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  • Locked thread
May 30, 2011

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

HiddenGecko posted:

I want you to write better and keep getting better.

Stone of Madness: Let’s start with the obvious, you’re plover gambit failed, by the third paragraph nothing is happening plot-wise to hook your reader into the story.

please write better tia


Toanoradian:It was like a an onion article satirizing a Chic Tract. I LOVE YOU.

I'll start with laughably bad erotica this year. By the end I shall make decent ones. I swear by the name of my grandparents. Also while I'm doing ridiculous promises I will also be on that Boss Judges list by next thread. I'll show you all :argh:

Also I'm just going to assume that there's a hidden mission where I must, after the week's competition is over, fix and then send my story to a journal. I need to rack up those rejection letters.


Flash rule: make it decent include geologists. Any one you like.

toanoradian fucked around with this message at 02:07 on Jan 10, 2013


May 30, 2011

Thanks. Also, for those among us too tired to google and yet not live where EST is, can you post a website that tells the current EST? Like this?

May 30, 2011

In what format do you want the list?

May 30, 2011

What competing list? We have always been using Bad Seafood's list.

The Question										Answer
Who's the guy with amazing lists?							Bad Seafood

Who adorns his amazing lists with crazy-good picture edits?				Bad Seafood

Who deserves Nobel Price, Millenium Awards and a Pulitzer for his lists?		Bad Seafood

Who could list the unlistable?								Bad Seafood

Who should be in the Archivist Hall of Fame?						Bad Seafood

What song is this parodying?								Shaft

It doesn't really scan though?								Yes

toanoradian fucked around with this message at 23:10 on Jan 12, 2013

May 30, 2011

sebmojo posted:

I actually like bad seafood's formatting better. Plus, awesome .gif.

This being the dome, you may fight it out.

The James Bond picture is a .gif? Whoa.

That said, I can't brawl this week. Not in a week of verse.

May 30, 2011

I mean I want to focus on this week. Last poem I did was a lukewarm piece of fermented shark and I want to write a better one. Also because free verse is hard. how do you poets do this mine is poo poo supreme special

May 30, 2011

Fine, I'll do it, just so Bad Seafood can write more (and maybe become better?) and sebmojo's judging fetish is fulfilled, whatever.

My prompt is: "rotten food".

Have a nice time.

May 30, 2011

Thunderbrawl LIST EDITION: Bad “My List Comes with Pictures” Seafood vs. toa “My List Comes in White”noradian
Prompt: “rotten food”

Being Human (100 words)

Grazia and Domenico looked at the block of cheese they just dropped. It had split into many chunks. Translucent maggots wriggled out from the cheese, sploshing in pale yellow liquid.

The maggots jumped around Grazia’s feet. Although they didn’t reach him, he fell backwards. His right hand landed on a piece of cheese and squished it. Grazia stared at the cheese on his hand. He squeezed it. “This is a very soft cheese.” He began to drool.

“Grazia, don’t,” Domenico said. “The cheese’s rotten!”

Grazia bit it. “Still good.” A maggot landed on his face. He chewed.

If I have 50 more words I can add stereotypical Italian phrases like “Cor blimey”, “감사합니다” or “Will this have dicks?”

May 30, 2011

sebmojo posted:


victories to Bad Seafood.

Hmm. Well, if I can't even dominate Bad Seafood, what can I do in front of Good Seafood? It'll be weird for the Japanese guy if I bowed in front of the sushi.

Thanks for judging for us No thanks for being a judgmental gobarse, sebmojo. If you even need to know, my 'maggoty cheese' refers to this specific maggoty cheese. I've originally planned my story to be about kæstur hákarl, but 100 words isn't enough to describe buried fermenting shark.

I'll be back, Bad Seafood

May 30, 2011

Yeah, let's not have so many Thunderbrawls next week. Not saying there should be a hard limit or that it sucks, but that people don't just brawl willy-nilly. Also can we stop in-thread discussion of critiques and move that to PMs?

Fanky Malloons posted:

Re: HiddenGecko vs Iroel THUNDERBRAWL 2.0 the prompt is this: Tell me a story about what's outside my window. 150 words. By the time I wake up tomorrow morning, which gives you 14-16 hours.

Outside Malloons' Window

It's me, Malloons. I am outside your window.

why won't you crit any of my grimdark dumbo fanfics

May 30, 2011

So is the idea then that some goons will announce their Brawl in this thread, then take their prompts, judges and submissions to the Sister Thread?

May 30, 2011

I think that's a joke. I know it from seeing quite a few jokes in my time.

May 30, 2011

Twice now did the prompt and challenge defeated me.

Death on Death (351 words)
Goodbye to you
Yes, hello, hello I am here
I’m sorry to bear bad news:
You’re no more, you’ve passed,
You’ve gone and spent your last
Moments of life.

No, there aren’t any games
Miracles or second chances
Once you died you remain
In that state, forever
lifeless, forever over!

Don’t start to cry now
You’re many years too late!
Look, there isn’t anything
I can do to help, I am just
Carrying you to the next
World of wonders

I have had enough of this
Crying and sobbing
At time around death
Why can’t you smile for
Once when you die
Or be happy
As I welcome you

I hate that you’ve feared
Me; I hate that you have
Feared a force of nature
With a personality
Likes and needs
So much that you named
‘It’ the ‘Grim Reaper’
I much prefer ‘Death’!

I didn’t start off reaping
I didn’t start off grim!
I started off picking
I started off grinning!

I am sick of you
Being scared of death
When it is only the briefest
Seconds at the end.
People resist being taken
As if moving on will hurt
As if I will hurt

No, I don’t have
A loving scythe.
I don’t cut you off
Your own body did that!
I just pick you up
So you get on
To the next world!

I don’t have a steed
Of burning skulls
I don’t need a ride
Of magic bones
To bring you out
From this place.

Do you want to stay
Here in this void?
The sizzling, swirling,
Swaying darkness?
Didn’t think so!
So shut up and walk
With me.

No, there is no light,
No tunnels either.
It’s easy to get lost
In the realm of after

What’s in the world beyond
This realm? I do not know
Nor do I care
Notice I handle deaths
What’s before,
What’s after,
What do I care.

Here at last we reached
The end of our team
Just give a step
Now go on then!
Move past!
Your life had ended
Your death had too

May 30, 2011

Oh, crud. Requesting permission to add my flash rule to my submission.

May 30, 2011

Okay then.

toanoradian posted:

Death on Death

Flash rule: Free verse in very short lines divided into stanzas of 4 to 8 lines each Make it absolutely poo poo.

May 30, 2011

Win a week to find out! Winning will also literally fulfill all your dreams.

May 30, 2011

So by NZDT you mean this, yeah?

May 30, 2011

I apologize for being late on the crit, Zack_Gochuck. As apology I went a bit long.

Zack_Gochuck posted:

Admiral's Grove (358)

It's less classy now that you surround it with dicks
I read this as having two main ‘events’: the man reminiscing on his deathbed and the younger man meeting the girl. Which one do you want to focus here? The way I see it, the reminiscing is the frame of the story while the meeting with the girl is the actual story. If that’s what you aim for, I think there are several weaknesses in the poem. The framing, where the man was on his deathbed, I feel is a bit too long. Was there significance in the man’s youth? Did the meeting with the girl made him remember when he was young? Did her movements remind him of the gulls? The bit where the man listed down things he didn’t think about is especially grating to me. Consider trimming the man’s background to what is necessary, like the fact he can only think of one thing as he was dying.

The second problem I have with your current format is that the actual story feels a bit shallow on the impact. It might be just me preferring important things to be a bit more substantial for the senses, but the man’s description of the woman seems bare and too matter-of-fact. If she is what he consistently thinks about “week to week”, I would like to see the product of said obsessive thinking. Just one example: In what way is the dance a ‘good time’? Does the man just never dance with his wife or is her dancing something special? Is there elegance in her moves, awing the man with an alien concept of class? Is she perhaps a wild party girl, injecting the older man with enthusiasm while simultaneously intimidating him with youth? A bit of an exaggeration would work wonders here, since how someone embellishes their memories of the past could reveal a bit about his character.

You could also describe the sex a bit more if you think you have the chops.

Essentially what I am saying is that please decide which story you want to tell well. Is it his death moments, where his reminiscing always leads to that interaction with a girl? Is it his meeting with the girl, which would impact how he views his life on his death bed. If the former, you focus more on the present and how the past influences it. If the latter you zoom in into the past and see how much impact it had on the present.

Arr, we've reached a philosophical impasse, ye wench
I really like the man’s grammar slipping as the poem goes. It shows that as he nears death he loses his mind. It is a subtle effect and I thought it was very clever. However, I can’t work out why you choose to start his slipping so. The grammar slip first appears in ‘So I stands up’, which doesn't seem to have any significance. I know losing the mind could happen anytime, but I think there should be a significant reason for him starting to slip there. Is he standing up to meet her the first time she had a magical effect on him? No, she hooked him a line ago. So what’s so important about the standing up? I have no idea. The progression of the slips is good. All in all, I think this is a neat idea.

I have no idea what “b’y” is supposed to mean, though. Can you go with less abstract contractions?

The rest of my critique is minor grievances.

What’s with the additional line break between ‘I got her address…’ and ‘I thought about her…’? If it’s supposed to show a ‘going to the past’ effect, maybe add one at the beginning to make it consistent.

The wife and the son is automatically the family, so saying ‘my family, wife or even son’ is a redundant. Unless there are comics-level contrivances where the wife and the son isn’t his family, they were his CLONES!!!

A cod doesn’t hook a jig. It’s the other way around.

I felt the truth/tooth rhyme is lame, the grave/save one forced, and skin/again isn't one.

In conclusion, while there are neat ideas, the way the poem describes allegedly important events is lacking and as a result the entire work felt shallow and bland.

May 30, 2011

I'm in, like a...bin? Sin? Gene? Sp...leen? Hang on, let me find a suitable rhyme for this...

May 30, 2011

That should be very simple considering that Indonesia has like a billion languages spread across its 13000 islands. I've lived in 4 cities from two islands and they all have different languages. Then you have them mixing 'proper' Indonesian with their own regional vocabulary and that lead to some confusion. You don't even have to get out of Java, older people still speak in mostly Javanese with some sprinkles of Dutch. Also we're all tribal racists. This is the chance for you to knock the Judges out of their old wrinkly panties, V for Vegas! Good luck!

Also that's not fair, budgieinspector, he didn't even mock the Judges. i expect fairness and mercy from thunderdome: the cuddly edition

May 30, 2011

budgieinspector posted:

Good thing such a travesty does not exist, yes?

:cry: my jokes why do they keep sucking :cry:

Also yeah, I was just about to ask what's up with the flash rule because I just realized SurreptitiousMuffin said there should be no flash rules. Also when is the secret judge coming?

inter-judge brawl come on come on come on

May 30, 2011

2. 645 words.

Sundel Bolong Udah Jalan-Jalan

Tukul dismissed his initial fears after finding out that the ‘mysterious woman’ was simply one of those Caucasians. He had seen them wandering the place, asking anyone they came across various questions in some sort of hesitant groans. This one was a woman with long blonde hair, a big backpack and a pair of sunglasses on her big forehead. She was also dressed indecently, with a tight-fitting shirt (he noticed her large bosom) and short pants. She noticed him and walked to his cart.

She looked at the cart and then to Tukul. “These… are meatballs?” she asked.

Tukul nodded. “Beef meatballs.” The foreign woman blinked at him. “Made from cow. Mooo. Yes, cow.”

“I can have some?” she asked.

“You have money?” Tukul asked.

She reached into her pockets and pulled out some wrinkled notes. She gave him enough for at least five bowls. He smiled and took them all. “Do you want it spicy?” She blinked at him again. Tukul let out his tongue and exhaled rapidly, swinging his hands in front of his mouth. The girl stared at him and backed away slightly.

Of course she didn’t knew what this mean, Tukul thought. He showed her a bottle of chilli. “Do you want the meatballs with this?”

“What’s this?”

“It makes this feel hot,” Tukul said, pointing to his tongue. He put his thumbs up. “Delicious.”

“Ah! Okay then,” she said. Her backpack had disappeared.

Few minutes later, Tukul finished making his meatballs. He also added a generous helping of chilli. He put in fewer meatballs than usual. He handed the bowl to her. “Be careful, it’s hot.”

Without hesitation, she grabbed the bowl and put her fingers in. She licked her lips as her white fingers picked up a meatball. It went inside her mouth. She swallowed them, without chewing. She smiled. “This is quite good.”

“Well, of course! I'm Mang Tukul, the best in town!”

She continued ‘eating’. She then bowed her head to suck on the soup. As she raised her head, she ignored the strands of blonde hair now blocking her face. “So proud of that, when you lived in a town of this size.”

“You speak well,” Tukul said. He began to pull his cart away.

She finished drinking up everything. She then dropped the bowl. “Well, of course. I’ve lived here. For sooo many years. Don’t tell me you don’t know me, Mang Tukul?”

Tukul felt his senses weakening. The woman in front of him put her hands on the cart and leaned over. He couldn’t help but look at the woman’s chest. She then put her hands on the hem of her shirt and pulled it up. Tukul tried to cover his eyes, but he still stared at her.

As she lifted her shirt slowly, Tukul saw her white skin slowly turning darker and a faint trace of blood running down her bellybutton. As Tukul looked up, he saw that she didn’t have a stomach. Instead, there was a big hole, with bits of bone and organs peeking out of its side, as if someone took a big chunk out of her stomach. Tukul fell down on his bottom as the white foreigner in front of him turned darker and its body extended up, her shirt replaced with a long, white bloody gown.

“But…what?” Tukul said.

The thing’s appendages shot out and grabbed Tukul’s shoulders, pinning him to the ground. It bent forward and moved its head closer to Tukul’s. Tukul shivered, staring into those bloodshot eyes. “I’ve been outside, of course,” it said. “Do you know what…spirits do out there? Out there, on the land of the whites?”

Tukul couldn’t process what happened to her face. It shook, it buzzed, it cracked. All he sensed next was darkness and a faint whiff of spicy meatballs.

“They killed people.”

May 30, 2011

^ Sorry, MuffMunchMan, I didn't see your post.

According to this, there's less than 1 hour left!!! Come on, V for Vegas, despair us with yer mighty works!

toanoradian fucked around with this message at 10:07 on Jan 20, 2013

May 30, 2011

Less than 20 minutes left! V for Vegas, you can do it! Cut few inches off your top from going under the wire if you must!

The Saddest Rhino posted:

PS. I'm sorry toanoradian the avatar got changed again, although you might be relieved to know I do not masturbate to ponies.

wait no i shouldn't make jokes about ponies

Well, at least there's no dead rhino? :shobon: Win again in this year's Christmas and maybe there'll be more presents bribery!

May 30, 2011

Oh god oh god less than 3 minutes left come on V for Vegas :ohdear: I once posted 1 minute before the deadline, you can do it too!

sebmojo posted:


My freeware wordprocessor just seized on me and I didn't have the file saved.

that's a fail, but I'll retype it and get it in after the deadline anyway.

Language, please. 'A fail' is worse than YOLO and planking combined. What word processor is that?

V Good poo poo, man. But can you unquote that to make it easier to edit for critiquers?

toanoradian fucked around with this message at 11:01 on Jan 20, 2013

May 30, 2011

The Saddest Rhino posted:

Ctrl-p ing your post now to hold you to your word by the way

Too bad by this Christmas I'll be permabanned for being too machismoistic for this thread. :smug:

it's true, i read it in my horoscope and they're never wrong

May 30, 2011

Clearly his/her very existence offends those with non-sad rhinoceros privileges.

May 30, 2011

I can't see your picture, twinkle cave. What is it?

May 30, 2011

Judges! Hey judges! Are you there?

Are you going to pair us whiners/cowards/pantsdroppers up for critique symbiotic dick stroking?

May 30, 2011

Both of you have PMs, so use them, guys.

May 30, 2011

aquavelva posted:

I'm in. Ready to lawyer.

There are no laws in the Thunderdome. What are you going to yer?

Also, V for Vegas, that crit is coming soon. I apologize.

May 30, 2011

You deserve better than this tardy twat toanoradian, V for Vegas. I don't have an excuse. I was distracted.

a free game shouldn't have 750 levels

V for Vegas posted:

Iakopo - 1636

Then Zeus met with Gatot Kaca of Indonesia, and lo, Homer was drunk
The biggest problem I have with this story is that I was more bewildered than frightened. Confusion can be scary, but I don't think it did here. The setting of a weird foreign circumciser’s hut, with the goal of Iakopo finding a jar of foreskins, is interesting and a good start for horror. However, what happened as the story progresses just confuses me. The Fofo interpreted Iakopo’s interest in pua jar by giving him a knife and made the poor kid stab him. It’s not really connected. I blame my confusion on your inclusion of gods or famous figures from Samoa. It didn’t really add much to the story (I understand the stabbing had to do with being a man) but the inclusion makes it seem important. After some research, I understood your story better, but I think your usage of the myth is awkward. The ‘Le fe’e e! faafofoga mai ia’ chant had some problems. The chant was for the war god O Le Fe’e before his worshippers go to battle, yes? I can see the connection between manliness and war-readiness, that for Iakopo to truly become ‘Man’ he must be ready to battle and thus ready to kill. It’s a good reference and nicely contrasts Iakopo’s early fear of being unmanly, but I found three aspects of this that makes it less effective.

First is the loneliness of this O Le Fe’e chant reference, how it is almost completely separate from the rest of the story. None of O Le Fe’e’s symbols (e.g. the white cloths, the cuttlefish) had been mentioned. I think if you include just one, it would give that part a bit more connection to the rest of the setting. If not the symbols of the god, what about the things people pay attention to in the pre-war ceremony, the colours? White turban, red flaming rage, dark shells as bad omen… O Le Fe’e’s chant includes a lot of colours and by ignoring them I think you miss a chance to really solidify the chant’s place in your submission.

Secondly is the mention of Salevao, another war god and Tui Fiti, a hero. I would argue that referring to these two harms your earlier reference. Mentioning that Iakopo is the ‘last living son’ of Tui Fiti, another god, and that Iakopo will eventually have ‘the spirit of Salevao’ coming to him makes it sound too much like a heroic prophecy. It basically says, “Iakopo, son of The Great Hero, you will fight the spirit of War Dog with the help of other gods’. Heck, if by Salevao you mean the god of rocks that is responsible for the name ‘Samoa’, then Iakopo will fight, like, The God. Heroic prophecies are fine in fantasies, but in horror I feel they are misplaced. Especially one predicting a divine war. Instead of making this reference, why not expand the manliness=ready to kill aspect? Give us more hints of ‘change’ inside Iakopo, as his ‘true manliness’ is through killing instead of just circumcision. The last line of the story is a bit too late and too little in these hints, in my opinion.

Thirdly, why is a Javanese man praying to the Samoan gods? Also, the shrunken heads are creepy, but from my limited knowledge of Javanese mythology, those aren’t really the stuff from Javanese myths. A Javanese man doing a Samoan ritual in a place riddled with symbols from the Amazon makes the entire thing feels like a jumble of unrelated mysticism. It makes the O Le Fe’e chant seems like a random thing The Fofo just say because he had just read George Turner. Worse, it makes me suspect that you just insert any ‘mystical’ thing you fancy. You could use other symbols from O Le Fe’e mythology, like the fact that he petrifies people or of bloody white cloths. These may not have the same visceral effect like shrunken heads, but they’d be more connected to the chant.

The chant is obscure in the first place, and I feel the way you insert them in the story is weak. The first and third point make the chant seem removed from anything in the story and the second point make it part of a misplaced fantasy sequence. If you fix them, I think the obscurity would be justified, as it adds to the theme.

You sound like you find my fence sexually arousing
I liked how Iakopo and Hemana talked. Their dialogue felt sufficiently childish. Hemana’s saying that he’ll be a man but Iakopo won’t felt quite real and bring to mind the hypocritical poo poo I said as a kid. The use of crushes as means to threaten, the dare, the tons of small curses (doesn’t ‘poo poo’ sound good to the child’s tongue?) and the accusations of lying paints the relationship between these two kids really well. I could sense that they were good friends without you needing to show physical actions, like... a fistbump? Secret handshakes? Whatever good friends do to each other. Good job!

However, I spotted few errors in your dialogue. I believe there should be a comma between the last spoken word and the closing inverted commas. Some of your dialogue tags are ‘Said Bookisms’, synonyms to ‘said’ that are unnecessary or unlike. For example, I don’t think you can smile a word. Or that a ‘snapping’ could happen without using exclamation marks. These first draft mistakes are easy to fix, so no big deal.

The rest of my critique are insignificant thoughts.

Constant usage of 'The Fofo' makes him seem special. I like it.

I have no idea what ‘dewan’ means in the context of ‘little dewan’. I asked my Javanese parents and they don’t have a clue either. It meant something like ‘council’ in Indonesian, but it doesn’t sound quite right when paired with ‘little’. Perhaps you mean ‘dewa’, which means god?

‘Frozen screams etched onto shrunken heads’ makes for an excellent creepy metaphor. I don’t think the shrunken heads can actually show emotions that would equal a scream, though.

All the trash in The Fofo’s house, instead of adding a sense of disgust in me, rather undermines his ‘mystic-ness’, in my opinion. I don’t know, his work as a foreskin cleaver already make him a normal person, but the garbage kind of spoils any otherworldliness I feel from him.

In conclusion, the story has well-crafted dialogue and a nice horror premise, but the plot progresses into a clutter of mythology, resulting in bafflement instead of horror.

V for Vegas posted:

Maybe submit closer to the deadline next time.

you don't understand man
i don't wanna go back there
the stress
the rancid breath of the judges
the sharp wires
no more
no more

May 30, 2011

I would like to register in this 'Thunderdome' thing. Heard it's pretty in there. Flowers and butterflies and unicorns!

May 30, 2011

I'm in. However, since I'll be going with my parents to visit my grandmother in some far-off place of no internet this weekend, I might be late. I'm recording using my cellphone anyway, so being late won't really make it any worse for me.

Also like around how many words are 5 minutes or less? From Week III, 1490 words, with all the pauses, gasps and errors deleted takes about 9 minutes. 1800 words take 11 (admittedly chill and slow) minutes. So about 800-900 words?

toanoradian fucked around with this message at 02:02 on Feb 1, 2013

May 30, 2011

Oooh, the deadline's on Saturday. I thought it was on Sunday.

gently caress

Can I request a losertar? I have been a pathetic poo poo these past two weeks.

May 30, 2011

I'm in, please.

May 30, 2011

A desperate, adrenaline-filled rush of frantic keyboard spasms to collect enough electrons to summon a half-legible assortment of tense errors count as action, right?

May 30, 2011

Martello posted:

Everyone read the OP again. Pay attention to what I just added to the bottom.

Bottom of The OP posted:

Martello hosed around at Feb 7, 2013 around 11:02

I don't get it, we already know you're a stud horse.

May 30, 2011



May 30, 2011

Late or not, at least I submitted. That's far better than the previous three weeks.

How the Legendary Hero Got a Legendary Wife (1000 words)

Jok ran faster than the reddest hares. His Legendary Feet carried him along, cutting through air like Fragarach through liars. His small red bag, attached to his waist by a thin cord, flag behind him. He jumped past the shore line and continued running in the air, his velocity sending huge waves around him. He came across several underwater volcanoes in his path, but he simply cracked them apart with his Fists of Legend. Nothing, not even Mountain Ekur or its inhabitants, could stop the Legendary Hero from being late to his marriage.

He finally landed on the city. He slowed down his running so as to not ruin the paved roads and went to the town hall. He could see several horses with multiple appendages, chariots and giant animals parked just outside, taken care of by a boy and few imaginary wolves.

Just as Jok entered the hall, a human, perhaps with much more hair than usual, leapt at him. But this wasn’t a gesture of impatience by his fiancée, no, this was just an Almas. Jok dodged the hairy beast’s grasp and kicked it in the side. The Almas screamed in agony before the hard wall silenced it.

Jok looked towards the raised stage, where his fiancée should be. To his chagrin, she didn’t wear the complete outfit. Her hair was done and the golden needles were stuck in it, and the gold veil lied on the floor, but there was nothing of the specially-made batik on her. His wife wore instead her normal costume, which consists of white cloth with a prominent black-coloured chest guard and black trousers. She even had a jawbone on one hand.

“Nusaybah bin Deak Parudjar! What’s wrong?” Jok asked.

“Not my fault your Yetimancer uncle disagrees with this marriage!” Nusaybah said, pointing to the side. Jok noticed that the long buffet table, complete with the roof, had been thrown at the audience, all the plates and food particles around it. Under the table is an unmistakable figure of Jok’s uncle: short and hairy all over. “You can’t believe how hard I try to reason with him, saying that maybe he could hold down summoning his humanoids for just one long ritual of marriage, but he refused! Thankfully he only barely managed to summon an Almas and not a Chuchunya.”

“Not the Almas! The garb! Where’s the…the…thing?” Jok asked.

Nusaybah looked down. “Well, I was late.”

“You what? I told you I’ll take care of the ingredients!”

“I’m sorry! I just didn’t know! Turns out the beard of the woman we’ve got were just bear fur.” As she said it, the cord connected to Jok’s bag snapped.

“Oh geez,” Jok said. He picked up the bag and stepped up to the stage. “So have you found another beard?”

Nusaybah nodded. “From a lesbian’s husband.” She untied the string on her bow and showed it to him. “It’s shinier than before now that I use a real beard of a woman, see?” Jok looked up and down the string.

“It looks the same to me.”

“You can never tell colours,” Nusaybah said. “Anyway, where’s the spit of a bird?”

Jok smiled and pulled out a crushed carcass of a royal eagle. Some of the audience cried out. One man from the audience stood up and put some cream on his throat. Nasaybah gawked at the dead bird and then stared at Jok. “What in the name of the Prophet is this?”

“A royal eagle. See, the Sun made it by spitting into the sea. So quite literally, this bird is a spit. A spit of a bird, if you will,” Jok said, grinning. He then stopped grinning. “Quick, give me the cord before the blood dries up.”

Nusaybah silently hand Jok the cord and he squeezed the wrecked corpse, letting few drops of blood fall into the cord. Instantly the cord shone brightly and extended. Now it was long enough to incapacitate an giant wolf, no matter how many global destructions it wished to carry. Jok tied it to his right little finger.

“I have no idea why I have to have my hair done if you’re just going to have your own procedure anyway,” Nusaybah said.

“This is just the ‘ring’, Nusaybah. Far stronger and far more symbolic,” Jok said. “Perfect for you. We’ll have the traditional marriage after this.”

Nusaybah smiled. “Fine,” she said, picking up the string and tying it to her finger. She closed her eyes and the string became shorter.

The king that was supposed to overlook their marriage then grabbed the cord and threw it at the ground, where it somehow stayed, like an invisible bird-head sat on it. He laughed. “I got you where I want you, Legendary Hero! Stuck to an old ball and chain! Not even you can break the cord!” As he laughed, a seam appeared on his forehead. Soon a large fireball appeared from the inside of the king.

“A soucouyant?” Jok said.

“That’s why the king didn’t like his baths!” Nusaybah said. The fireball went towards the struggling Jok and shone in front of him. Red droplets went out of Jok’s skin and into the fireball. Nusaybah extended the cord, but Jok was still. She then ran around Jok and the fireball, tying them both with the thin cord. The fireball burned Jok’s Legendary Skin, but he only whimpered.

“What can you do? I’m a loving fireball. Can’t hit me with your bow,” the soucouyant said while still sucking Jok’s blood.

Nusaybah sighed. “This is a jawbone that permanently damages the sun,” she said, “What can a small fireball like you do?” She slammed the jawbone repeatedly against the soucouyant, before it died and sprayed blood everywhere.

Jok started to move again. “I…I…thanks, Nusaybah.”

Nusaybah grinned. She pointed at the cord. The soucouyant’s blood had covered a length of the cord and made it red. “Look, the red string of fate.”

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