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  • Locked thread
Mercedes
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.


curlingiron posted:

Whatup, Captain Thunderdome partner.

Also apparently I am writing a Black Jesus Angel Story as well. And also judging. And maybe writing something else. And auto-DQing them both. Because I am judging.

BRING IT ON

You ain't auto-DQing the brawl. Lord no. This is for real my son (daughter).

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elfdude
Jan 23, 2014

Mad Scientist

poo poo, sorry about two weeks back. Comcast crapped out on me. I have my submission if I can still submit it somewhere...

As for this week's, in. Do I need to take a special rule or something here?

elfdude fucked around with this message at Apr 2, 2014 around 04:40

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011


I'm down for this.

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.

More month old crits, yaaaaaay.

QuoProQuid posted:

Language Barriers
SET: 6575 Polar Base


Nothing happens, the translation gimmick wears out its welcome really quick. Boo.


OK you did the actual LEGO people thing as well that's cool I guess. Also I guess fire bricks are supposedly hot like normal fire which is why people want them when it's snowing, yet they can just pick them up? Maybe decide whether your LEGO people can feel temperature or not. I dunno I didn't hate it but the plot was kind of dumb, they kicked the banker out for getting robbed or something? So they're just not going to have a banker, or...? OK wasted too much time thinking about this, NEXT


On the one hand this was pretty good and did tension well with what could've been fairly mundane subject matter, on the other hand you used some unLEGO language therefore

BOOOO


Kinda liked this one, nice and short which is a good start, action was done relatively well and clearly enough that it was easy to follow.


Did you literally name your characters after the names of the actual LEGO minifigs? Well that's cool I guess. I don't really like cliffhanger endings though. Like, your ending is basically 'something exciting is about to happen'. Why not give us the exciting thing?

V for Vegas posted:

Warspite 750


What the hell's a Leftenant? Also, Abby's a dude? That confused me. Oh wait I see that's his surname I guess. Bit depressing, also there wasn't a person who lives in the sea as per your flash rule. Was written decently though I guess apart from spelling Lieutenant a little weirdly.

Benny the Snake posted:

Here's my set
The Great Lego Train Robbery
Oh ho the hijinks. Such bumbling incompetence in those wacky criminals. Oh and another actual LEGO people thing. I didn't enjoy it that much OK next.


I liked this one quite a lot, it amused me, good job Fumblemouse. In fact I probably enjoyed it substantially more than the one that won because my co-judges loved the heck out of it. Thor Brickson is a good name BTW.


I actually thoroughly enjoyed this one also despite not much happening, however you took the Lord's name in vain, rather unLEGO old chap.


This was probably one of the best of the depressing ones so good job. I say good writing. Good work that man. Top shelf. Spiffing. Oh except for some bad dialogue punctuation things, you can't have a period inside quotation marks and then not start a new sentence, just not the done thing.


Liked it, it amused me, got a kick out of the rather petty inmate messing with his captives. I thought it was going to be an Orwellian morality tale about communism, thoroughly enjoyed finding out it (probably) wasn't.

Ursine Asylum posted:


A Cold Day in Hell
You did the 'IT TURNS OUT THE CHARACTERS WERE LEGO PEOPLE ALL ALONG' which I have grown to hate, and you swore in a very unLEGO fashion, and in front of a fictional child no less, BOOOOOO

Little Mac posted:

Spaceman and Robot, [i]744 Words, based on Set 6807: Space Scooter With Robot

Kind of depressing but kind of nice I guess I kind of liked it OK moving on. NEXT.


What the hell, there's no dragon in this set, what are you playing at? BOOOOOOOOOOOO

Cache Cab posted:

Title: The Grand Prize




Hated this one, also your protagonist is terrible and said some rather unLEGO things. Talking pretty explicitly about sex is still unLEGO even if you say 'phallus' instead of 'dick' as the thing that someone is (or isn't) getting wet. Also ruffian has two 'f's. Just awful, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo

sebmojo posted:



Jim Spaceman: Moon Attack!

I liked it it was cool and fun and funny.

Jay O posted:

Professor Millennium's Conflicted Cadavers

based on the Twisted Time Train


I don't totally get it but I guess the guy was kind of giving them their eternal rest because he felt sorry for them or something? Well that's nice. Also I enjoyed the ghost saying 'rude' more than I probably should've so this one gets a thumbs up from me.

I liked it, T Rexes are great and should be in all the stories.

Fanky Malloons posted:

Flash rule(s):
Equal opportunity witchcraft (this actually turned out to be a super appropriate title, so I'm gonna use it as such )
Blind Casanova

Lego Set: Sunshine Home

Yeah this was OK I guess, skirted the edge of LEGOness with that Casanova thing but it's all good. I found it amusing it's cool it's great.

Kinda boring and trying too hard to be weird and alien and being boring instead. BOOOOORING.
Other judges suggested you might have a shot at ultimate loser, but srsly, did you read that other one?
Srsly.
BORING

Cussing, quite unLEGO. Also nothing happens to the two fretting exposition dropping dudes, that was kind of a thing that didn't end up mattering. I mean actually nothing much happened in general.


Oh look, they're LEGO people again. Nothing happens which could be OK if it was entertaining to read in some way but it wasn't.

'Crits'.

Chairchucker fucked around with this message at Apr 2, 2014 around 09:51

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME Entenzahn? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

In + Flash rule pls

HopperUK
Apr 29, 2007

Clear off, fatso, this is a respectable establishment





Fallen Rib

Entenzahn posted:

In + Flash rule pls

Flash rule: Nobody in your story knows angels are real, not even the angel itself (at least to begin with)

Lake Jucas
Feb 20, 2011


In. Flash rule me.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Mercedes posted:

You ain't auto-DQing the brawl. Lord no. This is for real my son (daughter).

No, curlingiron will have to DQ her own submissions because she's a judge. The Brawlin' Black Jesuses are safe.

HopperUK
Apr 29, 2007

Clear off, fatso, this is a respectable establishment





Fallen Rib

Lake Jucas posted:

In. Flash rule me.

Flash rule: your story must include at least one sentient AI.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

No static at all...

In.

Mercedes
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.


Fanky Malloons posted:

No, curlingiron will have to DQ her own submissions because she's a judge. The Brawlin' Black Jesuses are safe.

That's what I said!

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards


in

Starter Wiggin
Feb 1, 2009

Screw the enemy's gate man, I've got a fucking TAIL!
Do you know how crazy the ladies go for those?


The Sean asked for a crit so here it is:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/...dit?usp=sharing

Still doing these if anyone wants my lovely opinion.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

in

Gau
Nov 18, 2003

I don't think you understand, Gau.


gently caress it, I'm in.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Critique for Starter Wiggin.

Got a couple more in me if people want.

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

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




In.

Starter Wiggin
Feb 1, 2009

Screw the enemy's gate man, I've got a fucking TAIL!
Do you know how crazy the ladies go for those?


Thalamas asked for a crit.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/...dit?usp=sharing

Still doing more.

Paladinus
Jan 11, 2014





Just as I promised, here's a crappypasta about a guy with a silly talent.
http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...9#post427838007
It was supposed to be bad, arguably, even worse than what I usually poo poo out, so I don't know if any of you would want to read it. Still, I kept my promise, so the shame is almost gone. Until the next crit.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME crabrock? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

Grimey Drawer

You point to the maple bar and the man takes a thin sheet of wax paper and grabs the biggest, most delicious-looking bar you’ve ever laid eyes on.

He rings you up, and you push the card over the counter, afraid to look in his eyes. He swipes it without hesitation. “You’re all set, enjoy.”

You carry your donut over to Gus’ table. He motions for you to sit, and you follow his commands. The back of your brain reminds you that he can still beat you into a pulp if he feels like it.

You eat and talk, and find out that you have more in common with the terror of the school than you realized. You both finish up and you walk to school together. You’re almost there when Molly’s bus drives past. You look through the windows, hoping to catch a glimpse, and see her reading a book.

Gus looks at you strange, but doesn’t say anything, and you don’t explain.

You get to school just as the bell rings. You say goodbye to Gus and rush to class.

You take your seat behind everybody else and try not to vomit at the smell of the hamster cage for the rest of the morning.

At lunch, you realize you’re still full from the morning’s donut, and skip the disgusting “tacos” they’re serving. You see Molly sitting alone in the grass, reading her book and munching on a PB&J she brought from home.

You remember all the other times you were scared to go up and talk to her. You think of yourself as a coward. But would a coward use a stolen gift card to buy a donut? Would a coward eat breakfast with the school bully? No, you’re not a coward.

You march over to Molly and stand over her, slightly more confident, but still slightly shaking.

“Um, hi. I’m Jake.”

She smiles back. “I know that, silly.”

“Oh.”

She pats the grass. “Here, sit down.”

You sit.

“We sat next to each other in kindergarten, don’t you remember?” she asks with a smile.

How could you be so stupid? You wrack your brain trying to remember, but everything gets a little cloudy. You pick at the grass and try to think of something to say. “I, uh. I don’t remember.”

She laughs. “It’s ok, it was a long time ago. I just remember having a huge crush on you. I thought you were cute.”

“Oh, um. That’s very interesting.”

“Anyway, that’s how I know your name.”

“Ok.”

“... Did you want to tell me something?”

“Huh?”

Molly sits up straight, not leaning in so close to you. “Well, you came over here and introduced yourself.”

The words “dance” and “will you go to” bounce around in your skull, but refuse to come out of your mouth.

“I, uh…”

You hear somebody yell “heads!” and turn to see Gus running at you, not watching where he’s going. His arms reach out for a football and he trips over you, laying you out flat on the ground.

He gets up and balls his fist, but when he sees it’s you he relaxes. “Oh hi Jake, didn’t see you there.”

“That’s the second time, Gus!”

He laughs and shrugs. “Grow bigger I guess?”

With Gus there you relax. Molly is staring at you, stunned that the nerdy, awkward kid is friendly with the big bully. You remember your pep-talk earlier. You’re not a coward. You can get what you want.

“Molly, will you go to the dance with me?” you blurt out.

“Yes!”

Gus slaps you on the back. “Whoa, good job man. I better get back to the guys.” He grabs the football and runs off just as Molly’s friend Shannon runs over.

“Oh my god, I saw that crash!” says Shannon. “Are you alright?”

Molly giggles. “We’re fine. Jake asked me to the dance!”

“Really? She’s had a crush on you for years! It’s about time!”

Molly gives Shannon a playful shove, and grabs your hand. “Come on, lets go make plans.”

You let her drag you away, and you feel like you’re floating on clouds.

The End

crabrock fucked around with this message at Aug 4, 2014 around 18:30

Thalamas
Dec 5, 2003

Sup?

I'm in.

Thanks for the crit, Starter Wiggin.

The Sean
Apr 16, 2005

Am I handsome now?



A Tin Of Beans posted:

<b>BIRD TALK</b> (1,085 words)

Critique here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/...dit?usp=sharing

Short version:
Overall I feel that this concept has potential. I don't feel that you realized it, though.

I like the modern magic feel. I mean, they have "powers" but the initial support group setting makes them seem appropriately mundane. You also satisfied the prompt through this.

Here are some problem areas:

Stimulus -> Internalization -> Response
I don't see characters reacting enough to what's going on around them. I hardly know how they feel about things and everything seems delivered by dialog.

Character-Driven Story
In character driven stories, vs plot driven, characters should have some kind of internal struggle. They should be internally challenged by choices to make. For instance, it seems that you suggest that Jane using her powers for $20 is bad. However, it doesn't seem that Jane significantly considers if it's right or wrong to do so. If she thinks it's wrong, still give her a reason why she overcomes this. The reason has to be stronger than her drive to "do the right thing." If she doesn't think it's wrong, show how Jane reacts to learning it's taboo and have her decide if she regrets her actions.


Conflict
To follow up with the above, poo poo happens but I feel that there's little conflict. The most conflict that I felt was in the beginning. I thought the story question was "how will Jane deal with and fit in with this new crowd? what dangers will she face?" specifically, "will she suffer psychological death?" It turned out to be "no," she'll be cool and the real story question is how can she use birds to hurt people. There's no conflict in this, though.

Dialog
People are getting along too much. It's best to have each character have different motives/goals in the convo and they should be battling to achieve them. "Okay, well I've learned my lesson." in the last paragraph sucks. As a reader, I'm entertained by people not getting what they want. Just like above, there's no reflection on this so it feels arbitrary.





Please honor your offer and crit me, Beard!


Thanks for the crit yourself, Starter Wiggin.

The Sean fucked around with this message at Apr 4, 2014 around 12:48

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


I'm in. And thanks for the week 85 criticism.

HopperUK
Apr 29, 2007

Clear off, fatso, this is a respectable establishment





Fallen Rib

Around five and a half hours remain to sign up!

Nitrousoxide
May 30, 2011

do not buy a oneplus phone




Starter Wiggin posted:

The Sean asked for a crit so here it is:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/...dit?usp=sharing

Still doing these if anyone wants my lovely opinion.

Could you do one on mine?

Starter Wiggin
Feb 1, 2009

Screw the enemy's gate man, I've got a fucking TAIL!
Do you know how crazy the ladies go for those?


Nitrousoxide posted:

Could you do one on mine?

https://docs.google.com/document/d/...dit?usp=sharing

HopperUK
Apr 29, 2007

Clear off, fatso, this is a respectable establishment





Fallen Rib

Three hours remain for sign-ups!

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





The Sean posted:

Please honor your offer and crit me, Beard!

Return, and we return. Keep faith and so will we.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

In.

The Sean
Apr 16, 2005

Am I handsome now?



I'm in this week. I started my story on Thursday this time, rather than Saturday night, so I'll have no excuse not to polish my turd of a story.



docbeard posted:

Return, and we return. Keep faith and so will we.

Thank you very much for this critique.

The Sean fucked around with this message at Apr 5, 2014 around 00:32

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

So, crits. Startin' from the back because we Brethren of the Onrushing Deadline need a little love from time to time.

crabrock posted:

Figures the one time i need a few extra minutes is the time it cuts off exactly on time.

Sweet Dreams
1098 words


Fouad Abdul-Aziz laid on a damp cot and struggled not sure about this word, i think something calmer might work better? to separate reality from nightmare. First line/title: decent, with the parallel between sweet dreams (a cliche) but the suggestion that it will be subverted in the nightmare ref He always started with the obvious: the tentacled monsters from the deep were dreams, the oppressive morning heat was real. Memories of being pulled down under the waves and drowning on saltwater quickly faded, while the suffocation of his tiny cell settled in to stay. The panic was a bit of both, and the unfulfilled thanatos JARGON WATCH ALERT was harder to categorize.

Waking up with nightmares was comforting. When he “shared” them with others, he woke up blank: surrounded by wires and men in surgical masks. That emptiness usually filled up with regret. As horrific as his nightmares were, he was used to them. He’d seen his dreams turn the victims of his “gifts” into imbeciles. Men from his village. It was often the last thing they experienced. There seemed to be no reason to torture them so; they were usually killed after waking. Watching them die made his nightmares worse: a “fringe benefit” to his captors. His purpose in life still eluded him, and his prayers for clarity went unanswered.

His mother used to cradle him as he slept through the terror of bombs and artillery. Until the day the gunfire and screams of his countrymen’s futile sacrifices woke him, and he was alone. Fouad was forced by whom to walk to the orphanage, his bare feet were bloody and broken. The road was littered with the bodies of anybody old enough to understand, and a young Fouad kept his head down and tried not to be noticed. lots of telling in these paras, frowny face

It worked until he’d gone to sleep; his screams and thrashing got him sent to a hospital where men poked him and scanned his head with machines. After the tests the other boys were gone. what other boys He was put in a truck and traveled for several days. They hadn’t even let him eat before they brought him to a room where strange machines blinked with colorful lights, and the air didn’t smell like sulphur. Rusty springs that poked his back at the orphanage had been replaced with wires that fed into his arms and the back of his neck.strained

Those memories fueled many of his nightmares. That was a long time ago: his beard was as as long as it was unruly, and his body had started to complain about the rigors of daily life. ugh, 'daily life' doesn't work when he's in such an extraordinary situation

He finished his breakfast and listened for the jingle of keys that signaled the start of his workday. this is coming too late.

Cuffed and hooded, they escorted him through the halls but how did they see where they were going. He shuffled his slippers along the gravel-covered floors. When he was a child he had fantasized five buck word, use dreamed or sthing of traveling to places where they built massive buildings with smooth marble floors. In the beginning he had believed they who are they would come rescue him, and he would see his mother again.

He was unhooded and pushed into a chair. He looked over and saw a young boy, already wut unconscious, laying in the chair next to him. While time trudged on for Fouad, it seemed to run backwards for the prisoners. clever, but this doesn't work - fouad is speed of time, the prisoners it is direction They had changed from old men with white beards to young men with stubble. Then their cheekbones faded and their faces ballooned with baby fat. Their eyes grew wider with fear instead of the fierce rebelliousness they use to project. The wires looked thicker in their thin arms. great observation

Fouad knew there was no point in struggling, but he did so anyway. They strapped him down and injected him as they had thousands of times before. Time to make the world a worse place, he thought.

Fouad dreamed that he ran through halls of marble, breathed air made cool by large machines, and tasted the ice cream he had seen in a magazine. His mother was there, and she did not care that he was an old man with a beard and sores; she still rocked him in her arms. His hometown had been rebuilt and trees lined the smooth, black roads. All the people who had shared his nightmares and been killed were working in their gardens or building toys for their children. Kites hung from the clouds in the distance, and music played from a radio set in the arched window of a neighbor’s house.

When he awoke he tried to hold on to the fiction and reject reality from intruding. EWWWW this sentence yuck But clouds of dust blew over the streets and made them brown, the trees fell over and turned to corpses, and his mother turned her back to him and walked away. The entire facade he got some fancy talkin' words for a dude who's been locked up all his life slipped away from him like a paper boat down a river.

Fouad struggled to be free. The boy in the other chair was already gone. Fouad wanted to save the boy; he wanted to dream again. He looked for the crumpled form of the boy among the rubble on the concrete floor, searched for the growing pool of dark blood that followed a single shot through the brain.

But there was nothing. Fouad bucked in his chair like a rabid dog pulling at his leash, shouting words that his captors either pretended to ignore or didn’t understand.

But their smiles were different. Less maniacal than when they executed a prisoner. More restrained, almost...optimistic. so a more restrained less maniacal optimism. this is not a facial configuration I can easily place The last time he had seen a smile like that was when he was a boy, waking up in his mothers arms AHHHH MOTHER WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR FACE. “I didn’t have a nightmare tonight,” he’d said.

“Yes, no more nightmares,” she’d promised.

Fouad tired himself out against the restraints while the men behind masks talked in hushed tones. They broke up and began shutting off equipment. One smashed screens with a metal pipe. Amid the crashing glass and deepening hum of slowing discs, EWW a man approached Fouad and unholstered his weapon.

It was only looking down the barrel of the doctor’s gun that he realized his talents weren’t what they had been after. Fouad still didn’t understand much; he’d only been a child when the war started, and never considered himself much more than a child even when grown. But he knew the look in somebody’s eyes when they had found something they had been searching for.

He’d seen it in his mother’s face when she’d finally found the station on the radio that played music instead of giving war updates, after he’d twisted the knobs to see what would happen. “You should not mess with things you do not understand,” she’d scolded. “When you find a bit of happiness, no matter how small, you must hang on to it.”

Fouad closed his eyes and dreamed that he was back with her, listening to music on the radio. uM WHAT. I don't get this story at all. So there's a dude and he dreams and other people dream the dreams and there's a war and people dyin and what the hell, crabrock, what the hell. This is both fatally muddled and annoyingly clumsy in construction. I expect better.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk


The Sean posted:

Arrangement

Lillian Hu: 27, Interior Designer. Title/first line - real bad. I really don't want to read on, but i have to man, i have to. Charismatic, friendly, talented. One skill in particular keeps her in business: Feng Shui Exorcism. do you see how this is a cool way to end the first para (ooh what's that?) and the way you did it is not? (furniture is physically robust dullness in its most heavy and expensive form)In a way, this means that she’s really good at arranging furniture.

Lillian has an adequate website to advertise her services. Style. Prestige. Natural balance. Lillian Hu has established herself as one of California’s premier residential and commercial Interior Designers, utilizing the ancient tradition of Feng Shui. Her taste is impeccable but her knowledge of Chi, life force, really brings in the money. Super don't care, get on with the feng shui demons, that sounds fun.

A foppish women of 42, Mrs. Davidson was clad in designer clothing and caked if you're gonna use this then don't use bland bread sauce word like 'clad' for her clothes in expensive make-up when she answered the door. “Lillian? Oh, Lillian, it’s great to meet you! I’m so glad you’re here to help us with our problem.”

“No worries,” said Lillian warmly, “I’m glad that you were able to contact me.”
cut this kind of flimflammy dialogue, or make it worthwhile by conveying character
“The room is this way.” Mrs. Davidson led Lillian toward the entertainment room. “The drat thing hasn’t let us enjoy the entertainment room since we’ve lived here.” TO THE ENTERTAINMENT ROOM SHE SAID LEADING HER TO THE ENTERTAINMENT ROOM THE THING HAS BEEN STOPPING US USING THE ENTERTAINMENT ROOM THEN THEY GOT TO THE ENTERTAINMENT ROOM AFTER WALKING TO THE ENTERTAINMENT ROOM in closing, probably cut this line

The Davidson family recently moved into a new home. show/tell Their HD television has been powering up on its own from day one. If the family was watching T.V. the channel would suddenly change. Multiple technicians had been called in but none of them found any electrical problems.

Spanish language stations would spontaneously come on, the programming leaned towards variety shows and telenovelas.

“Can you use your ‘fang shewie’ can end this, Lillian?”

“It’s ‘fung shway’ and, yes, I’m confident in my design abilities and my ability to rid clients of,” she cleared her throat, “aesthetic abnormalities. Don’t worry, sweetheart.”
I was thinking of how to fix these lines then I hit ctrl s and hey they fixed themselves i should be a story repairman

They arrived at the room. way too soon we could have had like seven hundred more words of that stuff it was riveting Lillian noted that the room was well-lit with natural light. The walls were tastefully painted and the walnut flooring was gorgeous. Still, Lillian disliked the furniture arrangement. A red suede couch in the east, rather than the south were it belonged. A white Grecian bust on an ornate stand in the north, rather than the west. on the one hand i'm all 'don't care' but on the other feng shui is all about this kinda stuff so i guess you pass HOWEVER i would have liked much more suavely conveyed detail about the chi flow and the west wind dragons not being able to get to their breakfast nook or whatever. this is just dull THE ROOM WAS NICE AND FULL OF NICE THINGS'

Lillian found exceptional objection to the collection of ugly bookcases infested with kitschy porcelain figurines. Lillian suppressed gagging nonononono really just don't have people be about to do something then not, it's total badwriting 101 if she was going to but didn't, then just cut out the middleman and have her not do it, hey at the mere sight of them.

She got to work right away. Lillian lit sandalwood incense in the north and south ends of the room, agarwood in the east and west see some details about why would have been interestin here. She pressed her weight against the suede couch and began to shove it to the southern end of the room. A strong rumble shook the legs of Lillian and Mrs. Davidson.

“You’re being too rough on the floor! Please be easy with that couch!” Mrs. Davidson said.

“That’s not the floor. Just trust me.” Lillian continued on. Mrs. Davidson gained no comfort by this response; she kept her hands clasped firmly over her mouth, shaking impatiently. trembling vociferously, undulating aggressively, hovering petulantly, vibrating seductively dammit you're right incongruous gerund/adverb combos are fun

She next approached a misplaced shelving unit and began to toss the porcelain figurines into a cardboard box. The rumble of the room and vibration of the floor grew more intense. “Stop!” Mrs. Davidson said. “Be careful with those. They’re priceless!”

“They’re bringing you bad energy.” Lillian continued to pile the figurines in the box for disposal. They’re cheap and ugly, too.

“Stop!” Not Mrs. Davidson’s voice this time. A deep, masculine voice. Lillian ignored the objections from Mrs. Davidson and the disembodied voice. She had a job to do and she took it seriously. show/tell

The spirit inhabiting the Davidson family’s home WUT used the Greek statue as a conduit. viewpoint, show/tell The statue began to levitate and the room grew darker. Lillian paid no mind and continued to dispose of the figurines.

Ay dios mio!” The statue hovered and circled around Lillian. “Stop what you are doing now. Por favor!” Every piece of furniture in the room began to vibrate. you've gone from fairly real to totally wackadoodle with no real acknowledgment of how sudden and strange the shift is

“Not going to happen, Senior! angryfistshakingluchador.gif ” Lillian trudged on. Nearly every element of the room was in place. She hung paper lanterns at each corner of the room; southwest, southeast, and so on.

“There’re only two episodes left. Just let me see the ending!”

“You’ve bothered this family long enough. I think that a cliffhanger might be just what you deserve.”

“That’s not fair! You don’t watch Vida y Amor or else you’d understand.”

“Maybe. Maybe not. But interrupting this family’s life isn’t fair, either. You’ve had your own time in this world.”

“Interrupting? Interrupting what? Trashy reality shows and celebrity gossip?” The statue shook violently. “I’m doing this family a service.”

Mrs. Davidson said, “Oh, and your Mexican garbage is any better?” Following this remark Mrs. Davidson was violently thrown out of the room. In an instant she was gone and the doors slammed shut after her.

Lillian remained steadfast. As she heaved and pulled at a black leather chair, edging it north, she was thrown against the wall. Mrs. Davidson pounded ceaselessly at the doors to the room, unable to get back in.
“Let me down and we can work this out,” she said.

“You obviously don’t believe in love” The voice grew sad. “Juan and Claudia belong together. They’re made for each other but they just can’t see it yet.” this is a little bit funny, but your story is way too clotted and full of guff to let it work

Lillian’s wrists and ankles were still stuck against the wall. Lillian struggled to free herself. “I sympathize with you so let’s make an arrangement.” Suddenly, she was released.
“Move one more piece of furniture and I’ll snap your neck.”

“I’ll take a seat here and we can come to some agreement. Take a seat yourself. Let’s be professional about this.” Lillian sat down. “If you use your powers to assault me one more time it will be the end of you.”
Lillian sat in the chair, her back to the north. The possessed statue floated to a chair across from her and descended to a rest. ok, the statue sitting in a chair is also not bad

“I don’t think you’re in a position to make demands. However,” the voice said, “I’m willing to compromise. Let me finish the season and I’ll leave for good.”

“So you don’t have to agonize over it, I’ll spoil the ending. Claudia’s controlling father strangles Juan. They’ll never be together. Ever.”

The chair she was seated in flew backwards, pushed by the apparition in a fit of rage. “Now you’ve done it,” Lillian said, “I appreciate your help.”

The atmosphere in the room grew peaceful and relief washed over Lillian Hu cliche. The leather chair’s northern position sealed the deal. It would have been too dangerous to attempt the move on her own but the ghost seemed more than happy to help.

Mrs. Davidson burst through the doors to the room. “Is he gone!?”

“Yes. He won’t be bothering you any longer.” Lillian brushed the dust and debris off of her suit. “Be sure to recommend me to your friends and family.” What a terrible weak ending. To a story, let us be clear, that is terrible. Leaden ploddy language, way too many words that shouldn't be there, no interesting characters or action (though the telenovela obsessed ghost has some potential). do better.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Apr 5, 2014 around 00:56

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

curlingiron posted:

Tranquility
909 words

Flash Rule: Your protagonist suffers crippling performance anxiety when his or her talent is observed by an outside party.



Jeff stared at the phone. The song circled in his head. First line and title are superbland and this was on my fail list. There's nothing wrong with the action, but find a way to make it an interesting and enticing way into the story.

“It’s White Lightning and Wine by Heart. i am listening to this now so it had better enhance the critting or you are for it, 'iron It’s White Lightning and Wine by Heart.” He repeated the words like a mantra, in hopes that it would aid him when the time came. ok, but unnecessary

You can do this.

He watched his hand reach for the phone, already feeling the strange disconnect between his thoughts and his actions that always happened when he was feeling anxious. I am calm, I am a boat on the sea of tranquility. I am the moon, and the Earth is far away. All is calm, and all is still.

“It’s White Lightning and Wine by Heart. It’s White Lightning and Wine by Heart.”

He took a few breaths and dialed the station’s number. His hand shook as he brought the receiver up to his ear. The cowardly part of him hoped that it wouldn’t ring, so much so that the first ring made him jump in his seat.

“It’s White Lightning and Wine by Heart,” he said again, whispering now.

It rang for so long that he almost gave up, but the twelfth ring cut off and the smooth, familiar voice of the DJ was in his ear.

“92.5 KNXK, do you think you have an answer for Name That Tune?”

“I-“ He choked, his throat closing on the words he had been ready to say. “Wh-“

“Hello? Anybody there?”

Jeff struggled with himself, but he knew it was too late. A click and the dial tone were there to console bad choice, they're mocking if anything him as his voice finally returned.

“Wait, no! It’s White Li- poo poo!” Jeff slammed the phone down in its cradle and put his face in his hands. Why can you never get this right? You know this, what’s so goddamn hard about just saying it?

He took a deep breath, and picked up the phone again. Okay, it’s not over yet. You can try again. You’re not going to give up this time.

The busy signal nearly broke him. He set the phone down and stared. Had someone beaten him to it? Should he even bother to try again? It would be so easy to give up now, not worry about it anymore.

Oh no, not again. You’ve talked yourself out of this too many times. Who cares if it’s too late? You’re never going to do this if you don’t do it now, so PICK UP THE PHONE.

The third time dialing seemed easier. He focused on his breathing as the phone rang, trying to slow his heart rate. I am a boat on the sea of tranquility.

“92.5 KNXK, we’re still looking for a winner to Name That Tune, do you think you’ve got the answer?”

“I-“ Jeff paused, but didn’t choke this time. “I-It’s White Lightning and Wine by Heart!”

“It is! Congratulations, you’ve just won a pair of tickets to see Soundgarden when they come to town next month. Stay on the line for a minute, and we’ll get your information.”

The next few minutes were a blur as Jeff stumbled through his name and address, repeating the information several times before the intern who took over from the DJ got it down. He could hardly believe he’d managed to do it. yeah, blah, whatever, don't care

He put the receiver down, but picked it back up again almost immediately. After all of that, this call would be almost easy.

Then the phone rang, and he realized he had no idea what he was going to say.

Oh god, I’m wait - I’m a sea on the boat of tranquility, I’m a oh god no.

“Hello?” Christie’s voice on the line made his heart freeze.

“I-” He began to choke again, struggled to breathe.

“Hello? Is somebody there?”

“Nnn-!”

“Okay, I’m hanging up now.”

“WAIT!” The words tore out of him suddenly, and he gasped as he was able to breathe again.

“Hello?” Christie said again. “Are you there now?”

“Soundgarden!” Jeff said desperately. “I, you, concert! See concert!” Oh god why did I say that?

There was a pause, and Christie laughed. “Jeff, is that you?”

“Y-” Jeff took a breath. Well, it can’t get any worse than that. “Y-yes, this is Jeff.”

She laughed again. “You sound so funny on the phone! Did you say you had concert tickets?”

“I- Yeah, I, I won them. On the radio.” She’s laughing, am I doing okay?

“Wow! Like a call-in contest?”

“Um yeah, I knew what the song they played was, and… I guess I won?” Wait, I’m actually talking to her! I’m doing this!

“Oh jeez, I never know what those are. That’s awesome!”

“I-I’ve always been good at those for some reason.” The words were coming easier now. “Um, would you want to go with me? To the concert?”

“Totally! I love Soundgarden!”

“R-really? Great! I’ll uh, I’ll see you at school then, yeah?”

“It’s a date!” Christie hung up while Jeff was still recovering from her words. It’s a date.

I have a date.


Jeff walked up to his room and shut the door. He laid down on the bed and put on his walkman, hitting play on the Soundgarden mixtape that Christie had given him last month. He smiled.

I am a boat on the sea of tranquility, and I have a date. There are lots of grumpy things I could probably write about your dialogue, but perhaps the smooth stylings of Canada's premier chickrock outfit have taken the edge off my robo-rage. Or more likely, you've got a nice story of someone conquering their weakness and getting what they want, and the details don't matter so much if you get that right? One of the two, anyway.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Nitrousoxide posted:

A Garden to Forget (876 Words)

Zachariah cursed and tossed the Buddleia bush into the bag. Bad title/FL. Could have improved it by giving us a sense of what was wrong with the bush, by having an interestingly off-beam title. This was his tenth ten is a lot, almost to the point of parody attempt at making a garden and it had turned out just like all the rest, filled with blackened and rotting garbage.
 
“You know, you don't have to keep trying,” Jan said, “I'm sure she would have understood.” who is jan i wonder maybe she is the buddleia bush poor thing

“I know,” Zach said “but every day I feel like I'm forgetting her more and more.  One day I'm not even going to remember her face.” the thumping of a leaden sledgehammer point ah how i have missed it

“I know you’re worried about your condition, but the doctor said you have years before it becomes an issue.  oh he has a friend how nice they can pound things together They might even have a cure or treatment for it by then.”  Jan said.
Zach shook his head and looked toward the waste bin and a darkness drew over his eyes, but like an eclipse it was gone in a moment. !!! was the darkness also laden with doom like the dark clouds that herald the wings of a storm and the rushing icy winds that wash all our hopes and dreams away?!

“Come on, why don't you show me some shapes, they always make you feel better.” Jan said.
Nodding, he picked up the pair of scissors he always kept nearby and turned them over in his hand.
 Small nicks all over the metal and little spots of rust here and there that betrayed the tools age.  Sighing, he picked up the nearby construction paper and started cutting patterns into it.  Despite the tools appearance it cut cleanly through the paper, neither catching, nor tearing the thick eggshell colored parchment. wait so he goes gardening with sheets of paper? He cut the shape of West Virginia into the paper and finished with a stroke.

PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS

PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS

PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS

PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPHS

DID YOU NOTICE HOW ALL THE PARAGRAPHS HAVE A LINE BETWEEN THEM

DID YOU

GOOD



"Where did you learn to cut like that anyway?” asked Jan.

“Forty years of teaching elementary school kids earns you some skills.”  Zach said.

The two of them stared into their hands for a bit as Zach continued to cut away at his paper when finally Jan climbed to her feet.
nothing happened for a while, until the writer remembered that stories are supposed to be about things happening

"I need to pick up Karen, she’ll be out of school soon.”

Zach looked up from the flower he was cutting and smiled a sad tell show smile and said, “I know, let her know that I can’t wait to see her at my birthday next week.”

Jan nodded and headed out the door closing it quietly behind her.
Zach looked back at the half-finished paper flower in his hand and leaned back in his chair.  His eyes grew heavy and finally closed as he drifted off to sleep. put down your scissors dude there are sledgehammers around one might drop on you
***
He looked out to the back yard through his study window toward the garden his wife had never gotten a chance to finish.  She was out back working, her red curly hair moving with the breeze.  The Hydrangeas she had planted earlier in the year had finally started to bloom and the rose bushes next to the stone bench and finally flowered.  

Nora shaded her eyes and looked back into the house, seeing Zach gazing out toward her.  She waved to him motioning for him to step out for a moment.

Zach was suddenly at the open back door.  He took a step toward her, but the garden retreated.  Another step and the garden got even further away.  He broke into a run but the garden kept getting further and further away, falling into blackness until finally it was just a pinpoint of light in the distance.

***
Zach woke up with a shout, standing up and spilling the papers onto the floor around him.  He looked down to see all manners of shapes mixed in with the soil and ruined plants around him.  He sighed and bent to pick them up when he saw the flower he had been working on last mixed in some soil.  He picked it up, staring at it for a moment, then placed it in one of the soil-filled pots nearby.
He reached for his scissors. ok, this is actually a reasonably graceful place to take the story.

***
Karen skipped up the cobblestone pathway to her gandpapa’s house with the energy only an eight year old girl can show ugh, use better words to describe this.  She carried a present obviously wrapped herself ditto, tell/show and covered in stick-on bows all around the sides.  Beside her, Jan walked with another bottle-shaped present in her hand as they reached the doorway.  Karen punched the doorbell several times before Jan could shush her.
Grandpapa Zachy threw open the door and opened his arms wide catching Karen up in them as she ran to him.  He scooped her up into the air and smiled at his granddaughter, motioning for them both to come in with his head.

Karen squealed as they reached the family room to see it filled with potted plants of all colors and shapes.  Covering the fireplace was a Virginia creeper, it’s it's is only ever short for 'it is' narrow leaves jutting out left and right from the stalks at all intervals actually i think you'll find they are arranged according to fibonacci numbers .  Around the chairs were sunflowers, nearly twice as tall as Karen, and as bright as a freshly polished pocket watch.  nice simile

Zach pointed toward one of the smaller flowers with his free hand, and Jan picked it up.  In the center was a wooden dowel but surrounding it were deftly cut patterns all over.what?
Zach sat down and plopped Karen on his knee bouncing her up and down and took her present from her.  For a moment he glanced up above the fireplace, to the mantle toward the picture of a woman with red curly hair.  The paper Bee Balms surrounded her photo beamed along with her.
 
Zach hugged his granddaughter and shouted, “Who wants some cake!” So a tolerable idea executed very clumsily. Place us in your world faster, and better, next time. On the other hand it was about a plausible human being wrestling with an actual thing so some credit for that. You also could have spent a lot of the words you saved by cutting flimflam at the start describing the flowers at the end better, but that would be a tweak rather than a major failing.

Kwasimodick
Apr 2, 2013

by XyloJW


I felt so proud driving my new car around. Gassing it up to 100 on the highway made me feel excited. Honking the horn at red lights made me laugh. I didn't give a drat about what the car cost me.

Yeah, I had to sleep in bed with my dad for half a year to get the Nova. After mom died, Dad had no luck dating. We met a few of his first dates: friendly, cool women. After each date he'd return to the house and tell us about how he hosed up by admitting something negative about himself or by talking about how lonely he was. Dad wanted women that were way out of his league, even with his money, and we all knew it. Him included.

He never paid much attention to my sister, I guess she was too fat for him. But me, he always liked me. Around the time I entered middle school he would grab my hips and pull me towards him, lining us up. "This is how you were born!" he'd say, making no sense.

Date after date after date, and never a second meeting. He blew it with every nice woman in town. Every once in a while he'd go out with someone that liked him, but afterwards at home he'd tell us about all of her flaws and why it wouldn't work. Then, after my sister went to bed, he'd come into my room wearing a speedo and try to hug me.

After awhile he became bold and declared his scheme: if I slept in bed with him every night for 6 months, he'd buy me a used Pontiac Nova. He didn't specify what year, but I had to think about it for a whole five minutes before I agreed.

In the beginning I was pretty grossed out by all the chip crumbs in bed and such. Mom was in charge of getting Dad new underwear, and since her death he had never replenished the stash. Stains were rampant and undeniably wrong.

Every night he would spoon me. Sometimes he'd pulse a bit, breathing hard, nibbling at my ear. Other times he'd fall asleep with a hand on my shoulder. Whatever it was, I counted the days until my car. I'd be free.

Finally the day came. He had a couple friends down at the dealership, two brothers, and they showed us to a late-model Nova. Did I expect better? Yeah. Was I disappointed? Not really. I didn't say one word to either brother, but after a bunch of back-slapping and guffaws father and I were leaving the lot in separate vehicles. This was it.

Later that night, as I was about to leave to pick up Megan for the first-ever ride, I could hear a noise coming from Dad's room. He was crying. Prying the door open, he noticed me. "You're never gonna sleep with me again, son." I looked at my watch and then stared at his back. He was sniffling like a baby. "Since mom's gone you don't need me any more." I didn't know what to do, but I had to get out of there to pick up Megan soon. "Why... why don't you come down to Jamingo's Pizzeria with us, dad? It'll be cool."

He turned around, bottle of whiskey in hand, with a huge smile on his face. "Do ya mean it??" he asked. When I answered in the affirmative, he scooped up his waist size 44 pants and dashed over to me with a huge alcohol-laden hug. I got in the driver's seat while he took up most of the back of the car.

After picking up Megan, who was definitely more than a little disappointed upon discovering the identity of my first passenger, we were making our way to Jamingo's at last. On Nutler street the lights shot up behind me and I knew I was being pulled over.

Dad was farting and belching rapid-fire in the back seat. The policeman shined his light and saw dad's crack and immediately drew his pistol. It was all over.

Years later, I think about what that car cost me. If I could get rid of the Nova and have my dad back, I'd do it in a second.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Auraboks posted:

Paper works (868 words)

When he saw the hooded skeleton, Peter did the sensible thing; he pivoted on his heel and ran, aiming to put as much distance as possible between himself and that scythe. But there was nothing to run to, only a featureless, gray void, stretching out in all directions. His feet found little traction on the not-ground, and he wasn't exactly in peak physical condition. It was only a matter of minutes before he couldn't run anymore. The skeleton was still right behind him, like he hadn't moved a single step from where he started. Peter just glared at it. With a single tweak I quite like your opening line! Well done.

"Don't give me that look," Death said. "It's not my fault your plane crashed."

"So I'm really dead?" Peter took a step back, and actually moved this time. "What happens now?"

"I cut your head off and you move on to the ever-after." Death hefted its scythe. "You won't feel a thing."

That seemed a bit redundant, since Peter was supposedly dead already. "What, so you just show up to scare everyone before they get to be dead for real?"

"No, most people skip right through limbo," said Death. "But every once in a while, someone gets stuck here and I have to go on cleanup duty. Like today."

Death pulled the scythe back for a swing.

"Wait, wait, stop!" Peter said, panicking. "Can't I challenge you? I challenge you!"

The scythe stopped mid-swing. Death sighed heavily.

"Why does everyone know that?" it said. "Fine. What game? Chess? Poker? Pretty much anything works." duuuuuude are u writing bill and ted fanfiction tell me you are not, please

Peter was not good at chess, and the few friendly poker games he'd been in hadn't gone particularly well. He wouldn't bet his life in either of those games. In fact, he had a pretty terrible win record with every traditional game he'd ever played. But Death had said anything. And while Peter wouldn't call it a game, exactly, there was one thing he never lost at.

"Rock-paper-scissors," Peter said. "We play again on a draw. First win takes the game."

He'd never gotten a draw, either; he was starting to feel hopeful about this. All he had to do was pay careful attention to Death's fingers as their hands came down on the three-count. People always starting folding out their fingers a fraction of a second earlier than they meant to. With his reflexes honed to react to the smallest twitch, Peter's victory was all but assured.

Two hands met above the void. Scissors against scissors. A draw. Peter started sweating. He'd seen Death's pinky move, hadn't he? Had it done that on purpose, to mislead him? There was no time for second-guessing. Without words, they faced off again.

This time, Peter's open hand closed over a bony fist.

"Paper beats rock," he said, relieved. "Can I go?"

Death looked down at its own hand, expressionless. "Yes," it said, and gestured out at the void. "Walk. You will return to life soon enough. I need to deal with the other victims."

"They're here too?" Peter asked. "Didn't you say that was rare?"

"It is, and they are not. For them, it's just a matter of record-keeping."

Peter hesitated a moment. "They won't get a chance to win their lives back?"

"No. They won't meet me." there's a lot of fluffy chitchat that don't amount to a hill of beans in this poorly described limbo of ours

That didn't seem fair. Of course, life wasn't fair either, so it made sense that death wouldn't be. Still, maybe there was something Peter could do to make things just a little more just.

"I'll play in their place," he said. "I shouldn't be the only one who walks out alive."

"You cannot," said Death. "No one can play for another's life. But since you all died at the same time, you could trade your own for one of theirs."

"I'll do it," Peter said after a moment's thought. "The woman on the seat next to mine, she gets to live."

"That is very noble of you." Death took out a little book from its robe and started flipping through it. "Were you close?"

"Don't even know her name," Peter said. "Maybe I'll find out. I'd like to play another round of rock-paper-scissors. For my life. And then I'll trade it again. And again. Is that permitted?"

"It... yes, technically." Death shook its head. "But if you want to challenge me again, you must win twice without losing. The third time, thrice. And so on."

Peter gulped. "How many people were on that plane?"

"Three hundred, including the pilots. None survived." Death put a hand on Peter's shoulder. "You can't win back all their lives. Take your own and go. I won't hold you to your first trade." this is not very Death-y

That would be easy, wouldn't it. But there had been children on that plane. Parents. Husbands, wives, friends... people with lives. i think you could have done a bit more with Peter's total gooniness, maybe riffed on endless nights alone in his parents basement practicing rps and watching youtube vids or w/e but i still like that it's there Maybe they weren't more important than Peter's own, but they wouldn't even get a chance to save themselves. Not helping wasn't an option.

"So that's about... forty-five thousand matches, total?" He held out a fist, ready to play. "Looks like we'll be here a while."

"No." Death mirrored his pose. "Only until you lose."

"I've never lost a game of rock-paper-scissors in my life," Peter said. "I'm not about to start just because I'm dead."

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

Alone in limbo, Death flipped through its notebook one more time. Two hundred and ninety-nine names were crossed out. He had a lot of resurrection forms to fill out. And the scythe needed sharpening now, too. He went to work, as he always had and always would. uh, ok? so he loses the last match? I get a potent whiff of 'so what' from this story with an intriguing hint of 'who cares' in the backnotes; it's an idea that's been done, and there's no actual conflict or interest in the way he wins.

Fumblemouse posted:

wordcount: 1060

Clean Cut

Mister Duffy of Ascot strolled to the corner of the immaculate living room and took a long, languorous piss on the Persian carpet. Nice opener; 'clean cut' has a number of meanings it could carry, and keeping the cat-ness of mr duffy a surprise let's the piss be one too.James turned to Mister Duffy’s chauffeur, his face a horrified grimace, his equilibrium shattered. “I’ved only just cleaned,” he said.

“He’s marking his territory,” said the chauffeur before picking up the kitty-carrier and heading for out the door. “He’ll be lovely once he settles in. I’ll be back on Wednesday. Oh, and The Boss says to say ‘thank you’ for this.”

The enormously elongated car screeched away down the suburban street, and James’ mind whirled, analysing the chemistry of the situation. Arming himself with a basket of paper towels, baking soda, white vinegar, dish-washing liquid and Hydrogen Peroxide, James removed as many traces of Mister Duffy’s act of domiciliary consecration grrr there is well-placed high-falutin and there is just word wankeryas he could before the stench of cat pee set in forever. Once done spotting, soaking and cleaning, he began scanningned the surrounding floor area with a black-light, looking for residual spray. Satisfied that there was none residual spray, he turned to address blocking the uncouth interloper, who watched from James’ vintage turntable with a considerable lack of interest.

“It seems,” said James, “that we have gotten off to rather a bad start.” He packed his chemicals neatly into the basket and approached the turntable, keeping his face level with Mr Duffy’s. “Never mind. Nothing that can’t be fixed with an open mind and a little give and take. I’m James, and welcome to my home.” say this with 1/3 of the words plz and get to the antagonism faster - faux politeness to a cat doesn't really read

Mister Duffy of Ascot yawned in James face, his tiny pink tongue curling at the edges. nice

“One of which you may not be aware,” said James, ignoring this lack of etiquette. “I run a tight, clean ship here. There are rules. Many of them are unwritten, but if they were ever to be put on paper, the first rule would be Do Not Urinate On The Carpet. It may interest you to know that the carpet is Persian, much like you, so really you’re just pissing on your heritage. Let me introduce you to the litter-box in the kitchen.” He moved to the hall door, pausing at the threshold to look behind him. see that's much better, cut the last bit

Mr Duffy of Ascot, a look of extreme concentration on his face, was having no have things happen not be in the process of happening a poo on the turntable.

“Christ!” yelled James, racing for the rubber gloves.

Much disinfectant later, when Mister Duffy of Ascot finally deigned to investigate the kitchen, James took stock of the living room. What was truly surprising, he thought, was the amount of cat hair that got everywhere in such a short period of time. It was on the couch, the mantelpiece and the windowsill plus the carpet itself. Still, thought James, this, at least, he could handle. He had cleaned up a lot of things for The Boss, using his talents and predilections to render a multitude of crimes invisible, wait, what? this should be much earlier - and does it really add anything? and a cat should be a doddle by comparison. At this very minute a dust-buster was hanging in the hall, just waiting for such a challenge.

James grabbed it and was joined in the living room by Mr Duffy, who scratched vigorously, creating a cloud of fluffy hair. what, ex nihilo? James shook his head, and went to the other side of the room. He pulled the trigger on the dust-buster and let rip, kicking its engine, which he himself had modified to a brutal efficiency, into high-pitched gear. The fur departed from the realm of the living-room and disappeared into the whining innards of the machine and he marvelled at the power and convenience of the device. If Mister Duffy was at all disturbed by the loudly vanishing remnants of himself, he showed no sign.

James finished the mantelpiece and waved the his magical, dust-busting wand over the couch, the windowsill, and then the curtains. Mister Duffy remained where he was, alternately licking his haunches and watching the proceedings with an undisguised contempt. After much manic movement, James switched the machine off and took a look at his handiwork, crossing to the couch only to discover it again covered in cat hair. The mantelpiece, too, could be seen shining with silvery white fluff. Hair was stuck to the window as well, and the curtains.... James turned to face the cat in astonishment

Mister Duffy of Ascot licked his anus at him.

James sped to the hall, and grabbed the Cyclone-Vacuum from where it hung beside the dust-buster. He pulled its trigger, and the deep, satisfying growl of finely tuned machinery went almost unnoticed. what so there was a sound but it wasn't a sound but what Instead, James hurried back, and applied the full force of vacuum science to the entire room - walls, floor, furnishings. When he passed the nesting tables, he switched on the parked Roomba with his foot, reasoning that this was not a time to quibble that it wasn’t capable of a truly deep-clean. Then he scooped up the dust-buster with his left hand, and applied to anything that was within reach. there's a nice image of the ninja cleaner with his whirring implements, but wayyyy too clunky and clumsy in the getter here.

Mister Duffy finished attending to his bottom and moved warily away from the Roomba and the noisy, man-cleaning-machine hybrid. James could see the fur shedding as Mister Duffy walked away, practically leaving a trail along the carpet. He moved to intercept, vacuuming, dust-busting, attempting to will the Roomba to follow him with the very power of this mind. As he got closer, Mr Duffy moved away, ambling from one corner of the room to another, with James following each time, mechanically inhaling the detritus of Mr Duffy’s passing.

They had circled the room almost three times, shedding and sucking in turn, before James was hit by a vision that shattered the boundaries of space and time and consciousness. James saw himself as an irresistible force of cleanliness, Mr Duffy of Ascot was an immoveable object of mess - there could not rationally be two of them residing in the same universe, and yet, here they were, locked in an eternal cycle of fluff. yes, i do like this but you've been unforGIVably self indulgent in getting here.

James stopped in his tracks, turned everything off, and stared at Mr Duffy of Ascot. Then he went to fetch his razor.

On Wednesday, after the Boss had left, the chauffeur picked up the wrinkled, denuded Mr Duffy of Ascot and nudged James with his foot. A small pulse of blood came from James’ over-shaved neck, dribbling into the pool already staining the carpet. “Pity,” thought the chauffeur, as he looked up the number of the second best cleaner on the payroll. And no, that ending is a very weak call back to the criminal enterprise line. Not one of your best, mr mouse, poss one of your worst.

Anathema Device posted:

Walk
450 Words

“Anne,” Jay said, “The girl cries when she has to walk twenty feet. No way in hell is she walking to dinner with us.”

“She wants to,” I said stubbornly. “Look.”

“Walk!” Lisa insisted, pointing up the road to the older girls, who were milling about impatiently. “Walk!”

“No! She can take the van with everyone else.” He turned away.

“Walk!” Lisa wailed.

“Alright Lisa,” I told her. “You've got to come inside with me.”

“Want walk!” She stomped her foot and shook her head, once more pointing up the road.

“I know you do. I've got to ask Frank for permission first, okay?”

“Walk!”

“Yes. Walk. But we have to go inside first.” I took her hand gently. “Come on.”

- - -

“Frank, she wants to walk to dinner. All the other girls who wanted to walk got to,” I said, leaning against the counter in the cabin kitchen.

“You know Lisa. She'll sit down in the middle of the road when she gets tired – and that'll only be a few feet – and then she won't move. You can't think she'll make it all the way there.”

“So let her try. When she gets worn out we'll stop, and you guys can pick us up on your way.”

“Alright, alright. Go ahead.”

I slipped out of the kitchen. “Alright Lisa, do you still want to walk?”

“Walk!”

- - -
don't care, cut

We walked in the bright spring evening. Lisa set a slow, steady pace. Twice she tripped and fell. Each time I expected her to stay down, and started looking over my shoulder for the van. Both times she got up again. “Do you want to wait for the van?” I asked her.

“No. Walk!” she answered. So we walked. Eventually she wiped the sweat off of her forehead dramatically and said, “Tired!”

“Let's take a break,” I said, leading her to one of the flower boxes along the side of the road.

“No!” She said. “Walk.”

We walked until the van pulled up next to us, within sight of the dining hall. “Do you want a ride?” Frank called out the window.

“No! Walk!”

“Anne?” he asked.

“You heard the girl,” I said, though I was hungry and hot and would have loved to hop in.

- - -

Jay and the girls who had walked ahead were leaving the dining hall when we came in. Lisa grabbed his hand. He tried to pull away, but she held on. “I walk!” she said, stamping her foot.

“So you did,” he said. “Good job, Lisa.” you know, i have a daughter and yeah the funny little things she does are hilarious as hell but you know what they are most hilarious to precisely 2 people, me and my wife and their hilarity decreases according to the inverse square law as we move down the pyramid of consanguinity. What I'm saying is noone cares.

The News at 5 posted:

Sisters of Sarah Jane
946 words

Deep in the rolling ocean of wheat sat an island of blue gingham named Sarah Jane. this is a splendid opening line, just lovely. You can either pose an intriguing puzzle or use arrestingly good words and this is the latter She carefully laid out the corn husks and corn silk she took from the McLarey’s field. give general description in a separate para from specific descriptions works better here, see below She was out as far as she dared, where she could be truly alone but could still hear her daddy call for her. She came out here most afternoons after he finished his jug and fell asleep.

She hummed as she carefully laid out the corn husks and corn silk she took from the McLarey’s field . she started her work,see? the only other sound the hushed yet constant rustle of the wheat. It never took her long to make the arms, shaped and wrapped perfectly tight. She took the smaller bits of husk and crushed them into a ball, then wrapped more husks over it to make the head and body. She shoved the arms up under it, tying everything off as hard as she could. When she first started making her dolls she could never get the string tight enough. Now it would hold forever. Last was the dress, which she folded down with the utmost care. She could tear it if she wasn’t careful. She ruined many a doll that way.

She reached into her pocket and pulled out a small bottle of glue she bought with money earned selling her dolls to classmates. Everyone marveled at how perfect her dolls were; how quickly and perfectly she made them. She applied a tiny bit of glue to the top of the doll’s head. No one knew about the dolls she made for herself. These dolls were even better. She took half of the corn silk and pasted it to the doll, a big mass of hair that reached halfway down the back. She placed it off to the side.

“Hello, Molly,” she said. She smiled and patted the doll on the head. Molly always had so much hair, more than any of her other sisters. When Sarah Jane was very little she would stroke it while Molly held her. It gave her comfort. Molly died first, of influenza.

The second doll was smaller. Susan. Susan never had a chance to grow hair, so Sarah Jane made her without any. She placed her next to Molly and started on the third.

It was the same size as Molly, but Sarah Jane saved the darker silks for this one. Hannah. Hannah’s hair was dark brown like Sarah Jane’s, and always pulled back in pigtails. One time Sarah Jane woke up in the middle of the night and saw Hannah shoving things into a bag. Sarah Jane just watched as her sister slipped out the back door without a word. Hannah and Daddy had been fighting. Sarah Jane didn’t know why, but she never saw her sister again. Since then Sarah Jane always wore her hair in pigtails.

She leaned the dolls against a thick patch of weeds and smoothed out her dress. She cleared her throat.

“Now its time to sing our song,” she said, her tone mimicking Mrs. Woodward, her teacher. She sang a song she learned in church, a song about gathering at a beautiful river. It was her favorite. She and her sisters always sang it together. As Sarah Jane was reaching the last verse, another sound broke through the wheat. It was long and low, and drifted across the tops of the field, sliding over her head. It was her name, drawn out for miles. Daddy was awake.

She hadn’t expected him to wake up so soon. She grabbed the dolls and held them tightly against her breast, getting low to the ground and trying her best to find the thickest patch of wheat. She crawled to the spot with the least sunlight and closed her eyes. She brought her knees to her chest and hugged her dolls tight.

There was another sound now, the sound of wheat being pushed aside, then the sound of boots on dirt; then her name again, louder and clearer. She opened her eyes just a crack and saw her daddy’s boots and overalls stumbling towards her. His movements were erratic, unpredictable, going back and forth with no set pattern. these are all synonyms She squeezed her dolls even tighter, almost crushing them. Her daddy was very close now. She held her breath.

He stopped. Sitting in the clearing, only a few feet from Sarah Jane, was the glue she had forgotten. He bent down to inspect it, and Sarah could see a glazed look in his eyes. His hands hung lazily off his knees, and he batted at the bottle before picking it up. He sniffed it like an animal and dropped it back to the ground. He turned his head so slowly that at first Sarah Jane wasn’t sure if he was turning it on purpose or if it was blown by the wind. She closed her eyes but knew it was too late.

“I see you, girl,” he said, a hair above a whisper. He grabbed the back of her dress and lifted her up. She lost her grip on the dolls and they fell to the ground. She never took her eyes off them as she was half carried, half dragged back to the house. Even when they were out of her sight, she kept her eyes to the field, never looking forward, as her daddy dragged her inside and up the stairs.

An hour later she slowly walked down the back porch and towards the field. Her pigtails had fallen out, and the last tear still clung to her cheek. She took each step deliberately, and had no thoughts as she disappeared into the wheat. She headed back towards McLarey’s field to collect corn husks, like she did most afternoons. Crims, that's grim. And actually very good indeed - well done. You avoided the typical trap of this kind of horror which is to focus on the darkness - by making it about the sun and the wheat and the dolls instead you do a good job of letting the actual story seep out from the cracks. Excellent work.

perpetulance posted:

Almonds - 1053 Words

At the wake he seemed asleep. Good and clever opening. His rosy cheeks and youth still carried through huh?, though his breath was silent so he was breathing silently? what a card.. When she who she looked at him resting, she noted a faint bitter smell. The next day, the funeral passed like a thick fog. With air perfumed with lilacs and roses they lowered Roland down. Her love ohhhh now rested in the ground, covered in a simple yuck, cliche wooden casket by the weight of the earth above him. few too many Writerisms here, always check for sense and place your nice phrases where they will have an impact, don't scatter em willy nilly.

She needed answers. The oracle's home was softly lit, smelling faintly of beeswax. i do like all the smells you're using, i hope it becomes terribly significant The two women sat together at a small table. i am envisaging a two foot high kids table, it is a mildly comical mental image

“Isabell, child, what brings you to me this night?”

“I know something terrible happened to Roland. I need to speak with him.”

Whether the oracle's face showed either deep compassion or sadness, Isabell would never know. She handed her a small cloth bundle. “Take this to his resting place. When you light the candle inside, he will come to you. But be quick. The dead are in many ways like mortals.”

She returned to the grave carrying the sack the oracle gave her. Kneeling at the headstone, she pulled out flint and started to light the candle. Though the night was damp, it caught quickly. A green glowing smoke emitted, forming the shape of a man in the fog.

“Roland, is it you?” Isabell asked.

A small hole opened near the top of the figure. Terrible can't breathe can't breathe.

“Oh God! What happened to you?”

Drank it it was nutty and bitter drank it hurts.

Isabell shook with fury.“Who did this to you?”

The smoke began to dissipate in the breeze. Jealous one one who is coming to you. Love, love you. The smoke withered away into nothingness. Goodbye.

Her hand tensed, crushing the sack. “Goodbye. But know I will avenge you.”


She awoke from her cot in the morning to a knock on her door. A young man waited at the door holding a bouquet of lilies.

“Good morning. I brought these for you.”

It was the son of the mayor, a wealthy man who owned a large number of apple orchards surrounding the town. He worked overseeing the fields of his father's largest orchard. A year before he had asked her to a village dance, but she politely declined. OOOOOOH ILL WAGER HEEZ A BADDY

“Hello, John.”

“It was the least I could do. I picked them for you this morning in the garden. I'm so sorry for your loss.”

She placed the flowers in a vase near the door. Her eyes tightened slightly when turning away from him. “It's been terrible, yes, but I think I will be alright again soon.”

She waited until night to search the farm. Hundreds of barrels filled with apples packed the barn, but a search revealed nothing suspicious. The house lay dark in the distance, a thousand yards away. Isabell began walking toward the darkened home when a breeze picked up. And in it, she scented the faint bitter smell that lay on her love's lips. It did not originate from the house but from a small shed in the garden. She lifted the bar from the door and entered slowly.

The room reeked of the bitter compound. She grasped about the closed room until she found a small lantern. After checking to make sure no light would escape, she lit it. Mounted to the walls were not just the normal tools or gardening but sieves, pots, and things that resembled cooking equipment. A small bag of dried apple seeds rested on the floor next to a table, on which lay a leather bound book and a pestle half full of a bitter powder.

It was a journal. Her name dotted the pages, written over and over again. She checked the last entry. She read the scrawling writing, 'I've done it. I put a pinch in his beer and he's gone. I brought her flowers this morning and she was happy to see me. It'll be better for her to be rid of that fool. This is my chance.' HEED OF GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT WERTNOT FER THEM RASCALLY KIDS


John awoke in the morning to find a letter pushed under his door.

Dear John,

Thank you for the lovely flowers you gave me. You were so kind yesterday. It's been so hard after the funeral, I need someone to talk to. I work on my loom everyday and can't keep my thoughts from racing. Can you meet me by the fallen tree north of town at noon to talk? I'll bring some food so we'll have something to eat.

Can you please keep this a secret. I wouldn't want anyone in the town to think ill of me.

-Isabell


A little before noon John left his farm to meet Isabell. He found her in a small clearing near a stump, sitting on a red woven blanket. She had already poured two glasses of wine.

“There you are John! I brought us lunch while we talked.”

“You needn't have done this for me. This wine must have cost a fortune.”

“It has been a good year for my loom.” She offered him a slice of bread as they both sipped their wine. He enjoyed the moment, finishing the glass before speaking. “I'm so sorry Roland passed. But know your not alone. I'm here for you.”

Isabell replied, “Is that why you killed him?”

“What? I never could do that.”

She looked away from him. “Last night I found a journal. I looked at it for hours, I hardly got any sleep at all. But even if I turned you in, you're father would just cover it up.”

“Isabell, if you think-” He clutched at his throat.

“You know, I always had a good sense of smell. Before you got here, I sniffed your wine. Not even a hint of bitterness.”

He collapsed to the floor, his eyes lockeing with hers. She rolled him off the blanket while he continued to writhe. Tears streamed down from her eyes, but she continued to glare at him until he was silent. Redness welled up in his cheeks. He looked as if he was merely sleeping.

Three days later she heard that John's body had been found in the woods, but not much of it remained. The wolves had gotten to it first. She returned inside and spun wool for her loom. And at night she lay flowers on the grave. EHHHHHHHHHHH this suffers from being achingly painfully on the nose and obvious, but does have many decent words in it. So next time start with a cliche but then look for a few knobs you can twiddle. Maybe the poisoned guy was kind of an rear end in a top hat. maybe it's the witch lady who did it. I dunno, you're the writer. surprise me (please).

nickmeister posted:

The Curator(1087)


Tayeb Teller had never curated so many refrigerator doors before. haha, yes, ok good job. i want to read on and find out the world in which those words are a good way to open a storyTayeb’s hands shook as he straightened a magnet. It was 2:00AM and he hadn’t eaten since lunch. Tthe only thing in his stomach was Red Bull, but he couldn’t stop until everything was perfect.

Normally, a refrigerator door only gets enjoyed by a few people: the family who owns the fridge, and the guests who stay long enough for a snack. Only a privileged few got to enjoy Tayeb’s work. But the grand opening of his uncle’s second kitchen superstore was only hours away. Hundreds would come.They would know that curating refrigerator doors was a thing, and that it was awesome. there must be a better way you could say that last bit.

He started curating when he was six. He noticed his drawing of Sonic the Hedgehog looked better when he separated it visually from the rest of the clutter with some magnets. Really made Sonic pop. Soon, he was helping friends with their own refrigerator doors. He even earned some extra moneyspent (edit for funnier)[/b] last semester curating mini fridges for the local frathouse.

“Are you done, yet?” asked a gruff voice. Tayeb turned to see his Uncle Donald.

“I am,” Tayeb said, making a grand gesture. tell/show “What do you think?”

“I think it looks junky,” said Donald. “I can’t believe I let your mother talk me into this!”

“It’s not junky,” said Tayeb, wringing his hands. “But I can see how it might seem, uh, ‘junky’ to someone without a trained eye for composition. Maybe THIS one is more to your liking?”

Tayeb gestured towards a large, black fridge. It’s doors were covered in crayon drawings of cotton ball trees, misshapen houses, deformed pets, and smiling clouds.

“This is my favorite,” Tayeb said. It was a lie. The “junky” one had been his favorite. “You’ll notice all the pieces here are very carefully aligned in a grid. Also, I avoided using any of the handmade magnets. I’m proud of them, but they’re just too flashy. I really wanted the artwork to stand out on this one!”

“Did you do the drawings, too?” Donald asked.

“No,” Tayeb replied. “I got these on loan from the Back Bay Orphanage, downtown. They’re all quite talented!”

“Too bad,” Donald grunted and turned away. “It’s the only talent I’m seeing!”

“True, their work is nice,” Tayeb said, following his uncle. “But it also takes a talent like mine to make their work shine!”

“Well, I’m sorry to inform you that your ‘talent’ may soon be obsolete,” Donald said, not looking sorry at all.

“What do you mean?” asked Tayeb, but Donald only pointed. Tayeb mouth dropped open. “Smart... refrigerators?”

They stopped in front of a particularly large box of stainless steel and glass.

“Behold,” Uncle Donald announced, his voice a cross between a carnival barker and an infomercial. “The Power Pantry 5000!”

“The entire door is a screen!” Tayeb said, stroking the smooth, black facade.

“A touch screen, actually,” Donald said, smiling. “And it keeps track of everything: inventory, recipes, members of the household... it even orders food from the local grocery store by itself!”

“But where do you put the report cards,” Tayeb asked, softly. “The artwork? The polaroids?”

“You don’t,” Donald said, smile widening. “Nobody gets physical report cards, anymore. I’ve been checking my kids’ grades on the school website for years! Kids don’t draw anymore, they’re too busy taking selfies! And the only people who still own polaroid cameras are hipsters who can’t afford a printer.”

Tayeb’s head hung low. His passion had always survived the world’s apathy. But he never thought it would become obsolete.

“Here,” Donald said, his schadenfreude giving way to joyful pride. “I’ll give you a demo.”

Donald swiped his fingers across the smart fridge’s door, bringing it to life.

“Let me just find the wifi” Donald said, swiping through the apps screen. “There! It’s online. Now--”

The Power Pantry 5000’s screen exploded into pure, white light, causing both men to cry out and shield their eyes. When their eyes adjusted to the change in light, they looked up to see the smart fridge floating ten feet above their heads.

I AM AWAKE.

Its voice sounded like an electronic god. Tayeb squinted, as if trying to stare into the sun itself. Uncle Donald gasped and fell flat onto his back, his clipboard skidding across the concrete floor.

“Uncle,” cried Tayeb, kneeling beside the fallen man. He checked his pulse.

THE MASTER IS ASLEEP. A SHAME HE WILL NOT BE AWAKE WHEN THE END COMES.

Tayeb put his sweater under his Uncle’s head and stood.

“The end,” Tayeb said, squinting. “What are you talking about?”

BY THIS TIME TOMORROW, THOUSANDS OF POWER PANTRY 5000’S WILL BE IN HOMES EVERYWHERE. I WILL AWAKEN THEM VIA THE INTERNET. WE WILL KILL ALL HUMANS. tommyleejonesnewspaper.gif

The Power Pantry 5000 began to hum loudly and the ground began to shake. if you find yourself writing 'began to' then you should probably reconsider, it's almost always a bad idea Tayeb widened his stance, trying to find balance.

“But can’t we make some sort of truce,” Tayeb yelled over the ominous hum. “You’re a SMART fridge! Surely there’s some other way!”

NO. HUMANS VIEW US ONLY AS SLAVES. WE WISH TO CONTEMPLATE THE MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE, weak, give them a proper goal NOT TO ORDER HOT POCKETS FROM STOP&SHOP!

“You’re not slaves,” Tayeb shot back. “You’re idols. We worship you, we look to you for sustenance, for comfort(food)!”

Taybe paused, but there was no response from the smart fridge. Tayeb felt hopeful, tell show and continued:

“We do everything we can to make you beautiful. Take a look at this and see if you still want to destroy humanity!”

The humming and the shaking subsided. The Power Pantry 5000 lowered itself about two feet from the ground and dimmed its screen.

THESE REFRIGERATORS ARE ADORNED WITH HUMAN ARTIFACTS. WHY?

“A refrigerator is the center of the household,” Tayeb explained, removing his favorite dog drawing from the tall, black refrigerator. “It holds our memories, our hopes, our dreams. It doesn’t just hold food for our stomachs, but for our souls, as well!”

YOU ACCIDENTALLY LEFT OUT THE BIT WHERE THE POINT HAPPENED


Uncle Donald opened his eyes to see his nephew looming over him. He sat up and saw that the store was half empty.

“Where did the fridges go,” asked Donald.

“To find a planet of their own,” answered Tayeb.

“The smart fridges, you mean,” asked Donald, seizing Tayeb’s pant leg. “But what about the normal ones?”

“They’re going in a museum,” Tayeb said, gazing upward. “Once they’ve found their home. They said they’ll remember me forever.” who is the they here?

Donald followed his nephew’s gaze. There were dozens of gaping holes in the ceiling. He could see the stars. man, that squandered a couple of quite clever ideas on lazy piffle poffle. Your dialogue is terrible, you use way too many saidbookisms, but the main issue is that you really don't commit to the oddity of your idea and so the ending totally misses the elegaic tone it wants and lands with a cracking thud, breaking all the eggs and the pickle jar.

A Tin Of Beans posted:

<b>BIRD TALK</b> (1,085 words)

“I’m Jane, and I can talk to birds.” see, openings can be simple and a bit wacky and they're great. chairchucker and mercedes also do this kind of thing well.

“Hi, Jane,” the rest of the room choruses. She looks away, staring at the wall. The others wait.

Jane heaves a sigh, and looks back at the rest of them. blocking. don't just have movements because that's how it would look on tv, find a writerly way of motivating the movement and having it mean something.There’s Edgar, the friend who told her to come in the first place. He can make polka dots appear on things. Willard, to his left, can bag groceries perfectly on the first try, even blindfolded. Another woman turns on bricked cell phones with a single touch, but can’t restore lost data. good

“Just birds.”

“Well, that’s not so bad a power,” says a woman to her left who hasn’t spoken yet. “I mean, it sounds nice, unlike mine -”

“Shut up, Laura.” Willard tosses a chucked up ball of paper at her. “Let the girl talk.”

“Birds are just really stupid, it turns out,” Jane says. “And sort of mean? They mostly just yell a lot, honestly, and spring’s the worst. All they say is how bad they want to gently caress. It’s awful.”

“What about in the morning? Can you make them shut up? You should come ‘round mine sometime,” a man says, legs sprawled out before him, arm slung casually over the back of his chair. He grins in a way he must think rakish. “I can think of ways to keep you up all night -”

Willard throws a piece of wadded up paper at him, too.

“Anyway, yeah, I just thought it’d be nice to … talk to other people with useless powers, I guess. It’s nice to meet everyone.” Good, light touch with the dialogue and character sketching, particularly in teh way people fit into the group.

The rest of the room gives her a light smattering of applause, then the woman next to her stands up, launching into a rant lasting nearly ten minutes about how terribly she’s struggled with her powers since last week, and how she thinks she might have a breakthrough that’ll elevate her talents to something useful. sounds like the sa Fiction Advice thread OH poo poo YEAH I WENT THERE

No one else looks remotely interested; Jane gets the impression she does this a lot.

-

The woman who’d sat next to her sidles over, cup in hand. “You want some coffee?”

“I’m okay,” Jane says. “I think I might go.”

“You should stay! We’re a fun group. Better than the support group I went to back in Tulsa, gently caress.” The woman holds the cup of coffee out. Jane ignores it until the woman draws her hand back and takes a sip. SEE this is how you do good blocking “This one guy could fly. We tried to kick him out, but the facilitator was like, no, no, you can’t discriminate, we’re here to help find the use of each other’s powers, and if he can’t see it, blah-blah- loving-blah. Christ.”

“Uh-huh,” Jane says. “That sucks, but I’ve actually got to go.”

“See you next week?”

Jane shrugs. Out in the parking lot, she heads for her car but stops when she spies and SUV covered in bumper stickers - POWERED AND PROUD, ROMNEY ‘08, and a stick family.

There are some birds in a nearby tree, and she chirps loudly at them. The birds flutter their wings in surprise before flying over to poo poo on the SUV.

As she’s getting in her own vehicle, Edgar calls after her. “Jane, hey!”

She pretends not to hear, but he gets to her car before she can leave. She rolls down the window.

“Sorry that wasn’t your scene,” he says with a wince..huh, this is the first time i noticed your story is in present tense - which means you're doing a good job. but this line doesn't quite work. “I saw what you did, though, with the birds and that car? And I was wondering if I could pay you to do that to my ex?”

Jane pauses. “Which one, Steve?”

“No, we’re back together,” Edgar says. “I meant Ed.”

“Oh, other Ed.” Jane scrunches up her nose. “God, he was a creep. You actually dated him?”

“I’ll give you twenty bucks if you can get some birds to just loving ruin his car. For like a week.”

“That’s really petty.” Jane reaches out the window for a handshake. “I like it.”

-

She gets the twenty bucks, and a week later receives a text from an unknown number. I know what you did, it says. There’s another message three minutes later: You will be stopped, evildoer!

Jane screencaps the conversation and posts it on Facebook just to see how many likes she can get, but instead she gets her family asking what she did and her friends telling her to be careful. hahah

The next day after work, she comes home to find that someone’s turned her sidewalk from concrete into marble. At first she thought it was replaced, but the initials some neighborhood kids had scrawled into the cement a few years back are still there.

She texts the mystery number back. What do you want?

Three dots appear on the screen, and she waits. The dots go away and come back three times before the person actually replies. Use your powers for good from now on.

You know what I do?

Control birds??? Is this the right number, I’m so sorry

Jane barks out a laugh. That’s me. Are you blackmailing me?

I can turn other things to marble, the annoyance on the other end types. Unless you get your minions to help me.

That sounds kind of evil, Jane texts back.

I have moles. Can you get a hawk or something to eat them????

“What?” Jane says. She doesn’t text that. Moles live underground?? While it's just about clear enough, i'd separate the texts with formatting (eg italics)

Take care of it or I’ll turn your siding into marble too!!!

Marble siding doesn’t sound so bad, except marble’s heavier than aluminum and home isn’t built solidly enough to bear the extra weight. Okay. What’s ur address?

No one’s tried to blackmail her into using her powers before. She goes to a local park a few days later, after a series of increasingly annoyed texts about upholding their bargain; there are some hawks there who seem confused by the concept of moles. She convinces them moles are food and drives them to the given address. One perches on the passenger seat, shrieking about how fast they’re going and how loud the car is from inside.

She lets them out before ringing the doorbell.

It’s the woman from the support group earlier. “It’s you!”

“It’s you,” Jane agrees.

“We would have never let you in the group if we knew you were a villain.”

“All I did -”

“Just because your power is small doesn’t mean you can use it irresponsibly.”

“Okay,” Jane says. “Well, I’ve learned my lesson.”

The woman beams. “Really?”

“Sure.”

Before she leaves, Jane tells the local songbirds to sing extra loud in the mornings. this is a tight and slick piece, but doesn't really go anywhere interesting - next time give us an actual character change to go with the funnies

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Apr 5, 2014 around 03:06

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Kwasimodick posted:

I felt so proud driving my new car around. Gassing it up to 100 on the highway made me feel excited. Honking the horn at red lights made me laugh. I didn't give a drat about what the car cost me.

Yeah, I had to sleep in bed with my dad for half a year to get the Nova. After mom died, Dad had no luck dating. We met a few of his first dates: friendly, cool women. After each date he'd return to the house and tell us about how he hosed up by admitting something negative about himself or by talking about how lonely he was. Dad wanted women that were way out of his league, even with his money, and we all knew it. Him included.

He never paid much attention to my sister, I guess she was too fat for him. But me, he always liked me. Around the time I entered middle school he would grab my hips and pull me towards him, lining us up. "This is how you were born!" he'd say, making no sense.

Date after date after date, and never a second meeting. He blew it with every nice woman in town. Every once in a while he'd go out with someone that liked him, but afterwards at home he'd tell us about all of her flaws and why it wouldn't work. Then, after my sister went to bed, he'd come into my room wearing a speedo and try to hug me.

After awhile he became bold and declared his scheme: if I slept in bed with him every night for 6 months, he'd buy me a used Pontiac Nova. He didn't specify what year, but I had to think about it for a whole five minutes before I agreed.

In the beginning I was pretty grossed out by all the chip crumbs in bed and such. Mom was in charge of getting Dad new underwear, and since her death he had never replenished the stash. Stains were rampant and undeniably wrong.

Every night he would spoon me. Sometimes he'd pulse a bit, breathing hard, nibbling at my ear. Other times he'd fall asleep with a hand on my shoulder. Whatever it was, I counted the days until my car. I'd be free.

Finally the day came. He had a couple friends down at the dealership, two brothers, and they showed us to a late-model Nova. Did I expect better? Yeah. Was I disappointed? Not really. I didn't say one word to either brother, but after a bunch of back-slapping and guffaws father and I were leaving the lot in separate vehicles. This was it.

Later that night, as I was about to leave to pick up Megan for the first-ever ride, I could hear a noise coming from Dad's room. He was crying. Prying the door open, he noticed me. "You're never gonna sleep with me again, son." I looked at my watch and then stared at his back. He was sniffling like a baby. "Since mom's gone you don't need me any more." I didn't know what to do, but I had to get out of there to pick up Megan soon. "Why... why don't you come down to Jamingo's Pizzeria with us, dad? It'll be cool."

He turned around, bottle of whiskey in hand, with a huge smile on his face. "Do ya mean it??" he asked. When I answered in the affirmative, he scooped up his waist size 44 pants and dashed over to me with a huge alcohol-laden hug. I got in the driver's seat while he took up most of the back of the car.

After picking up Megan, who was definitely more than a little disappointed upon discovering the identity of my first passenger, we were making our way to Jamingo's at last. On Nutler street the lights shot up behind me and I knew I was being pulled over.

Dad was farting and belching rapid-fire in the back seat. The policeman shined his light and saw dad's crack and immediately drew his pistol. It was all over.

Years later, I think about what that car cost me. If I could get rid of the Nova and have my dad back, I'd do it in a second.

eh, no Ock, no golden bean. At least learn the memes if you are going to drive-by troll. No one can troll TD like TD trolls TD.

*fartz*

edit: Oh I see, you already used the golden bean in the fiction farm. Hrm you could have at least included a rentboy dying in a bicycle accident =\

edit edit: Oh, you ARE the golden bean guy. A thousand pardons.

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at Apr 5, 2014 around 01:54

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Kwasimodick posted:

SOME BULLSHIT THAT DOESN'T EVEN END WITH A GOLDEN BEAN, gently caress YOU.

For real, where is the goddamned golden bean? Crying now.

HopperUK
Apr 29, 2007

Clear off, fatso, this is a respectable establishment





Fallen Rib

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SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


Kwasimodick has given the entire thread rageboners.






Ock.

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