This looks fun. I'm in.
|# ¿ Oct 8, 2013 00:21|
|# ¿ Dec 5, 2022 00:37|
Is there a minimum word count you're going down to?
|# ¿ Oct 8, 2013 17:12|
Don't beg. You're better than that.
(Its not going lower)
|# ¿ Oct 11, 2013 00:06|
“Dan-o! My man! How have you been?”
“Bad morning, to be honest. I just had to kick one of my graduate assistants out of school. It looks like I’m gonna have to be the one pick up his classes.”
“What did he do?”
“It was the Johansen kid. You remember, him? Big, blonde, like six foot something. Kinda overweight?”
“Yeah, I think so.”
“He got close with the lab rats.”
“Too close. Weird close.”
“Security had him on tape. Backlogged for months. Evidently since the start of the semester.”
“What do you mean when you say close?
“I probably shouldn’t.”
“Come on. Come on, man. Close?”
“Keep quiet, alright? So we both know you never give test animals names, right? Ever. But this Johansen kid did. I knew he was doing it but I’ve had a lot on my plate this semester and this didn’t really even register on my list of importance. And, to be honest, it was kind of refreshing. This kid was excited to work. He was good at what he did. So I let him do his thing. I let a little protocol slip. Sue me.
“Anyway, so Johansen gives all the lab rats names, right? He has a name for every single one of them and he talked to them constantly while he worked. Little things. Small talk. Hey Bobby, you gonna beat yesterday’s time today? or Jolene, you looked a little sluggish. Are you feeling alright? Constant blabber. It really wasn’t any better or worse than the usual lab small talk. Except for, you know, it being a one sided conversation between Johansen and a bunch of rats.
“Well, what we didn’t know until security pulled those tapes was that he was coming back every night. Not weird by itself, right? Lot of students come back to do work. But he wasn’t doing work, man. He was taking the rats out and cuddling them.”
“Cuddling them. Stroking them. Nothing overtly sexual but definitely inappropriate.”
“Why’d it take so long for this to come out?”
“Cause nobody is sitting there watching the cameras. They only look at the tape if something comes up. By the end he was sneaking in some cushions and a pillow and was sleeping in the lab. People knew that, too. Security guards. We have a statement from two of them saying they knew. So he’s sleeping in there, right? That’s how we found out about all this. He had started sleeping with the rats. Again, not sexually, mind you. Just sleeping with them in his arms.
“I don’t know why it took so long but eventually, as you’d expect, the rats run off in the night. Whoops. So we end up having to do this whole big investigation thing to try and figure out why overnight we’re suddenly down half a dozen rats. They were all accounted for at the end of the day. Nothing wrong with containers. As far as we know they’ve just disappeared. Its this huge mystery and, of course, Johansen, he doesn’t say a word. Just out of curiosity. Just out of an attempt to find these missing rats we ask security to pull the tapes to see if we can see them escaping. And that’s how all this came out.”
“And you ending up kicking him out of school?”
“Called it trespassing and destruction of school property.”
“Yeah, well, he probably compromised the whole experiment so now we get to start from scratch.”
“What? Why? How?”
“The whole group was anomalous. Something like a fifty percent increase in completion speed.”
“Control and test groups?”
“All of them. Fifty percent increase across the board starting gradually from the beginning of the semester. But just this lab. With this staff.”
“Maybe its just a weird group of rats. But I think it had something to do with Johansen.”
Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 03:05 on Oct 14, 2013
|# ¿ Oct 13, 2013 15:44|
|# ¿ Oct 17, 2013 16:04|
These Things Happen
I was little and she was big and she said me that I was just scaring myself. The TV told me that the storm was bad and that we needed to go. Mama told me that’s why I should just watch cartoons.
Let Mama worry about grown up stuff, she said.
I said Okay, Mama but it was hard. I had to turn off the TV cause there was warnings even on the kid channels. When I laid in bed I could hear neighbors banging away boarding up their windows with hammers and nails. I sat in our window and watched people leave. Mister Dumont knocked on the door and he asked Mama if she needed help bolting everything down and she said that would be very nice.
Y’all thinking about leaving?
Naw, Mama said, too much hassle. We’ve been fine before.
You’re probably right, he said.
Folks always make something out of nothing and especially if they not from here. They don’t know.
You’re probably right he said again but Mister Dumont ended up driving away anyway. Through a knot in the wood I thought I saw him look back at me but he didn’t wave or nothing. I remember wishing I was in that car.
We slept in our car for a long time.
I sat in Mama’s lap on the drive home. It wasn’t scary like leaving. It wasn’t raining so hard you couldn’t see. The sky wasn’t black like death like the middle of someone’s eyes. The whole wide world wasn’t screaming and coming down on you. It was just quiet. But that was scary too. Different scary.
The buildings had gone and gotten really old. Trash was every which way I could see. And now there was these big pieces of broken metal. And broken wood. And there was stuff so alien I couldn't even guess what it was supposed to be in the first place.
Mama where are all the trees?
So much stuff was missing it was confusing. Sometimes I thought I knew where we was but then stuff would look wrong again. I didn’t make sense. Why would somebody take telephone poles? What would you do with them? Maybe folks was making new houses with them.
Is all the houses bad like these ones, Mama?
I felt her muscles get all stiff and tense underneath me. When she didn’t answer I put my head against her and felt her heart thump. It was beating so fast. After some time she ran her fingers through my hair and that was nice. After some time she whispered Please, God. God didn’t say nothing back.
When we pulled up there wasn’t anybody. No people. There wasn’t no plants or trees or anything green and natural neither. If it wasn’t graffiti it was brown like Mama’s hand that was trembling in mine. We had to step over piles of garbage just to get close.
Where’s our front door?
I don’t know, she said softly.
The water mark on the walls was bigger up than my shoulders. It was still damp, too. The carpet was so soaked it was like walking in mud. Every step was slow and squishy and squirted water out underfoot. It was fun to walk in and I was happy not to be in that car anymore. I was happy that I was finally home. Mama let go of my hand and left me in the living room and I poked the carpet and created little pools of water with my fingers.
No. Lord, no.
What Mama? I asked. I didn’t know where she was.
I found her in her room.
No, Mama kept repeating, no no no.
She was just sitting there and staring at this soggy book that was in her hands. She was turning pages that were warped and covered in fuzzy mold. They were gross.
Do you remember Mawmaw? she asked me without looking up.
You remember what she looked like?
I thought hard. Mawmaw had met Jesus a long time ago when I was even littler. She would always hold me close and kiss me. She smelled really good. Her clothes always smelled like the kitchen. Gumbo. She made the best gumbo.
You remember her face?
Mawmaw had big black hair and painted nails. She was so much bigger than me. Big hands. But what did she look like? Did she look old? I couldn’t see her face.
No, I said.
Mama buried her face in her hands. She sobbed. The book was open on the floor and I looked but there wasn’t nothing there. Just blurred colors inside little squares. I asked her what was wrong but she wouldn't answer me.
I tugged on her arm and she grabbed me. She told me that she loved me. She held me so tight that it hurt.
|# ¿ Oct 21, 2013 00:36|
|# ¿ Oct 22, 2013 03:56|
Achilles (990 words)
edit: now you can click on it
Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 16:10 on Oct 27, 2013
|# ¿ Oct 27, 2013 15:10|
Is there a way to post to Google Drive anonymously? I don't see any way to share without my actual name being on it.
Create a fake google account?
|# ¿ Oct 27, 2013 19:48|
|# ¿ Oct 30, 2013 02:33|
I couldn’t to speak without his permission. I couldn’t move. I was nothing. And yet I loved him.
He broke me in alone in his room. I wasn’t his first. I could tell. But he made it so easy. He was so skilled. So smooth. His touch was soft and reassuring. His fingers brought forth strange sounds from within me. Sounds I didn’t know I possessed. His touch barely changing. He held me in his arms, tuned me by ear, and turned my cries into music. He changed me. He made me beautiful.
I was a gift from an older relative. A gift.
Whenever he came home I was there. Sometimes he would ignore me. Sometimes for days and I would obediently, silently sit in the corner. Sometimes he would rush to me, leap into the air with me, tumble into the bed with me. I never knew his mood but I never failed to respond to his touch. And as he would make me sing his voice would join in with mine.
He would sing. The songs were alway different. Some were born of frustration. Some of grief. Some of joy and new beginnings. Some were about women. Many about women.
A piece of property.
Layla. Lucy. Maggie. Mary. Roxanne. I didn’t have a name to him. I wasn’t called anything. So I would pretend I was really the woman he was singing about it.
Something to be used.
He took me to a party. He opened me in front of strangers. He held me by the neck and made me sing and they joined in. He passed me around. I was entertainment to them. They passed me around. It was wrong. It was perversion of what we had. They were rough. It hurt when they fingered me. Strangers tried to make me sing and I had to but it was all wrong. I could feel their inexperience. He was so casual. He smoked and talked and paid me no mind. It wasn’t special. I wasn’t special.
And not to be loved.
Someone was drunk. It was dark. I heard something unzip. And then there was piss on me. In me. It filled me. I couldn’t get it out. The next morning he found me and he seemed distraught. He took me home immediately. He cleaned me. He washed me by hand. It didn’t matter. I didn’t feel clean. Dirty. I couldn’t stop smelling it. I don’t think he could either.
I was nothing to him.
He sold me.
And yet I loved him.
|# ¿ Nov 2, 2013 22:43|
|# ¿ Nov 5, 2013 03:15|
I would like a flash rule.
|# ¿ Nov 5, 2013 14:24|
Word count: 986
Prompt: Gambling; Flash rule: The main character is an archaeologist
The coffee was cold and it reminded him of his marriage. He had forgotten about them both on his drive to work. His new graduate assistant was taking up more of his thoughts than the old professor cared to admit. Last name Smith. First name… Britni or Brit’ne or Baritney or something stupid. He could never remember. He liked the girl but he felt like the name showed a clear disdain for age.
Now, Ester, that was a solid name. He picked up the sole picture on his desk. Him and Ester. They were newly married, excited in front of a new excavation site, holding one another and laughing into the camera. Ester. A strong name. An even stronger mind. He held the picture in both hands. They were so young.
He turned the picture face down.
“How may I help you, Miss Smith?”
God, this silly-named girl was beautiful. He smiled. She made him feel young.
“We’ve lost the Panther site, sir.”
James Turner, distinguished professor and researcher, suddenly felt very, very old.
Ester ran a calloused finger over the rim of her wine glass. The Panther site was her site. She worked it. She slaved over it. Hell, she had been the one to find it in the first place. All of those hours, all that sweat and blood, pouring over old documents and paintings just to find the location of the cave system. And she had done everything on a tenth of the budget she should have had.
“I’m surprised it’s taken this long, to be honest,” Dr. Turner said quietly over a half-finished meal, “We both knew we were going to lose it.”
It was true. They had lost their appeal to the National Register of Historic Places nearly two years prior. But now, officially, the land was lost. The sale was finalized and the whole area was to be razed and developed into a neighborhood or a shopping center or something. The thought depressed them both.
“We just couldn’t prove that it was important,” he said finally.
Ester slammed her fist into the table.
“But how can we prove its important if we don’t have time to study it? I can’t excavate because I don’t have the budget! I can’t preserve because I don’t have the budget! I’ve only gotten as much work done as I have because of god drat student workers!”
“I don’t have any more money to give you.”
The university was suffering cutbacks all across the board. They both knew it. It didn’t make her feel any better.
“You just don’t think it’s important,” she said and she left him at the table.
Their bedroom door had been closed. He placed his hand on the doorknob. She was probably asleep but if she wasn’t she would be fuming. He didn't want to risk it. Dr. Turner left the door and walked down the hall.
He found himself in his wife’s office. The desk was in disarray. Papers everywhere. Missives and essays and research. He picked up a page at random. A letter to the Governor. A plea for help. A summary on her theory on the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex.
“They’re too similar to be coincidental,” came a voice from behind him.
“I thought you were asleep,” he said.
Ester grabbed a pile of papers, kept a few, and threw the rest on the floor.
“We’ve dated these artifacts to 850 CE. Eight fifty,” she said, “You want an appropriate estimated time for a massive Aztec migration? That’s 850 CE. Look at these figures- there is nothing like these paintings outside of Central America prior to this period. Look at this pillar. This is half of a pillar. The rest is buried. I don’t know if a temple collapsed or if they built it underground but I know there is history under the earth. Come on. That’s Quetzalcoatl. You can’t tell me that’s not a feathered serpent.”
She grabbed another stack of papers.
“I have obsidian weapons. I have art motifs. I have carvings that are indistinguishable from a Mexican excavation except we pulled it from the Panther site. This is our Archaeopteryx Lithica. This is our missing link!”
He glanced over some of her papers.
“Show me,” he said.
Ester put a fresh cup of coffee down and her husband smiled in thanks. He had been going over her notes for the better part of six hours. He estimated he had at least another six.
“This is good stuff, Ester.”
“I know. Why do you think my reports were so long?”
“I didn’t read-”
“My reports? Yeah. Neither did anyone else. Why do you think this isn’t published? Some people have their heads so far up their asses they refuse to even look at evidence contrary to their beliefs.”
“Its an unpopular opinion.”
“That’s why we need this site!”
Dr. Turner sighed.
“Ester, we’ve already lost the site. What you have found is incredible. Perhaps even revolutionary if it turns out to be true. If. But we don’t know. We’ll never know. We ran out of time. If we had more time...”
She kissed him on the forehead.
“Thank you, James.”
“We just need more time,” she said.
“How can we know that this will work?”
“We don’t. We can't.”
“I’ll get you the time. Or I won’t. This will make people care.”
“Or it won’t.”
“We’ve already lost the site, James. This is all I got.”
Her name on the building. Her portrait in the atrium. Her blood in the caves. His lies on the news. Religious extremists didn’t bomb the Panther site. But people believed they did.
In his office, in the Dr. Ester Monro Center for Archaeology and Research, James Turner held a picture of a newly married couple. They were laughing and holding each other. They were both so young.
|# ¿ Nov 11, 2013 04:37|
|# ¿ Nov 12, 2013 15:12|
Trying to Be a Father
“It smells like poop.”
“It’s called dung, Dad. Its different when it aminals. Aminals.”
“Animals. And it still smells like poop,” he said, waving his hand dramatically in front of his nose, “Pee-yew!”
She grabbed a tiny fistful of popcorn and tried to be helpful by putting some up his nose. It mostly got stuck in his moustache. She laughed and he made a silly face. She laughed harder and it made him laugh, too. A loud, booming sound that echoed off the walls. Women with nice clothes and designer carriages couldn’t mask the horror on their faces.
His leather cut stood out amongst the light pastels of the soccer moms and the house wives. His hair was longer than theirs. His beard was almost as big as their children. Bikerus Dangarious, his plaque might read. There might be a cartoon of him next to it with arrows pointing at and describing his tattoos.
“Daddy like popcorn,” he yelled in a monster voice, “Nom nom nom! Feed daddy popcorn!”
She squealed as he picked her up and squeezed her against his chest. Her little fingers weaved through his facial hair and popped the pieces into his mouth. He smacked his lips loudly as he chewed. She grabbed his lips with her hands and giggled.
“You done with the elephants, baby?” he asked as he kissed away her fingers.
“What’s next, baby?”
She pointed without looking. She knew this zoo better than anyone. As they walked, she gleefully rattled off facts she knew. Did he know that red pandas weren’t actually pandas? Did he know that panda’s were actually bears? Did he know that polar bears have black skin? Did he know that boy seahorses had the babies? Did he know that hippos were faster than humans?
He did know that gorillas could learn sign language but he let her tell him all the same.
Neither of them noticed strollers pulling to the other side of the sidewalk as they approached. A pair of pale faced parents pulled their children away from the glass and she she eagerly took their place.
“Orangutan,” she repeated, “I knew that.”
The animal in question was chewing its food only a few feet away. His daughter pressed her face against the glass. He rested his arms over hers.
“An adult male has an average arm span of over eight feet,” she said, “Is that bigger than yours?”
“Just barely,” he said.
The ape in the front made eye contact with him. Looked at his hands. Stared at his forearm like it could read his tattoo. No Cages. It was a sentiment with which it seemed to agree.
But it didn’t agree because it was an orangutan and couldn’t read.
“That’s a fat monkey,” he said and played the drums on his belly, "Fat like daddy."
“Its an ape!” she said, wrapping her arms around his knee, “Its called an ape. They is different.”
He felt her press against his ankle monitor. He smiled at his daughter.
Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 08:09 on Nov 17, 2013
|# ¿ Nov 17, 2013 08:06|
* Big game hunting. For chickens.
* A beard that does not stop growing. Ever.
|# ¿ Nov 18, 2013 14:15|
Write a short scene in which one character reduces another to uncontrollable sobs without touching him or speaking.
It is in my humble opinion that I could not bring you, my wife, to tears sorrowful or otherwise. Perhaps if I rained blows down upon your shapely skull or crushed your ancient, familial China under my boot might some semblance of an emotional response be invoked but even with such barbarous methods I have doubts.
You would undoubtedly disapprove of my daily dalliances to the river as frivolous frolicking but I find do some small measure of joy in spreading the gift of whole-grain loaves to the begging waterfowl. It was on one of these trips that I came across a most unusual sight: a marriage proposal betwixt two gentlemen. It was a peculiar affair, certainly, one large and distinctively African and the other slender, effete, and White. I spied their encounter behind the reeds, unable avert my eyes, and witnessed as the former went down on one knee and the latter burst forth a torrent of tears. There was no communication save for a nodding and a pressing together of lovers lips.
The two made love completely unaware of my presence some twenty feet away. Their impassioned sighs stirred something long dead inside of me and in that moment I realized you have made me as cold as you are. When have you ever shed a tear? I watched a man bawl like a newborn babe at the mere sight of a ring.
One could argue I married you because you were beautiful and I am leaving you because you are not. In truth, you are ugly, frigid, and uncaring and I might just be a homosexual. Our contemporaries at the church have long postulated that such inclinations are a choice and so, in the pursuit of happiness, I will give it the old college try. Perhaps I might find a joy in the hands of man that has for so long has eluded me in yours.
And so, dear, I cordially invite you to “eat a dick”, a phrasing I borrow from our unruly and deplorable offspring. I believe for them it is an insult and I use it as such for you. Personally, however, I must admit I am titillated at the prospect of doing so myself.
|# ¿ Nov 21, 2013 15:49|
Dystopian Young-Adult Lit
Big game hunting/chickens & ever-growing beard.
Slavery was, technically, illegal but with no one around to enforce the law I was going to be sold all the same. Sold because my mother loved my brother more than me. He was her oldest and her favorite and he needed medicine. Besides, she had other children.
“Do you have all your teeth, girl?” the buyer asked. His name was Rozavelt.
I nodded. He grabbed my head and forcibly pulled down my lips. He ran a finger along my gums.
“Flex,” he said.
I flexed. Arms when he said so. Legs when he said so. He circled around me, peering at my muscles through his circular spectacles. I stood completely still and obeyed his every word. By god, if I was going to be sold I would fetch a good price.
“How many winters have you seen?”
“Fourteen,” I said.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my nervous mother chewing on her hair. I kept my eyes straight and tried to look fierce. I wondered if he could hear how heavy my heart was beating.
“You are hunter, yes? What do you hunt?”
“Rat,” I said.
“Spear,” I said.
Rozavelt seemed to nod approvingly. He pointed to a long scar on one of his cheek. I had several just like it. Rat fang. He knew.
Traps were useless. You’d only ever get one and that was only a maybe. They never fell for the same trap twice, either. They learned. They remembered. I killed my first rat by hand. That first one was small, maybe only twenty pounds, and it fought me for an hour. I was covered in blood when I came out of the tunnels. But I carved a spear with its teeth and with that spear I brought home meals three times its size.
“What’s your name?”
“A good name. Well, Nike, I’m in the adventuring business. Would you care to join me?”
I looked at my mother. Even now, she was clutching my brother.
“Yes,” I said.
We shook hands like equals. Which is how he would always treated me.
We walked for a long time. Each time I looked back over my shoulder familiar sights grew smaller and smaller until they disappeared completely and I had no idea where I was. As night began to fall we sought shelter in the corroded remains of what Rozavelt said was once a bus. I made us a fire and ate sparingly from our rations. Rozavelt didn’t eat at all.
Something shrieked in the darkness. Something strange and horrific. I couldn’t tell the distance. I couldn’t even tell what it was. I glanced over at Rozavelt and he was smiling.
“What was that?”
“Rooster,” he said, the fire dancing in the reflection of his spectacles, “I didn’t expect to find one so soon.”
“Those aren’t real,” I whispered and tightly gripped my spear. I peered out of the bus. Every shadow seemed to be hiding the mythical predator. Twice the size of a man. Talons the size of my forearm.
Whatever it was out there shrieked again.
“An adolescent,” Rozavelt murmured, “Good size to it. Let’s hunt it. What do you say?”
I stared at him. He couldn’t be serious.
“Why would we do that?”
“Sport,” he said with a smile.
It took us an hour to walk there. My heart pounded in my chest the whole time. My eyes nervously scanned all around me as I constantly anticipated an ambush. Rozavelt, on the other hand, was calm. Utterly serene. He carried his metal club casually over one shoulder. Any time the rooster screamed he would stop, listen, nod.
Under the pale moon we climbed up the ruins of a collapsed building. The roof was a good vantage point. I heard running water and crept to the other side of the roof to find its source. Below us, in a courtyard, was a fountain. One of those pre-war relics that still had power. It had to be at least fifty feet wide. In the middle of it there was a magnificently carved statue of a man’s upper body. Stone shoulders rose out of the pool. Maybe once the man would have spat water in the air but now it merely trickled out of his lips. The water ran down the contours of its face like a never ending beard.
The grounds around the fountain were white with dried poo poo. Even in the dull moonlight I could see feathers abound. I could see claw marks in the concrete. This was what we were looking for. This was it.
“Oh yes,” Rozavelt said, slapping my shoulder with triumphant gusto, “This is it.”
I took a step forward and heard a snap. I turned to look at Rozavelt but I was already falling.
I hit the ground hard. I had lost my spear. Where was my spear? There was a great cloud of dirt and dust and it choked the breath from me. I covered my head with my hands as small rocks and pebbles continued to rain down upon me.
Eventually, everything stopped. I could hear Rozavelt on the roof.
“Nike!” he cried, “Nike! Are you okay? Nike, where are you?”
“I’m here! I’m okay!”
We both froze as we heard the rooster’s call.
“Quickly, girl. Climb!”
He reached down to me. He was only two stories up but he might as well have been a hundred.
“You have to,” he growled, “Quickly. Climb.”
I turned around and saw my spear lying in the dirt between me and the fountain. Behind the fountain, I saw the rooster.
The rooster cocked its head to the side.
There was no way I could get back to the roof in time but maybe I could get to my weapon.
Rozavelt screamed “Nike, don’t!”
But I did. I ran. I ran as fast as I could but the rooster was faster. It covered four times the distance as I did with every step. It landed on the giant head and its talons shredded through the stone. I gritted my teeth and slide on the dirt as it launched itself toward me. I lifted the point of my spear and screamed in the face of death.
Then there was the sound of thunder. There was a burst of red in the rooster’s chest. Sparks flew in the air as its talons skidded around me. It hadn’t landed on me.
I dusted myself off. The rooster continued to claw desperately at the ground. Blood pooled out around its body. Its eyes were wild. Even in its dying moments it would kill me if it could.
I turned and could see Rozavelt on the roof. His metal club was smoking. He gave me a thumbs up and a smile. I smiled back. I had never felt so alive.
|# ¿ Nov 25, 2013 04:51|
Flash rule: somebody needs to squeal like a piggy.
|# ¿ Nov 26, 2013 04:40|
They walked arm in arm as they had when they were children. They had been as close as brothers once. Before the wars. Before the one had become a warlord.
“What do you think of my men?” asked Moses Asukili.
The sound of sharpening machetes underscored their conversation and Obi feared being insulting with his response. This man who clutched him so lovingly had done terrible things. Obi had shifted through his handwork once-- looking for family in the ashes and the charred bones.
He found his sister and her husband. His nephew was still missing.
Moses motioned for Obi to sit with him.
“They look youthful,” Obi said carefully.
“They might be young but they are men!” Moses boasted, “As soon as I get them, that very first day, we grab a girl for them to use. I am served only by men. This is smart, yes? For many years I struggled with discipline. But not so when I grab them young. I pay them in drugs and women. They love this. For this, they will give me their lives if I ask. Your life if I ask.”
Moses whistled and an eight year old with an assault rifle ran to him.
“Like that,” Moses said, snapping his fingers.
Obi glanced at his own hands. He was grateful they were not trembling.
“You would kill for me?” Moses asked the boy. His eyes never left Obi.
“Of course, General!”
“Who would you kill for me?”
“I would kill God for you, my General. If my ancestors themselves stood before me I would cut them down with my machete. I would eat their bones.”
Moses patted the boy on the head and the boy darted off.
“Are your children so obedient?” he asked.
“I lost my children.”
“Not to me I hope,” Moses said with a playful smile.
Moses leaned forward and extended his hand. Obi took the General’s hand with his own. The two men interlaced fingers.
“No, not to you.” Obi said, giving a little a squeeze, “Long before all of this.”
“I am glad. I would hate to have hurt you. This war has done terrible things. Made men into monsters”
“Better for it to be over soon then, yes?”
“Yes!” Moses said as he burst into laughter, “Just tell that to those pig cunts up north. They had their chance to run this country and what did they do? They ruined us worse than the Colonials. And we thought we were suffering then. Ha!”
“I do not remember things being so bad,” Obi mused, “As children, I do not remember this suffering. I remember sneaking out and telling stories under the stars. And running from Old Man Mzali when we stole his fruit.”
“Mzali! Yes! That old bastard would not chase after me now, I think!”
“And that giant baobab tree. The one we called Heaven Scraper.”
Moses nodded enthusiastically.
“Yes! Yes!” the General cried, “Many times did we hide in its hollows. Many times did we wrestle under the cool shadow of its branches.”
“Many times you bested me, Moses.”
Moses waved his hand dismissively.
“You were the best wrestler in the village. What was it that they called you? Obi the Cat? I don’t think I ever saw you lose.”
“I did to you,” Obi said.
“You could have thrown me over Heaven Scraper if you had tried. I was half your size. You let me win. In wrestling. In all things. This I know.”
Obi smiled and shrugged.
“Why?” he asked, “Why did you always let me win?”
“I did not think it was right the way the other boys treated you. It did not seem fair or kind.”
Moses leaned back and dug in his pockets for a carton of cigarettes. He lit two with a match and handed one to Obi. The men inhaled slowly.
“Why did you come here, Obi Omanyo?”
“These children… These soldiers you have,” Obi said, “Might you have one by the name of Georgie Yonbu? He would just be a little boy. Not even seven.”
“And what is your business with this boy?”
“He is my nephew.”
Moses exhaled a cloud of smoke.
“I do not know the name of every one of my soldiers,” the General said after a moment, “Maybe he is here. Maybe he is not. I do not know.”
“I would have him back if he lives.”
Moses ran his tongue over his golden teeth.
“I do not suffer deserters,” he said.
Obi didn’t respond.
“I cut off their feet. I don’t let them leave. I make them march on the stumps. They cry and they bleed and they die but they do not leave. I do this to but a few and the rest never risk running away.”
“He is my blood,” Obi said quietly.
“What are you going to do then?” Moses laughed, “Will you you pay me for him?”
“I have nothing of value, Moses.”
The General flicked his cigarette away and stood up. He grinned and dug into the dirt with the toe of his boot.
“Nothing of value?” he said as he carved out a wide circle, “Perhaps you would wrestle for him then?”
“Are you serious?”
Moses smiled and took off his shirt.
“Show me Obi the Cat, again. Show me why you were so popular.”
It took but a moment and Obi was on his back. Moses had hardly even moved.
“Again!” Moses barked.
Moses bested him quickly each time. Obi’s knees would give out or his feet would catch a bad angle.
“Again!” Moses barked, “Again! Again!”
They wrestled for an hour and Obi's world grew dark. He didn't remember closing his eyes. When he opened them Moses was grinning at him through the rolled down window of a truck.
“This driver will take you to find your nephew,” Moses said.
“But I lost,” Obi murmured weakly.
“Obi Omanyo never loses,” Moses said tapping his own forehead, “You let me win. This I know.”
Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 05:14 on Dec 2, 2013
|# ¿ Dec 2, 2013 05:01|
I met a young woman whose body was burning.
|# ¿ Dec 3, 2013 01:52|
|# ¿ Dec 3, 2013 19:48|
“I met a young woman whose body was burning”
A Light in Winter
“Dad’s a jerk,” said a voice in the dark.
I don’t think I had ever put those words together in my head before. But I knew as soon as I heard them that I agreed wholeheartedly. Dad was a jerk.
I don’t know which of my brothers said it. There were six of us that slept in that room back then. No one responded. Maybe we were all realizing the same thing at the same moment. Wishing we had the courage to say it outloud. I rolled onto my side and could just barely make out the outline of Paul’s face in the dark. His eyes were swollen shut. His lip was burst open. I wonder how bad I looked.
Dad had pummeled Paul the worst. We all got beat, mind you, but Paul got more for “lying.”
“I know you’ve been looking at these!” Dad had screamed, “Admit it, you miserable wretch! Repent!”
But Paul never admitted it. I did. Isaiah did. Thomas did. Everybody did but Paul. Paul was funny like that. They might have been his, too. I don’t know. Honestly, to this day I don’t know where those magazines came from. I had never seen them before Dad had them in his fists.
“Sin,” our father had spit the words out like curses, “Wickedness and corruption and damnation. And now lying!”
He was so angry he lit the magazines on fire. I’m sure it was supposed to be a meaningful metaphor for sin and Hell but in those flames I didn’t see doom. I saw the glory of God. I hadn’t known that those magazines were full of pictures of women.
There was this blonde with these great big breasts that she had to hold up with her hands. I only got to see her for a moment before the page was burnt and black but it was enough to shake my faith.
“Sin!” he screamed again.
I laid in bed that night and thought about that blonde. I thought about her at dinner the next day, too. And then on Sunday during the service. The preacher went on and on about abstaining from pleasures in this life to gain everlasting joy in the next one. He said if we did that then we’d get to bask in the worship of God for eternity. Now, I’d been going to church every Sunday since before I could remember and an eternity of worship service didn’t really sound like everlasting joy.
When we got home I walked to my room and took the Lord’s name in vain.
“God drat,” I said.
It felt good. So I said it again. And then again. God drat rolled off my tongue. It was so easy. God drat. Over and over. It built in volume until I was shouting it at the top of my lungs. God drat! The door suddenly burst open and my father was upon me.
“What are you doing?” he roared.
“God drat sinners,” I said quickly, “I hate sinners. drat them to hell.”
He look oddly pleased as he washed my mouth out with soap.
That night I heard my words repeated in the dark.
“God drat,” the voice said.
I couldn’t tell who said it. I rolled onto my side and I could just make out Paul smiling. I thought about that blonde and I went to sleep smiling, too.
Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 22:09 on Dec 8, 2013
|# ¿ Dec 8, 2013 22:05|
|# ¿ Dec 10, 2013 01:18|
Hawaiian Pidgin - 865
“Your son tink he too good to be one Warrior, ah?”
“Nah, boy,” Kiha said, shaking his head, “Ees not laid at.”
Abraham sank his teeth into his pork sandwich and the sauce ran down his chin like blood. He rapped his fat knuckles on the table top and mumbled something unintelligible through a mouth full of barbecue.
“Ah?” Kiha asked.
“Da kine, braddah. He trying for run from da kine den?”
“Nah,” Kiha said, “Ees jus, you know, he say its one good opportunity.”
Kiha shrugged. Abraham wiped his mouth with the back of his palm.
“He should be one Warrior like us,” Abraham said, “Tink about what dat was like. Our families up in da stands. Everybody cheering and getting nahts. We wen represent out dea for da islands. Me on da line and you running behind me. Senior season, bulleh, you were running for like one tousand yards before dat haole boy wen buss up your knee.”
“And you were in sku until you wen buss up dat haole’s face.”
“Ho, bra, you like beef,” Abraham said as he raised his fists, “Bumbai you get beef!”
Abraham punched the air, recreating the scene on the field, and Kiha laughed. He hadn’t been surprised when he heard that the kid who ended his career had left the stadium without his teeth. Abraham had once swore to Kiha that he would step in front of a bus before he let his runningback get tackled behind the line of scrimmage.
“He like move to da Mainlan,” Kiha said.
“Keiki deez days, braddah. Auwe! I went Big Island one time an’ tot- da’s far enough foh me!”
Kiha grinned and nodded in agreement. It was kind of crazy to think about living on another island, right? Let alone the mainland. What was his son thinking? Kiha couldn’t imagine a life without something as simple like L&L barbecue. Or without lau lau. Without shave ice. Without his family. Without his culture. Without…
Kiha watched his friend gulp down soda out of a giant plastic cup and frowned.
Maybe his son didn’t want to end up as one more moke in a cheap diner.
“I’m worried if he leaves he won’t want to come back,” Kiha said softly.
Abraham put his cup down.
“Das it?” his friend asked incredulously, “Da’s da big worry?”
Abraham propped his elbow on the table and pushed his shirt sleeve over his shoulder. From his elbow up he was covered in traditional style tattoos. He pointed directly to a small seaturtle that swam amongst inked black waves.
“Chu know why da honu steh so important to da old sailahz?” Abraham said, tracing the shell with his finger, “When peoples were coming across da watah dey never know wea land was. But if you saw one honu, and you could see his face, you knew wea da land steh. Da honu, dey travel all ovah da ocean, yeah? Dey always go from one island to one odda. Dey smart, lai dat. So when dey wen pop up you know wea da face is wea you need for go. Da honu always faces home. ”
Abraham let his sleeve fall and popped the last bit of barbecue into his mouth.
“Your son maybe he lai dat, ah? Sure he want to go over da kine now but guaranz he know in his heart wea his ohana steh.”
Kiha was impressed.
“Deep tots, braddah,” he said.
Abraham shrugged and smiled. When the waitress came by with the check, Kiha waived off his friend’s hand.
“You get em?” Abraham asked, “Can get dessert too den, ah?”
Kiha grinned and they got dessert. And then seconds. After all, this placed had the best haupia this side of the island. Abraham couldn’t stop rubbing his belly as they left.
“Ho, tanks for dinner, braddah,” Abraham said as he licked his fingers, “Dis haupia wen broke da mout!”
“Da best,” Kiha said.
“Guaranz,” Abraham laughed, “Shoots, cuz.”
Kiha threw up a shaka and climbed into his truck. When he got home, the letter of intent his son wanted him to sign was sitting on the kitchen table right where had he left it.
Dear Harold Kilani Kealoha Kuapana Leolani-Donato,
Congratulations, you have been awarded an athletic scholarship to the University of...
Kiha put it back down. He opened the fridge, grabbed a six pack of Primo, and walked out onto the lanai.
And he drank.
And he thought.
He heard his son come in. Cook something in the microwave. Watch tv. Shower. Go to bed. Kiha finished his last beer and tossed the crushed can into the garbage. He walked to his son’s room and quietly opened the door. He watched the boy sleep in a bed that was far too small.
He was still so young. Kiha softly tousled his son’s hair. His son slept on unperturbed.
Maybe Abraham was right. Kiha didn’t know. He didn’t know what the future held. He didn’t know where his son would be when the boy emerged from the waters of adolescence.
He just hoped that on that day his son’s head would be facing Oahu.
|# ¿ Dec 16, 2013 04:51|
Thunderbrawl: Mercedes V Purple Prince
Its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, ya dig? And I want a cheerful tale perfect for the holidays. Here's the thing though, your story is set in the 'hood and Santa doesn't come to the 'hood now does he? Work that out for me.
I'm giving you 750 words and until noon Monday, December 23rd EST to turn 'em in. Go.
|# ¿ Dec 16, 2013 15:06|
|# ¿ Dec 17, 2013 13:28|
Submitted but Not Published: “A Telling of the True Story of Big Ben Freeman and How He Ended the Ku Klux Klan in Mud Lake, Mississippi as Told to Me by the Once Imperial Wizard, Jim Arthurs, my Grandfather” by Deluxie Arthurs, circa 1961
I don’t know where he came from. He wadn’t from Mud Lake. He just sorta showed up one day and that was that. The coloreds took to him right away, of course. Elected him as some sort of… uh, mayor I think it was that they called him. First black mayor in Mississippi that’d make him.
Big Ben Freeman. And, Jesus, he was big. He was nine feet tall if he was a foot. Sort of man that would make you feel small just by looking at you. And dark. Dark dark. He wadn’t one of them mix bloods you see nowadays. This boy was a 100% African thoroughbred. Mind you, we didn’t take to him as well as the coloreds did. Especially when they started getting all uppity with their talk.
It was just change, though. People don’t like change.
See, in one name or another, the Klan had been in Mud Lake since 1872. We’d gotten right comfortable with the way things was. So we put on our sheets and get on our horses and we ride out to where he’d set up his little shack.
“G’morning!” he called out when we seen him.
That was unexpected, I tell you. Here we are in full regalia and this poor son bitch we is about to hang is just a-smiling a us. We tells him we’ve done come for him and all that and he kinda shrugs and says “Okay.”
Me and Bill Hannigan get off our horses and throw a rope up over a branch. Bill ties the noose and I kinda move Ben into position and the whole time Big Ben is making small talk all pleasant like. Nice as you could be. Very disconcerting. Well, Bill puts the noose around his neck... And it comes undone. Just like that. Undone. Bill ties it again, puts it around Ben’s neck, and the rope goes limp. Bill does this two or three more times and he’s getting more and more exasperated so I take the rope from him and I tie the noose.
Ain’t no difference. I’d say we went at this for maybe an hour until Big Ben’s stomach starts grumbling. Great big sound. And he kinda stretches a little and the ropes we’d put all around his body to tie him up right proper go and slide off.
He said, he said, uh, uh, “Well, gentleman, y’all have fun but I’m gonna go get me some breakfast.” And he walks off.
This discombobulated the hell out of us and so we got into arguing and by the time cooler heads prevailed we’d lost him. We decided we’d try this whole thing in a couple days but now we’d do it right proper.
So a few days pass and we come back at midnight. Clear sky. Full moon. We’re feeling real good about this. We light up a fiery cross and starting singing our songs and hollered out that it was time for him to reap his reward.
Ole Big Ben he took two steps out his front door, looked at the night sky, and clapped his hands. And the skies opened up, I tell you. The skies. Opened. Like a flood gate, I tell you what. Them rains hit us so hard and so fast it near knocked me to ground. Lightning struck and the horses all took off. Pandemonium. People were stripping out of their robes trying to catch the horses and the rain was coming down so hard you couldn’t see a foot in front of your face. Just pure craziness. I left my full regalia in the mud.
So we’re running after all the horse and we get lost. I don’t know how. I knew Mud Lake like a hog knows slop but there we was lost all the same. Fifteen days we was out there in the woods. Nothing to eat or drink neither. I don’t know if we even slept.
Finally, the storm was done and we found ourselves on Mainstreet. We’re sopping wet and dirty and miserable and out of nowhere comes strolling ole Big Ben Freeman himself.
He asked us, “Y’all done with your foolishness?”
Course ain’t nobody said nothing on account of being dumbfounded by the strangeness of life’s events.
“Aight, then,” Big Ben said, “All y’all just stay as dirty as your hearts until you are.”
Not a one of us understood the strength of his words right then. He had cursed us, y’see? The mud and dirt and the grime we’d all accumulated over our time in the woods well it was plum stuck to us. When I got home I scrubbed myself until my fingers bled but nothing. Wadn’t coming off for nothing. Weeks went by and it just worse. And stinkier.
So we get together and, of course, we say we need to do something about this curse. Some people are saying we should try and lynch him again and others are saying we should lynch all of ‘em. Bill Hannigan, though, he stood up and took his hat off and asked for attention.
“Now, boys,” he said, “This experience has done given me some perspective on things. Lot of folks done been wretched to me on account of this here condition. I can’t help what I am now. But its made me think about coloreds and being colored and the like. I don’t know. I guess what I’m saying is, well, no hard feelings or nothing but I think I’m done with Klan.”
Bill nervously fidgeted with his hat.
“I’ll see y’all on Sundays,” he said. He sat down. Then he wiped his forehead and lo and behold did clean, shiny white skin appear. Speechless we was. Bill stared at his hand in shock, realizing what he’d done, and then he started crying. And his tears they washed his cheeks. We all understood then.
That night, my hands washed clean. I’ve been trying to make up for my evils ever since.
|# ¿ Dec 23, 2013 01:57|
Of course you can have an extension, sweetie. I mean, you've only had a week. I'm sure your judge, whoever he is, will be fair and kind in his review of your late entry.
|# ¿ Dec 23, 2013 20:17|
THUNDERBRAWL **MERCEDES V PURPLE PRINCE** RESULTS
A Hoodrat's Christmas - 371 words An fun, interesting title that doesn’t make sense. If you meant for Shannon to be a hoodrat you certainly didn’t write her that way. If you didn’t mean for her to be a hoodrat then why is this the title?
I'm left with a bunch of questions and not in a good way.
1. How did Damian get in the house? Did Morgan leave him in there while he went to go get Shannon?
2. Where are her parents? Where is her nanny? The gently caress is a little rich kid doing by herself?
3. Why did Morgan bring Shannon to the house? If she didn’t know the score, and she didn’t, he could have just stole the presents and given them to her later.
Mercedes, you had a funny idea but you didn’t flesh it out. You had almost four hundred words left over, too. And you missed the prompt. This wasn’t set in the hood nor was it a cheerful Christmas tale. Good job. You probably would have been in trouble if you had brawled someone other than Purple Prince.
THUNDERBRAWL VS MERCEDES (731 words) An extra twelve hours and you still couldn’t come up with a loving title. Jesus you are loving worthless.
I just… I don’t care. I don’t care about any of this. This is terrible.
Okay. Well. Much like Mercedes, you didn’t loving read the prompt. What made you think this was a cheerful tale? How was this set in the hood? gently caress you, Purple Prince. gently caress you for making me read this piece of poo poo and gently caress you for being a bitch and whining about needing an extension. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Now, please, instead of making some self deprecating post just shut the gently caress up.
Mercedes with an ugly win
|# ¿ Dec 24, 2013 03:34|
If there are only two judges by the time sign ups close maybe the previous week's winner should be obligated to step up.
|# ¿ Dec 25, 2013 21:26|
Thank you, Mercedes.
|# ¿ Dec 25, 2013 23:27|
|# ¿ Dec 5, 2022 00:37|
The Old Ways are the Best Ways
Tenfingers had died when he touched the skybeetle. He hadn’t died immediately like people thought he would yet he had died all the same. It took ten days but when he went flying off that cliff everyone knew it was because of the skybeetle. Of course, Tenfingers had been sleeping with Leaper’s woman and Leaper had thrown Tenfingers… But gently caress Tenfingers. He was always doing stupid things like flying off of cliffs or touching skybeetles.
Crooknose thought it was tremendously unfair that he was still going to be sacrificed given that Tenfingers had just died at the sacred cliffs. It wasn’t the same, the shamans had insisted. Crooknose didn’t see the different. In fact, this whole “sacrificial victim” thing had always seemed a bit off to him. A bit suspicious, if you will. Especially since the only people who got sacrificed were those that pissed off the shamans.
“I think we should investigate the skybeetle,” he had said.
“Sacrifice Crooknose!” the shamans had cried.
Again, very suspicious.
Crooknose peered down the cliffs. The jagged rocks at the bottom were littered with the corpses of previous sacrifices. The fall was usually far enough to kill you but sometimes you landed the wrong way and it took you a couple of days to die.
“Will you jump, O Sacrifice?” asked the head shaman, “Or must you be assisted?
“I’ll jump,” Crooknose said.
But Crooknose didn’t jump. When his feet were unbound he kicked the head shaman in the testicles and took off running. Crooknose wasn’t the best hunter. He wasn’t the best fisher. Or the best trapper. Or even the best lover. But drat he could run.
He ran through the surprised men and women who had gathered together to watch him die. He outran the spears and stones of the warriors who chased him. He ran past Tenfinger’s hut and Leaper’s hut and his own hut. His lungs burned and his legs trembled and he ran and he ran and he ran.
Crooknose collapsed in front of the skybeetle. He wasn’t sure why he had come there other than some small hunch that maybe his tribe would be too scared to chase after him. A spear flew over his head and thudded against the shiny shell of the skybeetle.
Crooknose pressed his hands against the giant carapace and sighed. Another spear thudded against the carapace.
Suddenly, the skybeetle hissed and there was a great calamity. Red light danced everywhere and a terrifying “BEEP BEEP BEEP” echoed through the hills. Crooknose looked up and saw an angry eye protruding from the top of the skybeetle. It pointed in the direction of the incoming warriors and then, with a whoosh and a blast of light, the warriors were no more.
Seeing the sudden collection of barebones, Crooknose felt tremendously stupid for doubting the wisdom of the shamans.
|# ¿ Dec 30, 2013 02:58|