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JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


I'm in.

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JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


Welp, the last time I entered I failed to produce anything, so my honor is forfeit.
Thus I return to reclaim my honor the only way I know how, by painting my useless blood all over the floor of the Thunderdome.

I'm in.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


WordCount: 990 Terrible Words

Needs more editing but better than a blank page.

It's a Hobby to Some.
Francis scaled up towards the peak, precariously lifting himself up with the footholds studded in the slick frozen rock.

His hands were scabbed and his face scrubbed raw by the lashes of the wind. Francis would not be deterred, not after he had come so far.
He felt naked, even with nine layers of wool, hide and linen shielding his body from the cold. Slush, dirt and snow seeped into every nook and cranny of his clothes.

It wouldn’t be much longer. The years spent planning this trip would all be worth it.

Francis’ fingers latched on top of the overlook, more crooked claws by now than fingers. His stiff joints stretched his cold skin taut as he dragged himself up. He rolled up and over his shoulder and onto the top of the cliff-face. It was flatter here along these ridges and he could see that the summit was not far. He could rest a little before continuing on.

Francis pressed a hand to the trusty brass binoculars around his neck, and was reassured by their presence. He breathed heavily, letting his senses meld into the environment. He felt as if he could hear the pulse of the mountain, the quickening of its breath, that cold unending wind.

The wind shuddered deeply after a while, a guttural wheeze interrupting it. It was as if the very mountain itself had started to shake and groan with the steps of a titan walking the earth.

Francis turned to look at the mountain face and found a hulked mass of frost prickled hide, and stone-splintering teeth skulking out from its heart-depths. Its tell-tale horns were swept back and curled counter-clockwise. It was the dreaded Screwhorn Mountain Goatbear, which Francis knew was the fourth most dangerous kind of dire goatbear. .

Hate poured like breath from the beast’s smoldering face, its exhalations freezing in the air as it eyed him, inching closer. The snow was hopelessly crushed beneath its focused gait.

Francis scrambled up, off the ground, getting halfway up before the goatbear crushed into his side, sending him sprawling against the wall of the mountain. He lifted his arm reflexively to push it between the monster and his vitals and its teeth met it, clamping down as it pushed his skin into his bones.

Frantically, Francis kicked at the creature, his knee connecting uselessly with its thick stony hide. The goatbear shook its trunk-like neck, dragging his arm to and fro and Francis felt his head jolt violently from side to side. He punched wildly at its head, only to have the creature toss him aside with one great swing of its jaw.

Francis impacted the ground with a loud crack. His fall braced by the sharp rocks of the ground. Eyes widened through pain and realization. He looked to the ground to see that his trusty binoculars had one lens completely demolished against a stone, its glass entrails glittering in the snow next to his blood.

He howled, as he staggered off the ground and charged at the creature. He lifted the rock and brought it full bear against the great beast’s face, smashing it across the snout repeatedly. It tried to shake him off but he clung to it with all of his strength. It tore at his already dying arm, as its claws shredded through layers of leather and fabric as it peeled the many layers of leather protecting his torso.

En-coiled in a death struggle with the creature, Francis could only keep smashing the rock down against the creature’s face. Shredding its skin and muscle against the rock’s frozen edges. It shrieked its deathly beargoat sound as the rock popped its eye in an eruption of blood and sickly pus. It reared up on its hindlegs to knock Francis away. His body rolled on the ground like a tossed doll.

Francis winced through his teeth as he rolled himself onto his good arm and pushed himself up from the ground. He managed to live long enough to stand.

Oozing blood and hissing ragged breath the bear had stopped where it was. Francis clutched the sharp stone in his hands, shaking it weakly at it.

It was quiet now, with nothing but the sound of rushing blood in his ears. It looked at him for a while with its remaining eye, and then it turned and walked away. The goatbear vanished back into the depths of the mountain’s heart.

Surprised that he was alive, Francis could only move forward from here. Hurting everywhere, leaking fluids, starved and exhausted Francis inched his way up a long the path and up what remained of the mountain until he reached the very top.

All of the country was below him, and the heavens stretched above. This was the spot. Francis reached for the binoculars around his neck, one lens still good. Thank all that was holy. He put it up to his eyes and gazed up into the sky.

With the lens the clouds looked so close that he felt he could unravel them with a touch, uncoil them into long sinuous threads with his bloodied fingers.

He heard it first after a few minutes of bleeding profusely on the summit, even through the wind and his beating pulse. A siren’s song of happy chirping that was sweeter than anything he had ever heard. Bliss teased into the shape of a melody.

Then through the clouds a pair of wings erupted from the confines of cloud and a glorious body followed. Its feathers shimmered in the sun, reflecting in a magnificent array of cardinal reds, emerald greens and sun-risen oranges. The Shimmering Many-Hued Cloud Canary was out in its entire avian splendor. Francis watched as the masterwork of creation flew on into the distance, completely overtaken by its presence, even as fleeting as it was.

When it was gone, he marked the bird on his list. It had all been worth it.

JuniperCake fucked around with this message at Feb 10, 2013 around 19:43

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


Thanks for the feedback! I'm going to use the critiques I got to write something that sucks less next time. At the very least, I will be sure to correctly identify bodily fluids. As that is quite the embarrassing mistake to make.

Kudos to all the judges, especially Stone of Madness, who took the time to give thoughtful and constructive critique to over 20 stories. Critiquing is time consuming, and you guys knocked it out of the park.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


I'm in for the original prompt. It looks like it'll be a lot of fun.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


SkySteak posted:

(Sorry to keep the derail but I'm undecided now. If I do post a story though you'll probably know my answer)

The only true failure in writing is giving up. Every bad story is a stepping stone to an eventual good one so long as you keep going. There is no magic. There are no short cuts. Only perseverance and hard work matters. Anxiety over being able to produce something of quality is something writers face often, and it never goes away. But you need to learn to work through that fear or you just have no chance as a writer.

Submit and succeed or don't and fail. The choice is yours.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


In.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


In.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


In.

I am terrible at economical(good) prose. I look forward to my inevitable evisceration.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


In the library, stabbed to death by candlestick.

http://hrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca/davidc...ies/library.htm

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


Welp, Missed the deadline and my story is terrible but I'm posting anyways. Figure its better to post late then to post nothing. Can still lose even if I cant win.

Picture: In Linden's Library

Sanctuary(895 Words)


“Please. They can’t know that I have this,” said Red.

The boy pushed the book into Violet’s hands and she hid it in her clothes. She didn’t see the use in telling her brother that it was too late.

She just smiled at their parents like the good little girl she was when they came to take him away.

Wicked and deceitful children had to go outside to the dead world, where the monsters lived. They had no place here in our home, her parents often told her.

But Violet never worried about things like that. She was polite and respectful and always did her chores. Twelve hours a day she would sew beautiful dresses with all of her brothers and sisters. No child was more hardworking or better behaved than she.

That night when everyone had gone to sleep, she looked at Red’s book. Violet had memories of reading, fond ones. But those were from some lost and ancient time that she could only barely remember.

One peek couldn’t hurt anything though. No one would find out. She illuminated the pages with a lighter she had borrowed one day while no one was looking.

The book was like nothing she had ever seen before. It was full of adventures with heroes and monsters in strange beautiful places teeming with treasure and wild princesses.

Violet stayed up late to read her stories, and dreams of them consumed her thoughts during the day.

It was all fine, at least until her rotten sister Green told on her one day.

She was locked in a small upstairs closet. For her own good her parents said. But it was wrong. Violet was always good, she didn’t see why she had to be punished.

It was dark and it smelled like rancid meat and bleach in the closet. She wanted to smash her fists into the door, cry out for her parents but that wasn’t something a good little girl did.

So she waited instead. They would realize their mistake, they had to.

Her mind wandered as the hours went by. She drifted in and out of sleep in the perpetual dark of the room. The book was gone, but she relived it as it existed in her mind.

She explored evil caves and dungeons, walked on bumpy floors covered with grass. Violet vanquished foul creatures of dust and shadow with a knife and saved everyone. They rewarded her with cake, and dancing, and love as befit a hero.

She twirled in the cramp space, between the old rolls of fabric while imaging the glorious dresses she could wear for her dance. She wanted one to match the color of her ribbon, the one that was the first gift her parents had given her, just as all the other siblings had theirs.

Her family had come to see her dance, and she lit the ceremonial torches with her hidden lighter so that they could better see her graceful moves. Violet swept the lighter’s flame across the fabric, causing it to smolder.

Her family applauded her for being such a great dancer and she basked in the warmth of their affection. The loud crackle of the fire snapped her from her thoughts, and she soon was confronted by a closet full of smoldering smoke.

Violet seized up in horror as the fire began to spread quickly from the wilting fabric. Terrified of what she had done, she curled into a ball near the door. The heat snapped at her back.
The door opened suddenly, revealing a flabbergasted parent looking down at her. Violet stammered out an apology as she scrambled out of the room as fast as she could. The parent screamed at her like something inhuman and seized her arm.

Her parents had never been like this, something was wrong. Violet kicked and cried but it would not let go.

Violet seized a small almost empty roll of burning fabric nearby, and thrust the lit end at the imposter in front of her.

The monster shrieked, releasing its grip, and Violet flailed the burning tube with all her might against it. Other parents arrived to witness the scene as the fire spread all around.

Violet swung at them with the tube like it was a sword to scatter them. Her hands burned from the heat. Choking smoke sapped her breath and made her dizzy. But she was determined to save her family from the monsters at any cost.

Exhausted she slumps to the ground, as the last of the imposters flee the smoke filled room leaving her alone in it. Sweltering heat rolls over her like a blanket. It’s over.

She can hear a high pitched wail off in the distance. It is a mechanical and unearthly sound. Violet wills herself to move but she can’t.
The sound of splintering wood echoes out through the room as something smashes into a door but the smoke is too thick and black to see what is going on. Monstrous raspy voices cut through the smoke.

She can make out the hazy edges of a yellow phantom, human shaped but rounder with bulgy plastic-like flesh. It looks her over with its reflective glass face and then lifts her up from the ground.

“Hang on! We’re going to get you out of here!” The monster tells her as it carries her outside.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013



Thank you so much for the excellent critique. You are right on the money on all counts. I was kinda rushing through with the end of it and I think it ended up really choppy as a result. Though to be sure there are errors all over this piece that need fixing. As far as the tense change goes, no, that was not intentional and I have no idea why I did that. It makes things hella weird though, so I'm definitely going to fix that.

I think I'll work on this piece some more and then send it to the fiction farm(and also work on my commas which are terrible). Hopefully, I'll be able to make it much better than it is now.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


This should be a fun prompt.
I'll try to rewrite The Apocalypse of Peters by CancerCakes from Week 25: What they deserve
Original was 999 words, so my word limit will be 1099.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


Kaishai posted:

It is as though the waiter at a diner has brought me a tray full of sun-ripened horse rectums, and as I watch the maggots crawl about and question my life's decisions, it dawns on me that everyone else in the place is salivating over my plate. I try to hide in the freezer, to no avail. We are Legion. We are Thunderdome.

Well of course people are salivating all over your plate; rectum makes great calamari. And everybody loves calamari(and rectums).

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


In.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


systran posted:


JuniperCake vs. Cancercakes
A misunderstanding must be a driving point in the plot.


Well well, this feels like some kind of karma for taking one of Cancercake's stories and then failing to deliver during the rewrite challenge. Since I failed to do that rewrite, I think it is only fair that you get the first shot in our duel.

Cancercakes, make up an extra flash rule for me and I'll follow it. Be as merciless as you like.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


I'm in.

JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


In for terrible caveman story time.

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JuniperCake
Jan 26, 2013


Saving Utopia (Words: 492)

Monsters who were once brothers surrounded the village. They looked more like worms than men with skin stretched taut against hollow bellies and juts of bone. They cried and clamored like nothing I had ever heard before. Clad in mud and thorns they waited. Their skin was filthy, ashen like the remains of the bad plants that we had scoured from our world with fire.

Our line held firm. Our people, strong and full-bellied, would protect our village from any threat. The spears our people kept pointed at the wretches had points made of our sharpest stones. In the past, these stones had allowed us to hunt as never before. We had survived the long cold by tearing every animal we could find into meat and hide. They fed our strength, our dominance over nature. The spears would do no less against this threat. With the animals long gone, it was comforting to still have a use for them.

I steeled myself and broke out from our numbers. Hundreds of eyes focused on me with baleful stares as the wretches moved back.

“Leave!” I told them. “We have no food for your kind. There is no meat.”

A rough wizened one, barely taller than his malformed brethren rose from the mass of quivering creatures “There is no meat because you, our brothers, have taken it all.” He said, as he approached me.

“Then that’s your own fault for submitting. Submitting to nature.” I spat the words at him.

The crowd bristled but the wretch that spoke for them was unmoved. “We are all brethren, yet you have everything. Your people, they took all the meat. You took all the plants. Roots and all, you put them in your village and let no one else near. You broke with the old ways and set fire to the world. We forgive all of this but you must give us our share.”

“If you don’t have the strength to get it yourself, then you only get the scraps we leave behind. This is the only law.” I stamp my spear into the ground to the cheers of my people.

“We will starve without food, we have nothing.” The old wretch moved closer.

I placed my spear between us. “Enough!”

“Please!” He begged, reaching for me with upturned palms.

I skewered him with my spear and death followed. Our brave men charged against the monsters and they fled like the coward beasts of old. Our spears met their naked flesh and split them apart. The air became lush with the intoxicating scent of spilled blood.
Then it was over, and only we remained. Those who shunned the way of the future to live in the savage ways of old, clinging to caves ,and following the old migrations, had no place in our new civilized world.

I cut the meat from the old man’s pathetic hide. And found that it tasted just like any other beast.

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