Flash Rule: Free verse in very short lines divided into
V for Vegas fucked around with this message at 01:52 on Jan 10, 2013
|# ¿ Jan 10, 2013 01:17|
|# ¿ Nov 29, 2020 23:36|
Flash rule - first and last word the same.
we left, and it was OK
|# ¿ Jan 10, 2013 23:40|
Supermikhail your poem definitely rhymed. I like poetry that does that. Downside - I could tell what it was about. That is not good when writing poetry. Too prosaic you know? Well, that's about my store of poetry criticism used up. This was a rough start to 2013.
|# ¿ Jan 14, 2013 11:31|
ha, awesome, I've just been reading Skeleton Crew. So in.
|# ¿ Jan 16, 2013 07:45|
I think he means this
|# ¿ Jan 16, 2013 21:47|
I'm in, like a...bin? Sin? Gene? Sp...leen? Hang on, let me find a suitable rhyme for this...
You've never heard of 'in like Flynn'? Or ?
|# ¿ Jan 17, 2013 23:27|
I've already written most of it as well. Back to the drawing board.
|# ¿ Jan 18, 2013 03:17|
Have a little faith toanoradian!!
Iakopo - 1636
Flash rule - Indonesian man mocks foreigners for not knowing Indonesian. Actually thanks for this, the story I was working on was poo poo. This is better poo poo.
Flash rule - Rule 4. I cut a 1500 word story I had already written to write this instead.
The Fofo's shack squatted in a grove of banana trees. Thick broad leaves blocked out the bright sunlight, so the house was always dark, tucked away on the outskirts of Fagamalo. Although the village was so small everyone's house was on the outskirts. You could stand at one end of the village, next to Mama Daphoney's house where the road to Ap'uaton started, and have a conversation with a person standing on the other side of the village, so long as you spoke loudly.
Hemana and Iakopo were hiding in the long grass from Mama Daphoney who had chased after them with a broom for yelling outside her house when her shows were on.
The two boys sat still until the violence had passed like an afternoon storm blowing out to sea. Peering out, they saw the banana grove and Fofo's house.
'You know drunks get the shakes pretty bad' Hemana said. 'And he's the man who is going to cut off your pua next week at the Taumafa Ava.'
Iakopo wriggled uncomfortably. He had been thinking about the ceremony a great deal lately. Couldn't they just say he was a man, why did they need the knife?
'You know sometimes if the Fofo doesn't do it right it gets infected' Hemana continued, warming to his subject. 'If that happens they have to cut the whole thing off. Then you are a girl and you have to wear girls clothes.'
'That's bullshit' said Iakopo.
'No it isn't. My cousin said when he went to the Big Island there was a girl there who used to be a man thats what happened to him.'
'You have to get cut as well you know, it could happen to you.'
'Nu uh' said Hemana . 'I will be a man and drink lots of kava and have my pe'a inked. Poor Iakopo will have to wear a dress and sit down to piss.'
Iakopo punched Hemana in the arm. 'Shut up, you are full of poo poo.'
'My cousin told me the Fofo keeps a jar of the skins he cuts off during at the Ava in the house.'
'Your cousin says a lot of things Hemana , most of them stupid poo poo lies he makes up.'
'He swears it's there, you calling me a liar?'
'I'm calling your cousin a shithead.'
'Alright if you don't believe me, go and look.'
'In the Fofo's house? No way.'
'Go on, I dare you. You have to go touch the jar - or, or I will tell Laura that you had a dream about her.'
'You said you would never tell anyone that.'
'I won't,' smiled Hemana . 'If you go in.'
'You're full of poo poo.'
'Full of poo poo am I? Well then go into the Fofo house and see how full of poo poo I am. The jar's there, I swear it. Go on, you know he is going to be sleeping off all the kava he drank last night' encouraged Hemana .
Iakopo nodded, there had been a big celebration last night, with all of the adults standing around drinking into the early morning. The Fofo always attended these big celebrations, drinking more kava than anyone and burping into the faces of the women which he thought was hilarious, letting out a earth shaking laugh from his gut which hung out over the front of his pants. This would usually lead to a fight with the husband of the woman he belched over, and he would forget himself and start yelling in his native Javanese while he punched away at his opponent until both sides were pulled apart by the rest of the menfolk. The fight over, he would promptly forget all about it, drink more kava and commence burping again, starting the whole cycle over. This would continue until he passed out several hours later and was dragged back to his hut, snoring heavily.
Iakopo and Hemana watched the shack. Loud snores were coming from the windows, clearly audible where the boys sat, fifty yards away.
'Alright I'll do it, but you better not say anything to Laura.'
'Of course not!' said Hemana.
Iakopo knelt into a crouch and began to scurry towards the shack. Passing under the banana trees, he felt felt a shiver as his hot skin came into contact with the cool air. Snores were still coming from the window nearest him. He came up to the junk scattered around the house, old rusty metal drums, a VW bus that hadn't moved in thirty years and half a dozen chickens pecking the dirt.
Iakopo slowly moved around the back of the house. The back porch here was also piled high with trash, but the back door was wide open, leading into the blackness of the house.
Iakopo stepped up onto the lintel and stopped for a second peering down the dark hallway. His heart had started beating heavily. He looked around, Hemana had followed him around and was crouching behind an old oil drum at the edge of the yard. He waved his hand at Iakopo to keep going.
Iakopo turned around, took a deep breath and stepped inside the Fofo's house.
The hallway stretched down the entire length of the house. To the left was a small kitchen, filled with empty beer bottles and cockroaches. The snores were still coming from the front of the house. To the right was a closed door. Iakopo opened it and walked into the room.
He immediately came face to face with frozen screams etched onto shrunken heads, beaded together on a grisly necklace. Iakopo looked around. Heads, heads and more heads. From floor to ceiling, row after row, the room was full of heads.
'Tui Fiti save me' thought Iakopo 'this is much worse than the pua jar.'
Iakopo stood silent. It was then he realised he could no longer hear the Fofo snoring. Just as he tried to turn to go an enourmous hand grabbed the top of his head, squeezing it in a vice grip.
'Oh ho' came the deep throated voice of the Fofo from behind Iakopo. 'What is here? Little dewan?' The Fofo shook Iakopo violently. 'Well?'
Iakopo sputtered, 'Uh yes sir. Um, no, um. What's a dewan?'
'Bah, stupid uncivilised islanders. Why you come into Fofo house? To steal from Fofo? Yes?
'No' said Iakopo . 'It was a, I mean, it was a dare to come in and see the pua jar'
The Fofo looked blankly at Iakopo . 'The what?' He thought for a second looking at the boy and then a smile grew across his broad face. A deep belly rumble began as he began to chuckle. 'Oh ho, little boy. You have not had the chop chop yet, and come to see what the fuss is about. Does Fofo keep all the boys little trophies after he takes them off. Time to see, yes yes, time to see.' He dragged Iakopo out of the room and across the hall into the kitchen. He cleared off some bottles from the table and pointed at it. 'Sit there' he commanded Iakopo . Iakopo sat on the table as the Fofo turned around to the cabinet.
'Oh ho, so the boy wants to see the crazy old Fofo, well, well, that is for a good reason these things will be happening.' He turned back to Iakopo holding a carving knife in his hands.
'And now little boy. You will see what it is to be man.'
Iakopo looked at the knife and bolted off the table, but the Fofo's hand snaked out grabbing his arm, dragging him back to the table. 'Now now, little boy, do not run from Fofo.' With that, the Fofo took Iakopo's hand, placing the handle of the knife into it. Then the Fofo, guiding Iakopo's hand, plunged the blade into his own heart.
Iakopo stared, his hand still on the knife jutting from the Fofo's chest. The Fofo grunted, blood spurting out from around the blade that had been embedded in his sternum. His dropped down to his chest and he began to intone in his sonorous voice:
Le Fe'e e! faafofoga mai ia
O au o Fale le a tulai atu nei.
Le Fe'e e! au mai ia ou mūmū fua
Sei tau a'i le taua nei.
The Fofo looked up.
'Now Iakopo, son of Eloni, son of Fetu, the last living son of Tui Fiti. You have killed a man. My blood, the blood of the Fofo, is spilled. When the time comes, you will know the gods and the spirit of Salevao will come for you.'
The Fofo took hold of the knife and, grunting, wrenched it out of his chest. He grabbed a towel off the table, holding it to the gaping wound as he slid to the floor. He looked up at Iakopo.
'Pretty good eh boy?' He winked and smiled before grimacing against the pain.
'Are you alright Fofo?' asked Iakopo. 'Do you want me to call the ambulance?'
'No, no' said the Fofo. 'I will be alright. Bring that jar of kava on the bench.'
Iakopo took the jar and held it up to the Fofo's lips. He drank deeply until it was emptied.
'You better go now' said the Fofo. 'I will be alright I said, now go' he snapped.
Iakopo stood up, and walked out of the house. He walked passed Hemana and down the main street of Fagamalo. Hemana ran after him.
'Iakopo' he yelled, what happened to you? Why are you covered in blood? Why are you holding your arms up like that Iakopo. Iakopo? Why are you laughing?'
V for Vegas fucked around with this message at 11:03 on Jan 20, 2013
|# ¿ Jan 20, 2013 10:58|
Alright toanoradian - Bangsaaat!
Sundel Bolong Udah Jalan-Jalan
Tukul dismissed his initial fears after finding out that the ‘mysterious woman’ was simply one of those Caucasians. He had seen them wandering the place, asking anyone they came across various questions in some sort of hesitant groans. This one was a woman with long blonde hair, a big backpack and a pair of sunglasses on her big forehead. She was also dressed indecently, with a tight-fitting shirt (he noticed her large bosom) and short pants. Why is a blonde western female tourist 'mysterious' without giving us something mysterious she is doing. She noticed A lot of noticing going on here - some more lechery here by the protagonist would be juicy - More Bosoms and Leering At Bosoms! We Demand It! him and walked to his cart.
She looked at the cart and then to Tukul. “These… are meatballs?” she asked.I'm confused on the language in this piece. She is speaking Malay? But doesn't understand his Malay? But then does understand what he says after not understanding it?
Tukul nodded. “Beef meatballs.” The foreign woman blinked at him. “Made from cow. Mooo. Yes, cow.”
“I can have some?” she asked.
“You have money?” Tukul asked.
She reached into her pockets and pulled out some wrinkled notes. She gave him enough for at least five bowls. He smiled and took them all. “Do you want it spicy?” She blinked at him again. Tukul let out his tongue and exhaled rapidly, swinging his hands in front of his mouth. The girl stared at him and backed away slightly. ADVERB ALERT
Of course she didn’t knew! what this mean!!, Tukul thought. He showed her a bottle of chilli. “Do you want the meatballs with this?” Proof read
“It makes this feel hot,” Tukul said, pointing to his I was hoping this sentence was heading somewhere else tongue. He put his thumbs up. “Delicious.”
“Ah! Okay then,” she said. Her backpack had disappeared.
A Few minutes later, Tukul finished makinghow was he making them? Describe sounds, smells etc this is a great chance to bring the authentic food cart experience to the reader his meatballs. He also added a generous helping of chilli. He put in fewer meatballs than usual. He handed the bowl to her. “Be careful, it’s hot.”I'm all for short sentences, but you've got 4 here doing the job of one or two. 'Tukul took the meatballs off the grill, still sizzling from the acrid coalfire. He added (less than a full serve) to the soup with (more than a full helping) of chilli. Be careful, it's hot' he said, passing it over.
Without hesitation, she grabbed the bowl and put her fingers in. She licked her lips as her white fingers picked up a meatball. It went inside her mouth. She swallowed them, without chewing. She smiled. “This is quite good.”
“Well, of course! I'm Mang Tukul, the best in town!”I think this is the only thing we learn about Tukul
She continued ‘eating’.I am still 'reading' and 'critiquing' She then bowed her head to suck on the soup. As she raised her head, she ignored the strands of blonde hair now blocking her face. “So proud of that, when you lived in a town of this size.”
“You speak well,” Tukul said. He began to pull his cart away.
She finished drinking up everything. She then dropped the bowl. “Well, of course. I’ve lived here. For sooo many years. Don’t tell me you don’t know me, Mang Tukul?”
Tukul felt his senses weakening.I don't know what this means The woman in front of him put her hands on the cart and leaned over. He couldn’t help but look at the woman’s chest. She then put her hands on the hem of her shirt and pulled it up. Tukul tried to cover his eyes, but he still stared at her.
As she lifted her shirt slowly, Tukul saw her white skin slowly turning darker and a faint trace of blood running down her bellybutton. As Tukul looked up, he saw that she didn’t have a stomach. Instead, there was a big hole, with bits of bone and organs peeking out of its side, as if someone took a big chunk out of her stomach. Tukul fell down on his bottom as the white foreigner in front of him turned darker and its body extended up, her shirt replaced with a long, white bloody gown.Is this some kind of pocong?
“But…what?” Tukul said.
The thing’s appendages shot out and grabbed Tukul’s shoulders, pinning him to the ground. It bent forward and moved its head closer to Tukul’s. Tukul shivered, staring into those bloodshot eyes. “I’ve been outside, of course,” it said. “Do you know what…spirits do out there? Out there, on the land of the whites?”
Tukul couldn’t process what happened to her face. It shook, it buzzed, it cracked. All he sensed next was darkness and a faint whiff of spicy meatballs.
“They killed people.”
Overall not too bad, I felt like I was reading a trashy Thai horror flick - so that's good! But if that's where it's going, needs to be hammed up. Maybe if there had been some more back story on why this happened to Tukul it would have fleshed it out a lot more and made it feel like a more complete story. Vengeful spirit, Capricious minor god. Whatever - you had another 1k words to play around with. Maybe submit closer to the deadline next time.
|# ¿ Jan 21, 2013 13:00|
I vote for a LOSER RESURGENT tag with this
|# ¿ Jan 21, 2013 23:48|
Let's do this.
|# ¿ Jan 22, 2013 22:56|
Thanks toanoradian, yeah I'm afraid my stories often take place on TV backlots where the walls are just thin, one-sided façades that are OK for a once over, but do not hold up to scrutiny.
|# ¿ Jan 23, 2013 21:51|
Solve for X 1209
Trelawny sat at the small kitchen table. He took out small pack of Lucky Strikes and lit one up, exhaling smoke that wreathed the bare 20 watt bulb hanging from the ceiling. He looked at the detective sitting across the table from him.
'When did I first notice something was wrong? Is that even the right question? There was always something off kilter about him, the flywheels of his mind always spun a little faster than most. You got the feeling that he angled away from reality in a direction you couldn't quite follow.' Trelawny took another draw from his Lucky Strike. 'Of course there were rumours of what he got up to even back then, although nothing was ever concrete. But if there was one moment when I noticed that his direction to the rest of us had changed, it would have been the game of chess we had in his lecture hall before the war.
We had played fairly regularly together as undergrads at Kings, but it was never anything too serious. On my part at least. He was mad about Capablanca and would play though his games constantly, especially after new games would come in after a tournament. It was the math of course, that was driving him. Quite before anything Turing was doing with it, he felt every game was a puzzle to be unlocked. That there was one true game of chess locked away inside the pieces. Fiendishly difficult yet devatatingly simple. He won our games more often than not, but after I went to the States to teach we fell out of touch and hadn't played each other in years until I came back home for a short visit. I recieved a telegram from him, quite short, abrupt really, in his usual style, simply asking me to come around to his school for a game that Saturday.
Well of course I went, but as soon as I arrived he ushered me from his office to an empty classroom. The whole place was deserted being the weekend and all, but he closed and locked the door behind us. Said something about not wanting to be disturbed. On the student desk on the front row a chess board had already been set up. As we sat down he told me that he would not be playing me, but that a machine would be playing me instead. I asked what he meant and he just smiled and moved his first piece out. Pawn to king four I think it was. I moved out my piece and then he did something quite peculiar. He dragged up a second desk with some papers on it and began writing on them. As he worked he explained he had created an algorithm that would assess the value of each piece, it's position, and give him an answer on the next move.
So we sat there, heads bent over the desk towards each other like two young students gossiping in the front of study hall. With him just working away furiously at his calculations. Each move took around half and hour for him to compute. I asked him if it would not just be easier for him to make the move, but he shook his head. 'No' he said. 'Only math can find the true move.' That phrase has always stuck in my head ever since. 'Only math can find the true move.'
Well we continued on for most of the afternoon until he made a horrible blunder, left a rook en prise I think it was. He looked quite shaken when he made the move, he knew it would lose him the game, but the math had told him what to do so he did it anyway. He looked back over his notes and shook his head. Got up quickly, shook my hand, said he hoped I had a good trip, and then walked out of the room. I didn't see him again for five years.'
Trelawny butted out another cigaratte and stood up. He walked to the small window that looked out into the snow. A train whistle sounded in the distance.
'The next time I heard from him was by telegram. Again, it was simply a short message. 'Have completed the machine stop come at once stop'. Well, I didn't have the foggiest what he meant, but I was heading home anyway and it was a simple enough thing to drop by. But when I got to the school I was told he had been fired twelve months earlier. What for they would not tell me, but I had never heard of it so it must have been scandalous for them to hush it up. I feared some of the old rumours might have been true so I rushed over here.
Gods, he looked like he had aged twenty years in the time I had seen him. Well, you know what he looks like I guess don't you? Just horrible. I had come in and barely removed my coat when he started without any preamble into a long rambling monologue about algorithms and this abstract pure mathematical argument. Never my strong suit you know, application of math was always my field. But from what I could follow it seemed quite advanced from what is being bandied about in the literature. Suddenly he stopped and simply said 'I built it.'
'Built what?' I said.
'A Turing machine.' he replied.
Well, I can tell you I didn't know what to say. You may not know this detective, but a Turing machine is not something you build, it is an intellectual exercise, like Schrodinger's Cat. No one ever put a cat in a box with some decaying radioactive material. Just as no one has 'built' a Turing machine. It is merely a way to think of a procedure of ascertaining the truth or falsity of an assertion in a finite number of steps. For heaven's sake, one of the core components it needs is an infinite amount of tape to run through it. You could never 'build' one.
I told him that and all he said was 'you don't need an infinite tape if the correct algorithm is given at the start. The right algorithm will tell you the truth of any question.'
'You mean any mathematical question' I asked.
He looked away and asked me to come by again tomorrow. He would have it ready to demonstrate to me then.
When I came back, I found the place as you see it now. It is like it was last night, except for his body on the couch with the back of his head blown out and the smashed pile of gears, rotors and tapes lying on the table. '
Trelawney tapped the last cigarette out of its packet. He crumpled the pack in his hand, dropping it onto the table.
'I can see him now, detective, entering into that infernal machine the one question he needed so desperately to know the answer to. Then, with the cold implacable logic of the universe, the machine spitting back out the one, ultimate answer. Math showed him the only true move he could make.'
|# ¿ Jan 27, 2013 04:00|
|# ¿ Jan 28, 2013 10:53|
The other members of the triumvirate hain't responded to messages sent last night, so I might have to pull the trigger pretty soon. If I don't have responses by the time I get back from work (around 10 hours from this time), I'll go rogue and take the shot.
10 hours? I'll be dead in 10 hours without a prompt.
|# ¿ Jan 29, 2013 22:23|
all up in this.
|# ¿ Feb 4, 2013 08:23|
To myself: Must be written in the style of Matthew Reilly.
|# ¿ Feb 4, 2013 23:26|
I'm out of town this weekend so putting this up now.
Flash rule - Written in the style of Matthew Reilly
Krakatoa 2: The Krakening. - 1000.
The world exploded around them as the super-volcano erupted.
Vance stumbled to his feet and looked through the shattered window of the research station. Where the mountain, only five miles away, had stood there was nothing. A million tons of rock vaporised in a second. Above the remains of the volcano, a mushroom cloud billowed up thousands of feet into the stratosphere.
Vance shook his head to dislodge the ringing in his ears the massive blast had caused. Kristen was still on the ground, her hands clutching her head. Vance grabbed her, pulling her to her feet.
‘Are you OK?’
She nodded. ‘I’ll be fine.’
Vance looked back out the window. ‘We’ve got about five minutes to haul rear end out of here. Once that plume collapses, a pyroclastic cloud of superheated ash travelling over five hundred miles an hour is going to rush down the mountain and destroy everything. There won’t be a living thing left within twenty miles.’
Kristen stared at the mountain. ‘We’re too close, we can’t out run it. What about the plane?’
Vance looked out the other side of the building at the runway. A couple of Mordred’s black armoured mercenaries were stumbling on the tarmac, recovering from the blast.
‘I don’t think that’s a good idea either. The air is going to be full of…’
A boulder the size of a small car crashed down on the runway, squashing a mercenary into paste.
Vance looked at Kristen. ‘I think I know another way.’
2 minutes to the pyroclastic cloud
The sleek black power sleds Mordred’s men had used to drive up the lava tunnels and infiltrate the station were still there.
Kristen stared. ‘These aren’t fast enough, they barely moved when they brought us up here.’
‘These are ATV ThunderCobras, designed by the US Navy for SEAL covert insertions. This hood on the back is a sound suppressor, like a large muffler, that reduces the throughput and makes them silent. But,‘ Vance bent down and released a catch at the bottom of the engine ‘you can take them off.’
Vance heaved the black bulky hood onto its side, unveiling the engine underneath. ‘Rolls Royce Ascot Mark IV Turbofans. They were hauling a couple of tons of gear up these tunnels, with suppressors, and they still made a good 30 miles an hour. Without the suppressor, and just the two of us, I’m betting these babies can get up to at least 150. Since we’re underground, we’ll be safe from the ash.’
Vance sat on the driver seat. Kristen paused while climbing up behind him. ‘Uh Vance,’ she said. ‘These tunnels, they’re old lava tubes right?’
A rumble shook the earth.
‘So please tell me that isn’t what I think it is’ said Kristen, pointing up the tunnel. In the distance, a bright spot of light had appeared in the darkness. Like a flash flood streaming down an old river bed, millions of tons of lava were being forced out of the volcano into the tubes.
‘poo poo, get on now.’
The engines roared to life and they sped down the tunnel. Kristen clutching to Vance.
The smooth black basalt of the tunnel surrounded them. Kristen couldn’t help looking back over her shoulder at the approaching wave of molten rock. They had barely gone a mile down the tunnel before she saw it reach the spot where the remaining sleds were parked, disintegrating them in seconds, as it roared onwards, completely filling the tube.
‘poo poo, it’s moving fast Vance, get this thing going’
‘What do you think I’m doing.’
The speedometer on the sled crept up to 150mph. The black sides of the tunnel whipped past. Vance racked his brain trying to remember if he had seen any cave ins on the way up.
As fast as he pushed the engines, the lava was moving faster. A maelstrom of molten rock over 2000 degrees rushing down the tubes like the wrath of an angry god.
Kristen couldn’t look any more and buried her head into Vance’s shoulders ‘oh god oh god oh god’.
The lava was only 800 yards behind them now. 700 yards. 600 yards. The walls around the tunnel were now lit up as bright as day, and the searing heat began to scorch their backs. Vance jammed down the throttle and the needle crept up to 180mph.
500 yards. 400 yards. 300.
Smoke began rising off the engines, the air was like hell’s furnace, the oxygen being replaced by thick sulphuric fumes. Vance couldn’t even hear Kristen’s screams over the tremendous roar coming from behind them. He didn’t dare to look back and focused on the floor ahead of them. He knew they weren’t going to make it.
Then ahead, a small spot of light appeared. Vance leant down low over the controls. From the light of the lava behind him he could see a small vent leading off the side of the main tube with daylight at the end. He had one chance at this, he wrenched the steering column to the left and the sled veered into the vent.
The boiling rock was only yards behind them now as they launched out of the vent into the air… and into a gorge that dropped out under them a thousand feet to a river running far below.
Vance yelled to Kristen ‘hold on to me’ and locked his arms around the sleds’ steering column as he hit the emergency brake.
With a ‘pop’ two parachutes shot out of the back of the sled, arresting its descent. Beside them only a few dozen yards away, a torrent of lava continued to poor out of the vent, like a massive golden waterfall steaming into the river below. Convection currents swirled the sled around, until it drifted down to the far bank, throwing Vance and Kristen face first into the mud.
Vance started to get up, spitting dirt out of his mouth when the distinct sound of the cocking of an AK47 made him stop.
‘Well poo poo Vance’ said Mordred. ‘Looks like you've plum fell out of the fire and into the frying pan.’
|# ¿ Feb 8, 2013 20:39|
|# ¿ Feb 10, 2013 12:27|
In this to win this. Blood shall flow.
Dragon Age fanfiction incoming.
|# ¿ Feb 12, 2013 20:22|
I think I'm done with my submission, but I'm not sure on how the Flash prompts work... are any of the previous ones mentioned valid? I was under the impression it was judges only (basically stone's one about timezones only).
I think the answer you're looking for is - shut the gently caress up and post your story.
|# ¿ Feb 13, 2013 21:33|
Last Day - 670
James punched away at the calculator. ‘Thirteen times twenty-seven’ he murmured to himself.
Across the room, Kate didn’t even look up from the box she was packing. ‘Three hundred and fifty one.’
‘Uhh, yeah that’s right. How’d you do that?’
‘Cans of food at my uncle’s shop came in boxes of thirteen. For stocktake we added up all the batches so anything times thirteen is like, ingrained or something.’
‘Okay then what is, hang on a sec,’ James punched some more digits into the calculator. ‘Thirteen times forty-three?’
‘Five hundred and fifty nine.’
‘poo poo the bed. Wow, to think all this time I’ve been married to Rainwoman.’
‘Have you ever thought about using your multiplication powers for good instead of evil?’
‘I shouldn’t have told you about that, now you’re being a jerk.’ Kate picked up an empty shoebox and threw it at James.
James caught it and threw it back. ‘How about multiplying the number of customers we don’t get?’
‘Huh, yeah right, multiplying anything by zero is still zero genius.’
James looked around the small storage room where the last of the inventory was being packed ready for shipping. 'I would have done for some simple addition to be honest' he said.
Kate's cheeks puffed up with the air of a hundred past arguments that she blew impotently out through her mouth. She turned back to the box in front of her and continued stacking small newspaper wrapped objects inside it.
They worked together in silence through the rest of the afternoon. James wrapping items with newspaper and handing them to Kate to nestle inside the next cardboard box marked 'Continental Tracking'. Once it was full he would pick it up and take it to the loading dock door, ready for collection. Shadows from the one small, barred window crept across the cement floor until they merged with the gloom gathering in the corners.
Kate ripped out an arms length of tape, holding it up to her teeth to bite it off. She sealed it over the top of the box.
'Well, that's the last one' she said.
'See, I told you we would be able to finish it all today.'
'You said that yesterday. And the day before that.'
'Well I was right today.'
Kate shook her head. 'Alright then Nostradamus, is that everything?'
'Storefront is clean. Office is clean. That's everything.'
'Good, I guess. What about out the front?'
'I'd forgotten about that. Alright, well, come on. I've got the ladder here.'
They walked out of the storeroom through the empty office and into the front of the shop. Long bare counters ran along the sides of the walls where an empty cash register sat like a bad pun at the end of a long, unfunny joke.
James unlocked and opened the front door, setting off the tinkle of the bell above the frame. The evening street was empty, not even haunted by the ghost of a shopper.
They looked up at the sign:
James climbed up the ladder and unhooked the sign. He handed it down to Kate and climbed back down.
Holding it up close you could see the thick layers of paint where Kate had to apply several coats to cover up the lopsided love heart James had painted on the sign.
'I guess we can keep this can't we?' Kate said.
'I guess so. I don't know where we're going to put it.'
'That depends on where we put ourselves, that's the hard part.'
'Well, not as hard as some problems we have.' said James.
'I don't know, like what's thirteen times twelve?'
'A hundred... Oh you bastard.' Kate hit James with the sign. 'I'm going to kill you'
James laughed, running back into the store. Kate chased after him, smiling, as the front door shut behind her.
|# ¿ Feb 16, 2013 22:30|
|# ¿ Feb 18, 2013 22:53|
You're a classical music fan I can tell.
|# ¿ Feb 19, 2013 02:55|
The constellation of Virgo is representative of many identities, all related to maidens, purity and fertility.
|# ¿ Feb 19, 2013 03:58|
Man, Ask/Tell has gotten pretty heavy these days.
Also - rejection! Now I feel like a real writer.
|# ¿ Feb 19, 2013 20:29|
The Sons of Saranya - 980
‘Have you been practising Viswanathan?’
Even now, all these years later, the clipped English tone of that phrase from his old guru made Vishy’s fingers twitch involuntarily. The memory of the long, thin cane that he could see still hanging on the wall would never leave him.
‘I have guru,’ he replied.
‘Hmmph,’ snorted the old man. ‘Chasing girls and watching films I bet. Why have you stopped your lessons? You need them you know, you don't have the skills of your brother. He was always better than you.’
Vishy took a deep breath. ‘I know, but I have one more piece to play for you,’ he said.
He adjusted the sitar on his lap and closed his eyes. His fingers gliding over the strings as the slow notes of the Alap began to form in the air. The long chords thrummed in the humid, Chennai air. The music was unfocused and meandering like a young boy’s mind; ready to take an imprint of its surrounds. Slowly, haphazardly, the notes that would form a life exposed themselves. A soft, harmonic strum followed by a strong, atonal clash.
A birthday party in the slums. One boy runs along the twisting alleys with a large wrapped present held aloft in his arms, followed by a horde of other small children, yelling and shouting. They are watched by another boy, sitting quietly on the steps. The boy with the present comes to a stop before the boy on the steps. ‘Here Shivnath, open this with me.’ The quiet boy, Shivnath, looks into his own face, mirrored before him. ‘It is our present Anand’ he says. They tear away the paper, worth a week’s wages, to see the object within.
It is a sitar.
Imperceptibly the rhythm of the Alap began a metamorphosis into the Jhala, as the rhythm of the music, the rhythm of life formed the piece. Vishy began strumming on the chikari strings, squeezing beat patterns between notes. The notes now began to form into their asthais, the melodic lines of the piece. From the low, harmonic notes of the Alap, the primary asthai pattern was found. Its notes flowed from the sitar in languid, thoughtful phrases like footsteps in controlled, measured paces. In counterpoint came the opposing antara melody, its strident atonal clash disrupting the flow of the asthai. The two lines becoming lost then found then lost again and found again.
A concert hall in Chennai. On stage, two young men take turns performing on their sitars with the backing of an old guru tabla player. Both born under the same star, their fundamental opposition would mock any astrologer. Anand in bright red, he strikes up playing strong, complex ragas. The music radiating out and repeating in on itself in fugues and innovations. Shivnath dressed in black, methodically and implacably works through the melakarta ragas. Delving deeply into the traditional forms and melodies.
The Gat’s main melodic lines, conceived in the Alap and grown in the Jhala, were now clear. The merging of the two opposing strains, working together to produce something new, something unheard. The rote compositions from early years of unending practice had become embellished with improvised flourishes and divergences. It was a line of clear melody running through New York, Vienna, Shanghai as it twined around itself.
‘We’re the kings of the world Shivnath, don’t you see? Don’t you see how far we have come?‘
‘The great Viswanathans? Really Anand?’ mocked Shivnath. ‘This is not why we play. This is not what the music is about. I told you I have finished playing. I will not go to Dehli.’
‘One last show Shiva. I promise. I have been working on a great piece. This is the one I have sacrificed everything for.’
‘Sacrifice? You were never serious about this Anny. This was all a game to you.’
‘A game? Do you think I married that bitch for a laugh? I needed to get in the family so her grandfather would teach me his secret compositions.’
‘Whatever Anny, I am done.’
‘Please Shiva, one last show, and then I can.’
‘I can what?’
‘Please Shiva, come to Dehli. I will never ask anything of you again.’
Vishy had now reached the Drut, and the tempo had increased. His fingers hummed over the strings. The order imposed on chaos by the music began to fall apart, the melodies burst free of the constraints of their rhythms as the rhythms themselves blurred into each other. The order of the universe is only that which swirls briefly out of the chaos, before chaos returns again.
The wind blew in through the broken window pane. He looked down onto his brother’s face, pale now from the lack of blood. On the bed lay their old sitar, warped by time and the humidity that their small shack could never protect it from. It was a wonder they had ever been able to learn to play it at all. Picking it up, he plucked an out of tune note. ‘You were always ahead of me,’ he said. ‘You saw what I saw. But you had to go first, as always, to show me what do to.’ He put down the sitar and gently closed his brother’s unseeing eyes.
The last note faded into the air. Vishy looked up and saw the sun hanging low on the horizon. How long had he been playing? How many years had this piece taken to play? How many lifetimes? He sat the sitar on the floor and looked at his guru, the one audience member for the greatest performance of his life.
‘You have been practising Viswanathan,’ the guru smiled. ‘I have nothing left to teach you.’
Vishy stood up, pressed his hands together and bowed. ‘Thank you guru. I have nothing left to play.’ Leaving the sitar behind on the floor, Anand turned and walked out of the house.
Virgo / A/T
|# ¿ Feb 25, 2013 03:23|
Argh come on daddy needs his prompt.
A week in the life of a thunderdomer
Monday: Argh, I need a prompt.
Tuesday: Sweet, this is an awesome prompt. In.
Wednesday - Saturday.
Sunday: Argh gently caress I have to write this thing, what a stupid prompt.
Monday: Gimme a prompt already!
|# ¿ Feb 26, 2013 00:42|
I think the word you're looking for is
Thanks for the prompt, I have a new found appreciation for Indian classical music, and good work on the crits.
|# ¿ Feb 26, 2013 07:44|
|# ¿ Mar 6, 2013 10:38|
Return to the BlackCat. 870.
A cry went up from the bow of the launch. Dinni snatched back his hand from where it had been trailing in the water. ‘Ma hand. Ma hand,’ he cried. He held it up. Fingers pruned from sitting in the water, skin turning black from sunburn.
‘Your hand’s fine idiot,’ muttered Graw.
‘I thought. I dreamed a shark bitten it off.’
Graw cuffed him over the ear. ‘Keep your damned fool hand out of the water then.’
The excitement over, the rest of the men lay down into whatever slivers of shade they had been using to cower from the sun. Silence washed back over the small boat, broken only by the ocean’s low swells that breached against the hull. The constant slap of water only drove the agony of scorched throats. Salt rimmed eyes stared at the flat horizon.
Linnaeus crouched at the gunwales, staring at the half-ration of water in his cup. He took a small sip, but the moisture was soaked up immediately into his cracked tongue like water into a dry river bed. His thirst burned unabated.
A fist slammed into his shoulder, jolting the cup out of his hand and spilling the water into the mix of saltwater, piss and poo poo sloshing around the bottom of the hull.
‘Outtameway,’ snarled Graw as he clambered past.
Linnaeus stared at the dropped cup. Twelve hours until the next ration. Twelve hours in the ovens of Hell. He curled up against the side of the launch and began to tap his head against the planks.
Looking down at the keel, Linnaeus saw the hatch. Of course, he thought, why didn’t I think of that before. He glanced around, the rest of the men were lying like the dead. No one even looking in his direction. Slowly Linnaeus uncurled and crept over to the hatch. He unclasped the latch, lifted it open and slid inside.
His slipped down the ladder into the darkness below. His foot came down onto the soft mud of the floor of the BlackCat. The bar room was empty now, with its tables and chairs all awry as though a crowd of people had just seen a commotion on the street and rushed out to see it. The only person left was Riley, still standing behind the bar polishing a glass. Linnaeus stumbled over to him and took a seat.
‘Gods Riley, am I glad to see you.’
‘Good to see you too, sir. What can I get you?’
‘Beer Riley. For the love of God, a beer.’
‘Very good, sir.’
Riley pushed a tall frosted glass of ale across the bar. Linnaeus snatched it up and drained it off. He slammed it back down on the counter.
‘Of course, sir.’
Linnaeus lay his head down on the cool copper plating of the bartop. Outside, a fish swam by the window.
Linnaeus reverie was interrupted by a dull thud from above, followed by gradual steps of a person climbing down a ladder. His ladder. Linnaeus sat up and turned around. In the dim light of the bar he saw Graw standing in the BlackCat.
‘Well, well now,’ smiled Graw. ‘So this is where you’ve been hiding you little snotnose.’
‘How did you get in here?’ asked Linnaeus. ‘No one else can come here.’
‘I’ve been watching you I have,’ said Graw. ‘Here barman, gimme a drink. Dry as a bull’s bum going up a hill backwards I am.’
‘Of course, sir,’ said Riley.
Graw eyed Linnaeus over the top of the glass as he drank his beer. He finished it and set the glass down on the countertop.
‘OK you little poo poo, let’s get some rules straight. From now on, you never come here without me.’
‘Shut it. And you’re to bring Thommo and Ballast down here as well.’
Linnaeus looked at Riley whose brows furrowed slightly. ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea,’ said Linnaeus.
‘You don’t have any more ideas, alright? You do what I tells you to do.’
‘Mister Graw,’ Linnaeus swallowed. ‘More people can be dangerous. This place is unstable.’
‘I said shut it. Now, I’m going to have a nap. Don’t leave until I say so.’ Graw plodded over to a couch on the side of the room and lay down. Linnaeus sat at the bar.
‘I’m not sure your friends will be up to the standards of Management, Mr Linnaeus,’ said Riley. ‘We have a policy about membership you know.’
‘I know, Riley. I know.’
Linnaeus sat watching Graw as he slept. It was with a mixture of relief and dread when he finally woke up.
‘Gods noodlelegs. My head’s spinning.’
‘I told you, this place isn’t quite right. We can’t stay here too long.’
‘Alright then, back up the hatch.’ Graw stumbled over to the ladder.
‘You first Mr Graw,’ said Linnaeus.
‘No, sir,’ sneered Graw. ‘After you. I insist.’
Linnaeus took hold of the ladder and began to climb back up. Back up to the light, the heat, the sun, the agony.
A cry went up from the bow of the launch. Dinni was yelling, holding up a bloody stump. A shark had bitten off his hand.
|# ¿ Mar 11, 2013 00:18|
Before i post my story i`d like to say that i wrote it on a free version of Wordpad. This means i had to manually count each word. Having done so twice i think i`m within the word limit. But if i post more than 1000 words it`ll be because i miscounted.
edit: You can't count.
V for Vegas fucked around with this message at 11:57 on Mar 17, 2013
|# ¿ Mar 17, 2013 11:16|
|# ¿ Apr 2, 2013 20:28|
OK it is on CSC. Better not steal my Mythbuster/Pirate fanfic idea.
|# ¿ Apr 2, 2013 21:18|
The Library of Unwritten Books - 805. Captain Tory.
"So, uh, Uncle Tory, what exactly is it you do here?" said Tim.
"Well, I'm a librarian aren't I," replied Tory.
Tim looked around the bare apartment. "I don't see many books."
Tory smiled. "Ah lad, right you are. That's because it's a library of unwritten books, see?"
"Uh," Tim hesitated. "How can you be a librarian of unwritten books?"
"It's like, well. It's like I'm a harbourmaster see, standing out on the pier at night. All I have is one small lantern of me own imagination to try and see out over the water. I know ships are out there, in the darkness, sailing to and fro. But I can't see what they look like or where they're going. Occasionally one may venture closer to shore where my small lantern can shed some light on it. But many of these books, like the ships, stay out in the darkness. But they still need a light to refer to. That's my job."
"Well wouldn't that make you a lighthouse, not a harbourmaster?"
"Look kid, it's my metaphor, I'll call it what I want."
"But if no one has written a book, there's nothing to catalogue," said Tim.
"You'd think that, but it's not quite true. Everyone wants to have written a book, but very few people ever want to actually write one. It's the writing part that's hard, see. Much easier just to dream up your perfect book in your head without all that messy writing business. All I do is catalogue what people are thinking. And there you have it, a perfect library filled with perfect books that are never written."
"I'm not sure I understand Uncle Tory."
"Tell you what kid, as a favour to you for helpin' me, I'll catalogue your unwritten book in the library."
"I don't have one."
"Don't piss about with me, you must have a book that you think about, in the quiet hours, that you want to have written."
"Well, yes. Sort of."
"OK then out with it, and I will catalogue it. Only a twenty dollar stocking fee."
Tim frowned. "What? Twenty dollars for me to tell you a story? Shouldn't you pay me?" he said.
"No it wouldn't work that way see. I'm cataloging you right? Your work will be in the library, numbered and all. The money is just a way of confirming like, in your own mind, that makes it a real transaction."
"I don't know Uncle Tory. Twenty dollars?"
"Flat rate. Applies to all writers I'm afraid."
"OK then, if you say so," Tim fished out his wallet. "But this is my entire week's pocket money. I don't have any more."
"That's fine Timmy boy. Fine and dandy." Tory's eyes focused on the note. "Now just hand it over, there's a good boy. No need to tell your ma 'bout this by the by. You'll go right in the library you will."
Tim slowly held out the note and Tory leaped forward and snatched it away, stuffing it down into his pocket, smiling. He could taste the whiskey already.
"So," said Tim. "Do you want to hear the story?"
"What? Oh right then. Let's have it," said Tory. "What's it called?"
"It's a murder mystery called 'The Mystery of Murder Mansion.'"
Tory frowned. "That's it?"
"Yeah, what's wrong with that?"
"Nothing, nothing. Just kind of, well, boring innit?"
"I think it sounds mysterious," said Tim.
"Well if by 'sounds mysterious' you mean it sounds like the word mysterious, being that the word is right there in the title, then yeah. I guess. But it's a bit vague. What's it about?"
"Well, it's about this boy who solves..."
Tory slapped his face. "Oh gawd, stop stop stop," he said. "Look kid. People don't want to read about that guff nowadays."
"Well what do they want to read?"
"You know, stupid poo poo. Like robot vampires that have sex with zombies while fighting off an alien invasion."
"I don't read that sort of stuff."
"Well you're not most people. Tell you what, instead of 'mystery house of mysteries', or whatever you called it, lets call it, uh, 'The Unctillious Adventures of Candyshreikers Anonymous'. A classic whodunit where a three hundred year old Jack Russell terrier must solve an ancient pharaoh's curse with the help of a talking prosthetic."
"Never you mind. Kids these days, I don't know."
"Of course, that's a grand book," said Tory.
"And that's my entry into the library of unwritten books?"
"Too right it is. Now shove off, it's almost closing time down at the local and your Uncle Tory has to go and check out some works by Glen Livet."
"Is he a Scottish author?"
"Yeah, well, Scottish at least. Now I tol' you. Bugger off."
|# ¿ Apr 6, 2013 08:56|
The Drone of the Tower by Wrageowrapper
no word count i had to manually count each word. Having done so twice i think the number of words is 830. But if i post more than 1000 words it`ll be because i miscounted.
Baz gulped. It was about all he could do.
|# ¿ Apr 9, 2013 05:46|
Noah, Noah, Noah. Let me tell you the story of two 18teen year old boys entering an abonend bunker.
|# ¿ Apr 9, 2013 06:04|
IN with a story to be assigned by Sitting Here.
I don't think Hank the Talking Vibrator can be improved upon but I'm looking forward to seeing you try.
|# ¿ Apr 9, 2013 07:49|
Original story: The Drone of the Tower - Losing entry for week 10.
Original word count: 830
Rewritten word count: 750
The name whispered through the narrow alleyways of the favela. Like an invisible butterfly it flittered from lip to lip, never said out loud, never forgotten. Whenever protection money was handed over to the gangs - or to the policia - the name was muttered underbreath like a curse. When children were whisked off the street by their parents to avoid the bullets that filled the streets, the name was offered up in prayer. When a junky broke through a bathroom window to steal for the next hit, the name rained down in anger.
The poor, the hungry, the weak, the exploited; they lit their candles for one name. For one man.
Barros, son of Garros.
The saviour of the favela crouched beneath the overhanging roof to stay out of the rain. Fishing amongst his rags he took out a crumpled cigarette and a lighter. After a few strikes the flint caught, its spark flaring brightly against the darkening evening. He drew deep on the fire he had created. Exhaling, he looked through the cool blue smoke at Magdalena, sitting on her front step.
‘So, grandmother,’ said Barros. ‘I have come to say farewell.’
‘Fare me no wells, Barros son of Garros,’ said Magdalena. ‘I know where you are going. To see Vorpale.’
Barros spat on the ground at the mention of the name. ‘Aye, grandmother. I am. You know it is time.’
Magdalena reached her hand into a small brown bag she held in her lap and pulled out a plantain.
‘You see this plantain Barros? They always remind me of your father. He had stuffed plantain between his ears and would not listen to wise words when he heard them. This plantain, I think it is reminding me of you now. Who knows where Vorpale’s secret cash room is? Is it wise old Magdalena, or is it stupid plantain head Barros? Well?’
‘It is wise Magdalena,’ said Barros, smiling.
‘And who knows when Vorpale will be in his secret cash room, without any guards? Is it wise old Magdalena, or Mr Stupid Plantain Head?’
‘You know all, grandmother. But I cannot ask you.’
‘Nobody asked anything, who has a stupid head full of plantain and will do what I say?’
Barros sighed. ‘When will I live to best you in an argument?’
‘Your father asked me the same question. For a stupid plantain, he should have known better. Now come on.’
The two figures moved out into the rain that was still falling, the water draining away into shallow ditches that just overflowed again, pouring water back onto the streets. As they made their way uphill, the detritus of poverty; broken chairs, empty bottles and fallen souls, swept past them and behind them and into history. The water began to rise, covering their feet, then their ankles, then up to their shins. Magdalena grabbed Barros’ arm and stopped, leaning into the shadow of a building and out of the current.
‘Hold Barros. Hold. I need to rest.’
‘Wait here grandmother. Just tell me the way and you can stay here.’
‘No Barros. I said no. I just need. I just need some strength.’
The song began a hundred years before in the slave fields, its tune shaped by hatred and misery, its rhythm formed by beatings and punishment. But it was a song that drew strength from oppression, and gave strength to the oppressed. A song that was passed down from generation to generation, kept secret but kept alive as new oppressions, and new masters came to power. It was the song of hope that Barros began to sing to Magdalena, sodden and wet, in the back corner of the favela.
Although Barros would never know it, these were his last moments that would immortalise him forever, as together they stumbled forward in the rain, singing softly at first, and then louder and louder until the song of hope echoed through the narrow alleyways of the favela. Like an invisible trumpet, it was shouted from mouth to mouth, never to be forgotten. Whenever protection money was refused to be paid to the gangs - or to the policia - the song was sung like a talisman. When children played on the streets that had been taken back by the people, they sung the song with joy and laughter. Whenever a family came together again at the end of a long day, the song was sung with quiet thanks.
The song of hope. The song of Barros, son of Garros.
|# ¿ Apr 14, 2013 13:46|
|# ¿ Nov 29, 2020 23:36|
I am now too drunk too complete.
That never stopped Martello. Now you have to post something.
|# ¿ Apr 14, 2013 22:21|