When I went to go write today, I found the power had gone out. Turns out there was some big show on at the stadium and every fucker there plugging into every socket killed the power for the whole town. Also, the show involved tables of transsexuals and people in dog costumes frantically making satay sauce and it was apparently good luck to touch the white guy so I got bounced around like a loving pinball for two hours while trying to figure out when the show would end and the power would go back on. I got dragged up on stage at one point and they gave me a t-shirt. It's green. I'm wearing it right now.
Your experience is so close to what it must be like to attend a Lordi concert, in surreality if nothing else, that I have to see what inspiration comes out of it. Request granted.
Kaishai fucked around with this message at 15:24 on May 12, 2013
|# ? May 12, 2013 15:19|
|# ? Sep 19, 2021 22:13|
Anger is never without a reason but seldom with a good one.
Virginia skulked out of the dressing room into the murkiness, wiping the heavy drops off of her cheek. The semen made a web between her thumb and forefinger. Out of the corner of her eye she caught a short man leaning in a doorway.
“So you’re blowing your way to the top now? Is that it?”
It was the choreographer, Alexander. That little queen was always showing up at the wrong time. His faded getup blended into the grey hallway so well that she initially overlooked him.
Wiping her hand on her skirt, she said “what do you care?”
“Oh I don’t. But,” he pointed to her skirt and said “you’ll want wash that before the performance. Dried cum catches the light like a sequined glove. Trust me.”
She said, “shut up idiot. I know what I’m doing.”
“Really? You’d get on your knees for this show?” He looked up and down the hallway. A couple of women with clipboards passed between them under a bare lightbulb.
“Take a look around Virginia. You’re better than that. You don’t need to suck your way to the top — at least not here. You’re good! Why act like a whore?”
She flushed. “Shut up Alexander! Why don’t you go gently caress another farm boy?”
Alexander felt the slap from across the hall. He looked at his feet as he tried to calm himself.
“You start poo poo like that now,” he said, “and this is as far as you’re going to get.” He chuckled and pointed to the door behind her. “Have you heard him sing? Jesus Christ!”
Her eyes grew wide. “Shut the gently caress up!” She pushed Alexander backwards into his dressing room and closed the door.
Two men in sequined leotards and glittery faces walked past.
“You don’t understand” she said.
She looked down at her hands on his chest, still moist, and pulled them away.
“Georgi says I will dance beside him tonight. His face will be on TV, but I will be right there with him. I am a great dancer, but I want the world to see me.”
He softened. “Of course everyone will see you. I told you the first time I saw you in your village,” he pointed a bony finger at her face as he emphasized each word, “You have talent!”
Pulling on a strand of hair she said “any girl in this business has talent. I want to be a star.”
He dropped his hand and said “you’re not a cheap whore, stop acting like one.”
That hurt. She tried to ignore the shame he made her feel. He did this. She closed her eyes, tight, to keep the tears from coming.
Alexander lowered his voice. “Stop your crying. You can’t fool me like you fool Georgi.” He turned his back to her and sat in front of his mirror. “If you’re going to cry, at least wash your face before you go out there.”
A knock at the door broke the tension in the room. From the hallway someone barked “five minutes!”
Brushing what was left of his hair, Alexander said, “on your way out, hand me my shirt dear. It’s hanging on the door.”
His dismissal stung the most. A wave of heat rose from her throat and her pulse pounded behind her eyes. She turned towards the door, trying to get control of herself.
Pulling the shirt off of the hanger, she said, “I’m sorry I pushed you out there Alexander. You’re right, I am a good dancer, I am better than this.”
“Don’t let that man play you like an idiot Virginia. He can’t sing, he’s not going to win this competition. You need to think about the next level of your career. I can help you. But not if you’re going to act like a hormone-driven teenager — “
The wire hanger slipped over his head and she pulled it tight, twisting it, cutting off the air. It dug into his skin and his hands scratched at his neck, fingers prying at the wire. He tried to reach behind his head to grab her, but she was faster and stronger.
She let out a stifled grunt as she pulled the wire tighter. The only sound in the room was a clock on the wall. Virginia’s eyes settled on the clock as her arms trembled.
As his hands waved in the air, his mouth worked open and shut like a fish dying on a table. He tried to twist around to face her, but she kept her arms outstretched.
She was a horrified witness to her own crime, as the rage became an electric fence between her hands and her mind.
Finally the high-pitched squealing in her ears began to fade. She blinked the sweat out of her eyes and realized she no longer had the wire hanger in her hands. On the floor, his body looked as harmless as a discarded overcoat. She wiped the tears off her face with throbbing hands.
Out in the hallway, dancers were scampering to the stage for their big moment.
“Where’s your choreographer?” the director asked from the third row of seats. The dancers were lined up on either side of Georgi, stretching and limbering up for the song.
“We don’t have the time to get him. Your group needs to go ahead and begin, we’re losing time.” The director shot a glance over his shoulder to the suits sitting alongside the massive soundboard.
Virginia said “We’re ready to go without him, Right Georgi?”
He put his hand on her cheek, and said “of course you are Virginia.”
magnificent7 fucked around with this message at 22:40 on May 12, 2013
|# ? May 12, 2013 21:08|
I have squandered my week on things other than writing. Now, Sunday night has come and I have produced nothing. I could poo poo something out in the hours that remain before the deadline but it would, in fact, be poo poo. Sleep takes priority, this time.
It is with endless shame that I bow out of this week's Thunderdome.
|# ? May 12, 2013 21:26|
Cephus' Blessing 1206 Words.
“Your drink is already paid for, ma'am.”
Lyra’s stomach dropped as she spun around to find Vaughn. He sat alone in a corner booth. Lyra turned back before he could make eye contact.
“gently caress. He’s on the cruise,” Lyra said.
“Who? Not that Cephar guy?” asked Rachel.
“Yeah, he’s here to ruin my vacation.” Lyra did not look back toward Vaughn, but Rachel and Lindsay both stared at him. “Don’t look at him! Now he knows we’re talking about him.”
Lindsay said, “I thought Cephism was just that religion where, like, you get married and then even if the other person never converts... it’s fine as long as you don’t get divorced.”
Rachel said, “Yeah, that’s normally what happens. But Vaughn here told his Pater that he would marry Lyra after meeting her one time at a party. Now he can either marry her or become a monk for fifteen years.”
“That’s like... really creepy. Why don’t you just get a restraining order, Lyra?” Lindsay looked at Vaughn and squinted.
Lyra kicked Lindsay’s shin. “Stop looking at him. gently caress. I tried to get a restraining order and his church threatened to sue me for religious intolerance. Vaughn agreed to be “civil” and drop the suit. He stays at a distance and never texts me or tries to make contact with me. He’s just... always there.”
Rachel finished her drink and said, “So, Lyra, now that we are bonding so much on this cruise... maybe you can tell me if you guys did it or not while you were dating. You must have, right?”
“Eww! You slept with him?” Lindsay looked at Vaughn again. “Well, he isn’t bad looking.”
Lyra stomped away from the table and toward Vaughn. Vaughn saw Lyra approaching and left the restaurant.
Lyra zipped up her coat and followed Vaughn outside onto the observation deck. “Hey, shithead. The point of a cruise is to get away from the parts of my life I don’t want to deal with, not to have them follow me onto the ship.”
Vaughn leaned over the railing and looked out toward the glaciers. “Lyra, even though you deny it now, we were happy together until I told you about my religion. Cephus taught us that as long as I love you and am honest with you, we are both saved and can both enter His celestial kingdom. It wouldn’t surprise me if my love for you revealed this truth to you as well, but you don’t have to believe... if that is what is keeping you from me.”
“Stop looking over the railing while you talk to me!” Lyra ripped off her beanie and shoved it into her jacket pocket. “Stop trying to be mysterious and stop trying to be the good guy. You are a creepy stalker that can’t accept that we are over, not some well-intentioned saint. Maybe if you had talked to me before telling your Pater that you would marry me, then maybe I could have accepted your crazy religion... but you didn’t do that. You decided on your own, and now you can live with that decision. I don’t care what happens to you.”
Vaughn looked away from the icy vista and into Lyra’s dark-brown eyes. “I feel as if I have always known you. The first time we spoke didn’t feel like our first meeting, it was just finding the person I had always known. If you truly can’t forgive me for what I did and if you never felt anything for me, then I can join the monastery. I have a few months left before Cephus’ Law forces me to become a monk; I will use every last day to get you back.”
Vaughn walked away before Lyra could reply.
That night, a klaxon blared and jolted Lyra out of bed. Rachel and Lindsay must have still been out: Lyra was alone in her cabin.
A voice spoke over the loudspeaker, “Attention passengers. There is an engine fire. Please walk in an orderly fashion to the nearest stairwell. We hope to contain the fire, but as a precaution we are pre-loading all passengers onto the lifeboats. When you reach the stairwell, a crew member will guide you safely to a lifeboat. Passengers on deck 7 in cabins 7600 and higher, please remain in your cabin. There is a separate fire that we are working to extinguish. Crew members will come to escort you out shortly.”
Lyra was in cabin 7780. She was not going to stay inside while the ship burned. She pulled on the first clothes she saw and opened the door. Heat surged into the cabin while smoke choked and blinded her. She went back into the cabin and shut the door. Lyra coughed while rubbing her eyes clear. Could she risk going out and just running through to safety? She hadn’t seen anything through the smoke, but there could be fire blocking her path.
Something thudded on the door. The crew members must have made it through. Lyra opened the door and a tall, blanket-covered figure fell into the cabin, bringing with it the nauseating odor of burned paint and carpet. The figure threw the singed blanket to the ground and ripped the sheets from all three beds in the cabin. It was Vaughn.
“Put on your thickest shoes, now.” Vaughn ran into the bathroom and soaked the sheets and blankets under the showerhead. He threw all but one to Lyra. “Wrap yourself with these. Cover your entire face, I know the way out. I’m going to lead you by the hand and you need to follow me without hesitation.”
“But, the crew mem--”
“The crew members are not going to make it in time. When I squeeze your hand, run straight ahead. Do not stop. Cephus has blessed my love for you: We will make it through.”
Lyra wrapped herself in the soaked cloth, took Vaughn’s hand, and followed him outside. Vaughn lead Lyra through the hallway at a brisk pace. Heat soon penetrated Lyra’s shield of wet cloth. It felt as if her exposed hand was reaching into an oven to grab onto Vaughn. As the smoke started to penetrate Lyra’s blankets, Vaughn squeezed her hand. She remembered what Vaughn had said and ran straight forward, still holding onto Vaughn’s hand. At first, the heat leaked up near Lyra’s legs, then the blankets themselves burned her skin. Lyra and Vaughn sprinted through. The worst of the heat receded and Vaughn’s hand pulled away from Lyra. She felt him pull the dried-out blanket off her face as she collided into him.
Vaughn said, “We’re clear, let’s get to the lifeboats.”
Lyra sat next to Vaughn as the lifeboat moved through the cold and away from the burning ship. She had heard Lindsay and Rachel were safe on another lifeboat, though not everyone from her deck had survived. She took hold of Vaughn's hand, the hand that had guided her through the smoke and fire, and said, “Thank you. I’m so glad you were there.”
“I would do anything for you, Lyra.” Vaughn stroked Lyra’s hair while looking back at the ship. They held each other as the ship became a pale orange dot.
angel opportunity fucked around with this message at 21:58 on May 12, 2013
|# ? May 12, 2013 21:48|
Thundervision song contest
Montenegro, a la Martello.
Great beauty, great strength, and great riches are really and truly of no great use; a right heart exceeds all.
“I am not wearing that.”
The creep held the yellow biosuit out like a shield.
“But this way you can get in without being noticed, that way she will be less likely to get hurt,” Gerald whinged. He blinked repeatedly as the flop sweat from his comb-over dribbled down into his eyes, the concentrate of a lifetime of nervousness.
“I’ve got an image. This,” Tommy opened his arms wide and and turned on the spot, displaying his stature to the empty alley, “is my brand.” His back lit up like an anatomical diagram. The piezoelectric fibres infusing his muscles glowed brighter as he flexed - lats in blue, deltoids in shades of red and traps in green. It was loving beautiful. His bare chest didn’t have any mods: that was for the magazine posers. Chest for show, back for go.
He put his thumbs through the straps of his chest rig next to his Weatherby-Nosler pistols and leaned over his client. “I walk in looking like this, with these guns and these mods, everyone is going to know who hosed them up. Its my advertising, how I get business.”
“But I’ll triple your fee!”
There were ten bruisers armed with Tek-12s in front of the bunker, but they didn’t notice Tommy slouching in with the bio crew. He wasn’t used to being inconspicuous, and his fists itched, but the suit’s hood and goggles covered his distinctive shaved head and black eyes. Walking through the corridors it looked like the Proprietor was getting a water purification plant installed: a group of half naked guys were welding pipes. Tommy checked out their pecs, as he went by. No homo.
The corridor ended halfway up the wall of a wide silo, below him a crowd of men circled a cage the size of his garage. The yellow suits in front of him continued down a rusty spiral staircase to the floor, then disappeared into the depths of the bunker, towards the dirty water reservoir. Tommy hung back, taking in the view.
A murmur of anticipation heralded the arrival of two combatants. The bouts had started out as a sideline for The Proprietor, since the flesh trade often supplied girls that were too unruly to be whores. He had felt it was a waste to drug them insensible - he was a utilitarian at heart. Instead of letting them go to waste he had molded them into fighting warrior princesses, revered by perverts and blood sports fans. The girls who survived their initial bouts were modded by his own surgeons, and became superstars. The ones who didn’t were used to spice up the pitbull fights. The bitchfights were now the Proprietor's best businesses.
In the cage the brunette had taken off her robe. The crowd brayed and panted at her small, lithe body, covered only by a pair of lycra shorts and a boxing bra, but Tommy appreciated her hands, wrists, calves and feet, which glowed with modified strength and speed. In the opposite corner, with her back to Tommy, stood the blonde. Her entire back was vivid purple muscle, and the glow continued down to her buttocks, the tops of which were visible above her low slung black skirt. She turned around to stretch and Tommy saw that her chest had been modded too, but not for strength. He smiled.
Chest for show, back for go.
A bruiser slammed the cage door shut and the brunette immediately charged forward with stunning acceleration. She launched herself at the back of the blonde’s neck. At the last second the blonde sidestepped, and the brunette sailed past. Her attack foiled, she scrambled up the cage wall, leapt off it and rotated into a staggeringly graceful overhead kick towards the platinum head.
The blonde rolled back onto her shoulders, extended her legs high above her head and sent two stiletto clad feet into the brunette’s gut as she rotated. The smaller girl crumpled in the air and hung, bent like a horseshoe. With a delicate flick the blonde pushed her off and the broken girl fell to her knees.
“Enjoying the show dickhead? Get to work, or we’ll put you in the cage with the dogs.”
At that point Tommy decided he was bored with pussy footing around and threw this rear end in a top hat into the crowd below. It was about 30 feet, and some punters broke his fall, but the way the bruiser started wailing you would have thought he was really hurting.
Tommy leapt onto the roof of the cage. The cavern was a boiling mass of bodies making for the exit, but he ignored the shouts. Instead he put his new muscles to work, ripping a hole in the roof of the cage.
He jumped down and jerked back as a stiletto heel whirled past his face.
“What do you want fuckface? I’m working here!” She didn’t seem pleased to see him, but Tommy was a professional. He hunted around in his pocket and found the scrap of paper.
“My darling, I have admired you for so long from afar. My heart bleeds for your plight. I have sent this hired hand to rescue you from your cruel captors. Please go with him, and together we will live in luxury and love. Yours, Gerald.”
The blonde raised a perfectly cultivated eyebrow at Tommy. He shrugged.
“You have ruined a performance of grace and elegance, you have made my customers flee with their money,you have injured my employees. And you intend to steal away Roxy, my most prized possession. This I cannot allow.”
The acid tone broke through their bemusement. The cage was surrounded by men holding various weapons, and a tall thin man with a cane stared at them through the door.
“Put your hands behind your head and kneel, so that your death may be painless and quick. If you do not, your still functioning brain stem will be turned into dog chew toy.”
Tommy put his hands behind his head, and in one fluid motion pulled the shotgun out through the yellow suit and dived backwards. He fired the first buckshot load at the door, blowing it open and destroying The Proprieter’s right side. Roxy pulled the splits and lay her back flat against the floor, while the beaten brunette suddenly came to life and sprung through the rip in the cage roof. As the bullets from the bruisers flew around them Tommy unloaded the shotgun to the other compass points and felt joy flow through him. He landed on his back and locked eyes with Roxy, who beamed at him. The bruisers were all over the place, their bullet sprays had not hit their intended targets, but had ripped through their own ranks. He grabbed Roxy and barged through the door.
“Roxy. You wouldn’t leave me?”
Roxy curled her lip as she looked at the broken pimp, his skin flayed and bones broken. Then she grabbed one of Tommy’s pistols and emptied it into the Proprietor.
“- exceeds all, my queen. I saw your grace and beauty and could not bear to let you suffer.”
Roxy’s eyebrow remained raised.
“So you are saying that you used to watch me fight in that loving cage, and then paid someone else to break me out. You risked gently caress all yourself.”
“You were a pathetic creep getting off watching girls kill each other, and now you are an even more pathetic creep for paying someone else to do what you didn’t have the balls to do. gently caress off.”
Gerald glanced at Tommy.
“No refunds. It’s not my fault the lady protests. Infact, if you haven’t got any plans Roxy, I think I could do with a partner.”
|# ? May 12, 2013 23:00|
Entry: Belgium - love kills - especially 40s mark
Franklinism: If you would have a faithful servant and one that you like — serve yourself.
His Feminine Side
Joe sat at his kitchen table, coffee in hand, staring at the pink blister pack of pills in front of him. Exfemisil. The pharmacist had given him a strange, emasculating look when he’d picked it up yesterday and it sounded for all the world like some kind of antibacterial agent for lady parts - but he was expected to take it if he ever wanted to see Shelly again. Where was the logic in that, he wondered? It wasn’t as if he’d actually done anything seriously wrong. Not really. She’d thrown the first slap, after all. Still, Joe supposed, it was better than the alternative, an endless round of therapy, hugging it out, screaming it out, talking about his mother’s cleanliness fetish. Bugger that for a game of soldiers - better living through chemistry! Joe broke one of the seals, put the pill in his mouth, and swallowed it down with a mouthful of tepid coffee.
He waited a moment, checking against himself to see if he felt any different. Nothing. He looked around, squinting, but his vision seemed normal. He took another hit of coffee, swallowed, closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
When he opened his eyes, she was sitting across from him, smiling a welcoming smile. “Hello, Joe,” she said.
Joe jumped up from his seat, knocking over his coffee as he did so. “What the,” he started to say, then, as his brain caught up with events, “Jesus!”
“Whoah, steady on, fella,” she said, rising and moving to the kitchen sink. She picked up a cloth and went back to the table, handing it to him. “You might want to clean that up before you stain the wood.”
Joe made a few perfunctory wipes, keeping his eyes fixed on her. He’d glanced at the folded page of tiny-print instructions, but he assumed it would be a voice in his head, or some sort of spider-sense. He hadn’t expected this, not a living, breathing hallucination. Not for her to look so real.
“Uh, hi, thanks, er, hi,” he said, sitting down again. She was wearing the same clothes as him, jeans, a green t-shirt. Of course she was. Yet he couldn’t help but notice that she filled them out in different, pleasing ways.
“So,” said Joe, feeling he should keep the conversation moving but having no idea how. “I’m Joe.”
“I know,” she said. “So am I, but I guess for convenience’s sake that you’d spell it without the ‘e’.”
“Short for Josephine?”
“Sure, why not?”
“How does this work, then? You’re my female conscience or something?”
“I honestly don’t know. I assume I’m here because of the Exfemisil. Jeez, that sounds like a yeast infection medication. Perhaps I’m supposed to point out stuff, like the fact this apartment is a complete mess. How can you live like this?” Her voice was mocking sternness.
“Well, I haven’t been out much lately, and with Shelley staying away..”
“I think I’m already familiar with that argument, and it’s pretty pathetic. C’mon. I’m not playing Jemima Cricket in a pig-sty.”
She directed him to the vacuum cleaner and started picking up the detritus of several weeks of man alone-hood. They tidied for a while, opening the windows to let in the fresh air and let out the stale, wiping down surfaces and talking about whatever came to mind. Joe was unsurprised to learn she shared almost all of his views on politics, sports and the good TV shows, but interested to discover that she often disagreed with him on judgements of character. They spent a good half hour cleaning the bathroom and arguing over who was the real villain of Destiny’s Angels.
They worked through the morning and when they’d finished the place looked halfway respectable. Joe made a cup of coffee for himself, and asked Jo if she wanted one.
“Sure,” she said.
“How does that work then?“ he asked as he poured a second cup. “How does a figment of my imagination drink coffee?”
“I’m no expert, but I’d hazard a guess that it’s got something to do with how your brain tells stories to itself. You know, to make up for facts that it doesn’t quite have a handle on. I’m your feminine side, taking a chemically-enhanced driving role in your psyche, and I stick around until I’m better integrated with your baseline personality.” Joe vaguely recalled the judge having said something similar, and found the idea of Josephine sticking around not entirely unpleasant.
They sat there for a moment, smiling at each other over the coffee cups until the doorbell rang. Joe jumped at the sound, but tried to cover it up by announcing he was going to see who it was. Leaving her at the table, he made his way downstairs, as the doorbell rang again, now accompanied by a heavy-handed banging.
He flung the door open. There stood Shelley, red in the face and breathing hard. Joe didn’t even have time to say hello before she threw her arms around him. “Oh, Joe,” she cried, “thank God you’re all right!”
“Er,” said Joe, in a half grunt as she squeezed the air out of his lungs. He looked over her shoulder and was surprised to see Josephine standing there, watching them and making finger-down-the-throat actions. “I’m fine, honey. What are you doing here? The court said seven days at least.”
“Christ, haven’t you heard? That drug they said they were going to give you, it’s been recalled.”
“Some defect in the testing. Only hits a small percentage of people, but apparently it’s very dangerous. Jeez, Joe, you haven’t taken it yet, have you?” Shelley was already inside and heading up the stairs.
“Well,” said Joe following her and Jo into the apartment. “I only picked it up yesterday.” Jo looked back at him and twirled her finger against her head in child-sign for ‘crazy’.
“Joe! Your apartment - it’s spotless. Did you get someone in?”
Joe began to answer but Shelley had already moved to the kitchen table. She picked up the pink blister pack with its broken seal and missing pill. She stared a moment at the two cups of coffee. She turned to look at Joe coming in behind her and started to say something, but Josephine picked up a kitchen knife and dragged it across Shelley’s throat, sending jugular blood across the freshly washed kitchen floor. Shelley died with a look of terminal surprise.
Horror filled Joe’s face. Still holding the knife in one hand, Josephine reached down into his pants with the other and grabbed his crotch. “Sorry,” she said. “Turns out your feminine side is a bit of a bitch. Anyway, I thought we were getting along well enough without her.” Her hand was massaging him, as if she knew exactly what he liked.
Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at 01:00 on May 13, 2013
|# ? May 13, 2013 00:10|
Fumblemouse hosed around with this message
I saw that Jospephine typo fix!
|# ? May 13, 2013 01:20|
I saw that Jospephine typo fix!
Whew. You missed the tap-dancing ferrets of death metaphor deletion. But it's a fair cop. Break out the Nailed Planks of Correction, I'm guilty as sin.
|# ? May 13, 2013 01:46|
Instead of spending tonight writing I decided to get a kidney stone instead. no entry this week, but rest assured I am being punished.
|# ? May 13, 2013 02:10|
For everyone from last week I have yet to do crits for, fear not. Finals have wrecked my schedule but I'll get to them soon.
Anyway, in the meantime, here's my entry for this week:
Eurovision song: Latvia
Aphorism: “Man's tongue is soft, and bone doth lack; yet a stroke therewith may break a man's back.”
Jim Brandike’s secretary was late that morning. Not only did his driver fail to show, making him take a cab to the office like a peasant, but Sheila’s desk was bare, no note justifying her absence. Jim grumbled and walked into his office, realizing the real tragedy of the morning as he saw the bare silver tray on his own desk.
He had no piping hot cappuccino.
poo poo, he thought, somebody’s losing their job over this. Not Sheila, he realized grudgingly; despite this grievous act of disrespect, she was an indispensable fixture of his professional world. Maybe he’s just have a grip or two fired on-set to guilt her into being more responsible in the future.
Jim sat down, straightened his tie and powered on his laptop. He then slowly raised an eyebrow, hearing what had to have been a muffled flush from his personal bathroom. He shouted across the room, making sure that it would be audible above his titanium-grade hand dryer, “So that’s where you are! Sheila, if you want to use my toilet the least you could do is get my loving coffee first.”
The door opened and a figure emerged. Jim had no clue who he was, only that he was decidedly not Sheila. He was medium height, somewhat lanky, and walked with a stoop. His dark hair stuck to his brow and he wore loose-fitting shorts with a t-shirt and loafers.
“Mr. Brandike, stand up, uh, if you please, and get into that chair in front of your desk,” the intruder said, his voice quivering.
Jim leaned back, considered putting his feet up but decided that would be too cavalier. “And why the hell would I want to do that? More importantly, what gives you the right to think you can just barge into a man’s private office and poo poo in his personal toilet?”
“I got nervous, sir, you… you drat bastard.” The intruder pulled a Walther pistol out of his shorts and waved it at Jim. “Now please sit down in the chair, Mr. Brandike.”
“All right, all right, whatever you want,” Jim said. “Look, my money isn’t here, if that’s what you’re after. I’ve got kidnapping insurance, though—just let me know what you want, and we can end this without any messy conflict, all right? Put the gun away.”
The intruder gripped the pistol tighter, his arm locked and rigid. “Do you remember the March seventh taping, Mr. Brandike?”
“Uh… I assume there was one, yeah. These audition shows, they tend to blur together, you know how it is.”
“Baltimore. You were in Baltimore, Maryland, and so was I. Remember now, Mr. Brandike, you son of a bitch, sir?”
Jim paused, picked his words out nice and slow. “Baltimore, yeah, yeah. I remember being totally smashed for that one. Well, maybe remember’s a bad word to use, but I’m aware that they plopped me behind that desk, made watch that awful parade. I swear, they could just throw seventy-five percent of those doofuses out and it would save me a hell of a lot of suffering.”
The intruder gritted his teeth and shoved his empty hand into his pocket. He took out a disc and placed it gingerly on Jim’s desk. “Put it in your laptop. Play it. I want you to remember.”
Warily, Jim stood up, turned the laptop around, and pressed a button on its side. The disc tray popped open and Jim placed the obviously homemade DVD on it. The tray slid in and Jim backed away with his hands up, assuring the intruder he wasn’t going to do anything risky.
The media player appeared automatically and started the video. Jim knew instantly what it was. Whirring pink and green computer graphics zipped around the screen, eventually coming together and forming the words Fashion it Passionate! A cheery pop jingle sounded in the background.
The show began in earnest, and Jim watched the long lines of hopefuls dressed in outlandish costumes, many of them grinning broadly and giving a thumbs-up when the camera passed them. “Fashion-designer hopefuls have come out in force today in Baltimore,” said a smooth, charismatic narrator. “They all have the same dream: to bring their artistic vision to the national stage and design the clothes worn by tomorrow’s supermodels. Before that dream can come true, though, they have to face our panel of judges, which is an epic journey all in itself!”
Jim watched with growing unease as he and the other judges snickered, the object of their derision unseen. Genevieve, the blonde former model with the great caboose who sat next to Jim, was the first to break the awkward tension. “What’s your name, hon?”
“Wendell,” he said, “My name’s Wendell.” The camera turned to reveal Wendell, and suddenly it became clear to Jim what had prompted his inebriated chuckles. His intruder stood on-screen, wearing what looked like a marching band uniform from the high school of a silver mining town. The ensemble was decked in sequins, all glittering under the harsh TV lights. The pants were a size and a half too tight and Jim had to squint before realizing that what looked like a peach-colored undershirt was really Wendell’s waxed-smooth chest.
“Wendell, I’m sorry,” TV-Jim said, “but you look utterly ridiculous.”
“This is my outfit, sir. As you can see, it has a futuristic theme and will catch every eye in the house on a runway show.”
“It’ll catch every eye because they’ll all wonder if they’re looking at a robot transvestite. If you honestly thought this was going to impress us, then I simply don’t know what to say. I’m more liable to suspend you from the ceiling at a disco then to move you on to the next round. Anyone disagree?” TV-Jim glanced around, saw the other judges shifting in their seats. “No? All right, Wendell, it’s time for you to go, then. The best advice I can tell you is to look out for casting calls for Star Trek 3: Sulu Goes Glam. Ta-ta.” The video stopped. Jim slowly turned, looked back at a sweating, fuming Wendell.
“You humiliated me, Mr. Brandike. You wrecked my dream for the whole world to see, and now you’re going to taste the same ridicule.” He threw down a plastic bag, out of which draped a thin, glittering sleeve. “Put it on, Mr. Brandike.”
“Excuse me, do what?”
Jim thought he saw Wendell’s grip on the gun tighten. “Put it on,” Wendell said. “Let me laugh at you like you laughed at me. Like America laughed at me.”
Jim considered this for a moment.
“No,” he said.
“I’d rather die than wear that ridiculous thing. Wendell, pal, it’s like you never watched the show before auditioning. I’m the mean one. That’s what they pay me to be, and that’s what people want to watch. If you honestly wanted to stand up on national television, in front of me, looking like that…”
Click. Wendell stood, holding the gun, squeezing down the trigger, stunned that an explosion had not struck down his tormentor. He and Jim realized it at the same time: the safety was still engaged.
Jim shoved Wendell over and vaulted to his desk, whipped open the top drawer and rummaged around in a panic while Wendell fumbled with the pistol. By the time he’d finally found the safety, Jim was back with a canister in hand, spraying its contents in Wendell’s face. The intruder dropped to the ground, eyes practically bubbling, yelling out from agony and humiliation alike.
Jim heard footsteps coming up the stairs and whipped around to see a stunned Sheila, black hair in a bun and steaming cappuccino in hand.
“About time,” Jim said. “I’ll take the coffee, dear—you call security.”
Nikaer Drekin fucked around with this message at 02:40 on May 13, 2013
|# ? May 13, 2013 02:35|
Aphorism: Wish not so much to live long as to live well.
Do the young die? (658 words)
Young people never appreciate death.
Chuck thought as he drove his car down the road. He was the only old man he’d ever seen: a genetic quirk thought to have been eradicated like measles and the common cold. For the most part, people no longer grew old. People no longer died.
Chuck was old and he was dying. He was so close to the brink this time, and the doctors had given up on their hopes to cure him. Yes, they had prolonged his life to the point that he was the oldest old man to ever live, but with age had come new diseases that the doctors had not been able to even put a scratch on. He was always so tired and his body was shutting down regardless of the new drugs the doctors would cook up on the spot to combat a new illness.
Chuck was dying and that was that.
These kids are far too trusting of an old man.
Chuck thought to himself as he pulled to a stop and let three young people into his little car.
“Oh poo poo,” said the youngest of them, “you’re that guy from tv. The old guy. The world’s old guy.”
Yes, Chuck was that guy from tv. He was “the world’s old guy”, and that had always been fun enough. With age had come a legitimate celebrity and Chuck had enjoyed it. He’d enjoyed being an oddity, and was a regular on the late night talk shows due to his quick wit and easy going sense of humor.
“So, where you guys headed,” Chuck asked.
“It doesn’t really matter,” the youngest of them said, “anywhere but here.”
“That’s funny,” Chuck said. “I was headed that way too.”
I bet a gun could kill them.
Chuck was one of the few people in the world able to own a gun, having reached a biological age where he was eligible to possess one. Most people stopped aging at 16, and a few went so far as 17, but almost no one reached 18. The clock turned off around this time and never turned back on.
His gun was in the glove compartment, and he had planned on shooting himself later that day. He’d decided to drive as far as possible, put the gun to his head, pull the trigger, and ask God why he had to be so drat mean. He figured a direct approach was the only way to get the man’s attention.
Now with people in the car, he was beginning to see how foolish of an idea that had been. Why should he be the only recorded death in the last 200 years? It didn’t seem all that fair to him. No, when he stopped this car later that day, he was gonna kill all of them.
I hope they lived well.
The kids had gone into a gas station along the road. Chuck was outside the car pumping gas when he’d heard a loud bang followed by the three young people rushing out of the store and into his car.
“What happened in there,” he asked as he turned the key in the ignition and began to pull out of the parking lot.
“Nothing much,” the youngest said. “Just a misunderstanding over some money. Now listen, old man. We need this car. You’ve come far enough, we think.”
There was slight struggle and then a hard muzzle pressed to the back of Chuck’s head and then a door was opened and Chuck was sent sprawling into a grassy area next to the road.
He hadn’t even been able to grab his own gun. Not that he’d needed it now. At his age, a fall from a moving vehicle was as good a way to get killed as a bullet to the head.
Chuck had lived well.
|# ? May 13, 2013 03:28|
A reminder: there are twenty minutes left for everyone who hasn't surfed a crowd of people in dog costumes today.
|# ? May 13, 2013 03:43|
Chur. Didn't need the extension but it was nice to have. I pulled some of their other discography into the mix as well.
It was then that Lordi came out of Finland, over the hills, under the skin, rattling bones and pulling behind them a great throng of thralls and lovers. Their great cacophony filled us, pulled us along by hooks in the eyes and soul: whether to follow or not was no choice at all.
The greatest among them wore upon his head a jaunty hat of white and blue: a dollop of cream on a mass grave, a cross to which we were all nailed. Aye, call him the walking grave, the lord of the leather apron, the crow of Golgotha. With his axe he split hearts but left chests uncleaved.
Behind Him and His came the horde, chanting ecstacies of love and the liberation of blood. Each town they fell upon was given the same offer: devotion, or death. Those who joined the throng were lifted up on high, kissed and brought into a great embrace. The rest were torn at with teeth, knives and wailing chainsaw blades. Their skulls were made into chalices and their bones were made into pipes for us to play the great songs. We wrenched apart the houses behind us with fire and steel, so that no man might turn his back, for fear of smoke.
Oh come, all ye faithful. Come into our arms so we might love you, carry you finally home. This is the true love, the house of flesh and violence that has slept too long. Come to us, lest we come to you instead. Hear him now, casting from upon high in his hat of blue and white
the devil is a loser and he's my bitch
for better or for worse and you don't care which
Aye, we don't. We follow; it is no choice at all. We follow the maddening beat of drums and the piping of bone flutes. We sing, lurch and hiss as a red tide, a gardener with slick shears and wild eyes. Above all we love, in the old way that was forgotten. Through snow and steel, we are coming.
Remember this, lest one day you be reminded.
Must include Lordi's hat and reference bible verses (Psalm 95:1 and Kings 1:40).
|# ? May 13, 2013 03:51|
Some music to help you focus.
|# ? May 13, 2013 03:55|
Eurovision song, San Marino '13. "Men take more pains to mask than mend." Totally not applicable to me rushing this out in two hours
Word count: 816
Pastor Martin came to see me today.
He knocked softly on the door. When I got there, I was surprised anyone had stayed, because it took me so long to get up and open it. I remember his green eyes looking down into mine with compassion. “Mary, may I come in?”
I brought him into the living room. I suppose I shouldn't have felt so ashamed to have him see it in such a shape, but I used to keep things so clean. I still can't find the energy to get up and pick up the trash on the floor now.
They missed me at church, he said. We sat and talked for some time about everyone in the congregation. They prayed for me to get well during the sermon Sunday. I'm thankful for that.
I told him I just felt a little under the weather, and he smiled back politely. He wished me well, and said he'd see me next Sunday.
The pain hardly goes away any more. Another appointment Thursday for another round of chemo.
It was warm today. I wish I could have made it out to the park down the street. Not many more of these days coming in autumn. The kids across the road were outside in the sun, playing and laughing when Martin left. I shut the curtain and lay in the bed until the pills kicked in.
Another day passed. Another day closer to heaven.
I'm glad the doctor suggested I start a journal. It helps to keep me focused on each day.
Breakfast today was a piece of toast. I kept it down for ten minutes. Managed to eat a slice a lunch with that little green pill to settle my stomach. Too bad it's not covered by my insurance.
I cleaned up a little in case any more visitors show up to wish me well. Took all of the empty pill bottles off the coffee table, and picked up the trash on the floor. Maybe next time I get a visitor I won't find myself blushing.
At least the pills stay down. Thirty six pills each day now. A handful in the morning and two handfuls at night. The long white ones are hard to swallow. I don't even know why I have to take calcium anymore. The doctor said I have three months to live, and I'm pretty sure stomach cancer kills faster than osteoporosis. Maybe I'll stop taking those pills.
I'm lucky that my pain pills are so small. Easy to swallow, and when they start working I can actually move around without my bones feeling on fire.
It's a lot colder today than it was yesterday. Soon the apple tree in the back yard is going to shed all of its leaves.
I knew it would burn. It burned before, but every time it seems it gets worse. The doctor said its because the cancer is in my bones now. I had to sit in that little back room in that white office with that line plugged into my arm, dripping fire.
I wasn't alone. I saw the lady who only ever wears a red headscarf, and two people I haven't seen before connected to the dialysis machines. We all suffered together.
I'm home now. It's much better here than the hospice William went to. I remember holding his hand as he went to sleep, so many years ago. I won't have anyone here to hold my hand, but I will be in my home.
Martin came by after church was over. I called him last night and told him I wouldn't make it because I caught the flu, so he came by to check on me in bed. I couldn't make it to open the door for him today, so he let himself in with the key in the porch light.
He really is a nice man. Never once did he seem to be bothered by my coughing.
I asked him what happens to the people in Washington who take their own lives. Is it a sin to end your own life? Do they go to heaven? He told me that God put us all on the Earth for a reason, and that to leave early was a sin. Thou shall not kill, he told me. We all have a purpose.
He left some soup he made for me, wishing me to get better.
I sat by the back window, covered with a quilt, and watched the leaves fall off the apple tree. Gold and brown, they fluttered slowly in the wind. The air turned red, then purple, and then finally lost all color.
To every season comes an end. Two pills stop the pain for an hour, forty forever. I'll finally see William again soon.
I've finished praying. When I meet God, I'll ask his forgiveness.
|# ? May 13, 2013 03:59|
[Greece] Alcohol is Free - Koza Mostra & Agathon Iakovidis
Old Habits (567 words)
"The wolf sheds his coat once a year, his disposition never."
It was midnight down by the fisherman’s pier, and I could barely see through the ocean of whiskey. I turned on my wipers, convinced it was raining. I never saw the old man before he was dead.
His name was Arsen the newspapers said, a modest obituary with photographs provided. He sported dark eyebrows and receding grey hair, but what dominated the picture was his magnificent mustache. I had never seen its equal, and suspect I never will. Arsen for his part had lived here and there. The funeral was on Sunday with thousands in attendance.
I’ll admit it was bewildering, the old man’s popularity. I hung round by the gate and listened in on his friends. To hear them tell it there was no where he hadn’t been, and nothing he hadn’t done. He was a butcher, a barber, a soldier, a chief; once in Barcelona he’d appeared as an extra in a movie, and so charmed the director he received a speaking part. He’d lived his life modestly but traveled around, and touched the lives of many who were here for him now.
But it was his mustache, in particular, they fondly remembered. Seemed he’d always had it, even in his youth. He’d been a bit of a drunkard then, with a love of fine women and a taste for malt beers, and it was with the utmost satisfaction he’d wipe away the foam with his fingers. A few short years later he’d given it up to become and honest man, but his fingers still found their way to his face.
It was then I decided to give up the drink. I gathered my collection and threw it out into the street. As the bottles struck the pavement they shattered into butterflies, the spirits within bursting and draining into the gutter. I gave up also cigarettes, fast cars, and loose women. I would become a regular Jesus Christ, and in two thousand years people would set their watches to me. This was my plan. This was my vision.
But it was only then that I truly saw the old man.
It started in the market with a man selling eggplants. He looked nothing like Arsen, but when I turned around there he was. It happened again over a period of days. Everyone, everywhere, I would see had his face. He never said a single word to me, but he didn’t have to, for he knew I understood. They never had captured the man who had hit him. The man stood trembling with eggplants in hand.
After a week of this I chose isolation. I would wander around brick yards and sleep in old factories, and sit in the park when I thought no one there. Even still I could feel him, his breath on the wind. I would to the sky and trace his mustache in the clouds.
Not one month after I’d promised myself a future of sobriety, I found myself drinking in a bar off the docks. A man with his face offered me drink and I took it. I didn’t stop drinking till I relived that cold night. In a drunken stupor I wandered out into the night, my hands in my pockets and not a lot on my mind. I heard a small loud, growing loud, getting closer. I looked to the left and saw two bright lights.
|# ? May 13, 2013 04:04|
"Tommorow, every fault is to be amended; but that tomorrow never comes."
Song: Tommorow (Malta)
Word Count: 1031
A man stared down at his reflection on the shaking waters from the bridge above. Again, he straightened out his red bow tie on the collar. The street lamps' lights were dim enough for him to see a silver necklace lying on the bow and his neutral expression. He heard a long, low blare while he looked at himself longer.
The suited man glanced over to the right. Faint and near, a wispy florescent feminine figure floated near him. Her mouth moved, but no voice came out. As she drifted closer, the man turned away back to his reflection. "Go away," he said.
Far ahead, a boat was heading toward the bridge. Broken up smoke faded along the night's skyline as it reached out to the crescent moon. As the wispy figure came closer, the blond leaned himself forward over the bridge's rail. "I'm tired." Pausing and feeling his voice shaken, he waved a hand. "I'm too tired to keep this facade Meline."
Meline's expression remained the same as she kept trying to communicate with her mute voice. Her hands were together and shaking in front of her.
"And then what? No matter where we jump, it's the same. He's dead or missing." The man yanked a necklace out and slammed it on the ground. "Take it. I won't be needing this where I'm going."
Meline picked up the necklace. Her hands shook as she stared at the broken part of it. She heard a loud splash. Her head turned where the man had stood. As she brisked herself toward there, she faded away along with the necklace.
Twelve short chimes echoed throughout the waters as the man made his decent deeper. "Maxwell, you forget she isn't the only one in on this," a whisper said.
Maxwell opened his mouth and eyes. Nothing. He felt the water around his body, but he felt air going in. From below, a swirling whirlpool filled with violet lights rushed toward him. As Maxwell swam away, an intense cramp latched on to back. His legs and arms tensed while freezing in place.
While Maxwell drifted deeper into the center, he heard a feminine voice. "You will have your clemency. Close your eyes," she said.
Maxwell did. The aquatic shell that hugged his body was gone. In its place was a rush of air drying and cooling off the water as Maxwell felt himself being shot out of the river. Gradually his skin became warmer. The warmth became burning hot seconds after he could hear brief sounds of bustling street traffic and louder swoosh.
As every sensation and sound faded, Maxwell heard the whisper again. "Of all the things you could have said, you had said that." it said as it grew softer, "If you still refuse to understand, then so be it." A strong gust pried Maxwell's eyes open. Colorful lights surrounded him as his sight became colorless; then a white light washed it away.
Time passed and Maxwell has no idea what just happened. His head felt heavy as he opened his eyes again. A young man wearing glasses leaned over to his desk and tapped on his shoulder, "Are you done with your beauty nap, Mr. Grimes?"
Maxwell looked at the man and his picture id while rubbing his eyes. "Well uh, Jeremy, how long have I been..." His voice trailed off as his eyes laid upon 'Senior Risk Analyst' under Jeremy's name. Maxwell stared at Jeremy with a shocked look on his face. "What time is it?"
Jeremy glanced down at his digital watch. "Four o' clock. You slept for an hour sitting up like that." Looking at Maxwell again he frowned. "Go have the rest of the day off, but don't turn this into a habit please," he said before heading over to another cubical.
As Maxwell rubbed one of his eyes, he moved the mouse cursor toward the 'Start' menu and moved it again toward the ' Turn Off Computer' option. Maxwell inspected his desk while looking for his wallet. By the monitor, a calendar lay beside a picture of himself and his surfboard.
A calendar that is on the month of May with every day before the twelfth day was marked off with an 'x'.
"poo poo, Meline," Maxwell whispered to himself.
He snatched his ID pass from the desk lamp and ran out of the office. As Maxwell ran to the elevator, he felt a burning tingle around his feet. The tingling spread onto his legs while Maxwell frantically pressed the down button. As soon as the elevator was opened, he rushed inside. He leaned against the wall while closing his eyes and breathing in and out to block the pain.
Hearing the elevator's door closing and a ping, Maxwell opened his eyes. He fumbled pushing himself up while watching Jeremy moving a pen away from the 12th floor button. "We need to have a talk," Jeremy said.
"If it's about my nap-"
Placing a hand near Maxwell, Jeremy leaned closer to him and pressed his pen at Maxwell's ID hanging on his neck. "Hurt Meline like that again and there will be hell to pay."
It took Maxwell seconds of backtracking to make his back felt cold.
Jeremy leaned closer at Maxwell's ear and whispered. "I will not let you make the same mistake again."
The cold stung Maxwell deeper as if a hot knife had struck his spine. He could feel himself tensing as he spoke. "You prevented yourself from seeing Meline?" Maxwell paused as he stared into Jeremy. "You the one who set me up with Meline by altering time? How and why?"
"We were never meant to be together." Jeremy's breathing became heavier. While wiping the fog off of his lens, he said, "Of everyone I've assessed, you are the most viable candidate to be able to do just that without any training." Jeremy paused and added, "Or so I thought."
The elevator's bell chimed and the doors slide open. Both hear a woman's voice. "Hey, guy with the glasses, you lost your book!"
Jeremy didn't look back. Maxwell watched Meline skipped inside as she took out a red and than book from her sack.
|# ? May 13, 2013 04:39|
Submissions for Week XL: Poor Richard's Thundervision are CLOSED!
Soon the judges will convene to discuss the performances we've just witnessed. There will be a winner, and for that person there will be glory; his song will echo through the Thunderdome throughout the next year until everyone dreams of his death in a fire. The loser is destined to be forgotten. Probably. You never know with this audience.
Radioactive Bears, Down With People, and Jeza didn't make it to the finals; presumably they collapsed under the weight of their glitter make-up and even now are in a dressing room somewhere, calling for help.
|# ? May 13, 2013 04:44|
Rhino actually found a picture of one of the dog-costume ladies.
This whole day was weird.
She was waggling her tongue furiously when I saw her.
|# ? May 13, 2013 05:49|
crickets all up in this bitch.
|# ? May 13, 2013 21:14|
crickets all up in this bitch.
Dude, it's not even the end of Monday for me, and I'm in loving Europe. Step off.
Judges have conferred and results will likely be in before Tuesday tickles Toronto.
|# ? May 13, 2013 21:31|
I'm used to being distracted by witty banter or some other whatnot. Yes. I'm a 5 yr old.
Dude, it's not even the end of Monday for me, and I'm in loving Europe. Step off.
|# ? May 13, 2013 21:39|
Week XL Results: Poor Richard's Thundervision
The judges three have cast their votes to the tune of epic sax and LED violin!
While a majority agreed on the loser, the battle for the win was far closer. Most of you blended Benjamin Franklin and joyous Eurotrash into something worth a look. We'd dance to your tunes again, although I'll ask Erogenous Beef to share his booze next time. Eurovision wasn't meant to be viewed sober.
THE WINNER: Bad Seafood, claim your crown! Be careful: it sparks. You took a crazy video down a quiet, somber road, yet you left in the perfect amount of absurdity. I'll see Greece's entry differently in the future. That makes me sad, truth be told. But it's worth it.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Fumblemouse is our second-place finisher. All the judges liked your work to varying degrees, sir, and I admire your interpretation of Bellarosa's video. You made it interesting and gave up none of its unsettling quality. Bravo.
SurreptitiousMuffin, your flash piece is a small, perfect jewel; a work of art; a glimpse into a world where Lordi reigns. It took the video exactly where I expected, but it did so beautifully.
CancerCakes gets a fistbump of respect for turning Montenegro's entry into something coherent.
THE LOSER: magnificent7. Your story had precious little to do with your video or song. Given you had a warbling falsetto Dracula to work with, that's just goddamn tragic.
Crits are coming; expect mine no sooner than tomorrow. Mr. Seafood, the glitter-strewn floor is yours.
Kaishai fucked around with this message at 16:04 on Jul 3, 2013
|# ? May 13, 2013 22:52|
Crickets in your vagina magnificennt7.
Pretty decent idea, and ignoring the proofing aspects and getting to the root of the story it could have been good. But it wasn't believable, the characters weren't well enough described for me to picture them and I didn't care about them or how they felt. This was a crime of passion, but while their words made them seem passionate there wasn't enough description. I hate the "show don't tell" poo poo because it is trotted out all the time, but here I couldn't see these people as anything more than mannequins playing out a puppet show.
This made me feel: like eating a box of italicized crickets.
Results are in. Be careful what you wish for.
CancerCakes fucked around with this message at 23:26 on May 13, 2013
|# ? May 13, 2013 23:24|
I was looking forward to this week as music has always been an inspiration to writers. Murakami once said writing a book is just like playing music. It’s obvious that Murakami has not decided to participate in this week’s TD.
Firstly, I liked the concept. It had a ‘black swan’ vibe going which was interesting. What let it down was the execution, both in form and substance.
This is a dialogue between two characters. You have established them both early on, so you don’t need to go overboard with attributions. Compounding the problem, you placed it before the dialogue:
“She said, “shut up idiot. I know what I’m doing.”
The first words in a line are like the first beat in a bar of music. In 4/4 time the beat goes ONE two THREE four. The main notes are on the first and third beats. So the first note is the impact point. When you go off the main beat and emphasise the second note, that is syncopated rhythm.
In this line the beat is syncopated because the first beat is an attribution, which is a soft, invisible note. Then in the second beat you hit the main note ‘shut up idiot’. You then go on and do this in almost every line of dialogue:
She flushed. “Shut up
Her eyes grew wide. “Shut the gently caress up
He softened. “Of course
Pulling on a strand of hair she said “any girl
He dropped his hand and said “you’re not
Virginia said “We’re ready
Where you just have two characters talking, one after the other, trust the reader to be able to follow along without the handholding. Your characters voices should be distinct as to make it unnecessary. This leads onto the issue with substance in that I didn’t feel the argument between them was that hot it would cause Virginia to kill him. Syncopating the argument gives the words a short pause each time before the next beat hits. This diffuses the tension which should be building up instead (you even broke the tension yourself in the story: “A knock at the door broke the tension in the room” Wrong!) You want to hit the reader with the insults directly with as little ‘fluff’ surrounding them as possible – bang, bang, bang until the reader can feel Virginia’s state of mind when she picks up an object and throws it at Georgi’s head.
Final note, I lived in Romania for a while and I never met a girl there called ‘Virginia’.
If this were a Eurovision song, which country was it from? Iceland. Substance was there, but wasn’t supported by the performance.
A good idea in a story is like a catchy pop song riff. It’s a spark that you find yourself humming along to. This story had a catchy idea that was humourously linked to the subject song. Good work on that.
But! Songs are more than just their hook line. There needs to be song progression, beat, harmony etc. A catchy riff that does the fundamentals well is a good song. A catchy riff that plays around with these is great. While Magnificent7 is learning the rules, you know the rules, so you should be trying to play around with them some more. This story was more like a basic 12 bar blues progression that hit the right notes at the right time, but didn’t challenge itself. Your story starts great, but then has the characters doing housework (HOUSEWORK! Gods. Even though it was a callback to his mother’s obsession – Freudian analysis doesn’t overcome the sheer boredom of housework. Right now I have a pile of laundry to do and Im reading this to avoid doing it) - then has ‘Tyler Durden’ murder the ex? Yawn – I expect better from you FM.
If this were a Eurovision song, which country was it from? Germany. Efficient, effective with a good hook but didn’t grab hold of you.
One of the fundamental concepts of music is the ‘key’. This refers to the tonic note(C, F# etc), and the chord progressions based on that tonic note.
Just like a good song will move organically through chord progression, and come back to its tonic, a good story will will follow its characters. While it may hive off in different directions, it always remain centered around them. The reader becomes familiar with a character's thoughts and actions and these are the key of the piece, the central tonic note that the reader will want to come back to. The thing about key is that when it works, you don’t hear it. But when it doesn’t work, and something is ‘off-key’ it stands out like dogs balls.
In writing, when people start providing exposition, it doesn’t sound natural and suddenly the reader is conscious that this isn’t a person they are reading about, this is the author telling them something. And there is a lot of heavy handed exposition in this piece: Explaining the religion, explaining the past relationship, explaining the reason for Vaughn on the ship, explaining the fire (A loudspeaker announcement? Really??), explaining what happened to Lindsay and Rachel. These are all discordant notes that don’t relate back to the tonic note of the characters. This stopped me from getting into the story. You could have taken all that out and just trusted in the reader to catch the inferences you make. Even leave things unexplained! You are allowed to do that in stories you know.
If this were a Eurovision song, which country was it from? Appropriately enough, England. Off-key.
I was reading this and had a feeling of deja vu that I was in a dentist’s office where people were washing plates. Then, with sinking horror, I realised I had been trapped in another one of Voliun’s stories. A land where random non-sequiters mope about, looking for a plot or recognisable character to meet up with. I mean, the first half of your story had three or four different characters swap about. Then you finish with some weird time travel motif that was not presaged at all.
Systran’s piece had some off key parts, but this story is simply atonal. There is no tonic note, no central character in the piece for the reader to relate to. When you’re writing a story, establish a central character and relate what is happening back to that character. This is especially important in a short story where every word has to count. Starting off with a dream sequence is just confusing and makes the reader’s head hurt. For the next TD focus on writing a straight story with no extraneous descriptions, but strong characters.
If this were a Eurovision song, which country was it from? Ry’leh??
A deserving winner in my book. This was a great blend of the video and the quote. The voice of the narrator was very strong which I liked. A strong voice always pays off. When you listen to bands like Soundgarden with Chris Cornell, or Eurythmics with Annie Lennox, you immediately know who is singing, even if you have never heard the song before. That is an important but hard to capture aspect of good writing. It's never done in any overt way, but in lots of small ways that add up. (i.e using local patois is not recommended). But moving the order of words around and repeating small phrases or words are techniques that are invisible to the reader but subconsciously work away at the back of the mind to build up a picture of the person.
You used a lot of these techniques very effectively in this piece and although it was quite short, it had an immediacy that the confessional tone helped to build up. A couple of false notes (like resorting to the cliche of 'fast cars and loose women') didn't work. But overall it was very enjoyable.
If this were a Eurovision song, which country was it from? Sweden, the home of Eurovision.
2nd round coming up soon.
|# ? May 14, 2013 00:07|
Holy christ with the crits.
I get half of it. Thanks for that part.
Here's where I got Virginia from.
Just saying. I hit wiki for Romania and wrote down the names I felt were something I could use that didn't sound forced. But really? You wanna jump on that part of a story that clearly has room for improvement in real areas?
And italics? That's hurting me? How else do I put emphasis on the words I want to emphasize? One minute you're telling me to do more to fill out my characters, on the other, you're telling me to strip out the parts of dialog that do tend to imply a catty bitch or a heated comeback.
I'm chasing my tail here.
magnificent7 fucked around with this message at 01:38 on May 14, 2013
|# ? May 14, 2013 01:33|
Holy christ with the crits.
You are being a shithead about it when you talk like that, Mag7. It's uncouth to snipe back at people who take the time to give their opinion of your work. Perhaps the general tone of the thread is misleading since we're falsely cruel and dorky to one another over petty things, but the people that crit you are not required to do so, so even if you disagree, it's best to not do that.
|# ? May 14, 2013 02:11|
IT'S TIME, whatever that means.
Thunderdome Week XLI: Get Everybody and the Stuff Together
This week we're keeping it short and snappy. I want stories about people who are up to no good. Maybe they're murders, or kids breaking curfew. Whatever your chowder, they don't want to get caught.
For tone I'm thinking something bittersweet. I like melancholic fiction, and I don't think we get enough of it.
Finally, after signing up you will be assigned an item. This item must figure prominently in your story as an object of sentimental importance to one or more of the characters. We're talking dead dad, family heirloom, Can't Leave It Behind levels of attachment here, so don't let me down (you will probably let me down).
You have until May 17th, 11:59 PM Pacific Time to say that you're totally in on this, and just two days more (same time and place) to come up with your excuses for not actually submitting anything. Those of you without excuses will have 1,000 words with which to irritate me.
V for Vegas
JonasSalk - A chess pawn
Systran - A ring
Erik Shawn-Bohner - A letter opener
Kleptobot - Foreign currency
Oxxidation - A pair of glasses missing one lens
The Saddest Rhino - Rubber boots
Sebmojo - A mint condition teddy bear
Fumblemouse - A hunting rifle which has never been fired
DoubleDonut - An old umbrella
Voliun - A footlocker key
Magnificent7 - A knife with tally marks scratched into the handle
CantDecideOnAName - A yellowing newspaper article kept inside a notebook
SurreptitiousMuffin - A torn open baseball held together with tape
Nubile Hillock - A lime green guitar
Perpetulance - A rusted tin soldier
Radioactive Bears - A movie ticket
Dr. Kloctopussy - A tea kettle with painted leafs
Sitting Here - An antique shoehorn
Chairchucker - A paper bag full of broken shells
CancerCakes - A medal of distinguished military service
Jagermonster - Prayer beads
Martello - A child's sun hat threaded with ivy
Crabrock - An unopened letter
Nikaer Drekin - A hip flask with ornate engravings
Cpt. Mahatma Gandhi - A notebook with the same name written over and over again within its pages
Monkeyboydc - Cowboy spurs
Impermanent - A painful photograph
Noah - A straight razor with words on the blade
Black Griffon - A small bird cage
Fart Particle - Two flint arrowheads
Bad Seafood fucked around with this message at 05:16 on May 15, 2013
|# ? May 14, 2013 02:21|
|# ? May 14, 2013 02:25|
|# ? May 14, 2013 02:28|
Nothing like taking away my pain of the past few days by submitting myself to another verbal whipping, this time in Thunderdome.
|# ? May 14, 2013 02:33|
I probably don't have an excuse for avoiding this one. Sure, okay.
|# ? May 14, 2013 02:36|
|# ? May 14, 2013 02:42|
|# ? May 14, 2013 02:49|
You are being a shithead about it when you talk like that, Mag7. It's uncouth to snipe back at people who take the time to give their opinion of your work. Perhaps the general tone of the thread is misleading since we're falsely cruel and dorky to one another over petty things, but the people that crit you are not required to do so, so even if you disagree, it's best to not do that.
And this x10. Just write your story, read your crits, maybe thank people for them (optional), go to start. If you want to get in an argument go to fiction farm.
|# ? May 14, 2013 02:51|
You wake up, and resolve to stay that way. The Cave of Time brought you here, it’s true, and it’s given you a life that you’ve mostly loved living. How many people can say that, you wonder? How many people are too consumed with regrets to enjoy what they have. Yes, you’re old, but the path to age was not some short-cut through a magical tunnel. The Cave of Time got you here, but it couldn’t tell you what do when you got here. Everything you’ve become is your decision, tempered by unavoidable circumstance to be sure, but your decision alone. That means more to you than youth and dreams.
You curl the blanket around yourself to ward off a sudden chill. “So,” you say to yourself, “what the hell am I going to do now?”
You decide that sitting around isn’t going to do anything for you, so you toss the blanket aside, and rummage around for some nicer clothes. You find a suit, and momentarily wonder how it got there, but you’ve had enough ‘senior moments’ to never be one hundred percent trustful of your memory these days. It looks familiar enough, anyway. You put it on and head for the world.
Feeling sprightly you walk quickly up the passage that leads outside. The walls seem to shimmer as you do, becoming crystalline. You stop a moment, look around and recognition slowly dawns. The Cave of Time!
You race through emotional responses, bewildering confusion, heartfelt sense of betrayal, before finally you start laughing. All those times you had wanted to go back and peer further into the unknown, and you were already there. It took you finally deciding you wanted no part of it before it would reveal itself to you.
You never left.
That fact sinks in. And you understand. You understand the purpose of the Cave of Time. You understand why it is what it is, what it brings to the universe, what it wants from you and what it needs. That knowledge frees you from the grip of the world, from the tyranny of age and you feel reborn into a greater sense of life itself.
Ahead of you, past the crystalline walls, is the mouth of the Cave. Beyond the lip is another world to explore and a silhouette of someone with a walking stick, blocking the sun. Perhaps they will want to hear all about the Cave of Time.
Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at 06:11 on Jul 15, 2013
|# ? May 14, 2013 03:26|
I haven't written creatively in years, and now that finals are over, I'm ready to humiliate myself.
Count me in.
|# ? May 14, 2013 03:45|
In again. I'll get the writing right (eventually).
|# ? May 14, 2013 03:46|
And how come I don't get a thunderdome loser avatar?
magnificent7 fucked around with this message at 04:27 on May 14, 2013
|# ? May 14, 2013 03:49|
|# ? Sep 19, 2021 22:13|
Alright, bitches, I've been taking a break to sort things out with life, but I feel like two weeks is long enough to sit back and watch you guys disembowel yourselves. Count me back in.
|# ? May 14, 2013 03:53|