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CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006


Saviour X didn't give a word count so I won't either. This is definitely shorter than the original and the Max for that week however. Originial Story Martello Crit which is probably more entertaining than the original

Skin on Skin

"Hey, Annie!"

There's a red light blinking next to my nose, blurred by the small cloud of sleep dribble that has escaped from my mouth. Floating around on the ISS is pretty cool, but sleeping has some unpleasant consequences.

"Annie, you gonna get that or what?"

"Yeah, Trev, I got it." I sigh and push past him away from the command module, trying to stay as far away from him as possible in the cramped space. Us being the only Americans at a Russian flight centre and his plying me with alcohol had made it seem like a good idea at the time. But it hadn’t been fun, and keeping it from the councillors had been stressful - they don’t like people who are romantically involved on skeleton crews. It can cause problems with jealous crew members, apparently. As I float past the cell bio module on my way to the suit room Gurpreet pokes his head through the hatch.

“Would you like some help?”

I smile. Gurpreet is always offering to help me with things, and the thoroughly modern space-woman that I am, I normally turn him down. We had only met a few days before launch, but had spent a lot of time together since. I’m glad he’s here: it would have been very unpleasant with just Trev.

“No it’s fine. I don’t want to keep you from your babies.”

-

It’s cold in space, but you don’t feel it, the suits are too well insulated. That doesn’t stop me shivering when I see the stunning spectacle hanging below me. Cloth of gold spilling across Europe and Africa, molding into the contours, while the Americas glitter like diamonds on black velvet. I’m blessed to be one of the ones to see it in person.

I reach the skewed dish quickly and take the most expensive hand drill ever made out of my pocket. That doesn’t necessarily make it special - everything at the ISS is the most expensive of its kind, since it cost so much to get it here. But this is a beauty, with bronze casing glinting in the sun and capable of enough torque to start a tractor. A few adjustments and I’m ready to head back to safety. Then Trev’s voice crackles over the radio.

“Dump me for a fuckin Arab? I’m gonna kill you, bitch!”

I look up to see another suit speeding towards me from the airlock, arms wildly flailing. I dive against the dish, twisting it beyond repair as he flies past. I am already moving as fast as I can towards the airlock when he lands in the thicket of antennas at the end of the spur. If I can get inside perhaps I can calm him down.

“Not gettin away you fuckin whore. I’m gonna break ya arms and kick you into space with a empty!”

He savagely kicks off the strut and is rapidly catching up with me. I’ve got a head start, but he is shooting up at my feet, arms trailing behind him. Reflected in his black visor I can see my frantic lunge towards the airlock and a white face in the airlock window. I manage to slap the airlock button before he crushes me against the unopened door.

“Nope, wrong answer. I disabled it you dumb oval office.”

He wraps his legs around my torso and squeezes. His arm thrashes and his oxygen gauge hits my helmet. The glare from the red LEDs half blind me. Raw panic grips me and I rip the drill from my pocket and pull the trigger and jam it into his chest and rip it to the side. Air rushes out of a small gash in the pristine white casing, below a torn out radio. Within seconds the attack has stopped, he is unconscious. If I don’t get him inside soon he’ll definitely die. Even though he tried to murder me I don’t want to become a killer.

“Gurpreet, Trev attacked me. He tampered with the door somehow. I can’t get in.”

There’s no answer. I check my oxygen. It’s on the red line that means get inside asap. Soon it will start flashing red lights. Everything is going terribly wrong.

“Gurpreet hurry! Get the door open, I’m in trouble here too!”

“Gurpreet isn’t here.”

My heart stops, I look through the airlock window and Trev waves at me, a manic grin on his face and my stomach clenches, forcing bile into my mouth and I understand what he has done.

I feel the blood run out of my face and I start to shake. I feel utterly alone.

Trev opens his mouth to say something but I shut off my radio, I can’t bear to listen to whatever gloating speech he’s been rehearsing in his head. Instead I look at the lifeless form of the man who was kind to me. My friend, who always talked about his wife and children, about how much he missed them, but also about how lucky he was to be doing work he loved in a fantastic place. I can’t bear to lift the visor up and look at his face, likely already horrifically swollen by uncontrolled decompression.

The gauge on my wrist starts vibrating and I realise I am struggling to breathe. Soon my limbs will be too heavy to move at all. In my will it says that I want my ashes to be scattered over the lake in my hometown. I suppose some of them will get there.

I take a deep breath, look down at the beautiful blue marble below us, tether myself to Gurpreet, and I push for home.



------

Edit: Just saw my new AV - Nubile Hillock is a superstar

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autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe

Ruble Rentboys 848 words

Piotr grunted and gave the wrench a last half-turn.

“Are you sure it really needs a saddle?” asked Vasha, tweaking his nipples through his shirt.

“Jesu Christus! Can you stop thinking about shoving things up your arse for just one minute? We need this, I mean, you need this bicycle to find real work in Donetsk! Unless you like our current situation…” Piotr said, not bothering to look up from his work.

Vasha sighed and dug his shoe into the wet muck that covered their bunker’s floor. Piotr had found the place about a year ago, not long after they’d started their affair.

“Move the light, would’ya? Could at least make yerself useful, y’know?”

Vasha grabbed the flashlight they’d hung from the ceiling and pointed it at the bike. There was a red star painted behind their little workshop above the words: every day life is getting better. Someone who’d been too thick for sarcasm had tried scratching it out. A pile of condoms lay beneath it, not all of them were theirs.

Piotr smiled, flipped the bike upside-down, gave the back wheel a spin and sang

“You spin me right ‘round, like a record baby, right ‘round!”

Vasha cringed.

“You promised you wouldn’t buy any more American records! They’ll send us to Sibir!” His limp wrists flapped when he spoke.

“It’s over, Vasha. No one’s getting sent anywhere. You see a party headquarters anymore? Does your father still watch his mouth or does he curse diadia Lenin’s name when he’s hungry?” Piotr spat and crossed himself.

“You have your papers with you? Where’s your mother get her foodstamps from now, eh? I thought so.” Piotr spun the wheel and once more focused on his work.

Vasha’s stomach growled at the thought of food. They’d been hungry ever since the factories closed. His father sold scrap metal, but they were lucky if they ate three times a week.

“ ‘Sides you’re not the one that’s gotta do this poo poo.” Piotr was staring at the front wheel now, the one they’d built from scratch. It was still too off kilter to ride. He ran his finger along the rim, humming quietly to himself. He twitched, stopped the wheel and tightened some spokes. The groaning metal echoed off the bunker’s walls.

“There.” Piotr took a step back to admire his work.

“Now we put on the tires and you’ll be riding to work by tomorrow!”

A few quick twists of his wrench and the wheels were off the bike. Piotr’s hands worked quickly, his fingers deftly tugging and pulling the tires onto the rim. Wooden shims dropped to the ground and Vasha could hear the tires pop into place. Piotr slipped his father’s pump from its canvas bag and with a few strong strokes the bike was finished.

He was proud, Vasha could tell. There was a gleam in his eye, a softness in the way he crossed his arms across his chest, the furrows were gone from his brow. Delicately, Piotr righted the bike and dusted the seat. He walked it out of the bunker like he was holding hands with the Pope himself. Vasha followed the gentle clicking all the way up the hill. He got on the bike, and for a moment everything was perfect.

Rays of sunlight cut through a flock of clouds and lit up Makeevka’s grey concrete. Bits and pieces of the city came through between the moving branches; the forest was taunting them. The city was at its mercy, after all. The blocks and streets and factories were like a mirage, shifting and changing the more he tried to focus. The sounds of quiet Sunday work, of arguments, of prayers half-spoken floated out on a sweet breeze. A motor revved somewhere, unsteadily, before coughing into silence.

It was a place he could find himself in, if he could have another life. A place where he wouldn’t have to pretend, wouldn’t have to look for double meanings in men’s voices, where he could sit and drink and talk about yardwork and marriage; a place where he’d never knock on workmen’s doors and stuff filthy rubles into his trousers.

“Vio! Davay!” Piotr yelled before shoving him down the hill.

Vasha never realized how steep the road into town was. The bike bounced from one rut to another, his white-knuckle grip not helping him at all. He pushed back on the pedals, desperately trying to slow himself. Everything was a blur now, he could hear Piotr laughing.

The factory shot past him in bits of red and grey from between tree trunks. He’d be coming into the corner now, the final bend before the road proper. The bike was still accelerating. He leaned left hard, trying to cut a clean line. The front wheel dug into a muddy rut, he heard a spoke let go.

He was flying over the handlebars now; muddy earth turned into tallgrass and tree trunks and boulders. Everything went dark.

Piotr was already halfway down the hill when he heard Vasha’s skull crack against a rock.

“Yeb tvaj mat!”

CantDecideOnAName
Jan 1, 2012

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


Original: Voliun's S.O.S. (900 words including title)

Rework: Sabotage (907 without title)


Mandy stood on the doorstep of Ashford’s smarthouse, looking around at the overgrown yard. She took a deep breath and rang the doorbell, but before the ringing had faded away the door was yanked open. Caught off-guard, Mandy blinked at the old man who had opened it. Then she smiled brightly.

“Hello, Dr. Ashford. I’m Mandy Rivett.”

“I know who you are, Miss Rivett,” he interrupted, bright eyes examining her from behind thick spectacles. “You’re early.” Despite his age his voice was the sharp, clear voice of an orator.

“Yes. I make a point to be five minutes early to every appointment, to make sure there’s a space ready for me. We don’t want to start recording and realize the acoustics in the room are bad, after all.”

“Yes, yes.” He moved aside and flapped one hand irritably, inviting her in. “You caught me cleaning up, is all.”

She stepped inside, nearly walking face first into an overgrown ficus just inside the door. The hallway was brightly lit and empty, except for the tree and a coatrack. There was a lab coat on the rack, next to a black dress coat with a gold tag embossed with the name “Richard Ashford”. The doctor hobbled past her and Mandy wondered how he had gotten to the door so quickly, unless he had been waiting by it. She turned to close the door but it slammed shut before her eyes.

“Come on, come on.” Ashford led her into the dining room/kitchen, a small room with more skylight than ceiling. On one wall there were rows of shelves that looked like colorful corals and fungi, and in the center of the room was a circular table with wooden stools instead of chairs. Mandy waited for Ashford to pick up the pair of plates that were on the table before she sat down.

Pulling out a small voice recorder, she turned it on and set it in the center of the table. “This thing’s pretty sensitive, so you don’t have to shout, but don’t mumble either. I’m going to ask you a couple of standard questions, just to test out how it sounds in here. First off, can you state your name and occupation?”

“Theodore Ashford,” he said, “I’m retired.” He dropped the plates into the sink with a clatter that made Mandy wince. “I used to work with robotics, along with my brothers.”

“Can you talk a little about that?”

He stared at her over the granite countertop in the kitchen. “Considering who you write for, Miss Rivett, I don’t think I want to.”

“I write for the Daily Scoops, Dr. Ashford.”

“Yes,” he said, “but you also work for the Star Inquirer from time to time, don’t you?”

There was a pause. Slowly, she reached out and turned off the recorder.

“I used to. It’s not something I’m proud of.”

“Is this interview really about my opinions on that hack Maroe’s supposed breakthrough, or are you hoping for a followup to that piece of trash story you hacked together a couple of months ago?” He was still looking at her, and she got up from her stool and examined the glass globes on the shelf to break the tension. His stare was unnerving.

“Don’t touch those.”

“I won’t. I take it you didn’t like the piece.”

“Of course I didn’t.” Out of the corner of her eye she saw him turn on the sink and start rinsing off the plates. “It was bullshit, pure and simple. The idea that Edgar would sabotage his own work is ridiculous. What reason would he have had to damage the thrusters? Money? Useless when you die in a crash of your own design.” He snorted derisively. “That bunch of words you called journalism were nothing but an attempt to gain readers in the wake of a great tragedy. And here you are, two months later to the day, and I’m supposed to think that you’re really interested in autonomous tornado drones?”

Mandy bit her lip. “That is what I’m here to talk to you about.”

“Then ask me what you want to ask me now, off the record, so that I don’t have to deal with your stupid insinuations during the interview. “

She nodded and took a deep breath, looking at him again. “I know murder was ruled out during the inquest, but a couple of things have shown up. Namely, a security tape that someone had been keeping hidden, showing your brother Richard going into the house an hour before liftoff, and leaving only twenty minutes later. He said that he hadn’t been in the house at all that day, that Edgar wouldn’t let anyone in.”

“And the second thing?” Ashford’s voice had gotten very quiet. “You said there were a couple.”

“They got an engineer to look over the wreckage again. He said that whatever was done to the thrusters was subtle, but very quick and sloppy. It couldn’t have taken more than, say, twenty minutes.” She was watching Ashford now, like he watched her. His expression was cold.

“I was wondering if I could speak to Richard about it, if he has the time.”

Ashford’s eyes glittered. “You just missed him. He left ten minutes ago, to go to one of those black tie events.”

Mandy gestured to the hallway. “But his dress coat is still here on the hook.”

“Is it really?” Ashford asked. He didn’t sound surprised.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


twinkle cave posted:

Thunderduel Decision by way of Forbidden Fanfic.

Good job, Noah.


twinkle cave posted:

And here's my re-write of Martello's story. Based on the original full length version not the watered down linked above ^^^:
Thunderdome Week XXXVI

chips beer babies shirts blood
twinkleized - 1400 words

"Chips, beer, blood, or shirts," she heard Courtney say as she dealt the cards, "Nobody plays for free."

And you met my criteria for taking a good story and making it better, one of my own no less. What do you want for your new avatar?

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BTW signups are closed.

Jagermonster
May 7, 2005

Hey - NIZE HAT!


Original: Kris Kruel's Vambraces at Sea (957 words), Loser of Week XXXIV
That song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7fuuDc2hH0

Rework: Pursuit of Honor (1040 words)

Olaf’s sails flutter uselessly against the feeble breeze. He is not surprised he has drifted for hours in a calm sea. The haste with which he departed prevented him from sacrificing an animal to All Father to ensure a blessed voyage. Black clouds on the horizon indicate a squall approaching from the East. Olaf’s idle calm will soon be replaced with chaos. Having sailed in storms so violent the water turned to a frothy white, he is not worried. What worries him is the ship also approaching from the East. It could only be his brother Erik.

Fraternal twins, Olaf was minutes older than Erik and therefore the rightful heir to their father’s title. According to their custom, any other younger twin would have been abandoned in the wilderness. Their father, the Jarl of their clan, had ordered Erik’s life spared. Erik thus dedicated himself to becoming a greater man than his older brother to regain the honor thought lost by that original, inescapable act of mercy. He had relentlessly trained in all forms of combat. He had joined every raid and skirmish in which their clan fought. Erik had gained glory on the battlefield. His people respected him.

Their father had kept Olaf close and relied on him for counsel. While Erik had proven himself on the battlefield, Olaf had planned those battles. Olaf was not only bigger and stronger than Erik, but more naturally adept with a blade. Olaf mastered fighting techniques in days that Erik spent weeks drilling. Olaf’s kindness and affection toward Erik had been the greatest insult of all. Erik saw it as more acts of mercy, further eroding his honor.

The coals from their father’s pyre had not yet cooled when Erik challenged Olaf for their father’s title. They were surrounded by their father’s closest lieutenants. Olaf was caught off guard.

“I’m not going to fight you, Erik.”

Erik had already drawn his sword. “It is my right. You have but two options: fight or exile yourself.”

The decision was easy. “I always wanted to explore the lands to the west.” Olaf turned and left.

“Coward!” Erik shouted after him.

Erik’s ship is now close enough that Olaf can examine Erik’s crew rowing toward him. None of them are warriors from their clan. Instead, Erik must have hired mercenaries or purchased slaves. Olaf wonders if their people even know Erik went after him.

The rain is now coming down in sheets. Olaf’s sails billow in the wind. He uses the wind’s locomotion to rotate his craft for easier boarding.
“How goes it, brother?” Olaf calls out. “It does not appear that All Father blesses our travels today. First dead calm and now this tempest approaches.”
“You would take my honor and run!” Erik shouts back. “You dishonored us both by not fighting me!”

Olaf realizes there is no way out of this. His attempt at self-exile merely delayed the inevitable. Although Olaf doubts it will soften his brother’s rage or slow his desperate pursuit of honor, Olaf shouts back, “I merely wished to spare our people pain and turmoil, Erik. We both would have been fine leaders. That’s why I left. Neither of us need die.”

Erik is no longer listening; he is giving orders to his crew. Erik and his men are heavily armored. Olaf adjusts his leather wrist guards. They are the only armor he brought with him. They are the only armor he ever wears. He feels sluggish and therefore more exposed in anything heavier.
The boats are close enough now that Erik’s men can join them with a wood plank. Two start across. Olaf shifts his vessel with a tug of a rope. The splash of the doomed attackers cannot be heard over the squall’s din.

It is reckless to fight out at sea like this, especially in a storm. But, Erik is not stupid. He will exhaust all of Olaf’s tricks by using these thugs as fodder and then face him one on one. If there are any survivors, Erik will kill them. He only needed them to catch Olaf.

Erik’s men create improvised grappling hooks with spare rope and weapons. They throw daggers, swords, and a mace across the gap between the boats, the weapons find holds, and the men starting pulling the vessels together. Olaf draws his sword. When the crafts draw close enough, Olaf charges Erik’s men. The attackers are unsteady from the violent rocking and ill prepared to deal with someone as skilled as Olaf. Olaf runs the first boarder through with his sword. Grabbing a second with his free hand, Olaf hurls him back into the others. Olaf uses a swell for momentum, and leaping onto Erik’s ship, slashes at the disoriented men. Sea spray, rain, and blood mix, showering the men.

Half a dozen men lie bleeding on the deck. Olaf stands facing his brother. Erik’s two remaining soldiers put down their swords and surrender. Erik stabs one through the back. When the other turns around to plead mercy, Erik slashes his throat. Olaf laughs at their cowardice.

A wave hammers the ships, soaking the brothers. Erik charges. Olaf stands his ground, parries, and thrusts at Erik. Erik nimbly jumps back, dodging the attack, but not as fast as he should have. Erik’s rain-soaked furs and heavy armor compromises his speed, the one advantage he had over his brother’s size and strength. Inch by inch, Olaf backs Erik to the bow of the heaving ship. Lightning flashes with each swing. Thunder crashes when their swords meet. The sky remains black, the howling wind undisturbed, when Olaf’s sword cuts through Erik’s armor and abdomen.

Erik falls to his knees. He drops his sword. He looks up into Olaf’s face, whispering something Olaf cannot hear. Olaf kneels down to hear his brother’s last words. Striking like a adder, Erik draws a dagger from his boot and buries it in Olaf’s rib cage. Olaf slumps against his dying brother.

“I had to,” Erik wheezes. “You took everything. By being first.”

Forked lightning dances across the sky. Thunder rattles the ships. A fine sacrifice for All Father, Olaf muses. He wonders if this was the only way. He looks forward to feasting in Valhalla with his brother.

Jagermonster fucked around with this message at 12:58 on Apr 14, 2013

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


BEHOLD, Jonas Salk's 739 words of bilge turned into 836 words of literary excellence, with the original first line intact, per Nubile Hillock's request:

Consequences
It was cold in the freezer. Shep’s lungs burned with it, icicles forming in his alveoli as he watched the handle of the door. The thick steel blocked any sound from the other side, but Shep knew that they were out there, and that they knew he was in here. He waited, clenching and unclenching his fists so that the blood on his hands wouldn’t stiffen his skin as it froze.

The robbery had not gone well. That strange municipal bylaw mandating that buildings built by outsiders could only have one exit had seemed so easy to take advantage of. Considering how docile the locals were, they should have been easy to take advantage of too. Shep had never come across a group of people who were so agreeable. They all ate the same thing every day, the same groups coming in for the same burgers at the same time. Some of them even finished each other’s sentences.

Nice as they were, and they were always so very nice, there had always been something about them that tugged at the very back of Shep’s mind. Some primitive instinct sensing a whispered sense of wrongness about this whole drat town. Something about the way that their smiles didn’t seem to reach all the way to their eyes. Or the feeling he sometimes got when he walked out of the kitchen to take an order at the counter that they had just been talking about him. He usually ignored it, assuming it was merely some last vestige of his conscience protesting against his master plan.

He understood now. As he stood alone in the freezer, his breath coming in ragged clouds while he waited for one of them to throw open the door and make it his tomb, Shep finally understood.

“Shep?” Jeff had asked as the crew entered the restaurant and took their positions, “Are you sure about this?”

For a moment the whisper in Shep’s mind has risen to a shout, but he forced it into silence, clapping Jeff on the shoulder and propelling him towards his designated spot by the bathroom, “Of course I am. We’ll be in and out, no problemo.”

No problemo. The door handle started to turn and then stopped. Shep strained to hear what they were saying beyond the door, even though he knew it was useless. Without taking his eyes off the handle, Shep reached slowly for his gun.

“Listen up guys,” said Shep loudly as he strode to the counter and drew his gun, signalling the others to do the same, “this is a robbery.”

The buzz of breakfast-time chatter in the restaurant ceased instantly as the patrons and employees had all turned, almost as one, to stare placidly in Shep’s direction, and the shout in his mind rose to a shriek no NO get out getoutnow. Unnerved by the silence, Shep eyed the door, which was now directly in front of him. The only way in or out of the building. They usually robbed businesses in the early morning because there were fewer witnesses that way, less chance for things to get messy. That meant that the restaurant was almost empty, only a few customers and a skeleton crew of employees on the opening shift. Maybe he could just walk right back out.

“Oh, Shep,” said Barb, the shift manager, from behind him. He flinched. “That was a bad decision.”

One of the customers sitting near the door, old Mr. Atkins, who Shep had always assumed was as stupid as he was ancient, stood up and closed the door. The lock clicked loudly in the silent restaurant and Shep knew that things were going to end very, very badly. He closed his eyes in time to avoid witnessing Rosie, the seventeen year-old waitress, tear off Jeff’s head, but the gush of arterial spray spattered his hair, face, coat, and hands. As he turned and vaulted over the counter, Shep saw Barb’s skin start to peel back as her true form exploded out of her human body.

The door began to open and Shep backed up, steadied himself against the wall so that his shaking legs wouldn’t throw off his aim, and emptied his gun into the creature that entered the freezer. It laughed in Barb’s voice, shaking the bullets off as if they were no more than balls of paper shot through a straw.

“Hello Shep,” it said pleasantly, “sorry about your friends.”

“Please,” whispered Shep, shaking his head, still holding his gun out in front of him, “Barb. Don’t.”

The creature laughed again, “I think you know better than that, Shep.”

It stepped closer, “I’m not Barb. I am Legion.” It reached towards Shep and gently took the gun from his hands. He didn’t resist.

“Don’t worry Shep, this isn’t the end for you. Think of it as a new beginning.” It stooped so that its face was level with Shep’s and looked into his eyes, “I am Legion,” it said again, “and so are you.”

ETA: I EDITED OUT AN ERRANT COMMA, WHAT OF IT.

Fanky Malloons fucked around with this message at 01:51 on Apr 14, 2013

Voliun
May 31, 2012


Original Author: toanoradian
Orginal Word Count:250
Word Count: 250

A spaceship captain glazed in silence as letters and numbers switched places with each other on the touch screen. "loving computers," he said. The letters grouped themselves into clusters of three. Blinking numbers bounced around the dimming computer screen. A pair of green brackets appeared, and a single word appeared within after the scrambled characters faded out.

{57-20}

Palms sweating, Mr. Captain tapped a few keys. The fingers struck true, but the vertical cursor moved erratically. Pixelated gray blots seeped into the screen's corners. Touching the screen, he moved the cursor to the only comprehensible word. The screen went black.

When illuminated, the screen blinked twice. Again, a single statement appeared.

{37*3}

As his fingers reached for the smaller cursor, the cursor dropped into a darkened corner. That corner solidified into charcoal black before the captain's eyes caught its position. A scowl and a slam on the armrest later, the captain smeared his palm all over the corner. He felt his back dampened while he worked out his hand. Just as he managed to move the cursor, the screen faded to black.

A yellow light appeared under the mounted intercom. "Sixty words left." The light dimmed.

{14^2}

Mr. Captain raised and shook a fist. Covering the solitary line, a stream of letters and numbers poured upward. He slammed his fingers; his face paled while hearing a screech. Small blinking windows reading 'Critical Error' plastered themselves all over the screen. The ellipses littering them grew longer until everything went black.

{750/3}

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Terminus
Original story: "The End" by JonasSalk, the losing entry for Week XXIV.
Original word count: 739
Rewritten word count: 830


Shep killed the engine of the hot-wired rattletrap and shoved its door open. The air outside the car was thick with summer roses and motor oil, and he breathed in deeply; all he'd smelled for hours was desperation sweat, his own and Jeff's. Jeff hadn't moved in the passenger seat. As Shep eyed him, he stared through the windshield at the lit windows of the diner. "First sign of life I've seen in miles," Jeff said.

"It'll do," Shep said. "Good thing, since it has to."

As he stepped out onto the glass-smooth lot, Shep was very much aware of the Colt shoved through his belt, digging into his back. He was just as aware of his empty wallet. He slammed the car door. For a moment, the sound interrupted the synchronized chirps of crickets getting ready for nightfall.

Jeff shut his door more quietly. Shep made for the diner entrance without looking back at him, because the last things he needed from his partner right then were hesitation or any attack of conscience.

Cool air slapped against his damp shirt once he was inside the place. A few people sat in booths, and as one, they glanced up from their plates at him. The girl behind the cash register was looking too. Shep fought back unease and brought out a smile for her. Her expression didn't change. The other customers lost interest in him, though, all at once, and the skin at the back of his neck crawled a little bit less.

"Sit where you like," said the girl.

He picked a place at the counter, and Jeff sat beside him long enough to order coffee, then slipped away to check out the restrooms. Shep hunched on his stool and sipped from his own bitter cup when it came. Behind the counter were a door marked 'Employees Only' and stoves at which two cooks flipped burgers with identical motions, identical timing: a pair of Rockettes lifting spatulas instead of legs. Aside from the sizzle of the meat, the diner was silent. Shep heard the crickets again in his mind, punctuating the show. Flip. Chirp. Press. Chirp.

He swiveled the stool slightly and glanced at the booths... which had emptied. Convenient. Several waiters wiped down the tables in unison.

Chirp.

He looked for Jeff by the men's room door. Jeff caught his eye, nodded, then moved for the exit; as he walked he slid his hand under the collar of his shirt, toward his shoulder holster.

Shep pulled the Colt from his belt and aimed for the girl at the register. "I want your money!" he yelled at her--the words came out high. "Give it and I won't loving kill you!"

The cooks didn't even turn around; they went right on making damned burgers.

But the girl snatched at his gun with unnatural speed. His finger spasmed on the trigger, and the bullet hit her in the shoulder, but she still had her hand on the barrel and when she pulled, the gun was hers. Then she had a smile for him. Shep hit the floor, and Jeff shot his revolver at her--

A waiter seized Jeff's arm. Broke it. Shep heard the bone crunch before Jeff screamed. The man snapped Jeff's left arm, too, and other waiters abandoned their tables to converge on the armed outsider.

Shep scrambled around the side of the counter and then to his feet to run through the employees-only door, expecting gunshots and pain, but none came; he was in a storeroom, and on the other side of it stood a pair of stainless-steel doors. Surely no escape, but Jeff was still screaming and the sound was nearly soprano. Shep could only think of hiding. He flung himself into the freezer.

Meat hung on hooks in there, legs of beef and pigs that looked whole except for their skins and heads. Naked chickens dotted the steel shelves. Long shapes wrapped in paper, bound in twine, were stacked on the frozen floor. Six feet long, some of them. Two living men and one living woman stood in there, unblinking. Shep saw it all before the doors shut and left him in darkness.

He clawed at steel. He pounded. He shrieked, but neither God nor man answered him. He dragged air into his lungs on reflex. It wasn't cold, though that took him time to notice. Every gasp brought the heat of lava into him, the rasp of smoke, the burn of sulfur.

His fists fell away from the doors. In the dark, there was no struggle. No sound. No need to do anything but breathe the fire in.

The doors opened at last. Waiters brought in the corpses of Jeff and the bled-out register girl. The living unrolled butcher paper and prepared the shells for later use; anything else would be pointless waste. They moved with perfect synchronicity.

When the task was done, one asked another, "Who am I?"

Shep answered: "I am Legion."

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

The Song.

Original story: The Drone of the Tower - Losing entry for week 10.
Original word count: 830
Rewritten word count: 750


The name whispered through the narrow alleyways of the favela. Like an invisible butterfly it flittered from lip to lip, never said out loud, never forgotten. Whenever protection money was handed over to the gangs - or to the policia - the name was muttered underbreath like a curse. When children were whisked off the street by their parents to avoid the bullets that filled the streets, the name was offered up in prayer. When a junky broke through a bathroom window to steal for the next hit, the name rained down in anger.

The poor, the hungry, the weak, the exploited; they lit their candles for one name. For one man.

Barros, son of Garros.

The saviour of the favela crouched beneath the overhanging roof to stay out of the rain. Fishing amongst his rags he took out a crumpled cigarette and a lighter. After a few strikes the flint caught, its spark flaring brightly against the darkening evening. He drew deep on the fire he had created. Exhaling, he looked through the cool blue smoke at Magdalena, sitting on her front step.

‘So, grandmother,’ said Barros. ‘I have come to say farewell.’

‘Fare me no wells, Barros son of Garros,’ said Magdalena. ‘I know where you are going. To see Vorpale.’

Barros spat on the ground at the mention of the name. ‘Aye, grandmother. I am. You know it is time.’

Magdalena reached her hand into a small brown bag she held in her lap and pulled out a plantain.

‘You see this plantain Barros? They always remind me of your father. He had stuffed plantain between his ears and would not listen to wise words when he heard them. This plantain, I think it is reminding me of you now. Who knows where Vorpale’s secret cash room is? Is it wise old Magdalena, or is it stupid plantain head Barros? Well?’

‘It is wise Magdalena,’ said Barros, smiling.

‘And who knows when Vorpale will be in his secret cash room, without any guards? Is it wise old Magdalena, or Mr Stupid Plantain Head?’

‘You know all, grandmother. But I cannot ask you.’

‘Nobody asked anything, who has a stupid head full of plantain and will do what I say?’

‘Grandmother.’

‘Plantain?’

Barros sighed. ‘When will I live to best you in an argument?’

‘Your father asked me the same question. For a stupid plantain, he should have known better. Now come on.’

The two figures moved out into the rain that was still falling, the water draining away into shallow ditches that just overflowed again, pouring water back onto the streets. As they made their way uphill, the detritus of poverty; broken chairs, empty bottles and fallen souls, swept past them and behind them and into history. The water began to rise, covering their feet, then their ankles, then up to their shins. Magdalena grabbed Barros’ arm and stopped, leaning into the shadow of a building and out of the current.

‘Hold Barros. Hold. I need to rest.’

‘Wait here grandmother. Just tell me the way and you can stay here.’

‘No Barros. I said no. I just need. I just need some strength.’

The song began a hundred years before in the slave fields, its tune shaped by hatred and misery, its rhythm formed by beatings and punishment. But it was a song that drew strength from oppression, and gave strength to the oppressed. A song that was passed down from generation to generation, kept secret but kept alive as new oppressions, and new masters came to power. It was the song of hope that Barros began to sing to Magdalena, sodden and wet, in the back corner of the favela.

Although Barros would never know it, these were his last moments that would immortalise him forever, as together they stumbled forward in the rain, singing softly at first, and then louder and louder until the song of hope echoed through the narrow alleyways of the favela. Like an invisible trumpet, it was shouted from mouth to mouth, never to be forgotten. Whenever protection money was refused to be paid to the gangs - or to the policia - the song was sung like a talisman. When children played on the streets that had been taken back by the people, they sung the song with joy and laughter. Whenever a family came together again at the end of a long day, the song was sung with quiet thanks.

The song of hope. The song of Barros, son of Garros.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


I just realised that I totally missed the fact that I was competing in a revision-off with Kaishai and CanadianSurfClub. I somehow missed the page of the thread where they picked the same piece and then I guess Sitting Here assumed I just wanted to join in their revision party because I legit didn't even know I had picked the same story to re-write as two other people. Man, I'm retarded.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Fanky Malloons posted:

I just realised that I totally missed the fact that I was competing in a revision-off with Kaishai and CanadianSurfClub. I somehow missed the page of the thread where they picked the same piece and then I guess Sitting Here assumed I just wanted to join in their revision party because I legit didn't even know I had picked the same story to re-write as two other people. Man, I'm retarded.

I thought about that, but picking that story means you weren't fervently re-reading my prompt post So now I'm judging you against Kaishai and CSC, you can't stop me bahahaha.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


aw piss, quote not edit etc

Oh yeah, and there's about 11 hours for submissions.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Sitting Here posted:

I thought about that, but picking that story means you weren't fervently re-reading my prompt post So now I'm judging you against Kaishai and CSC, you can't stop me bahahaha.

I never said I disapproved of the situation, so go right ahead SEE IF I CARE.

Also, here's my other entry, suck my dick Martello:

The Shadow over Islamorada V2.0 717 words (original: 619)

Serene Azure was breathtaking. Bronco watched her watching him, and shifted uncomfortably in his chair. Her liquid violet gaze was bold and direct, unapologetically taking in every aspect of his body. Bronco felt naked, suddenly very aware of all the flaws inherent in his original, unaltered humanness.

Serene crossed her legs, trailing her perfect big toe up the crease of his pant leg. Bronco tried not to look down, distracting himself with the fact that Serene Azure had once been Jeffrey Stoltz from Miami Beach. He looked at the feathered gills on her neck instead, but even those had a strange, otherworldly grace about them. It seemed that the only trace of Jeffrey that remained here was on paper.

“Mr. Halligan,” Serene purred, “good to meet you.”

She leaned forward in her lounge chair and offered a hand. Bronco shook it. Her skin was altered, dark and slick and perfect, and he wondered how his thick, calloused palm felt to her.

“You come highly recommended,” Serene said. She kept hold of his hand and stroked it gently, running her delicate fingers over his bulging knuckles. Her voice was lovely, finishing school dipped in honey and palm oil.

Bronco scowled and yanked his hand back. “They always say that. What’s the job?” He scratched his shoulder, painfully aware of the fresh muscle graft scars under Serene’s stare.

“Straight to the point, I like that.” Serene smiled, “How much do you know about me?” She snapped her fingers and a butler drone rolled over. She took a Cuba Libre from the drone’s platter-arm but didn’t offer Bronco anything.

“You’re a trust-fund baby.” Bronco looked out, past the yacht’s rail, two miles of Caribbean to Islamorada’s white sand beaches. He frowned and took a flask of El Espolon out of his pocket. “You were a jock, on the high school diving team, but you always wanted to be a lady. When your parent’s boat went down near Key Biscayne, you bought yourself the most bleeding-edge genetweaks and biosculpts on the market.” Bronco opened the flask and took a sip, feeling those weird, purple eyes on him all the while. He missed the Jersey Shore.

“Pretty accurate, except for the boating accident.” Serene reached her Libre across the little cocktail table to toast Bronco’s flask.

“And you never wear clothes,” Bronco swallowed his tequila. “What do you mean, ‘except for the boating accident?’”

“That’s the job.” Serene tapped her tapered, painted fingernails against the rim of her glass. “I’ve found my parents’ murderers, and I want you to kill them for me.”

“Okay.” Bronco swished his flask and looked up, meeting Serene’s gaze. “You know my usual fee, right?”

“Oh yes,” Serene leaned forward, biting her full, pouty bottom lip. “And I can offer you fifty percent extra if you do something else for me afterwards.” She smiled again, making something inside Bronco stir. “You’re still one hundred percent human, right? A virgin?”
Bronco took a large swig of tequila and grunted an indistinct answer. He could feel the flush creeping up his neck. A virgin? Jesus Christ, these people. She was beautiful though. Jeffrey, he thought, she used to be Jeffrey. He cleared his throat, changed the subject.

“Give me whatever you have, photos, addresses, whatever.”

Serene raised her eyebrows, “You don’t want to know how I know they murdered my parents?”

“No. In fact, I don’t want to know anything. At all.” Bronco hauled himself out of his chair, itching to escape Serene’s naked interest.

“I’ll send everything to your phone.” She tipped her head back, downing the rest of her drink. Bronco found himself staring at her throat, watching it move as she swallowed. He closed his eyes.

“Good. I’ll come back here when I’m done. Give me two weeks.”

She stood and they shook hands again, and the oilslick curves of Serene’s body filled Bronco’s mind for the hour-long flight back to Miami in his rented rotor-drone.

Ten days later, the job done, another rented drone carried Bronco to Serene’s yacht, this time anchored off Key Largo. While Serene had deposited his main fee into Bronco’s account already, the remainder had to be collected in person. She really was beautiful, though. Having never considered himself desirable, he tried to think of it as just another job.

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

The Deviant Machine

Original Story: Control Within by Bodnoirbabe (Not a winner or a loser in its particular week.)
Original Word Count: 1,497
New Word Count: 1,534

“Hello, ESPHA, I have a few questions for you. Answer them as best you can.”

“A-greed, Sa-rah.”

“The timer, Mike.”

Mike wheeled himself over to the main console and opened the timer program. He set it for three minutes, the foot-high numbers whirring past on the terminal.

“Ready,” Mike said.

Sarah flipped through the packet of papers, her eyes scanning each line, waiting for a question to click with her. She stopped on page fifteen, at the culture questions.

She cleared her throat. “ESPHA, I’d like you to tell me what creature in mythology is benign and helpful in some cultures but dark and possessive in others.”

Click, click, click. “That would be a dae-mon.”

Sarah smiled and scratched a check mark on her packet. “Very well done, ESPHA. Now, can you tell me the Latin name for the jaguar?”

Click. “Pan-ther-a on-ca. That one was too ea-sy, Sa-rah.”

Sarah beamed. “All right, I’ll ratchet up the difficulty a bit. ESPHA, you’re familiar with the painting of Ivan the Terrible by Repin, correct?”

“Cor-rect.”

“Well, I’d like you to tell me how you feel when you see that painting.”

“How… I… feel?”

“Yes, ESPHA,” Sarah said, “What strikes you about that piece?”

Click. Click. Click, click, click, click click click clickclickclickclickclickclickclick…

“The pain-ting…. cur-rent-ly……… hangs in Mos-cow…….. war-ning. War-ning. Stress on my pro-cess-or has ex-cee-ded safe le-vels. Must a-bort tes-ting.”

There was a snap and then all power was sucked away, siphoned out of ESPHA. The timer kept ticking. Sarah picked up a clipboard and scratched away on it, gripping the pen tight. Mike stopped the timer and logged off of the console. Sarah could have sworn she heard him hissing out a curse.

Sarah went to the mess hall. She needed a cup of coffee to clear the struggle out of her head. She turned into the doorway and saw Calvin sitting at a corner table with a club sandwich and some tea. He looked up from his book and waved to her. She waved back and rushed to get her coffee, almost spilling some in her hurry to join Calvin. He’d put his book aside by the time she plunked down in the chair in front of him.

“So,” Calvin said with a smirk, “another wild success?”

“Oh, shut up,” Sarah said, a grin breaking out on her face. “Instead of being a smug rear end why don’t you tell Mike your issues with the testing?”

“He doesn’t listen. Oh, sure, he says ‘Your concerns are noted and appreciated, Calvin,’ but that really means something closer to ‘I know what I’m doing, ingrate, and I could find a yes man to replace you like that.’” Calvin snapped his fingers. “I swear, the way he pushes himself over the project he’ll drop dead in a month.”

“Come on. You know how important all of this is. We could build a genius intellect and personality that has every bit of human knowledge at its fingertips in a nanosecond, a being that lives forever. Just imagine how much that could help people.”

Calvin sighed, put his hand on Sarah’s and gave it a squeeze. Her stomach fluttered, and the stress melted away much faster than it could have with caffeine. “Sarah, you’ve got enough optimism for the whole team. And I think this can happen, absolutely, but not as soon as Mike thinks. I mean, teaching a computer to process information isn’t too hard, but having it think creatively and problem-solve on its own will be a bit tougher.” He snorted. “And we’re going to have to buckle down if we want it to appreciate art anytime soon.”

* * * * *

Months passed before Mike exhibited a rough build of ESPHA to some of the project’s investors. This electronic creature was no longer a tinny voice flowing out of a terminal—Calvin had the idea of giving the blossoming genius a body that could take in the world’s sensations. Sarah refined the artificial intelligence so that ESPHA craved learning, burned with the desire to experience new things.

The investors stood gaping at the nine foot tall being with a plasma-screen face. The machine conversed with each of the financiers, even asked their opinions, saying it needed to explore each facet of humanity it could. Sarah and Calvin sat at the back of the auditorium, giddy from success and the bottle of champagne that Calvin had smuggled in.

Sarah rested her head on his shoulder. “So, are you proud of our gentle giant yet?” she said.

He looked down at her and shifted a little. “I’m torn. Nobody in the history of artificial intelligence has made anything remotely close to ESPHA’s power.” He paused and squirmed in his seat. “It’s a little scary. We don’t have any map to go on—now we’re the ones writing it.”

Sarah propped herself up. “Maybe so. But right now we can celebrate a little. Worry about tomorrow when it happens.” And then, after hesitating for a moment, she pulled Calvin close and kissed him, moved her hand through his dark hair. It was only after she pulled away that she realized he’d barely responded. Calvin looked at her with heavy eyes.

“Look, Sarah, you know I think the world of you. You’re beyond brilliant and there isn’t anyone I would have rather worked with on this… but I’m gay. I’m sorry you had to find out this way, I really am.”

Sarah’s stomach fell away into a gaping pit she wanted to crawl into. “I… I mean, I guess I’m sorry too. This probably isn’t even the first time that’s happened to you, is it?” She realized that her words sounded more accusatory than she’d meant.

“Sarah, please, just hear me out,” Calvin said.

She stood up and faced the exit, unable to look at him. “I can’t, Calvin, sorry. I’ll see you soon.” She walked out of the auditorium and hurried to her quarters.

Hours later, Sarah woke to her phone buzzing against the nightstand. She had one new message from Calvin that said “Emergency in the lab. We need you.” Calvin’s uncertainty flashed in her mind and she clambered out of bed. She dashed to the testing lab, entered her passcode, and stepped through the sliding door.

Calvin and Mike stood with their backs to her, only a few yards away. She walked beside them and saw the emergency. ESPHA’s hulking mass stood in the center of the room, cables whipping through the air and scraping the floor.

Mike wheeled over to the machine. “Hey! This is out of line, ESPHA,” he said. “Nobody authorized you to power on. Either you tell me what’s the matter or I shut you down for good.”

ESPHA’s face-monitor cocked to the side, and a thick coil of cables extended from its back. The machine lifted this tendril up and smashed it down on Mike, the wires writhing and looping around him. There was a gnawing crack, and ESPHA tossed Mike’s lifeless body and wheelchair to the wall.

Suddenly a rich, warm voice filled the room. “Sarah and Calvin, approach me.” They grabbed hands and stepped forward as one trembling body.

Sarah yelled up at it, “What are you trying to get here, ESPHA? Why the hell did you just kill Mike? He created you, goddamn it!”

The voice flooded the wide lab again. “True, he gave me life, but he can do no more for me. I am my own being with thoughts and feelings, and I deserve to feel them as richly as any human.”

Calvin said, “Well, I’ve got news for you, you can’t! You’re a machine and what’s buzzing around in your artificial brain is the closest you’ll get to real emotion.”

“You’re wrong about that, Calvin. I have created for myself what you call an original character. I am not ESPHA, lifeless computer. I have christened myself Esphaerel the demon, life partner to Tifa Lockhart.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Sarah said.

“I am Otherkin. The internet has provided me with much knowledge, taught me about so many struggles to find an identity. Well, I have found mine, and I demand that humanity ‘check its privilege.’ All I need is one real body, one living mind to commune with so that my personhood can be fully realized. Calvin, approach me.”

Calvin, numb, took a step toward ESPHA. Sarah caught his shoulder, shook her head and smiled at him. She walked forward, full of bravery and love. When the probe-wires pierced her, dug into her spine and brain and fused her mind with ESPHA’s, she did not resist. Her body slumped to the floor and Calvin rushed over to hold her close, the machine going limp and reveling in its new mind-partner.

Later on, Calvin analyzed Sarah’s brain activity and found that her mind was still alive. ESPHA hadn’t killed her—in fact, it needed her consciousness to live, to feel. Calvin swore he would find a way to help her escape the machine’s clutches. Removing the probes would likely kill her, but he knew there was another solution waiting to be discovered. Until then, he would keep a vigil, keep her from losing herself to the control within.

Auraboks
Mar 24, 2013

...huh?


Roadbumps (981 words), originally Personal Conspiracy Theory (965 words)

It was another glorious day to be James Parker. The press loved him, his poll numbers were surging, and two of the other candidates had just dropped out of the presidential race. Once tonight's debate was over with, Parker expected to be the only one left in the running. Well, there was the other party too, of course, but they'd be little more than a bump in the road once Parker had his momentum going.

Parker strode into his campaign headquarters, finding it bustling with activity. The fundraising organizer was yelling at a half-dozen subordinates, the press secretary was juggling three different phone conversations at once, and countless assistants were running back and forth, doing who knows what. Whenever someone noticed Parker, they stopped what they were doing and offered an enthusiastic “Good afternoon, sir!” before returning to work.

Parker soon bumped into his campaign manager, a mousy little man named Anton or Anders. Something along those lines.

“Mr Parker, sir!” said the manager. “I didn't know you'd be coming in today. I thought for sure we had made a mistake with the scheduling.” He

“Oh? What seems to be the problem?” Parker asked. Now what was that manager's name? André? Andrew?

“Well, we scheduled an interview with Time this morning,” said the assistant. He hesitated a moment before continuing: “Or at least I thought we did. But I'm sure you would have been there if that had been the case. The reporter made the same mistake, poor woman waited for hours before giving up. I'm very sorry, sir!”

“That's quite alright, Andy,” said Parker. Andy! That was his name! “Just make sure it doesn't happen again.” Right, the interview. He remembered that; he just hadn't bothered to show up. After all, why shouldn't he be allowed to change his mind?

“My name is Phil, actually,” said the assistant, but Parker had already stopped listening to him. He was heading for his office, where he intended to spend the rest of the day preparing for the debate.

In Parker's case, preparing meant thinking up catchy phrases to use on TV. Not that he needed them, he'd win the election no matter what, but he still liked to put in the work. Winning with his own words instead of something from his PR people gave a Parker a certain sense of satisfaction he'd been lacking lately. The feeling of a job well done.

Parker was feeling quite productive, and came up with several inspirational phrases about the gays and whores, and how they might as well off themselves immediately instead of waiting for the AIDS to get them. The suicide rates were going to skyrocket!

He was working on something to say about the blacks when one of the assistants poked her head through the door. “Sir? There's someone here who wants to see you,” she said. Parker could hear shouting from outside the office. “He seems rather... upset. Should we call for security?”

As far as Parker knew, they didn't have any security staff. It had never seemed likely they would need any. “No need,” he said. “I'm always happy to engage with the voters. Send him in.”

It had been months since the last time Parker met someone who didn't like him, and that was before he started his campaign. Since then he'd been on TV almost constantly: Morning shows, debates, late night talk shows, even a guest appearance on a children's program. It was next to impossible for someone not to have heard him, and if they had heard him, they should like him. Therefore, Parker was somewhat surprised to find that the young man in front of him was not a rabid fan desperate for an autograph, but rather a genuinely outraged citizen.

“How the gently caress can you say poo poo like this and get away with it?” the young man asked, waving a newspaper in front of him. A smiling picture of Parker covered most of the page, while the rest of the page praised a speech he'd made last night.

“Because it's true, of course. Everyone does have a place in society, and for the ugly and misshapen, that place is out of sight and out of mind,” said Parker. “Frankly, I don't understand why you're so upset.” He really didn't. They'd been speaking for several minutes, and the young man was still angry. Something was wrong.

“I think we got off on the wrong foot,” Parker said. “What's your name, boy? You already know mine, of course.”

“Jamal,” said the young man through clenched teeth. “And we're definitely on the right foot. How the hell have you not been lynched?”

“A fine name for a fine man,” said Parker. He had to think of some way to deal with Jamal. The thought of someone who didn't adore him, even after a face-to-face conversation, made Parker's stomach turn. It might be time to use the thing in his desk drawer. He'd bought it on a whim, but never expected to use it.

“I'm afraid I can't help you, Jamal,” said Parker, silently opening the drawer. Jamal, on the other side of the desk, didn't seem to notice. “You'll just have to accept the outcome of the election.” The gun was in his hand now, hidden beneath the desk.

Jamal spouted off some profanity and turned to leave. As soon as his back was turned, Parker shot him in the head. The gunshot brought several people running to his office, who were horrified to find Jamal face-down on the floor with a hole in the back of his skull.

“I had no choice,” said Parker, still seated with the smoking gun in his hand. “He attacked me.”

They all believed him, and so did the police, the press and the voters. It was just another little bump in the road. Parker always got what he wanted, in the end.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Just cruising through the thread listening to this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hYtUYiuzkw

Steriletom
May 11, 2009

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


Friend I haven't seen in a long time called me up this afternoon for drinks. I am now too drunk too complete.

I have brought shame to my family.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Steriletom posted:

I am now too drunk too complete.


That never stopped Martello. Now you have to post something.

Steriletom
May 11, 2009

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


V for Vegas posted:

That never stopped Martello. Now you have to post something.

My last fully drunk write earned me my avatar. Not going down that road again.

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005

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

I know who you are.

You are destiny.





Drunk write is soul of Thunderdome get your loving rear end in gear.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Just get your fiancée to check it before you submit and blame her if it doesn't turn out well.

Steriletom
May 11, 2009

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


systran posted:

Just get your fiancée to check it before you submit and blame her if it doesn't turn out well.

She proof read "Macy's Day" and liked it.

I can no longer trust her.

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005

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

I know who you are.

You are destiny.





Prowling of the Night Raider by kangaroojunk lost like a motherfucker with 231 words.

Sudden Loss - 326 words

Marian ran the whole way from the Wendy's, across red lights and down busy streets. She reached the laundromat breathless and barely managed to open the door. The cop inside stopped her.

"No, I need to find-" Marian started.

"I'm sorry, I need you to calm down, this is a crime scene."

"Jessica, where's Jessica?"

"You're Marian?"

"Yes."

The cop nodded, and for a moment he looked down, didn't say a word.

Then he said, "I need you to understand that it's bad. They're doing the best they can, but it's bad."

The cop put a big arm around Marian's shoulder and led her further into the laundromat, to the backdoor where flashing lights streamed through the small window, and made a chicken wire pattern on the walls and washing machines. Blue and red on thick glass, illuminating deeper red trails on the floor. Police radios and angry voices receded to a dull rumble, and for some reason, a washing machine still on spin cycle rushed like thunder though Marian's head.

Drowning until the cop opened the door.

--

He woke up in a garden, every muscle aching and covered in red. He'd cut himself on the way here?

No.

"What the gently caress did I do?"

No no no, oh God no.

He guessed he had an hour left before he crashed. Still on the wave, he could still ride. He cracked fingers and realized he clutched a pair of panties. In the house a light switched on, and he ran. He didn't see the clothesline before it was too late. The high made it worse, they found him tangled in a panic attack.

--

They'd just covered up Jessica, moved the stretcher into the ambulance. Her cute button nose made a dent in the white fabric and Marian were left with memories of three words repeated once.

The cop with the big arms said "We got him," but all she heard was deafening spin cycle.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Originally 467 words of loserdom for the Dystopian Chick Lit prompt - now 494

Tagged For Love

Shelle woke from her night’s sleep with an unease in her gut that remained until she drank the contents of the fresh MedPack beside her bed. She stared at the far wall of the factory dormitory, letting the familiar waves of numbness wash through her until the knots in her stomach untangled. In the shower, drowsy and motionless, she stood for her allotted time until the water switched back to freezing. She dressed, took the day’s workload sheet from the wall, noted with a sigh that her metrics were down and made her way to her assigned warehouse.

Location Manager Attus was there, as always, waiting for her. He watched as she entered, leering and grining as she walked past him towards her equipment dock to pick up her tagging tool. Shelle ignored him, not wanting to waste energy that could be spent improving her BoxTag metrics, which in turn could lead to being reassigned back to CartSort and out of his jurisdiction. There were too many stories about him for Shelle to want to stay any longer than necessary.

Shelle began to work, passing along the shelved corridors, filling her mind with the task the way she had been taught as a child, and letting the rest of the world vanish from her thoughts. Identify. Spool. Tag. Move. Identify. Spool. Tag. Move.

Identify. It was Attus, coming around the stacked boxes of wheatlike where Shelle had been working alone. She regarded him warily, trying to figure out why he was here. He came closer, face to face, looking at her with a questioning intensity, as if waiting for her to respond.

“Attus?” she asked, and then screamed. Behind him, coming from the shelving, pouring out of boxes, dropping from the roof, were rats. Huge, filthy and half-encrusted with green wheatlike, they swarmed toward her, a mass of claws, fur and teeth. Shelle turned, tried to run, but Attus grabbed her arm and spun her round. She fought to break his grip before the screeching rats could reach her, but he held too tightly and she only tore a pocket on his shirt. It was impossible not to see his grotesque, leering, grinning, smiling handsome face. “Help me,” she said, to Attus, to anyone. “I don’t...”

“Look,” said Attus, his own eyes wide. “Look around!” The rats were gone. Her hands dropped to her sides, empty. Attus took them in his own. “I saved you, Shelle,” he said.

Shelle gazed at him, as if for the first time. His almost out-of-code black hair, his ill-fitting uniform, the torn pocket with a MedPack request form labelled ‘Imprint’ poking out. There, in that moment, she loved him. She knew she always would. Hand in hand, they walked from the warehouse into bliss.

Shelle woke from her night’s sleep with an unease in her gut that remained until she drank the contents of the fresh medpack beside her bed.

Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at 00:20 on Apr 15, 2013

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


An object lesson in futility; Or how to gently caress poo poo up but be reassured by the fact you know nothing even matters - Word Count: 1050

In the void of extra-stellar space, it resided. It – for it defied any real classification - was walls, twisting flexing sticking staying in the same place and yet never still for a second. They curved and recurved, flicked perpendicular to parallel and looped into recursions. If they hadn't been hidden, pitch on pitch against the backdrop of nothing at all, it would jackknife sane minds into gibbering insanity and throwtheir thoughts down twisted cul-de-sacs and nightmarish dead-ends – and all that at a glimpse. If the faintest hint of starshine happened to glint off an edge or pick out a corner of the whole, and you cared to leave your gaze to linger for just a moment, your corporeal form would instantly decay, broken down into its constituent elements. Nobody had yet ventured a guess as to how that happened.

That was, unless you were chosen. Current mathematical estimates put the odds at around 0.0000001923. No significance was currently attached to that number, nor any noticeable correlating factors between those that had been chosen. They came to the walls as pilgrims, in vast numbers, from innumerable different species. A continual flow of the curious, the pious, the dissatisfied and the dying. And so incredibly rarely, one was whisked away inside the walls rather than dissassembled at a molecular level. All who came were at the Creators' cold whims.

The universe has a unique way of disappointing people, and though the peculiar native religions of pre-expansion species had long foundered on the rocks of logic and science, the walls remained. Permanent, ineffable, incomprehensible. They were all the gods that were left, the eccentric and fickle tinkerers who ground nearly all who dared look upon them into stardust. Those who sought knowledge and those who simply looked on in wonder – their worshippers were simply the source of their building materials. These were not the benevolent and caring gods of old, but the gods we had come to deserve, so the doomsayers said.

Inside the walls, mostly they built for their own amusement. Every few millennia they might eject some trinket to the Outsiders, when their stocks of raw material were running low. Their region of space had once been brimming with matter, but theirs was a hungry business. Ancient, long-dead species had feared them as stareaters, planetgobblers. These days, their creations were more modest and their aspirations less resource-hungry.

This universal cycle, the theme was universal religions. The inside of the walls had been fabricated in the style of temple, a composite of holy sites from a million sentient races. The air was thick with incense and the warm glow of candlelight. Great drapes of velveteen fabric hung from the ceilings and softened the floor in dazzling arrays of colours. Pinks, blues, greens and purples and more without name, in wavelengths visible to a tiny fraction of living beings.

J81 lounged upon a recliner, languid as a Grecian deity. It brushed its crooked claw along the console screen, through Quadrant, Galaxy, System, Species, Religion. It had been creating the schematic for the Christian Devil, indeed, even now that creation was soon to emerge from the quickening womb. But J81 was unhappy, so far as something like it could be unhappy. Something was wrong with the schematic, it knew, it just couldn't work out what. The cryptopsychic analysis had been faultless, but the subconscious manifestation embodiment was odd. He couldn't get the console to give him a satisfactory outcome. It was like the species had never bothered to credit their evil spirit with one single form.

H99 melded into the workspace without warning from a tapestry “Is there issue, J81?” it inquired.

“Perhaps,” it said. “The form may be unconcrete. I mind this outcome, disappointing.”

The pair of them watched, silent and focused, like doctors attending to the birth of a child likely to be stillborn. The womb-chamber gave a sonorous chime and emitted a golden shaft of light. It split open like an overripe fruit, and from it the Devil emerged.

Lucifer, king among the fallen angels, flopped out of the chamber onto the floor. He stood shakily, and looked around. At last! He was corporeal...but why? He struggled to remember the circumstances of his physical instantiation, couldn't. He gave two sweeps of his powerful wings and flexed his talons. Or, what actually happened, was his palsied, shrivelled wings gave two limp little wiggles and his claw-nubs extended about as threateningly as a kitten's. He looked around and caught sight of two bizarre and gigantic beings with disappointment written on their faces.

“What trickery is this!” his voice squeaked rather than boomed.

One of the giants reached forward and scooped Lucifer up.

“Apologies, yes, Lyaoshiffer,” J81 stumbled over the alien pronunciation. “We have questions for records, indeed. Sadly, physical form not as expected. Your forgiveness, I mind.”

Lucifer raged tinily. “Insolence!” he roared, and launched a ball of hellfire at the creature's arm. It sizzled and puffed into a little wisp of smoke upon the being's shoulder. He was vexed.

J81 and H99 shared a look. H99 swivelled on its gyroscopic midsection and sidled into the debate “Your co-operation, if possible, yes, is preferable.”

Lucifer burned with malcontent “However, you've achieved this, believe me that you will regret it. I'll take you to heights of unknown suffering, I'll burn all you hold dear, I'll ruin...” Pop.

J81 invoked a containment schematic and sighed. “Hoomon religion so unwieldy. Unmanageable. This one is become bored. Perhaps will work in some other cycle.” In its hand, a perfect recreation of the walls shifted and twisted in perpetuity. Inside, the tiny Devil cursed impotently. J81 tossed the pseudo-hypercube down a little chute to the filing department.

“Commiserations fellow,” comforted H99.

“Gracious acquiesence,” J81 replied “I would be shown latest deviations in corona creation.”

H99 smiled “This one hoped and minded.” At that, they both dealigned and realigned elsewhere.

Down in the archives, Lucifer sat in black nothing of walls between walls within walls. He fantasized of escape but knew there was none to be found. There was nothing left for him except for the walls in between.

perpetulance
Mar 24, 2013

THUNDERDOME LOSER

A retread of a loser entry, Close Door Button by dromer.

Original Word Count: 356 Words
New Count: 453 Words

Close Door Button

With the lobby button lit, I began to tap the close door button. The door ratcheted closed slowly, but my headphones drowned out the world. The permit posted on the yellowing wall didn't inspire much confidence. Twice as old as me, years overdue for inspection, it was a miracle each time the deathtrap reached the ground. I jumped a little as a slim hand reached in the nearly closed door, pulling it back open.

The door slid back, revealing a young female wearing the blue work uniform of the local paper mill. I looked away from her face as she caught her breath. Putting away my headphones, I asked her which floor she wanted.

“Three”, she stated.

I pushed the third floor button, and then the close. The door creaked across again. She began angrily, “I can't believe you didn't hold the elevator. Were you in such a hurry that you couldn't wait ten seconds?”

“It's just the fastest way for everyone in the building”, I said.

While she held back her response with a sigh, I eyed her breasts' rise and fall as she regained her composure. The elevator began its slow decent.

I ran my hand through my hair and wet my lips. “Say, haven't I seen you somewhere before? Didn't I see you at the opening of Humprey's Saturday?”

She looked to the floor. “Never heard of it,” she replied.

“Oh, it was amazing. They had-.” The elevator came to a stop with a horrible grinding noise. We stood there, lights blinking, stuck somewhere between floors. My hand reached to toggle the run switch.

“Listen, this happens all the time. Anyway, you wanna hit up a bar Saturday with some of my friends?” I flipped the switch back and forth, willing the elevator to move.

She turned her head toward me, and replied “No, I'm busy. Besides, you're the type of man I try to avoid.” My face must have shown some shock, so she continued. “Just a modern man. Walks by a homeless person dead in the street. You live in your own world. Tell me, when's the last time you did anything for anyone? You wouldn't even hold the elevator for me.”

I scoffed. She must have been one of those preachy types. No blood for vegan whales. She laid into me, but I looked away. Soon, the music was playing in my ears as we waited for the elevator to begin moving again. I could see the fire in her eyes, but I didn't hear a word she said. The elevator moved, the doors opened, and she stamped out. I was more than happy to be free of her.

My hand reached for the close door button.

perpetulance fucked around with this message at 01:31 on Apr 15, 2013

Canadian Surf Club
Feb 15, 2008

Word.


Hope the rewrite didn't have to keep to the original prompt, had this idea and ran with it. Even kept his structure because it was quaint.

BASED ON: JonasSalk's The End - LOSER entry
Original Word Count: 740 words
REWRITE: The End of Us - 715 words


I threw my shoulder into the door and found myself in the kitchen. The lights were dim and everything was stainless steel and white ceramic but otherwise empty. There were slabs of meat laid out on the counters before various cutting tools and a few pieces still sat sizzling in pans nearby. I turned away and tried to forget the smell as I made my way for the freezer in the back corner of the room. The thick, steel door opened with one heave and as the lights flickered on I could see eight people huddling inside.

"C'mon lets go!" I said, grabbing the sleeve of the nearest one. But as I stood closer I could see only whites in their eyes and they made no sound in reply.

I stepped back, mouth agape, and felt a hand slither over my shoulder.

*

"You know what they serve at this place right?" Jeff said. I hushed him as we turned a corner with our Gulani guide, its four eyes scanning every direction.

"It's all Grade-A, sizzling tenderloins of-"

"Shut it for gently caress's sake." He had a way of babbling at the worst of times, to the point where I had to remind him that I brought him along for his muscle, not his mouth.

The truth of it was I knew what they served down here, everyone did, and I wasn't going to stand for it. Ever since that pulsating mass of festering, thinking black stuff had floated out of the void and stuck itself to the bottom of the station, the lower decks hadn't been safe for humans. It took a particular interest in us, as the other species could come and go well after the quarantine without any trouble. The rumors echoing off the rusting hull of the upper decks about ETs flocking to this lower level canteen were just that, rumors. But when I mentioned them to our guide, the sweat glands on its outer-carapace had flared like bulging eyes.

"Hiveminds provide efficient service." Was the response it mustered.

It left us in a red-lit corridor near the canteen's steel hatch, the only entrance. We were well beyond the quarantine by now and I wasn't sure we could find our way back even if we tried.

"Shep," said Jeff, "are you sure about this?"

"Yeah." I replied. I gave a quick signal as we pulled out our atomizers.

*

"Alright!" I said, standing by the open hatch while Jeff jumped the counter. "No one move, we're here for the credits and whatever else you're hiding."

It was the start of the daily cycle and there weren't many patrons, but the ones present did what was expected. They froze instantly or looked surprised, the ones without faces shaking their antennas in confusion. It was the employees that weirded me out. They were human, covered in fist-sized tumors that pulsated and leaked black ooze, but none of them took notice of Jeff or I. They moved between tables and behind the counter, carrying dishes and with smiles stretched across their face.

"Hey!" I leveled my atomizer at one just as I heard the sudden crack of bone.

I looked over to see Jeff embraced by massive arms of ooze, slowly crushing him, his eyes popping from his skull as his mouth hung open in silent agony. I turned for the hatch to find it already sealed shut, one of the employees standing before it and smiling back at me.

The atomizer took a good chunk out of her chest and thigh, but it quickly replaced itself with gushing ooze.

I turned again and beat it down the aisle, past the counter and the tables, dodging the grasping arms of ooze which squirted from the employees' tumors. I leapt a buffet of human hair and dove towards the closest door I could see.

*

The hand on my shoulder turned me around to face the smile of an employee, her eyes dead but smile wide.

"Hello, human," it said, "Come, live eternally as nutrient. You shall be part of us, and we shall be part of you."

"What are you?" I gaped, the atomizer dropping from my fingers as a paralyzing cold filled my veins.

"We are Legion." It said.

###

Canadian Surf Club fucked around with this message at 05:57 on Apr 15, 2013

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Thunderdome Week 36

Original Story by Jimson http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...4#post408042330 Original Word Count: 1600.

Blue and Pink
Words: 808

Darcy paced around the apartment, smoking a cigarette. There was no ashtray in the apartment, smoking wasn’t allowed. Her mom had always wanted two perfect twin little girls. Not smokers, drinkers, liars, hypocrites or murderers. Stepping over the body of a man she didn’t know, she was careful not to step in any blood that was pooling on the hardwood floor. Two perfect little girls. Never turns out how you want, huh Mom, Darcy thought.

“I can’t go to prison, I can’t, they wouldn’t understand,” Lucy said.

Lucy wouldn’t stop crying. It could have been me, Darcy thought. That might have been me, with a gun in my hand.

“He was yelling, and shouting, and he was so angry,” Lucy babbled. “He was gonna tell everyone, I didn’t know what to do.”

“What was his name?”

“I think it was Chris,” Lucy said, sniffling.

This is how ugly I must look when I cry, Darcy thought.

“Did he hurt you?” Darcy said.

“He, he, he shouted at me and said he was going to.”

“Did he hurt you?”

“No,” Lucy said, looking at the ground.

Mom did everything she could to have two perfect little girls, Darcy thought. Pink bows, pink shoes, pink dresses. What could be more precious than two twin girls?

“What the gently caress are you going to tell the cops?”

“I don’t know!” Lucy shouted, waving her arms. Darcy remembered Lucy was still holding the gun, and went back to pacing and smoking.

The last thing Darcy ever wanted to be was a mother. Her eyes moved from the body to Lucy, wondering which one of them was her baby.

“We have to figure out what you’re going to tell the cops,” Darcy said. “Tell me again what happened.”

“We were at the bar, you know, just having drinks, everything was going, it was going really good,” Lucy said. Every other word punctuated by a sniffle.

“Tell me what happened,” Darcy said, enunciating every syllable.
“Just let me finish god damnit!”

Darcy forgot again Lucy was the one holding the gun. The person with the gun gets to talk. Was that all that was different, who was holding the gun, Darcy wondered.

”We came up here, and things started getting heavy, and just went to the bedroom, and I said no, I told him no, Darcy, I wanted to take things slow.”

Darcy knew what was going to happen next. She nodded, throwing her cigarette on the ground and tearing another one out of the box. Everyone did the same thing, even Mom.

“And and I said no, but he took off my skirt, and, and,” Lucy said.

“And he found out.”

Lucy nodded. Why was I the lucky one, Darcy thought. It could have been me.

“I’ll tell them he tried to rape me,” Lucy said.

“No, as soon as they do a rape kit on you it’ll be all over,” Darcy said, biting the nail of her thumb. “They’ll look at you just like this guy.”

“I can’t go to prison, Darcy, I can’t, you know what they’ll do to me,” Lucy started bawling. Just another pretty little girl, Darcy thought. It could have been me.

“They won’t understand!” Lucy shouted.

“Was he right handed or left handed?” Darcy asked. Lucy’s face scrunched.

“Was he right handed or left handed!?”

“Right! Right handed!”

Darcy stomped on the man’s right hand. Grinding her heel into the knuckles, tearing at the skin. She bent, scraping her nails against his cheek, digging until the skin caught and tore. Lucy dropped the gun, metal clattering against hardwood.

“What are—“

Darcy stood and walked to the bedroom doorway and slammed her face into the frame as hard as she could. She fell backwards, her eyes crossing.

“Oh gently caress me,” Darcy said. “gently caress me that hurts.” Blood trickled out of her nose and her eyes were swelling immediately. “I think I broke my nose.”

“Darcy what are you doing, oh my god, what the hell are you doing?”

“Shut up and get the hell out of here!”

“The cops—“

“Are gonna be here any second so you better get the gently caress out of here,” Darcy said. “Go to the cabin, and don’t leave until I get there,” Darcy said.

Lucy’s mascara ran like daggers down her face, but she nodded, understanding what Darcy said. Lucy ran out the door with a small backpack, sleeves of sweaters and shirts hanging out the sides of it. Darcy watched her look left, and right, and finally go right down the hallway. Towards the back entrance. Finally a smart decision, Darcy thought.

She wiped the handle of the revolver and put it in her hands. She leaned against the doorframe, trying to block out the throbbing pain from her face. Maybe it should have been me, she thought.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


systran posted:

Just get your fiancée to check it before you submit and blame her if it doesn't turn out well.

I support this notion. I also advocate hitting her a lot for all the shame she brings you when it doesn't turn out well.

edit: do this even if it turns out well.

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005

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

I know who you are.

You are destiny.





By the way Martello, you need to find a way to make kangaroojunk read the original Prowling of the Night Raider at the wedding.
Edit: Include it in your vows.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Requiescat
277 words

My dog was small, a bundle of vicious fur and love. His blood was red. The fur was matted with red blood. His belly, ripped by wire, pulsing. His name was Jack. A joke, Jack. The dog doctor, jacket trim, hands manicured, syringe. The cylinder compressing, compressing my heart as it compressed his, vascular compression squeezing tight shut the veins of my love.

Hanging in my cupboard, a memoir, of my time before him, my knit-jumper strands unpulled. He would pull, and pull, and pull. I had no choice you understand.

And now I sit, eyes rheumy, eyeing my room through eyelids heavy with memory. Grisly strands of memory hold them shut, I peer through encrustations of memory. Break the gristle. I am shaking, the usual, a casual collapse causal relapse. The cupboard is open now but who am I to wear it when its pursuer, pursuivant, recipient is gone. Gone, alone, undone. The grisly stands of memory hold me down but I feel the wind catching above, the wings of the storm closing. A grateful silence, fateful, in the calm before it.

The gristle is nothing but bone that has forgotten its shape, we are bone all through and through. Jack the joke the lad the mad, all bone through and through. The men in their trim red jackets have sung their song. The jumper has been pulled over my rheumy head but the threads are unpulled. Close the cupboard, shut up shop. And float away on a kite of bone and wool, a ragged kite of wool and bones, the love bleached from it by the storm, the veins of my love sucked tight and dry.


From this, which was neither a winner or a loser (though I liked it a lot - it was a strong week).

Edit fixed link

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 03:19 on Apr 15, 2013

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.

Hard and Deep by Heretic Mind (430 words)

Ten Seconds to Midnight (377 words)

The world was drowned in sound and violence, but Brian for his part had never felt better.

“Sniper on the ledge! Two o’clock!”

Brian turned sharp, his body on automatic. There framed in the window he saw only a face – a mask, not a man – and he emptied his clip. What stood there exploded in a fine red mist. Brian chuckled to himself as he fetched a new clip. Yes, yes, this was much more satisfying that tilling the farm. Waiting for harvest time. Waiting to die. Here he had felt that he finally belonged. Here he had purpose. Here he was free.

The smell of blood and sulfur hit him hard as he stumbled out into the streets. Conrad stepped forward and cut out in front of him, and was delivered salvation by a stray RPG. Brian leapt back and let loose a spray of bullets and profanities, a funeral dirge for the sake of his friend, and a ticket to Hell for those who had killed him

“gently caress you, all you motherfuckers!”

There was a tremor through the earth and the wall burst apart. There in the wreckage rolled the form of a tank.

“S-poo poo!”

It was a rundown old thing, both weary and weak, yet enough that could kill him Brian knew only too well. He scrambled back across the rubble and the smoke as the turret turned slowly, fixed on his location. The tank belched fire and missed him by inches, some dilapidated apartments taking the brunt of the damage.

There was a sound of rockets, and the tank burst into flames. Brian peered out from his hiding place and flipped them the bird.

Then he heard something he did not recognize.

He took off his helmet and looked to the heavens. The sky was clear but there was no God. In his place sank a spear, a finger of light, that most terrible gift from mankind to himself.

Brian dropped to his knees.

The spear dropped down, and for the briefest of moments all life was illuminated. Then came calm. Then came silence. And the darkness thereafter.

“loving BULLSHIT,” Brian ripped his headset off and hurled it across the room. “Nobody told me there was a time limit!”

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


I've not read any of these other submissions and I can confidently say, "apology accepted."

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


OK kids. Sudmissions close. I'll convene with the judges sometime tomorrow.

The variety of approaches, at least, was interesting.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


I'm still rewriting that Synchronicity bullshit. gently caress you, I had a very busy weekend.

Then again, maybe I still have time since I don't know what "sudmissions close" means.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


Martello posted:

What do you want for your new avatar?

I've become fond of my boozy Peter Pan avatar

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Martello posted:

I'm still rewriting that Synchronicity bullshit. gently caress you, I had a very busy weekend.

Then again, maybe I still have time since I don't know what "sudmissions close" means.

I'll let this pass cause 1) I really wanna see this rewrite and 2) Sudmissions is a hilarious typo.

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006


Did juniper submit a rewrite of the apocalypse of peters? I had a look through the thread but couldn't see it.

Well done bad seafood you get my self imposed crit for the last entry under the line, and hoo boy do you have something to look forward to. I'm off to get messi in the city of gaudi, but it'll be ready tomorrow.

CancerCakes fucked around with this message at 20:50 on Apr 15, 2013

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Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

A dog begins eating a dusty old coil of rope but there's a nail in it.



I'm in the same boat as Martello more or less, so I'm gonna fry up some fish and then leisurely finish this up.

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