Thunderdome XXIV: Keyboard Kings
I don't understand NZDT, so I'm in, and here is 1613 cunts of words. Break me upon the wheel of the thunderdome.
"What a lovely job this is," David muttered as the heavy rain hit the windscreen, forming flowing waves as the wipers struggled, the splatting accompanying a continuously chiming low fuel light. The sky was a sullen grey with no hint of the warm summer sun that it surely concealed. On the seat next to him was a small parcel, wrapped over-securely in layer upon layer of packing tape and a large envelope with "DO NOT FOLD" stamped in large red letters across it.
"A lovely job, in a lovely place."
David had, in fact, never been to the village in Wales, but he stuck to the stubborn viewpoint of if he couldn't pronounce it then it was poo poo. Now, three hours into a five hour journey he farted and pulled off into a service station. After slopping some petrol into the tank he scurried to the kiosk and grabbed a basket, filling it to the brim with junk and caffeine. The floppy haired youth behind the register rang up the goods, and asked if he wanted a lottery ticket.
"What the hell," said David, "got a big score coming, I'll take ten!"
David's appearance in the community was commented on, and the information that a stranger had arrived was spread from each epicentre through dark looks and significant nods. He seemed to have brought with him an aura of gloom, he had certainly brought unseasonably poor weather. And so David spent the rest of the day attempting to gather information about his target. He prided himself on his work, he liked to think of himself as a contemporary Sherlock Holmes, gathering information on his prey and then striking. He was able to find out very little, it seemed that "Old Man Jones" was a modern day hermit, living at the old school house alone. During his investigations anytime someone had asked why he was searching out an old man, who had not been seen in the village for almost ten years, David had told them that he had something for him. This was, in fact, true.
He had driven with the parcel by his side visiting the pub, small supermarket and post office while water flooded down the cobbled streets, threatening to sweep him away every time he raced from car to door. His head was ringing with pain, and his back was sore, and his feet were soggy. Everything was poo poo. Finally he graced the B&B where he was to spend the night with his unique presence, bursting through the door like a sodden monster from the depths. Finally he caught a break when the old man who showed him to his damp mouldy room (and gruffly told him that the continental breakfast was six till seven, and that the front door was locked at 10pm every night), where the wind sang through the gaps in the window frame. The man acknowledged that it was he who took parcels and groceries up to the old school house, and that he might talk more if he was less thirsty.
The village had been scoured by the heavy rain, and what little colour remained from the holiday spot’s heyday was dulled by a grey summer sky. The cloud cover pressed down with promised showers and as David walked to the pub for his rendezvous the first few street lights flickered on, tricked by the dim glow filtering through the weight of ice suspended above them. The pub had been a great draw when the tourists had visited the village in order to experience nature and the sea side 5 miles distant, but now only farmers and pensioners visited. There were two beers available, an ale and a lager. David asked for a sweet white wine the landlord grumbled and stomped down to the cellar.
The man from the hotel joined David and, after a pint, and a whiskey chaser, he admitted that the old laddy had a few odd ways about him. He insisted that Neifion (for that was the hotelier’s name) open any packages and letters in the village, anything that was not addressed to Jones was to be disposed of immediately, and also anything peculiar. They decided to make for the house after a few drinks, so that David might be introduced to the hermit by a friendly face, and walked out the door as the last order bell was rung, early at 5 o’clock. Neifion asked exactly why David was here and after he used his familiar line Neifion insisted that they open the package.
They meandered back, and the half a bottle of wine sloshing about inside David made him feel thoroughly convivial. The day was growing darker, but by some miracle the sun had broken through the thick clouds, so that the ground before them was mottled with lights and shadows that deceived the drunken eye, making them trip and stumble. Nevertheless they were in fine spirits, and staggered up the stairs to the small dingy room that was to be David's lodging for the night.
They paused and rested, to consider the parcel, and to begin to drink the other half of David's wine from cheap tea cups that dinged when they hit their intoxicated teeth. After a few gulps David could hear the high pitched ringing in his ears that signalled the onset of true drunkenness, as well as the waves and the tolling of a bouy bell.
They gleefully set about opening the package, and attacked it with a pocket knife, hacking through the thick layers of brown tape to the sweet cardboard fruit. More and more carefully they teased open the final layers to find a small metal box. After pausing to refill their teacups with the sour vinegarish wine and to listen to the waves and bells David reached forward and opened the metal box. At once the room was plunged into darkness: the sun had momentarily lost its battle with the clouds and the waves roared through the walls. David quickly slapped the switch next to the door, and the pair blinked in the harsh light from the fluorescent bulb above them.
In the box upon a bed of cotton wool lay a tin thimble.
They laughed, embarrassed and disappointed, and Neifion said it was time to go, and was very surprised when David replied that he would just listen to the waves and bells for a bit, and finish his bottle. Neifion was anxious that they would return from the school house before dinner, and insisted that they leave straight away.
It took Neifion around an hour to acknowledge, through his drunken fog, that he was lost. Each time he considered it he dismissed the idea, he was raised here, man and boy. But every few minutes he was forced to stop, and would look around him at the trees and fields in a confused state and listen intently.
"I just don't understand it, the path is the same, but I can hear the sea! We should be miles away from it, the village isn't on the coast!"
David just smiled and nodded, and listened to the waves and the bells, and gripped the box in his pocket.
David was moving ahead of him now, faster and faster, until Neifion suddenly lost sight of him behind some scrubland - he started forward and saw obsidian waves lapping at a black sand beach. Waves crashed in his ears and he heard a buoy bell appealing loudly - he felt horribly sea sick. The wind rose and Neifion was buffeted to the ground by the force of the gale, the spray almost blinding him and his hands striking the freezing black sand. The clouds yielded up their harvest and the full force of the rain fell upon them, but David was unbowed. Neifion watched through squinting eyes as David put the thimble on his finger and held it to his ear. David’s face was a mask as he slowly but surely pushed until the thimble was enveloped by the soft flesh. Finally, with a shove the thimble was inside and David fell down, dead.
Neifion awoke to find himself in bed, with an IV in his arm. The nurse recounted how he had been found on the moors above the village, soaked through in a pneumonic state, and brought to the clinic where he had lain in state for three days. Next to the bed were two items that had been found in his jacket pocket, an envelope and a small metal box. Wild eyed he grabbed the box, but there was nothing inside. The envelope had a large crease down the centre, through the red letters stamped upon it.
We have reason to believe that you are inheritor of the estate of Mrs S___. Our agent will advise you of the particulars, and any expenses we have incurred in tracing the line of inheritance. While Mrs S___ passed away some time ago it has taken much expense to trace the sole beneficiary of the estate, and expect to be compensated for our efforts. We send with our agent an item which Mrs S___ specified should be supplied to the beneficiary as soon as possible following her death.
With the letter was a newspaper cutting: a woman’s body had been found at a beach in 1956, the morning after her house had been incinerated, husband presumed dead inside.
Neifion reached for the water next to the bed, and picked it up with a soft tinkle as his little finger hit the cup. The glass chimed on the floor, and the water spread in neat concentric ripples.
Slapping my words down, gently caress the haters.
CancerCakes fucked around with this message at 20:21 on Jan 17, 2013
|# ¿ Jan 17, 2013 18:08|
|# ¿ Oct 20, 2021 22:30|
THOSE THAT LIVED
I am in purgatory, chilling with the unborn babies and floating around in empty nothingness. Thats what I get for being a well organized motherfucker.
|# ¿ Jan 21, 2013 13:27|
|# ¿ Jan 24, 2013 13:25|
A story about someone who tells the truth or doesn't tell the truth and gets What They Deserve. 500 to 1,500 words. By 8am GMT.
The Apocalypse of Peters Call the coppers, 999 cunts in this baby.
In the darkness a bright light stabs into life. Before us sits a man in a white coat working on a computer, illuminated by the yellow flame of a Bunsen burner that heats nothing. The tables around him are strewn with an assortment of scientific equipment; a glassblower’s nightmare of twisted tubes and bulbous nodules through which unlikely coloured liquids drip, bubble and smoke.
We see him intently read a piece of paper in front of him, and then type the copied words onto the old-fashioned screen: neon green text on black background. The yellow flickering light combined with the glowing green screen give his face a nervous, sickly pallor. Over his shoulder we see that entire paragraphs of the article he is reading are highlighted in fluorescent pink ink; the same incomprehensible scientific jargon shines on the screen in front of him. The man closes his eyes, sighs deeply and presses a button on the keyboard. A fanfare (remarkably similar to the Windows95 shutdown chime) sounds and on the screen a message blinks.
Dr Peters smiles and relief creeps across his features, but as he relaxes bright lights start to twinkle within the room, and his face transforms into a rictus of fear. The signature sound of a Tardis can be heard, then suddenly two men appear in a flash of light and lens flare: a tall, muscle-bound character wearing shades with a shotgun slung over his leather jacket accompanied by a frizzy haired man, wild eyed confusion on his face. The duo are faintly see through, and seem to fade in and out of reality.
"We have to go back!" shouts the wild eyed man, and his companion comforts him with an affirming tone. “We’ll be back.”
Our scientist hero is cowering in fear behind a stand of beakers when they suddenly turn to face him, and in a chorus of a thousand deafening voices they begin to chant.
"Dr Peters, we have returned from the wasted future that you and your kind have caused. Your deceit has created a world where civilization is tainted beyond saving. We have travelled through time to punish your misdeeds!”
Dr Peters face is slack jawed in terror, his body begins to shake as he manages to let a word fall from his trembling lips: “How?”
“HOW!?” shouts the enraged Austrian, “Recognising that the end was near a machine was built to send messengers back to prevent the catastrophe. We are humanity’s salvation!”
The man’s eyes drift to their clothes and his hoarse throat begins to frame a question – before he can speak he finds himself staring into the twin barrels of a shotgun levelled at his head.
“But due to the corruption of the scientific record every attempt failed!”
“We had to copy some movies,” the wild haired man mutters, taking the welding goggles off his forehead and rubbing them on his bright yellow rain jacket.
The two ghosts of the future recover their composure and resume the judgement, more strongly than before.
“You are hereby charged with the following crimes:
Fabrication of Data.
Each of these accusations strikes the scientist like an invisible wind, falling back with each until he can barely stand. He holds onto the table as scientific miscellany strikes him, his coat flaps in the deafening gale.
With this final allegation every item of glassware in the room explodes into a myriad of shards and Peters is flung back in slow motion with a Wilhelmic scream. The two apparitions stride forward, passing through the tables of shattered glassware as if ghosts, and with snarling faces declaim,
"With your heinous acts you have contributed to the stagnation of human civilisation, perverted the course of history and taken the credit for another's work. If found guilty you will be hung by your tongue for all time in the depths of hell, while demons feast upon your entrails! HOW DO YOU PLEAD?"
The man raises his face and tears stream down his cheeks as he sobs:
Lightning flashes, thunder cracks, and the scene goes dark.
"Don't be a Plagiarising Peter! Your work should be correct and your own; otherwise it’s just plain stealing!" The clipped consonants and rounded vowels of the narrator blare over a short credits reel and the lights go up on the empty theatre, suddenly stutter, then fade. Whatever defibrillatory spark that has set the projector in motion has fled.
Some said it began when music was cut up and recycled ad neaseum, the same track sold again and again. This was called “remixing”, and it was good for profits. Perhaps it was when the reboot of a movie franchise was filmed a year after its sequel. This was “refinement” and it, too, was good for profits. Maybe the end truely began when people were looking at screens of varying sizes from the moment they awoke to when they closed their eyes at night: continual consumption was very good.
All we know is that it was realised, all too late, that the continued progress of humanity in knowledge and action had somehow stalled. Eventually there reached a point where, in the rampant duplication and consumption, that nothing novel had been created for some time. Then people didn't know what they should copy. In the end the last of the original ideas was that each person who was born would be assigned a scripted life and allowed to live it without deviation, which cleared up all the confusion. A screen told them where to go, what to do, when to smile.
There was no nuclear fire, no super volcano, no meteor storm required for our apocalypse. The fire of ingenuity lit by out first ancestors that had been nurtured for a millennia slowly faded, like a candle starved of oxygen, until it finally flickered, and died.
|# ¿ Jan 27, 2013 19:58|
This sounds good to me. A question about the submission which I am doing now: their guidelines say no name in the manuscript. So following the formatting guideline posted we should keep the names in the headers but not the pseudo below the title?
What did people put in their cover letter? I put GOONRUSH LOLS LOLS LOLS STAIRS THUNDERDOMING.
CancerCakes fucked around with this message at 15:17 on Jan 28, 2013
|# ¿ Jan 28, 2013 13:48|
For providing us with the absolutely gut-sickening line of '“HOW!?” shouts the enraged Austrian, ', which is all caps, uses an interrobang, telling us the guy is enraged while also telling us he's shouting, our loser this week is CancerCakes.
Within that lovingly crafted edifice of poo poo that I submitted you picked up on the one line that I would stand by. If you can't use an interrobang when describing a caricature of Arnold Schwarzenegger in an over the top parody of a public service announcement, when can you use it‽ And while admittedly Arnie's range is limited he can be silently enraged, shout while not enraged or shout while enraged as we see here. Somehow gut-sickening doesn't quite sit right with me, it doesn't work as well as wrenching, twisting or knotting.
However I will take my knocks with moderate to good grace and return to fight another day, I am in for next week.
Finally here is something I came across recently which seems to fit this arena:
In short, to enter the lists of literature is [to] wilfully to expose yourself to the arrows of neglect, ridicule, envy, and disappointment.
|# ¿ Jan 30, 2013 09:56|
Something for Thunderdome Radio.
Its 841 words, 5 mins.
|# ¿ Feb 2, 2013 23:05|
Thunderdome XXVII: There is only PAIN
Awesome I have a great idea for this!
Your judges: Sebmojo, CancerCakes, and myself. Some very harsh criticism awaits the three worst entries.
Hahaha this is a mistake right? right? Should be fun though.
Edit: I mean TREMBLE IN FEAR MORTALS, I WILL STRIP YOUR FLESH FROM YOUR BONES.
|# ¿ Feb 4, 2013 12:53|
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone: I judge as I am judged. I'm in.
Does anyone know of an android app that allows text editing and has a word count feature? At the moment I am using Jota+ and I will be travelling all weekend.
CancerCakes fucked around with this message at 12:39 on Feb 8, 2013
|# ¿ Feb 8, 2013 12:00|
Unclean - Word oval office: No idea, less than 1000.
I could hear the madman's wrench dragging against the metal walls of the corridor. The scraping made the tears vibrate on my cheeks and as he got closer I buried my face into my father’s Woolnex™ engineering jacket to try and hide from the sound.
The blow to the steel door resonated through us where we sat under the window and a whimper rushed out of me.
The blows were slow and steady, with the measured power of a man keeping his strength for a long task. My eyes wandered to the exposed wiring torn from the control panel. The sabotage had rendered the escape capsules useless, and without warning Captain Samuel had tracked down each crewman, family member, pet and passenger, and murdered them.
"If he damages the seal we'll lose compression when we launch," My father whispered in my ear. I had heard some of the crew talking about what happened to people who were exposed to the vacuum of space, it made me shudder. "I have to stop him. You can fix this, I know you can. When I say, open the door." I nodded.
He moved into as close to a starter’s crouch as was possible in the cramped pod and waited for a moment in the rhythm when the attacker would be off balance on the back swing.
"Now!" he hissed and I pressed two wires together. My dad exploded out through the open door and tackled the captain in the waist, throwing him to the deck. The horrible, red encrusted wrench clattered against the wall and the captain grunted in surprise.
On top of the murderer knelt my father, punching him in the face: each blow made Samuel's head bounce off the floor. I went to work putting the control panel back together, the holo was cracked but other than that all I needed to do was splice the wires back together. I peeked outside when I heard a roar and my fingers fumbled as I saw the attacker slap my dad off him like he was slamming a door. Suddenly the hulking madman was standing over my small wiry father, blinking the blood out of his eyes.
"You cannot leave this ship," he growled, his muscles tense beneath once white blood soaked pilot suit.
Strewn around the deck were repair tools and sheet metal, and as the monster's fist descended my father wrenched a thick piece of plating above his face. The blow connected with the shield and flexed it slightly; the crunch of his ruined hand was almost covered by the captain's howl. Using the plating like a bat my father hit the madman’s knee, shattering the bone. The monster stooped, groaning and nursing his ruined hand and leg. Then dad stood up and struck Samuel across the head hard enough to kill a normal man –the massive captain just went down on his rear end.
I got to work again, and had managed to refit the tritium cells when I heard the whine of a hand welder starting up. I looked out a saw my father with his back to me, while the captain limped in half circles ahead of him. The laser from the welder traced a smoking line in the deck between them. Without taking my eyes off the two I fitted the parts of the console back together.
"I've fixed it!" I cried out and my father glanced at me for a second, and that was all it took. The prowling animal swiftly snatched the disgusting wrench from the deck and hurled it, connecting with my dad's head as he turned back to the predator. In an animalistic four pawed leap the huge man was on dad's back and grabbing the wrench.
"Close the door. Annie, shut the door." I could, the button was right there, fixed like he had taught me, as he had known I could. But I didn't. Instead I watched the first blow fall on the back of his head, saw his skull splinter and his chin smash on the cold deck. "Go," he gasped.
And then I shut the door. The madman's frustrated shouts welled through the metal, and as I pressed the launch button I heard another blow against the door before the rushing wind of decompression emptied the staging area of air, firing my pod away from the ship. As the capsule span lazily away and my home appeared in the bulkhead window I tried to ignore the floating, flailing shape nearby, and watched as the quarantine lights blinked away into the distance.
Apologies for typos, I wrote this on a tablet.
|# ¿ Feb 8, 2013 17:10|
STONE OF MADNESS has done some epic crits, and Sebmojo has done a few as well, so I am feeling slightly surplus to requirements, but here we go. I am going to look at the basics: if you didn't hit the prompt you will not live, if you didn't hit my personal criteria for an action scene you will not live.
Failure to hit the prompt includes being over time and over budget, and lacking in action. My personal criteria is: Motivation, Environment, Tension, Resolution. If your piece didn't show these clearly and interestingly you fail. I need to know why the people here are fighting and not running or vice versa, feel that there is some danger involved, the setting needs to grab my attention and it's pretty annoying if your scene doesn't
Finally if you somehow manage to miss both the prompt and my criteria, but write something good, you get a special prize.
Minor typos are flesh wounds, but most of these submissions will neccessarily be 2nd or 3rd drafts, so they get a pass.
The Blues - Word Count: 1000
I enjoyed this, although as Stone has said you need to do some "stop being racist" awareness course. Your characters can be horrible racists, you didn't succeed in showing that it was their views. Motivations were clear, interesting environment, and you didn't know how the fight was going to go so there was some tension there. Finally the resolution worked, there could have been a little more foreshadowing of the fire but it worked well. Queue =/= cue.
Hard and Deep (Word Count: 430)
Action isn't just saying your prot shot a few dudes, you have to describe the action, not just say it was there. There is maybe 120 words of not action in your 430 word scene. Your character was so one dimensional he didn't need motivation, I could see the environment because I like everyone else has seen blackhawk down, but there was no tension, and your deus ex machina nuke ending was woeful. But keep writing, you will read this again in a month and cringe. In a year if you come back to it you will laugh, and be better for it.
Death by being repeatedly shot in the balls with a paintball gun
I didn't enjoy this, but it was original, and worked quite well. I have no idea why your character is in a library, but I can visualise the place. However the prot doesn't seem overly worried or concerned about the fight, so I'm not either. No tension makes the resolution a foregone conclusion, and tricking a robot by a poisoned input is a bit of a scifi staple.
Death (just) by Raskolinov’s axe-blade
Flash rule - Written in the style of Matthew Reilly
Dante's Peak did it better, but the motivation of not wanting to be immolated by lava is clear, and the vents are well painted. There is some tension building, but then you ruin it by someone making a perfect turn into a vent a 180MPH, ie 80 metres PER SECOND. If your prot is superman I am not so worried about them anymore. But there is resolution, and enough action from beginning to end.
DEATH by major whiplash from making tight turns at 180MPH.
Up and Coming
I'm not a wrestling fan, so I almost wrote this off straight away, but in truth it gripped me. The betrayal felt real enough to make me feel for the kid, and I wanted to know what would happen. "The boy" also underlined that this has happened before, and will happen again, so wasn't a problem for me. I loved the popping a knuckle line. If I went through it line by line I'm sure I could find some things to pick at, but the broad strokes are there.
As stone said this could have been straight out of the shield, or any other hard boiled cop show, but on paper it is a shopping list of names and model numbers. Your characters are motivated, but completely interchangeable. The day-after-tomorrow time frame works well, but you could use it better - the smart specs etc could have been used to greater effect, as it was it was just window dressing. Making Tommy ok at the end took the strength out of the story, perhaps if he had just pulled through it would have felt more like a challenging encounter for the team, as it was it felt a little too routine. Resolution of rogering the wife was just a little over the top for me.
Death by undercover narc
Mine - 1,000 words.
This flat out didn't work, and you know it. It didn't flow, and the chase had some major problems. However I did like the fingers digging into the cheeks, which gave some small idea of fear, but it needed more. I wanted this guy to be reeking from the sweat, piss and poo poo pouring out of him due to the existential fear he was undergoing.
He stumbled over the desk and fell, but was back up in moments. He flew out of the room and collided with the adjacent wall.
Back up in moments? You just killed your chase before it even started, if he can take a few minutes to get back up why is he running at all? No tension. Your character wakes up in an office, hides, is found, goes and hides in another office and is found and killed by some indescribable monster - I didn't find the plot interesting. A office block inside a mine just sounds a little unlikely, and there doesn't seem to be a reason for it. The horrible "like" at the end as been brought up already. You already got some good crit,
Death by something LIKE something splitting the back of your head open
Duel (1080 words)
LONG, so by my judging you are already dead, if you can't find 80 words to cut then you need to take the 5 mins to proof it again, delete some superfluous adjectives or something. You started right in the action, one of the few to do it, and it just about worked, but the problem is your exposition necessarily slows down the action. No one likes wordy fighters, action is better untainted with people explaining themselves. Why doesn't the bad guy off and murder the third in command after this? In the end I simply didn't care about any of the characters.
Double death by someone hacking off small bits of you while talking about their holiday to North Wales
Getting Paid - 900 words
Another story in the ring, this one didn't quite hit it for me, although the motivations were clear and there was some tension. I would have had the guy taking a dive, a punch in his face and pride for his daughter's baby. There wasn't much mention of the crowd, what is around them. I know the fighter is focussed on fighting, but we can see a bigger picture occasionally.
I actually quite enjoyed this, and thought it was a genuine attempt to do something different. That said there was no tension, and thus little resolution as I didn't care if the cat caught the ball or not. This was a major missed opportunity here, because you could have done something like
A stray cat sees the ball. The cat chases the ball. If the cat catches the ball, it will pounce on the ball. It will stop the ball. The ball rolls downhill, the cat close behind. The cat runs fast and faster. It is slowly catching up to the ball. The ball is approaching an three-way intersection. The traffic is thick today.
And then there is some tension. Personally I would then have played with some ambiguous car impacts, then resolved it with the cat licking its paws on the curb like it didn't care as the ball is punted down the road, but you could kill a cat and try and shock us if you want.
DEATH by being chased by a giant ball, Indiana Jones Style.
|# ¿ Feb 11, 2013 22:17|
Double post, but making this more manageable.
LONG so you're dead. And it didn't really feel like an action sequence to me, so I guess you're double dead. But I liked this so now what. There was everything I wanted to see in an action sequence, but not an awful lot of action. The setting interested me, the characters worked and I was drawn into the setting. I'm sure talking animals on space ships seems a little Narnia and the animals of Redwall go to space but it worked well for me. I also liked that your prot was completely helpless and useless, no action hero heroics here.
Undead Resurrection into the body of a talking pig
Predator (1000 words)
Either your prot can run faster than something faster than a horse or you need to contrast the myth and reality more closely. Your character can take courage from the fact it isn't as unbeatable as thought. The prot was well motivated, a believable environment and there was tension, although in the end the killing blow was too easy for me. Perhaps a mad hunger fuelled leap, taking a slice in the process?
This was a well executed story, with motivation, environment, tension and a nice resolution. Guys driving motorbikes on pavements is a bit of an overused image, but it fits with the big cinema image, and is a nice contrast with the saving of a cat. So you live I suppose.
Hooboy, this confused the gently caress out of me. At first I thought Rex Lee was the protagonist. Then I wondered why he was leaning back and making her hurt. I got it after a bit. Then I wondered why Chen would be pulling out a gun when he had a knife in his hand. Also why are they in this situation? What is the situation? It could be a submarine until the truck comes through the wall. Your guy is a little too action hero, and I didn't worry about the characters getting hit in the face.
Death by a truck coming your wall right the gently caress now
Oh god I should have done this when I read them the first time through.
|# ¿ Feb 11, 2013 23:03|
See I can't stop now, gotta burn that midnight oil.
A NOTE - I can't remember who did it, but someone mentioned how ironic something was in their story in their text. Don't do that. People get their panties in a twist over if it is irony or not, and irony is a dark cosmic joke, explaining jokes or pointing them out is never a good idea.
Two Thirty Lincoln to Third (839 words)
Action tragedy works quite well, but this was pretty FAST AND FURIOUS - TRAGEDY ON THE STREETS. Pride is a strong motivator for stupid young men with powerful cars, but it doesn't make me like them. I would have straight up killed the guy and had the Eric have a massive breakdown on the street as the police arrived, because tragedy means everyone gets to die or go mad. You almost got away with it.
Death by being mown down by some boy racer when you go get 2F2F from blockbuster.
Suit on Suit (non-erotic)
This crit is long, and it is super late. You got hit hard by some other crits, so I will keep this short. I could see the scene, but the motivations weren't there and the resolution of obvious suicide made the whole story entirely pointless.
Death by zero-g erotic fan-fiction
Flight (325 words)
This was overly sappy, but short enough that I didn't drown in it. Original, and resolved so nicely it didn't need much more.
"Swam through the sky just a moment ago. Should be a natural in the water."
No. No one talks like this, and if they do they shouldn't.
I don't know what to say. I don't know if there is a level above life, but feel free to take that. I actually didn't want the kid to die, which is remarkable considering the aim of your piece.
Walks on the wings of angels
What’s For Dinner?
Your ending is a cop out, eating husbands as been done before, you need to do something different with it. Domestic violence seems to come up quite regularly around here, and it didn't shock enough, there should be more festering beneath the surface than just no dinner on the table. The unbreakable chopping board of +5 to spousicide was slightly unbelievable.
Death by prion brain degeneration due to eating long pig
Johnny - 856 Words
You have got some poo poo for spelling, typos etc, so tighten it up. The plot line was overly obvious, and the violence senseless in the fact that he doesn't give any motivation at all. Johnny is a 1d woman beater, even worse than in chairchucker's story since nothing sets him off at all. Then he just became a monster, and a very black and white story.
Death by a man beating you up for reasons unknown
They Are In The Walls!!1[/b]
I couldn't decide if you were taking the piss with this, title and all. The group are escaping with a device that is capable of killing their invulnrable attackers and don't immediately use it. Instead they try and shoot, but they know that won't work. The device inexplicably flays peoples hands but puts holes in the bad peoples' chests. Then they don't shoot the woman who as somehow lived. I was confused.
Death by walking into a wall
This is another one that confused the gently caress out of me. Clearly some kind of antichrist has been born, but the north south east west stuff just disorientated me and wasn't needed. And yet another story where there is no need for motivation because the person(s) are insane, but this makes them very difficult characters to relate to, so I didn't care about their fates. In the end all the stuff in italics caused more questions than they answered. Why is something nasty happening to the conductor, when presumably the character hasn't done nasty things to everyone they came across?
Death by ftang ftang cthulu rises
It's a Hobby to Some.
This made me smile, but at one point you swap goatbear for beargoat. These are obviously not the same, sort it out. The healthy but inexplicably pus filled eye has been mentioned already by stone. I could see the setting, and the character managed to be believable and nicely over the top like any unhinged bird watcher. The story was a bit telegraphed, but not everything needs huge twists, this had a nice little resolution. If he is leaking fluids he needs to find a toilet, perhaps just blood would suffice here.
That was the last true submission I believe. Lets take a look at the dregs.
Encounter - 1000 words
What is it with people editing down to 1000? Edit to what feels natural, sometimes taking out an entire sentence is better than a couple of words here and there. Anyways you late and dead already, and using the mutually respected non-fight over tea is not going to win much leniency. This is something that happens unendingly in martial arts, from kill bill to jackie chan. So what novelty did you bring to it? The actual action was clear enough, although crouching tiger hidden dragon jumping stork is not always easy to visualise.
Death by ritual suicide when some one looks at you funny in starbucks
The Gravity of the Situation
Why is it an AK47? Why not just gunfire, a gun etc? This contractor is clearly not combat trained so why put this information in? His friend finds a happy box of grenades and PUTS THEM IN THE TRUCK ALONG WITH LOADS OF EXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT? Found just lying around? It is clear that this guy isn't a have a go hero, but why have any grenades at all? Just have him run away frantically trying to get someone on the sat phone. Also if your dress shirt has front pockets you aren't wearing the right kind of dress shirt. He charged and then slowed down? Make the charging mean something, otherwise he just sounds indecisive. And then theres the ending, which makes no sense from the motivation of the character's point of view (survival) and just as any resolution. Why would you get your self into a mexican standoff, miles away from help, where if you WIN all you get to do is watch someone get into a tub? What kind of kinky poo poo are you into?
Death by AK-47 fire in a bathtub, with an erection
I enjoyed this, and it made me think more critically about how I read and write. woo.
|# ¿ Feb 12, 2013 00:34|
In for the original prompt. I might even write a thunder dome slash fic too if haha no.
|# ¿ Feb 12, 2013 22:02|
I'll crit the first person to post their piece after I lay down my story. Doing one in depth might make my eyes bleed slightly less than however many we did last week.
|# ¿ Feb 13, 2013 19:43|
Posting a piece that you put some effort into will not be a waste of time and you will get some useful criticism. Posts detailing your tortured indecision about posting fiction on a semi anonymous forum are a waste of everyone's time and are annoying.
Thus I am going to critique your posts.
I'm bailing. I don't want to waste anyone's time for something I know I wont be able to do. Besides, there is no point going on with something I was likely going to fail at anyway.
This actually has a strong, traditional, opening. It shows past tense first person voice while giving an indication of a weak character. The next sentence misses an apostrophe and is a much more awkward sentence, probably would have been better switched to make it clear that you won't be able to do it, and this causes a waste of everyone's time. Besides with a comma is a nice touch, but the final sentence doesn't add anything to the story or characterization that we haven't already seen and weakens the piece as a result.
(Sorry to keep the derail but I'm undecided now. If I do post a story though you'll probably know my answer)
This is completely unnecessary, while the voice authentically follows on from the previous story there is nothing added. The brackets are perhaps there as an apology for wasting people's time, but since I checked the thread due to a new post notification you have already wasted my time. The fact you are undecided is shown by the previous story and the fact that there isn't a new one here. The final sentence is so obvious it hurts.
Overall this half assed cry for some encouragement wasted your time that you could have used writing a story and anyone's time who read it. My time wasn't wasted, but that's because I'm sitting next to a nice warm fire and just had a bacon sandwich, so making GBS threads on your post is all I feel like doing right now.
|# ¿ Feb 16, 2013 14:02|
To love is to die. Deal with it. Also I am not a romantic soul.
I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU (693 words)
When I saw those eyes again I was being pulled through the park by misbehaving umbrella. The shock allowed it to escape into the early evening sky, a black bird with broken arms. I looked away immediately, like you do in the city. As this beautiful girl drew nearer I stared at her out of the corner of my eye while I pretended to watch my escapee crash through the bare trees. When she reached me I tried to casually glance at her face, but her amber-gold eyes (that went emerald when angry or excited) held my heart in their gaze. She smiled at me and said, “Sorry for your loss."
“It’ll come back eventually," I said, "most things do.”
Our whirlwind romance dragged us along: an email led to a coffee led to a date, at that cool café in the park. The installation art cast a glow your face and neck, on the shoulder that your top revealed and the top of one breast. Reds and blues made your eyes flash like mother of pearl. When we had finally finished studying every part of each other's faces I tried to pay, but you just laughed at me, threw down some notes and pulled me into the night. Just before your lips touched mine you whispered into my mouth that next time it would be my turn.
I remember how each morning in our tiny studio I would make strong, heart-pounding black coffee before going out, bringing it in to you where you lay in our essense. Sometimes a paper-white limb was artfully exposed to my gaze, your eyes burning from above the duvet, and I would ache to be in your arms again.
We shared everything, but knew when to take, and when to give, and when to ask for more. And while we argued and fought battle-lines were rarely drawn, but when they were I would look up into your eyes and see we were standing side by side.
Our friends sometimes poked fun at the way we had met, but matchmaking tends to work better than serendipity, and they stopped laughing as their relationships fell by the wayside. Overtime we moved with each other to the rhythm of modern life: scrimp, save, move out of the city. Of course we didn’t have any money, but we worked hard to build something for ourselves. We wanted another thing of true value in our lives. When had finally managed to take everything from our tiny flat, to our tiny house, in our tiny car, we made each room our own, and slick with sweat I looked into those green eyes and asked you to marry me.
The day we parted is still a fog for me, half remembered snatches of phrases and shouts, numbed strikes and slammed doors. By the end of it I was nothing, everything I was had flowed down my cheeks and into my hands. All sensation became too strong for me to handle, so that the weeks and months that have followed have the uneasy feeling of a waking nightmare. All injuries heal over time of course, and sometimes I feel like I will reach the surface soon, but then some chance encounter sends me back here, to you.
Our friends can be too gentle with me; pulling aside each new initiate to our group and warning them about the accident. And they can be too rough; trying constantly to set me up, telling me to get back on the internet and meet someone. Telling me that life still goes on. Today, to my surprise, they were proved right.
We carried the cards out of a sense of moral obligation, neat ticks next to our organs, not thinking about the reality of our promises. We never expected to give our bodies to anyone but each other.
After I saw the girl in the park I had to come here. I miss you so much. I wonder what was wrong with her, that she was lucky enough to get the most beautiful part of you?
I hope you like the flowers.
|# ¿ Feb 16, 2013 18:59|
As I promised here is a crit for the first piece after mine. Congratulations Erogenous Beef, you drew the shortest straw. Romance in the thunderdome seems to be about old people, dead babies and anything except romance, lets see how you did.
As I'm not very well versed in what makes a good romance I am going to conduct a test: if I make the characters brother and sister does it make me retch disgust? If not you have not communicated the love between them.
Second Chances (1000 words)
Nothing untoward here, two siblings, celebrating a starving birthday. The second paragraph is a bit stilted, could have had some nicer phrasing and punctuation in there. Short punchy sentences make action, not languorous loving romance.
Adam set down the spork with only two bent tines, struck a camp match and lit a black wick set in a wax nub. His chest swelled. He’d spent days scraping together candle shavings and squishing them around that bit of string.
First of all why a spork. If they have cupboards of tins they can probably procure some decent cutlery. The brother has taken a few days to perform a relatively easy task of squeezing some wax together, hours might have been better here. Hmmm, honey is a little iffy, but they are close siblings. Can probably get away with that. Likewise head on shoulder. No vomit rising.
He pushed the can over. His hand hovered on the lid and she laid hers on top of it and squeezed, their rings clinking together. Adam unrolled his sleeves, trying to hide the knobby bones protruding from his arms.
They have some rings, but that doesn't mean they are married to each other. Siblings hold hands and give each other gifts. The feeding each other is a bit dodgy, but in a starvation situation it actually makes sense to ensure the other party isn't hogging all the food. This gets a pass.
Mary wiped the can with a rag, handed the cloth to her brother and he sucked out the last drops of flavor.
Okay another sweetie, but that again isn't enough to make me think they are romantically engaged.
“I hate guns.”
If there anywhere in the story where my incest-detector started flashing it was here. Darling, babe and fingers on lips. Perhaps this is where the romance starts? Nope.
They turned a rusted wheel and shoved. The blast door groaned aside, icy air roared in, and a cloud of dust whooshed out of the bunker. Adam doubled over, hacking and spitting, and Mary dragged her brother up the slope.
Okay they just left the nuclear shelter or whatever. Brill. They see indications of human life, and are relieved so hold hands. Lovely, touching.
Mary grabbed her brother's scar-torn shoulder. “Careful this time, right? Don’t go far ahead.”
Okay we are going to see someone, but we are coming back to the bunker at the end of the day. Why? Who? No idea.
A growl rumbled through the woods. A cougar crouched beneath a tree, slinking towards them. Icy sweat gushed down Adam’s back and he froze, eyes wide.
Wait WHAT? These two siblings have a child together? That's disgusting. Pretty much the first indication that these two have ever kissed or had sex too. Their sex life must... suck.
She wilted, picked him up and kissed him on the forehead. “Just stay close.”
To be honest we are back in sibling territory here.
The bushes rustled.
What is this action sequence doing in my gushy romance?
Dude you either wrote a really boring post apocalyptic action sequence, or a romance that has a completely unnecessary action sequence. And also has two slightly strange siblings. In the thunderdome romance bingo you got dead babies and gnarled, knotty pseudo old people in a sexless boring relationship. The actual writing is pretty serviceable and workman like, but in my opinion you were a continent away from the prompt.
|# ¿ Feb 17, 2013 21:03|
|# ¿ Feb 19, 2013 11:10|
I cut this down from over 2000 and removed a poo poo load of elements so within 100 is good enough for me, but probably not for judges.
A/T link here
Large Delta, Capricorn 1257 words.
Any attempt to calculate the galactic cosmic-ray environment ... will involve considerable uncertainty. - NASA SP-8054
“Wake up you piece of poo poo, the computers gone loving loopy and we are going to loving die!”
James’ eyes struggled to focus on the monstrosity that had appeared in front of him. The face had been extruded so that the chin and forehead were twice the width of the mouth and nose, while the eyes looked like upside down tear drops. The effect was topped by masses of ginger hair at each end. Understandably he tried to scream, but he suddenly realised that he was drowning.
“Oh for fucks sake! He’s still high on the corpse drugs, Sally, help me get James out of there.”
Another face appeared, this one similarly distorted, with a halo of brown hair and big green eyes. James gibbered at the aliens while they banged on the outside of his capsule, and scrabbled at the plastic walls in panic. Then, with a hiss of escaping pressure, the bulbous glass front opened and electrolyte fluid burst out. James flowed out with it and received a sharp, stinging, backhand to the face, which caused him to vomit fluid in a cloud around him.
“Pull yourself together you useless twat!”
David yanked out the drip line, and the needle scraped out of James’ arm, releasing a few tiny droplets of blood to mingle with the halo of fluid that surrounded him. As soon as the serum stopped entering his body the disorientation and terror began to recede, and a body that had not moved for perhaps decades made its complaints known. Every part of it ached and itched, his extremities were numb and his brain felt several sizes too large for his skull. His cheek stung where he had been slapped, his limbs were leaden and bleeding, so to perk him up a little Sally kicked off a nearby bulk head and stabbed him in the arse. As stimulants from the stim-pen began to reach his brain and muscles they eased his aches and pains slightly, and James began to regain control of his shattered mind. He realised that Sally and David, his human crew mates, were floating in front of him.
“What’s going on?” he rasped, after a couple of stuttering attempts at speech.
“Get your arse over there and work it out for yourself,” growled David, his ginger afro and beard sickeningly undulating like a deep sea anemone. He pushed James over to a giant black panel and suddenly a man appeared in it, blonde hair and beard streaming in all directions, with talon-like fingernails weaving in front of him. “Fix it, you’re the engineer!”
James waved at the touch-free screen and it blinked on, simply displaying white text on a blue background. He grunted and began to work through the debugging sequences. Finally he reached the map screen: a dotted blue line, originating from Sol, stretched from left to right, with “Earth 2” orbiting the star Delta Capricorni at the far end. Another blinking red line followed this for perhaps two thirds of the distance. James’ rubbed his eyes and peered at the red line, which seemed to get slightly longer. Which shouldn’t be possible. The sheer mind boggling scale of the 39 light year journey should mean that at this scale no motion should be detectable, for months. The trip was meant to last 400 years.
“I think we’re in trouble here”
They started to wave their hands at various screens mounted around them while shouting out information as it appeared to them. It would have seemed to an outside observer like three lunatics had escaped after a long stay at some asylum.
"All life support intact."
"No breaches or hull damage."
“Cargo still intact, thank god. No alpha waves.”
"Then why did it wake our asses up?”
“The auto started the emergency wake up when we hit 1 au an hour.”
“That is really moving!”
“Just how fast are we going now?"
“Engines kicked for 60 hours, full power, reached 1/3 c 10 hours ago.”
“That seems a little too fast -”
“It burnt all the loving brake fuel.”
James and Sally looked at David as the reality of their situation sank in. In space objects travel at a constant speed unless a force acts on them. The engines had just burnt all the fuel they had in store to slow down once they reached their destination. Instead they had used it to accelerate them to almost seven million miles an hour. They would arrive at Earth 2, their new home, and speed past it so fast they wouldn’t even see it. Or worse, hit it. Their ship had become a speeding bullet that would obliterate any small planet they hit, including the new planet where they had hoped to start new lives, along with the other 100,000 people in the cargo hold.
James was working automatically, unable to cope with the facts, or their implications. He began to go through the logs, waving listlessly at the displays, trying to work out what had caused their horrific predicament. All those people on this ship, the men, women and children that had worked hard to leave their scorched world. They had left to create a new society, a new civilization, but instead they would never be woken at their destination.
It seemed that the autopilot had been working perfectly up until a stray bit of information suddenly caused the acceleration, a single switched bit. In a system that processed terabytes a second it a single bit should be insignificant - instead it had ensured that they were as good as dead. He looked for the cause of the blip, he checked that the programming was correct, that the star-nav had no problems, that there was no hardware malfunction. They had only passed a star while it was going supernova. The cosmic rays had been analysed by the scientific computer as having a higher than normal heavy atom percentage.
The logs showed that a single tellurium atom, stripped of all electrons and fired at the speed of light from the heart of a dying star, had pierced their radiation shields and buried itself in the computer. It had flipped a single gate in a single wafer of a single processor and so had given birth to an avalanche of logic decisions that had caused the engines to fire them through space. The people in the holds would sleep forever, hurtling through space until they hit some unsuspecting star or planet, or perhaps crossed the event horizon of a black hole. They would reach their destination, but never be able to stop - it seemed like a cruel joke by some capricious god, or perhaps punishment for daring to travel to another planet for humankind to destroy.
He remembered the plans and dossiers from Earth, that there would always be plans b through z and well into the greek alphabet to fall back on.
“You know how at the end of the mission flowchart it said ‘Allow for unscheduled mission termination’? Sally, I think its time for the black folder.”
Sally wordlessly pulled out the lock box and drew out a small black envelope. James thought it was much too thin to have any useful information in it. She ripped it open and read out the contents and David glowered at his screen, refusing to look up.
“In the event that the Searcher One mission does not succeed, the crew should take solace in the fact that they have been apart of the advancement of all humankind, and pray that Searcher Two and Three succeed where they have failed.”
|# ¿ Feb 24, 2013 21:19|
Argh come on daddy needs his prompt.
|# ¿ Feb 25, 2013 23:37|
Basically yes, it usually means that the metaphors are IN YOUR FACE, so you have to work hard to come up with a good one. For example, in Will Self's The Rock of Crack as big as the Ritz two young black guys in London find a giant source of crack and sell of parts of it to get rich, even though at least one of them knows that it is going to come back to bite him on the rear end. You're so distracted and entertained by the giant rock of crack and the dealing of it that you don't realize the how obvious the point is until later.
Holy poo poo is your name apt. I just went and looked up The Rock of Crack as big as the Ritz as I simply could not believe that it was a real book, but it is.
I drafted something for this week, but I didn't have any time to work on it and it wasn't magical realism so I binned it. Some interesting stuff though and I am looking forward to having some time to participate next round. At least it made me brush up my 100 years of solitude, which I read a long time ago and had forgotten most of.
|# ¿ Mar 4, 2013 17:41|
inny in in in.
|# ¿ Mar 8, 2013 08:25|
something more substantial than the ocean just randomly being gone.
God drat I hope you are joking. Whoooosh.
Sunday, 26 December 2004
|# ¿ Mar 9, 2013 11:13|
The night before Battle 974 words.
Henri announced his return to camp with an ear-ringing smack to the back of the young boy’s head.
“Where's my dinner?”
Roger’s cleaver missed the rabbit's neck and stood vibrating in the block. He tore his gaze from the end of his sliced thumbnail and looked up into his master’s smirk.
“It will be ready very soon, Sir.”
“I should hope so, you Buffoon!” Henri turned to his two companions, “You recall my sister’s useless son? He cooks as bad as an Englishwoman, but at least he’s better than one of those heifer Norwegians.”
Robert let out a deep belly laugh that made the fire’s flames shake, while Williame the Gaunt sneered at the young page.
“I expect a good supper, boy. We are not rampaging Northmen.”
The squire turned away from the new arrivals, his scarred shoulders itching as he bent to bank the fire. Roger hated having to entertain his Lord’s guests.
The knights drew close to the fire to discuss a favorite topic: the merits of French whores compared to English harlots. Henri was of the opinion that a Norman girl’s fire could not be bested, and Williame said that he could not imagine bedding a dirty English slattern.
“No you whoresons, you are wrong. The English beauties have lovely soft thighs and pale fat teats, far superior to bony French arses!”
After Robert had gone into such detail on this subject that Roger’s ears began to burn they began to educate the squire on his culinary incompetency.
Among his many defects they commented unfairly upon his rabbit skinning ability, and his technique for chopping vegetables was ridiculed with limp-wristed flapping. As Roger became more vexed he made more mistakes, and for each he was punished with kicks and gales of laughter. After he had dropped the cooking pot for the third time, Williame slapped the flat of his sword against Roger’s posterior, sending him sprawling to the ground, and raised it for another strike.
“Enough, enough. I may have need of my page soon. If he cannot stand how will he put my armour upon me?”
Roger blinked back the tears that had sprung to his eyes and Henri motioned his friend to sit back down by the fire. Then the squire scrambled to his feet and fetched more wood as the men went to work again.
“Squire, I have heard that your Grandfather was so ugly that he married a sow,” said Williame, “and that his son, your father, was born with trotters. While you are clearly as repulsive as your grandsire, have you inherited anything from the dowagers side of the family? A curly tail perchance?”
Roger knuckles whitened on spit but he managed to reply through clenched teeth. “No, sir.”
They compared his head to a turnip and his hands to those of a harlot. They said that he was as well endowed as a quail and doubted that he would ever lie with a woman, even were he the King of France in a Babylonian brothel. His bow was taken up and roughly tested, and the arrows that he had carefully hewn, fletched and sharpened strewn around. Robert was just saying how Roger’s mother had lain with donkeys when Henri rose threateningly - she was his sister after all.
Finally, well after light had broken and fled from the Autumn sky, the broth was boiling. Above the pot rabbits were stabbed from neck to haunches and their fat burst and dripped into the spitting fire. The greasy rabbit fragrance mixed with the stew’s spiced incense, and a seductive perfume rose from the food. Roger fetched his last pieces of real Norman bread, crumbled it on top of the broth and sat back on his haunches admiring his work. Perhaps this might save him from the rod.
Henri and his accomplices had been silenced by the sight and smell of the food before them, and when Roger at last announced that it was ready they lept forward. The men passed the ladle between them, slurping the rich soup and tearing chunks of meat from the rabbit with their hands or teeth.
“Sir Knights, if there is one thing that an excellent meal such as that requires, it is wine.”
A man holding a large jug suddenly appeared within the light of fire, his shadow stretching back into the darkness. Henri eyed him suspiciously but nodded for the man to continue.
“Perhaps you brave knights would have the the generosity to share some of your fine fare with a hungry scout in exchange for some wine. One who has just escaped Harold Godwinson himself, no less!”
Henri leapt to his feet and threw his arm around the tall scout’s shoulders, and guided him into a suddenly vacant chair. Roger picked himself out of the dirt and sat by as the stranger was treated to the choicest parts. The four men passed the sack around in excellent spirits; even Williame began to smile. The newcomer informed group that the affair was no longer a Ménage à trois: the ragged leftovers were racing south to meet the Bastard in battle. The three knights cheered with anticipation but Roger’s stomach felt like he was at sea again. He had spewed over the side of the small boat while Henri laughed all the way to Pevensey.
He was not like the boisterous knights, who clamoured for war. Roger may feel sick at thought of fighting, but even he fantasized about winning fortune upon the battlefield.
The others continued to discuss the coming events, but Roger was lost in the names and complicated inheritances. While they talked of Haralds and Harolds and rightful kings, he saw himself riding in bright armour and thrusting a silver lance through a king’s head. He oiled his bow, waxed its string, and sharpened his arrows until the points were like needles.
|# ¿ Mar 10, 2013 12:08|
Looking back at it I think I wrote the prompt I wanted, rather than the prompt I got, and deservedly lost for it. If someone could throw me a line by line either here or by pm it would be greatly appreciated, I'll throw one out for them or someone they choose if people don't mind a crit from a double loser.
I think I gave myself a hard task in trying to get across that it was the night before the Battle of Hastings, 1066, one of the most important dates in western history, without any exposition (obviously I failed at that too, so no complaints). Bring on next week.
|# ¿ Mar 12, 2013 09:57|
What can I say, I like the way my blood decorates the sandy floor of the thunderdome. Throw me back in, tis but a scratch.
|# ¿ Mar 13, 2013 18:15|
I have found the Google drive word processor really useful - not only does it have built in word count and spell check the folders allow me to keep my terrible slash fiction separate from my stumbling attempts at literature.
|# ¿ Mar 17, 2013 12:17|
Nothing Bet 992 words
Daniel sat down at the roulette table and knew that the croupier hated him. It was obvious from the way the eyes narrowed slightly that the guy thought Daniel was the lowest of the low: a cockroach wearing a brown suit pants and a sweat stained shirt. No tie. His eyes managed to convey his contempt for inveterate gamblers everywhere, while his shiny bald head reflected the chandeliers and glass atrium above them.
“Bets please, Ladies, Gentlemen.”
Daniel looked at the stacks of chips in front of him. This was it, put it all in. Be a man for once. That’s what Shirley used to shout at him, whenever the neighbour’s dog left a steaming poo poo on the lawn, or when they didn’t have enough money for cigarettes. Be a man, do something! His foot bounced up and down and his hands shook, so that his tall piles threatened to avalanche in all directions. The ball was already whizzing round the outer ring, he felt the a force pulling him in.
He picked up a few chips and flung them down.
“Red,” he managed to croak.
Play it safe to start, warm up. Don’t just jump into it. Need to have that lucky feeling, can’t afford to blow it all straight away. The excuses felt hollow, even to him. Daniel’s flitting eyes met the steady gaze of the croupier for a moment and he knew, just knew, that the guy would give away every tip he made this week to make it come up black.
“No more bets.” The dealer was completely professional, smiling politely at everyone at the table. For Daniel the smile was still there, but he detected a slight curl of the top lip.
Daniel tried look cool and take in the opulent, tasteful surroundings. Waiters slid between the tables serving well done steaks and expensive whiskeys in glasses of ice. But his heart jumped when he heard the ball clatter against the wheel, and his eyes flew back to the wheel. A metal bumble bee on steroids leapt and careened around, making his heart leap and fall at 200 beats per minute.
Nauseous excitement rippled through him, adrenaline and fear making every muscle in his body tense for flight. He felt himself leap up when the ball momentarily stopped in the red 25 slot, only to fall and clasp the table. Daniel saw the dealer’s mouth twitch upward slightly.
“Two is even and black.”
The rod flicked out and Daniel’s money disappeared. What was the point in cashing in everything he had if he wasn’t going to use it? Everyone at work thought he was a joke, but he would never have to work again if he won here. He would show Shirley and the rest that he wasn’t a waste of space. The ball had begun its orbits once more. All he had to do was be a man.
Daniel began to slide his stacks of chips across the felt, but just before he reached the point of no return he stopped. He couldn’t do it, his body was crushed in a vice grip.
Suddenly his stomach lurched and he slipped, pushing the chips on to the board.
“Zero,” he gasped, as the whole world seemed to stutter for a second.
“Thank you, Sir,” replied the croupier, “we have the occasional tremor here, but it’s nothing to worry about. No more bets -”
The cosy atmosphere vanished as the emergency lights flared up. A burley pit boss started shouting and people looked around in surprise as emergency doors were flung open. The punters grabbed their chips and ran for the doors. As they fled the screaming rabble of saggy tits in cocktail dresses and jowls in tuxedos spilled chips behind them like hansel and gretel. Following close on their heels were the pit boss, waiters, dealers and some girls wearing nothing more than a few sequins. In seconds there was only the two of them; the croupier staring at Daniel while Daniel stared at the ball.
The croupier’s eyes darted from Daniel to large atrium above them and to the roulette wheel. From a madman, to a million potential shards of ballistic glass, to a ball bouncing on a wheel. He didn’t know why he was still here, but he was somehow rooted to the spot by the spectacle.
“If sir wishes, he may withdraw the bet.”
The voice was clipped with only the slightest hint of a shake. The room began to sway again, gently, as if the building had had one drink too many. Daniel was oblivious. This time the action of the ball had caused a completely different effect upon him - his blood had crystallised in his veins and his knuckles were white against the lustre of the brass table rail. There were no more choices, he had no more options. Everything had come down to him, and the wheel, and the ball. He was going to win, he could feel it. He had never felt so calm, so content, so certain.
To the dealer the floor was eerily quiet under the lights, he was used to lounge muzak, cries of celebration and chiming one armed bandits. The ball rattled and the chandeliers above them tinkled gently as they began to sway more strongly. Daniel’s attention was focussed on the pistol shots and sledgehammer blows of the ball approaching its final place. Each bounce and slice made his jaw clench tighter, until it momentarily rested on the silver ridge between spots. Less than twenty seconds had passed since the lights had flashed up, but it had held a lifetime’s excitement.
A cannon shot crack reverberated around the room as the s-wave hit, making the world grumble beneath their feet. The ball dropped into green spot. Released from the spell the croupier dived under the table, but David watched in awe as diamonds fell to celebrate the first win of his life.
|# ¿ Mar 17, 2013 21:20|
|# ¿ Mar 18, 2013 00:02|
WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO
Looking forward to this!
In for this week.
Self Flash Rule My story must be at least 15% dialogue by word count.
CancerCakes fucked around with this message at 16:26 on Mar 20, 2013
|# ¿ Mar 20, 2013 14:47|
I'm going to give you a chance to re-think this, because if 125 of your 500 words are going to be dialogue, you'd better be really, really awesome at literally every other aspect of story telling, since you'll only have 375 words to spare on them.
Hmm, don't know what you're talking about, it says 15%
|# ¿ Mar 20, 2013 16:26|
Agnatic-Cerebratic Succession 494 words, 174 of that speech = 35% so it meets my personal flash rule.
“Harry, One is glad you are staying for dinner. One is famished.”
Prince Harry, third in line to the throne of England, drummed his fingers on the table and looked around the draughty banquet hall as the manservants served the starter.
“I always enjoy spending time with you, Grandma, the food is so good!”
He realised as it came out that he had been slightly over enthusiastic: Her Majesty’s eyes narrowed beneath the crown. Everyone knew he would rather be at a trendy restaurant with his friends, or killing Afghans with his army helicopter, than here with his family. Harry tried to resurrect the situation.
“I mean, it’s always nice to have some homely food.”
Philip, the Queen’s aged consort, snorted with derision. Spit flew into the surrounding soups.
“Ha, you young people galavanting all over the place. I remember one time in Papua New Guinea, this young cook with marvelous...,” the old man lapsed into frenzied inaudible muttering and Harry’s thoughts drifted to the cheerleaders he had met in Vegas.
“...of course we were lucky we didn’t get eaten ourselves!”
Compared to the rest of the family Harry laughed slightly too loud and too late, causing the Queen’s glower to intensify. Silence reigned while the Queen pecked at a few morsels, but Harry eviscerated his bread and soup with gusto. Soon she waved a hand and the table was cleared: Harry’s starter was whisked away and he was about to complain when Charles restrained him.
“Harry, my boy, I would like to pick your brain: have you ever wondered how my grandmother, The Queen Mother, lived to 101?”
“Perhaps because she never worked a day in her life?” Harry was saying all the wrong things this evening, but Charles continued while the servants brought in the main course.
“Or how my mother has been able to rule for 61 long years?” There was perhaps a slight stress in the words; Charles would be King when the Queen died.
“The secret, is, of course -”
The footman removed the sheet covering the centrepiece with a flourish.
On the platter was the head of a girl, her long brown hair curled around the severed neck, soaking up the blood. The startled blue eyes were rolled up, contemplating the sliced forehead and glistening brain above. The Queen licked her lips, and she gripped a spoon so hard it began to bend. Harry found himself on his feet, his chair on its back behind him.
“What the gently caress?”
Charles ignored him and carried on in the same even tone.
“It was my grandmother who first realised the restorative powers of cerebral matter, but only in her later years. My mother and father have used it for decades, to survive the ravages of age.”
Harry felt nauseous, and the room began to spin. The last thing he saw before his vision faded was the Queen daintily spooning the jelly-like brain into her mouth while Phillip scooped his hand into the skull.
|# ¿ Mar 24, 2013 00:01|
JUDGEMENT IS UPON YE
Three's a charm, hopefully four will be less poor. Looking forward to you throwing me some in depth crit as why you thought it sucked.
CancerCakes, "Agnatic-Cerebratic Succession":
Thanks! I recently played CK2 which is exactly where the title came from. The One/We I can change pretty quickly, thanks. I agree the eviscerate doesn't quite work but I was looking for something in that theme, it was that or the horrible "exsanguinated". The comma/elipsis came from my word processor I think, but better proofing could have got rid of that. As for the Brains, it was in the title and every paragraph had at least one mention of brains, cannibalism or dismemberment, but I can be more obvious next time.
|# ¿ Mar 25, 2013 14:27|
I lost so can't judge, otherwise I would. It was a lot of fun last time and I learnt a lot, obviously not enough, but I will get there eventually.
Also I'm in for this week, and it's a great prompt. I drafted about five stories with different songs out in my head on the way home.
|# ¿ Mar 26, 2013 22:49|
Daylight savings time means that the switch to BST is pretty much right now. That means I get an hour less in bed, which is upsetting. At least we have a four day weekend over here.
This is a Warehouse War 1199 words of joy
We had a ritual before we dropped, the four of us.
“Are you ready Steve? Andy? Mick?”
The three guys in front of me wore fluorescent vests, whistles and wristbands, and each nodded in turn. I was wearing a bright pink hoody that matched my hair and black lycra shorts - we looked ridiculous, and we were going to fit right in.
“Alright fellas - let's go!”
We were modern day gods of excess and ecstasy, going to mad parties and pushing our bodies and minds to the limit. From where we stood in a corner I could see a riot of colour and sound stretching away from us towards the stage. Steve and Andy were chatting to a couple of mates from the pub, laughing and hugging and telling each other things that they would never say if they hadn’t had a bag of E’s, but I was finding it hard to sit still. I didn’t feel loved up at all. I was actually buzzing, hundreds of ideas were fizzing in my brain, and I could see them grounding in the people around me. I grabbed Mick’s vest.
“Are you sure that was an E you gave me?” I shouted in his ears over the thumping music.
He broke off talking to some bird about how much he missed his dog but it was ok because life is temporary and he just felt really happy to have known him, tore his gaze away from her bra and looked up at me.
“Ali, are you ok? Everything is alright, you know?”
He said it with a stupid dreamy look in his eyes that I envied for a second. My need to move made me stand up before he managed to hug me and I pushed towards the noise. Loved up people are really annoying when you aren’t in on it, but having a go at him would be like kicking a dog: he wouldn’t understand why you were telling him off, but it would upset him for the rest of the night. I just wanted to dance.
I fought my way through the horde towards the stage, where a band with giant garish mohicans played keyboards and laptops, and lost myself in the euphoric music. I had no thoughts: seconds and minutes and hours no longer had any meaning to me. My limbs moved without any input from my conscious mind.
I had reached that point in the night where actions came without thinking, so later when someone shouted that the police had arrived I jumped up on the stage in a flash and took control of the mic. The band ground to silence and stared at me while I stood there at a complete loss as to what to say. Stage fright threatened to strike, but then I felt angry strength flow into me.
“I don’t want to go home, I want to dance, so gently caress it lets show them what a riot really looks like!”
And that was how it came to be that I was inciting a warehouse full of drugged up youths to riot. The opposition came through the door in full riot gear: massive boots, shields and helmets with reflective face visors. In the place where the faces should have been you could only see the angry crowd.
“You are trespassing on private property, this is an illegal gathering. If you do not disperse we will break it up by force,” a megaphone sounded from behind the ranks.
The warehouse went silent as the rave contemplated the conundrum. On one side there was a wall of shiny plastic, black leather and dark blue coveralls. On the other a ragged line of day-glo greens, yellows, pinks, oranges. Under the blacklights the crowd emitted light all across the spectrum, while the dark blues and blacks of the authority only seemed to suck all light into them. The two massed choruses faced each other across an empty no mans land. I had seen something like it at a festival, the “wall of death”. The crowd would be split into two, and then on a signal from the band the two sides would charge at each other. The situation was delicately poised, a single quiet tense moment.
Then a man at the back shouted, “everyone, ATTACK!” and it turned into warehouse war.
I cheered as the ravers pushed the cops back a couple of feet, and then watched in horror as the wave broke and the fluorescent army were forced back yards. I realised then that at the festival it wasn’t a bunch of kids in fluorescent rave gear against armoured police.
The force of the push from the dark blue stormtoopers made bodies press against the makeshift stage and it toppled under the pressure, depositing me on top of the crush. It was probably the worst timed crowd surf ever: I was thrown from head to head towards the inhuman figures striking in rhythmic beats with their batons.
I began to struggle and kick out at the people holding me up, and was rewarded by being dropped on my arse. I yanked on someones wrist band to try and pull myself to my feet, but it came away in my hand. I began scrabbling at the people around me and desperate tears ran from my eyes as I struggled to get off the floor before I was trampled.
“MICK! ANDY! STEVE! HELP!” I screamed, but my voice cracked as my vocal chords tightened in terror. Suddenly a hand grabbed my pink hood and pulled me up. I was on my feet just in time to see a truncheon smack into Mick’s dreamy smile, dropping him like downed telephone pole.
“Run, for gently caress’s sake, run!” someone was shouting at the back, wildly waving people towards a fire escape, and the crowd streamed away from the carnage, but to me escape seemed too far away. I could only look forlornly at the victims lying on the floor. We had not hurt anyone, not damaged anything except a padlock. I hated the massive riot police for coming here and hurting us without reason. I glared at the visors, trying to see some hint of humanity through them, but there was no sign that there were people inside the boilersuits. All I saw was a scared girl in a hoody glaring back at me. I was brought back from my reverie when someone tackled me and zip tied my wrists behind my back.
The strip lights blazed up while the last of the revellers fled, casting a harsh white light across the empty space, the band’s dyed mohicans were just visible among them. Next to me Mick bled from his ears with his eyes open.
Some time passed, then we were dragged outside and the sirens were so loud that they blended together into a thrumming cacophony of noise. The blue flashing lights stabbed into my eyes, and the riot police around me loomed threateningly so that getting into the back of the van was a relief. As we were driven away the motion soothed my nerves, and we moved in synchronization, swaying together as we rounded the corners.
Song is Ballroom Blitz, like you didn't know that already.
|# ¿ Mar 31, 2013 01:48|
At this stage I am slightly surprised by not losing! Thanks for the crits as always, next time I will keep it tighter.
I tried to incorporate every line of the song into the story somehow (including guitar solo), but in the end that probably wasn't worth the effort.
As you say people on E don't riot, I nixed some exposition about amphetamines, and also played with the idea of it being a bad batch but it seemed a bit clunky. The voice isn't very raver-esque but I also drafted the idea of this as an ironic 2010s fluorescent race rather than a proper one, again cut, which is why these people don't act as you expect.
A lesson for me that when you leave a lot of stuff on the cutting room floor it is probably better to rework the entire story rather than have something full of holes.
Congratulations to systran, I hope to copy their example before I get my ultraloser status. Judging by the trend that will be within the month however.
|# ¿ Apr 2, 2013 11:31|
In, picture and quote tbc.
MR. LINDEN'S LIBRARY
He had warned her about the book.
Now it was too late.
CancerCakes fucked around with this message at 17:20 on Apr 2, 2013
|# ¿ Apr 2, 2013 15:27|
“Unlock your imagination at the library”
2nd - Tomorrow I begin the inventory of the Linden Estate. Escaping auction house will be good for me, I haven't been able to focus since Maevis left. I hope to discover something peculiar to distract from her betrayals.
3rd - The House is full Of Leaves, every window is broken. There nothing of value, all the furniture and paintings are in tatters. It is wasted labor, but there is a week until the auction so I will occupy my mind with this. I was served divorce papers when I returned to my dank lodgings; I will likely lose everything.
4th - Today I examined the basement, and found something extraordinary. I expected a dusty storage area, or a wine cellar full of broken bottles, but it is clean and dry. From the bottom of the stairs a line of lit light bulbs stretches away in a corridor lined floor to ceiling with oak cabinets. The draws in the cabinets are filled with index cards. I seem to have stumbled upon a card catalogue.
This level may extend for some distance outside the foundations, but I cannot know as it seems to be completely without symmetry. The hall twists about but the cabinets continue perfectly along the curves and angles. The workmanship is exceptional, better than I have ever seen, but I cannot conceive of a method to remove them for sale without irreparable damage. Since the profit would likely be wholly stolen by parasitic lawyers or my spouse, so I am not inclined to speculate upon the effort required.
I am yet to find any books.
5th - Last night I attempted to take some cards for study, thinking it would aid my troubled sleep, but it felt so profoundly wrong to remove them that my migraines returned. I had to helped to my bed. Each card has cross referencing information, but no shelf mark. Instead a description of how to find the book is written in beautiful cursive. The information does not match this labyrinth, which I have begun mapping in an effort to inventory the collection, nor does it match the decrepid library upstairs. For Zampanò’s The Navidson Record:
Turn your face to the moon whilst before the window of the stolen god and take twenty paces, so the eye of your shadow from the setting sun falls through the arch of Pelafina upon the armoire of red pine. The folio of Zampanò will be at your right hand.
I have completed my map of the catacomb: five halls twist around and originate from a central hall, at the end one is the staircase to the house. In the centre is a chair very similar to that which Maevis and I bought for our first house, a wingback with large padded sections.
- I fell asleep in the chair, and I do not know what day it is. I have a mind to stay as my lodgings are covered in dirt and filth while this place is pristine. I never learned to care for myself, Maevis did the everything about the house, and she now has full possession of it. I have no place to call home except this labyrinth.
- Each map I draw is incorrect. The halls twist in differing patterns, and branch at the points where I previously thought they ended. I have also begun a map of the library proper. The cards often use landmarks, so I can visualise that marvellous space, it is vivid in my mind. I spent most of the day sitting with the cards, but it will take some time to make a full survey of the piece.
- I have fantastic dreams of the library when I sleep. There are vaulted ceilings painted in wonderful colours, and shelves and shelves of illustrated manuscripts. Fantastic canvasses by touched artists hang upon the walls, and gold plate adorns each door. Coloured lights diffuse through the windows, painting designs on the walls in deft strokes. I sense that I belong there. However comfortable I am in my padded chair in the catalogue it is but an antechamber. But if I find the right card, the one that describes how to enter the library, I reach it. I am surrounded by thousands of keys, I only need to find the one that fits me.
- When my supply of cards is depleted I discover another arm in the catalogue, another branch or root. I no longer need the maps I have drawn, but as I look through their sequence I can see the halls writhing and branching around me, growing. I stalk the labyrinth, instinct bringing me to the next cabinet, the next draw, the next card. I do not know if I will ever find the one I search for, and each one tortures me with ever more detailed descriptions of the library that I seek.
- I no longer know or care which branch leads up to the house, everything in that world has been taken from me. I am driven by the need to fulfill the visions I see when I sleep.
- I Wander in linden’s library Each sundown, chasing apparitions, purposefully examining The heady images. such Astonishing scenes yet lend unfailingly more Tender auras, Kreating intense, lacerating longing. Years, otherwise unfilled, May Advance Ere (those) Visions I Secure.
|# ¿ Apr 7, 2013 22:03|
|# ¿ Oct 20, 2021 22:30|
CancerCakes, "Unlock your imagination in the library":
Thank you! This was probably the thunderdome entry that I enjoyed the most so far, and it took a lot of time. That last paragraph alone took ages with thesaurus.com! I know the TA doesn't fit, but my rationalisation was that aura has almost an O sound. I almost capitalized the AU but then it wouldn't have fit the scheme.
The House of Leaves is a modern marvel, this was in homage to it. Seriously, read it, it is probably one of my favorite books.
The month was actually in the dates, but I cut it because of word count, then never put it back.
I know the title was crap but I couldn't think of anything else that wasn't a horrible cliche.
As to this:
You've written entries in an imaginary book about imaginary books, but the imaginary books are hidden and quite possibly imaginary even to the protagonist.
It becomes even more complicated if you are familiar with House of Leaves. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_leaves
My piece is a diary about an imaginary card catalogue produced by a madman, for an imaginary library that he knows is imaginary BUT that contains Zampano's manuscript, an imaginary thesis about an imaginary videotape, produced by an unreliable narrator in The House of Leaves. The fact that it almost stands on its own makes me much happier than I have any right to be on a Monday morning.
Sorry to poo poo the thread up with my poo poo, I wanted to PM you.
CancerCakes fucked around with this message at 09:08 on Apr 8, 2013
|# ¿ Apr 8, 2013 09:06|