|# ¿ Jan 26, 2013 01:51|
|# ¿ Mar 22, 2019 08:09|
I threw back a couple of snifters of whiskey to convince myself this was worth submitting.
Jonathan stood off to the side from the thickest tangle of drunken revelry. He had arrived at the Johnson brothers’ annual New Year’s Eve party about an hour ago. The festivities were not as debauched as he remembered them being in his high school days but it was still a lively affair. He took a sip of his beer and surveyed the shifting conversations.
A familiar shade of blonde in the rear of the living room caught his eye. “Hey Janet. How are you doing?” Jonathan said as he walked through to where he had spotted most of his old clique. “Bill, Kate, Matt.” He added, greeting each in turn.
“Johnny!” Janet embraced him, half her drink spilling to the floor. The others, in turn, acknowledged Jonathan in their own manner: Bill with a fist bump, Kate with a smile, Matt with a handshake and a half.
“How’s everyone doing?” Jonathan said, laughing only after speaking. “I haven’t seen you guys since high school. It’s weird how we all just lost contact.”
“Yeah, we just lost touch.” Matt said. Bill and Kate glanced at one another. Janet steadied herself. There was a brief pause in the conversation. Janet poured back what remained of her drink. Bill and Kate moved closer together. Matt just stared over Jonathan’s shoulder, at the commotion in the centre of the room.
“What’s everyone up to?” Jonathan said. “Janet, how was university? You look like you’ve put on twenty pounds since high school.” Janet dropped her eyes to the floor. Matt cleared his throat. Jonathan kept his eyes on Janet with a smile, awaiting an answer.
Bill cut in, “So, are you dating anyone seriously? Jonathan’s gaze shifted. “No. The usual, I go on a few dates. We drift apart. I’m still looking for Ms. Right.” He paused for a second, “What are you guys up to? It’s been so long. Everyone still just dating around? ”
“Bill and Kate got married.” Matt said. Jonathan’s eyes widened slightly, “Really?” Matt nodded. Bill and Kate shifted uncomfortably. Janet still had her eyes glued to the floor. “Are you guys for real?” Jonathan asked again. “Yeah, we got married last year.” Kate said. “Last year.” Bill agreed.
“That’s crazy.” Jonathan said. “If you had asked me in high school, I would have said that you guys would be terrible for each other.” An uncomfortable cough emerged from someone. No one responded.
Janet’s head jerked up. “I have to go to the washroom.” Her disappearance left a hole in the circle causing everyone to move closer together to close the gap.
Not taking much note of Janet’s departure, Jonathan plowed on, “I just graduated from school this Spring, that’s why I’m back in town.” Bill, in response, “Matt got his degree this Spring, too.” Jonathan turned to Matt, “So you didn’t flunk out after all.” Matt raised one eyebrow. Jonathan elaborated, “Well, you always had a hard time in high school. I was surprised when you got into university. I wasn’t sure if you were bright enough to get through four years.” Again, a brief pause in the conversation, this time everyone was still. “I think I need something stronger.” Matt said as he passed through Bill and Kate heading in the direction of the Johnson family home bar.
Jonathan blithely turned his attention back to Kate and Bill. “Married, huh?”
“Yeah, for a year now. Listen, my little sister’s somewhere here. We need to find her and make sure she’s not getting too drunk.” Kate apologized. “Yeah, see ya!” Bill yelled over his shoulder as he led Kate by the arm through the crowd of revelers.
Jonathan watched them for a few seconds. After they disappeared into the next room he took a second sip of his beer and returned to surveying the party.
|# ¿ Jan 27, 2013 21:50|
|# ¿ Feb 6, 2013 03:26|
Getting Paid - 900 words
The bell clanged, silencing the crowd momentarily. The first fight of the night had begun.
Eddie dragged himself up out of the stool in his corner of the ring and made his way wearily toward his opponent in the blue trunks. I’m too old for this poo poo, Eddie thought for the hundredth time as he sized up his adversary. The man whose only goal today was to turn Eddie’s face into a hamburger patty was lean, muscled like a mountain lion, and twenty years Eddie’s junior.
One last paycheck, Eddie told himself as the two met at the centre of the ring with Blue Trunks bobbing and weaving, rhythmically switching his lead foot from left to right and back again as he tested Eddie’s readiness to fight. A quick left jab exploded from the kinetic ball of energy in front of him—Fernandez, right. That was the fucker’s name. The grizzled veteran already had his gloves up high and absorbed the blow. Eddie counterpunched with a straight right. He missed. Badly.
Fernandez had already retreated halfway back to the ropes by the time Eddie finished his swing. drat, I’m going to get my rear end handed to me tonight. Eddie pursued with solid, straight steps, only moving his shoulders left to right. He’d never been the sort for all that fancy footwork poo poo. The young buck waited for him. As Eddie closed with the latest in a long line of up-and-comers, Fernandez reversed his backward momentum and stepped forward with his right foot, throwing and landing two quick jabs and a crushing left hook to the jaw. Eddie saw stars. Eddie couldn’t hear anymore. Eddie dropped to one knee.
“One! Two! Three!” The referee yelled in the downed fighter’s face. It’s alright, you’ve been here before. You can still think straight. You can still fight. He rose to his feet and waited patiently for the referee to finish counting to eight. Why’d you have to go and get pregnant, Mandy? Only eighteen. The iron taste of blood seeped through his mouth. He spat crimson on the mat.
Time to show this kid a new trick, Eddie decided and as the ref reached the end of the count Eddie bulled toward Fernandez. The youngster stood his ground, unworried. Eddie feinted with his left and then again with his right. Fernandez didn’t bite on the first. The second hit, though, the kid thought would be true. He ducked to his right under the not incoming punch. The hard left uppercut Eddie delivered to the kid’s chin sent a surge of excitement through the crowd. Fernandez stumbled back into the ropes, grabbing them for support.
Eddie lumbered forward. Might be able to put on a show, after all. His full weight collided with Fernandez, fist first into the son-of-a-bitch’s ribs. The kid turtled and Eddie began methodically working the body. Left, right, left, right. Eddie felt the concussions reverberate up his arms as he slammed the little punk again and again, falling into a familiar lulling rhythm. Left, right, left, right. Eddie noted with satisfaction that the kid was finding it difficult to breathe now. He continued pressing the attack, imagining Ferandez had the face of the unemployed pothead gently caress that had gotten his baby pregnant. Just when Eddie felt that the kid was almost done, Fernandez surged forward at a gap in the rhythm of Eddie’s punches. He clinched with Eddie, entangling their limbs. Fernandez held on for dear life, knowing he only needed a few seconds to recover.
“Break it up! Break it up!” The ref yelled as he stepped in and pushed them apart.
Eddie knew that he had just lost his best, probably only, chance to win the fight. The referee stepped back and Fernandez launched himself toward Eddie, determined to use his speed to overwhelm the old timer. Jab, jab, jab, left cross, jab, right hook, left hook, right cross, feint, right cross again. Eddie fell back, absorbing most of the punches with his gloves. Not all, though. Eddie swore under his breath as Fernandez landed a stinging jab to Eddie’s chin. He didn’t even think of punching back. Keeping himself from getting knocked out was all he could hope for at the moment.
He was in one of the corners of the ring. How the hell did I get all the way over here? Fernandez closed in now. The kid ducked down and began working the ribs. Eddie appreciated the gesture. I liked it better when I was doing it to him a—Eddie felt a rib snap. He gasped. His arms drooped. The world turned into slow motion jelly. Fernandez took a step back and straightened his body. To the cheering crowd he hadn’t slowed down a beat but Eddie knew he was taking his time now. It was over.
The soon to be winner planted his weight on his leading foot—the left—pulled back his right elbow slightly and unleashed a right hook that bore all the power of a man trying to kill another. Before the punch’s shockwave had even completed rippling through Eddie’s face, Fernandez was driving a straight left into his orbital bone. There was a loud crunch. Colours exploded.
Eddie went down. He would not be getting up this time.
Why’s everything so loud and quiet now? Eddie thought to himself. Last thing, before he lost consciousness, Mandy, the baby is going to beautiful. Just like her mom.
Steriletom fucked around with this message at Feb 9, 2013 around 21:05
|# ¿ Feb 9, 2013 19:58|
I knew something was wrong with the first parapgraph you chose to critique but it eluded me. Rereading what I wrote, there's a few other terrible pieces of prose that I would like to redo and I thank you for being kind and not sodomizing me.
|# ¿ Feb 11, 2013 01:42|
|# ¿ Feb 13, 2013 00:24|
I'm going to be very busy all the way through Sunday(Because of love, fittingly).
Remembrance - 750 words
The kettle’s sharp whistle cuts through the silence of the house, announcing that the water has reached its boiling point. John makes his way past the breakfast table and pours the water into a tea glass. He places the tea onto a tray next to a bologna sandwich—no crust—and makes his way through the well kept, tidy kitchen.
Working to balance the food tray, he climbs the stairs, cracks echoing through the house as his arthritic knees protest at every rise. At the top of the landing, a voice calls out through a half open doorway, “Matthew, dear! Is that you?”
John quickens his pace, nudging the door open with his shoulder. “No, Dolores. It’s me, John.”
Dolores’ eyes widen. “John? I don’t know a John. Where’s my brother?”
John is now by her side, setting the tray down on the nightstand. “It’s alright, dear. You forget sometimes. It’ll come back to you.”
She eyes him for a few seconds. “If you say so, John.” The ‘John’ is drawn out, seeming unfamiliar to her tongue.
“I made you supper. Here have some tea. It helps you sleep.”
She blows on the tea before taking a delicate sip. “Where’s Matthew? I need to talk to him about…someone.”
“He’s just downstairs. He’ll be up in a minute. Here, eat,” John says as he thinks back to the day he helped carry Matthew’s casket out of the church. Dolores cried into his chest at the cemetery as they lowered the coffin into the ground with her brother inside.
“I knew a Johnny, once,” Dolores says. “I asked him out to the Sadie Hawkins dance.” John smiles to himself. They sit in silence for a few minutes as the sandwich steadily shrinks. The sudden ringing of the phone startles both of them.
John sighs, staring at it by the bedside. One ring. Two rings. Three. He picks up and makes his way to the window, his back to Dolores and his voice lowered, “Hello?”
“Dad? Hey, how is everything?”
“Hi, Jacob. Good, good. Listen, right now’s not a good time. Your mother’s—“
“It’s mom I’m calling about, actually. I know you were upset last time but we need to talk some more.”
“I said no. The answer hasn’t changed.”
“Dad, you can’t keep taking care of her. You’re not well, either. I want you to come with me and Lizzie this Sunday. We’ve made a few appointments. Once you see the homes I’m talking about you’ll realize it’s better for mom.”
“Greenacres has fantastic nurses and it’s beautiful out there.“
“Dad! You’re being stubborn. You need rest at your age, too. You…we can visit mom all the time. It’s really close and—“
John hangs up the phone and breathes in deeply. He turns and stops at the sight of Dolores out of bed, clothed in her nightgown and one arm through her fur overcoat as she struggles with the other half. Her face looks panicked as she makes a run for the door. John catches her and gently grasps one arm while he begins taking the coat off with the other in a practiced manoeuvre. He drops the coat to the ground, his free hand moving to the small of her back and he guides her back to bed with just enough force.
“Let go of me, you crazy man! Shouting at the phone like a pimp! I want to see Matthew! Where is he!” She yells, too weak to resist him. As they reach the bed, the fight leaves her and she allows John to guide her back under the covers.
They sit in silence again for a time. John picks up a brush she keeps by the bedside and gently combs out the tangles in her hair. Her breathing grows deeper and her eyes close. Just as John is about to kiss her goodnight, Dolores sits up. “John,” she whispers. “I had the worst dream. I couldn’t remember your name. I kept trying, and trying but it was always just out of reach.”
“Shhhhh,” John says, putting his head to hers. “You remember it right now. That’s all that matters.”
They rest like that until he can feel her breathing slow once again. When John hears a light snore break out, he stands up, dabbing at a corner of his eye with a used handkerchief. He leaves the room and makes his way downstairs to his favourite armchair. The television flickers on but he is asleep before the image solidifies.
|# ¿ Feb 13, 2013 04:43|
FLASH RULE and preferably an all the time rule:
What if the weather has a mohawk? That would be kind of cool.
"The mohawked Chinook bore down on the prospector camp situated at the Western edge of the Rockies."
|# ¿ Feb 15, 2013 23:16|
Why is a dude/gal who couldn't even be bothered to produce because sex scenes make him/her squeamish being humoured?
|# ¿ Feb 18, 2013 23:29|
Because I can humor him.
|# ¿ Feb 18, 2013 23:33|
|# ¿ Feb 26, 2013 03:43|
With the three submissions I have in Thunderdome, I've noticed that my prose tends to be very spartan. I've forced myself to be more "flowery".
Read it. Kill it with fire. Take a shower.
In that order.
Macy’s Day - 1,488 words
Timmy stepped out of the 5th Avenue subway station, clinging to his father’s hand. The rumbling of the nearby crowd swelled and merged with the tremor of the departing trains, forming a new sound that echoed the day’s excitement. Flowing along in a river of spectators, they made their way westward to 6th Avenue, seeking to stake out a claim to any decent viewing spot they could discover or, through subterfuge, acquire.
Timmy’s hand trembled as he tried to catch glimpses of the soaring towers shepherding the crowd from all sides.
“Daddy, where did all these people come from?”
“A lot of them live here.”
“A lot are also visiting. Like us.”
“To see the Macy’s Day Parade?”
“Yes. To see the balloons and floats.”
Timmy walked the rest of the way to the parade route in silence, breathing in the intoxicating air of big city life, drunk with excitement and fear, the two fighting for supremacy. When they neared the barricades lining 6th Avenue, fear dealt excitement a decisive blow as father and son found themselves caught in a crushing press of jostling, pressure building from behind and pushing the two into the backs of strangers. Timmy began crying, a puddle soon forming at his feet.
His father, recalling his first trip to the Big Apple, pulled Timmy out of the crowd, using his shoulders to force his way through the reluctant wall of onlookers. Free of the claustrophobic crush, Timmy hyperventilated as his father held him. The man shivered at the cold being expelled in great gusts by Timmy.
“Hey! Youse guys looking to score primo seats to the show?” a voice called above them. They glanced up to see what looked like a failed attempt at an audition for a Lil’ Rascals film. The scrawny kid, dangling off the six foot wall separating some prestigious bank from the street, had smears of soot painted randomly across his person like a Pollack painting. He was wearing a pair of school shorts in a condition that would never be allowed into any academic setting, and topped off the image with an antique newspaper boy cap that barely contained his curls. As he stared down on the visitors, a bubble of snot pulsed and expanded from one nostril, growing to the size of his head before popping without the boy taking notice.
“How do we get up there,” shouted Timmy over the buzz of thousands of spectators.
“I gots a little ladder set up back around the corner,” the kid explained. “Just go north on Sixth and hook a right at the first driveway and makes your way back here.”
Timmy’s father looked at his son and raised his eyebrows in question; Timmy answered with a quick series of nods. Together, the two navigated the urban jungle, taking a wrong turn at one point and finding themselves in a dead end parking lot before coming to the promised ladder propped up against the hidden side of the wall. Reaching the top, they were greeted by a raucous yell, “Heya!”
“Hey,” Timmy said, keeping close to his father.
“Why’s youse so mousey?” asked the grimy kid, sticking out his hand. “Name’s Anthony. I don’t bite.”
Timmy hesitantly stepped forward and shook on the offer. “I’m Timmy. This is my dad. It’s loud, huh?”
“Stick with me and youse’ll be alright,” said Anthony. A new noise began to intrude on the scene, steadily growing in volume until a carnival atmosphere had descended over the crowd. “The parade’s here,” Anthony announced.
North of them, rounding the corner of 59th before continuing south, the balloon version of Spongebob Squarepants appeared, a giant floating yellow mass, impermeable despite its namesake. Timmy jumped up and down with his new friend, squealing in delight as his favourite cartoon character floated toward them. Following Spongebob, Pikachu and Kermit bobbed as they turned the corner. Timothy hooted and clapped his hands together as Spongebob turned in his direction and gave an exaggerated wink.
“Did you see that, daddy? He knows me!”
“Yes, I see,” his father said, smiling with his arms around his son.
Timmy turned to Anthony. “Wait a minute! What are you doing out here alone?” he asked the boy. “You know why no kids come out here by themselves.”
“That’s bullcrap! I been here plenty before.”
“Have you ever stayed at the parade until the end?” Timmy’s dad asked.
“I think you should go home.”
Anthony turned his back on Timmy and his father, arms crossed. “It ain’t true,” he whined. “Nothing bads happened before.” Timmy and his father look at each other until Timmy shrugged and put an arm around Anthony’s shoulders. “Look, Buzz Lightyear is shooting the crowd,” Timmy said. Anthony turned back to the parade, a smile blooming on his face as he watched Buzz pantomiming shooting his laser gun at children who played along by dropping, with their eyes rolled up, against the bodies pressing the parade route.
“This is awesome!” Anthony perked up again and the two returned to watching the incoming balloons and floats: Ronald McDonald throwing fries into the crowd; Pappa Smurf lowering his arms to the ground, allowing adventurous children to climb up, carefully balancing them before setting them down; and Snoopy, indifferent to the entire spectacle, reading a giant newspaper as he reclined on his back, bobbing as he floated along.
The blaring music hitting the crowd began to fade as the parade drew to end. An uncomfortable mood descended on the revelry as everyone watched one final balloon round the corner.
“Why’s he so angry, daddy?” Timmy asked.
“The Pillsbury Doughboy?”
“Nobody knows. Some think it might be because he’s mad about his weight,” Timmy’s father said.
“He’s the one you always say will eat me if I don’t listen to you and mommy?” Timmy asked, casting a sideways glance at Anthony.
“Yes, so you should make sure you behave at all times.” Timmy’s father turned to Anthony, who was pretending not to listen, and asked him. “You’ve definitely been here before without any problems?”
“Huh, wha’? Oh!” Anthony returned to them. “Yeah, it’s fine. No worries.”
Timmy and his dad looked at Anthony for a long moment before they returned to the Pillsbury mascot, now bearing down on them. The elephantine balloon moved its legs through the air as if walking, his chest puffed out, and his head sweeping left to right, taking in the crowd with the ponderous regularity of a pendulum. The minders leading and holding the surly pastry to the ground moved mechanically, as if in thralldom to the culinary horror they were attached to. In his wake, the crowd grew silent as a mausoleum, spectators trying to depart as soon as they were able to given the pressure of thousands of people simultaneously realizing they had somewhere else to be.
“You know what, we don’t need to see the end,” Timmy said to his dad but more for Anthony.
“I think that’s a good idea, boys,” Timmy’s father replied looking to Anthony for agreement.
“Sheesh, youse guys are pansies,” Anthony said with relief. “Alright, let’s go.”
They began making their way to the ladder when a massive shadow fell on them. As they turned around in trepidation, Timmy’s dad began, “How did he get here so quickly-“ The Pillsbury Doughboy’s furious eyes bore down on Anthony. The boy was backing up, his hands in front of his face, palms out in supplication. Ignoring the child’s contrition, the monstrosity’s left hand shut out faster than Timmy had thought possible and grasped Anthony, now screaming at the top of his lungs, in its tensile embrace. As fast as it had shot down, the hand flew back up to the Doughboy’s mouth, tossing the boy down its gullet without ceremony. Scattered shrieks emerging, the crowd watched in horror as the silhouette of Anthony plunged down the abyss until it struck the bottom side of the balloon, bouncing up and causing a ripple to swell through the ivory canvas.
Timmy sobbed into his father’s side, watching as Anthony’s shadow got to its feet and began trying to tear through the balloon’s fabric. With horror, Timmy noticed that the bottom of the balloon was littered with what looked like the outlines of child sized ribcages and skulls. Anthony continued to beat at the inflatable prison, his movements having grown more frantic as his body recognized its desperate need for the oxygen that was only millimeters away. Only a minute had passed when Anthony succumbed, his body toppling to the floor, sending one last ripple through the Pillsbury Doughboy.
The macabre spectacle having come to an end, the crowd began filing out of the parade corridor in silence with a noticeable lack of jostling and shoving. Timmy looked up at his dad, the child’s face still tear streaked. “Can we come back next year?”
“Maybe. If you behave.”
Steriletom fucked around with this message at Feb 28, 2013 around 19:08
|# ¿ Feb 28, 2013 03:05|
I'm going to rock this pyrite crown with pride.
|# ¿ Mar 5, 2013 12:52|
I'm in but am I going to be given a rough idea at some point as to why I'm such a loser?
This crown lies heavy and I do not wish to bear the weight for two weeks in a row.
|# ¿ Mar 5, 2013 22:49|
Is it wrong that I feel just as happy(if not happier) reading a complete shredding of my writing as I do when reading someone praising my work?
|# ¿ Mar 6, 2013 03:27|
Love Found and Lost in Phuket - 670 words
He woke on the beach, his limbs entangled with the woman who had taken his innocence. His head ached and his mouth was parched but he lay still for what seemed close to an hour. He breathed in the smell of the salt tinged tropical air and watched the waves crash against the shore and listened to the wind slipping through the palm leaves above. More time passed before she finally stirred in his arms and woke from her slumber. Without a word, his angel rolled away and rested on her side as she horked up a mouthful of phlegm before turning back to him. In broken English, she asked if he had a good time last night. He smiled as he told her that he had the best time. Her eyes drew him in and he tried to caress her hair but she swatted his hand away and got up.
As she squeezed into her working clothes, he wondered if her age was closer to twenty or to forty. She was not like the girls back home, that was certain. For one, she had let him kiss her and, later in the night, she had let him do much more. He was also fairly certain that the word loser was not part of her limited English vocabulary. Nor were nerd, mouthbreather, or freak. Having finished buttoning her blouse, she chided him to get up and get dressed. There would be other tourists here soon. Playfully, he tried to pull her back down but she ripped away and yelled at him for keeping her from getting rest before her next shift. Not understanding half of the words, he smiled at her again. He was flying home tomorrow. Could he see her again tonight? Maybe they could see a movie first? He told her he would write to her when he got home.
She stared at him for a long time before agreeing to the date—no discount. As he got to his feet, he turned his face away to hide the hurt. He struggled to get into his jeans, wet and gritty with sand. Panic seized him when he checked his pockets and had to admit to her, embarrassed, that he did not have any money with him. It was okay, she told him, his friends paid. A twenty fifth birthday present they had called her.
A chorus of bird calls drew his eyes to the sky where he marveled at the variety of sizes and colours in flight. She agreed that it was beautiful without taking her eyes off the stiletto she was jamming her foot into. His eyes traced an arc through the sky to where the birds had fled from, where water had once met sand. The ocean had disappeared, he exclaimed. Only moments ago the waves had beat against the sand not more than thirty feet from them and now there was only more sand, stretching into the distance before water came into sight again. Her eyes widened at the sight. He asked her if she had seen such a thing before. She shook her head.
They stood together staring at the ocean’s naked underbelly. Wanting to stay with her forever, he grabbed her limp hand and pulled her out past the natural tideline, walking out a small distance. Gills quivering, stray fish flopped around in shock and massive boulders lay exposed to the sky for the first time in living memory. There was not much else. She soon grew bored and turned them back to the shore. Walking by her side, he studied the empty lots on the beach and pictured running a small bar. At the end of the day he would come home to her and the children. The two of them would watch the sun set while listening to the sound of the ocean rushing back in, the volume growing in magnitudes of order.
He was still daydreaming when she grabbed his hand, this time holding tight.
Steriletom fucked around with this message at Mar 8, 2013 around 22:42
|# ¿ Mar 8, 2013 21:25|
I feel kind of bad about not contributing with any constructive criticism but, at the same time, who the hell wants to hear from the reigning loser?
Well, I'm hoping a former loser will. Right? Right?
Anyway, I've had a go at Noah's story. I'm not one for dicking around with bulletin board code more than I have to, so I just did it in Word. If anyone tells you something contradicting what I said, I'd take their input and run with it.
|# ¿ Mar 8, 2013 22:33|
|# ¿ Mar 12, 2013 22:01|
Doubt - 920 words
Jesus was crucified and died on Golgotha. With dry eyes, Thomas had wept beside the other disciples.
The setting sun had lit His resplendent figure in a crimson hue that matched the bloodied rocks at His feet. Arms permanently drawn out as if to take the world into His embrace, promising a succor that would never arrive. At the forefront of the mourners, Peter had beat his fists on the base of the cross in anguish while Thomas had silently thanked Judas, again and again, for having the courage.
That was three days ago. And now they were in hiding at the house of the Arimathean, the twelve of them in congress around a pauper’s table. A cot in one corner was the only other furnishing in the mud-brick house. They had been arguing without surcease since the body was interred.
“What do you think, brother Thomas?” Peter asked, forcing Thomas to join the conversation.
“Peter wants us to spread to the corners of the world to teach the Word,” said Matthew. “It is foolishness. We must build a strong base here in Jerusalem first.”
“Bah!” cut in Phillip. “Jerusalem is a backwater. We need to go to Rome and spread the Word there, where it will reach the ears of those with influence.”
The shouting started up again and the more short tempered among them began to threaten violence. Thomas closed his eyes before quietly saying, “Why do we not just go home?” Silence came to the room, all eyes on Thomas as Simon whistled in appreciation at his temerity.
“You would dishonour Him in this manner?” Peter’s face was red and his hand was curled into a fist.
Thomas was not sure how he found the strength finally but he grasped onto it and held on. “Three years I have wondered with you, following Him. Three years of begging for scraps. Three years of sleeping in barns with donkeys and fleas. Three years of being mocked on the street. I once had a family and a boat with which to earn a living. Who has watched over my children these years? I know not, Peter. Do you? His Word was good but in the end, it was not enough to save even Him. I am done with all of this.” The last came out in a rasp that cut through the assembled disciples.
Peter jumped to his feet and Thomas stood to meet him. The others pushed back their chairs to make room. Thomas was searching for something with an edge when the lone door flew open and Mary Magdalene ran into the room. “He is alive! He is alive! I have seen him! He is risen from the dead!” she announced as she ran from disciple to disciple, seeking to move them to action. The men only stared back at her in confusion.
“You drug addled, whore!” Thomas yelled, pain in his hand where he had struck the table. “He is dead! We were all there when they took him down from-” The force of Peter’s blow knocked him to the floor. Peter stood over him and took a moment to spit on Thomas before going to Mary’s side. “Where did he appear to you? Please, speak sister!”
Mary ignored the question, turning to look behind her onto the orchard in front of the house. Everyone in the room became aware of the silence that had fallen on the world outside. “See for yourself. He has come,” Mary said to Peter and the disciples. Their eyes widened as a man stepped softly into the room. Thomas clawed his way backwards into a corner, his body trembling as he looked up at the apparition all in white crowded by eleven men and one woman.
Clean shaven, His face was the colour of a walnut and bore an expression of patience without end. There was no trace of the blood that had bathed Him on the cross. Thomas held back the vomit that welled in his stomach as recognition coursed through his body. The man was at ease among the shouts of joy and the questions that assailed Him. After a moment, He raised a hand to silence them and then, starting with Peter, He took each of His students in turn by the hand and whispered in their ear. Thomas saw that with each message shared, the addressed disciple would look at Him with understanding and acceptance, nodding back in promise. Forgotten for the moment, Thomas finally vomited in the corner.
Mary was the last of those surrounding Him to be addressed. She beamed with joy and her eyes welled with tears as she listened. Knees shaking, Thomas stood
up while the others watched in silence as He approached His twelfth disciple with a quieting comfort, stopping before Thomas and placing His hands on his shoulders. Thomas could only shake his head in return, mouthing the word “no” over and over as He leaned to whisper a single word in his ear before pulling back and smiling at him with grace. Having finished, Jesus left them.
After His departure, the room fell once more into chaos as the disciples drowned out one another with questions. Thomas shoved through them, ignoring their outraged cries as he made for the door where Peter stood, blocking his path.
“And where are you going, brother Thomas?”
Bile in his mouth and tears falling freely, Thomas answered, “India. I go to India…to spread the Word.” He then fled the house and Jerusalem.
Steriletom fucked around with this message at Mar 17, 2013 around 05:18
|# ¿ Mar 17, 2013 05:16|
|# ¿ Mar 21, 2013 04:42|
First draft at 530 words. Going to make a go of trying to cut this mother down to 400.
|# ¿ Mar 21, 2013 22:07|
You know that the 400-word flash rule was specific to Noah though, right? You and everyone else have 500 words.
I'm aware. I doubt I'll manage anyways, down to 470 only. I'll sleep on it and look with fresh eyes tomorrow.
|# ¿ Mar 21, 2013 22:50|
I said I was going to try and get this down to 400 but then life and stuff.
The Sixth Republic - 470 words
They legislated the unions out of existence and we pleaded with them to do more. Issue work visas, abolish the minimum wage, lower corporate taxes. Whatever it took to create more jobs. I remember the rally I attended for one of the presidential candidates, doesn’t matter which one. Holding up an election poster, I listened raptly as we were promised a “Newer Deal” and I cheered with the rest. There would be a “chicken in every pot again” after we fixed the economy. It wasn’t even a lie. We just didn’t realize yet that only a few of us would still own cookware after the Reforms.
I’m playing the lottery on beggar’s row across from the airport. Hoping that the rare monied passerby tosses a penny into my cup instead of another one of the hundreds on display. A commotion down the line catches my eye and I note the regulars at that end perking up as an Entrepreneur approaches on the side walk. He’s wearing a top hat perched above a bespoke morning suit with waistcoat and nervously fingers a cane top set with a heavy weight. Standard uniform adopted by the monied classes after the Reforms. Three Burmese attendants follow in his wake with the luggage.
I linger on the Burmese. Insourcing was the term they coined. Jobs are going to low wage countries so let’s bring the low wage workers to us. None of us really thought through the implications of that. It’s okay, I just saw a jumbo jet’s worth of Mongolians arrive yesterday. Those Burmese will be here beside me soon.
The Entrepreneur passes me by without dropping any money into my collection. I already knew he wasn’t going to give me anything. Nor anyone else down the line for that matter. I’ve always had a keen eye even if my nose was never good enough to smell through the bullshit. Custom-made suit tight at the waist. He’s had it for more than a year and can’t replace it. One of his house servants did a good job patching the tear in the knee. The colours match but the nylon fabric has a slightly brighter sheen.
They never thought about who would keep buying the junk they made once everyone else was on the street. He’s not the first I’ve seen wearing too-old clothes. It won’t be long now. Once they can’t afford to pay the police it’s all going to go down the shitter. Me and some of the boys have been talking. Seems there’s quite a few of us with combat experience. Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and the other foreign business ventures that followed. Some of them have even held onto their guns instead of pawning them. The rest of us are pooling our money. Yeah, it won’t be long now.
|# ¿ Mar 23, 2013 20:01|
|# ¿ Mar 28, 2013 12:45|
Give me my second poo poo crown. I give no shits. I had fun.
Through the Universe - 1000 words
Alice threw herself over the table, straining to reach the medicine cup with its single orange pill. 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. Almost in reach, her tongue flicked out 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 as 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, the speed of light broken. 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.
Alice stared down and up at the sky. Galaxies swirled and pulsed and radiated, bathing her in indigo and fuchsia and viridian lights. A celestial disco ball spinning in eternity. A distant memory pushed in 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.
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. She swam to the starting point and found the Queen dressed all in red. Buckets of blood used to get the colour just right. A shriek in her skull and the fires changed direction and struck her. A cry from Alice’s mouth and she tumbled up into the sky.
YOU HAVE COME AGAIN.
YOU WILL DIE AGAIN.
Galaxies imploded and Supernovas exploded as Alice fell through universe stuff. In her vision, singular points of light turned into long golden streaks. 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.
I WILL HAVE YOUR HEAD FOR GOOD THIS TIME.
YOU WILL NOT RETURN.
Invisible black holes flying on waves of fire pounded her body, tearing holes where the heat had made her brittle. 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 and she remembered. There was no regrowth, she just was.
Alice marched back, galaxies falling into her gravitational pull. She stopped and tore a hole and stepped through behind the Queen. 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. 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. 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.”
“Splendid job, my dear,” congratulated Dr. Hare. “Splendid!”
“It took you enough tries,” said Dr. Chesire, smiling.
The three men stood in a line in front of Alice, clipboards pressed to their chests. 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.”
“You won’t need to give a speech or anything,” assured Dr. Chesire. “Just step out on one of the balconies and wave a little. The people need to see their hero.”
Alice walked out of the room for the first time in years and travelled with the doctors down a fluorescent hallway. As they neared the outward facing side of the sanitarium she could hear a noise coming from outside the walls like the swelling and receding and swelling back again of the surf. She did not feel any excitement or pride. 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.
|# ¿ Mar 31, 2013 02:17|
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.
|# ¿ Mar 31, 2013 03:43|
|# ¿ Mar 31, 2013 03:45|
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.
Welp. I missed that.
Easter Sunday is a big deal with my people so no revisions will be forthcoming. Although, if it helps, the original story had no reference to Alice or any other characters from Alice In Wonderland; I just revised those in due to the lyrics.
|# ¿ Mar 31, 2013 04:13|
Nubile Hillock posted:
Thanks for taking the time despite the DQ.
|# ¿ Apr 1, 2013 21:30|
|# ¿ Apr 2, 2013 13:53|
Do we have to incorporate the title of the drawing as well as the quote, or is the quote fine on its own?
|# ¿ Apr 2, 2013 22:25|
I want to judge again so I get to shout at posts like this.
I reread the prompt to try and figure out what got your panties into such a bunch and the best I can come up with is that you took my use of "incorporate" to mean quote verbatim as opposed to what I actually meant(quoted below).
I updated the prompt again to make it extremely clear that you should not copy and paste the quote into your piece. "Incorporate" meant that you should break up the essence of that quote so that it flows back into your work in wonderful ways.
Each picture comes with a title and a quote-such as the below. Since the prompt makes no mention of the title, I think it's fair game to ask for clarity.
|# ¿ Apr 2, 2013 23:14|
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.
|# ¿ Apr 2, 2013 23:14|
Anyone can change anything up until the sign up deadline. By the deadline all "TBD" entries need to become decided and will be locked in.
House on Maple Street in that case.
|# ¿ Apr 4, 2013 23:10|
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!”
He was about to bang again when the lock began to turn. The door opened, 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?”
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.
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 it, and briefly shoved it in Ares’ face. “I have a warrant.”
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. The room was what one would expect from the house’s exterior: Classic American made sofa and recliner, an oaken coffee table with a heavy book on it, and, in the corner, one of those new television gizmos.
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.”
“I’ll cut to the chase then,” said Farrow. “Tell me who you’re working for. The Soviets? Cubans? Chinese?”
Ares did not answer. Instead, he picked up a notebook and began writing.
“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.”
Farrow seethed as the older gentleman remained at ease in his recliner. 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. You drive a brand new Chevy Bel-Air. 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.”
“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?”
Ares looked pleased to have been noticed. “Ah, I was reviewing the dynamics of your tribe’s power structures.”
“Yes. American, I believe you call it.”
Farrow jumped to his feet, energized. “So you admit to spying!”
He began pulling out a pair of handcuffs when Ares, checking 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 gun.
That was when the house began 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 body. “What the hell is going on here!” he shouted over a roar like that of an avalanche.
Ares ignored him and calmly 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, backing away.
The world shifted. A sound like the roots of a mighty oak tearing free deafened Farrow and an invisible force crushed him to the floor. Ares forgotten, Farrow dragged himself toward a window. He grasped the sill and hoisted himself up to look out.
His heart fell. They were rising in perfect balance. Underneath the house, he could make out a great yellow flame, driving them upwards. America was dark with night and quickly receding. 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 amorphous 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 write in English when on Terra, thankfully.” He handed the tome from the coffee table to Farrow, who read the title.
“Humans: A Zoological Study of Lesser Developed Alien Life Forms by Glarny agGlarn"
Steriletom fucked around with this message at Apr 5, 2013 around 23:29
|# ¿ Apr 5, 2013 23:02|
Also since I'm feeling capricious, from right now until whenever I get bored I will assign a story to anyone who asks. This may work out well for you, it may not.
|# ¿ Apr 9, 2013 14:15|
Friend I haven't seen in a long time called me up this afternoon for drinks. I am now too drunk too complete.
I have brought shame to my family.
|# ¿ Apr 14, 2013 22:17|
That never stopped Martello. Now you have to post something.
My last fully drunk write earned me my avatar. Not going down that road again.
|# ¿ Apr 14, 2013 22:39|
Just get your fiancée to check it before you submit and blame her if it doesn't turn out well.
She proof read "Macy's Day" and liked it.
I can no longer trust her.
|# ¿ Apr 14, 2013 22:54|
|# ¿ Mar 22, 2019 08:09|
I've been busy with wedding stuff the last few weeks; what's up with my new avatar?
Not that I'm complaining. The standard loser avatar is horribly put together.
|# ¿ Apr 29, 2013 02:51|