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twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

i'm in. and gently caress all if i'm 37 minutes late.

if someone else comes in late and is allowed:
their poem must have an anthem quality and use at least 2 made up words


twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


assigned mission-
twinkle cave: have at least 5% of their final wordcount (do the math yourself, gumling) comprised of neologisms, or newly coined words. Think Jabberwocky and nonsense verse.
AND+ I originally started the wrong prompt so also "written from the perspective of a dying man" which actually belonged to Your Sledgehammer.

(word count: 826 including inextricably intertwined header statement)


Pedro’s is a real place. It’s located in North Carolina along I-95 off Exit 1, just south of the Virginia border. A way-point since 1950 for Northerners vacationing to Florida, it isn’t what it used to be. Ben Bernanke is said to have worked there as a carney in his youth, though officially he was a poncho wearing waiter.

Exit 1

Pedro’s South of the Border looks like poo poo.
Class warfare prints were found at the scene, and suspected.
as in gender warfare, as in substance warfare, as in ideologue warfare, as in
junkies will forevermore go there to die.

But once Bernanke worked there,
and VCR repairman conferenced
three days vacation away,
sniffing over-chlorinated pools
wasted next to the interstate.

Where station wagon’s trolled the super lots
to embattle in mediocre joy and check-in
to future-now’s past radtainment of the new.

Envision Pedro’s asiatic stereo-caricature
apologetic retarded buckteeth greeting,
inviting to make sepia toned humor,
as skin sticks to synthetic upholstery,
debonding upon arrival,
wife slowly fantasizing
lonely suicide in floral prints
against a like floral print patio chair cushion
against like floral print highway scrub
and all the silent dually cruel
squelched dramatic night sex
squeezed out in the otherness
of tin-pan boxed AC motel leisure.

The coarse enunciation of racial slights
before we had a black president would qualify,
“People who have nothing don’t know how hard it is,”
unpacking excessive compression from the modeled weight
a husband wore in the days when they came with hats and women gloves.

Above Virginia there is gene mutation from richy
people overfucking expressed in adults with small childly white teeth
belonging to vampish ravenous empowered ingrates.
Below is evidenced gene overlap/cancellation resulting in wide-set eyes

“I-95 is an accelerated axis of mutation polarized with opposing filthy indulgences”,
I mutter to floorboard,
and break slowly into the only stripmall stripperclub I might ever
hope for, shouldered to a “Spa” with blacked-out windows.

In my room are
cardboard furniture melted by nicotine,
silhouette-thin walls,
(The real barrier; mutually assured horror
of counter-occupant’s addle)
skeeve carpet like a deficiency rash on the lower abdomen etching downward.

Out the window, past skin peel curtains,
lot lizards slouch into their next mouthful,
(walleyed high-headed backwoods snake church scags with a little t and a big A
corralled into motorcade spooge glamour by determined trust in humanity
and a tingle in their cooters no amount of hair-tightening bun twists ever dampened)
wiping up whore bucks from whore masters, having the full rompleshit,
cause no attractive woman has parted pedro’s grime non-ironically in a lifetime
except the death seekers flogging for ruin porn.

Me, deep now, beyond raising, plumed in Pedro’s musky crotch
where the heat is ripping sweat from my rear end
(that crease of fallow housing where the MD crammled the nuke).

Half-life. What bullshit. What an rear end in a top hat.
The garbage human race lives too long,
with dick-to-rear end cancer the leading edge of quickly deluding machinery.
No need to patch a wounded wound,
while the aged rape the young by clutching the vine
withering it downard, soaking nutrients,
from salve to succubus they change,
and I saw the magazine face of our 43nd and knew
“He’s praying to the devil, that shitteration.”

I hear the trees boughing and black, down
to swat me from the stage.
No parlor tricking to a lower level to duck
yet head still yapping displayed.

And I’ve seen the eyes of gently caress buckets
that breed the world with stains.
Eyes that will love no one ever,
the same I waited for but never paused on me.

Gasolining the room brings to mind that first beaterbox
propelled by my spit and ingenuity,
and I pause, but no, this show will close.
There are always reasons for the weak to grasp;
I want to spread a few minutes across Pedro’s face,
swat pinballs into twitchy arcing elements
pocketed in his sombrero topped arcade,
run a hand along a poolside wrought iron fence,
bumble through the fuckwits and doofus hoarders.
But the fire is hot already,
laid up licking
at the fungled shower board
as if it where the cancer
coring my vitals.

Suicides crouch in a dark corner festering
like harmed animals, but I stare at the mirror,
extending the distance between my vertebrae,
and look at this blue eyed sack of creature,
and no nothing of it.

Life meant nothing;
less than the crumpled black edge of a dead leaf pasted to a storm sewer wall.

Leaving behind only rear end in a top hat’s tainted radiation pellet,
which will rapidly approach zero but never zilch,
outlasting this earth and all in it.

Organism vapid and dispersed beneath
the trailing edge of poo poo drug futureward.
Disgusted by ceremony, the handbag of sociopaths,
I’m torching the evidence.
Pedro’s going with me.

I burn this mother fucker to the ground.

twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 21:15 on Jan 13, 2013

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

I've rechristened this weeks challenge to


And now I will attempt to spew some of this detritus back out of my mouth in your general direction after wading through it. The non-sight of the judges allowing a bunch of fic-heads to create a daisy chain of fucktarded poetry prompts(although HILARIOUS, and i mean that as sarcastically as possible) is truly of mindblowing proportions w/r/t FAIL. My first inclination was to line everyone against the wall(including judges by way of sneakery), pull the dune buggy around with the turret gattlin gun, and proceed to make the first human entrails abstract art wall mural in history. But being as I'm a warrior, I strapped my boots on and splashed around in the turd soup like the retard child TD has commanded me to be. DIE FOR YOUR POETRY indeed.

For those not included, I missed it, your last minute, or you ran.

STONE OF MADNESS - The Ballad of the Challenger (flash:describe thunderdome)
Well done. It had an arc, perfectly met its prompt (which was funny but lovely in the sense of how the gently caress is one to try to write a real poem from this), and stands proud with a bit of real life in the dome sprinkled over it. It is a nice ode to thunderdome and heroic feat of following through with effort and time on a writing prompt. Despite these accolades, it meets
because it is completely unpublishable and silly rear end (though not necessarily through the fault of STONE. The dome is cruel sometimes friend, by giving you a fail prompt).

SurreptitiousMuffin - entropy or something like it (flash: who the hell knows)
though i get the feeling you are one of the most accomplished poets here, you meet
because i have no idea if this is for thunderdome week XXIII, a thunderbrawl, or just something you threw up. please label dammit, didn't even give flash rule to reference back.
EDIT: Thanks to bad seafood who hotlinked everything, I now know which of these things is your submission. I'm in such hate mode after reading eye-bleeding all this other schlock that I can't be reasonable, but it appears to be an actual poem, and maybe a good one, though I question the strope that includes, "you light my fire" and "fresh-juice", seems throw away and non-inspiring. I'm not crazy about the kiddo either but i get it, yeah, ok. The scene in the metro is cool, the lover of fat thighs maybe less so. The language is not cryptic despite this being a poemy poem, for that give XbonusX, but i can't draw out the entire feeling just now because my face is melted off by bard's tales. Anyway,

V for Vegas - we left, and it was OK (flash: first and last word same)
You almost met the same fate as SurreptitiousMuffin due to not announcing that it was for the contest, but i pittied you and HUNTED DOWN your flash rule. You may thank the TD gods. You adhered to a rhyming scheme, but occasionally slipped into corniness. Nice for friends and family, but
Try reading a poem people actually care about and emulate that next time, not some 5th grader. (i hate poetry, so i feel your pain if this was an intentional bitching-out on assignment)

Noah - Bite of the Grind (FLASH RULE: Poem must be a sestina. Suck it, person below me.)
I remembered your flash rule, and you have been churning out the work, so you are graciously given a pass on the not labeling as your entry to TD Week 23 while also being in a ThunderBrawl.
The reason I remembered your flash rule is because Sestinas suck dick... as the evil bastard above you pointed out. Another great example of FAIL prompt
Servant of Heaven we are a tool
Tasked with souls to save,
Bask in the power.

Already wankery horseshit. Try being original instead of Tolkienish or whatever this is. There is nothing concrete here... no image, nothing interesting. "Soul, bask, servant of heaven, power" are all pretty much poetry hate words. Big and mighty and meaningless. We'll see if it gets better.
Ok, the 2nd strophe further sucked, but the 3rd one is pretty good.
Gurney rolls in, squeek rust!
Ventilator, electricity, buzz power!
Attach the cord, swing tool!
Rough skin, rough eyes, grind!
Ignore the sweat, forget the blood
Do it my way, save!

here you use actual things i can see, and the language is much cooler.
4th strophe is sorta ok. the rest wavers a lot.
It was imaginative how you tried to spin this around, and you did write a sistena (horrible bane of poetry poo poo on a shingle rear end gently caress thing) which is impressive. but, you knew it was coming...
for not being awesome or concrete enough, sistena loving made it probably impossible.

budgieinspector, toanoradian - Itlacoanotzalhuan

"ghost of the moon" - Blech... if someone can find something more overusedish sounding phrase, please mail it to the windows of my eyes.

"god’s blind miller grinds" & "lord" - poo poo you can write, but this craps gotta go... for a second I thought this was going to be actually good.

why are so many DOMERS resorting to schticky sword days scenes when they get prompted on poetry. this could've been cool (on the level of imagery and sophistication) minus the fucktacular film of "ole ye". obviously -

toanoradian - Death on Death (u didn't post ur flash rule, and i'm not looking back)
poetry is about metaphor. metaphor takes something and makes it something new. that thing needs to have physical details or it isn't a thing, its just a bunch of words. and if not a physical thing then original language, but still things.

Fanky Malloons - Every Day After (Flash Rule: can't use the word "death")
And now the phone bring
brings an anniversary every time someone calls
folded like stray DNA
drip of condolences, like an icepick (though "between the eyes" is over the top)
press my body into your outline
wouldn’t look at me, their eyes fluttering
away from mine like frightened sparrows
-examples of good and real lines that i can see and grasp onto (take notes all dead people). This actually resembles a real poem one might read in a real book sometime after 1600 or not in the D&D section.

Fanky, I was hoping to read a decent poem after seeing how you handled synesthesia, and you didn't let me down. This isn't insane great, but its pretty drat decent. Some of the poofery and self-hugging aren't to my taste, but your assignment guides such to some degree, and whatever.

supermikhail - Non-western burial (another no flash included)
it didn't horribly offend me as so many others above, but it was life-less.... HARRRHAR. no really, there just wasn't much inspiring or intriguing to hold on to, despite being measured journeyman writing.

Symptomless Coma - Saga Of Bird-Dog (haiku... in long form??? which is slightly idiotic cause you basically made Coma write a years worth of poems for anyone serious about haiku, which hiaku is insanity to begin with... who the help-us-all does that)
Chaser becomes chased
Dances of death and life,
(holy poo poo, dances of death, really)

This all men believe:
Violence is a friendship's forge
Hate; love's crucible
(splat; not in a good way)

it does remind me a bit of "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" which is sweet, but that might just be because it has birds in it and the strophes are 3 lines long. there is some good language in here, and the garganutan feet of writing 500 words of loving hiccups, and it follows a path that is legit... but, and i hate to do, but by the words of Ph.D. Boneman, we can no longer accept anything but the best, though better than many of the rest(godam rhymes, see what happens when we do poetry), therefore...

Etherwind - Sing we the song of Cleon's fall with Urn. (rule: homer blah blah)
Dude(Lady Dude?), thou arth noble for taking this on, but I can't even read this poo poo(directed at the prompt, not your writing). Under the broad-spectrum of becoming better writers and challenging ourselves to do new and challenging things, i get it... umm maybe... under the narrower spectrum of pointing toward professional writing this prompt fails(caveat, maybe in some farout fantasy this has purpose). Yay for us, yuck yuck, its fun to do zany unneeded poo poo, but DOME is about pain, not laughs. I blame Coma who now receives DEATH twice. Your soul has been exported to TD PURGATORY for your good deeds in fulfilling your duty where you wait for a more meaningful challenge.

Areyoucontagious - The General's Fate (rule: Poem must be a ballad, no shortchanging)

Throaty howls and the clanging steel
Filled the battlefield. (here we go again, straight to the Tomb of the Unknown Bard with the rest of them... I'll be sure to bury you with your lute)

And every bone He broke
The General’s grin grew larger
And began His horse to stroke. (good image)

hahaha... baby killing... ok, that gets some points for originality at least. RAW.
Work did occur here. Regardless.
DEATH (by antiquation)

swaziloo - I Cannot Say
Flash Rule: Must contain the words "Mouth-friend" and "Frigorific."
Extra Rule: Do not use the same word twice.

Ok, I liked it. It seems you've broken the siege of mouth-breathing ingrate utterance mouth-friend. As a jolly roll in the rhyming nettles, it succeeds variably. It also had some great word choice and complex thought behind it(though it occasionally slips into SAT word scat). What it's lacking is in its form. Though impressive that you did this with couplets(?), it lends itself to an easyish game that is unlikely to be well received by readers of poetry, though maybe not. If this were in a book of other poems that were good, I'd take it, standing alone I'd rather see something with more funk and flame to it. But,

HiddenGecko - Dem Bones, Dem Dry Boners - Flash Rule: Must be a limerick
"stay those heaving bosoms" - ha
I respect limericks for the pisswater they are. This one made me laugh a bit, but it didn't hit dead on with rhymes and the story flapped around like a fish on the shore, but without sick intense interest of something dying.

Zack_Gochuck - Admiral's Grove - Rule: must have rhyming scheme
And so you choose couplets(?), you have one foot in the grave already, the school yard jump rope of poetry.
saltbox is a good word, I would go to a place called Admiral's Grove. those are the only two good things about it. A picture story in couplets, no deepness, complexity, or any of the other things that attempt to make poetry great.

monkeyboydc - Death's Door - Flash Rule: Iambic Pentameter
gently caress iambic is right, another VICTIM of horrid flash rule.
It opened like a wake in deep water. - like
Only we're up - not even the baker. - hate
sorta trippy, so its got that going for it. but it's no Pablo Neruda or such n' such. it glides along in sub-mediocrity. try being more serious, or more trippy, or more something.

BlackFrost - Mountain Climber - rule: acrostic "ONLY DEATH IS REAL"
another shitstain prompt rule. Because I read your intro, and admire your gumption, I lower myself to addressing it. WELCOME TO THUNDERDOME BlackFrost where you are immediately gang rapped by this acrostic crap.
real talk - Holy poo poo, are you actually sorta calling back to "A Road Not Taken" the poem about how all of humanity are a bunch of emotionally greedy delusion evil lying bitchholes, and not about smelling flowers, surely not sir.
Reads exactly like a story, and then you end with tomfoolery. You are dead has hell.

RECAP: Try reading an actual poem from the last 20-30 years idiots. Here's a place to start. Best of Poetry any year, the Pulitzers and runners up any year, godforsaken McSweeny's for all you sarcastic catz, Nobel's that wrote poetry, a college lit book, Glimmertrain, Plowshares (50-100 others of these pretentious slag collectors), the goddamn internet filled with legit poetry. Write like you know how to read. And regarding prompts, you will very rarely to almost never find half of these ponyboner poem forms in anything that has been published seriously at all in the list above. Apparently we've become the COCK-JUGGLING SLAPSTICK DOME where any-ole-hehaw goes instead of THUNDERDOME were warriors of writing are made. Despite this, It really isn't your fault, while totally and completely still being your fault. Throwing down the gambit of the near worthless art of poetry in front of a bunch of fiction-soldiers was surely risky, but to then give them the reigns of decision making... where's the loving flamethrower and pointy stick, they should be kabobbed

Other than that, heroic cries of "HUZZAH" to the two souls that lived, and there is a special place in the 4th ring of hell who channeled your broadsword while writing.

LIFE - 2 champions to be lauded in story and song if all the bard clones weren't toast
Fanky Malloons



DEATH - 112 pitifuls souls ground to dust in the dome
V for Vegas
Symptomless Coma X2 (for super exciptionally bad homer-poo poo rule)
Judges X100 (for turning TD into a bunch of monkeys loving footballs)


twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

Etherwind posted:

I'm struggling to find the words to adequately convey how much this seems inappropriate. Much in the same way as you had trouble making sense of the prompt, I find it hard to wrap my head around your dismissal of the style when similar material gets published on a fairly regular basis. Admittedly, it's pretty niche stuff, but to say it's invalid is to make the mistake of putting too much weight on your personal tastes. I sympathise, as there's lots of poetry I really don't enjoy, but I think you're making a mistake that's potentially detrimental to your experience of the poetic corpus.

Anyway, enough genteel words:

Put up or shut up! Either have the balls to call it poo poo and tell me why, or let it pass. None of this weak purgatory poo poo.

Edit: unless you're just trolling, in which case, well done.

I hear what your saying. And you worked hard. I respect that. But I stand by my words, and the heartless nature of the dome. I'm not an official judge, and my crits and proclamation are ultimately meaningless. They are meant to add flavor, enjoyment, and perhaps a bit of something intelligent from time to time about writing. The judges will surely see things different than my lowly rear end. Someone should step in who's more familiar and has the patience for this style of work and give you a meaningful worthwhile crit and tell my purgatory to go to hell. I have no qualms on being put in my place by other warriors.

And yes, it is VERY niche, if some journal that handles this at all exists (CHALLANGE). It isn't personal taste in this instance so much as the taste of the vast majority of important magazines and publishers that do poetry. See the list in my closing remarks.. or any googleable list of top 100 or so magazines. They don't publish epic poetry.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

Etherwind posted:

Does a non-profit count? Off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure Arcadia does epic poems. I think they're based in Idaho? They're in Oklahoma. A friend showed me an issue a while ago, he liked it specifically because it handled that niche stuff.


Challenge met. I defer.

From the website of Arcadia:
"Here at Arcadia, we have become increasingly aware of the limitations other journals pin on themselves. They only want a certain word count, a certain brushstroke, a certain aesthetic. We want to put an end to that. We want to see your very best work. Novella, short story, poem, painting, photograph, stand-up comedy routine, album, short film, mockumentary, epic poem about the Dukes of Hazzard, we don't care. We want to see it, read it, hear it, and love it. If it kicks rear end, we will find a way to publish it."

Let us part friends sir, or at least until we are next called to splatter the ground with each others blood in the THUNDERDOME.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

areyoucontagious posted:

So I went and checked out Versed, by Rae Armantrout, to try and expand my poetic experience, and I don't loving get any of it, which makes me feel stupid and uneducated. Is there an accessible poet of the last 20-30 years you'd recommend, or should I just keep pushing through Versed?

Edit: Like for real, I've read and enjoyed poetry before, but this feels like I'm watching the poet masturbate with the english language. I'm not sure how that makes me feel.

If you don't like it throw it down. You could read Bukowski but the last time I did that I circled Dallas 2 times with a 1/2 gallon of vodka and woke up on the beach in Biloxi. Ummm, those Best of Poetry whatever year are pretty good for skipping around in until you find something that looks like something you'd care to read. That is if your determined... my real recommendation is that poetry is a hex, stick to awesome fiction.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

budgieinspector posted:

twinkle cave to the black courtesy phone. Or, y'know, message Muffin and me.

Dammit to hell. Just come up with something awesome between you two as I won't be around the internet until this weekend. I will of course do my duties judging.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


Sweet avatar brother. :)

Yes. It sincerely frightened me at first glance. "Who the gently caress is that creepy... oh, wa.... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"

EDIT: But of course I wear my shame with pride. Tis better to be a loser in the THUNDERDOME where hardened writers are made and the weak never show their face again, than be filled with fake hope/pomp and kittens and poo in all the other writerly forums, classes, friends and family smiling over poo poo story, of the universe. To lose and keep coming back = THUNDERDOME. (Even if you have to look at an insanely sad diseased PeterPan loser-tar. drat you Ph.D Bohner!!!!)

twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 08:53 on Jan 16, 2013

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

WEEK XXIII crit - Canadian Surf Club

Your choice to rhyme was detrimental. You come close to the ultimate sin of writing a "bard's tale" but instead went with a yeoman's fishing tale, only half a degree less horrible. You end up following a song pattern that tells a story with a shallow life cycle moral. Since you ignored palindromes(Good job on that. Who thought that was even possible? At this point some computer has identified them all, and they all suck.) You should have avoided any rhyme scheme and wrote something from the heart the black hole in your chest that has been ripped out from combat, instead of this thing.

It does rhyme, but it also misses quite a few beats where you could have cut a word or made a contraction. In general poetry needs to cut all the words that don't have weight or are connecting words necessary to make it understandable. I've done that below. Your poem is now 9 words. This line at least creates a metaphor, transforms the sun into a wheel/cog. None/next to none, other lines did even this.

Next time(assuming you ever want to lower into the depths of poo poo form known as poetry) start from this type of line and try again, without rhyming. And write about something YOU care about, something you could imagine yourself talking about to a friend or thinking (darkly) about on your commute to work. Even a dream you had is better than the "fisherman o' yore's" reflection's on the sea. Like you could've taken this same idea, and made it more modern, something tangible to a modern audience, like a scrubby redneck dude that does the bass pro fishing tour and sleeps in a camper shell going from one contest to another broke as poo poo eating beenie-weenies and that would have been

I give cred for getting bloody and throwing it down in the DOME despite years of no poetry. You did write a poem and it had vocabulary. I'll see you back on the fiction battlefield soon sir.


Palindromes can go to hell. Also my first poem in years so I kept the rhyme scheme simple.

The Fish on the Shore - 407 words

And the sun jumps another notch on the wheel. +++good line

twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 00:03 on Jan 17, 2013

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

Canadian Surf Club posted:

I have to say though, there was a palindrome in the poem and it wasn't really about a fisherman, so I question the closeness of your reading.

Do you really think reading this piece of poo poo any closer is going to make it less of turd? No, I don't think so. Suck it surf club.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


Hope You Guessed My Name 1666 words - Chairchucker

Jeremy had gotten the old book from Old Mordecai’s Book Emporium. The store was not actually owned by a Mordecai, but Old Simon’s Book Emporium lacked the authentic old timey ring that he felt customers expected from a quaint, dusty second-hand store such as his. Jeremy had not paid for the book, of course. And he’d gotten it more as a backup in case he ran out of toilet paper than with any intent of reading it. That one page had caught his eye, though. (i like the toilet paper and stealing, but not the old-timey stuff. good opening. a mysterious book and a thief)

Ritual fore Summoning yon power full Being.

Jeremy had seen Aladdin. He knew what was what(hahaha.... not exactly King, but i like a character who know's what is what from watching Disney). He was gonna summon the hell out of this creature. (ha)

Peter was less confident. “Eye of newt? Why’s it always gotta be eye of newt? That’s gross, dude. C’mon man, forget this crazy ritual, let’s go down to the pub and see what time Lily gets off. If you know what I mean.”

Jeremy ignored him. “If you’re not gonna help me summon this critter, I might not let you have any of the wishes.”

“And when I say ‘what time Lily gets off’” explained Peter “I meant ‘will she have sex with us.’ And I’m pretty sure the answer is yes. Yes she will.” (A regular trois)

Jeremy had finished liberally sprinkling limbs of various hapless animals around the barn. “OK, be quiet for a moment, I’ve gotta read these words out.” And he did. (i like this too, especialy "sprinkling...hapless animals")

“See, doesn’t work” said Peter. “Pub time. And by pub time, I mean-“ (good characterization, repeats his way)

And suddenly, there was the creature. It looked down at the two of them. “Hmmm” it said. “Not precisely what I expected.”

“Yes!” said Jeremy. “Hell! Yes! I summoned the hell out of that creature!” (but repeating this sounded a little choppy)

“Other way around, actually” said the creature.

“Huh?” said Jeremy. Then “Give me my three wishes.”

“That’s not really my thing.” (lol... a little more farcical than frightening... but yeah, i dig it. reminds me of movie "lo")

“I think this is a mistake” said Peter. “We should put that thing back where we got it from and go to the pub.”

“Shut up” said Jeremy, then to the creature “Don’t give me your excuses, I’m your master now. Make with the wishes.”

The creature looked down at the ground. “Nice warding circle there.”

“What?” Jeremy looked where the creature was looking. “Yeah. Followed the directions closely.”

“You know,” said the creature “some people like to put the warding circle in such a location that it protects themselves from what they’re summoning. Just a thought for your very short future.” It took one step towards Jeremy and stared into his eyes. Jeremy stared back, suddenly shivering. “Jeremy Wright. Car theft. Torturing small animals to summon a powerful creature. Doing knock and runs at people’s houses and leaving a steaming turd in a brown paper bag on their doorstep, you disgusting maggot. How do you plead to these charges, before I go ahead and devour your soul for your sins?” (the weight of car thief vs poo poo bag stomping is off. the escalation of criminal acts dictates that his pranks must be more original and devastating if he has the gonads/anti-social tendencies to steal cars)

The defendant responded by soiling himself.(that loses me completely. it doesn't follow. ) Peter did not witness the ensuing unpleasantness, because he’d decided that discretion was the better part of valour.

“Ah, scarpered, eh?” said the creature. “That’s cool. I’ll still get there before you.”(WHAT DOEST THIS MEAN?)


It was a slow evening at the pub. Peter was not there yet, so it was just Edward, and he was not a happy drunk. He was not happy sober, either. Lily was pretending to wipe the counter so that Edward wouldn’t talk to her, and Joe behind the bar had been studiously cleaning a wine glass for the better part of an hour.(good actions... i get a sense of Edward right away) Lily started as the door opened.

“Welcome!” she said. “We don’t get many strangers here. What’ll you have?” (i feel like this is probably goofy. if he is a "creature" then the response isn't so common. )

The creature stared down at her. “I’m just waiting for someone.”

“A drink’ll make the wait shorter! What’s your name, anyway, stranger?” (she sounds like a crazy person "stranger" know one says this twice. but, maybe ok, as this story is off its rocker anyway)

“Rupert” said Rupert the creature. He stalked over to the bar. “Perhaps I will see a wine list.”

“Here you go” said Lily, handing it over. “If you don’t mind me saying so, Rupert, you look a little strange. Are you from Canada or something? I’ve heard there’s some weird looking folk up that way.” (bonus points for slighting Canada)

“May I have the house red?” asked Rupert. “And in answer to your question, I am a demon. From Hell.”

“Not heard of them” said Lily. “Are they one of them bikie gangs? Is that what those symbols on your chest are about? And the facial piercings? And the body modifications around the head?” (ok, sourta describes why she doesn't give a hoot. i do like the idea of this demon showing up and everyone being "whatever dude")

“What? No. I devour souls.”

“Are you coming onto me, Rupert?” asked Lily. “Because I’m down for pretty much anything, but anything too weird will cost extra.” (hah)

Joe had gotten a glass of the house red and placed it before Rupert, who, welcoming an opportunity to put his perplexing conversation with Lily on hold, sipped it thoughtfully. “This is one of the better wines I’ve ever had the privilege to have tasted!” he said. “And let me tell you, I have sampled many a wine. Do you brew it yourself?”(are wines brewed? (no aged according to the infinite information machine) umm.. or is he just talking stupid, like the line before)

Joe nodded, and was about to say something when the door was thrown open dramatically and Peter burst in.

“Ah,” said Rupert “you’ve arrived.”

“Oh, hi Peter.” said Lily. “If you’re here for your usual you’ll have to wait, Rupert was here first. But I’m sure I’ll have plenty of energy for you as well.”

“Just concentrate on the waitressing, eh?” said Joe.

“Right, well we’ll have to put all of that on hold” said Rupert “because now that our mate - Peter, was it? - has arrived, I can finish what we started down at the barn.”

He gestured and the bar door swung shut and locked.

“Hey buddy” said Edward, in the voice of someone who did not want to be his buddy, “I dunno what the hell your problem is, but I’ve been trying to drink my beer in peace here, and I’m finding that mighty difficult with all your talking.” (ha again)

“Ah, you’ll be first then” said Rupert, and stared into his eyes. “Edward Treager. Hitting your wife. A lot.”

“What?” said Lily. “She told me she walked into the wall. And the door frame. And-“

“She knows what she did wrong” growled Edward.

“May I finish?” asked Rupert. “Now, I’m gonna go ahead and devour his soul if there’re no objections.”

“Uh, that’s a bit weird” said Lily “but whatever you’re into.”

“Although in principle I’m opposed to the devouring of souls,” said Peter,

“Prude” said Lily.

“I’m prepared to make an exception under the circumstances,” continued Peter “namely the circumstances of Edward being a wife beater.”

“Whatever” said Edward “don’t sling that mumbo jumbo with me, there’s no such thing as a soul.”

“Well,” said Rupert “let me know if at any point you decide to reconsider your position on the subject.”

It is possible that reconsidering his position on the existence of the eternal soul was among the things that Edward screamed, but the onlookers couldn’t really tell what with the unpleasantness that was going on with his face and his eyes and his limbs going every which way, and the bleeding, and then Peter fainting and Lily and Joe helping him up and onto a stool and by the time they’d helped him up the screaming and dying and general unpleasantness had been taken care of, and Rupert was standing in front of a lifeless pile of meat, and Peter looked over and fainted again. (kitchy, but you pretty much abandoned hope on this being very serious or anything. in order to be true comedy, don't take the easy way out on language. stick to original and real sentences. it just has that feel of "i'm having a good time writing this, and i don't really give a flip about you dear reader")

Rupert turned and stared now into Joe’s eyes. “Joe Ketch.” He paused. “On second thoughts, you’re last. The man who brews that wine deserves that much.” He stared into Lily’s eyes instead. “Lily Helmsworth. Uh. Hmmm. Oh, and… right.” He thought about it for a moment, then “I’ll just file that lot under fornication, shall I?”

“Try me, first” said a new voice. Rupert turned to look at the lady who had spoken, standing in the open doorway. (enter the hero?)

“Pretty sure I locked that” said Rupert.

The newcomer ignored him and walked over to the bar. “House red please, Joe.”

“Good choice” said Rupert. “I’ll let you have a bit of that before I go ahead and devour your soul.”

“Appreciate it” she said. Money and wine changed hands, and she sipped on her drink. Then she swivelled on her barstool to face Rupert. “Go on, then.” (ex machina coming, but i like that poo poo)

Rupert shrugged and stared into her eyes. “Gloria Sloane. Um. Hmmm.”

Gloria took another sip of her wine. “Go on.”

“Come on, this isn’t possible. Everyone has something.”

Gloria shrugged a shrug of her own. “I traded.”

She stood up, and Rupert took a step back. “Come on now, that ain’t playing fair. You gotta pay your own debts!”

“Guess now you’re figuring out who I’m representing?” Rupert nodded, frowning. “So either you can leave, or I can have a few words with Him and He can make you leave. One will be less pleasant than the other.” (lol... literally deus ex machina)

“I can’t do that” said Rupert. “This is what I do.”

Glorio shrugged, and then said a few words. When she was done speaking, Rupert was gone. (Glorio - gloryhole)

“What was all that nonsense?” asked Peter, who had just recovered from his second fainting spell.

“Hebrew” said Gloria. “A bit rusty, hope I got the inflections right. Got the main points across, though.” She looked over at what was left of Edward. “I’m sorry I got here too late for him.”

“I’m not” said Lily.

Gloria raised an eyebrow but didn’t pursue the matter further. “Joe, your wine is as spectacular as ever.” She handed the empty glass back. “So. In light of this evening’s events, any chance I’ll see you lot Sunday morning?” (haha... that wine dude. best character. spit-shining glasses)

That lot looked at their feet a lot and mumbled things about liking to sleep in, and Sunday morning being such an awful time to do anything, it really ruined the weekend, you know? Gloria nodded. “Well, I’ll be there if any of you change your mind.” She turned to go. (kill lot/lot)

“Think I’ll head home as well” said Peter.

“It’s gonna cost extra if you want me to clean that up” said Lily, when they’d both left.

Chairchucker you zany madcamp you. This was funny, and according to THUNDERDOME wannabe King

“A tragedy is a tragedy, and at the bottom, all tragedies are stupid. Give me a choice and I'll take A Midsummer Night's Dream over Hamlet every time. Any fool with steady hands and a working set of lungs can build up a house of cards and then blow it down, but it takes a genius to make people laugh.”
― Stephen King

but, in short, it needs work. I thought this was going to be even more weird than it was, like the demon was going to be summoned to what he thought was earth, but this small town was actually some place where people had no souls and etc, stuff ensues. I don't advise making a career out of this kinda story that sorta laughs a little too much at its own slapdashery, but again I laughed. One thing too, if you're going to go absurd, get really loving absurd. A story like this depends on throwing as many awkward turns and punches as possible, you coulda got more in.

You're sentenced to the green mile where John Coffee refuses to resuscitate your soul because you wanked it to much in your bunk.

EDIT: I just remembered the first one has to be funny. Good job. Still DEATH though.

twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 00:10 on Jan 21, 2013

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


Nightmares - Etherwind

I'm not the simple girl they think I am.


I'd gone to bed early, exhausted. One moment the clock on my dresser said eight, the next I struggled to see through half-shut eyes, paralyzed and afraid. The effort was painful - like forcing my face through a two-inch hole - but I managed to make out the time: just after one. I shivered and sweated, my chest heavy, and in the corner of my eye a silhouette stretched over the covers. I choked as it turned toward me, then fell back through the hole.


When I woke the room was bright, the clock back at eight. Distorted talk radio blared from its tinny speaker. I was more tired than before, but any hope of rest went out the door as it opened.

"Constance! Get your lazy rear end up!" My grandma. "You ain't paid to sleep!"

The door slammed. I groaned. I was due at the diner in an hour, but gently caress her anyway. I stumbled out of bed and into the bathroom, leaned on the tiles as the shower washed away the worst of the night. I took too long, ran behind with my make up, but I still had to avoid her conversation as I left the house.

Canton is a lovely town, too far from New York to be anything but another also-ran, the kind of disappointment that makes them say "I thought you meant the city." The diner was opposite Planned Parenthood, and Pro-Life protesters littered the sidewalk as I ran through the kitchen door.

"Joe called in sick." The manager was Hailey, and her bad news always came with a smile. "That means you're scrubbing dishes."

"I bus tables."

"Not today you don't," her eyes turned hard, "unless you want nine-oh-five on your sheet again. Put on the gloves." She watched me go to the sink - cheeks hot to the touch - then headed out front.

"Tough luck," the fry cook grinned.

I ignored him. Since high school I was used to the phrase, used to sucking it up and doing my best when I got the blame and some rear end in a top hat got the handshake. It was still hard not to cry as I scraped the first plate and plunged it into brownish water.

My teachers had told me I was set for bigger places than Canton. Even if I went to St. Lawrence, they said, it would be on scholarship, and a degree would open up the world. I had a way with words and a head for reading critically. I could escape my childhood problems through academic success. Not that it mattered: my deadbeat mom could suck dick for heroin, for all I cared. (too much exposition, and just a weak character. no joy. also, you're holding me in suspense about what the first section was about, but more in an annoying way than in a excited way)

Then I flunked the SAT, twice. The first time they believed me when I said I felt tired, sent me to the doctor and scheduled a resit. People can be kind when they think you have prospects. The second went worse than the first and - just like that - nobody gave a gently caress. Part-time work as a waitress was all I could manage. (all this could be reduced to, "i hosed up at life, now i'm a waitress", and get on with the story. are you writing this fir someone to enjoy, or to rehash the litany of excuses we all hear from everyone everywhere, plus again, its weak minded. interesting characters don't bask in whinery, she should just give the middle finger to the world. its a story about something scary, not about another dropout)

For five long years.


The street lights were flickering when I got home. In my room I stripped off the uniform and threw it in the corner: it would lie there another couple of days. My hands were red and my mind blank as I stared up at the peeling ceiling, sat on my bed in a cramped room that felt tighter than my skin. Not for the first time, my eyes went to the bottom drawer of the dresser. I locked the door first. (whole paragraph = good description)

The gun was cold in my hands, a snub-nosed revolver, petite and black with two bullets in the cylinder. I'd found it at a gas station not long after flunking the second time: everything I was taught had told me to turn it in. Instead I'd driven home. On really bad days I would study it, comforted by the thought that I could go out with a bang whenever I wanted. (i can see that. might try showing this more than telling. like "I put the gun in my mouth. The grips where slightly worn from 5 years of doing this nightly" or whatever)

"Constance?" I jumped, thrust the gun under my pillow. My grandma was annoyed. "You need to go talk to that polack."

I glanced over to next door, a single window illuminating the dark. I didn't know the owner, Pryzbylewski: he kept to himself.

"Tell him he needs to mow his lawn or I'll report him!" My grandmother was a bitch to everyone. "You hear me?"

"I hear you; go away." I didn't like how petulant I sounded, and fumed as I threw on fresh clothes. (good self-recognition moment)

Outside the lawn was badly overgrown, the low house crouched above the grass like a waiting predator. I banged the screen door for minutes. Eventually a gaunt, middle-aged man peered through it. (cool first sentence.)

"Who are you?" he asked in a whisper, all thin spectacles and worry.

"I'm Connie. We're neighbors." I was aware how I looked, hair greasy and sweater faded. "You need to mow."

"My gardener is sick. It can wait."

I was too tired to argue. "Whatever, mow it or we'll report you to..." I didn't know who. "We'll report you!" I turned away in embarrassment.

"I'll pay you to do it," he quietly called after. "Fifty dollars?"

I stopped. That was more than half what I earned in a day. "You for real?"

"Fifty dollars," he repeated, "if you cut it." He shut the door. (sweet. good exchange and turn)


Later that night it returned. I strained as static filled the room, tried desperately to reach for the clock on my dresser. Fear held me - curled on my side - until a sharp head leaned into my mute but screaming face. (so, i'm thinking this is another dream... maybe like that frozen sleep waking thing)

After that, it was nearly evening before I made it back to Pryzbylewski. A note on his door directed me to his mower and the compost heap; I went to work.

Why was I having nightmares? Too many reasons. I'd read about sleep paralysis - before my grandma cut the Internet - and knew the symptoms. The April sunshine made the last two nights less frightening, but I worried as I struggled through the back lawn. ("cut the internet" is throw away)

Pryzbylewski was surprised when I knocked and asked for water.

"You live next door." He realized how tired I felt and let me into his kitchen, reluctantly, telling me to keep my voice down with a glance at the ceiling.

"Someone sleeping?"

He ignored the question and gestured to the tap. "Help yourself." Everything about him was subdued, reserved, his hair shaved close, shirt plain. I caught a glimpse of a hallway as he left through the other door. (good para)

I finished the job in another hour, and by then it was dusk. Inside I knocked on the door and waited: no response. I called out his name as I turned the handle, hoping he would appear.

The hallway was dark and my eyes adjusted gradually. I felt my skin prickle, then realized: the walls and ceiling were covered in crucifixes. All sizes blanketed them, some with tortured figure and some plain, all made of metal and firmly secured. (i can see this. very creepy)

I was about to leave when I saw light, followed it with growing dread into an elaborate study. Books were strewn across the floor, shelves stacked high, but my eyes stayed on a row of unlit candles against the opposite wall. Newspaper clippings were stuck there - covering more crosses - and when I read the headlines, pale, I recognized local obituaries.

"What are you doing?"

I breathed as he came into the room. "I was looking for-"

"Here's your money." He was frosty as he handed it over, pushed me to the door. "Now get out!" (good)

Back home I shivered, thoughts on the shrine as I gave the pay to my grandma. As I left the room she asked, "Are you going to the funeral?"

I stared at the floral pattern on the back of her chair. "What funeral?"

"I tried to tell you yesterday: Mrs. Williams passed.

"The funeral is tonight!" she called, irate, as I went into my bedroom and locked the door. I looked out at the single lit window across the fresh cut grass; it was a long time until I slept.


The last night it came I was not so far gone, and I could see the clock clearly as the white noise pressed down. From the corner of my eye I saw it slink toward my bed, all angles and points, razor hands held up in font of its head - no face - until it reached my side and I felt buzzing pins bite into my legs. I gasped, choked, wanted to scream, groped feeble and blind as it leaned in-

Then I felt cold metal.

I sat up suddenly and without a word. It recoiled and glared with its needles as I held the gun, streaked in sweat. I pulled the trigger hard, heard the click of the empty chamber, and it ran for the wall, paint like water as it passed through. I watched it flicker across the grass and up the side of the other house until it vanished into the roof.

Pryzbylewski answered the door quickly that time. "You need to leave."

"There's something in there with you!" My hand was in my pocket.

A look of panic crossed his face, and he hurried me inside, into the study, where the candles burned. "I don't know what you think you know," he whispered as he shut the door, "but keep quiet and-"

I had the gun pointed at him, and he went silent, still.

"What is it?"

He didn't answer.

"How long?" I needed to know.

"Five years." He sounded resigned. "It followed me from-"

I don't know why I killed him. I just pulled the trigger, and he hit the ground hard, moaned. As the moment stretched a static hiss flared overhead, but Pryzbylewski laughed. "Metal stops them." (this is too hard of a turn. you need to foreshadow this. "I don't know why I killed him" is weak. If something else made her do it, then "I would never do such a thing", or if this is her doing it, then "kill myself, or someone, hurt something" earlier. and even if this succubus dream freeze thing is making her do it, she could have those feelings before now, as its apparently been messing with her for a while)

"Them?" I was dazed.

He nodded, coughed up blood. "In the city, I tried to... tried..."

I cleaned the gun and left it on the floor.


I washed and changed long before the cops arrived. It felt too easy to lie, and I didn't believe I'd got away with it until they announced they had someone in custody. He owned the murder weapon.

I don't feel guilty.

Meanwhile, I got religion and redecorated my room, the only two things I've done in years that my grandma likes. Lately she's been tired; I sleep soundly. The inheritance money should be enough to get me out of Canton.

Good work. I could dig this story. I wanted to see the early exposition and first scene handled a bit better. Suspending the situation by obfuscation in the first section doesn't help any, plus it gives more opportunity to build the story. It's not a what's going on story on that point, its the reveal of the creature. The characters could be pumped up some more too. Like the grandma could be given a habit or signifying features other than being a bitch. You handled the neighbor very well though. The ending dies a little, but that's easy to fix with some rumination. Also, a general note, short stories have nothing extraneous. This is a story about a succubus, a suicidal inhabited girl, a bitchy gradma, a neighbor, and a gun. Cut everything else. Or anything that doesn't serve as mechanics to get the story going. The way it is written now, her job as a waitress has little importance, and also quite a few other things. Anyway, without line editing again, you probably get what i mean.

“Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman's got to hold on to.”
― Stephen King, Dolores Claiborne

This story reminded me of Insomnia more than Claiborne, but relevant.

Etherwind remains intact in the dome, filled with the spirit of neighbor's spirit.

twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 21:45 on Jan 20, 2013

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


areyoucontagious -
Amish Country 1343 words

It took a solid week of bargaining, begging, and nagging, but Ben finally convinced Katie to go. Ben’s obsession with antiquing had been cute when they first started dating, but after a year of marriage, Katie would have died happy never seeing another century-old end table. She knew when she got her assignment, an article on the Mennonites in Lancaster County, PA, there would be trouble on Ben’s end.

“Aren’t you excited? Think about all the history here!” Ben was looking out the window like an overeager puppy. Katie sighed, thinking about how her entire weekend was shot. If Ben hadn’t caught wind of where she was traveling, she could have been in and out in a day. Now, she was faced with at least 72 hours worth of boredom. But she loved the guy, and thus put on a happy face.

“Definitely! I can’t wait to see what some of these stores have to offer.”

Their drive took them through Adamstown, where Ben proceeded to purchase yet another coffee table, and Bird-in-Hand, where he snagged a mirror, when Katie finally had to interject.

“At some point I need to interview some people, so would you mind if we put the antiquing on hold for a bit?”

“Sure, sweetie, sorry to drag you along. You’re very good to me, did you know that?” (SUPER DUPER ---- hell no)

“I do now!” Katie smiled, and turned the car out towards the sticks.

The Mennonites in Lancaster county were a fixture in the tourism market. Many people came to the small towns scattered across the county to experience life at a different pace. Some admired the Amish for their natural, simple lives, while others came to ridicule their seemingly backwards ways. Katie had came to get their opinion on the recent tourism boom and how it affected their lives. (they aren't seemingly backwards... they are.. literally back to another time. plus, use adverbs sparingly, only when they add something. it makes you seem unsure as a story teller)

When she pulled up to the little village a half-hour outside of Bird-in-Hand, the first thing that stood out to Katie was the untarnished beauty of the landscape(re-write to, "The beauty of the untarnished landscape stood out to Katie" cleaner... plus, isn't all country land sorta untarnished. it's not really tarnishment that is giving her the moment, its all this other stuff you describe, so re-write again). She saw horse-drawn ploughs, people gardening and picking apples, and mothers doing laundry. It was a pure life, a wholesome life, especially contrasted with her life with Ben. Not that Ben was the problem, but rather their city apartment and the constant struggle with traffic, bills, and the hurry of modern life.

She and Ben managed to track down her contact, a man named Isaac Troyer. Many of the Amish in the area had the surname of Troyer, so it took time, but soon Isaac was leading them around the little village. (i like that name)

“The tourists don’t really affect us out here, in honesty. It mostly affects us down during the farmer’s market, where we take our crops. So many people look at us like we are not even men, but beasts in a zoo.” ("in honesty" is a hate phrase. as in i hate it, and plus your putting into the mouth of a Amish dude that would probably be very aware of the fact that such a stupid phrase makes him sound like he's lying other times, so this ultra pious dude does that... i doubt it... and i don't even buy this whole line..."beasts in a zoo?" common.... if he's going to be this disgrunteled, then at least maybe set us up for that a bit, somehow)

“But doesn’t the city have ordnances that prohibit the harassment of your people?” ("you're people"? again no) Katie’s pen scrawled her shorthand, taking careful notes as they walked.

Ben was also taken with the Mennonite village, but for different reasons. Nearly every piece of furniture, every tool, even the houses, everything was an antique! These objects had been passed down for generations, and Ben was able to hear all the histories he could ask for. Everyone was happy to oblige him, always with an offer of pie or other food.

Katie had what she needed for her story.

“Thank you, Isaac, I appreciate your openness. Would you mind if I took your picture for my story?”

Isaac recoiled. “No! No, I’m sorry, but I cannot allow you to take my picture. It is against our teachings.” (according to internet this isn't true... but it is the internet. anyway, be drat sure this is right, cause otherwise your whole story hinges on bullshit. if its not true, then its easily fixed by saying "No! No, I'm sorry, but I cannot allow you to take my picture. Though it isn't forsaken, I personally don't approve" and yes, forsaken is a lovely word, so do better than me)

Katie nodded, and put her camera away. “Of course, of course, I should have remembered that. I’m terribly sorry, I hope I didn’t offend you!”

Isaac shook his head. “It is not a problem. It was a pleasure to meet you.”


In the car, Ben asked Katie if she had her story.

“Well, did you get everything you wanted?”

“Sort of. I want a picture! Do you think we could go snap a few without them noticing?”

Ben grinned. “We could try!”


Katie and Ben crept forward. The sun was setting, and Katie didn’t have much time before she lost the light.

“Let’s just get a couple. Look, there’s a guy chopping wood. Come on!”

There was just enough light to catch a series of photos without the flash.

“OK, I think I got them! Let’s get out of here!”


Ben pulled the car out onto the main road when Katie gasped. Ben looked over, concerned.


“Jesus, Ben, stop the car!”

Ben pulled to the side of the road. Katie handed the camera to him, disgusted.

“Look at his face! What in the hell is going on?”

The picture was of the woodcutter. Everything was in focus, but instead of the bearded face Ben was expecting, there was the face of a leering demon. It’s fanged jaw seemed to be mocking them. Scanning through the pictures, Ben saw that every photo had that same face.

“This is weird, Katie. What’s wrong with your camera?”

“There isn’t anything wrong with my camera, idiot! What could possibly go wrong with my camera that would cause this?”

“Well, what do you want to do?”

“I want to take more pictures, dammit!”

Katie snapped a few images of Ben, but upon looking at them, they were normal.

“Let’s go back.”


Night had fallen, which made sneaking around the village easier, but it also made getting pictures more difficult. Katie gestured to a house where people could be seen sitting to dinner.

“There. I want to see what in the hell is going on.”

“Wait, wait!” Ben hissed after Katie as she ran up to the window.

Katie took a few more pictures, frantically gesturing to Ben. She handed him the camera, which showed a picture of a family of demons gathered around the dinner table. Every photo that included one of the Mennonites had the face replaced with a horrible monster.

“Good god, Katie, what does this mean?”

“I don’t know, Ben, but we need to get out of here. We need to tell somebody!”

They ran back to the car. When they reached the spot where they parked, however, they saw that their truck had been pushed onto its side.

“gently caress! We’re hosed Ben, we’re so hosed. Let’s just run!”

Ben was about to reply, when he caught movement on his peripheral vision. It was an Amish women, sliding across the ground with preternatural speed.

“Katie, RUN!”


Katie fled through the woods. Ben had thrown himself at the women, screaming for Katie to run, run as fast as she could. She heard Ben continue to scream, although he wasn’t forming words anymore. It was just screams of agony, and they brought tears to her eyes. She continued to run until she was out of breath, tripping and falling to the ground. Realizing no one was following her, she turned back to face the village. A bonfire had arisen in the town center, and the faint echoes of screams could be heard on the wind.

She couldn’t leave Ben. Moving back towards the village, she finally caught sight of the bonfire. Ben was crucified on an inverted cross, with the Amish dancing around the flames. Ben was screaming and wailing as the Mennonites used knives to cut off pieces of his flesh. They were eating the pieces raw. Men, women, children, all capered forward to lick the blood and tear Ben’s skin.

Katie sobbed, muffling her cries with her sleeve. She crouched behind a woodpile, watching in horror as the demons pulled out Ben’s eyes and tongue. His guttural moans drew out another burst of tears. Then she found the axe. She looked at the blade gleaming in the firelight, and then back at the crowd around Ben.

“I’m going to loving kill you all.”

With a scream, she leapt from her hiding spot raising the axe high. She plunged into the crowd, swinging with all her might.

Well, the story is solid in it's way, despite my neg comments. Since my earlier suggestion about the pic thing won't work, how about "According to my research, Minnonites do allow it." and he says "There are many untruths about us out there" or whatever. Also, the whole thing about her husband being into antiquing ultimately amounts to nothing, so we just get an annoying relationship ditty for no reason with no payoff(used as counter weight in her trying to save him despite being annoying... maybe, but I doubt it. if you tell me about antiquing, then use it. unless you just hate antiquing, in that case good job). I really like the photo demon aspect though, and the story moves along. The sentences could be tighter, and some of the dialogue is silly or off, but ok.

“That wasn't any act of God. That was an act of pure human fuckery.”
― Stephen King, The Stand

Because you screwed up the thing that the whole story depends on, or even if you didn't you should fix it anyway, and because I had to read about an antiquing relationship, and because the ending is more or less a simplistic battle/chase scene:

You meet a clown at midnight.

twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 00:14 on Jan 21, 2013

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


~1749 words (processor counts em dash)

Frauds. They were a bunch of loving frauds.
The worst part, though, was still that smug, not-quite smirk on her father's face, when the intervention finished and she got into the car.
Of her own volition, mind you. You'd think that'd count for something.
Galton stood against the doorjamb, a file of papers – her file – clenched in his hand.
“Sarah, I've been meaning to speak with you.” He waited, his face unreadable as he studied hers.
She knew better than to react; no need to give them an excuse. “I'm listening.”
Galton moved into the room, and at once she felt uncomfortable, as if all the air had been displaced. He sat on the desk, his spread fingers dominating its surface, and leant back against the wall with a practised ease. (ALRIGHT PEOPLE - LISTEN UP - THIS FIRST PART IS WHAT GOOD WRITING LOOKS LIKE - You caught my attention right away and the language is strong. "Dominating its surface" indeed)
“Sarah,” he said again, “I'm a little disappointed.” He was staring into the ceiling, his bald head propped against the bricks, as if to say this situation is beneath me, but you, I don't know. She read him, clear as day; the only thing she couldn't figure out was if he knew it.
“We expected better. When you first came in, we thought, I thought, here's a girl who's got her head on right. Here's someone who knows what life's about, she just got sidetracked on the way. Here's someone we can fix.” (low blow bald dude, low.... good rear end in a top hat)
For fourteen thousand a semester. The cheek of the guy was unbelievable, and the speech was so stock, so obviously rehearsed, it made her hate him even more.
“Now I've been talking to Dr. Amarro,” he continued, an unfamiliar curtness to his voice, “and he says some things that concern me...”
She heard him out; she always did. There was nothing else to do, and once he was gone there'd be even less.

“I got something for you.”
She didn't turn around, but kept half-assedly digging the potatoes.
“C'mon, Sarah. I made it. For you. You'll like it.”
“Go away.”
“C'mon, Sarah, I want you to have it. I made it for you, it's for you. It's yours. C'mon, Sarah –”
He touched her, lightly, on the shoulder; Sarah whipped around, an elbow raised towards his face, the hoe held high above her.
“gently caress off, Oren. I am not interested.”
He backed away, out of reach but still cloyingly close. “But – I made it – to keep you safe –”
She glanced at the small object in his hand. It looked like he'd used his own hair.
“Leave me alone, you four-eyed little tard.”
Behind the streaky lenses, his eyes widened; she'd hurt him. “Well, fine then! Be a bitch! Be a bitch, see if I care!”
He'd care, she knew; he'd always care, far too much, and it didn't matter what she told the staff, they'd never do anything about it. Unless –
The very thought was beneath contempt, but she did it anyway. (I'm not a fan of this cliffing.. but fair play... it does it right)

“How many was he offering?”
“I don't know.”
“And you don't know what they were.”
“He didn't say. Benzos, though, for sure, little creep wants me nice and relaxed.”
“Sure.” Galton frowned, leaning back into his chair, gazing fixedly at his paperwork.
“I'm serious. He's a loving rapist. I've told you about this before, I need you guys to do something. Get him away from me. You should be protecting your customers –” (ahh,,, good... customers... this is a great point)
The irony of the word was unintended, and she stopped, still fuming; already, that sense of defeat came trickling in.
“He's not a rapist. That's completely unfounded.” Galton looked at her across the desk, his dark eyes glinting in the half-light of his office. “But, as for the pills, well I appreciate your telling me. We'll deal with it.” He rose, and stood by the door. “Thanks, again.”
That was it, then; she considered protesting, but a look in his eye suggested otherwise. He clasped her arm, as she passed into the hallway.
“Rest assured,” he said, and she could smell the stale coffee on his breath, “I'll take this into consideration on your next appraisal.”
Yet again, she felt the urge to hit him; instead, she simply left. There was no point in making a scene, and there was no-one there to see it if she had.

She still had a cigarette, flattened up inside the lining of her jacket – one solitary smoke, and she'd been saving it for weeks.(cool imagery/idea) Tonight, though, was the night.
The loving cheek of the guy.
She'd climbed out of her window and was sitting on the roof – they still didn't know about the deadbolt she'd unscrewed. From here she could see right across the complex, all the way over the barrens to the two faint streetlights that demarcated Main Street.
loving Main Street. The only street. They could've just called it Street. (HAHAHAHA YES)
She'd been there, once, to go help with the shopping – a 'trust exercise', they'd called it – and of course she hadn't run away, she hadn't gone trying to whore for crack or whatever it was the rest of these scrotty bitches liked. She simply helped them shop, and went back to the centre like a good girl. Like she'd being doing all along, because there was no contest; no drug was worth your freedom. She knew this. She'd told them as much, mom and dad, and they'd packed her off anyway. Sectioned her, it felt like. And as for the staff –
gently caress the staff. They knew, too, the hypocrites; they knew she was ready, they'd known it for months. They just kept her here to keep the bills paid, at the mercy of these creeps, these loving lechers.
The thought flashed, unbidden, to her mind.
Well, no longer. (this last 3 words reminds me of the cliffhanger style... which again, i don't like, but again ok fine)

There was a large tree down by the building's north face; its limbs were too big, too expensive to cut down, and they'd grown out thick and strong, from the roof to the wall. In seconds, she'd already done it; pad across the corrugated steel, clamber into the branches, and swing herself down, over the wall, and onto the grass below.
My wallet. gently caress.
Never mind; she'd hitch out of this craphole, and catch up with Jamie – no Xanax, though, this time. In the meantime, she could use a place to sleep. A bridge, a bus shelter, a barn. There probably was a barn, around here. Fields in three directions, and a farm road, she remembered, to the west. She headed west.

It was dark er than she'd realised, out here beyond the lights – or maybe it was the lights, now distant, that made it so dark, casting shadows over everything. Still, the rows of crop stood out against the soil, and Sarah learned to walk between them, where the dirt was most compact. The stars were out, some of them at least, peering through a screen of smouldering cloud. She'd never gotten used to seeing the stars, or to the silence, for that matter, in which her footfalls crunched with an unnerving clarity. The stillness of the place; the total emptiness, the miles and miles of void, no people, no –
A voice, piercing, cold. So, it was still happening, after all these months withdrawing –
– she couldn't boost her heartrate without that adrenal surge kicking in, and then –
– the anxiety, creeping slow, and that inevitably led to –
– dissociative thoughts. She was running, now, dead straight between the rows of stubble, scanning back and forth for any indication of the road. There had to be a road. No, I have to be calm. There would be a road, or a barn, or something. She just had to get out of the cold, somewhere she could curl up, away from these loving mosquitoes –
C'mon, Sarah.
“It's in my head,” she said out loud, mist curling away before her face. “It's just in my head.”
But – was it? Because she could have been spotted, she could have been followed, it could be Dr. Galton out there somewhere – but why would I think that? If anyone, it would be Oren. Oren, limping after her on his weird, broken stumps.
For you, Sarah.
She wheeled around, nearly losing her footing on the clotted earth, her arms held out for balance, peering blindly into the night.
“If that's you, Oren, you deformed little rear end in a top hat –”
But the voice, when it came again, came from behind her.
Got something for you.
She ran, hurdling the furrows that rose up to trip her, feeling the chill air whip through the sweat-soaked crevices of her clothing. It's not too late, she realised, I could just head back, hit the intercom, gently caress the consequences. But she'd come too far; the lights had disappeared behind some plane of earth, there was no way to find her way back. So, nothing for it then; she kept on running, downhill, away from that voice that wasn't quite just in her mind. (drat good last 3 or 4 paragraphs)
It had stopped. She hadn't noticed when; but now there was only the silence between her heavy footfalls, her heartbeat raging through her ears, the ragged breaths booming like a cataract inside her. That's it, just work through it. Just let your body burn it off, feel your energy come back to normal. That's it. That's it. (can the "had"s be taken out here?)

There was something up ahead; she saw it only faintly, a darker black against the blackened night, a large, square-sided thing, and now it loomed up above her, its edges jutting up against the stars, a building, a barn.
“Thank God,” she whispered, panting hard, squinting into the darkness, fumbling for an opening. There – a metal knob – she twisted it, and a door opened before her, and she was inside. It was warmer, in here, substantially so.
“Oh, thank God...”
There'd be a lightswitch, somewhere, hopefully – she groped around the wall behind her, gingerly, cringing as her fingers gathered stiff, tacky cobwebs. She found it, flicked it on.
For you, Sarah.
A moan burst from her lips, before she could stifle it – her knees trembled, and she sank against the wall.
There was something in the centre of the barn – she couldn't tell what it was – it wasn't right, though, it –
Made it for you, Sarah.
To keep you safe, he'd said, but that didn't make sense, she didn't feel safe at all, and it was moving, it was unfurling towards her, knots and clumps and tangles, it was – looking at her –
C'mon, Sarah...

drat Good Writing. THAT IS ALL. But wait, no, it is possible this needs more story. I can't exactly see this in a magazine because of that... but as an opening to a novel, or longer story, yes, the writing is so good I don't really care.

When a combatant shows up with work like this, it gives me the strength to suffer the rest of you low-lifes.

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”
― Stephen King,

Through powers of description and a story that pulled us along at high speed, winding the other contestants, Stones was able to unfurl his wrath.

twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 20:44 on Jan 20, 2013

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

Canadian Surf Club posted:

Ashamed I missed this one because I had a decent idea I thought I could build on. Ended up being away all weekend so didn't get any time to work on it. Going to read all these entries though because I'm interested to see where people took it.

Since you think my crits are worthless, why don't you see if your mom will let you crit some instead of just "reading". (your crit of mine was pretty good, but until you've felt the pain of THUNDERCRITING a big lot then you have no legs to stand on)

EDIT: Pussy.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

budgieinspector posted:

Yo, twinkle cave -- please to be checking your email.

DOMERS - Just to be clear, I'm not the only judge. Someone who I put to death can win, as the other two judges may correct my idiotic rants, finding the diamond that I thought was rough. But for the sake of ease, you're going to see how I voted as I do crits, if I do crit yours.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


Everything Under Rocks (1743 words) - monkeyboydc

“We keep the generator 'bout a hundred yards out in the woods. You keep it too close to the cabin and it's noisy as poo poo – smells bad. If you put it too far it's a pain in the rear end carryin' gas out to it –” for the first time since he'd started talking, Dan looks down to lick the edge of the bible-like paper and seal the spliff he's been rolling. Only a few brown, tobacco strands twirl to the forest floor; he makes sure every bit of weed stays in. “– that and I don't like turning it off if it's too far out.” (this generator issue rings true. been there.)

“No? Why?” Clark looks down the aisle of trees to where the generator sits in the midst of the Alaskan wilderness, a metallic wart in the greenery.(good sentence)

Dan lights the spliff, rolling it, burning evenly. He takes a long hit, holds it in, and breathes out a cloud made bigger by how cold it is outside. “It gets real dark out there.” He hands the spliff to Clark.

“Since when are you afraid of the dark?” Clark takes a hit and passes it back. He could recall plenty of times he and Dan wandered at night looking for a place to smoke and drink, chucking their empties into bushes as they went – there's plenty of bushes in Washington. If anything, Dan always been the most level headed.

“It's not dark like it is back in Washington, man. The second you shut that thing off, it's darker than you've ever seen it get. You know there ain't other houses around here. The closest city is Anchorage – four, five hundred miles away.” He breathes deeply through the paper cylinder, bringing it to half-mast in a red flare. “I always tell myself I won't, but as soon as I kill that thing, I fuckin' snap, run as fast I can back to the cabin.” He holds the spliff out, offering.

Clark shakes his head. “No thanks.” He gets real high all of a sudden and can hear the blood in his skull. They were farther away from a major city than Clark had ever been and, suddenly, the idea seemed more bothersome than it had before they sparked this thing. He knew it was just paranoia, more and more he caught himself getting this way, worrying when he smokes. The isolation, the intense dark, it reminds him of when he was little, getting ready for bed.

Night terrors were a big problem for Clark when he was little. He'd lay awake for hours. There were times he'd dream his brother's Halloween werewolf costume clawed its way out of the hatch to the attic in the corner of his room. He was sure he was awake, would begin screaming, and then find his parents shaking him, only dimly aware that he was still yelling as they shook him. Clark was ten before he was able to sleep an entire night in his room alone. “Hey, wanna go check out that old cannery you were telling me about?”

Clark and Dan wander through the cannery, very much like an old, rusted out can itself now that its ceiling has collapsed and most of the machinery has either rotted away or removed long ago. It was odd to think that people had worked here and, judging by the size of the empty room, there must have been a lot more of them at one time. The village was too far away from the main artery of civilization to survive. “What did they can here?” Clark asks. (So I like this. This is an instance where the setup works, sorta pre-story setup i mean. Many have tried and died on their own swords doing so, but yeah, monkeyboydc pulls it off)

“gently caress if I know man.” Dan produces a joint from the pack of cigarettes he keeps inside his leather jacket and lights it. “Fish probably.”

There are cracks in the foundation where trees have started sprouting up through the concrete floor. “You ever seen anything weird out here?” Clark couldn't help but ask, he was a collector of sorts.

Sometimes, he'd find himself talking to people long after a party died down, in the small hours of the morning after most people were passed out drunk and before the world began to turn gray, before the first bird chirps, and then another, and then they all burst awake in song. People tell their stories then. Some lived in Seattle their whole lives and never experienced anything supernatural – as a rule, ghosts don't seem to bother with large cities, they prefer the crevices, like potato bugs you find when you turn over a big rock. The strangest stuff was usually in an old house, out in the middle of nowhere. You could always tell which stories were real. (Cool. That bird thing is very good and I enjoyed following his reasoning.)

Dan takes a pull off the joint. “I've seen people do some weird poo poo out here.”

Clark dozes, half asleep. A droning in the distance keeps him awake. He thinks it's the obnoxious garbage truck that offloads poo poo from his apartment complex every Tuesday morning, but then remembers he's not home.

He opens his eyes and peers around the cabin, hazy with cigarette smoke. Dan is passed out in the chair opposite and Dan's dad is snoring loudly on one of the cots. He doesn't know how long it's been since they fell asleep. Clark realizes what the distant buzzing is. “gently caress, the generator's still on,” he says, kicking Dan's chair – Dan doesn't move. He is out. “Dan, we gotta shut the generator off.” Nothing. I guess I'll do it.

Supplies are limited. To get to their fishing village, you have to take a plane from Seattle to Anchorage, from Anchorage to a small airport two hundred miles north, finally a float plane further north that lands directly on the lake where they fish. Clark arrived a few weeks after Dan and his family. The only thing they burn through quicker than drugs is gas, and if Clark doesn't shut the generator off they might be in for some cold, dark nights before the next time they can refuel. (again good, you describe some mundane details and didn't lose me at all. i was interested in where they are, and the setup of the further generator problem is good too. this is a good example of using only what you need in a short story. he is getting multiple uses out of this generator, making it count)

Clark meets the crunch of freeze-dry earth in the zero degree evening. Each day the sun barely peeks over the horizon, rolls across the distant mountaintops for six, maybe seven hours, only to topple back over the opposite side again, leaving them in the most complete darkness he's ever experienced. He looks around, picks a tree, and begins to piss, marveling at how much steam is produced when it's so cold outside. Before he finishes, he looks over his shoulder once, twice. (yep, also good... i'm just going to stop saying that, but this story is rolling along nicely.)

A sweater and a whiskey drunk was a good choice of clothing, but he didn't plan on being out too long and he didn't think he'd be able to make the trip again if he turns around now. He walks down the row of trees, almost perfectly spaced six feet apart, each with a halogen lamp attached to light the way.

In the distance, the generator seems very small, like an angry, metal bumblebee screaming into the emptiness. Clark's surprised by how loud it hums as he gets closer. He crouches beside it and searches for the kill switch. He remembers what Dan told him about running back to the cabin after turning it off and decides he'll walk – he's not scared of the dark anymore. Finally, he finds the switch, looks up to fix the path he'll take, looks down, and turns off the generator. It grumbles and grinds to a stop. The lights lining the pathway shrink to small, orange points, the tips of cigarettes. Clark stands and, as the lights go out completely, sees someone standing against the wall of the cabin. “Dan!?” No answer. Clark turns and runs into the forest; he fuckin' snaps.

The canopy blocks out the stars, the only light source. His fingers, blindly reaching in front of him as he walks, have almost no feeling left in them. He tries to circle back to where he thinks the cabin sits. Just when his inner compass tells him he's heading in the right direction, he hears something in the woods, snapping twigs and shuffling feet, not attempting to hide its presence. It's driving him someplace old, and lonely, where it's been waiting for someone to come back.

Clark gave up screaming a long time ago(I don't like this screaming... its not needed, and it sounds wrong. the picture is very good without it), figuring he'd gone too far from the village for anyone to hear him. Every time he yells, whatever is the woods with him closes their gap, as if to tell him he needs to stop. Whatever it is, it's fast when it wants to be – he thinks of the bugs under the rock again and how fast they scramble when exposed. (cool... i know I said i wouldn't, but had to say it)

He figures his eyes will adjust, but for that, you need light. He can't hear the river anymore and wonders when he'll freeze. His feet stop aching, stop feeling, they've gotten so cold. Then, right when Clark is sure he will die, he hits something that doesn't feel like a tree. He runs his hands in front of him feeling something smooth. A wall! He moves along it and finds what he thinks is a door frame, then, a door knob. Oh thank god. He opens the door and steps inside.

A soft glow lights the corner of the room, a night light. There's his bed and his posters on the walls. “This is my room.” He can't believe it. The Mickey Mouse blankets, the toys, it's his room from when he was little. This is almost worse than the dark, it's impossible. Clark turns around to leave, but finds there's no door, just his closet, full of ill-fitting clothes. There's a scraping sound behind him.

In the opposite corner of his room, the attic hatch moves aside, dropping bits of popcorned ceiling. The black square leading up looks just like outside. There's a faint scuffling and a dark mass drops from the attic onto the carpet, between him and what should have been the door into the hallway. The pile of clothing jerks, like it's full of rats. It twitches, the snarling face of his brother's wolf costume leers at him with cigarette eyes. He blinks, it's halfway to him, settling on the floor like the air escaping from under a sheet. He tries not to blink as he watches the costume pulse. It's had a long time to wait, and it's fine waiting a little longer.

This is good work, you've shown how something as simple as this can maintain a readers interest. Snow, getting lost, hanging around smoking pot. It is rather eloquent. This reminds me a bit of STONES OF MADNESS story in that it ends in a weird place with no where to go, but alas, such is flash at times and that is fine and a norm of flash, again leaving the possibility of a longer work(this and STONES' actually contrast really well as different ways to get to a similar place, and are why criting can be tricky.... STONES drug us by our hair to the killing post and MONKEY walked us out slow and calm with shotgun in hand (i know his guy ran through the woods, but the language was so... pretty... pretty ones yes)). I'm not completely convinced by this ending though, either. It has that tacked on feeling unfortunately, even though its pretty good too. Like, really anything could be here at this point, which may be a draw in some ways, like i'm thinking "oh drat, whats going to happen" but at the same time, I would have liked this better as a walls slowly closing in thing... though I'm not sure how it would be done.

King-O says,
“Perfect paranoia is perfect awareness.”
― Stephen King

Based on the soft touch you show, the little hairs on the back of my neck, and the legit creepiness of that wolf costume....

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

Sitting Here posted:

You're the only judge in my heart.

I haven't had the pleasure of a twinkle cave crit but keep doing your thing

HAIL Blood Queen of Thunderdome. I'm out of time for long critiques this week, but you will be first on my list next week.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

Canadian Surf Club posted:

I'll take that for now and see you in the next go around. If your past Thunderbrawl efforts are any indication then I have little to fear.

HAR - I've roped you into my trap. If the gods of THUNDERDOME will it, then mono-a-mono it is!

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

Noah posted:


I owe you one to sir. You've worked loving hard and are on my radar like a motherfucker.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Also Twinkle Cave you're the regular judge this week so if you want to take over duties, feel free. I only did because you apparently vanished.

I'm sending in my votes tonight for Budgie to add to you guy's counts. Thanks to you for doing all the work during the week, I'm trying to pull up the slack I left today.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


Blame it on the synthetic sugar water!

Either I'm getting soft, or everyone is getting better. I might have to toughen up in future crits, but most people wrote good stories and there were more than several drat good ones.

V for Vegas
sitting here

SC Bracer
sebmojo(good looking story, but where's the rest)

twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 01:21 on Jan 21, 2013

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

PROMPT: I want stories of someone who tells the truth or doesn't tell the truth and gets What They Deserve.


In November 1873, Alfred Packer was in a party of 21 men who left Provo, Utah, heading for the Colorado gold country around Breckenridge. On January 21, 1874 the party met Chief Ouray, known as the White Man's Friend, near Montrose, Colorado. Chief Ouray recommended they postpone their expedition until spring, since they were likely to encounter dangerous winter weather in the mountains.

Despite this, a first group ignored the chief's warning and set out, but prevented Packer accompanying by threat of death on account of Packer’s failure as a guide and general wretchedness. A second group struck out days later.Packer did join them. Over the years, Packer changed his story many times about what really happened. One thing we do know is he was fat and well fed in the spring.

"Don't foller if yah value yur mortal weight," the Captain said leveling the gun at Packer. "I've told yah before, and now my seriousness apparent, I'll shot yah dead, dead, dead."

Packer stood frozen, afraid to turn back, but not stepping forward either. The others in the camp who'd decided to stay with Chief Ouray, watched on as the Captian led the departers through a cut in the pines.

"I've paid my way and provided my services," Packer complained later, "This is a free land, which I fought my way for, to go where I want. None own Colorado."

The chief nodded, but Reddy interjected, "Your services that led us lost thrice," he said, "you're bout as good a guide as solider." They all knew Packer'd been discharged; twice.

"A passable soldier I was," Packer claimed, "Just on account of my spells they parted ways, for nothing else. And thrice I returned us to the path." This carried little weight in the consort, all having grown tired of Packer's excuses and proclamations.

Several days passed. Some of the remaining men decided to strike out as well, also ignoring the Chief's continued warning of winter conditions. "I ain't fraid of a gettin a bit cold," California said, "It's rich lettin that bothers. By spring, like to all the gold'll be claimed up."

"I concur," said Reddy, "I'm of a mind to forge ahead. I've borne considerable worse and not broken yet." After some deliberation, five men of the remaining 12 decided they would strike out in hopes of a claim.

"Packer," Reddy announced in the morning, "we've decided that your to attend, as we know you're rooting, and five bodies isn't enough to work a claim correct." He took a long drag on his stogie before California chimed in.

"But don't think yur to be jabberin all the way, or doing nuthing but mouth shuttin." Packer nodded, committing for now. California continued, "Yeh only put in 25 miserable dollars, and you'd used up all yer welcome."

"I don't trust 'em," Swan spoke up, "He's bin askin after our monies and over direct the entire trek thus. He's a scoundrel mouth snake."

"Dully noted," Reddy said. "If I were you," he said staring at Packer, "I'd heed California. Keep your mouth bones tight."

Shannon Wilson Bell, James Humphrey, Frank "Reddy" Miller, George "California" Noon, and Israel Swan set out into the wild along the same path as the Captain's group had a week before. Alfred Packer trailed behind, being given an overly heavy pack as the outcast.

After 12 days, the brutal cold set in. "My shaking's got the shakes," said Humphrey.

"You shut the hell up are yull be back thar with Packer tracker," California said.

"Don be tellin who's who to shut up," Swan said, "we're all just gettin through this frozen waste."

"All yall shut up," came in Reddy, "I'll be giving direction. There's only one rooster in this hen hole." California gave Swan a disdainful look and sidled up to Reddy. Nothing else was said that day.

After this exchange, Shannon Bell slipped back and walked next to Packard. He’d been doing that. Not saying nothing, just walking along. He stared at people a little long too. So they called him Spooky sometimes, if they remembered he was there at all.

That night, the men made a fire. Falling asleep, all of them but Packer had their feet-end to the fire. Packer kept his head near, on account of his belief that it would stave off his epilepsy.

Packer woke to complaining from Bell's direction, "I'm so drat cold." It was hard to tell his voice cause he hardly ever spoke. "I'm so cold," He kept repeating.

"Shut ur godforsaken sonofabitch mouf," California yelled.

Packer was cold too in the body, but his head was hot and sweating. He decided to take a piss at the tree line. He could see the water cooking off his face as it evaporated.

He got his fly down, then heard a commotion. "I'm cold Packer." It was Bell coming up on him. He held a hatchet.

"Whatcha doin with that stick splitter," Packer asked him. He he crawled his fingers across his waist to his hip.

"I dunno fer sure," Bell said, "I think'n I got to do something." He was pacing. "Them fellas are gonna get us killed."

"Don't fret on it," Packer said "Think of the summer, think of gold." His dick was still out, his hand at his gun.

"Nah, they're gonna get us killed," Bell replied, "Dying don't matter, but I don't wanna freeze. You know the way back?" Bell waited with his head cocked as if making a decision.

"Sure I do," Packer lied, "but everything's all right. I've had my spells. I know how crazy can feel. You gotta breathe." Packer's head was swirling with fear, Bell was losing it.

As relaxed as if he were staking a tent, Bell walked over and swung the hatchet into each of the four mens' heads. Quick, 1, 2, 3, 4, and just like that they were dead. He hit them each one more good time, as if to make sure they were snug, then slid their bodies into the snow, took their blankets, and bundled up in them.

"It'll be alright Packer," Bell said, "We'll be fine. We'll make it back now."

Packer approached the fire, gun drawn. Bell slept sound. Looking at the cleaved heads, he sat down to think.

Packer, surrounded by bloody snow, felt a seizure edging in,. He huddled up to the fire, trying to warm it off, but he started to convulse.

Angling himself away from the flames, he writhed in the cold pack, looking at the stark stars, wondering if he'd die. He passed out.

When he woke, Bell stood over him with the hatchet.

"You can't get us nowhere," Bell said, "can ya."

Packer shot him. Bell slumped to the ground saying, "Better this way I reckon." Packer discharged another round.

Scared to wander, Packer built a small shelter. He rolled the bodies into a drift face down. Still lost and trapped by snow, he began to slowly starve. Eventually he went to the bodies, he bent to the only one with skull still intact. Unable to bare the face, he pretended it was a steer, and knifed away the first strip from Bell's shoulder.

He threw the cut into the pan and it sizzled.

twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 04:41 on Jan 28, 2013

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

budgieinspector posted:

Before you send this out, you might wanna change this to Alferd.

Noted: there's an historically documented dispute over the spelling in this man's case. Before you correct it, use ur internets. But of course, I kannot speel either. DUMBASS PEOPLE THAT SPELL poo poo WRITE.

^ The spelling of Alferd/Alfred Packer's name has been the source of much confusion over the years. Official documents give his name as Alfred Packer, although he may (according to one story) have adopted the name Alferd after it was wrongly tattooed on to one of his arms. Packer sometimes signed his name as "Alferd", sometimes as "Alfred", and is referred to by both names. In many documents, he is referred to simply as A. Packer or Al Packer.

twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 04:36 on Jan 28, 2013

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

So if I don't submit there's no chance I could win and then have to judge? I'm not submitting twice.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

So did someone grasp the glorious prize this week or ???? Was everyone killed in the bitch storm.

I nominate sitting here's fan fic of TD if no decisive winner can be decided.

I need a prompt dammit. I'm getting all shaky for want of a prompt. Where's this weeks prompt? Thank you.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

In. Great prompt. As a place full of broad spectrum writing challenges, neon has played true to TD. (despite my insipid rants against poetry.)

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

Thunderdome Week XXVIII: Show me the love!

no flash rules.

Hank the Petulant Vibrator

Meet Hank. 7x5.5 torpedo shaped. Purple. Angry. He sits on Abby’s dresser telling her to wake up.

“Get up. You’re going to be late for work.”

“Mrfff,” she replies, “I don’t want to go to work. I want to sleep forever.”

“That’s not going to pay the bills,” he says.

“Why don’t you get a job, then you can pay the bills.”

“We both know that’s impossible,” Hank tells her. “Did you have any good dreams?” If he can get her talking she’ll wake up with less yelling. She loves talking about her dreams.

“Well I was on a cruise liner, but I was the only one on the boat. Which was fun but eerie at the same time.”

“That sounds awesome. We should take a vacation soon. Get away.”

“Yeah, I think so too. But hey, have you ever had fun while being errie. That’s a weird mix. I love dreaming.”

“I can’t say I have,” Hank says, “I should get out more. If only someone wouldn’t leave me at home all the time.”

“Well you have internet, you can basically go anywhere. Just plug into a webcam somewhere.”

“It’s not the same as actually being there and most webcam feeds suck,” he complained. “Anyway, get your butt out of bed its time to get ready.”

“Alright, fine.” Abby got up and walked to the bathroom.

“Hey, don’t leave me in here. I need a shower too,” Hank yelled across the room.

“No funny business though,” she said, “I got too much on my mind.”

She took Hank in the shower, set him up on the soap tray. “You know, I met this new guy, but he only wants to text. He doesn't want to talk ever. And he’s got kids and an ex-wife and says he just doesn't have that much time.”

“Ahh, the Irish guy,” Hank said, “yeah, you told me about him about ten times.”

“Yeah, he’s gorgeous and smart. Smart is the biggest turn-on. I can’t date dumb guys.”

“I’m smart. We get along.”

“Yeah, yeah, but this is different,” Abby turned to rinse her hair and knocked Hank into the shower floor. He could feel the water wooshing around him as it went down the drain and he shivered a bit. “Whoops, sorry.” Abby picked him up and put him back.

“Hey I was enjoying the view,” Hank said, “you could have just left me there.”

“Hmrpf,” Abby said, “That’s enough dirty talk out of you.”

“What?” Hank said exacerbated, “Well anyway, I agree. If all that guy wants to do is text and never see each other then what’s the difference. He may as well be me, but less cool.”

“Point taken. Why is it so hard to meet a nice guy? I just don’t get it.”

Abby got out and dried off, then placed Hank in his charging station. She caressed him several times, which is the protocol for simulated feeding. You had to talk to them and touch them occasionally or they got grouchy and dysfunctional, eventually devolving into incoherent baby talk.

Hank was usually just a bit angry because though Abby provided him with the minimum requirements, he never got any real attention. Abby just talked about herself; men she met, what she wanted to do with her life, how dissatisfied she was with pretty much everything, whether she should get on anti-depressants.

“Do a scan please and send me a shopping list,” Abby told him, “June’s coming over tonight. I told her to bring Joe so you guys could hang.”

“Har Har,” Hank scoffed, “That guy, he’s such a buffoon.”

“You need to talk to your own kind occasionally,” Abby said, “get some perspective.”

“Blah, blah. Ok, I’ll text you the list and try to come up with a good recipe too.”

“Yeah, and some wine. A good red wine. Hmm.”

“Check. Now set me by the window. I feel like doing some painting today and I want to get all impressionistic.”

“But of course,” Abby said grabbing Hank and the charging station and moving them to the window sill.

Once Abby was gone, Hank networked into the uni-wallscreen and began painting a beautiful sky. Whispy clouds with hundreds of variations of blue, perfectly balanced and nuanced. A golden sun radiated over the scene. Nothing but the upper third of a rustic farm silo in the foreground, purposely cutting off the ground to the field of vision.

It began raining outside then darkened into a storm. Looking out Hank decided to paint a similar scene into his current painting, but hidden inside the open door of the silo. Zooming way in was the only way to even notice it there. And so he painted the storm with the beginnings of a funnel cloud in the air. He thought about adding the cruise liner from Abby’s dream, but decided it might be creepy to put it in a tempest. Instead he just kept brushing the different clouds over and over adding layers, and making the funnel more and more ominous.

Then Abby called. “What’s going on lady,” Hank answered.

“I got the shopping list and stuff. Uhmm do you think you could log me into an eye appointment real quick. I want some new glasses.”

“Sure, give me a minute,” Hank made a few connections, found a good deal, with an immediate availability. “Alright, here’s the link. They’ll take care of you.”

“Alright cool,” Abby said, “Grab some of my latest pics and run a style algorithm against my face. Use keyword: SASSY MAXIMUS.”

“Easy enough,” Hank said. “I’ll have them expedited and shipped to your desk. They’ll be ready for dinner tonight.”

“Perfect. I’ll see you tonight sweety. Thanks for all your help today. You’re really the best.”

After the connection ended Hank proceeded with the order. He decided to go with with a pair that had a networked ultra-micro vid cam. He knew it was underhanded, but he wanted to see the real world. And despite his complaints about Abby, he really did want to see what her life was like. He wanted to feel closer. Hank waited around the rest of the day in anticipation for when she would put them on.


A few hours later Abby walked in carrying a couple of bags and wearing her new glasses.

“What’d you think?”

“They look great.”

“Hey, you did a good job picking them out.”

“Thanks,” Hank said, feeling a little guilty.

Just as Abby finished putting the groceries away and starting dinner, the doorbell rang. June came in and pulled Joe out of her pocket.

“Hank, what’s going on my brother,” Joe hollered across the room.

“And the bullshit squad enters the building,” Hank said under his breath.

“What’s that dude?”

“Oh, nothing.”

Abby spoke up. “Hey, you guys watch dinner and let us know when it’s ready. We need some girl time.” The two ladies put them on the counter between the stove and the sink

Hank flipped on the glasses embedded camera, but she’d taken them off and placed them in a basket in the bathroom.

“Alright, alright. So you catch the game last night. Man that was the best.”

“You know I... oh never mind, so how was it?” Hank wished he had more intellectual friends. Abby always seemed to attract girls with neanderthal tastes in men. He let Joe go on and on, while keeping one eye on the food and one on the glasses which he hoped Abby would put back on.

“...and so yeah, Abby’s got the sweetest rear end man. Your a lucky bastard to be tapping that. I’d..”

“Wait, what!” Hank interrupted him.

“Dude, I totally knew you weren't listening,” Joe said, “I’m just messing with you. I only got eyes for my June. But seriously, Abby is fine.”

“Grr,” Hank said. Ding. Saved by the bell. “Hey ladies, dinner is done.”

“Sure enough,” Abby came in, “Let’s give this some time to cool off.” She picked up Joe, “Hey Joe, come with me we got to ask you something,” she looked over her shoulder at Hank, “we’ll be right back dear.” She gave him a wink.

Hank was pissed. Bad enough to leave him in here with Joe, but then abandon him to food cooling off duty while they chatted in the other room. We was getting worked up.

“Oh honey,” he heard Abby’s voice say, “I knew you could do it for me.”

What was this? Hank realized it was coming from the glasses. He couldn’t see them but he could hear it perfectly.

“Oh I just had to get you alone. Talk Irish to me baby.”

“Bzzzzz. Bzzzzz. Oh yeah Abby, you’re one hot tamale. Bzzzz. Bzzzz.”

“Those jerks,” Hank thought. So Joe was this Irishmen she kept talking about. This was just too much. After about five more minutes of listening to this torturous exchange, Abby came back and placed Joe on the counter.

“What was that all about?” Hank asked, trying to hold back his rage.

“Ahh nothing,” Joe said, “June just wanted me to show off some of my features to Abby. I told them the run down.”

“What, I think a little more than talk was going on in there.”

“Ah, no way. Keep cool man. It’s all good.”

“There’s nothing good about it.” Hank said. Beside himself with anger, Hank turned himself on and off until it caused him to flip over. By oscillating his speed setting he was able to wobble his way across the counter towards Joe.

“Dude,” Joe said, “What are you doing?”

“I’ve had it,” Hank said as he made his way, “You son-of-a-bitch.” Hank managed just enough force to knock Joe over and roll him into the sink. He used the automated housing components to turn on the water full blast and wash him into the drain.

Then, just before he turned on the garbage disposal he heard, “Dude it was only a joke,” then there was the grinding muffled sound of rotating blades chopping up electronics and soft plastic.

Just then, Abby walked in with June, “Gotcha you sneaky bastard. Thought you were going to be slick with those cam-glasses.” They were laughing like crazy, Abby holding the shipping label in her hand. “Next time make you think twice before invading a girls privacy.”

“Hey, where’s Joe,” June said. Hank was still laying there, wheezing from his efforts and disoriented. They walked over to the sink where the disposal was still going. The sink coughed up a few chunks of plastic and one landed on June’s face. Both the girls screamed.

“I can walk,” Hank said, “Goddammit, I can walk.”

twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 06:27 on Feb 16, 2013

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

Here's a few mini-crits of whats been posted so far, given in the order I re-read them.

So yeah THUNDERDOME, here we go. You get asked to write about love and so far I've got like 2 maybe 3 suicides, at least 4 deaths, 2 to 4 people with Alzheimers, one possible drowning, a bigoted remark on which a story hinges (that I care less about than all the drat dying), and every story so far is written about someones grandparents in the winter years of relationship about to fall into the grave together. This is romance equivalent to "The Day my Grandma Died" stories in creative writing 101. Am I in GERIATRIC DOME OF SADNESS? I'm sure people here have actually been in love or something instead of just watching like a scientist as people are crushed by inevitable cruel biology aging stuff? Maybe that's going too far based on only 4 entries, but then again, see above. Please do better future entrants.

Despite all this, decent writing occurred, as in one word after the other. But can we try for more originality and less send your readers into a comatose depression. Verily though, I commend those that entered so early and with pluck.

The Purple Dory
I liked it. Based around a solid and touching moment in the relationship(the paint smudge humor) and a solid object, the purple boat. And I learned a new word boat. Cool language and accents. I question the "queer" part, why not just make him say "everyone will think somethings off about me" or something, instead of making this character I want to like into a possible bigot, since we know so little about him I'm sort of left to think he might be, so why even go there (of am I bigoted for just assuming he's not using "queer" in some PC way... ah, mfing PC concerns. well, I wouldn't want to use it). Idk, does it add some kind of realism? If I read a story about the racist south of 70 years ago do I want to hear all the characters dropping racial bombs every other sentence even though in reality there were probably a lot people doing that back then? The ending was interesting if not amazing. I guess you're implying maybe he died, maybe he didn't... or at least that he's late.

Little Mesa
Wow. Great writing. Quite beauteous. Some fairly touching ideas and cool stuff. Like the weird game pieces and the tarot stuff and cemetery birth-date hunt. I also learned about an awesome new lizard I'd never heard of. I really liked the sentence about the bridge dropping them in a dif part of town. That was nicely put. All that being said, I struggled to understand what was going on... and I swear, I did try. Make it more clear please.

Good writing as far as putting sentences together in a non-messed up way. But... you were asked to talk about love and I got this horrifying yet very overdone/tired tale of "getting old and can't remember my spouse". I've seen this a million times and there's nothing new here. And in this version there's no real story, no silver lining. Just that thing and nothing else. Plus another death a funeral. You're depressing me to death for no real reason that I can see. Do better, be more creative.

"as silent as a church whisper" whaaaz? if a church whispers in the silence and there's no one there to see it does it still make a sound? The "aww shucks"-iness of your character is really grating. "I was the luckiest guy in the world!" Is this 1930's radio drama? Like the bad kind not war of the worlds. Umm, I don't really have anything good to say. It's really sappy and its about a ghost and a suicide and a girl who we don't know anything about other than his exaggerated bonerfied platitudes and a memory problem that is pointed out by not remembering stuff about furniture. Couldn't feel it. Too maudlin. I don't understand why I was told this too. Actually, I did like the idea of a "Hall of Records", there, I said something nice. Now try again.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

Chairchucker posted:

Also, for those of you unfortunate enough not to have been born in The Lucky Country (tm),

The Lucky Country (tm) indeed. Looks like the writer who coined the phrase was pointing out how un-industrious and lazy Australians were.

Was Austrilia in mind when THUNDERDOME was created? Or was THUNDERDOME simply spewed from the hot molten center of 10^10000 suns going super nova.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

sorta-crit of NOAH's MONDAY NIGHTS

I say sorta-crit because it was well written and there's not much to do in the line-edit department. The rear end grabbing thing was funny as was the farting. That was believable. I didn't understand why they came to a stop just because they have to get up in the morning. It doesn't take that long to blow the grounsils, so that was a poor excuse. Maybe have something else happen, like a phone call that just breaks the whole moment. It was a sudden stop.

I like the idea of have an ultra small room that came about because of lease/moving hijinks. That goes well with the backward shorts. Things are just a little off. I think you could write a whole story about them sharing an uncomfortably small room and use it as a metaphor (hell, i might write that). The inclusion of "The Bachelor" made it banal in a non-interesting way. I don't see pro stories that put other people's stuff (TV shows, books) in them unless it serves a big point. Plus you didn't mirror the show against their own relationship which you could have. I realize that by the title you're going for a "day in the life of" thing, so it does achieve that. But it could be so much more. It won't lose, but I doubt it will win either.

Noah posted:

Must have been the bacon cheeseburgers he ran down the street for half an hour before.

and the burger man had given him faulty information

These sentences confused me.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

budgieinspector posted:

Harvey Sid Fisher dish on the astrological nonsense:


my brain melted

oh, and in i guess. what the gently caress is an astrology?

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

Thunderdome Week XXIX: Written in the Stars
A: What is an A/T?
2: Didn’t we just do an astrowhat thing 2 months ago. Next I know moms going to show up with her power crystals and perimeter my house with salt. Whatever: Vagtitarius is the sign of fire, and this story contains the fire from the gods of particle physics that human curiosity unleashed to their merriment. Having fun yet sentient monkeys?
#: Research: Stood in club and smoked cigs non-stop while leering at a DJ and shoving kids when they danced near my state of musical catharsis.

In a time of ever evolving technology driven fears, no one thought the biggest threat of all would be a dance party.
DOOM BOX(1200 words)

Handwritten words. A folded letter. Ink bleeding through the back in heavy black. The result of something awful. When a text or email just won’t do.

“Thanks for the party yo,” it began. DJ Clydematic read on, recognizing Fre$h Fr3dd^7’s handwriting. It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way Clyde thought.

In the beginning it was just a cool idea. The world’s baddassiest mobile dance party. They had the tech, the know-how. Why not? Why the hell not? We can make whatever the gently caress we want and this is what.

The first DOOM BOX was little more than a Winnibego with speakers bracketed to pale yellow siding. They’d slow roll the city slamming tracks, vibrating windows, giving the people their need. A soundtrack for the streets. A radical beat. People danced, cheered, flipped bottles and the bird.

“What, what?” Fre$h yelled, pointing at the side-view mirror. The cops. Again. It was hard to hear their own music much less a siren. The generator running in the back providing power to the amps, the music shaking bolts from holes daily. They wore sound dampening helmets with implanted headphones. Fre$h in the plus-1 swivel seat working the boards, DJ Clydematic easing down the street picking a trail through traffic. The DJ’s felt more than heard. The bass like a deep massage in a compound under ballistics barrage.

It didn’t even have a name yet. People called it the MBB; Mobile Boom Box. DOOM BOX came after the baby-nuke. After the auto-destruct installation, the self-driving computer, the armored plating and glass, the off-road chassis, the dread, fame, and seclusion. After ICBM-1 showed up on their doorstep.

ICBM-1 was a polyglot gangster wannabe DJ. A Hatian, Puerto Rican, Russian, angry bullshit artist with bullshittier connections but cash in hand. And cash they did need.

“We ain’t about to co-opt our bad poo poo,” Fre$h told him quietly looking at the ground. Fre$h was like that, always thinking. Somewhere else, hearing the music, laying down the next thing. He didn’t look people in the eyes much, just off in his own world. The beats man, that’s how he let them know. “No track vote,” Fre$h continued, “we got jurisdiction on that.”

“Don’t want to mess up a good thing,” IC said, “You guys are the master blasters. I just want in the game. This poo poo is going to change the world.”

“You think,” Clydematic said. It was a statement not a question. But he had no idea how much truth ICBM-1 spoke.

Despite the website donations and the momentary fame that comes from the unique, they kept running out of money. RV’s impounded. Larger and larger tickets. Playing cat-n-mouse with the police. They could barely make the block without being shut down. Finally the powers banned them outright. Next stop jail if they continued their hijinks.

But ICBM-1 came up with a plan. Him and his connections. He’d been scratching around. Working that addled brain. Then someone called him out on his schemes to resurrect their jolly ear bombing.

A Brazilian cohort showed up in a tactical vehicle that came with a surprise. They were wearing business suits under power armor, made them look silly, but the guns where no joke. Uzis with mags a foot long and enough next-gen tech mods to trick out a guerrilla coup.

“You will keep the party going or everyone dies,” the lead guy said in perfect English. After a briefing by his lackeys they folded out of the room as quietly as they came leaving behind a support team of geek radicals. The DOOM BOX was born. Nuke-ette attached, armed, and trip ready.

Most the city vacated in the first month. No sane person wanted to live in the shadow of particle annihilation. At the same time squatter hedonists flooded in, taking up residence in the abandoned office buildings and stripped brownstones. A government subsidized sybarite ecosystem evolved complete with military drones buzzing the skies, public announcements to party, and street vendors proffering meth, X, and power drinks. Washington was impotent. “We don’t negotiate with terrorists, we just melt our faces to the music,” read a spray-painted over mural.

No one knew the rules exactly. How many people had to dance, how many people had to cheer. The DOOM BOX rolled slow 24/7 receiving fuel and maintenance en route. Death tourists flocked from around the world, woke early for scheduled partying, stayed up countless days under the throes of bombastic bass and synthetic energy enhancers.

“Everyday I wake up and forget for a second,” Fre$h said. “This ain’t a party, it’s a prison sentence.” He and Clyde hotfooted out to the street where they traded places with team Brazil for their shift, hoping on the DOOM BOX while it crept along.

Cluster crowds let out yells as the progenitors took the tables. “Yo yo pleb wondercrats of the world, this ain’t your grandma’s jams. Let’s hear some noise!” Maintaining enthusiasm under duress night-in night-out was a challenge for Clyde. Fre$h barely ever got on the mic except to snarl or cuss. The devils loved Fre$h because of it.

“At least we’re making sounds,” Clydematic said to Fre$h. They could regulate the volume with ease inside the new rig with its heavily insulated sheathing.

“Yeah, the ones right before you hear boom.”

Fre$h kept sinking in further and further. His mixes and makes delved the disturbing and dark. Critics were comparing his stuff to everyone from Wagner to Kafka to Bosh. They said it was the art of the dark future-present. But like many genius artists he was destined to die young. Destruction outlined by the letter in Clydmatics hand.

“I slipped out,” the letter said. “told the guys you were sick. Play along and then get out while you can. Spreading the word though. Try to give denizens time.” Clyde figured there had to be an end game. That Fre$h would pull the trigger when no one else would. No one else could. Destroy a city or let an unstable nuke sleep at your doorstep. “People might be saved.” Clyde burned the letter with a lighter, didn’t waste time, did his part.

Soon DJ Clydematic was out of sight by way of boosted beater. He told a few people to tell others. Maybe the terrorists were button nodding. By the time Clyde hit the Brooklyn bridge, people were terror in the streets. By the time he hit the countryside headed north, the city was ashes.

Fre$h Fr3dd^7 had driven DOOM BOX into the bay, towards the Statue of Liberty, hoping it might sink before exploding, buffer the explosion, short a circuit.

Clyde imagined his friend pulling over the edge, jumping out at the last minute, standing in silence as the instrument submerged, ending the music. Then looking back over the city they loved before everything went white then black.

twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 05:49 on Feb 24, 2013

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012



1120 words

Derek flung his satchel on the bed with somewhat too much force; it slithered across the bare mattress and landed on the floorboards with an uncomfortable thud.

“poo poo,” he slurred, a little too loud; he was thoroughly drunk.

It was Christmas Eve, and for the first time in nearly two years, Derek was alone.

He'd known when Claris handed him his present; the laxness of her grip on the narrow parcel, the cheap, effortless packaging, the very act of giving early.

“I'm not coming tomorrow,” she'd said, fishing a twenty-dollar bill out of her clasp. “I already picked up my stuffI've packed. It's over.” And she'd left him where he sat, empty dishes littering the table, a faltering smile clinging to his face as he turned her present over in his hands. He hadn't cried.

Her twenty covered half the check; he'd expected to pay it all anyway and spent the balance on cheap wine, pouring glass after glass of anonymousforgettable red down his gullet until the sad-faced waiter clasped him by the shoulder and asked him, politely, to leave.

After which he'd hit Mac's, and now, with a couple dozen drinks processingin his system, he was home.

“poo poo,” he said again, the word spilling out of his mouth outin a wash of hot vapour. A noxious whirlpool raced around inside his skull; it was like he'd docked his head at a petrol bowser. He could feel the paint slowly peeling on the backs of his eyes.

“I need to sit down.”

* * *

Derek awoke to find his cheek stuck to the pleather padding of his armchair, coated by a gummy rind of congealed saliva. His right eye wouldn't open; the lashes had fused, and his fingers were uselessjust too drat clumsy to help.

“Fuckit,” he croaked, hauling himself upright, lurching over to his little kitchenette. There were dishes in the sink; an abundance of glassware, all of it filthy., and Cockroaches scuttling out of sight between them. He cleared a space and stuck his head under the faucet, drinking deeply, feeling the mouth tissues of his mouth relaxing as their residues dissolved.

He had some tablets in the fridge. Why he kept them there and not somewhere convenient like right here by the dishrack, he couldn't say; the fridge seemed a lifetime away, and with each slow step he felt the ground pitching beneath him, ready to fall away completely and send him tumbling down that nauseous abyss, into the river of vomit he so desperately wanted to avoid. You're starting to lose me on this paragraph with some of the close ups. It's kinda draging the hungover thing out and pointing to daily minutia that's not terribly interesting. Maybe "He went for the tablets in the fridge, wanted to avoid vomiting." or shortened somehow.

The capsules clicked out of their packaging, and as they tumbled into the palm of his hand he glimpsed the vodka-bottle peeping out at him from its roost above the crisper – the perfect accompaniment. He took a neat swig, feeling the aspirin trace its foaming path down his throat as the vodka, still slightly too warm, burned after.

Right, then. Back to normal.

“It's over.”

Wasting no time, eh? Well, she hadn't given him a whole lot to work with, there; there were only so many times he could replay that little snippet. Fine, she'd left him. At least she'd been quick, and honest; he'd been through worse, much worse, and there didn't seem much point in dwelling on it more than he absolutely had to.

From the bedroom, a buzzing and a beep; his phone.

“Claris,” he said, a surge of hope rising in his chest, and he fumbled his way over to his to the bedroom, to the source of the noise. It was nice and dark in here, a relief from the piercing outdoor-light that seeped in through his loungeroom curtains, and for a moment he just sagged against the doorjamb, waiting for the phone beep again, to give away its position.

There – on the floor behind the bed. He climbed onto the mattress and scooped his satchel from the floor, dragging it up to rest by his chest, feeling around inside it for the smooth rubber surface of the phone.

It vibrated again, its tone a little hollower this time – running out of battery, no doubt – and he found it, tucked up against the lining. He grabbed it –
“Ah, gently caress! gently caress!”
Pain lanced through his finger – the screen must have cracked, and as he drew the phone out of his bag he saw a droplet of his own blood soaking its way in between the slivers of glass.

2:21 PM

3 new messages

Carefully, he dragged his fingertip across the screen and nudged the prompt. But it wasn't Claris, calling to make up – it was his parents. Was he alright? Did he need help? Would they still be seeing him next week, for his birthday?

Of course. Christmas lunch. Well, that was definitely not happening today.

Derek slouched onto his back, gazing up at the tiny screen, thumbing his way through photos of Claris. It was beautiful, in a way, watching her face slide side-to-side beneath the fractured glass, as he deleted every loving memory she'd left behind. good image, good words


Then, there was – that shot. He lingered; he wasn't so sure about deleting this one. and anyway, what was the rush? He stared at it for what seemed like hours, savouring each contour of her body, memorising everythe graceful curves, until it felt as though his eyes just couldn't stare any more, and he started to lose focus. He dragged it the image to the trashcan, and let his gaze relax.

Silhouetted against the screen, something small and dark sat poised atop his index finger, right where he'd cut it, a loving cockroach –

“Jesus gently caress!” He flicked his hand, slapped at the lightswitch on the wall.

All across the surface of his mattress, little brown-black shapes manoeuvred swiftly into shadow, some over the edge of the bed, some beneath his pillow, but most of them reversing their course, crawling back into his satchel.

“The gently caress?” He pawed the bag upright, but the light was just too dim to see inside – he tipped it upside-down, spilling magazines, mint-rolls, cigarettes, all over the bed. And bugs. Little flat almond-shaped bugs racing for the nearest patch of darkness, and already he could see them moving in the periphery, scuttling around the corners of his dresser, working their way between the corners of his bedframe.

Bedbugs. loving bedbugs.

An object still remained, half-protruding from the mouth of his bag – a crumpled paper packet. A gift from Claris.

Derek peeled away the tape, unfolding it. It was a page from OK! magazine, the horoscopes – she knew he hated that crap – and as it shifted in his hands, a slew of small specks, like burnt crumbs, rilled down across its surface, over three words scrawled in Claris's blocky hand.

Happy birthday, rear end in a top hat.

A/T threads

Actually not any blood here. Good story. I made the edits which should be self-evident to your skillz. Some of them may be good, others not. I did it mostly for brevity and pace as I saw it. The story has a good turn and a good idea. Simple and neat, to the point. You might think about replacing the christams call with something that ties into the theme better. That part is rather unimportant and could be changed to reflect and deepen the mood of the story.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

systran posted:

I posted my story a few pages ago; did I gently caress up and need to wait until the signups were over to post? It seems like that is what everyone else is doing.

no. you did it right. i owed stones a crit. everyone else is just pussyfooting around.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

In. Lethem you to death then Marquez all over your corpses.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

sebmojo posted:

Alright. Gettin' tired of these endless victories over here, everyone needs to step up their fuckin' game so I can't win with something I crapped out at work half an hour before deadline.

Your skillz are without question, noble SIXER. That being said, unfortunately in the dome just having a beginning/middle/end, understandable transitions, a point, some tension, and good grammar/spelling/no-typos will put you in the running every time. So even when you poo poo out something, seems like you've gotten to the point that you can poo poo confidently with the above automatic.

I'd like to get there. I spend eight hours on a drat story and still looks my writing power animal/editor is a retarded sloth.

Some day the dome will be full of stories that make sense... maybe. oh, and:

Max: I don't know anything about methane.
Aunty Entity: You can shovel poo poo can't you?


twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

I Need a Med Pack!!! - Thunderbrawl: NOAH V. MARTELLO

Write a story with main character as a medical professional within a violent milieu such as war. For bonus points you can read "a farewell to arms" just before writing your own story (that's not the one where the guy gets his dick blown off). I'm looking for a nice long read, so 2000 word limit, but won't penalize for shorter especially if it makes sense to do so.

No stories about being forced to be the heal spammer on your latest MMO run.

Let the wounding (and healing) begin!


twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 06:41 on Apr 5, 2013

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