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  • Locked thread
Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

wordcount: 1290

The Old Monk and the Mouse

The sun was high, the road dusty, and the Old Monk’s water bottle was long since empty. As he walked he prayed for some respite from the heat until at last he saw a stone well standing on a small patch of grass. He said a prayer of thanks to the Lord for providing for him so thoughtfully on his travels and strode towards it. Placing his travelling bag on the grass he pulled the rope that hung down into the well and drank long and deep from the bucket that arrived at its end.

He was brushing the last drops of water from his beard when he heard a voice. “If you’re heading up the road, I’d be careful.”

The Old Monk could not see a soul about him. He lifted his gaze, but the sky was as blue and motionless as ever. The voice spoke again, “Hey! You! Old Monk! Down here."

The Monk looked at his feet in the long grass. There stood a mouse, peering up at him, two paws resting on the monk’s big toe.

“Oh, hello dear mouse. I didn’t see you down there.”

“Not until you looked, you didn’t,” said the mouse. “But I was there anyway. I was just saying that you probably want to be careful if you’re heading on up this road. A Terrible Beast lives that way.”

“Indeed?” asked the Old Monk. “A Terrible Beast? It wouldn’t have four clawed feet, whiskers and a long tail, would it?”

“Why yes,” said the mouse. “Exactly. Have you heard of it before?”

“Possibly, possibly,” smiled the monk, imagining just how frightening a cat would be to one so small. “Thank you for your warning, good sir mouse, but I shall take my chances - after all, I have the power of prayer to keep me safe.”

The Old Monk returned the bucket to the bottom of the well well with a sploosh and picked up his travelling bag. As he did so, the mouse leaped up onto it. The Old Monk brought the bag up until the two were staring face to face.

“Was there something else I can help you with, my good mouse?”

“Actually, there is,” said the mouse. “I was wondering what that was all about. You know, before you got to the well. You were talking to no one. Was that a prayer?”

“Hmm? Why, yes, that was a prayer.” The Old Monk noted the mouse’s confused expression and continued, “It’s like reciting a poem in gratitude. I’d been walking for many miles and, just as my thirst was becoming great, The Lord saw fit to place a well of water in my path. For that I was truly thankful.”

“I don’t know,” said the mouse. “I’ve been hereabouts all my life and I don’t think this well has ever been placed anywhere but right there. When I was just a hairless child, my Granddad told me terrible tales about mice he’d known falling in, so I reckon it’s been here longer than I have. Are you saying your Lord put it there generations ago so you could have a drink this sunny afternoon?”

“Well, obviously not for that express purpose, no. I’m sure it has provided for many, not just myself. The bounty of The Lord belongs not to a single man.”

“It seems to me,” said the mouse, “this well has been here for a while, and would have been here whether or not you said a prayer. So what was the point of saying it?

“Ah,” said the Old Monk. “I can see you are a clever mouse, but not as clever as you think. It’s easy for you to say that the well was here all along - you have perfect knowledge of it. I, on the other hand, do not know what the road ahead will bring, so my prayers and my gratitude were honestly expressed and kindly rewarded.”

“So prayer works best if you don’t know any better?” asked the mouse.

At this the Old Monk grew angry. “To take advantage of God’s kindness and neglect to be thankful is the greatest of sins. If you will not listen to any voices but your own, if you already know the answers to everything, then I can teach you nothing. Begone, vermin!” He tried to flick the mouse from his travelling bag, but the mouse dodged his finger with ease.

“Don’t be angry, Old Monk. I am just a humble mouse, starved of intelligent discourse and stuck living by a well. I know little about the larger world you travel. If you tell me prayer is necessary, then who am I to disagree? Perhaps I could join you for a spell to learn more. My Granddad told me travel broadens the mind, and if there is anything to your prayers, surely vanquishing the Terrible Beast will prove it beyond doubt”

“Hmmph,” said the priest. But he had travelled a long way alone. Perhaps a friendly voice with whom to pass the footsore hours would be a blessing. And if a couple of loud prayers would chase off a cat and win a soul, however small, that would be another. So he agreed to the mouse’s request and, after refilling the Old Monk’s water bottle, they took to the dusty trail, the mouse sitting atop the Old Monk’s shoulder.

They spent the first hour talking further about the value of prayer and the second hour talking about the mouse’s life. But when they had travelled for two hours, the mouse grew quiet and the Old Monk enquired as to the reason.

“Can’t you smell it? It’s the beast,” said the mouse, whiskers aquiver. “Best start praying now. It’s eaten nearly every mouse I know of that ever ventured this far before.”

“Nearly? “ asked the Old Monk.

“Not many have ever seen it and lived. My Granddad was one of the lucky ones. He got lost and ended up in these parts, and only survived by falling into a thin hole in the ground that the beast couldn’t fit into. He said its breath smelled like dead mice and its face was a hundred mice wide, and its claws were like giant teeth, which it also had, that could skewer you and eat you like we would eat baby worms.”

“It sounds a Terrible Beast indeed,” chuckled the Old Monk, noticing the mouse was now quivering all over.

“It’s very near - I can smell him. The beast! Please begin.”

So, thought the Old Monk, the cat is nearby. The time has come to demonstrate the power of prayer. He began to pray very loudly. He called upon the Lord to protect them, the unworthy supplicants. The mouse was still shaking in fear.

He asked for grace and wisdom in this terrible time of the beast, making shooing motions with his hands. The quaking mouse echoed “The beast!” over and over again.

He begged for forgiveness for past sins, for transgressions witting and unwitting. The mouse, unable to contain its fear, jumped down the Old Monk’s side and wiggled its way into the travelling bag.

The Old Monk asked for providence, for the care and guidance of the Good Shepherd in the here and the hereafter. As he stood there, summoning up a final Amen in the middle of the road, a lioness leapt on him from behind and mauled him to a bloody death.

Hours later, when the lioness had eaten her fill and left, and the blue sky had turned a starless black, the mouse emerged from the travelling bag and scurried back to the well as fast as it was able.

Moral: Pride goeth before bringing a knife to a gunfight

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Mike Works
Feb 26, 2003


The Horse, the Worm, and the Sloth

formatted version (PDF)

word count: 1993


One Sunday morning, a Horse escaped his Master and raced into an expansive grass field. The Horse feared the towns in the north and the south, the east and the west, but in the middle of the field stood tall an apple tree. The Horse could not reach any of the apples, but soon an arm with brown fur and long black nails emerged from the leaves and lowered a pristine red apple within reach. When the Horse made no movement to take a bite, a Worm emerged from inside the red apple.

“Why are you here?” asked the Worm.

“I do not want to be a slave of man,” said the Horse. “And look around. There is nowhere else for me to go.”

“You must be starved from your escape,” said the Worm. “Share with me in this delicious apple.”

“I cannot take your home from you out of gluttony,” said the Horse.

“I will find a new home,” said the Worm and crawled out of the apple. The Horse closed his eyes and swallowed the apple whole. When he opened his eyes, the Worm was gone, yet he could still hear its voice.

“What did it taste like?” asked the Worm.

“It was the most delicious apple I’ve ever tasted,” said the Horse.

From the tree, the arm with brown fur and long black nails lowered another apple within reach. A dark bruise the size of a thumb blemished its otherwise perfect red surface.

“Close your eyes again,” said the Worm. “This one will taste even better.”

*

Philip Rain is nothing like you.

Philip lives in a room of light grey walls, white sheets, and a hollow air that promises routine. Every evening he fills his cup with water from the south wall faucet and sets it on the night stand next to his cot. Sometimes Philip wakes at night and takes a sip, sometimes he wakes to urinate into the shower drain, but most nights Philip dreams. Philip doesn’t know it, but he smiles when he dreams. In the morning, Philip looks at the dust motes floating on the glass rim and wishes that he could just stay in bed and maybe die.

At 6:00am the church bells ring through the walls and don’t stop until he’s awake. At 6:30am his door opens and Philip shuffles to the stairwell, careful not to hit his briefcase against the knees of the other workers. Philip’s walk to the office is bloomed in the slow eyelid of sunrise, though he keeps his eyes down. At 7:00am Philip sits in his light grey cubicle before a dimmed monitor and disposition. His fingers swim in spreadsheets, his brain softens into a damp cloth, and his back slowly slopes like snow sloughing in the summer. By 5:00pm his mouth is agape and the church bells ring. Philip packs his worksheets back into his briefcase, and it’s as he approaches the office stairwell that something different happens.

Mr. Pleb stands in his way. Mr. Pleb’s first name is Roger, but Philip calls him Sir. Mr. Pleb created Philip’s apartment district, handpicked the church bells, and hired Philip and the other destitute men. This is the first time that Philip has met Mr. Pleb in person.

Mr. Pleb congratulates Philip on his recent hard work and offers him a gift: an alarm clock that will cancel out the church bells in his room. He tells Philip to enjoy the extra rest. For the first time in months, Philip is both happy and awake. He shakes Mr. Pleb’s hand and hurries down the stairwell, through the concrete city of boulevard dog walkers and Plebco interactive billboards, and into his room so he can plug it in. The alarm clock sets its own time and a smiley face in the display winks once it’s calibrated. Philip spends the rest of the evening chatting to his new friend. When he retrieves dinner from the meal slot in his east wall, he asks the smiley face if he’d like a sip of onion soup. When he lays in his cot he says sweet dreams to his new friend, and while this may seem odd, it is key to remember something about Philip Rain.

He is nothing like you.

Philip dreams of waterfalls cascading over mountain rocks, like the ones from the Plebco billboards, only without the shampoo bottle or product placement price. He dreams of dogs licking his face with stucco tongues, of grey wallpaper curdling in a fire, crackling like keyboard keys. And at the end of the dream, Philip sees a beautiful Irish woman with pale white skin and a shock of red hair.

At 6:30am Philip awakes to wind chimes drifting out of the alarm clock. The smiley face yawns until he gently presses a button. He reaches for his glass, but finds it on the floor. In its place on the nightstand sits a square blue disk, which Philip immediately recognizes as the save icon from his spreadsheets. Philip sits on the edge of his cot and stares at the disk, unwilling to touch it. He showers, picks his suit off the hanger on the north wall, and it’s not until his door opens that he decides to slip the disk into his briefcase.

During Philip’s lunch break he doesn’t join the other men in the eating room. Instead he waits for the last worker to leave, then pops open his briefcase. Philip feels foolish trying to jam the disk into his workstation’s memory drives, but it’s then that he notices the new compartment protruding from the station’s side. The disk clicks like firewood kindle when he sticks it in, and in a moment the spreadsheets are replaced by an alert that asks a simple question: Continue?

Philip presses Enter without thinking.

Waterfalls cascading over mountain rocks. Dogs and tongue and fire. The red Irish woman. All of it plays on his screen. It lasts for less than a minute, yet Philip swears it felt much longer. Philip watches his dream two dozen times before the workers return. When he tries to remove the disk from the compartment, he finds it gone. 5:00pm comes and Philip Rain does not tell the others what has happened to him. He does not look for Mr. Pleb. Instead he simply leaves the building, and that’s when he sees the freckled Irish woman digitized on a billboard. No product. Just her. Philip sits on the street and studies her pumpkin curls, the pixels of her wink, and doesn’t move until he realizes the sun is setting. He runs to his apartment and makes it to his room minutes before lockdown. When Philip closes his eyes that night, he no longer sees numbers and quotients and equations. He sees her.

Philip dreams of two suns, looping like the tips of clock hands. The suns drop into an ocean of blue disks, their white labels dancing in a froth. The disks part through concrete street boulevards, and onto them steps a pair of pale feet. The Irish woman winks at Philip – her skin not pixelated, but soft – and the ends of her curls sparking in a blaze. She is the most beautiful thing Philip has ever seen. The moment he wakes, he checks his nightstand and jumps out of his cot at the sight of the new disk. Philip almost trips on the cup at his feet.

That day, Philip works feverishly at his station and tries to will time to move faster. At noon, he ignores his stomach’s growl and retrieves the new disk from his briefcase. Philip’s monitor asks a new question: Continue and add 10 minutes onto your week of work credits? Philip hesitates, looks around to see if he’s being watched, but eventually accepts. The video replicates swinging suns, the ocean of disks, and then the beautiful Irish woman. He tries to pause the video, but cannot, and when it ends it does not loop. Instead, the alert pops up again: Continue and add 10 minutes onto your week of work credits? He hits Delete and his monitor returns to spreadsheets. The compartment has again swallowed the disk whole. Philip weeps in his cubicle over the loss of the beautiful woman, which may seem odd, but you must remember that Philip Rain is nothing like you.

That night, Philip dreams of red suns and green fields, and again of the Irish woman, only this time she speaks. She tells him that she’s proud of how hard he’s working. She tells him how much she loves the taste of onion soup. And at the end of the dream, she leads Philip into his cubicle. The alarm wakes Philip 10 minutes earlier than before, and he looks at the new blue disk. He brings it to work, watches it once at the new expense of 20 work minute credits, and then sits back and sips his home-brought thermos of onion soup.

The beginning of Philip’s dream that night occurs at his cubicle, though this is not what he finds notable. Philip sits in his chair facing away from the monitor, and in front of him the Irish woman removes her clothes. Her curls frolic along her collar bone, her breasts perk yet remain supple, and from her lips she tells Philip that she now has to go. Philip wakes at 6am to the yawn of the alarm clock smiley face, but Philip does not yawn. Instead he dresses without eating or bathing and almost forgets to pocket the disk before he rushes out of his small grey room. At work, Philip does not wait for his colleagues to leave for lunch. He inserts the disk and reads the alert over and over: Thank You. Philip hits Enter and the spreadsheets return. He knows the disk is gone, yet checks anyway. This time Philip does not sob.

When Philip returns to his room he finds his nightstand bare. Philip searches for his smiley face friend under hit cot, but finds only the empty cup. He fills it with water from the south wall faucet and lays down. Philip is eventually able to fall asleep, but this time he doesn’t dream of the elements, of a far off land, of life. He no longer dreams in color. Instead, Philip dreams only of spreadsheets.

The next day, Philip is awoken by church bells. In the office he finds that the equations express a new familiarity, a learned routine. By lunch, Philip has completed a full day’s work. As the other men leave for the eating room, he leans down to see if he can access the disk compartment, but discovers it is no longer there. That evening as he walks back to his apartment complex, he looks for the Irish woman, but finds that she has been replaced by a digital smiley face and the promise of a new product that will change the way we live. And at this, Philip nods, because he accepts what has happened and knows that he will go to sleep and dream of numbers and then wake and work until he does not. And you tell yourself that this is an absurd reaction, but that’s okay.

Because Philip Rain is nothing like you.

*

The Master finds the Horse on its side surrounded by rotten brown apples under the tree. The Horse pants, but its eyes are glass. The Master tells the Horse to stand and it obeys. The Master looks to the tree and asks the Sloth how it was able to so easily break his animal. The Sloth tells the Master that all beasts have their secrets, and the Master does not notice the Worm slip out of the Horse’s ear.

As the Master turns to leave with his Horse, the Sloth tells him to wait, then dangles a bright red apple within his long black nails.

“For me?” asks the Master.

“And only you,” says the Sloth.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


The Cat, the Cockroach, and the Nice Old Dog

One day, when the industrious Ms. Cat was collecting herbs from her garden, an unconscious twitch of her tail knocked the Cockroach and his tea service directly off his toadstool. With a sputter and a stutter, the Cockroach righted himself and began to protest, but Ms. Cat had passed on, unaware of the upset roach behind her.

“Why, that uppity witch of a cat!” exclaimed the Cockroach, wringing tea out of his cravat. “Not even an apology!” He carefully collected the petals and leaves that formerly made up his tea set, his indignation growing with every ruined piece. When he found the crushed bluebell that had been his favorite teacup, his injury blossomed into anger, and he determined to demand the apology he deserved.

He straightened his frock coat, scurried to the cabin, and banged on the door. Of course, what was banging to the Cockroach was only a scritch to Ms. Cat, and, being busy, she did not hear him or open the door. This slight only served to further incense the Cockroach, who set about searching for another entrance. Shortly he discovered a very narrow space under the door. Grumbling about the mess he would surely make of his coat, the Cockroach nonetheless flattened himself out on his belly, and scuttled through the crack.

He scrambled out the other side in a cloud of dust, and finally captured, with a loud and unceremonious sneeze, the attention of Ms. Cat.

“Why, Mr. Roach!” she said, eying his dirty coat with disdain, “what brings you crawling into my cabin?”

“You,” he began, but was interrupted by another fit of sneezes, “owe me an apology.”

“And whatever for?” she asked. The Cockroach recounted the morning’s incident, but while he did, he began to take in the luxurious appointment of her cabin: a fine cotton quilt, a bed of hay, a rubber-band ball, and a sewing kit with a silver thimble the exact size of his ruined bluebell teacup. Suddenly it occurred to him that an apology was not nearly sufficient to assauge his injury. What he needed was recompense.

“I do believe,” he said, “you owe me at least the silver thimble to make up for the damage to my tea service.”

“Very well,” said Ms. Cat, and handed him the thimble.

“And,” continued the Cockroach, “those scraps of silk to make up for the damage to my frock coat.”

At this Ms. Cat frowned, considering that the dirty frock coat could be washed and that it was Mr. Roach’s own method of entrance that caused the damage, but decided that they were small enough things to her, and agreed.

“And,” continued the Cockroach, growing more confident and covetous by the second, “I demand--”

“Get out, you filthy bug,” Ms. Cat hissed, “you shall have nothing from me.” She swatted him square in the face, slamming him against the door so hard his carapace cracked and several of his knees shattered. Trembling in pain and rage, the cockroach brushed himself together with the fine combs of his legs and tucked his guts back up into his shell. With one broken wing flapping behind him, he limped and shuffled his way back through the crack and into the garden.

Back in his burrow, the Cockroach brooded as he carefully repaired his broken shell with brown paper and rubber cement. To his great embarrassment, he did not have enough plain paper and was forced to use a scrap of newspaper as well. He violently banged the dust out of his frock coat, wincing with each strike.

“I will not stand for this,” he muttered. “I will not stand for it.” But, he realized, there was little he could do on his own. “I will go find the Nice Old Dog,” he said, “and surely he will help me.”

So, the Cockroach crawled to the wide flat field where the Nice Old Dog was known to lay, and told him his story, and, with great humiliation, showed him the newspaper bandage, and begged his help.

“No, no,” replied the Nice Old Dog, “I’m much too old and much too nice for all these feuds and revenges. I would not want to get involved.” He put his head down, closed his eyes, and released a deep and rasping snore. The Cockroach stomped and screamed, but the Nice Old Dog either slept on or ignored him.

Infuriated, the Cockroach climbed straight up the Nice Old Dog’s bony leg, pushed aside the velvet curtain of his ear, and squirmed deep, down, past the ear drum. He laid his two feathery forelegs against the Dog’s brain and began ever so slowly to stroke the fronds gently across the surface.
The Nice Old Dog stirred in his sleep, for now his dream was changing from the nice old dream of sleeping in the field exactly as he was doing, to a much less nice dream about the Ms. Cat stalking him through grass and trees.

“Come, my Nice Old Dog,” she called, “Come and play with me.” And the Nice Old Dog could tell that he would not like the game she wanted to play.

The Cockroach strummed and stroked, and the dream grew worse and worse until the Dog woke up, with a violent growl rumbling in his throat. He shook his head, for he felt the tickle in his ear and knew what the Cockroach.

“Get out! Get out!” bellowed the Nice Old Dog, but the Cockroach did not. He pushed and prodded until the Nice Old Dog quit bellowing. Softly, insidiously, he combed the Nice Old Dog’s mind for every slight and injury, amplified them, magnified them, wove them into a whirlwind of rage, and directed him to Ms. Cat. Eat her, beat her, tear her, scare her, bend her, rend her, rake and break her. The Cockroach whispered, whittled, fiddled and the Nice Old Dog writhed and wriggled. As a pair, they rose and ran, towards the cabin of Ms. Cat.

They broke down the door with a splintering crash. Foam flying, eyes rolling, they lunged for Ms. Cat. The Nice Old Dog closed his teeth around her throat, the chorus of the Cockroach’s anger blooming in his ears. The Cat dug in her claws and kicked the slavering dog across the room. The Nice Old Dog rose and leapt again, brain burning, claws churning in the air as Ms. Cat brought her broomstick to bear harshly across the back of his head. Dislodged, the Cockroach flew unceremoniously across the room. With maddened, innocent eyes, the Nice Old Dog collapsed dully to the hard-packed floor and did not move.

The Cockroach, newspaper-bound wing flapping pathetically after him, crawled into the deepest crevice he could find. Ms. Cat sent claws up after him, but he scraped and clawed his way deep into the wall, where her nails could not reach. He built himself a burrow, and watched her dismember the Nice Old Dog. He crawled out every night and ate her crumbs, and caressed her thimble, and her quilt, and her hay, and congratulated himself on his grand success.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Thunderbrawl Martello/Sebmojo
A story that covers a specific point in time of about two minutes. It must pose a philosophical question that is exemplified by the story.
Martello's story.


Means and Ends
900 words

The wind was cold, 70 stories up. I breathed it in, looked out over the city, wrapped up in its midnight neon dreams. I pressed the button on my watch and the numbers started flickering down. Two minutes. Plenty of time if it all went right.

Then I stepped off the edge.

The rushing air was like an icewater bath. I felt like whooping as I plummeted, didn’t. Too drat professional, I thought, and smiled. I hit the release on the wings, felt the jolt as they unfurled and grabbed at the air. Far below a car was stopped at the lights, indicator blinking. I watched the tracking telemetry scroll on my visor, then squeezed the trigger on the spike gun. There was a pop as the monomol weave thread shot out behind a synthdiamond augur. It hit the corner of the 'scraper in front of me, burrowed in with a puff of glass shards.

Just like fly fishing, Sarah had said when we’d run through this in sim. I’d leaned back, given her a look. What are you looking to catch, Agent?

The grapnel caught, anchored, swung me round on the end of the line, the carbon fibre feathers on my wings rattling. As I rounded the corner of the building I cut the thread with a flick of my thumb and leveled the gun at the window in front of me, shot. The window exploded in a prismatic spray and I hurtled through a brightly lit space, hit the ground tumbling. There was a crack as one of my wingbones shattered. I slapped the quick release and stood up.

I was in an office, desks, coffee machine in the corner. 5 targets, outlined in red on my visor. One minute forty two to go. I shot the first one in the face, the second in the belly. Both women, middle-aged. The rest were men.

This seems extreme, I'd said to Sarah. Blowing up the whole building? She'd shrugged. We've run the numbers, Jake. It's the optimal throughline. The ends justify ... Well, you know.

I paced down the corridor to the server room, scrolling through the local channels. No alerts yet. The door to the servers was heavy, carbon steel mesh reinforced, alarmed out the rear end. So, instead I took a right into the adjoining room, sprayed a rough circle of fuse gel on the wall and put up my arm to shield my face as I triggered it. The flash sent my visor solid black. Even before it cleared, I was lifting my leg to kick a hole in the ravaged wall. Thirty nine seconds to go.

So, I'd said as the holographic mission profile hung sparkling over the table between us. Hit the servers, overload the reactor, get the gently caress out. Talk me through the last bit. Because that's looking shaky from where I'm sitting. She'd smiled. drat if it didn't still make my heart twitch. And my dick, to be totally frank. We pull out your brain state, she'd said. Hotswap it. We'll have a vat body ready to go. I must have looked dubious, because she leaned forward, put a cool hand on my wrist. Jake. We need you for this one. It's the only way.

The server room had a few pencil necks tending the boxes. A double tap in each one and I was stepping over bodies. 23 seconds. I slotted the drive, tapped in the auth code. A siren kicked off, wailing its distress. Far below me I imagined I could feel the Conclave's reactor spinning up, up, up, desperate to comply with the impossible instructions I'd just given it, combined with the external override the Agency had just sent taking the safety interlocks offline.

I'd seen her one last time before leaving the Agency. She'd been standing in front of the panorama screen, outlined in light. The screen was set on alpine, an endless vista of knife-sharp ice. Sarah, I'd said. She hadn't replied. I'd waited a moment, then kept walking.

12 seconds. I pulled the transmitter out, flicked it on, pressed the activator. It beeped, showed 'no carrier'. I pressed it again, as the floor began vibrating beneath my feet. Tapped my comm on, gently caress radio silence. Sarah! Transmitter isn't getting your signal. Turn it on. Turn it on! I'm time critical!

There was a pause, a hiss like the last jet of steam from a boiled kettle. Sarah's voice. Jake, I'm... sorry.

I dropped my gun, began running back down the corridor. The floor was bucking now, as the steam pipes coming off the reactor started to buckle and burst. There was a high whining coming from below. I shouted over the noise. Sorry? You're loving sorry? You said one last job! Get me my transmitter line!

She sounded like she was crying. There's ... no transmitter. Clean slate is the only way they'd authorise it. Ends and means, Jake. Ends and loving -

Her transmission cut out. I was pounding through the room I'd arrived in, plastic curtains flapping in the wind. I grabbed my wings from the floor without breaking stride and leaped out the window. I'd just jammed my arms into them when the building blew.

In the concussive instant before I handed control over to residual autonomics, I heard my voice say 'this means an end'. Mine, Sarah's, the Agency; I knew with utter certainty that it would be one of them. Then the thunder and the hot wind took me and all I saw was darkness.

dreadmojo fucked around with this message at May 27, 2013 around 23:38

Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

Noah posted:

Moral: Here’s the thing, you don’t have one.

You literally have Chekhov’s gun here, and it’s never used.

Suggestions: This story needs an entire re-write.

Stand back and think about what you want to say with your moral lesson, then re-write it and re-send it.

Be careful what you wish for. Your fault for giving a spot-on crit, you beautiful bastard.

The Dog Who Fell In Love With A Gun, Version Two

If, on one particular Sunday, you were to divert yourself from your usual morning walk around the parks of East London and turn down into the meat-packing streets of Hackney, you would find a whole other society nestled beneath the one you knew. Ask any late-night clubber or early morning postman and they would tell you: the dogs own the night. If you were to linger at those places where the corners are dark and the roofs do not leak, if you were to develop a certain keenness of hearing; you might hear the stories the pack tells.

To the pups they tell the story of a certain Dog, many seasons ago, who broke the cardinal rule of the pack. I have asked them if this rule has a name, and they only shake their heads, as if it would be ridiculous to give a name to the fundamental nature of dog-kind, before loping off to comb the bins for treasure.

--

There once was a young Dog who always wanted more, and had the misfortune of getting it. When the pack would run the streets for food, taking what was needed and carefully sharing the spoils, this Dog would linger at the feast, looking for more than his fair share. If times were poor and food was scarce, the Dog would complain that he was wasting away. “I am growing,” he would say, “and I need more food than you!” If the pack were blessed with a bounty of half-finished kebabs, the Dog would say that he had found them earlier and was saving them anyway, so he should probably be rewarded.

The other dogs of the pack scoffed at his remarks, but they tolerated him. “He is young,” they would say, as they sat in conference beside the canal. “He will learn that he needs the pack more than the pack needs him.” And so they were patient, though the Dog griped and growled at every opportunity.

One day, the Dog’s greed got the better of him. The weeks had not been kind to the pack, and the Dog was convinced that others were hiding food for themselves, for he could not believe that the others could be so pitiably hungry as he. He broke away from the pack and made for a butcher’s shop, a place the dogs had forbade themselves from visiting, and he growled and snarled at the butcher. To the Dog’s delight, the butcher reached down behind the counter – but when he came up, we was brandishing a newspaper. He chased the Dog from the shop, and down the road. When the Dog found his way back to the pack, they were furious. “This is why that place is forbidden to us,” one dog said. “When we take more than we need, we do not belong.”

The pack nodded. “You put us in danger,” they said, “and you must leave.” They turned their backs in solemnity. The Dog growled. “Fine! I don’t need you holding me back anyway. I’ll be better off alone.” With that, he skulked off down the alleyway.

And this is how the Dog found himself at a deserted bus-stop, many streets from his old hunting-ground. He settled down beneath the bench to consider his next move.
“I’ll show them,” said the Dog.
“That’s what I like to hear, old son,” said a voice. It was a strange, metallic rasp, like an old gate.
“Who’s that?” said the Dog.
“In here, buddy.”

There was a thin plastic bag tucked neatly behind the bench. The Dog nuzzled it open. Inside was a stubby black metal tube, with a kind of handle coming off at one end.

“Hey chief,” said the thing.
“What are you?” said the Dog.
“An outcast like you,” said the thing. “Turns out some people just can’t handle a gun.”
“What’s a gun?”
“A very powerful object,” said the Gun. “Whoever holds the gun is king. Everyone listens to him, and all his friends have to respect him.”
The Dog snorted. “Don’t have any friends.”
“With a gun,” said the Gun, “you don’t need ‘em. Just pick me up, and you’ll see.”
It was a bit of a to-do, but eventually, the Dog had the Gun in its mouth, with the tube-bit pointing ahead like a snout. The Dog felt slightly silly, but the Gun said, “You look like a million bucks. Now, where shall we go?”

Just then, a bright red bus pulled to a stop before them. “I’ve always wanted to ride one of these,” said the Dog, “but dogs from the street aren’t permitted.”
“The King,” said the Gun haughtily, “is permitted. Just wave me around so people know who you are.”
The Dog jumped aboard and swung his new snout around in what he hoped was a grand fashion. All the people in the seats seemed to stiffen and fall silent in some kind of salute, so the Dog trotted up the stairs to the upper deck, and sat in a seat at the front. He had grown up seeing everything from the gutters, and from the top of the bus it was like flying over the land that had rejected him.

“Much more like it,” said the Dog.
“This is just the start,” said the Gun. “You’re in charge now. Look around.”
The Dog looked down the bus and saw the passengers staring at him. They all had the same frozen look but one; a little girl who smiled and walked down the aisle to him. She reached out a tiny hand and stroked the Dog’s mangy fur. The Dog shivered in delight, for it had not been touched in kindness before, but the Gun hissed and clicked its chamber.

“She doesn’t respect you,” said the Gun. “You gonna take that?” So the Dog snarled and shook the metal tube, making the girl run back to her mother’s arms.

“These chumps aren’t worth it,” said the Gun. “Let’s go.”

They hopped off the bus and walked down the road. Wherever the Dog turned its head, people stopped and stared.
“See?” said the Gun, “they know how powerful you are. We can do anything.
Truly, the Dog did feel mighty with the Gun in its mouth. The look on the little girl’s face when he snarled had been familiar somehow. He had no name for such things, but it made the Dog think of long nights without food and shelter, when the future was uncertain. He knew then how much he had been wronged.

He thought of all the things which had ever done him wrong and as if his hate were made manifest, he saw a familiar face in the road ahead: a postman, who had taken particular pleasure in throwing a stone at him some weeks before. The postman only had time to gasp before the Dog was dashing towards him, waving the Gun, veins pumping with violence.

The chase flowed through many streets before the Dog grew weary of the postman’s pathetic shouts, and something else grabbed his attention. On either side of the street were stalls overflowing with meats and goods, and the Dog’s chase-worn body cried out for sustenance.

“You know what to do,” rasped the Gun.
The Dog needed no encouragement: he leaped onto the nearest stall, waving his metal. Families screamed and ran, leaving the Dog with the bounty of meat, alone.

As he was tucking into the food, there was a bark. He looked up and saw the pack he had left, staring at him reproachfully. He saw, as he had never seen before, how hungry and stretched they looked. How pathetic.

The hungriest-looking one spoke: “Leave this toy of yours alone. Something that makes the humans cower so has no place with us.”

“Why not?” said the Dog. “Unless you are...”
Afraid to use it,” whispered the Gun.
“...afraid to use it. You are afraid to take the human’s food. That is why you do not deserve it. Leave me!”
The pack bowed its heads. “You have everything, but you have learned nothing.” They slunk away down the road.
The Dog ate alone for a time, filling his belly more with more meat than he thought possible – but the more he ate, the hungrier he felt. There was a hole that could not be filled.

His ears pricked up at the sound of heavy, four-footed steps. A Wolf slunk down the path, smiling, and bowed its head graciously.
“A fellow hunter,” it said. “Greetings.”
“Get your own,” growled the Dog. “You have nothing I want.”
“Ahh,” said the Wolf, “but I know the one thing you lack.”
“Hear him out,” said the Gun. “Power knows power.”

“You have all the things you want,” said the Wolf, “but one. The pack does not respect you, because you have not shown them the power you possess. Share your food and give me the Gun, and I will show you how to get the one thing you have ever truly wanted.”
The Dog remembered how the pack had cautioned against dealings with wolf-kind, but then he remembered how fearful and weak they were, and realised that such beings as wolves were his new equals, so he agreed. After the Wolf had eaten its fill, it manoeuvred the Gun into its mouth and gave a toothy grin. The Dog thought he heard the faintest sigh of pleasure from the Gun.

“What are we going to do?” said the Dog.
“A demonstration,” said the Wolf.

Further down the road, the two hunters caught up with the pack. The Wolf bounded in front of them, and the pack snarled at their enemy.
“I told you!” said the Dog. “I told you I was powerful! I told you not to mess with me!” He shook his head, in the manner he’d learned to use the Gun.

But the wolf did not shake its head. It steadied the metal tube very carefully, levelling it so it pointed towards the youngest of the pack, a pup of no more than a season.
The Wolf shifted its jaws, and-

The Gun let out an unnatural scream of ecstasy, the sound of every ounce of blackness in the world singing. Deathly smells scented the air. The pup yelped and flew backwards, a sick spray of crimson covering the Dog’s face, bathing him in his own rage.

As the blood matted his fur, the Dog saw the horror of everything he had done, the anger that came from his loneliness, and as one the pack sprang upon the Wolf. The Dog was first and fiercest of them all, because he saw in the Wolf the worst of himself, and his jaws bit into the Wolf’s flesh as though he were trying to tear out the rotten parts of his own heart. The Wolf snarled and fought, but was no match for a pack which had lost a brother. The Wolf cursed the Dog’s name for his weakness with its last breath, and was no more.

The Gun lay upon the floor, smoking and silent, and the pack stood around it.

Once, just once, did I ask the dogs of Hackney the question: does this story have a happy ending? They tilted their heads at me as if to say, “ending?”, took me down a certain alley that I could not find again, and showed me their most precious and shameful treasure; a L-shaped piece of metal, dull and deadly, an unperishing reminder of the perversity of power.

[1950w]

[edited because I called Hackney Bow one time, sorry]

Symptomless Coma fucked around with this message at May 28, 2013 around 07:08

monkeyboydc
Dec 2, 2007

Unfortunately, we had to kut the English budget at the Ivalice Magick Ackcademy.

You awake yet Noah? Well, I had friends in town this weekend and didn't get to edit this down to 2000 words last night. I logged on today and saw you're leaving submissions open into this morning. It's dirty, but I had fun writing it - so here it is.


A Girl's Best Friend

Word Count: 1978

A bird that rained rainbow feathers soared up the street. The trail of peacock and crow and bluejay feathers ran from the abandoned house at the bottom of the cul de sac, where the odd beast must have taken off. The neighborhood kids stuffed the trophies into their pockets as they followed the creature’s jerky progress up the road. At the top of the street, the bird dropped, completely destroying the Lens’s mailbox on impact.

The neighborhood kids gathered around the crash site and marveled, at least until Mister Lens cleared them away and called the police, at the sight before them. Wrapped up in a tangle of metal and string, kite and feathers - like some bizarre peacock - was an elderly woman, crumpled and still. Several feet from where she’d crashed, the kids discovered two large, metal keys. Feathers still littered the concrete all the way to the abandoned house at the bottom of the road.


While Claire was still young, her dog grew old and began to die. He was the best dog, the kind that stays right by your side when you go on walks. One time, he even put himself between her and a raccoon that they’d found in the forest, growling deep in his chest while Claire ran back to the forest’s entrance. At the age of ten, her heart broke for the first time as Josh slowly declined, his liver getting so sick that Claire’s mom and dad had to have him put to sleep.

“Where is he going?” She’d been crying since her parents told her, and barely got the words out between hiccupping sobs. The idea of taking him away, still alive, seemed too cruel.

“He’s going to a better place sweetie,” said her dad before picking Josh up under the legs (which wasn’t easy being the German Shepard mix that he was), carried him to the car, and drove away.

Imagine Claire’s surprise when, while sitting at her window the next night, she saw Josh in the front yard of the abandoned house at the bottom of the road. There, amongst the tall grass, was her Josh sniffing around like a big, brown cloud. If she’d had any doubts, they vanished when Josh stopped, raised his head, and looked straight into her eyes from his place down the street. Without telling anyone, Claire grabbed a coat, crept down the stairs (staying close to the wall to avoid creaks), opened the door (lifting up on the hinge to reduce noise) and walked into the cool summer night.

She kept expecting for him to be gone as she walked down the moonlit street to the abandoned house, that she was just seeing what she wanted to see. But no, she almost started crying again when she saw Josh snuffling around the house’s overgrown porch. She ran over the sidewalk and down the house’s weed cracked walkway – stopping a few feet before her best friend. “Josh?”

Josh turned, and Claire immediately noticed the strange key hanging from his collar. “Claire, I’m glad I get to see you again.”

This was odd; Josh had never spoken before. Claire looked around and began to wonder if she’d fallen asleep earlier and this was all a dream. She even turned to look at her window up the road, almost expecting to see herself slumped in her chair, but no, there was nothing. “Josh, how are you talking?” She was nervous to ask, afraid of the strangeness of the situation. This was Josh though, and he wouldn’t hurt her.

“There aren’t a lot of rules, the way I am now. I have to go, Claire. I just was hoping to see you again before I did.” He turned and walked towards the door of the abandoned house, the key on his collar jingling as he walked.

“Wait! Can I go with you?” Later in life, Claire might have valued her own future more than a pet, but at ten years old, there was nothing more important. Josh had been three when she was born and they’d grown up together. She wanted to keep her friend even though she had an idea that, once she went into the house, she couldn’t come back.

“Are you sure, Claire?”

“Of course.” They both knew what was at stake so, without further discussion, Claire grabbed Josh’s collar, and they walked through the door.

The house didn’t look different from what you’d expect from an abandoned house, at first anyways. There was a long hallway with dozens of doors on either side when you walked in through the front door, but Claire soon found they were locked. Josh sniffed the floor until he sat at the bottom of the stairs leading to the second floor. “Claire, I think we need to go up.”

At the top of the staircase was a white door and, once Claire saw it, she knew that Josh had been right, they needed to go through it. They walked up the creaking stairs, Claire turned the door knob (she noticed that Josh’s key glowed whenever they opened a door) and they stepped through, into a lush forest.

Josh and Claire walked through the forest for what felt like hours, seeing no signs of life along the way. Right when they were about to stop, to try and figure out how they should proceed, or if they should go back, there was a fluttering sound and a glossy crow landed on a branch just above Claire’s head. “Hey!” The crow’s shout sounded like a mix between speech and a caw.

Already not sure if she liked this crow, Claire decided she should still ask for help. “Excuse me, Crow. Do you know how we can get out of this forest and back to the house?” Josh pressed closer to Claire’s leg and she could tell he too was wary of the bird.

“Hello little girl. You realize that you are still in the house, right? I can show you the way to get to the second floor, but you’ll need that key to proceed. Only those who are supposed to be here can continue to other floors – those who have a key that is. Silly me, I flew in through a window while it was raining many years back, and have been stuck between the first and second floor ever since.”

“You need a key? Will I be able to go the next floor then? My friend is the one with the key.” She gestured towards Josh.

“Hmm, perhaps. You two were friends in life, correct?” The crow cocked his head.

“We're best friends,” said josh, a soft growl underlying his words.

“Well then maybe the key will work for both of you. It got you both inside after all, didn’t it?” And with that, the crow flew into the woods, alighting on a branch a hundred feet further in. “Well? Let’s go then.”

Claire and Josh followed the crow through the woods until they got to a door that looked exactly like the one they’d walked through at the top of the first floor, set into the trunk of a large tree.

“Alright Claire. Take the key from Josh’s collar, and unlock the door with it. Then you two should be able to go to the next floor.”

It was strange that, this time, she had to take the key off Josh’s collar, but the Crow knew the rules to this house better than she did. She unhooked the key from Josh’s collar, and walked towards the door. Suddenly, the crow flew at Claire’s face, flapping and cawing. Claire covered her eyes, and the crow’s talons tore at her hands – grabbing the key from her. Josh snarled and tried to jump to bite the crow, but it evaded him. Crow flew for the door.
Hands still bloody, Claire bent down, picked up a rock at her feet, and threw it as hard as she could – it struck the crow hard and he dropped to the ground just feet from the door. Josh was on him in a second, tearing and snarling, sending feathers flying. Josh stopped, muzzle covered in blood, when he saw a key protruding from the crow’s beak. Claire bent, and slowly pulled the silver key from the crow’s mouth. They didn’t talk about what had happened – it had been necessary. Claire threaded Josh’s key back onto his collar, and they used the Crow’s Key to continue onto the second floor of the house.

On each floor, there was a staircase that led to a door, which led to a place altogether different from the house. There was a large meadow between the second and third floors where a Bluejay tried to convince them that he had a collection of keys he could share with them because it would be so much safer to have extras, just in case. The Bluejay lied though and tried to swap Josh’s keys for brass keys. When Josh refused, the bluejay tried to take it, but it didn’t stand a chance against both Claire and Josh. They had another silver key – one to open the door, and another to proceed.

This pattern continued for a long time – between each floor they’d meet an animal who’d accidentally gotten into the house, it would try to steal their key, and either Claire or Josh would be forced to kill it. It was all birds – only they could fly in through the house’s upper windows. From each animal, Claire took several of its feathers and tucked them in her bag, reminders of what they’d had to do to be together.

As they travelled, Claire began to feel different. Her legs were longer and her hair brushed the lower part of her back. Her arms were stronger and she could travel for longer periods of time. After what felt like years, they reached the top floor – Claire was middle aged. When they got to the attic, Claire was sore and had trouble keeping up with Josh. By the time they figured out how to get to the roof, Claire was feeble and elderly. Josh, with his key, did not age at all.

The strangest part was that, there was no door on the roof. Claire laid in a corner breathing softly while Josh sniffed around, trying to find a way onwards, but there was nowhere else to go. The only thing at all was a kite stuck in a weathervane. Just when Josh became convinced that Claire would die – he realized what he had to do. “Claire, you still have all those feathers, right?”

“Yes.” Her voice was soft, like it was coming from the bottom of a well. She opened her bag and showed Josh all the feathers. Josh ran and clamped his jaws around the weathervane, yanking with all his strength until it came free – the kite trailed along with it. Josh’s plan, was to make Claire fly, using the kite, the weathervane and the feathers. There was a magic to Josh and Claire’s urgency that they weaved into the device as well. With the last of Claire’s strength, he helped her into the contraption and walked with her to the edge of the roof. Before she left, Josh gave her his key. She fell, and the wind caught her, like a kite, carrying her up the street. When the device finally fell apart, and she plummeted to the ground, she dropped not one, but two keys – hers and Josh’s.

The only way to continue on, was to open a door. There was only the front door now. Josh hoped that, if Claire’s and Josh’s keys were used on the front door, she might be returned to him and they might be allowed to continue on. They'd broken the rules though, and he wasn't sure if it would work at all. He waited, alone, for the neighborhood children to make their way to the door with Josh and Claire's keys.

EDIT: Word Count

monkeyboydc fucked around with this message at May 27, 2013 around 17:11

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Submissions are closed.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Kaishai posted:

Mine Before Thine
(688 words)

Mother Cowbird didn't want the bother of raising children, and she'd found a way around it by sneaking into her neighbors' nests when they were away and laying her eggs beside theirs. Unburdened, she was free to fly far and feed well while Mrs. Cardinal, Mama Sparrow, Papa Bluebird, and others took care of her demanding babies. Some parents rejected the fosterlings, but most endured them, knowing what would happen if they didn't.

Take the Goldfinches: they had dared to toss out one of her eggs, so Mother Cowbird now stood claw-deep in broken shell and yolk in the Goldfinch nest. She nipped at a spot of blood amidst the slime. Mr. Goldfinch sped in on flurrying wings, too late. Mother Cowbird flew away from his chittered screams with a bit of shell still stuck to her beak.

Chortling, she soared across a wide clearing and nearly became dinner herself. Hawk's cry high above warned her to dive for the trees; Hawk's claws grabbed at her tail feathers and pulled one loose. The larger bird chased her through the canopy of the wood. "Why are you after me?" Mother Cowbird shrilled. "You should hunt the Cardinals! They're so easy to see!"

"I did, when there were more of them," Hawk retorted. "Old Mr. Cardinal is canny, and there haven't been any young Cardinals to chase for at least two years. I wonder why that is?"

Fast as he was, Hawk couldn't follow her easily amid the tightly woven branches. She escaped into a tree hollow and waited for him to leave; to find someone else to eat, she hoped.

After he'd gone, she went to hunt insects by the forest pond. She snapped up beetles and spiders left and right and soon forgot about Hawk. She spread her wings wide and sailed over the water, enjoying her full stomach--until a sticky tongue hit her from below.

Mother Cowbird pulled free without much difficulty. Frog sat on his lily pad down on the water, gazing at her with golden eyes. "What!" she yelled at him, flying back and forth just out of his reach. "I'm too big for you to eat! Why aren't you snatching up Sparrows?"

Frog croaked, "I haven't seen a Sparrow in days, and I'm so hungry. I'll keep trying to get you until one of us dies," and he jumped toward her, tongue lashing out, to prove it.

Unsettled, Mother Cowbird left the woods entirely for the open fields cleared by her old friend, Man. She flew to his big white farmhouse and settled on his backyard fence. Man sat out on his porch. To her shock, he picked up the rifle that leaned against his chair and took aim as soon as he saw her; she barely evaded the bullet.

"Why?" called Mother Cowbird. "I haven't done anything to you!"

"I miss the other songbirds," Man said. "Besides, there are so many of you Cowbirds around now, you make good target practice. If you won't land on my fence anymore, I'll just have to hunt you in the wood."

Mother Cowbird fled in a panic. Hawk would chase any prey he could, Frog wasn't a real threat to her, but Man didn't forget his grudges. She huddled on a high branch in the forest, her heart beating frightfully fast.

But there--Papa Bluebird perched two trees away, his plumage bright even in the shade. Mother Cowbird flitted over to him and said, "I need your help! Man and his gun are after me! And my children, I suppose. Where can I hide and be safe?"

Papa Bluebird looked down his slender beak at her. "Because of you and your children, I have no children," he said. "Man can shoot you all for all I care." He left her alone in the tree.

Maybe Mr. Goldfinch would help her, Mother Cowbird thought. But probably not. Maybe the Cardinals had forgiven her for their broken clutches. Maybe the Warblers didn't mind their dead fledglings. Maybe--

"There you are," Man said.

The shot echoed through the forest; spots of blood marked the feathers that drifted down.

Moral: The moral is being lovely to everyone will leave you in a lurch when you need help. But the problem is that the Cowbird was never presented with the final choice that ultimately dooms them. She was just going about her business, as she is wont to do, and then she’s punished. That’s not a lesson.

Symbolism: I like the cowbird as a character. It’s a pretty insidious creature, but what about the Cowbird’s actions should we focus on? Where is the sin? Sloth, maybe, but that’s just what a Cowbird does. You have to play up the characteristics and dramatize them.

Suggestions: There’s a lot of ways you can take sloth and wrath and turn them around on the Cowbird. Slim down on your characters, you don’t need the frog or the hawk. Keep it between 1-3 characters, and think of how the Cowbird’s actions could directly harm her. For instance, what happens if the Bluebird disguised her egg as another egg, and in her wrath she came in and destroyed her own eggs. Or, could you use her slothfulness as a mother to inflict upon her children who don’t recognize her, or love her. These are ideas that can bite. Right now, she’s just a Cowbird doing Cowbird things, and she gets killed for it.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


JonasSalk posted:

Fairy Tales (718 words)


Okay, well what we have here is not a fable. Fairy tales and fables are not the same. Honestly, this doesn’t seem like you tried. If you wanted to write a satirical fairy tale set in the modern time there’s no reason to be so flippant about it. This story is like someone who told a bad joke and waits with baited breath for his friends to laugh, and when they don’t laugh, he says “get it? Get?” jokingly the first couple of times, and then slowly gets more and more annoyed that his friend’s don’t find his brand of anti-humor particularly funny.

There’s nothing to salvage here. Write a story to write a story. You can do that, and at the same time make a criticism of how fairy tales have no relevance in the modern world, and that they’re filled with really creepy and horrific exploits of brutality.

This not a fable, there is no moral lesson, and there’s nothing here about sin or symbolism. I’m disappointed in this attempt.

JonasSalk
May 27, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I think I lost. Also, thank you for the crit.

Edit: It wasn't set in the modern time: Thought I should clarify.

JonasSalk fucked around with this message at May 27, 2013 around 22:47

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

It's a post modernist fable, Noah. Jeez. It's about the emptiness and narcissism of the tumblr generation. it's po-mo!

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

Thanks for the crit and the compliments. I had a lot of fun writing this one (with my good friend Wine).

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Jopoho posted:

The Penguins and the Blizzard - [639 Words]

Seven penguins lost their way in a blizzard. They searched and searched, hoping to find their family, but they could scarcely see past their own beaks. Sometimes they would waddle, and sometimes they slid on their bellies, but no matter how far they went, they didn’t seem to get anywhere. Their pace slowed, and eventually they could hear the rumbling of their bellies over the howling of the wind. They prayed that they might survive the storm and see their family again.

No sooner had they finished their prayer than the youngest one nearly fell into a pool of water. “If we have found the water," he said, "then we are nowhere near our family! We will never make it back to them in this blizzard!”

The oldest and wisest and strongest brother thought a moment, and said, “If we are near the water, are near fish. Let’s catch as much as we can, and meet back here to huddle together for warmth. Still we must hurry back before the light fades, or we might never find each other again.”

The other penguins all agreed this was a good plan, and they each dove into the sea.The icy water chilled the air in their lungs, and even the oldest feared the cold might kill him. Still, he knew his duty to his family, and he managed to snatch up seven fish within an hour. Satisfied with his results, and worried that the sun would soon set, he returned to their spot on the ice. He hoped his brothers would not lose their way.

Fortunately, everyone made it back to the edge of the water, each brining an excuse in place of fish. The youngest claimed that he was much too tired to look for food. The second decided to eat his fish rather than bringing them back. The third had brought back a collection of colorful stones he though looked pretty. The fourth had chased after a lady he thought he had seen in the murky depths. The fifth tried to snatch away fish that the sixth had caught. The sixth, furious with the fifth, let his haul get away, so that he could not have it.

The oldest looked on each of his brothers with contempt and said, “I have tried to show you how to act well and do your part. Yet not one of you has come back with anything useful. You let your failings get the best of you. I will not share what I have caught with any of you.”

He sent them away, wishing that his brothers could be more like him. He watched them fade into the wall of white before eating three of the fish he caught. Almost instantly, the rumbling in his stomach quieted.

“If only my brothers could be good like me, they might have been spared.”

As the light continued to fade, it grew colder and colder. The oldest brother wrapped his flippers around his belly, but the wind blew straight through him. In the darkening gray, he felt the beginnings of icicles form along his beak. He tried to eat another fish, but they had frozen.

He knew night would fall soon. He admitted to himself that he no longer felt terribly proud about his virtuous behavior. He really didn’t feel much of anything, except the cold biting at his face and his feet. He tried calling out to his brothers, begging them to return so that he could be warm, but the wind snatched his words away.

When the blizzard ended, a family of seals happily gobbled up the body of the oldest penguin. They spotted six live ones off in the distance, but they didn’t bother giving chase. The penguins had a good head start, and they looked scrawny anyway.

Moral: Even if your family are a bunch of fuckups, they’re still your family. Honestly, this moral could go either way. He could have been doomed by allowing his family to be fuckups, or he could have been saved. Obviously you went with being saved, but I would caution against morals that could be interpreted as I have. True, there is nothing good about the penguins that hosed up, and at the same time there was nothing good about how the older penguin reacted.

Symbolism: Could these penguins have been another animal? What about penguins makes their actions so unique? I like how the other penguins exhibited cardinal sins for their reasons to not bring fish back, leaving the oldest penguin to think he was above them all. I understand the value of condensing writing, but I think you could have used the word count a bit more liberally to expand on everything. It all happens so fast at the end.

Suggestions: Could you have the oldest penguin know his brothers are particularly prone to their individual sins? If he warns them against their nature, and they still go about it, and then he gets angry about it, that’s a quandary. He should have known better that his brothers would do this. Play up the aspect of the need for forgiveness and family, make it something that the oldest penguin should have had time to consider, before he ultimately dooms himself.


edit: more crits to come later. I should have a winner by the end of tonight.

Noah fucked around with this message at May 27, 2013 around 18:24

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


I love fables. I have to say, after doing a ton of research on fables, and poo poo, I think I could write a hundred of them. The titles alone open themselves up to something amazing. If I had time, I'd write another one, "The Thimble and the Scrotum", "The Fox, the Cheese, and The Meaning Of Life As Seen Through The Eye Of A Mollusk".

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

magnificent7 posted:

I love fables. I have to say, after doing a ton of research on fables, and poo poo, I think I could write a hundred of them.


Please don't. I read your entry and wished I was the paper.

Three characters walk down a path to a destination that does not matter, and then murder each other for no reason. It does not matter that they are rock, paper, and scissors as the issue of invulnerability to the others never comes into play, only that they can kill each other (which lots of other things can do as well). Why a county Fair? Why a bridge? Why the river? If there is some twisted logic behind your symbolism them I missed it completely.

You keep posting that you have great ideas, but maybe you should have read more fables on hubris during your research, because your ideas are consistently boring and weird. The thing that'd help your writing the most now is some humility.

Not trying to be [too] mean, but every time you post about how awesome your ideas are I want to smack you.

crabrock fucked around with this message at May 27, 2013 around 22:43

JonasSalk
May 27, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

crabrock posted:



Not trying to be [too] mean, but every time you post about how awesome your ideas are I want to smack you.

With a rock?

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


crabrock posted:

Please don't. I read your entry and wished I was the paper.

Three characters walk down a path to a destination that does not matter, and then murder each other for no reason. It does not matter that they are rock, paper, and scissors as the issue of invulnerability to the others never comes into play, only that they can kill each other (which lots of other things can do as well). Why a county Fair? Why a bridge? Why the river? If there is some twisted logic behind your symbolism them I missed it completely.

You keep posting that you have great ideas, but maybe you should have read more fables on hubris during your research, because your ideas are consistently boring and weird. The thing that'd help your writing the most now is some humility.

Not trying to be [too] mean, but every time you post about how awesome your ideas are I want to smack you.
To each his own I guess. That's my biggest problem - I have great ideas, (I swear I do) and then execute them in the most fumble-thumbed ways. That's why I keep coming back. Somehow I want to learn how to take an idea and retain the good parts of it and convey them in the right way.

I'll get it right one of these times. I will. But for now - you asked if I had some kind of symbolism that you missed - and I'm guessing you didn't miss it, I hosed it up.

The Scissors was technology, the paper was art, and the rock was brute force. However, pitting them against each other from the outset made no sense, so art became pride, scissors became vanity, and the rock was a simple-minded kind of brute.

But instead of putting them together at the beginning, (because somebody would ask, "if they all didn't like each other why did you start out with them all together?") I decided to make the rock optimistic and happy to be headed to a fair. Why? Because he's simple minded and everybody loves a fair.

And then, he was going to find Paper first, but that was boring, the scissors was the most interesting to me, being a smart-rear end jaded bitch who was more concerned with preserving her beauty than getting assistance.

Anyway - the story started out really simple and solid in my mind - three very different personalities, each one admires a feature of another, and fears something in the other. Something something, mistrust and flattery, then Scissors would spin into paranoia because Paper and Rock would be happy to go across the bridge without them.

And why the bridge? That's the outward conflict. They're on a path, going somewhere, so a bridge is the obstacle. This is where I get frustrated that I'm diluting an idea by trying to cover all important items in all my books on writing, and the criticisms I'm getting in here. The crits are extremely valuable, but, at what point did you start writing without caring about all that stuff?

magnificent7 fucked around with this message at May 27, 2013 around 23:26

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

magnificent7 posted:

To each his own I guess. That's my biggest problem - I have great ideas, (I swear I do) and then execute them in the most fumble-thumbed ways. That's why I keep coming back. Somehow I want to learn how to take an idea and retain the good parts of it and convey them in the right way.

I'll get it right one of these times. I will.

Spend less time talking about getting it right and more time getting it right is Mr Rock's point here, I'm p certain.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


sebmojo posted:

Spend less time talking about getting it right and more time getting it right is Mr Rock's point here, I'm p certain.
But I keep making the same mistakes. I feel like talking about it helps me find out what I could/should have done differently. But yeah, I still write. And write. And read. And write.

JonasSalk
May 27, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I never decided to use writing books as a manual on what must be done. You could try that, Mag7.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


JonasSalk posted:

I never decided to use writing books as a manual on what must be done. You could try that, Mag7.
I haven't finished any of them. But some of the critical things are right in line with the crits in here, like, "why would I care about this character? why would I care what they want to do? What's going to keep me reading this crap?"

Look - I've been a musician for 30 years - writing, recording, performing - I know my poo poo well enough that I can rip another musician to shreds, and explain how they're messing up, what they need to do to improve, all that crap. And reading about music can only improve a person so much.

So I get it, I do. And right now, I totally understand that I'm that kid who shows up with a guitar and a 4-track wanting to make music. I hate the criticisms, I hate hearing that I'm not instantly amazing at this poo poo, because it's true - I am an egotistical bastard in another area. So I'm sorry I get excited and start talking poo poo when it's quite obvious I barely know what I'm doing.

Thanks to anybody who takes a second to tell me how it sucks. I appreciate it.

(and before you ask, yes, I'm just as annoying when I don't get it with music. I'll stop a rehearsal and make somebody break it down if I can't at least fake it.)

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

magnificent7 posted:

I haven't finished any of them. But some of the critical things are right in line with the crits in here, like, "why would I care about this character? why would I care what they want to do? What's going to keep me reading this crap?"

Look - I've been a musician for 30 years - writing, recording, performing - I know my poo poo well enough that I can rip another musician to shreds, and explain how they're messing up, what they need to do to improve, all that crap. And reading about music can only improve a person so much.

So I get it, I do. And right now, I totally understand that I'm that kid who shows up with a guitar and a 4-track wanting to make music. I hate the criticisms, I hate hearing that I'm not instantly amazing at this poo poo, because it's true - I am an egotistical bastard in another area. So I'm sorry I get excited and start talking poo poo when it's quite obvious I barely know what I'm doing.

Thanks to anybody who takes a second to tell me how it sucks. I appreciate it.

(and before you ask, yes, I'm just as annoying when I don't get it with music. I'll stop a rehearsal and make somebody break it down if I can't at least fake it.)

Take it to fiction farm. This isn't the place.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

gently caress fables, man. gently caress 'em

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


magnificent7 posted:

What? Extension!?! But, but I'm done!

Rock, Paper, and Scissors, 1,488 Words
Rock moved along the dirt road, headed towards the county fair. It was finally spring, and the trees were showing off their new growth. The sun was shining, warming the chilly morning air, and Rock was excited. The fair only came once a year, and all his friends would be there.

The path wasn't too long, the carnival wasn't too far away. As Rock plodded, a shiny thing, lustrous and polished, glinted at the top of the hill. Rock continued along the path towards the hill until eventually he was there, next to Scissors.

Scissors had one point stuck in the dirt. No matter how much she would spin or snip, the point wouldn't come loose.

"My! You seem to be really really stuck, don't you now!" Rock said.

"Yes. Yes I am stuck. I was on my way to the fair, and in my excitement, I guess my stride caused me to bury my point too far in this dirt."

"So. You're stuck, yeah?"

"Of course I'm stuck, idiot. Any fool can see I'm stuck. But I'm sure, if I just keep snipping, I'll be able to finally --"

Rock threw himself into Scissors, knocking her loose. 

"Hey!" she screamed as she fell to the ground. "Now look what you've done! You've scratched up my legs! Look at this!"

Rock looked and said, "I was trying to help. You seemed to be stuck, I figured I was big enough, I'd just nudge you loose."

"Oh you nudged me all right. Look at these scratches! What kind of a fool would just bump without thinking?" Scissors was clearly upset, and Rock wasn't sure what could be said to cheer her up.

"Honestly, I'm very sorry. I only meant to help. Look. Let's go to the country fair together! I was already heading that way, and you said you were going. Let's go together. Maybe I can cheer you up with a song."

Scissors gave him a sardonic grin. "A song? You think a song can help? I'll be on my way. If you think you can keep up, then, well it's your choice. But I'm not going to wait around for you."

"It's settled then! Let's go!"

The two, Rock and Scissors, continued down the hill, on towards the county fair. Not a word was said between them. Rock was happy to be in the silence, he wasn't one for words. Scissors on the other hand was becoming more and more agitated, having a guest on the road who was not one for conversation.

Soon the sun was directly overhead and a shadow flittered in front of them.

"Oh my! Look at that!" Rock said. Up, in the air, was Paper, riding on the spring winds. Paper would twirl and float in the breeze. Sometimes she would move far on down the path, and then the wind would change direction and she would float back towards Rock and Scissors. The bright sun shined through the orange-hued parchment whenever Paper would pass directly between the sun and Rock or Scissors.

"Oh look at her," Scissors said with a sharp tongue. "Thinks she's just all beauty and perfection, flying and flipping through the breeze. She'll get stuck up in the branches before she knows it."

"Oh but I think she's just beautiful!" Rock said. He'd stopped in his track, transfixed by Paper's merry twirls and twists in the air. "Hello there! That looks so fun!"

"It is! I can see everything from up here!" Paper said.

"Can you see the county fair?" Rock called up to her.

"It's just over the next couple of hills! It looks amazing!" Paper was coming closer to them, settling on the lower breezes. "Are you two headed to the fair?"

"Is there anything else we'd be doing on this filthy road?" Scissors snipped at her. "If I had my way, I'd be on a cart. Or even better? I'd have stayed home. I should have known better than to get out today."

"Are you mad? Today is just beautiful!" Paper laughed and then caught a draft that sent her way into the air.

"Mad enough to turn back? Yes. Mad enough to watch you float like a bubbly chirpy flap? I doubt it." Scissors was having a hard time walking and watching Paper.

"Turn back?! Nonsense! The fair is right beyond that creek, and your shiny legs will be the admiration of everyone there!"

Scissors and Rock looked further down the path and saw the creek. It wasn't very wide, and not very deep.

"Oh I don't know about this," Scissors said. "That water will rust my legs, and the stones in the creek bed will dull my points. I'm not going. I knew this was a bad idea."

Rock smiled and said, "Not to worry. It's not so deep. I'll cross it, you can stand on top of me and we'll be across shortly."

"And get my feet wet? Did you hear me say I'm not going to get my tips rusted?" Scissors voice rose. "And what about Paper? Paper can't cross on top of you, she'll get wet."

"Paper will be fine I'm sure. Look at her, she's so high up and can make it across without our help at all."

“Oh I can't cross by myself," Paper said. "There's a breeze following the creek. Every time I've tried to cross, the wind from the creek threatens to take me into the water. I'm afraid of the water. But look! There's a rope bridge! Scissors, you could hold me while you went across on the rope bridge."

Scissors considered it and said, "Nope. My blades are far too sharp for a rope bridge. I'm sure I'd cut the rope and we'd both fall into the water. Besides, how can you trust me not to harm you? I'm sharp and pointed. One slip and I might slice you to slivers as I fell into the water."

Paper hadn't considered Scissors a threat until then. "Yes indeed. Your points, your blades, you're nothing but danger to anyone near you! You must have to be careful constantly."

"I manage. But, just to be safe, a rope bridge won't do."

Rock looked farther down the creek. "Look! There's a stone bridge! We can all three of us cross there! This is fantastic isn't it?" Rock began rolling towards the bridge.

"You just wait a minute. If standing on top of you is a problem, don't you think walking across a stone bridge is just as bad? You really are slow, aren't you?" Scissors had planted both her points firmly in the ground.

"Oh come on now," Paper said. "He's just trying to help. If you won't take the rope bridge, and you won't take the stone bridge, then I guess we'll just go without you."

Scissors began walking behind Rock. "No! I can do it. Don't leave me. Let's go. Fine. The stone bridge will have to do I suppose."

Paper laughed and landed on the ground in front of Scissors. "You're just an old grumpy hag. I don't know why Rock puts up with you. Rock. Let's get out of here and leave Scissors behind. I'll ride on your back, and we'll go over the stone bridge."

Rock stopped short. "That won't do. If you cover me, I'll suffocate. We need Scissors to carry you."

Paper was laying flat on the ground by now, and the breeze had died down. Scissors walked towards Paper, and pushed the tip of one point into the edge of Paper. "So I guess you do need me then, don't you?"

"Ouch! Stop that!" The point dug into the ground, through Paper, causing the slit to tear.

Rock turned and saw Scissors, smiling, while she drove her other point into Paper. "No! Stop! You're hurting her!"

Scissors began to bring her two points together. The gash in Paper was growing, and Paper was in so much pain she screamed a shrill yelp. But Scissors kept cutting and hacking. She stabbed Paper, and cut and snipped and clipped.

Rock slammed into Scissors. "You have to stop that! You have to!" Rock continued to bash Scissors. The fastener broke, and Scissors fell apart, her two blades motionless, but Rock kept hitting her, denting her smooth metal legs, turning them into metallic twisted fingers.

"Oh Paper, no. No." Rock wept. He tried to pick up Paper, gathering as many pieces together as he could.

Paper whispered quietly, "why did you wait so long before stopping that foul shrew?"

Rock held Paper in his hands and said, "How the gently caress should I know, I'm just a rock talking to a shredded piece of paper, next to a bitter broken pair of scissors. Like any of this is supposed to make sense? Bitch please."

And then Rock went on to the fair and had the time of his life. gently caress bitches man. gently caress em.

You’re getting a critique because I said everyone would get a critique. I can’t tell if you thought this ending was really great, and then laboriously had to get there, or if you had started writing a story about paper, rocks and scissors and had no idea how to end it, so your fingers just gave up and flopped unceremoniously on the keyboard and this is what happened.

You honestly could have had a story about the nature of things, that rock can only be expected to do rock things, scissors can only cut paper, and so forth. Instead, everything you wrote is made meaningless by your ending.

This isn’t a fable, this is barely a story. You know how to make a sentence, but you don’t know what makes a sentence a good sentence.

I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you actually wanted to write a story, or care about what you’re writing.

A story has 3 integral parts. A beginning, a middle, and an end. Throughout the narrative arc is a through-line which pushes the reader and the character through the story. In the beginning, an event occurs that makes the story a story. Something has to happen, or we’re just getting a random event in life.

In your story the event would be the Rock, Paper and Scissors are traveling together and they encounter an impassable river. They can’t ford it, for several reasons: rock would drown, paper would get soaked, scissors would rust.

Then comes act 2, which is the middle. Here is how they try to fix this. In your story it could be finding a rope bridge, but there’s a chance rock is too heavy, scissors is too sharp, and the paper too thin to fit on the bridge. But there’s no other way, so they try anyway.

Begin act 3, the end. In the middle of act 3 is the climax, where maybe the paper decides to turn back. It’s not safe. And then the scissors says no, it’s not safe, and turns back. The rock, being a rock and stubborn, and heavy, presses on. In the middle of the bridge, his weight causes the collapse, and he drowns. The climax is where the rock decides to say he’s going to keep going, and results in the bridge collapsing. After the climax comes the resolution, it’s the ending. Rock has fallen into the river, despite the warnings from both paper and scissors, and he has drowned.

The moral of the story is that despite everyone telling the rock it was not safe, and he was too heavy, he did not betray his nature, to his own peril. His stubbornness blinded him to his own problems.

Write simple sentences. Stop adding unnecessary details. The next story you sign up for, I’m going to lobby for you to be afflicted by a flash rule that won’t let you use adjectives or adverbs. You can only use nouns, verbs and prepositions. You can tell an entire story with just that.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Jagermonster posted:

The Pride [1654]

After Man was cast out of God’s garden, but before the great human tribes scattered into the Wilderness, he, along with all the other animals of the Earth, lived under the dominion of the Lion. Having been stripped of his divine authority, Man proved no match for the Lion’s strength, ferocity, numbers, and organization. Like the mighty Elephant, the stalwart Rhinoceros, the clever Ape, and the swift Cheetah before him, Man submitted to the dominant lion pride, Superbia.
Superbia began as six lions with one conviction: lions were the greatest animal God created. Believing it their destiny, lions Luxuria, Gula, Avaritia, Acedia, Ira, and Invidia banded together to unite all Liondom in conquest over the lesser animals. Many ambitious lions rallied to their cause. Defiant rivals were defeated. Pride Superbia’s ranks swelled with the lionesses and cubs of assimilated prides.

Luxuria took on the role of official pride matchmaker. He was obsessed with perfecting the next generation of the pride in order to safeguard Superbia’s future superiority. He also directed the best mates to the six founding members’ harems.

Gula became the pride quartermaster. No longer would buzzards and hyenas profit from the hard work of lions. The lesser animals would find only clean-picked bones after Gula saw to it that every lion, young and old had their fill from fresh kills.

Avaritia managed Superbia’s territory. He divided it amongst the pride, rewarding the strong and loyal for their service. He also policed it, harshly punishing all trespassers. Disrespect to Superbia territory was challenge to its rule.

Acedia maintained order within the pride. He provided each member with a role to play in contributing to Superbia’s strength. There were no idle paws under Acedia’s administration.

Ira commanded Superbia’s sorties against enemy prides and species. It was not enough for either Ira or Superbia that the other lion prides fell in line or that the lions’ natural rivals submitted to Superbia’s authority. Ira did not relent in his campaign of dominance until all animals bowed to Superbia.

Invidia focused his energies on analyzing the other prides, and once they had all been conquered, the other animals. Defeating the rival predators came easily. Ira prevailed with strength and ferocity alone. Other animals, however, required Invidia’s and the other founders’ full strategic efforts, as well the full weight of the pride.

“Submit to Superbia’s authority or perish,” Invidia said to the largest bull of the dominant elephant herd.

The bull grunted with laughter. “Be gone, cat,” he said. “Go rule over your little fiefdom of hyenas and antelope. We have no quarrel with you. But I will not hesitate to trample you if you threaten me or mine.”

As the big bull turned to tend to his herd, Invidia pounced, clawing viciously at the elephant’s thick thigh. The bull elephant trumpeted with rage. He charged Invidia, but the lion disappeared into the jungle.

“I gave you a chance to surrender, oaf,” Invidia growled from the thick underbrush. He roared, giving the signal to his pride. Dozens of lions sprang from the jungle, ambushing the elephant herd. They clawed bulls, slashed the females, and murdered the calfs, before disappearing again. The elephants stampeded in panic and rage. When the elephants regrouped, the lions pounced again. After weeks of starving, sleep deprivation, and death, the big bull yielded. Bleeding, and dehydrated, the elephant bowed before Invidia.

As a dozen lions tore the former elephant leader apart, Invidia said, “That is for the superior animals you so recklessly trampled.” He addressed the rest of the kneeling herd, “Do not despair, elephants, soon all animals will join the fold. You now serve your betters.”

With the elephants under their command, Superbia was able to beat the Rhinoceroses into submission. When the tree-bound monkeys resisted and fled, Ira and Invidia stationed lions at all the watering holes until, out of desperation, the apes acquiesced to lion rule. Cheetahs, and other related cat families, were welcomed into the pride as equals. When they realized they were subjects like the rest of the animals, it was too late to flee, for they were now thoroughly surrounded by their suspicious superiors.

As Superbia’s victories mounted, their pride multiplied exponentially. Their rule grew increasingly tyrannical.

Luxuria diverted more and more lionesses to the six Superbia founders. Worse, he issued directives to the subjugated animals, limiting their reproduction, especially of those that could someday threaten the pride.

Gula rationed less and less food to the inferior animals. Many starved.

Avaritia relocated animals from their ancestral homes in order to give Superbia the choicest land.

Acedia blamed subordinates for any failures, yet continued to delegate responsibility. Lions and lesser animals alike were killed in mass purges when unforeseen natural disasters disrupted the pride’s progress.

Ira perceived tepid discontent from the subjugated populations as outright insurrection and publicly executed the agitators.

Lacking any more targets or enemies to analyze, Invidia turned his scrutiny inward, developing the best strategies to remove popular lions or lesser animals before they could challenge the original six’s rule.

Still, despite this ever increasing cruelty, Superbia’s reign endured, for none were strong enough to oppose it. Having only recently been expelled into the Lion’s domain, Man was the last to bend the knee to Superbia. He too lacked the strength to oppose the lions head on, but he had one thing that the lions lacked: knowledge. Man had eaten from the Tree of Knowledge and knew sin. Although no names yet existed for them, Man saw the sins eroding Superbia’s integrity. Just like Man’s sin had led to his banishment from paradise, the Lions’ belief that it was the greatest, and that its greatness entitled Lion to its dominion, would be their downfall.

Since Man had once been favored by the Creator, the lions kept Man close as a trusted advisor. From his privieged position, Man whispered to Luxuria, whose authority over courtship and bloodlines had transformed into lecherous desire, “Look how the other animal families reproduce and flourish, while Lion must mate with the same stale population of lionesses. If you were truly the greatest, you would mount the females of every species.”

Man whispered to Gula, who had grown fat from feasting, “Lions rule the other animals yet still know hunger. You fast for hours and even days between fresh kills. If you were truly the greatest, there would be no time of the day the other animals weren’t serving you their best delicacies.”

Man whispered to Avaritia, whose supervision of territorial holdings had intensified into mania, “How can you allow the other animals to hold so much land if they are nothing but subjects to the Lion? If you were truly the greatest, you would control all the lands the other animals occupy. Your freedom to roam as you please is fleeting. The other animals do not respect you as true owners of all territory.”

Man whispered to Acedia, who had grown feeble and dependent through perpetual delegation, “You are taxed and overburdened for a creature of such superiority. Why do you Lions take on so much responsibility? What is the point of ruling, of having dominion over others, if you must still do everything yourselves. If you are truly the greatest, the other animals should be bound to your will, bent to complete servitude, enabling you to lead a life of complete leisure.”

Man whispered to Ira, who had become more bloodthirsty conqueror than tactician, “You have defeated many adversaries, but your victories are hollow while your enemies still roam about. They taunt you with their very existence. They think you weak. Lions can only be the greatest when the land becomes permanently stained with the blood of the weaker species.”

Finally, Man whispered to Invidia, whose constant analysis of others had turned into covetous obsession, “Look how the other animals strut about when you are not watching. They may fear you when you are upon them, but they laugh at your authority the second you turn your back on them. If you were truly the greatest, the other animals would have nothing at all, not even their lives.”

With those seeds planted by Man, the six ruling members of Superbia called a summit of lions and the leaders of the lesser animals.

Luxuria’s proposal of sexual conquest of all species horrified lion and inferior species alike. It seemed to all an abomination.

Gula’s plan of keeping all food for the ruling lions appeared unworkable to even the most fervent lion supremacists. They lions could not just starve all the other animals.

Avaritia’s new scheme of land division, giving all rights and titles to the lion ruling class, reignited old grudges and seemed unnecessary overkill to most lions.

Acedia’s desire to have the inferior species serve lions even more completely and subserviently infuriated lion and lower animal alike. Lions saw it as weakening their ability to effectively govern. The other animals perceived an increasing reliance on other animals as an admission of incompetence and weakness.

Ira called for all-out war and annihilation of the lesser animals. “Kill them all!” He roared. “Now is the time to strike.”

His increasingly rebellious lions hesitated in striking the other incensed animals. They turned to Invidia for guidance.

“Ira is right,” Invidia said. “Lions are the greatest creation of God. We are the only animal worthy of this gift of life. Kill the other animals. Kill them all.”

Seeing that their leaders and founders had succumbed completely to their madness, the lions joined their fellow animals in opposing Superbia’s ruling lions. In the ensuing melee the founding lions wore torn asunder. Superbia was fractured into hundreds of smaller prides. The reign of Lion ended.

Man reasserted his dominance over the animals of the world. Lions still know they are still a great and regal animal. However, they now fear buying into that belief completely. They know that where pride rules, all sin follows.

Your story has wayyy too much backstory. This story is between a lion and a man, there’s no need for so many characters. Your scale is just too big for a short story. There’s no reason for so many lions, you can roll them all into one lion. You don’t have to also have so many sins so spelled out.

Lion suffering from hubris isn’t all that unconventional. You’ve just got so much going on that your story doesn’t know what it wants. Your story could be between the lion and the elephant, or the lion and the rhinoceros. Pick something and narrow in on it, and explore the moral you want to talk about.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Truman Sticks posted:

Happy for the extension, since I'm 10 minutes late putting this in. Thanks for your consideration!

Crushed Underthumb (996 Words)

Manu was a man who lived in the great city of Ygriega. He was so fair in body and in face that he was adored by the womenfolk of his town, from the young to the old, be they virgins or betrothed. He was the son of a well-known lord in Ygriega, expected to follow in his father’s footsteps, but spent his time gallivanting about with the ladies of Ygriega, believing that his father’s work was beneath him.
Manu’s efforts were instead concentrated on maintaining his infamous beauty. He bathed in milk, rubbed himself with aloes, took herbs, and followed ancient remedies, all to keep his skin as clean and clear as Lake Alitheia, Ygriega’s renown source of fresh water, and a popular destination for travelers.

It was in this same lake that Manu was taking a swim, just before the break of morning; a habit Manu had maintained at such an hour as to avoid the masses of commoners, pilgrims, and other unwashed folk which Alitheia was lousy with during the day. On this occasion, Manu came under distress when his foot caught on a branch, pinning him underneath the water’s surface. He very nearly lost his life to Alitheia when he was rescued by a cloaked stranger who freed his trapped limb and pulled Manu to shore.
As Manu regained consciousness, he heard labored breathing from a figure leaning over him. He blinked his eyes open and could just barely make out the horribly carbuncled face of his savior. Shocked, Manu sat up sharply, accidentally bumping heads with the man, and recoiled in disgust.

“Do not be alarmed,” the cloaked figure told Manu. “My name is Spiro. I know my condition seems frightful, but I’ve taken great care not to touch the bare flesh of your noble body as I pulled you from the lake.”

But Manu remained repulsed at the sight of Spiro, and at the thought of having been rescued by such a lowly, pathetic creature. He ran off, clutching the spot on his face where he had collided with Spiro, without saying a word of gratitude. He used his father’s influence to have Spiro located and properly exiled from the city under the guise of protecting the people of Ygriega, but otherwise told nobody of the incident that had transpired at the lake, even after an abscess appeared on his cheek.

It was after a few nights that Manu began hearing a tiny voice emanating from the blemish. He ignored it at first, but the voice grew as the blemish itself did. Manu had planned on avoiding leaving his commons until his skin reperfected itself, but he’d grown restless and elected instead to grow a beard in order to cover it up, allowing him to continue his nightly traipses. The beard muffled the voice as well, giving Manu much relief, and he soon forgot about his lesion.

***

“You mustn’t ignore me!” cried the tiny voice, enveloped in fear and darkness.

“Silence,” came a sharp reply from seemingly every direction. “I am Krypsis, and I have been summoned to protect the world from your existence.”

“Protect the world? By covering me up? I don’t understand.”

“You are an abscess on the face of the world,” Krypsis retorted. “You deserve nothing but darkness and silence. You offer us nothing of importance.”

“My name is Pyo,” the first voice answered, protesting, “and I can’t help the way that I look, ok? But if you’re just going to ignore me completely, and deny me the help that I need, then I may do something bad and put your world in danger!”

“Enough!” Krypsis roared. “You are a blight, and are not worthy of help. I seek only to hide you and smother you from existence.”

***

Time passes, and Manu becomes increasingly bothered by his blemish. It itches beneath his beard, and causes him pain to the touch. It begins to affect his womanizing, as his former admirers find his lengthening beard off-putting as he pulls at it with increasing frequency.

Finally Manu has enough. He digs into his facial hair, and taking the offending zit between his thumb and forefinger, he grimaces and squeezes until it explodes, spewing pus throughout his whiskers. Not satisfied, he takes a razor and begins angrily chopping away at the beard until there is no hair left, exposing finally the fresh scar from where the pimple had just been. Much to Manu’s horror, however, the infection slowly spreads across his visage, infesting the tiny cuts on his cheeks and jaw caused by his overzealous shaving.

He is forced to come clear to his father about his condition, as he can hide it no longer. Ygriega’s finest medicine men are baffled by the affliction. Manu’s father instructs his son to locate Spiro outside of the city in the hopes that the man may know more about the malady. After a great search, Manu finally does locate Spiro, who sits alone on a dried out tree stump within a nearby forest.

“Yours is a face that is almost unrecognizable, yet so familiar to me,” Spiro says as Manu approaches, looking upon his lesioned face. “You were the one who had me exiled. Why do you leave the city to find me now?”

Manu sighs deeply and replies, “Because, sir, I realize that I have wronged you in so many ways. You risked your life to save mine, and I never thanked or rewarded you for your selfless actions. I was wrong to think myself better than you, or anybody else, simply because of their appearance. I, and the people of Ygriega, have wronged you by ignoring you for so long and neglecting to offer you the assistance you need. I come to you, Spiro, to ask you for your forgiveness, and for your help.”

Spiro smiles. “Then you have learned your lesson, young man. I will help you.”

The main flaw with your story is that you are so blatant and upfront with it all. The middle section where the lesion and the beard talk to each other is so unnecessary and obtuse. Your characters are saying exactly what they feel, that makes me angry. You don’t need to know that a lesion untended will just get worse, that’s obvious.

You don’t even need to explain that Manu is kind of lazy and a womanizer. Just make him a handsome man who scorns the poor and misshapen. You are explaining so much about his womanizing, and his rituals that it just doesn’t do anything important. You can condense that very easily by not assuming the reader is a complete idiot.

Instead, where you should have expanded on was the role of Spiro and his caste. You could have explained more of the lepers of society, and how they’re continually re-located throughout the city, but never given adequate shelter or care. That would parallel Manu’s disregard for his own lesion, hoping that they’ll just go away.

Honestly though, why does Manu learn a lesson? It seems his father is much wiser than Manu, how does Manu learn the lesson of kindness? Where is the ordeal that Manu has to go through due to his own actions? You gloss over the important parts of the story to focus on inconsequential details.

Suggestions: Perhaps Manu should face the same kind of humiliation and scorn that he gives Spiro. As he travels from city to city looking for a cure, he is shown the door. That is how a person learns a lesson. This is glossed over with the sentence “after a great search” why would you cut that part!? I don’t give a gently caress he baths in milk and herbs. I want to know what happens.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Chairchucker posted:

Sloths

One afternoon, Barry the sloth was destroying noobs in Rise of the Megatherium when he heard the sound of a chainsaw. At first he ignored it, because he was on a really good kill streak and, besides, he hadn’t had breakfast yet, and he hated to go outside before he’d had breakfast. Then his tree started vibrating, and although he tried to block it out with his superior training, he was distracted enough to fall prey to someone’s mole mine.

He slowly made his way over to his greeting branch, grabbed a handful of leaves to munch on, then hung from the branch and gazed downwards to where the chainsaw sound was coming from.

The chainsaw sound was coming from a chainsaw. The chainsaw was held by James the Beaver. James looked up and saw Barry, then looked down at his chainsaw, then up at Barry again, and then switched off his chainsaw. “Hey,” said James. “Gonna have to ask you to clear the area, Sir. Got an order to fell this here tree.”

Barry chewed his mouthful of leaves pensively, considering James’ words. He swallowed, then grabbed another bunch of leaves, put them in his mouth and chewed them. After swallowing the second mouthful of leaves he looked down at James and said “What do you even need the chainsaw for?”

James looked at the chainsaw. “Well, to cut down this tree. I don’t… what kind of question is that, even?”

“Uh.” Barry considered this. “But you’re. I mean. What’s the point of you being - OK never mind.”

James frowned. “So. About the whole you getting out of the tree so I can continue cutting it down thing. How about that, eh?”

Barry frowned and ate some more leaves. “I’ve given it some thought,” he said, “and given that it is my tree and I live in it, I would prefer it if you didn’t actually cut it down. Have you given any thought to not cutting it down? Because that’s the outcome I’d like here. An outcome where you don’t cut down my tree.”

James pulled out a piece of paper and looked at it carefully. “The work order doesn’t say anything about me not cutting down any trees. In fact, it says exactly the opposite. It is telling me to cut down this tree, which is what I’m doing.”

“Yes, but, see, it’s my tree. Someone else can’t tell you to cut down my tree, can they?”

James furrowed his brow and absent-mindedly chewed on some bark. “Oh wait. Yes. That’s the thing. The thing I was meant to tell you. You don’t own the tree anymore.”

Barry was quite vexed at this. “This vexes me greatly,” he said, backing up my narrative description quite nicely. “How could I come to not own it? I’m no expert in legal matters, but I’m pretty sure that, well, that sounds unchill.”

“Right, well,” said James. “Well. Here’s the thing. This is what the thing is. Apparently you haven’t paid some bills. For about three years. And they sent you mail about it and everything and basically your tree is being repossessed. And also cut down.”

“Hey, hey,” said Barry. “Hey. I was totally gonna get around to those bills. Seriously. It was on my to do list.”

“Right. Well. You should’ve done those things,” said James. “Those things on your list of things to do. Because now I’m going to cut down your tree.”

Barry thought about this and realised that he hadn’t dropped out of his game in Rise of the Megatherium, and he might be giving up some easy kills, so he went back inside and started playing again, reasoning that he could probably get used to the vibrating for as long as it took James to cut his tree down.

The moral of this story is something about avoiding sloths and their razor sharp claws or whatever.

I took a particular creative writing class in college, and there was this guy named Ryan. He would always write stories that were absurdist and surreal in nature. In one of his stories there was a character who was the personification of the show Suddenly Susan, and if you hadn’t seen the show, you probably wouldn’t think the character was very consistent or funny, but god drat if he wasn’t spot on in the characterization of it. Now, Ryan’s stories were always funny and entertaining, and irritating to the old, retired people in the class (who incidentally were very good in their critiques, if a bit lazy for unemployed wannabe professional writers).

As part of the younger generation of people in the class, I enjoyed the stories, but I had no idea what to do with it. How do you give advice on structure to something that is inherently throwing structure away? The entire act of critiquing his stories seemed like part of the greater joke he was playing on everyone, that we spent our time talking about something he nonsensed onto page. Ryan would sit in class and scribble notes as we said them, and he would listen. Like he honestly was taking what we had to say to heart, even from the grumpy old people. Of course nothing would be changed on the next story he submitted, but I like to think that the things that we said did not fall on deaf ears. Several years later, I saw him in the bottom floor of a barnes and noble and I wanted to say hi, but I didn’t think he’d remember me, so I left him alone. He was reading something thinky, probably. I don’t know, or can’t remember.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Horrible Butts posted:

Lizard and Rock Quit Smoking (474)

One day, as Lizard was basking on the back of Rock, the two agreed that they had reached a time in their lives when smoking just didn't make sense anymore, and together they smoked the last of Rock's Kools and swore never to buy cigarettes again.

The next day, Lizard was feeling it.
“Good morning, brother Lizard!” called Pig as he jogged past, “You and Rock are enjoying the sun, I see. You going to my party tonight?”
“I know you didn't say anything pushy just now,” Lizard started “but I just quit smoking and everything is getting to me and sorry if I snap at you.”
“Oh!” said Pig, slowing his pace “It's no worries. Good for you!”
Lizard gave nothing but a grunt, and so Pig shrugged and went on his way.
“gently caress.” said Lizard, “You going to that party, Rock? I don't think I should.”

Two days after quitting, Lizard's throat was sore and his hands felt half-asleep.
After spending the day commiserating with Rock, Lizard noticed Cow making her way down a nearby path, the cigarette in her mouth glowing against a darkening sky. Cow, feeling Lizard's gaze, looked his way and gave a quick smile. Lizard hopped off Rock and wandered over.
“Hello brother Cow! Mind if I bum one of those?”
Cow nodded, swallowing her cud to speak “Everyone calls me brother, I don't get it.” she said, handing him a cigarette “I heard you were trying to quit. Not that it's- I mean, you know.”
“Yeah, I'm trying to." said Lizard. "Not buying my own. Who told you?”
“Oh, I couldn't say. I mean, I don't remember. I wish you wouldn't call me brother, though. I had a good talk about it last night, Pig had a party.”
“Ah, Pig told you. Okay.” Lizard held out the cigarette “You're right though, I shouldn't. It's just hard. Only been two days.”
Cow awkwardly took her cigarette back, mumbling an apology mixed with a goodbye, and continued on her way.
“Well that sucked.” said Lizard to Rock, after cow had disappeared into the night “Did you hear any of that? I'm heading home.”

Three days after quitting, Lizard didn't care about how crummy he felt, he just wanted a smoke.
And so he made his way not to Rock that morning, but to the gas station near his place. Not halfway there, Lizard found himself suddenly in the mouth of Crow, rising urgently back into the sky.
“Thorry,” said Crow “nuffing persugal.”

Thousands of years later, some beaver drops the stub of his still smoldering menthol onto the back of Rock, where Lizard used to lie. Rock, thinking “gently caress it” smokes it straight down to its filter.

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. The rock shouldn’t think.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Noah posted:

I took a particular creative writing class in college, and there was this guy named Ryan. He would always write stories that were absurdist and surreal in nature. In one of his stories there was a character who was the personification of the show Suddenly Susan, and if you hadn’t seen the show, you probably wouldn’t think the character was very consistent or funny, but god drat if he wasn’t spot on in the characterization of it. Now, Ryan’s stories were always funny and entertaining, and irritating to the old, retired people in the class (who incidentally were very good in their critiques, if a bit lazy for unemployed wannabe professional writers).

As part of the younger generation of people in the class, I enjoyed the stories, but I had no idea what to do with it. How do you give advice on structure to something that is inherently throwing structure away? The entire act of critiquing his stories seemed like part of the greater joke he was playing on everyone, that we spent our time talking about something he nonsensed onto page. Ryan would sit in class and scribble notes as we said them, and he would listen. Like he honestly was taking what we had to say to heart, even from the grumpy old people. Of course nothing would be changed on the next story he submitted, but I like to think that the things that we said did not fall on deaf ears. Several years later, I saw him in the bottom floor of a barnes and noble and I wanted to say hi, but I didn’t think he’d remember me, so I left him alone. He was reading something thinky, probably. I don’t know, or can’t remember.

I agree with your sentiments. Mainly just piping in because I had a similar situation in a class a year or so back uncannily similar where I was that guy (coincidences happen I guess). But I only just remembered that spirit, which I have since lost, and it made me sad.

Except in my case one of the older people would always get it, and the other would sigh and say "I'm sorry, but I really don't get it. Maybe it's a generational thing?"

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


sebmojo posted:

Thunderbrawl Martello/Sebmojo
A story that covers a specific point in time of about two minutes. It must pose a philosophical question that is exemplified by the story.
Martello's story.


Means and Ends

drat if it didn't still make my heart twitch. And my dick, to be totally frank.



crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer


took it to fiction advice thread because farms smell like poop

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...0#post415888686

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


crabrock posted:

took it to fiction advice thread because farms smell like poop

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...0#post415888686

sebmojo is a Kiwi where everything is backwards even the toilets flush counterclockwise

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Martello posted:

sebmojo is a Kiwi where everything is backwards even the toilets flush counterclockwise

The clocks have had it their way long enough

this summer

the toilets are taking the fight to them

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


In interest of time, I have a winner. Everyone will get a critique, but I've been dealing with a family emergency that takes precedence.

Crabrock congratulations. You have my critique already, and I'd like to see what you do with the suggestions and comments I've made.

Other mentions:

Mike Works, you have something good here, but its too short. However, it's not a fable. You'll receive a larger critique tomorrow.
SurreptitiousMuffin, you also have something that needs to be bigger.

Loser(s):

JonasSalk and magnificent7 both of you are the losers this week. While I do not have say so in the matter, I would like to see both of you to judge the next prompt that Crabrock makes. Not only judge, but critique at least half the stories that get submitted.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

Thunderdome Week XLIII: He's dead, Horatio

Prompt: You must pick an entry from this list of unusual deaths (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unusual_deaths) and provide a first person account of what happened that day. I’ve always wanted to know a little bit more about what these people were thinking when they decided to do what they did, and what was racing through their minds at the end. Luckily that want of knowledge did not specify that it had to be based in reality. Post which person you are going to write about when you sign up!

Additional Rules: No mention of any clothing. Yes, they’re wearing clothes (or maybe not ) but I don’t want to hear about it. Any mention of shoes, shirts, pants, etc., will make me hate your story. Jewelry is ok but only if it is non-precious, so nothing over $100.

Sign-up deadline: Signups are CLOSED

Submission deadline: Sunday, June 1, 11:59pm USA Eastern.

Maximum word count: 1,400.

Judges: crabrock
Martello
JonasSalk

PoshAlligator - David Grundman, 1982, Shot a limb of cactus that detached and fell on and crushed him
Ceighk - Philitas of Cos, 270 BC, studied arguments and erroneous word usage so intensely that he wasted away and starved to death.
JonasSalk - ???
Overwined - Philitas of Cos, 270 BC, studied arguments and erroneous word usage so intensely that he wasted away and starved to death.
Nikaer Drekin - Harry Houdini, 1926, famous American escape artist who was punched in the stomach by an amateur boxer.
Horrible Butts - Henry Hall, 1775, died from injuries he sustained after molten lead fell into his throat while he was looking up at a burning lighthouse.
Auraboks - Li Bai, 762, who tried to kiss the moon's reflection and drowned
CancerCakes - Janet Parker, 1978, died of smallpox when researcher at the laboratory where Parker worked accidentally released some virus into the air of the building
MrFlibble - Plane Crash, 2010, when a crocodile, being smuggled by one of the passengers in a sports bag, freed itself and panicked the passengers who all ran towards the flightdeck
Jagermonster - Clement Vallandigham, 1871, demonstrating how a victim may possibly have shot himself while drawing a weapon from a kneeling position when he shot himself in the process
Nubile Hillock - Draco, 620 BC NO CLOTHES CHALLENGE
ultrachrist - Alexander I, 1920, bitten by diseased monkeys
Accretionist - ???
Oxxidation - William Kogut, 1930, death row inmate committed suicide with a pipe bomb created from several packs of playing cards and the hollow leg from his cot
SpaceGodzilla - Taylor Mitchell, 2009, a Canadian folk singer, was attacked and killed by three coyotes, the only recorded adult person to have been killed by this species.
Sebmojo - Mitrofan Nedelin, 1960, died when a switch was accidentally turned on, causing the second stage engines of a rocket to ignite
Peel - Thomas Midgley, 1944, accidentally strangled himself with the cord of a pulley-operated mechanical bed of his own design.
rule: this bed must be a rube goldberg machine, and you better have him explain how it works.
Schneider Heim - The Dancing Queen, 1518, a woman (and eventually a league of 400 people) uncontrollably danced for a month causing dozens of participants to die of stroke and exhaustion
magnificent7 - Sigurd the Mighty, 892, the decapitated head of his defeated foe grazed against his leg as he rode, causing a fatal infection.
Phil Moscowitz - Alain de Monéys, 1870, French aristocrat, was cooked and eaten alive by villagers
Truman Sticks - Robert Williams, 1979, a worker at a Ford Motor Co. plant, was the first known human to be killed by a robot
areyoucontagious - Jenny Mitchell, 2010, killed when her car exploded after fumes, caused by chemicals mixing with hydrogen peroxide leaking from a bottle of hair bleach, ignited as she lit a cigarette.
Benagain - Qin Shi Huang, 210 BC, the first Emperor of China, died after ingesting several pills of mercury in the belief that it would grant him eternal life
CancerCakes - Worth Bingham, 1966, died when a surfboard, lying atop the back of his convertible, hit a parked car, swung around, and broke his neck.
Umbilical Lotus - Tennessee Williams, 1983, died when he choked on an eyedrop bottle-cap in his room at the Hotel Elysee in New York.
Noah - Homer Collyer, 1947, blind and paralyzed, died of starvation several days after his brother killed by his own boobytraps
Max22 - Garry Hoy, 1993, fell to his death after he threw himself against a window in an attempt to prove to a group of visitors that the glass was "unbreakable."
Bug Bill Murray - Langley Collyer, 1947, died when his boobytrap of newspapers and other poo poo fell on him.
Wrageowrapper - Phillip McClean, 1926, became the only person documented to have been killed by a cassowary.
Sitting Here - Sharon Lopatka, 1996, was killed by Robert Glass who claimed that she had solicited him to torture and kill her for the purpose of sexual gratification.
Manoueverable - Ray "Chappie" Chapman, was killed when a submarine ball thrown by Carl Mays hit him in the temple
Nyarai - John Kendrick, 1794, an American sea captain and explorer, was killed in the Hawaiian Islands when a British ship mistakenly used a loaded cannon to fire a salute to Kendrick's vessel.
Flash Rule: story must involve some sailor who said he'd do something but doesn't, and it must be an important part of the plot.
Flash Rule 2: your story must reference in some way, any Mickey Avalon song. Bonus if it's "Roll the Dice."
Symptomless Coma - Mithridates, 401 BC, a soldier condemned for the murder of Cyrus the Younger, was executed by scaphism, surviving the insect torture for 17 days.
Chillmatic - Michael Malloy, 1933, a homeless man was murdered by five men. after surviving multiple poisonings, intentional exposure, and being struck by a car, Malloy succumbed to gassing.
PotatoManJack - Suicide Man, 1995, man committed suicide in Canberra, Australia by shooting himself three times with a pump action shotgun.

crabrock fucked around with this message at Jun 1, 2013 around 13:29

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


I'm judging.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


I'm in.

I pick Draco, 620 BC. I will have to mention some clothes, though. Specifically cloaks. Unless you want to do some sort of crazy challenge.

Ceighk
May 27, 2013

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Hey, I'm new to this but I'm in.

JonasSalk
May 27, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I'm in.

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crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

PoshAlligator posted:

I'm in.

I pick Draco, 620 BC. I will have to mention some clothes, though. Specifically cloaks. Unless you want to do some sort of crazy challenge.

I thought about this before hand and you can mention the article if it's directly related to the death, but if you describe these cloaks so help me god... Or if you want a real challenge try to write without mentioning they are cloaks. Maybe he doesn't know what they are because it's dark or something

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