Register a SA Forums Account here!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Locked thread
Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?

By request because I am apparently sebmojo's bitch this week or something, I am critting Beyond the Veil: Scaffolding Shareholder Value in a Post-Reality Market Paradigm from way back in week 10. I'm not doing a line by line because a) it's super old so do you even care, and b) my modem shat the bed and I am reduced to phonepostin'. Sorry not sorry.

Anyway. I don't like beginning and i don't like the end, but the middle is pretty solid. I liked the very first paragraph - it was promising - but the two that follow are, I think, too confusing at this point in the story. I get that you're establishing the high fantasy element, per the prompt, but they provide too much information that the reader can't do anything with because it's lacking context. You're just info-dumping add a way to establish that yes, this is in fact a fantasy story, look how fantastic everything is. It's off-putting, which is not what you want when you're trying to draw someone into the story. Especially considering that you do a perfectly good job establishing the fantasy aspect later anyway.

With that in mind, it would probably work better to cut that part down into the more general life complaints that people have in the real world. Then, when Sharon opens the door the weirdness begins but it doesn't matter, because the reader's already empathising with this dude who hates his job and has no coffee. That's the worst and everyone knows it.

The middle, as I said, is solid, but the end is rubbish. You went with the least transgressive romance choice ever (oh no, young, white, heterosexuals, how CRAZY) and portrayed it in the style of all male-gaze oriented wish fulfillment dreck ever published, of which the world has quite enough already, tyvm. Now, I may be judging past-mojo by current-mojo standards, but this is a huge disappointment. You had a golden opportunity to indulge in subverting the typical order of things, and I don't doubt that it would have been hilarious if you had done so. I'm sure you would argue that you were sending up the trope anyway, but if that's the case then you didn't go far enough, because those types of fantasy authors can go beyond satire when they're taking themselves perfectly seriously.

This is all very tedious to type out on my phone, so that's all you get for now but you know where to find me (irc/PM) if you want a more detailed crit once I have access to an actual computer with internet.


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007





Attack of the Thing From the Basement

Hi, Joe. It’s Clete. The guy from downstairs.

You don’t like it when I call myself by name, do you?

You hurt my feelings last time we talked. And I’ll tell you what I did, Joe. I slunk away to the darkest place I could find. The basement filled with the boxes of broken toys. But then, you ought to know what’s down there. It’s your basement, after all.

Have you been down to the basement recently? You ought to go. It’s not going to get any better with you leaving things to sour in the dark like that.

Like the affair you had when you were twenty-seven. Or that poor stray cat from when you were twelve--Eddie Long didn’t really make you do it, did he?--that turned out to not be a stray cat at all, but the beloved pet of Alyssa from down the street. How ‘bout that girl on the train, the one who wears the short skirts? The one whose panties you always happen to catch a surreptitious glimpse of?

Oh, that was all my fault? Yeah, Joe. That sounds like you. Blaming other people for things you did.

True, I smile when you cry. I’m happy when you fail, and that crushing blossom of humiliation blooms on top of your sternum. And when you’re angry--oh, Joe, when you’re angry--I love to see the wide-eyed hurt on Helen’s face, how her pretty mouth hangs open as she drowns in the toxic vat of your words.

Do you feel powerful when you’re mad? I envy you. I surge through your veins when you're angry. I ride the cortisol like Patrick Swayze chasing that last big wave in Point Break. It’s how I get my thrills, because at the end of the day, I’m living vicariously through you in here.

But I’m not in control of you.

Maybe one of these times you’ll hit Helen. Put a little Clete into her mind with your fists. Make her a mother, kinda. Make her into a fractured and dysfunctional animal, just like you. Then you two would really have something in common. Just like that song, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Hey now, don’t get me wrong. I love her. And I think she loves me back. I think that, when she says I love you, Joe, she’s really talking to me. When she looks into your eyes, she’s looking at me.

Because here’s the thing about you, Joe. As powerless as I am up here, without me, you’d be dull as a butter knife. You’d be as tepid as piss in a clogged urinal.

You’re always in here shadowboxing with me, and it makes you seem mysterious. When you lash out, you blame the ‘other guy’ in your head, and it makes you seem honest and vulnerable.

I hear what you tell the therapist. You think it would be perfectly lovely if you could just be more compassionate and in control of your emotions.

But I’ve seen your basement. I’ve seen the boxes full of toys. You’re not just storing them down there, you’re hoarding them, all your little sins and somethings.


That wasn’t very nice, what you did to us last night. Have some goddamned self respect. It’s not my liver you’re holding hostage in that bloated, white thing you call a torso. It’s not my wife who has to sit up all night listening to you slur and babble. I’d never treat Helen that way, Joe. I’d never let myself get that out of control.

I’ve been thinking--and hear me out, here--that maybe it’s my self control you resent. Look at me. I never raise my voice. I’m always honest with you. The only thing I’m not in control of is your body.

But who knows? Maybe next time you’ll be the one who goes down to the basement, and I’ll have my turn with Helen, and I will spread. I will grow.

Ah--hello, Helen.

Joe, don’t talk about me like that to Helen. You picked up that bottle last night, not me.

Oh, don’t you just feel so vindicated when she looks at you with that watery blue empathy in her eyes?

Of course she knows you’re doing the best you can. Of course she knows you’ll try harder. But you can only do so much, given that you’ve got mean, nasty old Clete in your head.

You haven’t told her my name? Don’t be a cock-blocker, Joe. You know it’s me she wants. You are a man expending his entire life on trying to hold together some semblance of normal, but there is no normal for you. You are walls with nothing to shelter, a warden with no charge.

You really ought to take Helen down to the basement sometime. Show her your boxes full of broken toys. The sewn-shut mouths and dead button eyes of your secrets. Maybe she’d love you for it, maybe she’d hate you. At least she’d hate you for something, instead of loving you for nothing.

Because you know as well as I do that I am the realest, most sincere thing happening in your head right now.

You are nothing without me.


Good try, Joe. I almost thought we were goners there for a sec. Sleep aids and vodka are very dangerous when taken together.

Just kidding. You can’t kill me. You can only free me.

You die, I crawl across the bridge of suffering you create. I’d love to feel Helen from the inside. I’m sure she’s delicious when she’s grieving.

I’m almost disappointed.

But, you see what I mean? You are a walking pyrrhic victory. You are full of sound and fury, but you signify nothing. Maybe you thought you’d nobly take me out with you, but like I said, I can’t die. Maybe you thought you were protecting Helen from your worthless self.

Ah, there she is, sleeping by your hospital bed. Don’t you love how serious she looks when she sleeps? I’d love to know what she dreams about, wouldn’t you?

I’m going to be honest with you. I’m feeling a little fuzzy right now. I don’t like the stuff they’re pumping into you through the IV, don’t like it one bit. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are an acquired taste.

Oh, don’t worry, they can’t hurt me. It’s you I’m worried about, Joe. The meds let you lie to yourself. They put you in a dishonest grey cloud of comfort without meaning.

This isn’t over, friend. This is only The End, punctuated with an ellipses and a question mark. Just like in a bad monster film.

Where am I going? I’m going back to the basement, Joe. You’ve got a lot of old boxes full of old toys down there. It’s going to take some time to unpack them all. Have I ever told you that I’m a curator of sorts? An avant garde artist if there ever was one.

I’m going to give those old toys of yours a new life. It’ll be a hell of an exhibition--make sure to invite Helen, will you?

Remember to take your pills, now. And if you need me, just holler. You know where to find me.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?

Phonepostin' this also, so if there are any formatting issues gently caress you, deal with it:

Chicken 1,199 words

Greg sits on the porch rolling cigarettes because busy hands keep the devil at bay. The devil, in this case, being creeping emptiness, the absence of emotion that settles into the very corners of his soul every year as this unwelcome anniversary arrives. He is almost out of tobacco.

In the back of his mind, the good little Polish boy that he used to be tells Greg that he should go to church, light a candle, listen to his mother. You must always light candles for the dead, Gregor, so that they know that you miss them. So that God knows. Greg grunts, holding a cigarette at eye level as he rolls the tobacco-filled paper between his thumb and forefingers. He hasn’t set foot in a church since the funeral. He doesn’t want to believe in a God that would be so cruel.

The drill of the telephone interrupts his meditation. He tucks the cigarette behind his ear and heaves himself to his feet. His footsteps are heavy as he walks back inside. His emptiness has weight, as if the marrow of his bones has been replaced with lead. As he reaches to answer the phone Greg knows that the voice on the other end will be Juliana’s, and that she will ask him if he has been to church yet, if he has been to the cemetery. If he talks to her, all he will be able to think about it how her voice sounded on the other end of the line that night; high and quiet, edged with hysteria.

He had been on his way out the door when a call came in at the station – a single vehicle accident northbound on the John C. Lodge freeway. He turned to head back upstairs for his gear but Chief Brown stopped him, “Don’t worry about it Greg, the swing shift boys will be in any second and it’s only an SVA. Go home and enjoy your vacation.”

So when Juliana called as he drove home, unable to choke out anything but the words “It’s Marieke,” Greg had known instantly that it was his little girl’s car that the crew of Detroit Fire House Number 17 were screaming towards down Lodge, and all the colour drained out of the world.

He plucks the cigarette from behind his ear and lights it, trying not to see the image of his friends -- his brothers -- cutting his daughter’s body out of her shattered Chevy Malibu. The phone is still ringing, shrill and insistent. Greg unplugs it.


Greg sees the Gran Torino as he merges, white knuckled, on to the Lodge from Warren in a strange game of chicken that he plays with himself. The exit where it happened occupies a space in his mind like the hole left by an old tooth – an open wound that invites constant, almost unconscious probing. How raw is it? How much does it hurt today?

The Gran Torino is a 1972 model, electric blue, just like his. As he gets behind it, Greg stares at the car’s back end and thinks maybe it is his. He had planned to give it to Marieke for her 18th birthday. Then instead he had a funeral to pay for, so he sold it to some jumped up suit from Royal Oak who tried to convince Greg to cut him a deal because they were both white guys in Detroit.

As he stares at the Gran Torino, Greg is so distracted by the fact of the car itself – that it would be this car on this day – that he doesn’t see what causes the driver to lose control. There is a shriek of rubber and the car yaws right across two lanes, then back, and then is suddenly airborne. Time slows almost to a halt as the car floats above Greg’s windshield like some bizarre UFO and he thinks quite clearly, this isn’t real.

Then the Gran Torino lands, and time speeds up again. Greg has not been back to work since the night of the accident, but he still keeps a Detroit Fire Department issued axe in the backseat of his truck, and it is in his hands as he sprints towards the car. He doesn’t realise that he is holding his breath until the blunt end of the axe connects with the still-intact driver’s side window and the girl inside flinches away from the sound. “Oh, sweet Jesus,” he breathes.

The girl in the car is silent, her eyes wide and wild, like a spooked horse. “I’m going to cut your seatbelt,” Greg tells her, reaching for his pocket knife, his voice level and low.

“My Dad’s going to kill me,” she whispers. She breathes in ragged gasps, her chest hitching.

“Trust me,” Greg tells her as he saws through the belt at her chest and moves on to her lap, “He won’t mind.”

The girl’s name is Emma, and she can make a fist and move her toes, so Greg extracts her from the Gran Torino and wraps her in his jacket. He checks her for concussion while they wait for help to arrive. Her nose is broken, the double black eyes already starting to bloom along her cheekbones, but she is otherwise fine. This girl who is not Marieke, but who was driving Marieke’s car and had Marieke’s accident, is somehow still whole and alive and Greg is suddenly furious.

“You’re so stupid,” he growls, grabbing her shoulders, “What were you thinking? Look at that car, you could have died!”

He is shaking her now, his voice rising, “You should be dead, how are you not dead?”

And she is sobbing and shaking her head and apologizing, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” and a pair of firm hands grabs Greg’s shoulders, pulling him away.

And of course, because it is today, the police officer is the same kid who responded the night Marieke died. He remembers Greg, remembers telling Greg to punch him if that was what he needed to do to ease the anguish; he remembers that Greg wouldn’t do it.

“Tell her I’m sorry,” says Greg as he sits in the back of the police car, “I just – it’s not fair.” He shakes his head, tries to roll a cigarette to distract himself but his fingers are trembling and stiff and he spills what’s left of his tobacco. He throws the paper to the ground after it and barks, “It’s not loving fair,” and then he puts his face in his hands and sobs like a child.


When Greg gets home, dropped off by Officer Huculak – who did not charge him with anything for his outburst – he opens the hall closet and digs deep into the back corners until he finds what he is searching for. It is stubby and yellowed and melted into place inside an ugly old tin can, and not at all like the ones in church. Greg still doesn’t believe in God, or in signs, but he does believe in Marieke and is sure she doesn’t mind. “Alright,” he tells the ceiling gruffly, “I hear you.” He plugs the phone back in and lights the candle.

Your Sledgehammer
May 10, 2010

Don`t fall asleep, you gotta write for THUNDERDOME

Crittin' time. Here's one that doesn't have a crit from Week 43.

ultrachrist posted:

The Old World is Dead (~780 words)

What follows is a speech dictated by the puppet-king Alexander I to his low-born wife, Aspasia. It was to be read at his lavishly planned funeral, also described in detail by Alexander I. He died eleven days later to a modestly attended ceremony of little pomp and fanfare. His speech was never read nor his reign remembered as legitimate. Love the little framing device here. This one and the one at the end really help give this thing some layers.

Countrymen, I ask you: Would you have done differently? Is the canine not man’s best and most loyal servant? Do we not ask, protect me from my enemies, alert me of their presence, pierce their flesh to preserve mine? Is it not then an obligation, nay! our duty to reciprocate this service? Countrymen, again, I ask you: Were you to behold your most loyal and truest friend assailed by demons from beyond, would you not act? Should I have left poor Fritz to fend for himself among those beasts? Perish the thought! It's a good thing you lead off with a framing paragraph rather than cut straight to this, because I think it's the weakest part of the whole thing. The highfalutin language is just too much here, you hit the audience with too much of it at once. Going back and re-reading this part after you know where the story is headed makes it drat funny as intended, but it feels entirely too heavy on the first read-through.

For is not Alsatian the most noble of creatures? Is not Ape most base? And I speak, not just of those vile creatures who have so wounded me - is not, Man, too, an ape? I may consider myself yet another victim of The Great War, swept away by the tide of a conflict one cannot hope to understand. At least I have been given time to contemplate. To try to understand. At least. Love the "is not, Man, too, an ape?" line. Great stuff.

But I am tormented. I hear the whispers. The chortles. His Majesty laid low by monkeys. I cannot bear it.

Monkeys? Paw! No mere monkeys beset Fritz and I in the garden. Were it not for my impeccable skill with the rapier and the righteous passion that has flown in the blood of all the high-born men of Hellas since antiquity, I would not be lying here, bed-ridden in my final moments, dictating this missive.

They stood hulking, a full head taller than any man. Foul mist emitted from their putrescent maws, under red portals that glared with stygian cunning. My doctors inform me it is the infection caused by these abominations that will sever my mortal coil, but I would not discount the wound itself. I tremble to remove the blanket covering my lower half and peer at the unfortunate wreckage of my left leg -- it hangs on below the knee by little more than a thread. Were it not for the bodily-agility blessed to all my line, I would have been struck down right there. This is hilarious, and I love all the descriptors. The bragging at the end of the paragraph is the maraschino cherry on top.

And you say monkey?

With a mighty thrust, I severed one of the foul beasts limbs at the elbow, and great black blood gushed forth. Its crony leapt forth and prevented me from finishing the malevolent creature, and to my horror I watched it lap at the spurting blood, hungrily, only for a new limb, a new crooked paw, to sprout forth anew so that it could renew its assault. Didn't see this coming and it's hilarious. By this point, you've really developed Alexander's voice well.

Does that sound like a monkey?

No, my friends. Try monstrosity. Grotesque. Hellion. Satan’s Spawn. All the hate and suffering spewed by mankind amassed into two infernal, blasted creatures.

And what were these beasts doing in the Royal Gardens, you ask? Countrymen, I do not know, and such a question plagues me in the dim, humid hours of the night when I am alone with my thoughts, my wounds, and my imminent departure from this mortal plane. I would not rule out assassination, no. I do have enemies, this is true. Underminders. There are scoundrels at court, do not doubt it. I will not put names to these ne'er do wells, but I know, countrymen, you have suspicions to whom I speak. That vile man, that low-born displacer of royal blood! I have heard the rumors. I know what black sorcery he practices, while stealing the throne from my family. He exiled my dear mother first, only so he could unleash his shadowy progeny onto her royal heir while she was away! Eleftherios! Do not think I don’t know of your deeds. If only Mother were here. If only she Alexander is flailing about and grasping at straws in attempt to hide his shame and embarrassment, and it's great. The finger-pointing was less of a surprise to me than the hell monkeys growing new limbs, but it's not any less funny. Good job. I do think you could have held this part a little longer. As it stands, his rant feels a little incomplete, and I think you could have worked in one more really funny part at the end as a way to cap it off.


Dear Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos,

My Lord Husband, Alexander I , true king of the Hellenes has taken to fever and now desires only to see his lady mother. A humble request you, Mr. Venizelos, have denied with great vigor.

I have no illusions, Mr. Venizelos, that my husband’s wish to have the above read at his passing will ever be honored. Indeed, I do not have any illusions you know what the word or ideal of honor means. I wish only for this: a bequest both to my great interest and to yours.

Do not let them laugh, Mr. Venizelos. Please, above all else. Do not let them laugh.

The Rightful Queen of the Hellenic Republic,

Aspasia Manos This frame at the end is great, but I wanted a little more of his rant before you moved to this. We also don't really get a sense for whether or not Aspasia thought her husband was being sincere, and I feel like you could have done more with that, whichever way you went with it.

Overall, I found this quite funny, and I think you gave Alexander a really distinctive voice. We get a nice idea for the character without knowing much more about him than the content of his rant, and that's not really an easy thing to do, so good job. Love the frames at the beginning and end. I think the opening paragraph of the rant is too much, too soon - I would have found it easier to get into if you hadn't started Alexander off at such a fever pitch. On the second read, it's great, but the first time through it honestly pulled me out of the story a bit and earned an eyeroll from me. I also think the rant/final letter stops shorter than it should. You build really nicely but it just stops, and I felt a little robbed. You had more words to work with, so I really felt it deserved a grand finale of sorts. Those are pretty minor quibbles, though, because overall, this is a well-written and entertaining story, and the fact that I wanted more proves it.

Your Sledgehammer
May 10, 2010

Don`t fall asleep, you gotta write for THUNDERDOME

And here's my riff on For a Few Dollars More.

He Will Delight in the Fear of the Lord
1,027 words

Less than six months in, and moving to Tucumcari was already the worst decision of his life. He could only imagine what his wrinkled old wretch of a father would say to him when he saw him. At least he was certain that whatever his father would say, he’d deserve every bit of it.

Red Cavanagh sipped whisky as he played poker and tried to forget about the last five days. The dealer slid a fifth card his way, and Red cracked his first smile of the day. Straight flush, a fitting hand for a man who doesn’t believe in luck.

It had all started last April, when he’d quit his job at the bank in Boston. His father had been apoplectic; he was too old to use his fists now, but his words were enough. Quitting a banking job to make saddles out west is something only a fool would do, his father said. The only good opportunities out west are for bandits and railroad magnates, he said. And now, too late, Red believed him.

Red’s father had raised him the way any good Irish Catholic would, and Red’s fear of the rod had instilled in him a sense of guilt from an early age. A deeply religious man, Red had no relationship to speak of with Christ the Redeemer, because as far as he was concerned, Christ was simply a pleasant myth. No, Red’s God was the God of the Old Testament, a God of locusts, creeping death snatching away firstborn, and bloody vengeance. All things – usually bad things – happened for a reason, Red knew.

As the 1890s had rolled along, the railroads were slowly and finally causing the west to develop, and Red began to sense that his only opportunity to escape his father was rapidly closing. So he packed up his things and quit his job. His wife was too young and too stupid to argue with him, so to Tucumcari they went.

It had started out fine. The saddle making business was going well enough for them to get by. Susan had met a few women to talk to. Red had met a few women, too.

Then Susan had come down with typhoid. The medicine to treat it was expensive, mostly because it had to be sent by train from the east. Red knew he’d never make enough. He also knew that his father wasn’t the only one who thought that moving west was a bad decision; apparently God thought it was, too.

It had been Tuesday afternoon when he’d stepped into Tucumcari’s only saloon and began unloading his guilt onto the bartender while he got drunk. Pretty soon, he felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up into the eyes of a man who had that hazy, glazed over look that only people who don’t have any rules possess. I think I can help you, the man said.

But first, Red had to help him. Later that night, Red learned that he is not a very good lookout, that you can be accused of murder even if you weren’t the one that pulled the trigger, and that bandits shouldn’t be trusted to hold up their end of the bargain. By dawn, he’d gathered up Susan and they’d skipped town, and the rest would be left up to God, which frankly made Red feel even worse.

It was terrifying to see his own wanted poster when they’d arrived at White Rocks a few hours later. He’d fled to White Rocks for one reason – the sheriff, John, was a distant relative. As soon as he got Susan settled in the hotel, Red went for a visit, and was relieved to find that the sheriff was on his side. He was also a little surprised to find how corrupt John was. John had cut a deal with the local bandits, and he was able to promise both medicine for Susan and protection until they could make it back east.

East. Red hated to even think of setting foot back in Boston, but it was the only way. Getting on a train would mean painting a target on his back even bigger than the one that already existed, so he knew he’d have to wait for the next covered wagon headed that way. The wait would be at least a week.

For the next three days, Red had consumed himself with worry over the inevitable spiritual retribution that was to come. He hadn’t killed anyone, but he might as well have. If by God’s mercy he managed to escape from the New Mexico Territory, his father’s wrath would be unimaginable.

And now he found himself playing poker, in the idle hope that the fate that God had laid out for him would change. The straight flush was the happiest he’d been in weeks. Maybe God was on his side after all. He gleefully raked in the stack of cash and took another sip of his whiskey.

And then a curious thing happened. A hand reached over Red’s shoulder and took the stack of cards, then began dealing…but just to Red and himself. And then Red knew; he could feel the angel of the Lord over his shoulder. This man had come to help him get home.

Three Kings, a six, and a nine. Not a bad hand at all. Red asked for two, and got a Queen and a ten. A winning hand in five card draw if he’d ever saw one. He laid them down and smiled up at the man.

The man had a short cropped beard and he was wearing a poncho. Red had seen the type ever since he’d moved west. A wannabe, someone who acted like a bandit but would never be one. The Lord usually arrived in a way that is least expected.

The man laid his hand down; three Aces, a Jack, and a Queen. A winner. It all boiled down to one question, Red knew.

“Didn’t hear what the bet was,” Red said.

“Your life,” the man replied. Red stared up, into the eyes of the Almighty.

Aug 2, 2002

Ironic Twist posted:

Would rather not submit than submit slapdash or halfassed.

hey i think maybe you don't understand the 'dome

Apr 25, 2011

I'm a suave detective with a heart of gold in hot pursuit of the malevolent, manipulative
and the deranged degenerates who only want their


Kickstarter was supposed to represent oil which was the big thing in The Stars Fell of Henrietta, I don't even know how this happened jesus gently caress.

Trust Me
1181 words


Annie and Hedayat was working on their game in his parent’s basement.when Jake stormed in. He immediately started pitching his idea. Kickstarter. Wave of the future.

"Hedi, you and Annie have industry experience. That there is a seal of quality; it’ll like taking money from a baby.”

Hedayat’s fingers tensed against the keys. He shook his head. “Jake, our game sank. It’s not going to work.”

“What? No! People dug that game. Look, kickstarter’s the wave of the future. You aren’t putting a gun to people’s heads. All you have to do is nab interest.”

Hedayat frowned at Annie. She was, as usual, chugging Guinness. She had the look of an unimpressed slab of concrete. He admired that about her.

“I dunno, Jake.” He said.

Jake threw his arms out, knocking over one of the teapots from the shelf. “Hedi, c’mon, it’s not like you guys are half-assing it. You need funds, right?”

“Yeah, I gu-

“So put that Game Design degree to work! I'll handle the finer details, Annie can do art, we'll get someone to do music, it'll be awesome.”

Annie chugged the rest of her beer, glaring as she wiped her mouth on her sleeve.

“By finer details, you mean handling the money.”

That was a statement. Jake waved it off like a question. “Gotta put my Finance degree to use. So, you in, Raggedy Ann?”

“Don’t call me that.”

“Is that a yes?”


Jake grinned. He smoothed his greasy pompadour with a pale hand and returned his gaze. “Annie’s in. You in, Hedi?”

Hedayat’s mouth was open but he had trouble forming the words. He realized he needed to trust Jake. So he gave Jake a nod and kept typing.


The Kickstarter was over in ten. 500 out of $10,000. Hedayat didn’t bother to look, Jake was giving him the rundown. He focused on work and nothing else.

“Dude,” Jake said. “There’s always a last minute surge.”

“I know.” Nine.

“Then why the Negative Nancy poo poo?”

Hedayat rubbed his temples and said nothing.

Jake refreshed the page. 430. Eight. “We’re going to make this work.”

Silence fell over the room. Jake kept refreshing. Hedayat kept his fingers to the keys and kept typing. Annie wasn’t there. Hedayat was seeing less of her. Seven.

“...I just don’t want another flop.”

“It won’t flop. You’re a passionate guy, you’ll make it work.”


“...The first time was hard enough.”

Jake didn’t respond. He was grinning. When he did respond, it was to push the monitor around to show Hedayat the Kickstarter page. Five. $10,030.

“Trust me, dude.”

Hedayat smiled. Then Jake started telling him what to do next and he stopped smiling.


Jake wanted to change the protagonist from a guy to a chick. Kept going on and on about ‘inclusion’ and ‘publicity’. One change in a series of changes. For Annie it was the straw that broke the camel.

“We’re not changing it. You’ve had full reign on everything but you can go scratch if you think I’m co-opting my own work.”

Jake placed his hand on his hip, eyebrow raised. “What’s with the attitude Raggedy Ann? I thought you’d be all for this.”

“Don’t. Call me that.”

Jake crossed his arms, smiled and shrugged. “I don’t see what the big deal is. It makes sense, doesn’t it?”

“Jake, you wouldn’t know sense if it stabbed you and took your wallet.”

“Please stop.” Hedayat mumbled, too low for Jake to comprehend.

Annie understood though, she didn’t want to admit it. Her face was stone but it turned a shade of red. She turned, glared at Hedayat.

“Why aren’t you standing up to him.”

Not a question. Hedayat didn’t know how to respond so he just kept typing. Annie grunted and started out the door. Jake just laughed.

“Forget her. These bitches, you can’t trust them.”

Hedayat was about to say something mean but stilled his tongue before he could let it out.


Hedayat found it difficult to keep typing. His eyes were sagging. Jake was talking again.

“We’ve got an interview to do. Gonna need you to come along.”

Hedayat shook his head. Jake glared at him, as if to dare him to respond. “No. I am working.”

“Hedi, for fucks sake. Don’t you trust me?”

Trust. Trust, loving trust. Hedayat stopped typing and rose to his feet. “No.”

“... No? What the hell do you mean no?”

“The last time I trusted someone, they took everything from me. I failed You keep asking me to trust you and all you’ve done is take things.”

“Yeah? Well, look at yourself Hedi. You live with your parents, you can’t make decisions for yourself. That’s why you need me.”

When he punched Jake, it was with a sickening crunch that shook the room. Hedayat’s hand throbbed with pain. It was a good pain. Jake staggered back into the wall, spat out a tooth and held his jaw. He was ready to speak again, to issue a retort, but instead he turned and walked straight out of the basement.

Jake didn’t come back. On one hand it was a blessing. Hedayat found the energy to keep typing, as if the past . But on the other, it was a curse. Without aim it was as if he were in an echo chamber. Everything was on the table.


Annie called. Her voice sounded lighter. The talk was brief.

“I’m working on a new game. The team’s great, you’ll love them. You wanna meet for a beer? We can talk it out.”

“Thanks but… I have to finish this.”

“I heard you clocked Jake.”


“Why the hell are you still working for him.”

“...I have to prove him wrong.”

“Why does that matter.”

“Because I care, Annie, I really care.”

There was silence on the other end.

“...Yeah. You do. That’s your biggest problem.”


Jake called. He told Hedayat, not Hedi, that he needed to submit what he had because the XBLA wanted it up by Thanksgiving. Hedayat was not happy because it was imperfect. Months of playtesting but the graphics were rough and the gameplay was weird. What he had was acceptable though. It was his and his alone.


The game went live at noon. Hedayat told Jake he would just patch everything after launch. Of course, patching the bugs required people to play the game. Hedayat was too afraid to look, to see his fuckup. Hedayat should have clocked Jake back in January. Maybe then his hands wouldn’t be shaking.


Hedayat realized something. While the nerves were still present, he was just relieved that it was all over. Hedayat thumbed the phone in his right hand, looking out over his parent’s basement. Hedayat didn’t bother to check the sales. Or the reviews. Or what Jake wanted him to do next. Because he trusted himself and no one else.

Instead he called Annie and asked if she wanted to meet. Coffee, not beer. She said “Whatever,” her voice hitched in that way someone does when suppressing a smile. He smiled too. He always admired that about her.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

crabrock posted:

hey i think maybe you don't understand the 'dome

There were other factors that I didn't get into but okay, say what you want to say, I'll toxx next time

Oct 30, 2003

Grace is Gone
1199 words

We were both over at Dad’s for a roast when Dean just spat it out.
“I’m getting married.” The length of the sentence was pretty standard for my older brother, for guys round these parts in general, really. It was the content that shut us up. He’d barely left town for months and there were exactly three single girls within fifty k, two of which were under sixteen and a third who hadn’t been right since a four wheeler accident.
“To Jan? Do they even let handicaps get married?” Maybe he’d got her knocked up, the filthy bastard.
“gently caress off, not Jan. Grace, she’s Filipino.”
There’s this internet service that set lonely blokes like Deano up with Asian girls, so you do see the odd one around. It must look drat nice to them out here in the wops.

The surprising thing about Grace was what a crack up she was. Back when Dean would take her down the pub she’d always have this group of chicks around her. The first time she showed up there after the wedding I think they wanted to take her down a notch or two, she’d made the rest of them look drab. But when they laughed at the way she spoke she’d just laugh along with them, and taking the piss out of yourself goes a long way around here. In a couple of weeks she was a fixture, chatting away with her mates while Dean sat in the corner with his jug of DB, exactly where he always did. Back in the day he’d play a little darts as well, but he didn’t get much joy from winning and when he lost he’d go into a rage.

Grace charmed me, too. The way she took to that horse, pretty soon I was the only one who could keep up with her. She was so tiny I had to stick a childrens saddle on it, though the way she rode it seemed like she barely touched the seat. I remember one day we’d left the others behind and rode hard along the beach until we pulled up by the old jetty piles, panting from the effort.
“It’s magic” she said, watching the waves struggle to reach the driftwood and drying seaweed that marked the high tide.
“She’s a beaut, alright”
“I wish I could ride forever” Despite the low sun shining through her black hair into my eyes I could make out her face just well enough to see that she was crying. She looked at her watch, then dug in her heels. “We’d better go”.

First Dean stopped taking her to the pub, and not long after that she was missing Sunday dinner, too. I’d slaughtered a sheep to roast, and the rich lanolin smell of the mutton fat was as thick in the air as the silence.
“Where’s Grace?” Dad spoke first. He’d grown to enjoy Grace’s company, and had missed her help round the house.
“At home”
“I mean why didn’t she come? We like to see her.”
“She doesn’t want to come here anymore. She says it smells of old man.”
Dad’s face tightened and his breaths came fast and shallow, but he looked back down at his dinner. Dean watched him, deliberate and unblinking, while he reached for the mint sauce.

It didn’t take us long to get why he was keeping her home. I was exercising her horse, and kept thinking of her long brown throat and his big callused hands. I rode around to Dean’s place, and saw her briefly at the kitchen window. The corner of her mouth was turned up a touch, I’d seen Dad smile the same way when he looked at the old picture of Mum in the hall. I motioned for her to come out but she just stood there with her face half hidden by the curtain. That’s when I was certain. I wondered how messed up the other side of her face was.

The morning air was getting cold, but it was still too early in the season for the families on day licenses to scare away the ducks. I figured that I’d head out to one of the farther lakes with Dean while Dad got to work on the plan. I’d tell Dean what we’d done on the way back. Better he lose his rag with me than with the old man.

The mai-mai was a good one, with a little bench and a great view of the lake. I’d bagged a brace of paradise ducks, but Dean hadn’t got anything despite some real good chances. His dog lay bored beside him, vapour rising from it’s soggy coat. He was cruel with it, but it made for a drat good duck dog. I was rummaging in my rucksack for my thermos and just as I touched it I felt the twin barrels of his shotgun in my back.
“You smug little poo poo. Think you two can get away with it do you?” I froze. Had dad said something to him?
“What the gently caress?” I decided to play dumb.
“You and Grace. I’ve seen how you look at each other. You’re jealous. You’re turning her against me.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Put the gun down. Just put it down” I could hear the dog growling.
“You better remember this. Keep away from her.”
“Of course, mate, of course. I’ll keep away from her. I’ll sell her horse. Whatever you want.” I felt the pressure in my back relax then subside. I turned back so I could see him, keeping my hand in my bag and tightening my grip on the thermos.
I knew I had to tell him now, despite the presence of the guns. His was still within easy reach, but hard to handle in the cramped hut. I gave myself 30 seconds to settle my nerves.
“Dad took her to Dunedin while we’ve been out here. The flights are all sorted. She’s going home, Dean. She’s on the plane to Auckland right now. Grace is gone.” I thought he’d take it like a man, but he immediately went for the gun. I brought my arm out of the bag in a wide arc and caught him across the chin with the thermos. The cap broke off, spilling hot tea that splashed against the dog’s face. It yelped and sprang on Dean, clamping onto his arm like it had been begging for an excuse. I pushed past the struggling pair to reach the shotgun, and they fell through the side of the mai-mai onto the damp dirt.

I took aim at the dog, but my first shot missed, putting a few pellets in Dean’s leg. If he noticed he didn’t show it. The second was better, hitting the dog square in the side and knocking it back half a metre where it lay still, a decent chunk of arm flesh still lodged in it’s teeth. I sized up Dean’s wounds, not too bad, then grabbed my gear and both guns and set off on foot back to get the ute. A couple of hours cooling off in the dirt should do him some good.

Some Guy TT
Aug 30, 2011

sebmojo posted:

you must crit a previous thunderdome story and post it in the thread before submissions close on sunday

newtestleper posted:

Is this limited to thunderdome stories? I'd love a crit of this:

It's a bit longer than a thunderdome story though, so no worries if not.

sebmojo posted:

crits a crit, but you better have signed up.

Evidently I misunderstood you. If you're going to insist I'd like an extra day to make the crit, because I absolutely don't have the time today and only even came to the forums just now to see if something like this happened.

Dec 31, 2006

Fork 'em Devils!

Crit for Djeser

Roadside Trash Heap -

I absolutely love apocalyptic survival stories, so this was right up my alley. Obviously this got a HM so you already know this is pretty good, but you didn't get a crit for it, and I liked it, so you're getting a crit now!

Overall I think you had good intentions and ideas but the execution and details left a little to be desired for me.

A couple things stood out to me as someone who likes this kinda stuff.

The community: Essentially the other 10 people in the bunker could have been cut from the story and nothing would have been taken away. Survivor infighting could have added to the food/escape drama, especially since the plan for escape didn't make all that much sense. How were they supposed to reunite or what was the next step?

The people: We have no idea how old these people are and not much idea of who they were before. We also have to accept that these people trust Esther but we don't have a hint as to why. All we see her is being sort of withdrawn, being a non-salt licker, and huddling with Tanya.

The threat: Props for this not being zombies, and it's a unique idea, it's difficult to get a sense of the true threat of the enemy. What are its physical dimensions? You say it's a solid grey pillar, but is it the height of a building? A person? A dog? How long has it been since the apocalypse started?

I think maybe you went a little too big on what you were trying to accomplish and could have cut out some of the extraneous stuff in exchange for filling in some of the details that the reader would want to know. Of course, again, overall I liked it and you did a good job at doing a unique take on a well-trod genre. Well deserved HM.

Dec 31, 2006

Fork 'em Devils!

sebmojo posted:

:siren: thunderdome one ten: cleaning up the streets

Walamor: Mystic River

Welcome Back - 1198 Words

The door creaked open and she whispered his name as she eased herself into the dark room. “Conrad?”

Conrad slipped his knife back into its leather sheath in his belt and grabbed her shoulders, eliciting a quick gasp from the woman. He pushed her against the wooden wall, pressing his mouth to hers. It lasted but a few seconds before she gently pushed him back.

“I thought you said two nights in a row was dangerous, Amanda,” said Conrad.

“I’m not here for that,” she said, though the way she stared at him betrayed her thoughts. “Otto’s shop was broken into last night, under Markus’ protection. Markus is looking for answers.”

“And you think he suspects me?” Conrad laughed away the suggestion. “Markus knows that I remember the old rules.”

“Not everyone in town feels the same way,” said Amanda. “They just remember that you went to prison.”

“Look --” started Conrad, interrupted by a loud knock on the door. Amanda went rigid until Conrad grabbed her arm and shook her slightly. Another knock on the door masked the sound of the back door opening as Amanda snuck out. She pulled him back for one quick kiss as she quickly departed, disappearing into the shadows of the alley.

A third knock sounded, now more of a strong banging, and someone called out his name. Conrad let one of his hands slip to the hilt of his knife as he went to his front door and opened it a crack.

“There you are, old friend!” said Markus. “I thought you were avoiding me!”

Conrad managed a weak smile and opened the door. “An abundance of caution. Not many people come and pound down the doors of my house late at night.”

Markus laughed. “I have been a poor friend, Conrad. You have been out almost a whole month and we have yet to celebrate properly! Come, the boys and I were on the way down to Reinhold’s old place!”

Conrad scanned the ancient cobblestone streets and saw figures posted in a semi-circle around his home. The few old lamp posts within sight were tended to with great infrequency, and almost everyone moved in darkness once the sun set. Very few moved about after then, mostly up to no good. The same as it had always been.

“Haven’t been to Reinhold’s since I got back,” said Conrad. “Sounds great!”

Markus and Conrad made their way down the emptying streets, Markus pointing out the changes that had been made in Conrad’s absence.

“You have done well since taking over after Soren,” said Conrad.

“He was a good man. But ambition waned in him in his older years. I run everything down to the market now!” said Markus. He stopped and extended his arms as if to encompass his shadow kingdom.

“Just as we always talked about,” said Conrad. Markus turned to him and the two shared a smile of their youth together.

“I have yet to truly thank you, for what you did. It should have been me locked up for ten years,” said Markus, putting his hand on Conrad’s shoulder.

“I knew you had bigger things to do than rot in prison and you were my best friend,” said Conrad. “We sure picked the wrong place that night!”

Markus smiled and let his hand drop. “One mistake out of many successes. And now you’re back! Tonight we shall toast to no more mistakes and many more successes!” Markus paused. “Just… you do remember our rules? You have been gone a long time.”

Conrad laughed. “As if I could forget? Soren’s rules were literally whipped into us. If this is about Otto’s, you don’t need to worry about me.”

“I’m glad you remember. Some people wonder after ten years. I had to ask,” said Markus.

“I don’t care about those people,” said Conrad. “You know I wouldn’t hit a place protected by you. That would be crazy. I was sound asleep, enjoying not sleeping on a prison cot.”

“Yes, it would be crazy,” said Markus. “Yet, you did not sleep last night.”

“What?” said Conrad, the hair tingling at the back of his neck.

Markus moved slightly and a glimmer of light pierced the darkness to show that he bore a grimace. “You say you remember the rules, yet you lie to my face. You were not home sleeping last night. One of my men checked. I defended you, but too many people had too many concerns to not check.”

Conrad unconsciously stepped back. Movement caught his eye and he could see Markus’ protection moving in closer.

“Where were you, Conrad, my friend?” said Markus, almost spitting out the last two words.

Conrad flashed back to his night with Amanda, hidden away in an inn on the far side of town, the way she smelled, the way she tasted, and could not come up with a response.

“If you admit to it, I will let you live, contrary to the rules, contrary to everything we had been taught, because of what you did for me. But I want you out of the city by tomorrow. Unless you have another explanation?” said Markus. A flash of steel revealed Markus’ dagger.

Conrad swallowed the dryness in his throat. “I’m sorry… I was just out for a walk.” He was panicking, and forced himself to try to calm down.

Markus laughed, a nasty thing that held no trace of friendship. “That’s the best you can do? I will find out what you were doing last night. One way or the other. Best to admit it now, and leave in the morning, with your life.”

Conrad rubbed his head. This was too dangerous for Amanda. He couldn’t let her get hurt, and if Markus ever found out they had picked back up where they had left off before Conrad was thrown into prison, it would not end well for her. He hung his head and tried to sound contrite.

“You’re right. I did it. I’m sorry, Markus. I just needed… it doesn’t matter. I’ll be gone by morning.”

A man behind Conrad grabbed his arms and held him fast. Markus advanced quickly on Conrad and thrust the dagger into Conrad before he could react. Conrad gasped and clutched at his wound, looking up at Marcus.

“But… but…” said Conrad, his final words.

Markus wiped his blade off and nodded to his men who carted the corpse off somewhere. A few men accompanied him to his home and he dismissed them with a curt nod at his door. He opened the door to see his wife standing against the far wall, waiting for him.

“I was betrayed by an old friend last night,” Markus said simply.

Amanda struggled to contain her emotions and had to bite down on her lip, hard. “You killed him, didn’t you?” said Amanda. “Our friend, the friend who took your place in jail for ten years!” She shouted the last, running across the room towards Markus. She raised her hand to slap him and Markus caught it in an iron grip with one hand, the other reaching for the dagger at his belt.

“Where were you last night, darling?” said Markus.

Apr 25, 2011

I'm a suave detective with a heart of gold in hot pursuit of the malevolent, manipulative
and the deranged degenerates who only want their


I would like to apologize ahead of time. I used to critique poetry all the time but it's late, I'm tired and I haven't done this in awhile. I think a lot of the subtleties are flying straight over my head. Sitting Here, if you want some expanded thought I can give them to you tomorrow. Right now I'll be focusing on just the surface level and outright avoiding getting too in-depth. wow my eyes are sagging.


Time Vaster than Death first result in google is vasterbotten pie. I don't know why I'm mentioning this. The title fits though.

Death waits like the jaws
of a shark at the bottom of a rowboat
tipped on end. this metaphor is doing nothing for me; it doesn't 'fit' with the tone of the rest of the poem and it hampers the next few lines
Between sweat-soaked sheets at night,
you contemplate
how everyone you know will die.I like these three lines, especially when coupled with the next few
Their neurons will go dim
and the latticework shadow that makes up their very selves
will dissolve and run like inkNice imagery here.
into a drain beneath the great faucet of inevitability.this line feels unnecessary, kind of weighing down the rest. If you stuck with the 1-2-3 three beat it would have flowed better.

But lest ye despair:
James Hutton was a man
who's long since met that dark and endless end.
First a farmer, then a turner of stones,
he found death in the bed of every creek, river and gorge.the 1-2-3 beat would have worked here, too.
Man thought the world young
in James Hutton's day, young enough to fit inside
our pocketbook minds.The meaning of this is beyond me, it left me scratching my head.
It was off the coast of Berwickshire that a different tale was told,
not a tale of man but that of stoneoh geologist, okay.
and detritus
and ruin
and decay.a chill just ran up my spine, very nice control here.

Once, a continent bled mud and sand
onto the floor of an ancient sea, sedentary grit
like so much sloughed off skin,
a slurry of things not living and things deceased.I have been reading this poem out loud. The meter is kind of all over the place. Sometimes it really works sometimes it doesn't. Here, it does not work. The word choice fits but I kept slipping and cramming things in.
James Hutton,
when he looked upon the rocky shore,
saw a wrinkle
in the gown of great mother earth, one wrinkle
from one swirl
of her green and blue ball gown and stole of clouds,
one turn in her long and stately dance.It definitely works here. I am also noticing a responsible use of enjambment which is something I still can't quite get the hang of.

Deep time,
James Hutton named the rhythm of the planet's slow song,
and he traced her steps backward
through plodding, calamitous prehistory. Whole lands also loving your avoidance of typical cliche, your choice of words are the best part of this, really captures the earth and death and makes them one in the same
swallowed back into mother's skirts, also the mother earth imagery sings to me
children called home by the light of her fiery core
to pay the debt of their birth.

And so there you sweat, and there you agonize nice callback
in a world of concrete, wood and petrol,
that your essence will someday not be your own,
that your life is so sacred,
that your love is so profound, that you should continue
where all else is given back
into mother earth's fold. yes you're really digging in. One hundred thousand pictures embroidered
in the pattern of her dress,
and you've been them, you'll be them reincarnation? I don't quite get it but I like it.
as strata in stone,
as lichen and moss; as the mud between a child's toes
in generations to come,
and sandstone in sublime and majestic cliffs.YES

Living and dying, we feed the dance
and as James Hutton penned: We find no vestige of a beginning,
no prospect of an end.
oh is James Hutton a real person? maybe this poem would hit it's mark more if I actually researched the guy.

I feel as though I have gone on a journey.

This poem is good, there's a lot I like about it but it feels like it's missing a purpose, an aim. Not all poems have to follow a certain set of unspoken rules but it usually helps to set ground rules, get the reader in tune? This poem don't need no rules, it's a rebel!! And like most rebels it is aimless and I can't help feeling like the bigger picture has flown straight over my head. Found myself enjoying this poem around the later half where the repetition is at it's highest and the imagery is strong. It's very late, normally I can dig into the subtle, flowery details but overall this totally works but needs some evening out. I can see why it bagged HM though.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Some Guy TT posted:

Evidently I misunderstood you. If you're going to insist I'd like an extra day to make the crit, because I absolutely don't have the time today and only even came to the forums just now to see if something like this happened.

naw you're fine I just like that gif

E: 5 min to go

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 06:54 on Sep 15, 2014

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.

Beneath a Blood Red Sun (780 Words)
Film: White Hunter, Black Heart

Grizzled Patriarch fucked around with this message at 23:58 on Dec 9, 2014

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

and that's a wrap.

FJGJ is a phrase that will be used by people who want clint to drive his mobility scooter over their hands

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007




Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.

:siren: Interprompt :siren:

Four-foot nutcrackers, 400 words.

Bad Seafood fucked around with this message at 21:53 on Sep 15, 2014

Cache Cab
Feb 21, 2014

Bad Seafood posted:

:siren: Interprompt :siren:

Four-foot nutcrackers.

You want me to write about my ex-wife?

Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

lol'd while making oatmeal irl

Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

:frogsiren: making GBS threads Rear v Jenny the Cake Brawl Results :frogsiren:

You both submitted on time, shocking as gently caress. Good job.

Now down to business.

making GBS threads Rear posted:

The Left-Hooker

You could always find Mags in the SinThetic, down at the end of the bar. Men and women came to Mags, Mags took them upstairs, and an hour later those same men and women sauntered on back down to the bar, bow-legged and as smug as well-fed felines.

You had me at hello. At this point I was already guessing it was cyberpunk. Pandering to the judge is okay if you do it well, which you did.


It wasn’t that Mags was the prettiest working girl in the district--handsome is how Miggy the barkeep described her to prospective patrons


Why is everyone an M-name? Just by chance or is there some theme here I'm missing?


Mags felt the tension in the bar as soon as she came down the stairs. The regulars were all sitting with their backs to the wall. Some of them shot worried glances her way. More than a few had their hands below their respective tables.

r thay jerkin off? lol jk

This is one rare case where you say there's tension but there actually is in the story. I was like, tense, when I read this. irl


Maricela had chemical blond hair, so glossy it looked like liquid. Her face had the eerie, doll-like symmetry of too many expensive micrografts. She’d taken a table in the middle of the room, was surrounded by five bored-looking hired goons.

I feel like I wrote this myself.


“I’ve got the minister of District Affairs eating out of my snatch.”

I wish I wrote this myself.

“I think I can make you go away,” Mags said, smiling even wider. There was the creak of folk shifting in their chairs around the room. The goons stood a little straighter.

“You’re misunderstanding the situation, bitch. What’s going to happen is you’re going to tell me who took that briefcase, then maybe I’ll--”


Mags’ right hook was sudden and meaty.

much like her thighs


The tension in the room snapped like a rubberband. As if on cue, the SinThetic regulars fell on the goons, using knives and bottles and lethal, jailbroken stunners.

Again, you're telling us about tension, but it works because you're also showing it.


Mags shook her right hand and winced. There’s been more than just bone under Maricela’s pretty face. Titanian grafts, no doubt.

Do you mean titanium? Otherwise I guess they could be supermaterials from Titan if they've expanded that much in space.


Old Miggy appeared like an angel behind Maricela, his balding head haloed by the yellow lights of the bar. He brought a serving tray down onto the back of the madame’s neck.

Most of the brawl really pops, but this bit is a little rough. I would replace the bolded part with "He smashed the back of her neck with a serving tray." More active voice, and a better action verb.


Miggy backed away from Maricela, straight into one of her hired goons, who took the old man down with one chop to the shoulder.

That's some shoulder chop.


She grinned, wide and toothy. “Good job, boys and girls. Next round's on me!”

Good, solid ending.

I like this a lot. Like I said, writing cyberpunk may be pandering, but it's the good kind. I would read more about Mags and her world.

Jenny the Cake posted:

The Rodeo Bar and Grill
925 words

“Once you’re done closing their tab, you count out their change and put it on the table. Got it?”

Not sure how I feel about this opening sentence. It's realistic, but it doesn't really grab me. Clearly it's gonna be about bartenders. I mean, it's okay, but you should try to hook the reader with something more exciting. Also, you meant to say "bar," not "table."


My name is Alice , and I’m the new bartender in-training here at the Rodeo Bar and Grill.

No no no, don't do that. Don't have the first-person protag introduce herself to the reader. Have someone else call her Alice. It's okay to say that it's her first day, but just say that.

You've gotten better at not using a million words where one would do, but you still need to pare down. Compare this (86 words):


I nod. My name is Alice , and I’m the new bartender in-training here at the Rodeo Bar and Grill. It’s located in the middle of a sleepy bedroom community outside of LA, and so far I’m liking it, mostly. I’m shadowing under Jessie today--yesterday it was under the bosslady Stacy. Stacy seems nice, but I have a feeling that she’s only being patient with me because I’m the new girl here. All the bartenders here at the Rodeo are women, including the bosslady herself.

To this (41 words):


It's my first day running bar at the Rodeo Bar and Grill. It's right in the middle of a sleepy LA suburb. So far it's not bad. I'm shadowing Jessie today. All the bartenders here are women, including Stacy, the boss.

You honestly don't even need to mention Stacy since she doesn't come back into the story. But if you must, just make it a very brief reference. A little bit of internal monologue from the progatonist is fine, but you're going overboard. Especially in a flash piece, where economy of prose is everything.


Jessie’s a five-foot-even Filipina chick with immaculately drawn eyebrows and a perfectly toned and tanned body. I’m a head taller than her and straight-up ginger with freckles all over my body and dirty red hair. I look like Mary-Jane Watson, except with even paler skin and less pretty. Yeah, I’m a bit jealous of her. It really doesn’t help that the uniform is a tank top with the bar name and logo and a pair of short-shorts. Kinda goes without saying that I’m feeling a little bit exposed.

Eh. This isn't really working for me. I see what you're doing, and it's fine, but the execution is off. I think one of our domer-ladies might be able to give you better advice on this section, but it seems off and not what a woman would actually think or say. Maybe just pare it down a little, especially "Yeah, I'm a bit jealous of her." We already get that from the way she's comparing Jessie and herself.


“She giving you the once-over?”

I've never heard "the once-over" mean anything but looking someone up and down. You're looking for a different euphemism here. I know which one, but I can't recall it at the moment.


I nod. “I’m Amber,” I tell him and extend my hand.

The gently caress? I thought her name was Alice? Dude, editing.


“Please,” the husband says while her wife nods and smiles.

Editing, again.


“My name’s Amber, by the way,” I introduce myself.

“My name’s Mark. I teach history over at the high school near here,” he slurs as I shake his hand. “I’m Petra,” his wife says and I shake her hand as well.

We already know her name's Amber. We can assume she's introduced herself in the past two hours. You also should have split off the sentence where Petra introduces herself.


George picks his head up when he hears her name. “Your name’s Petra?”

Petra nods and laughs nervously. Line break goes here. “Hey! It’s George remember? From the Corner?”

“Ummmm…” Petra says looking understandably embarrassed.

This falls flat. If George and Petra have hooked up or even just hung out in the past, why would it take two hours for George to finally recognize her? And is the Corner a bar, or is Petra hanging out on a literal corner? Why is she "understandably" embarrassed? So far nothing George has said really suggests anything sordid.


“Hey buddy, lay off of her,” Mark says, visibly drunk.

“Hey, it’s not my fault that your wife has a very active social life. Or,” George says with a poo poo-eating grin, “maybe it is.”

“Take that back,” Mark says menacingly.

So is she sleeping around? I doubt a drunk George, already stepping over the line, would kid-glove it that way. And since this is a flash piece, you have no time or space to draw it out. If she's sleeping around, have George say it, but more colorful. If she's not, then I don't see what the issue even is. Also, how did Mark say it "menacingly?" Have him lean forward, fist clenched or something. Show, Jenny, don't tell. We've had this conversation.


Mark grabs his glass and smashes his glass against George’s head.

Editing, again, with the "glass" repetition. And two many words. Try this:


Mark smashes his glass into George's skull.

But this is where it gets better:


“Stay here,” she says and grabs an aluminum baseball bat from behind the counter. She climbs over the counter, all five feet 120 pounds of her, and rushes towards them.

She brings the bat down on like a hammer on Mark’s back, who breaks from his grapple and spins around. Jessie hip-checks him with the bat as he falls to the ground. She swings the bat and hits George in the gut. He falls to the ground, doubled-over in pain.

Jessie props the bat against the wall and pulls out her phone to take pictures of the both of them. “Now get the gently caress out,” she says and throws them out. Everybody cheers while Petra leaves as quickly as she can.

All of that was good. Except I don't know how you hip-check someone with a bat, but I'll assume you either don't know much about fighting or just made another editing mistake. I like that she takes photos of them, either for blackmail or just so everyone knows they're no longer welcome. In fact, you should have Amber/Alice say which it is. I also wish Petra would do something more dramatic when she leaves. I dunno what, something that fits with the cheating older wife thing. She doesn't necessarily need to flash everyone, but something. Have her go out with style.


“Alright everyone,” Chris says with a huge smile on her face. “Give us like five minutes to clean up, okay?”

Holy twat-hair Jenny, EDITING! How the gently caress do you go from Jessie to Chris and not notice it? I know I said you couldn't send this to anyone else, but you gotta at least read it through yourself once after you're done to spot those glaring loving mistakes. drat brother.


“Let me know when you have time and I’ll show you how to regulate.”

Decent ending line.

Overall, this is better than probably every other story I've read of yours. That may not be saying much, but this actually isn't bad. It's a little straight-forward and could move faster, and it needs a lot of general craft work. But it has potential.

Unfortunately, potential isn't enough to beat making GBS threads Rear.

:frogsiren: Spitting Beer v Lenny the Fake Brawl Results: Spitting Beer wins! :frogsiren:

Martello fucked around with this message at 18:27 on Sep 15, 2014

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007




Martello posted:


Ugh you should have seen my lamenting in IRC when I noticed that typo. But thanks for the judgment and ish.

Anyway, good fight Benny! Please keep coming back for more, it is strangely heartwarming

*gives Benny a noogie*

Hammer Bro.
Jul 7, 2007


sebmojo posted:

I’d been at a festival up the hills round Nelson, all glowsticks and puptents and oonst oonst oonst

Eleven months to go and I'm already jonesin'.

Also: Cheers, Beers, but what's with the M names? Can't be coincidence or fancy...

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007




Hammer Bro. posted:

Eleven months to go and I'm already jonesin'.

Also: Cheers, Beers, but what's with the M names? Can't be coincidence or fancy...

my nemesis has an M in their name somewhere


Aug 2, 2002

Sitting Here posted:

my nemesis has an M in their name somewhere


"Good taste" has more Os than Ms, actually.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007




crabrock posted:

"Good taste" has more Os than Ms, actually.

You're normally p on point with your poo poo-talk Crabs

this time you're grasping, and it hurts me to read

try better next time.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012


Sitting Here posted:

Anyway, good fight Benny! Please keep coming back for more, it is strangely heartwarming

*gives Benny a noogie*
Stop it *brushes you off* Good fight, though :)

Sitting Here posted:

my nemesis has an M in their name somewhere

Martello, perhaps?

Benny the Snake fucked around with this message at 23:44 on Sep 15, 2014

Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.

:siren::siren::siren::siren:THE MERCEDES NOOB BRAWL II: NOOB HARDER:siren::siren::siren::siren:

Hello there fellow domers, it's your fellow host, Mercedes.


You are the boy with the pet robot. How did he come upon this robot? I don't know. How does this robot work? I don't know. Why, oh god why is the dog police there!? I don't loving know! Why are you asking me? The prompt for the first three newbie-ish (no wins) domers to sign up is this: First-person narrative of a boy and his robot. There is police involvement. How you interpret that is up to you.

Again, here is the prize list:

Minus a random one, cause the winner of the first round gets to pick one. So only sign up if you play video games. If you're already writing for the first contest, no double dipping, you assholes. Finish yours, and if you don't win, you can try again next round.

2,500 words due September 28th 11:59 pm EST

Now, who are my combatants?

Benny The Snake
Schneider Heim

Mercedes fucked around with this message at 01:41 on Sep 16, 2014

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012


Mercedes posted:

:siren::siren::siren::siren:THE MERCEDES NOOB BRAWL II: NOOB HARDER:siren::siren::siren::siren:

Hello there fellow domers, it's your fellow host, Mercedes.


You are the boy with the pet robot. How did he come upon this robot? I don't know. How does this robot work? I don't know. Why, oh god why is the dog police there!? I don't loving know! Why are you asking me? The prompt for the first three newbie-ish (no wins) domers to sign up is this: First-person narrative of a boy and his robot. There is police involvement. How you interpret that is up to you.

Again, here is the prize list:

Minus a random one, cause the winner of the first round gets to pick one. So only sign up if you play video games. If you're already writing for the first contest, no double dipping, you assholes. Finish yours, and if you don't win, you can try again next round.

2,500 words due September 28th 11:59 pm EST

Now, who are my combatants?
I'm in!

Lily Catts
Oct 17, 2012

Show me the way to you
(Heavy Metal)

In to write about boys and robots.

Dec 31, 2006

Fork 'em Devils!

Mercedes posted:

:siren::siren::siren::siren:THE MERCEDES NOOB BRAWL II: NOOB HARDER:siren::siren::siren::siren:

I'm in to steal an easy vidya game from these chumps

Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.

If you don't have PMs, you're going to need to find a way to get in touch with me (IRC is best) if/when you win and I need to send codes to you.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

i finally figured it out

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

the lobster was inside us all along


sebmojo fucked around with this message at 08:10 on Sep 16, 2014

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

:siren:tdome week one hundred and ten judgepost:siren:

aw poo poo you done made clint mad or maybe

it's just gas. actually, you mostly did okay. mostly. leastaways we ain't gonna need to shoot any of you so that's good i guess. but

amused frog, sorry fella but you lost your showdown with fanky malloons. her gun arm is slicker than you could best, hardened by years of lifting volvos and eating snack cakes. you get a DM, for a story that might have taken somewhere if you weren't busy coughing that bullet outta your lung, still at least you aren't

someguy TT and entenzahn who both cop DMs too, for being not funny enough and not interesting enough to get anything else. they're both lying unconscious under the spittoon (it's hella gross tbh) happily

sitting here gets an HM for some slick piano playing; walamor crashes through the saloon window intertwined with martello, both missing the dust and landing in the HM water by the slimmest of margins. meanwhile

phobia gobbles up the loser cowpat and grins like a retard, cowshit dribblin down his cheeks; and the cowpoke kicking him out of the way, climbing up on her horse and clipclopping out of town, shiny winners star on her chest?

that cowpoke is fanky malloons.

prompt us up cowgirl.

Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

Congrats, fanks. I knew you were gonna win.


Apr 25, 2011

I'm a suave detective with a heart of gold in hot pursuit of the malevolent, manipulative
and the deranged degenerates who only want their


Apr 25, 2011

I'm a suave detective with a heart of gold in hot pursuit of the malevolent, manipulative
and the deranged degenerates who only want their


When You Have to Shoot, Shoot; Don't Talk.

Apr 25, 2011

I'm a suave detective with a heart of gold in hot pursuit of the malevolent, manipulative
and the deranged degenerates who only want their


Can someone give me a smoke? I need one last hit fore I hang. Also.


Apr 12, 2006

Goddamnit Phobia you idiot

  • Locked thread