|# ¿ Jan 25, 2013 04:53|
|# ¿ Dec 7, 2023 01:34|
I fear I've overestimated my skills and underestimated the Thunderdome. 1,480 words.
Reflex made me reach out as I shot clear of the ship. They say these suits are insulated, but I could feel the cold bearing down on me as the airlock shut. The only light now was my suit’s dim readout showing me I had two minutes of breathable air. They’d made sure I was sent out at full cabin pressure, a human missile. My neck was sore from where they’d stuck me with the needle. I could feel the delirium starting to take hold. I closed my eyes and I was back in the ‘dome.
Anje tossed the bag at my feet and slammed the door shut.
“You’ll have the money, right? We’ve got until tomorrow morning and those Système D guys don’t mess around.”
“Relax. We’ll be outta before they turn the lights on.” I tossed her a crumpled box of cigs.
“poo poo, it’s your last one.” Anje dropped the empty box to the floor and stomped it flat with the heel of her boot. “Better enjoy it, ‘cause we’re not gonna be hearing that for a while.”
We went quiet as the words sunk in. The sharp clicks of her lighter made me shudder; I hoped she hadn’t seen it. It reminded me of the quick click of the lasers. The videos had been all over the ‘net for a week now, someone with a secure link – they’d said something about entanglement – was beaming up videos of the attacks off the biodome security cameras. It was always the same: short, vicious and intensely violent. It was always in a crowded place. The market, the factory floors, the Grand Commons; all of them had been hit. First someone would fall to the ground, then it’d be a few more people. There’d be screaming and panic would send the crowd running. The attackers would open up then, mowing down the crowd with the sharp clicking of gas cartridges.
They said it was some kind of revolution. They’d taken over, found or made or sourced chemical lasers. Anje’s rented earth-link got us nothing but mock-ups and wild speculation. The ‘net went wild when there were rumours the faction was taking over a second dome.
“How do you figure they got all that way? You think they had a ship?” Anje’s thoughts had a habit of meeting up with mine.
“Naw, I think someone would have seen it. Maybe it’s just more in-fighting? I mean who’s to say poo poo like that wouldn’t happen here if someone could get themselves some guns?”
“So it’s just a coincidence?” She asked.
“Probably. They didn’t just walk the two hundred and fifty clicks.”
She nodded, but she wasn’t convinced.
“Either way we’re getting off this rock by tomorrow. Who cares what happens then? Maybe you should just kick back for a little bit instead of getting all weird like everyone else?” I slipped my hand into the bag and slid out the blister pack of pills. I pushed one of the tiny capsules out of its bubble and cracked it between my teeth.
“You better slow down with that, ‘specially if you wanna leave. They’re not gonna let you get wasted on their ship, you know.” Anje said.
“Hey, a little going away party never hurt nobody. I’m already packed and I’ll be straight in a few hours. Besides if I cleaned up all of a sudden people are going to think we’re up to something.”
“Maybe you’re right.” She said.
I could feel the warmth creeping up my spine, my vision was starting to blur. This was really good poo poo.
“What is this again?”
“Don’t know, they call it k25 and it’s supposed to be a good time.” She said.
I cracked a weak smile, my face was getting too heavy to move.
“poo poo, you alright?” Anje asked. She stood up and walked over, waved her hand in front of my eyes. I didn’t see more than a blur.
“You’re hosed! Have fun. I gotta pack, you know where to find me.”
I waited until just past midnight before I started gearing up the technician’s suit I’d helped her lift from the Academy. It took me longer than I’d wanted, but I told myself it would mean there’d be less people around. I slipped into the corridor and waved the suit’s magpass at the first service hall entrance. I held my breath as I watched the lights on the lock flicker. There was a click and a hiss and I was through. Unlike the ‘domes red stone walls and dimmed lights, this hall was grey and steel and well lit. I let the suit’s display lead me to the airlock closest to the landing pads, hoping the suit’s mirrored visor would hide my face from the cameras.
The last little bit of air surged out as the airlock opened. I started climbing the ladder to get topside, but stopped when I peered out of the hatch. I hadn’t been out in years. Red dirt went on for as far as I could see. A dusty orange haze hid the sharp cliff walls of our massive crater. I heard the ground crunch beneath my boots as I lifted myself out.
The landing pad was dusted with fine red grit and the ship was like something out of a cheap flick. Silver, gleaming, built like a wasp. It was a far cry from the boxy drones that dropped in on us almost daily. From the tapered a hold a delicate ramp extended to the landing pad like a stinger.
A tall man in an antiquated miner’s EV suit stepped down the ramp and flashed me the comm channel with his hand. I dialled it in and was met with static.
“You have the payment there, son?” A thick accent like I’ve never heard met me on the other end.
I handed him the bag. He took it, turned and walked back up the ramp and into the ship’s darkened hold. He waved for me to follow.
“We’ll count inside.” The comm hissed.
The lights came on after the hold had pressurized. A man stepped out from the access tunnel leading to the rest of the ship. The man I met, who I correctly assumed was the captain, tossed him the bag.
The man caught it awkwardly with his left hand; his right was busy with a rifle.
“It’s time for introductions. You can call me Jonathan. That man there we call Sammy. I suppose you are Constantin Levy?” The captain said.
“N…no?” I answered.
“But this is what it says on your suit.” His long, bony index finger pointed to the nametag on the suit’s chestplate.
“My name is actually –“
He cut me off before I could finish and looked me dead in the eyes.
“It’s best we leave things the way they are to, ah, avoid confusion later. Do you understand?”
“Call me Jonathan. And Levy, I’m telling you this once: we got one rule on this ship and you’re already breaking it. In space, son, you stay sober. Got it?”
“It’s just something for the nausea. I hear you can get sick if you’ve never been up before.”
He wasn’t buying it.
“Son, we have never had a problem on this ship. Understand?”
It’s not that I didn’t try. I made it three days before I broke down. I’d slipped a blisterpack into my boots. Jonathan must have had me pegged ‘cause he decided to do an evac exercise right about the time I was peaking. The alarms went off, someone was pounding at my door. I couldn’t get up to answer it.
They put me in a stripped-down space suit and dragged me down to the hold. There was a table set up. It was a kangaroo court, Jonathan had declared himself supreme judge.
The only witness was the med tech and he testified immediately.
“The defendant, our guest, is under the influence of opium analogs. Exact pharmacology unknown, but we have our suspicions, Captain.” His forced eloquence betrayed a certain smugness.
Jonathan slammed his fist onto the table and glared at me.“We have a verdict: Eviction!”
Without another word they dragged me off into the airlock. The med tech was flicking his finger against a syringe. The last thing I really felt before the helmet was snapped into place was the delicate poke of the needle as it broke my skin.
My glove bounced off the helmet with a loud clank, my eyes widened as I realized I couldn’t wipe away the trickle of blood streaming down my neck. The suit’s readout was flashing zeroes. My eyelids were getting heavy. Every time I shut my eyes I could see her staring at me. My heart beat slowly now, I could feel the vomit coming up but I was too numb to stop it.
|# ¿ Jan 27, 2013 23:40|
|# ¿ Jan 28, 2013 13:03|
I know a really good one called Tape a Piece of Black Paper Over the Lens.
|# ¿ Jan 31, 2013 13:38|
Now that I've seen it I can't unsee it. Thanks for the note!
|# ¿ Feb 2, 2013 01:02|
|# ¿ Feb 4, 2013 13:09|
I committed to something and I'm totally not sure how I feel about it anymore. I've read it too many times to make any (other) changes, so here it goes. 987 words.
Kasey’s glance shot from his ruined bike to his watch and back. He was doing his best to keep it together but the plan was falling apart before it had even unfurled. All his thoughts ran together as he tried to cope.
He could see it: Claire’s train pulling in, the Customs officers hauling her off the platform. He’d be running, sweaty, covered in grit but still blocks away from where he had to be. Or maybe he’d be stuck in a crowded bus or getting maced by a cabbie after he stiffed the bill.
There was no time to cut the locks on the other bikes. He didn't even own a grinder. There was no time, period. He tightened the duffel bag across his shoulders, breathed in, and broke into a run.
Claire tightened her grip on her handbag, pain shooting across her molars as she realized she’d been grinding her teeth. Her heel tapped the cardboard box beneath the seat. She stopped when she remembered that she wasn’t even supposed to think about it. Thinking would give her away. Kasey’s words ran through her head as the click-clack of the train against the tracks slowed with every passing moment.
“There are three parts to any good plan: the Ruse, the Swindle and the Exit.” Kasey had seemed so sure of himself. She would never have agreed otherwise.
“They’ll never suspect you’re up to somethin’. You wear one of those sundresses a’yours, you get all nervous when they ask for your passport and you’ll be golden. You’re like so low on the watch list you’d get away with murder.”
For the most part, he’d been right. No one at the station gave her any trouble. No one really seemed to care. Now, outside, the suburbs grew denser. The streets were getting busier, there was less green. They were cutting towards the heart of the city. She checked her watch.
Kasey made it four blocks before zero hour hit. No more room for fuckups. Still running, he scanned the sidewalk trying to tie things together. Someone was plugging a parking meter, a beggar plucked at a guitar, a lady with a stroller stopped to look into a boutique, some guy was about to chain his bike to a pole. Kasey could almost feel the click as a plan fell into place.
“Hey! That guy stole my wallet!” He yelled and pointed behind the guy with the bike.
The guy turned but Kasey was on him, shoving him to the ground. Before the guy could pick himself up, Kasey was already weaving through traffic.
Everything was a blur now. He kept his eyes on the thin strip of pavement between the parked cars and the moving traffic. A rusted out Toyota veered in too close; he could feel the heat coming off the hood. He kicked at the fender and flipped them the bird. It was a costly mistake. Some old guy took the moment to open the door of his Lincoln just up ahead. Kasey pressed on the brakes. Nothing, they were shot. He’d never scrub enough speed. The old guy was leaning on the door, trying to pull himself out, his pace was glacial. There was nowhere to go. No free ‘crete anywhere but the sidewalks. Or maybe…
“gently caress it!”
Kasey pulled across the lane, hoping the Toyota was keeping back. Car horns went off all around him as he hauled rear end down the median, bent over his bars like he was winning the Tour de gently caress. He blew through a fresh red at the next lights, car horns going off again. He counted blocks now, redrawing the route in his head. No time to check his watch, but he knew it was going to be close.
Claire pressed herself against the window. He was supposed to be waiting on the other end of the bridge, and the locomotive was already disappearing into the arching steel latticework. Her mouth was dry, her heart was pounding. It had to work. She slid the window open and fished the yellow kerchief from her purse.
He ditched the bike and dove behind the sickly shrubs at the embankment’s base. Claire had said her car was somewhere near the middle. The scream of steel on steel let him know the train had cleared the bridge and was pulling into the final curve that would bring it into the station. He bolted up the grassy slope.
Hanging onto a girder with one hand, he leaned in as close to the train as he could. The smell of hot grease and diesel made it hard to breathe. He tensed as each car passed, the rush of air trying to knock him off balance.
There - a flash of yellow at the other end of the bridge. He blinked and it was gone. He fixated on that train car now. It was coming up fast. Everything seemed to stop as he kept his eyes locked on the one open window.
Close now. So close. He leaned over as far as he could, one hand outstretched. The tips of his fingers were almost touching the train as it shot by, he could run them across the rivets if he wanted. There she was, leaning out, the box in her hands and an uncertain expression on her face.
His fingers connected with the box, sliding across its surface and wrapping themselves around the twine that kept it shut. It was his. Gently, he put it in the duffel bag, hopped off the bridge and slid down the embankment. He left the bike where it lay and started the walk home without a second glance.
Back at his apartment Kasey cracked a cold one. Claire was asleep in his bed, and Mr. Whiskers had finally shaken off the sedatives. Well, enough to pull himself out of the box and over to a bowl of food, anyway.
autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 17:54 on Feb 10, 2013
|# ¿ Feb 10, 2013 06:20|
I cleaned up your reply for you.
|# ¿ Feb 10, 2013 20:14|
STONE OF MADNESS thanks for the crit! I'm gonna let that story sit for a week then take it to the fiction farm. The things you pointed out are glaringly obvious now. I had no idea how I'd go about rewording things...and I'm actually really disappointed in myself for the first scene with Claire...how did I miss so much telling? I knew the 'guy' construction was clunky and I really dig how you changed it.
|# ¿ Feb 11, 2013 13:23|
Thanks! This is all getting noted and will be taken into account in the revision(s). This works really well with what STONE OF MADNESS said, as he saved me a few words in the body that I can use to make the ending better. I'm really just stoked that people are reading my words.
|# ¿ Feb 11, 2013 23:11|
I both love and hate Thunderdome for what it does to me.
autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 23:44 on Feb 12, 2013
|# ¿ Feb 12, 2013 23:41|
This highafalutin' book-writin' stuff is great and all, but work's got me on call and I got me a truck that needs a new starter. I started pretty early, anyhow. 918 words.
He knew it wasn’t his name she’d spoken when she slipped the noose around her neck. That fact made building the Mesa all that much harder.
Woven yarn on rosewood; the tiny quilt she’d made barely reached across the narrow side of the table. On it he’d spread the objects from the ragged box under the terrarium. This was the third time he'd started over, emotion kept taking the place of knowledge. Vasquez, the ten year old tuatara, watched the process patiently from the other room. Every now and again the heat lamp would kick on and its buzzing would bring in noises from outside: rain against a window, the splash of a car through a puddle, the distant screaming of sirens.
He began again, swearing the words he’d read had been spoken to him.
“The Mesa is curious as it is neither an altar nor a sacrificial space. Through the arrangement of the so called power objects the Shaman exerts control on the universe around him, or so the stories go.”
The first few pieces were obvious; he felt a heavy warmth within them. Her grandfather’s locket went top center, keeping a watchful eye. The white knight from a game of chess brought up the flank, mid right, blocking both her stepfather’s coat button and the spiral of waxed yarn. The cactus bulb stood above the pan flute, both kept in equilibrium.
He held an earring made from a paperclip and a toothpaste cap. He’d never seen her wear it; not face to face, anyway. She’d made it out West, planting trees, years ago. He’d gone through the pictures once, when she was asleep. Faded film in a torn album; she was smiling then. Someone held her by the waist, someplace with a lot of cracked concrete and streetlights that should have been lit. His face was covered in thick black ink. She was wearing them again in another picture, midday in a forest. The photo was ripped in half, she was staring at the jagged edge, smiling a smile he’d never seen before.
The earring went top left, by her Grandfather’s trinket.
The deck of dog eared Tarot cards was next. It went bottom center, stabilizing anything he may have overlooked; a wild card in essence. She said she never believed, but he didn’t buy it.
“Just pick three cards and lay them out, face up, however they come to you.” She said, drawing long and slow on a bamboo pipe. An oil lamp flickered as she spoke and acrid smoke filled the room.
The memory was corroded. It was something unimportant, vaguely personal – of that much he was certain. A few quick moments came back: them sitting up against her couch, her pale, warm skin against his. She was explaining the totality of the universe. He was tracing the lines of her face, looking at the dark circles under her half-closed eyes, taking note of every nick and scratch on her glasses. He leaned in to kiss her.
The deck of cards completed the bottom row. He caught a flicker of movement from the other room, but Vasquez was still as always. He flattened the corners of the Mesa for good measure and let the final piece dangle from his fingertips. It was the bottom length of a rosary. She’d never been religious. The stamped tin cross was much heavier than he’d expected.
“Would you do it, though? I mean, if you had no reason to wake up anymore?” She asked him as they were crossing a bridge. Ice groaned beneath them as it slammed against the concrete pillars. The cold made his lips hard to move.
“Yeah. I mean, no. Probably not. Okay, I’d never do it. But I could see someone doing it, you know?” He said.
“So you never get that feeling that it’s just not worth fighting anymore?”
They were quiet for a long time after she said it. The bridge dropped them into an older part of town. Clumps of wet snow hung off the grey brick apartments; hardly any lights were on. They took a snaking sidewalk through a frostbitten park, edging closer to the Cathedral ruins.
“Do you want to find our birthdays on the gravestones?” She asked, finally.
He nodded, unable to find words. Nothing matched up. They were both shivering when they left. Taking her hand and pulling her close, he found he could not warm her. He kissed her on the cheek as they parted.
It was already fall when she called him again. The sky was grey, bringing out the grit in his dirty windows. He hadn’t cleaned in weeks. Dishes piled up in the sink, the tiny apartment reeked of sweat and freshening chemicals. He knew it was her the moment he answered the phone.
“Hey, do you have a minute?” She asked.
“Not really, I’m kind of cleaning. What’s up?”
“Are you busy this weekend, I kind of miss you.” She said.
“I’ll let you know.”
The floor fell away, tears gathered in the corners of his eyes. He knew he’d gotten the Mesa right this time. The memories had struck a chord; their colours outshone anything in real life. Vasquez was staring straight at him now, his third eye glowing a soft purple. The words came up from inside, as if they’d been there forever. There was no conscious thought, no construction. They simply existed, and Vasquez had already known them.
“I just want to know if you’re happy.”
|# ¿ Feb 16, 2013 00:39|
Again, STONE OF MADNESS brings it with the crits. That was intense, thanks.
Quoted dialogue never ends with a period if an attribution is to follow, unless what follows is not a direct attribution but some other action by the speaking party.
That right there's getting scrawled on the wall above my monitor.
A little shout out to twinklecave, too, just 'cause.
I'LL SEE YOU IN THE FICTION FARM
|# ¿ Feb 18, 2013 14:24|
Should we be thanking him for saving us from a horrible entry or thanking you for throwing everything away?
If everyone qualified has an aneurysm I'd be down for judging.
edit: I think anything other than a sex scene brawl will be cheating the Thunderdome out of what it deserves
|# ¿ Feb 18, 2013 23:05|
drat your hide! Did Nubile Hillock also volunteer to judge? He can always team up with Sitting Here if he wants a co-judge.
I did, and I'd be honored.
edit: I need some sort of upgrade to message, don't I? I'm at mturcz at gee-mail, in the meantime
edit2: mashed some keys, have a plat
autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 00:02 on Feb 19, 2013
|# ¿ Feb 18, 2013 23:56|
I don't even have to post the verdict, do I?
Synchronicity (WORD COUNT: 654)
edit: Entrant should be disqualified for missing prompt. This is clearly roborotica and not trans/post human erotica.
autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 02:17 on Feb 19, 2013
|# ¿ Feb 19, 2013 02:13|
The chicken bones say Martello, and I'm inclined to agree. herniaGRIME's entry is somehow worse than his fanfic. It's like some sort of reverse-miracle. All we do now is wait for Sitting Here.
|# ¿ Feb 19, 2013 05:37|
I just got mine today! It's a BoundOff rejection party
|# ¿ Feb 20, 2013 03:08|
|# ¿ Feb 20, 2013 03:22|
|# ¿ Feb 27, 2013 03:35|
I've stared into the abyss, there's nothing left. Even the fear is gone. If the blood spilled is mine, so be it. 615 words
Same as Mine
I was there taking pictures of a dying breed, a dying art. I was dropped off Chile’s coast, told to find a man: the last Curandero. He was the only one left who knew to mark the skin, to write the letters of God. I met them on the beach, the last believers. Told them I was a tourist, a seeker. I made sure to keep my shirt on, always.
Months passed, I lived with them in the shanty town. I knew I was leaving, soon; knew I couldn’t let myself fall back into old habits. This was the last one, I promised myself; the last of their festivals I’d attend.
Two days of feasting, of ceremony, and I almost believed it again. I almost let the drummers force me into Transcendence. I pointed my glass eye and thirty-five millimetre memory at the revellers, snapped shots fast and loose. That’s when I saw her.
We locked eyes for a split second, but I already knew she’d have them, same as mine. I saw them already - the twin spiral nebulas of pinpoint scars all down her back.
A memory came, clearer than the present moment could ever be. I saw Agatte’s lips moving; she spoke from a time that rushed by like so much floodwater. She spoke in tones of wind and rain, the way I had always thought she could. But the words slipped by, memories latching onto memories and streaming past before I had a chance to slow them. The feelings and the tones and the colours came all at once. I remembered what she said; it was like having wings of flame, when the blue pill fog wore off.
I remember feeling her shudder as my fingers brushed against the raised skin, those pinpoint scars. I followed the spiral without looking, down to her waist. They’d done hers all at once; she’d insisted.
Agatte disappeared, swept up in the frenzied beating of the cajon and feet on beaten sand. The girl was gone. A dull ache crept into my shoulder. I knew I was going to slip out of the crowd.
An amplifier kicked in with a squeal and a guitar slipped into a rhythmic growl as I walked out from under the tin roof and into open air. I knew she’d be by the water’s edge, past the big dune on the empty side of the beach. I sat down beside her, my hand brushing her shoulder and those scars.
“Agatte” she spoke.
She was still a seer, an empath, I wasn’t even a savant. I’d never asked the question; never stared my own mortality in the face. I preferred not knowing. I’d let it fade – that edge, that thing that kept every lesson bound to marked to flesh.
I wanted to tell her; about my Father and the village and the ceremonies. About the way the soldiers took him on the day the tanks came. About the way I’d lost favour with the Elders. Cursed, they said, after the drought hit and I brought no rain. An Imposter, they said, after I had no visions or dreams or prophecies.
I wanted to tell her about Agatte and the ring she’d worn on her finger.
Instead I knew I’d do the cruel thing, out of fear and jealousy and hate.
“How many days do you have left?” I asked.
“None” she said.
I sat by her, watching the rolling waves. She said nothing and smiled as the water extinguished the sun. I cracked my camera open, using the last orange rays to destroy the film. This day would die with her. The Curandero is dead, I would write.
autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 12:52 on Mar 4, 2013
|# ¿ Feb 28, 2013 03:02|
But the man hangs in that moment, the voice holds its last note forever; he has won.
|# ¿ Mar 5, 2013 02:49|
I hate you guys so much.
|# ¿ Mar 5, 2013 23:16|
urban dictionary: "ponce" posted:
Term originated in the UK and came to prominence in the 1960's, initially to describe a pimp.
So you're sayin' my story is pimpin'? You're the best, seb
|# ¿ Mar 7, 2013 13:27|
Coyote 739 words
They were gonna bust out, him’n Crow. Pay a Coyote to take ‘em to the nearest city. No more picking the Heap for scraps and running the still in the off-time.
“Hey, you ready?” Crow shouted from the other end of machine room. Dean rechecked his harness, reminding himself not to look down. They were seventy feet up, strapped to the hulking remains of a scrapped orbital miner.
“Yeah!” He braced himself and looked away.
Crow’s torch roared to life. Metal sizzled as she cut through the transfer coils’ last brace. It came down with a crash, sending up an enormous cloud of dust. He tied a rag over his face and rappelled to the ground.
Dean stared at their prize. The coils were massive and mostly intact; Crow said the metal in ‘em was worth a shitload. She’d been right the last few times they were out; the Lot-Lord’s eyes almost bugged out’a his head when he saw the stuff she brought in.
“I wouldn’t breathe too close to those” she said, already behind him.
Crow dropped her rucksack and sat down. Her gear was tightly packed, like always. Dean tore through his bag looking for the gas stove.
“Don’t bother, Coyote’s never late,” she said.
Crow lit a bent cigarette with the torch. Staring at her mirrored goggles, Dean saw the flame incinerate the Heap’s endless garbage dunes. He wondered what the city’s horizon would look like.
“How they get across all this?” Dean asked.
“They got these tracks, like, tank treads.” Crow exhaled a cloud of smoke. “You ever see a tank?”
“Yeah, once. The same night they chased us out of the last Paradise. poo poo. How the hell the Coyote’s run those things between cities?” Dean could tell she was looking for something on the horizon.
“I don’t fuckin’ know. I wouldn’t be out here if I knew that kinda poo poo.” She crushed the last bit of the cigarette with her boot.
Dean saw it now too, thin grey tufts of smoke floating up from the valleys. Soon, he heard it, like the buzzing of a scrapper’s saw. A set of rusted stacks popped out from behind a hill; the thing vaulted the peak and landed heavy, suspension groaning. It was like a slum truck, but dropped lower and riding on big, loose tank-tracks. The treads threw up roostertails of torn-up plastic and rusty metal as it steadied and zeroed in on them.
The thing skidded to a halt, Crow was already shaking hands with the driver. Dean couldn’t see him too good through the metal mesh covering the windscreen. He could see her pointing at the heap of coils, then at him. They nodded, shook hands.
“Alright, he’s gonna load it then pay us the difference. You’ll get your half through me,” Crow said “Go over there’n give him a hand, would you?” she added.
A hydraulic crane lifted the coils onto the flatbed. Dean helped strap it in place with rusty chains. The driver was bald and pale, with pock-marked skin. Big tinted lenses on a woven headband covered his eyes. He wore security fatigues, but the markings had been torn off. He didn’t speak English.
Dean was already climbing up onto the truck when he heard footsteps.
“Here’s your cut.” Crow was reaching into her vest when he turned around.
She aimed the rattlesnake gun at his chest; the shot blew him off the truck. Pain exploded in his lungs; he tore at the skin, ripping his shirt. He convulsed, trying to catch his breath. He saw her lean over, smoke still coming out the stubby barrel. Another shot echoed through the Heap but was drowned out by the turbocharged roar of a motor.
The world was getting fuzzy, the pain was building up in the back of her neck. She could feel the cancer growing new axons, connecting up the nerve endings. The engine’s drone and white-noise clatter of garbage under tracks carried her into another vision.
White light poured out of the gas station, everything was grainy. She kicked open the door and unloaded both barrels into the cashier. The slugs tore right through him, blood splattering across cigarette display. She reloaded, taking all the data creds he had and sent a slug through the strongbox. Someone came running from the stockroom as she was stuffing fistfuls of cash into her coat. She raised the gun again and fired.
|# ¿ Mar 10, 2013 02:35|
Thanks for the crit, but just wanna make sure you know I'm referring to a different type of coyote
|# ¿ Mar 12, 2013 04:08|
In *and* I'm flash ruling myself because gently caress you and gently caress everything.
Story has to revolve around the building of a bike wheel.
If anyone has any objections you can speak with my lawyers.
|# ¿ Mar 12, 2013 22:40|
That really helps. I'm gonna take that piece to the farm, I think I got a way to fix it (it's missing a paragraph or two).
|# ¿ Mar 14, 2013 12:14|
Which is really just bizarre. A self-imposed flash rule is just what you happened to write your story about.
gently caress you
I think he wanted to force that on himself before he had a chance to change his mind or something.
It's called calling a shot.
|# ¿ Mar 14, 2013 22:47|
Thunderbrawl - Noah vs Nubile Hillock
|# ¿ Mar 15, 2013 00:00|
Painted Pony 746 words
This was the last gallery in town, the only place we hadn’t hit. We’d been watching from the beer garden for a while now; it was gonna be an easy score. Payoff wouldn’t be stellar, but having our names next to Norman Rockwell’s was enough. I stared at my reflection in her empty pint glasses; I was itching to check my texts. No wallets, no phones. Those were the rules.
“You look good in that turtleneck,” she said.
“I feel like a right twat.”
“Yeah, it brings out the real you and you’ll fit right in.” She grinned and downed the last of her beer.
She got up to leave, slipping her knockoff Vuitton clutch under her arm.
“This is all so tasteless.” I rolled my eyes. She winked and took off for the gallery.
I thumbed through a tabloid as I waited, counting off the minutes on my watch. When it was time I gave the waitress some bills and a smile; took off with my Ferragamo duffel in tow.
At the gallery some old bag was taking forever to buy her ticket, but it gave me time to case the place. Something was wrong. There was a guy watching the crowd like a hawk. He was alone, middle-aged, and with just a bit of paunch. He kept looking over his bifocals like he didn’t need ‘em.
Plainclothes rentacop, I could bank on it. There was no way to let Jane know, and she’d say to do it anyway.
I gave security my bag, and slid my hand into my jeans. The remote was still there. I pressed my thumb against the button and waited. The guard was undoing the last clasp and going for the zipper. I tensed. He threw the flap aside and I mashed the button.
White light exploded from my bag. The guard jumped back, covering his eyes. It was foolproof setup: a ring light and biggest remote flash the Canon could handle. Threw out enough energy to start a brushfire.
The plainclothes rear end in a top hat tackled me to the floor; I didn’t put up a fight. They missed her at first, always did. When they realized what was happening, the room went silent. Nobody moved.
She was just finishing up the ball-hairs on a giant grease-pen cock that spanned the entire length of the blackboard in Teacher’s Birthday. She had her tongue between her teeth, totally zoned. They finally pulled her away, the marker sliding across the picture and onto the wall.
They got us into an office, cuffed our hands with those plastic straps and got some detective to come down and grill us.
“Just what do you think you kids were doing? You think I got time to waste with poo poo like this?”
“We’re sorry about the flash photography, officer. We swear it won’t happen again.” Jane said in a voice that was gratingly saccharine. A vein bulged in the detective’s neck.
“Don’t play cute with me, you know what I mean.”
He flipped a switch on a projector and our best work was thrown onto a screen. It was American Gothic, except now a solemn pecker stood behind the farm couple. Jane tried to hold back a chuckle when she saw it.
“Oh, you mean our art. We’re performance artists. Gallery’s the best place for art, isn’t it?” she said.
I tried my best to keep a straight face as the projector skipped ahead before the detective could stop it.
A veiny, determined schlong arched out from the sea over and towered over Kinkade’s lighthouse. The picture on the projector was overexposed, there was spilled wine on the gallery floor. Jane broke down laughing so hard she fell to the floor, snorting with each breath.
We’d picked disorders out of a hat to make up a legal defence; she’d ended up with manic depression and I’d been stuck with psychopathy.
The detective was glancing between Jane and door, trying to figure out if she needed a doctor.
“How much do you want for the rights to these pictures?” I asked
“What’s that son? Finally decided to stop playing deaf, dumb and mute?”
“There’s a chequebook in my bag, sir. Name a price, we’re good for it.”
“Son, I recommend you keep yer mouth shut.”
Jane’s laughter turned into sobbing convulsions broken by gasps for air. The detective pulled out a phone and started punching numbers. I had to admit, that girl was good.
autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 23:30 on Mar 15, 2013
|# ¿ Mar 15, 2013 22:49|
heartache/lockjaw 998 words
Everything had vanished. It must have disappeared overnight. Everything, except for his house and most of his yard, anyway. He didn’t believe it at first, so he walked to where his fence should have been and peered over. There was nothing. Well, nothing except for an endless grey expanse. He leaned over to see if the plumbing was still connected, but a few clumps of dirt shook loose and fell away. Dissuaded, he went back home. Everything was probably fine, anyway.
At the very least, it meant that his parents weren’t going to be home for a while. There was only one thing to do: shower sesh. He let the hot water run good and long before getting in, making sure to keep the bong dry. Steam and sticky smoke filled his lungs, blowing out the blood vessels in his eyes.
Everything was still gone, but things were little more wobbly now. The stairs to his basement seemed steeper; his Flying Burrito Brothers posters seemed less faded. But the wheel was still taco’d, leaning hard left just like last night. He sighed and picked up his screwdriver.
He loosened, tightened and the wheel took on another, different shape. Still wrong. He went at it again before spinning the wheel around; it caught, but less so. It was egg-shaped now though. He chose a spoke at random and tightened. Metal snapped loose and he cringed at the sound. He’d heard it before.
They’d been in a beer tent, downtown. A concert or show or something; the memories muddled and stretched with miles of associations. He remembered her with striking clarity. The thin traces of black around her eyes, that Ramone’s shirt she’d taken from him, the trucker cap and windswept hair.
“I can’t do this anymore” she said.
“So it’s over?” he asked.
She stood, wobbling slightly and steadying herself on the table.
“Are you sure you’re alright? I’ll call you a cab. We can pick your bike up tomorrow” he said.
“gently caress you! It’ll be gone by then.” She made an unsteady line between tables and out of the tent, fumbling to get her bike unlocked.
He followed, but not before slamming the rest of his beer.
“Don’t do anything stupid, alright? You don’t gotta do this, really. What are you trying to prove? That I’m an rear end in a top hat? Look, I said I’m sorry.”
She wasn’t listening. She pushed off down the cobblestones, almost toppling over into a tree. She steadied as the bike sped up. Her teeth slam together when she rode it off the curb. She’ never saw it coming; too drunk to feel the pain. People were starting to look now, phones were coming out. He broke into a run.
“Hey! I said wait!”
She sped up, turning hard into an intersection.
He heard the horn a second before the bus slammed into her; she’d run a red. Her face hit the windshield as the bike got pulled under. The impact sent her sliding across the pavement, leaving a bloody streak. She didn’t move, not even when the paramedics came. He blacked out, woke up in the hospital with the taste of puke in his mouth and a needle in his arm.
Another spoke broke free of the rim, the wheel went limp. No, that wasn’t right. That’s not how it goes at all.
He loosened all the spokes and started again, replacing the broken pieces. Groaning, creaking, and the quiet pop of beer cans. He wondered if the radio worked, but felt too heavy to get up and check. Bits of rust flaked off the old steel as he tightened everything up, again. He spun it ‘round – it didn’t catch this time.
Catching? Fish. That was it! It was a festival. They’d been camping when she’d told him it was over.
Setting sun over endless pine forest, outcrops of Canadian Shield and a mostly empty lake. She was wearing that hat, that headdress. That plush wolf thing that was tacky and impossibly cute. Behind them some no-name band with a droning electric melody refused to quit.
“I’m leaving after this” she said.
“You mean after this set? I hear the next band’s better.”
“No I mean, I’m leaving after we go home. I’m gone. I can’t do this anymore.”
“You mean it’s over? You really gonna call it quits while we’re out here?”
“No, I said after this. Nothing’s gonna change till then.” She took out a flask and downed half, offered the rest to him. He drank and tossed it in the lake when he was done. She didn’t say a word.
The next band wasn’t better, or maybe he was on a bum vibe. The festival ended sometime, days dragged into weeks, turned into months. He was still bitter he’d never seen her off at the airport; she’d never called when she got there.
Spokes groaned again, a grey glow still filtered in from the basement window. He closed one eye and started tightening, adjusting, spinning it round and round. It was getting better. Almost straight, almost good along the centerline, too. He spun it slow, keeping an eye on the line. There. The problem spoke.
The wheel aligned itself for a moment. He spun it – it spun true. He dropped the screwdriver, sunlight filtered in through the window. A Gram Parson vinyl played on the Hi-Fi.
He took the steps by twos and threw open the door. His fence was there again, so was the neighbourhood and trees and the streets and every little thing that made up his life. He smiled, a warm breeze filled his lungs. His phone rang from inside, on the display was a number he knew by heart.
He felt the spoke let go more than he ever heard it. Everything disappeared again, he tripped on the first step and fell down the stairs. The heavy drunkenness returned and he felt sick to his stomach. The wheel was sitting there again, bent into a mobius strip.
**edit: Echo, this one's for you:
autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 17:25 on Mar 17, 2013
|# ¿ Mar 17, 2013 17:10|
You better fuckin' believe this is gonna be two out of three.
|# ¿ Mar 18, 2013 02:41|
this...this is a thing of beauty
|# ¿ Mar 18, 2013 22:21|
I'm taking this one to the farm when I can drink again. I wanted a story that was repetitive and cyclical, with a narrator that would turn out completely unreliable. It was looking good for a while but then time and wordcount
Best part is this book is actually being made. Once I get my two or three copies, one will be available to borrow from my commander's library in my company headquarters.
Let me know when it's up for sale, I need a copy.
autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 21:50 on Mar 19, 2013
|# ¿ Mar 19, 2013 21:46|
edit: double post (what have I done!?)
|# ¿ Mar 19, 2013 21:49|
|# ¿ Mar 20, 2013 11:46|
BEEF JERKY GAMBIT
What happens when you trim all the fat? You get delicious fuckin' jerky, that's what.
I say all you shitlords are way too wordy. I've got 300 words that'll be like a chrome harpoon to the skull, and I already know all you're fronting with is handfuls of rabbit turds.
If I'm wrong (as in, if one of you mouthbreathers beat me at any wordcount) I'm buying myself an av of a dirty jock. If I win I'll buy an av for the poor fucker that loses. If I lose I'll do what I always do: pay girls on the internet to stroke my already enormous ego.
autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 00:13 on Mar 21, 2013
|# ¿ Mar 21, 2013 00:08|
autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 11:46 on Mar 21, 2013
|# ¿ Mar 21, 2013 11:44|
|# ¿ Dec 7, 2023 01:34|
Tallgrass 300 words
At the edge of Open Flat, the Queen’s words still clung to her: more food I need more food. But it was all picked clean; the Queen was growing too fast.
No others had crossed yet, it was forbidden. It belonged to the Other’s Queen.
I need more food.
She left her name at the plateau’s base. The fears of Big Things, of angry Others were beaten and subdued by the Queen’s singular goal: More Food.
Broken quartz reflected in her compound eyes as she tore across the Open Flat. It ended as it had began; she left her name – with a message this time: there’s food here.
Standing still, she let the Everbreath move her feelers. There it was, faint and hidden among the other things: Sweet. Up, up somewhere. The Queen’s words wouldn’t let her stand still: More Food I need more food.
Up, through the crevasses and brown and green and past the Little Others. Sweet was here, close. On top of it now; her jaws dug in. Sweet poured out, covering her, drowning out the Queen’s commands. Ecstasy; every nerve firing.
The Everbreath had changed now: cleaner, clearer. The smells of death, panic, starvation, confusion; a thousand names at once – all of them familiar. The Queen was dead. And there in the noise of a dying colony she felt the Others. Their names were like hers, now that she had no Queen.
She descended, carrying her piece of Sweet. They lived in the tallgrass, where the birds couldn’t get you and where the Everbreath didn’t go. Names. Names all over the shadows; she left hers too. They were on her soon enough – all compound eyes and probing feelers. She froze, jaws twitching.
They left a message: Food there’s food here. She disappeared into their mound.
|# ¿ Mar 23, 2013 18:01|