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  • Locked thread
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.

Martello posted:

That's a pool reference for you ultra-goony-goons ain't never left your basements.

What if my basement has a pool table and a gimp to play pool with me?

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The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

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


Some Strange Flea posted:

THUNDER DOME XXXII: Playing Angry Birds on a Derailing Train

The Saddest Rhino, sebmojo, and I will be your judges for the week. We will survey your torment from above and do nothing. if you're lucky you won't be


I'm duly reminded by the previous Thunderdome round crits that I should step up on making better judgmental criticisms, lack of Internet and workload notwithstanding, so you are all going to die.

Some Strange Flea
Apr 9, 2010

AAA


Pillbug

22 hours left to sign up. +2 days gives you 70 hours of tippedy-tappedy time remaining.

Do not sleep or worry about your pets, they are fine and/or holding you back.

Kleptobot
Nov 6, 2009


gently caress it dude I'm in. Let's see if I can't get something done before my date with alcoholism this weekend.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


holy poo poo

"haus of doktors is in dome of thunder"

Baudolino
Apr 1, 2010

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I`ll throw my hat in the ring. Sign me up.

Hope y`all like purple prose!

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

My idea won't leave me alone. I'm in.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

THUNDERBRAWL

Painted Pony 746 words

This was the last gallery in town, the only place we hadn’t hit. We’d been watching from the beer garden for a while now; it was gonna be an easy score. Payoff wouldn’t be stellar, but having our names next to Norman Rockwell’s was enough. I stared at my reflection in her empty pint glasses; I was itching to check my texts. No wallets, no phones. Those were the rules.

“You look good in that turtleneck,” she said.

“I feel like a right twat.”

“Yeah, it brings out the real you and you’ll fit right in.” She grinned and downed the last of her beer.

She got up to leave, slipping her knockoff Vuitton clutch under her arm.

“This is all so tasteless.” I rolled my eyes. She winked and took off for the gallery.

I thumbed through a tabloid as I waited, counting off the minutes on my watch. When it was time I gave the waitress some bills and a smile; took off with my Ferragamo duffel in tow.

At the gallery some old bag was taking forever to buy her ticket, but it gave me time to case the place. Something was wrong. There was a guy watching the crowd like a hawk. He was alone, middle-aged, and with just a bit of paunch. He kept looking over his bifocals like he didn’t need ‘em.

Plainclothes rentacop, I could bank on it. There was no way to let Jane know, and she’d say to do it anyway.

I gave security my bag, and slid my hand into my jeans. The remote was still there. I pressed my thumb against the button and waited. The guard was undoing the last clasp and going for the zipper. I tensed. He threw the flap aside and I mashed the button.

White light exploded from my bag. The guard jumped back, covering his eyes. It was foolproof setup: a ring light and biggest remote flash the Canon could handle. Threw out enough energy to start a brushfire.

The plainclothes rear end in a top hat tackled me to the floor; I didn’t put up a fight. They missed her at first, always did. When they realized what was happening, the room went silent. Nobody moved.

She was just finishing up the ball-hairs on a giant grease-pen cock that spanned the entire length of the blackboard in Teacher’s Birthday. She had her tongue between her teeth, totally zoned. They finally pulled her away, the marker sliding across the picture and onto the wall.

They got us into an office, cuffed our hands with those plastic straps and got some detective to come down and grill us.

“Just what do you think you kids were doing? You think I got time to waste with poo poo like this?”

“We’re sorry about the flash photography, officer. We swear it won’t happen again.” Jane said in a voice that was gratingly saccharine. A vein bulged in the detective’s neck.

“Don’t play cute with me, you know what I mean.”

He flipped a switch on a projector and our best work was thrown onto a screen. It was American Gothic, except now a solemn pecker stood behind the farm couple. Jane tried to hold back a chuckle when she saw it.

“Oh, you mean our art. We’re performance artists. Gallery’s the best place for art, isn’t it?” she said.

I tried my best to keep a straight face as the projector skipped ahead before the detective could stop it.

A veiny, determined schlong arched out from the sea over and towered over Kinkade’s lighthouse. The picture on the projector was overexposed, there was spilled wine on the gallery floor. Jane broke down laughing so hard she fell to the floor, snorting with each breath.

We’d picked disorders out of a hat to make up a legal defence; she’d ended up with manic depression and I’d been stuck with psychopathy.
The detective was glancing between Jane and door, trying to figure out if she needed a doctor.

“How much do you want for the rights to these pictures?” I asked

“What’s that son? Finally decided to stop playing deaf, dumb and mute?”

“There’s a chequebook in my bag, sir. Name a price, we’re good for it.”

“Son, I recommend you keep yer mouth shut.”

Jane’s laughter turned into sobbing convulsions broken by gasps for air. The detective pulled out a phone and started punching numbers. I had to admit, that girl was good.

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at Mar 15, 2013 around 23:30

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


Speak or Hold Your Peace - Word Count: 985

Stormy weather and The Short Shrift was always filled to the brim. Froth spilled from wayward pints with the same inevitability as the drunks stumbling out into the street in each others' arms. Everything in the place was stale – the beer, the piss, the sweat on their backs. But the atmosphere was lively with desperation and bonhomie. Those days on the docks you took the days as they came, even when they came less and less. I don't want to bore you with the details, but you should know that much. The men in there, they weren't bad people. They were good men in a bad place. There were fights, of course there were fights, but nothing ever out of hand. A broken nose here, a black eye there – the trivial results of trivial bickering and usually deserved.

But I want to tell you about one thing in particular, something that's stayed with me. There was a boy, I think his name was Peter, but everybody just called him 'boy' or 'lad'. He can't have been older than thirteen – he was always hanging around, making a little nuisance of himself. His father, Arthur, I had only met once or twice but I knew him by reputation. He was killed in some accident a few years previous. As was the custom in those days, the fellas looked out for his kid and his widow. Or that was the theory. In practice that usually meant amusing themselves by getting him drunk, showing him how to handle himself in a fight or the ways of women. So it wasn't an education approved by Her Majesty's Government, but it was about all they had to teach.

This night, like I say, things were much as they usually were. There was a man whose name I confess I cannot recall at the bar. Peter was around all the tables, wheedling for a drink or attention. At some point, Peter approached this fellow at the bar. What he said or did, I can't say. But the man rose from his stool and gave the boy such a stare. It was at this point that I looked up from my drink and really took notice of the pair of them, and I remember it stark-like, so this is the God's truth.

The boy raised his fists. I remember laughing at that, sensing some mock sparring was about to occur.

The man assumed a fighting posture. He wasn't young by any measure. His face was salty and grizzled, his arms had that all sinew and no muscle look to them. There wasn't any humour in his eyes and he was steady as a rock. He didn't sway like a drunkard, so I can only assume he was cold sober.

The kid swung a punch that wouldn't tickle my chin. The man lunged, grabbed the boy by the crown of his head and slammed him bodily into the bar. Let me tell you, you've never seen so riotous a menagerie go so silent. All eyes swiveled, and beer leaked out of open gobs. The man stepped forward, picked up the poor lad by his shirt cuff, and started punching him again and again. Short, sharp jabs to the face and chest. Boy just hung there like a ragdoll, shuddering from the blows.

The barman shouted and there was an uproar, a bruiser stepped forward to grab the guy, but the man whipped around and laid him out cold with the fastest punch I ever saw. The boy, he slithered to the floor between the bar stools. Things were about to get hectic. The sense of pent up energy in the place was galvanic. I suspect had things fallen differently, that man would have been beaten to a pulp on the spot.

But nothing of the sort. The man held everybody in their place with a spell.

“I'm done,” he announced.

It was a strange thing, yes, but that seemed to take the wind out of many sails. People didn't know what to think. The prevailing emotion was one of guilt almost, like everybody had already failed in their duty to protect. And if you know anything about a man's heart, guilt is only anger in waiting – so this was only a temporary reprieve. If he had run, he would have been stopped. But he didn't even try. He kneeled down and scooped the boy up, delicate as you like, and planted a kiss on the kid's forehead. The boy was unconscious, face a bloodied mess. The man produced a hanky from inside his coat and began to clean his face. The whole room just stared. We were waiting for normal service to resume, for reality to kick back in. But it didn't.

Still holding the boy, the man made for the door. And the crowds parted for him. Tears rolled down his face in thick streaks. At the exit he turned and looked back with a tearful smile and said:

“He's my son.” He wept freely for all to see, and walked away.

The men in the pub that night, they were broken down. Drinks were left on tables, conversations left in pieces. The dregs of the docks slopped out the doors and washed into the gutters. It was never spoken of again.

I have spent many a moment thinking about what he said and what he did. Was the boy truly his son? Was he a lover to Arthur's widow or was the boy not Arthur's? In truth, the mystery of it haunts me. Sometimes I just think the man must have been mad, other times I think I surmise some deeper motive behind his actions. The place was never the same afterward, that much is for sure.
Still, enough tales from this old man. About that drink...?

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Has the signup deadline passed?

I don't actually care, I'm in anyway, try and stop me

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

Fanky Malloons posted:

Has the signup deadline passed?

I don't actually care, I'm in anyway, try and stop me

YOU'RE A LOOSE CANNON MALLOONS YOU'RE OFF THE CASE

Some Strange Flea
Apr 9, 2010

AAA


Pillbug

Fanky Malloons posted:

Has the signup deadline passed?
No it hadn't.

Now it has. Dump your stuff within 48 hours or perish.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Danny’s Last Stand (994 Words)

“So... Danny, what are you doing in D.C.?”

“I’m not really supposed to be talking about that to just anyone. Now, Sara,” He faked a slight twang, “Do you think I should make an exception for you?”

The small talk and pleasantries had evolved to flirting, but getting her from a two hour flight to his hotel room hinged on this next lie. She wore a cross and had nervously eyed the man with a turban a few seats down. “Well, let’s just say that after I served two tours in Afghanistan, the boys in D.C. had special need of my services. You learn things over there... what makes them tick and how to get them to do what you want.”

Danny was not a compulsive liar who told transparent stories for the thrill of the lie itself--like a heroin addict who settled for crack when short on cash. Danny was more a connoisseur of the finest Chinese opium, the drug just one tool toward his quest for the divine. Danny lied to be believed.

“So you’re not in the military anymore?” Sara not only believed his words but was creating her own truth. This was the instant in which his creation came to life. Her eyes probed him and bombarded him with questions, all of which he could choose to make real. He felt a warm buzz in his chest as lies became truth. He had played the first notes of a symphony, felt the audience stir, and sensed the harmony of the next movement. But first a dramatic pause.

“Not officially. If you’ll excuse me for just a moment.”

Danny did not need to use the bathroom. He stood in front of the mirror and practiced the mannerisms of his just-born persona: Trembling hands, increased awareness of his surroundings, the thousand-yard stare.

Grunts and screams from outside interrupted his work. He peeked outside. Brown-skinned men held small knives to the throats of women and children. Cut passengers writhed on the floor. He locked the door.

“Come out immediately or we will kill a child.”

How many children were on the flight? Would they really give up their choice hostages to get him out of the bathroom?

“Mom! It hurts! Make him stop!”

“I am cutting the child. Come out immediately.”

Danny sat down on the toilet. The hijacker repeatedly kicked the door; its flimsy plastic buckled, then peeled open. The hijacker ripped Danny back into the aisle. He felt metal cut through his shirt and prick the small of his back.

“Return to your seat immediately.”

Danny did as he was asked.

After Danny sat down, Sara whispered to him, “We’re making a plan. Thank God you’re back.”

Before he left his seat he was a vague CIA something or other, now he was her personal savior.

Sara eyed the chunky man to her right and whispered to Danny, “This is Steve, I told him about you while you were in the bathroom, he said he’ll do whatever you tell him to. We know you are our best chance.” Steve nodded.

If a photographer were being charged by an enraged bull, would he not take a picture? Would he not raise his camera by instinct before considering his own safety?

Danny was, after all, an artist. “The pilots are surely already dead and even if we take out all the ones in the cabin they will crash the plane before we can force open the cockpit... it’s standard procedure for them. Steve, I need you to create a diversion so that I can drag out a fight with the one in front. It may lure out whoever is in the cockpit.”

“But won’t they just crash the plane?” asked Steve.

Danny was an olympic swimmer stranded on a lifeboat in the ocean with no fresh water. All he could do was swim.

“They might. But crashing the plane into a field isn’t what they really want. If they think the risk is minimal they may open the cockpit door long enough for me to get in. They don’t know that I am highly trained and have done this kind of thing before.”

Steve spoke, “Got it. How shou--”

Someone several rows back sprung from his seat and tackled a terrorist. Steve’s eyes bulged as the hijacker a few rows ahead pressed the knife into his hostage’s shoulder.

Sara said, “Steve, it has to be now.”

Steve pressed through Sara and Danny, stumbling into the aisle. He ran toward the back of the plane. The hijacker pulled the knife from his hostage’s shoulder, threw her to the ground, and chased after Steve.

Danny clenched his armrests until his nails whitened, burrowing into his seat. Sara gaped at him.

The hijacker caught up to Steve, then stabbed him in the back. Dozens of passengers had flooded the aisles and were overtaking the hijackers, but the cockpit door did not move. Danny was still frozen. Sara was speechless.

After a few minutes, the terrorists in the cabin had all been killed or subdued. Many passengers were dead or bleeding on the floor. The intercom crackled on.

“We will not hit our intended target, but we will hit a smaller one. We will kill as many of you as we can before we are shot down. For the glory of God and His Prophet, peace be upon Him.”

As the new pilot spoke, Sara looked at Steve’s body, then at Danny. For now she thought Danny had frozen up-- he had PTSD. But the longer she thought about it the less she would believe. He could not endure that.

“I was never in a war. I’ve never even fought anyone before.”

She sobbed into his shoulder while clutching his arm. She sought comfort in Danny himself and not in his creation.

He felt nothing.

Steriletom
May 11, 2009

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


Doubt - 920 words

Jesus was crucified and died on Golgotha. With dry eyes, Thomas had wept beside the other disciples.

The setting sun had lit His resplendent figure in a crimson hue that matched the bloodied rocks at His feet. Arms permanently drawn out as if to take the world into His embrace, promising a succor that would never arrive. At the forefront of the mourners, Peter had beat his fists on the base of the cross in anguish while Thomas had silently thanked Judas, again and again, for having the courage.

That was three days ago. And now they were in hiding at the house of the Arimathean, the twelve of them in congress around a pauper’s table. A cot in one corner was the only other furnishing in the mud-brick house. They had been arguing without surcease since the body was interred.

“What do you think, brother Thomas?” Peter asked, forcing Thomas to join the conversation.

“Think?”

“Peter wants us to spread to the corners of the world to teach the Word,” said Matthew. “It is foolishness. We must build a strong base here in Jerusalem first.”

“Bah!” cut in Phillip. “Jerusalem is a backwater. We need to go to Rome and spread the Word there, where it will reach the ears of those with influence.”

The shouting started up again and the more short tempered among them began to threaten violence. Thomas closed his eyes before quietly saying, “Why do we not just go home?” Silence came to the room, all eyes on Thomas as Simon whistled in appreciation at his temerity.

“You would dishonour Him in this manner?” Peter’s face was red and his hand was curled into a fist.

Thomas was not sure how he found the strength finally but he grasped onto it and held on. “Three years I have wondered with you, following Him. Three years of begging for scraps. Three years of sleeping in barns with donkeys and fleas. Three years of being mocked on the street. I once had a family and a boat with which to earn a living. Who has watched over my children these years? I know not, Peter. Do you? His Word was good but in the end, it was not enough to save even Him. I am done with all of this.” The last came out in a rasp that cut through the assembled disciples.

Peter jumped to his feet and Thomas stood to meet him. The others pushed back their chairs to make room. Thomas was searching for something with an edge when the lone door flew open and Mary Magdalene ran into the room. “He is alive! He is alive! I have seen him! He is risen from the dead!” she announced as she ran from disciple to disciple, seeking to move them to action. The men only stared back at her in confusion.

“You drug addled, whore!” Thomas yelled, pain in his hand where he had struck the table. “He is dead! We were all there when they took him down from-” The force of Peter’s blow knocked him to the floor. Peter stood over him and took a moment to spit on Thomas before going to Mary’s side. “Where did he appear to you? Please, speak sister!”

Mary ignored the question, turning to look behind her onto the orchard in front of the house. Everyone in the room became aware of the silence that had fallen on the world outside. “See for yourself. He has come,” Mary said to Peter and the disciples. Their eyes widened as a man stepped softly into the room. Thomas clawed his way backwards into a corner, his body trembling as he looked up at the apparition all in white crowded by eleven men and one woman.

Clean shaven, His face was the colour of a walnut and bore an expression of patience without end. There was no trace of the blood that had bathed Him on the cross. Thomas held back the vomit that welled in his stomach as recognition coursed through his body. The man was at ease among the shouts of joy and the questions that assailed Him. After a moment, He raised a hand to silence them and then, starting with Peter, He took each of His students in turn by the hand and whispered in their ear. Thomas saw that with each message shared, the addressed disciple would look at Him with understanding and acceptance, nodding back in promise. Forgotten for the moment, Thomas finally vomited in the corner.

Mary was the last of those surrounding Him to be addressed. She beamed with joy and her eyes welled with tears as she listened. Knees shaking, Thomas stood
up while the others watched in silence as He approached His twelfth disciple with a quieting comfort, stopping before Thomas and placing His hands on his shoulders. Thomas could only shake his head in return, mouthing the word “no” over and over as He leaned to whisper a single word in his ear before pulling back and smiling at him with grace. Having finished, Jesus left them.

After His departure, the room fell once more into chaos as the disciples drowned out one another with questions. Thomas shoved through them, ignoring their outraged cries as he made for the door where Peter stood, blocking his path.

“And where are you going, brother Thomas?”

Bile in his mouth and tears falling freely, Thomas answered, “India. I go to India…to spread the Word.” He then fled the house and Jerusalem.

Steriletom fucked around with this message at Mar 17, 2013 around 05:18

Baudolino
Apr 1, 2010

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Before i post my story i`d like to say that i wrote it on a free version of Wordpad. This means i had to manually count each word. Having done so twice i think i`m within the word limit. But if i post more than 1000 words it`ll be because i miscounted.

Baudolino
Apr 1, 2010

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Ca 980 words.

Rural Rentboys.

The Year is 1985.
England,Shropshire, Wroxeter, two 18teen year old boys are entering an abonend bunker. The mosscovered"do not enter"sign above the entrance is barely redable, it has not worn the gnawing of time well. They ignore it. The bunker was a perect litle shelter for them. For James and RIchard it was the ideal, that is to say the only place where they could be themselves.

Wroxeter, famous for it`s old roman ruins and little else was hardly a stronghold of tolerance. Quiet little villages with piss poor work markets seldom are. Two young boys in love could not be open about their desires in such a place without risk. Tall, muscular and atheltic James and Richard cherised the attention they got from the local girls .
But the School janitor with his needy blue eyes and gaunt face also appreciated their looks. Attention from a known poofter like him they could ill afford. In short things could be better for them. Mercifully they knew they always had eachother and the aboned bunker. It would have to do until they graduated.

Spring was in full orgasmic explosion when they visited the bunker for the last time. Nature blossomed, it was green, moist and filled with bird song. The green hills east of Wroxter was in everyway a paradisal sigth, not including the odd discarded needle or empty beer can. Even the heavens looked magical, dotted with white puffy clouds and clothed in the colour of the ceasars. Happily the bunker was obscured behind trees and did not disturb the romantic visage.

Inside the bunker James pushed Richard gently away -No, not yet, work before pleasure remember? Not even a little kiss?--- Alright, maybe just the on... They kissed, it was quick, it was sweet.

-Now to the task at hand, James said and pulled away. Lying upside down in the sparse concrete room was Richard`s bike. It lacked a front wheel, the old one had gotten hosed up after a particulary nasty fall. To buy a new wheel would probaly be best, but neither Richard or James had much money to spare. And RIchard loathed to spend the small pithy the school janitor paid for his "favors" unless absolutely necessary. Instead the two boys had gradually managed to cobble together a decent rim and fit it with spokes. The tire they simply stole off the janitors bike, infront of his very eyes. What was he supposed to do, go to the police? They hoped it would do as a new wheel.

After much sweating cursing and hustling about inside the bunke they finally made the wheel fit the bikeframe. It looked safe anyhow.
-Seems alrigth. Wanna give it a go Richard?
- You know what i want, hehe.
-Seriously mate, ride it down the slope to see how it handles. We might need to make some adjustments.
Richard picked up the bike and smiled. -Yeah yeah i heard you, if it makes you happy.
-I just want you to be safe using that wheel. Richard walked outside and sat down on the bike. -I know you do.

Richard started to roll down the hill the hill, immeadtly the bike started to shake and rumble . As he neared the first bend in the road the front wheel touched a small pothole, at once the wheel collapsed inwards and the joints holdning the rim together came apart violently. Richard was flung off his bike and landed just outside the road, where he tumbled ever faster down the slope. Running as fast as he could James found his lover lying face down at the foot of the hill. His body perfectly still despite bleeding massivly from his rigth thigh where a piece of bone protruded from his flesh. As James he got closer a terrible frigth posessed him. He could barely stand when he finally reached Richard. The horrible dark red blood was naseuating, it was downrigth gruseome. Shambling like a drunk man James tried to get awaybut quickly fell down. The blood made him dizzy, made him feel like he was drownin, made him hold his to breath. The blood the blood blo..

James lost conciousness. When he came to the sky was a little darker and the air at little colder. His lover laid on the same spot as before, the ground now toroughly draped with a dark red colour and RIchard himself curiosly pale. Like paper or snow or something.
-Get up Richard please, we have to get your bike fixed. Come on mate, get up.
RIchard, please, YOU HAVE TO GET UP!

Several weeks later after Richard had been buried at the St Andrews church James found himself outside a yellow camping wagon. Standing in the door in his trouses and with a beer in his hand was the school janitor. With a grin he simply said-So it`s just me and you now innit, come for a job have you?
- Pay me double what you gave Richard and use a loving condom and i.i.. i`ll do what you want
Mr Fletcher stepped back and gave James a huge grin-Get in!

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Baudolino posted:

Before i post my story i`d like to say that i wrote it on a free version of Wordpad. This means i had to manually count each word. Having done so twice i think i`m within the word limit. But if i post more than 1000 words it`ll be because i miscounted.

http://www.wordcounttool.com/

edit: You can't count.

Or write.

V for Vegas fucked around with this message at Mar 17, 2013 around 11:57

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


"Spelling, grammar, presentation," he says, holding his glass of merlot up to the light. "Tools of the fool, the madman. It is only by losing everything can you learn anything. I will liberate these savages of Thun-der-Dome and teach them to truly understand the written word."

He lowers his glass, placing it lovingly on the table beside his antique typwriter. "Now, where to begin."

RURAL RENTBOYS

clickclickclickSHWING



Yes.

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.

Baudolino posted:

Ca 980 words.

Rural Rentboys.

The Year is 1985.
England,Shropshire, Wroxeter, two 18teen year old boys are entering an abonend bunker. The mosscovered"do not enter"sign above the entrance is barely redable, it has not worn the gnawing of time well. They ignore it. The bunker was a perect litle shelter for them. For James and RIchard it was the ideal, that is to say the only place where they could be themselves.

Wroxeter, famous for it`s old roman ruins and little else was hardly a stronghold of tolerance. Quiet little villages with piss poor work markets seldom are. Two young boys in love could not be open about their desires in such a place without risk. Tall, muscular and atheltic James and Richard cherised the attention they got from the local girls .
But the School janitor with his needy blue eyes and gaunt face also appreciated their looks. Attention from a known poofter like him they could ill afford. In short things could be better for them. Mercifully they knew they always had eachother and the aboned bunker. It would have to do until they graduated.

Spring was in full orgasmic explosion when they visited the bunker for the last time. Nature blossomed, it was green, moist and filled with bird song. The green hills east of Wroxter was in everyway a paradisal sigth, not including the odd discarded needle or empty beer can. Even the heavens looked magical, dotted with white puffy clouds and clothed in the colour of the ceasars. Happily the bunker was obscured behind trees and did not disturb the romantic visage. Romantic visage, what the hell does that mean?

Inside the bunker James pushed Richard gently away -No, not yet, work before pleasure remember? Not even a little kiss?--- Alright, maybe just the on... They kissed, it was quick, it was sweet.

-Now to the task at hand, James said and pulled away. Lying upside down in the sparse concrete room was Richard`s bike. It lacked a front wheel, the old one had gotten hosed up after a particulary nasty fall. To buy a new wheel would probaly be best, but neither Richard or James had much money to spare. And RIchard loathed to spend the small pithy Pittance, maybe? the school janitor paid for his "favors" Colour with 'ou' and favors with 'o'? Best you make up your drat mind. unless absolutely necessary. Instead the two boys had gradually managed to cobble together a decent rim and fit it with spokes. The tire they simply stole off the janitors bike, infront of his very eyes. What was he supposed to do, go to the police? They hoped it would do as a new wheel.

After much sweating cursing and hustling about inside the bunke they finally made the wheel fit the bikeframe. It looked safe anyhow.
-Seems alrigth. Wanna give it a go Richard?
- You know what i want, hehe.
-Seriously mate, ride it down the slope to see how it handles. We might need to make some adjustments.
Richard picked up the bike and smiled. -Yeah yeah i heard you, if it makes you happy.
-I just want you to be safe using that wheel. Richard walked outside and sat down on the bike. -I know you do.

Richard started to roll down the hill the hill, immeadtly the bike started to shake and rumble . As he neared the first bend in the road the front wheel touched a small pothole, at once the wheel collapsed inwards and the joints holdning the rim together came apart violently. Richard was flung off his bike and landed just outside the road, where he tumbled ever faster down the slope. Running as fast as he could James found his lover lying face down at the foot of the hill. His body perfectly still despite bleeding massivly from his rigth thigh where a piece of bone protruded from his flesh. As James he got closer a terrible frigth posessed him. He could barely stand when he finally reached Richard. The horrible dark red blood was naseuating, it was downrigth gruseome. Shambling like a drunk man James tried to get awaybut quickly fell down. The blood made him dizzy, made him feel like he was drownin, made him hold his to breath. The blood the blood blo..

James lost conciousness. When he came to the sky was a little darker and the air at little colder. His lover laid on the same spot as before, the ground now toroughly draped with a dark red colour and RIchard himself curiosly pale. Like paper or snow or something.
-Get up Richard please, we have to get your bike fixed. Come on mate, get up.
RIchard, please, YOU HAVE TO GET UP!

Several weeks later after Richard had been buried at the St Andrews church James found himself outside a yellow camping wagon. Standing in the door in his trouses and with a beer in his hand was the school janitor. With a grin he simply said-So it`s just me and you now innit, come for a job have you?
- Pay me double what you gave Richard and use a loving condom and i.i.. i`ll do what you want
Mr Fletcher stepped back and gave James a huge grin-Get in!

I take it this free version of Wordpad is also responsible for all the errors in bold, for your weird spacing issues, for your occasional unique spelling of RIchard's name, for your refusal to use quotation marks for speech...

This is the worst story I have read in the 'dome.

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006

WORST WIZARD, THUNDERDOME
LOSER


I have found the Google drive word processor really useful - not only does it have built in word count and spell check the folders allow me to keep my terrible slash fiction separate from my stumbling attempts at literature.

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

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


The Saddest Rhino posted:

I'm duly reminded by the previous Thunderdome round crits that I should step up on making better judgmental criticisms, lack of Internet and workload notwithstanding, so you are all going to die.

Baudolino posted:

Before i post my story i`d like to say that i wrote it on a free version of Wordpad.

WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO

HaitianDivorce
Jul 29, 2012


The Saddest Rhino posted:

WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO

Well if you weren't The Saddest Rhino before...

So, does Baudolino's... effort mean that we all not-lose by default? Or does he get a special category all his own?

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

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


HaitianDivorce posted:

Well if you weren't The Saddest Rhino before...

So, does Baudolino's... effort mean that we all not-lose by default?

No, produce or death awaits.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


The Saddest Rhino posted:

No, produce or death awaits.

I'm choosing to interpret this as meaning we will either get killed, or be given groceries. Maybe even both.

HaitianDivorce
Jul 29, 2012


The Saddest Rhino posted:

No, produce or death awaits.

You asked for it.

The Skies Watched Back, 989 Words

"Christ," Gabriel muttered. "Everything is so hosed."

"I know, dammit," He snapped. He turned to the choir and shouted: "Someone slip some sense into McNamara yet?"

The voices of the angels rose in reverent, resonating tones in time with the red on their Lord's face. "One word answers, you little cocksuckers," he growled. "A 'yes' or a loving 'no.'"

From somewhere in the back someone softly said "Yes."

"Good--great--job," He said, summoning him forth. "Rest of you fuckers, grab your swords and go. Every missile needs to be covered. Warsaw, NATO, Turkey, Cuba. Worse comes to worse? Face full of Armagedden'll be good for you."

"Lord," Gabriel asked, "How could this happen?"

He snorted. "Three guesses." He eyed the young angel that approached with gaze diverted. "There's a Soviet in DC by the name of Feklisov. He has some pull there and back home. Get him to use it." With a bow the angel vanished down through the heavens. The Lord watched him go to the city lights below.

Gabriel's fingers twitched for his trumpet. "Should I sound the call?"

Christ waved a hand. "Fine, yes, call him. Just--don't put it on video this time."

Shoulders slumped, Gabriel conjured up the black phone. The ringing sounded like the rattling of scoured bones. "Yessss?"

Gabriel shuddered. That voice was like scales over silk. In the background he could hear screams, the crackle of fire, and ungodly laughter. "Beezy. Your boss. Now."

The Lord snatched the phone from his hand. For a while He listened, color draining from his face. Finally He hurled it down, a new shooting star for the world. "Someone's gonna find that," Gabriel said.

"Good," Christ snapped. "Maybe if the little shitheads know where they're going they'll be a little less likely to blow themselves all to Kingdom loving Come!"

For a long time Gabriel did nothing. The earth turned beneath them, closer and closer to spinning past saving. At last he spoke. "So is he doing anything?"

"Besides warming up popcorn and pitch pits? No," He scowled. "Claims no responsibility. At all."

Gabriel fluttered over beside him. Watching the world beside his Lord, he wondered what he could possibly say. "You could have appealed to his greed," he finally said. "There would be twice as many down there by the end if the century. Imagine--"

"How many would fall into his hands then?" He shook his head and brushed the notion away. "No. Unthinkable."

Gabriel nodded, tried to keep the color from his face. "Then we might not have much choice. If we can't talk sense into them or the man downstairs then we might--"

"Need to go to the crazy grandpa in the attic, I know." He sighed and lifted off his feet, further into the heavens. "Come on, you rear end," He called. "I can't deal with Metatron today."

Whatever objections the Seraphim might have had were thrown away as soon as they saw the fury on their Lord's face. He and Gabriel passed by to God's throne without objection. They found the Almighty facing outward, directing the Virtues in the arrangement of stars and galaxies. Wings folded over his eyes and knee bent, Gabriel went aside to listen.

"Father," the Lord said, shifting into a more familiar tongue, "I beseech you, prevent the coming war between Your children."

The Almighty was slow to respond. "My sole begotten Son," He said with a voice somewhere between a lion's roar and a thunderclap, "what war do you speak of?"

"The greatest powers of men align to destroy the world," the Lord said. "They will scour and scar your finest works with nuclear fire--"

"My finest work?" The Almighty asked, somehow incredulous. "Have You not laid eyes on the wonders and worlds before You? Imagine what I may people them with, to know My glory--"

"Father!"

Gabriel bit his lip. Behind him the his Lord sunk to His knees.

"Please," Christ choked. "If You do not intervene three thousand million people, Our children, will be nothing but ashes. The world We made will sputter out and die. All that We loved will be lost forever. You only need to look away from these stars to see it."

For too long a time the Almighty was silent. All that could be heard was the burning of the stellar fire at His heart as He looked upon all His creation and, hopefully, realized where He had erred.

"Begone," He hissed. "And do not bother Me with these trifles again!"

Never before had Gabriel felt like he'd scraped the very bottom of heaven.

"Now what?"

The Lord shrugged. "Hope the Gnostics are right. I don't loving know. Sit back and watch the fireworks, I guess." He pointed at the shallow waters of a warm sea. "See the blockade there? There's a submarine trying to run it. Right now, one of the ships is dropping depth charges on the drat thing because they don't know it has a nuclear torpedo." He shook His head and sighed. "Well Dad, there goes everything." He cast a heavy-lidded glance in Gabriel's direction. "That trumpet ready?"

"Always."

"Good."

Down below, the world did not ignite.

Gabriel didn't say a word, afraid to break the moment.

"Incredible," the Lord muttered.

"My Lord?"

They wheeled to see the timid angel from the choir.

"I did as You commanded," he said. "Feklisov was able to set up talks between Kruschev and Kennedy. They should move the missiles tomorrow. If all goes well, Lord."

The Lord almost bounced over to him. "Excellent--incredible. But I have to ask--did you visit a man named Vasili Arkhipov?"

The angel shook his head. "No. Should I?"

A smile wider than Gabriel had ever seen crossed His face. "No, don't worry," He said. "But I would like you to see Kruschev and Kennedy themselves. Let's make these impulses productive, see how much Dad ignores them when they're visiting his loving stars themselves..."

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

quote:

Spring was in full orgasmic explosion

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

heartache/lockjaw 998 words

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

At the very least, it meant that his parents weren’t going to be home for a while. There was only one thing to do: shower sesh. He let the hot water run good and long before getting in, making sure to keep the bong dry. Steam and sticky smoke filled his lungs, blowing out the blood vessels in his eyes.

Everything was still gone, but things were little more wobbly now. The stairs to his basement seemed steeper; his Flying Burrito Brothers posters seemed less faded. But the wheel was still taco’d, leaning hard left just like last night. He sighed and picked up his screwdriver.

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

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

“I can’t do this anymore” she said.

“So it’s over?” he asked.

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

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

“gently caress you! It’ll be gone by then.” She made an unsteady line between tables and out of the tent, fumbling to get her bike unlocked.
He followed, but not before slamming the rest of his beer.

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

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

“Hey! I said wait!”

She sped up, turning hard into an intersection.

He heard the horn a second before the bus slammed into her; she’d run a red. Her face hit the windshield as the bike got pulled under. The impact sent her sliding across the pavement, leaving a bloody streak. She didn’t move, not even when the paramedics came. He blacked out, woke up in the hospital with the taste of puke in his mouth and a needle in his arm.

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

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

Catching? Fish. That was it! It was a festival. They’d been camping when she’d told him it was over.
Setting sun over endless pine forest, outcrops of Canadian Shield and a mostly empty lake. She was wearing that hat, that headdress. That plush wolf thing that was tacky and impossibly cute. Behind them some no-name band with a droning electric melody refused to quit.

“I’m leaving after this” she said.

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

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

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

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

The next band wasn’t better, or maybe he was on a bum vibe. The festival ended sometime, days dragged into weeks, turned into months. He was still bitter he’d never seen her off at the airport; she’d never called when she got there.

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

The wheel aligned itself for a moment. He spun it – it spun true. He dropped the screwdriver, sunlight filtered in through the window. A Gram Parson vinyl played on the Hi-Fi.

He took the steps by twos and threw open the door. His fence was there again, so was the neighbourhood and trees and the streets and every little thing that made up his life. He smiled, a warm breeze filled his lungs. His phone rang from inside, on the display was a number he knew by heart.

He felt the spoke let go more than he ever heard it. Everything disappeared again, he tripped on the first step and fell down the stairs. The heavy drunkenness returned and he felt sick to his stomach. The wheel was sitting there again, bent into a mobius strip.

**edit: Echo, this one's for you:

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at Mar 17, 2013 around 17:25

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.




i've done tihs four you baudo

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


Coup (967 words)

During the second hour of the national mourning procession, Vice Chancellor Milk arrived and assumed his reserved seat in the uniform-choked bandstand beside Harrison Glass, who murmured the required pleasantries and offered the appropriate frown. Milk’s lips trembled as his glazed eyes swept over the assembled crowd. He took out his forbidden smartphone and began playing a game, ignoring the passing Women’s Honor Guard as they stopped before a towering portrait and wept.

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

The justice minister and the secret cop met behind the bandstand and shared a silent smoke. Sherman took the last puff and ground the butt beneath his jackboot.

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

“Not everyone seems to agree, Minister.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Cancer.”

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

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

“I’ll take the upstairs.”

They straightened their suits and approached the door. It swung open before they could knock, Chancellor Milk smiling mildly at them. He invited them inside, led them to an upholstered parlor, poured some cups of Darjeeling and toasted their health. Harrison faked a sip.

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

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

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

“Yours? They’re quite nice.”

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

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

“Find anything, Sherman?”

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

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

Precisely the sort of thing someone in counterintelligence might miss.

He drew a razor blade and straight-edge from within his jacket and set to work, cutting out a thumb-deep square in the middle of the book. He plugged a little glass vial of clear, lethal liquid into the new hole and closed the book.

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

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

“Pardon, I need to take another whiz. drat tea.” The cop hurried towards the house.

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

“Certainly. Cream and sugar, please.”

Inside, the Justice Minister waited by the tea service. Sherman returned a moment later, face flushed. “It’s the same stuff.” He slid a dense memo printed on official letterhead across the table. “Glad I came prepared. Just sign here.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

pug wearing a hat
May 29, 2012

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


Death of the Author (659 Words)

I was depressed and drunk, as usual. I was feeling old and washed up because I kept searching for 45 minutes for a replacement copy of Howl but I didn't find it but I did find my first novel in the $1 bin.

I had it all. God, that sounds so cheesy; like some washed-up former starlet in a Lifetime movie. But back in the good old days (2006) I had it pretty darn good. There were articles about me that used words like "prodigy" and "future classic" and "voice of our generation". But the articles started coming in less and less. And they started using phrases like "one hit wonder". I was the Chumbawumba of historical fiction.

Whatever.

I grabbed the 2 liter of Dr Pepper from beside the toilet and took a swig. The bathtub water was getting cold.

I was trying to remember who played the girlfriend on The Drew Carey Show when my agent walked in.

"Aaaah, what the hell," she said.

"Hi Molly. Would you like some Dr Pepper?" I offered. She didn't seem interested.

"What are you doing in here? Are you okay? No one's seen you or heard from you in a week, your landlord even called me to see when you were gonna pay rent."

"Eventually. I gotta sell some plasma first. What are you doing in here anyway? You here to steal my valuables?"

"What valuables? That autographed S Club 7 CD? Or the original PS2, the model they discontinued because it kept overheating?"

"Yeah."

Molly lowered the toilet lid and gingerly sat down. She had her Concerned Professional look on her face.

"I was really worried about you," she said. "The way your last few emails had been, I was worried that you had… you know. Done something bad."

"I don't follow."

"You remember that last draft you sent me? And the constructive criticism I offered?"

"Oh, yeah. I remember now. You said it was pretentious garbage."

Molly winced. "Yes, that was -- "

"You said you'd seen better writing posted in the hallways outside a third-grade classroom," I recited.

"It was a little harsh, I know. It sounded better in my head. I just wanted to make sure that, well, if you had done something stupid, I didn't want people to put the blame on me."

"Oh yes, god forbid. Don't wanna damage your sterling reputation."

"What is with you? I've never seen you this grumpy, not since that Christmas party. What's bothering you?"

I stared up at the spiderweb forming on the ceiling. "I found Idyllic in the dollar bin," I said.

"Oh." She didn't seem that surprised. (Bitch.) "Well, it was such a big seller. Everyone's probably got a copy already, you know? Once you sell a certain point there's no one left to sell it to."

"Uh huh."

"You know who else I've seen in the clearance bin? Oscar Wilde. Ray Bradbury. Voltaire. Hell, I saw the Bible for 50% off once, swear to God. It's not a bad sign, really. Christ, can you put a robe on or something? I can't have a serious conversation with you like this."

I closed the shower curtain.

"Fine, be that way." She stood up to leave. "Whenever I was clearing out your inbox, I found that story you'd been working on. The one you sent to your old professor? I think it was called Meat and Marriage, or Meat and Murder, something like that?"

I stared at the dripping water faucet.

"It was good. Really good. Better than your first, even. You could be back on top if you wanted to. You're just gonna have to work hard."

Drip, drip, drip.

"Give me a call if you wanna talk about it."

I heard her heels click down the hallway. I heard her lock the apartment door behind her, and I was alone.

I stayed in there for a while, watching the cold water spiraling down the drain.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Turncoat (996 words)

The entire South Quarter was ablaze when Marcus charged up the staircase of Stonebridge Manor. It was deserted; the only sounds came from the anxious chatter of his men outside and distant shouts that drifted in through the open doorway. Marcus charged to the last door in the hall, flung it open and hitched a breath. "Gods help me, they were right after all. What are you thinking?"

Alerio greeted him with a raised goblet and a lazy smile where he lounged in the window like a satisfied cat. "Ah, Marcus! So good of you to join me."

"Are you drunk or are you mad?" Marcus stalked across the room. "The South's gone up, the fires will consume this district before the hour's out. We have to leave!"

"Why the rush?" Alerio took a deep drink from the goblet and waved it toward the window. "Enjoy the view. You'll never see the likes of it again."

"I've seen enough!" Marcus took the goblet away and dumped its contents on the floor. Red wine spread splattered on the wool carpet. "Why are you still here? Rio-" He paused, staring at the noble's nonchalant poise, the detached way he watched the chaos outside. Horror crept into his voice. "Did you have something to do with this?"

Alerio snorted. "Arson? Certainly not." Now he turned from the window, unfolded himself from the divan with leisurely grace. He smiled, lips red from the wine. Marcus swallowed against a rush of heat through his body as Alerio slipped an arm around his waist. "You think in simplicities. Won't you join me?"

Marcus shied away. "You are mad. So help me, Rio, even if you're connected to the rebellion, I'll not abandon you to this!"

That earned a bemused glance. "If I were, would the end be any better?"

Marcus swallowed. "So you are connected to it." It was so hard to focus with Alerio this close, leaning against him, silk on steel. "I could put a word in. I could...I could find an excuse." He gritted his teeth, seized the man's shoulders and shook him. "Dammit, Rio, why? You knew what I'd have to do if-"

Alerio pressed a silencing finger to his lips. "Yes. So say no more." He took Marcus by the shoulders in turn, pressed him down to the divan and kissed him until they were breathless. When their lips parted, Alerio caressed his lover's face, cupped it in his hands and directed Marcus's gaze outside. "Just look at it, Marc," he whispered. "Have you ever seen such a beautiful sight?"

Marcus looked. Flames licked across the rooftops, vivid red against the smoke that turned the southern sky to starless night. It was entrancing, in its way, like an ever-changing sunset in the wrong direction - but Marcus knew there was more to the east, and soon to the north. Alerio could usually get him to see things in his odd way, but this was one scene Marcus couldn't reconcile.

He turned back to Alerio, all fine bones and lean limbs, long lashes and wine-red lips, consciously sensual in every movement and far too calm as the world turned to chaos around them. It was nearly enough to make him forget why he'd come here. The man he'd fallen in love with. A traitor to the kingdom. His voice cracked. "No. Nor will I again, if you don't come with me."

Alerio chuckled softly and traced a hand across his back. "Not what I meant." He curled against him and kissed his neck.

"This is hardly the time-" The kiss turned into a bite. Marcus gasped and pulled away, though he longed to give in. "Don't do this. I can get you out of the country."

Alerio sank back against the sill and stretched, tilting his head playfully. "My loyal little soldier, disobeying orders?"

Marcus forced himself to look away from that invitation. "For you, yes. Please, whatever you've done, I can keep you safe."

Alerio sighed. The levity faded. "And lose you, as well? They already know about me. Don't think they won't catch you."

"I'm willing to take that risk."

"I'm not." He sat up and spread his arms. "If you're so willing to burn along with me, then lay with me here! Otherwise, leave. I don't intend to escape. We would meet the same end either way."

Marcus stared at him. One of his men shouted up the stairs for him, but he didn't comprehend the words. "You intended suicide from the start?"

Alerio dropped his arms and quirked a wry smile. "Hell of a way to go, don't you think?"

Smoke and flames blurred in his vision. Marcus blinked back the tears. "You never were one to do things in half-measures."

Before his vision cleared, Alerio rose again, wrapped his arms around him. This time was a kiss of finality. Marcus felt it in the firmness, the near desperation. He choked back a sob and held his lover for the last time. Only when footsteps pounded up the staircase did Alerio step back and stroke Marcus's cheek. "Go, love. Be safe."

Marcus turned and walked out the door. He met his man in the hallway and shook his head, heedless of the tears that streaked his face. "Back to the horses. We're leaving."

Behind them, the notes of a violin rang out into the still air - sweet, lilting, utterly unsuited to the situation. So thoroughly absurd when destruction loomed on the horizon. So wonderfully, hopelessly brazen. Marcus pictured the nightmare alternative - his lover bound to a stake, blindfolded, bundles of sticks stacked at his feet. A traitor's death. He stumbled to the bottom of the stairs and buried his face in his hands. If Marcus were caught aiding a traitor, that would be the end for both of them. "He's right, drat him," he whispered.

He gathered his men and rode off, leaving the burning city and Alerio's reasons far behind.

Some Strange Flea
Apr 9, 2010

AAA


Pillbug

We're at just a little less than 12 hours remaining, and we still need stories from 13 of you.

That means one of you will submit late. Don't be that guy.

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006

WORST WIZARD, THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Nothing Bet 992 words

Daniel sat down at the roulette table and knew that the croupier hated him. It was obvious from the way the eyes narrowed slightly that the guy thought Daniel was the lowest of the low: a cockroach wearing a brown suit pants and a sweat stained shirt. No tie. His eyes managed to convey his contempt for inveterate gamblers everywhere, while his shiny bald head reflected the chandeliers and glass atrium above them.

“Bets please, Ladies, Gentlemen.”

Daniel looked at the stacks of chips in front of him. This was it, put it all in. Be a man for once. That’s what Shirley used to shout at him, whenever the neighbour’s dog left a steaming poo poo on the lawn, or when they didn’t have enough money for cigarettes. Be a man, do something! His foot bounced up and down and his hands shook, so that his tall piles threatened to avalanche in all directions. The ball was already whizzing round the outer ring, he felt the a force pulling him in.

He picked up a few chips and flung them down.

“Red,” he managed to croak.

Play it safe to start, warm up. Don’t just jump into it. Need to have that lucky feeling, can’t afford to blow it all straight away. The excuses felt hollow, even to him. Daniel’s flitting eyes met the steady gaze of the croupier for a moment and he knew, just knew, that the guy would give away every tip he made this week to make it come up black.

“No more bets.” The dealer was completely professional, smiling politely at everyone at the table. For Daniel the smile was still there, but he detected a slight curl of the top lip.

Daniel tried look cool and take in the opulent, tasteful surroundings. Waiters slid between the tables serving well done steaks and expensive whiskeys in glasses of ice. But his heart jumped when he heard the ball clatter against the wheel, and his eyes flew back to the wheel. A metal bumble bee on steroids leapt and careened around, making his heart leap and fall at 200 beats per minute.

Nauseous excitement rippled through him, adrenaline and fear making every muscle in his body tense for flight. He felt himself leap up when the ball momentarily stopped in the red 25 slot, only to fall and clasp the table. Daniel saw the dealer’s mouth twitch upward slightly.

“Two is even and black.”

The rod flicked out and Daniel’s money disappeared. What was the point in cashing in everything he had if he wasn’t going to use it? Everyone at work thought he was a joke, but he would never have to work again if he won here. He would show Shirley and the rest that he wasn’t a waste of space. The ball had begun its orbits once more. All he had to do was be a man.

Daniel began to slide his stacks of chips across the felt, but just before he reached the point of no return he stopped. He couldn’t do it, his body was crushed in a vice grip.

Suddenly his stomach lurched and he slipped, pushing the chips on to the board.

“Zero,” he gasped, as the whole world seemed to stutter for a second.

“Thank you, Sir,” replied the croupier, “we have the occasional tremor here, but it’s nothing to worry about. No more bets -”

The cosy atmosphere vanished as the emergency lights flared up. A burley pit boss started shouting and people looked around in surprise as emergency doors were flung open. The punters grabbed their chips and ran for the doors. As they fled the screaming rabble of saggy tits in cocktail dresses and jowls in tuxedos spilled chips behind them like hansel and gretel. Following close on their heels were the pit boss, waiters, dealers and some girls wearing nothing more than a few sequins. In seconds there was only the two of them; the croupier staring at Daniel while Daniel stared at the ball.

The croupier’s eyes darted from Daniel to large atrium above them and to the roulette wheel. From a madman, to a million potential shards of ballistic glass, to a ball bouncing on a wheel. He didn’t know why he was still here, but he was somehow rooted to the spot by the spectacle.

“If sir wishes, he may withdraw the bet.”

The voice was clipped with only the slightest hint of a shake. The room began to sway again, gently, as if the building had had one drink too many. Daniel was oblivious. This time the action of the ball had caused a completely different effect upon him - his blood had crystallised in his veins and his knuckles were white against the lustre of the brass table rail. There were no more choices, he had no more options. Everything had come down to him, and the wheel, and the ball. He was going to win, he could feel it. He had never felt so calm, so content, so certain.

To the dealer the floor was eerily quiet under the lights, he was used to lounge muzak, cries of celebration and chiming one armed bandits. The ball rattled and the chandeliers above them tinkled gently as they began to sway more strongly. Daniel’s attention was focussed on the pistol shots and sledgehammer blows of the ball approaching its final place. Each bounce and slice made his jaw clench tighter, until it momentarily rested on the silver ridge between spots. Less than twenty seconds had passed since the lights had flashed up, but it had held a lifetime’s excitement.

A cannon shot crack reverberated around the room as the s-wave hit, making the world grumble beneath their feet. The ball dropped into green spot. Released from the spell the croupier dived under the table, but David watched in awe as diamonds fell to celebrate the first win of his life.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Some Strange Flea posted:

We're at just a little less than 12 hours remaining, and we still need stories from 13 of you.

That means one of you will submit late. Don't be that guy.

Hot drat, that is like 6 hours more time than I thought. Sweet.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


TD Week 32 Brawl

Flash Rules: Flash and Rule. Word Count: 750

Afterschool Duel
Words: 745

At the playground, I parted the mass of people with only my presence. Harbingers from atop the monkeybars and slides crowed my arrival. Heads swiveled in disbelief. Crumpled in my hand was the flyer advertising my doom at 4:00pm sharp. Professional quality, could have only been made by Marty Huffer, the computer science teacher. The Word Art was impeccable.

“Jimmy, you don’t have to do this,” said Charlie Walt. Charlie taught art, what did he know of masculinity in action? I was the protagonist. I had to do this.

“Don’t worry, I have a plan,” I said.

I did have a plan, and getting beaten into the pavement by Archie Brownstone wasn’t it. Mr. B, everyone called him, even us, his peers. He had an honorable discharge from the Navy. I wouldn’t stand a chance in fisticuffs. No, cleverness would be my savior. What would Huck Finn do? Be more like Ralph, less Piggy. Disarm Mr. B with surprise. I would drop my pants in defiance to these written standards of engagement, literally. Wouldn’t punch a man in glasses, eh? What about a man with his pants around his ankles shirking convention and defying this barbarism? He would be befuddled and confused, the lummox.

And there, in the center of it all, stood the antagonist, Mr. B, the science teacher. Barrel-chested and with pants that sat too high on his waist. His Oxford already off; chest hairs barely constrained by his white undershirt.

Mr. B straightened up and looked down his nose at me. He cocked his fist back, showing his infamous knuckle tattoo, “FIST.” Science teachers, always labeling the most obvious things, no room for an imagination.

“Are you ready for this?” Mr. B asked.

“Only one thing,” I sneered. “No time outs.” Mr. B smiled, the rest of the faculty sucked in a breath.

The crowd closed in around us. I imagined him to think of us as two nuclei, and he was going to force me out, away from the school. But I thought of myself as a fox, and he a crow. So proud, nestled on his perch looking down at all of us. I was going to make his jaw drop. My belt buckle clinked, the sharpness of it cut through the air. At once the breeze cooled my sweaty nethers, and brought the gasps to my ears. Music. Victory. Power.

“You think I ain’t ever seen a dick before, boy?” Mr. B said, coming at me.

And suddenly I was going to get my rear end handed to me with my pants around my ankles. My innards twisted like a towel being dried. There was no room for anything in my stomach as everything constricted. And then I knew what I had to do.

My knees wobbled as I bent, but I kept my composure. I let loose a shout, a howl, a prayer to Moloch himself and then grit my teeth.

I could see the horror in the eyes of the teachers in front of me, and hear the hollow echo of the sounds of at least two professionals, retching behind me. I felt my gut surge, and in my head, the beast roared triumphant, followed by a meaty smack as the log struck the blacktop. After my gastric bypass, I had to be careful of what I ate, but last night was steak night. That's when the smell first reached me, intensified by the aerosolized spatter off the tar. I stared straight at Mr. B, and even as my eyes watered, I felt my jaw loosen and lips peel back into a rictus that would do any death's head proud.

“Aww, Jimmy,” Charlie said.

Mr. B’s arms sank. I had sapped the will to fight out of him and expelled it out my backside. Standing, I placed my hands on my hips. Panic still wound its tight fingers around my gut, but I had to appear purposeful in direction and demeanor. Murmurs and disappointed sighs drifted lazily through the crowd and people started to leave. I forced a smile, a winning grin splayed out on my face like a jackal. I was untouchable. Slowly, they all left. Only Charlie was left, sitting on the wooden edge of a sandbox. His chin resting on his hands, fingers framing his shock of a face.

“Well, I guess I won.”

“But, man, your mess,” Charlie said.

“gently caress it,” I said. “Let those lazy piece of poo poo janitors deal with it.”

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006

WORST WIZARD, THUNDERDOME
LOSER


vs



Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

It Is the Last
(634 words)

In the autumn, six months in advance of Easter, Michael set a topaz into the space left for it in the forest-green enamel of a pendant. Only when he'd finished did he notice the quiet of the workshop around him. He took the loupe from his eye. Henrik Wigström stood at the back of the cavernous room, waiting for the jewelers who remained in the Petrograd shop to grant him their attention.

Apparently Michael had been the last delinquent. "Next year's egg for the dowager czarina will be made of Karelian birch," Henrik told them all. "The surprise will be silver and gold, if we can acquire them. Master Fabergé wouldn't take it amiss to find such materials in the back of a cabinet where they might have been forgotten."

Henrik's eyes didn't linger on any particular craftsman, but Michael's fingers trembled against enamel.

When the law had come down forbidding jewelers to use silver or gold, and all of them had been reduced to working in copper and steel, Michael had... borrowed a few scraps before the government could take them. Just a few. Just in case of need. And the next morning, when he slid a little box to the back of the least-used cabinet--several other jewelers watched him do it--his fingers found more boxes already there.

He alone was given the task of setting rose-cut diamonds in the tiny clockwork elephant and the golden key that wound it, once they had been made. How fine it was to work with gold again, to fill Marie Feodorovna's familiar monogram with sparks of brilliance. And the perfect little elephant! Michael slowly, painstakingly set gems into the pits he made in its hide, and sometimes he smiled as he did. The moments when he could work on the surprise carried him through dull hours of crafting syringes for military nurses; what did he even know of such things?

He put the emptiness of the workshop out of his mind, though fewer than two dozen men still worked there. He managed to ignore the sounds from the streets below, where strikers gathered, and of course he ignored his own hunger. He set one tiny silver tusk into place, then another. He shivered inside his coat.

One piece of news reached Michael's brain. He approached Wigström on that third day of March and asked, his throat tight, "The czar has abdicated?" Henrik nodded curtly, and Michael pressed on: "What of the Easter egg? The dowager's egg?"

For several long moments, Henrik looked out one of the windows. "The order for it hasn't been canceled," he said at last. The workmaster's voice lacked enthusiasm, or any audible emotion at all.

Never mind that. Never mind the craftsmen who wondered aloud where he could hear whether Citizen Nicholas Romanov would be in any position to give gifts by the end of the month. Michael devoted himself to a tiny, shining creature, a beautiful thing.

Then it was done. Michael picked up the winding key.

The men of the workshop gathered around him as he inserted it into the elephant's side and turned it. The soft clicks of the gears were a song. Sunlight fractured inside the diamonds that paved its golden sides as the elephant walked across his table. It raised its miniature trunk, and the silver tusks flashed; its eyes flashed, and broken light scattered across the aged wood; he could have covered it with one hand. Wondrous, he thought. Ridiculous. Majestic. Scarred jewelers' hands clasped his shoulders. Michael nudged the elephant to turn it around, to make it march in front of them again.

Master craftsmen watched a testament to their artistry mimic life in the glow of the falling sun, its footsteps louder, briefly, than the voices of Petrograd.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Humor me as I indulge in something that we in the Northwest like to ignore and pretend isn't a thing, in proper Seattle fashion.

Bury Me With Emeralds
966 words

Through my open window came the haunting whistle of a passing train. Then another. Then another.

"Yes, I know, you're a train. You're all trains, who the gently caress cares?" I stood up and slammed the window shut. In the time it took me to walk from my computer and back, I'd received two notifications about photos I'd uploaded, an invitation to a local artist's opening, and four increasingly plaintive messages from Julia:

I just feel like I have to drag you out anytime we go somewhere.

Really makes everything feel one sided, you know?

You there? I saw that you were typing for a sec.

Whatever Dan. Either you care or you don't.


Then she'd signed off. I flopped down into my chair and began crafting a scathing reply for her to find when she signed on again, then thought better of it. If getting her to gently caress off was as simple as ignoring her for a minute, it was better to keep quiet and let all the breakup business take care of itself.

I flipped idly between webpages. No updates on the social feed. Nothing happening on the photostream.

Click. Click. Refresh. Click. Julia. I stared into empty space, realized I was imagining her; Julia and her great cleavage. Julia, bare arms taut as she shot elk with a plastic riffle at the bar. The way her makeup flaked over her acne scars, even though I told her she looked better without...

I shook it off and reached for my pack of cigarettes. Empty. And because there were no cigarettes, by god I needed a loving cigarette. I'd have a smoke, get some air, I told myself. Get Julia out of my head.

Outside, the crows and gulls were louder than I could ever remember, wheeling and soaring in a great cloud over the city. A few people had paused on the sidewalk to marvel at the sight.

"There's so many, you ever seen anything like that?" an old man said to me over the shrieking din of the birds.

I shook my head. "But this is why god invented headphones, right?"

"You'd do yourself good to look at somethin' else than your cellphone," the old man said as I walked away. My earbuds were already halfway in.

Out of ten gigabytes of stored music, my phone seemed stuck on the endless tracks of shoegaze bullshit that Julia had insisted I download after we'd screwed to My Bloody Valentine a couple times. I flipped through songs, not knowing what I wanted except that it couldn't remind me of her. Flip. Flip. Flip back. Listz's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, an artifact left over from a hot pianist I'd tried to impress once.

The song started and I set off toward the smoke shop. The sun was setting beyond downtown Seattle, the Olympic mountains a haloed wall on the far side the Puget sound. The beginning of Liszt's Rhapsody was stately and sublime, and the thousands of birds above swirled in great formations that moved in time with the arpeggios and cascading musical phrases.

Halfway to the shop, I passed through a ball field that afforded a panoramic view of downtown. I could just pick out Elliot Bay by the little slices of glittering sea between skyscrapers. More birds flocked overhead, pigeons and sparrows joining the gulls and crows. They were almost beautiful, I thought. When you couldn't hear them.

A grey and white cat bolted in front of me--

--then heaving, shaking earth. The ground surged up to meet me, or was I falling down? Over and over, undulating waves of grass. Here the hiss of an underground pipe, there the groan of a collapsing apartment building, and over it all the screams of man and birds alike crescendoed into a terrible death knell. The rhapsody reached its friska --one of my earbuds was still in--growing louder and louder, dissonant harmonies racing toward a towering climax while skyscrapers collapsed into a slurry of mud and silt.

I pushed myself onto hands and knees, only to be slammed back down again as the earth rippled and shook, pliant as fabric. There was nothing for it but to curl into the fetal position and wait to live or die.

Some twenty seconds went by before the worst of the earthquake passed. Twenty seconds to wipe the skyline clean, to turn the bay into a swamp of twisted steel and broken concrete.

Liszt's Rhapsody came to an end. I pushed myself to my feet, pulled the one headphone out of my ear, and looked out at the fading afterimage of the city. The Columbia Center had toppled, a jagged black corpse that stretched nearly halfway across Elliot Bay, and was sinking fast. Of the old Smith tower, there was nothing.

Reflex made me pull out my phone to take a picture. Then I looked at the top of the screen; no bars. I almost laughed. Who the hell would I send a picture to? Most of the people who mattered had lived or work downtown. They'd never text again, never rate another photo on the internet, most likely would never be exhumed from the bay.

My heart skipped a beat, then, as I thought of Julia. Julia and her annoying terrier. Julia, who couldn't change a lightbulb and breath at the same time. Julia crushed under debris. Julia running from looters.

I looked north, past the tapering stub of the Space Needle, to Queen Anne hill. I'd walked across town and climbed that hill every day when I first met Julia, because she was afraid of buses and hated my apartment, and I was getting laid.

Guess you dragged me out of the house after all, I thought, and set out north, over the bones of the Emerald City.

------


This is Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, if anyone doesn't know wtf I was going for there.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


Thunderbrawl Results


Noah posted:

Afterschool Duel

I certainly feel we've all gained some insight into the inner landscapes of both of your minds, and my, they ain't so pretty. We're talking phallic mountains and giant arse-crack crevasses with rivers of poo poo.

Still, that aside, both entries were decent. Both of them hit both points of the prompt, even though it would be pretty hard to gently caress that up god knows I'm sure plenty of people in here would. However, as a wise movie once taught me: There can only be one. So with the power invested in me by absolutely no-one, I pronounce the victor of the brawl to be Noah. The characterisation and overall cohesiveness of the piece was a rung above and therefore is the winner. Congrats. That gives you an enviable 4-0 record.

If you wish to take it to a best of three, shoot.

I may even append some crits onto this after I go and get a drink. Get excited.

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autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

You better fuckin' believe this is gonna be two out of three.

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