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Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

Ay, Jeza. Ay, Meeple. I hereby call this brawl...

Jeeple Meza and the Art of Perspective

Alright, pretty simple, you two. I want a story about an artist in first person. Any kind of artist. Any genre. Just make sure you change your point of view at least three times.

This is due Monday, the second of June, at noon. EST. You got 1500 words to play with.

Oh, and please don't make this about a writer unless you feel like losing. Cheers!

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Thalamas
Dec 5, 2003

Sup?

Gau

Gau posted:

Alight, Good Soul (1125 words)

Jamie Ballard sat behind me in the sixth grade, and she used to pull the feathers out of my wings. It was a game: she’d pull, I’d turn around, and then I’d be in trouble. So, pulling a feather out on an actual bird hurts a lot and can result in bleeding. Do your research. It wasn’t any better on the playground. “Come on, Peter!” they’d say. “Fly for us!” It’s probably worth noting that my name isn’t Peter. On worse days, they’d call me Tinkerbell. Neither of these characters have wings.

“You’re not that different, Ike,” Oh, okay. Some worldbuilding – children are randomly born with wings here. Otherwise, this would be way, way different. my mother would say. “You’re a little boy too. Just try to get along and play.” I’d stare into at my meatloaf and nod.

“I’ll tell you, son,” said my father, “you smack those bullies one good one, and they’ll never bother you again.”

“John!” protested Said-bookism check… Passed. my mother. She placed her hand on mine and looked into my eyes. There we go. You look into eyes, the abyss, water, but not meatloaf. “Bullies are just people who are hurting inside.” She smiled sweetly. “Really, you should feel bad for them.”

“It’ll be better when you’re older,” said my father. “Adults don’t act this way. You’ll find your own way to earn respect.” Banal platitudes, aw shucks dad.

I’d heard this before, of course. I don’t understand why parents say these things to their kids. What was I supposed to do, look at the kid who pushed me off the top of the slide and say “I’m sorry your daddy hurt you?” Uh-huh. That would earn me another round of hell. Seems melodramatic.

We had this conversation on almost a daily basis. I’d once heard my parents arguing about whether or not to send me to a private school for people with Human Wing Mutation. My mother objected; even I knew we didn’t have that kind of money. I was certain I wouldn’t fit in there, either.

When I’d walk home from school in the snow and rain, I’d wrap my wings around me to keep out the cold and wet. I felt like maybe, if they were just a big bigger, just a little thicker, they could keep out everything else. It would just be me, safe from the pain and ridicule. This is a great idea, but it would pack a lot more punch if you’d show instead of tell. As is, it comes across as angsty.

The rest of the time, my wings just got in the way. They’d bump and knock things over. I’d get mud and gravel in them and have to preen for hours. This seems more like the result of being bullied than them getting in the way. The worst part, though, was that they didn’t even work for their obvious purpose. With these wings, I couldn’t fly.

I’d seen people with HWM on TV, beautiful people with wings like an eagle or a dove. I read the Hero Hawk comic book religiously. I wanted nothing more than to be like them when I grew up. While they soared above the world, I was stuck on the ground. I think that’s what eventually got to me. Yesssssssssssss

So, here I was, standing on the second-story roof of my school, looking out on the playground. My body had begun to change, muscles and hair sprouting from the unlikeliest of places. My wings surprised me with their new span.

I can do this, I thought. It’s finally my time. I can fly.

I beat my wings a few times for practice, then stiffened them like Hero Hawk did when he wanted to just glide. For the first time in a long while, I really smiled. I ran and swan-dived off the roof. The wind filled my wings. My heart soared. I was flying.

-

I woke up in a hospital bed. I’m sure I would have been in a lot of pain, but they’d already put the IV in my arm. Even more than when I’d jumped, I felt like I was above my problems. I struggled to focus, and found my mother’s face.

“M-mom?” I stammered, my tongue too big for my mouth. “What happened?”

“Oh, honey,” she said. Even if I couldn’t see her tears, I could hear them in her voice. “I wish you’d talked to us.”

“There was no reason for this,” said my father. “We should have taught you better.”

I twisted my face in confusion. “I don’t understand,” I said. “I was flying. How did I end up here?”

“You have a concussion,” said my father. He shot an accusatory look at my mother. He can’t see her tears, but can tell what type of look his father is giving? Is he starting to wake up more? “You can explain it to him,” he said.

My mother took my hand in hers. “Ike, you...you don’t understand,” she said. “You might not be able to fly.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Your dis-your gift, it’s rare,” she explained. “Humans aren’t built to fly. We’re too heavy.”

“But...I’ve seen it,” I said. “Hero Hawk flies!” At this point, the dialogue is feels clunky and unbelievable. No teenager would say this.

Hawk Hero is a comic book,” said my father. “The truth is, we should have told you this sooner. Some people with your disorder can glide, but most spend their lives just like you. On the ground.”

Even through the medication, I could feel my anger growing. It burned through my heart and into my face. I yelled; I don’t remember what. I wanted them to go, to never speak to me again. They obliged me and left. This paragraph feels like a missed opportunity for some good imagery or some good character interactions with strong emotions. You talk them through all the boring plot stuff and gloss over the exciting bit.

The doctor came and went. So did a psychiatrist, who wanted to make certain that I hadn’t been trying to kill myself. I thought it was obvious that what I wanted was actually quite the opposite.

-

When I’d come home, my parents introduced me to a website for people like me called “Grounded Angels.” They thought it would be helpful for me to share my experience with others who had the same problems. I saw a counselor and moved schools. None of it helped. Telling.

Most of the Grounded Angels wrote long, impassioned diatribes at each other about how their depression was natural, society was wrong, and the bullies were just haters. It was okay that we couldn’t fly; we were angels even as our feet remained on the ground. My counselor tried to sell me on the idea that Things Get Better. Someday I would Grow Up and find my Self Esteem and People Would Love Me For Who I Am. Nice.

I was smart enough to recognize these lies; I’d been fed them by my parents for the better part of a decade. Good tie in from earlier. I dreamt of flight, of that moment when my wings caught the wind. I overheard my parents discussing surgery to remove my wings. I could go to college on a fresh slate, unburdened by my “gift.”

I unfurled my wings in the wind, gazing out at my future from this height. Graduation was just weeks away. Beyond that, I could see my life. Even if I had my wings removed, they’d done their damage. I’d never be like other people. I was too damaged to pretend. Extending my primaries, I leapt from the top of the water tower.

Never to touch the earth again.

Your title isn't a good fit. I have trouble thinking of a teenage suicide as a good soul. A strong title should grab your attention, which this does alright, and should gain greater meaning (not necessarily a double meaning, though it can be nice) by the end of the story.

I enjoy how you take your idea of humans with wings, a popular theme this week, and apply the human condition of ruining all good things to it. It made the story feel real. However, your character growth consists of child who grows up thinking he’ll be able to fly, learns the hard way that he won’t, and commits suicide. What message do you have for the reader, give up on your dreams? How about getting a pilot’s license or a revolutionary new tech to help people with HWM? In the end, there's no one to root for.

Mainly, you need to work on showing instead of telling. You tend to tell us, then show us afterwards. Stop. Just show us in the first place. It’s more interesting and your story will be stronger. When you go back and start looking for cuts, look for that first.

There are five instances of the phrase “said my father” in the story; one for every time his dad talks. Just sayin’. Mechanically, the writing is mostly sound.




Oh, and Tyrannosaurus: Macho Madness is comin' straight at you. The fork in the road. Yeah. A shining star in the sky. Oh YEAH!

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Postin' so I don't forget that I have been summoned from the dark depths of Starbucks and graduate school to brawl Surreptitious Muffin for the crime of making unforgivably awful puns in IRC. You ratbastard

Sebmojo is apparently judging, and I demand at least two weeks to submit because I'm all busy and poo poo.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


Fanky Malloons posted:

Postin' so I don't forget that I have been summoned from the dark depths of Starbucks and graduate school to brawl Surreptitious Muffin for the crime of making unforgivably awful puns in IRC. You ratbastard

Sebmojo is apparently judging, and I demand at least two weeks to submit because I'm all busy and poo poo.
You can't deal with my warboner, lady.



All of the 'dome will rise up beside me, absolutely rock-hard. It will be a revolution of boners. An insErection. You will know us by our call, at dawn on the third day

ock





ock










OCK

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

The Fankiest Muffin Brawl

Awright. You've both been around this place for a while. Give me 1500 words on or around being old. A recognisable representation of you must be a character in the story (up to you how central you are).

Two weeks puts us at... oh, call it 5 June PST High Noon.

Gau
Nov 18, 2003

I don't think you understand, Gau.



sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Lake Jucas, if there is no story for your Entenzahn brawl when I wake up in the morning (8 hours from now) then you will lose.

Meeple
Dec 28, 2009


Crits the second!

Gau - Alight, Good Soul
It appears that when one mentions a prompt of ‘flight’ to the Thunderdome, the immediate imagery conjured is a line of protagonists, filing lemming-like to the edge of the nearest cliff to hurl themselves to their untimely demise. A psychiatrist would have a field day with the lot of you; if I ever win again I’m minded to request stories about trains going through tunnels and cigars to see what monstrous Freudian abominations you produce.

Suppressed self-loathing and suicidal tendencies aside, I rather liked this one. Your prose is good, your characterisation of a precocious teenager is solid. I fail to find much in the writing to fault you on, so instead I’ll pick on your story itself like the childish bully I am.

The arc is pretty flat: boy is bullied, commits suicide. Though the scenario itself is novel, it doesn’t tie into the story you’re telling very much - Ike could’ve been bullied for other reasons and main thrust of the story would have changed little. The main focus is his being bullied, his inability to cope with being different from others, rather than the specifics of that difference.

On the subject of the prompt, though flying featured heavily, there isn’t much in the way of a dream to be seen - in fact, I’d say quite the antithesis.

Nitrousoxide - Always Bet on a Lady's Luck
Your story starts with a clunky description (apparently the omniscient narrator knows neither how many engines are on fire nor what lies below the clouds; I rather hope you as author do, so perhaps you might be willing to share with us), followed by equally ugly dialogue. Sadly, that characterises the majority of the rest of the story.

You compress the entirety of the motivation of the main character into one afterthought of a paragraph at the end, with a bonus aside from the narrator to the reader to jam more information into fewer words. Were I charitable, I might assume you ran out of words before you managed to explain anything that was going on with your story and, rather than go over and edit down later, decided to just amputate at the knee, pour tar on the wound and kick the patient out onto the street before gangrene set in. Should that be the case, I humbly suggest that overrunning and editing to hit the word count will serve you far better in future.

In your favour, your story used the ‘flying’ prompt in a way I hoped people would; it was a part of the world and relevant to the story. What dream existed was scant in its evidence, though I believe I’ve belaboured that point enough already.

Before I abandon ship entirely, I would like to take one final passing shot at your distressing habit of capitalising after commas. Please don’t do that. In fact, please improve your usage of punctuation in general. You join the sad ranks of the comma-abusers this week.

Tyrannosaurus - My Time Amongst the Beasts
This was a good story, bordering on HM. Your character depiction was strong, and the development very well realised.

You opened with your character sounding like a pretentious rear end in a top hat, which I assume was intentional but does tend to rub the reader up the wrong way. The “most dangerous game” twist was far too obvious, and meant you missed out on explaining what ‘mau mau’ actually was. On a first read-through I assumed it was just a native word for ‘man’ or perhaps the name of a tribe; it was only on a second read-through I got curious, googled it and realised it rather changed the meaning of the story to me. That let your story down a long way in my eyes.

Your attention to the prompt wasn’t terribly direct; I do feel this story could have been written for a different prompt entirely without it being particularly obvious.

crabrock - And the stars look very different today
This was a good story, but it felt to me like a whiff at the prompts rather than a solid hit. They were details, though relevant ones, rather than a core focus of the storytelling; like Tyrannosaurus’s story, I felt like it could’ve been written for a different prompt without anyone being much the wiser.

Besides that, you told a compelling story well, with a believably grumpy character and a humorous ending. I certainly can find precious little else to fault it on.

Phobia - The Kite Flying Blues
Ah, another tale of attempted suicide by jumping. You all seem determined to leave me a heartless, unfeeling bastard, innurred to the suffering of others by overexposure to tragedy. I would mock you, but the challenge is gone.

The tone of your story was trite and self-important. I will charitably assume this is an intentional effect to better convey the characterisation of your protagonist telling the tale in the first person, and not a reflection of you on a writer. None the less, I would advise against doing it again. Your prose appears to be suffering from a surfeit of exclamation marks. I suggest seeing your pharmacist; with a good ointment they’ll no doubt clear up in days. You did, at least, have the decency to leave the poor, troubled commas alone.

There was, to your credit, a passable strike at the prompt so I won’t dock any further points there.

Malefic Marmite - Axiomatic Wings
Your wrote at great, verbose, pretentious length about absolutely nothing of interest happening. For added irony, I suppose your character could have been reading a thesaurus instead of a dictionary. Perhaps you could lend him yours.

You failed to tell a story here. Your character waxed lyrical about some stuff that may have happened in the past, only he can’t really remember, and a cartoon that he can’t remember the punchline from.

Frankly, there wasn’t a story here. Dial back the exposition and verbosity, stop trying to impress everyone with your vocabulary and flowery prose and concentrate on actually telling a story. You can string words together without loving up punctuation and flow, so there might actually be hope for you.

You… completely ignored the prompt. I think this was the worst miss of the week, which contributed to your loss. I wanted stories about flight, not “things tangentially related to the air, like birds or something” and “daydreaming about a Far Side cartoon” doesn’t meet the criteria for a character with a dream.

Also, a fence tilted at 90 degrees would be flat against the ground. Those are some heavy vultures or a really lovely fence.

Benny the Snake - Given To Fly
You spent almost all your wordcount about describing how terrible the life of your protagonist is, which left you with very little space to actually progress a story or develop a character. I feel you’re more concerned about making us feel sorry for him than telling us an interesting story about what happens to him. If you’d flipped around the weight between background/dreaming of flying, I think this would’ve been a much stronger story.

Your prose irks me in a way it took me a while to pin down - you spend far too many words directly addressing the reader, often while trying to be clever. The opening, paragraph, for example:

”Benny the Snake” posted:

It was first period at school and Jeremy was running across the hall as fast as he could like a deer being chased by a pack of hungry, bloodthirsty wolves. Action, though you could have done this in half the words Worse than wolves, they were sixth graders. Talking to the reader A wolf would rip your throat out and that would be the end of that--a sixth grader would humiliate you in front of everyone and throw you back in the wild so he could do the whole thing over again the next day. Talking Jeremy was in full flight mode as he was one of the unfortunate ones born without a fight mode. Talking He made a hard right turn and almost crashed into another classmate before he dove into a broom closet to hide. ActionHe could hardly breathe and the dust was irritating his lungs but he didn't dare reach for his inhalerAction, as the slightest sound would give him awayTalking.

Spend more time describing action and story, rather than trying to talk to the reader personally, and you would get more engagement and have an awful lot more wordcount left for telling a story.

By this point I’m resigned to people concluding that ‘flying’ lets them shoehorn in suicide-by-falling (you bunch of miserable bastards) and think they’ve hit the prompt, and you also fit in a daydream about flying at the last minute as well so it was an alright hit on prompt - only let down by the relative weights of “how much his life sucks” vs the dreams of flying.


Nethilia - Distinct Changes
You sketched out a rather cute, amusing modern-fantasy world without digressing into world building or exposition dumps, and I enjoyed your story as a result. I must admit I failed to see why having wings was such a bad thing (omg! flying!) which did detract from its impact. I see you tried to emphasise the negatives, but it’s still quite a stretch to give up being able to fly for shiny hair or something.

There was an arc of a story here, and a character that developed (or at least changed her mind) at the end of it all. On the whole, I can’t find much to fault your story on barring a handful of slipups (“parents’” takes an apostrophe in the penultimate paragraph; “it’s possible they’re not be able to Adjusted—”) so I think you could’ve benefited from another pass at editing.

The character doesn’t seem to have a very inspiring dream, and then changes her mind so I feel the prompt wasn’t hit as hard as it could’ve been. Still, this was towards the top of the pile and close to HM.

sebmojo - Chains
There was some good imagery here, but I was left with the nagging sensation that your story was missing a lot of important bits. It didn’t reach the zombie-like lurchings of some other entries this week, but perhaps just wanted to be about twice the length.

The animosity between Rab and Henry seems to spring out of nowhere at the half-way mark, and I’m not really sure what’s going on between the angel and Catherine at the end. It really feels like you edited out some really important paragraphs somewhere along the line (I was expecting some hand-waving magic about how Catherine’s faith gives the angel back the strength he lost falling to earth, or something of the sort).

The opening is weak and your first sentence took me a couple of reads to work out who was being talked about. I had to google ‘sulky’ and it told me it’s a one-seater cart, which came as a surprise when you’re describing two people riding it as if it ain’t no thang. Moving wordcount to explaining more of the important things than describing what are really just surface details might have helped.

That aside, I think there’s a rather nice story and world hiding underneath all my complaints. It’s a shame you weren’t able to reveal more of it in your entry. Your writing is generally solid, though I admit I have no idea what you were trying to achieve with “the middle third of ‘slaves’ took flight and fluttered round the room, landing on Henry.”

Not seeing much ‘dream’ from the prompt there; the angel explicitly doesn’t have a dream, as it seems to be a completely apathetic character, and then fails to reach it anyway.

Bad Seafood - First under heaven
A not unpleasant story, but I never felt quite grabbed by it. Your protagonist is rather passive (and somewhat grumpy-teenager) about the whole thing, and rather than having any drive to become a shaman just seems to expect it to fall in his lap. I suppose you might’ve been trying to make a point about The Youth of Today, but I rather hope not because then I’d have to mock you for something else entirely.

Your second paragraph suffers from a surfeit of non-specific pronouns which makes it quite hard to work out who you’re actually referring to, given there’s a choice between three or four different people and a lot of “him”s. Later, your dialogue is a little clunky, but not unduly so. Work on flow a little bit. In general, though, your prose was quite good.

On the prompt, as I previously mentioned, I didn’t feel the protagonist had much of a dream, just an assumption that things would just fall in place how he wanted them to. As such, it wasn’t a very solid hit at the prompt, and the literal dream wasn’t enough to pull it back (see Kalyco’s entry for a similar literal interpretation of the prompt that saved itself by adding in a more metaphorical dream as well).

kurona_bright - Copied From My Handwritten Notes (a Flight Away)
Though you wrote a nice conversation, it didn’t feel like a story. There was no arc, no action, just a woman who’s sad and then sits around has resolution inflicted upon her. The protagonist is just too passive in the story to make me care about her (she really does just sit there and let everything happen to her for 90% of the scene).

Your writing was good, but I think you would’ve benefitted a lot from a more engaging and interesting story. As it was, it’s just too mundane and unexciting to get above middle of the pile.

The flying part is pretty tangential to the prompt; you could’ve replaced it with “waiting at the train station” and nothing else would’ve changed, so I feel you really missed the prompt rather hard. Like a few other entries, I don’t feel I would ever have deduced the prompt just from reading your story.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:




It will be a revolution of boners. An insErection.

I hate you so much.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

I'm in.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


Fanky Malloons posted:

I hate you so much.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Hey Phobia, you ready for the incoming smackdown from yours truly? Prepare yourself!

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

WHO IS THE BIGGEST LOSER?

PHOBIA VS. MEINBERG

As most of the IRC channel know, I love dogs. They are the best animal. They are adorable but also cool. The PoV character in your story is a dog. Not a super-smart dog or a furry dog or some dog that's basically a human with ears and a tail, but an actual dog. The dog helps a bunch of people in some way and is a big hero. Winner is the person who can make me smile the most.

1000 words

Deadline: 11:59pm Thursday 22nd Singapore time.

Runt
(1000 words)


Runt limped away from the den, blood matted to his grey fur. The wounds inflicted by Largest’s bite still stung, but Runt kept silent. In the dark, every snapping twig or rustling wing perked his ears. Run knew he couldn’t last in a fight nor outrun a predator for long. The betrayal of his pack stung as strongly as the wound.

Runt caught a scent floating in the air: a finer meat than he had ever smelled before. His pace lightened and he hurried towards the scent, hoping to be able to sneak in a bite or two. He rounded a boulder and drew up short as he saw a group of twolegs sitting around a fire, a pair of rabbits roasting in that flame.

Runt tried to suppress a whimper, and failed. One of the twolegs turned towards him and let out a cry of alarm. Five of the twolegs hefted their longfangs and strode towards him, menacing in their height. In a panic, Runt lowered himself onto his belly, eyes locked onto the ground to display submission and hope for mercy.

More chatter erupted amongst the twolegs and Runt tentatively looked upwards as a small twolegs spoke with one of the five. After their conversation ended, the newcomer stepped forward. It held a leg bone from the rabbit in its hand, a bit of meat still clinging to the bone and the rich scent of marrow on the air.

Runt inched forward, sniffing at the bone, until the twolegs’ runt tossed the bone towards him. With a quick snap of his jaw, Runt caught the bone out of the air and began gnawing on it. The larger twolegs turned and walked back to the fire, leaving Runt with the little twolegs.

The bone crunched beneath Runt’s jaws and he feasted readily on the marrow. But once he finished his bounty, the warmth of the not so distant fire and the throbbing pain of his wound sent Runt into a deep slumber.

The heat of the sun above rose Runt from that sleep. His leg already felt stronger as he stood. He paused as he saw the twolegs beginning to move up ahead. One hurried up towards him, longfang in hand, and shouted something at him. Runt recoiled from the presence, whimpering from the back of his throat. Another voice answered and he saw the twolegs’ runt step between him and the larger one.

The runt turned to Runt and spoke in a calming tone. Runt stepped forward, the runt continuing to speak. Runt turned his gaze up to meet the runt’s and the runt met the gaze. Runt broke eye contact first, content with the mercy in its eyes. A moment later, Runt felt a small hand running along the fur of his head and Runt instinctively wagged his tail.

Content that Runt wouldn’t attack, the twolegs went hunting and Runt trailed behind, noticing the large twolegs followed the trails with their eyes. Runt thought it strange, but kept towards the rear, until he scented a lone deer off to the side, out of sight of the twolegs. Runt slinked around, concealing his presence in the underbrush, before driving at the rear of the deer, startling it to run towards the twolegs. The longfangs did their work well, and soon the hunting pack had the deer back in the twolegs’ den.

That night, the twolegs lit another fire and roasted the deer on it. Runt crept closer to the flame to watch as the twolegs dug into the meat into their shortfangs, then divided the share amongst the pack. The chatter of the twolegs filled the night, and a few came over to pat Runt on the head and speak warm words. The twolegs’ runt gave Runt an entire femur, and he rejoiced in the eating and the warmth of the flame.

One by one, the twolegs drifted into slumber, while Runt continued gnawing on that bone. Runt was so distracted by the feast of marrow, that he barely noted the new scent coming from over the ridge: the scent of Runt’s former pack.

The smell brought back the memory of Runt’s life as a pup, surrounded by the constant companionship of his littermates. They had played and fought and fed together, in a simpler time. But the stinging pain in Runt’s flank returned him to the present. He let out a low growl towards the source of the scent, but his warning did not stop the approach.

Runt looked over to the twolegs who had all fallen to sleep. Twigs snapped as the pack stopped trying to hide its approach and surged forward. In a panic, Runt began to howl a warning. The howl cut through the near-silence of the night. The twolegs began to rouse themselves, but it wasn’t fast enough. Runt’s former pack had descended onto the sleeping twolegs.

The twolegs fought well, but the den had descended into chaos. Runt whined his disorientation, until he spotted Largest. She had the twolegs’ runt’s leg clamped between her jaws and was dragging it out of the den, while the rest of the pack kept the twolegs distracted.

Runt let out a snarl and dove towards Largest, slamming his smaller weight against her side. The runt wailed out as Largest unclamped her jaws and wheeled to face Runt. He steadied himself in a half-crouch and waited for Largest to charge at him. When she did, he darted towards her flank, latching onto her leg with his teeth with all of his strength.

Her claws and fangs ranked out, but his hide was tough enough to keep him intact. He kept Largest pinned in place as the twolegs’ runt hurried off towards the fire. Eventually, Largest’s assault waned, then stopped completely. Runt looked up and saw the runt with a shortfang in hand, covered in blood. The runt breathed heavily, and chattered, and despite not knowing the meaning, he recognized the tone.

“Good boy,” said the runt.

Mazo Panku
Nov 30, 2013

Do I look like a reasonable man to you, or a peppermint nightmare?


I'm a humble, soft-spoken cowpoke with a strong sense of justice, and I'm in.

Thalamas
Dec 5, 2003

Sup?

I'm not going to dignify this with a response.

Other than this one.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Fanky Malloons posted:

I hate you so much.

stop lyin

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Thalamas posted:

I'm not going to dignify this with a response.

Other than this one.

both a you are dumb, tink has wings but they don't have feathers

qed ipso facto

Lake Jucas
Feb 20, 2011


sebmojo posted:

Lake Jucas, if there is no story for your Entenzahn brawl when I wake up in the morning (8 hours from now) then you will lose.

Whoa, I am gone for a few days and suddenly I am in a brawl. Hate to be an rear end in a top hat since Entenzahn went ahead and wrote a piece, but I didn't know there was a brawl going on until just now.

Not that I am backing down from the challenge now, I am totally down to brawl you, I will even take a handicap for the sin of not being on SA for a few days. I just request it begins after next Thursday, since I am not going to have free time until then.

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

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

I am not going to accept the shame of a victory by default. Given sebmojo's consent, you will write a piece and it will go up against mine and I don't care when you do it. If you have a few hours, use them. Take a month. It matters not. You will be crushed, and your wails will fuel my ascent to Thunderdome greatness.

Phobia
Apr 25, 2011

I'm a suave detective with a heart of gold in hot pursuit of the malevolent, manipulative
MIAMI MUTILATOR
and the deranged degenerates who only want their
15 MINUTES OF FAME.


OCK.


Has your ego blinded you Meinberg? Even if you have won, you are still a Loser in the eyes of the Almighty Thunderdome. I shall break you for your hubris.

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

WHO IS THE BIGGEST LOSER?

PHOBIA VS. MEINBERG

As most of the IRC channel know, I love dogs. They are the best animal. They are adorable but also cool. The PoV character in your story is a dog. Not a super-smart dog or a furry dog or some dog that's basically a human with ears and a tail, but an actual dog. The dog helps a bunch of people in some way and is a big hero. Winner is the person who can make me smile the most.

1000 words

Deadline: 11:59pm Thursday 22nd Singapore time.

Macy and the Bad Man (or Three Cheers for Macy!)
993 words

The Bad Man was about to cut my hair and wash me and tie The Bow on me. So I nipped him! I don't get why he's upset. I only bit him about as hard as I do The Boy and The Boy always teases me! I think Bad Man's just mad that I fought back! Now Bad Man has put me in a cage and I'm scared because he keeps saying my name. I don't understand what he's saying but he's really mad!

Bad Man hangs up his thingy and walks out of the room. The furball across from me starts yipyaping. I don't know what her name is. Mommy says I’m a Rot-Why-Lahr, I don't know what any of that means but I miss Mommy and Daddy and even The Boy.

"Maybe you should have thought about that when you bit him." Pipsqueak yips.

"Shut up, pipsqueak!" I start biting the cage door. Maybe I can chew my way out! "It's not my fault, he was asking for it!"

"You'll be lucky if he sends you to the pound," huffs the poo-del next to me, which is a weird name. "I was there once. They made me sleep on the ground, the water was dirty. It was truly ghastly."

"I heard Squirrels chase dogs in The Pound," rrrs the sad looking Pug underneath me.

"Well I heard," Pipsqueek cocks her head. "that they don't even serve Kibble! at The Pound."

"I don't waaannaa go to The Pound." I whine. "I'm not a Bad Girl!"

I keep growling and nipping along the bars. If I can chew through Daddy's shoes, I can chew through these bars. Then my snout bumps against something and there's a click! The cage swings open and I pounced! I don't know what I did but yay, Freedom!

The other dogs start barking! Some are cheering me on, others are begging me to let them out! But I'm not out yet! I run up to the door and start clawing at it! The door opens and -

Oh No! Bad Man! He starts howling and walking towards me. I start padding backwards but my butt bumps against the wall! Oh no, I’m trapped! He has his paws raised and he looks really scary! Once he’s close he tries to pounce me. There’s space between his legs so I try to run through them. I bump into him instead. He topples over and makes that sound Daddy makes whenever I jump into his lap! I run out the open door, up the stairs and crawl through a doggy hole.

Yay! I’m outside! Bad Man is right behind, he’s screaming but he can’t catch up to me. Eventually he stops on his lawn and starts panting, and I stop and pant too! Maybe he has to pee?

“Too bad, Bad Man!” I arururu. “Guess this Good Girl won't be getting washed!”

I can sniff out Home from here. Maybe I can find it by following the scent! I start running down a street. I can smell cats and squirrels and bunnies, and I really want to chase them. But I have to go home. So I keep running. Even though I want to chase them!

At the end of the road there's a bunch of trees. There's no trees at Home, but the scent tells me it's past here! The trees make me wanna pee so I squat, but before I tinkle I see a truck pull up. Oh No! Bad Man.

"Stay away Bad Man," I growl. "I will bite you."

He tries to grab me but he stops when I snap my jaws! Then I run off into the trees and follow the scent. I can hear him screaming my name but he is a Bad Man and I do not come!

The scent lead me to a big pool. It's really weird, there's a pool at Home but it never looks this long. Home is across this pool and I'm a really good swimmer. I jump in just as the Bad Man comes out of the trees.

Wow this pool is really mad. Cold too! I've only been swimming for a minute and it keeps pushing me! I make it across but I'm really tired. I shake my fur and sit down for a second to pant. I'm almost Home, only a little more to go...

Bad Man starts calling my name. But he sounds scared. I look and see him thrashing his paws in the pool. He keeps calling my name, he looks really scared.

Oh no! He's in trouble! He was trying to cut my hair - but I have to save him! But what if he puts The Bow on extra tight? I can't just leave him. He's a bad man but - He's in trouble! I have to save him!

I jump back in. I paddle over to him and bite his shirt. His hands wrap around me and he's really heavy! The pool gets really mad and it keeps pushing me. It's really hard keeping my head up but I keep pulling and paddling!

Finally we make it to shore. The Bad Man starts crawling and hacking up a hair ball. I give him kisses and he keeps saying my name. We sit there and he doesn't put The Bow on me. He's petting and hugging me! Maybe he isn't such a Bad Man after all!

When we get home Mommy is there. She starts growling at my Friend, but she stops once Friend whimpers. Mommy and my Friend call me a Good Girl! Mommy takes me for a ride and I get to sit up front, and when we get home Daddy calls me a Good Girl lets me sit in his lap! The Boy calls me a Good Girl, he even gives me some hamburger! I love my Pack, but I hope I get to see my new Friend soon.

Phobia
Apr 25, 2011

I'm a suave detective with a heart of gold in hot pursuit of the malevolent, manipulative
MIAMI MUTILATOR
and the deranged degenerates who only want their
15 MINUTES OF FAME.


OCK.


This week, I will be doing line-for-lines for this week's loser and the DMs because I am still attempting to repent for the Gay Bomb story. I'm thinking there will be two or three DMs, unless Meinberg throws a hissyfit over me winning our brawl and DMs everyone then I guess everyone gets line-for-lines. Or if I lose/DM, which in that case, um, gently caress...

I am also opening this up to three people from last week too. That's three line-for-lines for last round, three for the current, theoretically speaking.

... You know this would have worked better if I posted this just after the Round 93 results. Whatever.

Lake Jucas
Feb 20, 2011


Entenzahn posted:

I am not going to accept the shame of a victory by default. Given sebmojo's consent, you will write a piece and it will go up against mine and I don't care when you do it. If you have a few hours, use them. Take a month. It matters not. You will be crushed, and your wails will fuel my ascent to Thunderdome greatness.

Sounds good. I'll do my best to write something tonight before I leave for the weekend. I doubt I'll need much time to destroy you.

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?


loser brawl w/ thalamas

Just Say Maybe
1080 words



How long has it been?

Eric rolled to the side, his eyes scrolling the length of his room, looking for a clock.

Oh yeah, I hid it. Man, sober me is a dick.

The drugs had been in effect for what felt like sometime between five minutes and forever, and Eric was riding them hard.

I should, I should go and maybe get some water or something. Yeah. Water and maybe also some mints.

He stood, and the world shifted dimensions for a second before stopping very solidly and then spinning into fluorescent swirls of color.

Maybe the water can wait. Maybe I just need some air. Or some sunlight. Like a plant. Yeah. Maybe I can photosynthesize some water if I can find some sunlight. What if I turn into that basement plant monster guy from that Goosebumps book? That would be OK. I’d probably get a sick scholarship if I was half plant monster. I’ll never know until I get some air, though.

One tentative step forward, and the swirls parted, leaving a glowing path to his window. He followed the path, sensuously, like a snake, weaving his body in one wave-like motion, all his muscles having become one, and his bones having melted to liquid gold.

The window was there, and he stopped in front of it and cried.

Snakes don’t have hands. I can’t open this window. I can’t ever leave. I’ll die a molten husk here on the floor. And I’ll never be half plant monster.

Sobs wracked his serpentine body. As he coiled round and around on the floor, lamenting his fate, Eric noticed his knees had come back. He stood on them, half knee-man, half snake.

This could work. Knees are useful. I can do child’s pose now that I have knees. I could be the world’s best yogi: half snake, half man, all awesome.

Having forgotten that snakes can’t open windows, Eric went right into practicing his yoga routine as part snake.

Warrior poses are out, and so is downward dog. I can’t do sun salutations. Maybe all snakes can do is child’s pose. Maybe that’s all I’ll ever be able to do again.

And again he cried. He cried until his knees froze and shattered and grew back, but on the wrong sides. He cried as his snake body molted and his arms grew in where there had been none before. He cried as his small and shriveled and wrong appendages all twisted and shrank back inside, and then grew out again, slick and shiny and raw.

Eric tested his new limbs by crawling on them in an effort to find his door.

I have hands, for now. I can open my door and get outside and into the sun. If I turn back into a snake, I’m going to need that sun or I think I can freeze to death if I’m not in a direct sunbeam. And snakes can’t open doors. I sure can’t slither under that door, now that I’m a human again.

He crawled forward, feeling in front of him for the wall. His new hand touched the popcorn plaster and he stopped. Looking up, he saw his door, surrounded by others. Big, beautifully ornate doors. Small and distant doors. Doors that seemed to sing his name to him on a deep molecular level. He couldn’t remember if his usual door was filled with dangerous and alien fish, swimming in hypnotic patterns. Or was his door the one that was covered in shimmering spikes that called for his blood? Maybe his was the door that had no knob, the one that you had to imagine it was open until it did so. He wanted to try them all.

His body couldn’t handle the stress of choosing, and he molted again, his limbs dissolving into neon dust and funneling out under the many doors. He sighed, resigning himself to wait until his next shed when he would hopefully regrow at least one limb. Eric turned his head, sweeping side to side and tasting the air.

It tastes stale in here. Like a crypt. So dry. God, I wish I had water. I wish I /was/ water, then I could drink myself and maybe that’s what Frost meant when he said, “and that has made all the difference.” I should have paid more attention in school, if knowing what that poem meant could get me water now.

A shiver, and his limbs were back, his snake skin floating high above his head and disappearing.

Quick! Pick a door, any door. One of them is bound to have water behind them. Or some sort of liquid to quench this ridiculous thirst. Do snakes even drink water? Oh wait, I’m a human again. Humans definitely drink water.

He reached his hand out and it dissolved into sand, pooling on the floor in front of him. He tried his other hand, and it froze in a flash of cold light. He sat down on the floor, defeated for the time being. He put his frozen hand in the sandy remains of his other, in an attempt to melt it.

Sand is always warm, I think. I don’t know. I don’t know what I know, anymore.

The doors thrummed in front of him, taunting him. They knew he couldn’t open them himself until his hands thawed and grew back, so they opened themselves. Only for a split second, but long enough for Eric to see behind them. They showed wet worlds, worlds where ‘desert’ is a dirty word, worlds where dehydration is a sin. They would reveal themselves, just long enough for him to smell the cold, refreshing tang, and then they would close and laugh.

Another shed, and another, and his hands were back. They had too few fingers, and too many nails, but they were hands, and they were his. He lunged towards the closest door, a grey paneled monstrosity, covered in dewy sweat. His hands gripped the cold handle, and he turned it. With a “click”, the door swung open inwards, and Eric saw a dark, foreboding staircase leading down and around a shadowed corner. He tasted mildew and damp in the air that rose up to greet him. He slithered down the mossy stairs.

Maybe I will get to be half plant monster, after all.


OOOOH THALAMAS, NO LONGER AM I THE BASIC BABY BITCH. THAT HONOR HAS RETURNED TO YOU.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Entenzahn posted:

I am not going to accept the shame of a victory by default. Given sebmojo's consent, you will write a piece and it will go up against mine and I don't care when you do it. If you have a few hours, use them. Take a month. It matters not. You will be crushed, and your wails will fuel my ascent to Thunderdome greatness.

Noted.

EntenJucas Brawl

Lake Jucas' reply is due 2 June 2014, High Noon PST.

Thalamas
Dec 5, 2003

Sup?

Starter Wiggin posted:

OOOOH THALAMAS, NO LONGER AM I THE BASIC BABY BITCH. THAT HONOR HAS RETURNED TO YOU.
Big talk for a man that ain't been judged yet.

kurona_bright
Mar 21, 2013


Phobia posted:

This week, I will be doing line-for-lines for this week's loser and the DMs because I am still attempting to repent for the Gay Bomb story. I'm thinking there will be two or three DMs, unless Meinberg throws a hissyfit over me winning our brawl and DMs everyone then I guess everyone gets line-for-lines. Or if I lose/DM, which in that case, um, gently caress...

I am also opening this up to three people from last week too. That's three line-for-lines for last round, three for the current, theoretically speaking.

... You know this would have worked better if I posted this just after the Round 93 results. Whatever.

I don't suppose I could take one of your line-for-line crits?

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

I am so drink I don't understand sit.

Ffs, grab a clue before challenging.

Here are the loving rules for a challenge, all you anticipatory bitches can kiss my rear end.

Call out the one you love
Wait for the challenger to respond.
No is an allowable response. It ends there.
If response equals yes wait for Some bitch to prompt
Write something better than your usual crap
Win

Meeple
Dec 28, 2009


I am in

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Bad Seafood posted:

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.” - Mark Twain

You have seven days weeks and 700 words to get back to me on this quote.

Mercedes posted:

Spiders is the cruelest month.
There's a lot going on under the hatch here for a story in which so little transpires. Buzzsaw wants revenge for who knows what and who cares why, Spring got juiced, and Autumn has no issue offering employment to people who kick down her door and murder her staff. The end, postscript: spiders. "Giving a poo poo is hard," says Autumn. Yeah, no kidding. You kick things off with a face-full of pop art only to end up having two people talking for several minutes about a subject neither of them seem particularly invested in. Your character arc is an abrupt about-face because why not? Your ending is a knock-knock joke. Knock-knock. Who's there? Spiders. But everywhere.

Also now that I look back on it I'm not really sure how this ties in with the prompt even remotely. Well, maybe remotely, after some mental gymnastics.

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Robot barmaids and the professors who don't actually love them.
Ah, the dreaded present tense. We meet again. Actually I didn't mind it so much here. What I did mind was your sterility of concept, your paper-thin premise. In an earlier judgment I had a whole paragraph devoted to the problems in your premise alone. But let's not talk about that. Instead let's talk about your story, since there is one here beneath the sparse choice of wallpaper. A woman objectified, both literally and figuratively, "Grateful" to be rescued - only to wake up in a different prison. Pretty timeless, pretty safe; you can guess the ending in about a hundred words. Your protagonist is pretty much the definition of passive, but given the story's subject matter I am uncertain whether that should be a plus or a minus. Passivity in protagonists is to be discouraged, for sure, but granting her agency would undermine much of the story's point. I suppose you could chalk that up as a plus since it got me thinking about things.

I shouldn't even have to say the winner is Dr. Klocktopussy.

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.


Bad Seafood posted:

I shouldn't even have to say the winner is Dr. Klocktopussy.



I'll get my revenge on someone one day!!

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


Loserjudging will be in hopefully Saturday evening REAL PEOPLE time.

theblunderbuss
Jul 4, 2010

I find dead men rout
more easily.


Phobia posted:

I am also opening this up to three people from last week too. That's three line-for-lines for last round, three for the current, theoretically speaking.

I'll gratefully take you up on this for last week's attempt.

Thalamas
Dec 5, 2003

Sup?

drat it, crabrock. I'm leaving for Montana in three hours and won't be back until Monday night. They don't have internet in Montana. This is known.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Grimey Drawer

Thalamas vs Wiggin LoserLoner Brawl

what was the prompt again?

Thalamas posted:

Rebirth 1349 words (brawl with Starter Wiggin)

Casimir drove home with the windows down and the stereo turned up. meh opening. drove home from WHAT is the interesting detail here (left out) The Offspring cranked out “Self Esteem” as he hit every familiar Spokane pothole along Monroe Street. A year in Las Vegas chasing dreams, a year back home, and today he had worked a split shift. wait, he's just coming home from work? Sit back and ask yourself "is this interesting?" In the middle, he’d gone in front of a judge and signed his final divorce papers. He’d lost his dog in the divorce. It sounded like a joke. Cas parked in front of the rented house he could no longer afford. His parents were taking him in for a while, just until he got back on his feet.

They had his guns. He’d asked them to stop by and pick them up the night she’d left. It had seemed prudent. you're putting all the interesting stuff in past perfect while he does boring stuff

At least he could cook. there are two ways this could be interpreted. at least he has the ability to cook, which is a little wtf, and at least he has the utensils to cook still. i'm assuming the later, but make it clear.

The night passed. zz A good steak, a Romeo y Julieta, and a bottle of Ardbeg kept him company on the couch while he gamed.

need a transition or SOMETHING or else these sentences flow right together and it's jarring.

He rolled over and slapped the alarm off at eight, then grabbed a bite to eat, a cup of coffee, four aspirin, and a quick shower before work. DUDE. i don't care about this dude doing all of this stuff because what's the point? what is he working toward? I don't want to just learn about the boring details of Sir Dogless. Cas grinned into the mirror, brushing his teeth, and swiped a clear streak through the fog. In the reflection, he caught a flash of? movement awkward leaving his bedroom. He jerked his head after it, shouting, “Hey!” Grabbing a towel, he chased into the hall, but found no one. “Hello?” A jingling sound taunted him, but a search of the house revealed nothing.

Out of time, he sent a text to his step-father asking him to check on the house, snatched his bag, and left for workpunctuation?

Robin waited for him at the curb. She wasn’t cherry red. gently caress cherries. huh?

She was red like a sunset, a burning coal on the blacktop. He keyed her on oh. and took off at a gentle rumble "took off" and "gentle rumble" don't work well together.. The Offspring picked up where they’d left off, launching into “It’ll Be A Long Time.” pointless details, really. why does he like listening to this band? what is he feeling when he does? did he pick this or was it just on shuffle? so many things that'd be more useful than just telling me what song it is.

Cas pulled out onto an arterial and headed south, a big time gap here. make better transitions. then realized he must have missed the turn when the street sign read wrong. He flipped the car around and drove back, then stopped, cursed, and flipped around again. He took the first right, then a left, and a right. directions are pointless details

He spotted the mall in the distance and made his way there, then turned onto the central street. As he drove, he saw there were no people in sight. No one on the sidewalks, no other people driving. No animals in sight, not even the usual crows or sparrows. He turned the stereo off. The drycleaner had a different sign, their logo revamped into a jazzy blue number.

The street signs should read Division, not Expo. He was completely lost.

Overarching all, he saw the calm blue sky dotted with clouds. He steered into the lot of a coffee shop and parked. The smell of rotting quiche hit him when he entered. ew “Anyone here?” It felt stupid to ask. He grabbed a local paper. The date was from November, months old. The front page picture was titled: Riverfront Park particle collider grand opening. oh cool, the plot device from Arrow There was no particle collider in Spokane. He checked his phone. No Service. His earlier text had failed.

“Ha. Hahaaaha. Ahaha! No way.” He stepped outside into the fresh air and took a deep breath. The businesses were different in small ways. It was easy to miss when he drove by them a few hundred times a year. Cas picked out details - Shawn’s Auto-Service instead of Shaun’s Auto-Service, Wong’s was Juan’s. He ran across the empty, eight-lane street to a gas station and took a lukewarm sweet tea and a paper map of the city. the lukewarm tea thing is weird to me. is it a different temp than room temp? if not, just say sweet tea or say room temp, if you MUST emphasize it's temperature. On first read I was like "wait, why is the tea still a little warm, did they JUST vanish? but then the food was rotten.

Unfolding the map revealed a new Spokane, city streets with different names laid out in strange, new patterns. Even geographic features like the Spokane River had shifted. He took Robin’s t-tops off, strapped them down in the back, and pulled out his keys.

The ring had an extra key. It was long, brass, with a square top. A clock tower and tent were embossed on the metal, the logo of Riverfront Park. He didn’t know how he’d missed it that morning. Strange. so like, everything is kinda hosed up, and all I've heard from Cas as this point is "no way." Then his keys are different and he's just like "yeah I probably just missed that this morning." You're trying too hard to set up an ending here, and your protag is acting in an un-real manner, which hurts the story.

Robin purred like a six-cylinder cheetah no. If anything, "Robin's six cylinders purred like a cheetah". Cas let her loose on Expo, barreling down the barren streets at a hundred and ten with a whoop quotation marks if he's saying this. He spent the day exploring the bizarre version of his hometown, listening to music, and trying doors to random houses. The power was out everywhere. He picked up a length of tubing from an auto supply store and used it to siphon gas from cars. Grocery stores reeked of rotten produce and meat, but they had enough of canned food to last his lifetime.

The days passed. It took a while to bring the cigars he found he found is so... non-commital. just say he took them or rescued them or anything other than making it sound like he was walking down the street and was like "oh hey, cigars." back to the right humidity level, but the scotch was great immediately. Oddly, they both lost their savor in the sunshine. huh? Cas found he didn’t miss the video games. He spent his time driving, meditating, exercising, foraging. time frame? He figured this Spokane was a parallel universe and wondered if he’d ever get home, or if he even wanted to go home. It was peaceful here. And But lonely.

One late afternoon he tried the radio on a whim. oh how convenient! also, if you're going to make the radio an integral plot point, give it a mention earlier. The FM just spit out static, but the AM still had one working station: the emergency broadcast. His own voice came out of the speakers. “Cas, you’ll hear this when you need to. Come to Riverfront Park. The collider is underground, use the key.” The recording looped.

He drove downtown along the streets that were just starting to become familiar familiar streets and parked on the grass in front of the iconic pavilion constructed for Expo ’74. Searching the area revealed a metal door set in concrete. passive A plastic sleeve taped on the outside protected a note in his own handwriting: “Use the bathroom.”

The key fit. He unlocked the door and entered. A large, framed map hung on the wall. The facility was huge, the collider two floors below. He went to the bathroom where a letter waited for him.

Cas,

This dimension collapses at 5:32 tonight. I’ve included the calculations at the bottom of the page for you. I’m sure you have a lot of questions, and I’ll leave those for the ones who come later, but for now, look through the mirror.


He stopped reading and looked up. The mirror was like a window to his own bathroom. He saw himself walk through the door and get in the shower from weeks before when all this had first happened.

You have a choice to make. Climb through, put the key on the ring, and hide. Tonight, you’ll cease to exist and all this starts again.

Or, you can go downstairs and shut off the collider. I can’t make myself do it and I think you feel the same. There’s no way to be sure, but I think it will bring the people back and restabilize this place. It’s been a while since grad school.

Cas (#1)


A pen sat on the sink. Calculations scrawled across the bottom of the sheet, along with notes from a dozen others. One claimed to have driven as far as Dallas and back without seeing a single person. He looked up at the mirror and heard the shower turn off. A world of people, missing their lives, and him getting to live his as many times as he wanted. The last few weeks had been so satisfying, so life affirming, and he knew he could have this back home.

His watch read 5:27 PM.

Cas took off for the collider at a jog. It had been years since he’d worked in a lab, worked with any kind of particle collider. this stuff would have been useful to set up earlier. as it is, it just seems awfully coincidental. A perceptible hum filled the air as he ran down two flights of stairs.

Instructions had been taped to each of the dials and levers, inked in marker, and he jogged from station to station. 5:31. Ten seconds. He flipped the last switch and the hum died. 5:32. A flash of light, then nothing.

He rolled over and slapped the alarm off at eight. well, not really him, right? but some other him?

So this is a mess. Your character has no real over-arching motivation here. Stuff is just happening to him. What did he do in order to go to the alternate universe? His FUTURE alternate self made the decision to let it keep going on, but your char never made a decision that directly lead to that. He was just going about his day and it happened to him. Then he just kinda sits around chilling out for a while until he RANDOMLY (i.e. you couldn't think of a reason) to turn on the radio at just the right time.

What the hell is all the stuff about the divorce in the beginning? The wife never plays into the story at all. Furthermore, you have so many things that pop into your story just when you need them. A trick about writing is when that happens, go back to the beginning and make a reference to them. Then the reader feels like you knew what you were doing and they get a nice little "a ha!" moment where they feel smart for remembering something you said in paragraph 1. You could have used the divorce stuff to talk about how he'd always felt like he had direction in life, but felt lost now. then boom he's lost for reals. oh poo poo, a theme.

Too many pointless details. Details are nice, but when they reveal something about the character. He likes booze. Woo hoo. That's the most overused "detail" in writing, i'm pretty sure. Always think "why am i giving them this detail?" is it important? If you switched sweet tea with orange soda, the story is 100% the exact same. sweet tea tells me nothing about a man. the same with listening to the offspring. and the street names. and how many stairs he descended, etc. what are the reasons for these choices?

You kind of just went with a standard "oh no, i'm lost on the streets" approach. Then added the sci-fi parallel universe aspect that's been done to death a billion times before, and you didn't really add anything new to it.


Starter Wiggin posted:

loser brawl w/ thalamas

Just Say Maybe
1080 words



How long has it been?

Eric rolled to the side, his eyes scrolling the length of his room, looking for a clock. pretty boring opening, but the next sentence makes it almost work

Oh yeah, I hid it. Man, sober me is a dick. haha.

The drugs had been in effect for what felt like sometime between five minutes and forever, and Eric was riding them hard.

I should, I should go and maybe get some water or something. Yeah. Water and maybe also some mints. Thalamas, take note. here is a very simple motivation. Like, it really doesn't get simpler than this, but at least it's SOMETHING. And it's kinda funny, give the setup. "A very simple task turns into an adventure ON DRUGS"

He stood, and the world shifted dimensions for a second before stopping very solidly and then spinning into fluorescent swirls of color.

Maybe the water can wait. Maybe I just need some air. Or some sunlight. Like a plant. Yeah. Maybe I can photosynthesize some water if I can find some sunlight. What if I turn into that basement plant monster guy from that Goosebumps book? That would be OK. I’d probably get a sick scholarship if I was half plant monster. I’ll never know until I get some air, though.

One tentative step forward, and the swirls parted, leaving a glowing path to his window. He followed the path, sensuously, like a snake, weaving his body in one wave-like motion, all his muscles having become one, and his bones having melted to liquid gold.

The window was there, and he stopped in front of it and cried.

Snakes don’t have hands. I can’t open this window. I can’t ever leave. I’ll die a molten husk here on the floor. And I’ll never be half plant monster.

Sobs wracked his serpentine body. As he coiled round and around on the floor, lamenting his fate, Eric noticed his knees had come back. He stood on them, half knee-man, half snake.

This could work. Knees are useful. I can do child’s pose now that I have knees. I could be the world’s best yogi: half snake, half man, all awesome.

Having forgotten that snakes can’t open windows, Eric went right into practicing his yoga routine as part snake.

Warrior poses are out, and so is downward dog. I can’t do sun salutations. Maybe all snakes can do is child’s pose. Maybe that’s all I’ll ever be able to do again.

And again he cried. He cried until his knees froze and shattered and grew back, but on the wrong sides. He cried as his snake body molted and his arms grew in where there had been none before. He cried as his small and shriveled and wrong appendages all twisted and shrank back inside, and then grew out again, slick and shiny and raw.

Eric tested his new limbs by crawling on them in an effort to find his door.

I have hands, for now. I can open my door and get outside and into the sun. If I turn back into a snake, I’m going to need that sun or I think I can freeze to death if I’m not in a direct sunbeam. And snakes can’t open doors. I sure can’t slither under that door, now that I’m a human again.

He crawled forward, feeling in front of him for the wall. His new hand touched the popcorn plaster and he stopped. Looking up, he saw his door, surrounded by others. Big, beautifully ornate doors. Small and distant doors. Doors that seemed to sing his name to him on a deep molecular level. He couldn’t remember if his usual door was filled with dangerous and alien fish, swimming in hypnotic patterns. Or was his door the one that was covered in shimmering spikes that called for his blood? Maybe his was the door that had no knob, the one that you had to imagine it was open until it did so. He wanted to try them all.

His body couldn’t handle the stress of choosing, and he molted again, his limbs dissolving into neon dust and funneling out under the many doors. He sighed, resigning himself to wait until his next shed when he would hopefully regrow at least one limb. Eric turned his head, sweeping side to side and tasting the air.

It tastes stale in here. Like a crypt. So dry. God, I wish I had water. I wish I /was/ water, then I could drink myself and maybe that’s what Frost meant when he said, “and that has made all the difference.” I should have paid more attention in school, if knowing what that poem meant could get me water now.

A shiver, and his limbs were back, his snake skin floating high above his head and disappearing.

Quick! Pick a door, any door. One of them is bound to have water behind them. Or some sort of liquid to quench this ridiculous thirst. Do snakes even drink water? Oh wait, I’m a human again. Humans definitely drink water.

He reached his hand out and it dissolved into sand, pooling on the floor in front of him. He tried his other hand, and it froze in a flash of cold light. He sat down on the floor, defeated for the time being. He put his frozen hand in the sandy remains of his other, in an attempt to melt it.

Sand is always warm, I think. I don’t know. I don’t know what I know, anymore.

The doors thrummed in front of him, taunting him. They knew he couldn’t open them himself until his hands thawed and grew back, so they opened themselves. Only for a split second, but long enough for Eric to see behind them. They showed wet worlds, worlds where ‘desert’ is a dirty word, worlds where dehydration is a sin. They would reveal themselves, just long enough for him to smell the cold, refreshing tang, and then they would close and laugh.

Another shed, and another, and his hands were back. They had too few fingers, and too many nails, but they were hands, and they were his. He lunged towards the closest door, a grey paneled monstrosity, covered in dewy sweat. His hands gripped the cold handle, and he turned it. With a “click”, the door swung open inwards, and Eric saw a dark, foreboding staircase leading down and around a shadowed corner. He tasted mildew and damp in the air that rose up to greet him. He slithered down the mossy stairs.

Maybe I will get to be half plant monster, after all.

This is a weird piece. It's a little weird having his thoughts be in first person, but the descriptions in third person. I would switch everything to first person and just go on the strength of his perceptions.

My main issue with this is that what did he DO to overcome the problem of not being to open the door. it just seems like he looked down and there were his hands. a little passive for my tastes. have him come up with some stupid drugged out plan that means/does nothing, and THAT "gets him back" his hands.

Also, this is a DRUGS story. It's 100% about his feelings on drugs and doesn't have a larger overall theme. why'd he take the drugs? is he a druggie, or was this a one time thing? Although I liked reading it, so it wasn't terrible. And you had a plot, unlike Mr. Thalamas up there.

He didn't really ever seem LOST in his room, just trapped. He seemed confused about what was outside, and what was happening to his body, but not LOST. he just kind of accepted it. Though he did seem out of control in new territory, so i'll accept it.

This isn't perfect by any means, but it was the more interesting/complete read.

Starter Wiggin wins

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Mercedes posted:



I'll get my revenge on someone one day!!

ANOTHER VICTORY FOR...

ARF ARF ARF



DOG POLICE!

Cheneyjugend
May 23, 2008


I'm in.

Just finished Slaughterhouse Five, too. This is more damning than it sounds.

I think I need a flash rule to help me come up with some idea that won't spew bile all over a distinguished work of literature.

Cheneyjugend fucked around with this message at May 24, 2014 around 01:53

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Cheneyjugend posted:

I'm in.

Just finished Slaughterhouse Five, too. This is more damning than it sounds.

I think I need a flash rule to help me come up with some idea that won't spew bile all over a distinguished work of literature.

Your protagonist's history must not be mentioned.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Hey yo Beef and Marty, back-to-back work shifts plus an unforeseen situation have made it so that I pretty much have significantly less time than I thought I would have to write this weekend. Do you think there is a chance that you could find it in yourselves--in your flawless, manly hearts--to grant me two (2) more days to complete our brawl?

My most bountiful thanks, if so.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


HALTEN DEN ZUG! WO SIND DER LOSERWINNEREN? WIR MUSSEN JETZT AUSFINDEN.



---

BRAWL DEN ERSTE: PHOBIA UND MEINBERG

PHOBIA: Are people in this world Sims or are they massively incompetent or what? What sort of grown-rear end man falls into a swimming pool and immediately starts drowning? This man should not have a toaster in his house, let alone a dog. The fact that he has survived into adulthood is testament that our society has grown too soft and we need to start holding Hunger Games.

Also holy poo poo this was twee and annoying. You tried for 'lovably dumb' and missed by a mile.

MEINBERG: A robotic paint-by-numbers adventure in caveman times! I have certainly never read a story exactly like this before. You are the definition of competent and safe.

Your prose has improved a lot since you started posting here but it's still pretty lifeless and mechanical. Phobia had too much fun with his, but you didn't have enough. Experiment a bit, goddamit. Break the rules some time.

DER WINNERMENSCH: Meinberg. Boring, but better put-together. The ending was cliche, but decently executed. Move onto the next round. Phobia, yerrrrrrrrrOUT.

---

BRAWL DEN ZWITTE: HOCUS POCUS UND LEEKSTER

HOCUS POCUS:
2/3 of this story is setup to robo-horseman (who works ok) but you spend far too long waffling around instead of building tension of actually getting to the loving point. The prose is creative, though hit-and-miss.

LEEKSTER:

quote:

“Yes detective. For the past week that has played at exactly noon,” Police Chief Filkins said. “And five hours after this we find the body of a soldier who was living on base.”

“So how do we know they’re related?” Sergio said.

“Detective. A rouge broadcast fills every channel on the net, public and private. And after that we find bodies. I’m not one for coincidence.” Filkins said, the condescension wasn’t lost on Sergio.
No, that totally seems like a coincidence and this makes DA CHIEF sound like a loving idiot. Everybody in this story is a loving idiot who does really stupid things with little rhyme or reason. Also, it's all dialogue. Oh my god, so much dialogue. Everybody just stands around talking and I guess some violence happens but I kinda glazed out.

DAS UBERFLEIGZUGMANNENGEIST: Hocus Pocus. Structurally weak, but with some moments of promise. Get your pacing down, dammit. Move on to the next round.

---

BRAWL DER DRITTEN: DMBOOGIE UND PSEUDOSCORPION

DMBOOGIE: holy adverbs, Batman! You don't need one on every single verb. The relationship between the lady and the ghost is actually pretty well handled, so kudos there. It's cute, it's competent, it could've really used another round of editing to cut the fat. Also not very original.

PSEUDOSCORPION: EXPOSITION EXPOSITION EXPOSITION INFODUMP. The story is great when you're actually telling it and not blurting our backstory in a drab monotone.

DEISEM BESTERUBERGANGENKUGELSCHRIEBENSCHMETTERLING: this one is actually pretty close, and you both did an ok job. They're mechanically competent, they're fun, they're not paced poorly. At the end of the day, the deciding factor was who was more creative in their use of the prompt, and so it goes to Pseudoscorpion. YerrUP.

---

FINAL ROUND

You poor bastards. You should've lost. You should've printed off your story and used it as toilet paper, because you're gonna do the thing that all 'domers dread. You're going to do the thing that guaranteed I was never allowed to judge again, because every time there's a tie everybody goes "oh god no not muffin he's going to do..."

POETRY ROUND, MOTHERFUCKER


This one is gonna be pretty open. There are only two stipulations:

1) it must be a ballad
2) it must be metered

or, in non-poetry words

1) it must tell a story; have a coherent plot arc with a beginning, middle and end
2) no free verse. Iambic Pentameter is probably the easy way out, but I like it a lot so that's ok. Other meters are also acceptable. Limericks are acceptable but they'd better be really good. Please complain that you still don't understand in the thread.

It doesn't have to rhyme, but nor is it forbidden. Except heroic couplets, which are for scrubs.

Meinberg, Hocus Pocus, Pseudoscorpion, get your poetry hats on and write me a drat story. SIE HABEN EINEN WOCHE FUR DIESEN SCHRIVENZINGSITZE! ONE WEEK. 11:59PM NEXT FRIDAY, SINGAPORE TIME. DOITNERDS.

---

AUF WEIDERSEHEN, WEGBIER MUTTERFICKENSEITZE!

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


KING OF poo poo MOUNTAIN: KING OF THE LOSERS

PHOBIA, LEEKSTER, DMBOOGIE, do you want to redeem yourself? Do you want to become the not-worst? Well, here's your chance.

Write me a love song. Musical accompaniment is not a requirement: just lyrics. Be careful though, because I'm going to try and sing your poo poo at the end of the week and if it doesn't scan properly, I will end you. It must fit into some vague metrical pattern that's coherent enough to build a tune around.

Song must be about love, must be sincere.

Same deadline as the other dudes.

GETITON.

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angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

you just butchered the gently caress out of the german language

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