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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

There once was a crabbish rock,
and of Thunderdome he took stock.
he and Kaishai,
they tackled this sty,
the resulting product of which is certainly not to be mocked

~fin

Anyway, here's my thing. Not sure if it works. I'm not sure if any of this post works.


At the Seams
971 words

Abbys always the talker and Destiny is the sulker and im the watcher. watch this, Abbyll say when shes fixing the world. and shell talk talk talk saying--Junebaby come help me call Momma home.

the world can't be fixed without us four which is me and Mom and Destiny and Abby.

Abby talks and says--the world is coming apart at the Seams.

well be laying in the grass under the grandma oak tree and Abbyll wiggle her hand through the air like shes sewing with a big needle. only Abby and people like Abby can keep the Seams sewn says Abby. me and Des and mom are like Abby. its magic that holds the world together and we pull those seams unknowing of it all the time. says Abby.

she goes clanking around every day with the chain of saints and bhodis and ankhs and pentacles around her neck. she dances in the yard and waits under the grandma tree for the crows to drop bones instead of fastfood containers. she holds my arm tight and we stare into the very last and hottest seconds of sunset and she has us say a prayer together right in that moment--bring Momma home.

.

my name is June cause i was born in june. Des is oldest from when Mom was a dancer. Abby is in the middle from The Marriage. I donno know where I came from but Momma says that no matter what im her summer but here its the end of summer and shes still gone and she already missed my birthday.

.

Destiny is inside watching TV usually when me and Abby are in the front yard under the grandma tree. today like yesterday Abby says--go get Des to come out and call Momma home. except this time I dont have to go in cause when I get to the front door Destinys already coming out stomping mad.

she says--we gotta pay the TV bill

Abby gets up from the grass and comes over. she says--I knew momd call you out to come pray with us

Des snaps at her--moms off with some gently caress and theres no TV and your scaring June

Im not scared I say but the two are arguing and its like I never exist when people argue.

Abby says to Des--your the reason mom is gone. it has to be all three of us praying or she wont come home

Destiny has a pinched face that’s pretty in a way thats angry all the time. Abby has a babyface and a big forehead because she keeps her hair pinned back with flower clips every day to cover how she doesnt wash it. I don't like her mouth.

Destiny is looking at Abbys babyface now like it’s the grossest thing shes ever seen and says--your a broken little fuckup

Abby just smiles with her ugly mouth in that way she does where its like she feels bad for you but usually its everyone in the room feeling bad or embarrassed about her. she says--maybe you were too much of a crackbaby to ever learn to feel the Seams. maybe Momma tried to tell you like she told me but your the broken old fat fuckup

you can almost hear the sound of Destinys stare over the sound of the woods around the house. then she says--cmon June. come help me look for Moms checkbook. Abby is saying funny things cause she needs her vitamins

Abby stands in the yard still just smiling as we go inside.

.

I dont like the house which is why I like the summer and being outside under the grandma tree where the air smells good. the house still smells like the cats even though we havent had the cats for a while.

instead of going to Moms room Des stops me and bends down to my level while holding my shoulders. she says--listen June you gotta be a big girl for me now. the truth is that it might be a long

while before Momma gets back around to us. but there are people who wanna take care of us and help Abby and make everything right

can they see the Seams I ask

Destiny gives me a scrunchy look thats silly on her pinched face and says-- Abby and Momma only see the seems when they haven't had their vitamins Junebaby. its not good to see the Seams cause even if there were such a thing whadya think one person could do by trying to tug at the stuff that makes up the whole world all by themselves

I chew on my finger.

.

a few days with no TV goes by and no Momma and summer is cooling down and theres thunder and the forest whips around in a real frenzy. you can almost hear the storm over Abbys raging when the helpful people come. after asking Destiny a few questions they pick their way into the house on the little trail we girls use to get from the door to the kitchn through the Piles.

but how will she find us Abby keeps screaming as they put her in her own special car. how will Momma find us if we arent home

we pull away from the house and I turn around to look through the foggy window and already the house looks like a memory. and I wanna cut it out of the grey rainy moment and sew it into my mind like a patch because I feel like this is a forever goodbye. but there are no Seams to cut or pull apart and the house stays put as the strange car bumps its way down the gravley forest road. then we hit a turn and the house is gone and I feel a snip as a different sort of thread is cut forever.

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Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Kaishai and Crabrock, even though I didn't notice the dedication flash rule until after I submitted my piece, I was thinking about you both as I wrote it, because I'm always thinking about you both, from the moment I wake up, until the moment Crabrock passes out on the torn, spring-holed sofa after one bowl of weed too many and Kaishai switches off the My Little Pony nightlight beside the signed copy of Mercedes Lackey's Ghost Unicorn Summer. You're as near and dear to me as the restraining order allows and I love you like I love my Sunagor 25 - 150 X 70 MEGA ZOOM Binoculars.

Wordcount: 850

Robbery

Jeremy dropped to the floor of the bank. He clutched his hands behind his head, feeling his birthday cheque and its deposit slip crumple around his neck. He lay still, hardly breathing,heart racing, trying to become one with the bland, beige carpet. He thought he might cry.

There were voices around him, the gruff tones of the two bank robbers as they gave instructions to the tellers, the occasional whispers of other people on the floor, telling each other to lie still and keep calm. Jeremy wished his mother could tell him that, but his mother had left him to wait in line while she nipped off to the loo in the nearby food court, and all the other people in the queue were strangers. Jeremy whimpered, a strange strangled sob. A foot nudged him in the ribs. “Shut up, kid,” rasped the robber.

Outside, a crackle and then the amplified distortion of a loud hailer. “Attention, this is Agent Samuel Jones from the Department of Internal Protection. We were informed of this attempted action by your driver several minutes ago and now have the place surrounded. There is nowhere to run. There is nowhere to hide. Drop your weapons and leave the bank in an orderly fashion. There is no need for anyone to get hurt.”

Jeremy heard a word his mother would have cried if he had ever used. The robbers talked fast and low but Jeremy could make out the words ‘hostages’ and ‘set-up’. A phone rang, its shrill call silencing the room. Jeremy looked at the carpet, fibres glistening in the bank’s fluorescent lights, the bubble of a tear that had landed there. He heard the phone receiver being picked up.

“Not going to happen. In case you hadn’t realised, we got twenty hostages just lying around. You move the gently caress away and let us out of here and maybe they all walk home. Maybe.” The phone clattered in its cradle. Seconds later it rang again, but this time it kept ringing until silenced by voicemail.

More gruff whispers. The two robbers were disagreeing about the best way to show they meant business. In his mind’s eye, Jeremy saw his mother, hands on her hips, telling him off and Meaning Business. He failed to suppress a wayward giggle, but then froze - remembering he had been told not to move. Jeremy felt another nudge and turned his head to see a boot against his back. Cold terror ran through him. A voice hissed, “Get up, kid.”

Like a robot, Jeremy did as he was told. The other customers were lying on the ground, some with their heads turned to the side and watching him, others looking away, or staring face down at the carpet. Off to Jeremy’s left, somebody spoke. “Not the boy, Jeez” but a robber dressed in black moved over to them, gave them a kick and they didn’t speak again. Jeremy felt his pants leg grow warm, smelled the acrid aroma of pee. His face flushed and he felt like a baby.

“Kid just pissed himself,” said a robber. This one wore beige clothes, the same colour as the carpet, and had a black balaclava over his face. “We don’t have to do this.” Jeremy could see the beige robber’s eyes were focussed on him. The second robber was looking at the front windows, at the tellers, at the first robber, everywhere but at Jeremy.

“Don’t go pussy on me now,” said the second bank robber. “OK, kid, here’s what you’re gonna do. You’re gonna go over to the front window and wave at the police. Just to let them know that you’re all right. You understand?”

Jeremy nodded. He understood that the second robber would not look at him because he was lying, but he didn’t know what the truth was so he did as he was told. He moved to the window, and pushed aside the blinds. On the street were more police cars than he had ever seen. A man with a megaphone, Agent Samuel Jones, stood near a bunch of policemen, all armed and wearing the heavy black vests, the ones with POLICE written on the back that TV said could stop a bullet. He waved. A couple of policemen pointed at him and all of them turned but nobody waved back. Jeremy realised he could see the reflection of the Bank’s interior in the window, see the two robbers, both pointing guns, one of which seemed to be aimed directly at his back.

A thunderous bang. Jeremy spun round. The second robber, gun in hand, had not quite finished falling to the floor, his balaclava oddly misshapen. The first robber still held his own gun out, pointing it at the second - it even had a tiny smoke trail issuing from its barrel, like a cartoon

Jeremy walked toward the first robber, who stood shaking by by Bureau de Change. He had time to give the stunned man his crumpled birthday check and say ‘Thank you’ before the tear gas grenades exploded around him.

Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at Sep 16, 2013 around 00:33

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

SH, we can start a club.

Dear Kaishai, you are a good person. Thank you for inspiring me to make the TD site by tallying the HMs, and for helping enter in many of the weeks. It was a really crappy job, but you did it. You are the wind beneath my wings.



The Lady in the Recliner
763 words


I am a cat. I’ve tried to kill myself multiple times: refused to drink, got stuck with needles; fought a Maine Coon, lost an eye; jumped off the loft, shattered my spine. I lay here in misery, wishing for death. The silver-haired lady is my owner. She refuses to let me die.

The only other hope of escape is her death; the blessed day when her rotting corpse adds to the miasma of urine and efferdent. As soon as she sits in that recliner she starts to snore. It sounds like fresh vomit being sucked up vacuum hose. Several times a night she stops breathing. I hold my own breath in anticipation, but she always starts again.

She collects us from shelters and off the streets, traps us in this house, and constantly records us with her camera. The dumbest get the most attention. Getting stuck in a jar will cause her to squeal with delight and shuffle over to her computer with that camera. She tells us we’re very popular.

The one sitting by the scratching post, with the woeful countenance and putative lobotomy, is Grubbo. He’s new. He doesn’t even have to do anything to make her happy. He just sits there staring blankly at objects she shoves in his face. Nevertheless, she laughs more than ever. What type of people are entertained by this mockery?

It’s medicine time; I close my eyes and resign myself to my fate. Some of the younger cats still fight. She squeezes my jaw, and shoves several pills down my throat with her sinewy finger. My howls of pain make the others flee in terror: frantic as they climb everything in sight. It’s no use; she’ll corner them eventually. All of them, even the ones who aren’t sick.

She always has that air of importance after our treatments. Like she’s helping us, and we should appreciate it. It’s better than her weeping in the bathroom though. I don’t feel bad for her, but I can’t stand the sound. Today is different, she hasn’t cried at all. In fact, she didn’t even catch the ones who hid before she grabbed her purse and left.

We all use the brief respite to take naps.

We’re awoken to the sound of her keys jingling in the lock. She leads a little girl in by the hand. The girl tows suitcases behind her, and her eyes light up when she sees all of us. She runs and scoops me up into her arms. I want to shout for her to run away, to save herself.

The old lady starts following the girl around with the camera instead of us. We adore her, she pets us and combs us, and never shoves pills down our throat. She looks happy, but I can hear her crying upstairs at night. The old lady is tender at first, but gradually she treats the girl like one of us. One day the lady drags the little girl outside and they are gone for a long time. Now the little girl has to take medicine too.

When it’s my turn to be carried around I can see out of the windows again. In a way it’s worse; I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed outside when I was being neglected in the corner.

The little girl is getting older, and she yells all the time now. At us, and the old lady, at anybody who will listen. The camera is turned back towards us, and the lady spends most of her days at the computer. There are times when both of them cry in their respective rooms.

The girl never goes outside by herself. They sit with books and pencils at the table sometimes, but it always ends with mutual screaming, and her stomping up to her room. Tonight ends the same way, with a slam of her door. I wish I could walk so I could go up and comfort her.

It’s the middle of the night, and the old lady is in her recliner. The grating glottal sounds stop, and her fingers twitch as her body begs for oxygen. I haven’t taken a breath, but I feel peaceful. She still isn’t moving, and strangely I don’t feel the pressure building in my lungs like usual. I feel sleepy, but I don’t yawn. Her calloused feet hang over the edge of the supine chair, and it’s harder to keep my eyes open. I lay my head down and close my eyes. For the first time since I’ve been in this house, I feel happy.

Zack_Gochuck
Jan 3, 2007

Stupid Wrestling People


Submission closed!

Anathema Device
Dec 22, 2009

by Ion Helmet


Yeah, so I didn't even realize it was Sunday, nevermind time zones. No story, sorry.

That website thing is amazing, though. Thank you guys for putting that together.

Zack_Gochuck
Jan 3, 2007

Stupid Wrestling People


Results

I reluctantly give the win to Systran this week. Your half-assed dedication almost knocked you off the top of the pedestal, but you nailed the concept like a three dollar hooker and that made the difference. Your narrator has a strong voice without overwhelming the protagonist. I feel like my uncle saw this crazy thing down at the store and now he's telling me about it as I read it. A couple of the stories were as well-written, but the narrator unintentionally becomes the protagonist and the person who should be the protagonist is the antagonist. You managed to totally avoid this. Good job.

Lord Windy is the loser this week. For one, you totally forgot the dedication and edited it in later. I also feel like there's not really a story there other than a guy overhears something in a washroom. Now, you could probably say that about a lot of stories, but I felt underwhelmed after reading "Do it with a Rockstar." Red head says, "This will be a great story someday," and she's right. I feel like a retrospective of the time my insane red-headed friend tried to gently caress a rockstar would have probably worked better.

More detailed critiques to come later tonight.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Prompt: WRITE ABOUT WHERE YOU CURRENTLY LIVE

Crits are available here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/...w4QqVBRcbw/edit

We have had some very restrictive prompts lately and I would like to move away from that.

There is one rule, and if you try to rules lawyer it I will loving kill you.

Prompt: Write a story that takes place within a 150km radius of where you sleep. It can be set at any time in history as long as it is within that radius. If I smell you writing about somewhere you don't live I will stalk your post history.

You can genre the gently caress out of it and set it in the future or you can have vampires and werewolves or giant spiders (still waiting on that mag7) running around, but the place needs to at least be relevant.

When you sign up, tell me where you live.

Signup deadline is Friday at midnight EST. Post deadline is Sunday at midnight EST.

Wordcount: 1250 Words.

Judges: Me, Mercedes, and Nyarai.

Contestants

Crabrock
Boston

Sitting Here
Seattle

Zack_Gochuck
St. John's, Newfoundland

Erogenous Beef
Berlin

Jeza
St. Andrews, Scotland

Sebmojo
Wellington, NZ

Helsing
Toronto, ON

Lord Windy
Dayboro, Queensland, Australia

Fumblemouse
Wellington, NZ

Nikaer Drekin
Small Town, New Hampshire

DawnOfMinstrel
Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.

Horrible Butts
Richmond, Virginia

Martello
Black River, NY

Anal Surgery
Orange County, CA

ThirdEmperor
Driftwood, Texas

angel opportunity fucked around with this message at Sep 22, 2013 around 16:49

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

Congrats systran.

In: Boston

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

systran posted:

Prompt: WRITE ABOUT WHERE YOU CURRENTLY LIVE



In with Seattle

Good job Systran!

Zack_Gochuck
Jan 3, 2007

Stupid Wrestling People


In: St. John's

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


In mit Berlin, ja.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

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


If its cool systran, I can help judge

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Zack_Gochuck posted:

In: St. John's

St. John's NY? Where? There are a million St. John's!

Zack_Gochuck
Jan 3, 2007

Stupid Wrestling People


St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006

WORST WIZARD, THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Crabrock has been busy making fancy websites instead of writing. Naughty Crabrock.

crabrock posted:

The Lady in the Recliner
763 words


I am a cat. I’ve tried to kill myself multiple times: refused to drink, should be a ; got stuck with needles; fought a Maine Coon, lost an eye; jumped off the loft, shattered my spine. I lay here in misery, wishing for death. The silver-haired lady is my owner. She refuses to let me die.

Your list punctuation is all hosed up, sort it out, and that whole sentence need reworking. For every clause either have "event, result" or none, or change the order, but it does not sit well. Slipped tense. This story is all about the cat so you missed the prompt. Also getting in a fight with a maine coon cannot be described as a suicide attempt, getting in a fight with a cayote would be a better bet.

The only other hope of escape is her death; the blessed day when her rotting corpse adds to the miasma of urine and efferdent. As soon as she sits in that recliner she starts to snore. It sounds like fresh vomit being sucked up vacuum hose. good image Several times a night she stops breathing. I hold my own breath in anticipation, but she always starts again.

She collects us from shelters and off the streets, traps us in this house, and constantly records us with her camera. The dumbest get the most attention. Getting stuck in a jar will cause her to squeal with delight and shuffle over to her computer with that camera. She tells us we’re very popular. crazy old cat lady is not an interesting character, so now the story is definitely all about the cat

The one sitting by the scratching post, with the woeful countenance and putative lobotomy, is Grubbo. if the cat understands names he must know the ladies name and also his own, but never uses them. why? He’s new. He doesn’t even have to do anything to make her happy. He just sits there staring blankly at objects she shoves in his face. Nevertheless, she laughs more than ever. What type of people are entertained by this mockery? The voice here is off. A first person story needs to have a particular audience, which you acknowledge. Who is the cat talking to? Even if it is only itself that needs to be made clear.

It’s medicine time; I close my eyes and resign myself to my fate. Some of the younger cats still fight. She squeezes my jaw, and shoves several pills down my throat with her sinewy finger. My howls of pain make the others flee in terror: stoic acceptance and then howls of pain? one or the other, or an explanation that it still hurts on the 1000th time frantic as they climb everything in sight. It’s no use; she’ll corner them eventually. here is another place where the voice is wandering. Is this a "voice over" where the explanation is in first person, but the events are in the past? or is this a transcript? for both of these you should use "she corners" to indicate it happens normally, since this time it doesn't actually happen this time, as evidenced by the next paragraph All of them, even the ones who aren’t sick. what is wrong with the medicine? does it burn when it goes down? are the pills too big? do they make you see purple spiders? give me something to understand why the cat is in pain

She always has that air of importance after our treatments. Like she’s helping us, and we should appreciate it. It’s better than her weeping in the bathroom though. I don’t feel bad for her, but I can’t stand the sound. Today is different, she hasn’t cried at all. In fact, she didn’t even catch the ones who hid before she grabbed her purse and left.

We all use the brief respite to take naps. very cat, but wouldn't the others be trying to escape? or is that futile? if so why? This cat has been outside and in fights, so why can't the others?

We’re awoken to the sound of her keys jingling in the lock. She leads a little girl in by the hand. The girl tows suitcases behind her, and her eyes light up when she sees all of us. She runs and scoops me up into her arms. I want to shout for her to run away, to save herself. is the girl the main character? NOPE the story is almost half over. Grubbo has more claim to character than the girl

The old lady starts following the girl around with the camera instead of us. We adore her, she pets us and combs us, and never shoves pills down our throat. She looks happy, but I can hear her crying upstairs at night. time line's wandering all over the place now. This makes it seem like a voice over style first person. The old lady is tender at first, but gradually she treats the girl like one of us. One day the lady drags the little girl outside and they are gone for a long time. Now the little girl has to take medicine too. is the girl a grandchild? adoptee? no idea

When it’s my turn to be carried around I can see out of the windows again. In a way it’s worse; I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed outside when I was being neglected in the corner. carried by the girl? could contrast the feeling of being carried by the girl to being carried by the CCL (crazy cat lady)

The little girl is getting older, and she yells all the time now. how does a cat know how humans age? At us, and the old lady, at anybody who will listen. The camera is turned back towards us, and the lady spends most of her days at the computer. There are times when both of them cry in their respective rooms.

The girl never goes outside by herself. They sit with books and pencils at the table sometimes, but it always ends with mutual screaming, and her stomping up to her room. Tonight ends the same way, with a slam of her door. In a story written in first person present, we just reached the present. I wish I could walk so I could go up and comfort her.

It’s the middle of the night, and the old lady is in her recliner. The grating glottal sounds stop, and her fingers twitch as her body begs for oxygen. I haven’t taken a breath, but I feel peaceful. She still isn’t moving, and strangely I don’t feel the pressure building in my lungs like usual. I feel sleepy, but I don’t yawn. Her calloused feet hang over the edge of the supine chair, and it’s harder to keep my eyes open. I lay my head down and close my eyes. For the first time since I’ve been in this house, I feel happy.

Not your strongest piece. The main character was the cat, tense and voice were a bit muddled and you didn't make me care about any of the characters. And if you were trying to do a "cats always live in the moment" bs thing, it didn't work. When you have a central character whose only wish is to die, you need to describe, in vivid, gut wrenchingly sickening detail, how poo poo their life is. You didn't come close.

A cat with a broken spine would likely not be able to control its own bowl or bladder. It will poo poo and piss and not feel it, and not be able to clean itself when it smells its own faeces on its clogged fur. Because no one else can feel its pain and it cannot adequately communicate with the owner any pain medication given will be hit or miss, producing wacked out periods of nothingness, which are just bearable, except they lead to periods of terrible pain. The noise of the birds outside, the rain on the window, the patch of sunlight just a metre away - all are out of reach of this creature, each a reminder of a past life. There is no hope, and it will not be released from its torture.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


In, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Andrews



I'll try to be local, because a) I already live somewhere kinda interesting and b) 150km radius is like...most of Scotland.

Nyarai
Jul 19, 2012

Jenn here.


I'll judge again.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

In, Wellington NZ. Specifically Kelburn, where I grew up.

Helsing
Aug 23, 2003

I'M ESCAPING TO THE ONE PLACE THAT HASN'T BEEN CORRUPTED BY CAPITALISM...

SPACE!


I'm in, Toronto here.

M. Propagandalf
Aug 9, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Critical penance.

Lord Windy posted:

Do it with a rockstar - 269

You’re the best! Around! I think to myself. I’m rocking it out to a crowded audience, Nothing’s ever going to keep you down! Google shows as "Nothing's gonna ever keep you down."

“Do you?” Came a voice from one of the stall in the bathroom. I hate working here. How did we switch from a crowded audience into the bathroom? There's also inconsistency with what's italicized with this piece - it seems like you were originally going only for the lyrics, but then included the thought processes.

“Do you wanna?” Same voice, just a little shriller. Why the repetition?

“Do what?” This one was the next stall over. A tad more exasperated than me.

“Do it with a rockstar?” I'm exasperated that it took this long to get to this point.

Feet shuffled around and toilets flushed. Two young girls, younger than me pranced out over to the sinks.

“Do you wanna go home instead?,” The one with red hair and shrill voice pouted. Flashing her eyelashes in faux sympathy as she washed her hands.

“My cats are all alone.” The brunette looked flushed and spoke quickly. She clutched her phone tightly. Even I could tell that was a weak excuse.

“And there’s a chicken waiting on the stove.” Red-head’s hands rose above her head dramatically.

It felt like minutes of Brunette just glaring at Red-head.

“Do you really want to go home Sarah?”

“No,” Sarah sighed. She pulled out her lipstick. Dark red goes well with her hair.

“Of course not,” Red head gave a big smile. She dried her hands and went about fixing up Sarah’s hair. “This will be a great story someday.” We reached the point about doing it with a rockstar, hmm and haw and for seven lines more, and arrive back where we started.

Sarah left first. Red came out close behind, slipping me a twenty and giving me a knowing wink.

I smile back and pocket the twenty.

Where is this story going? Why do the characters matter? If the dialogue between the red-haired girl and brown hair girl had been switched or spliced, I feel like I'd barely be able to tell the difference. Honestly, even though the seeing character (bouncer?) does nothing, the bouncer seems more central to this piece than the seeming ditzs.


CantDecideOnAName posted:

Prophet of Death (705 words)

“You’re the prophet?” I was aghast.

The girl nodded. She was filthy, a child covered in caked-on mud and scratches, with the bright blue eyes of a madman. Bright blue eyes are a sign of the insane? But what if you're taking Melange? I had expected a woman—or a man, even—shining and beautiful and strong, closer to angel than human. Not this half-grown attempt.

“You?” I repeated.

“Why is that so hard to believe?” she demanded, crossing her arms. “I am the prophet. What proof could do you need?”

I grimaced. If she was the prophet, there was no use in lying to her. If she wasn’t, then she would come back later cleaned up to fit my expectations. “You weren’t what I was expecting. Go home, girl. The only proof you could give would be a miracle.” So I realize the seeing character is not the star attraction, but I imagine he's a character with some weight for being able to decide who is and isn't a prophet, unless the girl is completely overestimating his prophet detection authority. With that said, the internal thoughts here are strange. What kind of lie is he talking about? That he's not prejudiced towards the disheveled? Why would it be an issue if she were to come back later "cleaned up to fit my expectations"? The internal logic here doesn't seem well-formed.

I started to close the door when she lunged at me. The carpet tripped me up as I backed away and before I knew it I was on my rear end on the floor, with this enraged child straddling me and pressing a skewer to my face. Where the hell had that even come from?

“Home?” she hissed. “Whatever home I had is a mud-filled crater. Those who enslaved me are dead, their town in ruins. You don’t believe that I could kill that many thousands of people in one night? What more of a miracle do you need?”

The skewer was shiny and new, from what I could see of it, and the tip of it rested just below my left eyelid. Her hand was steady despite the rage in her eyes.

“Give me shelter,” she demanded. “Surely you know I am being hunted. Aren’t you one of my own?”

My heart was pounding in my chest. I tried pulling away and she shoved me to the floor, withdrawing the skewer. I watched it for a moment but she simply held it at her side.

“I won’t kill you,” she said. “There is no reason to kill the devout.” The anger was gone from her, controlled, and for a moment I glimpsed something greater in her, a dangerous power that was cold and uncaring, a cosmic eye that would see all and burn all.

“Am I devout?” It was all I could say.

She stared at me distantly. “Would you follow me?”

I shivered. Would I follow her? Seeing character's internal thoughts feel like clutter at times. This is one of them.

I was saved from answering by the appearance of a man with a shotgun. My neighbor, a part time bounty hunter and full-time gun nut.

“Stand up nice and slow, lady,” he ordered her, pressing the barrel against the back of her neck. “I know who you are from the news, and I don’t want any funny business.” He glanced at me. “You okay, Mike?”

I nodded numbly. She got to her feet, the barrel of the gun leading her up and away from me.

“Hands where I can see them, girl.”

She spun, weaving out of the range of the shotgun. He fired too slowly, As a critical moment of action, this feels weak. Something like "He missed his shot..." would fit better and she had him pressed against the wall with the skewer in his neck before I could get to my feet. The skewer had gone stabbed into his artery, and there was blood sprayed across the white wall. I scrambled up as she wrested the gun from him and aimed it at his face. There was no anger in the action, no desperation, no malice; she acted as one who was merely doing what had to be done.

“I am the fire that burns the forest and brings forth new growth,” she said. “I am the wave of lava and ash that scours the land and gives it fertility once more. Could you stop an avalanche with a single tree? I am the harbinger of new cycles, and I will not be recaptured and dragged back to a life in chains by a mere man.”

She pulled the trigger, but it wasn’t only his head that exploded. It was as if she had fired ten shotguns in unison, shredding his body and painting the wall with gore, covering her head to toe with splatter. My heart skipped a beat when she turned to look at me with cold eyes, hot blood dripping down her face.

“I need a shower. May I use your bathroom?”

I bowed. “Of course, prophet.”

This piece has an odd mixture of Aerith and Bob that I think could be made more seamless, unless the incongruence was meant to be comedic, which I don't feel is the case. There wasn't anything that I found memorable, except that the seeing character's asides were sometimes grating.

I'll try to work on more critiques. My competency as judge is questionable, so challenge me as you see fit.

M. Propagandalf fucked around with this message at Sep 16, 2013 around 22:02

Lord Windy
Mar 26, 2010


IN: Dayboro, Queensland, Australia.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

In. Wellington, New Zealand, but specifically not the part that Sebmojo is writing about. Another bit.

Sebmojo - I'm going to turn in my FLASH RULE you so generously bequeathed me for being unconscionably late to our recent dual. Your story must be set in either the last days of life on planet earth, or the 1980s. Choose your hell.

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012


In, with small-town New Hampshire.

Zack_Gochuck
Jan 3, 2007

Stupid Wrestling People


Do it With a Rockstar - Lord Windy

I think the overall concept is sound, but my biggest issue is I feel like nothing really happens. There's also no real sense of voice. Like I said earlier, I think something a bit more retrospective, like, "That time my red-headed friend slept with a rockstar." Probably would have worked better. I also don't understand why the girls give the speaker a $20. My first thought was washroom attendant, but I've never been to a concert with washroom attendants.

The dedication, though it was added late, was adequate.

Prophet of Death -CantDecideOnAName

In terms of the construct of the competition, I think that the narrator plays too active of a role and becomes a protagonist. Besides that, it needs some polishing overall. I think the dialogue tags were overdone a little. Don't be afraid to put dialogue out there on its own. For example, I think the first line would have been stronger without the "I was aghast." The "I repeated" in the next piece of dialogue explains well enough that the first bit was spoken by the narrator, and I think a question like, "You're the prophet?" would be stronger if it's set out by itself on the page. It makes it seem important.

Great dedication.

Diamonds - Kaishai

I liked this one. You nailed the concept. I think it could still use a little work. Maybe a bit more subtly with regards to the interaction between the couple, I have a hard time picturing a couple arguing that openly in a high-end jewelry store, but it's a really solid piece. The attempted robbery and subsequent double homicide was hilariously over the top (in a good way).

Good dedication.

At the Market in Alabama -systran

I think I said all I had to say earlier, again, great voice, nailed the concept. The narrator has his own voice and opinions, but it doesn't overwhelm the story. This is still "The boy's" story. Like I said, I can picture my uncle telling my about this crazy thing that happened down at the store. Great job. Dedication sucked.

Walter Grant - Jeza

Really liked this one too. I honestly went back and fourth between this one and systran's story quite a bit. I can buy all this because I totally believe that it's so boring in jail that this guy has nothing better to do than to watch a murder go about his day. His insights into Walter's behavior were interesting, and gave him his own voice, but they didn't overwhelm Walter. Walter is the star of the show here. I think the one issue I had was nailing down the narrator's role in the prison. I wasn't entirely sure if he was a prisoner or if he worked there. My first thought was prisoner, but then I thought about some of the pronouns, "We might learn something," "I've been locked in his cell." They somehow suggest a separation from the prisoners to me. "We" makes me feel like the speaker is including himself in society as a whole, which is not how most people think of prisoners. The "his cell" line makes me feel like he's not a cellmate, but he's locked in there, so is the speaker a guard? Maybe I'm reading too much into it.

Got a laugh out of this dedication.

The Heisenberg Property -Sebmojo

Solid effort. The best part was the last line. That worked really well. The prose is fine, I think what I really wanted to see was more of Derek and Sarah. Can the speaker hear what she says when she berates him? What does Derek do the few times he's out in the yard after she's gone? What's there works so well that I want more concrete details about these two people the narrator watches. I also liked the little bits we did get about the narrator. The bit about the mice was particularly strong. You walk the fine line of providing details about the narrator and not overwhelming Derek and Sarah very well.

Good dedication.

At the Seams - Sitting Here

Well written. Good voice. I feel like June is less incidental and more the protagonist. A lot of little details piqued my curiosity, the grandma oak tree, for example. The ending is heart-breaking in the best possible way. I don't have a lot of comments besides that, but I don't have a lot of comments besides that for a good reason. Keep up the good work.

Probably my favorite dedication.

Robbery -Fumblemouse

Same overall problem I had with a couple of the stories here. I felt like Jeremy was the protagonist once the robber grabs hold of him because it generates way too much sympathy. It's sort of contrary to the spirit of the exercise. The dialouge in this one doesn't really works at some points. For example, "Not going to happen. In case you hedn't realised, we got twenty hostages just lying around. You move the gently caress away and let us out of here and maybe they all walk home. Maybe." I don't feel like someone in the process of robbing a bank who is surrounded by police would be that eloquent. I feel like he'd be all like, "gently caress you! We got hostages!" I think your prose could also use a cut here and there.

Decent dedication even though it was edited in later.

The Lady in the Recliner -Crabrock

Here's the thing, and I'm going to be brutally honest here, the first line absolutely kills this piece. Once I read that, the piece was dead in the water. Half the fun of this type of piece, is figuring out who's perspective it's being told from, and the whole "I am a cat" takes a lot of the fun out of that. It's a shame because I think the rest of the paragraph would be a lot stronger if we were allowed to figure out the cat was a narrator on our own as he describes the ways he's tried to kill himself.

In terms of the exercise, I felt like the cat was the protagonist here and the old lady was the antagonist, so yeah. I appreciate the attempt to do something different.

If anyone wants more details on anything or has any questions, feel free to shoot me a pm.

Zack_Gochuck fucked around with this message at Sep 17, 2013 around 01:44

M. Propagandalf
Aug 9, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Kaishai posted:

Diamonds
(873 words)

The couple came in on a Thursday night, after work hours. They held hands, and as the door closed behind them, the heated air of my jewelry store picked up the scents of his fresh shower gel and her tea-rose perfume. I like this detail of distinction. I stayed in my chair behind the back counter and kept my greeting to a quiet, "Good evening," and a smile, leaving them free to smile back--hers showed teeth, his didn't--and then ignore me in favor of my merchandise. While I appreciate to continual contrast that's played between the couple, this feels unnecessarily drawn out.

My eyes fell to the broken bracelet I'd been repairing, but I eavesdropped without trouble. The shop wasn't what you'd call large.

"These aren't diamonds," the man said; his voice came from near the display of rings to my right.

"It doesn't have to be a diamond. I like color."

"I want to get a diamond for you."

"Thomas." She spoke his name sharply.

"I can afford it."

Surely an old argument. "A familiar argument." would feel more succinct. I raised my estimate of how much money I would make on this sale.

She said, "But if I'd rather have a ruby or an emerald--that's important, right? Otherwise I don't know why I'm here."

Thomas held in his reply for several seconds. "At least look," he said at last. If I could hear strain in the pitch and rasp of his words, surely she could too. "Before you settle for less."

They looked. For fifteen completely silent minutes, they studied my diamonds. I watched them from the corner of my eye, my prong pusher hovering over a loose sapphire. Thomas's hand drifted twice toward the small of her back, but he stopped short of touching her. Hoverhands with his fiancé? Ouch. Her hands were balled in the pockets of her oversized white jacket.

Thomas murmured something I didn't catch. She jerked one shoulder. He left her and approached my counter, summoning another tight smile; I set the bracelet down. He said, "I'd like to know how much some of the engagement rings cost."

Behind him, the woman moved back to the display of colored-gem rings, her posture changing now that he couldn't see: her shoulders slumped, and her neck bowed. I focused on Thomas. "You might be surprised by the cost of a good emerald," I told him.

"Not you, too. Please. Susannah deserves the best I can--"

Thomas's mouth kept moving, but a body hit the front door so hard that the sound of the impact overrode whatever he said. A figure in a canvas jacket and ski mask stomped the two strides to the center of the room, where he pulled a gun from his pocket. "You! Throw your purse here and get down!" he yelled at Susannah, and then, after she flung her shoulderbag at him and hit dropped to her knees, he turned my way. "Money! Rocks! Now!" He aimed at Thomas. Then at me. Sentence feels clunky with the actions of Susannah and the robber being mixed together. I think separating them between their respective characters would be more appropriate.

Shock had numbed me, and but I noticed in a distant way that while Thomas was trembling, the robber's whole frame shook harder. Despite my calm While not conflicting with being numb, I don’t think calm is appropriate here. Paralyzed, or perhaps petrified? my own fingers wouldn't hit the right register keys.

Thomas shifted his weight. The robber swung the gun back to him. "Keep your loving hands out and don't move."

Susannah said, "Drop the gun."

She still knelt on the floor. But since the robber had turned from her to focus on Thomas and me This part is obvious, so it can be slimmed. Perhaps “Distracted by his attention on us…" she'd drawn a Glock from under her jacket. Her steady hands pointed the muzzle dead at the man's head. Her brown eyes fixed on what could be seen of his face.

The robber made his choice in an instant. Instead of complying, He turned his weapon toward her.

Thomas lunged as soon as the other man moved, tackling him and grabbing for his arm--they thudded onto the carpet as Susannah threw herself flat, and a shot hit the wall and sent one of my framed photographs of diamonds crashing down. Thomas yelled. I yelled. Thomas got hold of the robber's forearm and slammed it against the floor with crazy energy if a qualifier is really needed, "slammed it hard" seems like it would do. The man dropped his gun, and Susannah scrambled for it. She had it in her left hand; the robber rolled Thomas hard into my counter, hard enough that Thomas lost hold of him, and then he gained his feet and ran. Susannah held both guns on his back, but she let him go.

When the sounds of his escape faded out, This seems unnecessarily obtuse she set the weapons on the countertop with hands that had started to shake.

Then Thomas was up and reaching for her, folding her into his chest so tightly I couldn't see much of her other than her hair and her arms, wrapped around him like steel bands under white leather. "You idiot." I don't know which one of them whispered the words. Favourite part. Her fingers dug into his shoulderblades.

I took deep breaths. I picked up the cell phone next to the register. But before I dialed, I said, "Ma'am? Sir?"

Thomas turned his head to look at me; Susannah didn't move.

"I hope you'll take any ring I sell in thanks," I said. "Whichever one you want."

Susannah's short, uneven laugh brought a curve to Thomas's mouth. He pressed his lips to her crown, and as I called the police, they went on holding each other within the rings that mattered.

Minor nitpicks, but I enjoyed this.


systran posted:

At the Market in Alabama 948 Words.

I noticed some inconsistency between ing and in' with the verbs. Also:

quote:

That ain’t entirely right, because I heard the one that was leadin’ the shouting say, “You ain’t supposed to have a,” and he put his hands up like quote marks in a book--he must have been a college-schooled negro--, “whites only counter. You should serve us like anyone else like they doing at Woolworth’s!”

I would have expected the boy to start speaking with "refined mode on" right from the get-go, but instead he turns it on specifically for the manager. Aside from that, there's nothing else I can fault with this. I'm not schooled in Southern state speaking, but the voice is convincing, (I won't excuse him for using "a count" instead of "account" though). The ending is something I could picture MLK Jr sharing with pride.


Jeza posted:

Walter Grant - 645 Words

I don't feel I have enough to give for a line-by-line crit, except perhaps "the agglomeration of the distended corpses of cats and the bruises from familial fists imparted." is glaringly purple. My issue is that, in terms of the prompt, the spotlight doesn't feel like it falls on the character being seen. Sure we get a number of neat idiosyncrasies about Walter Grant. But the spotlight feels like it falls on the seeing character. The corrections officer may not be involved in any physical action, but his/her actual obsession over Walter Grant is taking centre stage. I am less invested in understanding Walter Grant than I am in understanding why this corrections officer is so OCD over Grant.



I'll try to edit this post to include the last crits later.

Schneider Heim
Oct 17, 2012


I'm in.

Place: Manila, Philippines

mary had a little clam
Apr 23, 2003

Well I am
over-fucking-whelmed...


Young Orc

I'm in!

Orange County, CA

DawnOfMinstrel
Jun 27, 2013


In? Yes, in.

Beddy-bye location: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.

Horrible Butts
May 7, 2012


I live in Richmond, Virginia.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

There are just over twelve hours left to sign up, and just as few contestants. Considering that at least three of you will be poo poo and not submit, anyone who enters has an increased chance of winning (and losing)!

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


In.

Black River, NY.

Also updated the archive post.

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006

WORST WIZARD, THUNDERDOME
LOSER


In.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

I'm in with San Antonio, Texas.

mary had a little clam
Apr 23, 2003

Well I am
over-fucking-whelmed...


Young Orc

systran posted:

There are just over twelve hours left to sign up, and just as few contestants. Considering that at least three of you will be poo poo and not submit, anyone who enters has an increased chance of winning (and losing)!

Do first time contestants have to do anything to prove they aren't going to waste your time, or is the threat of the Shameatar enough?

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

You get a loser avatar for being a loser. If you just totally don't submit, know that you are the worst of the worst, and even the "loser" at least tried and completed something.

A lot of people who fail to submit toxx themselves the next time they sign up to try to regain honor.

Others choose to not sign up until their story is almost done.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

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


Anal Surgery posted:

Do first time contestants have to do anything to prove they aren't going to waste your time, or is the threat of the Shameatar enough?

loving write a story and spare us your insecurities. That's all you gotta do as a first time contestant.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

yeah newbies gotta wash TD's laundry PLUS the dishes for a whole month to prove they're the real deal

get scrubbing, pledges.

ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013


SCREAMING YES
MOTHERFUCKER
I AM GUILTY, I AM DEATH


New challenger, In with Driftwood, Texas.
And TD can do his own drat laundry.

mary had a little clam
Apr 23, 2003

Well I am
over-fucking-whelmed...


Young Orc

Mercedes posted:

loving write a story and spare us your insecurities. That's all you gotta do as a first time contestant.

I was just asking because I didn't see my name on the contestant list yet, so I was double-checking I didn't miss anything

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crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

Anal Surgery posted:

I was just asking because I didn't see my name on the contestant list yet, so I was double-checking I didn't miss anything

Pardon Mercedes, he's our resident cussing-enthusiast. If he spent more time writing and less time trying to be hard on the forums, we'd all be grateful.

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