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.
My mouth goes where it pleases.
Flash Rule crabrock, your story better have some hard-rear end getting what's coming to him.
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Mercedes fucked around with this message at 05:11 on Sep 21, 2013
|# ? Sep 21, 2013 05:04|
|# ? Dec 8, 2021 12:18|
Not having a decent town to write about, I've opted to focus on a river running next to my house and center the story around returning home for good measure.
Home Again------- 740 Words
Trevor stares at the old creek bed, dry and split open in the summer's heat, listening to the great grandchildren of the crickets that had sung through his childhood. It was all the same as he remembered, but smaller now; The old bridge didn't tower so far above the banks below; The culverts that bisect it not yawning caverns to be fearfully explored, scampering back to the shore at the first sight of a scarlet-headed centipede uncurling in the dark.
He slips down the granite slope and sets off down the dead river, mud and leaves crunching under his shoes. Trevor could remember that sound too.
Sitting on the porch where the stone had broken to show the sand foundation beneath, filling it from the snaking green garden hose, watching the water sink down and leave the sand ready to be molded into castles.
No, he was wrong. It had changed, just a little. The river's course split for a ways around a new island, where a rotten log had caught among the weeds, dirt and pebbles piled up against it by the current. The smell too, that was different. Before it was damp and musty, the smell of earth after the rain and of dead trees crumbling into the soil. Now there's only the smell of warmth, a burning sensation as his nostrils dragged in the dry, hot air.
Fat tadpoles plucked from the river, squirming between his pudgy, childish fingers. Holding them by the tail, trying to see if they'd begin to grow their legs. Watching them swim endless circles inside the old mason jar.
The familiarity was cloying. Every shift of the speckled sunlight pouring through the skeletal branches overhead sparks some new recollection. He leaps from memory to memory. His feet walk the old riverbed, but his mind traverses the old one, back when the trees were still draped in green.
Clumsy oversized yellow boots slipping in the mud. Tumbling down the riverbanks in a panic, landing like a stone in the cold water. Coming up again, gasping for air, his sister helping drag him out.
Turning a bend in the river, Trevor lurched to a stop. Coldness crept through his gut. Sprouting up from the mud before is was an ugly thing: Lumpy, flesh-toned, folded over itself into slithery piles gleaming with slime, alien to the daylight pouring down and wrong. Wrong that it's here among his memories. The sight offends him. Trevor wants to retch, fighting his stomach's urge to upheave his lunch.
The tadpoles floating upside down in the water next morning, cooked by the sun. Sneaking out before his parents woke to cast them into the river.
The thing couldn't be alive. Couldn't be. It could only be a trick of his eyes that it moved. Reaching for a stick and hating his hand for shaking, he jabs at the thing. It gives no response. It must be a fungus, he thinks, some strange fungi risen from the depths of the earth. It smelled the part. Damp, old earth and rotting trees. How long had it been growing here, to reach this size?
The golden retriever stared at him, at the branch he fancied a walking stick. It lunged, wanting to play, but without thinking he swung at it. It snapped at him and broke the skin of his hand.
He jabs at it harder until it's skin splits open, insides mush divided with thin membranes. The smell spills out overwhelming and he wrinkles his nose, but it's done. Trevor knows what it is now. Nothing. Nothing more than he'd guessed, just a plant growing in the mud and a dead one now. Throwing the stick aside he walks away, feeling the sun again now, feeling silly at how he'd feared it.
The sharp crack of the rifle, seeing it jump in his father's grip and the dog fall dead. He watched from around the house, against his parents orders, crept in when his father left to lay a hand upon the corpse.
It had never really been his dog anyway. It'd never liked him, ran off when he tried to play with it.
Trevor walks back down the riverbed, like he'd done so many times in the long, dry summers. Where his steps crushed the old leaves underfoot, slimy things rushed out.
|# ? Sep 22, 2013 02:09|
I realised this story may not be clear without some background knowledge. Here's the most important points:
1. Vitoria-Gasteiz is a city in Basque Country. BC is a community in Spain, populated by Spaniards and Basques, who consider themselves separate and have their own language. Here's its current emblem.
2. The Cathedral of Immaculate Mary in Vitoria-Gasteiz has empty recesses in the walls which were supposed to have statues, but the statues were never placed there.
3. Franco was a dictator who considered the Basques a threat to national unity and attempted to wipe their national identity. This made it necessary to print Basque books in France and smuggle them in by sea.
"Right! So, with that out of the way, we can move on to the last item on the agenda," the secretary said to the two men sitting in the office.
The mayor of Vitoria-Gasteiz put out his cigarette. "What is it, miss Gurmendi?"
"Oh, right, yes." Patirke Gurmendi, the mayor's secretary, fixed the glasses on her nose. "The heraldic society wants to put their proposal on the next council voting session. They want to change the city's Coat of Arms to better reflect the Basque history of the city."
"What?" said Iñaki, the mayor's running mate and current chairman of the council. "Do you have the design?"
"Yes, here it is."
"Eskerrik asko" Iñaki took the sheet handed to him and leaned over towards the mayor. They studied it together.
"Patirke, what is this?"
"It's a goat, sir. Statant, I think they call it."
The goat perked its ears. It turned its head towards the sloe bush, where the rustling came from. A peasant in a white, linen shirt was sneaking towards it, his wide hands grasping a thick stick.
The goat quickly jumped away and started on the ahuntz-bide up the steep, rocky mountain-side. If the man was smart, he would not follow it up the treacherous slope lined with white, slippery rocks.
As it reached the top of a boulder, the goat looked back and saw the man was dumber than most predators, choosing the chase the animal up its natural habitat. Now, he was with his both hands down the lee side of the mountain, where the buzzards made their nests in the cracks of the sheer rock wall.
The man pulled himself up and looked up at the gray animal. There was no way he could catch it. He reached into his pocket for a length of cord and tied a loop around a stable looking rock. His family will have to contend themselves with buzzard eggs for tonight.
The mayor again examined the design. It was closely reminiscent of the current coat of arms. The familar castle with three turrets still had a red shield on it, but the crows and lions were gone, replaced by a sitting goat
"What about the motto?"
"Oh, I think it's still on the ribbons. The print is kind of unclear."
He furrowed his brow as he deciphered the letters. ">>Eta munduaren gain garaipena<<? Is that from the Bible?"
"Yes, sir. First John." Patirke nodded.
"Well, we can't have that. The lefties will eat us alive if..."
"It's the same, Aitor." Iñaki sighed.
"It's the same motto. See?" He pointed to the old emblem on the wall. "HAEC EST VICTORIA QUAE VINCIT. It's a pun."
"Oh. I did not know that."
The goat trotted between the sleeping workers' tents. It was going towards the biggest tent, where the head architect hid the tastiest morsels: apples, beets, hats, candles and those off-white sheets that crunched when chewed.
It made its way in by crawling under a flap of the tent that came loose when the goat tried eating a tent spike a week ago.
Inside, the goat quickly realised something was wrong, as the air smelled of fresh human sweat.
"Thief!" the word echoed through the tent and a bag descended on the poor animal. While it struggled under a pile of bodies, somebody lit a torch.
"The devil...? Is that a goat?" the head architect asked. "Are you to tell me a goat has been stealing my supplies?"
One of the architect's assistants started talking, but the goat bucked and kicked him in the knee and the boy let go of the bag. The goat jumped out, snagged a roll of paper from a desk and ran out with its prize.
"No! That's the letter from the archbishop!" the head architect screamed.
But the goat was already too far away to hear him. It dove into the forest, letter in mouth, not knowing it contained precise instructions on which statues to put on the walls of the cathedral.
"But why a goat?" Iñaki pulled out a six pack of beer from the minifridge hidden under the desk. He offered one to Patirke, who took it and turned red. She was really uncomfortable with drinking in the office.
"I think they believe lions are too... Spanish..." she replied to his question.
"Hmm... that may win us some votes from the nationalists..." the mayor mused.
Iñaki nodded and opened his own can of beer. "Still, a goat seems a bit... silly... compared to the lions, at least."
"There are towns which have goats in their emblems too!" Patirke felt a bit braver after a sip of the beer.
"Yeah, but in the south. Where they put towelheads on them too."
The goat carefully observed the men perched on the cliff overlooking the beach. It was a remote part of the coast, hidden away from most humans. But these days men and women kept appearing on the beach at night, brought in by sea.
These men did not come from the beach. They hiked up here, in tan clothes, smelling of sweat, saltpeter and tack biscuits. One of them was shorter than the two others. He was looking into two tubes pointed at the beach.
The goat heard the anxiety in their voices as they whispered to one another. They were waiting for something to happen, pointing at the beach. Humans usually had trouble seeing things in the dark, but tonight the moon was full and the stars shined over the rocky beach.
Suddenly, the men dropped to the ground as a speck of light appeared from behind a sea rock.
"There they are. Our smugglers" the short man said. His orders were clear. No arrests. No prisoners. Just shoot the smugglers before they bring in their filthy little books and flags to the Basque underground. The orders came from general Franco himself.
The goat slowly moved towards the soldier's bags, tempted by the tack biscuits inside. The men were too focused on the boat to notice.
"Ready... aim..." the commander started, but was cut off by a crunching sound. "What the..."
He turned to see the goat chewing on his cigar box. It raised its head, looked at him and let out the loudest bleat he ever heard.
"Sir!" one of the soldiers yelled "Your binoculars!"
The commander looked at the binoculars in his left hand. They were now caught in a cone of light from the smuggler's boatlights, twinkling.
"Shoot! By God, shoot!"
But it was too late. The boat was already heading back. The bullets only splashed in the water, while the goat ran away, with a mouth full of biscuits and cigars.
"No, this won't do" the mayor finally said.
"But, sir..." Patirke argued.
"Miss Gurmendi, please write a polite letter to the heraldic society, saying that while we appreciate... but... and furthermore..."
Patirke Gurmendi fell face first on the sofa in her apartment and sighed. It was a very tiring day. She wanted to just fall asleep and wake up only when her vacation days rolled around. She looked up only when she heard a bell and saw the goat staring at her with its yellow, vertically slit eyes.
"Sorry, big guy" The woman petted the goat. "These guys won't get re-elected anyway, so we can try next year."
She looked at her drawing table. "Maybe if I draw you rampant..."
|# ? Sep 22, 2013 12:35|
In case you'd like to visit the setting of this story - http://balboabayresort.com/ - Great drink selection at the bar, but the cigars they sell are wildly over-priced.
Orange County, CA
“You packed duct tape, right?” called Kayla, applying mascara in the jaundiced glow of the motel bathroom’s fluorescent light.
“Yeah, I got it,” Cody replied from the bedroom.
“And extra bullets, just in case?”
“Um, duh, first thing I packed.”
“And you picked up gloves today, right?”
Cody barged into the bathroom, eyes wide beneath a frown. “Jesus christ, yes! We have everything, just fuckin’ relax. Wait, are you puttin' on makeup?”
“I’m trying to look old enough to belong at the bar. Am I the only one who thought this through?”
“Whatever, just hurry up.”
Moments later, Kayla strutted out of the bathroom, puffing up to fill her black Prada knock-off dress. She stepped over fast food wrappers perched on ancient carpet stains and gave a half-pirouette for Cody, who did not look up. He was sprawled on the unmade bed, tapping on his phone. “Who are you texting?” asked Kayla.
Cody shoved the phone into the pocket of his faded jeans. “Nobody. I was just checkin' traffic.”
Kayla sighed. “Whatever. Let’s just get this done.”
At eight, they arrived at the Balboa Bay Resort and parked across the street. Cody pulled a backpack on and the two walked into the parking lot of the sprawling hotel, golden light from inside spilling into the night like champagne. They crept past the entrance and hopped over a waist-high side gate onto a wooden walkway that wound down to the yacht docks. Cody stuffed the backpack behind a large potted plant and the two followed the walkway back to a side entrance to the hotel bar, Duke’s Place.
Even in the dim lighting, the caramel wallpaper and flickering sconces bathed the room in an intimate warmth. A tuxedo-clad man played Sinatra covers on a piano, notes twinkling over the low burble of conversation from the few patrons. Cody and Kayla took the darkest corner booth. The waitress didn’t look twice at their fake IDs, but giggled at Cody’s attempt at pronouncing Courvoisier. She brought their drinks and Cody took a deep swig of the cognac. It burned his throat and he let out a pained hiss. He paused only a moment, blinked tears away, and gulped down the rest in two drinks. He snapped at the waitress and motioned for another glass, smiling as his muscles began to melt and his tongue grew thick. Kayla’s sharp whisper cut through his relaxation. “Cody, you’re sure she doesn’t have a husband?”
“Positive. Wasn’t any dude clothes on the yacht when I scoped it out.”
“You better be right. If we get caught, I’m telling them you forced me to go along with this.”
“Nobody’s gettin’ caught. We’ll take the yacht way out before we dump her. It’s gonna go fine. Jus’ chill already.”
Kayla looked disapprovingly at the second glass in front of Cody. “Right, looks like you have everything under control.”
He ignored her and glowered at a couple in expensive clothing slow-dancing near the piano. Kayla watched the entrance and nibbled on a fingernail. Her foot tapped against the hardwood floor, fast and out of time with the music. In between songs, Cody’s phone beeped and his hand started to reach for it before snapping back to his drink.
“Aren’t you going to see who texted you?” Kayla asked with ice in her voice.
“Probably just Gordo. I’ll hit him back later. We should concentrate anyway, it’s almost time.”
“I really loving hate the way you keep stuff from me. I’m not an idiot.”
“I’m not keeping anything from you. Jesus, you’re paranoid.”
“Yeah, right. Secrets aren’t a good foundation for a long term-”
Cody leaned in and slapped the table. “I don’t have any secrets! gently caress! Why are you doin’ this now? Huh? This seem like a good time to pick a fight with me?”
“I’m not picking a fight; you’re being shady.”
“The gently caress I am. Jus’ cuz I wanna concentrate on this thing we’re doing, now I’m shady? gently caress you, you’re crazy.”
“Then give me your phone.”
Cody’s hand leapt onto his cell phone. “What?”
“If you’re not hiding anything, then let me see your phone. Just for a minute. Prove me wrong.”
Cody looked towards the entrance to the bar, willing the woman in the pearls to walk in. She did not.
“See, this is what I mean. You’re shady. You’re keeping things from me. You keep saying we’re going to do this thing for us, so we can get a headstart on our future. Well, what future? What future do you even want with me?”
“Babe, c’mon… I planned this whole thing out for us, top to bottom. Took a lotta risks so we could do this. So we can get a fresh start in a new place. Together.”
“So you’re gonna marry me after this, then?”
Cody coughed on a sip of cognac. “I mean… like, I think we need to spend some time, y’know…”
“Oh my god,” Kayla moaned. “You want me to help you with this and you don’t even want to marry me? You loving rear end in a top hat!”
“Nah babe, s’just… like, we just graduated. I think we need to spend some time figuring stuff out is all.”
“Well maybe you should figure out who your priority is before we do this thing, me or whoever that is.”
“gently caress sakes, I’m not textin’ anyone!”
“Then prove it!”
“I’m not gonna let you distract me with this poo poo. It’s almost time.”
The waitress started towards them but saw them facing perpendicular directions and not making eye contact. She decided to give them a moment. A piano arrangement of “Nice n’ Easy” filled the wordless void between Cody and Kayla, his phone still under his hand, her mascara just beginning to stain her cheeks. At nine exactly, a woman in her late 40’s wearing a string of pearls around her neck entered the bar and sauntered up to the bartender. Cody snapped to attention and slid his phone into his pocket. “She’s here, c’mon.”
They left cash on the table and went back to the wooden walkway that led to the yachts, Cody in a half-jog and Kayla shuffling behind him. Cody snatched the backpack from its hiding spot and retrieved a black handgun from it. He checked to make sure a round was in the chamber, then thrust the gun into his waistband and slung the backpack onto his shoulders. “Alright, so when she comes out of the bar, we’ll-”
“Let me see your phone, Cody.”
“Oh my god, can you please focus for two-”
“Give me. Your loving. Phone.”
“And if I don’t?”
“Then you can loving do this by yourself.”
“Maybe I will. I don’t need a jealous bitch gettin’ in the way.”
“Whatever, rear end in a top hat. I hope you get caught.”
Kayla stomped towards the gate, kicking it open with a loud bang. She disappeared around the corner. Cody stood, arms in a half-shrug, eyebrows cocked in disbelief. He flung his arms up at the grinning moon and and mumbled “gently caress this” before storming back to his car. A minute later, humming Sinatra, the woman in pearls meandered down the wooden walkway towards the yacht she and her new wife shared, the clap of her heels on the weathered planks echoing amidst the bobbing vessels.
|# ? Sep 22, 2013 14:13|
I'm typing up crits now in google docs. I will not post any crits in the actual thread. I will edit this link into the prompt post as well:
ALL of the crits from me will be in this document.
|# ? Sep 22, 2013 16:10|
ALL of the crits from me will be in this document.
We are not supposed to respond to crits, right?
|# ? Sep 22, 2013 19:50|
We are not supposed to respond to crits, right?
I think it's okay to post a quick "thanks" with a couple comments on the crit here, but yeah, if you want to get into a longer back-and-forth I believe the place for that is the Flash Fiction thread.
|# ? Sep 22, 2013 20:19|
Location: Berlin & surroundings, although I've been in the north of England for two days, so I included a Scotsman.
Any German included should be easily Google-translatable, if necessary.
Ostliebe (Words: 1249)
“Do you love me?” Anke ground against Tam, pushed him against a brick wall slicked black with Soviet soot. E answered before his brain; he grunted “aye”. She put a finger on his lips and backed away, glistening steel eyes fixed on his.
“I’d like a little something like you had.” She licked her lips.
“Nae, lass. I’ve got none.” She was too good for this stuff. “And you dinnae want it anyway.”
She laid a hand on his belt, pulled him in, kissed him, then stared through his skull.
“Right. Wait here. I’ll fix it.” Tam slouched through Berghain’s back door.
Anke watched the door shut and the twinkle fled her eyes. She opened her phone. "Be ready. He's going to the office."
Several hours prior, Tam sat beneath a tree, shredding too-fresh pot into a rolling paper. It was a fine summer evening, perfect for a touch of green in the country. After a week on the commune, the slow life was growing on him.
Lorentz flopped down, lanky freckled limbs splayed in the dirt. “gently caress Nature, man.”
“What you’re on about, mate? Fresh air’s great.”
“I just went in the hemp.” Lorentz scratched himself. “Now I’ve got poison ivy on my balls.”
“Well, which twat told you to squat there?”
“The hippies. ‘Give back to the earth.’” Lorentz scratched again. “I can’t believe Harald stuck us out here.”
Their last job had gone bad. Tam hadn’t caught the details, the courier and Lorentz had gabbled in fast German, but he did recognize the bit where knives came out. They’d saved half the coke and the boss told them to hide here while he smoothed things over.
“Lad, we cost Harry a quarter mil. Give thanks we’re camping on top of that hemp instead of napping beneath it.”
“I’m going insane, man. Fitti’s got a huge set at Berghain tonight. Let’s get a ride into town.”
“No one knows we’re out here, lad. We ring someone, it’ll get back to Harry and then we’re dead, or good as.”
More scratching. “What about your lady?”
“She gets any of the truth and she’d leave me in a dead second.”
Lorentz shook his head. “Ostfrauen have seen worse than this, Tam.”
“She’s my way out of this business, mate. I dinnae want her involved.” Tam finished his joint and tried to light it, but it was too fresh. He gave up after a few minutes and tossed it away.
A dreadlocked kid in sandals sauntered up to them, glanced at the joint. “Littering.”
Tam grunted. “It’s just green, lad, all natural.”
The hippie rolled his eyes. “There might be, like, oil in the glue.”
“Didja come all the way over to have go at me over a bad fag, mate?”
“No. There’s someone at the gate looking for you.”
Tam leaned back. Odd. Harry should be busy working. “What’s he want?”
“Sie hat nicht gesagt.”
She! Tam jumped up. How’d Anke find him?
“A word?” Lorentz shooed the hippie away and leaned in. “Anke has a car, oder? She can drive us out.”
“Harry’d have our balls on a stick.”
“So we get on the autobahn. We can be in Prague by dinner.”
“We’ve got no cash, mate, and I cannae ask Anke to run away and foot the bill.”
“Harald’s still got the drugs from the deal, right? That’s two, three hundred thousand on the street.”
“Aye, but have you the foggiest where they might be?” Silence. “Right then.”
“Someone has to know. Someone in Berghain. We have to try. Tam, come on. This is a big chance.”
“Look, I’ll go have a poke ‘round if I can get in. Anke’s not the club sort, so lay off and watch where you squat for a few days.” Tam strolled away, ignoring the daggers Lorentz’ eyes were shooting at his back. The lad could get hosed if he thought Harry’s trust was worth only a pile of coke.
At the gate, Anke stood in a strapless party dress. They hugged and she nuzzled his bearded chin. “I’m going to ask a favor today.”
“Anything, lass.” Tam smiled and shifted a leg to keep from tenting his pants. “You knew I was here?”
“Friends told me.” She twirled car keys about her fingers. “Let’s go to Berghain tonight.”
Tam ruffled her hair. “You don’t have to do that for me. Fancy a night in?”
“No, no, I’ve heard so much about it. I really want to go tonight. But it’s so difficult to get in…”
She gave him a sly, coquettish smile and, despite his head screaming caution, his other head prevailed. “I can blag it.”
Tam slouched into Berghain’s cavernous dance-room and took a moment in the darkness to fix his trouser leg. Wee King Richard was going to burst through the cloth like something out of Alien if Anke did that belt thing again.
A bearded man wearing a 'BASSLINE' trucker cap bobbed behind a mix-deck. Tam waved.
“Hey, Fitti. Is the boss in?” Tam thumbed his nose. “I need a bit of something.”
The DJ aimed his white sunglasses at Tam and shook his head.
“Get it myself then.” Tam ducked into a dark hallway, dodging trysting couples and pools of sick. At the end, Harry’s door was flat black, invisible in the gloom. Tam tugged the wee hidden handle. Locked. He put an ear up to it - only club-thump, no voices.
This is where seven years of trust paid off. He slipped his spare key into the lock and let himself in.
A sole bare lightbulb hung above Harry’s dented metal desk. A half-glass of whiskey sat atop some papers. Tam opened the desk drawer and rifled through plastic bottles of technicolor tablets. Uppers, downers, any other direction - Harry’s stash could get you there.
A key in the door. Tam froze, hands still in the pills.
Harald walked in, eyes fixed on Tam, and locked the door. The tall tracksuited German pointed to a chair.
Tam smiled. “I was having a poke ‘round for some E.”
“I know why you are here Tam.” Harald sat behind his desk, took a bottle of Scotch from a drawer. “Drink?”
“Sure…” Tam squirmed and accepted the dram. He shot the whisky in one go.
“The cocaine is buried in the Planterswald.” Harald reached into a drawer. “It is sunk in the Pechsee.” He laid a pistol on his desk. “You want to steal from me.”
Fists slammed the door. Outside, someone shouted polizei.
Harald flinched. “And you brought the KriPo here. Were we not friends?”
“You’re mad, mate, I was just coming to get a bit of something from the desk.”
“I have been on the phone with Lorentz.” Harald aimed the pistol. “He is very eager to come back to town.”
Something heavy slammed the door. Dust fell from the ceiling.
Tam grunted. No wonder Lorentz had been so insistent. “Harry, that wee oval office set this up, I dinnae steal from—“
The door burst open, a steel ram clattered on the floor. Harald fired. Pain lanced Tam’s chest. He fell.
Black-visored rifle-bearing men encircled Harald, slammed him on the desk, twisted his arms. Anke strode in, tac-vested, gun holstered, Kriminalpolizei badge on her chest. She barked at the men, then frowned at Tam. “I was late. Sorry.”
|# ? Sep 22, 2013 22:58|
“… and that’s the last thing he ever said to me,” said Lauren.
“Very eloquent of him,” said Rob.
He threw a glance over his right shoulder, pretending to check the traffic, scoping out her reaction. The Allen Expressway was a two lane parking lot in both directions. Lauren’s mouth was pressed together so tightly that her lips were just a thin line etched across her face. Her eyes were wet.
“Hey,” he said. “He was my cousin; I can mourn him however I want.”
“Yeah, well you seem real upset.”
“I am upset,” objected Rob. “That isn’t fair.”
Of course he was upset. Had to be upset. The six days since he’d picked up the phone and found out that John had wrapped his car around a telephone poll had been awful.
But a couple hours ago, at the wake, when Rob offered to drive Lauren back to Toronto and she said yes, he’d started feeling a bit better. He knew he should feel guilty about that, but didn’t. Maybe in a recursive way he felt guilty about not feeling guilty, but mostly he felt a weird kind of relief that she had said yes. They’d been talking, more than they had talked in the last five years, – not like it was old times because it never could be like that again – but the conversation had flowed easily.
They inched forward a couple of car lengths. Rob leaned in his seat to get a view of the accident but all he could make out were the thousand or so pairs of tail lights lined up in front of them. Lauren blinked away a tear.
“I’m sorry,” said Rob. “That was uncalled for.”
“Yes it was.”
“It’s just, well, you told me you haven’t talked in three months and you guys weren’t exactly on the best of terms—“
“Stop it Rob,” she said, and then she started sobbing.
“Ah Christ Lauren, please don’t, not while I’m—hey come on, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’ll shut up now ok? Put one of your CDs on.”
“You have no idea how hard this is,” wailed Laura. There were long lines of black mascara tracing their way down her cheeks. “You don’t have to tell me he was an rear end in a top hat. I know who he was. But I’m all alone now.”
“Come on, that isn’t true. The whole family is here for you. There’s enough money to put Jeffrey through college.” He turned his eyes off the road to look right at her. “Lauren, I’m here for you.”
She was just sniffling now. The traffic had developed a sluggish forward momentum. The flashing emergency lights of the road crew were visible ahead of them now, and beyond that Eglington Avenue.
“Is that why you were so eager to drive me?” she asked.
“I didn’t want you taking the bus. Not after all this.”
“Your uncle could have driven me.” There was an accusing tone in her voice.
“You seemed pretty happy to take my offer.” Rob was speaking through gritted teeth now. gently caress, it was true, she had been happy. If this was wrong then she was just as guilty as he was.
“That was a mistake.”
“Not the first mistake we’ve made together,” said Rob. Before he was finished speaking he wanted those words back.
Lauren was staring straight out the window.
“I think you had better drop me off at the subway down there,” she said.
“Sure,” said Rob. “You’ve been running away from this for five years. Wouldn’t wanna break that perfect streak now.”
“Why are you doing this?”
“You know why.”
He thought she would cry again but she didn’t. Maybe she was out of tears.
“I love you Lauren. Sorry if that’s inconvenient.”
“It’s very selfish what you’re doing.”
“John doesn’t care. He’s dead. He wouldn’t even care if he was alive.”
The traffic was moving again now. Not fast, but the Allen was never fast in rush hour. They were approaching the site of the accident. The end of the Expressway was another fifty meters. Cars were still slowing down as they passed the site of the wreck, drivers craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the carnage, but there was nothing obstructing the road.
“What about me?” she asked. “What the gently caress am I supposed to do with this information?”
“Say, ‘I love you too.’”
She laughed, or at least that was his best interpretation of her nervous bark. She reached into the glove compartment, removed some tissue, and started fixing her face in the passenger side mirror.
“It was a lovely road trip Rob. It was a lovely summer.” She sounded a lot older than her twenty-seven years. “But it was half a decade ago.”
Five years. It felt like a long time and it felt like nothing at all. What were a mere 1,826 days between friends?
“You said you’d marry me.”
“Christ Rob, we were on shrooms when that happened. We also said we were going to rob a bank and then flee to the Caymens.” She shook her head. “Would you have even wanted to get married?”
“Probably not,” he admitted. “But honestly Lauren, that was the best night of the best summer of my life.”
They pulled off the Allen and onto Eglinton. The traffic rapidly thinned as it was absorbed into the bloodstream of the city. They drove in silence. He turned south onto Bathurst Street.
“Does your mom still live in that apartment off College?” he asked her.
“Yeah,” she said. She was silent for a minute, then: “I had feelings for you too, you know.”
“And it was stupid of me to get back with John again after the trip. I know that now. I’ve known it for a long time.”
“Yeah we’ve all known it. Even my Mom, and she actually liked John.”
“But Jeffrey was the best thing that ever happened to me. And if all my fuckups with John were the price of that, then so be it.”
“Jeffrey is my life now Rob. I don’t think you’ll understand that until you have a kid yourself.” She sighed. It made her sound old. “We really did have something special, I know that. Maybe if I hadn’t gotten pregnant we could have figured it out.”
“Well yeah, there’s that elephant in the room again.”
“You know what I’m talking about.” He said.
“We had sex one time after we got back. You wanna know how often me and John were loving back then?”
“But the dates match up. You told me that yourself right after you found out.”
“I wanted to hurt you. I was angry.”
“Yeah, but it was still true.”
“Does it even matter? I was with John before that trip. I was with John afterwards. He never even knew it happened, we said we’d keep it that way. I can’t base the rest of—Rob, are you crying?”
“What kind of a question is that? Does it matter? It loving matters to me!”
“Pull over, you can’t drive like this.”
He pulled over. The tears hit hard and fast. They left him feeling depleted.
“I’m sorry about that,” he said, after he was finished. “It’s been a weird week.”
“Rob, we’ll always share something. But you don’t love me, and Jeffrey isn’t your son. You just buried your cousin; you need to go home and sleep, OK?”
“Yeah,” he said mechanically. “Ok.”
|# ? Sep 22, 2013 23:19|
Was gonna write a story about a dude who died while trying to save a kid who was drowning in the Black River (the river, not the town, and it actually happened), but it's loving with my head and I'm not doing it.
So basically I'm a giant pussy bitch and strike my name of the list. OG or not, I still gotta toxx next time I want to enter, and I have to enter before I judge again.
|# ? Sep 23, 2013 01:04|
St Andrews - 720 Words
Picture spoilered on syssy's advice.
The streets are old, the stones ancient. Buildings sag under the weight of their own history, looming like crooked trees over the hushed wynds. On mizzling nights, with fog rolled in, the air is thick to breathe down those alleys - the breezy hems of a thousand red ghosts long since departed conspiring together to cloy the air. On rare nights such as this, you may see the city as it once was.
There are conditions. First, there must be not a single soul afoot. The public houses must be emptied and the pavements silent but for the wind’s whisper. The witching hour must have rung out from the chapels, and passage through the streets only beacon to beacon. Your outstretched hands must be invisible to your eyes, and every footfall a test of faith.
You may follow any trail for all will lead you to the cathedral’s carcass. It juts out into the freezing sea, a collapsed monument to a perished religion. Men and women travelled hundreds of miles to a door that subsided into the earth hundreds of years ago, crossing themselves and, in fervent prayer, kissing the knucklebones of St Andrew for their deliverance.
You must enter as a pilgrim would through the ruined arches - on hands and knees. All around you the Catholic follies are absent - long torn down and ruined, the stones cannibalised for more lay purpose. But their skeletons remain, and you walk in the footsteps of Archbishops down the columned nave. Where the transept and choir once stood, there is a tumbledown graveyard where obliterated tombstones and toppled Celtic crosses jut from the ground, ground that families had clamored for, that their loved ones might rest in hallowed earth.
Amidst it all stands the solitary tower of Saint Rule, and you must climb. Humble yourself before your god or conscience before you ascend the steps - recall that the dead outnumber the living, and that you too will join their ranks. Have deference to their unfulfilled wishes and pray not to trample on their memories. Once you traverse the threshold, you may not turn back.
The tower’s peak is high enough that the fog below will seem a milky murk, and the sea a black, featureless expanse. This point was the edge of faith, and its final bastion. Look below the parapet - the city’s lights are vanished. From there remains one final step:
Bite your knuckle, hard enough to draw blood. Bite swiftly and with faith enough to puncture your skin in a single motion. Take a finger to the blood that wells up, and mark St Andrew’s Cross upon the capstone. With the bloody saltire the fog will lift and you may witness a miracle.
The years will shed themselves like a serpent’s skin around you. The night’s colours will become glossy and fresh, and the moon’s light more luminous. And from all around, the stones of the cathedral will return from the city that took them. What happened in between shall decompose and rot backwards. Walls will be rebuilt, arches reform; buttresses shall fly again again. Latin chants that filled the walls will sing out once more and enrich the soul. The red ghosts will flock, and swarm until the cathedral is full to bursting as it once did, the dead devout returning to the seat of their learning.
The beauty of it will burn into you for a lifetime. But soon, too soon, it is over. A black pall settles over and around you, a choking smog - the hateful ash of martyr’s pyres will wash across the city. They shall have their final revenge all over again, the winds of change that fanned the flames of their own extinction will sweep through history as a gale, destroying all. The walls will crumble, the arches tumble; the buttresses be brought back down to earth with the red ghosts all swept away, cast like petals into a storm.
And you will be back, upon the tower, with night, and stillness and fog returned. To a night such as you will never see come to pass again. When you return home, to the warmth of your hearth, beacon to beacon in the mizzling night, you will remember that though the streets are old, the stones are ancient.
Writing this while sleep deprived, not even going to look at it. The red ghosts stuff refers to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undergraduate_gowns_in_Scotland
The picture is 'cos I dunno, like, gently caress this bedtime
Jeza fucked around with this message at 14:53 on Sep 23, 2013
|# ? Sep 23, 2013 01:35|
Making Friends Over Syrup
Monty and Jean stood at the river bank, gazing at the stretch of latticed wood sitting hunched over the water with all the sleekness and grace of a Model T. Monty would have given anything to see some poor sap in cement shoes being nibbled by the guppies, eternally standing on the riverbed. It would have felt so homey.
“Isn’t this just wonderful, Monty? Our first covered bridge!” Jean said.
“Uhn,” grunted Monty.
“I think we should map out the whole state, and see every one they’ve got. Wouldn’t that be a thrill?”
She popped him in the shoulder. “Oh, shut up. I’m sorry this isn’t Florida, okay? Feel any better now? It’s my fault, I said it. The Marshal said there were no more places free in any of the high-profile states, I should have pushed it. But we’re here. Enjoy it, for Christ’s sake.”
“Enjoy it. Enjoy New Hampshire, the deepest crevice in America’s pine-scented armpit? Baby, this ain’t exactly NYC. I gotta take a loving train to get some real Italian food.”
“Maybe so, dear, but a place down the road serves genuine maple syrup with their pancakes, plus maple-glazed ribs. I dare you to find that in Brooklyn.”
Grudgingly, Monty had to admit she had a point.
An hour later, he sat at a corner table in Parker’s, finishing off his second rack of pork ribs drenched in maple. He wasn’t sure how Don Borghese would like ‘em, but figured if the big man had to suffer through a week without linguine he’d take to them pretty quick. Monty leaned over to the next table and snatched a wad of napkins to dab at his face. He heard a shout coming from the kitchen and instinctively reached for his now holster-less ankle. He grumbled and settled for keeping an ear out.
“I’ve been coming here for fifteen goddam years, Bill. I might as well be your best friend. You’re really going to shaft your best friend over twenty bucks?”
“I can’t make exceptions, Jeremy. If this was my house, sure, but I’m running a business. It’s not like this is the first time, either.”
“Oh, screw off,” Jeremy said. “You want me to wash your dishes, tight-rear end? I’ll tell you where you can shove those sticky dishes, and it ain’t gonna be the sink!”
Monty stood and turned to face them. “Beg pardon, gents,” he said. “Is there anything I can help with?”
Jeremy sneered. “Hey, fatty! You feel like helping a guy out? I’ll owe you one, I promise, just look up Jeremy Donaldson if you need a favor.”
“That ain’t how I work, pal,” Monty said. “Where I come from a guy takes care of his debts. He doesn’t whine and piss about how much he hates getting syrup under his fingernails. You’re new to my system, I admit, so I’m giving you another shot. Shut up, put an apron on, and get scrubbing those plates. Capisce?”
Jeremy stood in silence, then reeled back and hocked a gob of spit at Monty’s face. Monty didn’t flinch. The saliva began sliding down his cheek. He wiped it off, eyes never leaving Jeremy’s. Then he sprung forward and drove the heel of his shoe into Jeremy’s foot.
Jeremy yelped and doubled over, clenching his jaw as he curled into the fetal position. Monty was still moving, though, and grabbed the back of Jeremy’s shirt collar in his meaty hand. He pulled Jeremy though the double-doors into the kitchen, casually knocking him into every cabinet they passed. They reached the long trough of a sink, and Monty let go of Jeremy’s collar. He left the man whimpering on the linoleum and went back out the way he came.
Bill caught him at the main entrance. “Hey, thanks a bunch for that. He gets belligerent sometimes, but I’m not the kind of guy that roughs people up.”
“I get the feeling most people around here aren’t. You gonna be able to handle him from here?”
“Sure, sure. He’ll probably still be in shock for a week or two, it’s when he snaps out of it is what I’m worried about. Hey, do you have a job?”
“Nope. Only just moved in. On a fixed income of sorts, but, frankly, not working is boring the hell out of me.”
“How’d you like to run security for me, then? Mostly it’d be a formality, but if we have any other incidents it would certainly be useful to have you. Would give you a chance to chat with the locals, get to know the place.”
Monty extended his hand. “Tell you what,” he said, “keep those baby-back ribs coming and you’ve got a deal.”
|# ? Sep 23, 2013 02:01|
About 1.5 hours left to submit.
|# ? Sep 23, 2013 02:22|
To whom it may concern:
You don't know me, probably never even seen me, but you saved my life.
You were downtown on Pine street on a fall day just like today, only clearer and crisper. I remember the clouds most of all that day, well the clouds and You. They were way up high and the sun was down low on the horizon and the cloud-bellies shined like a puddle of oil or fish scales.
I'd been in a really bad way, never mind why, but it was the sort of day where you look up into the empty spaces between buildings where there's nothing but wind and echoes and want to just live there. You know what I mean? Just be nothing but goddamned nothing, clean and cold.
But I remember the clouds that day because I'd had a dream about clouds like that, and a different MySelf who could look up at those clouds and be happy, and who felt bad for my waking Self but only in that abstract sort of way, like when you hear about six figure death tolls on the news. But so in the dream MySelf was downtown looking up at these clouds and everything was just O.K., people passing around me like a river of smiles, all of us just so dang happy because there was a sky and clouds to fill it and hearts to swell with the beauty of it all.
The morning after the dream as you can probably guess I jumped up and stood on my bed and peeked through the window, so sure that the day was going to be beautiful and O.K.. But it was September in Seattle and that famous grey had come home to roost. The heavy clouds made me think of a man's fat gut drooping down and brushing the tops of the buildings which made me think of a thousand other jagged things. The city is a resigned hooker in the fall and winter, splayed on its back, compliant and muted but only because it's no use to be anything else. And I, well, something about it just broke my mind, that and a few other things, and I’m not too ashamed to tell you that I hurt my Self that day, a little.
The day You saved my life, I was going down to 3rd Ave near the fish market. If you don't know about 3rd Ave, it's really two worlds in one. The first world is full of Macy's shopping bags and clean shoes that try to step around puddles and eyes that are always looking into the distance so that they don't see world #2. The second world on 3rd Ave is for people like me and worse. You can get anything there from dope to sex to blunt wraps to DVDs, basically one-stop shopping for people who aren't wearing the right uniform to be in world #1.
So I was going down there to blow the last of my SSI check and then after that maybe my brains out. I lived in the old El Capitan apartments, that big brick gulag just outside of downtown-proper right next to the Seattle Counseling Service building where I have to go meet with my Recovery Group, except I'd given all that up at that point and figured I'd take that slippery slope all the way, down to the bottom of relentless addiction to anything that shut my brain up for even a little while.
I was there on Pine St., watching my feet carry me down blocks whose numbers got smaller and smaller the closer I got to the bay. My heart was so black with hatred of myself and others that I thought maybe people would see smoke coming out of me.
I looked up. It was just before sunset and the sky had cleared mostly except for some wispy cirrus clouds drifting way up in the clean cold empty. And it isn't enough to say they were shiny or prismatic. These clouds caught the soul of sunlight itself and plucked it apart into all of its constituent colors. I could've started jumping up and down 'cause hell, it was just like my dream and how often does that sort of thing happen? But the people around me, there were no smiles there. Hardly anyone else even looked up.
Then I heard You. Notes fell from your mandolin like sheets of rain falling onto a pond, ripples on ripples on ripples of cascading sound drifting over the din of shoppers and beggars. Almost like it was just for me. I saw You from behind, all wild black hair and lanky limbs, splitting the flow of humanity on the busy sidewalk, motionless except the slight shifting of your arms as your fingers plucked the strings.
But--and I won't kid myself that you knew I was there or anything--as soon as I laid eyes and ears on You, You were off, moving opposite the crowd, almost prancing, everything about You as graceful and exquisite as your song.
And You should know, I could only follow You, for better or worse. Your notes fell faster and faster and You pranced faster and faster and I had to work to keep up with You, to keep hearing your song because it was the only thing more beautiful than that seductive empty nothingness between skyscrapers.
Faster and faster and faster. We were coming up to an intersection; the light was about to change. I was sure I had You then, and You'd be forced to stand still on the corner and play your sublime song for me. But then at the very last moment, You darted out into the street, just inches and half a second ahead of the front bumper of a moving van. And You must've made it to the other side just fine, but when the van had passed You were gone and so was your music.
After I went back to my Recovery Group and tried to tell them what'd happened, tell them about You, no one could understand how some scruffy busker prancing down the street could save a person's life when that person is as low as me. They weren't judgmental, just maybe afraid to believe that sometimes something beautiful can be Enough.
But that day, even though You were gone, I chased the afterglow of your song past 3rd Ave and straight down onto the piers on Elliot Bay, sure I would find You, blind from tears of frustration from losing my grip on a rare moment of unlikely gentleness from the world. Now maybe You know as well as me, there's no place in Seattle like the piers on Elliot Bay, where you can look out over the green-grey of the Puget Sound to the comforting permanence of the Olympic mountains far to the west. And I'm not ashamed to say that I cried right there on the pier, surrounded by carnival music and kids with unseasonal ice cream cones. I don't know if I was crying because I had lost beauty or found it, but the tears themselves were enough to prove to me that I was worth not hurting anymore.
Anyway, I hope You're out there, still, refracting beauty like trapped light in cirrus clouds, bringing other folk like me back from the clean cold empty like you did for my Self.
|# ? Sep 23, 2013 02:58|
River by Night
Two in the morning: three women stand on Selena's Bridge, full of chicken mole and a few drinks each. The river below them stands high in its cement boundaries, dark now, all the ducklings gone to bed, and the night air--almost cool--pulls the scent of tequila from the water. Jolene traces the path a strand of colored lights takes through the boughs of a tree much older than herself. She attempts again to memorize the sequence. Red, green, white, blue. The fifth bulb won't stay in her mind.
"Is a river like a fountain?" she asks her friends. "Throw in a penny and get a wish?"
She's scrabbling in her purse before she's finished the question, and it's just as well: Ellen only shrugs, Rosa only laughs. Jolene brings out three quarters and drops Connecticut's Charter Oak into the depths. It should buy her twenty-five wishes. She'll settle for one. "I wish to be remembered, forever."
Ellen shakes her head when Jolene offers her the remaining coins. Lavender and fuchsia crepe-myrtle petals are stuck in her curly hair. Her motion sends a scrap of each color drifting after Jolene's wish. But Jolene catches her hand and presses the quarters into her palm, so Ellen ticks her thumbnail over their tiny ridges and considers, while her other thumb caresses the head of a plush armadillo from the Five and Dime.
What does she want? Her body is warm and fed. Her armadillo is adorable. Rosa's shoulder presses companionably against hers. Ellen tosses her quarter and says, "I wish for a thousand more nights like this one."
Jolene leans over and kisses her on the lips--mwah! It's play and not desire, but Ellen still tastes salt and lime.
Rosa accepts the last quarter from Ellen, but she thinks of a dead fish she once saw on top of the water, silver as a coin on the backdrop of green. Killed by an errant wish, maybe. She pockets the change and inhales the river's liquor breath. Her lungs fill with moss roses and hummingbirds; her blood is bright with the dream of rain. "I wish for the river," Rosa says, and she smiles.
Kicking off her shoes, she runs down the bridge steps. She sets a foot on the water--then the other--and it holds her, the river holds her, as firm and fine as glass for her, and she spins on its surface as though the others weren't calling her name. Rosa twirls until she stands beneath Jolene's lights: red, green, white, blue, and gold. By the glow, Jolene and Ellen see her sink.
They witness, though neither will speak of it, that no bubbles rise.
Jolene will die visiting the Alamo alone at dawn on precisely the wrong morning; her murderer won't know or care who he kills. But her blood will turn the pale stone red again, and she'll become part of a legend, remembered as long as Texas remembers its history.
For two years, Ellen will avoid San Antonio, wishes, and alcohol. It will be the city that calls her back. She'll go to the I-35 bridge over Camden Street at sunset to see the bat colony fly. As they pass her in their cloud, her body will change, and she'll live a thousand nights on bat wings, well fed and warm and surrounded by companions.
Sometimes Ellen will swoop over the surface of the river. Sometimes Jolene's wraith will wander as far as Selena's Bridge. They will see a familiar smile just under the water, where Rosa will wait for them as long as they all wish.
|# ? Sep 23, 2013 03:06|
Embers of Memory - 851 words
“Don’t look at me that way. There are plenty of other options. We could start going into Petrie or Samford.”
Ruby looked at me vacantly, she had been doing for that for the past hour. I knew she couldn’t judge me, she simply didn’t have the brain power to do so. Yet, I couldn’t shake the feeling she was silently saying ’wuss’. I reached down to pat her on the head. Her soft fur felt good against my fingertips.
The map of Dayboro was huge. It took up half the wall in the living room. Every single building in town was on it, and each one had a big red X upon it. Except for one, the Dayboro Crown Hotel. I felt my heart skip as I traced around the outline of the building.
“Well, the food is going to be spoilt there anyway. No power to the fridge remember?” I pointed to our petrol cans. “Not to mention we don’t need the fuel.”
She sat up and weaved her way through my legs. Head-butting my leg and purring.
“Alright, so the can food probably hasn’t spoiled. But you know I can’t go there. They are there, and I can’t face them. Let alone… you know.”
Ruby purred away at my feet. Apparently taking no heed to my ramblings.
“Some help you are.”
I crouched behind some shrubs. Behind me was the local medical centre, it was the perfect vantage point to scout out the front of the Pub. The windows were still broken. I’m not sure why, but I still expect someone to come fix it. Just like what would have happened before. I took out my binoculars and scanned the pub. All the doors on the building were closed. Something was hanging over the railings. I moved to get a better look.
A decomposing corpse hung over the railings. It was missing it’s head. It’s grey decaying flesh and the black blood surrounding it gave the impression of it hanging over for a long time, but the days where you could be sure were long over. The driveway to the right was clear of corpses.
You’ve done this before, dozens of houses during the worst of the epidemic. My head said be brave, but my guts clenched tight regardless.
I ran across the road and up the small driveway.
The beer garden was deserted. As usual.
As far as I could see, the area was basically untouched. Birds tweeted on the large fig trees, the green grass was waist high and going to seed. Other than leaf litter covering the tables and pavement, the place was almost pristine.
I walked softly past the leaves and down to the back entrance to the Crown. The thick wire door was built solid, hinged on giant metal poles that were driven into the concrete below it. The previous owner had told me it was to keep determined drunks out. To stop them from sneaking into the drink fridges. I chuckled under my breath and took out my leather-man. With the pliers I pulled back the bolt that kept the door shut.
I cringed. The door had squeaked open sharply. Moans emanated from the building. I took a few steps forward and looked inside the hotel and my heart sunk. Two figures were shuffling towards me. A small woman with bleach blonde hair and a larger man, his entrails sagging out where his pot belly used to be.
Tears started to fall down my face. I reached out to the woman with blonde hair, but pulled my hand back before she could bite down.
I turned back and locked the door behind me.
Ruby was lying in the sun. Presumably wating at the front door.
“I left you out,” I croaked, wiping tears away from my eyes. “Sorry”
She followed me in, meowing and carrying on as I walked into the living room. I watched her waltz over to her empty food bowl. The yowling wouldn’t stop until I filled it. But I had something else that needed to be done first. I grabbed one of the fuel cans I left in the living room and walked back out.
“Wait here, okay?”
It was dark by the time I got back home.
Ruby was giving me the dirtiest looks. She had picked up her food bowl and was using it to hit the side of the wall to gain my attention. I took it off her and finally filled it. She purred and ate the food.
I took a small photo off the map of Dayboro and smiled softly to myself. My mum and dad were hugging me outside of our pub. She had dyed her hair blonde for the first time and my dad wasn’t anywhere near as fat as he got. I smiled to myself.
I walked out to out patio and looked out at the horizon. An orange glow was settling into the background, and the smell of ash hit my nostrils. “Goodbye guys,” I said softly. “I love you.”
|# ? Sep 23, 2013 03:19|
Location: Manila, Philippines
Even this far away, Juan could smell the piss-stink of the canals. His fellow officers winced at the smell.
"I knew we were going to tear down this shantytown, but I didn't think it would stink this bad," Marco said. The mayor's men were corralled behind them, baking under the midday sun.
"It's terrible," Juan agreed, though his nose didn't perk up like the others'.
The mayor spoke to their chief with an air of importance. He was dressed for office, the barong failing to hide his plump frame. Santos, the chief, saluted and barked orders for them to form up.
"Listen up. We're going to tear that goddamned barricade down so that the mayor's folks could go on with their cleaning. Maximum tolerance."
Marco snorted. "Sir, did you see them squatters glaring at us? They're ready to go to war."
"Then use your head and bring that shield of yours up," the chief said. "Listen. If any residents get hurt during the relocation, it's going to make the mayor look bad."
"And if we get hurt, sir?" Marco said.
"You're going to let that happen, Marco?"
Marco banged his truncheon on his shield. "No, sir!"
"And for the last time, they're informal settlers. I don't care what you think, but that's what the media calls them."
No one ever believed that term, Juan thought. Least of all the people whose homes were to be destroyed today.
* * *
"This is it, man," Marco said. The barricade loomed. For the sorry lives the inhabitants led, they could band together when their homes were being threatened. Barbed wire was strewn across strips of corrugated metal. Various expletives were spray-painted on sackcloth.
Marco chuckled at the words. "It's not even their land, the bastards."
Juan looked at the men guarding the barricade. Many wrapped t-shirts around their heads, an ill attempt at anonymity. They started throwing rocks, which glanced off the shields. Juan looked for a familiar face among those who called them whoresons. But how would he recognize anyone? There were lines on his face now, earned through years of service. What of their own?
And if he found one, what would he do?
He recognized the nearest shanty. Aling Nena's sari-sari store, where he had gorged on sweet candy as a kid. Back in the day, he bought cheap trading cards to play with his friends. If he squinted, there was still a lighter swinging from a rope, for customers to light their newly-bought smokes.
Aling Nena was ten years dead already, and what looked like her daughter stood in front of the store, a bayong on her shoulder and a kid clutching her hand. No man moved to help her. The boy had to tug her away, a determined look in his eyes.
As Juan's row marched, the mayor's men came with their sledgehammers, tearing down the foundations of the old store.
From roofs above, masked men stood proudly, each one clutching their weapon of choice.
"Here it comes!" Marco called.
The poo poo.
They spun plastic bags in their hands, filled with cocktails of disgusting human waste. Arms hurled. Bags flew, catapulting in the air. Splat. Splat splat splat splat. Juan's men continued on, shields stained in fifty shades of brown. He too had been inoculated by time to the stench. On the ground, a pack of men started running at them with metal pipes studded with nails.
A jet of water sprayed over Juan's head, forcing the charging residents back and collapsing the rest of the barricade. The mayor's fire truck wheeled in, blasting men off the roof. One waste-filled bag ricocheted at its thrower's face. He fell, choking. Resistance withered away.
The riot police advanced. With the mob broken, policemen stepped in, ushering residents away, and apprehending those who raised a hand against them. One of the thugs broke an officer's nose. Two men pinned him to the ground and cuffed him. Broken Nose stamped his boot down the back of the thug's head, returning the favor.
Juan's head swam. The layout of the town had changed. He could no longer recognize most of the houses, which seemed to have gained extra levels since he had left. The shantytown always expanded like a festering wound, even in his time.
An old man appeared out of a side alley. He had a large bolo and fell upon the row. He slammed his blade at Marco, where the shield line was the lowest. It dug into the side of his neck, the blow heightened by rage and loss. Marco sat gently on the filthy ground, a newly-opened smile staining his riot gear with red.
Juan yelled in kind, swinging the truncheon down, down, down. It was only when the old man's head had sufficiently caved in to bring out his sunken eyes that he recognized whom he was beating to death. Then he saw a faded, familiar green door, a woman scrambling outside with the possessions she could save. She had more gray hair than ever before.
The old man who had half of his face fell. Juan's friends trampled him. He would just be another stampede victim after the day was done. One threw the bolo into the nearby creek, where the brown water carried it away, along with the blood.
Everywhere, there was the sound of power shovels clearing shanties.
Santos pulled Juan away from the row. Two of their men dragged Marco away.
"That was one tough bastard," Santos said. "This is off the record, but he got what he deserved."
"Yeah," Juan said, not listening. He was looking for the green door to their home, but couldn't find it anymore.
|# ? Sep 23, 2013 03:29|
Edited to add: Wordcount 1048
A short story set in Wellington
The Honourable James Addington, MP, waddled up to Miss Wigglesworth’s scrupulously tidy desk, planted his feet firmly in front of it and tried to convey sternness with every inch of his diminutive frame. Engrossed in typing, Miss Wigglesworth didn’t appear to notice him behind her monitor and James could feel the authority of the moment slipping away. He slammed a copy of the Dominion Post on her desk. “Look,” he commanded “at that!”
Miss Wigglesworth straightened her posture to peer over her monitor. With one perfectly manicured gesture she unfolded the nespaper to reveal the headline “Ugliest Person in World’s Third Ugliest Building: Your Votes Are In” complete with a photo of James, smiling his famous twisted smile above the caption “Lock up your step-ladders it’s a Gnome Security Alert!”
“Oh, Minister,” said Miss Wigglesworth. “That’s unconscionable.”
“Yes,” said James. “Yes, that’s exactly what it is. Unconscionable. Thank you, Miss Wigglesworth. Unconscionable. To think - that they persist with this scurrilous and completely untrue notion that the Beehive - the Executive Wing of the New Zealand Parliament Buildings, in whose fathomless, circular corridors even now drunken members of the fourth estate are getting lost - is the third ugliest building in the world. I just did a google image search on the topic and there were ten other buildings in front of it. Ten!”
Miss Wigglesworth gave a giggle. “I have heard it described,” she said, “as ‘a slide projector that fell on a wedding cake that fell on a waterwheel.’”
“Not you as well, Miss Wigglesworth? Don’t tell me you have no passion for short, rotund objects of great prestige!” James flashed his least grotesque grin, the one with a hint of a wink.
“Not as such,” said Miss Wigglesworth, arching an eyebrow in mock suspicion. “Though I did think that the best actor in The Lord of the Rings was the Ring.”
“Touché and ouch, Miss Wigglesworth. Well said. You have a gift for wordsmithery, have I ever told you that? I’m surprised you haven’t sold your soul to the press gallery by now.”
“Never, Minister,” said Miss Wigglesworth, and James thought that to her credit she sounded honest. She lifted her fingers from the keyboard. “These were not made to write for the gutter press. I would rather put jellymeat on my hands and pat a Tiger at the zoo.”
“I am completely in love with that description and feel we should celebrate its birth by going out for a drink,” said James, rather faster than he had intended.
Miss Wigglesworth recalled her induction into the secretarial corps, when she had been warned of the dangerous aphrodisiac properties of men in power. She looked again at the photo in the Dominion Post, the flat perspective giving James’s wonky smile an almost inhuman tone on the page that his competent and effervescent personality had no opportunity to conquer. Finally she looked at James, wearing his not-quite-child-size suit with the serious red tie, leaning nonchalantly on her desk with one elbow, giving the same smile, a sad sort of hope in his eyes.
“All right,” she said.
The harbour sky was the colour of newsprint smudged with archaic metaphors. The waterfront wind blew ice on their cheeks as they hurried along the promenade to a bar where journalists weren’t.
“I hope I haven’t interrupted any important work,” said James, not caring in the slightest.
“Not really,” said Miss Wigglesworth. “To be honest, and please don’t let on, but I was working on my novel.”
“Ha Hah! I knew it - you’re too quick to be a secretary for ever. And what does this future literary sensation involve?”
“Well, you know how Mermaids are the new Vampires? Vampires and Werewolves are completely played out, and everybody says Merpeople are the next big thing.”
“Merpeople? Très PC. They don’t prefer Watery New Zealanders or Tangata Moana? But you’re not bandwagon jumping, are you? Surely that would just be Vampires all over again, except replacing exsanguination with, well, with drowning, I suppose.”
“No, I‘m trying to stay ahead of the curve.” Miss Wigglesworth stopped on the footpath, her long, brown hair whipping about her face. “What comes after Merpeople? I read loads of books about Folklore and tried to figure out what made Vampires work - it’s really all about the curse, it makes you empathise with them. It makes you ask: how does someone so … so afflicted live a human life? I went through elves, but there’s so much cheese there already, and goblins lack the human factor. But then I had it!”
“What, what - don’t keep me in suspense.”
James recoiled. “Are you loving kidding me.”
“What? No, I mean, what?”
James turned away from her, walked a few steps and spun round, too short to be caught against the backdrop of the darkening sky. “And what’s this, then?” he asked, arms wide. “Research? Trying to find out how those afflicted with the terrible curse of not being allowed to ride roller-coasters go on dates?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. You looked like you needed a friend.”
“I don’t need that kind of friend. I have to deal with agendas every single hour of every single day. You’d think I could get away from it for a single minute.”
“I don’t have an agenda here. You asked me out, remember? You have no right to get short with me.” Miss Wigglesworth realised what she had just said. “Oh poop.”
Against his better judgement, James found himself laughing. “Did you just make a short comment? And then say ‘poop’?”
James took a deep breath, collected himself. “Don’t worry. Look, I’m sorry. I overreacted. Work stress, God, that’s no excuse, but I’m starting to see potential PR disasters everywhere. Good for you, doing your own thing. Creating something more than a bill for the taxpayer. If you still want that drink, I’m buying. And I am sorry.”
They walked along the promenade until they finally found a place bereft of nosy tabloid hacks. James ambled up to the bar to get a white wine and a beer, while Miss Wigglesworth excused herself to powder her nose. She sat in a stall and noted down dialogue while it was still fresh in her mind.
Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at 04:03 on Sep 23, 2013
|# ? Sep 23, 2013 03:48|
“How about Thai?”
“Not really, not diner food anyway. Look something up, something new?”
“Alright. Before I do though, hey, Brad, man, you having any food thoughts over there?”
“Alright, I'll just google 'local Richmond restaurants' then.”
“Cool, go nuts.”
“You ever been to Kuba Kuba?”
“Yeah, it's good. Nnnnnneh.”
“Don't Look Back?”
“Hipster tacos. That's seriously all they do. What else.”
“Tacos are good.”
“Yeah, they do yummy tacos. What else.”
“Okay, this place has five stars... 'Where It Is,' an ethical, home ready fusion of fried vegan and beard tattoos all on one convenient truck.”
“Bring a treat for our truck cat, Knucklebone!”
“Is that for real?”
“Of course, dude. It has five stars.”
“We should just buy groceries.”
“You think so?”
“Yeah, gently caress it, Brad's right. Let's make something for once.”
The car starts, which is cool, and the drive is easy. We pass nineteen bicycles and four helmets.
“You forgot bikes.”
“In your made up RVA food truck. There should have been 'air for your tires free with every purchase over seven dollars.' Or no, 'included if you remember to tip.'”
“That place was real, dude. It had a tumblr.”
“Yeah well, I think we should make tacos.”
“We could just go get tacos?”
“Tacos. Let's make tacos. Let's go in.”
The inside of Kroger made us squint. We grabbed a basket and took the door towards produce.
“I shoulda given that guy some money.”
“I dunno. It's a weird thing.”
“We're making tacos and that guy doesn't have a bed.”
“gently caress that. Your food truck needs something about ignoring the homeless. And it should sell cupcakes and whimsical beer and all the workers should get payed below minimum wage and have good-looking degrees and be thirty.”
“Yeah, okay. That truck was real though.”
“And they should all have beards! Even the women! And smell bad! And worry about what everyone thinks of them instead of just being alive and updating facebook when they could just-”
A glittering green mist flew towards the ceiling, spreading above us with a loud WHOMP. Colorful light bounced off the floor and hued the vegetables. Geometric chunks of Brad spun violently around us. A sound like wind whipped through our skin; CHILL OUT. THIS IS A FUN CREATIVE LITTLE SLICE OF A CITY SMATTERED WITH TREES AND TRACES OF LIVES LIVED FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS. WE WERE BORN TO DIE HERE, THIS IS OUR PLACE. THE LOCAL MUSIC SCENE IS PRETTY SWEET.
“You chill out Brad, jeez. I was just venting.”
“Yeah dude, two wrongs don't make a right on this one.”
We brush bits of Brad off our clothes and make our way through the panicked crowd to the frozen meats. Behind us, a stinky white girl with a red and white ink owl on her beard soundlessly slips a bottle of wine into her backpack.
Horrible Butts fucked around with this message at 04:00 on Sep 23, 2013
|# ? Sep 23, 2013 03:58|
Snips and Snails
On my way to school, I usually run into old lady Clougherty’s candy store and steal somethin’. I’m too fast, and she can’t catch me. She is always screaming after me that I’m a rotten lil' boy. Today is different though, and I don’t much feel like sweets, so I stomp on her flowers instead.
Boston is a fun city to grow up in as a boy. I jump on the back of trolleys and dodge carriages and horse droppings in the road. Steam rises from the tunnels where the trains make the ground rumble, and in the distance I can see construction on the new buildings that rise high above the ground.
Workers are screamin’ things on the docks that make me laugh, and big ships bob in the harbor loaded with cargo. I chase a three-legged dog tryin’ to kick it, but it scoots under a newspaper stand. “I hope yah dog gets fleas!” I yell at the owner.
I pull my sis’s ponytail on my way into the schoolhouse. Everybody is always tellin’ her she an angel, and I’m goin’ to hell. I ain’t sayin’ it’s a lie, but I ought to have some fun along the way. “Ow Pesky!” she screams at me. “Daddy’s gonna whup your behind.” Everybody calls me Pesky even though my name is Pasquale, and I maintain that I’m just bad because how else is a boy called Pesky supposed to turn out?
In the bathroom one of the other boys has a frog he caught. We take turns poking it in the eyes before flushin’ it down the toilet. We get to the class soon as the bell goes, so we don’t get rapt by the sistah’s.
The lesson is about presidents on account of Roosevelt just dying and all. My dad hated him but I thought he was neat, shootin’ all those animals. I want to learn more, but we move on to talkin’ about Boston history. She’s talkin’ about all the big buildings they have been puttin’ up, and I snicker every time she says the word “erection.”
Sistah Callahan drags me out of class by my ear and takes me to the staff bathroom.
“You got a dirty mind, boy,” she tells me. She grabs a bar of soap and shoves it into my mouth. My two big front teeth scrape of it off, so even after I’m done gagging and spitting, I can still taste it. She doesn’t even let me wash my mouth out with water before she sticks me back in class.
I keep my mouth shut for the rest of the morning. At lunch me and Giuseppe skip school to head to the soda parlor so I can wash my mouth out. I don’t know if it’s the soap leftovers or known’ that my dad is gonna use his belt, but I can’t even take more than two sips of the soda. It tastes too sugary and I spit it out all over the bar. The boy workin’ there chases us out and we laugh.
We go over to the alleyway behind the pub to throw rocks at the bottles there. The bottles stink like bad bread, and the whole alleyway smells like piss. We wrinkle our noses, but don’t leave until every last one of the bottles is shattered. And my teachers say I got no work ethic.
Giuseppe starts turnin’ yellow over skipping school, and decides to go back to the church. “I oughts’ta pop you in the eye!” I yell after him, but he keeps runnin’. Doesn’t make no difference to me. I head on down to the factories where thick, black smoke pours out of tall chimneys. The bitter ash in the air doesn’t bother me today.
I’m sittin’ on a fence, watching the trash float on the harbor, when I hear a popping sound. It sounds like machine gun fire from the war films we watch on Saturdays. The pops are followed by the loudest boom I’ve ever heard. I jump to my feet, and I hear screaming around the corner. I can’t believe my luck at picking a good day to skip school.
I run toward the noise to see what is happening. When I round the corner, I stop dead in my tracks. A wall of brown twenty feet high rushes at me. I turn to run. I am fast: the fastest boy I know. But it’s not fast enough I guess. I get caught up in the wave. It is warm, sticky.
I know how to swim but it doesn’t seem to help. I get sucked down into the fluid and I try to scream. A sweetness fills my mouth. It’s molasses. It’s usually my favorite; I like molasses cookies and little molasses covered chocolates. As it starts running down the back of my throat and filling up my lungs, I can’t help but be upset that I never got to kick that dog.
|# ? Sep 23, 2013 03:58|
Simon came round the corner of the schoolhouse wall and saw Dean sitting crosslegged in the fives court, basking lizardlike in the February sun in his grey school uniform. Just above his head someone had scrawled “Deano bites the weenie with relish” in blue chalk on the breezeblocks.
“Ho,” said Simon, settling down beside him in the sun. “Nice spot.”
Dean didn’t open his eyes. “You bastard. I was having a dream.”
“Yeah?” Simon squinted across the concrete of the wide courtyard. Evan Black and Joe Tamati were tossing a rugby ball back and forth.
“It was truly beautiful. In it, we wagged the last two periods and got really loving stoned at the zoo.”
“But how can we miss Double Physics, Dean?“
Dean unfolded his legs, pushing himself up and off the wall. “Those weights can measure their bastard selves.” He surveyed the quad, blinking. “The inclined planes can help—whoah,” he said as the rugby ball bounced off his shoulder.
“Let’s go,” said Simon.
There was a hot dusty wind down by the bus stop and the streets were empty and watchful. The boys sat in the doorway, unspokenly inconspicuous. A red bus pulled up and they got on.
The bus driver eyed them. “Shouldn’t you be in school?”
Simon held out his bus pass. “We’re contagious.”
“We need to go get our medicine,” agreed Dean.
The playground by the zoo was deserted, a steep path winding up between swings and roundabout. Dean climbed up on top of the slide and extracted his pouch. Simon looked around. Still no-one. His skin felt prickly, and the sun had gone behind a cloud. He shivered, bent to pick up a little round seed pod off the ground. He rolled it around in his palm. “So,” he said, “did you call that chick. Fiona?”
Dean licked the paper closed and flicked his lighter. He drew in the smoke, held out the joint for Simon. Simon clambered up the scratched steel of the slide, took it with one hand and inhaled. A swirl of dope smoke coiled round his head as Dean let out his toke.
“There was … wasn’t anyone home,” said Dean.
“You chickened out?” Simon leaned his head back on Dean’s shoes, held up the joint. Dean took it.
“Yeah. I picked up the phone and dialled the number then put it down. Three times.”
“That is not,” said Simon, “the sort of bravery they would reward in war time.” He rolled the seedpod down the slide, grinned widely as it bounded down the slope and off the end in a perfect arc.
“She’s just so drat… cute. What am I supposed to say?” Dean breathed in and out a few times to oxygenate then took a huge lungful.
“Start speaking in tongues,” said Simon. “Just make up a new language, sort of HULLABALOOLYBOOLYMOOSHIGOOSHI”
Dean’s smile turned into a laugh, turned into a choking, coughing guffaw. He waved an impotent finger at Simon. “Fucker,” he wheezed.
Back home the world was still vibrating with hints of colours and sounds that demanded attention. Simon’s mum was working late. He let himself in. Matty the cat came to greet him with a yowl and he scratched her behind the ears. He kneeled beside her, stroking her, thinking. Then Simon stood up and picked up the phone headset. Dialled the numbers. As it rang he coiled the cord around his finger.
“Hi, Fiona? This is … This is Simon MacIntyre. Yep. Yes. I was, I was wondering if you’d like to come out on Friday. A movie? Ferris Bueller’s supposed to be good? Yeah? Awesome. I’ll see you in Manner’s Mall, sevenish? Okay see you.”
He hung up and stood, motionless, staring at his nail-bitten traitor’s hand.
sebmojo fucked around with this message at 09:31 on Sep 28, 2013
|# ? Sep 23, 2013 03:59|
That does it guys. Time's up!
|# ? Sep 23, 2013 04:09|
My crits are all done: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PYUNcthfhm6EJna2VNoYEpJL8O_k_ag4nw4QqVBRcbw/edit
The other judges have twelve hours to PM me their choices or to get into IRC etc. If they have not contacted me in time I will just decide a winner and loser on my own so that the 'Dome doesn't get delayed. Results will be in by 10PM EST either way.
|# ? Sep 23, 2013 13:46|
Nyarai never showed up so the results shall go on without her.
After deliberation with Mercedes I have mostly over-ridden him and unilaterally chosen the winner: Kaishai
Mercedes' choice for winner and who I will give honorable mention to: Sitting Here
Another person who came extremely close to winning was Jeza
The loser this week, and Mercedes and I agreed here, is ThirdEmperor. I liked this concept and idea a lot more than Mercedes, but we both agreed that the tense shifts were too jarring. Keep trying, ThirdEmperor, because I have seen much shittier loser entries from my time in the Dome. There were a lot of fairly solid middle-of-the-road entries this week and not too much garbage.
Dishonorable mention goes to Horrible Butts for not tagging your dialogue when you really needed to tag it and for having a nonsensical ending that might have almost made sense if you had worked it a little more. You didn't lose because you had some solid humor and social commentary going on here, and your dialogue, untagged or not, was quite charming.
|# ? Sep 23, 2013 23:39|
Strong week, good prompt.
Speaking of which: Kaishai, prompt us up. PROMPTS MUST FLOW
|# ? Sep 24, 2013 00:05|
Thunderdome Week LX: The Case of the Regrettable Entries
Judges: Kaishai, Jeza, and SurreptitiousMuffin.
Never mind judging books by their covers: I'm more intrigued by titles. Who could pass over something called The Spider Sapphire Mystery or Copper Canyon Conspiracy without at least giving it a look? Not I. The Nancy Drew series in particular promises one great adventure after another. Unfortunately, the stories don't always live up to their names.
Your task this week is to write a story inspired by a title from one of these lists. Announce your choice of title when you sign up. With so many options available, I don't want to see any duplicates. You can change your mind at any point before sign-ups close--unless you ask us to pick a title for you, in which case you're stuck with what you're given. The stories can be any genre or none! Mystery is optional! The title must be appropriate for your work, however, so keep that in mind when you decide to turn The Clue in the Old Stagecoach into a rom-com.
If you want to combine multiple titles into an ungodly chimera, you may!
Sign-up deadline: Friday, September 27, 11:59 pm USA Eastern
Submission deadline: Sunday, September 29, 11:59 pm USA Eastern
Maximum word count: 1,300
sebmojo (The Wrong Track)
Mercedes: "Clue in the Camera"
Walamor: "The Whispering Statue"
Lord Windy (The Last Resort)
Chairchucker: "The Riddle of the Ruby Gazelle"
DawnOfMinstrel (Passport to Danger)
ThirdEmperor: "High Stakes: Buried in Time"
FouRPlaY: "The Hidden Staircase"
Fumblemouse: "The Secret of Mirror Bay"
Erogenous Beef: "Evil in Amsterdam: The Wrong Chemistry"
crabrock (Courting Disaster): "Track 2: Topless Hoes on a Cigarette Boat"
docbeard (Wicked for the Weekend)
JonasSalk (Stay Tuned for Danger)
Helsing: "The Secret in the Stars"
Gygaxian: "Murder on the Fourth of July"
M. Propagandalf (Crime in the Queen's Court: Win, Place, or, Die!)
Kaishai fucked around with this message at 14:45 on Nov 5, 2013
|# ? Sep 24, 2013 00:30|
In with THE WRONG TRACK.
|# ? Sep 24, 2013 00:33|
Crits for the past week can be read here as I work on them.
I also allowed it so you can comment or vent at me or whatever. Just so you have an avenue to do so.
I'll jump in this week with Clue in the Camera.
Mercedes fucked around with this message at 01:29 on Sep 24, 2013
|# ? Sep 24, 2013 00:40|
I'M CALLIN YOU OUT
FOR REALS THIS TIME
BRAWL OF THE CENTURY ITT
someone make this happen.
|# ? Sep 24, 2013 01:20|
HA I GRIND YOUR BONES
WHO WILL JUDGE
|# ? Sep 24, 2013 02:01|
God drat does this make me want to extrapolate on Kate Beaton's comics.
|# ? Sep 24, 2013 02:07|
Fun prompt! I'm in with "The Whispering Statue"
|# ? Sep 24, 2013 02:13|
I'm in with 'The Last Resort'
|# ? Sep 24, 2013 04:21|
|# ? Sep 24, 2013 04:39|
I WILL JUDGE!
The battle between Sebmojo and Sitting here that is. If you don't like it, go gently caress yourselves!
Prompt: Powerful women and stilettos.
Due Date: Saturday the 29th, 12PM Australian Eastern Standard time (GMT+10)
|# ? Sep 24, 2013 05:06|
HA I GRIND YOUR BONES
The twin stars of Thunderdome face each other in single combat.
The bloodthirsty crowds will not be satisfied with a single bout of a mere 500 words, no. These gladiators, equally matched in victories, witnessed the birth of Thunderdome.
But so did we.
Kayfabe, yada yada. It's a three-round challenge. Windy is the warm-up, but also the tiebreaker if necessary. Your fellow first-week competitors, myself and Bad Seafood will be your judges for the real competitions, with the assistance of a top secret mystery advisor whose true identity is a secret to all. Even me. Bad Seafood won't tell me who it is.
Prompts and word-counts will be provided when you complete the previous round. All judgments will be withheld in secret until the true victor is decided. get in
|# ? Sep 24, 2013 07:51|
I really won't.
Bad Seafood won't tell me who it is.
|# ? Sep 24, 2013 07:52|
I am in for this week give me a title please KTHX.
|# ? Sep 24, 2013 07:55|
The twin stars of Thunderdome face each other in single combat.
WHAT SAY YOU MOJO
|# ? Sep 24, 2013 07:58|
|# ? Dec 8, 2021 12:18|
I am in for this week give me a title please KTHX.
The Riddle of the Ruby Gazelle. You're welcome!
|# ? Sep 24, 2013 08:01|