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autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

Rhino, you're a madman!


autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

No way! In two weeks Cancer Cakes shall get an avatar of his choice!

Kaishai: Thanks for the crit! I think it'd be neat revisiting this and getting a working 300 word piece.


I was going to say I can still figure out what you're saying in each case, but I'm not so sure I can. What I think is happening: a worker ant hunts for food on behalf of the colony's dying queen, and she dares a different colony's territory when all else fails. She finds a berry or a grain of sugar or something, but it's too late. The queen has starved. The worker nevertheless descends with her prize into the tall grass, but members of the other colony come upon her and devour her. Is that right? See, I like it if so--the concept is delightful--but at the end, especially, it's murky. (Who lives in the tall grass?)

This is really close! I was trying to write a story of pheromones and supercolonies. The Queen's command-pheromones dominate the ant's thoughts at first and drown out most other signals. Once the pheromones are washed off, the ant can pick up subtler signals from further away - like her colony's collapse.

The two colonies of ants are supposed to be the same species, with the only difference being the Queen's pheromones. With the pheromones washed off her, the ant finds it hard to differentiate between the two. The intensity of the food signal helps mask her long enough to acquire the Other's scent and stop her from getting devoured.

Fanky Malloons posted:

since I am a total nerd and love insects, I called executive privilege and gave you the crown, you're welcome.

As thanks, please accept this link to the best moth thread ever.

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 13:08 on Mar 25, 2013

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

:siren: WEEK 34: No dragonshirts at the club :siren:

Alright you fuckers, I'm gonna let you have a head start and post the prompt today. Deadline's gonna be NOON on sunday because gently caress you. I'm at GMT -6 so adjust your watches or whatever (it won't matter, time won't save you).

You're going to have to pick a song. Any song*. This song will influence your piece of writing in some way. The better the match between the song and your work, the better your likelihood of winning. Your work will feature clothing. I mean prominently. If you explain what everyone is wearing in a hamfisted and obvious way, you lose. I want to see what people look like, day to day, in your lovely and poorly constructed pieces. The story must contain an actual narrative arc (I can't believe that needs to be said). I'm a big fan of Greek tragedies. Use that information however you want or ignore it entirely.

Hard limit of 1200 words, submission must contain a link to the song.

I guess I'll need two other judges? My first pick would be Jeza, but his connection's spotty. PM/email me if you want to be a judge (and don't suck), I guess.

*Top 40's, viral/novelty songs and Fleetwood Mac are an automatic loss. Deal with it.


Symptomless Coma - Retrograde Assisted
sebmojo - Che Faro Senza Euridice? Che Faro Senza
Rather Watch Them - Schala A Young Man in Control
Fumblemouse - Rock around the Clock B-side
Chairchucker - Up There Cazaly Clash Strip
pug wearing a hat - Heaven & Hell Seeds
systran - Total Eclipse of the Heart Divergence
Nikaer Drekin - Take This Waltz Brandy and Death
SpaceGodzilla - Underground Wild Haunt
black.lion - Papa was a rolling stone Gathering No Moss
Sitting Here - 4'33" 4'33"
Jagermonster - Dayenu Untitled Work
Kaishai - (don't fear)the reaper Reaper's Dance
Cancercakes - Ballroom Blitz This is a warehouse war
Chewie23 - Sukiyaki Just a House
Steriletom :siren: disqualified for fanfic
Khris Kruel - ARKONA - Goi, Rode, Goi! untitled work
CantDecideOnAName - The House Wins A lesser breed
Erik Shown-Boner
Noah - Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Sound In the Night
Black Griffon - Heat Safer Havens

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 17:38 on Mar 31, 2013

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe



If the artist is on these lists, you are probably going to lose. The definition is kind of arbitrary. Use your best judgement.

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 13:07 on Mar 26, 2013

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

Jeza posted:

Also, I don't have time to write this week. But I will have time to judge, so I can do that if still needed.


Still need one more, anyone up to the task? If I don't get another judge I'm assigning JUDGE NULL to take a third of the crits (he is a paper shredder and you will lose, automatically).

Big thanks to Sitting Here for the crits and the lovely bit of theatre.

Nikaer Drekin posted:

*A newcomer rides up to THE THUNDERDOME. He rides a motorcycle, or some other comparably badass method of transport. He enters the Dome, steps off his hog or whatever and stands tall. This is NIKAER DREKIN.*

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

Nyarai posted:

I can judge if you need it. I won back in September 2012, and I was gonna get in this week, but I'd love to help out on the judge front.

Step up to the Judging Platform! Don't mind the rusty nails.

I really wish I could take credit for this prompt. Direct your thanks at Echo, Kai, Fanky and the fine people at Half Pints brewery. Also maybe nod at ESB in a knowing way.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

Nikaer Drekin posted:

Okay, CREEPER, I'm retracting my entry unless you tell me how you got that camera there

Thunderdome knows all. No retractions.

Signups end on friday, whenever I wake up and log on.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

:siren:SIGN UPS CLOSED:siren:

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 18:45 on Mar 29, 2013

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

by the way Rhino, I want you to have my word-babies

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

Nikaer Drekin posted:

Oh, just in case I want to look into publishing in the future, is it all right if I post my story somewhere else and link it here?

I really wouldn't worry about this, bro.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe


I will be kind to you. Prove to me that this work wasn't a fanfic of American McGee's Alice or its terrible sequel. You have until noon tomorrow. Get a legal affidavit saying you've never played these games, or explain to me why this work isn't derivative. Use proper MLA formatting, cite sources, 500 words.

If you want to recant, you have until noon tomorrow to submit another work or modify this one. If you take no action, the piece will be dropped as it violates the no fanfiction rule.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

Steriletom posted:

The last PC video game I played in full was Duke Nukem. The one where you poop into the monster's head on a football field after you beat the game. I'm not sure what the full name of that version was. I have no way of proving this but I'm willing to pay to notarize the above.

You got me on the fan fiction part(although, I don't think I could be considered a fan as I've never read the original and only seen the animated movie in snippets). Also, there is nothing in the prompt that says that fan fiction is verboten.

Like I said previously, give me the poo poo crown. I don't care because I had more fun writing this than anything else I've submitted. I just want a line by line critique to come out of my shame.

You have until noon to provide an affidavit or the 500 words. You are waffling on your recantation, domer. You can't recant and not change the story.

Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

And also, to repeat from last thread since apparently we have to now: any fanfic of any type is punishable by shunning. This rule goes on forever and ever. You post fanfic, you get ignored. Not even a whiff of fanfic.

This isn't about making you loser, it's about whether you are to compete at all.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

:siren::frogsiren:DOMER, YOU ARE DISQUALIFIED:frogsiren::siren:

Should have known what you were getting into before Easter Sunday. I'm calling bullshit on your story not containing any relation to Alice in Wonderland so hard. A character just so happens to return to a land in her mind ruled by a red Queen? somehow the whole thing reeks of childish fantasy writing? No loving way, man. No loving way.

You'll still get a crit, though! :getin:

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

Steriletom posted:

What follows is a poorly narrated story with some bizarre, hard to follow actions sequences. If I wasn't painfully aware of what Alice in Wonderland was, this story wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Unclear narrative voice, incredibly poor characterization, an uninteresting take on an old schtick - all of this topped off with an ending by M. Night Shyamalan

Through the Universe - 1000 words

Alice threw herself over the table, straining to reach the medicine cup with its single orange tables in a padded room, bro She struggled and writhed with her arms entangled in the confines of the straitjacket she was made to wear most days—as white as the rest of the padded, locked and featureless room which she called home. Run on sentence here, consider breaking it apart, "which she called home construction" is terrible. Almost in reach, her tongue flicked out because she is a snake, yes? at the cup and she watched the pill spill out and roll slowly toward her as saliva flooded her mouth. The bitter, ashy taste on her tongue and her teeth it's a really good thing you mentioned that the teeth are hers, as I wouldn't have guess otherwiseas she crunched down brought an immediate end to the shakes that wracked her body. Alice plopped to the floor and smiled.

She heard her pupils dilate no, she loving didn't and I don't even care if you were going for ~whimsical fantasy~, the speed of light broken THE QUARKS AND GLUONS ASPLODED TOO. She stepped out of the straitjacket and found herself in the Void. The universe was beside her and shrinking rapidly. Alice grew. She eyed the little thing. A ball of white light. Frightened, it ran from her. She watched it disappear until a distant memory pushed in and she remembered what she was to do. She gave chase. They flew through the Void for some time and for no time and sometimes through before time until Alice realized that she wasn’t pursuing. She closed her eyes and she was There. This here, this kind of works. I'll give you that. It's kind of poetic, it's bizarre, it didn't want to make me vomit

Alice stared down and up at the sky. WHERE DID THE SKY COME FROM Galaxies swirled and pulsed and radiated, bathing her in indigo and fuchsia and viridian lights. cyan, magenta, yellow, orange, teal, obsidian, blue, red, green...hey, if we're listing colours I want to play too! A celestial disco ball spinning in eternity. The disco ball fits really well here, good job! A distant memory pushed into her butte and she remembered something that needed to be done. She felt for home and found it in her heart. The lights shifted and she looked upon a little blue ball spinning around a giant yellow furnace. I gotta say, you're a visionary. I'm blown away by how I have no sense of scale anymore. All this stuff is so magnificent and easy to imagine and it doesn't ruin the potential splendor of the cosmos at all, no sir.

The blue ball was engulfed in waves the colour of heat, striking it again and again. Alice traced the path of the energy flow up the heart of the universe and to the centre on the edge. see, this could be clever but it's just disorienting She swam to the starting point and found the Queen dressed all in red. VIDEO GAME BOSS FIGHT STARTS NOW Buckets of blood used to get the colour just right. Glad you told us, instead of showing. A shriek in her skull and the fires changed direction and struck her. Who's skull shrieking? What's hitting who? Where am I? What's that smell? Can I go home now? A cry from Alice’s putting two "s" sounds close together was a good idea, totally unavoidable too. Rock on. mouth and she tumbled up into the sky.



Galaxies imploded and Supernovas exploded OOH explode and implode, how symmetrical! :allears: as Alice fell through universe stuff. In her vision, Glad you told me she's seeing stuff singular points of light turned into long golden streaks. If you're sticking with fantasy "singular points" is off limits, as far as I'm concerned. Alice stretched her arm out and grasped the edge, fingers in the Void, and pulled herself backward to the front. She burned, parts of her drifting off in ashes to form new galaxies. A cackle echoed back to her.



Invisible black holes flying on waves of fire pounded her body, This is straight up terrible, you're terrible tearing holes where the heat had made her brittle. Who pounded who's holes? Her consciousness frayed and she basked in the pain, shrinking to the size of a comet wandering the universe, lost. Not much longer and she was an atom, her own universe. A distant memory pushed into the nothingness her butt and she remembered. There was no regrowth, she just was. She just was, mannnnn :2bong:

Alice marched back, galaxies falling into her gravitational pull.But I thought you said she was tiny? She stopped and tore a hole and stepped through behind the Queen.:siren:DEUS EX MACHINA SPOTTED:siren: Alice plucked a spiral out of orbit around her head and brought it down on the Queen’s head. Blood flowed and a nebula formed where it fell. How is it falling if there's no 'down' or 'up'? The Queen did not mind. New waves of fire, this time from everywhere and from within, burnt at Alice and she began to flake away again. The Queen blew at her and a hand vanished into the ether.

Alice remembered why she was there and this time Alice remembered where she was. We're going straight to meta-fiction, fuckers! Remembering about remembering about memories! WOOOoooHOOOooo She willed the Queen dead and the Queen was dead. The Queen had always been dead in the future. Nothing was left but a corpse in red floating out toward the Void and ashes drifting out in all directions.

Alice opened her eyes and pushed herself into a sitting position using only her feet. Both arms were completely numb from being pressed under her body during her stupor. She breathed in deeply; the oppressive heat was gone. The door to the padded room burst open and three men in lab coats marched in.

“You’ve done it, haven’t you!” said Dr. Hatter. “We were able to observe the atmospheric changes as of an hour ago.” What in the everloving poo poo? How is this related to the atmosphere, at all?

“Splendid job, my dear,” congratulated Dr. Hare. “Splendid!”

“It took you enough tries,” said Dr. Chesire, smiling. YOU ONLY HAD ONE MANS LEFT AND NO MORE QUARTERS

The three men stood in a line in front of Alice, clipboards pressed to their chests. AND THEN TWEEDLEDEE AND TWEEDLEDUMB BURST IN AND...oh wait no more boring bullshit She tried to speak but the only sound that came out was a dry cough. Dr. Hatter rushed forward with a water bottle he had pulled from his coat, bending to pour it into her mouth until she was satisfied. He helped Alice to her feet and undid the straitjacket. Her numb arms fell to her side.

“I know you would like nothing more than to sleep at the moment,” said Dr. Hatter. “But you must come outside with us.”

“The people could sense something had changed almost as soon as it happened. The crowd outside the sanitarium has been growing rapidly for the last hour,” said Dr. Hare. “You can’t see the end of it.” But you see! Alice is a hero! How amazing, look at my hand-crafted world and tremble before its majesty!

“You won’t need to give a speech or anything,” like, totally, Dr. Chesire like yammered at Alice, with a Victorian drawl assured Dr. Chesire. “Just step out on one of the balconies and wave a little. The people need to see their hero.” And then she turned into master chief

Alice walked out of the room for the first time in years and travelled with the doctors down a fluorescent hallway. A whole hallway that was fluorescent!? I was picturing an old timey asylum, but now I don't even know, man. As they neared the outward facing side of the sanitarium They headed east down the west hall, veering towards the inner part of the outer wall she could hear a noise coming from outside the walls like the swelling and receding and swelling back again of the surf.if you hadn't said it swelled, receded and swelled, I might not have known how waves works. Thanks, bro! She did not feel any excitement or pride. So stoic, so brave... so fragile :swoon: The shakes had already come back again, sooner than they had ever before, and she broke into a cold sweat. Her mouth was salivating and she couldn’t take her eyes off of the bottle of pills in Dr. Hatter’s lab coat. They called to her.

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 05:31 on Mar 31, 2013

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

That video is blocked in my region.

:frogsiren: you guys have something like TWO AND A HALF HOURS LEFT

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

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

It'd be magical if ESB and toanoradian joined us :allears:

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

Symptomless Coma
Rather Watch Them
Pug Wearing a Hat
Nikaer Draekin
Khris Kruel

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

Khris Kruel posted:

I would have titled this work VAMBRACES AT SEA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rather Watch Them posted:

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

A Young Man In Control (1042 words)

He wants to move the moon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

pug wearing a hat posted:

Seeds - 693 words

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

“I think I’m gonna talk to him.”

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

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

He looked up. “What?”

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

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

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

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

“You shaking hands with a lot of girls?”

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

Yeah. “No.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Tell you what?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sounds great.”

“Let me buy you a drink."

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

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

“Whatever you want.”

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

Nikaer Drekin posted:

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

Brandy and Death- 1,191 words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SpaceGodzilla posted:

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

Wild Haunt - Words: 928

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The fireman shook his helmet.

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

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

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

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

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

CantDecideOnAName posted:

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

A Lesser Breed
(670 words)

For Erica, the world had lost color.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CancerCakes posted:

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

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

This is a Warehouse War 1199 words of joy

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

“Are you ready Steve? Andy? Mick?”

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

“Alright fellas - let's go!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Noah posted:

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

In the Night

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

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

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

“Linda? Linda, how are you?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Louis? Can you hear me?”

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

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

“I don’t know what to do!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m so sorry Linda, I’m so sorry.”

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

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

“You can’t save everyone,” she said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

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

Chewie23 posted:

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

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

Just a House
Word count: 1049

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My phone rang again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I looked at the scratches near the doorway.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just a house I can never come back to.

Symptomless Coma posted:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Milky Way spins on its faraway axis-

The liquid sinks into the carpet-

“Dad,” I ask.

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

Jagermonster posted:


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

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

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

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

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

systran posted:

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

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

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

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

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

Khris Kruel posted:

“You…Monster…” Rama screamed

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

uh oh! Are you sure?

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

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

pug wearing a hat posted:

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

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

pug wearing a hat posted:

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

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

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

Steriletom posted:

Thanks for taking the time despite the DQ.

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

:siren:THIS WEEK'S LOSER:siren:

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

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

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

Nikaer Drekin posted:

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

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

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

:frogsiren:WE HAVE A WINNER:frogsiren:


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

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

Various Awards

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

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

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

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

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

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

:siren:With sebmojo's benediction, I'm inflicting myself upon you fucks for another week. systran shall be the Goose to my Maverick.

sebmojo posted:

I spent 15 minutes picking through your work just now. A fourth read. I had notes and everything, but my dumb rear end lost them somehow. I'm taking it as a sign. It really reminded me of the scene from The Thomas Crown Affair, and that's a good thing. It was tight, it fit the music. All the issues I have with the piece are purely stylistic. It's not a story, it's an excerpt to some grander work, and you're an rear end in a top hat for withholding it.

Che Faro Senza

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

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

black.lion posted:

Technically very good writing. I'm really at a lack. I'd love to tear it a new one but I don't know where to start. My biggest gripes: the lack of a narrative arc, the absence of characters. I don't really care when his daughter kills himself. I don't know the prot at all. He wears suits, he does something nebulously shady. End of story. A few more hints would send this story a lot further, and the death at the end seems like it's a grab for sympathy. It works, but it doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

Gathering No Moss

A comfortable few nights had been afforded to Max by the woman he left in bed behind him. A bright spring morning in 1946, he slid out of the velvet sheets and gathered his scattered black articles of clothingjust say that he picked up his clothes, gently caress. No one thinks like this and it makes your narrator sound like a twat from around the room. Practiced movements silently reassembled his suit, and he allowed a glance back at what he was leaving: deep purple silk poured over pale curves. Clipping his silver cufflinks into place, he eased the heavyredundant oak door closed and settled into the seat of his black Lincoln. In the back rested a leather bag, the corner of a $50 bill caught in the zipper. Max pulled it free and slipped the bill into the pocket if his gold-patterned waist coat. He pushed his hair into place and headed home.

Max had last seen his family in the winter of 1940. His wife, Maddie, had suggested that he propose marriage after they graduated high school, so he did. Since being wed, she had allowed her husband the folly of being a tailor of middling skill, but their daughter Daisy was thirteen now and Maddie felt an improved financial situation would mean an improved social situation. As far as her mother was concerned, once Daisy was placed in a fiscally sound marriage Max could make as many bad suits as he pleased.

His shop closed, and Max arranged a meeting with a less-than-reputable “businessman.” While the man found him likeable, Max was not imposing enough to be suited to the less-than-legitimate work available. Jesus Christ just give us a hint He’d been granted some consolatoryno, bro attention by the young lady sitting at the bar, buying his drinks for a simple smile. He had few talents, but he'd always done well with women.

“I don’t know how long I’ll be gone” – he intended only a few months.

“Do I want to know what you’re doing?” Maddie asked curiously, not a trace of worry – “Whatever it is, you’re doing it for your family. We know that.”

Daisy clung to her mother’s yellow skirt, crying, refusing to look at her father. Now Max could scarcely remember his daughter’s face.

It took some months for Max to settle into his new craft.WHAT IS IT At first he was leaving in the night with a wallet or some jewelry, eventually realizing that women would often pay him willingly in exchange for a small deception and an exhaustive evening. is he a man-whore? He sent money back home, and the occasional letter. He never received a reply; he never waited for one. This is Midnight Cowboy, isn't it?

Fumblemouse posted:

Prompt: Clothes, Song: Rock Around the Clock, with a side order of Greek Tragedy
Word Count: 1152


It’s good, but I don’t understand how it got to 1152 words. The dialogue at the beginning goes on for far, far too long. It’s needless exposition that doesn’t really do anything for the story. The crux of his issues - turning into a dweeb by virtue of becoming a dad – is revealed after your scene break. The second part of the story is much, much stronger (and thoroughly enjoyable). If you found a way to emphasize and explain his clothes in a way that doesn’t break the story, you’d have a really cool piece.
Word count might not even matter if the beginning wasn’t so dreadfully boring. You do a fine job of using a bunch of words to convey the action at the end, and the denouement is delightful. I think you’re aces for somehow giving me teddy boys and greek tragedy. NOW GET TO WORK

Kaishai posted:

Reaper's Dance
(840 words)

This was thoroughly enjoyable, as I've mentioned before. Spectacular use of the prompt. The issue is that there's no tension, no conflict. I mean, it's a story and it's good... but it's kind of a trope, too. You do a good job of modernizing everything and it's really tight. I'm not enjoying the critique at all

A Valentine's costume party wasn't the same thing as a masquerade ball, and it was unfair to hold a real event to the standards of creativity and effort she'd built up in daydreams--or so Kathleen reminded herself. Still, she'd hoped to see something more elaborate than the business suits at least half the men wore. Even the bed-sheet togas on a good quarter of the guests, men and women, heightened the atmosphere in comparison.

As she thought it, a man who'd invested in plastic laurel leaves and a swag of purple velvet caught her eye and saluted her with his glass. She smiled at him, then she moved on.

She'd come as Zeffirelli's Juliet. No act of man or make-up could make her look fourteen again, but wearing ribbons in her dark braid, the embroidered,extra comma!? cap, and the red velvet dress too large everywhere except the bosom, she felt that young. She shifted through the room, steering wide of the punch bowl and so free of most of the crowd; for now, sentence break here? she just wanted a good vantage point to see the more unusual costumes. A flash of light against metal paused her.


Some of the Greeks and tycoons nearby applauded them when the song ended. Kathleen grinned breathlessly and curtsied on wobbling legs. In her delight, she stopped judging their choice of costumes. They were here to have fun, weren't they, however they'd dressed? And wasn't she?

"Again?" she asked Death, even though she doubted her lungs were up to it so soon.

The grin of the skull didn't, couldn't alter, but it seemed friendly to her. "Another time, Juliet. Kathleen. I promise you."

He melted away, disappearing into the press of people faster than a man so tall or so distinctive should have been able to manage. The last she saw of him was one more flash off his scythe's edge, too bright for it to be dull at all; only after midnight, when the party was over, did she wonder how he'd known her name.

I don't even know what to suggest. You rolled the dice, and this time you lost. I really hope you keep playing.

Black Griffon posted:

Safer havens - 534 words

I was a fly's eyelash away from declaring this one winner. It's amazingly tight. It hits the prompt, it matches the music... It's not a story (should I be yelling?)... It's some part of a larger whole, some snapshot into whatever you're working on. You know what you're doing. You had at least 500 more words with which to draw us deeper. You chose not to use them. I don't want to say there's no narrative arc, because that's untrue. Your arc is underdeveloped, it falls short. I don't feel for the characters, I don't really know where they are or what theyre doing. I have full confidence that you could tell me these things. You chose not to. It had me on the edge of my seat, your smoke and mirrors is top-notch. An excerpt from a chapter is not the same thing as a story, though. Develop this and let me read it, please.

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 02:00 on Apr 2, 2013

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

Fumblemouse posted:

Anyhow. Just popping in to say thanks for the crits from everyone. I'm getting a nice mix of like and dislike which is just enough sugar to keep me trying to pull myself out of the poo poo.

You could have used this time to work on fixing your piece :colbert:

I swear to God if you fuckers don't post your REWORKED pieces in the flash farm I'm going to lobotomize each and every one of you with a pick axe.

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 02:45 on Apr 2, 2013

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

Khris Kruel posted:

I'm actually writing a book and half of it is combat, and there's a problem if I can't write a gripping battle scene

How far in are you? It may be time to reconsider. Perhaps ask the fine people in the Book Barn to suggest some reading?

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

sebmojo posted:

I want to judge again so I get to shout at posts like this.




wordcount: 23
punctuation: 1

Noah posted:

Really the process should go: read the prompt, ignore the prompt, write the story you felt like writing, then go back and try to shoe horn the prompt back in. Shrug your shoulders and post.

wordcount: 35
punctuation: 5

This poo poo right here is why seb's so much better than you fuckers. EFFECTIVE USE OF WORDS

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

You're gonna get smeared like wing sauce on a fat man's shirt.

sebmojo posted:

I think it's me and Noah in the brawl.

But I'll do the story either way because that is the right thing to do.

gently caress it, three way brawl!

I'm in with

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 04:23 on Apr 3, 2013

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

Sitting Here posted:

I'll brawl anything with letters, I just was taking in the sweet triple brawl action thanks

But I am not some petty wandering ronin, no, I am the shogun who sits in the topmost chamber of their pagoda with all their samurai between they and the door. Fools come to ME to fight. They are dispensed with just as easily.

Anyway my av is still the standing wager if anyone is feeling masochistic.

Somewhere in Seattle a girl sits alone in her room, typing. The door is closed; febreeze only partially masking the stale, sweaty odours. Blue light from her monitor scatters off the thumbtacks pinning her anime posters to the wall. Satisfied, she wipes her hands on her jeans. The cheeto-dust stain will be the day’s only lasting accomplishment.

After I'm done here I'm coming after you.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

(that man is Noah)

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

Steriletom posted:

I know the judgement comes later, but if you fuckers are submitting early then I'm doing an annotated read-through early.

:siren: Post-read review: I loving love rockets. I think that mid century Americana is the greatest thing. I love pop sci-fi and I loving love aliens and space and hard-boiled detective dramas.

Unfortunately this story only paid lip service to any of these things. A complete lack of research or insight into anything, a story that moves at a snails pace, often doubling back on itself. No tension, a 'conflict' but only in the simplest sense. A resolution that was completely predictable and unsatisfying. A story that could work if there was some foreshadowing, some sort of implication of the other-worldly. The alien and the detective share a voice for the most part, though I'm sure it wasn't intentional.

First draft came in at 1,355.


The House On Maple Street

It was a perfect lift-off.


Red Scare - 900 words egg-loving-zactly

Agent Farrow pounded on the door of 55 Maple Street. No answer and no sound from within.

“FBI!” he yelled. “Open up, Mr. Ares!” This isn't wrong but it's a little clumsy, you could turn this into something that's more readable.

He was about to bang again when the lock began to turn.HE ALMOST DID SOME THINGS The door opened You can merge this idea with the previous sentence if you ditch the "began to" "about to" poo poo, and before Farrow stood a well-aged man, tall and white haired. Like the house, Ares was cleanly groomed and nicely dressed. “How can I help you?” This is incredibly clumsy. Could be cut down and rearranged.

Farrow studied him for a moment. “You don’t seem surprised to have a federal agent at your door.”

“Your surveillance has been, shall we say, less than circumspect.”

“Agent Farrow, Counterintelligence. I’d like to ask you some questions.”

“I’m afraid now is not the best time.” Ares began closing the door.
It's like I'm reading two separate attempts at dialogue, not one whole conversation. You could ditch two of these lines and no one would notice or care

Farrow slid his foot forward. He pulled out a document he’d made, with nonsense legal terms and an official looking wax seal imprinted on itstuck to, sealing, authenticating...anything but imprinted. A coat of arms could be imprinted onto a wax seal, but a seal cannot be imprinted onto an envelope. , and brieflynope shoved it in Ares’ face. “I have a warrant.” briefly shoved could easily be flashed, or just shoved. I don't need to know it was done briefly, it's not like cops smash their warrants into your face and hold them there.

Ares sighed. “If you insist,” he said, motioning Farrow inside.

Farrow took off his fedora and followed Ares through the house into a tidy sitting area.tidy doesn't need to be here The room was what one would expect from the house’s exterior:Especially not if you're describing the room here, however terribly Classic Americangonna have to do a bit more research if you're gonna pull this card. Give me a style, an era, a loving pattern. Some hand-wavy appeal to nostalgia isn't gonna cut it made sofa and recliner, an oaken coffee table with a heavyOf all the useless words you could have taken, this one is the poorest choice. book on it, and, in the corner,THE COMMAS, THEY NEVER END one of those new television gizmos. just kill me

Ares sat in the recliner and motioned Farrow to the sofa.

“Mr. Ares, the reason I’m here today-“

“Before you begin, I must make it clear that I have little time.” So I'm glad to waste it with you with our circular discussions. Allow me to introduce myself, I've got very little time.

“I’ll cut to the chase then,” said Farrow. “Tell me who you’re working for. The Soviets? Cubans? Chinese?”No tension, no lead up. Could the book have been a dictionary? A communist book? A book of heavy metals? Was the chair a ruse, a failed attempt at masking a deep un-American secret? No, of course not! this is THUNDERDOME

Ares did not answer. Instead, he picked up a notebook and began writing. Began, eh? Good for him. What a go getter!

“Are you really taking notes during an interrogation?”

Ares finished. “These notes are for the revised edition of my book.”

“I’d know if you had published anything.”

Ares smiled. “I’d be surprised if you had come across my work.”

“Mind if I take a look?” asked Farrow.

“I’m afraid not. Perhaps I’ll send you a copy once complete.” I'm just not feeling the dynamic. Either your FBI agent is the biggest wet blanket ever, or you're an artistic genius whose scope I can't comprehend. I'm kind of getting the feeling there's a reason this agent was put on the Geriatric Tracking Squad.

Farrow seethed as the older gentleman remained at ease in his recliner.This is a normal reaction for an officer with a warrant, yessir. He decided to lay out everything. “You’re an interesting man, Mr. Ares. You have no known source of income, yet you moved into this huge house a year ago out of nowhere.And the proper-talk delves into buddychat out of nowhere You drive a brand new Chevy Bel-AirEither Chevy or Bel-Air, doing both makes him sound like an office IT guy trying to talk football at the bar. New television and furniture. You’ve never filed any taxes and no birth certificate. It’s as if you washed up on shore with bags of money.”The IRS would just drag this guy off the street, especially if they figured he was a Red.

“I’ve been blessed in life,” said Ares.

Farrow changed tack. “You aren’t even a good spy, Mr. Ares. Sitting in front of the Capitol, day after day. Taking notes without even trying to hide it. Do you think we’re stupid?”okay, it's a little more engaging

Ares looked pleased to have been noticedoh no we're back writing about the Prom again, aren't we?. “Ah, I was reviewing the dynamics of your tribe’s power structures.”


“Yes. American, I believe you call it.”

Farrow jumped to his feet, energizedSO HE'S A ROBOT!. “So you admit toyou're spying!”

He beganoh my loving god pullingno way, you've gotta be making GBS threads me now out a pair of handcuffs when Ares, checkingWE'RE ON A ROLL OF LAME HALF ACTIONS AND FALSE STARTS his watch, interrupted, “Don’t be silly. Anyway, our time is up.” As Ares stood up, Farrow reached for his gun. A loud chime brought Ares to a halt, confusion on his face. “My watch must be slow. Odd. Not like me to make such a mistake. Not at all. I’m afraid you will need to stay now.”

Farrow whipped out his gundick.

That was when the house beganif I wasn't a half bottle of wine in I'd be clawing my eyes out rumbling. Farrow struggled to keep the gun level as he balanced against the shaking of the house and the fear-driven trembling of his own bodyJesus h. christ sweet lord of nazareth your action scenes are obtuse. “What the hell is going on here!” he shouted over a roar like that of an avalanche.I don't like the structure of this simile but my brain is shutting down and I can't fix it

Ares ignored him and calmlyyupyupyupyup closed any open windows—Farrow’s gun following. Ares’s skin began to run down his face in rivulets, blue peeking through in patches. The gun fell to the floor. “What are you?” Farrow yelled over the noise,so now it's just noise backing away.

The world shifted. A sound like the roots of a mighty oak tearing freePretty sure uprooting a tree isn't a very loud affair deafened Farrow and an invisible forcecould he be feeling GRAVITATIONAL FORCES????? crushed him to the floorwhere else would it crush him?. Ares forgotten, Farrow dragged himself toward a window. He grasped the sill and hoisted himself up to look out.

His heart fellOH NO PICK IT UP MR. FBI MAN OR YOU WILL DIE. They were rising in perfect balanceThis doesn't sync up with the violence of takeoff. Make us think of rockets, man!. Underneath the house, he could make out a great yellow flame, driving them upwards.No way it's balanced perfectly, more like it's rising on a violent arc, flames tearing through sky America was dark with night and quickly recedingI just plain don't like this. A light crept in from the east as they rose high enough to make out Europe and Africa.

Higher and higher they climbed until the pressure pushing him down vanished and Farrow almost fell over from the sudden lack of resistance. Everything was silent. Earth was a blue and green sphere with wisps of white, surrounded by fathomless darkness. Farrow whipped around, searching out Ares. He was back in the recliner, mask totally melted off. An amorphousI feel this is a cop out. blue head stared backed at Farrow with cavernous holes where once there were ears and a nose.

“What are you? Where are you taking me?” whispered Farrow.

“I really did ask you to leave. Unfortunate,” it said. “I wonder what you can eat on the trip to Mars? Oh, I’ll worry about that later. At least you can read my book—I writeWith all the passive action going down earlier, you decide to switch to an active voice RIGHT AT THE END? What the gently caress is wrong with you? GODDAMN IT MAN I WANT MY TIME BACK in English when on Terra, thankfully.” He handed the tome from the coffee table to FarrowA more clever man would point out the ease with which the book was lifted, as it was only ever described as 'heavy'., who read the title.

“Humans: A Zoological Study of Lesser Developed Alien Life Forms by Glarny agGlarnSPACE SCOTSMAN"

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 02:53 on Apr 6, 2013

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

SpaceGodzilla posted:

I really wanted to be mean, but gently caress this story was pretty good. Some of the writing I have issue with, but it's only because the narrator's voice is unconvincing at times. There's a clear narrative arc, it's clever and the plot takes unexpected turns. You're most likely not going to be in the bottom bracket this round!

The Diary of Georgia Munroe, Age 10

Words: 803

April 2

Dear Diary,

I finally got my window open tonight! The moon is full and all the tall grass outside is swingingThe word 'swinging' ruins the mental picture for me. I've never seen grass swing. in the wind. I wish I could go run through it… The whole farm belongs to us"is ours" would be a simpler way to state this, it might help us believe a 10 year old is writing, after all. Daddy gets so angry whenever I ask to go outside though! I don’t even want to think about what he’d do if he knew that I figured out how to open my window. Oh well, at least I can pretend I’m out there when my window’s open and my eyes are closed. Whatever Daddy’s so scared of out there, I’m sure it can’t jump three stories high.Pretty solid opening paragraph, anyway.

April 3

Dear Diary,

I wish I knew another kid. Mommy used to tell me to talk to the birds on the wallpaper when I get lonely but that seems silly now that I have you to write in. I wish I had someone real to talk to though. You have two hundred words, you could have padded out some details of Georgia's life and dropped us a little deeper into the story

April 6

Dear Diary,

Oh no! I fell asleep next to the window and Mommy almost caught me this morning! Luckily she knocked on the door before she came in and I got the window closed in time. At breakfast I asked why we can’t go outside again and Daddy got angry (as usual) and told me that if I kept asking he wouldn’t let me work in the greenhouse today. I was really mad at him so when we were going through the stupid connecting hall thingy to the greenhouse If she works as a farmer and it's all she knows, I'm pretty sure she'd know the proper term for the connecting hall. Especially since the farm makes up the entirety of her existence.I kicked the wall and Daddy got more scared than I’ve ever seen him! He told me to run to the house quick and I did but I stayed in the doorway and watched him. He looked all over the wall I kicked to see if I hurt it or something. I don’t think I did, but he got a tarp from the greenhouse anyway and stapled it over the wall. Then he dragged me into the study and made me wait FOREVER while he flipped through that white book that he always reads when he’s scared. Eventually he sighed really big and told me not to do anything like that ever again and then he gave me a spanking. Working in the greenhouse wasn’t very fun today, even if I did get to spend the day in the sun.

What’s even so special about that dumb book?

April 7

Dear Diary,

I snuck down to Daddy’s study tonight and looked through that white book. Mommy says I’m pretty smart but I didn’t understand any of it! I accidentally ripped out part of the page that was bookmarked when I opened it but maybe Daddy won’t notice and give me another spanking. I’ll hide the page in you since Mommy says it’s rude to look in other peoples’ diaries. Maybe I got lucky and it was the page that says I can’t go outside or have any friends.This is actually a pretty clever trick you're using to drop some plot on us and you should be proud you didn't ruin it with your ham-fists.

The Congressional Genetic Modification Oversight Commission Report


Part IV: Potential Risks of Unregulated Commercial Genetic Modification>>Section 6: Uncontrolled Mutation Scenario>>Subsection 2a: Potential Mitigating Factors for the Public
It is the opinion of this commission that human life may be sustainable in this scenario if the following conditions are met:
- Basic air filtration systems should be installed.
- Food should be grown from trusted seeds in a controlled environment.
- Doors and windows should be tightly shut at all times.
- All water should be boiled before use for consumption or irrigation.

April 9

Dear Diary,

Daddy didn’t look at his book today so I’m safe for now I guess. My parents are acting kind of weird though. Earlier today I was picking tomatoes in the greenhouse with Daddy and when he finished one row he just kept going like there were more tomatoes and before I could say anything he bumped into the glass and snapped out of it. And after dinner I heard Mommy scream so I ran downstairs and she was yelling about spiders and pointing at the floor but there weren’t any there.

april 1000

dear diary mommy and daddy are really sick i think and i am too probably
daddy was screaming that somebody named ergitt sporrs heh heh heh hehhad gotten into the food but we had plenty of food at least enough for dinner mommy was even chopping some tomatoes when daddy freaked out but then she freaked out too and started trying to chop himIt's not wrong, but I just think if you added some gravity to the statement it might make your ending better. "started trying to chop him" is excessively childish, even for a ten year old. The ending would be a lot more of a punch to the gut if you just straight up told us mommy chopped daddy too while having the narrator seem distant and apathetic instead so i ran to my room and i started writing in you but i don’t know why id do that cause the birds on the wall are real now theyre flying all over the place

haha i dont need you anymore sorry diary bye

i think this is what it feels like to have real friends

CantDecideOnAName posted:

Christmas comes once a week in THUNDERDOME, and I always get the same thing: poorly written period pieces! You guys must love me because there's nothing I want to do more than read stale purple prose on a Saturday morning. I honestly tried to do a read-through first but I had to bust out my fat tipped sharpie right around the third paragraph. There's no narrative arc, no conflict. I guess it kind of relates to the picture? You introduce a ton of characters but this story would suffice with two. No one dies, David remains an International Man of Mystery(TM), and the story just ends. I didn't feel shocked, though the story hinges on the idea that I do. The tree doesn't make anyone confront anything within themselves, doesn't show them horrifying pictures or put crazy ideas into their heads. The implication here, I take it, is that the tree is magic and alive but really the story is more like an Arctic expedition full of autistic retards. This story should be titled "Brown Eye" because it is a turd.


(892 words)

Above all else, I am a man of culture and poetry, a collector and self-taught historian, and so I cannot imagine why this ragtag assortment of so-called scientists asked me to accompany them on their little excursion. A comma or a sentence break or just drink a bunch of bleach, pleasePerhaps it was because they knew that I own three of Janove’s journals, and that I have actually read them. I suspected that this trip of theirs was in fact a search for one of the strange things mentioned in that famed explorer’s diary.

There were five of us. Myself; a man of science named Eugene Vemberly; a woman botanist, Constance Hart, and her brother Reginald; and a tracker they simply called David. I found David immensely fascinating, as his appearance pointed to having some Northerner blood in his lineage, and I wondered if he adhered to the same beliefs as his possible brethren. Janove had briefly touched upon the Northerners fear of the valley, and how they called it a cursed place and would not set foot within it despite all the bribes and reassurances he gave them. Foolish they had been, he said in later entries, foolish that they would even attempt to gain a native guide to this region when upon reflection it was clear they had no more knowledge of the area than he had himself. If you flipped the first and second para's around you might have something that isn't incredibly boring. Or better yet, break the second one apart, merge the introductions together and start a separate para for David. You've got 1.5 paragraphs on one idea, and the remaining .5 on another.

But that had been in late fall, when the sky madnessRAIDEN III: SKY MADNESS would threaten with great storms of snow and blowing wind.As opposed to all those calm storms without any wind. Yes, quite. :chord: This was high summer, :350: with close onwat to twenty hours of light in the day, and no winter storms would blow up unexpectedly in this.words words WORDS words words WORDS words plot words words WORDS words

Upon leaving the city, we walked for some time in the taiga. I admired the trees with their rich evergreen needles, and listened to the songs of birds within their boughs.Good sir, an evergreen would have but one bough. A bough is the main branch of a tree, and evergreens grow theirs vertically. Unless the birds are perched at ninety degree angles, this imagery does not work for me. :tbear: The manREDUNDANT Vemberly consulted maps and didmade cartography-ic notes of his own, and the Hart siblings found a flower they had never seen before. AND ALSO THERE WAS GRASS I LIKE GRASS I AM A MAN OF SKIENCE :science: BUT I WILL NOT DESCRIBE THIS BIRD IN A SCIENTIFIC WAY BECAUSE gently caress YOU David was silent and watchful.and I wanted to caress his buttocks.

The sun was low in the sky and the trees cast long shadows, leaving the five of us in a dark forest, beforeditch this word, put a sentence break in, stuff shrimp into your mouth until you can no long breathe David spotted our treasure; a blue glow to the west of us, mercifullyoh lawdy close.

Janove, in his journals, had said that the mature tree was roughly fifteen to twenty-five feet tall with a diameter between three and five feet. The bark is rough and very dark, almost black, and there are no limbs or branches to speak of. If there are needles or leaves on the tree, they arewill not be immediately obvious. The trunk is pliable, bending as easily as one might crook an arm, and at the crown of the tree is inset a large blue globe, called anthe “eye”, which is the same diameter as the trunk at its base.If you'd set up your character as a man prone to rattling off details, this wouldn't be out of place. I can see you were trying to do something like that but the only consistent thing about it is that it's poo poo.

The immature tree that we found was a mere six feet tall, and no wider than a foot. The eye was of a middling sky blue coloras opposed to a sky blue something else?, and glowed with a gentle, steady light. It turned to look at us as we approached it.

Janove had mentioned this as well. These trees, although rooted with a system similar to any oak or pine, above ground moved with such deliberation as to be animal-like. He noted that they would track a man as he walked across the clearing in which it stood, such as a dog might watch a stranger in front of its yard. They would turn and crane their necks, so to speak, when one would approach passive, dumb. Instead try: "When one approached them"them, and could intensify the light emitted from the eye for a short time. They seemed to have some crude animal intelligence, and wouldcould examine the explorers with as much curiosity as they examined it.I get what you're saying but it's clumsy, rewrite it until it works

This one was no exception. The HFarts moved around it, taking measurements and drawing sketches, SENTENCE BRAKE PLZand it watched them as they didCaptain Redunderpants. Their easy demeanors how about showing instead of telling? Wouldn't that be grand?implied that they had seen such creatures before;I'm really starting to wonder if you know what this here punk-choo-ayshin thing is used fer they did not gasp or grow pale at the sight of it, as Vemberly did.Actions in the past tense; my favourite actions I myself felt some small shockwas shocked at its appearance, forditch this word, put in a semicolon or a sentence break. reading about something and experiencing it for myself were two very different phenomena indeed. David had averted his face, and would not look at it.

At one point Constance pulled out a small knife and knelt by the tree, which curved to look at her and brightened the glow as if to illuminate what she was doing. She lowered the knife to rest against the bark of the tree and it grew even brighter. There was a pause, then she pressed the blade in and downpulled, slicing off a piece of the barkborkborkborkborkbork. The tree did not react, but how could it? It wasn’t as if it could feel pain. It watched her put the piece in her jacket pocketpick one of these words and lose the other, then looked over at me.

I could not say why it did this. I had only gone near it once, to touch the bark and feel the rough texture of it for myself, and after had retreated and begun to write my own journal, and had not left the rock that I sat down upon.Sentence goes on forever, is stupid. But often I would watch itpassive, boring, dumb, and as the sliver of wood was put away it watched me.AGAIN with this poo poo? We get it man. They're watching it watch them. It's a tree. Do you want a loving medal?

I do not think I will join the Harts, Vemberly, and David again, for I am sure that they are exploring the region for these trees. Once was quite enough.:dong::gizz::dong::gizz:

Martello posted:

This I'll crit later, have to go over it with a finer toothed comb. One thing, though:

The Cranes Came Home

I turned around one more time and climbed onto the sofa with her.

V for Vegas posted:

This story was like taking a wonderful vacation in southern France in a rented Citroen 2CV with a beautiful, married French girl. But then the gravel road ends in a two foot drop and you tear apart the suspension, so you get out of the ruined car but it turns out you're in a giant parking lot and LMFAO is shooting their latest video there and it's terrible and they're really gross in person, and the girl you were riding with turns out to be an angry tranny.

The Library of Unwritten Books - 805. Captain Tory.

"So, uh, Uncle Tory, what exactly is it you do here?" said Tim.

"Well, I'm a librarian aren't I," replied Tory.

Tim looked around the bare apartment. "I don't see many books."

Tory smiled. "Ah lad, right you are. That's because it's a library of unwritten books, see?"

"Uh," Tim hesitated. "How can you be a librarian of unwritten books?"

"It's like, well. It's like I'm a harbourmaster see, standing out on the pier at night. All I have is one small lantern of me own imagination to try and see out over the water. I know ships are out there, in the darkness, sailing to and fro. But I can't see what they look like or where they're going. Occasionally one may venture closer to shore where my small lantern can shed some light on it. But many of these books, like the ships, stay out in the darkness. But they still need a light to refer to. That's my job."

"Well wouldn't that make you a lighthouse, not a harbourmaster?"

"Look kid, it's my metaphor, I'll call it what I want."

"But if no one has written a book, there's nothing to catalogue," said Tim.

"You'd think that, but it's not quite true. Everyone wants to have written a book, but very few people ever want to actually write one. It's the writing part that's hard, see. Much easier just to dream up your perfect book in your head without all that messy writing business. All I do is catalogue what people are thinking. And there you have it, a perfect library filled with perfect books that are never written." Up until this point, you do a wonderful job of dialogue. You set up the uncle as an old Maritime bullshitter. It's charming and I could read sailing ship stories all day. You let us see what your characters are like without shoving it into your faces. The boy is naive, but clever - this is only ever inferred. What happens next is unfortunate. Your dialogue falls apart, the old-timey feeling is gone. Without it I feel this work is too meta, so much so that I can't let it slide.

"I'm not sure I understand Uncle Tory."

"Tell you what kidThe word "kid" bugs me. If you'd have said lad or my boy or something it'd more consistent, as a favour to you for helpin' me, I'll catalogue your unwritten book in the library."

"I don't have one."

"Don't piss about with me, you must have a book that you think about, in the quiet hours, that you want to have written."

"Well, yes. Sort of."

"OKmaybe "alright?", I dunno then out with it, and I will catalogue it. Only a twenty dollar stocking fee."

Tim frowned. "What? Twenty dollars for me to tell you a story? Shouldn't you pay me?" he said.

"No it wouldn't work that way see. I'm cataloging you right? Your work will be in the library, numbered and all. The money is just a way of confirming like, in your own mind,The uncle is awful confident at first, why should he falter here? that makes it a real transaction."

"I don't know Uncle Tory. Twenty dollars?"

"Flat rate. Applies to all writers I'm afraid."Especially if he's muscling the kid out of his money. It's not like a way of confirming, it IS a way, damnit!

"OK then, if you say so,If lil'Tim here used OK and the uncle didn't you could even show us a generation gap using nothing but language, it would have been pretty cool" Tim fisheddon't know if this pun was intentional but I liked it out his wallet. "But this is my entire week's pocket money. I don't have any more."

"That's fine Timmy boy. Fine and dandy.See, you've got his real voice coming back in right here, the shifts really bother me" Tory's eyes focused on the note. "Now just hand it over, there's a good boy. No need to tell your ma 'bout this by the by. You'll go right in the library you will." This last sentence is exactly the poo poo I'm talking about. Take this piece to the Farm after letting it sit for a week. You'll catch your inconsistencies

Tim slowly held out the note and Tory leaped forward and snatched it away, stuffing it down into his pocket, smiling. He could taste the whiskey already.

"So," said Tim. "Do you want to hear the story?"

"What? Oh right then. Let's have it," said Tory. "What's it called?"

"It's a murder mystery called 'The Mystery of Murder Mansion.'"

Tory frowned. "That's it?"

"Yeah, what's wrong with that?"

"Nothing, nothing. Just kind of, well, boring innit?"

"I think it sounds mysterious," said Tim.

"Well if by 'sounds mysterious' you mean it sounds like the word mysterious, being that the word is right there in the title, then yeah. I guess. But it's a bit vague. What's it about?"

"Well, it's about this boy who solves..."

Tory slapped his face. "Oh gawd, stop stop stop," he said. "Look kid. People don't want to read about that guff nowadays."

"Well what do they want to read?"

"You know, stupid poo poo. Like robot vampires that have sex with zombies while fighting off an alien invasion." This is really what broke the story for me. Without this line here I think it'd be in the top three. Why would old Salty McDoggerson suddenly break into bro-talk? What about offering us a parody of today's media by having some old sea fart talk about it? No? oh, okay...

"I don't read that sort of stuff."

"Well you're not most people. Tell you what, instead of 'mystery house of mysteries', or whatever you called it, lets call it, uh, 'The Unctillious Adventures of Candyshreikers Anonymous'. A classic whodunit where a three hundred year old Jack Russell terrier must solve an ancient pharaoh's curse with the help of a talking prosthetic."I don't really think this is funny, and it's pushing the limits of Sailor Oldguy's voice

"Prosthetic what?"

"Never you mind. Kids these days, I don't know."

"That's it?"

"Of course, that's a grand book," said Tory.

"And that's my entry into the library of unwritten books?"

"Too right it is. Now shove off, it's almost closing time down at the local and your Uncle Tory has to go and check out some works by Glen Livet."

"Is he a Scottish author?"

"Yeah, well, Scottish at least. Now I tol' you. Bugger off." The end is legitimately funny and clever.

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 17:14 on Apr 6, 2013

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

Voliun posted:

There are words here, sure. I'm not sure what you're trying to do or where you learned this. I'm pretty sure it doesn't work. It plods on, it veers off course, it stinks like week old garbage. I would be very worried if I were you

Word Count: 900 (Including Title)

The maple door creaked open seconds later while the doorbell's jingle faded. Arching away from a pile of overgrown leaves above, a man with thick rimmed glasses ducked and popped his head out from the doorway's small opening. "You are early Miss Rivett," he said. The specific thing did a thing a specific way. Another specific thing did another specific action. I'm going to painfully describe everything that's unimportant because gently caress you guys.

A woman smiled and tapped on the back of her tan electronic tablet The year is 1950, we've just invented the vacuum tube and one day we will set foot on the moon. I am writing about future technologies not yet known, try to keep up. with her red fingernails.NO "I'm sorry Dr. Assford, but that was before I have received news that I have to work overtime, and they will not recharge my cyborg cells if I do not comply. Bleep bloop." she said, "I promise I won't take much of your time."

Dr. Assford returned her smile with a thinner one of his own dang, there goes any hope of getting a hot beej in the janitor's closet if this guy's got like worm lips. "Come:gizz: in, come:gizz: in. That is if you insist your interview will not take more than thirty minutes. how i use word to make people talk like people in place with word"

"It won't."

The doctor wobbled asideyes, doctors tend to do that, opened the door, and pushed an overgrown potted thin tree further against the wall near the door's, no, no, no, no, STOPNear the plant, he hung his lab coat on a hook beside a black dress coat that have a golden name tag with 'Richard Assford' on it. A drooping rose metaphor for an aging vaginawith pink petals lay in one of the dress coat's pockets. He directed her through a towering archway leading to the house's small open dining room.I don't even know where I am anymore Neatly trimmed dark olive colored winespubes covered it with its own flare from its leaves of various shape and sizes.

The woman helped herself to a seatgood, if you were writing an OSHA accident report from one of the dark wooden table's metal stools.I'm gonna rub stool in your face for writing this Laying the tablet face up, Miss RivettIf her first name was Rosy you'd be my favourite person swiped its surface once using her thumb If this is what millenials are going to write about I will personally drive nails through each and every one of their skulls.."For the record," Miss Rivett said while doing a set of finger swipes, "please state your name and your occupation." It's like if Fritz Lang had downs

"I am T. Assford and I am a dentist,"Also my friends think I am the most boring person to ever live, second to you of course, Ms. Rivette Dr. Assford said. He entered and moved around the kitchen.jesus christ no Placing a glass plate on the long granite counter separating the kitchen from the dining room, he added, "Considering who you could be reporting for, I will not disclose much about the project itself."if you cut out all the fluff you'd have like 300 words, tops

"I am here on the behalf of the Daily Scoops." WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH KITTY LITTER

"I am also aware what your side-job is, Miss Rivett." Dr. Ashford leaned under whatthe counter where he took a square shaped container from the middle shelf.this poo poo seriously reads like machine code for human beings Pouring out its contents, a pile of minced leaves in different dark hues of oliveHumans can distinguish an almost infinite number of shades of green. It is important to use all of them, lest the Human think you are not one of them., the doctor watched Miss Rivett's finch. A loud bang echoed the room following a windy hustling'day I'm hustlin' er'day I'm hustlin er'day I'm hustlin It's hard out here It's hard out here

"Did you close the door?" she said.

"It must be closed now if I did not," he said,barffffffffffffffff "As I was saying, you moonlight your writings to the Star Inquirer from time to time, do you not?"

Miss Rivett's middle fingernail pecked twice on the tablet. The small onscreen microphone in the lower right-hand corner of the screen faded out. "I did once."

"Is this interview have anything to do with your first story from them?" Welp.

"No!" Miss Rivett faced up at the doctor as she heard two metallic clinks. "What was that?"

"Good." Dr. Assford reentered the dining room with the plate in hand. "That was the shelf. Is there a kind of dressing or seasoning you prefer hu-man?"

"Surprise me." As the dentist walked back to the kitchen after placing the plate down, she pushed the plate away. The reporter insert short memos within the tablet. For a moment, she glanced to the left. A thin reef hung above both closed windows. One of its ends were hugging one side of a square glass clock. Both hands of the clock was near the number five. "What didn't you like about it?" she asked.You ever play with those electronic cars as a kid? The ones where you got an IBM standard number pad on the top the monster truck and it had like 128kb of memory? You input the directions you wanted it to take until you filled up the memory and then you let it go. This is like the literary equivalent of those instructions

Dr. Assford reentered again with a glass bell-shaped container holding a light tan liquid and a thick wooden skewer in another hand. "Everything. It was full of slanderous poppycock." He placed them to the right where he had placed the plate earlier.If I was playing a shell-game this information might be useful

Miss Rivett watched him sit across her. As he pushed the stool back further, making a loud shuddering streak,you have *got* to be kidding me he crossed his legs so he really isn't a whore :(. "My brother would not dare sabotage his own work under any circumstances, Miss Rivett. Not only that is not like him, but I would not have allow it." and I wish I would not have reed this

As she slid her elbows on to the table, Miss Rivett jerked her elbows back when she felt a cold ting. The glass plate jingled and wobbled. this is the worst

"Please be careful not to break that. My babieshorses love looking at them," Dr. Assford said.

The brunette's face gleamed and pointed at the dentist is she a loving elephant?. "You," Miss Rivett said while cracking a smile, "have kids?" I chose to read this in a Shatner voice

"Yes. They are wonderful bundles of joy. I would like for them to have some time with you if time permits it." oooh I LOVE baby robots! :swoon: Dr. Assford glanced at his watch and added, "Speaking of time, you have two-thirds of that now to finish." You have two-thirds of time. We agreed on only ONE time, so your time is almost over.

Miss Rivett double tapped on the upper left hand corner of the tablet, and the microphone reappeared at the same spot it was earlier.No. loving. Way. "Although the portable smart house had a perfect lift off, it has been suggested that there were intentional damage that caused it to crash off course. How do you feel about the possibility that your brother has been murdered?" whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat

Dr. Ashford frowned. "I would have known if it was an inside handjob."

"There is new evidence that shows that Richard--" HIS NAME MEANS "DICK"

"He left here an hour ago Miss Rivett."

"Why is his jacket still on the hook?"

"It is?" Dr. Assford stood using an end of the table as support. "Watch her, my children."

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

I guess I better put up or shut up. gently caress you guys, this is my brawl entry:

Chickencheese for a Dream (985 words)

Brett ripped the bandage off his arm, blood dripped onto a pile of syringes. Kayla picked strands of bloody t-shirt from her shredded shoulder; she didn’t even wince as she squeezed out buckshot like she was poppin’ zits. He poked the chunk of lead stuck in his bicep. More blood. If the poo poo hadn’t been top-notch this week, he’d be screaming for death.

“You figure our last meal was worth it?” She spoke at the floor, staring at their squat’s tarp sheeting.

Their run on a cornershop in the Core hadn’t panned out; cashier had a sawed-off under the counter. She’d put a blade in his throat after he missed, twice.

He pushed the memory away with ease; sliding into the radio’s fuzzy beats. Her busted bike was still hanging on the wall; she’d been a courier.

“You figure we could get some meds if you got another run?” he asked.

“We got enough creds to get back on the net, get a run and fix my bike. We’d be right back at square one. Real good plan last night, fucker,” she said.

“Maybe we can go on a bender? One last run?” He wrapped a new rag around his arm.

“I got a better idea: we get a put-put,” she said.

“The gently caress would we do with a taxi?” he asked.

“Dunno, but I’m sure it’ll be fun. What the gently caress we got left to eat?”

He kicked over his bag and started pulling out cans.

“Beans, tomatoes, more beans…”

“What’s that one at the bottom?” She pulled out a big peel-top.

“It’s loving chicken!” He tore it from her hands.

Sweet Sue Canned Whole Chicken. Says it’s fully cooked and just like homemade. Mother gently caress! There’s stuffing and everything!” His stomach growled.

“Brett! Check this!” She tossed him a can of EasyCheese.

She held their only plate under the can as he cracked the top. Blobs of grease slid out, followed by the plop of the moist, pale bird.

“You sure it’s cooked?” she asked.

“Said so on the can”. He tore off a drumstick, peeled off the skin and ate it; her eyes widened.

It was soft and salty, the congealed fat warmed then dissolved as he chewed. Real meat.

Kayla was catching on, delicately pulling the other leg free. He sprayed down his drumstick with cheese and bit in.

The experience shot shivers up his spine. The cheese foam dissolved and coated tongue in thick slurry. The meat was cool and soft and broke apart into bitter sweetness. Some primal part of his brain roused; a part that just wanted to be fed.

He slid the rest of the meat into his mouth. Hints, delicate traces – a sublime spectre of cheesiness – set the stage as chicken-muscle slipped apart into individual strands. Each one slick and greasy, resisting at first but then transforming seamlessly into a warm, salty paste. The bone was stripped, he threw it aside.

He tore a hunk off the ribcage. Kayla wasn’t talking; he knew they were in the same headspace. Bite after bite, the chicken disappeared; Kayla huffed the aerosol when they were out of cheese. He tossed the can onto the pile of bones.

Kayla opened her laptop and burped, the data creds were spread out in a fan on her lap. One hand punched in digits while the other slid used cards onto the floor. She was down to two when she slammed the computer shut.

“He’ll be here in twenty.” She slid the bloody shotgun into her jeans and tossed him the pistol.

“The gently caress am I supposed to do with a deuce-deuce?” he asked.

“Iunno, scare someone? Let’s go.”

They sat on the steps of the crumbling tenement and waited. The put-put, the bastard child of a pedicab and a forklift, turned a corner. Its single orange light barely lit the street. It pulled to a shaky stop and an old man got out of the fibreglass shell, gestured for them to get in.

She reached for her wallet but grabbed the gun instead, spraying the cab with the driver’s spine.

“What the gently caress!” Brett screamed. It didn’t matter; everyone heard the shot.

“One last run, better than a bender! Get the gently caress in!” She yelled, already in the driver’s seat.

He climbed in the back. She tossed a canvas bag at his chest; it fell to the floor and lodged itself under the propane tank.

“Careful with those flares! We’ll need ‘em!” She gunned it. The little motor roared, squealing the tires and filling the cabin with smoke. They could already hear sirens.

Kayla slammed the brakes and slid the cab around a corner onto a toll road. She lined up for a straight shot at the core and pulled the throttle back as far as it would go.

“You’re gonna rip the fuckin’ motor off the mounts!” he screamed over the unsteady whine.

The fibreglass shook as they smashed through the toll barrier. Cars shot past them on both sides, taking advantage of the free entry. The motor’s belts were starting to squeal, it rattled violently. Brett swore he could smell propane.

A low-slung cruiser pulled up beside them, sirens blaring. A cop was speaking over the P.A. Kayla slammed the brakes and swerved, narrowly missing a roadster. The cop dropped it into reverse, trying to slam his cruiser into the cab. She gunned it, turning hard to dodge, but clipped a passing truck. Brett bit into his tongue as the cab rolled, her face slammed into the handlebars. The toppled cab slid to a stop.

She coughed up blood. The cruiser’s door slammed. The cops were coming.

“Give me a flare,” she said.

He lit one and passed it to her. She crammed it under the propane tank and reached for the shotgun. She cocked both barrels. He heard a blast, and then nothing at all.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

crabrock posted:

You ever go fishing? You know that moment after the fish bites, but before he's at the surface? When you're all excited and you can sort of see a flash of scales under water; and you've already started thinking about fry oil and batter and beer? But then the line breaks and the rod goes limp and you're out a lure and it's kind of dark out and you realize you're cold and wet and hungry and the whole effort was kind of dumb? This story is like that.

So close man, so close. The beginning is mostly good if a little purple. You managed to not gently caress up erotica, which is a nice change in TD. The book's contents, although shocking, didn't do a whole lot for the plot. So he's a pedo and pervert and madly in love. I don't understand the prot's reaction to it. Why does she feel sick? They'd been boning, hadn't they? Or are you trying to imply that her mind is broken? I don't know, I can't really tell.

I'm so sorry:

Suspended Without Pay
899 Words

Professor Linden's commandments shot out with a thunderous boom, followed closely by silent wisps of unease. As the students looked to one another for answers that did not exist, he absconded from the silent lecture hall.

Isabella looked around at the other students beginning to pack up their bags. She didn't have a bag; she didn't need one. The insurance policy she had spent all semester cultivating was finally going to pay off. The surprise twelve-page final that was due in a week didn’t bother her in the slightest.

As she did the sideways-auditorium-exit shuffle a boy she recognized from her physics class turned to her. "This is such a load of B.S., huh?"

Isabella tried to fake a smile. "Sure."

The boy's heart fluttered like the flag on a sinking ship. We have no idea why. You haven't described Isabella. I assume she's pretty?

While most of the class exited out the back, Isabella followed Dr. Linden out the side door. She walked along the catwalk past the multitude of bulletin boards and vending machines, ignored the students sitting at tables selling coffee,if it were me I'd move this to the end of the sentence and into the hallway housing the offices of the Psychology faculty. Isabella opened the door to the professor's office, saw that he was alone as usual,. andShe locked it behind her.

"I really liked your lecture today," she lied. "I never knew the adolescent mind could be so—"

"—loving broken? That's really what I want to get up there and say every time. It's God's cruel gift to give such a tangled mess of neurons and hormones sentience," he grumbled. “It's a miracle he bothered to make them at all.”

She lowered herself onto his lap and leaned in so he could feel her hot breath on his ear and her hand on his belt.

“But then again, how would you young co-eds develop all those daddy issues that I appreciate so much?” he said

"Well, why don’t you take this off and punish me," she whispered.

He drew in a deep, slow breath, but this time he gently pushed her away.

"Why?" she protested.

Dr. Linden reached for the stack of identical books and handed her the top one. "My self-publishedheh heh heh heh book just arrived today. I just know you’re going to love it."

Isabella took her copy of Mr. Linden's Library. "Well, I would, but I kinda have this 12 page paper to do this weekend."

"Yea, yea. I get your point.Would he talk like this? I'd just drop this. Everyone understand the implications here This is my magnum opus, and it takes precedence. You come back here on Tuesday after class and tell me what you think, and then we’ll probe the depths of your perversions."

* * *

Isabella nestled into her couch with her quilt and a mug of coffee. She put on her PJs and her reading glasses, and prepared to delve into the mind of a man she considered a genius.What The horror started almost immediately:

Page 2:

Amber was an 11-year-old girl with brown hair and threebrown eyes and pink cheeks, and Mr. Linden nervously quivered when he thought about what other pink delicacies the young lady hid beneath her purple tank top and white shorts with lace on the bottom of them. If you got rid of the purple in the actual story, the poor prose here would be all that much more poignant

Isabella let the book fall to her lap. Her stomach lurched and the nausea that followed was excruciating. Was this a joke? A test? What the gently caress. Maybe it was ironic? Maybe there was a twist? Maybe she needed a glass of wine.

A glass Repetitionof Cabernet Sauvignon at her side and she dutifully proceeded with the abhorrent tragedy.

Page 89:

Mr. Linden snuggled her and sobbed. "Please Amber, this book contains all the love for you that overflowed from my aching heart, and it is so powerful that if you ever look upon it, it will consume your fragile soul. Please never sneak into my library and read it! I beg you, I never want to lose you! I only wrote this book because if I had not a runoff for our love then my heart would literally explode! This should be the first page she finds, because I get why she's shocked(kind of...) now

Isabella did not have the willpower to continue reading. She got into the shower and stayed there until it ran cold.So she bangs some old guy then only feels weird when he writes a book about it? I'm so confused She toweled off and fell into bed. Sleep was no respite; the dreams were unmercifulI don't like this word.

The next afternoon after cleaning the grout in her bathroom and kitchen—and taking another shower—Isabella reluctantly opened up where she had left off.

Page 143:

Mr. Linden drove off into the sunrise toward his very important business meeting and then Amber snuck into his library. She stole the forbidden book and skipped back to her bed where she pulled up the warm fuzzy covers. All of the words in the book were so lovely and sweet that she couldn't help but giggle and smile with her sweet lips and she closed her eyes feeling like the happiest girl in the whole world. But she never opened her eyes again, and instead a rose bush made out of pure love grew from the pages and when Mr. Linden got home later that night and ran into her room he saw a solitary rose resting on his lover’s cheek.

* * *

Isabella watched her feet as she walked up to Dr. Linden. She dropped her paper onto his podium, turned around, and vamoosedreally?.

There were no emails, no phone calls, and no texts. Years later when people asked her why she had never settled down with a man, Isabella just shrugged. "They're loving broken." I'm so very, very confused


autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

crabrock posted:

"Amber was an 11-year-old girl"

I hope I don't have to explain why somebody finding out they'd been banging a pedophile (especially one that brings up daddy issues) would freak somebody out. It's not lolita, it's a horribly written fantasy. I guess I wasn't clear enough? Because you seem to be like "big deal so what?"

So this girl's banging her psych teacher so she can weasel out of writing an essay, and we're supposed to feel bad for her? She's cold and calculating and uses her body to achieve ends. I had her pegged as a psychopath (I mean, why else would the setting be psych class unless you're implying mental issues in your characters?)... But she's also madly in love with this prof or something? I, I don't know what you're going for.

*Edit: I don't wanna sound like a pedo apologist. It's reprehensible. BUT It's not like the prof actually did anything. It's like if my SO wrote a self insert Star Trek fanfic where she was constantly shoving dicks into door jambs. Yeah, it'd be weird. Would I be worried that she'd slam my dong in a door? No. Would I tell her to get help? Probably.

Recommend watching The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

edit* :siren: Nubile's SAFELIST:

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 19:38 on Apr 7, 2013

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

magnificent7 posted:

How will I know the prompt if I don't know what a prompt is? Is this one of those fight club rule things?

Wait until we announce this week's winner. They will make up a prompt. You will write a "story" using that prompt.

Nikaer Drekin posted:

You're not a precog? You don't even know a precog?

Get the hell out while you still can.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

Jagermonster posted:

Boy howdy I sure do love me some black paragraphs.

Uninvited Guests
word count: 890

Jeremy sat at the top of his basement stairs staring down at a small wooden door. He had been afraid of that door at the foot of the stairs for as long as he could remember. His right hand trembled as he felt for the glass bottle next to him. His left hand touched the aluminum can on his other side. His tools comforted him a little, but not enough to give him the courage to go down the stairs and execute his plan. Jeremy only had another 15 minutes before his mother came home with his little brother Dylan. Overly obtuse, long, wordy

Four months ago Jeremy’s dad spent the better part of a weekend cleaning up the basement. Jeremy had attempted to open the door, hammer in hand, ready to face whatever horrors lurked behind it, knowing his father was there to protect him. When it didn’t budge after his repeated tugs at the tiny brass knob, his father remarked, “Doesn’t open, Jer. I think it’s just a silly little door the last owners attached to the wall.” Jeremy knew better. It was probably sealed with some evil magic or sinister spell.

Jeremy squinted down at the door. Too afraid to head down the stairs and turn on the lower light, only the dim bulb at the top of the stairs provided illuminationno kid thinks about things "providing illumination". He reached in his pocket and removed his father’s lighter. He lit it, but it didn’t provide any better illumination. AND YOU'RE DOING IT AGAIN

One night at dinner Jeremy had tried convincing his parents he heard mice scurrying around behind the door. He implored them to hire an exterminator to check it out. When they told him they weren’t worried about it and that it would be too expensive, he started crying.

“Are you scared of the door?” his dad had asked him, in the same tone he took when coaxing Jeremy to go to bed and assuring there weren’t any monsters under it.

Embarrassed and defiant, Jeremy said he wasn’t. Dylan admitted he was. That’s when his mom butted in. “What if there’s a little magical world behind the door? Like Oz? Or Narnia?” What a bunch of stupid kids’ stuff. Only one thing lived behind doors like that in basements: monsters, demons, or unnamed, undiscovered terrors.And suddenly your young prot is H.P. Lovecraft himself Jeremy knew of countless tales where small carnivorousas opposed to those goddamn herbivorous ones monsters emerged from basement holes and ate the kids and other inhabitantsso many words that shouldn't be here of the cursed house. Jeremy knew it was only a matter of time before they came for him and his brother.

Since his parents didn’t seem willing to help, Jeremy searched for the means to open the door on his terms.again, why is he talking like a twenty year old basement dweller? According to an online excerpt of Portals, Doorways, and Demonic Gates all he needed was to say “apredo portalis arroha” The author, simply known as “Cyberw1ccan,” in the section Dealing with Monsters of the Dark, so many useless detailshypothesized that some kind of nocturnal, light-averse creatures most likely lived behind such a door. The article recommended several ways of dealing with them once access to their realm was achieved with the door-opening incantation.jesus christ just hit me in the face with a club etched with words next time, it'll be less painful than reading this exposition

Jeremy picked up the aerosol:siren: can next to him. He didn’t have much time left now before his mother brought Dylan home from day care.AGAIN!? He opened his mouth and huffed the entire contents of the can, dying instantly., but no words came out. His heart was pounding. He was sure he had seen the door knob turn. The door creaked open. “Jeremy,” something whispered. Jeremy screamed. A tiny shape emerged from the door. Jeremy leapt up and jammed his thumb down on the nozzle of his mother’s can of hairspray as he bounded down the stairs, screaming. He ignited the stream of hairspray with his father’s lighter and unleashed a river of fire upon the creature. This action could be cool but it's so broken. He runs, but only sprays fire AFTER he's run up the stairs. We don't need to know WHO the things he's using belong to right now. The important parts are RUN, MONSTER, FIRE. The creature’s shrieks mingled with Jeremy’s.mingled? makes me think of like old guys in tiki lounges Jeremy’s shrill screams transformed into a guttural roar.this sucks He sprayed a nonsensical torrent of vowels and consonants at the dooryes goon sir, vowels AND consonants! :chord: as he bathed the crack in streaming fire. My crack streams fire after tacobell, I tellyawhut. Jeremy could hear screaming now on the other side of the door. His roar transformed to, “gently caress you!” we get it, they're yelling. YELLING IS HAPPENING

“gently caress you! gently caress you! gently caress you!” he shouted through tears of shock, fear, anger, and adrenaline:chord::siren: as he ran back up the stairs. He dropped the can of hairspray and grabbed the glass bottle he had filled with gasoline from one of the cans in the you tell us about who's stuff his using but you hide the molotov from us until NOW? He leapt back down the stairs, two at a time. He wrenched open the tiny door. He could make out small sizzling lumps in the darkness. The thing that had poked around the door had crawled back a few inches. It was hideous and smoldering. It resembled a small naked guinea pig with a humanoid head. A murderous kid-devouring gremlin, Jeremy thought. Or a harmless gnome from a little magical world. Like Oz. Or Narnia. The hideous thing looked up at Jeremy. It tried to speak, but only emitted a soft gurgle. “Shut up!” Jeremy shrieked as he lit the gasoline soaked rag sticking out of the glass bottle. He threw the bomb in to the darkness and slammed the door. A chorus of anguished shrieks followed him up the stairs. He slammed the basement door as his mother entered the front door, holding Dylan. Jeremy threw himself into his surprised mother and buried his weeping face in her stomach. He wrapped his right arm around his mother and his left arm around his little brother.So what did he kill? Shouldn't the house be burning? You waste a lot of words on useless stuff like online wicca forums but don't even give us a hint of what really lurks behind the door. Is it elves? Did he just massacre a bunch of Keebler elves?

Fumblemouse posted:

Word Count: 789
Prompt: A tiny voice asked, "Is he the one?" and a book from the imagination

Signals and Wards

Sam awoke and touched the book hidden beneath her pillow, feeling the creases in its leather cover. Knowing it was still there gave her comfort and knowing that it was secret gave her a reassuring thrill that allayed the troubling uncertainty of the Children’s Ward. way too long, redundantLooking around, Sam saw she was unobserved,saw she wasn't seen. ALWAYS DESCRIBE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SEEING THIS IS WHAT I loving LIVE FOR the other residents of the ward being busy with their own sufferings.this doesn't work with the character's voice She slid the book out from its hiding place Mayhaps I propose you mention the book is hidden goon sir! :chord: and opened it to the most recently written page.not the most recent page, not the last written page. Nope! She traced the reassuring words with her finger, mouth moving as she slowly read the shapeswat. “We’re coming,” they said. “Not much longer now.”

A door banged shut at the far end of the ward. Sam shoved the book beneath her pillow and lay back, as three doctors arrived. They came to her bedside first, checked her chart and discussed the various ways in which her head might be cut open and its insides rearranged. Sam lay there silently as she always did, waiting for them to go to the other children and leave her to her book and her dreams.

Sam had dreamed a lot during the past months in the ward,I DONT KNOW IF SHE'S IN A WARD curled up on herself with one hand holding tightly to the book beneath the pillow. She always dreamed of other rooms, painted blue, like water for the sail boat that sat on a shelf above her, or green and adorned with posters of angry bands, or simply bare wood - but never the same twice. She dreamed that she was closing her eyes, pretending to sleep, and that a fresh breeze blew in through an open window. Sounds rose from outside, ringing chimes - but strange and distant like bells underwater. Even though Sam had her eyes shut tight, she began to see bright, moving lights casting yellow shadows behind her eyelids. At the edge of her hearing were tiny voices, asking “Is he the one?“ or “Is it her?” in rising, musical tones. She turned toward them to welcome and thank them, opened her eyes to see them at last and woke up in the ward yet again.

Some nights, the chimes were louder, some quieter, but every time Sam awoke there would be a new line written in her secret book, asking her to be patient, and telling her that they were on their way.

They weren’t here yet, however, there were only the doctors and today the doctors weren’t leaving. They drew lines on her forehead, and their talk wasn’t about tests or diagnosis, but schedules, exploratory procedures and how long it had been since she had eaten. Sam began to fret, looking anxiously between the faces of the doctors, but they were unfamiliar and impossible to read. She wanted to say that they were coming, and that they would be here soon, they had told her so, but Sam had never had never had any words of her own, just her secret book. They made notes on her chart and summoned an orderly, who made adjustments to her bed, and wheeled it out of the ward.

Sam watched helplessly as she was whisked down unfamiliar corridors, into a large, metallic elevator, down several more corridors and finally into a room filled from wall to wall with incomprehensible machines, made of pipes and dials and sitting on wheels. The orderly, who had babbled with pleasant but one-sided chatter the whole way left her there alone. Above her, where her bed was parked, were bright, long fluorescent lights.

In time, another man arrived, wearing a white coat. He wheeled a machine of cylinders and breathing masks over to her and explained the she would soon be asleep, and that she shouldn’t worry, in a moment she would be awake and everything would be fine. When he placed the breathing mask over her face, she tried to wriggle away, but found her eyes closing despite themselves. The lights above her made yellow shadows behind her eyelids. This wasn’t like the ward, listening to the other children’s noise drift into nonsense, counting sheep into slumber. This was hard and cold and precise, a surgical removal of her consciousness.

She looked down as if from a great height. Sam’s body lay there perfectly still, and the man beside her twiddled some knobs, removed the mask from her face, pounded upon her chest several times then raced from the room in a panic. She could hear familiar chimes, getting louder, but sounding pure and glorious. She looked up, and saw the lights - not the fluorescent bars on the ceiling, but the joyous radiance of those she knew and loved. They were here, they had found her. At long, long last.

You waste words and leave us with more questions than when we started. No idea what's going on, but apart from the opening it's a pretty solid piece of writing

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 00:31 on Apr 9, 2013

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

Martello – Technically good, but didn’t do anything for me. Some guy’s waiting for a boat, some geopolitical stuff I glossed over (IN THE NEAR CYBERFUTURE!?) and some girl that’s got a thing for Lady Snowblood or something. I like to think this is the chapter that leads into your story about that fish-cyborg tranny thing.

Symptomless Coma – you crammed a lot of detail into your story and I’m not sure it worked in your favour. I’m the only one who thinks this, but your #’s made me irate. The story flashes from place to place. Reading it is like having a tiny, dreamlike seizure. I know the #’s are editing marks, but I have this nagging suspicion that your story would be almost illegible without a big hamfisted SCENE BREAK. Super cool ideas, really hope this turns into something sometime. I’d read the gently caress out of it. You clearly have some sort of larger world in mind but you don’t go out of your way to shove it down our throats.
Some purple prose issues, some actions weren’t distinct. If you clean it up and take it to the farm (maybe make it longer?) I’d love to edit it.

Nikaer – I’m really torn on this one. You’re improving and it shows. I wanted to do a line-by-line but said gently caress it. A lot of the stuff I found is more voice related and could be a choice of style. Some words and passages end up being way too descriptive to the point of detracting.
“the rubbery scales”
“showed through like raw layers of skin under a torn scab”
“The chair flew up and down, knocking the end table over and tumbling the clay lamp on top of it to the floor.”

These sentences really bothered me, and probably cost you my vote.

The story, however, is very good. I should have seen the ending coming, but I didn’t. Unlike a vague hand-wavy implication of pedophilia, your character’s actions genuinely shocked me and were believable. Unlike Kaishai, I enjoyed the title of your book AND the sticker. It’s absurd, it’s funny, it makes the story all that much weirder.

Greatbacon – I really liked this. Hit the prompt very well, it was an entertaining read. You are my pick for winner, though the other judges think your story is too bland. I’m always a fan of religious horror-conspiracies, and you did this well. I like how I learned about the character and his personality by reading a book over his shoulder. Atmospheric.

Canadian Surf Club - It was like renting a Japanese smut tape and then finding the last half was missing. Sure, it was enjoyable but at the end I felt cheated. The character’s voices were good, maybe some of the prose was a little too purple.

Sitting Here – Beautiful, atmospheric, sad. Not really sure if it goes anywhere, the last line is enigmatic. Why’s he trying to save ink when he’s drawing? Why wouldn’t one want to waste ink in the city? You’re teasing us with something bigger and I don’t like it.

1. I guess this is a novel way to write things.
2. My this is getting pretty hard to read, I hope the whole thing doesn’t go on like this.
3. This is really mechanical and there’s no feeling to your character. You’re explaining things instead of showing them.
4. I get there’s an old-timey voice, but no one writes so impersonally in their diary.
5. So he loses track of days and you lose the format but keep going with dashes. I didn’t care for that. A sense of place didn’t really
jump out at me, a lot of the descriptions were really confusing. You go on about cupboards and curved walls and hallways and some
library and I’m not really sure what’s going on.

Noah – “was still a thorn in my [x]” is a sequence of words that should not have happened. Your fifth paragraph would do much better as your first. Small waves don’t lap the shore like small ripples. They lap the shore with small ripples or lapped the shore turning into small ripples if you absolutely have to use a poor simile for waves. Infinite horizon is another sequence of words I don’t care for.

“Bernie! The cart’s ready!” Gary shouted. All at once he disengaged and looked back to the group.
This part here breaks the scene. The word ‘disengaged’ has no place here.

I couldn’t look him in the eyes. He just put his hand on my shoulder and walked away. The second to last thing I ever saw of Bernie and the gang was him walking away, with that book hanging by his side.

Repetition in this part. The ending is a sham.

Erogenous Beef – Ha! What an ending! Enjoyable characters, novel premise, even a plot twist right at the end! Well played.
Bad Seafood – Fowl play. Some repetition of words, some of the sentences are clunky and could do with an edit. Pretty strong story, the weird deadguy could be described a little better, had to do a re-read on my first pass. Nothing is explained, it’s a neat vignette though. Who is everyone why should we care? We may never know.

sebmojo – In all my days, I ain’t ever heard no willow clatter. Also gently caress you. This is really good.

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at 00:37 on Apr 9, 2013


autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax

Fun Shoe

I wanted to give the win to go to Erogenous Beef, just to be clear. Picking a winner was really hard, and we doubled back on our pick a whole bunch of times. Before the mechanics of SH's story were explained to me, I didn't care for it that much. I kind of got something was going on with portals and magic but it was pretty vague. Once it was explained to me it was a very good story. I may be dumb. Definitely a story worth expanding. I think the beginning of seb's story didn't catch me as much as I wished it would. Congratulations Sittinghere!

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