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Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


everybody shut up and write something pls

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SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

We're returning to hardcore thunderdome mode. I hope you enjoyed the please and thank you of regular CC cocksucking, but it's over.

If you miss this post, too bad. The joke of kayfabe is gone because apparently there are some without real teeth. I want genuine blood if you post.

Post crits if you want. Zero response unless you want banned from the next week.

No kayfabe. No realtalk. We're just in the sad old CC poo poo that can and should be mocked.

What the gently caress is wrong with us?
Show; don't tell, dickhead. Lead by example. Write some loving good stories instead of crying away that nobody else is doing it. I'm the guy people keep PMing going "why don't you do TD any more we miss you :qq:" and I've stepped up to the post more than you have this year.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


sebmojo posted:

Alright you big-noting cocksucker, bring it. I will eviscerate you. 1k words, midnight Tues PST. Martello can judge and prompt.

gimme some hours I'll hook you girls up

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






Oh my god kill all your selfs

The deadline is approaching. Ignore the chucklefucks and focus on improving on the drivel so that i'm not emotionally scarred again like last week.

oh yeah, and BOHNER









hey man you're pretty alright.


edit, now that I'm fully awake: I think there are good people in here who do good things. Lets not discourage them by pissing on our own parade, yeah?

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 16:32 on Apr 21, 2013

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe

Chairchucker, this one's for you :cheers:

Everyone else: I'm sorry.

Mark Zak: Douchebag Detective 1084 words

“gently caress? Another one? Hang tight bro, I’m on my way.”

Mark dropped the phone into the only free cupholder and floored it, cutting off some old bag in a Prius. She honked, Mark stomped the brakes. The bitch fishtailed into the ditch. He smiled ‘cause his truck was lifted so high she’d never see the plates.

The driveway was full of cruisers so he popped the curb and parked on the lawn, mangling a sapling in his chrome skidplate. He put on his other set of Oakleys and ran his fingers through his chinstrap beard.

The house was just like the others he’d been called to – two story McMansion on the cheaper side of suburbia. The cops met him at the door.

“And this is Detective Zak, Bromicide Specialist and Chief Facepunchologist” Said the older one with the serious Burt Reynolds ‘stache. The younger cop just nodded.

“What’d we got, Sarge?” Mark asked the old guy.

“I’m an offi – Y’know what? Forget it. It’s the same as the last three. Face punched right in.”

“Can I see ‘im?” Mark asked.

“We left him as he fell,” the officer gestured inside.

The dead guy was sprawled out on a Walmart rug, face up…or tits up, seeing as his face was a sunken cavity.

“Where’s the widow, I gotta talk to ‘er,” Mark said.

“She locked herself in the bedroom when we got here and we don’t have a warrant.”

“Whatever. You guys can gently caress off, I’ll take it from here.” Mark slammed the door and made his way upstairs.

There was a bowl of KD on the living room table right next to an xbox controller and a six of Natty Ice. Call of Duty was paused on the bigscreen. Mark laughed at the dead human being’s kill/death ratio as he climbed the stairs.

His ‘roid-grown broceps twisted the knob right off the door.

“If your old man’s dead that means you’re single don’t it?”

He sat down beside the crying milf and put his hand around her bare waist. She shuddered as he thumbed a c-section scar.

“C’mon hun, it’s nothin’ to cry about. You can get yourself some brand new titties when the insurance comes in. Now how’s about I do something that’ll make you feel better?” He squeezed her rear end through her sweats. She cold clocked him right between the eyes.

He revved the motor and stared at his forehead in the rearview. She’d barely left a welt. She’d never lifted weights, skin was too soft to have ever held a weapon. No way this case was a domestic. No leads, just like all the others.

He mashed his fingers against his phone; it dialled and connected.

“Hey Carl you fat bastard! You wanna see some rippers? Lipstixxx in a half. No I don’t care you mum’s sick.” He neutral-bombed the truck into reverse, tore up a flowerbed and clipped a Neon before jamming the shifter to D.

Mark slipped a bill into Candy’s bra like he was playing the penny slots. She moved with the music, knew to stay clear of his beer hand and his fauxhawk. He brushed her hair out of his face and straightened his Oakleys.

“So get this, another fuckin’ CoD bitch with his face punched in. You think, like, they’re so lovely their heads uh, explode in?”

“You mean implode. Maybe, but I guess it depends if they heard you talk. Anyway, I don’t know if it’s related, but someone beat me in a one-on-one today. Said he was going to punch my face in tonight. Thought it was just another dumbass twelve year old, though,” Carl said.

“Bro, no way there’s a fucker who plays more CoD than you. This is like, what, your sixth month of EI? All cos you hurt your rear end shovelling? I swear man, you’d have it made if you could just get bitches, ‘knowmsayin’?”

“gently caress you. They said it’s a miracle I can walk again,” Carl said, fishing a sweaty bill from his pocket and tossing it onto the stage.

Mark slammed the rest of his beer, Candy took the empty bottle and slipped away to get another.

“Don’t bother, we’re outta here.” Mark said, almost smacking her rear end but then remembering the No Touching policy.

“gently caress dude you really shouldn’t have driven! What the gently caress, you’re gonna kill someone!” Carl yelled in a hoarse, squeaky voice as Marked stepped out of his truck.

Mark grabbed a two-four from the back and slammed the tailgate shut. He was wearing motorbike gloves now.

“Keep it down!” Carl was still yelling in his quiet-but-angry voice, “mom’s asleep. We’ll have to use the back door. We can chill in the basement.”

Carl loaded up CoD on the bigscreen and started a one-on-one. He could hear Mark railing lines in the tiny bathroom.

“Dude! If my mom finds out...”

A lighter clicked.

“Dude! Fuckin’ stop! If you’re gonna smoke at least turn the fuckin’ fan on!”

A player joined the match: Vasily[facepunch].

Carl wiped his sweaty hands on his jeans, but it didn’t help. He barely held the controller as he rounded the corner and raided Vasily’s spawn point. Bam. A clean headshot. The match restarted. Another clean kill. Vasily wasn’t playing.

“I, uh, I think something’s wrong, Mark…”

Mark coughed from the bathroom, a sweet skunky smell filled the basement.

There was a knock at the door. Then three more.

Carl crept up the stairs as quietly as he could. Another knock, this time he could hear wood splinter.

“Who...who is it?”

“Vasi – Is pizza. Delivery. Is pizza delivery for Carl, open door please.”

The thought of a fresh pie was just too much for him. He slid the deadbolt open and got his credit card ready. Mark was an rear end in a top hat for making him pay, but maybe there’d be hot wings.

Mark busted out of the bathroom with a half-smoked blunt in his lips, but it was too late. Carl flew backwards down the basement stairs leaving a trail of blood from his ruined face. Mark bounded up the steps before Vasily knew what was going on and slammed a buckshot glove into Vasily’s jaw.

Bone cracked and Vasily collapsed. Mark took a picture with his phone and tore out of the neighbourhood before the real cops got there.

He zoomed in on the picture after hitting the cruise control, focusing on the strange brown pants Vasily had worn. No homo.

“The Museum’s stolen Cossack fighting trousers…I should have known.”

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


Border Control (1186 words)

“You’re not keeping me here any longer, you bastards!” At the kiosk next to Howard’s, Officer Reggie vaulted his counter and sprinted for the entryway.

People parted and stormtroopers poured into the processing hall, rifles leveled. Gouts of lightning vaporized the runner and brimstone wafted through the air.

The gentleman standing at Howard’s kiosk coughed.

Howard had paused mid-stamp. Apologizing, he waved the man past the turnstile.

A security officer led a girl from Reggie’s queue over to Howard. “This man will take care of you, miss. Sorry for the delay.”

Howard’s eyes stayed fixed on the janitor sweeping away his colleague. “Papers, please.”

“Why did they…?”

“Staff aren’t allowed near the waking zone. Regulations. Your papers?” He glanced up, then squinted as pain crackled through his brow. The woman’s face swam as though submerged in water.

A passport slid across his desk. He opened it, hand hovering over the stamp: Alyssa Brady. The photo blurred and shifted, stabbing him in the eyes.

Howard flipped through ink-stained pages buried in stamps. “Your passport seems to be full. I’ll have to call security.”

“Hey, do I know you?” She frowned.

“I doubt it.” Howard’s finger hovered over the little security-call button beneath his desk, but he couldn’t push it.

“You sound just like—“

Something deep inside him slammed the stamp down and he shoved the passport away. “Next!”

#

Howard unlocked the door to his small shared room.

Sandman Sam lay on his bunk, nose buried in his laptop. “Darn shame about Reggie. Why’d he run?”

“Don’t ask me, man.” Howard shucked his tie and set down a manila folder. “I had a woman come through the line today.”

“You don’t say? Maybe a man too?”

“No, a new woman, but I don’t feel like she’s new. I know her, somehow.”

“Probably just someone you saw in Reggie’s line a few times.”

“I pulled her files on my way home.” Howard opened the folder and rustled the pages. “Her passport is full and she sleeps twenty hours a day. What do you make of that?”

“Ain’t my department, man.”

Howard opened the folder again, drawn to the name at the top. “Alyssa Brady. Sound familiar?”

Sam closed his laptop. “You’re way outside your jurisdiction. Are you even supposed to have that?”

“But—“

“Don’t bring contraband in here, okay?” He took the folder from Howard. “I’m gonna go incinerate this. Why don’t you get some rest?”

#

Sirens flashed in the night and Sam banged on the door. “Code yellow, yours!”

Howard yanked on his uniform and followed the sandman down to a dreamlock. Sam cranked open the lock.

Black mist poured across the floor and a red-eyed behemoth lunged through the fog towards them, knifelike arms outstretched.

Alyssa stared at them, ignoring the nightmare behind her. “Who—“

They pulled her through the lock and slammed it shut.

Alyssa blinked, then squinted. “Howard?”

Sam coughed. “This way, Mrs. Brady.” He led them to a small, shared office.

Howard’s desk sat behind a cubicle wall, separating him from the places where Sam and Reggie worked. As Sam looked on, he sat down and filled out the usual discharge forms. How the hell did she know his name? He couldn’t ask with the sandman around, or he’d end up in the brig with a light shining in his eyes and an angry man asking questions he couldn’t answer.

“Miss, you’ve overtime and spinning nightmares. We have to discharge you. Regulations.” Howard held up a pen. “Sign here, here, and initial here.”

“Maybe I like it here.” She signed.

“This way please.” Sam led them to the discharge chamber. A sign hung above the door: Hazard zone, dreamers only.

Howard swiped his badge and stepped aside. “Have a nice day.”

“Maybe I should take more pills next time.” Alyssa stepped over the threshold and vanished.

Howard returned to his desk, alone, and worked through the usual incident report. A note slipped out from between the forms.

“I forgive you, Howie.”

Howie? No one had called him that since… the memory refused to surface. He flipped back to her file photo.

It wavered, but clearer, sharper, as though it were rising through the water. He stared at it and a glowing headache blossomed between his eyes. The room around him shrank to a dark, distant point.

A knife. A man lying on the floor, throat filleted.

The world snapped back into place. Howard Brady bolted for the discharge chamber, swiped his badge and dove into the Waking World.

#

Howard forced his eyes open, sat up on a concrete balcony and raised a hand to block the sun. Ghostly shackles dangled from his wrists, a clock counting down on each, and a gold band glinted on his ring finger.

Inside his old apartment, take-out boxes and wine bottles buried the floor ankle-deep. Something snapped beneath Howard’s shoe. A glass syringe, the needle rusted and bent. Who the hell had wrecked his place?

Something stirred in his head.

Three bottles, empty. A thrown glass smashing against the wall. A hand pulling a knife from a drawer.

Somewhere down the hallway, a jar of marbles toppled to the floor. Howard hurried to the bedroom and sank to his knees.

Alyssa lay in bed, her sunken eyes shut. Greasy hair matted her forehead and scars ran up skeletal arms. Her hand rested inside a tipped jar, and hundreds of sleeping pills cascaded across the nightstand and floor.

Memories breached the surface of his mind.

A load of whisky, a knife in his hand, creeping to the bedroom, kicking the door in and pulling the cable guy off his wife, opening the man’s throat, tears, blood, she didn’t want him, nobody did, the world would be better off like this and then the knife twisting within his own chest.

“She’s already gone over.” Sam sat in the corner, arms crossed. “Howard, what the hell were you thinking? The dead don’t trouble the living.” He sighed and drew a pistol.

“She still forgave me, and she was gonna kill herself. Look how bad I hosed her up, Sam. Ease off.”

“You know what the rules say about runners.” He aimed.

“If you zap me, whatever happens to her is on you. Let me make this right.”

“I’m listening.”

Howard hovered over Alyssa, looking for a pulse or breath. Nothing. “She went over?”

Sam shrugged. “She’s in the system. I’d expect her to serve border control, after the usual processing.” He tapped his head.

“Then let me take her time.” Howard slapped his still-bleeding chest. “I’ve already done two years. What’s another…?”

“Five hundred years?”

“But she’d go free?”

Sam nodded.

“Okay.”

“You’re sure about this?”

“Do it.”

Sam holstered his pistol. “Show me your hands.”

Howard held up the ticking shackles.

Sam tapped his sickle-shaped badge to them and they fell away. He pulled reality aside like a drape, heavenly light poured through and he grinned at Howard. “Go on, champ. You earned it.”

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


:siren:THUNDERBRAWL JUDGEMENT TIME: MARTELLO vs NOAH:siren:

First, some critiques. You bitches better be grateful, because I am lazy and hate doing this poo poo:

Martello posted:

The Watch

Kimberly didn’t mean to steal it. She never did.

It was such a nice watch, a man’s watch. It fit Kim’s thick wrist, though.

She had been standing by the Lost & Found at the Natural History [Museum?], flirting with a security guard, when the watch caught her eye.

“Uh, what did you say you wanted, miss?” He was big, bigger than Kim [which is significant, because? Most men are bigger than women, so if Kim is a woman who is also big, you need to make it clearer at this point]. A white dude; she’d swung that before and wouldn’t mind it again [This is a subtle way of saying that Kim is black (or not-white, I suppose), but did you really have to make the black woman a klepto? Hello, negative stereotypes!].

“I lost my watch.” She flicked her lashes at him, clasped her hands just below her waist and squeezed her pecs together. Her cleavage, professionally enhanced, lengthened accordingly [I get what you're going for here, but it's a weirdly sterile way to say it, like you have boob Aspergers or something.].

Big White Dude swallowed and stared at her tits for a second before he recovered. “Right, uh, your watch.” He pointed at the Lost & Found, crooking his elbow just enough to get a nice bicep flex [These spots are off from a perspective sense - is he purposefully flexing for Kim because she's ripped, or is she just perceiving it that way because she's a personal trainer/bodybuilder/whatever and is hyper aware of other people's bodies?]. “Feel free to take a look in the box.”

Kim flashed him all her big white teeth [are you falling back on a mildly racist stereotype again? I THINK MAYBE] and took the two steps to the box. She passed close to Big White Dude, brushed him with her shoulder and let him get a whiff of her Burberry Sport. She reached into the box and grabbed the TAG Heuer.

“This is it.” She cooed and held it up. “Thank you so much for your help!”

“Well, I just pointed you the right way, but you’re welcome I guess.” His teeth were bigger and whiter than hers. She liked how his smile lines almost reached the angles of his jaw.

Watch on her wrist and Brandon’s number in her phone, Kim wiggled her rear end down the steps to Madison Drive. Brandon: typical white dude name, but it suited him. Muscles, tan, thick brown hair combed to the side. And that great smile.

Kim played with the watch on the bus back to her apartment on Lamont Street in Mount Pleasant. It was an impulse. Partly to talk to Brandon, but she wanted the watch anyway. He could have been a short dumpy guy who’d never even smelled a gym, and she still would have lied about it.

She got off at a stop six blocks from home. It was walking weather. As she rounded a corner, a lanky, lean-muscled man skidded to a stop on his S-Works custom job.

“Hey Kimmy, how’s it going?” Jude grinned and squeezed the handlebars to make his forearm veins pop [check the perspective again here].

“Just on my way back from Natural History.” She did her best to smile.

“I love that place!” He threw up a long thumb. “Though Fine Arts is my favorite, of course.”

“Of course,” Kim said. “Well, I gotta head back and make dinner, ok?”

“Sure, sure. I bet it’ll be delicious.” He finally wrenched his eyes from her tits and looked down at her watch. “Nice watch, by the way. Is it new?”

“Yeah, just picked it up.” She fiddled with the leather band.

“TAG Heuer, those aren’t cheap! Personal trainer must pay better than I thought.” Jude leaned back in the saddle and adjusted his Rudy Project shades.

rear end in a top hat. “Figured I could splurge a little, y’know?”

“Sure do. Well, I guess I’ll let you get to your dinner. See you Wednesday morning as always?”

“As always,” Kim said. “Upper back, biceps, and quads.”

“Beautiful. Have a superlative [is this intentional? If not, it's poor editing; if yes, it's retarded] day!” Jude tossed her a salute and pushed off.

The Mount Pleasant Farmer’s Market was still in full swing in Lamont Park. Kim stopped to grab oranges, grapefruits, and pecans. She had a citrus salad in mind from last month’s Cook’s Illustrated. It would go perfect with roasted sweet potatoes and leftover grilled chicken.

She called Brandon from her kitchen.

#

“Dinner was fantastic, Kim.” It had been medium-rare New York Strip and a pile of grilled broccoli. “I can never get healthy food to taste this good.”

“Thanks honey,” Kim said. That “honey” had just kind of slipped out. It was their third date, dinner at Kim’s like the first one. They still hadn’t slept together. Brandon wasn’t pushing it, didn’t even grab a boob while they made out during Java Heat on Date Number Two.

Brandon smiled. Kim flexed her thighs, squeezed them together.

“Hey Brandon? Let’s go to bed.”

#

“Hey Vanessa.” Kim switched the phone to her other ear so she could turn the dryer dial. “How’s what going? Oh, ‘that Brandon thing?’ It’s going amazing, been a month now.”

The phone beeped.

“poo poo, he’s calling me now. Let me call you back.” Kim tapped the screen. “Hey.”

“Hey.” Slight pause. “Can you meet me for lunch?”

“Sure. Near work?”

“I have just a short break. The café?”

“Dinosaurs?”

“Right.”

“Okay, honey, I’ll be there.”

Brandon was sitting at a corner table, looking great as always in his tight black uniform. He stood up as Kim got close with her turkey wrap.

“Hey honey.” She kissed him on the mouth.

“Hey.” Brandon sat, toyed with his Fiji bottle.

“So what’s up? You seem down or something.”

Brandon’s dark eyes burned into her. “Kim, I know that watch wasn’t yours.”

Her stomach squirmed. “What? Of course it’s mine!” She tried to smile.

“No it loving isn’t.” Brandon clenched his fists. “Guy from New York came in this morning. His monthly meeting at his national HQ or whatever, and figured he’d left the watch here last time.”

“It’s gotta be a coincidence!” Kim’s blinked tears back.

“It’s not. He described it perfectly. Turns out it’s custom. A man’s custom watch.” [This point sticks out to me becuase I feel like he would have noticed it was a man's watch when she took it? The difference between men's and women's watch styles/sizes is generally massively obvious, so now it's weird that he apparently didn't notice, as opposed to noticing but not saying anything] Brandon’s face was granite.

“I’m sorry Brandon, I just wanted an excuse to talk to you.” She wiped her eyes.

“So you had to steal a loving watch?”

“I have a problem, I’m a klepto. [this strikes me as a weirdly casual admission - so casual in fact, that it makes her seem really insincere, and I'm not sure if that's what you're going for] I’m so, so sorry.” Kim grabbed his hand. He didn’t push her away.

“Those watches cost three or four grand. That’s at least a year if I turn you in.”

A year was forever. She’d lose her job, her apartment. No gym would hire an ex-con.

He smiled, not a nice one now. “But you know, a husband can’t testify against his wife.”
[Whaaaat? This ending is too out of the left field for me because you don't telegraph the fact that Brandon is apparently some kind of desperate psycho clearly enough so then it's too unexpected to be be believable for the character.

This was a pretty good effort. I enjoyed the setting and the overall story arc and you're really good at dialogue, which I appreciate. However, I'm not sure if this takes on the spirit of the rule about writing in someone else's style because it's still very Martello in the way that the characters think/talk/act. Realtalk: You seem to have this weird fixation on female bodies/sexuality that rarely escapes coming off as creepy at best and outright misogynistic at worst, and it annoys the poo poo out of me so could you please stop kthx. Like, basically, if it would be super weird for you to write that way about a dude, probably you shouldn't write that way about a woman, just FYI.

Noah posted:

Finders Keepers

Words: 995

Bex Lightfoot swept his Ferren 40-C Auto-rifle back and forth. Ashes and dust danced through the air as the vest-flashlight beam swung. Blood from his forehead pooled around the neck of his flak jacket. Squinting, he could barely make out shapes along the walls. A Yotsu-Miyami flash bang had wrecked his cyber-eyes, and he wasn’t used to going analog.

“It’s clear,” Bex said over his com.

Three men piled into the darkened hallway behind him.

“Yotsu drones still out there, we should hole up here for the night,” Bex said.

“Where is here?” Jester said looking around. Tiny chairs, tables and lockers lined the empty, dusty hallways. Door after door lined the spaces between lockers.

“I think we’re in an abandoned [obviously it's abandonded] school,” Fizz said.

“Maybe you’ll finally graduate the fourth grade,” Bex said, wrapping an arm around Fizz’s shoulders. “Bert, find a datajack and see if you can send out a false beacon, draw ‘em away from here.”

Bert gave a thumb’s up with his free hand, and took his datadeck, checking for wall outlets.

“Fizz, Jester, lets find a place to get some sleep.”

***

“Bruno Masters was a naughty, naughty boy,” Jester said, flipping through a folder of ancient paperwork. Bex, Jester and Fizz rooted through office cabinets and drawers.

“A FluxBux Bear? I had one of these as a kid,” Bex said. He plucked the ragged bear from a wire Lost and Found basket and squinted one eye. “I never thought I’d see one of these again.”

“Take it home, give it to your kid,” Fizz said. He sat in a rickety office chair, reclining back, off balance. Bex nodded, looking the bear up and down.

In the darkness, something scurried away, table legs scraping against concrete. Guns drew, ready and searching. [this is some hella awkward phrasing]

“What was that?” Bex said.

Fizz shook his head. A heavy metal smashing sound rang out from the hallway. Jester poked his head out of the room.

“Bert?” Jester called. He turned back and shrugged his shoulders at the team. A blackened, clawed hand reached across Jester’s face, pulling him into the hallway.

Fizz leapt forward first, tearing into the hall. Jester screamed as he was dragged, plowing through overturned tables and chairs. Fizz fired high, over Jester, but that made whatever was dragging Jester [him? I just don't like the repetition, even though it's probably technically correct] move faster.

“Jester!” Fizz shouted. Bex couldn’t keep up, couldn’t see the garbage and chairs he kept tripping over. Hitting his shins on a tiny chair, he went sprawling. Pushing himself up, he grabbed his rifle, and the teddy bear from the ground. Looking around he didn’t hear anything anymore. [This seems mostly redundant, plus "looking" is the most boring action in the world]

“Fizz! Jester!” Bex shouted. “Anyone?”

***

Firing shots over his shoulder, Bex didn’t look back. Hurdling fallen chairs and broken desks, he could hear something behind him smash right through the debris.

“Fizz! Fizz! Jesus Christ Fizz!” Bex shouted over the com. Static. Bex kept his flashlight trained in front of him. “Anyone? Bert? Jester?”

Bex whipped around a corner, tripping over a fallen locker. Scurrying and scraping echoed through the halls, the thing would be around the corner [on him? repetition again] in a second. Bex rolled onto his back and squeezed off a burst. Concrete chips and empty casings clattered to the ground. Silence. Still in his hand was the FluxBux bear [awkward, passive phrasing]. He squeezed it, the softness and resistance calming him slightly. Tucking the bear into his belt, he scooted backwards into an open classroom.

***

Seven rounds still left in Bex’s magazine. Enough to send some warning shots, maybe enough for some Yotsu mook, but not for whatever was in that blackness. Bex felt his heart beat in his temples, pulsations rippling through his eyes. He turned his flashlight off, his vision was no good anyway.

Focus, Bex thought. Let the aug-sense take over. Listening to the darkness, he stepped slowly backward, foot over foot. It’ll come through the door, and I’ll hear it push the chair, he assured himself. One hand felt behind him, searching for the wall to brace against. The chair scraped and he squeezed the trigger, sending three shots into the door and wall.

He missed, he heard the thing shuffling through the room, sliding on scraps of paper and garbage. He squeezed his eyes together, listening to it circle him. Multiple legs, all fours, waiting for my back to show. Bex turned slowly with the thing, waiting for it to make its move. Wait and listen, wait and listen, wait and—

It leapt, he heard [the] scrape of dusty feet on the ground. Twisting his waist, he emptied the rest of his magazine right as it collided with him. The thing bounced off him, significantly lighter than he thought it would have been [be]. Stillness. He clicked on his light, illuminating the body.

Human feet, dirty, black, with yellow nails like talons were attached to bony, thin legs. Torn, ragged khaki rags covered the thing’s genitalia, but Bex was certain it was male. Emaciated ribs rose and fell with shallow breaths. It’s only real article of clothing was a ragged, maroon polo shirt, with a white collar ripped at the neck. The polo looked like it was suffocating the poor thing.

Bex pushed the creature with his boot and it flopped over. Frayed facial hair, black and matted with crust, choked out the thing’s face [you mentioned its genitals in the previous paragraph, which most people will assume means it's already face-up, so now it makes no sense for Bex to flip it on to its back, because we assume it's already lying that way?]. Bex sighed, and looked at its hands, the FluxBux Bear wrapped tightly in bony fingers. Bex checked his belt for the bear, finding nothing.

“Aw gently caress.”

Bex fell on his rear end, Ferren 40-C clattering to the ground, empty. He heard shuffling in the darkness around him. Flicking his light, he caught the reflection of light in dozens beady black eyes. Silhouettes of skinny, hairy things surrounded Bex. He spun, light streaking across silhouette after silhouette.

Wet hissing and whimpering closed in. Bex sneered and pulled out his vibroblade. He cut the flashlight and closed his eyes. Focus, Bex thought. Wait and listen. Feet scraped against concrete as the creatures moved.

I thought that this was pretty tight and well done, you have a habit of using a lot of redundant words/phrases, and I didn't find very many instances of it here, though you did have a few instances of really awkward phrasing that you should learn to watch out for. I liked the little cyberpunk details at the beginning, but I felt that you didn't really carry it through the rest of the story beyond mentions of what the characters themselves were carrying - the school they're in could have been any regular school and so that kind of took away from the setting, but I suppose it highlights the difficulty of world-building or something like that. Also, your lost-and-found thing is a tiny bit suspect, because I feel like it was almost incedental to the story. Anyway, good job overall.

Tl;dr :siren:THE RESULT:siren:
Much as it pains me, I have to give this win to Noah. While it was much more difficult to judge whether or not Noah displayed a significant departure from his usual style due to him being generally more diverse in what he writes to begin with, Martello proved himself to be firmly married to certain stylistic quirks/character tropes that just he can't seem to shake off.
In addition, Martello's story had some logical issues and a weak ending, whereas Noah's effort seemed much tighter overall, even if I question the sincerity of his use of the prompt.

Well done, Noah, now please stop brawling people and go outside or something okay.

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


Hillock, I love the premise and the broness. But let me point a few things out here. You careen between British and American English like a drunk dude stumbling home after a bender.

Nubile Hillock posted:

Mark Zak: Douchebag Detective 1084 words

“gently caress? Another one? Hang tight bro, I’m on my way.” American. Or Canadian.

...

“And this is Detective Zak, Bromicide Specialist and Chief Facepunchologist COMMA” Said the older one with the serious Burt Reynolds ‘stache. The younger cop just nodded.

...

The dead guy was sprawled out on a Walmart rug, face up…or tits up, seeing as his face was a sunken cavity. British.

...

There was a bowl of KD on the living room table right next to an xbox controller and a six of Natty Ice. American.

His ‘roid-grown broceps twisted the knob right off the door. I just had to say that I love the word "broceps".

...

“Hey Carl you fat bastard! You wanna see some rippers? Lipstixxx in a half. No I don’t care you mum’s sick.” British. He neutral-bombed the truck into reverse, tore up a flowerbed and clipped a Neon before jamming the shifter to D. Car has freedomdrive? American.

...

“Bro, no way there’s a fucker who plays more CoD than you. This is like, what, your sixth month of EI? Canadian. All cos you hurt your rear end shovelling? British. I swear man, you’d have it made if you could just get bitches, ‘knowmsayin’?” American.


Reading this is like flipping between two TV channels, one showing the Jersey Shore and the other showing the Geordie Shore.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe

rad bromance

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

The Prayer Steward
(1,193 Words)

In the early days of widespread space travel, there were several little quirks that passengers had to learn to get used to. Artificial gravity, while it was usually pretty consistent, tended to stick you to your chair. Some extra force was needed if you wanted to stand up and walk to the bathroom, but it beat Velcro shoes. For a while, the travel companies tried to freshen up the stale air pumped through the ship’s cabin with a lemon scent, but it just made everyone feel like they were swimming in dish soap.

Also, though it was very uncommon, sometimes the passenger liners would break down billions of miles from civilization and leave all inside it to die cold, horrendous deaths in the vacuum of space.

Still, the travel companies said, life must go on. You take risks, you break new ground, a handful of people asphyxiate to death. So, in order to soothe the jangled nerves of their customers while staying in business, they created a new crew position, the Prayer Steward, and put one on each flight.

Clovis Brinley signed up to be one of the first Prayer Stewards. He had a bright face and a voice like a warm, bubbling foot bath. When assigned as Steward to a flight, he wore a pressed black suit with a black shirt and white tie. A blue sash hung over his shoulders and flowed down to his shins. Its color was committee-tested to be the most calming shade possible. Clovis didn’t think much about the risk of death that went with space flight. Statistics bored him and he preferred to live minute-to-minute with his travelers, placating them with a prayer to any and all deities for a safe journey.

It’s estimated that only a tiny percentage of passengers on a given flight actually believed in the gods they appealed to. Philosophically, the general public was in the post-neo-rationalist phase. While they did not expect any real aid from spiritual beings, they found the idea comfortingly simple, like an insurance salesman swinging on monkey bars.

Clovis swiftly earned a reputation as the best in the Prayer Steward business. Many of the more uneasy travelers would ask for him to preside over their flights. For a while, the travel firms looked into cloning as a way to meet this demand, but ultimately decided against granting such requests. Still, those who traveled with him felt as if they were protected by, if not the son of God, at least His second or third cousin.

One day Clovis was assigned to Sol Spacelines flight 220199, a direct shot from Venus to a mining colony near Pollux. The cabin was packed with young families thrilled at the idea of “roughing it” in the cold steel barracks, the children hoping for a few minutes alone with one of the five-ton ore drills. The Prayer Steward was given a private first-class cabin, but Clovis preferred to mingle with the tourists. He learned their names and chatted amiably about their vacation plans. Many of them asked about his line of work, the risks he took by flying again and again, but Clovis waved their questions away. They were his flock, he said, and he was to worry about them, not the other way around.

The ship lifted off with no trouble. Sick bags popped out of a slot in the back of each seat but only a few queasy individuals needed them. Flames streaked past the viewports and the cabin shuddered at the crush of the atmosphere. There was one final squeeze and then the spaceliner was out in the brilliant silence of the galaxy.

The ship coasted for a while, casually basking in its freedom. The pilot switched on the sub-thrusters and the craft chugged onward, Clovis walking through the aisles and shaking hands, congratulating the first-time flyers for staying composed, even if they hadn’t.

An hour passed in relative calm before the pilot announced that the spaceliner had cleared the planet and would be entering superlight in five minutes. Clovis stood up at the head of the cabin and said his prayer with zeal:

O mighty gods, rulers of the celestial realm, in whatever forms you may take, bless us and watch over us on our brave journey. Guide us with a phantom hand as we rocket through your home, and receive us as guests rather than cosmic intruders. We thank you eternally for the safe passage you grant us. Amen.

Moments later the ship’s occupants were pressed back into their chairs as the light drive engaged. The whole ship felt like it was thrusting through a pinhole into a tunnel of impossibly fast and twisted matter like a kaleidoscope cascading around the ship, guiding it from one tiny point of eternity to another.

Then the ship rammed against one of the tunnel walls and the starmatter leapt up and wrapped around it, rattling the craft down to the bolts. The fuel tanks ruptured and blew out, making the ship lurch to the side and burst out of the superlight tunnel. The wings ripped and the seams between the panels widened, nearly cracking the ship open like a steel egg.

Then all was silent. The ship’s oxygen tanks were nearly full, but the engines had been torn away and all non-emergency systems were locked out. Even if they could make a distress call, the ship could not detect its coordinates, so it would have to broadcast something like “Send help! Stranded in space! Look for the ship with a rapidly diminishing air supply!”

Clovis’s dread at the situation was short-lived. Soon, it was replaced by a sense of duty; he wore his warmest smile and spoke to the passengers with a voice filled with equal parts solemnity and hope. Some of the children had not yet realized their situation, even if they knew in their gut that something was wrong. The novelty of the idea of a benevolent deity was thinning.

“Have faith,” Clovis said, sticking to the script even at the end. “We are watched over by celestial beings. Each of us will die in time, but not here or now.”

At that moment the ship twisted in space, unsteadying Clovis and knocking around a few others that had unbuckled their seatbelts. The spaceliner reared back and was thrust forward, Clovis just managing to strap in before it was whisked across the cosmos. The ship did not go into superlight, but it crossed light-years in an instant, time and space compressing around the craft. It soon dropped out of its impossible burst of speed and floated free, drifting toward Venus with just enough force to flow into the hangar.

The travel company’s investigators and engineers could not determine any plausible reason for the ship to keep moving after the beating it took. They questioned all the passengers and then brought Clovis in to try to find some reason the apparent miracle occurred. Their faces chalk-white, they asked him if he had any idea what this bizarre rescue was supposed to mean.

Clovis chuckled. He shrugged and said, “I suppose, if anything, it means I’m good at my job.”

Voliun
May 31, 2012


gently caress this week and the next.

Office Pains
Word Count: 784

Roscoe knew how it ended when Mono ran out of the mall full of shopping bags. A mini mob with pitchforks, metal poles, and bare hands were not too far behind her. "Come back here with our poo poo!" The driver could hear them from a small hill beside the brick building. He placed his hands on the radio's dial, but Mono rushed in slamming the door shut.

"Drive!" Momo said.

Turning the ignition, Roscoe looked behind and the rear view mirror. He sped out of the parking lot to the road. The crowd and the mall became smaller the further he drove away from them.

Momo's smile was wide and grinning. "That was too easy!" Momo threw the bags to the back seat. Loud glass clanking and paper hustling later, the woman leaned toward the bags. Checking their contents, Momo said, "Edgar, how long will it take to get to the train station?"

"Thirty minutes tops," said Roscoe. His shoulders shrugged at the name Momo called him. A glance at his watch was not enough for Roscoe to wash away his disdain, but his voice remained its gruff part though. Roscoe's body stiffened as Momo rubbed her hands on his right arm.

"Can you go any faster?" Roscoe felt a small clot of puke building up in his throat listening to Momo's attempt of a seductive voice. Even if her hands were pedicured or not, he glared at Momo. Momo pulled her hand away and turned around. "No hurry. It just that we're going to be chased by cops or bounty hunters."

Roscoe swallowed the clot, forcing his laughter to hold itself back. "Unless," she said, "none of them could describe me perfectly." Momo turned and shook her left foot. A block looking anklet slid down to her ankle.

She jerked to the right along with the baggage and car as Roscoe made a sharp turn. "Hey, you're going the wrong way!"

Roscoe coughed. "I am going the right way, Monica." he said in his normal voice. "Never thought I have to lose the beard to get to you though."

***

Like a sloppy joe sandwich, papers and maps seeped out of the folder on to the table. Gly looked with awe when his eyes meet with the bold words, Monica Jensen, on the middle of the folder.

"Buddy," the secretary said, " you did ask for a detailed file on her."

Gly grabbed the folder. "Thanks Joe," he said. While grabbing the paper crumbs from the massive folder he held, he bit his lips. He heard another voice as he left the office.

"Gly, wait!"

Gly didn't turn, but he moaned. "You are still a rookie, Kip."

"This is the first homicide this year, and you are telling me not to get involved?"

"It ain't a homicide."

"That's what the scene want you to believe!" Kipper ran in front of Gly. He folded both arms together making up his contemplative pose. "From the pictures, I can tell that-"

Gly raised a hand up. "Don't even say it," he said. Muttering, he went around him.

"I was about to talk about the broken glass pieces. I know the store that sells them," said Kipper.

"I would if I was looking at the scene of a homicide. I do not have time to theorize using your mumbo jumbo mess."

"And you don't have time looking through old case files by the reflect-"

Kipper stopped as Gly went through the opening glass door.

***

Gly raised an eyebrow. "The CIO got to be loving with me," he said watching Kipper entering his van.

Adjusting the seat back, Kipper smiled. "How's your mall sandwich?"

"Shut it." Gly glanced over at Kipper's decorated leather vest. "Why are you out of uniform?"

"We don't have to look like overglorfied pencil pushers. Besides, we don't want her to see through our covers!"

Gly rolled his eyes. "The cover is the uniform. Do not touch anything when I get there, got it?"

Kipper nodded. "Got it."

Gly drove off, and he heard honking as he stopped at a red light.

"Nice station wagon. What are you, my grandpa?" a young man driving a hot red Mustang said.

Gly brushed jokes and insults aside as he focused on the potential scene given to him. Now, he could be back at home watching television or updating his FaceBook status. He could even be cleaning his old DVD and sock collection. Anything other than chasing a missing delinquent debtor who always pays her bills late. Again, he looked at Kipper to remind himself what he was working with.

He turned back to the road seconds later. "Your obseration," he said, "but that was luck."

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Hey Seb, we might as well make this all incestuous. Mind judging a brawl between Martello and me? We already have a prompt and such.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

Hey Seb, we might as well make this all incestuous. Mind judging a brawl between Martello and me? We already have a prompt and such.

Yes. Tanglebrawl, coming up. What is the prompt?

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe

Voliun posted:

Roscoe felt a small clot of puke building up in his throat listening to Momo's attempt of a seductive voice. Even if her hands were

Voliun posted:

a small clot of puke

Voliun posted:

a clot of puke

:barf:


edit* clot-talk in gibbis

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 21:20 on Apr 21, 2013

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


sebmojo posted:

Yes. Tanglebrawl, coming up. What is the prompt?

Mocking one another's styles. Dunno when it should start though. That's up to Marty and his schedule.

Cartridgeblowers
Jan 3, 2006

Super Mario Bros 3




sebmojo posted:

The act of a warrior is to slap your story down anyway.

Choose your path.

I'm a warrior. I didn't kill my dad so everyone would think I wasn't a warrior.

A Beating Around The Bush
955 Words

The blood pours down the sidewalk and into a nearby sewer. It had caked around the three bodies, all frozen in fear, their faces horrified death masks. Dale was combing over the bodies, making sure everything added up and that this was my jurisdiction, but I didn't need any forensic evidence. This was obviously my case.

Three men, all brutally battered, their forms contorted and spread in a triangle around a small shrub. Someone had beaten around the bush.

My name's Nick Bedelia. I work in Idiom Crime.

Not a lot of people know about Idiom Crime, mostly because we don't like to advertise it. Once people know it's a real thing we get copycats and it's much harder to catch someone who doesn't compulsively follow idioms. That's what we deal with. There are people in the world who hear a figure of speech and something in their mind registers it differently than the rest of us. Some synapse just doesn't connect, or maybe jumps on a different path, and they're gone.

It's been three months since the case that allowed me to formally create the Idiom Crime division. It was a serial-legbreaker who I tracked down to a Broadway show about Mormons. Each night he'd go out, someone would tell him to "break a leg," and each night, after the show, another random individual would end up maimed in the street.

We caught him, though, and luckily for me it was rather quick. It's sad, too. Most of them, like this guy, just think they're following instructions. They don't know that what they're doing is wrong. They think they're doing good. This is only the second murder I've come across, the last one being a crime of passion. A man and wife were laughing, he said "you crack me up," and then she froze him in liquid nitrogen and smashed him with a hammer. She turned herself in.

This scene's different, though. The bodies are arranged so that they're around the bush, certainly, but a beating doesn't necessarily imply death. The assailant could’ve beaten them, battered them, but murdering all three wasn’t in the instructions. The person's disorder can't be to blame for the killings - they made that jump themselves. This is a serial killer who just happens to be afflicted with Mistaken Idiom Disorder, or M.I.D., and that's an incredibly dangerous combination.

Dale and I return to the station where Amelia grills me. She's next in line to be Commissioner, and old Clancy's on the way out so she acts as if she's already in charge. Amelia’s not the nicest lady I've ever met and she's got a real mad-on for me in particular. Still not sure why, but she refuses to believe in M.I.D., despite the empirical evidence to the contrary. Maybe she's just got a crush on me? Who can tell with women sometimes?

"Three bodies," she says, slamming her coffee on my desk, "that's homicide. Bedelia, I don’t want you and your crackpot desk on the streets at all, and I definitely don’t want you working on a case as important as this."

"I know your views, Detective," I reply smiling under my hat, "but this is mine. It's 'beating around the bush.' Idiom Crime, Detective."

She pauses, furrows her brow, and then she's gone with a breathless "you've got 48 hours." It might not be enough, but I'll have to make do. Dale walks in and places a folder on my desk - fingerprints, hair samples, and fragments of wood from a baseball bat - no matches to anything known.

Dale nods and I nod back. Dale hasn't been able to speak since our second case, but the docs say he might be healed within a month or two. It was a simple snatch and grab: a man had been stealing eggs and wicker, so he could put all the eggs in one basket. We didn't think he was dangerous, but Dale and I... well, we were talkers. We did the quipping thing because it seemed like something detectives were supposed to do. Dale made the mistake of tossing an idiom into his speech around a MIDdie: the guy tackled him, forced open his mouth, and bit his tongue. He's lucky he didn't lose it.

The sun is setting over the skyscrapers as I look out my window and onto the streets below. Someone is out there, a killer with M.I.D., and I've only got two days to stop him before they send in a bunch of untrained scabs. More people will die and it will be because I couldn't do better. God, where can I start?

I hear the soft sound of paper rustling on my desk behind me. I turn and it's the mailboy laying a package down. He smiles and tips his hat and I do the same. I don't receive mail often, so it's odd to get this, especially this late in the day. I open the package slowly; it smells bad, like boiled eggs. No address. It must've been dropped off.

Inside the package: photos. There were maybe fifty or so, all of a building downtown with various angles. A photo of a body, this one badly mutilated and missing an eye. I see the address on a photo of the doorway and alert Dale. Amelia stops me as I grab my coat.

"Whoa, whoa," she says, her hands waving wildly. “You see a body and you go rushing off? This one's definitely homicide, Nick. My men will take this.”

"No chance, bosslady," I reply, "this is Idiom Crime too and I can tell just from the photos." I point at the picture of the corpse.

"The killer kept his eye on him."

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006


Tempting Icarus 1166 words

It was about eleven o’clock at night, mid third cycle, with the neon lights flickering and a sprinkle of vagrants in the desolate section boulevarde. I was wearing my ragged blue coat, with a blueish vest, brown boots, change cap on display. I was disheveled, dirty, and drunk, and I didn’t care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed space tramp ought to be. I was in the red for four million credits.

Around me was a dirty great hunk of metal, slowly spiralling closer to Tau Ceti like a fly with a flaming hard on. The Authority’s line was when fuel arrived the orbit would be stabilised, the event horizon was years away. Whose years? They were getting sliced, orbital layers peeling off in the ion breeze. Didn’t bother me when we lost a day, my line of work I lose them all the time, but then we lost a week, and I didn’t have a birthday anymore. Not that I got anyone to get me a card right now, but it’s the thought that counts.

I was sitting in my spot, preparing myself for action, when this dame runs out the darkness. She had legs all the way up to her armpits and long scarlet fingernails that could tear out a man’s heart. That’s the way they make em on her planet - I thought she was a stunner, truth be told. She chucked a couple of thousand credits and a datakey in my cap and said she didn’t know who I was.

It’s not surprising I was confused, especially after a bottle of finest paint thinner, but before I could crack wise about how when I’m glazed I don’t know who I am either, she makes off as fast as her three legs can carry her. I just had time to pocket the articles when a trooper came round.

“See an Ethusian go through here?”

I was still reeling from the situation so I don’t make quick with an answer: I get a kick in the ribs.

“Dunno what yer talkin bout, yer just woke me up,” I slur, only implying the arsehole at the end of that sentence. I’ve learnt calling pigs arseholes is likely to land you in the poo poo.

“You just call me an arsehole?”

Problem with being a space tramp is you don’t always have full control over what you’re saying. Things slip out. But I concentrated hard on not letting anything else slip out while he beats on me. She looked like she had enough trouble without the troopers chasing her down. Chivalry ain’t dead in me.

Once he buzzed off I dragged myself to a public terminal and checked the news, saw my girl staring out the screen. We’re a cosmopolitan bunch, but there ain’t many like her around. Vid said she’s a terrorist, dangerous. Looked like a scared girl to me, but I always was a sucker for green eyes.

The datakey told another story. Said the fleet ain’t coming anytime soon. Said the Authority’s hoarding fuel for their own lifeboats. Said the horizon is actually only 12 hours away. No codes for the lifeboats though. They’re in my head.

Suddenly I needed a drink more than usual. It’s not everyday a guy’s dirtiest secrets are laid out in front of him.

See I’m not a natural Space Tramp. I was a big gear in the Authority machine, I had a great title: Space Station Director General. Last year I found out we wouldn’t be getting any more fuel and I kept it quiet, censored the comms. Anyone could see not everyone was going to make it; I looked out for me and mine.

But it ate at me, I may be a bastard but genocide isn’t my favorite past-time. I hit the bottle, a thousand creds a magnum and going down. In the casinos, I couldn’t lose - everyone I lost to was going to be dead next year.

Never underestimate a man’s capacity to ruin himself. I burnt my money, and then some more. When the sharks came circling I headed for the safety of anonymity on the street. I knew when poo poo was gonna go down, I knew the codes. Just had to stay off the radar for a bit.

I think about trying to contact my girl over a bottle of decent whiskey, the kind that actually saw some barley. Don’t know how she found me, don’t know how she found out. It’s a loving mystery. She’s too good to just stay quiet and live, so now I’ve got a few hours to track her down, stop her telling the whole station they’re gonna die and get us on a flight out of here.

Figure it was a mistake going home. Bigger mistake not taking a gun with me. That way I could have shot my loving banker when he opened my door, rather than taking a fist to the face.

Once I woke up I inventoried my body parts: wiggled my fingers and someone cut one off. I tried screaming through the ball gag, and manicured nails drew bloody gutters down my face.

“You left me, you loving prick. I didn’t know what happened. I tried to get help from your shitbag friends and they told me what was going on and I tried to tell people and they tried to kill me and then these dickheads grabbed me and told me they knew where you were and I wanted to hurt you so much. So basically gently caress you. gently caress you. And you are just going to let everyone die for your sorry rear end, including me! You poo poo. I don’t know who you are now.”

She didn’t sound overjoyed to see me. I’d hoped to return in a blaze of redemption, taking us away on a lifeboat full of drugs and booze and money. Instead she’s screaming at me and there’s a nutcase doing a number on my fingers. I could smell the grease in his hair. He talked slimy too.

“She didn’t have much choice in the matter, but she a good job for me, couldn’t have have any troopers seeing our little get together. Obviously we won’t be taking you with us, you are going to die here, but you can choose not die ugly. So, you can give us the codes, or I will continue reducing you to your constituent parts.”

I tell him he’s a gaping arsehole, and he prunes some toe nails for me. Won’t ever need to cut them again. What was a man to do? The woman you love is going to die if you don’t talk, if you do this piece of scum gets to live.

I blabbed like a baby.

The arsehole did some more shearing, and left me alive. We won’t hit the sun, the doomed will tear the ship apart long before then, I can hear them rioting through the station. I just hope my girl didn’t tell them who doomed them before she left.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

REDACTED

angel opportunity fucked around with this message at 12:50 on Aug 16, 2013

Jagermonster
May 7, 2005

Hey - NIZE HAT!


The Mysterious Lawman vs. the Untouchable Kingpin 1126 words

A dozen defeated men sit slouched in metal folding chairs littered across the precinct war room. They sip cold coffee. They squint at their smart phones. They do everything but make eye contact with me. They pretend I’m not here. They act as if I’m not their last goddamn hope in cleaning up their mess.

A glossy photo of Steven “Hollywood” Hernandez hangs pinned to the bulletin board behind me. Hernandez’s toothy movie star smile mocks the LAPD from his perch. If this were a TV cop show, strings would snake down from his photo, connecting it to pictures of all his lieutenants, distributors, dealers, and henchmen. Instead, a few unconnected pictures of “known associates” dot the board.

“I only have a couple more questions,” I say. Some look up. I smack the dais with an open palm. “Hey! Listen up! This won’t take much longer.”

A slovenly cop sagging over both sides of his flimsy chair grunts, “You got all our files. What else you need?”

“Detective Morehouse, I just want to make sure we’re all on the same page for the op tomorrow,” I say. “Do we have confirmation Hernandez is definitely proceeding tomorrow?”

“Yes,” someone in back barks.

“Detective Reboro,” I call out. “Thank you. And we’ll be fine just showing up.”

“Oh yeah,” he confirms. “Ol’ Hollywood opens his home to all law enforcement for these get-togethers. Just another way he likes to mock us and stick his thumb in our eye.”

“Good,” I tell him. “I expect all of you to be there.” Groans. “I may need backup. Plus, you won’t want to miss the show.”

“You sure you’re going to be able to nail him,” a wrinkled, hunched detective to my left asks.

“I’ve got some leads,” I assure him.

“All we need is Hernandez out of the picture for a little while,” the wizened officer says. “Once he’s gone, his lieutenants will try to fill the vacuum. No way they’ll be careful as him. The whole empire’ll fall.”

I nod. “Dismissed.”

I have one lead. And one hunch. The rest I’ll have to play by ear. As the detectives shuffle out, I take a manila folder off the pile in front of me. I scan its contents for the third time. What are you going to steal tomorrow, Mr. Hernandez?

The next day a cool breeze and a cloudless sky bless our outdoor operation. I raise a hand to my forehead to shield the LA sun as I step out of the Agency van. I can’t take in Hernandez’s entire mansion without craning my neck. I remove a picture from my breast pocket for comparison.

“The party is being held in the back grounds,” a valet directs me. He notices me admiring the architecture. “The façade is a replica of the famous Castigili manor in Italy. All the building materials were imported.”

“You don’t say?” I put five bucks in his hand. “Thanks.”

Even Hernandez’s driveway looks expensive. Interlocking polished stones wind their way through a buzz-cut lawn of delicate grass. A giant green Mickey Mouse greets me as I round the bend. Other topiary Disney characters frolic with Mickey.

Beautiful.

The party is in full swing as I approach the wrought iron gate to the “back grounds.” The torso of either a very tall man or a man on stilts bobs along in view over the wall. “Feliz Cumpleanos, Nicki!” says a hanging banner. Children’s squeals and the dull murmur of adult conversation drift over. One of the tuxedoed bouncers smirks as I walk up.

“Law enforcement?” he asks me.

“You got it,” I say.

“Some of your friends are already here,” he says, grinning. He eyes the fancy silver badge attached to my belt. “I’ve never seen that one. Who you with?”

“I’m not from around here,” is all I give him as I slide by.

Acres of manicured verdant lawn stretch out before me. Groups of children swarm magicians and acrobats. Groups of adults swarm the portable bars and celebrities in attendance. Someone taps my shoulder.

It’s Detective Reboro. “He’s over there, by the cake.”

I spot Hollywood. Nicki’s over there too. Perfect. “Thanks.”

“What are you going to do?” Reboro asks as I start over to them.

I just motion for him to follow.

Hernandez is surrounded by a throng of fans. His son Nicki sits atop his shoulders.

“Any other requests?” Hollywood asks.

“Do the one from Annihilator!” Nicki shouts.

Hollywood puts him down. Nicki runs a few steps and does an about face to watch the performance.

Eyes closed, chin down, Hollywood raises a bent index finger to his forehead. Once in character, he drops his hand. He opens his eyes. “Give up, Goldstein,” he growls. “Your henchmen are dead. I’m taking you in.” He pauses for the bad guy’s line. “Have it your way.” He pantomimes a shotgun. “BOOM! Adios, pendejo.” Some people actually murmur along with the one-liner.

Brilliant. The sycophants all around clap like trained monkeys with cymbals. From telenovela heartthrob to b-movie action hero to dope kingpin. Only in this town. Hollywood Hernandez motions to one of his men.

“Please join Steven and Nicki for the cutting of the cake,” a loudspeaker beckons.

People flock over. I start shouldering and elbowing my way to the front. It’s almost show time. When enough partygoers have joined the throng, Hollywood takes a deep dramatic breath and throws his hands in the air.

“Haaaaaappy!” he bellows.

The crowd joins in, “birthday to you!”

I close my eyes as they sing the rest to Nicki. The coup de grâce. I thrust my badge in the air.

“Steven Hernandez!” I shout. “By the power vested in me under article 5.2 of the 2020 International Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement Treaty, I hereby place you under arrest.”

The crowd gasps. He throws his head back and laughs. I grab him by the arm. His men take a step toward me. The LAPD detectives move in to form a wall between Hollywood’s goons and me.

“In accordance with the IIPPET,” I say as I slap on the cuffs, “you will be taken into custody to await judgment by international tribunal. You are charged with the following crimes: unlawful reproduction and display of a copyrighted and trademarked architectural work; unlawful reproduction and display of copyrighted and trademarked characters; unlawful performance of a copyrighted screenplay; the unlawful performance of a copyrighted musical work; and the unlawful inducement of others to perform a copyrighted musical work.”

I give him a shove toward the van where my men are waiting. He stumbles as he tries to turn around to face me, to show me his furrowed, confused brow. I lean in close, “next time, license the rights to ‘Happy Birthday,’ motherfucker.”

Auraboks
Mar 24, 2013

...huh?


Shady Affair(ie)s (1073 words)

It's safe to say that some fairies have a thing for teeth. We don't really talk about why, except with other fairies. It's just one of those little mysteries of the magic world, like what Santa's elves do during the summer, or where the Sandmen get their magic dust. Nobody understands why there's an entire industry among fairies devoted to buying baby teeth from children.

That's because they don't know what we do with the teeth we take.

We don't just stockpile them, we eat them. To fairies, baby teeth are like crack-laced amphetamine cookies, only more addictive. Not as lethal, though. As a result, nearly half the fairy population is hopelessly dependent on the ToothTime Corporation, the sole supplier.

Retrieval teams are regularly sent out from Fairyland into the human world, armed with information from advance scouts and a sizeable lump of cash from ToothTime's human businesses. They return with teeth by the sackful.

Those sacks are the most valuable thing in Fairyland. Naturally, ToothTime wants some protection against theft. They want someone to keep an eye on the teams without interfering with their activities. They want someone who won't take a bribe.

They want me.

"All clear," I said, lifting my goggles. "The humans are asleep. Fruitpip, go ahead. Second floor, left window."

Fruitpip flew past me, and in through the open window. Moments later she returned, smiling widely.

"Double haul," she said. "Kid lost two teeth in one day. We're on a roll tonight!"

It had been a good night. We weren't prepared for that. When ToothTime sent their top security fairy and best retrieval specialist alone, that usually meant they smelled trouble. But tonight we had already taken care of nineteen houses, and in every one of them the humans were already asleep when we got there. All but one had a window conveniently open, too.

"How many houses do we have left?" I asked. "Two?" Something didn't seem right, but I couldn't put my finger on it.

"Just one, right across the street," said Fruitpip. "Looks like we'll get all our targets tonight, and be back before dawn too!"

I nodded, and put the thermal goggles back on.

The last house was just like the others. Three heat signatures, all of them lying down. Two on the bottom floor, one on the second. And of course, an open window.

"Clear," I said. "But make it quick, I smell trouble."

Fruitpip raised an eyebrow, but didn't say anything. She did her thing, and soon we were headed to the portal back to Fairyland.

Only it wasn't there anymore. What should have been a rickety wooden bridge no sane human would want to cross was instead a few planks slowly drifting downriver. We could fly across, of course, but we'd just end up on the other side of the river. The magic was in the bridge, and the bridge was gone.

"poo poo," said Fruitpip. "It's gonna take hours to get to the next portal. Isn't it in Cleveland or something?"

"Detroit, but we're not going there." I looked at the ends of the rope that had held the bridge together. Barely frayed at all. "Someone cut the rope, and I'm betting they're after the teeth. We need to make a run for it."

"Run where?" said Fruitpip. "I mean, I'd guess Detroit, but..."

"Too far, not to mention they'll be expecting it," I said. "But there's a portal to Sandia not far from here. We can fly to Fairyland from there."

Fruitpip sighed. "No other way? The Sandmen creep me out," she said.

I saw no alternative, so we headed upriver. The night was quiet and still, but the silence only served to increase my discomfort. When we reached the waterfalls, I was almost tense enough to burst.

No one jumped out of the shadows. No one started shooting at us. We dove into the waterfall and emerged, soaking wet, through a cloud. We came out heading straight down, and crashed messily but painlessly into a pile of sand.

They were waiting for us. While I was still disoriented after the landing, someone dragged me out of the sand and blew something in my face. I briefly wondered why a Sandman would attack us, before I fell asleep.

When I woke up, I was tied to a chair. My equipment – thermal goggles, weapons, wand – was missing, but other than that I was fine. The room was empty except for me and a Sandman.

"Good morning," said the Sandman.

I responded with several observations about his heritage.

"No need to be rude!" He sounded more amused than offended. "I'm sorry about the chair. Just a precaution. Wouldn't want you doing anything rash, you see."

I reiterated some of my previous points.

"We weren't expecting two fairies," said the Sandman, ignoring me. "One is enough, no?"

"Always two or more," I said. "In case of thieves. What do you want?"

"To refill our stores of magic dust," the Sandman said. "We were running out of the critical reagent, you see, but now we have enough for years to come."

Well, that was surprisingly candid. I thought teeth weren't good for anything but fairy drugs. And chewing.

"So what happens with me?" I asked. "The ToothTime Corporation won't be happy when they find out what you've done."

"Oh, they already know. It was their idea. We needed the reagent, they wanted a reliable way to put people to sleep for tooth harvesting. The Sandmen's Union will be working closely with ToothTime from now on. As for you... you are free to go."

"Just like that? No catch?"

"Promise you will tell no one what our secret reagent is. That's it."

Promises. The worst thing about being a fairy is the inability to break promises sincerely made. But it seemed a small price to pay, so I swore to keep their secret. The Sandman released me and returned my things. He even offered to escort me back to Fairyland, and it wasn't until we neared the border that I thought to ask about Fruitpip.

"Your friend? I told you we needed the reagent," he said.

"But the teeth...," I began.

"Have already been returned to ToothTime. We have no use for them."

I didn't know what this meant, not exactly. I still don't, and don't want to. But I do know one thing.

I don't work for the ToothTime Corporation any more.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Yeah I failed to submit. Goddamit. Another 15 hours is all I need.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

"It's time....to DIE!"


Well you have 5. Get to work.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Well you have 5. Get to work.

Yep. I haven't started mine yet, I'm still going to submit. 1000 words is nothing, just crank it out. Crabrock has done you the huge favour of making GBS threads out something so terrible that you're probably already safe from the loser av. That's not a luxury you get every week, don't waste it.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 02:27 on Apr 22, 2013

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


Excerpt from Transcript of Preliminary Investigation – Case #200384 |Word Count: 1149|

Interview #3 – Primary Witness

VDH: Michael Van Der Haart
DTS: Lead Detective Timothy Sandler


VDH: Integritas et Neutralitas, Detective. Integrity and Neutrality.

It says that on the badge on my lapel, so the words always follow me around as a reminder. But I hardly need reminding – they embody the principles that are woven into every fibre of my being. If I believed in such as thing as predestination, my life story would have it written all over – as a child, my family would humour me, call me 'Little King Solomon' and tug my cheeks; at school, arguments inevitably fell upon my judgement and at university, there were few disputes or break-ups that didn't find themselves smoothed out by my fingers.

That I should end up a Resolver after leaving university seemed only natural. Everybody expected it of me and I expected it of myself. The few times in my life I had tried to navigate between that Scylla and Charybdis on my lapel had ended only in misery. You can't deny who you are and what you value. All my attempts to live a normal life, what few friends and relationships I happened to aggregate, foundered upon those two words at some point or another. I am 43 years old, unmarried, and live alone; but I derive complete satisfaction from my job.

As is often noted, and may already be obvious, we have a strange mindset, us Resolvers. We are reserved and solitary. I have heard members of law enforcement such as yourself comment, when they believed themselves to be out of earshot, that there are more laughs in a mortuary than a Resolver office. I have never been in a mortuary to discover whether that was the case, but I would not be unduly surprised. Regardless, to be liked or disliked is an irrelevance to my line of work. What matters is that we command complete respect and trust.

At Bollingham's Arbitrage and Disputation Resolvement, the establishment at which I am under contract, we are the very best. In a good month, our resolution rate is above 85% and our mortality rate is industry leading. None are more respected, or more trusted. We preside, deservedly, over the most intricate contracts.

So, believe that what I say here is the unvarnished truth – I have never said anything other, and I don't believe myself even able to do so.

[Van Der Haart coughs and takes a sip of water]

When I arrived at the scene, both parties had already perished in an altercation. There was blood everywhere - I was horrified. First, as an honest contractor, I checked the pulses of my clients – there were none. It seemed unlikely to me that all of the disputants should have killed one another to the man, yet the first batch of heroin and the briefcases containing the relevant down-payment for exclusive trade rights were still extant upon the scene. I reasoned that any surviving clients would surely have had the presence of mind to retrieve some part of their goods.

Thus I was left with a conundrum. Although the right thing to do would be to phone the police, the two parties to which I was contracted to were still operational. What would be fair would be that both parties should have their rightful goods returned.

DTS: Get to the point der Haart. I'm not here to listen to your middleman pseudo-philosophy. What happened next?

VDH: Well, I sat upon one of the tables unsoiled by my clients' blood and mopped my forehead with my 'kerchief. I believed myself to have time to work out the finer details of the matter, but I was surprised when a man of Hispanic descent burst into the warehouse with a weapon. He brandished it at me and spoke to me in panicked Spanish, but I am afraid to say I speak not a word of it. He pointed his weapon at me, so I put my hands up. He took two of the briefcases, not once taking his eyes off me, then made off. At that point I returned home in my car and phoned the police.

DTS: Simple as that, huh. What I don't understand Mr. Van der Haart, is that after all that just happened, you didn't phone the police immediately afterwards.

VDH: My primary obligation is to my clients and the reputation of my firm. Before the police were involved, I had to make contact with both parties and inform them of what had occurred. I was waiting for confirmation from my clients that they had retrieved their property.

DTS: So you phoned your clients so that they might return to the scene and collect their drugs and dirty money.

VDH: If that is how you would like to put it, yes.

DTS: And are you aware, Mr. Van der Haart, of what occurred later?

VDH: I am.

DTS: So you know then, that an unidentified witness who had heard the shots had called the police like any good citizen should?

VDH: At the time, no. Now, yes.

DTS: And that when several members of one of your 'clients' arrived, the Esperanza cartel I should say, the police were already present. Three police officers were killed and seven seriously wounded, the greatest loss of life for department in nearly twenty-five years. How do you feel about that?

VDH: I feel terrible, of course. It was a tragic accident.

DTS: The earlier crime scene was also compromised in that firefight. Did you know that? Forensics tells me the likelihood of determining the actual chronology of events is extremely slim.

VDH: I have told you all that I know of what occurred beforehand. I didn't touch or tamper with anything.

DTS: And I don't believe you Mr. Van der Haart. I don't know what happened between the cartel and the mobsters, but I think you took that money der Haart, I think you took it and phoned the police from that payphone and then phoned the cartel on purpose. All in order to cover up your crime in the inevitable chaos that would follow. And now you're hiding behind your reputation and your job's extrajudicial protection.

VDH: It saddens me to be subject to such an accusation and I strongly reject all your malicious speculations. Just flights of fancy on your part I'm afraid.

DTS: Cute. I don't suppose you'll be letting us review your phone records though.

VDH: You know I can't do that Detective. Client confidentiality for a Resolver is sacrosanct. Integrity and neutrality and all that.

DTS: Speaking of; der Haart, where is your badge this morning?

[Van der Haart looks confused for a moment and smooths his lapel between two fingers]

VDH: Funny. [Short pause] I must have left it on my suit at the dry cleaners.




EDIT: YES I MISSED A FULL-STOP AND I REGRET NOTHING

Jeza fucked around with this message at 16:02 on Apr 22, 2013

zakucat
Dec 8, 2012

I want you to steal it. And I'm going to watch you.

Murderous Dreams (Word Count 1104)


The scent of meat wafted out the moment she pushed the door leading to the chambers ajar. The Archiver crinkled her nose as the pungent, musky stench filled her sense of smell; or at least, what was perceived to be. The circles beneath her eyes deepened as she parsed the mingling odors: an analog of meat, blood, and the acrid odor of offal.

"It's pretty realistic this time, eh, Scrivener?" The Archiver said as she entered the chamber of Mrs. Sonntig's dream alongside a younger colleague. "Couple of nights ago the dream image of her son wasn't even able to decide if he was a turtle or a boy."

The one called Scrivener pursed her lips as she furiously wrote succinct lines into her clipboard. "He did decide, in the end," the Scrivener said, never looking up from the clipboard that seemed to be the only solid object among those that came into contact with the Scrivener's skin. The grey dress that hung from her shoulders appeared to smudge around the edges; the folds softening into what looked like tendrils of smoke upon closer inspection. "I know. I checked this place for several nights now." A sigh.

"You can't even do something with your clothes," the Archiver said as she gave the interiorof Mrs. Sonntig's mind a quick eyeballing. "Tough poo poo these days?"

"Mm." The Scrivener took a deep breath, closed her eyes for a second and her drab grey dress was replaced by a tight fitting black shirt and trousers, still nondescript. She still never looked up from her clipboard, nor did her pen stop moving. "That's all I can do. Hard to concentrate. Tired."

She gestured with her knuckle, the hand still occupied with the swift-moving pen. "The shadow squatters ran screaming out of this room at exactly..." her voice trailed off as she paused from her writing to leaf through earlier pages of her notes. "Midnight. Yeah."

There was almost nothing out of place in Mrs. Sonntig's dream, the items enumerated in the Archiver's checklist were all present and accounted for. The pile of toy blocks. The child's bed with pale blue sheets. The curtains tacked onto nothingness yet billowing on unfelt breeze. The teddy bear meant for the son's ninth birthday but left undelivered. The overall somber, wistful mood. All encased in a hazy memory of a young boy's room.

All accounted for, including the dream version of Mrs. Sonntig's son, except that he was the oozing lump of red and black that lay smack in the middle of the sad tableau instead of an obscure image of how he looked like when the mother last saw him. Mostly blond wisps of hair and toothy smiles, but right now it was covered with viscera and flecks of fat, here and there.

"It's the third time already, Scrivener," The Archiver said, bending over the dream-gore, fishing out a mason's jar out of her cloak. With her bare hands she scooped the glop of Mrs. Sonntig's son into the glass container, for safekeeping. By the time she was done there was no trace of violence on the carpet, only gloom. "What's happening?"

The Scrivener finally looked up from her scribbling, her honey-golden eyes meeting the Archiver's gray. "Isn't it your job to find out?"

===

The Archiver placed the jar containing the remains of Mrs. Sonntig's son on a shelf alongside many other dreamthings, arranged neatly in rows that stretched out into eternity. That was her job; cataloging the creatures that inhabit the minds of men. She would take the dreams as soon as they finish playing out their roles in the dreamer's heads and place them in the Vault for safekeeping, to be released when summoned by the dreamers once again.

It was just a matter of keeping a record of what goes in, and what goes out of the Vault. What dreams were doing at any moment. Her job was supposed to be that simple.

However the recent murders of dreamthings were upsetting the tranquility and routine that defined her work. The Archiver strode between the shelves, looking for anything amiss, anything missing, anything that escaped her notice. She bit her lip as she recalled the words the Scrivener last said. Of course it was her job. It would be her job if a dreamthing of any degree of murderous intent somehow escaped their container and creeped into a random, unsuspecting dreamer's mind.

But she cannot be accused of slacking off. No. The Archiver took care to check each and every shelf for anything odd, but in the end could not find any. Trusting her own memories, she pinched the bridge of her nose and pleaded herself to calm down.

===

The Archiver lidded the jar containing the seventh victim's carcass.

This time it was her clothes that faded into neglect; her dark blue cloak faded around the hemlines and what used to be a loose fit around her silhouette was replaced with a formless piece of material that only served to cover her and not much else.

The Scrivener was, as always, writing. But the movements of her hand were steadier and now exhibited a certain rhythm only exercised by the motivated.

Whatever mangled Lilly Gershwin's Perfect Man was unlikely to be found out.

What was supposed to be the his perfect head with impeccable hair was torn off from the shoulders and flung across to the other end of Lilly's hopeful dream chamber, trailing guts and fluid in its wake until it rolled off into a corner. The red splashed everywhere was of the same shade as the pink that dominated Lilly's dream with the candy roses and the strange strawberry sunset, but it was several shades darker and the effect could not be described with anything else other than appalling.

"I'm tired," The Archiver murmured, her words so soft she was surprised the Scrivener even heard her at all.

"Why are you even exerting so much effort?" The Scrivener said. "Everything that happens in dreams are mostly forgotten by the dreamers."

The Archiver started for the door leading outside. "Something is interfering with the order of dreams. Dreams that I keep. How can I not work my rear end off?" She tried to muster a wan smile, but whatever she produced was far outweighed by the miserable pallor of her cheeks.

"True," the Scrivener conceded. "But that's missing the point."

The Archiver took a deep breath, trying to keep her exhaustion at bay. "And what is your drat point?"

"The point being," the Scrivener put away her pen into her jacket's pocket. "you're forgetting what my job is all about."

Kleptobot
Nov 6, 2009


poo poo, I almost forgot I entered this one. Well, too late to turn back now.
-------------------------
What the Good Book Says (WC: 685)

The man stalked through the warehouse, trying to make his footsteps hit the floor as quietly as possible. It was more a force of habit than a fear of anyone actually finding him in this naturally-lit building, but it never hurt to be careful. The Lord had a way of bringing down those who became too enamored of their own skill, and other skilled Inquisitors who took their own skills for granted had a way of being taken down by the heathens that were normally beneath them.

Taking out a tactical folding knife from a belt sheath, he crept closer to his target, and then stabbed down until he cut a long gash through the top of a large cardboard box marked “TEXTBOOKS” in big red letters. Then he used his own strength to rip open the box and view its contents. Plenty of textbooks lay inside, their covers full of sinful knowledge with innocuous-sounding titles: Biology, the Science of Life. Introduction to the World of Physics. Geology: The Story of Earth.

With their calming blue and green colored covers and pictures of smiling children they invited impure thoughts, they invited young minds to grow prideful on things that The Lord had never revealed to them, to drag them into sin. the man wondered if it wouldn't be easier to simply burn the whole place to the ground. But any idiot with a match could do that, and the heathens would simply find another place to set up shop. No, the reason they would call for a Textbook Inquisitor in the first place was to gain evidence of heresy to righteously and lawfully put the ringleaders to the stake.

Yanking the Geology book out of its box, the Inquisitor flipped through its thin pages to reach the index. The cheap paper began tearing near the spine in protest to the speed with which he turned the pages, but as long as it was still readable, he didn't care. The Inquisitor finally reached the index and found the entry he was looking for. Flipping back to the page, he carefully searched through it until he found the passage containing the heretical words. This was the evidence he needed!

After dog-earing the page, the Inquisitor put the book under his arm. He was already thinking of how the Republic would be another step closer to ridding itself of these heathens when he returned to his office with the evidence. Before he could leave the warehouse, he heard heavy footsteps. The Inquisitor cursed himself. There must have been an alarm he missed, or some sort of trap that the heathens set for him beforehand.

“Sir, what are you doing with those books?” A man in tan-colored clothes and a shiny badge on his chest approached, a puzzled look on his face. “Not sure you'd get more than forty bucks on Amazon for that one.”

“So the Sons of Tyson think they can blind innocent schoolchildren to the truth that the Lord has granted us?” The Textbook Inquisitor furrowed his brow as he turned to face the jackbooted thug before him. “I have been empowered by none other than the Board of Education to bring them evidence of heresy contained within these heathen materials!”

“Sir, I don't know what you're doing, but I need you to step away from that box and come with me. This is your only warning.”

“You cannot stop the work of the Lord! For we are his hands on this Earth, and as his hands our work becomes sacred.”

The Inquisitor rushed forward with his folding knife, but the guard hit him with a long-range taser that pumped out several thousand volts of electricity into his body. The Inquisitor hit the ground, paralyzed and twitching involuntarily.

The guard shook his head and reached for his cuffs. “When you get out of jail, please tell the Board of Education to stop sending people to steal our books.” As he cuffed the Inquisitor's arms behind his back, the guard continued, “It's people like you that make Tyson's job correcting your books harder.”

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Doing our bit
1121 words

Alastair Weems, Road Toll Inspector, pressed the doorbell. Inside the bungalow a bell tinkled. A light drizzle had started and he stepped into the shelter of the porch, tsking.

By Alastair’s feet a solitary Wellington boot lolled. Its toes were encrusted with dried earth. Alastair squinted through the swirled orange glass. Noone was coming. He nudged the toe of the boot with his shoe, dislodging a clump of dirt.

The door opened. A tallish, fattish man was there. He had a quizzical expression and a half-open mouth.

“Mr James?” Alastair smiled. “I’m here from the –“ he held out a card. “You’ll see the details there. Fully licensed, of course. Just doing the rounds.”

The man took the card, swallowed. “Of course.”

There was a moment’s silence. The rain hissed on the pebble aggregate path, heavier now. Alastair cleared his throat. “Might I –?” he said, indicating the interior of the house.

The man nodded, took a step back. “Of course, Mr, uh, Inspector.” He gestured at the wallpaper, which had a complex arrangement of elephants and subcontinental architecture.

Alastair picked up his briefcase, tapping the Wellington boot with it as he did to knock off of the remaining dirt. Better. Inside it was warm, with the thick dry heat of a too-high furnace. A young girl was doing a jigsaw of an undersea scene on the table. Alastair placed his briefcase on the edge of the table, opened it. “Nice picture,” he said. The girl stared at him. Alastair sighed. He’d never been any good with children.

“Would you like a cup of tea, Mr Weems?” This was a woman, Eleanor, he supposed. She was wearing a floral print dress. He shook his head.

“No, thank you. I won’t be long, just a few minutes to get a calibration then I’ll be out of your hair!” He smiled cheerily as he unfolded the scope.

“Mr Weems,” said the woman’s husband. “This is our first visit from your – from the Council. It’s, it’s a little nerve-wracking, if you don’t mind me saying.”

The scope’s three little legs could be fiddly and Alastair concentrated on unfolding them before he replied. “Of course. But there’s really very little to worry about. Since they discovered the Shunt, it’s remarkably foolproof. And the safety we gain in exchange! It’s tremendous, really.”

“But awful for the families that… the ones that they,” said Mrs James hesitantly.

“Now, Eleanor,” said her husband. “Mr Weems is right. It’s better for everyone this way. And once he’s finished his calculations, we can –“

An outside door slammed. There was an ululation as a small boy bounded into the room, makeshift headdress flapping.

“And this must be Horace, yes? Good afternoon, young sir,” said Mr Weems. The boy, his hair wet from the rain, stopped his wailing and froze, wide-eyed in the doorway.

“Mr Weems is an Inspector, Horace. Come over here and let him work,” said Mr James, a sharp edge to his voice. Horace ignored his father, eyes fixed on the machine that was perched on the dinner table.

Alastair smiled. “Not at all. It’s quite interesting, isn’t it? It’s the Scolingford Scope, young Master James. And it can see the future!” He heard a evangelical tone creeping into his voice and he winced a little. “Well, let’s just say it helps us see the future.” He beckoned Horace over to look through the weirdly curved lens.

“If I might enquire, Mr Weems,” said Eleanor, “how many have you… I mean is it something that, every day?” She was trembling. Understandable, he supposed.

“Not at all madam. The advancements have been considerable since the early days. We are down to less than one in 6,000! Less than one third of the number that would have been lost otherwise. In point of fact, I haven’t had a positive finding for months. Questions are starting to be asked at morning tea time,” he said with a chuckle.

Mrs James did not reply to his sally. She was holding her husband’s hand, knuckles white. Alastair said “I’m set up now, so could I impose upon you to sit in front of the lens, here? Perhaps one of you could have your lovely children on their lap, to, ah, facilitate matters?”

There was an agonised pause, then Mr James stood up. “Yes. Yes, I’ll go first. Show them it’s harmless. Come here my boy.” Horace heeded this instruction, rounding the table to sit on his father’s lap. Alastair turned the knob, tapped a couple of the glowing studs on the side of the device, consulted the book of tables he’d laid flat beside it.

“Very good. No correlations. Now, Mrs James, would you be so kind as to, uh,” he indicated the chair.

Mr James tapped the boy on the leg. “Off you hop, love. Eleanor, do you want me to…?”

She shook her head and he stood up. “Come on Sarah,” she said. “The man wants to take a picture of us. Sit on Mummy’s lap, darling.” Eleanor settled on the chair. Sarah climbed on top.

“Nearly done,” said Mr Weems. He tapped the reset button, adjusted a calibrator, took the readings. Flicked through a couple of pages in the book. A truck changed down as it went round the corner outside, the water on the road making its tires hiss. “And, done,” he said brightly. “No correlations.”

Mrs James didn’t move. Alastair cleared his throat, then noticed she was crying. He busied himself with his equipment. “I’ll, I’ll see myself out. Thank you for your time,” he said.

Mr James caught up with him at the door. “Inspector, are you sure… has there ever been a case when you’ve… got it wrong?”

“With the toll? No. No, the scope is as infallible as a thing can be, Mr James. The boffins have proved it six ways from Sunday. We get safe roads, and save thousands of lives each year. Tens of thousands, Mr James!”

The man was sweating. He opened his mouth a couple of times, closed it. “If you’d found out. If you’d. I would have. I.” Alastair held up his hand.

“If you’re speaking of some kind of swap, Mr James; no. That’s the one thing we can’t allow. The scope’s quantum calculations are exact. Everything depends on the road toll being paid according to its determinations! Everything!” said Alastair with more heat than he’d intended.

There was an embarassed pause.

Alastair turned, fumbled with the door. Mr James helped him to work the catch. Outside it was still raining. Alastair pulled up his hood. “Good day, Mr James,” he said.

Mr James said nothing. He watched the Inspector trudge back down the path, toward the safe and certain road.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 12:52 on Jul 25, 2013

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


The Coffin of Henry Wick

Words: 1199

Miles wiggled, settling into the plush coffin like a dog finally ready to bed. Closing his eyes, he breathed deep, evergreen pine filled his nose. A strong box, enough padding, and the trappings, a tasteful off-white satin, this was a good coffin. For the most part.

Miles was not a large man, but he felt cramped in the box. His fingers tightened around the clipboard clutched to his chest. This won’t do, he thought. With the back of his hand, he rapped his knuckles on the coffin lid. Some seconds passed. He knocked again, his middle knuckle feeling something odd in the wood beneath the satin cloth. He heard nothing outside the coffin. Knocking again, harder, he pressed his hand against the coffin lid. He felt a groove, shallow but distinctly there, scoured into the wood. He ran his hand across the satin, trying to feel more details when the coffin opened. Light flooded in, forcing Miles to squint. Henry Wick’s face stared down at him.

“Sorry, I was helping another customer,” Henry said.

“No problem,” Miles said, surprised at how hard he was breathing. Sitting up, he jotted notes onto the clipboard. Henry chewed on his bottom lip, stretching his neck over Miles’ shoulder. Giving Henry a sharp look, Miles hunched and continued writing. Henry turned and looked at the ceiling of the funeral home, humming quietly.

“Okay,” Miles said, punctuating his statement with a click of his pen. “Here’s my assessment.” Miles flipped several pages on the clipboard and cleared his throat. “Here are the problems I see.”

Henry sat down in a daze. “That’s a lot of problems,” he said.

“The Myers-Bartlett and Livingston partners do not joke around. No voice is more trusted in afterlife comforts. If you want to be known for the best post-life accommodations, you want a Myers-Bartlett seal of approval in your window,” Miles said, still sitting in the coffin.

Henry nodded, running his hands through thinning brown hair.

“Would you be able to photocopy this for your records?” Miles said.

Henry nodded, taking the clipboard and walking to the backroom. As soon as Henry was out of eyesight, Miles pressed on the satin. He quickly found the first groove, and spread his fingers out from there. One more groove to the left, two to the right. Each were thin, shallow, and perfectly spaced for his fingers.

Henry appeared from the office in the back with two sets of papers. Miles snapped to attention, forcing a smile. Henry recoiled slightly, but handed one stack of papers over.

“Sign here, and here, and this will confirm my next site visit,” Miles said. Henry nodded, sweat beading on his forehead. “Henry, don’t worry, there’s always next year.”

Miles handed Henry his pen back, and extended his other hand for a shake. Sweaty hands clasped together, and Henry tightened his grip.

“Henry?”

Henry twirled the pen and pulled Miles closer to him. With an overhead swing, Henry buried the pen into Miles’ neck, sending a spray of blood splashing onto Henry’s glasses. Shoving Miles back into the coffin, Henry slammed the lid shut. With one hand clutching his neck, Miles scratched at the inside lid of the coffin. Shallow gasp after gasp, Miles fought the lid. Blood clogged his throat, and he felt it fill his lungs.

***

Light burned Miles’ eyes as the coffin lid opened.

“Ahh!” Miles screamed, bolting upright. He pushed the lid the rest of the way, knocking Henry Wick backwards. Miles gasped, feeling his neck. Dry, intact, and without a pen.

“What?!” Miles shouted. Wide eyes stared at Henry’s. In Henry’s hands was a nail gun. Miles locked in on the nail gun for a moment, and scrambled to get out of the coffin. Henry bolted up, putting a nail into Miles’ shoulder, going along the clavicle towards the sternum, pumping nail after pressurized nail.

Miles fell back into the coffin and watched helplessly as Henry slammed the lid shut again. He listened to the nail gun seal the coffin shut. With one good hand, he scratched listlessly at the coffin lid. His pawing slowed, his consciousness faded.

***

Miles slammed against the coffin lid, tears streaming out of his eyes. When the coffin lid opened, he shrank against the light. Trying to shield himself with the clipboard, countless haunting memories revisited him, searing his flesh with phantom strikes. Gun shots, butcher knives, garden trowels blended together in white hot pain. Henry Wick loomed above, sweaty, red face staring down.

“Please god, please,” Miles cried. Henry held a surgical razor in one hand. “Anything, anything, please.”

“Anything?” Henry said with a blank face.

“Anything, please god, I swear.”

Henry grabbed the clipboard and tugged. Miles gripped it with white knuckles. Henry’s eyes flared and an angry sneer pulled across his lips. Miles let go instantly, causing Henry to take a step backwards to balance himself.

“These are not kind words,” Henry said.

“No, no, I was wrong, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” Miles said.

“They might give customers the wrong impression about my business.”

“I have more blank copies, please, I’ll write anything you want, please I promise,” Miles said.

“Where are they?”

“What?”

“Where are the loving copies!”

“My car, my car, please let me get them, I promise I won’t go anywhere.”

Henry turned his head, Miles’ car sat outside the plate glass storefront. Henry’s eyes drifted back to the shivering man in the coffin. He wrapped his wet hands around Miles’ neck, pressing his weight down into the coffin. Miles didn’t fight, but still put his hands limply around Henry’s wrists. Silent tears streaked down Miles’ face.

***

“I take it you understand why I couldn’t let you leave without your signature,” Henry said, waving the copies he retrieved from Miles’ car. Miles nodded silently, his hands shaking as he took the pen Henry held out for him. The papers Miles held flapped from shaking before he could bear down on the clipboard. Deep, blackness ringed Miles’ eyes, the sheen of water over his corneas made it difficult to see clearly.

Finally, Miles signed the last page and handed it to Henry Wick. Henry looked over the pages, and nodded. “You have a way with words.”

Miles wrapped his arms around himself, pulling his shoulders closer to each other. He rocked back and forth slowly in the coffin. Henry signed his name next to Miles’ and clicked the pen slowly. Miles froze, catching his breath.

“And the placard will come in the mail, yes?”

Miles nodded and quivered.

“Good, good,” Henry said. He stepped back and to the side, waving towards the exit. Miles looked at him with sunken eyes. Henry nodded.

“I promise.”

Miles scrambled out of the coffin, falling over himself as he pitched forward. Crawling, his muscles were stiff from being confined to the wooden box, he made his way to the exit. After a moment he gathered himself to his feet, and raced out of the parlor and jumped into his car. Tires squealed as Miles slammed his foot on the gas. As he pulled out he saw Henry Wick standing behind the glass window, waving goodbye.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Prompt: Odd Professional Mystery
Wordcount: 1199

Rub me the wrong way

I was halfway through my fifth Djinn when I got the call. A body had been found in the houses of Parliament. In an office locked on the inside, no less. A classic crime, but not necessarily my domain.

“I’m kind of busy,” I said to the calling officer, while still looking the Fire Djinn right in the burning eye-sockets. “Can’t Fairfax handle a simple corpse these days?”

“There’s a lamp, sir, hidden near the body. The DI is afraid to give it a rub, and the scrubs claim it’s emanating magical residue.”

“Fair enough.” Still holding the phone, I took the Djinn down with a single psychic blow to its solar nexus. It collapsed in a shower of ash. “I’ll be right over.”

The black cab took its time to wind its way to Westminster. As we drew nearer the plod presence increased and once through the gates it was standing room only. Hardly, surprising - Metropolitan’s finest tend to take a dim view of murders in what should be the most secure place in the UK after the Queen’s kecks.

I flashed my ID several times as I made my way through the hallowed halls to the scene of the crime. Just before the door to the office in question, a Detective Inspector approached.

“Well, well,” said the DI. “If it isn’t London’s most renowned Genie-ologist.”

“Fairfax of the Yard, how I’ve missed your delightful wordplay. Licensed Demonology Consultant may be my chosen profession but there’s enough of the genealogist in me to know you’re a stupid son of a bitch.”

“Harrumph,” said Fairfax. He summoned over a junior officer. “Officer, this shambling mass of disreputability is to be shown all salient elements of the crime scene. He is not to touch or disturb anything except insofar as you judge it within his area of expertise as a Consulting Genie-ologist.” Ah, Fairfax! So honest, so loyal, and so completely unable to let a bad joke go.

The officer, 60351 by his nameplate, led me inside and gave me the facts. The victim, currently lying face down and dead, was an up-and-comer in the political realm by the name of Dagenham Hatt. The room he lay in had been identified as locked by several members of the cleaning staff, and I could tell from the damage to the door-frame that force had been required to enter. There were no signs of struggle, no wounds on Mr Hatt (though everyone agreed he did look peaky), and no recently drunk cups of poisoned tea. The room had been searched by both elven and dwarven constabulary for secret doors and passages with no new ones found. A cursory dweomer trace had revealed a single brass lamp on a nearby bookshelf. The trace was still active so it was putting out a couple of thurms of mystical light, but it otherwise looked an ordinary home lamp, if your home was furnished with pantomime props.

I approached it warily, fishing inside my pocket for my plastic bag filled with lint-free cloths.

“Tools of the trade?” asked 60531

“No, I just don’t want to pull a thread on my jumper. Cashmere isn’t cheap.”

“I always wondered,” said 60531, “why don’t people just wish for money, or girls or summing?”

Demonology 101. “What most people fail to realise is that your common or garden Genie can’t just magic stuff into being. You wish for money, some dragon somewhere is a golden hoard lighter and seriously pissed. Girls and it turns out the only free ones were from a nunnery. Eternal life and it’s a day watching tellytubbies with no drugs to hand. And that’s getting off lightly. Leave lamps and the like to the constitutionally protected professionals. Now, observe!”

With cloth in hand, I gave the lamp a rub. Smoke began to billow from its lip, coruscating with tiny sparks, which coalesced into the top half of a finely built humanoid.

“You’re wish is my command, Master,” said the Genie in a voice low and obsequious.

“Not this time. You’re absolved of your responsibilities by virtue of the Demonic Bequest Regulatory Act of 1319 and no existing Master/Genie relationship is usurped. Demon to officially licensed demonologist, though, I’ve got a couple of questions.

The Genie, realising he wasn’t on the clock, lit up a cigarette. “Ask away, O licensed one.”

“This chap here on the floor. You know him?”

The Genie looked at the body on the floor and exhaled a cloud of purple smoke. “The son of the Master.”

“And your master is...”

“I’m sorry. Master/Genie confidentiality is privileged.”

drat. I knew it was, of course, but you never know what might slip. “This dead Mr Hatt...wait - Mr Hatt. Son of “Sir Toppham” Hatt? The infamous Fat Controller?”

The Genie tapped the side of his nose in the universal sign for an obvious wink.

Every demonologist knew of “Sir Toppham” Hatt; a Thomas the Tank Engine aficionado who took it one track too far and made some demonic pact for his beloved trains to be able to talk. He’d somehow transplanted the faces of fifty innocent british citizens and was doing time in Wormwood Scrubs for his crimes against the faceless multitudes. Was this how he had done it? Wishes? The fool.

I borrowed 60531 from Fairfax for the afternoon. It was always good to have a cop with you when you ventured into the Scrubs, as they took most of the spit. Bleak, ugly and unforgiving as an Englishwoman turned thirty, only the worst sort of bastard called Wormwood Scrubs home.

60531 got us past a series of doors locked in increasingly intricate ways, until we reached the maximum sorcery unit. There we found “Sir Toppham”, looking rather agitated.

I have always believed in the cold open. “Hatt. I’m afraid your son is dead.”

“Right,” said Hatt. “Yes. Me Son. Dead. Right. Hah? Hah? Yes.”

“You don’t seem upset,” I observed.

“Me, ahem, he was dying already, you know. Horrible upper class sort of disease. Probably a mercy. Probably found the lamp, tried to use it, bollocksed it up ”

“But it was your lamp, wasn’t it, Toppham? That was how you did the face crime. That was how you killed him. But why?

“I didn’t kill me. Quite the opposite. I wished me life!”

“Well that wasn’t going to work - what were you trying to...and why are you speak...?”

The penny dropped. “Oh. Even a gift of life had to come from somewhere. Dagenham’s sick body wasn’t going to cut it, so the Genie has you co-inhabit. But he’s trapped in there with you, and we're here, and you still have one wish left. Cunning bastard.”

“No, alas, ” said ToppDag. “I wasted the first wish on girls, and woke up in a convent. Hadn’t planned this out at all. But now you mention it, any chance of compassionate release on grounds of not all of me in here being a criminal?”

It’s a lovely day indeed when solving a locked door murder means letting a known perp walk free. Fairfax was in hysterics. I wandered the soggy streets of London, looking for a Djinn to punch.

perpetulance
Mar 24, 2013

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I had problems with this prompt. My writing is bad and I should feel bad.

Wordcount: 767
The Invokers

Sun shone through the skylights of the mall. The crowds milled about in the sun's rays, some watching the spectacle taking place. A woman lay covered in blood, her left hand extended up to try to block the ax moving down toward her.

“No, please, don't kill me!”, the woman cried. Her scream was silenced with the thud of the ax striking her neck. The crowd watched the man drop the ax the ground with blank faces.

The lights dimmed on the stage, with the closing curtain separating them from the crowd. The panting assailant helped his victim to her feet. The two exited the stage though concealed doors to the rear section of the mall. The show was complete, although the remnants of their performance remained to be scrubbed up.

“Amazing scream. You really sold that death with the blood coming from your squib,” the ax wielding man said.

“No, really, you do that too well,” she replied. “Frank, the crowd always seems to think you a killer.”

-

It had been a hundred years since they built the machine. Realizing that their own self interest would never allow them to negotiate fairly, the armistice that ended the third world war was written not by man but by their child of silicon. It decreed an end to the nation state. Man began not to live solely by his will, but with dictates from pure reason.

They called it 'The Prayer'.

Frank was an invoker. His vocation was the simulation of violence and mayhem almost indistinguishable from an act with an unwilling victim. After the reformation, true violence almost disappeared. People were assigned to simulate violence upon one another, with the act filling man's innate desire for blood-lust. With an end to scarcity of resources, the need to harm others was almost completely replaced with fiction within a single generation.

-

The subway raced toward the apartment complexes ringing the outer edges of the city. Frank was returning home after completing his day of assaults, robberies, and murders. Cleaned and in his normal attire, he listened to the conversation behind him.

A young man was talking to a classmate next to him. “I can't believe it. I've always wanted to be an administrator, and today I received my assignment from the Prayer. I'm going to be assigned to administrator training at the central office. So lucky. What did it assign you?”

“I got placed in waste management. I know it sounds bad, but the machines that supervise the plant are really interesting to work with, and the workload there is so small I'll get time off to work on my paintings.”

“I can't believe how well it knows people. Can you imagine how hard it must have been before The Prayer?”

The conversation continued, but Frank could only think of his own assignment. At twenty two, he received him assignment of Invoker. He went into it and found a talent for the acting it entailed, not to mention a joy from enacting humanity's base nature for the world, but had never considered the reason for his assignment.

He lay asleep later that night, wracking his brain as to why he would be chosen to act out violence for the public. The Prayer took into account many factors when assigning a person to their vocation, but it always seemed to place people where they would be most suited. So why then did it place him in a position to act out violence?

He fell asleep pondering the question.

-

A white world surrounded him. Frank floated at if sitting in an invisible chair. The metallic table in front of him held up a thin screen and an old keyboard. A flash of static passed over the screen before green text appeared.

'WHAT TROUBLES YOU, CHILD?'

His hands reached out to the keyboard to reply. He typed 'I don't know why I was chosen to be an invoker.

The machine replied, it's text crossing the screen as if it were alive. 'DO YOU NOT ENJOY YOUR WORK? I CHOSE IT FOR YOU BECAUSE I KNEW YOU WOULD ENJOY IT.'

'No, I do. But, why?'

'SOME MEN ARE DRIVEN TO COMMIT CRIMES BY NEED FOR FOOD, OR MONEY, OR THROUGH CIRCUMSTANCE. A FEW ARE DRIVEN TO DO SO FOR THE SAKE OF DOING THEM. WERE YOU NOT AN INVOKER YOU WOULD BE A LOST ONE.'

-

He awoke with a jolt, knowing for certain to be driven by the basest emotions. He imagined what actual blood would feel like on his hands, and fell back to sleep with a smile.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Now with 100% less gratuitous profanity.

Ammit Inc. (1,188 words)

Dresden closed his eyes and listened. In the dark of his mind the wind farm felt like it went on forever, an endless sea of sparse grass and turbines. Calm, desolate, it had already become his favorite place to recoup. His favorite place to meet new people.

Sergei. That was the name he had been given. Not a name he’d expected to be common. He’d been told to wait for them, pick the time and the place, but for what purpose or how they tracked him down he only vaguely understood. They always had ways, he supposed. And he, too good natured to refuse.

There was the sound of an engine in the distance. A car. It echoed in his eardrums, closer and closer, until at last it stopped and fell into silence. He heard only the wind now, felt only the wind. Saw nothing. He wanted to be surprised. The car door clicked and the sound of scuffling and footprints filled his senses. Dresden peeled his eyes with an acquired squint, finally deigning to look.

He had wanted to be surprised.

“Are you…Sergei?”

“The one and only.”

Sergei shut the door to the car and leaned against it. Sergei stood long and tall. She was also a woman.

“I wasn’t aware Sergei was a feminine name around this country.”

“It isn’t, but you can’t choose your parents.”

“Hmm, I suppose not.”

Sergei smiled. She was sharp dressed and professional, a single flower in her hair the only ornamentation in an otherwise practical haircut. Unfortunately, the woman herself was delegated to Dresden’s peripheral vision, his point of interest drawn to what she held in her hands, cradled like a child.

“Is that a crocodile?”

“Stork would prefer it if you called him by his proper name.”

“Stork? You named him stork?”

“Can you think of a better one?”

There was a moment of silence.

“You know, now that you mention it-”

“Enough,” Sergei raised her palms, still balancing the crocodile, “Not that this isn’t a fascinating thread of conversation, but we’re wasting time. My name is Sergei, which you can thank my parents’ high Russophilia for, and this is Stork, my assistant, whose name you can thank me for. How do you do?”

She walked forward, her right hand extended as tough in an awkward attempt for a handshake. As Dresden reached to reciprocate, with a flick of her wrist she produced a small card in simple black and white. Dresden hesitated a moment before taking it, its script bold and unmistakable.

AMMIT INCORPORATED
“Knowing evil is our business.”

Dresden flipped the card over as though expecting to see something, but the back was blank. There was no other information on the card, no logos, no phone numbers. Sergei shifted Storks weight in her arms as she gestured for the card back. Dresden thought to ask if she didn’t have more, but decided this might be a silly question to ask to the woman who willingly carried around a crocodile of her own volition.

“A pleasure, I suppose. My name is, er-”

“Ah, ah, ah,” Sergei quickly reassured him. “There’s no need. No evidence, nothing like that. We know who you are, and that’s enough.”

“Ah. I see. Thank you.”

“Though I must confess, your accent betrays you. Not from around here, I gather?”

“Not natively, no. I arrived sometime last month.”

“Boat or plane?”

“I flew.”

Sergei held in a modest chuckle and turned towards her car. She did not beckon him, but Dresden understood he was to follow. Sergei slid Stork gently onto the hood of her vehicle before entering it to rummage around in the backseats. She emerged with a golden scale and two metal folding chairs. Dresden looked to Stork, who stretched happily in place. It took only a moment for Sergei to set up the chairs, but she took her time balancing the scale which she placed next to Stork. Satisfied with her fiddling, she settled down into her folding chair, Dresden having already taken his. Stork simply nodded his head.

“Well, I suppose you understand what this is about.”

“Vaguely. The voice on the phone didn’t stress the particulars.’

“We find its best that way. Merits a more honest response. Now if you could kindly roll back your sleeves?”

Dresden complied. As he did Sergei reached over and tickled Stork beneath his jaw. Stork twitched and yawned and opened his mouth wide. Dresden had a sinking feeling he could guess what came next.

“Now, please insert your hand into Stork’s mouth.”

“I was afraid of that. Do I have to?”

“It’s the most important part. More important than the rest, I assure you. And you needn’t worry, Stork is well trained. Your arm is in no danger, though I suspect it wouldn’t be anyway.”

“Danger of losing it, no, but I still feel pain.”

“I understand. Nevertheless, it is perfectly safe. Stork is as much a professional as I, and as much a member of our company as I.”

Dresden signed and extended his arm. Stork’s jaws shut slowly around it, his teeth just barely prickling the surface of the skin. From a pocket Sergei produced a small notebook, seemingly brand new, and with it a golf pencil finely sharpened.

“Now then, the particulars.”

The interview lasted roughly an hour. Formal questions mostly. Where he was born, where he had lived, what he had done and who he had done it with. Dresden answered with complete honesty, or as much as he could drum up depending on the question. From time to time Sergei would frown and look to Stork before taking a small weight from her pocket, usually brass or silver, and toss it lightly to herself before placing it on the scale, one end or the other. Beyond her questions she had surprisingly little to say, and never asked him to elaborate where he felt he might have stopped short. She made quick work, though. By the end of the hour she had already filled half the book. Dresden hadn’t thought he’d said nearly that much.

The sun was setting when she finally shut the book, pencil within, wrapped in a rubber band. She seemed satisfied with whatever she had gleaned from their time together, and immediately pocketed the weights from the scale. Without so much as a word of command, Stork opened his jaw and released Dresden’s hand, which he withdrew very cautiously.

“Is that it, then?”

“For now. You’ll receive another phone call in the future, no doubt, but I shouldn’t think you’ll be seeing me again. Or Stork.”

Well that was a shame. The little had been growing on him.

“That complicated?”

“Knowing evil is our business. We can’t afford to cut corners. Whenever someone like you shows up, we’ve got to be sure where they stand.”

Dresden rubbed his wrist as he stood from his chair. “I understand. Well, I’ve got to be off.”

Sergei simply nodded and turned to put away the scale. She never turned to see him leave, even as he zipped off into the skies, cape fluttering in the wind.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

"It's time....to DIE!"


Submissions are closed.

Big ups to everyone who wrote words that didn't suck, assuming anyone did.

Medium ups to everyone who wrote words that sucked, because we give out participation grades now.

gently caress you everyone who didn't submit.

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006


OK heres a crit I promised by last Friday, EB gave you a pass, and I couldn't find Sitting Here's crit, you don't even want it.

But this isn't the crit you want, it's the one you deserve.

Bad Seafood you got off light, your rewrite was not original in the slightest as everyone in the place mocked HereticMind for modern warefare fan fic, then you went and wrote some more. You broke the golden safari rule: look at the poo poo, appreciate the poo poo but never touch the poo poo. You got in there and rolled around and I'm surprised you didn't get torn a new arsehole for it. Read Saddest Rhino's far superior version again. Think about what it did with original, subverting the message and making you feel really loving uncomfortable.


Now lets look at what happens when people try to write ironic fan fiction.

Bad Seafood posted:

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.

Hard and Deep by Heretic Mind (430 words)

Ten Seconds to Midnight (377 words)

The world was drowned in sound and violence, but Brian for his part had never felt better.

“Sniper on the ledge! Two o’clock!”

Brian turned sharp, his body on automatic. turning is a red flag to a bull in here it seems, but here you are using it ambiguously because the word you want is sharply, sharply is an adverb, sharp is a adjective. I hope this is a typo, because what you said is he BECAME SHARP


TURNED SHARP

There framed in the window he saw only a face – a mask, not a man – and he emptied his clip. What stood there exploded in a fine red mist. Brian chuckled to himself as he fetched a new clip. Yes, yes, this was much more satisfying that tilling the farm. yes, yes my pretty's, I must kill the brown people Waiting for harvest time. Waiting to die. Here he had felt that he finally belonged. He no longer feels like he belongs Here he had purpose. Here he was free. the military as an escape from rural boredom and poverty, video games as an escape from suburban mediocrity, both valid things to talk about, shame you didn't

The smell of blood and sulfur hit him hard as he stumbled out into the streets. WAR IS HELL, YOU CAN SMELL THE BRIMSTONE

Conrad stepped forward and cut out in front of him, and was delivered salvation by a stray RPG. But Brian was already in the street, why didn't he get hit by the RPG?

Brian leapt back and let loose a spray of bullets and profanities, a funeral dirge for the sake of his friend, and a ticket to Hell for those who had killed himcomma or period, whatever

“gently caress you, all you motherfuckers!” horrible, you cringe when you hear this in a movie, so why put it here

There was a tremor through the earth and the wall burst apart. There in the wreckage rolled the form of a tank. didn't saving private ryan do this exact same thing, a tank bursting through the wall? come on you aren't even trying

“S-poo poo!”

It was a rundown old thing, both weary and weak, yet enough enough what? that could kill him Brian knew only too well. nasty run on sentence He scrambled back across the rubble and the smoke as the turret turned slowly, fixed on his location. he was standing in the street, the tank destroyed a wall, creating some rubble. if he is scrambling across rubble his either going towards the tank or buried by the rubble The tank belched fire and missed him by inches, sounds like the tank is propelled by lit farts, and the tank itself flew forward past him some dilapidated apartments taking the brunt of the damage.

There was a sound of rockets, rockets themselves don't make much noise, they just sit there. this was a great opportunity to show us what the rockets sound like, the fear of not knowing where they are going to land, instead you told us hey ho rockets out of loving no where, deus ex machina motherfucker and the tank burst into flames. Brian peered out from his hiding place and flipped them the bird. I know he's meant to be a cocksucker, but he is so 2d that he lives in flat land

Then he heard something he did not recognize. probably sounds exactly like those rockets would have sounded a paragraph ago

He took off his helmet and looked to the heavens. The sky was clear but there was no God. can't normally see god in the sky, be a loving weird modern warfare clone if you could In his place sank a spear, a finger of light, that most terrible gift from mankind to himself.

Brian dropped to his knees.

The spear dropped down, and for the briefest of moments all life was illuminated. Then came calm. Then came silence. And the darkness thereafter.

“loving BULLSHIT,” Brian ripped his headset off and hurled it across the room. “Nobody told me there was a time limit!”

Deus ex machina number two followed by it was all a dream.

This was worse than the original and Saddest Rhino's rewrite. You took a reasonably terrible hoorah marines story and turned it into vidya game fanfiction without any social commentary, decent characterisation or functional plot. You did try and continue the cheap heaven and hell references that were already there, but in the end all this story said was "war is bad, m-kayyyyyy"

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Okay Noah you crazy bastard, what do you want for your new avatar?

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


sebmojo posted:

Alright you big-noting cocksucker, bring it. I will eviscerate you. 1k words, midnight Tues PST. Martello can judge and prompt.

:frogsiren:THUNDERDUEL: sebmojo vs Erik Shawn-Bohner:frogsiren:

Prompt: gently caress both of you bitches, you're gonna write outside your comfort zone even worse than I had to.

ESB - no alcohol or swearing, and the protagonist has to be an upbeat person with a positive outlook on life. Include a Bar Mizvah.

sebmojo - no cyberpunk or technoir or whatever the gently caress it is we write. Protagonist needs to be a pregnant female. Include a Muslim call to prayer.

WORDCUNT: 1000 (ONE THOUSAND) WORDS

DEADLINE: MIDNIGHT WEDNESDAY PACIFIC STANDARD TIME

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


gently caress, I completely forgot about this, sorry about that.

Fuckheads.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


sebmojo posted:

Yep. I haven't started mine yet, I'm still going to submit. 1000 words is nothing, just crank it out. Crabrock has done you the huge favour of making GBS threads out something so terrible that you're probably already safe from the loser av. That's not a luxury you get every week, don't waste it.

In my defense,

Jagermonster
May 7, 2005

Hey - NIZE HAT!


sebmojo posted:

Crabrock has done you the huge favour of making GBS threads out something so terrible that you're probably already safe from the loser av. That's not a luxury you get every week, don't waste it.

As cutesy and smug Crabrock's entry is, it's way better than yours.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


I'm feeling bloodlust up in this here Thunderdome, some real pent up pressure. Feels almost like we need another one of those pair-up and gently caress-em-up grudge rounds to clear the air and wash the arena floor with the blood of the weak.

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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






Jeza posted:

I'm feeling bloodlust up in this here Thunderdome, some real pent up pressure. Feels almost like we need another one of those pair-up and gently caress-em-up grudge rounds to clear the air and wash the arena floor with the blood of the weak.

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