Penelope sniffed. "How brutal. I'd put money that it's a man's-" She was hastily shushed.

"Could it be death?" Eustace still sounded faint. "Death is ugly and no one likes to see it or think about it."

"Ah!" Henrick clapped Philipe on the shoulder, nearly knocking him off his chair. "A perfect allegory, then. Well done, chap!" He eyed it and turned to the door with a faint shudder. "Now then, I do believe I was promised tea?"

They were all too happy to filter out. Left in silence, Philipe poured himself another glass. "It means," he muttered to the carpet, "that I wanted to paint a giant worm." He downed his cognac.


e: screwed up word count, apparently

Echo Cian fucked around with this message at Dec 19, 2013 around 18:58

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.


Everyone's Worm Submissions posted:




You guys figured out the secret!

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012


I don't mean to break up WormFest 2013, but count me in for this week's normal prompt.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

In for this week.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Erogenous Beef posted:

You are loving lucky I F5'd, because I was just about to lash furious judgment upon you. Resubmit at a 100 word penalty: your limit is 400. You have 22 hours.

I am hungover as gently caress*, and writing about dragons at work. Is this what my life has become?

*this is a lie, I am still drunk

wordcount: 399 words because EB is a merciless tyrant.

Inheritance

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a giant, fire-breathing wyrm. Indeed, as the recent recipient of a sizeable inheritance, the lack of a wyrm is something I felt most keenly.

Yet in the circles my inheritance affords, it is a difficult subject to broach. My childhood of want has denied me wyrm-lore. To whom do you make such requests? Are there stables of good or ill repute, and how do you discern them? I cannot, and will not, countenance the embarrassment of appearing before the Royal Albert with a wyrm of less-than-distinguished pedigree.

I turned, as I always do, to my friend and benefactor Mrs Elderberry-Smythe.

I kissed her cheek in greeting. “Dearest friend,” I said. “I am forlorn and despairing.”

“I know,” said Mrs Elderberry-Smythe, in the simple way that worldly women have.

“Do you? Do you really? For this has made my week a most perplexing one.”

“Ah. To be young, rich, and spoiled for choice. I must confess, I have always thought of Emmaline for you, though she a headstrong young lady. But, and the way you look so quizzically at me has me almost convinced, perhaps Jocelyn is more suitable for one of such incisive intelligence as yourself, quiet and bookish though she may be.”

“I fear I have misled you as to my dilemma,” I said, worried at this conversational turn. “I am at a loss, t’is true, but it is not a wife I lack, desirable though your many daughters are.”

Mrs Elderberry-Smythe laughed. “Oh, my dear boy, how innocent you seem. I would not dream of marrying you to one of mine. New money is rarely for keeping. But, truly, I have many daughters - so many I fear a plethora of dowries would ruin us! No, I have seen the way you cast desirous glances at the wyrms along Regent Street, and knew it would not be long before you approached me about this matter as you have in others. I have taken the liberty of acquiring a most suitable drake - recently hatched, as yet unfed. All that remains is for you to choose his first meal, and the accompanying characteristics that bestows.”

At once, the wyrmic mysteries became clear. And how could I possibly turn down small, perfect, intelligent Joceylyn?

Reader, he ate her.

Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at Dec 19, 2013 around 22:41

dmboogie
Oct 4, 2013



In.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003




OOPS, I FORGOT MY WORM-BRAWL PICTURE.

Blowout

It was 9:15 on Sunday morning when all hell broke loose on Broadway and the demon-wyrm rose up from the fiery depths under the First United Methodist Church and swallowed it up, fancy new playground, congregation, and all. It nearly made Old Man Ginsel drop his bottle, he said, what with its black, leathery scales and razor-sharp fangs. What sin had they committed to drat them so completely?

“Greed!” cried the pastor at Aldersgate United Methodist.

“Pride!” cried the pastor at Forrest Heights United Methodist.

“Lust!” cried the pastor at Agape United Methodist.

“A seismic event cracked open a pressurized oil deposit, causing a blowout in downtown Lubbock,” said the blonde lady on the news.

Like hell. Lubbock don’t have no seismic events and we don’t got blowouts either, not anymore, and anyway, if anyone would recognize a gusher, it’d be Old Man Ginsel, and he said scales and fangs. I reckon if anyone’d recognize the Devil, it’d be Old Man Ginsel, too.

But of course those science folk ain’t gonna take an old drunk’s word for it, so they come down to poke around, with their shiny shoes and clipboards and seismoniters. They look down in the hole and can’t see nothing, so they stick some poles in the ground and wait around a day or two, but everyone can tell they’re getting impatient.

“Someone oughta go down and take a look,” one of them says, and all the rest nod in solemn agreement, but no one’s raising their hand. Then Old Ginsel says he’ll do it, on conditions he can take a light and an axe, and to this day I do not know why he did it. At first the scientists hemmed-and-hawed, but finally one of them gave Old Ginsel some papers to sign, and they tied him up in a bright yellow harness with a hard-hat on his head and a camera on his shoulder.

“Good luck,” said one.

“Hell, I ain’t scared,” said Old Man Ginsel, hefting a fire axe someone had fetched, but he still swigged his liquid courage.

Then over the edge he went, with the scientists gathered round a big monitor to watch their canary descend into the mine. One hundred feet, two hundred feet, five hundred feet they’d counted when the ground began to tremble, and then shake outright. An inhuman roar swelled out of the depths, followed by an all too human scream. The big monitor went black, and the end of the rope came up empty.

“Another tragic seismic event,” said the blonde lady on the news, but I know what I saw on that monitor. Scales and fangs.

They covered the hole with some fancy tarp, steel reinforced, made by NASA or the Army. Things were quiet for almost a week, but then the Wyrm rose again. The muscled shaft of its body strained against the tarp, thrusting it into the air like a giant tent as it screamed infernal rage.

“OCK!” It roared. “OCK! OCK! OCK!”

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at Dec 20, 2013 around 05:23

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk


dope

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


I was writing about giant worms before it was cool.

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


sebmojo posted:

Lawn Care
492 words

Pemberly Chelmsford-Crouton was drowning upright, as a brave man should. Good start To his left was arrayed toast, tea, marmalade and his least favourite aunt. One clause too many. The contrast joke has three beats: mundane, mundane, bizarre. To his right was the alarmingly elucidated cute but unclear Miss Petunia, heir to the Westchester Stockinghamforths; both were a-glitter with as yet unstated, yet clearly terrible, purpose. Dangling plot point. This never shows up again.

While Pemberly had been torn from his habitual perusal of the Times Morning Edition by their unheralded arrival and felt ill-at-ease, he was nothing if not polite; however, his exploratory enquiries about their health were silenced by his least favourite aunt’s raised finger. Pointless. Cut, go straight to next paragraph.

“Pemberly,” she said. “Your antics have caused me dismay in recent times. That nonsense with the chicken in the teapot, the exploding bottle debacle at the village fete, Without context, these aren't bizarre enought o be funny, nor do you make a contrast joke. Fix I could go on for far too long.” Her lips were pursed, as though at sight of a parishioner or an importunate leper. Reverse the order; first clause sets up expectation. Pursing your lips in disapproval at a leper: coldhearted. Second clause then relates parishioners to lepers: funny.I will be frank; you are well past the age when a man ought to take a wife. My cousin’s niece, Eustacia Petunia? here, is in need of a suitable man and, while I can only admit to your suitability with the gravest of caveats, you are inarguably a man. Accordingly—“

The sharp end of the conversational pin upon which Pemberly’s future was about to be transfixed went unplanted because, at that moment, the earth rumbled, table shook and his least favourite aunt received an unwanted lapful of Lapsang Souchong.

The aunt shrieked, Miss Petunia THIS WOMAN'S NAME KEEPS CHANGING AGGH squealed and Pemberly leapt to his feet with an alacrity driven at least partly by an eagerness to avoid the ire of the deity that had so precisely answered his prayers. huh? “Willocks!” this is a good manservant name he cried, but the doorhandle was jerked away from him before he could grasp it. Odd cadence. Rewrite. Standing in the doorway was Willocks. Move to next para, remove passive voice.

“Sir, there has been an untoward occurrence on the croquet lawn, that may need your immediate attention.Maybe rewrite the crossed-out clause. Reads very weirdly right now. Too stilted, even if he's faking it.

Pemberly called back This dialogue attribution is way too far from the dialogue. Change to a different action over his shoulder to the table, where Miss Petunia was mopping at the spillage in an ineffectual yet heartfelt way. Decent. Can you improve the imagery? How is it ineffectual? Is she using the toast? I assume you're trying to show that she's stupid but well-meaning. “Dreadfully sorry – must attend – croquet lawn” This doesn't read right. Rewrite. The door closed behind them this makes it sound like it's swinging shut, fix and he clapped Willocks on the shoulder. “Thanks old chap, most imaginative. If you could send a maid to assist, I can get Jonks the groundskeeper Groundskeeper Jonks, perhaps? to bring the coach up and they should be on their--.”

Willocks swept open the curtains that opened on the croquet lawn and Pemberly stopped mid scheme. Unnecessary, we already saw him get interrupted. Towering over the well-cut turf and wire hoops of the lawn was a monstrous snake-like shape, fully forty feet high, chitinous outgrowths and crenellations outlining weird verb for this it against the bright morning sky. In its toothed maw it held weak verb a struggling human form I detest the use of "form" to mean "body" or "person". It's very affected. which, with a gnash of its mandibles, it bisected and swallowed.

Pemberly cleared his throat. boring “Was… was that Jonks?” PARA BREAK Willocks nodded. PARA BREAK “Cancel that plan then. We shall wait five, no COMMA ten minutes and then you may advise my aunt I suggested a nice game of croquet.” Pemberly pulled the curtains shut. “I will be in my study, reading the Times.” Stop at the punchline.

There's the core of a decent joke in here. Needs some touch-ups for pacing and tone. Pemberly doesn't seem aristocratic enough, he just seems like a working chum to Willocks. We need a bit more characterization for the bride-to-be. Right now she's a blank slate. Further, we have no idea why Pemberly is avoiding marriage, and that tosses icewater on the tension. I either need more jokes to make me want to read further to see how the next joke plays out, or I need more plot and character to draw my interest along.

Fumblemouse posted:

Inheritance

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a giant, fire-breathing wyrm. Good hook, although the fire-breathing part is never touched on again Indeed, as the recent recipient of a sizeable inheritance, the lack of a wyrm is something I felt most keenly. Restating the first sentence is a bad idea. Combine this sentence's introduction of the inheritance with the next sentence's introduction of the difficulty.

Yet in the circles my inheritance affords, it is a difficult subject to broach. Why? This makes it sound more like a social taboo. My childhood of want has denied me wyrm-lore. To whom do you make such requests? Are there stables of good or ill repute, and how do you discern them? I cannot, and will not, countenance the embarrassment of appearing before the Royal Albert with a wyrm of less-than-distinguished pedigree.

I turned, as I always do, to my friend and benefactor Mrs Elderberry-Smythe. Merge into previous para?

I kissed her cheek in greeting. “Dearest friend,” I said. “I am forlorn and despairing.” Weak dialogue

“I know,” said Mrs Elderberry-Smythe, in the simple way that worldly women have. Belabored

“Do you? Do you really? For this has made my week a most perplexing one.” Boring, cut. Go straight into E-S's monologue below.

“Ah. To be young, rich, and spoiled for choice. I must confess, I have always thought of Emmaline for you, though she a headstrong young lady. But, and the way you look so quizzically at me has me almost convinced, spaghetti sentence, untangle perhaps Jocelyn is more suitable for one of such incisive intelligence as yourself, quiet and bookish though she may be.” First clause makes the logic behind this unclear.

“I fear I have misled you as to my dilemma,” I said, worried at this conversational turn. “I am at a loss, t’is true, but it is not a wife I lack, desirable though your many daughters are.”

Mrs Elderberry-Smythe laughed. “Oh, my dear boy, how innocent you seem. I would not dream of marrying you to one of mine. New money is rarely for keeping. But, truly, I have many daughters - so many I fear a plethora of dowries would ruin us! No, I have seen the way you cast desirous glances at the wyrms along Regent Street, and knew it would not be long before you approached me about this matter as you have in others. I have taken the liberty of acquiring a most suitable drake - recently hatched, as yet unfed. All that remains is for you to choose his first meal, and the accompanying characteristics that bestows.”

At once, the wyrmic mysteries became clear. This sentence is unclear. And how could I possibly turn down small, perfect, intelligent Joceylyn? Typo.

Reader, he ate her. 'Kay. Mildly shocking, but it seems like you cut the story off partway through.

Not particularly humorous, but more intriguing than Mojo's thing. Your middle third is saggy and almost superfluous. You caught my interest, it almost guttered out over your dialogue, and then I had to untangle the meaning from the obfuscated final third. When I did, it was interesting. I want to know more, and that is a good thing to pull off.

I give it to the Fumblemouse, by a whisker.

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


Also, BitchtitsMcGee, Sebs just got probated for being a , so we'll need to delay our brawl by 24 hours.

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


Well, that'll happen.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Bad Seafood posted:

That's it, I'm gunning for you Joyce.

Before this thread ends I swear to submit a stream of consciousness piece that is not in any way terrible.
It's time.

In.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Grimey Drawer

Bad Seafood posted:

It's time.

In.

been waitin' for this.

No Longer Flaky
Nov 16, 2013

by Lowtax


God Over Djinn posted:

I'll brawl you bb

Need a judge for this brawl whenever someone's ready.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

No Longer Flaky posted:

Need a judge for this brawl whenever someone's ready.

I despise you both equally, according to the system internationale de despise, so I will judge.

prompt: 600 words on an underdog against an impossibly superior foe. Give me the feels.

Deadline: Friday 27th midnight EST

Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at Dec 21, 2013 around 18:28

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


Beefmojo Brawl

Bitchtits McGee posted:

okay

Oh wait, this is a brawl so I'm supposed to give you a prompt, too, aren't I... uh... dogs? Sure, why not. Give me EXACTLY 750 words about dogs, no more and no less.

Sebmojo got his posting privs back, and yet he's still hiding behind his mamma's(*) skirts. Fine. I'll go first.

(*) A bottle of Johnny Walker.

Dogs (750 words x-act)

“Get outta here, Old Joe. Nobody here’s gonna buy you.” Ted pushed the muddy, bug-eyed dog away with his shoe. Joe tottered and flopped into the snow, panting, and heavy flakes whitened his shaggy coat. Ted retreated beneath the pet shop’s icicle-fanged roof, and lit a half-cigarette. Wind sheared water off the ice and extinguished the smoke.

“You dawdling out here?” Roland trundled through the shop’s service door. Ted’s boss had the shape, complexion, and wardrobe of a dirty snowman. He squinted coal-chip eyes at Joe. “You again?”

“I think someone’s feeding him.”

Old Joe clambered to his feet, nosed Roland’s crotch and whined.

The boss kneed the dog away. “Get, mutt. I don’t give handouts.”

“Sorry to hear about Champion.” Ted slid the wet cig back into his barren wallet. “How’s Bobby taking it?”

“Kid’s been bawling his eyes out.” Roland sighed. “drat dog was ancient. I’ll fix him up good on Christmas.” He hooked a thumb over his shoulder. “Your boy’s making a mess up front. Again.”

Ted and Roland went back inside, waded through a sea of smelly, empty cages and emerged into the storefront. A few customers loitered on muddy linoleum, frowning over the last few yelping fleabags. A grimy boy pressed his nose against the glass of a puppy display and clutched a plastic truck with both hands.

Ted whistled. “Harvey?”

The boy turned, slalomed through the store and headbutted Ted in the gut. Harvey’s face was slush-streaked and smiling. “Daddy!” He held up the truck. “Look what I got.”

Over the boy’s shoulder, Roland mimed Two Minutes and pointed at the door. Ted knelt. “She’s real nice, pal. Where’d you find it?”

Harvey pointed to a plastic basket marked Galveston Community Center. Tin cans, secondhand shirts and cheap toys overflowed it.

“Who are those for?”

“Nobody.”

“We talked about taking other kids’ stuff.” He ruffled his son’s oily hair. “Listen, I’m working late tonight. Go home. Maybe take a bath, hey?”

Harvey wrinkled his nose and shook his head.

“Santa doesn’t give presents to stinky boys.”

Harvey pouted, then nodded. “Can I get a dollar for a soda?”

Ted checked his pockets. Two food stamps. “I’ll get one for you later, buddy, how about that?”

“Okay.” The boy dumped truck into bin, waved both hands at the puppies, and ran out into the incipient white Christmas.

Ted painted a smile across his face and stepped behind the register. As he rang up sales, he watched Roland watching him work the till. Look away, drat it. He needed five seconds to pocket five bucks, just enough to keep up the Santa charade, but the boss held vigil all evening. At eleven, they counted the cash and dropped it into the safe.

Roland put on his coat. “Listen, the boy can’t hang out here.”

“He gets lonely these days. Hasn’t made friends since we moved.”

“Yeah, that’s tough.” Roland offered a crocodile smile.

Ted leaned against the counter, took a deep breath. “Listen, about my bonus. Can I get it tonight? I gotta buy presents.”

“What’d I say about handouts?” Roland crossed his arms. “Payday’s in a week.”

Ted’s eyes went to the puppy case.

Roland snorted. “They’re two months’ pay to you.” He pushed a wadded-up dollar into Ted’s pocket. “Wouldn’t be right for a boy to wake up without presents, though. Merry loving Christmas.” He stomped out through the door.

Ted kicked the safe like it was a money piñata, and he ground his teeth while cleaning the shop.

Something whined. The last puppy pawed at its case and licked the greasy spot where Harvey’s nose had been pressed against the glass.

Ted scooped the furball out. It snuggled into his shirt. A yellow ribbon was tied around its neck. The perfect gift, already wrapped. He carried it to the register, grabbed scissors and lifted its collar. Tags hung from the strap.

A New Champion 4 U Bobby. Merry Xmas. DADDY.

Ted placed Champion back in the tank. He changed out, locked up and leaned against the store. He relit his last half-cigarette. Maybe the dollar store would have a stuffed puppy. poo poo, if his old man had pulled that stunt, he’d’ve never forgiven the guy. He flicked his smoke into a snow-mound. It woofed.

Old Joe stood, shook himself off, and nosed Ted’s knee.

Ted patted him, and the dog licked his hand. Ted smiled. “C’mon boy. I know someone who’d love to meet you.”

Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

The Battle Of Cathexis & Jean (983w)

[snip]

Symptomless Coma fucked around with this message at Dec 29, 2013 around 13:47

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.


LADIIIIIEEEEEESSSSSS!!!!! WIPE YO SEATS OFF!!!! YOUR HERO HAS ARRIIIIVED

MOTHER loving GODDAMMING MEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRCEEEEEEEEEEEEDEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!!!!!!

A Hoodrat's Christmas - 371 words

"Oh my god," said Shannon as she walked into the vast foyer. She tucked her curly red hair behind her ears as she admired a large and expensive-looking vase. "This must have cost you a fortune. Your house is so beautiful!”


Morgan placed a finger to his lips and then with a brisk walk, he surveyed all the immediate rooms. He turned to Shannon and winked. “Try to keep your voice down babe.”


“Is… there something wrong?”


Morgan paused momentarily. “Nosy neighbors. Come on, my son Damian is in the other room waiting to open presents.” He motioned for her to follow him.


She nodded and walked into the living room where a heavily decorated Christmas tree had the trunk obscured by a sea of presents. A happy gap-toothed kid knelt in front of the tree, taking presents and shaking them by his ear.


Morgan rifled through a few colorful boxes until he found smaller gift. He ripped the tag off, and with a kiss, he gave it to Shannon.


She smiled and peeled the gift wrap revealing an oak box. When she opened it, her heart skipped a beat and her breath caught in her throat. "Oh my god, Morgan," said Shannon, shaky hands holding a diamond necklace. "This is -- I don’t --”


Morgan took the gift out of Shannon’s hands and placed the necklace around her neck. “Dis boy knows how to pick ‘em.”


“Dad,” said Damian as he held a Stradivarius Violin in his hands. “What do I do with this?”


Morgan chuckled and roughed Damian’s hair. “We can always fence it and get you a Playstation 4.”


“Fence?” asked Shannon.


“Don’t worry about it babe,” said Morgan, waving her question off. He plucked another present, ripped the tag off and handed it to her. “Merry Christmas.”


Shannon opened her present. “This is a power drill?” She set the power tool on the ground. “Morgan, why-”


“Santa?” a little girl in Christmas pajamas peeped as she entered the room. Her excited Christmas smile disappeared when she realized she didn’t recognize anyone in her living room.


"Oh poo poo, we gotta go," said Morgan. Both he and Damian rushed past a bewildered Shannon with their arms full of presents.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.


sebmojo, give me a few more days before you drop the next brawl on me. I'll be on the road a ton for Christmas and I won't be able to write anything.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Mercedes posted:

sebmojo, give me a few more days before you drop the next brawl on me. I'll be on the road a ton for Christmas and I won't be able to write anything.

No worries.

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

MY PAPER SOLDIERS
FORM A WALL
FIVE PACES THICK
AND TWICE AS TALL




Whoops, I just realized I'm about $150 short on paying rent and the holidays are still rearing their ugly head.

I think I'll have to withdraw again.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.


The Leper Colon V posted:

Whoops, I just realized I'm about $150 short on paying rent and the holidays are still rearing their ugly head.

I think I'll have to withdraw again.

Best not be thinking about ducking out of our impending gentleman's duel with some lame excuse like "I left a knife in a fork drawer. I have to withdraw again."

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

MY PAPER SOLDIERS
FORM A WALL
FIVE PACES THICK
AND TWICE AS TALL




Mercedes posted:

Best not be thinking about ducking out of our impending gentleman's duel with some lame excuse like "I left a knife in a fork drawer. I have to withdraw again."
I will not back down from a Thunderbrawl, come hell or high water.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

DOGBRAWL

Dog Dreams
750 words

Spring in Wellington is a howling season; hot eager winds roar down from Indonesia and plough the hills, upend the city's green recycling bins, make each abandoned plastic bag into a weightless ballerina.

And, behind those winds, the dog dreams come lolloping in.

Colin McFarland woke up one Spring morning to see his wife, Felicity, looking at him with the cool pale eyes of a Weimaraner. She muttered something about long limbs let loose and the smell of the sea, and then the wind lifted her up and out of his life.

"Why, why, why," he had said.

"You will never not be you," she had replied, zipping up her suitcase. "It's not bad but it's not good. Goodbye, Colin."

Colin woke in a tangle of bedclothes two months after she left, curled up like a question mark around the side his wife used to sleep on. The wind was still trying to shake the little wooden house off the hill. He stared at the ceiling and did not howl or punch the wall.

He had dreamed of a dog, his uncle's fat black and white border collie, spreadeagled, exhausted, on the grass. Colin and his brother had made it run and run, chasing a frisbee back and forth between them. It would not stop running because collies do not stop.

Colin struggled into a black and white jersey with a fake All Blacks logo, sucked in his belly and pulled on some shorts. Outside it was bright and blustering. He plodded up the road to the cafe.

Sally the tattooed barista had eyes as dark and heavy as a cloudy afternoon with the rain coming in. Colin smiled at her, watched her play the coffee machine like a pianist for a while.

"Going for a run," he said.

"How's Felicity," said Sally. "Haven't seen her round."

"Can I have a long black," said Colin.

His chagrin took two thirds of a long black to fade. "Sorry, Sally. Felicity left. Don't know why. Finding herself or something. If she'd asked I could have told her where she was."

Sally grimaced in sympathy, squeezed herself out a flat white with a few masterful flicks and twists, then brought it over to sit with him. The little cafe only had the two of them in it. Outside the wind was batting the 'Keen Bean Cafe' sign around, peevish at the closed door.

"I swear this place goes doolally when the spring winds come through," she said, blowing a dimple in her foam. "Had a customer, business dude, stops in every morning for a takeaway latte. Two days ago he didn't come in. They found him in his pyjamas in Anderson Park, covered in leaves".

Colin's eyes widened. "Were there suspicious circumstances? Or do they think he'd just... had enough?"

Sally looked puzzled for a moment then laughed throatily. "Oh, nah, he was fine. Just embarassed. Never sleepwalked before."

The bell on the door dinged as a customer came in, a tattooed Maori man in a fluoro vest. Sally drained her coffee and winked at Colin. "Hang in there. I'll tell Felicity off if I see her."

Colin was still smiling when he got home from his run, had a shower, called in sick, turned on the Xbox. Apart from maybe a small area behind the counter of the Keen Bean, he decided, the world had nothing to offer him so it could take care of itfuckingself.

He went to bed late, drunk, dressed in his clothes, and dreamed a dog dream, running in a pack. All around him were boisterous doggy yelpings, flashing doggy eyes, rich doggy smells. They were running to a place and it was a good place because it was the place they were running to.

When he woke up there was a light in the sky. He was outside, shiveringly cold, the wind playing with his hair.

"Hello again," carolled a voice he knew. He blinked, focussed. It was Sally, walking down the hill. She cocked her head. "Another sleepwalker?"

"Least I'm not in my 'jammies."

She shook her head. "Just weird. Come on, I'll walk you down the hill."

They walked, and talked, and Colin began to think Sally would not object if he took her hand. He did; she did not. And so it went.

Now they are not always so calm or kind, these dreams of dogs that blow in on the rough north wind.

But we all still miss them when they are gone, in the long tongue-lolling days of summer.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Dec 29, 2013 around 11:31

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Prompt: A tall tale involving time
Wordcount: 999

ElfSong

I heard you singing, ma’am. I hope you don’t mind me saying, but you’re good. Very good, even. Now if you had proper management you wouldn’t be trying to get the punters to stop spilling beer long enough to listen to a ballad in a rat-poo poo place like ‘The DogHouse’. Watch out for Murray over there. He’ll try and stiff you for half the covers unless you show him some rear end. I wouldn’t sweat it - it’s not like he’s got it up in the decade since he was sixty, but next time maybe get the cash up front.

So yeah, I guess you could call me a talent scout. Sure I’m slumming it a little. But Puckman the bartender is a friend of mine and I was bored. Good looking chap, isn’t he? He’s not, though, really. He drops his glamour and he’s just a thorny little bush sprite, all sharp edges and sharp tongue. He could talk R Kelly out of his black panties, but you’ll never see a goblin like him the morning after. But seriously, hang on a sec. Here, let me buy you a drink. Rum and coke? Sure. Hey, Puckman - set the little lady up with a Bacardi and Corporate Sugar Juice. And shut up - we’re talking business here.

Don’t sweat it - he’s a pal, and he tries to fit in but usually fails in the social niceties, just like the rest of the Fae.

Oh, you’ve heard of them? Magic! Ha! No, really. Let me explain a couple of things. See, most people have certain ideas about Fae. They’ve either seen Lost Girl on TV and think we’re a bunch of oversexed leather-clad perverts, or, if they’re a little more literary, they think we’re a magical kingdom of arrow-shooting hotties in long, silk shirts. Truth of the the matter is, no, listen a second, I am being one hundred percent straight with you - Fae exist. We don’t have a homeland, per se, and our primary ‘export’ is music video appearances. Hiding in plain sight. I know! Makes a lot of sense, right? If you want impossibly beautiful denizens of exotic climes to populate your song advert, we can provide as many as you need. Did you know that about thirteen percent of the population of California is Fae? But, “subsequent to the diaspora of the industrial revolution” as our teachers say, we’re around far more than that. Another? Puckman - do your thing.

You see, there’s a reason Bjork and Lorde both have the same recording company. And that’s what I do. I’m a music producer, and my job is to tone down the eldritch frequency of FaeSong recording artists so they don’t burn out the brains of teen-kind.

No, I”m not joking. Pure Fae music is enough to lay waste to an immature human’s tiny little mind, if not diluted by a little of the ol’ production room sorcery. FaeSong is that intense. Like an Dervish’s life. That’s a joke. Keep up. No - I’m smiling, trust me it’s all good. Top her up, Puckman.

So you’re a singer and I’m a music producer. Can you see where I’m going with this? Nah, I’m serious. I don’t just deal with Fae. We have...I guess you could call it an exchange program. You ever see that program, the X-Factor? We pick up the tab on that one, and every single dollar of that million dollar contract is Fae gold. Sure, a million dollars is involved, but by the time production costs, promotional costs, the cost of dwarfs to mine whatever the hell they make CDs out of...well, let’s just say unless they end up being flavour of something longer than a month they might as well be paid in smurf poo poo, and the ones that do last - they didn’t start there, no matter what the heart-retching video promos tell you. They worked with us beforehand - that’s why the winners you remember are rarely ever the ones that came first, One Direction, Clay Aitken - that’s our payoff - we definitely don’t need the immediate attention of winning.

No, smurfs aren’t real. Keep it together, darling. Puckman, get this girl a drink.

What I’m suggesting is an exchange. The production values I’m talking about - the things we use to keep ourselves afloat, well, Fae are a long lived species, and we sure as harpy eggs don’t deal with change well. To be current in the music scene, we need help. From people with a sense of what’s, hip, hop, happening, exciting, all that crap. And it’s quid pro quo - that’s latin, sweetheart - you spend some time with us, and you end up with a career that lasts. It’s a kind of magic. You get that reference, sweetie? Ah, drat it. Never mind.

Here’s how it works. There’s a van outside, and in it is a representative of the Queen of Fae. Now she’s a bitch, all the stories say, but she’s our bitch. She loves the music, and if you’re any good, she’ll keep you on. Things work differently when she’s around. It’s like a day out of your time, but when you leave it’ll be a few years, and every second you sing for her is like an hour outside. Puckman - another R&C for the lady. Thanks. Where was I? Right, You’ll be practised, and accomplished and brilliant. Not as brilliant as FaeSong, but that’s life in the big city. We gotta get our Transvision Vamps from somewhere, right? So if you got anyone to tell where you are - tell ‘em you might be a while, but not to wait up.

You gotta audition for her, though. She won’t take just anyone. But I heard you sing, and I think you’ve got what it takes to make her happy. I’ll be right there with you. No, she’s not dangerous. C’mon - van’s waiting. Let’s book it, sister.

Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at Dec 22, 2013 around 07:41

Obliterati
Nov 13, 2012

Ask me about being the most Magnificent Bastard in EU4 Multiplayer.

I'm going to have to withdraw this week because I am terrible.

No Longer Flaky
Nov 16, 2013

by Lowtax


My piece is going to be a giant turd and I'm certain that I'm going to lose this thunderdome, but by god I'm going to post something.

Roguelike
Jul 29, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER

The Year Hapful Turned Utah Blue (992 words)

I first met Hapful back in Cedar City. Of course I’d seen her before, but you can’t feel a terror in your boots worse than the fear of the valley of the shadow of death through a television. Six feet of hate and two feet of steel was Hapful Hillary in the flesh.

I notified her very politely that she’d just put a stake right through the heart of my friend and neighbor, Jenny Lee. Then I told her that I didn’t want no trouble, but I was going to have to call Sheriff Jainey. Now Sheriff of Cedar City probably don’t sound like much, but Jam--that’s what we called the old man--was a little bit of a big deal. It hadn’t been much more than a year since nothing but spite had driven him to trade his pulse for a chance to watch Iraq burn from a lawn chair.

Hapful just laughed and laughed when I mentioned the sheriff. Before we get too far into the story, you oughta know that since then I’ve had the pleasure to know quite a few folk of questionable persuasion. From the burning hellways of Detroit to the shitspeckled offices of the White House and every godblessed pit in between. But in all my years, I ain’t never heard a more evil sound than when Hapful lets loose her granite cackle.

Now my mother didn’t raise a liar, so I went and got the sheriff. Sheriff, I told him, Hapful Hillary’s in town and she just staked Jenny Lee.

“Well, poo poo,” he said. And far as I’m concerned, truer words ain’t never been spoken outside a whorehouse since.

It took till nightfall for the sheriff to get his posse together. His little black book was thick as a testament and filled end to end with bad news. My heart quivered in righteous terror as I sat and listened to him call what seemed to be every friend he had on earth with two hands, a gun, and a grudge.

There must of been thirty or forty of us who headed back out to Jenny’s house once the sun set. Some folks on the street caught a glimpse and ran home to start boarding up their windows, afearing that a second Civil War was coming to Utah.

When we got there, Hapful wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Jenny, I asked, where’s Hapful? Being deader than a coffin didn’t stop Jenny from answering. A pale finger was pointing right down the lane toward Cornerstone Worship.

Hapful was in for quite a surprise if she thought that was going to save her. To be truthful, destroying a house of god weighed on my soul a bit, but Jam couldn’t hardly lean on that trigger fast enough. We all joined in of course, and all I can say is I hope I never have to hear that awful sound twice. There ain’t never been such a legendary cacophony of firepower since one them Dresden fires.

It didn’t take much less than a minute to reduce that old temple to nothing but sacred ground. Despite the new stain on my black record, I was feeling alright about it, all the way up until Hapful came strolling out of that cloud of smoke and fury like she was on a sunday stroll.

There we were, forty of us and one of her in what was shaping up to be the worst thing to happen to the Mojave Desert since Trinity. It was time for the staredown.

Hapful and the sheriff stood ten feet apart, and I could almost feel the sparks sizzling where their gazes met midair. I knew in my heart of hearts that there wasn’t a creature ever born that could withstand our sheriff’s steely blue eyes. Trouble was, no one rightly could say if Hapful had been born at all or if she’d just willed herself into existence one day.

Afterward I went and looked it up and the record books say the staring contest champion of the world was an old guard Soviet by the name of Vladimir Putin.

I guess Jam and Hapful weren’t on no camera so it ain’t going in the books, but the two of them put that poor Russian to shame. A fat old pigeon came and made a nest in Jam’s hat, even started laying eggs. The sheriff just grabbed that bird and ate it whole, his eyes never twitching once, even made himself a tiny omelet.

Just as I was starting to hanker for a bite of breakfast myself, the sheriff made me a liar and raised in his hand in ignominious defeat.

“I seen all I needed to see,” Jam said.

He hadn’t been looking at much beside Hapful’s baleful eyes, so naturally I asked him what he saw there. He hemmed and hawed, but to this day I swear that a shadow of fear passed over our fearless leader’s face. If I’d wanted to write my own epitaph, I’d have called him yellow.

I didn’t though and no else did neither, so we were all in quiet agreement that we’d been whupped real good. After that, there weren’t nothing left to do but go home with our heads between our legs. The very next month Cedar City held a free and fair election that Hapful won in a landslide.

Our town might be a little place, but I’m proud to say that with the help of Sheriff Jam our votes were enough to swing the county, and the county was enough to swing the state, and the state was enough to swing the nation.

And that’s the story of how Hapful Hillary became the forty fifth President of the United States and signed the death warrant for the electoral college at the same time. What she did once she got there and how we ended up being more formally acquainted, well that’ll have to wait for another Thunderdome.

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.

foutre posted:


FURTHERMORE I want you to gently caress around with time. Maybe your character goes Gilgamesh and wrestles a bull for a couple days, maybe you have a time traveler, maybe some other poo poo happens I just don't want time to go normally.

Genre: Tall tale

Word Count: 1000 words


OK here it is, straight into the browser as is my custom.

Will the Time Worm be Unbroken 850 words including title.

"Whoa there. That worm is not for you, son."

Kyle lowered his fork and peered at the worm in question. "Whose worm is it, then?"

The massive beard with a face somewhere behind it stopped cleaning its mug and cracked its knuckles in the manner of a beard whose owner is about to lay down some serious words about worms. "It's not about whose worm it is. I mean, can anyone really claim to own a worm?"

"I think so," said Kyle. "I had a worm farm as a kid. Pretty sure I owned all the worms therein."

A corner of the beard that roughly corresponded to a place you'd expect to find an eyebrow was raised. "Be that as it may, sonny, the point I was trying to make is that you don't want to be eating that worm because it's no ordinary worm. That, young whippersnapper, is a time worm." Both eyebrow corresponding beard areas wiggled expressively.

"I don't know what one of those is. Do they not taste good?"

"Let me tell you about time worms, young feller me lad. Let me tell you a story that will set the hair on that appallingly beardless head of yours on end."

"You know what," said Kyle, "I think I'd rather you didn't. How about I just take your word for it and not eat the worm."

The beard continue on regardless. "Once upon a time when I was but a wee lad with a beard much smaller than the one I sport now - but still better than your shamefully shaven face - I happened upon such a worm, and I decided to eat it."

After a few moments, Kyle asked "Sorry, was there more to this story?"

The sides of the beard turned downwards thoughtfully. "Hmmm, I'm sure there was more to it than that, but I can't seem to remember it. Still, quite a story, eh?"

"No." Kyle lifted the fork again, put the worm in his mouth and started to chew.

"Wait, I think I remember someth-" and that was all Kyle heard.

Kyle looked around. Tiles. Porcelain whiteness. He was in one of those... what do you... you wash there sometimes. Or you go there when you've... you've eaten too much and then some time later you. You. What do you do.

Kyle had had some strong alcohol before, but nothing that could prepare him for a time worm hangover. Some well practiced instinct within him told him to flop his face on top of the white porcelain thing. The... it was a seat. That was weird, right? Usually a seat was where you put your butt, not your face. Gross, his face was where other people had-

His stomach stirred, and from his throat came a warm and foul smelling reminder of why bathrooms are tiled. He lay there for what seemed like at least ten minutes, but was actually only nine and a half, so he was way off, hugging the toilet, until he was certain there were no more reminders of supper past still to come. With both hands he pushed himself up and dragged himself over to the sink. He'd have to gargle, like, a whole ocean of water to get that time worm taste out of his mouth. He'd have to run another ocean of water through his beard to clean that out as well.

Through his beard.

His beard.

Beard.

He reached up and touched his beard. It was magnificent. There was something bothering him about the beard, but he couldn't figure it out. What could he possible have to be upset about? It was a glorious beard. He would be the envy of all beardless people. Of all people with lesser beards as well, for that matter. He shrugged and made for the door.

He apologised to the occupant of the stall, turned around and made for the exit door. They really should make it harder for people under the influence of absurd amounts of whatever substance to tell the two apart. He was still a little disoriented. Disorientated? Whichever. He was too hungover to figure out big words. He found his way out to the bar, took his position behind the bar and started polishing a glass. His position behind the bar? Was that right? Of course it was.

A fresh faced young man came in, slapped a twenty down on the counter and said to the behind the bar dwellers at large "I'll have a worm please." Kyle frowned. There was something weird about this lad. Nonetheless, a customer was a customer.

"We got any worms?" he asked.

"Nope."

"Sorry," said Kyle. "No worms. Get you something to drink instead?" The young lad frowned and shook his head, then left. Kyle thoughtfully polished his glass. He was sure something hadn't gone as it was supposed to just then, but he wasn't sure what.

It was probably something to do with the worm. I mean, who orders a worm at a pub? That's weird, right? Yeah. That's all it was.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Fighting Time
(995 words)

I'd have done anything for my son. Anything. I'd have punched his cancer in the face, only it was too sneaky and cowardly for that kind of fight. All the brawling was up to my boy, and at eight he hadn't gotten his good right hook yet. He'd already lost on that June morning.

"I just wish--" he said.

"What, Danny?" I held his hand lightly, lightly. It would bruise anyway.

"I wish I could see another Christmas." His thin shoulders jiggled in the best shrug he could muster. Trying to play it off like no big thing to him.

Nothing had ever made him happier than the whole season of lights and carols and goddamn fruitcake, he loved fruitcake, he'd gotten that from his mother. So I did what any father would: I stayed until he slept, then I booked a flight to the International Date Line to pick a fight with Time.

I was waiting on Caroline Island when Wednesday strolled up at midnight. I didn't bother explaining anything, I just planted my fist in his jaw, wham! and sent him flying backwards into the ocean. When he surfaced, my kicking boots were ready. I laid him out cold on the coral rubble. "Nothing personal," I told his unconscious body. "If you had a kid, you'd understand." Then I tied him up. I'd brought a lot of rope.

Didn't seem like any time before Thursday showed up for the same treatment, and soon I had Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all sprawled in a row. Monday was a mean-rear end son of a bitch who hit like a hangover. Could be I kicked him in the balls 'fore I added him to the pile. I sucked on bleeding knuckles after taking out Tuesday. All the days were accounted for, I reckoned; what came next?

July came next. Half her hair was golden sun, half white as frost. She smelled to me like green growth and baked dirt and lemonade, and she was as beautiful as my wife had been--looked a lot like Molly, too. I'd danced with Molly for the first time under a summer moon. I'd buried her under a hot blue sky. My hands were fists, but I hesitated.

July hit me so hard I fell back onto the bound-up days and drove a new curse out of Monday. She said in a voice full of birdsong and amorous crickets, "You won't get me out of the way with a punch, Darrell. Go home."

"Can't," I said, and I swung.

She caught my fist in a grip as hot as the breath of a star. "Then it's time for you to meet the boss," she said, and she kissed my cheek before spinning around and around, whipping my feet off the ground--then flinging me up, up, through the clouds and beyond, with my hands grabbing for purchase.

I found some: I caught a handful of white stuff that had some substance. It dangled from somewhere higher still. For lack of better ideas, I climbed it. I reached a cloud that held my weight, and I learned right off that I was holding the beard of a very old man. His platform, his throne--hell, his whole cloud was made of beard. I dropped his beard-hair in a hurry, and he beckoned me forward.

I approached him. "I guess you're Father Time, and I guess you know what I want, and I don't like to hit my elders, but I will if that's the only way. Please. Let Danny have his last Christmas."

"Would you arm wrestle for it?" Time asked. The beard-cloud shifted, forming a table and two chairs.

Dropping into a seat, I rolled up my right shirtsleeve. "Absolutely."

"Good, but I'm old for such contests. My brother will be my proxy."

The skeleton in the black cloak and hood hadn't been standing beside the throne a second before, I knew he hadn't. But Death's good at hiding until it's too late to get away. The Reaper sat in the second seat and placed his elbow on the table with a clack.

I thought of Danny and gripped Death's cold and narrow hand hard enough to crack ordinary bones.

"You have five minutes," Father Time told us. "Starting now."

The muscles of my arm became rock as I bent their power on the bastard in front of me. I hated his grin, so I fixed on his forearm, willing it to break. The skinny limb held me off without effort, without a single fracture. So I tried harder. I grit my teeth and got stabbed with pain as a filling broke loose. Sweat dripped into my eyes. My hand started hurting--it didn't like being driven against diamond-hard bone--but I told it to shut the hell up and shoved 'til I couldn't feel my fingers at all.

Nothing. I didn't budge him. But he didn't slam my hand down, either, and he could have done it that first second.

We were still where we'd started when the old man said, "Time's up."

Death let go of my hand, and my arm dropped to the table. "Best two out of three," I said.

Father Time shook his head. "July's walking the Earth now, and August will come after her. She set the days free. Wednesday is already at your house."

"Please," I begged. "Please."

"You didn't lose," Death said.

I looked at him, into the hollow eyes darker than his cloak. He said, "You fought. We tied. Time will go on, and Danny will see December." Then he vanished like he'd never been there, except I could still feel him in my arm. Only him and nothing else.

When I got back to the hospital, Danny jumped out of his bed to hug me tight.

My dead arm makes punching things harder, but I'd still do anything for my son. We're going to have a great Christmas.

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012


Granny Stitch
(789 Words)

Up in the chilly north, some say, and probably in another dimension as well, lives an old lady who goes by the name of Granny Stitch. Her time is consumed by knitting, as is true of many Grannies, though she’s been at it a mite longer than most: nearly fourteen billion years, by some estimates. The string she knits with is no ordinary yarn, either. This fantastic, infinitely long thread is none other than the raw material of our own universe.

Now, if this material was allowed to pile up endlessly on the floor of Granny Stitch’s cabin, nothing we know would exist. The universe, the story goes, came to be because of Granny’s purposeful manipulation of the matter-yarn. By knitting, she gave it a tangible form, locking all that is into the fabric of time.

Granny Stitch kept to her task with vice-grip dedication, weaving the Big Bang into motion and orchestrating the births of stars and galaxies, the scarf of time trailing away for miles as she poured millennia into her work. After a while, she noticed an odd phenomenon occurring in a handful of solar systems. Sometimes, there would be a planet floating just the right distance from its star, its terrain not scorched with acid volcanoes or glazed over with dead ice. Planets in just the right spot for life to flourish. Granny Stitch smiled, cracked her knuckles a bit, and in a few million stitches brought life on Earth into being.

While Granny Stitch enjoyed the challenge that human beings in particular brought to her work, she found them somewhat taxing to look after. She barely kept her eyes more than a few inches from her knitting needles, poring over each stitch to make sure even the most minute error didn’t slip away uncorrected. As a consequence, everything else began to slide out of focus.
It’s important to note that any particular segment of the fabric of time isn’t locked into being, a done deal, just because it has already been set down. History, as Granny Stitch created it, could be mucked around with just by knotting and fiddling with the yarn the wrong way. Treading on a patch of scarf could cause the spontaneous combustion of Andromeda, for instance, and all memory of the way things had been vanished from the newer parts of the cloth. However, after a few sharp admonishments from Granny Stitch, the rest of her family did their best to tiptoe around the miles of fabric draped about their home, and thus harmony was preserved in the universe.

With this newfound focus on shepherding the human race, however, Granny Stitch grew sloppy in watching the parts of the scarf she’d already knitted. With her sharp eyes occupied, accidents happened more frequently. The cat clawing playfully at one particular patch, for instance, brought about the Hundred Years’ War where there once was a Hundred Years’ General Niceness. One of the grandkids tripped on the scarf and tugged a thread loose, inadvertently kicking off the Crusades. Another day, Granny Stitch’s husband absentmindedly tapped his cigar ashes onto the cloth. The ensuing blaze launched a firebrand political movement that would leave a World War and six million dead Jews in its wake.

And through all this Granny Stitch kept on knitting; eyes down, fingers quick and precise. Her family initially cringed at every little imperfection they caused in the infinite scarf, but soon Granny Stitch didn’t even seem to notice. They slid into carelessness, assuming that she just didn’t care about the work that was already done. As her grand tapestry was dotted with rips and shoe-prints and coffee stains, she could not bring herself to see the bigger picture. Like a planet locked into orbit, she was transfixed, gripped by the gravity of humanity’s here-and-now at the expense of all history. Still she knits today, the story goes. The needles click and work the yarn of ages, crafting a flawless present destined to become a scarred past.

Cultural historians, keen to analyze all myths for some sort of moral truth, have not quite come to a consensus on the meaning behind this one. Some insist that it is a warning against striving for perfection in one’s work at the expense of broader awareness. Others see it as a tragedy of isolation; if poor Granny Stitch had been more open and communicative toward her family, her precious work may not have suffered such degradation.

A small but vocal sect, on the other hand, insists that this tale’s purpose is to be told by grandmothers to their grandchildren. That way, the little shits will be aware of the earth-shaking consequences that could ensue if they screw around with their Granny’s knitting.

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards


For a Young Supervisor (999 words)

"That's no surprise, you not knowing about borons," said the old man. "We got precautions against 'em these days. But back when I was a fresh-faced young supervisor like you, we worried about 'em.

See, when a person gets bored enough, they begin sheddin' these teensy particles. The scientific name for 'em is about fifty-four syllables long, so we just called 'em borons. Make you feel a little antsy, slow the clock down a bit. Baseline temporal slowdown, in parts of Arizona, can get as bad as zero-point-nine-three seconds per second. In line at the DMV, you might hit a point-eight-five. Ain't so bad.

But way back before we switched to telework, we'd get these feedback cascades. One guy starts leakin', the clock slows down a little bit, and the person next to him starts feelin' like the workday isn't goin' by quite fast enough. You can figure what happens next.

Worst cascade I ever saw, took place right in my very own call center. You ever wonder why they made November 4 a national holiday? Statistically speakin', it's the most boring day of the year. The sky outside that afternoon was the color of absolutely no color at all. The news had resorted to askin' folks how much Halloween candy they had left. Worst of all, nobody felt like callin' us to complain about their phone bills. You could almost taste the borons.

As the day wore on the calls slowed down. The hour before the cascade started, I'd gotten exactly two calls, and both of 'em polite as can be. I found myself watchin' the clock, longing for some excitement. The second hand had been slowin' down all afternoon, and it was slowly grindin' to a stop.

That second hand shivered. It quivered. Bad things could happen in a room this thick with borons. Back in eighty-two, an entire roomful of IRS agents got so bored that time came to a halt. They were stuck there until the government sent in a crew from Cirque du Soleil to entertain 'em back to life. By the time they got found, they were half dead of dehydration. It wasn't a pretty sight.

So when that second hand jumped, I was lookin' right at it, willin' it to move. Of course, I didn't intend for it to start movin' backwards. Which it unmistakably did.

The lady next to me unhung up the phone, listened for a moment, and said 'Have I provided you with a world-class experience today?' I heard the distant sound of a toilet unflushin' itself, and a fair terrible noise it was too. We were in deep trouble.

Now, there were only three people in that buildin' who weren't so bored they were stuck to their chairs. Tier 2 was a bold young man with a voice that lulled colicky babies to sleep. Management had six-inch heels and a manicure that could cut bulletproof glass. And Senior Management, his poly-blend chinos shone like the rising sun. He could crush a man's fist to dust with his handshake. But even these titans hadn't seen such a terrible sight before.

'Ladies and gentlemen!' Tier 2 roared into the microphone. 'We'd like to honor your dedication and hard work with a company pizza party!' And Tier 2 thrust forth his hand, and from his outstretched fingers sprung a pile of pizza boxes ten feet high.

Problem was, uneatin' pizza's kind of disgusting. A temporally reversed pizza party don't inspire nobody, you don't need the details to figure that. By the time everybody'd fetched their greasy plates out of the trash cans and the Little Caesar's guy came to take the pizzas away, half of the office was sittin' there head in hands and the clock wasn't lookin' no better. Tier 2 sagged to the floor in defeat.

So Management came tapping up to the microphone. She'd been dealin' with nasty boron slowdowns since before I was born, and she'd never seen a morale problem she couldn't solve. 'We're starting a new initiative,' she said, glowing with confidence. 'Casual Fridays!'

She gave the desk a tremendous clout, and a wave of darkness settled over the bullpen. And when the fluorescents flickered back to life, everybody was all of a sudden wearin' jeans and loafers and snugly holiday sweaters. I myself had a lovely black toque and a pair of Birkenstocks.

I leaned back in my ergonomic Herman Miller chair, and then I suddenly realized somethin' terrible. I was ready to fall asleep! And from the yawnin' around me, so was everybody else.

Now, you know when you're emittin' more borons than any other time? When you're dozin' at work. The highest levels scientists ever measured, this warehouse worker from Tukwila fell asleep on a pallet. Singlehandedly cut the GDP of Washington State by 10 percent. But that wasn't nothing compared to what we were about to suffer. That clock was flippin' backwards, and fast.

Now, Senior Management was a fearless fellow. He had Bluetooth headsets in both ears, and one more to spare if ever those broke. Whenever he'd come screeching up like a white knight in his black BMW, the whole buildin' held its breath. He strode backwards to the microphone without a stumble.

And, wouldn't you know, lassie," said the old supervisor, "he straightened everything right out." He dug at his beard with a nicotine-stained finger.

The young supervisor leaned forward, wide-eyed. "So? What did he do? Field day? New training initiative?"

"Oh, none of that, lass. He just fired 'em all. Sped things right back up. When we hired the next crew, we made it a policy. You start lookin' bored, you get a warning. Make it a habit, you get the boot."

"That's brilliant," said the young supervisor. "Do you think we should put a couple lines in our next ad? 'Looking for passion and enthusiasm'?"

"Could do," the old supervisor said. "Yeah, that might not be a bad idea at all."

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


HERE COME THE DOGJUDGE


Lazy title. Not the most auspicious of beginnings. Then the first paragraph opens on an aged stray mutt tottering around in the freezing December snow, and already you've fallen into a schmaltz pit from which there can be little hope of escape. The characters are neatly established in quick one-two jabs of detail, but as skillful as the combos may be, they're just not strong enough to punch out a proper tunnel. Then just as I'm starting to think that trick's being stretched a bit thin to cover the word count, your ending arrives exactly as it had been telegraphed back at the start, and the bottom just drops right the hell out from under you.

sebmojo posted:

Dog Dreams

Are "dog dreams" actually a thing, some bit of local folklore down 'round Wallaby Way, or did you cook up the whole concept yourself? The point is academic either way, because I'm hard-pressed to find anything to really critique here. Everything works. I just don't know what else to say. Well, I can think of a few things, but they'd all sound like gushing, and I'd rather not get the front of my robes all stained with sentiment. Dry-cleaning ain't cheap, y'know.

Best In Show: sebmojo

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Grimey Drawer

ugh. this is going to mess up the chart.

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


Appropriately enough I've been watching the clock pretty hard. While this isn't as good or as edited as I'd want it to be, the act of creating it and forcing myself to write was more impressive than the end result: it's the first time I've done proper creative writing in ages, and the discovery I'm capable of making myself sit down and write is great, because I always thought I was a weak-willed pansy.

Started at 7 and I'm submitting at 11:45, so it's the work of just under 5 hours of intense labour. If that sounds like a tall tale all the better. It's totally ridiculous and has a lot of problems but hopefully I won't lose. I was trying to gently caress around with the speed of time through varying my writing style but probably failed.

EDIT FOR MERCEDES: You aint won yet bruv. Imma lay down poo poo like you wouldn't believe cuz I is a badman. I'll submit by 5pm tomorrow, GMT, which I think is noon EST? I might be confused though.

Kronos

There’s no one left now except me and Hep.

The Olympus started emptying out almost an hour ago, and now even the old pissheads have quit, downed their dregs and burned their fag ends. The teenage barman glares at us, but I still have half a pint left and the kid must be half my weight. I stare into his acne-pocked face and take a long, thoughtful sip of ale.

“Jove,” whines Hep, “Let’s get out of here. I have drinks back at my place.”

I glare at him. Hep’s a born whiner, an ugly little cripple with a stunted leg. But the guy can drink anyone under the table, and makes anyone look good by contrast. He continues to whine about how we should leave.

He’s right.

“Alright,” I say. I down my drink in one gulp. “But we’re going clubbing. Know anywhere around here?”

“Yeah,” says Hep. He picks up the glasses, limps over to the bar and plonks them down. “I’ll show you.”

Quarter of an hour later and we’re stood outside a nightclub. This place is huge: it easily takes up four or five lots. Bass-heavy techno blares from the front entrance and through the open door I see silhouettes lit by laser lights and drenched in dry ice. Above the door hangs a giant green-and-violet neon sign: ‘Kronos’.

When we get inside I notice the change immediately. Everything moves in time to the rhythm, with the throbbing, pulsing, sexual beat. But the tracks are pretty crappy, chart stuff. I notice a poster on the opposite wall:
“TIME WARP, Fridays. Back room: heavy house. Lounge: chilled trance.”
Hep says he’s going to the lounge; I head for the back room.

Smoke and red light pulse like the rhythm of a heart and my pulse coordinates itself into the same beat as the black arch of the doorway looms over me and I pass into the back room. First thing I see is a pair of giant tits wrapped tight in glistening ocean blue velvet, top of lacy black lingerie peeping out. I stalk across to the woman and smile at her - perfect face and perfect teeth when she smiles back. Grab a pair of Jagerbombs from the barman throw money at the bar and pass her one, down the Jager in one extended chug then pull her onto the dancefloor.

Bodies grind and throb together to the rhythm of intercourse and I know she’s mine. Lean in for kiss and then-
-what feels like a train hits my jaw and I’m floored before I know what’s happened, crowd gasps around me and I look up. Blurred vision as I gaze at the biggest bloke I ever saw and he grins, flexes, kicks me in the gut, and pain explodes.

And he laughs: “No one dances with my girl.”

I leap at his legs and pull him down and slam his face into the floor; blood gushes out and he snarls and tries to throw me off but I spring back into the crowd and retreat, back off into the main room.

And the pulse returns to normal. As I weave my way across the room my head starts to throb: I can’t tell if it’s the bruise or the booze or the beat. When I glance behind me I see the monster shoving his way through the crowd after me. I hurry on and rush through into the dim blue light of the chillout lounge.

Where I see Hep lounging langorously across a sofa, a beautiful stoned bitch on each arm, his hands drawing patterns on their backs: his eyes flick to me and he slowly yawns, turning, and smiling, and moving the women aside as he rises. Behind me, like a smog descending, I can feel the beast bearing down on me, taste the blood in my mouth, hear the ringing in my ears; I don’t know if I can take him, but I don’t want to find out. I signal to Hep to take the girls and leave. He stands up just as the beast hauls itself through the doorway, its piggy eyes focus on me, and I turn, raising my hands to defend my face as his fist crawls through the too-thick air. I dodge out the way and punch his face, and for a moment he looks surprised, then drives one fist into my stomach, but hits only a hard surface as I tense my abs, then bull-charge him out through the doorway.

I force him back through the crowd with each strike and dodge. He swings at me but I duck, then smash him in the jaw. A pair of bouncers lunge at us, but we shrug them off easily. By now the crowd has stopped dancing and just watches us. On the edge stands the girl, unfazed, who caused all this. I look at her for a moment too long and feel a sharp pain on the side of my head. As I fall to the ground, I see her grin. The beast looms over me and raises his foot.

This is it. With a sudden surge of strength I spring at him and slam him through the door of the back room, down to the floor. Splinters shower down around us. I grin. Punch after punch falls on his ugly face until I’m punching no more than a bloody skull and the skin on my knuckles is gone.

The music stops and I look up.

“You’re a nutter, mate,” says one of the bouncers. I stand up, wipe my bloody hands off on my trousers and look him in the eye: he flinches. The girl presses herself against me, kisses me hard and deep. I can feel her firm and lithe body against me.

“Jove,” I say when we separate, “What’s your name?”

“Eris,” she replies, “and you just hosed up Kronos.”

Purple Prince fucked around with this message at Dec 23, 2013 around 00:10

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V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-country_skiing_at_the_1928_Winter_Olympics_%E2%80%93_Men%27s_50_km[/url] - 842.

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