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  • Locked thread
Mar 21, 2010
:siren: I'M THROWING DOWN THE BOOT :siren:

Ko Interislander te waka. Ko Wither Hills te maunga. Ko Taylor te Moana te awa. Ko Ngai Tahu te iwi. Ko Muffin ahau.

Sebmojo, only one of us can be King of Wellington. By right of victory, I challenge you to Kiwibrawl. There will be buckets of blood, pretty good coffee, and apologising for things that other people do.

Come and fight me, you no good Syrio Forell-looking motherfucker.

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at 08:15 on Dec 31, 2013


Mar 21, 2010
The flowers were literal blue flowers ya nob. He was looking for flowers for his ladyfriend and then he saw them coming out the back of the lawnmower, so he reached under to find the hidden flower-source. He didn't notice them in the first place because he's kinda dumb like that.

Mar 21, 2010
yo wassup im comin for ya

Mar 21, 2010
Yo holmes I'm in this week.

Mar 21, 2010
:siren: Bend, like schlong in storm: Dick Haiku results and inexplicable Vikings :siren:

You're all terrible. Writing a haiku isn't just about stringing together the correct number of syllables while stroking yourself off. As with all poetry, scansion matters. There's no artistry, no love of sound. There is however, a whole lot of penis. However, somebody's gotta walk away from this with a big smile on their face because they almost got allowed into the big boy tent.

The winner of this dick poetry contest, is, shockingly, a lady. Kaishai stomped all your asses. I'm guessing the dudes can't see their dilz under all their belly fat or something, so they just guessed what it looks like. The first two haiku are funny and flow well, the third is actually pretty beautiful in the wrong light. Is the PUA wearing a hat with horns on?



In 'conditioning,'
The PUA is subtle.
"Hello!" Points to schlong.


In search of more words
Thunderdome cries to heaven:
"Beef can eat a dick."


Our pens rise, proud, strong,
To spear the world with our words
And leave it replete.
Honourable Mention for inthesto, because he used the word 'dilz' and that's my favourite euphemism for penis. Also something something emotional honesty and insight into the true nature of goon.


Midnight, awoken
Sudden craving for bacon
Grease burns on my dilz

But for every day, there is a night. For every Tarkovsky there is a Boll and for every shuddering climax, there is a "this has never happened before!" Our loser committed the great sin of haiku writing: inefficiency. Like every bad white rapper ever, they thought that the way to make strong images was to just cram a bunch of random similes together with no thought for the images called forth. Those images that do work are horrible cliches we've seen a hundred times before. I did like the third but it doesn't count because a butt's not a genital. Congratulations Martello. I gift you your honourary dickhorse, on which you can ride off into the sunset and burn yourself to a loving crisp.


the fleshy curtains
fold wetly around the prize
a lovely rosebud

small and shriveled though
at times it rises long, hard
a battering ram

round, puckered, just like
the mouth of an old lady
making GBS threads is pleasurable
Dishonourable Mention goes to The Leper Colon V: the first one is actually pretty good, but then you had to come back and ram your head in the unflushed toilet like you always do.


Two balls and a bat
Without a catcher or mitt
I play sports alone

They grow off the trunk
The fruit of the lady tree
Two orbs, soft and plush

Point the first: tits aren't genitals. It wasn't that goddam hard. Secondly, cliche and overused imagery. Thirdly, it's just not very funny. The first one actually works pretty well in the same way inthesto's does: the flow is a little janky but there's a sense of progression that's pretty neat in such a small piece. It's a tiny story, which is hard to do with no few words. That's what pushed you out of the shitpit, so take it with a tiny glimmer of pride.


No Longer Flaky



One million men ride
The rocking boat into the
Fjord of certain death


The pecker pecked and
pecked and pecked furiously
Then dizzy- threw up


A bro says of ho
Is this her drink? I spike with
Roofies- easy sex
Whoa you have a huuuuuge pussy. If millions of men in boats are getting lost in there, you probably have a condition. Stop writing poetry and see a doctor immediately. I would've like a little more coherency with this set: the image of tiny pussy vikings desperately trying to stop the vagina-monster swallowing their longship is hilarious, and I want more of it.



Raw beef: quarter pound.
Usually eat it well-done;
got blood on my nose.

got two urethras.
no big deal but my pee forks.
forks: effect and cause.

penis waves in wind
inviting all to come play
then bites like angry snake
Whoa man there is something very wrong with your dick. Maybe you can gently caress No Longer Flaky and your biting snake dick will devour the pussy longships that she has. Then you can name your dick Jörmungandr and ask ladies if they wanna try 'slay the dragon'. Second two are alright, but the first is confusing: I'm not sure what 'raw beef' is meant to be and none of the options really work. It's either a really, really hosed up pussy or an even more hosed up rear end in a top hat. Either way 'raw beef' doesn't work.

Erogenous Beef


Blade-dulling jungle
Crotchbrambles hide my monkey
I hate manscaping
Me too, man. :smith:

In closing, Martello leaves us with somewhat of a zen koan, and a decent summary of Thunderdome to date


Are buttholes genitals? Sure

Mar 21, 2010


Cocksman and cockshund
Meaty-Bone is given, ah!
Harmony and bliss
If you'd written like this earlier, I wouldn't have had to whoop you.

Week LVIX entry

My first attempt was a complete failure and times is running low in the weird timezones of the world (gotta sleep sometime, then work in the morning), but I'm not so weak-willed as to just drop out. I've remade a classic in blank verse, and changed the ending a little so it fits the prompt.

The harrow and the plow

Two boys, whose love meant naught to folk from town
were forced apart by man's cold hands, then sought
to find again the love which blossomed true.

They lay an inch apart on floors within
a bunker; empty, fallen to decay.
The cleaner knew. He planned, and watched, their ends.

“riCHARD!” said James, “our love will never die!”
How wrong he proved himself in days to come.


“I made a video!” said Fletcher, smug
“You'll suck my dick, or you'll soon regret your
liason!” -

“Kill him,” James said. “Hide the corpse
beneath the school, so they think he's a perv.”
He smote with speed, with a brick in a sock.


“You killed a man!” 'CHARD howled. “I'll never talk
to you again! I'll walk the land for all
of time and never for-get this great shame.”

He roams the hills, riCHARD the queer. He walks
from dusk to dawn through dale. He howls “My love!
You betrayed me!” and will for all his days.

Mar 21, 2010
Yo judge guy you gotta get in touch with me and Rhino or something. Get on irc and I'll give you my email address or something. #kyrena.

Mar 21, 2010
[EDIT: removed for publishing reasons]

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at 02:12 on Dec 4, 2014

Mar 21, 2010

sentientcarbon posted:

Signup's done.

With 48 motherfucking entrants.

gently caress you guys, gently caress you all :bang:
I got loving pressganged into this, but I'm the big bad scarred-up seaman on this crew and I'mma crack some heads.

:siren: FLASH RULE :siren:

From this point onwards, for every ten stories entered, the word count gets 250 words lower. There's stories posted already, which are exempt. From this point onwards:

Stories 1-10: 1250 words
Stories 1-20: 1000 words
Stories 21-30: 750 words
Stories 31-40: 500 words
Stories 41+: 250 words

Repeat, this is not retroactive: it does NOT include stories posted already for this week.

Mar 21, 2010

Chairchucker posted:

Zero. There have been zero stories posted since Muffin posted that flash rule. There are zero stories that count towards that flash rule.

Oh wait, now there's been one.

Oh wait, that's a brawl entry. Still zero.
Zero, Ah ah ah. What zings do you know zat zere are zero of?

Entries past ze flash rule! Zero, ah ah ah!
Leper's Reading Comprehension Zkore! Zero, ah ah ah!
Fucks given by ze Muffin! Zero, ah ah ah!

Mar 21, 2010

Mar 21, 2010
Also for christ's sake people search 'The Edges of Ideas' in this document. Nobody cares about your janky hard sci-fi exposition. It's a waste of valuable words.

In fact, read the whole thing if you haven't already.

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at 10:15 on Jan 11, 2014

Mar 21, 2010
Tyrannosaurus is #16. We're currently at 1000 words.

Mar 21, 2010
Rhino and I have passed our thoughts onto sentientcarbon. Results whenever he wakes up and writes the post.

Also holy gently caress you idiots wrote 40+ stories and at least 30 of them are science fiction, biblical, or biblical science fiction. Jesus Christ I am so sick of robot god stories right now.

Mar 21, 2010
Oh god, I'm sorry. I take it back. Being original or interesting and trying to take a premise anywhere but the most obvious place is just too difficult.

Mar 21, 2010
I worked really hard on this I hope it's ok.

Jim Spaceman’s Adventure and the Fuel
479 words

Jim Spaceman tapped the fuel gauge. The fuel gauge which showed how much fuel he had was pointing towards ‘low’ which meant his fuel was very low. “Oh dear,” he said to himself. “I am nearly out of fuel.”

Verily, he was! The radio had ceased transmission, and Jim was struck by the sudden lack of candour. "Friends!" he said unto the empty air "though we have parted, I hear you in my heart! Such sweetness you brought. Oh, but a flower plucked too early smells only the sweeter!"

Luckily he was flying in his space ship through a patch of space that was full of space rocks that had space houses on them. They drifted by outside his space ship like grey pitted golf balls with space houses on them. “Hello in there,” he called through his radio after first depressing the radio call button. “Hello in there,” he said again.

From the houses came no reply. Jim wondered by whom they had been abandoned, and why. Their windows stared at him in the manner that eyes would stare at him. He would not be alone for this final tranche of his journey into death. The last lonely eschatonaut would drift his last through the suburbs and flower beds of joyous decay. Suddenly, there came from a window a haunting sound. It reminded Jim of honey, ash and love. "Shut up bro I'm watching TV," it said.

"Comely maiden!" cried Jim into his space intercom, "I must know you!"

Jim activated the thruster button of his space capsule, flicking up the polycarbonate plastic protector shield and pushing down on the red button labelled ‘thruster’ before realising that he was out of fuel and the thrusters were unable to provide thrust without fuel. Hastily he put on his space suit. He opened the airlock by turning the key labelled ‘open airl ck’, noting in passing that the ‘o’ had worn off the ‘open airlock’ sign. In a few minutes he was in space.

He alighted upon the space rock, and walked towards the house. The haunting sounds of rugby came from within, presumably coming from a television set, as it would do difficult to play rugby inside such a small domicile without causing significant damage. Jim knew what he must do to woo his love. He began to pound a seductive rhythm upon the walls, then let loose his heart's song. It was "Too Drunk to gently caress" by the Dead Kennedys.

At that moment the space door opened and there standing in the doorway of the space house was the most beautiful woman Jim had ever seen, wearing a spacesuit. The spacesuit had a shiny visor. The woman beckoned Jim Spaceman inside and he entered the space house. And he lived there in that house until he died, 34 years later.

Mar 21, 2010

crabrock posted:

:siren: judgement post :siren:

Muffin wins.

Will post crits of your other stories later when i am resuscitated.
Alright Sitting Here, I'm comin' for ya.

Mar 21, 2010
In the meantime, I have something to keep you busy.

:siren: Totally Non-Official TD that has no winner, no loser, no signups, and lasts until the results are in :siren:

I got a lot of people complaining to me over irc or via PM that my flash rule this week was too difficult, and forced them to cut too much of their stories. However, a good writer should always strive for elegance: to tell the biggest story with the least words. That's why I'm issuing the following challenge:

* Write an EPIC story. Not in the watered-down internet definition of the word, but a real oldworld bonecruncher. If I can't imagine Frank Frazetta drawing it or Iron Maiden singing about it, you've done something wrong.
* The word limit is 100. That's right, 100 words. One hundred. I will not tolerate a single word over that. This is more a challenge of clever editing than writing: knowing exactly what to cut to tell your story as efficiently as possible.

No signup period: if you've finished it, post it. You can crit each other, because that's another important writer skill that we don't work on enough. Critting is optional, but recommended.

Go to, peasants. :black101:

Mar 21, 2010
While I'm here, I wrote crits last night but my browser ate them. You'll have to take it from me that they were really funny and had a bunch of clever jokes and poo poo because they're gone now. I was tasked to crit #31 onwards, #31 being ...


Terminator by Play

Busted the word count horribly: I'm guessing you missed the flash rule. Disqualified. Despite not being a noir, this story stumbled blindly through the terrible noir cliche minefield and came away with no limbs and half a face. Really needs a spellcheck (“Maybe you would like to join us, Mr. Stanko?” ha asked quietly.). I remember arguing with you in Book Barn about Prince of Thorns and honestly, I think this fails for the same reason those books do: it tries so hard to be HARD and DARK that it's just kinda silly.

On the other hand, you pulled off the 'edges of ideas' pretty competently and there's a nice balance of description and dialogue; a lot of other pieces failed to do either.

What kind of death is it? Shot in the back by a whisky-swilling dame in the red dress but she's really not feeling it.


Closure by Peel

I've put this as a personal honorable mention, though I don't know how the others feel about it. It's nice that you focused on a more human story rather than going for the BIG DRAMA that so many have affected. People tend to be more interesting than events. My big issue (and the thing that knocked it out of my #1 slot) is that it's far too dialogue heavy. I have no idea where these people are or what they look like, and it really kills the thing for me. I know you were working with very limited words, but surely there's a line or two of dialogue you could've cut. Physical descriptions don't need to be big, they just need to be descriptive.

What kind of death is it? Talked to death by a gorgeous ex.


Paradise by Chair Bird

Another disqualified for busting the world count. You know how this happens and you kinda cringe? It's so much worse when you do it in a book. If you call a story 'paradise', you're not allowed to keep using the word 'paradise' while grinning smugly at your keyboard. Also, is your protagonist high as gently caress? He reads like he's high as gently caress. Weird poo poo happens and he just sorta takes it in his stride. "Oh look I'm being grabbed and screamed at by a woman covered in sores. Wild, dude." A little more of a tactile reaction would've gone a long way.

On top of that, I'm really confused. I have no idea what happened in this story, and how it relates to the prompt.

What kind of death is it? A baffling case of maybe leprosy who really knows.


Death in Dorset by ProQuoQuid


It's also a pretty good story. It's funny, it's clever, it does something unique with the prompt, it balances solid prose with (middling) dialogue. My personal pick for the win, though again I don't know how the other two judges feel and that should be taken with a grain of salt.

As mentioned, the dialogue is your weak spot. It's kinda stiff and lifeless. You were aiming for English reserve and ended up with malfunctioning robot. It's not terrible, but it stood out as something to work on.

What kind of death is it? Grand Mal during a Petite Mal, though your lover can't talk dirty for poo poo.


The Four Trillionth Human by V for Vegas

Not a perfect story, but an improvement from a lot of your other work. There's some genuinely beautiful language scattered around in there, though it's so eager to be all GRAND and PORTENTOUS that it undermines itself. This story has been told a lot before (the 70s alone produced thousands of 'so many people there's literally standing room only' spec fic pieces) and you could've taken a step back and been a little less serious about it. The very best of those 70s stories I've read was 2BR02B by Kurt Vonnegut: it's kind of silly, but it gets the desperation across much better because it lets the reader feel it out themselves rather than ramming it down their throats.

What kind of death is it? Crushed in a mosh pit by a bunch of guys taking this whole thing way too seriously.


more to come

Mar 21, 2010

The Fruit of the Tree by Fumblemouse

Ugh, I don't want to review this one, I really don't. You're a good writer Mouse, but this is a terrible story. The prose is loving gorgeous but the story itself is a vague, confusing, pretentious mess. My dishonourable mention: there were many stories that were worse, but this one disappointed me the most. You're better than this.

I have so many questions. Mostly, what the gently caress just happened? Why did the story suddenly and inexplicably jacknife into sci-fi at the end there? I thought it was just a pretty retelling of Genesis, and then it got weird without warning. Weird I can deal with, but you can't just suddenly have it happen in the middle of a completely different story.

What kind of death is it? maaaan there's a dude with a chainsaw playing a guitar solo while on fire and he comes charging towards you and then aliens abduct you before anything cool gets to happen.


Untitled by El Diabolico

Cool use of the concept, but not a great execution. She's awfully calm about a dude that just killed her. There's more reaction than Chair Bird's weirdo protagonist had, but why didn't she run away? Try to get revenge? Sitting down and sharing a meal with the dude makes no sense whatsoever. Is murder normal in this world? It sorta felt like you were trying to get that across through the characters' actions, but it's such a huge jump from our understanding of the world that it needs to be more obvious. You don't have to straight up tell it, but some more showing would've helped.

What kind of death is it? valium overdose.


Last light of the day by Ihmemies

Busted the word count big time. Disqualified. More bible poo poo, because I totally haven't read too many of those today.

"In the end, it did not matter who launched the first missile. The Earth burned, filling the skies with soot and bringing night over the land. People screamed until they could not, their consciousnesses echoing the voices their bodies were not capable of anymore."

Man, I wish I was reading this story instead of God and the Devil eating loving grapes. The problem with big stories like this is that they're so grand in scale it's impossible to empathise with any of the content. The solution is to add a real human element. A great example of this is Spin by Robert Charles Wilson: there's one generation of humanity left before doomsday, but it deals with the people at the centre of everything. It definitely covers the big earth-changing events, but we come to understand them through the characters on the ground.

Plot without people just doesn't work.

What kind of death is it? thrown into a pit of hungry Mormons.


My God Is The Sun by Agnostic Jihad

Word count disqualified yadda yadda read the drat thread during the week people. More Christianity for some reason! I'm starting to switch off every time somebody mentions the bible at this point.

I'm not feeling the jumps at all. You wanted to tell a bigger story and so you cut all the transitional stuff, but you probably should've just tried to tell a smaller story.

What kind of death is it? comically oversized electric chair.


The Supermen by Bigup DJ

Somebody in irc said "wow some dude just posted a story you're going to absolutely hate muffin" and I was expecting to tear you a new rear end in a top hat but honestly, it's ok. All-dialogue is really hard to pull off and you should probably try to get your description down more solidly before you even try it but I'm willing to forgive brave failures more than the boring and safe. It didn't work and you should probably try to get the basics down before you do something experimental, but you're alright.

What kind of death is it? new guy at the lab decides to try splicing his genes with a horse for his first project. Pros: can run really fast. Cons: dead.


Felicia Goes South by Barracuda Bang!


I'm pretty sure this is the most disqualifications I've ever seen. Christ people, read the thread during the week. It's a rare 'dome with no flash rules. MORE BIBLICAL STUFF BECAUSE THERE'S NOT ENOUGH OF THAT YET NOSIR. There needs to be a new 'dome rule that says "if there's a really obvious route, don't take it". Experiment, people. To get the dome's love you don't even have to be that good, you just have to be interesting. Ask Chairchucker if you don't believe me. All this heaven and hell poo poo is like chewing drywall.

The actual conceit is cute: I don't think I've seen hell as a supermarket before. Punchline was kinda dumb, but endearing. The voice is neat. Overall this is near the top of the pack, especially from the BIBLE stuff. Unfortunately, it's miles over the word limit.

What kind of death is it? mauled to death by a friendly golden retriever.


one more lot to come

Mar 21, 2010

curlingiron posted:


The Duty 100 words even.

The warrior priestess gazed stoically into the maw of the ancient demon. As the enormous creature brought her in close, preparing to devour her and her immortal soul both, she drew her sword and leapt; not away from the razor teeth and venom, but towards, inward, embracing her fate. There she plunged her blade deep into the back of the demon’s throat, and rode the wave of acid blood out of the creatures mouth, her armor preventing the bile from burning into her flesh as she rolled free. She gazed at her work before her.

Not bad, for a Tuesday.
We cool. :hellyeah:


Hustled by Feste

In a week of over 40 entrants you managed to write the worst story twice. It's like anti-art. My personal loser, far and away. Better hope Rhino and Carbon have more mercy than I do.

I have a rule that all genre writers should follow: don't start with loving. It's such a cheap, cheesy, overdone opener and it never works. China Mieville couldn't pull it off and that guy makes words like 'Wallpurgian', 'Retroeschatonaut' and 'Moldywarp' work. I get that you want to start with a bang, but I think you're taking that the wrong way.

Also, never start with violence. Again it's overdone and cheesy, but also if we don't know the characters, why should we give a poo poo? We have no stakes in their fight. I can hear people grumbling about the wordcount from a mile away so here's my advice: if the story you want to tell won't fit the word count without butchering it, tell a different story.

What kind of death is it? drowned in a septic tank filled with semen.


Meet the Meat by ThirdEmperor

Oh god this is loving ridiculous, but I kind of love it for how completely bugfuck it lets itself be. It reminds me of babbys-first Clive Barker. Your prose is still pretty stilted but there's a few good lines in there and overall I've definitely seen you improve since you showed up here.

I'm not sure how it fits the prompt really. Are the people still alive when they're eaten? You had like 125 words left, so you probably could've done something with that. I almost wish you'd gone more overboard with the bombastic gore. Really commit to the madness. I'd recommend watching some early Peter Jackson movies to get inspired.

What kind of death is it? cannibal holocaust


Death Everlasting by magnificent7

Late, disqualified. tell tell tell tell tell tell tell tell it reads like an encyclopedia entry. Starting from "I've been married a hundred thousand times" it's actually interesting but you spend way too much of your limited word count setting up this world when "people don't die" has already been set up by the prompt. You don't need to tell us why they don't die, you need to show us why it matters.

What kind of death is it? crazed axeman showed up late and missed the party. He then got acid dropped on him by an acid-lion. You're the only person on Earth left alive, wandering bleak and burned out ruins.

Mar 21, 2010
[EDIT: removed for publishing reasons]

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at 02:13 on Dec 4, 2014

Mar 21, 2010

Hrolf saw the enemy before they saw him. Ten thousand men in gleaming steel armour with shields locked together, marching across the plain to bring an end to him and his. Harald stood beside him, axe drawn.

“In Valhalla,” said Harald, “first round's on you.”

“Aye,” said Hrolf. “Let's die like warriors.”

He beat his sword against his shield once, twice. The red mist descended. He made a throaty cluck. His knuckles went white around his hilt. “Ock!” he screamed. “Ock ock ock!”

Harald did the same. They gave one last mighty Ock together, then charged.

Mar 21, 2010
Stop loving posting epics you idiots that thing's over now. You can still crit them.

In, I guess, though I'm half tempted to immediately drop out in sympathy for the poor judges. The dome's gotten crazy full these last few weeks.

Mar 21, 2010

Captain Trips posted:

I'm totally tempted, and will give in to my temptations.

Didn't even get a critique for what I posted last week, and now I'm being forced into this dumb "brawl" thing because I had the audacity to post in a thread.

I just wanted to write a little thing here and there, the 'Dome clearly isn't for me.

There's a lot of entries. The judges have divvied them up but we're real people with real lives doing this for free: don't get pissy if your crit isn't in RIGHT NOW. Rhino and Carbon's crits aren't late: mine were just super early this week because Tuesday was a public holiday and I had some time to screw around.

Mar 21, 2010

Captain Trips posted:

The crit is only a minor complaint, and I understand what you're saying. It's more the high-pressure, sperg-out, DON'T POST IF YOU'RE NOT WRITING nonsense that I'm walking away from. And that stupid brawl that I was entered into against my will.
You can't be entered in a brawl against your will. I missed that in the thread if it happened, but you feel free to raise your middle finger to that person if you didn't agree to it in the first place.

Rules about shitposting are going up because traffic to this thread has just about tripled in the last month, and it's totally out of control. It's moving too fast to make any sense of: we're just trying to keep it under control to make the thread a little easier to read.

If you really want to keep posting those epics, make a thread about it. Post ten of them. Hell, post twenty, and invite other people to join in. It's a cool exercise, but I'm just trying to make it easier for people to follow a kinda-crazy thread in here.

Mar 21, 2010

The enigma of who keeps taking my drat lunch

When I came home from the supermarket, it was gone. I dropped the plastic bags with a shout. Baked beans and cat food clattered across the floor but I barely noticed. All my attention was stuck on the empty plate furnished only with a few specks of rye. The lettuce, the mayo, the corned beef: gone without a trace. I took out my phone and called Jimmy.

“Jimmy,” I said, “did you eat my sandwich?”

“What? No,” he said, “I'm at work.”

As far as alibis go, it was airtight. Jimmy had this thing called a job, which meant somebody gave him money to photocopy things. A crooked deal for a crooked system. He often told me I should get one, and also pay my fair share of the rent. Instead, I did the shopping with the money my parents sent, and even bought the nice squishy cat food for his drat cat. It was never enough, though. Sometimes you eat the beef and sometimes, the beef eats you.

“The broad then,” I said. “Did she eat it?”

“Stop calling Sandra that,” said Jimmy. Did I detect a hint of guilt in his voice? It was either that, or my own growling hunger adding an undercurrent of worry to his words. I decided to force the issue.

“She's a woman,” I said. “They're unpredictable, inexplicable. Driven by greed, lust and wiles. If there's anybody who might steal a man's sandwich, it's her.”

I don't trust women. Or doctors, or Russians, or marine biologists. Sandwiches don't just get up and eat themselves: that would be horrifying, and probably very difficult for them. Somebody had to have taken it, and my limited money was on the broad.

“Maybe she's pregnant,” I said, “and therefore filled with devil-hunger to feed her spawn.”

Jimmy hung up. The rat. He was as innocent as they come in this guilty world, which meant he was harmless, but happy to sit back and let injustice stalk the streets and kitchens, taking lives and lunches as it saw fit.

I heard a plaintive mew, and something brushed against my leg. I spun around and delivered a wide left hook. My fist hurtled like a disappointing meteor, hitting nothing. I looked down and saw Lux, the fat tortoiseshell stray that Jimmy had taken in. Was Lux a woman too? It was hard to tell with cats. She looked even fatter today. Too fat.

The puzzle pieces fell together. The cat was pregnant, and filled with mad woman-chemicals in her brain. She had devoured my lunch in a fit of savage ecstasy, and was here to gloat.

You,” I spat.

In an instant, she tore off through the house. Nobody runs like the guilty. I didn't have a hope in the world of catching her.

I was left alone with my plate, my phone and my endless hunger.

[494 words, title inclusive]

Mar 21, 2010
In, dibs on Conan the Librarian.

Mar 21, 2010
By the power vested in me as Thunderdome Deputy by his High and Supreme Head Judge God Over Djinn, I declare


Mar 21, 2010

Prompt: Conan the Librarian.

Crow-Marm the Librarian

The crone cast a hand to the door beside her. Her eyes were yellow, her pupils slits. “Mother of crows, dare ye enter,” she said, then flicked her tongue out, “the reference section?

“Aye,” said Crow. She was clad in drake-skin and black iron. “I have crossed snow and sea in search of the Wall-ess-lee pub-lick lie-briar-y. In my travels I have strangled a wyrm with its own coils, and used a giant's skull for my cup. Your scrolls don't scare me.”

The crone gave a toothless smile. “Such boasts have I heard before,” she said, “enter then, wanderer, and may the gods of crag and plain give you strength. You will need it.”

A librarian in a pink knit-sweater shushed them, and was ignored. Crow brushed the crone aside and stepped through into the reference section. Its roof was lost to darkness high above. Bats and stranger things chittered between stacks. The building was small and comely from the outside, no larger than a British public library should be, but the reference section stretched on for miles in defiance of the laws of the world. A copy of “Pork for Dummies” lay on the floor, its cover chewed and torn so only “ork” remained.

Something scampered in the darkness, and Crow swung her axe backward in a wide arc. It cleared inches above the head of a girl, who shouted “gently caress!” and fell over. She wore a grey hooded cloak and torn pants of denim. Upon her cloak was inscribed a skull, and the word MISFITS. She was laughing hysterically.

gently caress!” wailed the girl “I was being quiet, I swear! I just wanted somewhere to sleep.”

Such bravery, to laugh in the face of death! Crow could not kill her: the Gods love second chances, and look poorly on those who deny them. She cocked her head. “Return to your home then,” she said.

Sullen silence was the reply. A fellow wanderer, then: this pleased Crow. “How are you named?” she asked.

“Alice,” said the girl, “Alice Barnes.”

“Ah-liss Ba-har-nes. In my tongue, that means 'Swiftfoot Blood-drinker'. It is a good name. It is auspicious that we should meet, Swiftfoot.”

The girl seemed to cheer up at that. She stood up and stared and Crow. “Is that a real axe?” she asked.

“It is,” said Crow. “I forged it myself of meteor-iron, with the flame of a dying dragon.”

Alice's eyes went wide. “Cool,” she said. “Can I hang out with you? The guidance counselor says I need better role models but mum mostly just gets drunk and shouts at the telly until dad gets more drunk and shouts at her. I'm not going back. Not ever.”

“Your tribe care not for you?” said Crow, “Such sadness have I known also, as I was cast unto the wilderness as a babe to fend for myself. You may join me, Ah-liss Ba-har-nes. Come, we have an orc to slay.”

Alice nodded.“Awesome,” she said.


The orc king sat amongst the stacks, on a throne of French philosophy books, wearing a crown of twisted electrical wire interwoven with pages torn from books of poetry. He was attended by bats, and the endless whispering of books yearning to be read. Alice and Crow stood before him, with an axe occupying the space between.

“I have learned to speak Spanish,” he said, “but I have not forgotten the Art of War. Lay on, Crow-Stuff, and damned be he who says 'hold, enough!'”

Crow brought the axe down, but the king swept back. The bats swarmed down and set upon Crow, biting her eyes, her fingers. The king leapt, and The Complete Shakespeare cracked him between the eyes, sending him stumbling back. Alice had an armful of books. The king snarled at her and raised a finger, ready to sing a killing curse.

“Yaktash Akto-”

Les Miserables caught him in the stomach and he fell. He tried to rise and was smacked in the face again. “I've got an armful of sad Russians who say you should stay down,” said Alice.

Crow pulled the last of the bats off her and stepped forward, raising her axe. “This place is yours no longer, foul beast. Back to the hell from whence you came.”

The axe fell, and the king's head fell from his shoulders, and rolled into the darkness between the stacks. His body twitched and spurted blood for a minute or two, then went still. The reference section shrank, and light entered through the windows, filling the room. It was again a normal library: no bats, no orcs, no crone at the door.

“Our work here is done, Swiftfoot,” said Crow. “May our paths cross again.”

“Do they need to uncross?” said Alice. She had orc-blood spilled across her trousers, and a glow of pride about her. Crow smiled. She'd had a daughter once, long ago. The Gods love second chances.

“Nay,” she said, “we need not. Come, Ah-liss. I have heard of a public bathroom infested with ghouls, and I could use your assistance. But first, we must get you an axe.”

“Awesome,” said Alice. In her eyes was the same hunger that had kept Crow alive all these years.

And thus Alice Swiftfoot and the Crowmother rode off into legend.

[900 exactly]

Mar 21, 2010
:siren: Space Filler Elegance Challenge #2 :siren:

I grew up with tales of Maui, and how he fished up the North Island, and how he beat the poo poo out of the sun and -when I got a little older- how he tried to steal the secret of immortality from inside lady death's pussy.

Word Count: 150 max
Prompt: Tell me a story from your childhood.

That means a story your parents told you to try and put you to sleep, and hopefully a story that their parents told them, and so on and so forth. I'm thinking less 'three little bears' than a little mythology from whichever part of the world you hail.

n.b. this sort of challenge is not going to happen every week. If you have an idea for a filler prompt, don't post it. Come into irc #kyrena and run it past a few people, including at least one mentioned as reliable at the bottom of the OP, preferably including me as well. Get our approval before posting a challenge. Don't post a challenge while regular 'dome submissions are still going, and only one challenge can be going on at a time.

As last time, there will be no judging or crits, it's just a way to kill time and get a little practice in while the thread's not moving. As last time, you're allowed and indeed encouraged to crit each other.

No signups, you may submit from now until the next prompt is up.

Mar 21, 2010


I'm pleased that somebody noticed the Dick getting eaten by the beef.

Mar 21, 2010

Kaishai posted:

:siren: Sitting Here vs. SurreptitiousMuffin Thunderbrawl: John William Waterhouse :siren:

Each of you can craft beautiful imagery; I want to see what you do with beautiful imagery as your starting point. John Waterhouse is one of my favorite artists, not least because he draws so often from literature, poetry, and myth. I don't want you to consider the source when you write about the women in these paintings, however. Come up with something entirely new.

Sitting Here: The Shrine

SurreptitiousMuffin: Boreas

Turn the picture you've been given into a story of no more than 1,000 words by Saturday, January 25, 11:59pm US Eastern.
Ugh, this was harder than it looks. Props to Crabrock and Sebmojo for helping me make it something actually readable.

The Vigilant

Orpheus lacked backbone. He turned back and in doing so, committed the great sin: doubt. He was the original sucker, from whom every lost love is descended. The ur-loser, whose statue in the hall of heroes is made of cardboard and gaffer tape. Eurydice was behind him the whole time, but he doubted her and he paid for it. You told me his story while we lay naked in a field where yellow flowers grew in ragged rows. They pierced the evening mist with their colour alone: little lamps to light the way home.

We were very drunk and very happy. The farmer was neither when he found us, and we learnt new ways to run. I almost twisted my ankle in a rabbit hole when I turned to check on you. Judging from the farmer's shouts, he got about five seconds away from giving me both barrels. I doubted you, and the hammer of god tried to knock a shotgun shell full of rocksalt right up my rear end in a top hat. You grabbed my arm on the way past and dragged me with you, always surging forward.

We laughed about it later. I took one thing away from that day:

Never turn back, never give up: doubt is for suckers

It came and went so fast: the cancer, among other things. You wanted to be fired out of a cannon but we couldn't afford it. I couldn’t abandon the principle of the thing, so I had you cremated, stuck the ashes into a firework, then snuck back out to the field-where-we-lay and lit the fuse. Yellow sparks, of course. They stole the sky for you, and lit the way home. Your ash rained down over the field, nourishing the flowers.

I came back a year later and they had grown huge, so I took one home. Planted it in a little plastic pot and left it outside the bedroom window to catch the sun. Not that it needed it: it was a little light of its own.

When that flower died I went back to the field and took two more, and planted them together in the yard. I figured something in the plastic killed the first, and a more natural solution might help. I watered the new flowers every day, but they died too. I took five more, and planted them at different spots around the house to see where the problem lay. They wilted; their lights went out.

That hasn't stopped me. I doubted you once and nearly got my rear end shot off for my sins. If there is anybody with the will who can give Death Itself the middle finger, it’s you. You’ve always been right behind me. You are my Eurydice, and I will not turn back.

I open the door every morning to get the paper, and you are not standing there waiting for me. It won't stop me trying. I will not turn back. I have love, backbone, trowels and fertilizer. With filthy hands and sore eyes, I will leave you a trail of flowers to light the way home.

[522 words]

Mar 21, 2010
She was a fine cow indeed. Such a shame she was destined for the meat factory. Jim ran his hank over her flank and smiled, then dropped his pants. Fifteen seconds later, his screams alerted Farmer Brown, who sauntered over and laughed at the spectacle.

"Well waddaya know. Erogenous Beef can eat a dick".

I climb a pyramid of skulls. Blood King Sebmojo lies dead at my hand, and his Vizier Sitting Here is vanquished also. I am almost at the top, but two more stand in my way. Upjumped Princeling, your time has come.

Erogenous Beef, I'm calling you out. Brawl me, baby bitch.

Mar 21, 2010

DreamingofRoses posted:

I'll take the Toxx like a big girl.

It's my own fault for thinking I can write.
This week has got some pretty shocking entries. Knock out 250 words in the time you've got left. It'd have to be pretty bad to lose this week.

Mar 21, 2010

DreamingofRoses posted:

Thank you all for the kick in the rear end.
It's not bad, either. You maybe need to dial the adjectives back a touch and focus more on concrete description, but it's far from a losertar.

Mar 21, 2010
:siren: FILLER PROMPT :siren:

Interpret the phrase viking party ends in disaster. I don't care how.

250 words. No signups, submission lasts until the next prompt is up.


Mar 21, 2010
Oh Martello, are we trying to combine things that don't really combine very well?


Cyberman, cyberman, does whatever a cyber can

"What do we want?" bellowed Ragnar. His cybereyes surveyed the crowd for threats, and found none. The punters' hearts were beating fast, caught up in near-beserkgang. He had first been a warrior, then a politician, and now, in 2115 in the smoldering ruins of Neo-Copenhagen, he was both.

"To Vike!" they said.

"When do we want it?"


There was a dissenting note in the chorus. The siren implants attacked to Ragnar's spinal column were going mad. The robo-axe flew straight and true, but Ragnar Bjornsson hadn't lived four thousand years by being slow on his feet. He shifted to the right and let he titanium-alloy blade smash into the speaker stacks, sending sparks flying.

The assassin was clapping. The crowd parted to reveal an impossibly muscled man. Despite the nuclear-winter cold, he was wearing a wifebeater and a cowboy hat. "Mr. Bjornsson," said the newcomer, "fancy meeting you here."

"Mr. Lasercock," said Ragnar, "we meet again. But this time, you're not in a tank."

"It's in the shop," said Brock Lasercock, mercenary extraordinaire. He grinned, then tapped his nano-mic. "_____________, baby, he standing still enough yet?"

A tinny warbling came from the bead, though it was too quiet to hear. Brock nodded, then clicked his fingers twice. The last thing Ragnar heard was the SLAPthwip of a rooftop sniper, then his head turned into pink mist.

His body had barely hit the floor when the brawl began. As is the way with cybervikings, it did not stop for several days, by which time Brock Lasercock and his lady love were long gone.

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at 19:13 on Feb 3, 2014

Mar 21, 2010

Martello posted:

What was his woman's name? How come you blanked it? Those were the questions that were raised when I read your piece.
It's a continuation of an ongoing series.


Mar 21, 2010

Fig 1: ErogenousBeef captured on camera.

Soon the love of Ramona Flowers the Thunderdome will be mine. Bring it, beefy boy.

What’s in a name

Bertold dropped a stone and counted to seven before it hit the bottom. The ground on this side of the chasm was solid ice: too dense to carve names into. He could see fresh snow drifts on the far side. For a moment he considered calling up snow, but you never knew how much the world would send, and he didn’t have time to dig his way out if it went wrong. Calla was too far ahead.

/brɪdʒ/ he said. The phonemes fell into the world; not just a road for ideas, but a thing of their own. He called up memories of every bridge he'd ever crossed. The word became more solid, fighting against the wind to become real. It was made of wood, with a simple railing along either side. Simpler was easier. He sucked in an icy breath, then stepped out.

A gust of wind forced him to crouch. When he’d joined the guild, he'd begged for magic to rend his enemies, to animate the dead, and bend the forces of nature to his command. He'd wanted to know the secret names of things, which they shared with nobody. The man who’d opened the front door had been a mountain, complete with a snowy cap of hair. He’d introduced himself as Master Gregory, of the Order of Semiomancers.

The Master had taken him into a candlelit alcove, and with a face of utmost severity, said, “I will teach you the true names of things, but first you must feed the AssFace.”

“The -the what?” Bertold said.

“AssFace,” said Master Gregory, “is the secret name I have given to my cat, because he keeps putting his rear end in my face. Alas, having told you this, I have robbed the hidden word of all its power! What a tragedy, young man. See what your pursuit of forbidden knowledge hath wrought?”

“I am sorry master, I had no intent to- to –“ said Bertold. He paused, his face flushed with anger, “why are you laughing?

That was the first lesson. The second lesson was feeding the cat. While searching the cupboards for catfood, Bertold had met Calla. She had a turned-up nose like a pig and hair of a wildness matched only by her wit, and her deep understanding of the word-wizard's art. She had a way of insulting him that made the blood run to his cheeks.

The third lesson was how to share. Point of order: if a guard shouts “STOP”, a man will likely stop. It is the magic of the shared-word, that both the shouter and the shoutee know its meaning. Instead of speaking to men, the semiomancer speaks to the world, and the world listens. To do so, he must call on his full understanding of the word, and send it out wrapped in the form of the true name. Spoken is good, written is better, both is usually overkill. The bridge creaked, and Bertold said again the sounds which formed its name: /brɪdʒ/.

The fickle word gave strength to the real thing. His boots gripped well to its surface. It would not last: the only thing more fickle than a word is the thing it has conjured. If a bridge-of-stone becomes a bridge-between-hearts while you're crossing it, you're well and truly hosed. You have to know what a bridge is, and hold in your mind a state of archetypal bridge-ness. If it wavers, then it's gone.

He tottered across to the other side, dropped to his knees, then drew his knife. He carved the word Calla in the snow. Nothing happened. What’s a name? It’s a shared word. If it changes, then the old name has no power. Of course Calla wouldn’t be using her old name, not with half the guild on her tail. The shared-name was no longer shared, so it had no power.

He had to get to her before the others did. She had been forced across the mountains with such haste that he'd never even said goodbye. A thought struck him slow, but implacable as a glacier.

He smoothed over the snow, then began to work anew with his knife. /Lʌv/ he said. Two more chops, and the word love was carved in the snow. A broad word to be sure, but it meant one very specific thing to him. He brought to mind her warmth, and her voice, and the roughness of her skin after a hard day chopping logs.

The whistling wind taunted him, singing a lilting requiem: he would die out here tonight, and Calla would die somewhere else. /Lʌv/ he said again. He had to call her. He remembered the smell of her sweat, and the little crooked tooth that she hid when she smiled. He remembered above all love: simple, without pretension. The snow steamed, and then she appeared, conjured mid-argument. There was a knife in her hand. She gawped at him, then looked around and shivered.

/koʊt/ she said. A thick fur coat appeared in her arms, and she put it on. She saw the word carved in the snow, and smiled.

“That coulda gone very differently,” she said. “That word means a lotta things.”

Bertold smiled back. “Not to me it doesn't,” he said.

“Smooth,” she said. She blushed a little, then straightened herself out and looked around. “Svarta Pass? There’s an inn about two hours west. Love is love, but fire’s fire and a bed’s a bed. Storm’s coming, and Gregory and his lads went east. I figure we’ll get in at least an evening’s catching up. Let’s go.”

That was as close as thanks as anybody would get from the woman. She had a way of making big things seem small, and small things cast shadows like mountains. A word represents a thing, but sometimes it is a thing. Love is just a word, but it can turn the world on its head.

“Aye,” said Bertold. “sounds good.”

Whatever it meant, it was close enough.

[1000 exactly]


sebmojo posted:


Another Calvino quote: "Falsehood is never in words; it is in things."

1000 words, Saturday midnight PST.
I took a pretty broad interpretation of the prompt: looking at the quote's source, it's two men discussing semiotics and the nature of metaphor re Saussure's sign/signed dichotomy. In that vein, I tried to write a story about people who were able to flip that system on its head. Also magical realism, and the ability of metaphors to sometimes transcend words, both of which are recurring things in Calvino's work.

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