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Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


TD Week 34
Prompt: Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Sounds, The Mars Volta https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0XepjKgZEY
Title: In the Night
Words: 1195

Louis sat on the balcony of the lighthouse, wondering if he should throw his half eaten can of beans into the sea. Round and round, in circular fashion, he chewed the pulverized mass in his mouth. It was in that twilight, the eastern sky an ombré of night, and the sanguine sun at his back, Louis could not eat another bite. He went into the inner pocket of his peacoat, pulling a weathered photograph. Creased and browning with age, was a woman, his wife, Linda.

Putting the picture back into the wool pocket, he descended the stairs down. The first room was the pantry, with canned goods and a small hotplate, and further down, past a cot and blanket, and small wardrobe of hand stitched jeans, Louis entered the engine room. Diesel fuel engines powered the lighthouse, mostly the torch and rotary lenses at the top, and the radio and hotplate when Louis needed it. Often Louis would sit all night in front of the radio, swaddled in his threadbare coat and flannel, listening for something more than static from the sea.

Sometimes, he would doze and a familiar voice would come through on the radio. Tears would spring to his eyes.

“Linda? Linda, how are you?”

“Louis, I cannot wait to see you,” she would reply.

“I know,” Louis said, wiping his nose on his sleeve. “Soon, I promise.”

And he would wake, and it would have felt so real. Echoes would chase through his ears of her voice, soft as flower petals and silk.

Louis refilled the diesel engine and cranked it. He glared at the chugging cacophony, his own personal jailer, a remnant of tradition and laziness. Automation had begun to spread throughout the country, and yet this antiquated machine was both his savior and the anchor that kept him bound like poltergeist to the lighthouse.

Stopping at the pantry he looked at the cans, stacks upon stacks. Linda’s favorite meal was a tuna melt on sourdough. Melted swiss, toasted bread, with a little relish mixed in with the mayonnaise, he knew the recipe by heart. He had not made the sandwich for years. Closing the door without removing an item, he went back to the top to stare out at the sea, waiting for no one.

“Ha ha!” Louis said. On the horizon he could see a vessel, large enough for the lights of the boat to reach him. Several miles away, he was not sure just how many, but he waved. Knowing the boat could not see him did not stop him. The vigor of a younger man flowed through Louis, and he knew today had been a good day.

Sitting down, he took out the picture again. A breeze blew through, causing him to pull the black wool closer around him. He hung onto the photo and ran a coarse finger over it. It was dark now, and only the light from the circling lens lit his view, but he knew her smile, and sunflower dress, every wrinkle and crack by heart. And then there was darkness.

Louis bolted upright as the torch and lens dimmed and grinded to a halt. Skipping steps as many as he could without falling, Louis ran. In front of him the engine was grinding on something, and he could feel the heat coming off of it. Louis trembled at the thought of sending his hands into the inner workings of the generator.

Forgetting to breath, he ran to the top of the lighthouse. Closer than before, he could see the ship, and he waved and shouted at it. Louis dragged his fingers through his hair and grabbed as much of its thinning foliage his head would allow.

Back down the steps he ran to the radio. Quickly dialing, and checking hand written notes of frequencies, he called out over. Nothing. Dead.

“Louis, is that you?” Linda’s voice came through the speaker. Louis straightened up. His breath caught in his chest.

“Louis? Can you hear me?”

“Linda, the lighthouse, it’s not working!”

“I know, Louis, you have to fix it. You have to save them.”

“I don’t know what to do!”

Louis breathed in short, labored breaths. In the air was a scent of burning fuel. Louis ran down to the generation and dark smoke was rising from the engine. Back up the stairs he went, as many shirts, and pants as he could. Downstairs he began soaking the clothes in crude fuel, sloshing and splashing the fuel everywhere. Louis tried to shake the light headedness away as fumes filled his nostrils.

Slumped against the winding stairwell, Louis cradled the bundle of soggy clothes in his arms as he got to the top. The ship was closer, but he thought he would still have time. Lining the balcony with the shirts and pants, he drew a lighter from his pocket. Backing down the stairs, he lit a trail of fuel that sent flames shooting up along the railings and roof.

Coughing and spitting he continued his round grabbing more and more clothes, each time he noticed the smoke from the generator growing worse. Weary, he stumbled, kicking over a small drum of fuel, sending ripples under the generator.

He hesitated. Nothing had happened yet, did he have enough time for one more trip, he thought. Finally, he stripped off his jacket, dunking his peacoat into the fuel, he ran back to the top to continue his bonfire.

As he threw the jacket into the inferno at the top of the lighthouse he realized what he had done. Swatting at the flames he tried to retrieve his jacket, but the fuel soaked into his skin and hair began to burn and singe. He threw himself backwards, rolling down the stairs and landing in front of the radio.

“Louis, it’s okay, you’ve done all you can,” Linda said through the radio.

“No, you don’t understand, I have to save you,” Louis sobbed. “I can’t die like this, I can’t, I can’t.”

“Louis, you don’t have to save me, we can still be together.”

More and more smoke came from the engine room, and he knew the fire had started. Standing at the top of the stairwell he saw the entire engine room ablaze, blocking any exit out of the lighthouse. At the top of the lighthouse, the fire still burned into the night. Louis sat, coughing at the radio.

“I’m so sorry Linda, I’m so sorry.”

“Louis, I don’t care where I am, as long as I am with you.”

“I tried, I tried to be good, I thought if I was good, you would be there with me in the end,” Louis said.

“You can’t save everyone,” she said.

Louis began to cry. More and more smoke began to fill the room.

“But it’s all my fault, I was going to take you with me, I just needed more time. I needed more time to be a good man.”

“Louis, you are a good man, you are. I love you Louis.”

“I’m afraid that you won’t be there, that I didn’t do enough.”

“I will be there, I promise.”

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Chewie23
Mar 17, 2013

Damn. It feels good to be a gangster


Inspired and written to this song. It's a Japanese song that is NOT JPOP. It is a Japanese crooner type of song. The linked video has English lyrics.

Just a House
Word count: 1049

“You know, it's funny. It's already been three months,”
“How's that funny, Sam?”
“I don't know. I thought I'd still be an emotional mess. Anyway, the agency is coming in today. They'll call you when they arrive,”
“Alright, sounds good,”
“Are you already there?”
“Yeah, I'm just in front of the house. I'll call you after?”
“Thanks. Talk to you later, Mikey,”

I hung up the phone and looked at the house. I tried not to think about it. But the thoughts just came through.

It's already been three months. Three months since our mom wasted away, with nothing to cover her but thin cotton sheets and a blue half gown. Blue was her favorite color. But she didn't care; her mind was already too far gone. She kept asking for Roberto. Her husband. I couldn't tell her that Roberto left years ago. She just kept smiling at me and would ask if her little Sammy was around.

The service was a blur of handshakes and comforting murmurs. Sam couldn't stop crying. But he pulled through to give the eulogy. He was always in charge, in control. About a month ago, he decided to sell the house. He couldn't imagine living there. And something needed to soften the hospital bills. Selling the house was the easiest thing we could think of.

He kept asking me if I was okay with this. I told him it was just a house. He slowly nodded and just asked me to sign on the dotted line. He took charge of the move too, hiring workers to take everything to a storage unit. I just signed more papers, allowing it all.

But. Am I really okay with letting all this go?


I got out of the car and started to walk around the house.

The house hadn't changed at all. The creaky fence, the cobble stone walk way. The tree in the back.

That's where I broke my arm from the old swing set. Sam dared me to jump off at the highest point. I happily jumped and landed arm first onto-

Something caught my eye. It was a baby blue sweater, lying in the grass. I bent over and picked it up. The movers must have forgotten it. I smiled as I looked at the faded from washer mishaps and general abuse.

College. Mom was so proud with tears in her eyes. I didn't even notice the newspaper wrapped lump she held behind her. She had knitted me a sweater, in between her two jobs. She said just in case Boston got too cold. I remembered that the sweater was too thin, even by California standards. But she worked so hard and-

My phone rang again.

“Hello?”
“Hello? Mr....Trujillo? This is Alexandra, from Home Owners Estate Agency. We spoke earlier,”
“Yes. Hi, how are you?” I walked back to the car and tucked the sweater in the trunk.
“Fine, fine. How are you? You sound a bit under the weather,”
“I'm doing fine,” I swallowed the knot in my throat.
“Okay. I just wanted to let you know I am about five minutes away from the house,”
“Got it. Thanks. See you in a bit,” I closed the trunk.
“See you!”
I hung up the phone.

I went back to the house and opened the door. The inside was missing everything that made it a home.

Just a big empty room. Except that it wasn't just any room. Sam and I would play tag here. Mom would always yell at us not to run around the house.

But it'll be all gone. No more home. Nothing. It'll belong to a stranger. All these memories-

Five minutes til show time. I have to stop thinking about all this. We need the money.


I made a quick scan of the rooms, trying to see if the movers forgot anything else.

“Hello?” a voice came from the door way. I looked up to see the agency woman, holding her pen and clipboard at her side. I walked over and we exchanged the usual pleasantries. Her eyes scanned the room while we talked.

“Okay, Mr. Trujillo, I'm liking everything I see so far. But just a few things to note. One is that these scratches on the floor,” she pointed down with her pen.

I looked at the scratches near the doorway.

That was from when I brought a stray dog in the house. It nearly gave mom a heart attack. It scratched and stumbled to the door while she chased it out with a broom. She spanked me afterwards.

“Oh, that's nothing a little elbow grease and some sanding won't fix,” I laughed, trying not to think about why I could remember the dog so clearly.

She talk about more flaws. Such as the dent on the kitchen wall. That was from baseball practice inside the house. Sam's idea. We both regretted it. Some chipped parts of the wall. Baseball bats falling onto the wall.

“Okay, let's move on,” she walked into the next room. The knot was growing bigger in my throat.
We passed several crayon drawings on the wall. That was when mom was out working and we had nothing to do during summer. So we decided to draw all of our family and friends on the wall. We said it was so we can always see it when we walk by. She was furious at us. Of course we were spanked. But that never did stop us.
“We can wash those out,” I managed to get some words out from the growing knot.

“Okay, Mr. Trujillo, I think if we put a little more work, we can have this place sold pretty quickly!” she beamed.
“Okay, that sounds good,” I tried to smile. Only a corner of my mouth lifted.
“Are you sure you are okay? You seem to be coming down with something,”
“It's just allergies,” I lied.
“Oh, allergies are the worst!” she laughed. I nodded with my half smile.

After some more preparations, she left; I was alone in the house. I felt lonely. Isolated. But I kept telling myself that it was just a house. There shouldn't be any second thoughts. The money was too good. It was...

Just a house I can never come back to.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

That video is blocked in my region.

you guys have something like TWO AND A HALF HOURS LEFT

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at Mar 31, 2013 around 14:11

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

Oh right, whoops. Shoddy hastily thrown together fanfic incoming, oorah.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

Yeah I dunno. Whatever, here it is.

This is the greatest song ever written about our national sport. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3TBPgXrPLc

Clash Strip

“We’re the home team, how come we have to wear the clash jerseys?” Ben was still bare chested. He didn’t plan to put his jersey on until the last minute. With any luck, common sense would prevail and the visitors from down South would be forced to don an alternate strip.

“They don’t have a clash jersey,” said Kieran. “They don’t even have the funding for a home ground. That’s the only reason we’re playing at our ground.”

“Let ‘em go skins,” said Paul. “They can paint the numbers on.”

“You really want to try tackling half naked players?” asked Kieran. “I can tell you from experience that’s a difficult task.”

“Heh. I’m sure you can,” said Paul. “I’m sure you have lots of experience getting hands on with topless men.”

“They went skins last season, dude,” said Ben. “Weren’t you there?”

“Oh.” Paul thought about it for a moment. “Must’ve been that weekend I went up to the coast. How’d we go?”

“Got slaughtered,” said Ben. “It was wet and we couldn’t hold onto them at all.”

“Oh, right.” Paul picked up the clash jersey. “But anyway, did you catch what I was saying about you and topless men, Kieran?”

“Yep,” said Kieran. “It was subtle but I picked up on it.”

“It was a joke about you liking men,” said Paul. “A ‘gay’ joke, if you will.”

“Very witty,” said Kieran. “A regular Oscar Wilde.”

“What I’m saying,” said Paul, “is that you like co-”

“You’re kind of making a big deal of this,” said Ben. “Would that be a problem for you, if he were gay? If I was?”

“What?” said Paul. “Course not. It’s just a joke.”

“Yeah,” said Kieran, “that was a pretty good joke, but you know what was a really good joke? That one where you pissed yourself on field.”

“Get stuffed.”

“And you tried to make out like it was sweat,” said Ben, “but everyone knew what’d gone down.”

“You guys suck,” said Paul. He pulled the jersey on and headed for the locker room’s exit.

“Awww, don’t get dressed already,” said Kieran. “I was enjoying watching your glistening abs.”

“Go to hell.”

“Make sure you stop off at the dunny,” said Ben. Paul gave him a one finger reply as he left. “Seriously though, these jerseys suck,” said Ben, once he’d left.

Kieran shrugged. “Are they not fashionable enough?”

“Because we queers are all about fashion, right?”

Kieran laughed. “I didn’t mean it like that.”

“Yeah, I know.” Ben pulled on the jersey. It itched, and smelled like it hadn’t been washed since its last use. “That tosser just got to me a bit.”

“C’mon, we’d better get out there. Let’s smash South, eh?”

“Yeah,” said Ben. He headed towards the exit. “Yeah, let’s give ‘em hell.”

Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

To the tune of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p6PcFFUm5I

Assisted

I’ve been told to take it all in one gulp. We practised with a plastic wine glass, which I thought was a bit patronising until my trembles made me spill it down my jumper. I thought god, I’ll never live this down, which made me laugh hard enough to spill the rest.

As I hold on to my cup of the real thing my hand takes a surer grip, as though it knows the import of what it’s holding. Surely that’s ridiculous though; if my hand knew what I know about sodium pentobarbital it would throw the cup across the room, and possibly punch the orderly in his stupid sombre face. He’d take it, too – his blank expression matches his white gown in the illusion that he is a piece of equipment. Mum and Dad wait outside, sent away so that they won’t stop me in the act, and the human cup holder waits in here, all so that I can do my part of the process.

“So, are you a doctor?” I was never good with tension.
“Ah, not exactly. I am more of a technician.” His voice has that singsong Swedish quality, like life’s fine and the air is clean, and Good Storage will solve all the world’s problems. gently caress him.
“A technician? Like you fix boilers in the morning, and do this in the afternoon?”
Bastard. He won’t even smile.
“No, just... just this.”
“Just this? So how many have you done today?”
“T-we’re not really supposed to talk about that.” He smoothens his collar like it’s a job interview, like my opinion of him matters in any way.

“Just a job, right?” Despite the pain, I smile as I ask.
“Just a job. Better than telesales.”
“No kidding! That’s why I’m here.”
He gasps, before his sees me grinning.
“Dude, joke.”
“Sorry,” he says. “People are generally a bit more serious.”

There’s a single tree in the garden, strategically placed to be visible from my seat. A young cedar, I think, though it occurs to me that now, I’ll never know, despite Dad’s best efforts to teach me. On the wall by the window there’s a picture of the Milky Way, impossibly big and yet squeezed onto a cheaply framed print. I imagine that if you could magnify that picture, really blow it up over and over then it too would be a picture of that tree, and a picture of me and the jumper and the orderly in his gown and Mum and Dad outside the door in their Sunday best, dressed for a funeral they are uniquely able to predict. The tree and the galaxy sit together like hieroglyphs, a sentence made of objects, forcing their meaning upon me. I clutch at the think strands of wool, grandma’s knit, and I feel like her; sitting at the end point of a narrative someone else started writing two years ago in that GP’s office.

Light catches and pools in the glass, and dances on the face of the orderly.
“Try to be strong,” he says.
And what? I think. But in that liquid, clarity reveals itself.

With a smile, I chuck the poison back. It slides down to its destination, oily and thick. So languid in its travel, as though it has all the time in the world to kill. My throat tickles as I imagine the gentle ice spreading through my body, suffusing the pain, embracing my cells and singing them gently to sleep. Fight’s over. The heart, running for twenty-six years, finally getting its reprieve. Lungs relaxing and deflating and the pain, two years of pain, being satisfied and released. The blazing sine wave that runs through my mind quietening and dying. I can see all these things in that second, and I smile.

The orderly gasps, and Mum and Dad practically fall into the room. Mum gazes at me, her face frozen. I grip the seat tightly enough to tear it off. The orderly opens his mouth to speak-

The Milky Way spins on its faraway axis-

The liquid sinks into the carpet-

“Dad,” I ask.

“That tree...”

Jagermonster
May 7, 2005

Hey - NIZE HAT!


Dayenu
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSfrxV_Kcig)
Word Count: 1235

Thanks to Uncle Avi’s efforts, we had blown through the majority of the Passover Haggadah. It was supposed to be a solemn night, where everyone took turns reading the story of Passover from their photocopied Haggadah, either in Hebrew, phonetically spelled English-Hebrew, or plain old English. But uncle Avi was hungry, and almost half the people at the table weren’t even Jewish.

“Ok, we done, let’s eat,” he’d bark in his thick Israeli accent.

“Read the whole goddamn thing!” Aunt Beth screamed from the kitchen.

Uncle Avi would stare down at the table, running his hands over his bald head, his watch dangling loosely from his wrist, and try to jump ahead a paragraph if the next person around the table wasn’t fast enough in reading their section. Cousin Mark wasn’t fast enough in reading the four questions, and when after only asking, “Why is this night different than all other nights,” Avi jumped in.
“Because it Passover! Let’s eat!”

“Read the whole goddamn thing!” Aunt Beth screamed from the kitchen.

Uncle Avi muttered an obscenity in Hebrew as Aunt Alli excused her son’s slow reading in her thick Long Island accent, “Mahk was always bettah at Mayth.”

And now here we were at Dayenu, the final stretch. We had made it through all the plagues God cast down upon the Egyptians, the Jews had packed up their unleavened bread, and they had high-tailed it out of Egypt. It was time to sing thanks to God and then eat. I glanced at my wife sitting next to me to see how she was holding up. She was flipping back and forth through her Haggadah, furrowed brow, trying to match up the mumbled singing from around the table with a block of phonetically spelled Hebrew. I felt a twinge of guilt for dragging her out to this Long Island circus. It didn’t last long. I had been dragged to my fair share of Christmas and Easter masses with her family.

“Day, dayenu!” the table shout-sang the chorus, the only part they really knew, pronounced “Die, die-ay-new!” Enough, it would have been enough, it means in English. If God had only brought us out of Egypt, that would have been enough.

They launched in to the next section of the song, mumbling and muttering and sputtering about the miracles of parting the Red Sea and sending Manna down from Heaven to sustain the wandering Jews for 40 years in the desert. Then, “Day, dayenu!” Enough! That would have been enough! Finally, He gave us the Torah and brought us to Israel, etc. Although that’s all the song covers, there’s still the final “Day, dayenu!” of course.

“Beth, let me help you with the soup,” Grandma Eleanor said, before even Uncle Avi could turn to the issue of food again.

“Read the whole goddamn thing!” Aunt Beth screamed from the kitchen.

“It done!” Uncle Avi shouted back.

“Let me help you with the soup, Beth,” Grandma Eleanor repeated.

“We’re not doin the soup yet!” Aunt Beth screamed from the kitchen. Aunt Beth appeared in the doorway in a stained apron. “Everybody grab a plate. We’re doin it buffet style.”

Some relatives shuffled off to the kitchen. I waited for the first wave to die down. So did Grandma Eleanor.

“Isn’t this nice, Ben?” Grandma Eleanor asked me. “Being with your family? Seeing everybody?”

“It is, Grandma,” I said. Dayenu. That would have been enough, Grandma.

“But your father,” she continued. “He had to move and take you and your mother across the country. You grew up not even knowing your family! I hope you don’t turn out like him.”

My wife returned to the table with an empty plate. I investigated the first course in the kitchen. Chicken liver. A purplish horseradish-like substance. A cucumber and tomato salad. Mounds of ground-up fishy meal called Gefilte fish. I returned back to the table with my plate covered in chicken liver.

“Try the gefilte fish!” Aunt Beth implored. It looked like regurgitated fish, like something a Jewish bird fed to Jewish baby birds.

“No thanks, I don’t . . . eat that,” I said. I couldn’t think of a polite lie.

I ate the chicken liver, ignoring the chatter around me, only stopping half way through to check on my wife again. She was frowning disapprovingly at me. I looked down at my dark sweater. I inspected my khaki lap. I hadn’t spilled any food.

“That’s very fatty,” she told me. Dayenu. Enough.

I ate the rest of it.

“So, when are you having kids, Jessie?” Aunt Alli asked my wife as Aunt Beth passed around matzo ball soup bowls.
Her husband, Uncle Brian elbowed her. Dayenu. Enough.

“You’re not getting any younger. You and Ben should move out to Long Island by us. Start a family.”
“Not yet, Alli,” I said.

“They kill you with the taxes in the city,” Grandma Eleanor exclaimed. “And they kill you with taxes out here! They’re all crooked, those politicians.” Everyone could agree to that. Dayeun, Grandma. “The Republicans are the worst of all,” she said, pointing at Uncle Brian, her conservative son-in-law. Uncle Brian didn’t rise to the bait. He took his plate and went in to the kitchen.

“How college?” Uncle Avi barked at Cousin Mark.

“It ok. Classes are hard,” Mark replied. Dayenu.

“Classes - who care. How are the girls? You meet lotsa girls? You take them to bed?” Uncle Avi erupted in hoarse laughter.

Mark laughed timidly. “Well yeah. There are lots of parties, and,” he trailed off.

Aunt Beth joined everyone at the table. “There’s brisket and Chinese Chicken set out for after the soup.” She started in to her soup. “How’s work Ben?”

“Busy. I may have to go back to the office after this.” It was true, but I was also planning my exodus from this place. “Plus we couldn’t get a very long rental on our zipcar.” My wife kicked me. Dayenu. I was spouting off too many excuses for an early exit.

“You’re kidding me,” she accused me. “It’s Passover.”

“Well, I’m the low Jew on the totem pole.”

“You people work so much these days. You had to run out early on us on Yom Kippur as well,” she reminded me and my wife. “I tell ya, people work too hard and too much,” she addressed the table.

Uncle Avi shrugged his shoulders, palms up. “Cars need fixing. I fix.”

“Not you. People. Kids. We start burying them in work so early.” She was attempting a segue for some personal work kvetching. “One kid at my school was so sick and tired of all the homework his teacher was dumping on him – I don’t give my students a lot of homework, what’s the point? They hate it and they don’t do it! Anyway, this kid, let me tell you what he did, he threatened the teacher. Physically. In front of everybody!” Great story, Beth. Dayenu. “I wish the kid had done it!” she continued with a laugh. “I would have gotten to go home early!”

After the main course, I reminded everybody I had to leave early to head back to work. “It’s good to see your family. It’s good that we came,” my wife said in the car on the way back. She meant it. And it was, but perhaps seeing them for Yom Kippur would have been enough.

Jagermonster fucked around with this message at Mar 31, 2013 around 16:51

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005

Now, in the quantum moment before the closure, when all become one. One moment left. One point of space and time. I know who you are.

You are destiny.





--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1jYO64l0fM

Safer havens - 534 words

As soon as he falls asleep, he drops the ice axe and I pounce. I barely have enough strength left in me to move a muscle, but it's still enough. I just need to get on top. One arm over his nose and mouth, he's mine. I can't feel the sweat freezing on my exposed arm. Stopped feeling my arms hours ago. He struggles for the axe, but it's too late. Any strength he had left is lost. I'd say he died quickly, but the line is blurred here. He died days ago.

I like his jacket. Fur lining and a hood. I spend days getting it off him, then I realize it's only five minutes. I take bite from my last protein bar. Five bites left.

I leave the gas station. I have to struggle with the door even though it's only an hour since I arrived. Snow up to my ankles. I grab the skis next to the door, wind tears me to ribbons. I don't even know if the jacket helps, can't feel anything anyway. I kneel down and prepare to take off my gloves, realize I left them by the corpse. I laugh and shake my head, feel the dizziness. I sit down for a moment, just a moment.

One more bite. I enter the gas station again. Spot my gloves. Back out, more snow, skis on. The charred sign next to the station says LIFORN. I have a brother in Los Angeles. Last safe haven I know of.

It takes me an hour to realize it's the one I left dead in the station. By then I'm in the suburbs. The houses form uniform lines along the road. A long gate to the city. Windows broken, doors kicked in. The sameness of the suburbs never changed, it's all the same pattern. Same broken windows, all doors kicked in. The snow form lines of mounds where long dead cars lay buried.

I'm not long from home, just down this hill, past that store. I remember running to the store during the winter. Colder weather, mom wanted me to wear a scarf.

I could use a scarf, I could use some shoes. I'm in the doorway now, looking at the empty spot on the wall where the coats used to hang. I remember this place as a warm comfort, I could close the door and I'd be safe. The door hasn't been closed in a year or more. The snow runs down the hall and into the living room, like the outside world puked despair into my home. I wonder why I'm home. My brother said he'd found a gas station, I should go there, he said it it's safe. I could use some new shoes.

I turn around and I'm knocked down. The girl is no more than a wisp of life, but she has more strength than me in cold blue arms. I grab for my knife, realize I left it in my brother's leg.

I'm not sure if I'm dead, the line is blurred. She removes my jacket, it feels like hours but I barely feel a thing. I should find my brother.

Black Griffon fucked around with this message at Mar 31, 2013 around 16:33

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Che Faro Senza
1200 words

Che Faro Senza from Orfeo ed Eurydice

Orpheus wailed his first lament as I saw the crimson glove fall past the opera boxes, fluttering down like a silk leaf in autumn. I stood up. Altogether I'd been planning for this moment, since the night I had contacted the Doctor, for nineteen weeks. It still made my stomach squirm.

I edged my way along the row, apologising to a Miyake-clad socialite as I rustled her pleats. I was dressed impeccably, of course; it was a crucial part of the game. My Olympia stilettos were the finest and least convenient part of my ensemble. I kicked them off as I cleared the seating. A matron looked askance at me and I winked at her, as I strode past her up the aisle, tapping my watch to check timing. 75 seconds to go; ahead of schedule.

I pushed through the Exit doors. An usher opened his mouth to explain I couldn't come back in until the next intermission. I waved my hand at him, clutching my belly with the other.

The nearest toilet was to the right down the lushly carpeted corridor so I turned that way. After sixteen steps I checked behind me to see if he was looking at me; he wasn't. I ducked down the side corridor that led to the emergency stairway and dropped to my knees before the access door. As I pulled the lockpicking kit I ran through the next steps in my head.

"She's guarded," the Doctor had said. "It won't be easy." I'd said something flip in response and he'd just looked at me through his heavy-lidded eyes.

And now I was double-timing it up the winding stairs of the Met, emergency access door behind me and crazy romantic goal somewhere in my future. The textured rubber of the stair treads was cool under my stockinged feet. Three flights, four, five. I stopped at the door to the highest floor. My heart was pounding, not just from the climb. I took a few moments to breathe. Then I touched the card the Doctor had given me to the reader and it blinked green. The door opened with a push.

I'd found out about the Doctor from Jake, a cousin who did Government contracting work during the war. "He's one of those dudes, 'fia bean. Y'know? When people say they know someone who knows someone, he's the second guy. He's the someone." I'd got the number, but I don't think I really meant to use it. But then I'd got the text, from a number I'd thought was dead and gone. One word: "help".

I cracked open the door, peered out. There was a burly type in black DJ and shiny shoes about three metres down the corridor. Bored expression. Hadn't noticed the door open. I eased out my decoy phone, kneeled, and skated along the carpet down the corridor away from him. He still didn't notice. I felt a little bad for him as I let the door close with an almost inaudible clunk, but only a little. He was a guard, he should be noticing this stuff. I was like a mystery shopper, they could take it up with him at his next performance review.

I pulled out my other phone and hit the call button. A few seconds later I heard the phone on the carpet go off, muffled by the door. A shape passed in front of the cloudy glass and I waited, counting breaths. At five I jerked the door open, taser in hand, took three steps and touched the prongs to the guards neck. There was a snap, and a smell of ozone. He jerked and pitched forward, measured his length across the carpet. I picked up my decoy, tucked it away. Looked up and down the corridor; nobody. I checked my watch again.

The door to the opera box opened at a touch, and I saw her. Helena. My love, my long lost, sitting there all forlorn. She had what looked like a Vera Wang gown on, bare pale crimson-nailed hand clasped in her gloved one. I coughed, suddenly at a loss. The multiple ticking timers in my head blurred, vanished. She looked up.

"There is one thing," the Doctor had said at our last meeting, "that you must promise me." I'd waited for him to finish. The Doctor was a tall man, ascetic in appearance. He had a thin black moustache. "Don't look back. You will risk much to get her back, this I know, but she may... Well. Who can say what will happen. But never regret what you do."

"Sophia," she said. Stood, came to me, embraced me. I kissed her. Her lips were cool. I'd imagined this scene so many times, found myself observing it. The missing glove spoiled the look, I thought dispassionately.

I pulled back. "There's... Did you... " I stopped, tongue-tied. "We need to go. There's a guy outside. He'll wake up soon."

Helena inclined her head. I pushed open the door, taser ready, but my inquisitive bodyguard buddy was still stretched out on the carpet. "Down the stairs, love"

She smiled at me, ducked out into the corridor and through the door back to the stairs. As we were descending she put her hand on my shoulder. "Sophia, I need to tell you -" I shook my head. "Save it until we're out. We need to get back to the crowd so we can leave with them, it's the last aria now."

We rounded another stair and I pushed open the access door on the level I'd started at. I could hear Tronfi Amore winding up inside the auditorium and I pulled out my two tickets.

"No, it's... Sophia, I'm having a baby. Eight months."

I stopped, looked at her, shook my head. "You mean his... You're..." I shook my head. "Later. Come with me, do what I do."

The applause started as we pushed our way back in. I snagged the heels from where I'd left them. My mind was whirring as we sat down. I could feel Sophia watching me from the corner of my eye and I started clapping. She followed suit as the cast filed out, did their bows.

"I can't - we can't. We'll have to run," I said into her ear. "You understand that, don't you?". I couldn't tell if she'd heard me. Then she stood up. "My glove!" The glove had fallen at the foot of the stage. She squeezed past the other people in the row as I gaped at her. This wasn't in the plan. Other people were getting out of their seats, the first drops of water in the flood I wanted to escape in. I jammed my feet in my stupid expensive shoes, stumbled after her. It was too late, there were too many people.

Helpless, I saw her reach the glove, bend down for it, pick it up, look at me with an expression I couldn't read. Then I saw him, sepulchral in black. He stretched out his arm to her. She looked at him for a long while, then took it.

dreadmojo fucked around with this message at Apr 19, 2013 around 13:19

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Was there a flash rule that I missed that said you must use the word "cacophony"?

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

It'd be magical if ESB and toanoradian joined us

Anyway, I've got the short list handy and I'm going to start posting crits. I haven't heard back from the other judges, so some of you may be spared. One of you is going to lose.


Symptomless Coma
Rather Watch Them
Pug Wearing a Hat
Nikaer Draekin
SpaceGodzilla
Jagermonster
Cancercakes
Chewie23
Khris Kruel
CantDecideOnAName
Noah

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

Khris Kruel posted:


I would have titled this work VAMBRACES AT SEA.

You should really just poo poo or get off the pot. I can’t decided if these characters are supposed to be gritty and real, or if they’re mythical warriors. A lot of action here, but nothing happening. The scenes turn into a mess, you describe things you shouldn’t and leave important things to the imagination. In the beginning you let us know in painful, laborious detail what the characters are wearing – but at your most important point in the story you go dagger out of nowhere instead of…y’know, tying it into the clothing thing.
I didn't get the wooden sword thing. The action was boring and clumsy. There’s a core of salvageable material here but it’s going to need some work. Good effort, though, and I legitimately enjoyed the song and video as a prelude to your story. A word of caution, though I’m not sure the story would have been the same if I wasn’t ‘primed’ for it. Rework it, cut it down, take it to the farm.


Let's play Duck-Duck-Goose with tenses!
Lena shivered in the sea air. Another wave threatened to soak her again. The boat rolled down a steep wave.Duck! She held tightly to the small mast as the sea water soaked her green cloth pantaloons and rabbit fur vambraces. DUCK! - you're really going to start off with this, really? It's like a setup for a medieval fashion show, featuring VAMBRACES It will matter little.GOOSE! you lose at tenses! Her rough leather cuirass will hold against her sister’s attacks. ah yes, the rough leather cuirass you pick up in the first quest, to be replaced by the smooth leather cuirass at level 5. Also: queer rear end

Lena looked behind her to the small boat chasing her.too many instances of her She could see the ten men working swiftly to move the boat into position. so much looking Her sister locked eyes with her. Rama bowed irrespectively in her tightly fitted battle-maiden dress. The leather fit her firm torso and thighs with stone lines around her body to stop any slashing attacks. though she's got a -3 to crushing attacks and suffers from a weak defense against Cold spellsHer arms were covered in the fur of some unknown animal. Lena’s sister always dressed elaborately for murdering siblings.

Lena signaled for the sails to stop. The men cut the sails while Lena swiftly sliced through the mast. how the gently caress do you slice through a mast? There was no retreat. The men dived into the sea. dove? Why did they dived? She was alone. She faced her sister with their slave-brothers. Let them come.

The silhouettes jumping through the air were betrayed by the lightning striking the sea in the far distance. ah yes, betrayed silhouettes and a far distance, not a near distance. Good work Lena ducked through their jumping attack onto her boat and swiftly sliced through the first slave-brother’s bare chest. Red viscous fluidcould it be blood!? I HOPE IT'S NOT BLOOD damped her blue silk sash around her waist as she carved through the screaming male.good thing you said the brother was male, but only after telling us about the sash for no reason Their wooden daggers would not find purchase.

The slave-brothers came en masse. She stepped over the slain one, noticing his loin cloth had slipped off. Nothing but the best for her sister, Lena thought. You would think in this freezing rain they would have some other piece of clothing. Two struck out with their wooden daggers and fierce eyes. Lena just smiled as she sliced their hands off. They dove into the sea in fear. the hands dove into the sea?

“Sister. I did not know you so fiercely desired our throne,” Rama said seductively, walking past the slave-brothers into sight. Lena held her battle posture, gold circlet falling slightly over her eye.

“I survive to see you stay forever as princess, sister. All of Glaima will suffer at your hands. I will die before I let you ascend,” Lena shouted.

Rama squinted and smiled. She pulled a sword off her back. Lena noticed the water falling off her fur gauntlets and dampening her goose skin boots. She would not be as mobile as normal in this rain. CHARACTER SUFFERS -3 TO MOBILITY. MODIFIERS: ROUGH SEAS, WATER

Lena struck first. She took two steps and slipped her right dagger along her wrist while thrusting to the side with her left. jesus this is obtuse. Tell me what's going on not how many degrees her arms move. I'm not a loving autist Let her attack my torso. people think like this in the heat of battle, yessir Rama snapped the sword upward in her center and took a step backward. The slave-brothers jumped into Lena’s path. With Lena’s last step, she spun herself, slicing through the wooden daggers in her way.

Two slave-brothers lost their head I dare you to show me someone cutting off two heads in one swing to Lena’s athletic force as Rama burst forward. While spinning, Lena used her momentum and Rama’s attack to push herself upside down into the air, over Rama, as the sword entered an unfortunate slave. Rama’s puzzled look turned to shock as she realized her mistake. Lena took her hair.

Three slaves remained. Rama clutched furiously at her bloody stump of a head. So she's like this costume of Marie Antoinette? The slave brothers kneeled. Lena laughed as she presented the five feet of hair removed from Rama’s head. I was going to let this slide at first, but five feet of hair is actually balls out retarded on a warrior. The blue ribbon holding it together came apart. The hair was claimed by the wind and blew out to sea. beautiful animu sequenceuuuu~~~

“You…Monster…” Rama screamed, every ounce of her flesh shuddering. The slave-brothers did not move. They served Lena now.

“Come, my sister. Let us see what cruel fate is in store for you,” Lena whispered, winking at her sister.

Rama screamed in rage and pedaled as hard I'm on a bike, motherfucka, I'm on a bike! as she could across the small boat. Her sword angled toward Lena and began to slash easily across the middle. Lena burst forward at the moment Rama was in the air between steps. Lena sliced the sword to the side and worked herself inside Rama’s defense. With a kiss on Rama’s cheek, the dagger pierced her soft silk dress and chest.

They both fell to the deck together. Lena dug the hilt of the dagger as far into Rama’s chest as possible. Rama coughed blood onto Lena’s dark emerald amulet. She cried out in agony before opening her eyes again. “My dear sister, it didn’t have to end like this,” Lena said softly, twisting the dagger through the leather sword holster on Rama’s back.

This has seriously been the most boring action sequence ever. Clean up your swordplay, give us some sort of tension, stop micro-explaining every last movement. A swordfight at sea between siblings should keep me on the edge of my seat. I should be rooting for someone. I really, really don't care about anyone or anything after reading this.

Rama sputtered blood and shook uncontrollably. Her tears and life slowly drained from her face. “Lena, I have one final request,” she stuttered. Her breathing turned to rasping.

Lena watched her sister’s eyes revert to her younger self. When they laughed and played together. This was her last family. She would be alone from here on out, even if her sister was a murderous psychopath. She leaned in closer, lifting her hand from the hilt of the dagger. “Yes, my sister. What is your request?” she whispered into Rama’s ear.

It slipped past her purple cloak, through her silk undershirt, and into her lung. No more breath. The dagger Rama had kept hidden. PERHAPS IT WAS HIDDEN... IN SOME CLOTHING!? With every single ounce of strength left, Lena had been stabbed in the back. “Die with me, dear, sister,” Rama whispered. Lena gasped for air. There was only blood inside her lungs. They stared into each other’s eyes one last time. Rama stopped gasping. She moved no more.

Lena tried to reach behind her. She could not find the blade in her back. She fell off Rama to attempt to dislodge the perturbed weapon. It only drove it farther in. She lost the strength to move. Her eyelids became heavy. She felt no pain. She thought she would feel pain in her last moments. There was only light.

Rather Watch Them posted:

I really, really tried not to judge the pieces based on my opinion of the song. Honest. However, after immersing myself in your pile of turds, I came out having gained fifty pounds and sporting a neckbeard. Video game tunes and the prom? A SERIOUS piece about video games and the prom? You gotta be making GBS threads me.

A Young Man In Control (1042 words)

He wants to move the moon.

Like many romantic male leads, Sam wants the scene to be perfect. The location is suitable: in the open air of the patio, away from those grinding delinquents inside the meeting hall where his senior prom is supposed to be. He made sure to put on a silky baby blue tie in case she noticed, which she did. He wore his nicest black and white suit and wanted a little coordination with his date.

There's so much telling here and it's all terrible.

Uncomfortable as it may have been, Sam observed Lily at school: eavesdropping on her conversations, being in the right place to walk her path, and keeping note of the interactions in his sketch pad. He didn't dare let his portraits reach the public eyes--the dignity he has left is well intact--but his mind kept a vast repository of faces for him to put to paper in his room nights when he was cut off from everyday mental clout. He's a loving creeper and a giant turd. I have no sympathy for him.

There he would draw her once or twice a week, trying to perfectly encapsulate what makes a Lily. Should her hair be let down to fall over her shoulders or tied into a bun? Should her blouse be yellow or blue? Sam took the direction of his personal freeze frame and printed it with such detail that he almost felt ashamed to be creating this vestige for his eyes only. this could be okay, I guess, if everything else didn't stink

That was why, for the first time, the illustration that came closest to perfection by that Saturday night is in the back right pocket of his slacks, ready to present to her as soon as she comes down the staircase to meet him. This is going to be the night Sam makes his feelings known.

But t his isn't how he pictured it at all. Nature commanded tonight to be cloudy with no moon in sight.PATHETIC FALLACY SPOTTED It rained recently, making the metal furniture wet in order to leave no dry spot to sit and discuss Sam's drawing after his and Lily's first passionate embrace. The situation is making him want to lasso the moon and drag it out of the clouds for the spectacle of their first kiss.

Lily is in the restroom, quickly checking her makeup and hair. Are her roots showing through the blonde bun on her head? Is her baby blue strapless dress exposing too much? How much of the matching nail polish has chipped off since dinner? She doesn't want to make a bad impression on Sam. After all, he's starting to blossom into his own despite his social setbacks, and even those can be fixed by having a prom date. GLAD YOU'RE TELLING US, BRO Otherwise she wouldn't have asked him in the first place. He did come through with a ride to the hall and offered to pay the bill at that Italian restaurant. He might not be the silent creep other boys have been calling him. No, I'm pretty sure the other boys are totally right.

Lily exits the restroom and steps outside onto the staircase where Sam is eagerly waiting for the scene to play as he envisioned it.

Enter Lily on top level. She smiles warmly noticing me and proceeds downstairs. I watch breathlessly. We meet near the staircase, one pace apart. I offer for the two of us to dance to the muffled ballad. She accepts my hand and we take position, my hands on her waist and hers on my shoulders. Enter a different typeface. It dawns on us, the simple beasts we are, that the author is attempting to show us an alternate reality. The master of subtlety meets us, rubs poo poo into our eyes and farts before disappearing.

So it proceeds with the two of them. It is during this ritual that Sam's moon breaks through the clouds to shine on them. This is as perfect as he can make it. At least, until Sam thinks about the many ways that this moment could be more perfect.

Blue just isn't her color.
I can tell she's not a blonde, so why hide it?
I don't understand why she can't wear her hair down like she usually does.
Where are her glasses? Her eyes just aren't as dark without glasses.
I don't know about that tan. It seems unhealthy.

This comes out of nowhere, with stronger characterization this could be the moment Sam turns into a man, or something. Maybe he's finally meeting up with the reality outside of his head? Maybe it's just more italic text. Who knows!

While Sam distracts himself with his mind's eye and a hand down his pants, Lily steps closer to break the distance between them, each hand on a half of his back, her head resting on his shoulder. There he could gently step her back and go in for the kiss, but he's much too occupied to try that. She sustains her patience, eyes on the ground to count red bricks and make sure not to step on his feet or the end of her purple dress.

Lily examines her deep purple nail polish for any wear. She removes her glasses and observes them up-close for scratches, occasionally sweeping her dark brown bangs out from in front of her eyes. She marvels at the way her skin has faded from the cold of night. more boring telling

Lily plants an arm on Sam's chest and separates the pair. The time right, Sam timidly remarks, “I have something to show you.” He removes the folded sheet of paper from his back pocket, unravels it and reveals it to date. THE SHADING ON YOUR UPPER LIP She grasps the drawing between her purple fingernails and examines it--a blonde woman with blue eyes in a blue dress. Lily's eyes widen, her jaw becomes more heavy, and the paper slips down between her pale fingers.

Sam notices her strife and asks Lily, “Is something wrong?”

This reminder makes her tighten her grip on the portrait to the point of creasing the page, and alternate her vision between this woman and Sam's dumbfound expression. With each pass the glimmer on the purple thumbnail grasping the page grows more and more jarring. Finally she thrusts the sketch into the heart of its creator and runs off as best as she can, up the stairs and out of his sight.

Sam watches her go, flabbergasted by her reaction. Is this what all girls feel when presented something like this? He releases a stuttered sigh and flips the drawing back to face him. He thought he had perfected it: Lily's beautiful brown eyes and hair, her silky purple dress and fingernails, all set against her radiant pale skin. radiant AND pale? Someone call Meyer, we've got the next Twilight brewing!

These passages were completely devoid of feeling.
After a brief deliberation Sam slips the paper back into his pocket, adjusts his deep purple tie, and chalks up another failure to find the girl of his dreams as he walks back into the meeting hall alone. And we conclude our adventures in the passive voice. Tune in next week for "awkward boy goes to the store with his mom"

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at Apr 1, 2013 around 03:21

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

pug wearing a hat posted:

Seeds - 693 words

This is just shy of 700 words, but seems longer by an eternity. Nothing happens. The dialogue is flat for the most part. You really have to work on creating tension and characterization beyond flat stereotypes. There's not much more to say.

Perrie kinda hated this bar but it was Harmony’s bachelorette party so she really didn’t have a say in the matter. Sure, it was loud and trashy, and the cigarette smoke made her queasy, but it was good to be out of the house and away from her mom for a while.

“That guy’s cute,” Harmony yelled like two inches from Perrie’s ear.

“What?”

“I said, that guy’s cute.” Harmony gestured with her vodka tonic.

“That guy’s shoes? I guess they’re okay.”

Harmony laughed, resting her hand on Perrie’s shoulder. That was another thing Perrie hated, how touchy-feely she was. Goddamn just let a girl have her space, y’know?

Perrie took a closer look at him. He wasn’t half-bad. Kinda greasy looking. does she have really low standards or what? Slicked-back black hair, wearing a tight black T-shirt. He was ripped. He was leaning against the jukebox (this place actually had a jukebox) (who still has those anymore). double parentheses? Are you loving kidding me? If your voice was more confident, if you really took this like a tongue-in-cheek throwback or a parody, this could work. Currently, it sucks Normally Perrie preferred skinny guys in skinny jeans, but there was something alluring about this guy.


“I think I’m gonna talk to him.”

“Oh my god! Do it!” Harmony’s shrill, ear-piercing laugh cut through the crowd noise. She yelled something about how they were meant to be, but Perrie couldn’t really hear, couldn’t really care.

Perrie made her way through the crowd, her purse clutched close to her chest, until she made it to the jukebox. She cleared her throat. “Hey, uh. You must be a parking ticket. Cause you're the only ten I see.” gently caress!

He looked up. “What?”

“Oh god, I’m sorry. I said it wrong. I’m gonna go back over there for a while...”

“No, no! Don’t worry about it. That was funny.” He put down his rum and coke and extended his hand. “Name’s Hank.”

“Perrie.” She shook his hand and sat across from him.

“That’s a nice, firm handshake. Usually girls are a lot weaker than that.”CHECK UR PRIVILEGE, MALE SCUM

“You shaking hands with a lot of girls?”

“Well, I try to be a gentlemen. You saying I should go straight for the kiss first thing?”

Yeah. “No.”

“All right then.” He took a sip from his glass. “I like that shirt, by the way.”

“Oh, this old thing?” Perrie pulled at the threadbare Röyksopp shirt she’d stolen from her stepbrother. “Yeah, I saw them live once. It was cool.”

“Cool. I’m not a big fan of them myself. But it fits you drat good.”

(Perrie didn’t like them either. But drat if that shirt didn’t make her look nice.)

Hank cleared his throat and stood up. “Well, I should go.”

“No, no!” Perrie tugged at his shirt. His tight, tight shirt. “C’mon, tell me.”

“Tell you what?”

“Well, what did I do wrong?” the gently caress is wrong with these people?

“Nothing.” Hank took another swig. “You’re perfect. I just didn’t want to monopolize your time. A pretty girl like you, you got your pick of any guy here.” This week in Thunderdome: PUA pickup tricks!

Perrie blushed. She didn’t really know what to say without sounding like an egotistical bitch, so she just leaned over and kissed him. She was a bit out of practice but he seemed pleased. What you lack in technique, you can always make up for in enthusiasm.

She was never one of those girls who believed in true love, a knight in shining armor. But feeling his strong arms wrapped around her made her think that maybe true love could be out there. His armor might just be a little dirtier than you’d expect. perhaps his vambraces are sullied?

Perrie felt her phone go off. One new text from Harmony.

hey, i see u 2 are hitting it off, we’ll see u at the hotel, be safe <3 maya says to wrap it before you tap it!

“Who’s that?” Hank asked. “Everything okay?”

“Nothing. My cousin. They’re going home early, looks like. I may need a ride home.”

“Sure. We can sober up at my place for a while. Then I’ll drive you home.”

“Sounds great.”

“Let me buy you a drink."

“Oh, that’s all right. I’ve had quite a few already.”

“No, no, it’s on me. What do you want?”

“Whatever you want.”

Hank ordered one pomegranate martini for the road. I feel as though dialogue should convey some sort of information, something we didn't know before. I could be wrong, and maybe it's just supposed to meander until the story reaches the word limit. The writing isn't technically bad, the characters actually have different voices (but they are all terrible stereotypes) and I kind of almost care. Keep at it!




Nikaer Drekin posted:


Technically good writing. The story is a little long and could use more edits. My biggest issue is the sloppiness of the period writing. I'm not saying you're doing it poorly, I'm saying it's hard and you need a little more practice. It's actually a really decent period piece, but you flub some details and it really ruins the scene(s). If you did a bit of research, maybe rounded out the main character as a man of taste who could explain to us exactly what he's seeing - what the bar is made of, the ornate decorations, the exact kind of things people are wearing - it would add immensely to the immersion. You've almost got it, and if the story was a tad tighter and the broken things were fixed, you'd have a really strong work. I really recommend you hit the fiction farm.

Brandy and Death- 1,191 words


While Griswold had dreamed up the curious notion that it would be a fine idea for me to accompany him to the grand ball, he was not blessed with any ideas regarding what to do with me once there.For a moment I was excited. It's not often that we have a decent period piece in TD. He left me drifting in a sea of black-tie blowhards and right here you crushed my hopes and dreams and their dates without even having the courtesy to point out the barman’s coordinates. You're flipping in and out of period lingo like WOAH My borrowed shirt, over-starched, rasped against my skin and the old tux pinched at my joints whenever I had the audacity to move. To my secret pride and Griswold’s shame I went with a clip-on black bow tie. I would not tolerate even a figurative noose this evening.

Over in the north-west corner a string quartet droned out a wailing waltz, suspending the aristocrats in a fog of stodgy romance. Underwhelming as the party may have been, I was impressed by the space it occupied. Not even the Viennese ballroom itself, its marble walls etched with gold and draped in red silk tapestries, but the sheer size and scale of the place. A party of giants could manage comfortably in the space with still enough headroom for a top hat. Now here's a thought, what if instead of wasting all these words, you dropped us right into a grand ballroom from the get go? What if you showed me this place, this grand, baroque hall full of wealthy dancers, and had me captivated by it? No? That's okay too I guess.

I ascended the carpeted steps to get a wide view of the place. At the top I leaned over the gilded railing and took in the sights of the dance below, the partners shimmering and sashaying, their fancy dark regalia speckling across the pale floor of the hall. I scanned the edge of the vast space until I spotted the bar on the side of the room furthest from the way I came in. It's un-loving-believable it took you this long to say "i looked for the bar and found it" The bartender’s face stood out as a dot of cream against the forest-green backdrop of the bar area. Bar area, yes, hmmph, quite the atmosphere builder I made my way down the steps and began the journey through the mass of revelers. GRISWOLD CLIMB STEPS UP. GRISWOLD CLIMB STEPS DOWN.

Just as I stepped into their midst the waltz struck me. like a pimp slap or what? Time appeared to slow, and each couple drifted around me, somehow both self-absorbed and aware of the crowd as a whole. appeared to slow should be punishable by death They moved in perfect synchronization, at least as far as I could tell. this last bit ruins the image. Either something is one way, or it isn't. Let the reader decide if it's ambiguous Clockwork could not have been smoother. Still, their bodies formed the walls of an intricate, shifting maze and I soon lost my bearing.

Then I was swept away. I lost control over my movements and immediately poo poo my pantaloons, the liquid mess staining my vambraces the instant that she stepped in. I suppose in a way it was a collision, the two of us meeting, but as the same time it is impossible for me to imagine anything gentler. I suppose in a way, this was a sentence, but at the same time my brain leaked out my ear My hand slid into hers, and we each clasped the other’s waist. It was not until this had already occurred that I truly looked at my partner. stilted as gently caress

Her face was lovely- small but framed gently and exquisitely by lush brown hair. not sure if you should tell us it was lovely, or just describe it. Could be a matter of voice and style, but I don't like it. Her eyes, crystal blue, were drawn into mine and held tight as if by an intense magnetic pull. She was clearly as surprised as I was by our meeting, and a corner of her mouth turned up in a wry, quizzical smile. I simply took everything in. She owned my soul in a moment.

Her dress and her form coalesced, each playing an airy game of back-and-forth with the other. The gray, gentle garment was not so much “worn” as it merely “happened.” Nothing could have been more natural, and I finally understood why women wear dresses like these. I imagine that they desire, perhaps subconsciously, the simple elegance and perfect union with grace that this girl achieved without effort. My hand rested against the silk. Its feel was akin to a slim, dense layer of clouds. One gentle but steady push through and I would reach paradise. I like this, this is good.

Partway through the dance—time had ceased existing to me, the dance could have lasted for a minute or for several hours by that point, who could care—I realized that I was not flowing aimlessly in space but moving towards a destination. Our eyes still held tight. The richest romance crackled through the conduit of our gaze and I knew that the sweetest ruin lay at the end of this path. Still we kept gliding, gliding, though not towards oblivion. My death was to be a limping, cognizant state that harbors a dull sting and a wild ache. When things come together, they really work. It's so close to being a working period piece but the errors are so jarring it ruins it for me.

Then it ended. The waltz died down and I found myself at the edge of the crowd facing outward, the barman only a few yards away. I know the style is naturally purple, but some things are almost redundant. Do I need to know he's facing outward? probably not. Just drop it and tell us about the barman. Just as naturally as she first joined me, the girl melted away and vanished entirely from view. I stumbled to the bar, sat down, called for a brandy. The bartender poured and I put the glass to my lips.

After my first sip of the drink I knew I had to find her again. Belief in some kind force of destiny was something I’d always relegated to simple cowards, but now I longed to find such faith myself. A lot of my issues stemmed from reading things like 'coordinates' and 'magnets' in a period piece, not knowing the prot was a man of science. This sentence clears it up, but it comes too late. Some insights into his line of work or something, maybe some conversation with someone instead of idle stair-climbing could fix this. Perhaps if the girl and I had met over a polite dinner my pull towards her would not have been so strong, but the waltz we shared was so perfect, so transcendent.

I slapped the glass on the bar and dashed back to the crowd of revelers. the word doesn't do it for me. You say they're stodgy old folks but then they're also revelers? Iunno, could be me but I'd love a different word. Maybe just say "dashed back into the crowd" The quartet struck up a new waltz, this one quick, shrieking against my nerves. I jostled couples to the side, resenting them for taking up space between me and her. The maze of human bodies once again consumed me, but this time had the force of passion to drive me.

I wished desperately for a moment that this ball had been a masked occasion—I knew the Viennese would be able to put a face to my outlandish rudeness and mark me as one to shun from future social functions. However, I realized that, had she been masked, I would not have been able to properly see my partner’s radiant face. My regrets fell away at once.

I burst through the crowd at the far side of the ballroom. I saw her, in the entrance hall, standing beside a tall gentleman with auburn hair and mild lips. I get the feeling the prot is far away, but he's noticing lips? He stood with his back straight, and she leaned on him as if his steady form was a marble column supporting a sacred temple. She stretched upwards toward his light face, he bent down out of courtesy, and it was then that a crowd of cackling socialites passed right in front of me. As to whether she leaned up to kiss his cheek, whisper a vital secret, or mock some innocent fool she pandered to with a fleeting dance—I never discovered the truth. When the crowd that divided us dissipated, my girl and her manreferring to a delicate flower of high society as a 'girl' would make the prot a lout and a scoundrel were on their way out the door, arm in arm.

I sat feeling empty and cheated at the bar until Griswold finished hobnobbing. I drank less than I expected—I knew it wouldn’t do any real good. Mostly I thought and regretted, all the while knowing how useless it was to dwell. Griswold finally emerged from his elite fantasyland to collect me and asked if I had made much of the evening, asked with a rakish smile whether or not my social horizons had been expanded.

“Yes,” I said. “In ways I couldn’t have anticipated.”

SpaceGodzilla posted:


This could have worked at like 2/3 of the word count. Somehow you totally drop the ball at first, but the end is actually pretty cool. I really dug the vignette and how it played into the song and boy howdy it was some dark Americana. Your choice of clothing was good, it was a critical part of the story line and the description actually fit the story. It served a purpose. You should feel good. You're probably not going to lose, but you're not going to win either. I really think you could have something cool if you work on that weird folklore thing you have going on. There's some neat symbolism, the dialogue is good but there's no conflict. There's a resolution, sure, but no tension. Work on characterization, pacing, exposition.

Wild Haunt - Words: 928

Last night under the 9th St. overpass (the one that’s been a week from demolition for a couple dozen years), could be a stylistic choice, but parentheses in the opening paragraph bothers me. There's no reason for it, the tone of the piece isn't established so how are you changing it already? the rats and the dwellers saw a strange sort of fellow. Getting to this point, you could have dropped the parentheses and just narrated it. It would have created a much stronger opening. The guy strolled up in a fireman’s suit, canvas like dead flesh with black mold bullet holes. A filthy, gaunt tramp laughed his rear end off when he saw him. “Where’s the fire, friend?” he hacked out, his laughter spreading like smallpox to the other bums hanging around his flaming barrel. I could see this working. I like the cadence, and if it was paired with more working sentences you could get away with all the purple.

The fireman walked past them, over to a rusty service door. He raised his axe and knocked the door twice with its shattered head. Two blows, two flowers of sparks that faded into the night quick as they came. Something metal behind the door squealed and clicked. The fireman shouldered his way through.

Behind that door was a steep dirt-and-wood staircase into the abyss. The fireman crept down, not concerned with the fact that the old gas lanterns hanging along the walls got dimmer and dimmer the further he went. When there was no light left aside from a tiny flicker in the distance above, the descent stopped and the Fireman stepped into a large mineshaft.This is where everything starts going to poo poo. I know you're aiming for some sort of gritty urban fantasy, but there's no reason that there's a mineshaft under an overpass. You don't just pour a few hundred tons of concrete over a loving mine, what in the gently caress? WHO DESIGNED THIS PLACE?

Not three seconds after stepping into that shaft, a smoldering set of bones came at the fireman hell-for-leather. The charred carcass clawed madly at him, black fingers drawing deep charcoal streaks across the canvas suit. The fireman pushed the bone-man away, calling the skeleton a bone-man makes me think you're like six years old staggering it long enough for him to raise his ruined axe and bring down a mighty swing. The skeleton exploded into a black ash and white smoke.

As soon as that dust and smoke had settled, though, it reformed like erosion played in reverse and attacked him again. And again. And just before this got to be a routine, more joined the fray. Skeletons the color of coal crawled from the walls and the floor and swarmed the fireman. SUDDENLY I WAS PLAYING OBLIVION He kept on beating them back with his axe until one of them wearing an old shattered headlamp stormed at him with a pickaxe. The fireman was so focused on this threat that he soon found himself swarmed by all the others. The skeletons held him in place as the macabre miner approached. Creaking and groaning, it hefted its pick and poised itself to strike. You could really ditch most of these words and go straight for the pickaxe guy. This whole scene does nothing for the story and isn't particularly interesting. Kind of a slog, really

Just then, a cacophony of hoots, hollers, Paw, run! It's them gotdang cotton pickers again! and the stomping of feet and hooves erupted from down the mine. The black skeletons released the fireman and skedaddled skeeee daddle! giddyup! heeyaw! Regular hootenany up in these here parts, y'hear? in the opposite direction, a trail of black footprints following them. As the clattering of their retreat receded, the stampede grew in volume until its source came to a halt upon the fireman.

Before him was a plethora of ghouls of several species. Decayed cadavers of horse, man, dog, even some farm animals here and there. At the front of their ranks was a horse with an ornately carved wooden right front leg that gleamed with golden inlays in the light of the posse’s ancient railroad lanterns. It approached the fireman. This right here, this I liked. It's like some urban folk lore.

“Not ‘hurt’ are ya’?” The horse chuckled, a sound like crushing dried leaves. “Guess ya’ probably don’t know why you’re here, huh? I mean, ya’ probably know it has to do with gettin’ tired of wanderin’ ‘round up there, spookin’ the odd drunk… but not why ya’ came to this spot, at this time, and met my little motley crew.”

The fireman shook his helmet.

“Well ya’ might recognize some familiar faces, uh, so to speak…” The horse gestured with its head at the rabble behind him. The human ghouls, though quite literally faceless, were dressed in all manner of familiar garb from across the ages. There were policemen, construction workers, even other firemen. I'm still liking it.
“Ya’ see, all of us met our untimely ends in service to this country, one way or another. Be it keepin’ the peace or buildin’ roads, all of us helped to make this country what it is today. Me, I’m the leader outta pure seniority. I was on one of the first ships over here, but once we got on dry land I broke a leg haulin’ some cargo and had to be put down. Heck, that’s luck for ya’.” This idea is really neat! I wish you'd focused more on it and dropped the dungeon crawl.

A few of the other horses shifted awkwardly, adding up to a brief but harrowing chorus of dry grinding sounds.

“The thing is, friend, even after dyin’ there’s work to be done to keep this country goin’. Us productive types ain’t the only ones that die, as you can imagine. There’s still crooks and ne’er-do-wells all around, even honest people who just can’t deal with bein’ dead and wanna take it out on the livin’. Well none of us could just sit around on our bony haunches and let them get away with that kinda mischief, especially seein’ as the livin’ ain’t all that good at dealin’ with supernatural sorts.
“So whether ya’ knew it or not, that’s why ya’ were drawn to our little band a’ do-gooders. We ain’t the only one, but we’re a goodun. And I’m invitin’ ya’ aboard.” See, this stuff here works. You chose a style, you wrote working dialogue, the whole thing kind of flows together. There's a huge disconnect between the beginning and the bit at the end.

The fireman did nothing. The crowd of skeletons reduced their idle rattling to a minimum, waiting for the fireman’s response. Finally, the lead horse spoke again as it lowered its head to the ground: “Aw, shucks… go on then. Ya’ know ya’ wanna’.”

The fireman dashed over to the horse and mounted it. Through his mask, he bellowed a mighty “Yee-haw,” barely hanging on as the undead beast reared up before breaking into a gallop. The other ghouls followed suit and the stampede rolled on, chasing demons through the eternal subterranean night.




CantDecideOnAName posted:

This, I don't even know what to do with. There's not a whole lot wrong. There's no story either. Nothing happens. It's impossible to care for the prot when there's no conflict, no story arc. There's an attempt at characterization, the whole focus on colors could add to a story, but it's not a story in itself. Spend some more time thinking about who you're writing about, what their problems are. Don't introduce characters like men on benches unless they play a role. Give us some sort of interaction between characters instead of telling us about an inert observer.


A Lesser Breed
(670 words)



For Erica, the world had lost color.

It was like being in an old black and white film, without the grain. the comma here should be dropped A teenage girl in an off-white tank top and dark gray jeans chattered on a phone as she walked past, her hair white in the harsh sun. A man on a park bench watched her approvingly, the gray of his shirt almost matching the gray of the bench, his eyes dark in a washed-out face. He didn’t even look at Erica as she drifted past. The first time I read this, I thought we were dealing with three characters. Don't flip perspective in the first paragraph. I mean WHY would you do that? Either start out with the man then surprise us later, or start with Erica.

How could he not? She was the only thing in color at all. The purple leggings that had seemed so faded only this morning were now as bright as the day she had bought them, her capris held the essence of the blue ocean and sky, and her yellow shirt was brighter than the sun. At first I took offense with this color combination but then I talked to some REAL LIFE GIRLS and they said it was okay, but you should never wear capris w/leggings In this gray expanse Erica felt like the visual equivalent of a scream in a silent library. "in a silent library" is redundant, good simile otherwise

No one gave her a second glance as she walked by. It wasn’t that they averted their eyes; they simply never noticed her in the first place. Maybe she was as colorless to them as they were to her.

She made her winding way through the park, marveling at how the simple knowledge of what colors things were supposed to be made things look. She could pretend the pond was slate gray, the sky eggshell white, the grass a strange shade of green.

If the color had been turned down, though, then the sound had been turned up. Erica could hear the shrill chirps of birds with ease. She could also hear every single car that roared past on the highway, the gentle lap of each wave on the shore of the pond, the shrieks and laughter of children running past, the footfalls of joggers, rustling leaves on branches, the whisper of the wind, the beating of her heart thudding in her ears. The din pressed in on her, surrounded her, a howling that she was acutely aware of. The chatter increased as she approached a group of boys and girls her age waiting at a couple of picnic tables.

Anna, black-haired and dark skinned, didn’t look up from her phone. Maria and Jordan were kissing, the smacking and sucking of their lips and tongues audible to Erica’s ears. Max was carving on the tabletop, fingers rasping against the wood as he scratched at it with a paperclip bent straight, and didn’t look at Erica when she sat down next to him. Janet and Jade, the twins, glanced at Erica and for a brief moment their clothes were daffodil- and rose-colored, their skins flushed with hot blood from the summer sun, and then it was gone. They said hello to Erica and resumed talking to Max, discussing something Erica didn’t know about. Jade’s dress, which had been hued crimson and gold, was now as drab as everything else.

Erica sat, and looked out across the park, and listened to her friends talk. No one asked her opinions, posed any questions, or really gave her any notice at all. Was this what it was like to be a ghost, she wondered? To be able to interact with the world, to listen to its sounds and see its sights, but walk among others unnoticed. Did ghosts ever wish they could see the world in color? Was that why poltergeists threw furniture and broke windows? So that when everyone looked over, that lost soul would see everything suddenly saturated with life and energy?

She took a deep breath, her blood thundering in her ears. Her blood ran cold, frozen in some sudden chill that covered the hot day in ice, amplifying the harsh noises in the air to a deafening roar. Every word her friends said pounded down on her, an arrhythmic drumbeat in contrast to her heart.

“Hey,” she said, “does anyone want to see a movie?”

The twins and Max looked over at her, and the world blossomed into color as they responded.

There's nothing wrong with these last paragraphs, but nothing happens. It's intensely boring. There's no reason to care at all. Whatever you were trying to imply about the relationships has flown over my head and landed somewhere well out of reach. There's nothing but shiftless kids and telephones and snogging


CancerCakes posted:


I'll admit I may be biased against this piece. Maybe the other judges will convince me to spare you. I'll admit I've only gone to lovely almost-legal warehouse parties and I could be projecting. I caught the unfortunate end of the rave scene, and this all hits way too close to home. If you were active in some crazy warehouse rave community for God's sake do an A/T or tell us about it. I just can't comprehend how you're going to make a bunch of e-tards riot. How do you get a room full of kids in dayglo, on e, to start moshing? Your character seems mostly sober, but I'll chalk it up to him being a regular user.

You're pushing up against the word limit, but nothing happens. No character development, the conflict is shoddy and the story arc is anemic.


This is a Warehouse War 1199 words of joy

We had a ritual before we dropped, the four of us.

“Are you ready Steve? Andy? Mick?”

The three guys in front of me wore fluorescent vests, whistles and wristbands, and each nodded in turn. I was wearing a bright pink hoody that matched my hair and black lycra shorts - we looked ridiculous, and we were going to fit right in.

“Alright fellas - let's go!”

We were modern day gods of excess and ecstasy, going to mad parties and pushing our bodies and minds to the limit. From where we stood in a corner I could see a riot of colour and sound stretching away from us towards the stage. Steve and Andy were chatting to a couple of mates from the pub, laughing and hugging and telling each other things that they would never say if they hadn’t had a bag of E’s, but I was finding it hard to sit still. I didn’t feel loved up at all. I was actually buzzing, hundreds of ideas were fizzing in my brain, and I could see them grounding in the people around me. I grabbed Mick’s vest.

“Are you sure that was an E you gave me?” I shouted in his ears over the thumping music.

He broke off talking to some bird about how much he missed his dog but it was ok because life is temporary and he just felt really happy to have known him, tore his gaze away from her bra and looked up at me.

“Ali, are you ok? Everything is alright, you know?” Up to this point it works. The dialogue works, the characters, the clothing. Really seems like you're pulling things together.

He said it with a stupid dreamy look in his eyes that I envied for a second. My need to move made me stand up before he managed to hug me and I pushed towards the noise. Loved up people are really annoying when you aren’t in on it, but having a go at him would be like kicking a dog: he wouldn’t understand why you were telling him off, but it would upset him for the rest of the night. I just wanted to dance.

I fought my way through the horde towards the stage, where a band with giant garish mohicans played keyboards and laptops, and lost myself in the euphoric music. I had no thoughts: seconds and minutes and hours no longer had any meaning to me. My limbs moved without any input from my conscious mind.

I had reached that point in the night where actions came without thinking, so later when someone shouted that the police had arrived I jumped up on the stage in a flash and took control of the mic. The band ground to silence and stared at me while I stood there at a complete loss as to what to say. Stage fright threatened to strike, but then I felt angry strength flow into me. I really can't pick up anything wrong. It's just, if you're writing a drug-fueled romp through a party, maybe speed it the gently caress up? Maybe just drop us right into the noise, music, girls' hips and airhorns and beach balls? There was a whole shitload of words but practically nothing said.

“I don’t want to go home, I want to dance, so gently caress it lets show them what a riot really looks like!”

And that was how it came to be that I was inciting a warehouse full of drugged up youths to riot.Here you sound like the squarest narc to ever live. Picture that scene in Fear and Loathing where he walks in on that cop conference and that suit's talking about the counterculture and using words like groovyThe opposition came through the door in full riot gear: massive boots, shields and helmets with reflective face visors. In the place where the faces should have been you could only see the angry crowd. Consider revising this stuff.

“You are trespassing on private property, this is an illegal gathering. If you do not disperse we will break it up by force,” a megaphone sounded from behind the ranks.

The warehouse went silent as the rave contemplated the conundrum. You lose the voice here completely. People off their dome don't contemplate, though they may go quiet. If you're going to paint us a picture from within a subculture, you can't drop the style partway through. On one side there was a wall of shiny plastic, black leather and dark blue coveralls. On the other a ragged line of day-glo greens, yellows, pinks, oranges. You're essentially repeating yourselfUnder the blacklights the crowd emitted light all across the spectrum, while the dark blues and blacks of the authority only seemed to suck all light into them.More repetition The two massed choruses faced each other across an empty no mans land. It's like you couldn't pick a way to describe the scene so you chose to use all the description I had seen something like it at a festival, the “wall of death”. The crowd would be split into two, and then on a signal from the band the two sides would charge at each other. The situation was delicately poised, a single quiet tense moment. No way ravers are doing a Metalfest thing, bro

Then a man at the back shouted, “everyone, ATTACK!” and it turned into warehouse war. ballroom blitz! BALLROOM BLITZ!

I cheered as the ravers pushed the cops back a couple of feet, and then watched in horror as the wave broke and the fluorescent army were forced back yards. I realised then that at the festival it wasn’t a bunch of kids in fluorescent rave gear against armoured police.

The force of the push from the dark blue stormtoopers made bodies press against the makeshift stage and it toppled under the pressure, depositing me on top of the crush. It was probably the worst timed crowd surf ever: I was thrown from head to head towards the inhuman figures striking in rhythmic beats with their batons.

I began to struggle and kick out at the people holding me up, and was rewarded by being dropped on my arse. I yanked on someones wrist band to try and pull myself to my feet, but it came away in my hand. I began scrabbling at the people around me and desperate tears ran from my eyes as I struggled to get off the floor before I was trampled. Never, ever use "I began to [action]. Just tell us what you loving did. You never start to do something then just stop. You do it. No reason to highlight the beginning of an action.

“MICK! ANDY! STEVE! HELP!” I screamed, but my voice cracked as my vocal chords tightened in terror. Suddenly a hand grabbed my pink hood and pulled me up. I was on my feet just in time to see a truncheon smack into Mick’s dreamy smile, dropping him like downed telephone pole. "dropping him like a downed telephone pole" is a hamfisted simile. A simple "dropping him to the floor" would have been more effective

“Run, for gently caress’s sake, run!” someone was shouting at the back, wildly waving people towards a fire escape, and the crowd streamed away from the carnage, but to me escape seemed too far away. seemed? or was? or started to seem to be? I could only look forlornly don't do this at the victims lying on the floor. We had not hurt anyone, not damaged anything except a padlock. I hated the massive riot police for coming here and hurting us without reason. I glared at the visors, trying to see some hint of humanity through them, but there was no sign that there were people inside the boilersuits. All I saw was a scared girl in a hoody glaring back at me. I was brought back from my reverie when someone tackled me and zip tied my wrists behind my back. If you used shorter words the scene would seem more authentic. Ravers don't damage, they break. "We had not hurt" is stuffy. If I were trippin balls I'd sound like "We never broke anything 'cept a stupid padlock. We never hurt no one. I stared at the pigs and their visors, trying to see their faces"

The strip lights blazed up while the last of the revellers ravers man, the last of the ravers bolted or peaced or hoofed it fled, casting a harsh white light across the empty space, the band’s dyed mohicans were just visible among them. Next to me Mick bled from his ears with his eyes open.

Some time passed, then we were dragged outside and the sirens were so loud that they blended together into a thrumming cacophony of noise. cacophony? How about, "outside the sirens sounded like someone having an epileptic fit at the mixer The blue flashing lights stabbed into my eyes, and the riot police around me loomed threateningly ah yes, looming threateningly isn't tedious at all, carry on! so that getting into the back of the van was a relief. As we were driven away the motion soothed my nerves, and we moved in synchronization, swaying together as we rounded the corners.

-----------------

Song is Ballroom Blitz, like you didn't know that already.


Noah posted:


I swear I'm not doing this to be a dick. Your story in our brawl was much, much better. This one meanders, and if I wasn't forced to read I would have stopped early on. I'm glad I didn't, though, because the ending is really neat and there's a cool idea and even some feeling! I really sympathized with the character near the end, and it turned into a touching story. The beginning needs serious work though.

In the Night


Louis sat on the balcony of the lighthouse, wondering if he should throw his half eaten can of beans into the sea.Round and round, in circular fashion, he chewed the pulverized mass in his mouth. Opening your story with a man, some wool and a mouthful of beans was a great move. What am I to believe this story contains? A bolus and a glottis, that’s what. It was in that twilight, the eastern sky an ombré of night, and the sanguine sun at his back, All these words I had to mash into google, one after another – ombre, sanguine (hombre?), they do nothing. Louis could not eat another bite. He went into the inner pocket of his peacoat, pulling a weathered photograph. Creased and browning with age, was a woman, his wife, Linda.

Putting the picture back into the wool pocket, he descended the stairs down.I really wanna believe you’re just taking the piss, I mean “He descended down” can’t seriously be a sentence, right? The first room was the pantry, with canned goods and a small hotplate, and further down, past a cot and blanket, and small wardrobe of hand stitched jeans, Louis entered the engine room. Diesel fuel engines powered the lighthouse, mostly the torch and rotary lenses at the top, and the radio and hotplate when Louis needed it. Often Louis would sit all night in front of the radio, swaddled in his threadbare coat and flannel, listening for something more than static from the sea.

Sometimes, he would doze and a familiar voice would come through on the radio. Tears would spring to his eyes.

“Linda? Linda, how are you?”

“Louis, I cannot wait to see you,” she would reply.

“I know,” Louis said, wiping his nose on his sleeve. “Soon, I promise.”

And he would wake, and it would have felt so real. Echoes would chase through his ears of her voice, soft as flower petals and silk.

Louis refilled the diesel engine and cranked it. He glared at the chugging cacophony, his own personal jailer, a remnant of tradition and laziness. Automation had begun to spread throughout the country, and yet this antiquated machine was both his savior and the anchor that kept him bound like poltergeist to the lighthouse.

Stopping at the pantry he looked at the cans, stacks upon stacks. Linda’s favorite meal was a tuna melt on sourdough. Melted swiss, toasted bread, with a little relish mixed in with the mayonnaise, he knew the recipe by heart. He had not made the sandwich for years. Closing the door without removing an item, he went back to the top to stare out at the sea, waiting for no one.Really? You’re going to spend a paragraph explaining Tuna Melts™ but then do NOTHING with it? What. The. gently caress.

“Ha ha!” Louis said. On the horizon he could see a vessel, large enough for the lights of the boat to reach him. Several miles away, he was not sure just how many, but he waved. Knowing the boat could not see him did not stop him. The vigor of a younger man flowed through Louis, and he knew today had been a good day.

Sitting down, he took out the picture again. A breeze blew through, causing him to pull the black wool closer around him. He hung onto the photo and ran a coarse finger over it. It was dark now, and only the light from the circling lens lit his view, but he knew her smile, and sunflower dress, every wrinkle and crack by heart. And then there was darkness.

Louis bolted upright as the torch and lens dimmed and grinded to a halt. Skipping steps as many as he could without falling, Louis ran. In front of him the engine was grinding on something, and he could feel the heat coming off of it. Louis trembled at the thought of sending his hands into the inner workings of the generator. Louis is kind of dumb for not knowing how his motor works. You wouldn't touch that poo poo when it's hot, anyway. I'm sure there's a fuel cutoff or a shutdown or something. I'll let it slide of the story's sake, though

Forgetting to breathe, he ran to the top of the lighthouse. Closer than before, he could see the ship, and he waved and shouted at it. Louis dragged his fingers through his hair and grabbed as much of its thinning foliage his head would allow.

Back down the steps he ran to the radio. Quickly dialing, and checking hand written notes of frequencies, he called out over. Nothing. Dead.

“Louis, is that you?” Linda’s voice came through the speaker. Louis straightened up. His breath caught in his chest.

“Louis? Can you hear me?”

“Linda, the lighthouse, it’s not working!”

“I know, Louis, you have to fix it. You have to save them.”

“I don’t know what to do!”

Louis breathed in short, labored breaths. In the air was a scent of burning fuel. Louis ran down to the generation and dark smoke was rising from the engine. Back up the stairs he went, as many shirts, and pants as he could. Downstairs he began soaking the clothes in crude fuel, sloshing and splashing the fuel everywhere. Louis tried to shake the light headedness away as fumes filled his nostrils.

Slumped against the winding stairwell, Louis cradled the bundle of soggy clothes in his arms as he got to the top. The ship was closer, but he thought he would still have time. Lining the balcony with the shirts and pants, he drew a lighter from his pocket. Backing down the stairs, he lit a trail of fuel that sent flames shooting up along the railings and roof.

Coughing and spitting he continued his round grabbing more and more clothes, each time he noticed the smoke from the generator growing worse. Weary, he stumbled, kicking over a small drum of fuel, sending ripples under the generator.

He hesitated. Nothing had happened yet, did he have enough time for one more trip, he thought. Finally, he stripped off his jacket, dunking his peacoat into the fuel, he ran back to the top to continue his bonfire.

As he threw the jacket into the inferno at the top of the lighthouse he realized what he had done. Swatting at the flames he tried to retrieve his jacket, but the fuel soaked into his skin and hair began to burn and singe. He threw himself backwards, rolling down the stairs and landing in front of the radio.

“Louis, it’s okay, you’ve done all you can,” Linda said through the radio.

“No, you don’t understand, I have to save you,” Louis sobbed. “I can’t die like this, I can’t, I can’t.”

“Louis, you don’t have to save me, we can still be together.”

More and more smoke came from the engine room, and he knew the fire had started. Standing at the top of the stairwell he saw the entire engine room ablaze, blocking any exit out of the lighthouse. At the top of the lighthouse, the fire still burned into the night. Louis sat, coughing at the radio.

“I’m so sorry Linda, I’m so sorry.”

“Louis, I don’t care where I am, as long as I am with you.”

“I tried, I tried to be good, I thought if I was good, you would be there with me in the end,” Louis said.

“You can’t save everyone,” she said.

Louis began to cry. More and more smoke began to fill the room.

“But it’s all my fault, I was going to take you with me, I just needed more time. I needed more time to be a good man.”

“Louis, you are a good man, you are. I love you Louis.”

“I’m afraid that you won’t be there, that I didn’t do enough.”

“I will be there, I promise.”
Most of the ending stuff is good. I liked it. The lead up to it was horrible. I didn't give a single gently caress about the lighthouse or the turd in charge of it. Make me care next time and stop talking about Tuna Melts™

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at Apr 1, 2013 around 01:36

SpaceGodzilla
Sep 24, 2012

I sure hope Godzilla-senpai notices me~


Thanks for the crit, very helpful advice in there. Made me laugh out loud, too.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

SpaceGodzilla - give it some time and go back to it. Let the ideas mature a bit and tighten everything up!


Chewie23 posted:


This story is the worst. ADVENTURES IN INTERACTING WITH REAL ESTATE REPS: Part 1. Prologue. Introduction: FLASHBACKS

There’s no tension, the flashbacks-in-italics thing is absolutely terrible and lazy. If you can’t manage a perspective shift without resorting to a different typeface, alarm bells should be going off in your head. I can see what the narrative arc could have been, maybe. A character should do a thing. If you only have two characters, they should be doing important things. 50% of your characters here are useless, and the story wouldn’t change if they were removed.


Just a House
Word count: 1049

“You know, it's funny. It's already been three months,”
“How's that funny, Sam?”
“I don't know. I thought I'd still be an emotional mess. Anyway, the agency is coming in today. They'll call you when they arrive,”
“Alright, sounds good,”
“Are you already there?”
“Yeah, I'm just in front of the house. I'll call you after?”
“Thanks. Talk to you later, Mikey,”

This isn’t how people talk. I’d still be an emotional mess? Call you when they arrive? I almost thought the characters were some upper class twats, but then “alright, sounds good” gets dropped and it’s like Larry the Cable Guy is trying to impress a room full of Mensa turds. Also, it’s an awful lot of words with almost nothing being said.

I hung up the phone and looked at the house. I tried not to think about it. But the thoughts just came through.

It's already been three months. Three months since our mom wasted away, with nothing to cover her but thin cotton sheets and a blue half gown. Blue was her favorite color. But she didn't care; her mind was already too far gone. She kept asking for Roberto. Her husband. I couldn't tell her that Roberto left years ago. She just kept smiling at me and would ask if her little Sammy was around.

Great job telling us the story here, champ. Totally subtle references to clothing, lots of very good characterization, a strong narrative voice. A+. Wait, no. gently caress you.

The service was a blur of handshakes and comforting murmurs. Sam couldn't stop crying. But he pulled through to give the eulogy. He was always in charge, in control. About a month ago, he decided to sell the house. He couldn't imagine living there. And something needed to soften the hospital bills. Selling the house was the easiest thing we could think of.

He kept asking me if I was okay with this. I told him it was just a house. He slowly nodded and just asked me to sign on the dotted line. He took charge of the move too, hiring workers to take everything to a storage unit. I just signed more papers, allowing it all.

But. Am I really okay with letting all this go?


I got out of the car and started to walk around the house.

The house hadn't changed at all. The creaky fence, the cobble stone walk way. The tree in the back.

That's where I broke my arm from the old swing set. Sam dared me to jump off at the highest point. I happily jumped and landed arm first onto-

Something caught my eye. It was a baby blue sweater, lying in the grass. I bent over and picked it up. The movers must have forgotten it. I smiled as I looked at the faded from washer mishaps and general abuse.

College. Mom was so proud with tears in her eyes. I didn't even notice the newspaper wrapped lump she held behind her. She had knitted me a sweater, in between her two jobs. She said just in case Boston got too cold. I remembered that the sweater was too thin, even by California standards. But she worked so hard and-

My phone rang again.

“Hello?”
“Hello? Mr....Trujillo? This is Alexandra, from Home Owners Estate Agency. We spoke earlier,”
“Yes. Hi, how are you?” I walked back to the car and tucked the sweater in the trunk.
“Fine, fine. How are you? You sound a bit under the weather,”
“I'm doing fine,” I swallowed the knot in my throat.
“Okay. I just wanted to let you know I am about five minutes away from the house,”
“Got it. Thanks. See you in a bit,” I closed the trunk.
“See you!”
I hung up the phone.
so much dialogue and so little said...

I went back to the house and opened the door. The inside was missing everything that made it a home.

Just a big empty room. Except that it wasn't just any room. Sam and I would play tag here. Mom would always yell at us not to run around the house.

But it'll be all gone. No more home. Nothing. It'll belong to a stranger. All these memories-

Five minutes til show time. I have to stop thinking about all this. We need the money.


I made a quick scan of the rooms, trying to see if the movers forgot anything else.

“Hello?” a voice came from the door way. I looked up to see the agency woman, holding her pen and clipboard at her side. I walked over and we exchanged the usual pleasantries. Her eyes scanned the room while we talked.

“Okay, Mr. Trujillo, I'm liking everything I see so far. But just a few things to note. One is that these scratches on the floor,” she pointed down with her pen.

I looked at the scratches near the doorway.

That was from when I brought a stray dog in the house. It nearly gave mom a heart attack. It scratched and stumbled to the door while she chased it out with a broom. She spanked me afterwards.

“Oh, that's nothing a little elbow grease and some sanding won't fix,” I laughed, trying not to think about why I could remember the dog so clearly.

She talk about more flaws. Such as the dent on the kitchen wall. That was from baseball practice inside the house. Sam's idea. We both regretted it. Some chipped parts of the wall. Baseball bats falling onto the wall.

“Okay, let's move on,” she walked into the next room. The knot was growing bigger in my throat.
We passed several crayon drawings on the wall. That was when mom was out working and we had nothing to do during summer. So we decided to draw all of our family and friends on the wall. We said it was so we can always see it when we walk by. She was furious at us. Of course we were spanked. But that never did stop us.
“We can wash those out,” I managed to get some words out from the growing knot.

When the real estate agent shows up, Chumpstain should have already reminisced enough to make us care. If that were the case, the Sales Lady pointing out the flaws in the house (and his fuckups as a kid) would be poignant and kind of funny, profound even. The agent (ideally, in my world) would bring about a climactic point – some resolution of tension, some realization, anything. But no, nothing like that happens. I’m going to stop here, because I could write a page on why your characters are flat and boring and how everything looks, sounds and feels the same. Or my padded room might be getting to me. Who knows? You fail.

“Okay, Mr. Trujillo, I think if we put a little more work, we can have this place sold pretty quickly!” she beamed.
“Okay, that sounds good,” I tried to smile. Only a corner of my mouth lifted.
“Are you sure you are okay? You seem to be coming down with something,”
“It's just allergies,” I lied.
“Oh, allergies are the worst!” she laughed. I nodded with my half smile.

After some more preparations, she left; I was alone in the house. I felt lonely. Isolated. But I kept telling myself that it was just a house. There shouldn't be any second thoughts. The money was too good. It was...

Just a house I can never come back to.

Symptomless Coma posted:


Oh cool there’s going to be something about the outside, some sort of retro feel and a groovy R&B vibe. Maybe a story of lost love and adventure? Maybe something about the loneliness of the open road and one man facing the world?
No, wait, it’s just stupid, long vignette about killing yourself. We don’t even get a reason! There’s some joking around between the character and the tech, which could be meaningful if we knew what the character was like. From the bits of dialogue we can infer he’s got a sense of humour. So why is he killing himself? Given no reasons to believe otherwise, I’m going to assume he’s tired of living with a stretched sphincter from a crippling addiction to anonymous truck-stop sodomy.


Assisted

I’ve been told to take it all in one gulp. We practised with a plastic wine glass, which I thought was a bit patronising until my trembles made me spill it down my jumper. I thought god, I’ll never live this down, which made me laugh hard enough to spill the rest.

As I hold on to my cup of the real thing my hand takes a surer grip, as though it knows the import of what it’s holding. Surely that’s ridiculous though; if my hand knew what I know about sodium pentobarbital it would throw the cup across the room, and possibly punch the orderly in his stupid sombre face. He’d take it, too – his blank expression matches his white gown in the illusion that he is a piece of equipment. Mum and Dad wait outside, sent away so that they won’t stop me in the act, and the human cup holder waits in here, all so that I can do my part of the process.This paragraph is bad. Really bad. Cut it the gently caress down.

“So, are you a doctor?” I was never good with tension.
“Ah, not exactly. I am more of a technician.” His voice has that singsong Swedish quality, like life’s fine and the air is clean, and Good Storage will solve all the world’s problems. gently caress him.
“A technician? Like you fix boilers in the morning, and do this in the afternoon?”
Bastard. He won’t even smile.
“No, just... just this.”
“Just this? So how many have you done today?”
“T-we’re not really supposed to talk about that.” He smoothens his collar like it’s a job interview, like my opinion of him matters in any way.

“Just a job, right?” Despite the pain, I smile as I ask.
“Just a job. Better than telesales.”
“No kidding! That’s why I’m here.”
He gasps, before his sees me grinning.
“Dude, joke.”
“Sorry,” he says. “People are generally a bit more serious.”
I don't loving understand the point of this dialogue at ALL. Why is he happy? What is going on? Why is this so boring?

There’s a single tree in the garden, strategically placed to be visible from my seat. A young cedar, I think, though it occurs to me that now, I’ll never know, despite Dad’s best efforts to teach me. On the wall by the window there’s a picture of the Milky Way, impossibly big and yet squeezed onto a cheaply framed print. I imagine that if you could magnify that picture, really blow it up over and over then it too would be a picture of that tree, and a picture of me and the jumper and the orderly in his gown and Mum and Dad outside the door in their Sunday best, dressed for a funeral they are uniquely able to predict. The tree and the galaxy sit together like hieroglyphs, a sentence made of objects, forcing their meaning upon me. I clutch at the think strands of wool, grandma’s knit, and I feel like her; sitting at the end point of a narrative someone else started writing two years ago in that GP’s office. I still don't loving get it. Is he sick? What's he have? The symbolism here is shoved down my throat and is a perversion of everything poetic. I hope a loving crate full of Shakespeare's King Lear falls off a truck and crushes your skull.

Light catches and pools in the glass, and dances on the face of the orderly.
“Try to be strong,” he says.
And what? I think. But in that liquid, clarity reveals itself.

With a smile, I chuck the poison back. It slides down to its destination, oily and thick. So languid in its travel, as though it has all the time in the world to kill. My throat tickles as I imagine the gentle icegentle ice? really spreading through my body, suffusing the pain, embracing my cells and singing them gently to sleep. Fight’s over. The heart, running for twenty-six years, finally getting its reprieve. Lungs relaxing and deflating and the pain, two years of pain, being satisfied and released. The blazing sine wave that runs through my mind quietening and dying. I can see all these things in that second, and I smile.

The orderly gasps, and Mum and Dad practically fall into the room. Mum gazes at me, her face frozen. I grip the seat tightly enough to tear it off. The orderly opens his mouth to speak-

The Milky Way spins on its faraway axis-

The liquid sinks into the carpet-

“Dad,” I ask.

“That tree...”
okay so this death sequence is actually pretty alright. It's a pity it's attached to a turd of a story.

Jagermonster posted:

Dayenu

Word Count: 1235 A hard limit is a hard limit. Tough poo poo. DISQUALIFICATION

"words words words words words Jews words words words words words"


I’m really, really glad this piece got submitted this week. It’s not like I avoid family gatherings for a reason. In fact, I hope the next prompt will be something like “with a minimum of 6000 words, describe a family dinner party where nothing occurs”. I get the dayenu/enough thing. I really do. What would be cool is if you actually said something in the story and not passed dialogue back and forth between some boring fuckers. Or maybe you’re in a coma and you’d find this genuinely exciting?

Apart from that (everything) there are some weird grammar issues. I have the feeling this is happening once, but you keep using “uncle avi would [x]” “someone would [y]” as though it happened more than once. It’s jarring, don’t do it.

In a prompt that features clothing, you take a distinctive ethno-cultural group known for their unique clothes (yarmulke, anyone?)… and make no mention of it. Amazing. Absolutely amazing.





systran posted:

Was there a flash rule that I missed that said you must use the word "cacophony"?

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at Apr 1, 2013 around 02:11

CantDecideOnAName
Jan 1, 2012

And I understand if you ask
Was this life,
was this all?


I guess I was going too subtle. drat. Ah well. Not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that the worst thing in my story was that nothing happened. I'll go with good, considering some of the crits other folks are getting.

Thanks for the fashion pointers. I usually dress in a jeans and tshirt so I pulled all that out of my rear end.

Jagermonster
May 7, 2005

Hey - NIZE HAT!


Nubile Hillock posted:

Word Count: 1235 A hard limit is a hard limit. Tough poo poo.

Whoops, thought there was some leeway. Won't make that mistake again. Thanks.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

Jagermonster A hard limit means no leeway. Clean it up and take it to the farm! I was especially bitter because you had tons of places you could have cut it down.


I want to introduce you guys to a literary innovation started in this very thread: screaming ellipses

Khris Kruel posted:



“You…Monster…” Rama screamed


SpaceGodzilla
Sep 24, 2012

I sure hope Godzilla-senpai notices me~


CantDecideOnAName posted:

I guess I was going too subtle. drat. Ah well. Not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that the worst thing in my story was that nothing happened. I'll go with good, considering some of the crits other folks are getting.
"Heh heh heh, I lost in a slightly less ambitious way than the rest of you losers "

CantDecideOnAName
Jan 1, 2012

And I understand if you ask
Was this life,
was this all?


SpaceGodzilla posted:

"Heh heh heh, I lost in a slightly less ambitious way than the rest of you losers "

A loser's a loser, and I'm no better than anyone else (as is obvious by my prose). Just trying to stay positive here.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

I dunno, someone's gonna be the ultimate loser, and if you're not that person, you'll be better than someone.

Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

Nubile Hillock posted:

a turd of a story

Many thanks for the crit. I have to say that I let the lyrics lead things rather than the video, and I was stupidly determined to write something about Dignitas and then try to fit a story into it, which never ever works. I can't believe that I still let that happen. There are references to an ominous 'diagnosis' but I guess that isn't enough.

Thanks for the compliment at the end, even that I've hosed up since he doesn't actually kill himself, he just chucks the cup on the floor and imagines its effect - "the liquid sinks into the carpet" / "is this darkness or the dawn?".

But hey, it was fun to do. Look out for something utterly non-boring and dialogue-free, next week.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe


uh oh! Are you sure?

I read your story three times and it was only on the third pass did I realized he was sick. I never caught the fact he didn't die.

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

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


Authors Crit:

1. Kaishai
2. Sitting Here
3. Echocian

Kaishai - It Is the Last
(634 words)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The men of the workshop gathered around him as he inserted it into the elephant's side and turned it. The soft clicks of the gears were a song. Sunlight fractured inside the diamonds that paved its golden sides as the elephant walked across his table. It raised its miniature trunk, and the silver tusks flashed; its eyes flashed, and broken light scattered across the aged wood; he could have covered it with one hand. Wondrous, he thought. Ridiculous. Majestic. Scarred jewelers' hands clasped his shoulders. Michael nudged the elephant to turn it around, to make it march in front of them again. BEAUTIFUL MOMENT SPOTTED Your buildup to this moment has been great, and this doesn’t disappoint. Very nice work.

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

This was in my top 3 of the week. You obviously had put in some effort into researching and detailing how Russian jewellers worked and the intricacies of their creations, and the payoff with the elephant walking is one of the few truly present in the Dome this week. The only bit I’m not too happy with is that the last paragraph could be a little longer, but I understand that you are aiming for ambiguity and it still works.

---

Sitting Here - Bury Me With Emeralds
966 words

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

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

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

Really makes everything feel one sided, you know?

You there? I saw that you were typing for a sec. My favourite line out of the three Julia messages because I GET THAT ALL THE TIME it’s of how human it is, compared to the other 3 more clichéd lines.

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

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

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

Click. Click. Refresh. Click. Julia. I stared into empty space, realized I was imagining her; Julia and her great cleavage. Julia, bare arms taut as she shot elk with a plastic riffle at the bar. The way her makeup flaked over her acne scars, even though I told her she looked better without... Another bit I like is the flaking makeup. Cute, small details which drives home how close these two used to be.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Halfway to the shop, I passed through a ball field that afforded a panoramic view of downtown. I could just pick out Elliot Bay by the little slices of glittering sea between skyscrapers. More birds flocked overhead, pigeons and sparrows joining the gulls and crows. They were almost beautiful, I thought. When you couldn't hear them. BEAUTIFUL MOMENT SPOTTED Ok, it’s obvious you have chosen the music for where the music and the birds (THE BIRDS) are swarming Seattle and the earthquake hits, and it works brilliantly here. About the real nitpicky complaint I have is that when he was looking across the ballpark there doesn’t seem to be any indication as to why he would do so (since it doesn’t seem to be in his personality as a goony goon to just look at sunsets), but that’s just me trying to find faults. Do you know how hard it is to do that when you are trying to critique good work and I LEFT IT TO THE ELEVENTH HOUR.

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

--then heaving, shaking earth. The ground surged up to meet me, or was I falling down? Over and over, undulating waves of grass. Here the hiss of an underground pipe, there the groan of a collapsing apartment building, bursting underground pipe doesn’t seem to share the same severity level of the collapsing block and over it all the screams of man and birds alike crescendoed into a terrible death knell. The rhapsody reached its friska --one of my earbuds was still in--growing louder and louder, dissonant harmonies racing toward a towering climax while skyscrapers collapsed into a slurry of mud and silt. The collapsing skyscraper is too similar to the collapsing apartment buildings. Suggest removing the earlier apartments.

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

Some twenty seconds went by before the worst of the earthquake passed. Could use a quick mention he’s still curled up here. Twenty seconds to wipe the skyline clean, to turn the bay into a swamp of twisted steel and broken concrete.

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

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

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

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

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

Another in the top three this week. I said enough about the moment. With respect to the earthquake scene, I thought it was also well done but it was very slightly less thought out than the preceding sequence. Some bits were a little unclear, but overall it conveyed the message that Seattle had been turned to ruins, and the goon coming to the realisation he may have lost everyone and the person he love(d?). Nice work.

---

Echocian - Turncoat (996 words)

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

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

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

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

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

Alerio snorted. "Arson? Certainly not." Now he turned from the window, unfolded himself from the divan with leisurely grace. He smiled, lips red from the wine. No need to keep saying he’s smiling. Marcus swallowed against a rush of heat through his body as Alerio slipped an arm around his waist. "You think in simplicities. Won't you join me?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I'm willing to take that risk."

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

Marcus stared at him. One of his men shouted up the stairs for him, but he didn't comprehend the words the words were incomprehensible for that moment. "You intended suicide from the start?" Laying it a little too thick here, perhaps? The rest of your dialogue had been great so far, but this (nitpicking) just comes off a bit too blatant. Maybe “You wanted this.”?

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

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

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

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

Behind them, the notes of a violin rang out into the still air - sweet, lilting, utterly unsuited to the situation. So thoroughly absurd when destruction loomed on the horizon. So wonderfully, hopelessly brazen. OK, THIS IS TAKING THE PROMPT A LITTLE TOOOOOO LITERALLY MOMENT SPOTTED Marcus pictured the nightmare alternative - his lover bound to a stake, blindfolded, bundles of sticks stacked at his feet. A traitor's death. He stumbled to the bottom of the stairs and buried his face in his hands. If Marcus were caught aiding a traitor, that would be the end for both of them. "He's right, drat him," he whispered. A little laying it too thick here again. We already know it’d be the end for both if he was found aiding Alerio. Have him whisper something else instead. “Rio,”? Choking back tears etc.

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

I’m very glad there are no janitors in this story because that would change things a lot.

You have a good grasp on dialogue, and the story is sweetly romantic in the face of great despair. My issue, as you probably notice, is that some bits seem to repeat messages more than it is necessary, and it makes some bits as subtle as a sledgehammer. Overall, I enjoyed it, despite it being almost a literal rewrite of the prompt in 996 words. I did like the violin though.

The Saddest Rhino fucked around with this message at Apr 1, 2013 around 13:46

Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

Nubile Hillock posted:

uh oh! Are you sure?

I read your story three times and it was only on the third pass did I realized he was sick. I never caught the fact he didn't die.

Stupid-dialogue-free, then.

pug wearing a hat
May 29, 2012

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



Thanks so much for the feedback, I always appreciate it when people take the time to do a line-by-line criticism. That's gotta take up a huge chunk of time.

My only question -- was it clear enough that it was supposed to be a retelling of Persephone and Hades? Because rereading it, I don't think I was clear enough about that.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


I've sent my picks to Hillock. Those on the shortlist have every reason to be quaking in their boots.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry


FOR GLORIOUS CASCADIA. But yeah thanks for the feedback duder. Sometimes I really can't resist writing odes to my beloved region.

Chewie23
Mar 17, 2013

Damn. It feels good to be a gangster



Thanks for the crit! I always had the problem of either having nothing happening (like now) or everything happening (and hopelessly confusing the reader). I'll work on it some more

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


Been away with guests and such over the Easter weekend, so I'm preemptively in for the next prompt.

Steriletom
May 11, 2009

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


Nubile Hillock posted:

Pain.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTyIKnRQdx0

Thanks for taking the time despite the DQ.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

pug wearing a hat posted:

Thanks so much for the feedback, I always appreciate it when people take the time to do a line-by-line criticism. That's gotta take up a huge chunk of time.



get drunk, read lines er'day. You're welcome

pug wearing a hat posted:

My only question -- was it clear enough that it was supposed to be a retelling of Persephone and Hades? Because rereading it, I don't think I was clear enough about that.

No you're completely off your rocker. I would have had to have been tripping balls in the Parthenon to even begin to draw those things together. There's nothing to infer that anywhere.

But I'm also denser than lead, so maybe you could point it out?

Steriletom posted:


Thanks for taking the time despite the DQ.

Join the upcoming TD. Work on mapping out a straightforward action sequence before you go balls out with fantasy. It would do a lot for you. Some things worked but they were crushed under the weight of the things that didn't.

THIS WEEK'S LOSER

In honor of the Greeks, the judges chose a loser through Democratic vote. This week the losertar goes to:
Khris Kruel and his gripping fantasy piece Vambraces at Sea

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at Apr 1, 2013 around 22:25

Voliun
May 31, 2012


No more excuses. I'm entering in the next one no matter what the next prompt will be.

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012



Thanks for the crits, Hillock. I actually intended the story to take place a little further in time than you thought- I'd just finished reading This Side of Paradise when I wrote it, so I was thinking maybe late 1910s-early 1920s. Still, the criticism's totally valid, since I obviously didn't make the time period explicit enough.

I totally agree on the beginning, looking back at it now. Now that I know where the story ends up, once I start reworking it, I'll probably strip most of the frst four paragraphs or so and craft a more atmospheric (and explicitly researched) opening.

Nikaer Drekin fucked around with this message at Apr 1, 2013 around 22:39

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

Nikaer Drekin posted:

Thanks for the crits, Hillock. I actually intended the story to take place a little further in time than you thought- I'd just finished reading This Side of Paradise when I wrote it, so I was thinking maybe late 1910s-early 1920s. Still, the criticism's totally valid, since I obviously didn't make the time period explicit enough.

I totally agree on the beginning, looking back at it now. Now that I know where the story ends up, once I start reworking it, I'll probably strip most of the beginning four paragraphs or so and craft a more atmospheric (and explicitly researched) beginning.

The research is actually the reason I stopped doing period pieces. Look up any steampunk lit mag and you'll see exactly what not to do. If you're doing that time period you better mention the fancy electric lighting (maybe this place still has gaslamps?). The architecture would play a big part - the Belle Epoque ballroom would be a big step away from some of the other 1910 stuff, as you're practically verging on Art Deco at that poing. I'm sure the prot would have an opinion on encroaching modernity. Join the irc chan and we can totally geek out about retro stuff. I'd love to read the piece again when it's done.



WE HAVE A WINNER

systran YOU ARE THIS WEEK'S WINNER.

Don't get too high on your horse now, though. Was it the best story? Yes. Was it the best piece of writing? No.

You did phenomenal things with a song I absolutely wanted to hate. I played it as I read your piece and something wonderful happened. I don't know what kind of voodoo it was, but it worked. Congrats. You hit the prompt at all points - clothing, music, narrative arc and even touched on greek tragedy. There were some things I didn't like, and a crit is incoming.

Various Awards

I'm hanging onto power for as long as I can. My time is over, but my ego isn't nearly as inflated as it should be.

Best in Class Sebmojo! (obviously) By far the best piece of writing submitted. Wonderful piece. You thoroughly dominated the prompt. I have some issues with the story and a certain ambiguity present. Expect a crit. If I didn't have a bone to pick with your superiority in Thunderdome, I would have been blown away by the writing and let everything slide.

Most Enjoyable Kaishai! I really, really wanted to give you the win. The song and story together were the most enjoyable read this week. I'm a sucker for the underdog... and the story kind of left me wanting. It was a lovely vignette, but I've read this cliche over and over and over. It worked every time, though (and had me clapping my hands together like a toddler with downs). Expect a crit!

Best Sports Dialogue
I have no idea what's wrong with chairchucker, but I could read his stories of bros in locker rooms all day. After experiencing his entry I grew more chest hair and got the beer burps somethin' fierce.

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at Apr 1, 2013 around 23:08

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


If I get time in between my massive amounts of work I might provide some vague, food-stuff pairings for your stories so you understand what they tasted like to read.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I did not expect that. I loving hated the song too and still do.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


systran posted:

I did not expect that. I loving hated the song too and still do.

um disqualified for not liking best song in universe

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


MORE CRITS FRESH AND HOT late and stale (dealwithit):

HaitianDivorce posted:

Starstuff
Nothing but stars. Same as it ever was. This would be a good opening if you made it clear right away that Garret is actually looking at stars. With all of the awful, chopped up sentences that follow though, it ends up just being more words with no real purpose in the story. I cut them all out because I think you took it way too far with the two word sentences and words like "mum'd". Barf. You could have started this with Garret leaving the observation deck for the med centre and it would be no great loss.

The starcraft's med center was, of course, by its noisy recycling plant. He felt like he was shouting at the poor young lady behind the desk about his appointment. She just nodded politely and led him to a room with soft lights and a single bench. He smiled, wished her a good time 'time' seems like a really odd word to use. Why not a good day/afternoon/evening?, and sat to wait for his doctor.

For some reason he hadn't given her his nye His whatnow? Don't use totally obscure/made up words without explaining what they are and expect people to follow what you're saying, so Garret looked through family photos, reminiscing. There was his mum, his wife, their firstborn son and baby daughter. Might've Ugh, stop using contractions, I hate you. There are other words you could cut to make room for the word 'have' been the light-headedness, but the images became unrecognizable, unplacable--no memories or stories to pair them with. His granddaughter, smiling, almost a woman. He remembered nothing but her name.

His mouth creaked open and the air tasted wrong. Door was airtight. No doctor coming. Someone'd take his body to the recycling plant and that'd be that. So strange they didn't tell anyone. So little to it. It's not clear what's going on here. Did they shut off the air to his room or something? And why is he opening his mouth? Is he yawning?

Garret pressed his thumb to his wrist, felt flesh, blood and bone beneath, wondered how much was his mother, his wife. That was all, after seven decades. Atoms and elements remade into the memories of a dying man. Or just his body. Nothing left behind.

Via ethernet, everything was an instant away. Might've sent the pictures to his granddaughter. Given her something. But Garret wavered and let go, head against the wall, tried to smile like her so someone'd see. It was too late. Nothing to do but wait for the next go 'round. Again, I'm quite unclear as to the specific of what is actually happening here beyond people getting recycled into other people. If you hadn't bothered with all the weird stuff at the beginning you would have had much more room to work with here and make the actual point of the story clearer.

That said HaitianDivorce, I didn't hate your story. I thought it was a cool interpretation of the prompt, but the execution left a lot to be desired.

Fumblemouse posted:

Hard Computation
Most of this piece reads like a textbook or academic article, which really makes it difficult to get into. Plus, it's hard to follow the Aspects, agents, and Machines. Whose POV are we seeing, and why should we care about any of these things-that-might-not-be-people? You also included a tense switch, which I generally hate, although yours is a good example of how to do it well, rather than the usual "I changed tenses half way through and forgot to edit properly" style. However, despite its technical merit, it has the effect of becoming a concluding statement that just adds to the clinical effect of the prose.

The Machine rarely questions the role it has assumed. The hard computation is there to be done, and the realm of matter is there to be converted into that which will help with the doing. Whenever an Aspect tests the resolve of the Machine, or proposes thought-experiments of a different path, they are shown the nano-feed of the last human, confronting the universe, alone.

This seems to be one of those pieces that would benefit from being longer, however I'm really not into the coldness of the voice. It's detatched to the point where it's offputting - if the narrator doesn't really care about what's happening then why would you expect the reader to?


Obviously I don't have very many complaints about this one, since you won. However, for readers who aren't giant nerds, it's kind of difficult to even figure out that you're talking about insects, let alone what is actually going on. The word "Everbreath" in particular threw me off on the first readthrough, and I think it's probably unecessary especially when there's already so much other stuff that the reader is trying to figure out. I'm not actually sure if I want you to play up the insects so it's more obvious, or play it down even more so it seems like actual people doing really weird things. Either could be pretty cool, I reckon.

pug wearing a hat posted:

Private Browsing

This one is obviously difficult to do a line-by-line of, but I enjoyed it a lot. I think you did yourself a disservice though by submitting a conceptual piece, because it was difficult to judge against everyone else's. However, I appreciated it because I harbour a secret desire to do a conceptual prompt someday so it's nice to know that at least some of you are into that sort of thing. I would probably have ordered the data in the opposite way to make it easier to read, if only because the reader's natural inclination is to read from the top down and not the other way around.

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dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Nubile Hillock posted:

The research is actually the reason I stopped doing period pieces. Look up any steampunk lit mag and you'll see exactly what not to do. If you're doing that time period you better mention the fancy electric lighting (maybe this place still has gaslamps?). The architecture would play a big part - the Belle Epoque ballroom would be a big step away from some of the other 1910 stuff, as you're practically verging on Art Deco at that poing. I'm sure the prot would have an opinion on encroaching modernity. Join the irc chan and we can totally geek out about retro stuff. I'd love to read the piece again when it's done.



WE HAVE A WINNER

systran YOU ARE THIS WEEK'S WINNER.

Don't get too high on your horse now, though. Was it the best story? Yes. Was it the best piece of writing? No.

You did phenomenal things with a song I absolutely wanted to hate. I played it as I read your piece and something wonderful happened. I don't know what kind of voodoo it was, but it worked. Congrats. You hit the prompt at all points - clothing, music, narrative arc and even touched on greek tragedy. There were some things I didn't like, and a crit is incoming.

Various Awards

I'm hanging onto power for as long as I can. My time is over, but my ego isn't nearly as inflated as it should be.

Best in Class Sebmojo! (obviously) By far the best piece of writing submitted. Wonderful piece. You thoroughly dominated the prompt. I have some issues with the story and a certain ambiguity present. Expect a crit. If I didn't have a bone to pick with your superiority in Thunderdome, I would have been blown away by the writing and let everything slide.

Most Enjoyable Kaishai! I really, really wanted to give you the win. The song and story together were the most enjoyable read this week. I'm a sucker for the underdog... and the story kind of left me wanting. It was a lovely vignette, but I've read this cliche over and over and over. It worked every time, though (and had me clapping my hands together like a toddler with downs). Expect a crit!

Best Sports Dialogue
I have no idea what's wrong with chairchucker, but I could read his stories of bros in locker rooms all day. After experiencing his entry I grew more chest hair and got the beer burps somethin' fierce.

Grazie. I wrote that between 1 and 5.45 AM with the help of a lot of red wine. Looking forward to the crit, I've loved your other ones. And if you want to judge two weeks in a row, just do it imo. Noone's going to gainsay a bona fide ULTRACRIT SUPASTAR

Edit: vvvvvv

Nubile Hillock posted:

This paragraph is what hosed everything up for me. Who is this guy? Why is he here? In a piece this short it pays to have simpler motives. If she was being stolen away from yakuza or mobsters or an abusive boyfriend, you'd have won. There's just this big, weird lack of development of this one crucial part that makes things fall apart.

Excellent point. I guess you can divine he represents Hades in some way (since the story is Orpheus/Eurydice) but when I got to him it was like 5.30 AM and I had 120 words to cut to get it down to 1200 so motivation for weird ex-boyf in black or whatever fell by the wayside. Just be glad I didn't surrender to my temptation to point out that the Doctor was nicknamed Dr Seuss (=Zeus!!!!).

dreadmojo fucked around with this message at Apr 2, 2013 around 01:46

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