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SC Bracer
Aug 7, 2012


Can I just sign up for the next one regardless of what the prompt is (or how terrifying) because I haven't been making good use of this account at all. Not even close to enough Thunderdome in my life and/or post history.


SC Bracer
Aug 7, 2012



SC Bracer
Aug 7, 2012


1745 words, and I have no idea how I feel about this thing.

e: Mr. Erik Shawn-Bohner, you are terrible. I think I have 5, and definitely 4. Possibly 2 but don't quote me on that.

Hello, Grandma.

The airplane taxied into Silchar airport with a screeching noise, jolting Rhea awake. It had been a short flight, barely an hour, but she had slept right through the babies and the general noises of all the people who were more than happy to be home at last. They weren’t the sort of people that traveled easily, preferring to live cloistered in their small town lives where nothing really happened and when something did, it was always a blatant lie on the part of the outsiders. She glared at the couple behind her, who had pushed her aside to get at their luggage, with a quiet “gently caress you” to herself. She wasn’t about to risk getting beaten up, or worse, before she had even managed to reach her destination.

The airport was nearly empty, and it took only a few minutes for her to collect her luggage and make her way outside to where her uncle’s car awaited. Rather, it was a tiny Alto that had no chance of fitting her two massive suitcases and her without some adjustment that left her sitting with a fifty pound suitcase on her lap for the entire two hour journey to the hospital.

“Ah, you’re here early.”

Rhea’s uncle, Kumar, greeted her with a smile on his face. She grinned nervously back at him. It had been a good few years since they had last met.

“Hello, mamu.” She said.

“Good to have you here. Ah, yes, there’s one thing we need to get sorted out before we go see Shubho upstairs.”


“We’ve had a few nasty accidents in the last few days. People falling down and getting hurt. That sort of thing. So the guesthouse is rather full right now.”


“Normally, I’d have given you the president’s room, but I need him here to help manage the place so you’ll have to live at the old guesthouse. It’s not very modern, and you’ll have to come back here to eat but at least it’s better than sleeping on the floor. Shubho’s room means you’ll never get any sleep at all.”

They carried her suitcases up to the guesthouse behind; an old rambling building with overgrown grass surrounding it. The skyline was covered by tall teak trees that she was told would be sold eventually for the hospital’s funding. Then back through the thick grass to where her grandmother was. There was the strangest smell in the room. It smelt familiar somehow to Rhea. Something she had smelt before sometime during her studies.

The old woman did not react to Rhea. She stared blankly ahead, muttering to herself. Then a scream.

“They’re all over me… they’re coming… no… no…”

“Nani? What’s wrong?”

Shubho looked up. No recognition in her glassy eyes. Her hands were shaking, and she was lurching back and forth. She had a chocolate wrapper in her hand, which she was forcing into her blanket. Over and over again.

“Accha beta, eat this quickly!” She said with a big smile on her face.

Rhea stared at her.

“You know,” Shubho said to her, “my granddaughter loves chocolates. So I’m feeding them to her.”

“Oh. Oh, I see.”

“Don’t you love chocolates, Rhea? Come on, eat up. I’ll feed you lots and lots!”

Her caretaker had a big smile on her face that didn’t reach her empty eyes. Rhea smiled weakly, patted the blanket and then slowly left the room. Her lip was shaking as she left. Outside, she leaned against the wall and took a few deep breaths. Her vision was blurry and there was a strange catch in her throat. She swallowed, and turned to see the caretaker morosely standing next to her.

“Ah, what the gently caress?”

“You should leave.”

“Oh god, where did you come from?”

“Didi’s room. Go. Get out of this house. You aren't wanted.”

‘Oh geez there’s a weird lady who talks like a horror movie poltergeist looking after my grandmother. No wonder she’s being weird.’ Rhea stared at her for a bit, before quickly backing out of the room, and into the common area.

“What the poo poo is happening in this place?” She said, kicking the plastic chair. It clattered to the ground, prompting a swift deluge of curses at the world and the loving chair and this loving old rear end hospital as she picked it up and put it back.

It had already gotten quite dark as she made her way back to her room in the old guesthouse.

“Well, poo poo. Should have borrowed a torch or something. Not going back there tonight though. Too loving weird.” The grass cut ominous shadows against the ground in the moonlight, and the path was barely visible. “At least we know why there were accidents. How do you even stay on this goat-path in this light?”

After stumbling over the rocks while trying to stay as far away from the edge of the hill as possible, she made it back to the guesthouse and unlocked the padlock on the door. It squealed in protest, shedding dust over her. It hadn’t quite hit her earlier that evening just how desolate the place really was. It was complete silent, and when she flipped the switch, nothing happened.

“Oh poo poo. A power cut. Like, is life mad at me or something right now because I really think it is. poo poo. Okay. Deep breaths, Rhea, deep breaths. You can see in the dark. Probably.”

Carefully feeling her way around the walls, she managed to get back to her room. It was completely dark but her eyes were getting used to it when a sudden sharp pain at the end of her finger after she brushed against something strangely rough and squishy had her jerk back into the corridor wall.

“Oh god that hurts. What the hell… holy balls that is a huge spider. Hope it’s not poisonous or something.”

The spider was the size of her palm, with the legs extending out even further. It looked at her with all of its beady eight eyes, prompting a hasty exit from the corridor and into her room. A mosquito net had been left on the chair for her.

“Ah, guess I’ll have to put that up before I sleep. Yeah, unless I want to get eaten or something.”

Later that night, there was a knocking on her door.

“Oh go away; I’m not getting out of bed.

One knock. Two knocks. Over and over again. It wasn’t even a knock anymore. Rather the door was desperately shaking on its hinges.

“Oh, come the gently caress on!”

She opened the door, and jerked back almost immediately as a silvery object came hurtling towards her.

“What the ever-loving poo poo?” She screamed, holding her cheek.

A cold wet feeling was sliding down, and suddenly it felt as though something had touched a hot iron rod to her face. The figure with the knife lunged towards her again, and she grabbed its wrist out of panic, a mere few inches away from her face. It was the caretaker. She was strong. Maybe too strong. Rhea was no pushover, having done weights for the better part of the last five years, but somehow the crazy old woman was overpowering her and coming ever closer to her face.

“Oh god. Oh my god.”

“Leave this place…” The caretaker said, in a hollow voice.

“I’d love to, if you stop trying to stab me in the loving face!”

Rhea pushed, and heaved her over and into the dresser. The knife clattered to the floor, and something snapped in her. The strangest, angriest feeling that she absolutely had to drive the knife into the soft fleshy body in front of her; that there was no feeling more appropriate or wonderful and she had to do it right then or everything would be wrong in the world and she would have to die. She smiled. It felt perfect in her hand. Cold and just the right weight, and the caretaker was just lying there, prone on the floor. And then the pain hit her again. Her leg was gushing blood onto the floor.

“Wait, what just—I don’t—did I just stab myself in the loving leg?” There were tears in her eyes.

It hurt. It hurt so very much. Rhea picked herself off the floor, her head filled with worry for her grandmother. She could barely walk, and the thought of making her way down the path terrified her, but it had to be done. She made a bandage for the injury with some sheets, and though she knew it was a bad idea, limped out of the house. Each step hurt as she moved. Each stumble left her struggling to get back up. The bandage was already soaked with her blood, and her vision was blurring slightly. It took what seemed like forever to get to the other guesthouse, which was deathly quiet. The strange smell from earlier was stronger than ever, and it suddenly struck Rhea where she’d smelt it before.

“The morgue. Oh gently caress. It’s the smell of old blood and corpses and poo poo.”

Up the stairs she struggled, leaning heavily against the railing and trying to put as little weight on the injured limb as possible. The knife was still in her hand, and she tightened her grip on it, readying herself for the absolute worst. The smell grew even worse as she got closer to her grandmother’s room, and she could hear a buzzing sound.

“Flies. But how? They don’t appear that fast, do they?”

She entered the room. It was completely silent except for the buzzing. The smell made her reel, and she had to hold the rail on the bed for support. The old woman was sleeping on the bed, and the flies were all around her. Rhea moved her, and recoiled as bits of flesh came off in her hand.

“What the actual gently caress is going on. Nani, what is this poo poo? Come on, wake up. Wake up.” Her voice shook as she lifted up the body.

There was a strange hole in the back of the old woman’s head. A maggot came out of it, fat and engorged from its feed.
The strange feeling came over Rhea again as she stared at the dead lady. It had been too soon. Way too soon. She smiled again as her fingers tightened around the knife, and everything went dark as she brought it to her neck.

SC Bracer fucked around with this message at 04:22 on Jan 20, 2013

SC Bracer
Aug 7, 2012


supermikhail posted:

Look, are you all deliberately trying to confuse me? This is the most natural style for me. Or maybe I should check the dictionary. The definiton of "natural" just could change to "emulating Ernest Miller Hemmingway" overnight.

I'd say they're telling you to stop using the thesaurus so much and write a little simpler but don't quote me on that.

e: Martello i've failed you :negative:

SC Bracer
Aug 7, 2012



Goddamit I will write something decent one day or die trying.

SC Bracer
Aug 7, 2012


Ah, well here goes. I'm not even sure if I'm good enough to post here considering, but whatever, I'll make a diamond out of these turds yet. I would like a more detailed crit from someone with free time, if that's possible, since I want to know how to do something about my writing.

A Hobson's Choice - 935 words

The hearing I was at wasn’t for any minor incident. Rather, I was terrified of what the consequences could be. I don’t think I’m a coward or anything like that but it’s very hard to explain the feeling in my stomach that’s like a pit opened up inside. I could’ve thrown up at any time onto the faces of the officials but a part of my brain was entirely sure this was a terrible idea so I might have held it back. I can’t remember actually. I couldn’t even remember who, other than the dean, the officials were because my vision was so hazy that they seemed like so many dark, shadowy figures menacing me. There were three of them. One of them was smoking, the other was grotesquely obese, and the third was so normal it felt almost disappointing. It looked so very casual, but the tension was thick enough that I could barely breathe

A few days ago, I was sleeping in the stands of our football field. Skipping class actually but it wasn’t that big a deal. My headphones had broken the day before so I hadn’t had my ears plugged the way I normally would have. What woke me up were a bunch of loud voices… and screaming? No, it was a person literally begging for mercy as he was punched and kicked within an inch of his life.

“Well then, Mr. Zommers, we’ve heard that you might have witnessed the terrible assault against Mr. Jones. Could you tell us more about who might have committed such a heinous crime?”

It certainly was a “heinous crime”, I’ll give them that. The real problem here was that I’d messed up, and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to let the same group commit heinous crimes on my body for being a sneak. You see, they saw me crouching under the bleachers, doing a terrible impression of a ninja, mouth agape in horror. After they’d finished punching the crap out of Jones, they came up to me. I did think of running, but realistically speaking the only result of that would have been a somewhat quicker route to getting beaten up.
Poor old Jones wasn’t around to testify anymore. So that left just me. If I went ahead and spilled, I might get a reward. Maybe. At the very least, I wouldn’t have something like “obstruction of justice” down on my record, since I’m fairly sure that’s not the best way to get ahead in life. On the other hand, there was a one hundred per cent chance that hypothetical reward would go to waste as soon as I got out of the hearing because there’d be a patch of ground with my name on it in big bloody letters.

“Mr. Zommers? Are you quite alright?”

No. No, not even a little alright. I’m sure they saw it in my face and my eyes. I wiped the sweat off and nodded weakly at them. Do I take the risk and deny all knowledge of the attack? Do I take the risk of getting my rear end handed to me by the same group? Either way I was finished. My fingernails were digging into my palms deep enough to draw blood. I couldn’t feel it though. Not over the lump in my throat and my thudding heart. Really, I had two choices, and neither quite appealed to me at that moment.

“Well it’s a long story,” I said, my voice a croak, “but I was there. I saw everything. They threatened me if I didn’t keep quiet. They said they’d make sure I was next.”

I told them everything. How I had been sleeping there when I heard voices, and had ducked down under the bleachers to avoid being spotted. How they had dragged Jones into the field and kicked him in the balls because the “gay bastard”—I remember that phrase very clearly—had to like that, right? I told them everything I knew about the attackers. I gave them names. The four were listening to me, with grave expressions, chins resting on their hands. I couldn’t tell if I’d given them what they wanted. Well, of course it wasn’t easy coming out with all this but it felt vaguely cathartic. I wasn’t hiding a dirty secret from anyone. I was still shaking but it was, well, it could have been a lot worse. The smoking official took a long drag at his cigarette and looked at me. His eyes were kinder than I’d expected and I felt better for it. The normal one was writing frantically into a pad. He had a lined face, and looked tired more than anything. We shook hands as they left, and the fat one patted me on the shoulder with a smile. I suppose he was nicer than he looked, since I’d expected little more than cold derision from him, but then again this was a good lesson in not judging someone for how they looked.

“You’ve done the right thing, boy.”

I’m not an expert when it comes to how these things work, but it sounded like I’d be safe. Sure, I might land up in the hospital, but at the very least I’d be able to get back to my studies as long as I survived the experience. That was something. Hey, maybe they might even do the cool thing and give me some sort of police protection until the whole thing blows over. I was alone in that brightly-lit room filled with bookshelves and a warm, mahogany desk, and I’d never felt better.

SC Bracer
Aug 7, 2012


I would support this system. I really do want detailed critique that castigates the everliving poo poo out of me and makes something out of my terrible writing.

SC Bracer
Aug 7, 2012


budgieinspector posted:

How detailed they get would be up to the individual judge, but let's say at least two specific points.

(Really detailed critiques, when you've got to spend a day reading 20-40,000 words just to form an opinion, isn't really feasible.)

No, that's fine. Just, I'm fairly new to this writing lark so a bit more than just what gets given out during the judging would help some, I think.

e: Question re: the submission thing (I have no hope of ever being accepted but still)- While I'm very much in 'Murrica right now, I'm also a student on an F1 visa and we have all kinds of weird guidelines about making money off-campus for whatever reason. Is sending stuff into a literary mag kosher despite that? I'd rather not get into visa-related trouble over something like this. Actually, what would happen if I were back home? I have no idea how this poo poo works.

SC Bracer fucked around with this message at 09:34 on Jan 28, 2013

SC Bracer
Aug 7, 2012


Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

Re: Bracer

Send it an worry about it later. If they accept it, tell them to keep the dough. It's only twenty bucks. Then, you have no conflict.

Also marry me.

Okay then. I'll consider it in the unlikely event they accept me, boss.

I can't say I'm entirely happy with this but I'm still grinning.

SC Bracer
Aug 7, 2012


I have time, so yes, I'm so very in.


SC Bracer
Aug 7, 2012


Um uh how do i poo poo-talk out of this

Sorry I was a no show last week, but my computer pretty much shat itself and blue-screened thrice before I took it in for repairs. Even this is on my phone actually. It was horrible.

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