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N. Senada
May 17, 2011



_____________________________________________________

N. Senada fucked around with this message at Nov 2, 2014 around 21:20

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N. Senada
May 17, 2011


N. Senada posted:

I've been informed that this may not be too cool to do. I won't be posting more stories.

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Yams Fan

Thank you for the crits, everybody!

N. Senada
May 17, 2011


8 stories submitted

1 person admitted failure

That leaves a lot unaccounted for. Others may not know your shame for not submitting this week, but I shall etch your name into pristine ebony and my children's children shall know your failures.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

they'll know after the results are submitted.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

You have one hour to submit.

Deadline was technically 7 minutes ago, but DST was this weekend so some people might be confused.

Don't gently caress up!

N. Senada
May 17, 2011


Your generosity knows very specific, clock-based bounds.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

crabrock posted:

You have one hour to submit.

Deadline was technically 7 minutes ago, but DST was this weekend so some people might be confused.

Don't gently caress up!

Fast judging good judging! *cracks whip*

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

SUBMISSIONS ARE CLOSED.

Judgement and guesses sometime tomorrow.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


INTERPROMPT



250 words max, ending with the sentence "And then a skeleton popped out."

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Intern -Interprompt

Words - 210


This story is true in every possible way.

I sat in the front lobby of the Nickelodeon Animation Studios, where I was currently working as an intern. A large, bulking man of Scottish origin came rushing down from the hallway. He handed me a VHS tape with a label that read, in hand written letters, "CatDog's Suicide.rar"

“Here laddy, spread the word.”

"What rubbish," I thought as I threw the tape into the nearest trash bin. Who uses VHS anymore?

Before too long, I was called in for my appointment. A man with no face sat in an office desk, dressed in a black business suit with tie. I correctly assumed this man to be the president of the Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Mr. Magallanes.

“Have a seat,” Mr. Magallanes said as he gestured towards the empty chair on the other side of the desk.

“You’ve been an excellent intern, Jeffery, and it is with great pleasure that I offer you a full time job as a storyboard artist here at Nick.”

“Thank you, Mr. Magallanes! I won’t let you down, I swear!”

“I’ll keep you to it.”

After all was said and done, Mr. Magallanes opened the door for me on my way out. And then a skeleton popped out.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

There once was a goon named Muffin
whose thread trademark was guffin'
always late for the prompt,
always saying he's swamped
and then a skeleton popped out.

ceaselessfuture
Apr 9, 2005

"I'm thirty," I said. "I'm five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor."


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

INTERPROMPT

250 words max, ending with the sentence "And then a skeleton popped out."

Oops
260 words

Sophie was making out with Tom Majors at Kelsey's costume party. Tom Majors! He felt so good, smelled so good, she couldn't believe her reality right now because everything was totally amazing.

Things with Brad hadn't been totally amazing lately and she kind of regretted that. He was just boring. Always sat around and played video games.

Tom never played video games.

Even his costume idea was boring. A skeleton? On Halloween? Come on, at least she made the headdress for her Indian costume. He wanted her to come dressed as one too so they could be a "skelly-family" but she almost barfed in her mouth.

She giggled and kissed Tom harder than before, pulling him close, as if to get Brad out of her brain. He spent too much time in there as it was, and she needed someone new.

But someone made a loud noise outside and it startled her. It couldn't have been Brad, because he left everyone a while ago. "I'M GOING TO GO TO SLEEP IN A PLACE," he said, really loud. Everyone just said, "okay man" and he stumbled off. Tom started to kiss her neck and chest and she tried to sound encouraging. She didn't want him to stop but she also kinda hoped that Brad was okay. He might be boring but he was still her's.

Then the door slammed open and the lights came on.

"Sophie, what the gently caress are you doing in my bed!?" Kelsey said.

Tom jumped up. She jumped up too. Then the closet door opened. And then a skeleton popped out.

-----------------


trite but meh

ceaselessfuture fucked around with this message at Nov 3, 2014 around 07:24

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

I am a chauffeur
42 words

I am a chauffeur and I am 23 years old. I like to drive cars; especially the big cars. They are, quite literally the best. They are amazing.

One day I was driving my car and then a skeleton popped out.

kurona_bright
Mar 21, 2013


As Deep as Narnia
121 words

Dandy Nad walked down a street, smoking a merry cigarette. He was happy as he listened somebody quite lively give a speech. As he opened the front door he whistled, and his eight dogs came running. They led their happy, merry way to his bedroom and started scratching up his beautiful closet door. Nad was upset. His handsome oaken door!

He gave all of the dogs good, solid kicks to make sure they wouldn't do that again. They whimpered quite pitifully, and ran out of the bedroom. He shouted after them not to ruin his carpet.

Then he turned to his closet, to take off his work clothes and put on a nice t-shirt.

And then a skeleton popped out.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


Literally a creepy pasta

91 words

I was once at Olive Garden. I ordered the pasta, but everyone else ordered something different. When the waiter came back, everyone got their order except me. I asked the waiter what the problem was, but he said that my order was special, and that it would be coming soon. A couple minutes later, he brought it to me. I tasted it, but it tasted stale. I looked closer into it, and a saw something white protruding out from it. I reached in to grab and then a skeleton popped out.

Armack
Jan 27, 2006

Corde pulsum tangite


Still bone
44 Words

So I hadn't been eating right, hadn't kept any appointments for the ultrasound, gently caress prenatal care. Do they think I have time for any of that? Still, I invested nine months of my life into this. And then a skeleton popped out.

J.A.B.C.
Jul 2, 2007

There's no need to rush to be an adult.


A wild ride
219 words.

"Come on, you rusty piece of crap!"

Mike jumped up, gripping the handle of the wrench as he let his weight come down on the valve. A pained, rusted creak was his reply as he stumbled onto the pipes.

"Did that do it?"

A few footsteps in the stillness from the catwalk above. "Still nothing," a gruff, tired voice replied.

"We better get overtime for this," Mike shot back, pulling the wrench free. "I hate Halloween."

A chuckle from the catwalk. "Trick's on you. Carnivals don't get overtime, kid."

Mike muttered curses under his breath, working the valve open a couple of more turns, a satisfying hiss responding in kind. He cheered, giving it a couple more turns, the hiss soon fading into the back of his mind.

"How about now?"

"Keep your pants on, kid," The older worker said, the deep clack of a breaker box followed by a high-pitched cackle and the whine of servos.

"We've got power," Mike yelled, watching one of the animatronic witches stutter to life, cracked latex reaching out over a railway.

"Let's get out of here, then," The worker said, his footsteps on the catwalk dulled by the sound of a steamy hiss. Mike smiled, turning towards the maintenance exit, a shrill shriek echoing somewhere overhead. And then a skeleton popped out.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Best Left Unsaid (88 words)

"Ladies and gentlemen, a moment of your time." The magician raised his hands. The theater fell to silence.

A stool and silk hat were produced from off stage. The silk hat was violet and covered in stars.

"For my next trick, indulge me. This one's an old favorite." He rolled up his sleeves, his arms clothed in ink.

From behind the curtain, his assistants stood ready, their dazzling vests in contrast with their eyes.

"Psst.

"Hmm?"

"You remembered to feed it, right?"

"...No, did you?"

Bad Seafood fucked around with this message at Nov 3, 2014 around 21:31

Paladinus
Jan 11, 2014



Spoopy
(30 words)

I was sitting on a toilet when I saw a ghost.

'Boo!' Was all the ghost said, but I was scared shitless nonetheless.

And then a skeleton popped out.

Paladinus fucked around with this message at Nov 3, 2014 around 21:44

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

Results Post for Week 117: Pumpkin Carving Adventures Doledrums

So this results post is gonna be a little different, since I don't know who is who until N. Senada reveals all, or people step forward and claim their stories.

A big thank you to N. Senada for compiling all these and taking signups. He did a great job. I didn't hold any formatting errors against anybody this week, so no reason to get upset about that. If I could give you an HM for helping but not writing, I would :P

Overall, this was a weak week. I said this was wide open in regards to everything, you just had to have a pumpkin in your story somehow. A lot of you didn't bother to think one step past "pumpkin" and focused on pumpkin carving. So much so, that I thought perhaps this week was a prank week where everybody decided to submit stories of pumpkin carving with useless adverbs and somebody named Sam. If so, good job i guess? Furthermore, a lot of these stories were just "so what?" or a good idea that wasn't done justice. All three judges agreed on almost all the stories, with a few slight disagreements, but I don't predict any brawls stemming from judge disagreements this week.

So without further ado, here are your results

Winner - Pumpkin Dreams, one of the only stories that actually managed to TELL A STORY, not have some out-of-place gore insert, and bring us to a satisfying conclusion.

HM - A Curious Thing, a fun tale of time travel and who-dun-it that unfortunately ends too abruptly and doesn't have enough depth to be considered for the win

HM - In Memoriam - A fun, jaunty tale of some kid and his dad, which unfortunately is just that. We all agreed we'd like to read more, but in and of itself, this is not a complete story.

Loser - A Mother's Worst Fear - Holy MRA Batman. What the christ was going on in this story? It started off that one judge had this for the loss. As we discussed it more, the other two judges started frothing at the mouth and deemed that yes, this was the worst story. Not the most incomprehensible (congratulations #14), but the one that tried the most and fell flat on its face. We all hated reading this. Chicks sure are sluts, right?

Maybe the hardest thing this week was limited the number of DMs we handed out. We didn't want to get too crazy and pull a seafood, but we felt that there were some stories that were horrible, even in a week with few shining stars:

DM - The Pilgrims and the Great Pumpkin - It's like somebody took a history lesson, put it into some sort of Google Translate, did that back and forth a few times and then pasted it as a story.

DM - The Balad of Igor Shishkin - You typoed your title dude. I think that says enough.

DM - Sclerotinia - Nobody knew what this story was trying to say or get at, even if some of the imagery is nice.

DM - Harvest Rites - Literally not one judge understood what the hell was going on here, and if this is even English.

DM - Pumpking - While this could have easily been stuck in the middle, your tactless portrayal of your side character really brought this down a level. Add in a totally unlikable main char, and you have a recipe for disaster.

So come take the blood throne, person who is unknown but I'm guessing is Kaishai?

crabrock fucked around with this message at Nov 3, 2014 around 23:14

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

crabrock posted:

So come take the blood throne, person who is unknown but I'm guessing is Kaishai?

Dingdingdingdingdingdingding!

Wow. Thank you, judges. Prompt will be up as soon as I've thought of it.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

Crits:

Keep in mind that these guesses are at times wild and don't take them as an insult if I guess you for a not great story. I just kind of guessed somebody as a "don't leave blank" approach to some of these stories.

Story #1
The Pilgrims and the Great Pumpkin

Guess: Cache Cab

This story is not good. Obviously, your history is all hosed up, which is fine, but even as an alternate history it doesn’t work because of anachronisms, such as Colt, etc. It’s hard to take it seriously when it sounds like you didn’t. Honestly this sounds like a joke, and I’m pretty much treating it as such. You have the basic structure of a story down, but that’s like having the basic structure of a man down: stuff it with hay all you want, but that thing’ll never dance, but will forever remain a scarecrow.

Story #2
Whistleblowing

Guess: Mercedes, Phobia

This is more of a vignette than a story. Nothing really happens. What I know is there’s some dude locked up, and he’s being tortured for info. Thing is, I’m not really sure what he did, or why, or what he hopes to gain by pushing his captor. Either way, there’s not really any resolution or progress made in this story. The writing is decent, even good at times, but a little rough. Could do with some polishing. Is telly at times too.

Story #3
WELCOME TO THE TRUCK ZONE, WHY DON'T YOU STAY A WHILE

Guess: WeLandedOnTheMoon!

I almost feel like something is about to start in this story, but then it just...doesn’t. There is too much world building, too many details and things that don’t seem to matter. What were the three laws? Why bring those up? A lot of the details seem to be mighty good coincidences. “Oh, yeah, there’s the truck full of gas i didn’t mention ever before.” then “oh yeah, we have that generator that runs on gas.” I dunno, that stuff seems like it’s only an obstacle because you, the author, deemed it to be. I have a hard time suspending my disbelief that in their zombie hellscape somebody didn’t ever mention a tanker full of gas because he “didn’t get to ask” a guy he knows is dead. Maybe if you’d spent more time on his characterization, that might be believable, but I still don’t really know anything about these two guys.

Story #4
The pumpkin-maker

Guess: Thalamas, Ironic Twist

This has some of the makings of a good story. However, there are WAY too many irrelevant details in here. The first part of the story almost feels tacked on to the second part. They’re related, in that they’re about growing things, but what does this pumpkin carver have to do with the chick who steals fertilizer recipes? Still some of the details are great, and once Hannah comes into the story the narrative zips along at a good pace. I’d scrap the beginning, or rework it so that it fits better. This is high pile, but only just barely. Maybe not HM material though, depends on the other judges. Could really do with some editing.

Story #5
A Curious Thing

Guess: Chairchucker

This is a light, jaunty trip through space and time. The ending seems to come suddenly and out of nowhere, almost like you got tired of writing the story and were like “eh, screw it, let’s just end this, the joke has gone on enough.” Since you only used 700 of your words, now I really think this is what happened.

Story #6
The Balad of Igor Shishkin

Guess: Cache Cab? Somebody new I hope?

I say I hope it’s somebody new, because I don’t know who would have done some rounds of TD and thought “hey, let me post a quarter of this in Russian!” This story also suffers from being really boring. Mostly it’s a guy telling me what’s on posters and backstory and stuff. By the time anything actually happens I was bored and just skimming, knowing that if I wasn’t judging this week, I would have stopped reading long ago. Possible loss/DM

Story #7
Sclerotinia

Guess: Noah, Muffin

This is wordy at times. There is some good imagery tucked in here, but I felt very far removed from the story. Like somebody was telling it to me at a campfire, but I was only half paying attention because I was tired and just wanted to go to bed. At the end, I just kinda wondered: “so?” I mean, there’s a moral stuck right there in the end, so it’s fabley, but the rest of the story felt more like a lecture or a bible story, in that it was pretty dry and not really filled with interesting happenings, but more for the moral at the end. Also I’m a little unclear at what all these words are, like made up races or something, and sounds like a pumpkin alien is talking about people or something, I have no idea, and the story didn’t pique my interest enough to make me want to spend much time figuring it out.

Story #8
Ghost Stories

Guess: newtestleper

This story is very passive. It’s mostly stuff happening to a ghost. He doesn’t do a whole lot, nor bring about stuff in the story. He’s just kind of experiencing things. The writing is simple and feels like it’s from a beginning writer. There are quite a few instances of things that could have been done much better, so I’m guessing it’s somebody new for that reason. Overall, this story was boring, but wasn’t insulting, so it’s safe from a DM/loss, but nowhere near close to being good. The overall idea, of a rural ghost, is kind of neat. Unfortunately this story doesn’t really do it justice. If you have to flat out state the purpose of the story, then you’ve probably failed to actually tell the story in a meaningful way. I’d suggest going back to the drawing board and tell me the tale of a ghost stuck on a farm. Give him a goal, and bring it all to a conclusion.

Story #9
Intelligence Explosion

Guess: tone says SH, but writing style says somebody else.

This story lacks subtlety in the parts it really needs it, and lacks details in a few parts that could make the story more clear. Like I get pretty early on that she’s not right in the head, or that something’s up, but then you keep beating that dead horse, instead of progressing. I think at the end it was an AI passing some test to become a physical manifestation? The ending happened so suddenly, could have probably taken out a few descriptions of how ~weird~ everything is and expanded on that part a bit. This is mid-high.

Story #10
The Pirate's Assistant

Guess: Fumblemouse

Technically competent, but drat if this middle doesn’t drag and drag. The “forgotten” child is a little too cliche for my tastes, and seems to go on for way too long. This is actually a common problem this week. People have an ending in mind, and are trying to set it up, so they spend way too long on the setup. I understand really wanting to make sure the reader knows WHY he goes in and carves up his little brother’s face, but just using tropes to establish that he is being neglected isn’t really enough. He seems like a good, rule-following kid from the get go, and immediately slips into this “i’m going to do something i’m not supposed to.” the characterization seems off for him. You should probably have him eager to break the rules and try something new. Make him be creative and weird, not following society’s ideals. A pirate costume is well-worn, make him obsessed with something weird, maybe a bit rebelious, maybe disgustingly odd when thought about for too long. these types of details would set up the ending better than paragraphs of “i’m so lonely and ignored!” Still, more interesting plot than most other stories this week, possible HM.

Story #11
A Mother's Worst Fear

Guess: uh… i don’t know. somebody that likes to cuss a lot?

So this isn’t really a story so much. It’s just kind of things happening. It’s a dude lecturing a woman for her bad choices. Ok… it doesn’t go anywhere. She doesn’t DO anything other than react and try to talk her way out of it. The people cuss a lot, but you never made me feel the anger or urgency here. There needs to be more internal reflection and long pauses to really establish the shitshow that’s happening here. Otherwise, as it is now, it just feels like a rehash of some Lifetime movie. I’m assuming this is the scene near the beginning, before she decides to take a job as a waitress and focus on raising her daughter right, swears off men, but then a really nice guy comes in to order waffles, and she tries to friendzone him, to save him from herself, but he’s persistent and they end up falling in love.

Story #12
Pumpkin Dreams

Guess: Kaishai

This is the kind of sweet, idyllic story that Kaishai usually writes, but some of the details feel a little non-kaishai-like, so if this is somebody else then good job at aping the most winningest TD writers. I don’t really have much negative to say about this. Some of the dialogue is a little awkward, but given the subject matter, it’s to be expected. I think this is a good story. Possible win/HM

Story #13
The Incident in Question

Guess: LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE

First, thanks for including tiny pineapples. But secondly, and probably more importantly: meh. There is a lot of telling in this story. I felt more like this was an essay than a story. It just feels so matter of fact and personal. It could do with a lot of punching up and maybe some dialogue. I feel like you could tell this same exact story but with some fun elements such as witty museum banter and a deeper theme than just “oh no a big pumpkin got smashed.” At the end of the day, what is the point of this story? What am i supposed to take away from this story? people like to read things because there’s MORE than just the actual story, there’s usually some human truth or some BS tucked in there. It’s hard to take anything away from this story other than exactly what is on the page. safe boring middle.

Story #14
Harvest Rites

Guess: Voliun

So to be honest, I cannot force myself to pay attention to this story. I tried rereading several paragraphs multiple times, and my brain just goes somewhere else. I have no idea what is happening in this story, because the writing is obtuse in attempt to be...gloomy? and you make weird jumps between thoughts and i feel lost. i can’t even really comment on anything in this, other than, what? what did you do to make this so hard to read? Possible DM

Story #15
A Single Wish

Guess: God Over Djinn.

This story has a good theme/undercurrents, but it’s a little too melodramatic and obvious for my liking. Also what is with this week and 1500 word stories with little or no dialogue? Instead of her telling me she had an empty heart and poo poo, I felt like that stuff could have been shown with her actions and interactions with others, maybe even her stepsisters. instead it’s just told to me. I like the mixing up of classic fairy tales, but one thing that kept bugging me is cinderella’s slipper was made of glass, and a “glass slipper” is a pretty well-known idea. I don’t know if you were purposely trying to turn that on its head, but it kept sticking out to me. So this story could be good, but it’s too rough right now, and needs some serious reworking.

Story #16
In Memoriam

Guess: Mercedes

I’m guessing Merc because this is a sort of “high octane thrill story” that has lots of action, some good characterization, and some good dialogue. But unfortunately, besides the cute story, that’s really all there is here. And it’s not bad, it’s just not enough to elevate it. It’s a quick scene about a kid spending time with his dad. How did this change the character? or the dad? that’s really what’s is missing, is a goal and resolution. “wanting to spend time with my dad” isn’t so much of a goal with a motivation to seek it. And the kid doesn’t make this come true so much as the dad does. anyway, still a fun read after a bunch of dumb stories, but feels like a snippet in a larger work instead of a standalone story.

Story #17
Pumpking

Guess: Djeser, because you told me you were going to write about the pumpking.

More crit later

Story #18
If at First...

Guess: Benny the Snake

DQ

ceaselessfuture
Apr 9, 2005

"I'm thirty," I said. "I'm five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor."


Wait, did you guys not get my story then?

I might have sent it to the wrong email, I guess. NSenada@gmail.com?


e: oh poo poo, NSenadaSA haha ha ha..

Mind if I post it anyway?

ee: gently caress i am actually upset about this, sorry dudes.

ceaselessfuture fucked around with this message at Nov 3, 2014 around 23:12

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

ceaselessfuture posted:

Wait, did you guys not get my story then?

I might have sent it to the wrong email, I guess. NSenada@gmail.com?


e: oh poo poo, NSenadaSA haha ha ha..

Mind if I post it anyway?

Oh jeeze. Sorry for the confusion. It turns out reading is an important skill that you're not alone in lacking, among the writers :P

Post it anyway to get a DQ instead of a failure.

ceaselessfuture
Apr 9, 2005

"I'm thirty," I said. "I'm five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor."


Goddamn, I feel like an idiot. Oh well! I'll get in for next week.

e: crits from anyone welcome!

=============================================================================

Playing Pumpkin
1493 words

It was the Halloween party for the Welders and Brad McCall pulled a pumpkin from the pile to smash with his head. Brad's backyard was wet and cold, there was barely any place to sit and the rain spritzed down on them, but there wasn't anywhere else to do it. Brad's wife would have killed them if they smashed them in the house. Simone stood off to the side, with the two other girls who worked at the factory, and twisted the beer bottle in her hands.

"Alright boys," Brad said, hefting the pumpkin above his head. "Who wants to take this bitch out?"

Pete Francis lumbered over immediately, wiped his nose on the sleeve of his jean-jacket and turned up the AC/DC blaring from the speakers under the table. Doug and James Sanford joined too (it was amazing the brothers even showed up. They always had something better to do). Darcy Blaine was soon to follow, with the other apprentice Welder, Ken Grove looking over at him first before timidly shuffling forward. When no one else felt like manning up, Simone shoved her beer towards Eileen and joined in. Brad grinned at her.

"Ey, Princess, you want in on this too?" The men laughed.

"Thought I'd show you how it's done."

A collective OOOOO! from the crowd. Simone smiled.

"Hit it 'til it's broke. No hands," Brad said. "Who's up first?"

"What the hell is this?" Ken asked.

"We're playing 'Pumpkin'," Darcy said. "Now shut up."

Pete stepped forward, wiped his hands on his pants, grabbed the pumpkin and slammed it into his head as hard as he could. The other boys closed around him and Simone pushed her way inside. The circle was formed. The game began.

Except they had to break immediately: Pete fuckin’ Francis, Pete the Beast, smashed the goddamn thing on the first try. He pulled his head back and howled. Orange gore spilled into his black beard.

"Well poo poo," Doug said.

"Jeez Pete, leave us mere mortals with something to do, eh?" Ken said, chuckling. Brad and Darcy stared him down.

"I am a WRECKING BAAALLLLLLL" Pete screamed, kicked over a deck chair and slammed back a can of beer. Everyone laughed.

Brad grabbed another pumpkin from the pile.

"Alright bitches," Brad said, then, looking over at Simone he bowed at his waist, "and bitch-ettes. Let's try this again. I'll go first."

Brad held the pumpkin firmly in his hands, bent at the knees, and started to breathe like he did whenever he tried to tell stories about him and Valerie's Lamaze classes. It looked like he was taking a poo poo.

"Looks like you're taking a poo poo, pretty boy." Simone said.

Brad smiled and yelled, slamming the pumpkin into his forehead. An audible sound like a drumbeat, but nothing else. The pumpkin held fast.

"You're up Ken," Brad said. "Pretend it's me."

Ken grabbed it from him, and hefted it. He dragged his hands across the browny-orange surface of it, feeling it all over, as if trying to find the weakest point.

"Jesus Christ Ken he wasn't serious, you fag," Darcy said. Doug cleared his throat.

"gently caress off," Ken said.

"Look, I know you're lonely Ken, but-" Simone started.

"gently caress off!"

"-I mean if you really need it I'm free tomorrow."

He yelled, and then slammed the pumpkin into his head as hard as he could. Ken opened it up a bit.

"Well holy poo poo," James said. "Newbie got a hole."

"Woo!"

"Alright, alright, bring it over here." Simone grabbed the pumpkin from Ken and cracked her neck.

It was just a dent really, a bit of a split in the meat of the thing, but nothing big. Brad probably already opened it up a bit before. It was heavier than it looked, but it also seemed less dense. She'd have to-

"Just tell it all about your feelings and it'll explode," Brad said.

"Nag it about drinking or something," Darcy said.

Simone smiled. She jerked quickly and quietly, without any hesitation or preparation and smacked it into her forehead. It was clean, but Brad's ridiculous posture must have served him well, because she immediately felt like she could have gotten more into it. The hole opened up, noticeably now, but she knew she could have done better.

The boys laughed and Darcy gave her a high-five and grabbed the pumpkin from her. "Not bad, Princess."

Darcy looked around at the lot, planted his feet into the ground, stood for a moment with the pumpkin outstretched, and rammed it home, crumpling his forehead into it, squishing it open.

Everyone clapped, even the secretaries in the back. Darcy lifted his arms up; the victorious champion.

Doug nudged James' arm and said, "Why is he celebrating? Everyone else did all the hard work."

"Because it makes them feel better," Simone said. "Besides, it's fun, we should play another round so you guys can get in on it."

"Naw," James said. "I just wanted to watch Pete, really."

"I'll get us some drinks," Doug said, "Maybe next round, Sim."

The circle disbanded and the men went straight to the cooler. Simone looked back at Brad's bungalow, and saw Valerie inside, looking out at her man while obviously doing some kind of kitchen-work. Her hair was perfect. It always was. Straightened, blonde streaks through nutty brown. She had an apron on over her Bazinga! T-Shirt and was pregnant as hell. From the look of it, she was baking, but Simone figured it could have been something else. Maybe she was just organizing her kitchen. Simone turned around back towards Eileen and Sara, the wisp-thin receptionist girls Brad obviously hired because they were so skilled, and grabbed her beer from Eileen. Brad was a good guy, sometimes, but goddamn.

"Nice hit, Simone," she said.

"You two should get in there too."

"Yeah right," Sara said. "We're not dumb."

The rain picked up a bit and people shuffled further under their coats. She saw Brad run inside and close the sliding glass door behind him. Styx came on the stereo and Doug and James started to sing along to "Come Sail Away," and Pete was downing two beers at once, letting excess run off onto his shirt, but Simone just watched Brad and Valerie.

They weren't exactly fighting. She could tell the couple was upset, but it wasn't big enough to call it one yet. Maybe he was just pissy that there weren’t enough beers in the cooler, or maybe she was about the mess she'd have to clean tomorrow. It didn't matter. He was out a few seconds later anyway and she was tossing cutlery and oven pans around carelessly. Who the hell knows.

Simone chugged the last of her beer and tossed the bottle aside. She wandered over to the pumpkin pile. The pile Brad specifically made to smash with his face. Simone looked up at Valerie again, who was looking out at her husband. She looked tired under all the makeup.

"Hey Brad," Simone said, grabbing a pumpkin. "How about round two?"

She juggled the pumpkin in her hands. Tight, round, small. An orange and green softball. She lobbed it over to him.

"Come on, you pussy." She said.

He grinned back at her and walked on over. The circle formed once again. Rain pattered all over them.

"Alright," Doug said, "I'm ready this time, let's do it."

Brad stared right at Simone, "Alright Princess, you got it. Here's how it's done."

He held the unripe thing in one hand and smacked it into his head with a dull crack. Brad groaned in pain. "It's too green, there's no give. It's a fuckin' rock."

Doug went to take his turn and reached beside him to grab the pumpkin, but Simone shot forward and snatched it before he had the chance. Everyone else just stared. Even Pete seemed interested.

Simone took it and waited a second, orienting it directly on its thick green belly. She struck her head with it. Then again. Then again, over and over, four, five, six times. She barely felt the pumpkin give at all.

"Hey, Simone," Darcy said.

She kept at it. Harder, as hard as she could. She felt the rain come down her face. Her arm quickly started to sore and her forehead was numbed with a warming pulse. Her biceps burned. She kept at it, taking little glimpses at Brad and the boys between each strike, even stopped to drag a deep breath before glancing at Valerie in her window, looking back out at her, eyes bugging out of her skull. She kept at it, hard as she could.

It didn't so much break open rather than a chunk snapping off. She threw it to the ground and raised her hands to cheer.

"Jesus," Pete said.

"Simone, you're bleeding," James said.

"Hold on a sec, I'll get a towel," Ken said, jogging towards the house.

Brad didn't say a goddamn thing.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Year Progress: ├████┼████┼████┼████┼████┼████┼████┼████┼████┼████┼────┼────┤

Wins Progress: ├█████████┼█████████┼█████████┼█████████┼█████████┼█████████┤

Status: TARGET REACHED WITHIN ACCEPTABLE TEMPORAL PARAMETERS. (Graph courtesy of crabrock.)


Thunderdome Week CXVIII: If on a Winter's Night a Fire

Judges: Kaishai, sebmojo, and Sitting Here.

This week, the prompt is simple: when you sign up, I'll roll a four-sided die twice. The numbers will determine a season and a classical element, meaning earth, water, air, or fire. Your mission, should you choose not to prove yourself a miserable pile of failure, is to write a story inspired by the combination you receive. Spring air, winter fire, summer earth--get the idea? Creative interpretations are encouraged, but both the season and the element had by God better be present in some way. Beyond that, go for broke.

Sound intriguing? Sound easy? Good! Knock our socks off! Despite the autumn chill, I promise we won't mind. Make sure though that whatever you submit is neither fanfiction, nor nonfiction, nor erotica, nor poetry, nor a GoogleDoc. We're back to standard submission protocol.

Sign-up deadline: Friday, November 7, 11:59pm USA Eastern
Submission deadline: Sunday, November 9, 11:59pm USA Eastern
Maximum word count: 1,200

Soldiers for All Seasons:
Grizzled Patriarch (spring fire): "The Library of Alexandria"
Benny the Snake (spring water): "My First Beer"
Quidnose (autumn fire): "MY MEMORY OF A SAD TIME BY SIMON JOHNSON AGE 8"
Obliterati (summer air): "Full of Hot Air"
Broenheim (autumn water): "A Perfect Day"
ceaselessfuture (summer water): "Interference"
Hammer Bro. (winter water): "Winter Wine"
newtestleper (winter air): "Overconfidence"
Djeser (summer earth): "The Aerial Ace and the Battle of Roswell"
Your Sledgehammer (autumn water): "En Garde"
kurona_bright (spring air): "The Long-awaited Exhale"
Gau (spring earth)
docbeard (autumn fire; flash rule: starts with an earthquake, builds to a climax): "Last Dance"
FouRPlaY (summer fire): "Through the Flames"
Ironic Twist (spring air): "Hiding Places"
Paladinus (winter earth): "And Peace on Earth"
J.A.B.C. (spring earth): "A New Spring"
SurreptitiousMuffin (winter air): "whistling, howling"
Phobia (winter water): "As the Ice Turns to Rain, I Think of Him Still"
crabrock (autumn air): "A Dirge for Lost Flowers"
Fumblemouse (spring fire): "Outside her window"
JcDent (winter fire): "An Interlude"
Anathema Device (spring earth): "Freedom Garden"
Nethilia (summer water): "Stormy Weather"
ThirdEmperor (summer air)
Cacto (summer air): "Summer loving"
Shaky Premise (winter fire): "Against the Cold"
starr (autumn fire): "Two halves of a Whole"
Noah (winter air): "Dead Air"
blue squares (summer earth): "Mr. Electroworth's Shovel"
thehomemaster (summer water): "Flow"
Some Guy TT (spring air): "Sakura Riders"
Chichevache (autumn earth)
Chairchucker (autumn air): "Wings on Fire"
Entenzahn (spring water): "And Grow Anew"
Walamor (winter fire): "The Ancient Fire"

Kaishai fucked around with this message at Nov 10, 2014 around 05:05

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

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




In.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


The Blood Queen is dead, long live the Blood Queen!

I'm in!

Quidthulhu
Dec 17, 2003

Stand down, men! It's only smooching!


In, with a

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why didn't you invest in
Thunderdome?


Hi, [Judge 1] here. This week was bad and you should feel bad.

My crits usually take some time so while you wait for me to share my truths and witty observations with you, here are some guesses:

The Pilgrims and the Great Pumpkin – Mercedes because I know you like writing joke stories to piss off crabrock
Whistleblowing – Jitzu
WELCOME TO THE TRUCK ZONE, WHY DON'T YOU STAY A WHILE – I wanna say JcDent because it ends like your last story
The pumpkin-maker – Guiness13
Chairchucker's A Chairchucker Thing by Chairchucker – Chairchucker
The Balad of Igor Shishkin – Some Guy TT
Sclerotinia – noob with access to a thesaurus
Ghost Stories – Djeser
Intelligence Explosion – Ironic Twist
The Pirate's Assistant – YourSledgehammer
A Mother's Worst Fear – Cache Cab
Pumpkin Dreams – To my credit I already had this on "one of our better female writers or Tyranno" before I saw Kaishai being congratulated in IRC
The Incident in Question – newtestleper
Harvest Rites – Grizzled Patriarch
A Single Wish – sh on a bad day
In Memoriam – Tyrannosaurus
Pumpking – Phobia
If at First... – idk running out of people who cares you're dqed

Obliterati
Nov 13, 2012

Ask me about being the most Magnificent Bastard in EU4 Multiplayer.

So I am listing these in the order they came in, guess-free because I have no appreciation of style. I considered putting them in quality order but the middle dissolved into indistinguishable mulch so

Story 1
The Pilgrims and the Great Pumpkin


You spend a lot of time tripping over this flowery language and it drives me up the wall. Also goddamnit not one of those First Nations you mention was anywhere NEAR initial settlement of the Americas, my internal archaeologist is livid right now

you could at least have mentioned the Powhatan

Story 2
Whistleblowing


Why should I care about this guy and his boyfriend? Whistleblowing as a concept is about governments doing something immoral that it is really goddamn important for the people to know about but here we just have a torture scene. Might work as part of a longer piece, but that would be contingent on the background being something we care about.

Story 3
WELCOME TO THE TRUCK ZONE, WHY DON'T YOU STAY A WHILE


This story is too long for how little actually happens. Cut a lot of this 'how society runs in the apocalypse' infodumping and replace the rest with some conflict. A lot of stuff happens but there just isn't any tension: I get you're trying to add some with the 'starvation' angle but all we have there is your narrator saying 'people are hungry, that's bad' occasionally. It would be tense if fights were breaking out over food and poo poo. Basically this reads like a sociology paper that has zombies in it for some reason?

Story 4
The pumpkin-maker


So why are two random guys trying to steal a fertiliser recipe, is it because it makes pumpkins grow to the size of men? The action is jerky and I never get a good read on Hannah. We all had conflicting versions of how this concluded and none of them made any sense to me but I personally favour 'his wife left him because he loving killed a guy over fertiliser'.

Story 5
A Curious Thing


I didn't like how this started but it won me over with the ending, even if said ending was a little too early (more words please). It annoys me that apropos of nothing there is a time machine and some kid has it but structurally this is tight so I will deal. A couple earlier lines with the mother would help make the tie-up a little less left-field. Just takes an HM.

Story 6
The Balad of Igor Shishkin


If cutting up the action with incomprehensible songs didn't work for Tolkien it's not going to work for you. What are they doing for you given that your readers don't speak Russian? It's just noise. The best bit of this (and when it sounds most Soviet) is the line about alien underclasses, but the rest of it reads like a guy who's looked up Russia on Wikipedia. Read Solzhenitsyn or someone from that era and you'll see that there's more a certain feel to it than the author saying “by the way we are in SOVIET RUSSIA” repeatedly.

Story 7
Sclerotinia


This is okay writing but despite Adam and Eve building the Tower of Babel nothing really happens. A titan apparently goes apeshit at some point but we see none of this or any clear reason it's mentioned. I don't really know what to make of it. There's a narrative here but not much of a story. Odd names and ripping off the Bible do not a good read make.

Story 8
Ghost Stories


Wooo, baleful! Seriously though this reads like an afterlife PSA. 'Hey, I bet you have questions about death! Let's take a virtual tour! Do you know someone with whom you could share what you've learned today?'

Story 9
Intelligence Explosion


I'm not really sure what's going on here. I'm reading it as a researcher waking up an AI through some kind of psychodrama but it just comes across as weird and the 'wakeup' scene is kinda abrupt. It's a good idea but the execution falls flat. The gore's especially uncalled-for seeing as we're working with an AI here, though the basic idea of an AI needing to 'carve a face' isn't bad in itself.

Story 10
The Pirate's Assistant


Your ending comes out of nowhere and it's annoying to realise the whole story is a setup for grimdark babykilling, especially as nothing else happens.

Story 11
A Mother's Worst Fear


Wow. Crabrock covered the bases but I would like to add that when your main character has no positive traits whatsoever I don't want to read about them. This is like a handwritten pamphlet from Fathers 4 Justice. Also your landlord's fedora is missing, or is hidden under his unrealistic white plate armour.

it is a whiteknighting joke

Story 12
Pumpkin Dreams


So this is sickly sweet but I don't mind. Having read the last eleven of these I kept expecting something terrible to happen and you averted that (thank you), so what we have is a nice little coming-of-age story. This works.

Story 13
The Incident in Question


I like how this is ridiculous and played mostly straight. Sadly there isn't much else in it than a funny idea and a few hammed-up lines.

Story 14
Harvest Rites


So as these were coming in I made a little table where I placed them in their rough ballpark and added these notes to go with them and yours was the only one still blank by the time it came to judgechat. I am writing this right now as I paste the words into a fresh document. I have no idea what is going on here.

Story 15
A Single Wish


This is very middle of the road. Why the gently caress does the prince have to cut her toe off? There was a lot of gore shoved where it doesn't belong this week but this is the worst example. You did however dodge the fanfic label as breaking down faerie stories is at least one step above Goku vs. Superman and reworked there could have been an HM in here. The strange thing was that you kept bits of the Cinderella story that didn't seem to make sense in this context (why is she treated like poo poo if her stepmother cares about her? Is it to do with her being incredibly shy/possibly a mute?) and changed bits that did (like the slipper not being glass).

Story 16
In Memoriam


I was actually a little touched by this story. The dad's a deadbeat, sure, but you surprise me when it seems like he's at least trying. A lot of people this week wrote stuff that was really about pumpkins but here you managed to skip past that and write a story about feelings and emotions and stuff. I pushed this for the win, but couldn't quite pull it off. I might be reading more into it than the others but I felt that there were a lot of nice touches hidden underneath a bunch of shirtless men pounding each other.

Story 17
Pumpking


The retard stuff is tasteless. It's not that tasteless is bad but you have to put more into it than 'this clearly unlikable guy uses the word a lot, also the dumb guy plays along'. It kills good will pretty fast. Also your ending makes no sense – did they already have goop in there or are they covering their asses or what? The whole story is about how this will make it taste terrible and there's no prior hints that this is wrong. I shouldn't be rooting for bad things to happen to these people though I suppose I got what I wanted there.

Story 18
If at First...


So your protagonist has a conversation with the preppy kids and they turn her life around. This seems to be it? I remember these 'busy' kids at university and I do not recall looking to them for lifestyle advice but then again I just read all these stories so maybe I should have.



I will also do three line-by-lines for the first responders.

ALSO ALSO, I am in.

Obliterati fucked around with this message at Nov 3, 2014 around 23:45

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


In with a

ceaselessfuture
Apr 9, 2005

"I'm thirty," I said. "I'm five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor."


In. With a vengeance.

Hammer Bro.
Jul 7, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

crabrock posted:

High compliments about my story. Without realizing that it was my story. Or that they were compliments.

Sweet. I'm busy as sin this week, so I'll be tossing my hat in the ring as well.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


In with a

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool


crabrock posted:

Story #13
The Incident in Question
Guess: LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE

do you take me for some trickster? i said i wasnt entering lol

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Hypothetical win and hypothetical DM!

I fooled you all by not submitting! However this week I'm in.

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Your Sledgehammer
May 10, 2010

by Nyc_Tattoo


In with a

  • Locked thread
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