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Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

THUNDER
THUNDER
THUNDERDOME HOOOOOOOOOO

THIS WEEK'S EPISODE: XXIII: DIE FOR YOUR POETRY

THIS WEEK'S SUPER COOL AWESOME JUDGES
sebmojo
Bad Seafood
Benagain

The Prompt: Oooh, looky here, buncha whiny bitches all "but I prefer proooooose." Tough poo poo. Your challenge, should you be hard enough to accept it, is to write at least 350 words of poetry but not more than 1000 because that's just showing off.

What will your poetry be about, you ask? The most Thunderdome-y subject of all: DEATH. You must incorporate Death somehow, with one catch. We embrace death in the Thunderdome, and therefore your poetry cannot be morbid. What does morbid mean, you ask? Go find a loving dictionary and figure it out for yourself.

There is also an interesting RULE ADDENDUM. When you sign up, you must PROVIDE A FLASH RULE, which the next person to sign up must use when writing their piece. I will keep an updated list of peeps and flash rules in this op because I trust none of you. Sebmojo will provide the flash rule for the first person to sign up. Failure to provide a flash rule when you sign up will be punished!

SIGN UP DEADLINE 23:59 EST FRIDAY 11/01/2013.
SUBMISSION DEADLINE 23:59 EST SUNDAY 13/01/2013

DEATH ZONE
Warrior: Flash Rule (dickish comments by yrs truly)

SurreptitiousMuffin: Your poem must include a guitar, a tunnel and a juicer. Only internal rhymes.
Noah: Poem must be a sestina
Capntastic: Iambic Pentameter
HiddenGecko: Limerick
budgieinspector: every third line must contain enjambment
swaziloo: Must contain the words "mouth-friend" and "frigorific".
Iroel: Nautical theme with zero birds. FAILURE TO SUBMIT
Canadian Surf Club: Must contain one line that is also a palindrome
V for Vegas: Must begin and end with the same word
toanoradian: Free verse in very short lines divided into syntactical units stanzas of 4 to 8 lines each.
Sitting Here: Include a geologist. (kill him with a rock)
Fanky Malloons: Cannot use the word 'death.'
supermikhail: Must use non-Western funerary rite. (dude you should totally do sky burials)
STONE OF MADNESS: Must feature this picture. http://i.imgur.com/x1LVi.jpg (click through for the link because i'm not breaking my formatting.)
Blackfrost: An acrostic spelling out Only Death Is Real
Symptomless Coma: M-M-MEGA HAIKU
Etherwind: Proper Epic Poetry
Zack_Gochuck: Must have a rhyming scheme, can't use the same rhyme twice.
areyoucontagious: real deal fuckin' ballad
monkeyboydc: Iambic pentameter
Meis: upbeat and optimistic Concrete poetry. FAILURE TO SUBMIT
Your Sledgehammer: written from the perspective of a dying man.
Prolonged Priaprism: Satirical poem
twinkle cave: have at least 5% of their final wordcount (do the math yourself, gumling) comprised of neologisms, or newly coined words. Think Jabberwocky and nonsense verse.

Benagain fucked around with this message at Jan 24, 2013 around 03:48

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Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Noah I will take you on in the noble art of the Thunderbrawl. I'm still pissed about that last loss.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

The way I read the Brawlin rules was that I can't judge it, obvs, but otherwise no restrictions. Not like judging duties take a lot of time during the week itself.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Had you READ my POORLY FORMATTED POST you would have seen that sebmojo will determine your flash rule, when he gets his rear end in here.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

toanoradian posted:

Yo, Benagain, can you put a list of Judges in your challenge post? Just for future reference. Also are we still doing paired crits?

Done. Also paired crits, I'm assuming yes and I'll work out the list once submissions are closed.

Noah posted:

Okay, 3 rounds, you pick the judge.

HiddenGecko, you're my kind of harsh rear end in a top hat. Wanna watch as we flail at each other ineffectively and rate the offensiveness?

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

gently caress yes. So in for this.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Aright, list is finalized, meis I'm pretty sure I hosed up your prompt initially so I'm sorry about that. If you don't see yourself on there or you think your flash prompt is wrong then bitch about it and I might do something.

Edit: I have a job and a social life, which I must now sacrifice for THUNDERDOME.

Benagain fucked around with this message at Jan 12, 2013 around 08:32

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

THUNDERBRAWL

In the finest tradition of monkey duels, watch as I hurl feces at my opponent.

pre:
                                  Night Dawn strips illusions away
                              Darkness, dearpale light forcing them out
                           is when I can love you,muttered lieslovefirst
                          wrapped in dreams and secret empty mimicry of emotions
                       shadows, hands reading soft wordsnot even aches anymore
                      from the curved tome of your bodysleepwalking through
                      drumming soft slow along your spine endless rituals 
                      decipheringyouPlease don't listen,false intimacy,
                       to the lies squirming slowly out.blood on demand 
                        truth comes from dark placesstone heart wants
                             deep in the soul to stop beating
                                  buried please  

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Good my message came through.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

fun fact: i wrote in a gardener and a can, then drank a few beers and cut them.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

I'm here, reading the entries will have a list of crits posted by the end of the day.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Thunderbrawl submission
478 words

Hey jerk. How's it going? Hope you've got a real job in Chicago by now and you're not still blackmailing stage managers to put on your 'act', she writes with deliberate and sarcastic quotation. Don't wind up on a park bench, just come home if you run out of money. I'll give you my spare change to mow the lawn and cut you a very nice deal on the rent. Sorry you were sick! I know how hard it is to deal with the flu by yourself. Don't try to make those poor girls you pick up take care of you, god knows they suffer enough without having to deal with your diseased rear end on top of everything else.

Not much new over here, just the drat cat's dead and I'm trying to figure out how to break the news to Grandma. I've put her off for a couple days because I'm tired and I don't want to deal with the hell she'll raise, remember when the last one croaked? Plus this one is actually kind of my fault and I'm still trying to figure out how to spin it. Some sisterly advice: old cats unable to climb trees should not be left outside no matter how bad they smell. At least not when the coyotes are around. I'm sure you'll use it often.

She just looks so drat expectant, standing over by the scratching post with the catnip out shaking it around going “here kitty kitty” and I feel horrible because half the time I want to bust out laughing and other times I feel like a monster, but then she glares at me and accuses me of selling it to the new neighbors (Mr. and Mrs. Chen, specifically) to support my drug habit and MY GOD I just don't have the energy. Honestly I would've given the drat thing to them if they'd promised to kill it, so the coyotes probably did everyone a favor there. Sometimes I want to 'accidentally' lock her out there too, but I don't think the coyotes would even try to eat her bony rear end. Even if they wanted to she might be able to fight 'em off.

When you're settled more (defined as having both a bed and a couch, NOT A DOG BED LIKE YOU'RE CURRENTLY USING. Can't believe you bring girls home to that.) I'll try to come visit you for a bit. I might be able to get Aunt Marge to look after her for one week, although then I'll have to listen to her whine about the sacrifices she makes for a while. Might be worth it to see the city though.

I miss you, rear end in a top hat. Don't get stabbed to death, don't try to sell your body (Not that anyone would buy it) and good luck chasing your dreams. Write me back soon.

Love,
Your sister.

Benagain fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2013 around 19:10

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Sitting here your poem was good. I apologize for the crit delays but everything sucks for all of us and we're just going to have to move through the endless gray wastes of our lives one futile step at a time through sheer inertia, hope having died long ago.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

In. LET THE RITUAL poo poo TALKING BEGIN.

This is so right up my alley and I will utterly destroy you all.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Welp I'm an rear end in a top hat. Thank god I'm used to the feeling of crippling shame.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

In, and I actually mean it this time instead of "In but I will drink for three nights straight instead of working."

Edit: good now I also have an av to work off.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Dao of the range
521 words

They found Josh leaning against a rock at the bottom of a gulch, one boot propped up on a tortoise. Both appeared equally resigned to their situation. The posse approached cautiously, an unspoken agreement meaning that no one went and fired off their gun or hollered like a drat fool, every man creeping respectfully closer. No one wanted to disturb him unduly, after all. There was a bit of an awkward shuffle because of that since no one wanted to speak first, but the

Angus was the one who finally cleared his throat and approached the supine outlaw.

“We've come for you, Josh,” he said, somewhat abashedly. “What with you comittin' the murders and all, well, we've been sent here to bring you in."

Josh tipped his hat and looked at Angus like he was seeing him for the first time.

“Izzat so?” he said.

Angus and the rest all went silent again, waiting to see if he was going to say anything else. When it was apparent that Josh felt he'd produced sufficient verbage for the day, Angus uncoiled the rope around his waist and stepped forward to bind his hands.


* * *

They took him into town as respectfully as they could, under the circumstances and all. He was still walking behind a horse, tied to the saddle as the law and custom demanded they return a murderer, but it was a slow horse, and a long rope, and they had him up front instead of kicking through the dust in back.

He approached the scaffold as he approached everything else in life; calmly, neither resigned to his fate nor anticipating it. It stood tall and proud in the town square, clean cut and well joined. The crowds gathered around to watch were mostly silent, jostling a little, but there were a few catcalls, a few harsh words.

“Bout time you followed them to the grave, you fucker!” someone yelled, someone else hushing them almost immediately.

Josh just looked out at the crowd. “Izzat so?” he said calmly, and pushed a spurt of tobacco juice between his teeth.

* * *

Preacher Beth was on hand to give the last rites.

“Brother,” she intoned, “for even though you've committed grievous crimes against us, still we will call you brother. You have strayed, and we have brought you back, and although we punish your body now it is in hopes that your soul will be shrived and sent to a place where a higher power than any of us can possibly comprehend can judge you.” She paused for a moment, laid her hand tenderly on Josh's brow. “The door beneath your feet will soon open and send you to a better world. Think on this and be calm.”

Josh squinted against the glare of the sun. The noose itched around his neck, perfectly measured and tight. A bird wheeled in the distance. Two hundred odd souls watched in perfect stillness.

“Izzat so?” he whispered.

The snap of the rope echoed for longer than it should have.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

In.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Lucky
761 words

“We are social creatures, Mr. Lee, and we are in large part defined by the web of relationships we build. Who we associate with does not just inform our character, it in large part defines it.” She tapped Lee briskly on the chest. “You’re not as stupid as you look, Mr. Lee.” She circled around him slowly.. “Yet you make some unfortunate choices in who you surround yourself with. Your company suggests you are an absolute poo poo.”

Lee grinned nervously as he felt the razor slowly begin to find some purchase in the zip tie binding his hands. Keep them focused on your face. “Can’t argue with that,” he said as cheerfully as he could. “She’s definitely been going out of her way to piss everyone off lately.”

“I resent that,” Stef said, her voice muffled by the bag over his head. “I haven’t been trying to hurt anyone, circumstances entirely outside of my control have been….motherfucker!” she yelled as one of their guards leaned forward and almost delicately backhanded her.

“Shut up,” Rex said, patiently.

The Dragon leaned back and regarded him coldly. “Light-heartedness in the face of danger is an admirable coping mechanism but it can be taken too far. Accept the reality of your situation and focus on the offer I'm making you.” She didn’t say “Because that’s the only way you’re walking out of here alive,” but on the other hand she didn’t really have to. Chen was idly playing with a knife right behind her.

Even if she kills me, I’m going to enjoy this. The last strands parted and his fingers automatically griped the plastic enough to keep it from falling. He slumped slightly into the chair and sighed. “Aright,” he sighed. “Promise me Stef lives and we both walk away from this. I’ll do it.”

“Don’t you loving …gaah! gently caress! gently caress!” Stef yelped as Rex leaned back.

“Told you to shut up,” he said, calmly.

The Dragon ignored it all. “Good. Good. I admire resistance but everyone should know when they’re beaten.” She leaned in closer. “Tell me, are you really so attached to her that you’d give up” and that was when he whipped his hands around and took her by the neck and threw her into Rex. To his credit Rex was already moving but the split second it took him to grab the Dragon was enough for to dive at Stef and knock her to the ground as the knife flew over them.

He sliced her bonds quick, but Chen already had his gun out and Rex was drawing his and all he could do was cover her with his body and hope the bullets would maybe slow down a little and that was when Pat decided to finally make her presence known by driving through the warehouse gate with a truck.
Give the goons credit, they reacted smoothly and scattered, Rex grabbing the Dragon and doing a fine job as a bodyguard while Chen whipped around and aimed his gun at the cab, squeezed out a few desperate shots trying to off her. She put the truck into a tight spin and managed to catch him with the better part of a truck bed, sent him flying. She poked her head out of the cab with an amazed expression.
“Holy poo poo, did you guys see that?!” she yelled enthusiastically.

“You were supposed to be here twenty minutes ago!” Lee roared as he picked himself off the floor and threw Stef into the back seat before diving in himself. “The gently caress happened to your renowned sense of punctuality!” Stef was in the middle of one her standard cursing tirades and had to interrupt herself to scream out “you were expecting this? you deranged fucks!” before going into further detail about their ancestry (poor) and the length of time they could expect to survive once she’d taken the hood off her head and managed to find a weapon (short.) Fortunately, by that time Rex was already trying to kill them and Pat floored it before he could get an accurate bead, sending Stef tumbling into the back seat as bullets whizzed just over Lee's head.

“Where the gently caress were you!” Lee yelled.

Pat just flipped him the bird in response. Stef continued to curse a blue streak in the back. Lee held on to the oh-poo poo bar as best he could. The night closed around them, and they were gone.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

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Stone of Madness I was glad to fail utterly in this because that was a really good teachable moment so at least it wasn't a pointless death.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

I'm in.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Sitting Here posted:

FLASH RULE and preferably an all the time rule:

Don't open your story with a description of the weather unless the weather is passionately making love to one of your protagonists as an expression of years of commitment.

No rain pouring/pounding/pattering, no wind raging/howling/whistling, no skies churning or suns beaming/shining.

You can use weather anywhere else in the piece but for god's sake this is a story not the 5 o'clock news. Don't open with weather.

No one did this...yet....but just don't.

As the tornado bore down on them, howling like a thousand lost souls, Linda turned to Bob and said "I think it's time I told you how much our relationship has meant to me."

"Cool," Bob said. "I feel the same way. Let us express our feelings in a physical manner while we still have time."

"Agreed," said Linda. They clung to each other in a passionate embrace, and the 2x4 that killed them mere seconds later pinned both their hearts together.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Revolutionary love
856 words.

The sun was setting when she came for him. She knew he’d appreciate it. They were keeping him at the top of a tower just then, in an old room whose purpose was forgotten. The guard waved her past without seeming to care too much. Sloppy. Not her concern anymore, though, and what was he going to do?
She opened the door without knocking, saw him sitting with his back to the door, staring out over the city, one arm draped behind him over the back of the chair.

“I was beginning to think I’d never see you again,” he said.

“President Genet,” she said, presenting the bottle she’d carried up, “I’ve come to get shitfaced with you before your execution.”

He grinned, straightened to attention and took it from her as formally as he could with a broken arm. “Minister Duclan, I am delighted to accept your offer. My only condition is that we talk about old times like the nostalgic fools we vowed never to become.”

“Eh, vows,” she said, grabbing a chair from the pile and dragging it towards the window. “God knows we’ve broken enough of those that one more won’t matter.”

“True. No glasses?”

“I’m sorry, are you bitching about the alcohol I just climbed thirty stories to bring you?”

“No, just admiring your commitment to creating the proper air for this kind of thing. Takes me back. Hold on,” he grabbed the bottle with his good arm and began worrying the cork free with his teeth.

She stood there and watched him with a raised eyebrow. “Having fun?”

He let out a satisfied grunt as the cork came free and then spat it across the room. “Tons, thank you.” He held the bottle up. “To a better world,” he intoned, and took a swig.

She snorted as he sat down heavily next to her. “That does take me back.”

“I think that was the first thing I heard you say, back at those student meetings. Here.”

“Thanks. Yeah, that sounds about the right mix of idealistic idiocy and college drunkenness.”

“You say that like you got less idealistic over the years.”

“Less idiotic, at least.”

“Well, I would challenge that, but you did manage to organize that coup,” he said wryly.

“You’re still going on about that?”

He shrugged, and they passed the bottle back and forth for a while, staring out the window at the city below.

“Remember the first time we were raided?” he said suddenly.

She thought for a moment. “Police or the army?”

“Police. I mean the very first time.”

“Oh, with the newspaper! Hah! Cowering like rabbits under a desk while a handful of bored officers made a sweep for 'offensive material.'
“Wasn't the only thing we were doing like rabbits, as I recall,” he said, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.

“That,” she said, swinging the bottle in his direction expansively, “was a poor decision encouraged by fear.”

“What about the other times?” he asked laughing, as he tried to wrestle the bottle from her hand.

“Horrible mistakes! All of them! You were a lousy lay, always composing speeches in your head while you went down on me.”

“Wait, you could tell?” he said, dropping his hands with exaggerated shock.

“Of course I could tell, you started mouthing them while you were down there! it was like lip reading,” she said with a dismissive wave. She kept a perfectly straight face for a bit, then they both cracked at the same time and laughed uproariously.

“Ahhh, you're still so full of poo poo. That hasn't changed at least,” he said.

“And you're still poo poo in bed.”

“Lies! There has to be something that keeps you coming back. Even after you married that rear end in a top hat you used my body a few times.”

“See, then I was just attracted to your power.”

“More lies, I never had any power.”

“Well, at first you had some.” She sighed. “After that you were just one of the few people still willing to grapple with an old hag.”

“Oh please,” he said, grabbing the bottle from her, “if you're going to be self-pitying leave.” He took la swig, then wiped his mouth off with his arm. “You're a...you're...” he struggled for a second, a look of mild concern on his face as he tried to pull the words out. His limbs shook slightly, the bottle slipped out of his hands. “Whaas...poison?” he managed.

“Yeah.”

“But...”

“I got it too, you just drank like a pig, as usual,” she said tiredly, slumping back into the chair a bit. “I wasn't going to let them hang you. And I'm not going to hang around here after you're gone.”

He slid off the chair onto the floor and she followed, lying down next to him and holding him as the shaking continued. Her vision was starting to blur a bit and her limbs were beginning to feel heavy.

“We're going to a better world,” she whispered.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

In, Libra.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

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I'm shaming myself and dropping out at the last minute. I'd give reasons, but excuses don't matter in the thunderdome.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Edit: Whoop, missed the deadline by an entire 12 hours. Never mind and good luck to all competitors.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Quest
1281 words

I'd just gotten off the train when I stumbled into the quest. On my way to work, merging seamlessly into the mass of humanity heading towards their various places of employment, when a homeless guy leaps out in front of me and starts ranting about something or other. Honestly I barely even noticed it the first time, just ducked my head and kept walking, but then he popped up in front of me again. I got a snatch of what he was saying this time.

“Doom! Doom is befalling this city!” Okay, I think, standard homeless guy rant. Motor on past him, wait for the light, cross the street, and he pops up again, waving his arms, spit flying everywhere. “Dire portents abound! The binding seals deep within” Jesus Christ this guy just will not shut up. I try to ignore him extra hard as I move past, really let him know how much I'm not paying attention to him. But here he is again! “Forces are even now being set into motion that will remake this entire world!” Then he dropped the bomb. “You have been chosen to right this!” he screamed, pointing directly at me.

I stopped dead, people flowing around me. “Ohhhhhh no. You're a Merlin? Is this a loving quest?”

He started jumping from one foot to the other in excitement now that he'd gotten my attention. Around us, everyone looked up sharply at the q-word and then gave us more space. No one wanted to get sucked in.

“Yes!” he cried, “Yes! You will go on a journey to distant wilds and the bowels of the earth! You...”

“God-dammit,” I said, cutting him off in mid rant. “Hold on.” I pulled out my phone and started punching in the number to work. “Because of course this had to happen, I'm just so naturally lucky....Brian? Hey, it's Jess. Look, I just got a quest. Yeah. How important?” I covered the speaker. “Hey, one to ten, how, uh, doom-y is this?”

“Woe! Woe upon us all if the balance is not restored, woe upon this miserable..”

“Yeah, yeah, Brian? Sounds pretty important, don't think I can ditch it. Yes. Yes I know I'm out of vacation days, can I just take a sick day to cover this? Well yes I know HR doesn't like that but I don't have much of a choice. Look, it's not as if I scheduled this, just caught it on the street. Okay. Well go ahead and make the note but please put that it was due to circumstances outside my control. Okay. Thank you.” I hung up and stared at the sky for a second, then shook my head. “Christ, what an rear end in a top hat.”

I turned toward the Merlin. “Aright, let's get this over with.”

* * *

He led me to a park, people avoiding us the whole way since I basically had a giant neon sign over me saying QUESTING, INTERACT WITH ME TO BECOME INVOLVED.

“You must complete three tasks!” he said, walking down the path quickly enough that I had to jog a bit to keep up with him. “First, you must aid the Pigeon King! Second, you must slay the dread Squamous! Thirdly, you must reinvigorate the tree at the heart of the city!”

“I don't suppose you're going to tell me how I'm supposed to do any of that, right?”

“No I will not!” he said triumphantly. “Because I have no idea!”
“Can you tell me where to go, at least?

“Yes! There!” he said, pointing shakily at a large flock of pigeons just to our right.

I was ready to get this over with so I just walked over and stood nearby. None of them looked particularly regal so I just cleared my throat and addressed them all.

“Hello, I'm here to help the Pigeon King?”

They all swiveled their heads to stare at me simultaneously, giving me some serious heebie-jeebies in the process. Then one especially large one strutted forward and gave me the most arrogant look I've seen on a pigeon before or since.

“Greetings, your majesty,” I said, unsure of how to address the lord of flying rats and trying to keep it simple.

The bird eyed me for a second, then cooed imperiously and fluttered over towards a park bench with an old woman on it. It landed on top of her and cooed a few more times.

Okay, so it wanted me to help her or something? I walked over and tapped her on the shoulder. “Miss? Hi, the pigeon that landed on you is...Miss?” She wasn't responding so I leaned a bit closer. “Miss....oh my god she's dead.” I jumped back. “Oh my god.” I whipped out my phone and was about to dial 911 when I noticed that his highness had flapped onto her lap and was pecking at something in her hands.

“Hey, stop that,” I said, then had a horrible realization when I saw that she was holding a jar of seeds.

“You want me to pry that from her hands, don't you.” I said.

The pigeon cooed.

* * *

One necrotic grappling session later, I was re-evaluating my stance that I was basically a nice person. Thankfully my Merlin was already moving on to my next task.

“Climb down into this sewer!” he yelled.

“I hate this quest.”


* * *
“TREMBLE, puny mortal!” bellowed the creature rearing up in front of me. “Tremble at the sight of the Squamous! Long have I lain coiled in the noisome depths beneath your city, and now I seek to journey to the other side of existence! Therefore you must, hang on,” it said, bending down an eye stalk. “You're not wearing heels.”

“Why does that matter?” I demanded.

“Because that was how you were supposed to kill me. It was why I specifically requested a female,” he said, a bit petulantly I thought.

“I'm a bank teller, I'm on my feet all day.”

“Look, do you have anything at all that you could use to kill me? ”

“Uhhh. Hold on, think I've got a nail file in here somewhere,” I said, rummaging through my purse.

“A nail file? Is it sharp?”

I waggled my hand. “Ish.”

“Fantastic. I'm about to be killed by a sharp-ish object. Well, might as well get this over with,” it said, bending down. “There's a soft spot right behind my third head.”

* * *

I don't know if you've ever wanted to kill a netherbeast with a nail clipper but I can assure you it's horrifying. It was a hemophilliac, for one thing. So when I climbed out of the sewer I was not feeling my freshest. I was scrubbing my hands on my jeans as hard as possible and wishing I'd remembered to pick up more hand sanitizer. Some paramedics had finally arrived and were wheeling the corpse away.

“So what's next?” I asked grimly. “Where's this tree?”

The Merlin let out a crazed laugh. “The tree is already saved! By generously helping your fellow inhabitants, you have preserved this city from a moral decay that would have destroyed its proverbial heart! The moral was empathy the entire time!”

I stared for a second, then kicked him in the balls as hard as I could. Spent the rest of the day dealing with the cops after he pressed assault charges.

I hate quests.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

I'm in, I either need to lose horribly to properly justify this avatar or win gloriously to get rid it. I'm tired of being one of the great unwashed.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Hey judges next time if you want something adhering to a strict definition howzabout you provide that poo poo instead of saying "LOOK IT UP ON THE INTERNET CHUCKLEFUCKS" s'like just telling a dog to go fetch something and then yelling at it when it brings back a dead squirrel instead of the newspaper.

We're the abused dogs in this metaphor.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Sitting
485 words

“Weather's rough and getting' rougher, ma'am!” said Dorter over the sounds of the storm, as he dogged down the hatch behind him. He turned towards Barret and ripped off a salute in the sudden quiet. “Everything that should be down is down, everything still up is proper secured.”

“Good man,” Barret said, idly tapping her chin with her sea pipe, the one she wouldn't mind losing. “Any new orders?”

“No ma'am. Three hours out at this rate. Rest of the fleet's beginning the dive,” said Gerta.

“Well then. Take us down with them and put it on auto when we hit cruise depth. Dorter, get some coffee ready. We'll sit when it's done.”

They arranged themselves in a cramped circle, the auto-pilot chugging them along under the surface. Three chairs, three cups of coffee, three wisps of steam dancing into the air.

Gerta went first. “It's a year from now, and I'm dead,” she said, taking a sip. “I died today. Dog's being taken care of by the boyfriend and has utterly forgotten about me. Boyfriend's probably found someone new and better looking. He sold off some of my paintings to make rent and it turns out that I'm supremely talented. I'll be featured in a gallery exhibition and people will loudly curse that I was taken to soon from this world. It's a year from now, and I'm famous.” She was grinning by the end, trying and failing to hide it behind the cup.

Dorter was frowning but Barret let it slide. First timers tended not to take it too seriously.

“It's a year from now, and I'm dead,” he said. He was staring into his cup. “I died today. Kids are doing fine. Benefits are going to a trust fund so the ex can't get her paws on 'em. My brother got the old house and the property and moved his family there. My nieces play on the swing all the time.” He shook his his head briefly. “Fool wouldn't take money from me while I was alive. It's a year from now and my family's doing fine.”

Barret was silent for a bit after he'd finished. Gerta was looking slightly more solemn and she wanted the feeling to sink in.

“It's a year from now, and I'm dead,” she finally said. “I died today. I died doing my duty. I died following orders. The operation was successful.” She looked straight at Gerta, caught her eyes and held them. “It's a year from now. I'm not a hero. I've got a nice empty grave with a nice marker over it.” She shrugged, leaned back a bit. “People remember that I died doing my duty.”

They were all silent, after that. Sitting and thinking about a future without them, as they carried on under the waves towards it.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

In to win.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

In. House on maple street.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

I'm in.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Jesus, I think my flake out count is something like five now? Not a good number. Whatever. New job, new life, new writing comitment. I will be taking Qin Shi Huang.

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Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Aright. Still wearing my badge of shame which I have vowed to undo honorably. In.

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