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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
I'm in. Scrolling up I see that gives me Toanoradian's rule.

Flash rule: cannot include the word 'death'


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
This was much harder than it ought to have been. Poetry is the elephant in my room.

Flash rule: Must contain a geologist

I didn't kill mine, instead I took inspiration from a founding father of modern geology and the idea of deep time.

Time Vaster than Death
~385 words

Death waits like the jaws
of a shark at the bottom of a rowboat
tipped on end.
Between sweat-soaked sheets at night,
you contemplate
how everyone you know will die.
Their neurons will go dim
and the latticework shadow that makes up their very selves
will dissolve and run like ink
into a drain beneath the great faucet of inevitability.

But lest ye despair:
James Hutton was a man
who's long since met that dark and endless end.
First a farmer, then a turner of stones,
he found death in the bed of every creek, river and gorge.
Man thought the world young
in James Hutton's day, young enough to fit inside
our pocketbook minds.
It was off the coast of Berwickshire that a different tale was told,
not a tale of man but that of stone
and detritus
and ruin
and decay.

Once, a continent bled mud and sand
onto the floor of an ancient sea, sedentary grit
like so much sloughed off skin,
a slurry of things not living and things deceased.
James Hutton,
when he looked upon the rocky shore,
saw a wrinkle
in the gown of great mother earth, one wrinkle
from one swirl
of her green and blue ball gown and stole of clouds,
one turn in her long and stately dance.

Deep time,
James Hutton named the rhythm of the planet's slow song,
and he traced her steps backward
through plodding, calamitous prehistory. Whole lands
swallowed back into mother's skirts,
children called home by the light of her fiery core
to pay the debt of their birth.

And so there you sweat, and there you agonize
in a world of concrete, wood and petrol,
that your essence will someday not be your own,
that your life is so sacred,
that your love is so profound, that you should continue
where all else is given back
into mother earth's fold. One hundred thousand pictures embroidered
in the pattern of her dress,
and you've been them, you'll be them
as strata in stone,
as lichen and moss; as the mud between a child's toes
in generations to come,
and sandstone in sublime and majestic cliffs.

Living and dying, we feed the dance
and as James Hutton penned: We find no vestige of a beginning,
no prospect of an end.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
1a)Been away from the 'dome mostly, sorry about that I know everyone was fretting of course.

1b)I am In for the next round

2)Hidden Gecko I will have your crit in a bit

3a)Slightly surprised my poem got a positive mention in judgement, gonna go blow myself now.


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

Martello posted:

1a. I was fretting. :(
1b. I'm in dismay because you didn't answer my last email.
2. HiddenGecko is a Hun.
3a. I didn't read it but it probably did suck.
3b. Mine are huge and made of solid tungsten. Just a PSA.

I'm sorry I can't hear you over the clanging of your tungsten nuts, all I hear when you talk is BALLS BALLS BALLS

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
OK here is my poetry critique, poetry critiques are hard.

HiddenGecko posted:

Dem Bones, Dem Dry Boners

Flash Rule: Must be a limerick
(197 words)

And on that tawdry night ran the skeleton How is a night tawdry?
Through the abbey and right into the fountain.
Pardon me maam I've lost my head
But I think thats better left unsaid.I don't know if limericks have any special conventions about dialog/commentary, but this bit is confusing because it's not immediately clear if it's the skeleton is speaking or someone else.
Oh my, what a scamp, that little demon!

Right down the road ran that tawdry skeleton Ok so now the skeleton is tawdry? Repetition of words in poetry can add to the effect or bring home an idea, but here it reads like maybe you really like the word tawdry alot
Every pub in town was made to hearken.
Maam! Pleasure to see you on the stool
A lady of your caliber is no fool.
Im just lonely, cant a lady get a swig of bourbon?So is this a lady skeleton? Is this skeleton hitting on ladies? In my very limited understanding of what a limerick should be, there's kind of a setup in the first 2 lines, then lines 3 and 4 introduce a "plot twist" or some some humorous angle. Then the last line wraps it all up. I'm sure there's lots of variations on this, but each stanza is a little hard to follow because they don't quite hit that sharp, witty image that limericks are good at.

A bone white finger signaled the barman
The skeleton acted the part of a bachelor.
Oh this ring? Were divorced maam
Stay those heaving bosoms. The bartender's heaving bosoms?
Why I never, barman! another oily toucan!hmmmm guess not

Somewhere in the night a hat appears
On top of the bone white head it leers.
Come home with me tonight my lady
And dont think me creepy
Im leaving, Im calling the police! Stop those jeers!

The skeleton left alone that night, back to his grave
Feeling right pauper and a little bit knave.
The morning is upon me, it beams and smokes!<So the above three lines are probably my favorite because they feel the most "limericky," but then you kind of let it down with the last 2 lines because they don't really fit as well rhythmically, and I'm still not sure who'se supposed to be talking in the last line of each verse.
I guess Ill go lay down with my kinfolks.
He just wasn't my type officer, and he just wouldn't behave!

So I like the idea of a skeleton running through a city trying to get his bone on. The problem is that in a lot of places, it seems like you went for a cheap/approximate rhyme, or no rhyme at all in some cases. And the rhythm. I read a bunch of limericks today to get a feel for them, and while there are a lot of writers who do all kinds of substitutions (even anti-limericks, apparently), some of the stanzas in this piece would fit unobtrusively in a free verse poem.

"A bone white finger signaled the barman
The skeleton acted the part of a bachelor.
Oh this ring? Were divorced maam
Stay those heaving bosoms.
Why I never, barman! another oily toucan!"

Limericks are traditionally bawdy poems so you nailed that in subject matter, but missed the opportunity for wordplay and double entendre that I think this form lends itself to. I had a little trouble figuring out what was going on at some points because each stanza feels like a set of seperate images/ideas, and it's not always implict what's going on, especially with the unmarked, unsourced dialog that seems to come from both the skeleton and the ladies he's evidently hitting on.

Did you read this to yourself out loud at all? It might have helped with the very un-limerick-like meter.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
I preemptively in'd myself, but just in case S. Muffin has better things to do than browse my posts in this thread I am in

Also it is cool to brand our comrades with Thunderdome avatars, that we might know each other by the marks on our flesh as we mingle with the weak and unblooded.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Too legit to crit

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
I used rules 1 and 4, mainly 4 insofar as I completely "cut" one story and wrote another one at the last possible second. Oh well.

Mother's Day
1729 words

The call came at seven PM on a Sunday. Mom wasn't doing good, dad said. A pulmonary embolism, complicated by existing lung disease from a lifetime of smoking. I sat with my head in my hands for a while after I hung up the phone, emotions too mixed to name. My father was in good health, fit and agile for a sixty-four year old man. My mother had always regretted having kids young, and spent her midlife greedily reclaiming the youth I took from her.

So I sat. Until the guilt and anxiousness were like klaxons drowning out all of my other thoughts. She was dying, that was the truth of it. People don't get better at her age, they just die slower or faster. Life without her wouldn't be so different, but the thought of her suffering through each breath, wondering until the last moment if she would see her daughter again made my heart clench and my eyes blur with tears.

I'd told my father I would make the three hour drive to St. Vincent hospital that night. Wind buffeted me on the way to the car and the road was already white with a thin dusting of snow. I worried vaguely about my own safety, but in that moment it felt like such a small thing when my mother, my mother, was dying in a hospital bed.

The storm caught up to me three miles outside of Moncton, a sleepy little mill town in the basin of a river valley. Soon there was no difference between the snow falling from the sky and the snow swirling on the ground. My headlights were worse than useless.

When I saw the sign that said 'lodging,' I turned without thinking. It was a handsome bed and breakfast, perched on a hillside that probably offered a lovely view of the town in the summer. My car barely made it up the long drive, which was completely covered in fresh snow, and my heart sank when I didn't see any other vehicles parked outside the little inn.

Still, a light was on in one of the windows. Better to try my luck than resign myself to sleeping in the car, I thought.

A small plaque by the front stair named the place as Gran's, which I decided was encouraging. I tried the door and found it unlocked. The foyer was warm and inviting, cluttered with knickknacks and a lectern holding what looked to be a guestbook.

"Just a minute," a woman's voice called, reedy with age. She shuffled around the corner and stopped when she saw me, putting a hand to her mouth.

"Excuse me, are you closed?" I took a step back toward the door.

"Oh, no, no." She rushed forward and took my hand, guiding me into a nicely appointed kitchen with a crackling woodstove. "I'm sorry, I thought you were my daughter when I first saw you." She shook her head as if to clear it. "Age does these things."

"I'm told I have one of 'those' faces," I said lightly. She didn't smile. "Look, my car is completely stuck out there. I just need somewhere to crash until this blows over."

At that she brightened. "You can have the run of the place, sweetheart. It's been a slow season, and I don't think anyone will be out tonight. Except you."

I sat on a stool next to the woodstove. "Yeah. My mom..." Suddenly the words were too hard to say. The old woman seemed to intuit the rest; she busied herself with a pot of tea, then pulled up a chair by the stove. We sat in companionable silence for several minutes.

"So are you Gran?" I asked at length.

"Abigail. Gran was my mother, Lila. She originally meant this place to go to my daughter Therese, but," she looked up at me through thinning eyelashes, "here I am."

I stared into my tea. "I can't imagine what it must be like to lose a child."

"Did your mother pass?" Abigail asked softly.

I shook my head. "Not yet."

"Then you were willing to go out into this storm, to do anything to be there with her?"

I gave a despairing laugh. "I guess not. I'm here."

"When you would do anything, any futile or vile thing to be with that person again, then you'll know what it's like to lose a child."

There was nothing to say to that, so I didn't try. When she stood to refill my tea I didn't object, hypnotized by the fire and lost in thoughts of my mother. Her face seemed to swim in the flames, gasping and straining. I struggled to keep my eyes open, more tired than I had a right to be. My head swam.

"I'm sorry mom, I have to go to bed," I murmured. The whole world shifted and I was seconds in realizing that I was on the floor.

"I know, sweetheart," Abigail said above me. One of her feet dangled near my face, and my world dwindled to the size of the polka dots on her slipper. Then I slept.

I fought consciousness. Through a haze I could feel that my body was bruised in a thousand places, and that I was naked. The floor felt different, damp and cool like packed earth. Finally, I opened my eyes, for all the good it did.

Total darkness. I struggled to my knees, head pounding with each heartbeat, and blindly groped until my hand collided with rough metal. Bars. My heart raced faster as I felt around my cage. It was five by five feet at most, with one side made completely of cement. I hadn't expected an exit; there wasn't one.

I sank back down into the fetal position, not wanting to believe or even acknowledge my circumstances. Again I saw my mother, this time in the black behind my eyelids. Or were my eyes open? Was I seeing or dreaming?

Abigail. The night came back to me in a rush of vague memories. The tea. She'd dosed it with something, of course. Her gnarled hands under my arms dragging me across the floor. Stairs digging into my back.

Time passed and Abigail didn't return. I clutched myself against the cold and prayed and bargained and imagined what I would say to her when she came for me.

Eventually I had to pee, to my dismay. There was nothing for it except to crouch in the corner of my cage and try to aim outward. After hours of silence, the sound was deafening.

Something rustled in the darkness of the room beyond. I wedged myself against the back wall, as far away from the edges of the cage as I could get.

"Abigail?" I whispered.

Several beats of silence, then: "...Amaaa? Ah?" The rustling came again, closer. "Ah? Ah?" I felt the wind of a limp reaching through the bars and put my hand in my mouth to keep from whimpering. "Amahama ah, ah?" The thing moved around the cage, garbling inquisitively. I held perfectly still, only breathing when my lungs absolutely screamed for air.

After an eternity the thing gave a frustrated moan and shuffled back to the other side of the room. I sat against the wall, knees drawn close to my chest, and stared straight ahead. This is hell, I thought. I died in a car crash and this is where girls who don't visit their mothers enough go...

Then came the sound of a latch lifting, and brilliant daylight shone down into a squalid basement. Abigial hobbled down a flight of stairs with a lantern in her hand and snowflakes trailing behind her.

"Ama, ama, ama, ama," the thing chanted in its maimed voice. Skeletal, draped with loose hanging flesh, the desiccated corpse of a young woman dragged itself to Abigail's feet.

"I know, sweetheart. You've almost used this one all up. But look, I found someone new. She even looks like you."

"Abigail! Please, I have to see my mother. Please just let me go see my mom, ok?"

Abigail raised her lantern to peer at me, then made a clucking noise. "I'm going to have to wash you off now, you know," she said, noticing the pool in the corner of my cage. The thing pulled itself over

to the bars, skin rasping like sandpaper on the floor of the basement, and made a haphazard grab for my ankle.

"Move back, Therese," Abigail said. She'd traded her lantern for a bucket of water. It was so cold it burned when she sluiced me down, and I recoiled into the far corner of the cage.

"Why are you doing this?" I sobbed. "What the gently caress is this?"

Abigail said nothing, but went to a work bench and picked up a long, ornate looking dagger and knelt. Therese, or something like her, wriggled over and rolled onto her back like a trained animal. And then Abigail plunged that knife into the corpse's belly, drawing it upward toward the solar plexus.

The body ripped, its whole abdomen splitting, dry, dead meat falling away from bone to reveal a beating heart sheltered in a cage of ribs.

And here was I, a living body in a cage of iron.

When you would do anything, any futile or vile thing to be with that person again...

Abigail gently lifted the heart from the body and set it on a tray, still beating. "Your mother

will not have to grieve you," she said to me, and pulled a tranquilliser gun from a rack on the wall. "I refuse to grieve my daughter." She loaded the dart and aimed.

"Please let me see my mother," I whispered.

"You will," Abigail said, and fired.

I woke in one of the guest rooms, little worse for wear except for a long scab running down the length of my sternum. Sun shone in through cracks in the curtain, and the inn smelled like delicious breakfast.

I padded downstairs to the kitchen where the woodstove already burned merrily and mother was busy over a skillet flipping bacon. I kissed her weathered old cheek, then stretched, testing the new body that looked so much like how she remembered me, young and fair-haired and blue-eyed.

Yes, I thought. This body will keep mother happy for a long time.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
IDK if it's cool to fix spacing, but I posted mine when I was half asleep and I see some goofy spacing that I didn't catch in preview. If it's not cool then judges please use your imaginations thanks.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

twinkle cave posted:

DOMERS - Just to be clear, I'm not the only judge. Someone who I put to death can win, as the other two judges may correct my idiotic rants, finding the diamond that I thought was rough. But for the sake of ease, you're going to see how I voted as I do crits, if I do crit yours.

You're the only judge in my heart.

I haven't had the pleasure of a twinkle cave crit but keep doing your thing

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
I am In for this week.

budgieinspector posted:

Sitting Here -- "Mother's Day"

Another near-nod. NOTE TO NEWBS: Notice how the people who took every last second to submit turned in more solid results, on the whole? Whether it's because they took the extra time to polish their stories, or lingered over first-draft ideas, or scrapped everything and rewrote, or even if they didn't get around to it until the eleventh hour, but are just that badass--it's not a coincidence. Take as much goddamn time as you can get away with.

This story begs for third-person. The end reveal? Yeah, third-person. Rewrite and shop it.

Yeah this is of the "spend all week lovingly crafting a pile of poo poo then scrap the whole thing at 8PM Saturday night" variety. Sometimes you just have to delete days of work, get drunk, kick your significant other out of the room for a while, and blindly mash the keyboard in panic.

I am a strong believer in writing The Bad Version, and as budgieinspector says, you need time. Time to write the bad version, time to see that it IS the bad version, and then (a small amount of) time to write the hopefully-somewhat-decent version.

Congrats Capntastic! The best thing about Thunderdome is the people who fight their way up in the ranks and then earn victory. I agree that you wrote a worthy story, and am pleased to announce that the bar for getting any approval from your comrades is now higher!

Also to our newly appointed glorious beloved despot neonnoodle, be gentle with the Thunderdome :ohdear:

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
West time is the best time. Y'all in my timezone now.

edit: I wish my avatar text linked to this thread instead of the goldmined one. That way when I'm spamming the rest of the forums with worthless content I can be recruiting new fodder.

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 17:04 on Jan 26, 2013

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

Martello posted:

Maybe try clicking your own avatar link instead of being a giant retard baby...:rolleyes:


Btw thanks (I think) to Neon

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
IDK what is with my mom-themed writing lately. My mom is a cool lady. Anyway. Cutting it close as always.

Theme: The consequences of a truth/lie.

(Liar liar)Girl on Fire
1495 words

"I was under the bridge trying to sleep," Nicolette told the police officers. "I'm not from here, so I didn't know...anyway, two guys came up and started trying to pull my clothes off, hold me down." She swallowed. "I don't know how long that went on. I must have screamed because then someone, this girl, came running down from the road with her cell phone out. Guess she was calling 911 or something. Ran right into the guys and knocked them off of me." Nicolette paused, looked down at her lap.

"And then what happened?" One of the officers prompted gently.

"I think--I think, like I said. They were shocked for a second, but then they both turned on her. There was no time to think, they were hurting her for real, not just trying to--to do what they were doing with me. I saw red and tried to fight them off her but they were way bigger than both of us and--and--"

She buried her face in her hands. There was the sound of a tissue box sliding across the desk.

"Honestly I didn't see what happened to her. I tried to help but one guy dragged me off and I must have passed out or got hit in the head or something because next thing I knew, it was early morning and I didn't know where I was or what'd happened. I started piecing it together and went back to get my stuff, but by then it was a crime scene. That's when I knew I needed to come to you."

Nicolette looked up at the officers and tried to read the looks on their faces. Both were frowning, though if it was a compassionate frown or otherwise she couldn't say.

"And you don't remember what the two men look like at all?"

Nicolette shook her head, then regretted it. The head wound wasn't a lie, at least. "You saw the scene. It's dark under that bridge at night."

The officers, a man and a woman, exchanged a look. The woman, whose badge read Larsen, gave a very slight shrug that Nicolette was sure was meant to go unseen.

"I think that's all we need for now, Miss Petrovski," officer Larsen said.

They asked for Nicolette's contact information and, when she had none, directed her to the front desk to obtain the number to a local women's shelter. She walked through the foyer of the police station without so much as pausing, eyes fixed on the double set of doors between her and anonymity. Her obligation to the victim was fulfilled; the police knew more than they had before, even if it wasn't the whole truth.

A woman sitting by the doors stood when Nicolette approached. Her face was crumpled with grief, and Nicolette knew without being told that this was her nameless rescuer's mother.

"You," the woman said. "They said you were with Nadine. They said you tried to fight those loving shitstains off." She touched a hand to her temple. "I'm sorry. I'm Megan Radcliffe. Nadine was--"

"Your daughter," Nicolette finished. Her heart pounded. The police were one thing, but this...

"I'm just glad someone was there to fight for her. It means more than anything to me." Megan's voice broke on the last few words, barely a whisper.

"They killed her because she was trying to help me, you know," Nicolette said in a flat voice. "If she would've just kept walking she'd still be here."

"I would give almost anything to get my daughter back, but one thing I would never ask is to put another mother through this hell." Megan gripped Nicolette's arm hard enough to hurt. "Don't you ever waste the gift my daughter gave you by hating yourself. You tried. That's all I can ask." She shuddered and stepped away, burying her face in her hands.

"My mother wouldn't mind, you know," Nicolette said, and wondered if the guilt she felt was written on her face. "Hell, she'd probably never know. Haven't talked to her for five years.

Megan looked up. "Maybe this is crazy. I'm crazy right now. But my house is going to be really...really empty tonight and I wouldn't mind some company." She gave Nicolette an appraising look, a mother's look. "And I have a feeling you weren't under that bridge by choice, sweetie."

"I couldn't--" Nicolette began to say, but the promise of a warm bed and a shower was more alluring than sketchy thrills under a bridge. And Megan would have none of it.

"Just this," she said. "Just give me this one more thing."

One night turned into days. Megan spent the time on leave from her job as a legal secretary, cooking for two, chattering about banal things to Nicolette as though nothing was wrong. At night she would crumble and sob and beg Nicolette to look through photos of Nadine with her. Nadine the soccer star. Nadine, recipient of the high school literary achievement award. Nadine graduating from college with honors.

And Nicolette would lay awake in the dead girl's bed and sweat over half-truths, wondering if she could ever live up her own story. Megan deserved to believe her daughter wasn't alone at the end. She deserved company in an otherwise empty house. Telling one lie, was that worse than shattering the pleasant truths that sprung up around it?

After a week at Megan's, Nicolette made the call. There was only the landline, so she waited until Megan was asleep, and then took the phone into a closet on the far side of the house.

"Who's this?" A man's voice answered.

"You know," Nicolette said.

There was a long pause on the other end. "I don't want anything to do with you, whatever this is about."

"Please don't hang up. I just, I just want to give you the money. All of it. I'm done. Just take it, and we can all forget about each other."

"This is about that dumb bitch who got herself killed, isn't it? You tell them who did it?"

"No, no, no I wouldn't. I just want to give you all the money and disappear. No debt, no trouble."

Silence. Then the man on the other end of the phone started to laugh. "You know, I just checked the number you're calling on. I've had a guy with an eye on that house since we found out the dead girl's name. And here we've found a loose end, right where we were looking for 'em." He laughed again, more of a chuckle. "So does her mama know you ran off and left her baby girl to die 'cause you couldn't pay the dope fairy?"

"Just tell me where you want to meet. No trouble. Please." Nicolette's heart pounded in her ears.

"They told me they had to hit her real hard. The girl who tried to save your rear end, she went down fighting. How far did you run before you decided to skulk down to police station to make sure your name was clear?"

"I didn't--"

"How far would you run if I told you I have a guy across the street who could turn that house into a morgue for two in ten minutes flat?"

Nicolette hung up the phone. She didn't remember making the decision, but then it was done. The silence of the closet rang in her ears. The wording was perfectly clear; she was a loose end, one way or another. If they didn't kill her, the lie would fall apart as soon as Megan could see past the immediacy of her grief, Nicolette was sure. Ms. Radcliffe was a canny woman beneath the stupor of losing a child.

The next day, Nicolette tried to do the one right thing she could think of. The drug money became a cashier's check, made payable to Megan Radcliffe and no one else. This, Nicolette put in an envelope with a note that read simply:

I should've fought harder.

She couldn't bring herself to write the whole truth, not even then. There was a bit of money left over, just enough to buy a pistol from a shady letch, though not enough for ammunition. She didn't think about what she had done to get the bullets. It didn't bear thinking about, not anymore.

When she found her attackers at one of their usual haunts, she didn't hesitate. The pistol was strange and unwieldy in her hands, and the first shot went comically wide.

The second shot didn't, and one of the men went to his knees with a look of shock and a small blossom of blood on the front of his shirt.

The other man drew his own weapon and, with a look of annoyance, shot Nicolette in the chest.

"What a waste," said a voice, far away and muffled.

But I fought, she wanted to say. Now everything I said is true...


I fought for you

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Well, I managed to double space.

I'm never sure what to put in a cover letter for this sort of thing. "Hi from the internet, um, please pay me for my writing?"

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
I think in terms of giving critiques, it should be anything goes in Thunderdome. If you WANT a critique (because I guess mom and dad don't love you enough and even bad attention is better than none), then go get your reciprocation on in the daily fiction writing thread.

Mostly the reason I love Thunderdome is because it's never been too codified.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

Martello posted:

The Something Awful Forums > The Finer Arts > Creative Convention > Bitchingdome '13 - Carepost and whine about not getting enough crits here please

tldr shut up and write flash fiction thanks in advance

How the Thunderdome got its Careposts

In the beginning there was Strongest Man, and it was good. Strongest Man stood between the sand and the sky (which wasn't as high up back then) like a pillar, holding the world wide open for all the much smaller and weaker people who lived in the shadows of his giant toes.

One day there was a commotion at his feet. "Mewl cry whine," the tiny villagers seemed to say. Strongest man had to stoop down to hear them.

"Strongest Man!" The village leader shouted up in a bug-sized voice. "Since time before time, you have held up the sky and pushed down the earth. But it seems a little less than credible to call yourself "Strongest Man" without proving your might against challengers!"

Strongest man rolled his great eyes up toward the sky, which he was literally holding up, and rumbled "You've got to be loving kidding me." Still, Strongest Man was not one to turn down a challenge, so he set himself to the task of finding an opponent worthy of battling the strongest man in the world. To his surprise, there were many warriors who shared the village leader's sentiments.

This was to be no ordinary brawl, and so a special place was set aside for the combatants to test their mettle. The village shaman raised his crooked staff and called down a thunder storm bigger than any storm in any story from any village. Forks of lightning shot down from the sky and wove together like battling snakes to form a glowing dome the size of a mountain. This was where Strongest Man would earn his name in truth.

He did not reckon how much dedicated effort it took to hold the sky up, however. There was no way to fight within the dome AND hold up the sky. Of course, this was the distant past, so Strongest man had no trouble at all splitting himself in half. He left one Strongest Man to hold up the sky, certain that half of his strength was more than enough to silence his challengers and the village leader.

Just as Half-of-Strongest-Man was about to make his way to the Thunderdome (as the little people of the earth had dubbed it), he heard the infinitesimal voice of the village leader again.

"Whine mutter cry bitch," the man said, and Half-of-Strongest-Man stooped down to hear him better, though not quite as far this time.

"Half-of-Strongest-Man! There are raiders beyond our village, what shall we do if they were to attack while half of your attention is on the sky and half is on the battle?"

Half-of-Strongest-Man rubbed the bridge of his nose. "You're the one who---you know what, whatever." And with that, he split himself once again, so that one third of Strongest Man help up the sky and one third guarded the village, leaving Third-of-Strongest-Man with just enough strength to defeat even the toughest of challengers.

On his way to the Thunderdome, Third-of-Strongest-Man noticed a strange buzz that he had never heard before. But, he thought, there are many strange things in the world of small people. Perhaps being closer to their size is the reason I suddenly hear this buzz.

Finally, Third-of-Strongest-Man reached the giant, glowing arena. There was challengers from all lands, of all shapes and sizes. And they were arguing.

"Let it be a free for all!" Declared one beast of a man.

"No! We clearly need a bracket, else the whole match will be nothing but chaos!" Said a shifty looking warrior with a bald head and an angry scowl.

"Obviously we need to form a governing body to dictate and enforce the rules of conduct for each match," said a small man with skin as rough as a crocodile.

On and on they went, each warrior certain that there was only one very specific way to proceed, and none of them willing to compromise.

"Wait," said Third-of-Strongest-Man. But by then he'd split himself apart too many times, and his voice was barely louder than the din of the crowd. And then he realized; the strange buzz he'd heard was the sound of bickering, hundreds of tiny mouths moving so fast it was almost as if no one was saying any actual words at all.

Finally, Third-of-Strongest-Man said "gently caress this poo poo" and rejoined himself and his other self, returning to the place of sky and sand to hold the world open with all his might.

As for the Thunderdome, they say that to this day you can STILL hear the buzz of the combatants, who by all accounts think they are still waiting to do battle and prove themselves against strongest man. No one has tried to dissuade them, since they seem perfectly content to obliviously blather at each other for no reason at all.

And that, children, is how the Thunderdome got its careposts.

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 22:50 on Jan 29, 2013

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

swaziloo posted:

There's a moral in here somewhere, if I'm not mistaken.

You mean mettle. Also, typically, Earth. Just some helpful critique, so it'll be ready for submission.

Ah, I just like the Pink Floyd album too much I think. As for Earth, they didn't have capital E's back then or something

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

twinkle cave posted:

So did someone grasp the glorious prize this week or ???? Was everyone killed in the bitch storm.

I nominate sitting here's fan fic of TD if no decisive winner can be decided.

I need a prompt dammit. I'm getting all shaky for want of a prompt. Where's this weeks prompt? Thank you.

Pretty sure there might be a few bits of prompt scattered on the floor. Oh wait that's just carpet freshener. You could probably still snort it and get a little bit high I mean what were we talking about again?

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Innnnnnnnnnnnnn. Kinda excited to hear everybody.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

talk to me

edit: Like lovers do

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 20:11 on Jan 30, 2013

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

Life is but a... 5:04


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Congratualtions Seb, I'm not really surprised. drat you for being the first to get five wins though. drat you.

I'm in. My life is a hollow shell except for this blood drenched internet thread

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Nice job submitting, Heretic. Not just anyone would walk into the 'dome and throw down a piece within mere hours of the gauntlet being cast at your feet.

Your journey is only beginning, however. After the round, once you've wiped the gore off your clothes and pulled the various blades from your abdomen, I fully expect you to go on over to the fiction farm to clean that poo poo up.

Then you come back.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
I thought this prompt was a good opportunity to kick around some characters and a setting I've had in my brain for a while. Also I have to leave my house right now so I don't have time to edit down those extra 23 words.

1023 words

Later, I would learn that I was onboard the Avid Ephemris, a ship of dreams.

But when I regained consciousness, the first thing I saw was someone wearing an emerald green crushed velvet dinner jacket with a matching top hat. That someone happened to be a pig, who stood on his hind legs and regarded me impatiently.

"It would be hilariously ironic if you were to ask me if this is a dream," he said just as I was opening my mouth to wonder as much. "And under ordinary circumstances I would be happy to indul--ack!" He went skittering on all four hooves as the room pitched one way and then the other. I tumbled out of the cot in a tangle of oversized nightclothes.

"What's going on?" I shouted over the din of falling crates and miscellanea. If the room had been a cramped storage space before, now it was a storm of debris.

"We got some nightmares on our tail and Pope is try'na shake them," the pig said as he fought his way to the door. "Best get up on deck. Hurry now, it'll make sense later!"

"The Pope?" But the pig was already out the door. I clambered after him, swaying with the tilting floor. The hallway beyond was dark and narrow, though thankfully clear of falling objects. I gathered up the nightgown, followed the pig's pink backside up a ladder and through a trapdoor style hatch, and almost fell right back down when I took in the scene above.

My first impression was that the ship was in outer space. More than a dozen sails snapped and billowed above as the ship turned hard to port, and for a moment I had a clear view of my surroundings. The light! Hundreds of millions of tiny stars drifted clouds through the black ether, above, below, and on every side of the ship. There was no water, though the sleek barque surged forward as if over rolling waves.

Then the world spun. There was no up or down, just wood against my cheek as I clung to the deck and the blur of spinning lights above. The ship corkscrewed forward with unlikely momentum, and after a few moments I realized that it was only fear that held me down. Some distance away, the pig stood at the bow of the ship beside a figure in a cowled robe which peaked in a headdress strongly resembling the pope's hat.

I pushed myself to my feet and made my way toward the bow and tried to ignore my brain as it balked at the sheer impossibility of simply walking in spite of the motion of the ship.

"I'm Sebastian, by the way," the pig shouted over the creaking din of the masts. The hooded figure stood as if rooted to the bow and made no motion to acknowledge me.

"Why is everything spinning?"

"Oy, that. I told you, we're on the run and Pope here has gotta keep the nightmares off our backs. They can't land if we're spinning," Sebastian said. "His name isn't really Pope, you know, it's just the--" A massive gust of frigid air knocked the top hat from the pig's head and took the breath from my lungs.

There was a sickening grating sound and the ship came out of its spin with a lurch that threw both Sebastian and I to the ground. "Pope" never moved an inch, and though I couldn't see his face, his posture was still one of meditative determination.

"Get ready," Sebastian squealed, and then the Nightmares were on us.

They swarmed down the masts and over the railing, shadowy, indistinct shapes that defied my ability to parse what I was seeing. I scrambled back toward the hatch on hands and feet and managed to get tangled in the damned oversized nightgown. The creatures had completely enveloped both the forecastle deck and the cloaked man in a writhing tableau of horrible shapes and darkness.

"Here! Here!" Sebastian had regained his feet and his hat and was waving frantically with one cloven hoof for me to come toward the horde. "We have to get them off of Melchior, he can't take this many at once and keep control of the Avid ."

"What the hell do you expect me to do about it?" I couldn't keep the hysteria out of my voice.

"Like this," the pig said and tore off his green velvet dinner jacket. He waded into the mass of nightmares with stubby pink arms swinging, but the creatures seemed to ignore him. "Bastards just want Melchior for now," he panted over his shoulder.

But me, I could only just stand there. Somewhere in the black void around us, the spinning of the ship and the monsters on deck, my mind had hit its threshold for the absurd. To say nothing of the talking pig who was courageously fighting to his companion's side; a companion, I thought, whose face I'd never seen.

So it was that I stayed where I was, which afforded a view of the huge creature that rose before the prow of the ship, all darkness and misshapen angles. So it was that I saw it sweep one long tendril across the forecastle and send tens of the smaller creatures overboard, and with them the man named Melchior.

The rest of the nightmares receded like a wave, and within moments the deck was empty except for me and a battered pig, who was crumpled against the foremast. All was silent, and the Avid was adrift.

"This is bad. This is exceptionally, terribly bad," Sebastian moaned.

"You need to tell me what the hell is going on right now." I'd rediscovered my faculties and all of them advised anger and suspicion.

"Well," the pig said, struggling to his feet. "The man you just neglected to save brought you here." He donned his hat and peered around for the dinner jacket. "It was a trifling matter, really. He needed your help to save your universe. Though I can't really imagine why."

At that, my faculties advised me to faint, which I did.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Then again, the scale of your epic spectacle makes it difficult to even find, let alone scrutinise, the kind of minute mechanics involved in a man-to-man combat scene.
(I liked this piece!)

See kids, we are bullshit magicians. Don't be afraid to use smoke and mirrors to trick the reader by burying your shortcomings in obfuscation.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Basically, don't be late. But if you are late and you have an entry, put it in because no submission is worse IMO. You probably won't win, and maybe the official stance is that you can't, but if there were a truly outstanding late entry I would consider it. The point really is to write, so if you're here and you're interested in writing then just write things and post them.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

CancerCakes posted:

Double post, but making this more manageable.

LONG so you're dead. And it didn't really feel like an action sequence to me, so I guess you're double dead. But I liked this so now what. There was everything I wanted to see in an action sequence, but not an awful lot of action. The setting interested me, the characters worked and I was drawn into the setting. I'm sure talking animals on space ships seems a little Narnia and the animals of Redwall go to space but it worked well for me. I also liked that your prot was completely helpless and useless, no action hero heroics here.

Undead Resurrection into the body of a talking pig

You guys are all over the crits this week and you're doing a great job. I'll have a few of my own coming down the pipe since there were a lot of good things and a lot of bad things going on this week.

I am REALLY happy that people liked my piece, even if it missed the action mark. I'm excited to work on this some more and then throw it to the dogs over on the fiction farm.

Maybe this is a question for the writing thread, but when we say action does that necessarily imply action that the protagonist/characters are taking? I sort of interpreted it as "exciting stuff happening in sequence" but I may have missed the mark by that definition too.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
This stuff is my bread and butter guys so I really want to feel the warm gushy vomit-in-your-mouth fuzzies. I better feel passionate and romanticized by the end of this week. But so help me god it better not be cheesy.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
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.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Just about four hours til the deadline. Slackers who've got nothing to show will be fed rear end-first to Beelzebub.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
'Bout ten minutes to go by my watch.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Well duh, sex scene brawl.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

HereticMIND posted:

No, thanks. As much I want to put Martello in his place, I don't wanna get banned because of some jackass who'll go

So, seeing as I kinda am involved, may I humbly request that the prompt not include sex?

In his place, huh?

Fine. I'll rephrase. You guys should write a story with vivid erotic elements that is not creepy and bannable. Caveat: Every character in the piece is trans/posthuman.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Nubile Hillock, message me if you wanna judge.

The singularity better be juicy.

edit: Heretic, transhumanism in fiction is often part of the cyberpunk genre. Think people who are technologically enhanced way beyond our current capacity, brains downloaded into cyberspace, biotech, stuff like that.

:siren:Guess I should make this official:siren:

Fodder: Martello v. HereticMIND

Due by: Noon tomorrow (2/19/13) edit: guess I should specify noon PST

What was the prompt again?: Vivid erotic elements in a transhumanist world.

Judge(s): Me, Nubile


Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 01:09 on Feb 19, 2013

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

DivisionPost posted:

Shut the gently caress up and get this over with so I and everyone else can get some feedback on the poo poo they busted their rear end on.

We're not delaying because of this, I'm just waiting for my cojudge to make the final verdict. Crits will follow not too long after that.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Well I wanted to deliberate and be all impartial and that, but Martello's story didn't include this line:


Now, all that mattered was that she was a woman, and by God did she ever feel like one!

And the gratitude I feel toward him for that reason is overwhelming my judgely objectivity.

Therefor, by executive decree, I do declare judgement in favor of Martello, by the power vested in me by myself.

Edit: Heretic, I want to see a legitimate story that isn't cribbed from a video game, that you spend more than thirty seconds on. I mean, you don't have to. This has been amusing and all, but if we never see a sincere effort, I have to assume that you're not really here to try to contribute in a meaningful way. And that's kinda just wasting everyone's time.

A lot of us are actually here to write better fiction, so I hope you decide to start submitting things that are more in the spirit of what Thunderdome is meant to be.

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 08:41 on Feb 19, 2013

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Me, I will do this.


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
How do I magic realism

1272 words

The platform was vacant save for Edgar and a huddle of damp pigeons. The birds tucked their small heads down into their feathers. Edgar stared down the busway and listened for the hum of diesel-electric engines, but there was only rain and the distant sigh of rush hour on the interstate.

He checked his watch, then his phone, then the cracked and graffitied digital timetable; all agreed that the bus was late, getting later by the moment.

Rain fell in grey curtains. Rain floated back up to the sky as pillars of mist. The air was choked with rain, the rain choked with exhaust and factory fumes. The busway ran straight as a concrete ley line into the heart of the city, empty in both directions.

"You've just missed it," said one of the pigeons after some time had passed.

"Pardon?" It took Edgar a moment to realize the bird was addressing him.

"Your bus, it's just gone by," the bird said.

Edgar looked up and down the busway. "Must've passed pretty quick, then. Boy, it just figures. They hardly give you a chance to board these days."

"Just so, friend, just so. It's this modern world, there's no slowing down for anyone or anything."

"I caught the bus yesterday," Edgar grumbled. "Had to jump, barely made it. But at least the driver opened the door as he passed that time."

"Ah, that was you wasn't it? I told the lads, I did. 'That lad is a mad man, but at least he'll get where he's going,' I told 'em," said the pigeon.

"And I did," said Edgar. "But here I am, waiting to get where I'm going again. And soon these buses'll go so drat fast that they get to the end of the route before they even leave the start. I should really e-mail the Transit Authority."

The pigeon bobbed his head in agreement. Edgar eyed the bird's companions.

"Your friends don't talk much," he said.

"I'm looking after cousins from a village outside Cork while they're in the states. They speak t'old tongue," the pigeon said in an exaggeration of his own lilting accent. "And German, Welsh and a smattering of French. But somehow the bastards never got around to English, would you believe it? So I brought'm over to show them a bit of how things are done in the language of business."

His companions seemed to comprehend that they were the subject of discussion, and shuffled and cooed softly to each other in a language Edgar couldn't understand.

"Here she is! Get ready friend," the pigeon exclaimed, and fluttered to the edge of the platform. The bus sped by, so far ahead of schedule that the beams from its headlights were still back on Atlantic Avenue, the sound of its engine three stops behind that. They all jumped, man and pigeons, and tumbled onto the bus in a feathered and bescarffed heap.

"Excuse me driver," Edgar said, getting to his feet. "Does this bus go uptown?"

"I'm gonna need to see some fair or a transfer, sir," the driver said. "You've been on for two stops and I aint seen a transfer."

"Oh. I. Um," Edgar said, fumbling for his wallet. The pigeons scurried to the back of the bus, beneath notice.

"Well? You got short arms or deep pockets?"

"I'm sorry, you're just going so fast." Edgar showed the driver his bus pass. "Now, do you go uptown or not?"

The driver barely glanced at the pass. "Yeah, passed it three stops ago. And it's peak hours, your pass is only good for a dollar fifty. I need another dollar or you're off."

Edgar furrowed his brow. The city loomed grey and angular ahead, faint behind the thick curtain of rain and mist. "But we haven't even hit downtown yet," he said.

"Scenery just hasn't caught up with the windows. Anyway, last stop. Bus back the other way will be by in...well, it'll be by. Have your fair ready next time." The bus rolled to a stop at the northmost end of town, a sprawl of franchise business hotels and used car dealerships. The driver turned in his seat, shifting his impressive belly to rest on his thighs, and frowned at Edgar. "You trying to take up half my break? I said last stop."

"I'll be e-mailing the Transit Authority about this," Edgar said as he stepped off the bus and back into the thick, soupy afternoon. The doors swung closed behind him.

There was nothing to do but cross the street to the little bus shelter, a three-walled affair littered with cigarette butts and the odd syringe. A businessman sat on the one small bench, tapping his glossy black shoe, sporting a tan that placed him as a visitor from out of state. He checked his watch, then his phone, then craned his neck to peer up the road for the bus.

It's no use, Edgar thought. It's all too fast these days. You'll never see it coming. He stood beside the shelter in the rain and wished that the pigeons were still there. Pigeons were always such congenial folk. The tan businessman didn't even deign to look at Edgar, but his posture was overtly unwelcoming.

The view of the city from the north was unflattering, as if the towers and high-rises were presenting their backsides to the less savory part of town. Even the rain seemed dirtier.

A rumble from up the street; the bus turned the corner and rolled up to the bus stop at a perfectly ordinary speed. The businessman was on his feet in the flash, and cut in front of Edgar to board first. Edgar had his pass ready, plus one dollar because it was peak hours.

His knees ached after so much extra standing, but when he turned to finally sit, Edgar found the businessman in what would have been the last available seat. That shiny patent leather shoe tap-tap-tapped its impatient rhythm, and Edgar stumbled as the bus lurched away from the stop.

"Too slow, man," said a seagull with a tiny walker.

They'd get up for me if I had a walker, Edgar thought. He shuffled to the back of the crowded bus and leaned on one of the handrails. It was slick with grease and rain water. The whole bus was humid and rank with the smell of damp bodies in a warm, enclosed space.

They bounced along down neglected streets at the posted speed limit, arrow straight to the heart of the city. More and more people piled onto the bus, until there was hardly room to breath and they could only inch along at a painful crawl. It was late evening by then. Edgar stooped to look out one of the fogged windows and saw that the city was no closer than before. Too slow, he thought.

The bus pulled to a stop yet again to let more people on, an infinite stream of them, it seemed. Edgar darted out the back door, resolved to walk across town rather than wait for a bus so slow that it couldn't catch up with its destination. He made excellent time for a man on foot, but the rain was ceaseless and he arrived home sopping wet and grimy. Still, he was home, and after a hot shower and half of a cold beer, he fell into bed with no thought in his mind save for that of simply ceasing to move.

It seemed like only moments later that his alarm clock went off, and it was time to go from here to there again.

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