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supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


Who are we killing today?


Fanky Malloons posted:

I'm in.

Flash rule is: must feature a non-Western funerary ritual.

Edit: for the sake of clarification, let's say that 'non-Western' means any region not coloured dark blue on this map

I guess this means the only funerary ritual ritual I've ever been present at (at least as far as I can recall). This is gonna be a slog. iiiin...

For a flash rule (if it goes to anyone), I'd like to see a poem featuring my vision of the late Thunderdome MMXII.

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supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


STONE OF MADNESS posted:

gently caress it, I'm done. Let this be a lesson to us all.


The Ballad of the Challenger
371 words

<...>



0/10

-----

More seriously, though, that's what I'm talking about - that's the kind of poetry that's meant to be read, not nose-picked about (rhymes, I mean).

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


You can't do justice the ballad genre unless you write in authentic Middle English. Oh, the music of those "thou"s and "wherefore"s.

I don't think your summer gently caress-buddy necessarily mustn't cook well and be deep.

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


Oooh hooey. I might even make the minimum amount by the deadline, although I've almost finished the meat of the story. Fluff it up with raw emotion or a brain-watering nonsequitur?

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


So, yeah, what's worse: to submit the 140 words that I have, or not submit at all? I know it's not that EST yet, but I've got another riddle on that time, and I don't know which one of these two makes me more constipated. (I bet the motherfucking poetry.)

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


Sure.

Non-western burial. 141 's

Her death was a release.
And everybody knew it.
Her face had its last crease.
The last sock had been knit.

The fam'ly reunited.
All petty grudges swept
Under, on fire lighted.
Two of the women wept.

Her waxen face tranquil.
Black lustre wooden coffin.
The chapel solemn, still.
Priest on familiar routine.

He mumbled from his tome
Farewells said, and tears cried.
Launched almost home
With boredom guilty ride.

A fresh hole in the ground
On the edge of the path.
We went around and round
Dropped handfuls of gray earth.

The grave filled by workmen.
A squabble over head
Or feet cross placement.
Communally constructed flower bed.

A homeward awkward walk
Resentful reminiscence
Over a decanter of vodka
Teetotaling quiescence.

Uneasy brooding under moon.
An odd bucket of earth
To dump onto the oozing dune.
A couple plastic roses.

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


After reading such words as "linguistic descritipivitism" I feel like a high-school student who has submitted a critique on a physics Nobel work (that is, "I sure mashed some words together" ).

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


V for Vegas posted:

Supermikhail your poem definitely rhymed. I like poetry that does that. Downside - I could tell what it was about. That is not good when writing poetry. Too prosaic you know? Well, that's about my store of poetry criticism used up. This was a rough start to 2013.

Yeah... I could quote twinkle cave for you, but I doubt the dome would approve. So, instead, I agree with everything he says but I shall add that corniness could be less noticeable if it were a song. A corny hard rock song. It depends on whether you like to enter or exit with a bang, but "the lesson for which we all shall burn" would go in a later portion if I were writing it, although I wouldn't be writing it because I'm a brick-droppingly literal guy, so I zoned out two times while reading your poem. Sorry.

Oh, and the first line seems to set a rhythm with repetition, but then it all sadly breaks, though of course it wouldn't impede a desperate song, because they can wrap all kinds of words into any kind of rhythm.

On the other hand, some of the fancy words in it would sound strange to hardcore hardrock fans.

I'm out. Oh, wait, I've got one round left. That's sure to come in useful.

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


I'm in. My acquaintance with supernatural horror stopped at Edgar Alan Poe, so expect some senile classiness... "Senile" cause it also stopped 10 years ago in high school.

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


20th century FOX presents

R.A.W. F.E.A.R. or something along those lines

starring

1750 s
Edit: Apparently, that bohner was for real, so this piece is all number 1. Obviously.


Scott was wanking to Scarlett Johanson at his computer when he heard a scream from the street. A kind of frightened, raspy female scream. His hand faltered and his imagination wavered. He thought that could be a scream of someone who saw a murder. Or was being murdered. He felt his junk slackening. 'gently caress, let me jerk off in peace!' Murders in the middle of the day didn't happen, at least here. It was probably some girl playing something active with her boyfriend. Angrily, he concentrated on the images on the screen. The puffy lips, the smooth skin, the boobs...

Then the doorbell rang.

gently caress. He sat back in frustration. 'Let the man engage in a little depravity, will you!' Nevertheless, he switched to a different tab, pulled his trousers up, tucking in his johnson, and went to open the door. Looking through the peephole he saw two blond girls. 'Right. You're gonna tease me now!'

“Who's that?”

“Hello. I am... we're your neighbors.”

He opened the door just a bit, trying to keep the bulge of his crotch out of sight.

“Hello.”

drat, were they pretty. Starting with the perfect blue-eyed, sculpted faces to tight bodies to thin bare legs in shorts. In addition they appeared to be twins... He was probably dreaming.

“Hello,” one of the girls said again. “We're your neighbors on the floor above. Did you hear a scream just now in the street?”

“Yeah. Er.” Scott felt a little embarrassed about his previous sentiments.

“And they say on the TV there's rioting not far from here. At least they said,” the girl corrected herself. “Now they're showing something strange.”

“Yeah I don't watch TV,” Scott said, wondering where this was leading. “Thanks for letting me know. Wouldn't want to go out right now I guess.”

“Yeah,” the girl said, smiling.

“Can we use your phone?” the other girl interjected. “ There seems to be something wrong with ours.”

“Okay,” Scott said. He covertly checked that his crotch had a more or less presentable appearance, and let the girls in. “This way.” He made a couple steps towards the kitchen, then halted. “Do you mean the regular phone, or...”

“Yeah, sure,” one of the girls said. Yes, they were twins, and he wasn't even beginning to distinguish them.

He led them to the kitchen, realizing that he felt some not entirely asexual excitement, though his ding dong stayed docilely still. The legs were the most upsetting part, with their prominent lightness of naked skin.

One of the girls raised the receiver and somewhat warily brought it to her ear.

“What?” the other girl said.

The first girl held her breath for some reason. The she looked at her sister and said, “The same thing.” She frowned and turned to Scott with the phone.

“What's that?” he asked.

“I don't know. I guess words in a different language.”

Scott took the phone and listened.

At first it appeared to be white noise. Then he recognized that the sound crackled with distortion. It wasn't immediately apparent that someone was speaking, and after he got used to it he wouldn't testify that what he heard was human language (it wasn't English or French which Scott knew), but it was a voice anyway. It seemed to use an inordinate amount of very strong 'h's which contributed to noise.

“What the hell is that?” Scott said.

“I don't...” one of the girls began, but was interrupted by a thunderclap, very sudden, as if a lightning had struck just outside.

Scott and the girls froze.

“Okay, that's freaky,” Scott said presently. “It's winter. I've never heard thunder in winter.”

“Me neither,” one of the girls said.

Scott tried to keep his face straight. His two favorite things were happening at once: he was being paid attention to by stunning blond girls, and a rare natural phenomenon was taking place just next to him. Come to think of it, two phenomena.

That's when one of the girls said, “Okay, sorry for the trouble. I guess it's something... with all the phones.” She looked kindly at Scott and went to the door.

'Oh, drat,' Scott thought.

The second of the girls stopped on the threshold and turned around. In the hallway Scott could see an old man standing looking in their direction.

“So, what's your name?” the second girl asked.

Scott finally introduced himself.

“I'm Tina,” the girl said. “And my sister's name is Jen.”

“You live on the floor above?” Scott said.

“Yeah. Apartment 23.”

Scott took in the pretty face, noting to himself that incredibly some chemistry appeared to be going on.

“Well, bye,” Tina said. She had shorter hair and more mascara on (at least right now, but probably not by accident). He had to remember that.

Tina turned around, and was met by a venomous howl from the hallway. The old man lunged at Jen, raising something shiny, and the next moment the metallic tip of a sword, coated in blood, appeared out of Jen's stomach.

Several screams filled the air. But the loudest of all spoke the old man - “Adulterous witch!”

Jen looked in front of her, neither at Scott nor at her sister, with big sad startled eyes. Tina raised her hands reaching for her, but afraid to actually do anything.

Then the old man withdrew his weapon out of Jen with a spurt of blood, and Jen fell forward. Tina caught her in her hands. The old man raised the sword, spraying red droplets in an arc, a mad scowl on his face. It was an austere, ungroomed face, with an overgrown beard and leathery skin, Scott noticed before rushing to shut the door in front of it, and fumbling it locked with sticky hands.

“poo poo,” he said.
“Wrath of the Lord is upon you!” the old man roared through the door.

Tina sobbed on the floor over Jen who drew short choking, moaning breaths and clutched the wound on her stomach.

“Please don't die, please!” Tina said.

There was a dark red patch on the carpet under Jen, and it was drat big for such a short time. The shirt on her stomach was soaked.

“You've got to staunch the bleeding on her back,” Scott said. He grabbed a towel from a rack next to the bathroom door, crumpled it, lifted Jen's slippery waist and pushed the towel against the wound. His head swam.

“I'm going to call...” He paused for an especially vertiginous heartbeat. “gently caress.” He couldn't call anyone. There was some kind of conspiracy against them... Or maybe he could.

“I'll be back quick.”

He rushed into his room. The monitor was dark, and with a guilty longing he remembered his last moments in front of it.

His cellphone was on a chair next to his unmade bed. There was no reception.

On his way to the door, he heard the walls groan, and the ground under his feet shivered.

“He's breaking through the door!” Tina shouted.

Scott looked at the door. It was a steel door, its framing embedded in concrete. Or something like that. The concrete was cracking.

Scott tried to think.

“The Lord guides my hand!” the old man proclaimed from beyond the door.

poo poo. It was all wrong, and Scott felt the tears of indignation (and self-pity) almost welling up in his eyes.

“Do something!” Tina said.

Scott looked around. Right.

“Let's get her away. Keep the towel on the wound.”

He awkwardly got his forearms under Jen's body and lifted her up. She was light and cold.

He heard bangs from around the door, and turned in time to see it start falling outward. The old man screamed and the door crashed into the hallway.

Scott exchanged an apprehensive look with Tina. In the gloom the door, torn off the hinges, lay flat on the floor. There was no trace of the old man. 'Villains never go out so easily in the movies,' Scott thought. 'Do they do in real life?'

“Let's go,” he said, and began walking to his sister's room. It was furthest from the entrance, and it had a big old bed in it, which was made. They tangoed awkwardly with Tina who was keeping Jen's wounds dressed.

“Can you hear me, sister?” Tina said.

Jen moaned with half-closed eyes.

There were heavy steps in the direction of the doorway. Freezing, Scott and Tina looked back.

A man dressed in thick black clothes stood on the threshold. He appeared to be a policeman in riot gear and held a baton.

“Sir, are you the police?” Scott said.

“We are,” the man said.

Another man dressed like him appeared at his back.

“We are the only police. Sanctioned by our Lord God, and you are so guilty before his eyes.”

'poo poo,' Scott thought, then said, “Run.”

He pushed Tina into the room.

“Of first-degree lust, adultery, greed...” the man continued.

“Shut the door!” Scott told Tina, laying Jen on the bed.

“...greed, envy, fornication...”

“What the gently caress!” Tina said, closing the door and backing away.

“Lock it! Press the thing on the knob!” Scott shouted.

Two pairs of feet thumped up to the door. Tina pressed the thing on the knob.

“...and apostasy.”

The door flew explosively inwards, catching Tina, and smashing into the opposite wall. It slid to the ground, long bare legs kicking from under it.

There weren't coherent thoughts in Scott's head after that, but he perceived the two dark looming shapes enter the room. Something took control of Scott's legs, swung him around, dashed him forward and threw him out of the window. His apartment was on the ground floor, so he wasn't hurt much, except for a few cuts and scratches.

Dark shapes were marching down the street, herding people before them with batons and guns. People ran, people fell, people crawled and were trampled, people lay dead. Here and there among the dark shapes walked men of gray bones with parchment skin, laying the path with big staffs. Just above the crowd flitted men of white light, dropping now and again to ignite a human torch. People screamed and guns fired. Then, a new star lit up in the east, and a thunderous voice spoke, “Hello, I am officially back! I hope you haven't been naughty... Oh. I see someone's not getting a salvation today.”

In the thickening dark, as his cudgeled and trampled body gave in, Scott saw white balls of flame tearing through the sky towards the downtown.

supermikhail fucked around with this message at 07:37 on Jan 20, 2013

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


I abhor my writing. I loathe seeing my words appear on the screen. Before, I thought my plots were askew, but having entered Thunderdome I feel like all these black zigzags in the end fuze into one big smear of something brown and putrid.

Without any elegance, intrigue or wit.

As is natural of things brown and putrid.

~My official auto-critique.


And I loving hate always having to look up words in a Russian-English dictionary.

Thanks. I feel much better now.

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


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.

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


In. At least I think the deadline was Saturday.

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


Thunderdome XXV entry, 933 words

When one has nothing to lose, one can do some pretty bizarre things. As when Alsa Sherrek, the self-proclaimed First Emperor of Hynasia, poisoned all his staff at a council meeting. For the sake of historical accuracy, it must be said that he watched the chaos, the agony, and the deaths with some degree of satisfaction. We're afraid he was not a good person.

The last grasping hand had not fallen, the last pair of eyes had not rolled up to face oblivion, the last tremor had not quelled, when Sherrek left the room and locked the door, carrying a cup of poisoned wine. He came to the Grand Audience Chamber, sat on the throne and waited.

Presently, a door materialized in the middle of the room. It opened, and a man in a white uniform stepped through.

Looking at the cup in his hand, Sherrek spoke softly.

“It's all over. I have failed my people. My family. My ancestors. Might as well kill myself and spare those few hundred souls who remain of my army. It's all over. Isn't it, Marshall?”

The uniformed man, who was watching the scene respectfully, said, “Uh, hello. I believe this is yours?” He extended his hand and a blue semi-transparent scroll appeared above it. The scroll unfurled itself, showing some writing under the seal of Hynasian Empire.

“Yes,” Sherrek said.

“Then the situation must be pretty dire. But you wouldn't have called me if there was only one option left... That's poison? Classy... Just to make sure, you're aware that I don't work for free?”

“Yes.”

“Good. Now fill me in.”

Sherrek told Marshall a story, sad, epic, believable, and false. Then he led him to the map room.

In twelve hours the troops of the Southern Coalition around the last citadel of the First Emperor of Hynasia were routed. Sherrek did not quite understand it all. Messages had been sent, men relocated, resources suddenly discovered, attacks called, retreats sounded, and, boom, they had won. He had only done what Marshall had told him to. He didn't understand it, but he didn't need to. All he had to keep an eye on was Marshall.

They had a big celebration that night. There were many new faces – soldiers who had suddenly become Sherrek's generals, filling the recently freed spots.

Wine had been drunk and Sherrek spoke thus while he was showing Marshall to his bedroom:

“My friend, just take me to Vynna, and I'll make you the richest man in the Universe. I'll give you the most beautiful women and the best houses... And this house is yours. It's mine, but it's yours, too. Here are the keys to every room. Do what you like, go everywhere you want... Except. Except the room at the end of the corridor. Sorry, that's a secret.”

Next day was a lazy day. Everyone slept in late. Some plans were made at dinner, but mostly everyone kept talking about the miraculous victory. After dinner, Sherrik took a dozen guards, went into the forbidden room, and waited. At midnight, the door opened, and Marshall stood on the threshold. When he saw the guards around him, he said, “Hm. Clever.” Then they knocked him out.

Marshall woke up tied to a chair. Opposite of him sat Sherrik. Otherwise the room was empty.

“So, it comes down to this,” said Sherrik. “I want to rule Hynasia.”

Marshall studied his face.

“Can be arranged,” he said.

“Good.” Sherrik got up.

“Aren't you going to untie me?” Marshall said.

“No. And no tricks.”

Twelve months later Sherrik stepped into the last bit of free Hynasia – the Conference Hall of Sarish Parliament. There were no free people there, it was just a place, but the place meant something. Then Sherrik stepped into it, and free Hynasia was no more.

“It just had to be a republic,” Sherrik said. “Oh, well.”

He grabbed a chair, lifted it onto the conference table, then got onto it.

“I am the king of the world!”

Soldiers said “Hoorah!”

“Hope it'll last,” said Marshall, out of cuffs for some time now.

“What?” Sherrik said, genially. “Who can oppose me now? I am Sherrik the Conqueror, Sherrik the Invincible, soldiers run at the sound of my name... Oh. I am the king of Hynasia. I am supposed to be letting you off... Well, I don't see why I can't hold onto this world now that you've delivered it to me. I myself... and my people aren't completely dumb, you know... Anyway, no. It would be fair to release you, but it would also be foolish. So, tonight we celebrate, tomorrow you die.”

Marshall just frowned.

A group of soldiers ran into the hall.

“Sir, your Majesty, there is a spaceship approaching.”

As Sherrik passed Marshall on his way outside, he heard, “You could have been the viceroy.”

A white triangle shone in the night sky.

“Have you got guns on it?” Sherrik asked one of his generals.

“Yes, sir.”

Then a dozen more white triangles of different sizes blinked into existence next to the first one.

“Who is it?” Sherrik said.

“We don't know, sir.”

A soldier came up to the general.

“They are transmitting, sir.”

The general passed the receiver to Sherrik. A calm voice spoke to him.

“We are the Marshalls. We have come to claim our own. Hynasia is it. You can give up quietly, Sherrik, or you can resist. But we think you should give up. And you will.”

“Tricky bastard,” Sherrik muttered.

So ended the First, and only, Hynasian Empire. Its Emperor suffered a little longer.

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


In.

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


Thunderdome XXVI entry
"Petey"
5m22s



Let the ear-bleeding commence!

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


Great. I don't quite qualify to be even the loser. I guess it was a burn indeed.

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


So,
code:
if (curTime != friday.midnight(GMT+8) && submissionTime > curTime + 48h) {
Challenger supermikhail = new Challenger();
}
else {
System.out.println("Sorry.");
}

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


You mean it's the first loving minute of friday. (You're quite obviously jesus since your gmt+8 lags by whole 2 hours from mine). Oh, well, I don't think I can be the loser even with rushing the thing out.

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


Motherfuckers.

Well, since etries are going full steam it appears there's still about 48 hours to submit. And I already finished, for fear that in 24 hours I'd still be at work.

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


I just realized that my current effort takes "action" in the very literal sense, so, since I managed to finish one thing in a day and I have the day off just before the deadline, I'll try to think of something more suitable.

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


That's a low-hanging fruit, but I don't mind low-hanging fruits.

BlackFrost posted:

Mine - 1,000 words.

Emmett shivered as he returned to consciousness. He tried to open his eyes, but the lights overheard burned. He felt a pounding in his head. He rolled and planted his face on the hard surface—was he on the floor? He opened his eyes, and through the blur made out a dull gray.

Repetition of the same structure. The longer it went on, the more jarring it got, so that by the end I was counting "he"s. Which brings me to my second point, which is overuse of "he".

Concrete.

He rose on all fours, blinking until his vision cleared. The light reflected on the floor and burned his eyes. He grunted as his head felt like it split in half, right down the back. He rubbed the back of his head, and felt a bump.

Doesn't sound right. I would say your use of "as" suggests simultaneous action, while head feeling like... obviosly isn't an action. To make it semantically correct you need to replace "as" with "because", but stylistically this won't help.

He paused, then tried to rise, managing to stand upright. He opened his eyes and scanned the room. To his left, he spotted an old, wooden desk. In front of him was a single, metal door. There was a switch next to it—for the lights, he assumed.

"tried to rise" has a degree of suspense about it, and it's a clumsy way to resolve the suspense by just saying that he "managed it". A better way would be to describe his struggles.

“Hello?” He coughed, and realized he needed something to drink. He made his way over to the desk and opened each drawer, looking for something useful. Nothing.

He planted both hands on the desk and studied the wooden frame. He tried to remember something—anything—about where he was. What was he doing before this? Was he attacked? There was something familiar about the small room. The empty room definitely wasn’t his office.

Office. Work. I work here. This is one of the unused offices.

Another great instance of resolving suspence. Not. You should try to describe his process of remembering. What was familiar about the room? What gave him a clue that he worked here?

The old mine had a lot of empty rooms like this one. Emmett figured what happened: he’d stumbled in here, slipped, and hit his head on the concrete. Simple enough, but there was still one question: Why had he come in here in the first place?

He remembered rushing down here. A digger went nuts on the radio, saying he’d found something, and urged everyone to come see. Emmett was on his way when he’d heard something weird on the radio, like a guttural roar. Then, he saw something—

For some reason "he"s disappear almost completely. I am convinced that this bit was added by a later contributor.

BANG!

He looked at the door, unable to move his legs. Something sharp scraped against the metal. He thought he heard a voice, maybe a grunt?

You're doing it wrong. "He was paralyzed with fear" is the regular way. "unable to move his legs" sounds like Emmett had just discovered a spinal cord injury.

BANG!

He snapped into action. In one swift motion, he flicked the light switch off, then made his way back to the desk. He tilted it, caught it before it hit the floor, and ducked behind it.

I appreciate the effort, but you've already established your protagonist as a thriller regular joe instead of an action hero. Plus he's just been (to quote myself and countless others) paralyzed with fear, and now he's doing everything in swift motions. Additionally, you could mention that Emmett lowered the desk on the floor.

The door crashed open. He heard flesh thumping against concrete as something heavy moved into the room. He covered his mouth, forced (-ing? or "and") himself to breathe through his nose. He realized that the light from the corridor might reveal his presence, and didn’t dare make a move to peek over the desk.

It gets a bit confusing there. I can't visualize the positions of the characters. I also am not sure if "flesh thumping" is good. I get images of raw meat, and that normally slaps.

He heard a guttural sound—the sound he’d heard on the radio—and dug his fingers into his cheeks. The heavy footfalls grew louder—closer—and then stopped. He could hear breathing. He glanced upward, and though the light revealed what was standing before him, its main features were bathed in shadow.

The naked, pale figure looked almost like a regular person at first glance, but in just a few moments (makes it sound like a feat, while, well, you don't need to be a doctor to determine that something's wrong there) Emmett made something out—its arm, it seemed to dangle into many fleshy strands that ended in sharp points—and backed into the wall.

The creature seemed to poke its head forward, and Emmett realized it must’ve been looking right at him. It cried out—an awful, indescribable sound—and Emmett scrambled to his feet, moving for the door. He stumbled over the desk and fell, but was back up in moments. He flew out of the room and collided with the adjacent wall.

Yeah, let's leave it at that. If you're not going to describe it, then just don't.

He turned left, saw another figure burst out of one of the other rooms, and almost slipped as he whirled around and ran. He heard screaming—definitely human—but didn't stop for a second. As he ran, he thought of running the track back in college, and how heavy his feet felt when he sprinted under the hot, unforgiving sun. Now, even in the cool, underground mine, his feet were heavy.

Remember - action. Leave wild reminiscences for a different prompt.

He tripped over something and fell to the ground. He glanced behind him, and in the dim hallway made out several figures shambling toward him. He was surprised at how much distance he'd managed to put between himself and the creatures.

He got to his feet, and glanced down the corridor. He saw a door just a few meters down, along the right-hand wall, and went for it. As he moved, a realization dawned on him, and he stopped.

These details detract. I don't have a floor plan in my head and don't count how many steps the hero takes. You should try to appeal to imagination, which doesn't need more than "a few steps away".

I’m going the wrong way. I’m not heading toward the surface, I’m going down.

He had stopped for only a moment before springing for the door again. It didn’t budge. He grabbed the knob and shoved, even kicked the door. He realized that he wasn’t actually turning the knob, let out a cackle, and pulled the door open. He shut it behind him.

Another empty room with a desk. He coughed—Christ, his throat burned—and moved for the desk. He kneeled onto it, breathed, and pushed it toward the door.

BANG!

He cackled again, pausing to massage his throat. Door knobs sure are a pain in the rear end, aren’t they?

He slid the desk against the door, and collapsed. He turned and leaned back against the desk, rubbing his eyes. He felt tears, and realized that his hands were shaking. At that moment, the pounding in his head returned.

BANG!

No way out. His legs felt like jelly, his tongue felt swollen and dry. Even if he managed to slip by them, he wouldn’t get very far. He thought of the people he was leaving behind. His wife, his kids.

I don't care. Action! Also, show don't tell.

He heard the door open (it opens the other way, gently caress me, how could I forget that?) and tried to crawl away. He didn’t turn around, even as something grabbed his legs and pulled.

Emmett heard screaming as something sharp dug into the back of his skull. Then, he felt searing pain—like something splitting the back of his head open, down the middle—and everything went dark.

You're supposed to appeal to my imagination, which draws from my past experiences, and I've never experienced having the back of my head split open. Have you? What's it like?

Finally, you've tried to pass a sci-fi thriller as action. Unsuccessfully.

And in other news, having come to work an hour and half early, due to lack of attention, I wrote some of the trashiest words I've ever done in a café to the tune of a drunk man trying to make a waiter punch him in the face. I guess his failure at the task of creating some action was the main culprit of the lack of quality in my work. But now that I'm home it's getting better. Hmm... that's doesn't sound right.

Also, sorry, I guess such long crits aren't called for here, but I'm drunk with sleepiness.

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


Sigh... You're all so awesome, guys (although admittedly I lack the attention span to read all the entries).

However, Benagain, I resent the dialogue starting with "Holy poo poo, did you guys see that?", or mainly the dialogue tags, most of which could have been omitted without any loss of clarity. Then, a some stiltedness. "renowned sense of punctuality" is quite a mouthful to produce in the heat of the action. Neither does "deranged fucks" fly.

"before going into further detail about their ancestry (poor) and the length of time they could expect to survive once she’d taken the hood off her head and managed to find a weapon (short.)" is a rather weak attempt at humor. You'd achieve better quality with straight speech.

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


955 words completely wasted,

In

They Are In The Walls!!1


They were coming to the end of the tunnel when Rowan almost heard a whisper of a whisper behind them. He looked around. There was a jagged hole in the wall where there hadn't been one just a few moments ago. While he gaped at it, two figures stepped through – a man and a woman, judging by proportions, although their bodies were covered by dark uniforms and faces concealed under helmets.

“Rainbow Ops,” Heather rasped, pulling Rowan by the arm. “Go, go, go!”

“What the hell are they?” Rowan said, catching up.

“Just move!”

Rowan glanced back. The figures were following at a confident jog a hundred yards away.

Up ahead Birch was climbing onto the lip under a door out of the tunnel.

“Hold them back,” Heather said.

Rowan removed the safety on his gun and fired over the pursuers' heads. The figures didn't slow down. Heather stepped beside Rowan and let out a burst straight at the woman, who flicked a bulky dark object in her hand, setting off miniature fireworks in front of her. The man slowed down.

“Ionizers,” Heather said sideways, firing at the man, which had the necessary effect on his partner.

Rowan hesitated.

“Go on,” Heather said.

Birch had already opened the door and was helping Iris up. Heather kept shooting. The figures dodged around at fifty yards. Rowan made up his mind and reached up for Birch's hand. Once Rowan scrambled onto the lip, Birch started shooting, too.

“Heather!” he shouted.

“Run!” Heather answered. “I'll hold them off.”

For a moment Birch kept firing. Then he stepped back and slammed his hand on the door controls. Rowan, who was already inside the passage, saw the male figure head for Heather, while the woman ignored her and went for the door. Heather snatched her pistol and threw it at the woman. Then the door shut.

“Come on,” Birch said dully. “Nature judge her.”

“Nature judge her,” Rowan echoed, trying to suppress his shock.

Iris met them around the corner.

“Where's Heather?”

“She stayed behind,” Birch said.

Iris frowned.

Birch took lead at a run.

“Rowan, stay behind me,” he said.

Rowan readjusted the backpack with his precious load and followed. Iris closed the rear.

“Use the device if you have to. You must get it to the base,” Birch said.

Rowan tried to remember the controls, and hoped it would come to him when he actually saw them.

A bright light appeared up ahead, but Rowan couldn't make out its source from behind Birch's body.

Birch glanced back.

“Iris!”

In a moment Rowan saw a jagged hole in the wall. Its border glimmered, but weakly now. Rowan sprinted past it into a junction.

Birch stopped, aiming his gun the way they came, and Rowan saw that Iris stayed next to the hole. She fired into it. A hand holding a dark object reached out and hit Iris's rifle which began to shimmer. Iris dropped the weapon. She shouted and pushed into the hole. There was a weak scream. Then a dark figure stepped out. Birch and Rowan started shooting. The figure held the dark object in the front, turning deadly bullets into harmless sparkles reflected in its helmet.

“Rowan, go!” Birch said.

With clenched teeth Rowan forced himself to stop firing. He turned around, started running, then froze. A spot on a wall in front of him lit up. As he frantically tried to decide what to do, it sprouted electric veins which spread around to human height.

“They're here!” Rowan shouted to Birch, at the same time realizing that he wouldn't be heard over the gunfire. After a moment's hesitation Rowan took off his backpack, and bent over it. He pulled open the zipper, freeing a bulky black device.

On the top it had two extensible antennas, on the front – a keyboard and an LED display. Rowan set up the antennas and pressed the “on” button, lighting up the display. He typed “Test”, then entered the code from memory. Taking a second to make sure he hadn't missed anything, he pressed “OK”. The device vibrated. Rowan saw that two steps away stood the man that had been following them, the one who had come from the new hole in the wall. Then the sounds of Birch's gun stopped, and the device flashed.

When Rowan reopened his eyes, he saw Birch nursing his hand on the floor, the woman standing in the mouth of the passage, and himself, Rowan. As he looked on, the image dimmed, wavered, and disappeared.

The woman approached Rowan from behind slowly. Rowan knew why. Just beyond the device, her partner lay on his back, with a big shining hole in his chest, still and silent.

The woman knelt next to the body and took off its helmet. The face beneath the visor was young and handsome, its glassy eyes wide-open in surprise. The woman took off a glove, then closed her partner's eyes.

Gingerly, Rowan reached for the device, closed the zipper over it, and lifted the backpack. The woman ignored him. He came over to Birch, who sat up on the floor now. Birch's hand glistened red. It looked like it had been very cleanly flayed.

Birch held onto Rowan with his healthy hand and got up.

“Have you got the device?”

“Yes,” Rowan said.

“Let's get out of here,” Birch said, glaring at the woman.

They heard running footsteps in the passage they came from, and first Heather, then Iris joined them, both bewildered, but safe, except for some flayed skin and torn clothes.

As they started off again, Rowan glanced at the woman. She sat, leaning against the wall, next to her partner, his face reflecting in her visor.

-----

vvv Not trying to be offensive, but are you by any chance dyslexic? Doesn't really look like you've proofread that a lot, otherwise.

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supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


You bastards! (I mean Capntastic and Canadian Surf Club.)

My grudge is that when I first decided to join the dome I was a bit late for entries, but I had already written the submission (before figuring out what timezone everything was happening in, or something). In the end I decided to not try to break the rules. I probably wouldn't have gotten any points for being a newbie, but what makes you so special?

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