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Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Erogenous Beef posted:

Don't knock my smock or I'll clean your clock.


:siren: Thunderbrawl Entry v. Sitting "Blood Queen" Here :siren:

Prompt: Kudzu is an unstoppable force of nature. Tell me a story about something (anything) growing out of control.
Genre: American Gothic
Theme: An overwhelming feeling of being out of place.
Word count: 1500-2000
Due date: July 28th 11:59 PST.



Unless Sitting Here produces soon, you'll get this one by default. You'll still get a full crit as well.

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Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


I'm in this week.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


The Wendigo
Words: 1200

When the straw boss started loading the Celestial rail workers, what they called Sze Wa and other Chinese, she didn’t expect they would come for the non-wage earners too. One at a time they loaded the workers up, the straw boss, also Chinese, would mark their names off a list.

A man asked the straw boss what was going on.

“You’re done, no more work,” Hong Xiogang, the straw boss said.

“Are we being paid?” another asked. Hong nodded.

“Ye, yes, this ledger has all your wages,” he said. “You’re going to Johnston, you will be paid there.”

Sze Wa, and many others, did not believe him. About being paid. Sze Wa knew Johnston was less than a day away by traincar, she expected they would be abandoned there with no translator and no money. She never expected to be left halfway there, locked in the train car.

Sze Wa waited as the men broke their hands on the steel doors. Tear-streaked desperation set in only hours after the train had stopped. Sze Wa watched, she knew she would need her strength. Before they came for her at the camp, she knew to hide a razor in her clothes; desperation and sadism make men do anything, and she made sure she was always prepared.

As the nights passed she cut bits from the dead, chewing them slowly and silently. The loud ones were confronted, and bludgeoned to death in the blackness. The protectors would spend what little energy they had to keep the ravenous from disgracing the dead, but they too would die, and Sze Wa would eat them as well.

When the traincar doors opened wide, bright light filled the metal box. Sze Wa heard shouting, not in Chinese, or in English. She shielded her eyes with the bodies, peering through crooks of stuck limbs. Her ears filled with the intimate sounds of metal piercing flesh, and she saw them, men with faces white as bone.

The men, clad in black leathers, had the eyes of molten steel. Sze Wa knew them as gǎn shànggōu, the impalers, from ghost stories. They twirled meat hooks on chains in wide, slow circles. Only their eyes appeared from between the slits of their wide brimmed hats and bandanas. Sze Wa saw their eyes squint every time they lurched and swung a hook into the open train car.

Sometimes, when a hook would strike a live one, weak screams would follow as they dragged the bodies into a giant pit by the train car. One by one, the bodies were hooked and dragged out into the sun.

Next to the pit he stood, Hong, the strawboss, with his ledger, marking as a body was dragged out of the traincar, and after nodding, the body dragged into the pit, out of sight. And then the body Sze Wa was hiding under was hooked, and she grabbed onto the waist. She felt the tension increase as she struggled to hook her arm in a believable position.

Soon she was dragged out, twisted around the dead body, and slammed onto the cold ground. The landing knocked the wind out of her, and she struggled to stay still. She heard uncouth sounds, in a language she didn’t know, but she knew the ill intent of the guttural sounds of men. They laughed at their own coarseness. She heard two strike marks of pen on paper, and Hong must have nodded, as she was then dragged along the ground into the pit with the rest of the bodies.

When enough bodies were dumped on her that she felt she could open her eyes safely, the sun had left the sky, dipping below one of the dirt walls. The men, not even bothering to bury the dead, left, and she could hear Hong talk to them. A horse galloped off into the distance and night truly fell.

They sat around a fire, cooking meat, the salty aroma strangling Sze Wa’s stomach. She thought she would attack the one furthest from the fire, and run back into the darkness where she could hide. If they split up, she would kill them one by one, and if they grouped up, she would steal the horse with no rider. She would follow the train tracks to Johnston.

On all fours she crept, razor in her mouth, she licked the cold metal, feeling the sharpness of the blade, tasting the slight residue still left on it. Spit filled her mouth and she swallowed hard. She righted herself into a crouch and took the razor from her mouth and focused.

She pounced from the darkness, slashing at the man. She aimed for the neck, but the man was nimble, and she only caught shoulders and arms. He fell backwards, over a pack and Sze Wa jumped, she knew the other men with their hooks would soon be on her, that if she could just kill one she could make off into the darkness.

In her desperation she flung herself onto him and buried her mouth into his neck, tearing at his jugular. She recoiled, throwing herself backwards at the taste. She knew the taste, she had eaten nothing but it in these last days.

The man stood, and she felt them surrounding her. Laughter, coarse, guttural laughter surrounded her. She whipped in circles, slashing wildly, but the mass gave her distance. They pulled down their bandanas, revealing their gaunt, white faces, taught as dried venison.

She spied, next to the fire, the butchered remains of the Chinese workers. Limbs and shriveled organs lay in a messy pile; pots and skewers smashed into the pyre. They finally stopped laughing, and one of them went to the fire and plucked a skewered forearm.

It was presented to Sze Wa with a grin that looked like a sneer. Trying to keep herself withdrawn, Sze Wa gave in and lunged for the cooked meat, tearing it from the bone in wet, sloppy bites. The laughing started up again. Another man gave her a second skewer of flesh, and the group parted, leaving an exit. She took the other piece of meat, clutching it against her breast, the warmth relaxing her and she stumbled away. The laughter followed her even when she reached the train tracks, chasing her into the night as she ran.

In Johnston she stayed in the shadows of buildings and porches. Hong would stay in the nicer hotels, the likes of Sze Wa would never be allowed in. But she would know, holding the razor to the neck of a used Chinese prostitute, what room he was staying in.

She counted the windows, finding the one Hong was in. She scaled the wall, nails sinking into the hard wood, and threw herself over the balcony. Lanterns from inside illuminated the slits in the wood shutters, and she put an eye to window.

She waited, and waited, gripping the handle of her razor. It took several soft smacks from her wet lips parting and closing before she realized what she was doing. Saliva dripped from the back of her teeth, her stomach growled. She would eat well off the fatted calf.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


:siren: PROMPT :siren:

In a side job I do I have to deal with local politics. Obstructionism, pettiness and transparent feel-goodery are rampant in this arena. I just can't get enough of what honestly amounts to nothingness.

Tell me a story of intrigue of a small, localized place. I don't want grandiose, worldwide illuminati bullshit. I want a story dealing with these kind of situations. Is it a stenographer who has to frantically dictate the minutes of a blithering, clearly insane, public commentary? Is it a story about a backstabbing local politician who will throw anyone under the bus just to be a state assemblyman? Are you a bored journalist sitting at a parks and rec budget committee meeting?

Sign ups and Flash rules:
Accretionist: The right of succession is an impetus in your story.
crabrock: Your story must feature the corruption of an innocent.
Cervid: None of your sentences can be longer than 10 words.
Sitting Here: As punishment for missing your duel with Erogenous Beef, you have to include at least one steamy affair.
Mercedes: You have to show me pure rage without using a single swear word.
M. Propagandalf: Your story is set on a college campus.
Jeza: You HAVE to write in a stream of consciousness.
captain platypus: A construction zone, can be big or small, must be a prominent factor in your story.
Schneider Heim: Your story takes place in a gym.
docbeard: Consequences involved in your story COULD mean death for a character.
Barracuda Bang!: There is a minimum number of slang words that you are required to invent, and be understandable from context, in your story. I am not going to tell you what that minimum number is.
Auraboks: A literal or metaphorical snake has to exist in your story.
Jagermonster: Post-Apocalyptic.
Joat Mon: Defy a gender stereotype.
CancerCakes: Unreliable Narrator.
BadSeafood: Your story must contain a clearly identified macguffin.
Martello: Your story must contain an adonis. This character has to be superior to every other character present, morally, physically, intellectually, etc. Doesn't have to be your protagonist, but has to be obvious who it is.
Helsing: The main character experiences a moment of horrific surrealism that no one else acknowledges.
HaitianDivorce: Wind has to feature prominently in your story.
AnathemaDevice:Pick any two previous flash rules.
Nyarai: Maximum Potential! Word count 1150-1200.
Unknowing: Rural setting.
Saddest Rhino: Elements of fantasy must be present in some form.

Word count: 1200
Sign up deadline: 8/16/13 11:59pm PST.
Submission deadline: 8/18/13 11:59pm PST.

Noah fucked around with this message at 04:37 on Aug 17, 2013

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Flash Rules Incoming

Accretionist: The right of succession is an impetus in your story.
crabrock: Your story must feature the corruption of an innocent.
Cervid: None of your sentences can be longer than 10 words.
Sitting Here: As punishment for missing your duel with Erogenous Beef, you have to include at least one steamy affair.
Mercedes: You have to show me pure rage without using a single swear word.
M. Propagandalf: Your story is set on a college campus.
Jeza: You HAVE to write in a stream of consciousness.
captain platypus: A construction zone, can be big or small, must be a prominent factor in your story.
Schneider Heim: Your story takes place in a gym.
docbeard: Consequences involved in your story COULD mean death for a character.
Barracuda Bang!: There is a minimum number of slang words that you are required to invent, and be understandable from context, in your story. I am not going to tell you what that minimum number is.
Auraboks: A literal or metaphorical snake has to exist in your story.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


More flash rules.

Jagermonster: Post-Apocalyptic.
Joat Mon: Defy a gender stereotype.
CancerCakes: Unreliable Narrator.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Signups are updated with your flash rules.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Anathema Device posted:

Any from this week, or any ever?


One option is risky. One is 100% safe. Which one do you THINK you should do?

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Signups close in 12 hours. But probably like 6 because deal.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Signupz closed.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


-24 hours remain-

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Aight, y'all got your poo poo in on time. I'll start reading.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


M. Propagandalf

Followed the flash rule?: yes.
Will this matter outside of this small setting?: gently caress no.

I enjoyed this piece for its humor. The caricature of campus bible study group is exaggerated to the point of mockery, which sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The Good Friday being too bloody is a spot where it works, them censoring themselves from swearing doesn’t (at least to me).

Now, as a piece of intrigue, I’m waffling on. If Mallory was infact the person who wrote the letter, backing the weak-willed fellowship director into a corner, then you’ve got something. If Mallory is just capitalizing on a bad moment for Tobias, then you don’t. If what you were going for is the former, then you need to play up that letter. This isn’t just the inciting incident, it’s the whole thread of your story. No one seems to focus on the fact someone wrote a letter. Perhaps you could have people try to bring it up, but Mallory deflects, a little too eagerly. Then there’s a little less ambiguity, is Mallory defensive, or is she just opportunistic? Right now, there are not enough clues in the context for me to truly get behind this as a work of intrigue.

I also want you to follow a character a little more closely. Tobias and Mallory are the key players here, but I’m not getting enough of their situation. You’re muddling it by making sure lots of unnamed people, or bit people, are getting their voice heard. I know this is a big group, and you alleviate it with having just spoken words attributed to no one, but let’s list off your characters: Max, Tobias, Jane, Vince, Rick, Sue, Todd, Mallory, Gwen, Steve, Jill, Liz, Jeff. You could easily cut that in half, and your story wouldn’t suffer for it in the slightest. You also have a habit of characterizing your dialogue tag instead of letting the word choice and the phrasing say it.

““We already bought all the ingredients for our baking,” sniveled Gwen” How does the word choice and the phrasing there portray her as sniveling? Would you know that she said it that way without the dialogue tag?

Take away the tag, and use words and syntax to portray the whininess. “But, we already paid for everything, what are we going to do now?” You breaking it up in the middle doesn’t let the dialogue complete before you’re TELLING us as readers how it’s said.

Noah fucked around with this message at 17:26 on Aug 19, 2013

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


HaitianDivorce

Followed the Flash rule?: Sorta.
Will this matter outside of this setting?: Also sorta.

What the gently caress did I just read? The problem you have with the absurdism is that it’s still disjointed. I had to re-read the paragraph about Wess Oakey/Orkney West to realize you meant that they were the same person, just switching names. Absurdist writing only works if you are incredibly clear in your descriptions and details. You need to run another pass over this, speaking everything aloud, and you’ll see where you get into really oddly phrased sentences.

Your story also reads like you wrote a 1500 word story and then fought to cut large chunks to fit it under the word count. There’s nothing wrong with going for just bizarre, but at the same time, it requires more hand-holding by the author to really pull the reader through. I know you have the entire story playing out in your head, but there’s wind-train stops that you’re just skipping along the way. You have to be more careful.

CancerCakes

Follow the Flash Rule?: Yes-ish.
Does this matter outside of local setting: Not a bit.

As a story of intrigue, you need to set up the intrigue part at the very beginning. The story should start with how Mayor Anatoly has conspired against the narrator to cost him his job. THEN he starts the story of how that came to be. Right now, I had no idea that the narrator lost his job, because he starts off by saying he needs to import more dogs because he’s caught them all. Which, while I know is a lie, doesn’t indicate that he has already lost his job.

The thread that binds the story is WHY or WHAT. Right now, I’m just listening to a shaggy dog story with no impetus to see where it’s going. Tell me straight up, what has transpired, so that as a reader, I will go through this story with you, because really your story is less about the end than it is the journey.

As an unreliable narrator, you’ve gone almost a bit too far. Every fable has elements of truth in it, but there’s not enough mundane elements in the story. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but you need a balance of fantastical and ordinary. Right now I’m being inundated with too much fantastic.

Jeza

Flash rule: Yes
Hyper-Local: No.

Your story suffers in the intrigue department because the revelation that a man might have a bomb is the integral part. That should come very, very close to the beginning, and the rest of the story is him trying to figure it out.

The other problem is that while in the end, it ultimately was nothing, the fact that it could have been a bomb on a train has huge ramifications. Even a false bomb threat can cause huge ramifications if they shut down a train.

I didn’t have a problem following the stream of consciousness, except for the open button. Trains have open buttons? I thought for a second he was on an elevator. Even if you put the seed/idea about the bomb in the beginning, you can still have him noticing everyone and commenting. He can’t help himself, even when there are more important things going on. I appreciate the end of the story was the bane of his existence, but the potential for it being a huge deal kills your hyper-local focus.

Martello

Flash Rule: Yes.
Hyper-Local: Yes.

I like to think this is a meta-story. You’ve provided the real story of CancerCake’s tall-tale. The problem is, you have to read CancerCakes story first, and then read your story, because the intrigue at the end is really just the start of Alexei, Dog-Napper extraordinaire. I want you to turn this into a dog-cat story about Alexei trying to stay one step ahead of Rick Mason, but the reader knows that Rick is going to catch Alexei, it’s just a matter of when and how.

Competently written, though Rick does come off as a bit self-aware, which stains his immutable aura. I like the story, but as a stand-alone though I want the something meatier in the beginning. It could start with Alexei explaining saying how he got fired, or how he became a dog-napper, or how he murdered a man, anything. But I want the mystery to pop up sooner.

Crabrock

Flash rule: Yes.
Hyper-Local: Yes.

What the gently caress is going on in Rassgart? I read this, had to take a break and eat something before I came back to this insanity. This is a good story, but light on the intrigue. You stuck more with your flash rule than with the over-all theme. There’s some spots where you need to go back through and re-edit, and also clean up the transitions a little better.

I’m going to be real loving disappointed if I don’t see anymore Alexei Sayal stories after this.

Jagermonster

Flash Prompt: Yes.
Hyper-Local: Yes.

Dog catching is the rage apparently. Your story did not feature any intrigue or mystery though, and while definitely meaningless political poo poo, there was no real reason for anything. Even as story structure goes, you need more of a beginning, middle, and end. While your interactions are humorous, and its competently written, it’s just not a story.
The Saddest Rhino

Flash: Yes.
Hyper-Local: Debatable.

This is an incredible new story in the saga of Alexei Sayal. I have a few nitpicky things about clarity in your descriptions and transitions, but overall I admire the piece. The intrigue to me is why have all the dogs been banned, and even though I don’t get the answer, I want to know more.

However, it is getting harder and harder to judge the stories in a vacuum, as every Alexei story that’s come before it enhances the next. Rassgart’s a fuckin’ place alright.

Docbeard

Flash: Yes.
Local: Everything is Rassgart. Rassgart is everything.

This Alexei is not like the others.

Auraboks

Flash: Yes.
Local: Rassgart.

“She shot the dead animal a venomous look.”

Sitting

Flash: Yeahhhhhhhh
Local: A sun rises like a blister over Rassgart.

:flaccid:

Schneider Heim

Flash: Yym
Local: Rassgart hungers.

"Actually, I'm signing up for a membership."

Anathema Device

Flash: Y / N. Stream of consciousness, but I’m not so convinced on your moment of surreality. If everything is surreal for this character, then there is no solitary moment of surrealness.

Local: Yes. Nothing that could happen to this person really will matter in the grand scheme of things.

However, your intrigue of Don trying to become manager is not played up enough. If that’s your thread that you weave through, you need to up the stakes. Did Don purposefully sabotage the newguy? Is Don willing to do something to Joan to ensure he’s a manager? Don conspiring to beat out Jesse is a strong motivation, but you don’t do enough with it, and get lost in the jumble that is Joan. There’s no intrigue to Joan, she’s self-harming and psychotic. There’s no secret clarity to her that she does anything with, so you’re barking up the wrong tree when it comes to who you should be following.

Helsing

Flash: Yes, but I’d like it more horror, and less abrupt.

You have intrigue here, there’s absolutely political scheming, but this story goes well beyond the normal limits of local politics. This has the potential to effect millions of people, which is hardly considered a trivial matter. You have a good story here, though it almost seems like part of a bigger, grander narrative. You also have a protagonist that does not actually DO anything. He’s very passive. You need to have your characters driven to accomplish things. Your story lacks a general Beginning/Middle/End narrative structure as well.

Suggestion: Him having to be part of the decision to starve millions has to happen at the end of your first 1/3rd of the story which ultimately has to force him into a hole. The 2nd third of the story deals with him progressing through what he needs to do to get out of the hole, and the final third of the story involves the climax/resolution. Right now, this 1200 words you have is what the first third of your story really is.

Also: You’re not allowed to snake burbclave from Snow Crash and not get nailed for it here.


Accretionist

Flash: Y.
Local: Rassgart has a central park?

This story is really just Alexei talking about the thing he did. Why not write the story about him doing it?

Barracuda Bang!

Flash: Yagadoo, and I really enjoyed your slang. Poocher and corndog are my favorite.
Local: Dunno where Russgart is.

I honestly think this piece has fleshed out Alexei in such an enjoyable, jovial way. This is also seems to be the only story that has Alexei as a tertiary character, to show up, add flavor, and leave. The intrigue could be heightened a little, but I think you’ve done a good job at making a story that is both fun, complete and meaningless.

Bad Seafood

Flash: You tried to curveball it.
Local: Yes.

This is one of my favorites, the scope of the effort in the intrigue contrasted with the meaninglessness of the entire affair is spot on. You had more room to add in more details that I wish you would have taken. You could have easily gone on a tangent of Ursula ranting in her head about Alexei, which would make the end more poignant.

In the context of Alexei, you had plenty of room to also give him quirks or details, but I wonder if you let too many of your predecessors do it for you, without making Alexei a character of your own.

Noah fucked around with this message at 22:16 on Aug 19, 2013

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


:siren: RESULTS :siren:

Winner: My choice for winner goes to The Saddest Rhino for a story that still kept it short, complete, yet spoke of a bigger world that was waiting to be explored. The prose and the imagery were a step above.

Honorables: Martello, Crabrock, Barracuda Bang!, Bad Seafood

Loser: I hate assigning a loser to someone who actually wrote, when there's a list of people who didn't even submit, but so it must go. The loser is unfortunately going to HaitianDivorce not for having an absurd story, but for having a really confusing piece of prose. Your transitions, clarity, and descriptions need a lot of fine tuning on this one.

People who need to take toxxes to submit again:
Cervid
Mercedes
Captain Platypus
Joat Mon
Nyarai
Unknowning


Bonus: I'm going to compile these Alexei stories into a nice looking pdf. It'll be fun. I'll post it when I'm done.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Oh hey, I'll throw in.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Or just ignore it and expect several people to not follow through.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


I will take them all.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


systran posted:

Noah can you please give me 150 words. I have done 666 words already but I want a buffer for if the word count gets lower. PLEASE, you're my gruncle!

eh, okay.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Feed me Seymour!

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


I like the stakes.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch




No Bones About It
Words: 1822

Mr. Finnster, “Finny” his kids call him, sits behind a messy desk. Principal Edwards leans against the office door, staring at the torn manila envelope on the desk.

“If you lose anymore students, I’m going to move the rest to other classes,” Edwards says.

“You read the report, I didn’t do anything,” Finnster says. “The kid went berserk.”

“The parents will be here any minute, you can tell them that it wasn’t your fault. I wonder how that’s going to go.”

“Oh come on, he’s just banned from field trips, it’s not like we’re expelling him.”

Finnster stares out the office window to the children playing at recess. He scans the yard looking for David Grant. The boy sits alone on a bench, watching a game of four square. The room suddenly feels hotter than it had before.

Two sharp knocks rattle the pebbled glass of the office door. Edwards straightens up and unbolts the door.

“Good afternoon Mr. Grant, Mrs. Grant,” Edwards says. “I will be in my office if you need me.”

The parents thank the principal with a nod and come in.

“What is this all about?” Mr. Grant asks. “What happened to David?”

“Well, it’s really more about what David did,” Finnster says. He picks up the manila envelope.

“I don’t know what you mean,” Mrs. Grant says.

“This letter is to officially inform you that David Grant is no longer allowed to attend class field trips, as he is a danger to others,” Finnster says.

“You have got to be joking,” Mr. Grant says. Finnster hands the report to the parents.

“Gross sexual misconduct?!” Mrs. Grant shouts.

“That’s unfortunately what the school district calls it, but, let me just tell you what happened,” Finnster says.

It all started on the bus. David didn’t have his lunch, which his parents forgot to pack it for him. Kids will find anything to tease each other about, but that wasn’t such a big deal really. David was late getting to the bus to begin with, because he was asked to go back and check for his lunchbag, which even though he knew he didn’t have, he had to go look again to be sure.

When he finally got back to the bus, the trip was already running late by then. All of the seats on the bus had been taken, leaving David with just the back of the bus seat. The pee-seat. That’s what the kids called it. Apparently a homeless man had lived in the back of the bus for some time, urinating into a gash in the upholstery, and all the foam in the seat soaked up all the pee, and it smelled pretty bad. Never could get the smell completely out.

“Why the hell did you make David look for his lunch?” Mr. Grant says.

“You know how kids lie,” Finnster says. “Anyway, so the seat thing was really just the tip of the iceberg.”

When the children arrived at the museum, there was a dinosaur skeleton in the lobby. A gorgeous looking T-Rex. Well, of course one of the boys pointed at David and called him P-Rex, which, admittedly, was pretty clever. David was starting to get frustrated by then, especially when the kids started patrolling around like T-Rexes and shouting ‘What’s that smell?’

David asked what he could do to get rid of the smell, and he was told that maybe he could get rid of the pee smell by taking his pants into the bathroom and using some of the soap there to scrub it out, and the air dryer to make it dry enough to wear.

He agreed, and headed to the bathroom. Someone asked where P-Rex was, and that student was told David was in the bathroom. The kid ran into the bathroom, and then came right back out laughing and shouting.

David came out looking distraught. The zipper on his shorts had snagged at the bottom, and he couldn’t pull it back up. His shirt was just barely long enough to go down that far, if he held it down with both hands. The same boy that came out of the bathroom laughing threw the complementary museum tote bag all the children received, except for David because he was at the back of the bus and they were short one bag, at him. David reacted, letting go of his shirt, and it sprang up, revealing the busted zipper.

‘P-Rex has pee pants, P-Rex has pee pants,’ the chorus sprang up from nowhere, and reverberated around the museum lobby.

“Why the hell did you keep letting this happen?” Mrs. Grant says.

“Kids have to learn to socialize, and they have to realize the things they say effect people,” Finnster says.

“By using our son?” Mr. Grant says.

“Well, that was really just an unfortunate circumstance that David continued to be harassed, I’ll admit.”

“Where did you get your degree, you imbecile!?”

“Mr. Grant, this is not about me, this is about your son displaying horribly inappropriate behavior on a field trip.”

“Oh, I’m sure this will be rich, I’d love to hear what your definition of inappropriate behavior is,” Mr. Grant says.

David let loose a primal scream, deep, from the bottoms of his lungs. Bones from the dinosaur models shook from the force of the scream. An unholy pause swept through the lobby, everyone had to look. David seethed, surveying the crowd, but he had a smirk plastered across his face. He had finally got them all to shut up. That was when he noticed that, even though they were all looking at him, they were not looking at his face like he would have expected them to. They were staring at his crotch. All sound was extinguished by the oppressive silence bearing down on the lobby. David looked down. Poking through the broken zipper on his shorts was an erection, held only in check by a straining pair of Spider-Man briefs. An engorged Spider-Man face peered out from the open zipper, white eyes distorted and misshapen. Somewhere, the first giggle crept out.

“That was when David lost his poo poo, for real this time. Jesus, it was a sight.”

“What the gently caress?” Mrs. Grant says. The parents are wide eyed, Finnster realizes he’s losing them.

“Mrs. Grant please, no more interruptions, let me finish,” Finnster says.

He started to go red, like he was a thermometer in an old cartoon, ready to pop but then all of the sudden David goes slack. His shoulders slump and his head lolls off to the side. Small rounded bumps of spine protruded evenly down his curved back. Then his fingers started to squirm.

David bolted upright, pulled by some invisible strings. But the strings kept pulling, until he was bending backwards, his arms still weighty and draped at his sides.

“And then he just opens his mouth, and says ‘Ock.’”

He kept saying it, wet and throaty. ‘Ock. Ock ock.’ That’s all he can say, and then some starter pistol fired off in his head. He tears around the museum, his erection pointing him in every direction, his arms flailing behind him like a parachute with a hole in it. He charged at a girl who laughed at him on the bus, but right before he got to her, he turned a right angle and started trucking it towards someone else. ‘Ock!’

The other kids screamed and scattered. All the adults were paralyzed by the chaos. A big group of kids would start to gather, but all that did was make David turn, ‘ock’ and run pelvis-first at them, causing them to split up again. Two security guards finally strolled up to the lobby, the younger of the two appearing distressed. The older, veteran guard seemed unflappable.

The security guard said he’d seen this before, “you just gotta let ‘em tire hisself out.” But David didn’t show any sign of slowing down. He did three laps around the T-Rex model before the younger guard pulls out his radio. The older one put his hand on the other guard’s shoulder and shook his head. David ran up to the two guards, dick pointing right at the younger one. The guard looked nervous, maybe a little scared. David let out another ‘ock’ and the guard yelped and jumped back a little. The older guard took a step forward.

“And that’s when the security guard finally had to use the kid-taser on him. I thought it might have been a bit over-kill, maybe would have let him wear himself out a little bit more, but the security guard assured me that he’d be fine.”

“He did what?” Mrs. Grant screamed.

”He tased him,” Finnster says.

“This is insane,” Mrs. Grant says. “This isn’t happening.”

“David’s fine, it was just a kid-taser. Course they called him Tasid for the whole bus ride home. But he was pretty good sport about the whole thing. A little sullen, maybe, but that’s it.”

“You have got to be the worst teacher I’ve ever seen,” Mr. Grant says. The wooden chairs scrape abrasively across the floor.

“What? Where are you going?!” Finnster says.

“We’re going to get our son, you monster,” Mrs. Grant says.

“But he has class in 20 minutes.”

“That’s not our problem anymore,” Mr. Grant says, jabbing a finger at Finnster. He reaches for the knob. Finnster pulls at the tie around his neck, trying to let some air in.

Finnster’s fingers grip the desk with a terrible ferocity, alternating red and white like well marbled bacon. His upper lip quivers and twitches off to the heavens with increasing speed. The Grants stop trying the knob as they watch Finnster’s eyes roll into the back of his head.

The teacher’s face is a ripe tomato, and his eyes are ever-whitening spots of mold, threatening to explode. Mr. Grant turns frantically back to the door, slamming it back and forth, the deadbolt giving slightly every time. Behind the pebbled glass appears the familiar silhouette of Principal Edwards.

“Open this door, god damnit!” Mr. Grant says. Slowly the shadowy face of Edwards grows darker as it approaches the glass. Skin flattens against the window and the Grants can see the bright shade of red flushing Edward’s skin. One milky white eye stares at the parents, pressed so up against the glass they can see veins.

Behind the Grants, the sound of tearing fabric causes them to pause. They turn, wide eyed, to the sight of Finnster with his head lolled back, but otherwise, clothes intact. More ripping. They can’t see where it’s coming from. Then, one final rip, and a meaty thump hits the underside of Finnster’s desk.

Finnster’s slack jawed mouth begins to drool. A wet gurgle bubbles up from his belly. White saliva trickles from the corner of his mouth, and the Grants can hear his tongue undulate in the slick crevasse.

“Ock.”

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


sebmojo posted:

I will judge the brawl. 333 words on conflict in a violence-free society. Due Thurs next, 17th Oct, 11.59 pm PST.

R/C
Words: 333
In the shadow of a radio tower, Wilbur idled behind the man who ruined his life. He recognized the sedan as they waited at a train-crossing. The car burned into his memory when the driver and Wilbur’s wife rode away; Wilbur stammering in the doorway. It belonged to a man named Hugh, the man who made him a cuckold. Wilbur had learned that much, at least, from his stoic wife; after all, he needed to fill out the Grievance Resolution Office paperwork in proper detail. What else could be done?

The train-crossing lights flashed, and the guard was down. Just Wilbur and Hugh. No one to see what might happen next. But his attention lapsed, suddenly as a television changing channels. He looked away. Wilbur didn’t remember the radio towers always being there, at least not as brazen. Normally they were disguised, albeit poorly, like pine trees.

He heard the train. Closer. Coming. Just tap the gas, a little tap, and then another. His hands sweated, and they slipped down the steering wheel to eight and four. His eyes throbbed, pulsing, blurring his vision. The whistle shouted at him, ‘do it Wilbur, do it you weakling, do it.’ Sharp, ringing pain struck a deep cerebral chord, and he averted his eyes, back to the garish tower. He lingered, staring at the looming, skeletal structure. When he looked back, the train had passed. Again, Hugh drove away.

Once more, Wilbur's inaction had cost him. Once more in long life of missed chances. Maybe that's why his wife, his boss, his coworkers, his family, all, hated him. As Wilbur sat, tears of fruitless, seething rage, streamed down his cheeks. He was a craven. A true coward. He knew he deserved their scorn.

In forced quietus, he realized suicide was also out of reach, a child’s balloon borne by the wind, destined to float away. A car behind him honked and Wilbur finally drove away, out from the shadow of the radio tower.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


I'll throw down on this.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Nothing Belongs to Everyone
Words: 990

Even though she wasn’t delicate with her toys, Kristin loved them truly. A rough-houser even at 6, she didn’t mind scratches or dents on her things. In the future, ‘having character’ is what she will sheepishly describe these dents and scratches as. When grilled a little further, she will tell her friends ‘it’s nothing, don’t worry about it.”

At dinner once, her mother asked, “Where’s your new bracelet I got you?”

“It all started when we were playing tag, and I was running, real fast, and then it fell off, and I stepped on it, and I broke it,” Kristin said, pulling pieces out of her pocket. Broken pieces of ceramic and copper sat in her hands. “But I caught the boy who tagged me.”

Her father’s face went flat. His lips spread across his face and his chin seemed to bottom out. “I think you should go to your room,” he said. After several quiet minutes, they came in to find her.

“Kristin, we are very disappointed,” her father said. “You are supposed to be more careful with your things.”

Kristin was silent, looking at the ground.

“We’ve talked about this, honey, do you know how it makes your mom feel when you break your things? Do you?”

Kristin shook her head on the third prodding.

“She feels like you don’t care about her when you don’t care about the things she gives you.”

“No that’s not true,” Kristin shouted, eyes welling up.

“Go tell your mom how you feel,” her dad said. Kristin ran past her father, attaching to her mother’s leg, crying. Her mother patted her head, shushing her gently.

The next month, for Kristin’s birthday, her mother gave her a brand new pencil case. Animals linked from snout to tail wandered the border. Even though everything else in her backpack had tell-tale scuffs of being Kristin’s, the pencil case was pristine.

“That’s a nice pencil case,” a girl named Nicole said. Kristin beamed at her, smiling. Kristin had gone out of her way every time she used it to be careful with it.

“Can I see it?” Nicole asked.

A lump caught in Kristin’s throat.

“I—no, I don’t think,” Kristin said. Nicole curled a lip at her and looked at their teacher.

“Miss Stillson, Kristin isn’t sharing,” Nicole cried.

“Shh, shh,” Kristin said. “Okay, okay.”

Nicole took the case without even so much as a second glance back. Every tick of the clock made Kristin sweat just a little more. She told herself that Nicole would bring it back any moment.

When the class started to pack up for the day, she finally went to Miss Stillson.

”Nicole has my pencil case, and she hasn’t given it back,” she said.

Miss Stillson called Nicole over.

“Yes, Miss Stillson?” Nicole said.

“Do you have Kristin’s pencil case?”

“No, Miss Stillson, just the one my mommy just bought me,” she said, presenting Kristin’s case.

“That’s mine!”

Miss Stillson inspected the pristine case, flipping it over, and checking each detail. She ran a hand over the intact artwork that lined the perimeter.

”Kristin, that’s not nice to lie,” Miss Stillson said. “If you can’t take care of your own things, you can’t try to take someone else’s.”

Kristin sputtered but before she realized it, Miss Stillson and Nicole were gone. Packed up, and shepherding other kids to the carpool pick up. Hollow echoes kept Kristin in a state of shock and paralysis as she waited for her babysitter to pick her up. After several calls, she numbly climbed into the babysitters car.

When she came home from school, she felt nothing but shame; a heavy, tugging feeling that she couldn’t shake. Avoiding her parents by being quiet in her room, she knew the call for dinner was inevitable. Dragging her feet, her mother’s voice grew stern and impatient. Finally, she made her way to the table.

“How was your day at school today,” Kristin’s mother said.

Flashes of Nicole, sneering and smiling at the same time, blinked in her mind. Her mouth felt dryer than her Easy-Bake confections. Suddenly her parents took on a looming, backlit visage. They towered over her, even though they sat there, eating their dinner with calm demeanor.

“Uh, umm,” Kristin said.

“Did something happen, honey?” Her father asked.

He had the face of anticipating disappointment. She had seen it before, when she would get in trouble at school, when she would lose something. He had the same face her mother would make, standing in the background, surveying the scene as her father scolded and punished her for misbehaving.

“N-No,” she said. “Nothing happened.”

“Oh, okay,” he said, and smiled at her.

Her mouth wet itself again. She felt like she had been dunked in the cool water. Thinking her stunned silence went on too long, she forced herself to push her mashed potatoes around the plate aimlessly. Her parents didn’t notice. Kristin didn’t understand, fully at the time, what had just happened. When she went to bed that night, she felt like she had cheated, but she knew she had to test it again the next day.

On that day, truly nothing had happened, making it easier to say as much to her parents. Their response was the same, a smile, and continued eating at the dinner table. The day after, a boy pulled her hair, called her a name, and made her feel bad inside. She told her parents that nothing had happened, and they smiled again, and continued eating.

Every night, even on the bad nights, the nights where she got hurt, the nights where she had things to hide, the nights that were worse than every night before, it always got easier. Even when she was caught, when there were bruises, rumors, and more, she just said ‘nothing,’ smiled back at them, all of them, and continued to push her food around the plate, waiting for bed.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


In.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


I'm not gonna get mine in. Womp womp.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


crabrock posted:

This is your first ever failure to submit in 43 submissions.

Ugh, fine!

The Birthday Gift

1000 words, under the wire.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


sebmojo posted:


Edit: this is tight enough that I want to see you fight Noah, king of thunderbrawls. Arrange it.

Oh, just saw this. Whenever it needs to happen.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it.

What's the word count we're looking at?

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


As per conditions of my winning duel, I have 300 extra words to call in against you Jeza, so I figure now would be nice to use some of those when you aren't even writing.


The Trail of Sun-Catchers
Words: 2130
Prompt: I saw a newborn with wild wolves all around him.

By the time the men discovered the third child’s skeleton, their revulsion had turned to fascination. They crouched around it, their mud-colored khakis tucked into their even darker leather boots, rifles slung across their backs.

They crowded around the cactus, each jockeying to see the newest corpse. I could see the skeleton, desiccated and bleached by the sun. All of the flesh and meaty bits stripped from the child by scavengers.

Pawtu, our guide, watched them silently. I saw him clench his fists, but I did not know why. I did not trust Pawtu. He was one of them, a tribesman we were to “re-locate.”

The cactus was short, stubby, but like a sea polyp, split in four cardinal directions, as though someone had lashed together the fingers of a child to grow together, and then let them out before they could become long, fingers of a man. Sprouting from the fat tentacles were thorns the size of a thumb, hooked and cruel. As copious as a hair on a beard, I felt the thorns, stiff and rigid.

“Sun-catchers,” Pawtu said. The men turned and allowed him to cut through the crowd. Pawtu knelt, and placed his hand carefully on the base of the cactus. He felt around before finally pausing, and then traced a symbol in an area curiously devoid of thorns.

“They placed the children in them,” Pawtu said. “Like so.”

“Why the hell,” one of my corporals said.

“A test,” Pawtu said. “A boy is not a man until he can escape the sun-catcher.” Pawtu rose and stroked the skull of the child. He tucked his hands into the arm pits and carefully lifted the skeleton out of the plant.

“And the boy crawls back up to the plateau to his waiting father.”

“It is not just a test of manhood,” he said. “It is a test of the father. If the son can make it back, the father is honored.”

“That’s insane,” I said.

“Is it truly? By how was your father proud of you?”

I said nothing.

“But this, this is insane,” Pawtu said looking at the small skeleton. “How can a boy so young be expected to do such a feat?”

“I don’t understand,” Corporal Senz said.

“The men have lost their way,” Pawtu said. “They have pushed their sons away from them, younger and further down the mountain, all for their own selfish glory.”

“All just to prove their own manhood?” Senz said.

“Sometimes that is all a man has left,” Pawtu said.

“Let’s keep moving,” I said. We gathered back together and proceeded up the desert trail into the mountains. Pawtu lingered behind, and I wanted to stay, to make sure someone kept an eye on him, but he had done the majority of his job. We found the path up the back of the mountains to the village.

“A sacred, unused path,” Pawtu had told me at the beginning of our expedition. “They only use this path once a year for ceremony and ritual.”

I never thought to ask what this ceremony was, and I wished I had, so that I would never have to be subject to these sights. As we moved on, the sinking feeling that this was a trap continued to grow. I was surprised when Pawtu re-appeared from behind the men, and to take the lead.

We passed sun-catchers after sun-catcher. As we climbed, few cacti had any contents, instead, we found more and more skeletons strewn upon the path, some facing the wrong way, or tucked under bushes.

“Why are they still here? Why don’t they bury them?” one of the men asked.

“Because they are trash, unfit for the village.”

“A permanent reminder of shame,” I said. Pawtu nodded ahead of me.

“How long, Pawtu,” I said.

“Six hours.”

I halted the men. We were ahead of schedule, and if we continued at our pace we’d arrive before nightfall. “Time to eat,” I said. Everyone breathed deeply, their muscles relaxing all at once. They sat and began to rummage through their packs. All but Pawtu.

I listened to the whispers of the men. Anger, and fear floated through the air as we sat on one of the switchback trails through the scrub. An eager, anxiousness infected their voices; they were excited at what we were here to do. We had somehow become vindicated before the fact, as though that somehow had any gravitas. We were here to erase these people from history, we should not pretend we were in the right from the beginning.

I sat next to Pawtu, and I could see the snaking scar tissue on his legs.

“I remember when I made it back to the village,” he said unprompted and quiet enough only I could hear. “I remember everything, as I was old enough to be able, unlike some of the boys we passed.”

I wanted to ask him why he was telling me this, but I hoped he would also reveal himself. So I could shoot him where he sat and turn my men around.

“I made it back on the second night, when all the fathers were still waiting. Back then, they would all surround me, to come and cheer, and honor both me and my father. I remember the eyes of my father, crying with pride. I was his third born, but I was now his only, I was his sun.”

My stomach flipped, as I thought of my own father.

“It is different now, they have grown so cold. The men, they do not see another’s success as triumphant, but an insult to their character. As though pride in ones son is the same as condemning another. And then the escalation, a competition, a conscious and targeted effort to murder their own children in hopes that they can spite their neighbor.”

Pawtu had tears in his eyes, and he spoke through clenched teeth. I did not want to know anything about this man, because I wanted him to die. I wanted to become lost in the desert, and turn away. I wanted to go home. Instead, we had to eat our tack and dried meat and continue up the mountain, weaving our way through the trails, and stepping over the bodies of dead children, with thorns stuck in their bones and fear seizing their jaws.

As we crept to the village I kept the guide in my vision the entire time. Waiting for him to turn on us. A signal, a flinch, anything and I would shoot the man dead and run. Visions flashed in my brain of what horrors they would visit on those who lived if we failed. They were willing to mutilate their own children, I felt my imagination would hardly prepare me for what we might face.

The quiet in the desert air made everything worse; every crunching rock a signal to the hidden guards, ready to cut us down from the shadows. But no bullets came. No arrows, no insane villagers with cudgels.

The first man we saw sat on a rug in front of the village. His legs crossed, back slumped forward a little, blended into the dark landscape like an unassuming rock. I signaled for a full halt, and Pawtu kept on going forward.

Finally, my suspicions would prove my both correct and a fool. I had led my men here to die, and all we would get out of it would be one dead villager. I lowered my rifle taking aim at the back of his neck. He held his hand out behind him, his lighter palm catching moonlight, and I paused.

Pawtu knelt next to the man, who had yet to move. He waved us closer, and I went alone. No one else should pay for my mistakes. He held his hand up again when I was two paces from them.

“He is in a trance,” he said. “He does not know we are here.”

“That’s not a very good guard,” I said.

“He does not guard, he waits.”

“Waiting for you?” I asked, my grip still tight on my rifle.

“No, he waits for his son.”

I looked around and I saw other rugs, similar to the one the man sat on, abandoned in different angles and positions, scattered around the entrance.

“But, there was no one alive,” I said.

Pawtu nodded.

“How long has he been sitting here?”

Pawtu inspected the man closer, peering under his neck, and lifting the thin cloth that clung to the bony back.

“He hasn’t eaten for many weeks, and I suspect he will die here waiting,” Pawtu said.

I nodded, and jammed my knife underneath his chin, and up through his jaw. The man’s eyes flicked open for a moment before his eyes rolled back into his head. When he fell against me I marveled at how light he was. I saw prominently now, the scars that lined his arms, reaching all the way underneath his clothing.

“He would wait for a son that would never come back?”

Pawtu said nothing, but I was glad he did not. I stood and motioned the men. Their muscles had been tensed since I walked with Pawtu to the village, and I could feel their chains be cast off as I gave the signal. Like trains, they started slowly, moving with continuing strength before they careened into the village wildly.

Gunfire mixed with screams as the village was obviously unprepared for us. Pawtu had not sold us out. Instead, he had disappeared into the village, and I hoped I would not see him again.

Fires had been set, and I could see them begin to consume the ramshackle huts. Corrugated steel roofs collapsed as the timber that held a majority of the huts alit. The men were shot in the homes, and as the women escaped, some with children clutched to their breasts, I pointed them out to my men who would shoot them as they ran. Or I would shoot them too as they ran towards the exit.

I saw some of my men covered in blood, holding their knives, as though they had never considered it possible to use a gun. They were no longer interested in efficiency. I would not be able to stop them, but only guide their animalistic instinct to destroy. To do what we had all been paid to do.

As the shouting began to die down, the flames picked up even further. I motioned to my lieutenant to begin to check the bodies. He collected a group and began to scour the village, putting an extra bullet in every fallen body.

And then I saw Pawtu again. He was naked, a quilt of scars, and he walked through the village as though it were a day at the beach. In his hand was a club, covered in hair and blood. In his other hand his pack, and a gleam in his eyes as he watched the fires. As my men moved back and forth I lost sight of the guide, but I was content to leave him in the fires, to burn with the rest of our memories of this horrid place.

I turned and went back to the back entrance of the village where I had murdered the man waiting for his son. I sat on one of the abandoned rugs, insulting the last vestige of these dead fathers.

The embers licked the ceiling of darkness, dancing away, far away from the burning village. Even the fire was ashamed to be here among the Pawtu and the men. They too danced, black silhouettes against the arson. The arson we were paid to do. I was paid to do.

I gripped the leather strap of my bolt-action for support. I couldn’t see their features, just black shadows prancing back and forth, stoking the fires and kicking corpses. But I could hear Pawtu. I heard him crying, laughing and crying, and then he stumbled out of the burning center of the village. Cradled in his arms was the skull of a child, swaddled in the scarred mess of his forearms.

Pawtu stroked the top of the skull, holding it tight with the other arm. We made eye contact as he looked up, but he saw through me, as though I was another silhouette of a cactus in the background. He turned and held the skull above his head triumphant, and screamed into the night.

I saw everyone turn and watch. Pawtu shouted above the fire, the crackling and falling timber fearful to make a sound in protest. When Pawtu stopped and breathed in, the men raised their guns above their head and echoed him into the night. I tightened my grip on the leather strap.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


:regd08:

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


I can't wait for 7 more days when all this clutter gets expunged and another thread gets made.

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Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


I hope more next years challenges coincide with lit mag calls for submissions.

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