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Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


All this time Thunderdome was really just the Nite Crew of Creative Convention.

Just write.

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Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


A bite-sized epic.

Flint and Fire (99 words)

Ur awoke from his slumber at the summit of the world, the whole of creation sprawled out before him. It was the song of the firebird that stirred him from his sleep, the beauty of the beast that had captured his heart. How many years had it been? How many lifetimes? He’d only been a boy when he’d first heard the tale. Once in a millennia…

Ur’s bones were old, but he knew his work. He notched his bow with an arrow and a prayer.

The firebird thundered and fell silent. Once again Ur was alone.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Tyrannosaurus posted:

Co-Judges
Tyrannosaurus
ReptileChillock
...and one more cold-blooded killa!
I am cold blood.

I am kill.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Dreaming of Roses IRL.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBlFCH0d3o4

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Meinberg posted:

Oh and while we're at it, somebody give me a flash rule.
Xenon is commonly found in certain types of lamps, so it only seems logical your protagonist must journey into the depths of darkness.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Hello new thread, new people. My name is Bad Seafood.

Just a friendly reminder that while I will be responsible for collecting and compiling your terrible submissions for the week, I am not responsible for your terrible life choices and formatting decisions. Whatever crops up in my inbox is getting Ctrl+C'd, Ctrl+V'd straight into Google Docs as is, so please think on this before you send me your entire story as one lump sum paragraph without line breaks.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Okay I think that is enough for one sabbatical.

In.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Captured Memories (916 words)

Erin stopped at the corner of Fifth and Main to light a cigarette, the taste of her own breathe crisp on the morning calm. The sun still slept and the streets lay silent. She retrieved her camera from the ground. It was time to get moving.

She stepped towards the wharf, the cigarette at arm's length. Erin didn't smoke. The cigarette was for Sasha. Sasha couldn't smoke, but she liked to remember.

The apartment had been marketed to Erin in no uncertain terms on the quality of its view. It was breathtaking as advertised. Also as advertised it came with some problems. Nothing major, they assured her. A modest fixer-upper. The doors creaked in winter and one of the drawers in the kitchen was stuck, and the previous tenants complained of a leak. The doors didn't bother Erin. They made the place feel old. The drawer she forgot about when the leak turned out to be Sasha.

Over the first few weeks Sasha had turned out to be many things. A woman, for starters, short-haired and blonde. An acerbic Irish Catholic, dripping wet, and dead. It took Erin several phone calls to make peace with the fact she was sharing her living space with a roommate only she could perceive. A roommate prone to bummer her for smokes that she didn't have that she couldn't use.

"Smoking kills over 400,000 people a year you know."

"Oy, aye, file that one away why don't I?"

"I thought the body was supposed to be a temple to you people."

"You people? Good Lord, I'm with a heathen."

"I'm not a heathen!"

"No, not no more I suspect."

After ten days in dire need of distraction, Erin remembered the drawer in the kitchen and forced it open with her father's bowie knife. Inside sat a well-worn old camera, the sort that printed its own photographs. She turned it on its side and the camera breathed dust. She set it before Sasha and Sasha fell silent.

"This yours?" Erin nudged the camera across the coffee table towards the armchair where Sasha pretended to sit.

"I...I don't know."

"...Would you like me to fix it?"

"...You can actually do that?"

The next day Erin brought home a book about old cameras she'd picked up at the corner shop, along with a packet of cigarettes. The two spent the evening in silence and tinkering, a single cigarette smouldering in the ashtray. Erin said nothing because she was concentrating. Sasha said nothing until the camera sat reassembled before her.

"I think...I think I rather liked it. Taking pictures, I mean. Fancied myself a photographer."

"So it's yours then."

"Aye."

The following months were markedly more friendly. Sasha could follow wherever the camera led, so Erin took to taking it everywhere. On occasion Sasha would command her to take a picture of such and such a thing and Erin would oblige her, hands shaking and unsteady.

"Can you not shoot properly girl? You hold it like this, steady on now, on the exhale."

Despite Sasha's coaching, Erin lacked the eye for it. Nonetheless, she kept all the photos she took, and the more she took the more Sasha seemed to recall.

"We lived around here, me and my folks. Up in that apartment with my little sister."

"Did you get along?"

"Aye, terribly. A model child, she was. All proper and practiced while I was all problems. Weren't no end to ma's complaining."

Shouldering Sasha's instructional abuse and rekindled memories, Erin decided she needed to practice. She took to rousing herself from bed before the sun had yet cracked the night, waiting at the windowsill to capture the sunrise. Over the weeks she accumulated quite the collection. It was the evening before she set out for the wharf she showed them to Sasha, who - to her dismay - informed her that sunrises were boring.

"Hold on a tic." Sasha's eyes narrowed, her attention split between three different sunrises. "Who's this?"

Erin regarded the photographs in question. The majority captured merely the horizon, where the sky met the ocean. These three caught the tip of the docks, where an indeterminate figure stood alone by the sea.

"I don't know."

"Go to her."

"Her?"

"Go."

Erin's footsteps sounded light against the old stone pavement by the wharf. There by the ocean leaned a middle-aged woman all bundled up, her hands in her pockets, her hair in a bun. Her hair was blonde. She turned as Erin approached.

"Well hello there, deary. Here to take in the sunrise?"

"Er, yes," Erin looked over her shoulder. Sasha was floating uncomfortably close. "Is this your favorite spot?"

"It was my mother's, rest her soul. She always liked to come her to watch as the sun burst through the waves."

"Really? Why here in particular?"

The middle-aged woman signed.

"When she was young she fell off a boat not too far from here. Her older sister dove in and rescued her, but got caught herself in a current and got pulled under the boat. My mother liked to come her to remind herself. I suppose I just do it out of habit."

She spied Erin's camera.

"Are you a photographer? I'd love a picture."

Erin obliged her. The camera clicked and produced a picture. She took it and looked at it, her eyes wide.

There by the woman stood Sasha, smiling. She turned to look, but Sasha was gone.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


INTERPROMPT

Wizards + bees, 200 words.

That's wizards fond of bees, wizards summoning bees, wizards composed entirely of bees; whatever floats your boat.

Bad Seafood fucked around with this message at Mar 17, 2014 around 06:29

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


THUNDERDOME WEEK LXXXV: Ground Control to Major Tom

(That's week the eighty-fifth for you cool cats not into Roman numerals)

This week I'm interested in stories about long distance communication. Ultra-long distance. Impossibly long distance. I want stories about intergalactic penpals and cross-dimensional chess by mail. A girl writes God a letter and God writes back. Time travelers exchange packages across the centuries. A holy man receives text messages from long-dead relations.

Do not waste my time explaining how any of this works. You don't need to justify your ludicrous correspondence to me; for your characters this is routine. Write it off as magical realism if it helps you sleep at night, or actually don't since nobody in Thunderdome can write magical realism worth a fistful of Chinese knockoff monopoly dollars.

Epistolary stories are welcome but not required. Or encouraged.

You each have 1,200 words with which to demonstrate you know absolutely nothing about the basics of story structure. You have until Friday, March 21st, 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time to announce your participation, and two additional days after - that is until Sunday, same time - to drop out because you can't set aside a single solitary hour in between playing Titanfall and Dark Souls II to smash your head against the keyboard in some vague approximation of the English language.

POSTMASTERS
Myself, Echo Cian, and God Over Djinn.

PENPALS
CommissarMega
Toanoradian
Nethilia
V for Vegas
Whalley
Anoulie
Nitrousoxide
Djeser
Jonked
Phobia
Starter Wiggin
Bushido Brown
Elfdude
Sitting Here
ZorajitZorajit
Tyrannosaurus
Masonity
Krotera
The News at 5
RunningIntoWalls
CaligulaKangaroo
That Old Ganon
Fumblemouse
Cpt. Mahatma Gandhi
Dr. Kloctopussy
Some Guy TT
Pseudoscorpion
HopperUK
RedTonic
WeLandedOnTheMoon!
Nutranurse
Nickmeister
Tenniseveryone
Full Fathoms Five
A Tin Of Beans
Benny the Snake
Entenzahn
Zekky
Schneider Heim
Docbeard
Kaishai

Bad Seafood fucked around with this message at Mar 22, 2014 around 06:26

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


CommissarMega posted:

Time to roll dem bones again, I guess. Anyone want to flash me a rule?
Sure.

There must be a significant age discrepancy between your correspondents.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Dispensing flash rules. Stand by.

toanoradian posted:

This is toanoradian 二千二十五 from the future. Yo, toanoradian 一 in March 18, 2013, stop being such a pussy and get in. Also get a flash rule.
Your correspondents hail from the same country several centuries apart. One of them has their own Wikipedia page.

Jonked posted:

I'm in, I want a flash rule, and I've been informed that mediocrity won't cut it anymore. If I'm not an Honorable Mention, then throws me on the loser pile.
Someone starts receiving love letters from themselves, postmarked from another reality.

Bushido Brown posted:

I want to give this Thunderdome thing a whirl. I'm in and would like a flash rule.
Whoever, wherever your characters are, they bond over their mutual adoration of a 90s pop culture icon of your choice.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Masonity posted:

I'm in. Can I get a flash rule please?
One of your correspondents writes from a crumbling utopia.

Krotera posted:

In. Are there any flash rules left for me?
Several different people receive and forward an intergalactic chain letter. Electronic communication is to play no part in this.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

In. Please give me a flash rule, Seafood.
Your story is not about the people writing these letters, it's about the people delivering them.

Speaking of which, to clarify the Explain Nothing part of the prompt, you may of course depict the means by which your letters are sent or received, just spare me the paragraphs upon paragraphs of science fiction technical jargon explaining how it's possible.

toanoradian posted:

Do you mean an actual Wikipedia page, that I can link right now by using en.wikipedia.org/wiki/[insert_entry_here] or in-story Wikipedia page that is not real?

Also is it the correspondents or the country that has the Wikipedia page?

if you only say "yes" to all of this i swear to god
One of your characters must actually be a real dude who has existed.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


RedTonic posted:

In.

Flash me!
Your characters are all subversions of well-worn archetypes, with one exception.

Some archetypes to get you started.

FAKE EDIT: It should go without saying your characters should also be actually distinct human beings on top of being drawn from long-standing archetypes.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


nutranurse posted:

Gimme a flash rule.
One of your correspondents is trapped in a stable time loop in which every day is the same. The only variables are their own actions and thought process, and the letters they receive and respond to every day, which are always different.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Sitting Here posted:

I need an inspirational flashrule

(to be clear not a "lol we dicked u over so funny" flash rule you jerks)
The distance between your correspondents is emotional rather than physical.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Sign ups are closed. 48 hours remain.

Those of you who've been given a flash rule (or adopted one of Mercedes'), kindly quote or otherwise include your flash rule at the beginning of your submission for everyone's convenience.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


6 hours remain, waiting on 25 submissions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmwEa3-1r6s

Anime sucks.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


25 minutes remain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_YxauHnpyg

Anime still sucks.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Submissions are closed. Even extended the deadline a couple minutes cause I'm such a super dude.

Toanoradian, Masonity, Full Fathoms Five, and Zekky, you have disgraced yourselves and displeased the gods. Elfdude is excused since he was probably in the shower. Dude loves his showers. Really racking up that hot water bill.

Echo, Djinn, to my side. Judgment is nigh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDEbsZpweDo

STATUS OF ANIME: Still sucks.





Just kidding Elfdude, you're also a screw up.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


THUNDERDOME WEEK LXXXV RESULTS POST

I bring terrible news from the future. Your future. Which is now the present. Our present. Now I don't know what kind of presents you were expecting but I was thinking maybe a ball and a glove would be nice, you know, play a little catch out back with the old man; dodging traffic, swapping stories. Stories about communication. Long-distance communication. Stories that were actually stories and not just strings of words algorithmically optimized to waste my time.

I miss you dad.

41 sign ups, 36 submission - 38 if you count the stragglers (I don't) - but only a handful of you bothered to come up with anything even remotely worth our Sundays and Mondays to comb over and reflect on, and even those guys were just pretty okay.

After actually not that much deliberation whatsoever, WeLandedOnTheMoon! was declared responsible for the piece that annoyed us the least. Congratulations Moonman. You did it. Or something. Come down from there and take up your throne.

Riding Moon's coattails, Schneider Heim, Kaishai, and Docbeard were found acceptable in small doses, lethal when taken with alcohol, and should consider this sentence indicative of their status as Honorable Mentions. You go guys. And girls. I think only one of you is a girl.

As for the rest of you, this two-for-one compost heap of prose managed to produce not one but TWO losers, Pseudoscorpion and RunningIntoWalls, who must now battle to the death to decide which among them is worse. Pseudoscropion, your story was little more that a teaser trailer to the stupidest science fiction plot imaginable featuring the choreographed destruction of the universe. RunningIntoWalls, your story was nigh incomprehensible to a few of us, which unfortunately did little to hide the fact that basically nothing happens. Dude sees dead people, gets in a car accident with some guy he just met yesterday, and reflects on it all while the orderlies play tic-tac-toe on his hospital chart? I think? I dunno. Nothing happens. Including the tic-tac-toe bit. I just made that up.

Speaking of nothing happening, a good number of you opted not to include any meaningful events whatsoever in your submissions, either eschewing any sort of plot arc entirely or reducing your story to the equivalent of a 4chan greentext story wherein stuff happens in only the most technical sense, yes, but why do we care? What does it matter? HopperUK, Some Guy TT, Anoulie, The News at 5, Nickmeister, A Tin of Beans, Bushido Brown, Jonked, That Old Ganon, and Starter Wiggen are all guilty of wasting our time with non-stories in which nothing is accomplished or matters, and may hereby consider themselves Dishonorably Mentioned. And one more for the road, for Krotea, whose story I read twice and still couldn't tell you what happened. Sackcloth and ashes, all of you, and be grateful you had Pseudo and Running to break your fall.

But we're not done!

Crabrock and Cache Cab both left babies on our doorstep without telephoning first, for which they are both disqualified. Also, Crabrock is dumb and doesn't think "They" is an acceptable gender-neutral pronoun. ZorajitZorajit and RedTonic are also disqualified, the former for drifting off-prompt on top of letting small children play with irreplaceable pieces of history, the latter for drifting off-prompt and off-flash rule. And finally, Nutranurse and Nitrousoxide are both DISHONORABLY DISQUALIFIED. Nutranurse, you dove off-prompt, off-flash rule, and still penned a story in which nothing happens and nobody cares. Nitrousoxide, you wrote fanfiction, or at the very least drew direct inspiration from everybody's favorite 1971 edutainment game and didn't even bother to hide it. You also introduced email into a world without computers or internet, which somehow has no bearing on anything. Not that anything happened here either.

Crits when I can bear to look in the mirror again and see a man instead of a victim. Take it away Moony.

Bad Seafood fucked around with this message at Mar 25, 2014 around 06:55

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


I will judge this brawl.

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 and 700 words to get back to me on this quote.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Second semester complete.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PirVtiJuvDs

In.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


First Under Heaven (1,037 words)

Tsengri shivered in the evening calm, wrapped in a loneliness he knew to be purpose. Three days out from the clan’s encampment. He’d never taken his horse so far.

“Child. Do not stray. If you get yourself lost I am not going to look for you.”

Kojiten’s tone was sharp, his manner coarse. Tsengri had taken an immediate disliking to him. He was nothing like the shaman who had blessed him as an infant – the kindly old shaman he was preparing to replace. How such a thoroughly unsociable man had achieved the title of first under heaven was beyond the boy entirely. Nevertheless, he had come recommended. His father decided he would suffer his tutelage.

One by one the stars filled the night sky, the lanterns of creation, all eyes under heaven. Off in the distance the mountain range loomed, a shadow of the gods draped over the steppes.

Kojiten slowed his horse and dismounted. His hand at the nape of the animal’s neck, he spoke to the boy without turning his head.

“This is the place. If you’d like to make yourself useful you can set up camp.”

Tsengri sighed, exhausted from the day’s ride. From dawn till dusk, they’d stopped only for the moon.

The night air hummed with crickets. Tsengri drew closer to the fire, the smell of cooked meat soothing his fatigue. Across from him sat Kojiten, brow furrowed, arms together. His right hand was bandaged, his right eye a vacant blue.

“To the south sleeps the mountains – the stairway to the gods. Should the heavenly lords accept you, they will see you to the top.”

It was enough to jolt Tsengri awake.

“To the top!?”

“An arbiter of heaven is prepared for all things.”

”You never told me I’d have to climb a mountain!”

Kojiten gave a dismissive snort. “No man has ever climbed that mountain.”

“Then what was the point of dragging me out here? I can’t do this!”

“Then your father has wasted my time.”

Tsengri’s mind swarmed with questions, but he knew without asking Kojiten would never answer. He’d said more in the last few minutes than the past three days. His bowl empty, the man fell asleep.

“The first under heaven…I can’t believe this.”

Sleep came slowly to Tsengri. Under the blankets he tossed and turned. The old shaman spoke of the mountains with great reverence, but not even once had he ever mentioned climbing them. Tsengri shut his eyes, his expression troubled. His dreams were filled with the laughter of his brothers.

A cold wind swept through the camp, the faint scent of embers lingering in its passing. A whisper of warmth found its way to the boy. A small voice in his ear – it told him to awaken.

Tsengri peeled his eyes. There in the remnants of the fire pit, a shimmering figure stood before him. Tsengri’s eyes snapped open. He leapt from his blankets, his hand at his belt for a knife that wasn’t there.

“Who are you? What do you want?”

The spirit looked to be a youth, though Tsengri couldn’t tell if it was male or female. It had no face, no distinguishing features. Its voice was silent, a mere echo in his heart.

Tsengri made his way over towards Kojiten, the spirit watching him all the while. He attempted to wrest him awake. Kojiten refused. He mumbled in his sleep. Then Tsengri heard the horses.

Without a sound, the spirit had mounted Kojiten’s horse. With a click of its reins, the animal took off. Tsengri threw himself onto his own horse. He dug in his boots and took after the horse thief.

The two thundered across the steppes, all alone in the whole of creation. As it rode, the spirit reached up and plucked a star from the night sky, and traced for itself a long flowing robe – pale blue, translucent, bristling with feathers. Satisfied, it tossed the star over its shoulder towards its pursuer. Tsengri tried to dodge it. It knocked him from his horse. He braced himself for impact. Instead, the world grew smaller.

Tsengri found himself lifted into the air, his traveling clothes outlined in brilliant blue vestments. The spirit had dismounted. It joined him in the sky. Tsengri looked about, his heart awash in awe and terror. The spirit took his hand and caressed his face. All fear drained away.

The spirit swept towards the mountains, the boy in its grasp. The spirit climbed higher, and Tsengri saw the mountain top. Here, in the kingdom of the clouds, the world was pure, unblemished snow. The whole of the wealth of the southern emperor could not have hoped to match it.

Beyond the horizon, at the edge of the world, the sun had begun to rise. Tsengri raised his arm to shield his face. He grasped at air. He felt himself falling.

“…No. No!”

Down, down he plummeted. He had to stop himself. A small outcropping of rock caught his eye. He reached for it and cried out, his hand sliced open on its surface.

Cradling his arm, the world fell into darkness.

“Up boy, I said up. UP.”

Tsengri felt a sharp smack to the side of his head. He opened his eyes. There was Kojiten, and the campsite, and the horses. The sun hung high in the sky overhead. Kojiten released him, and the boy fell back into his blankets in the grass.

“Wha-what was that?” Tsengri’s breathing caught up with him all at once. He put his hand to his face and felt something wet. He pulled his hand back and saw blood on his palm.

Kojiten silenced him before he could say another word. Rummaging through his kit, he produced a roll of rough bandages, identical to his own. Applying them to Tsengri’s hand, for the first time ever, he asked him a question.

“Why did you reach out? Did you not want to die?”

Tsengri watched transfixed as Kojiten wrapped his hand. When the man had finished, at last Tsengri spoke.

“I…didn’t want to leave.”

Kojiten nodded. He took the boy by the arm and hoisted him to his feet.

“We are not returning to your father’s. Today your training begins.”

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.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Legitimate Business (98 words)

“Say boss, isn’t this a little past the expiration date?”

The black suits had gathered in the milk aisle. Benedict cradled the carton in his massive hands, his knuckles still bloodied beneath paper-thin gloves. He stooped down low so Amelia could see it. She offered the label a cursory glance.

“Eh, two days. Odd I guess if no one caught it.”

“Should we look elsewhere? It’s the last one.”

Amelia scratched her head, her disheveled haircut, careful not to let slip the scalpels up her sleeve.

“It’ll be fine. Those things are just a guesstimate anyway.”

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.




Hit me.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Strength (842 words)

“Do you think we’ll at least be able to get our cloaks back?”

They wouldn’t, of course. Not even in this weather. Those were the rules. They were without question. Even Savoy who would not fight was not excluded. He looked to the sky. Rain peppered his vision.

“What am I supposed to say if you die, huh? What then, genius?”

Franco said nothing. Shirtless, barefoot, covered in scars.

Franco’s heroes had always been strong. As a boy, his father had taken him to a wrestling match: the Viper versus the Bear. In truth their names had been more elaborate, but Franco had come to dislike ornamentation. The Viper was the Viper. The Bear was the Bear.

The Viper was a quick little man, compact and muscled like a spring, his moves calculated and precise. It made little difference. The Bear stood still and absorbed each blow.

The Bear was a giant, masked. He sported a tremendous beard. Tattooed across his chest was the picture of a saint. The saint was a woman. She wore a neutral expression.

The Viper struck the saint. The Bear crushed the Viper.

Across from Franco paced Desmond, blonde haired, lean like a boxer. He was his father’s favored son, heir to his empire. Whatever he desired he had never been denied. To strike him was a death sentence, if he wished it. To humiliate him was to be made an example of.

Men of all ages huddled along the edges of the marketplace. They had heard there would be a fight. In actuality it would be a beating. In Desmond’s shadow sat Rico in a lawn chair. In his belt was a pistol. It served but one purpose.

Franco’s apartment block was a modest affair. He lived by himself, Savoy the son of his landlord. Fractured families constituted most of the rest of the residents. Single mothers and their daughters, uncles and old soldiers. For his birthday, Desmond’s father had bought him a new car. He had been in the neighborhood lording it over.

Carmen had been outside with her children, a plump woman with a sharp manner. Her youngest suckled from her breast. Franco leaned in the shade of the entrance, a pencil behind his ear and a journal in his hands.

“Hey baby, how about a free sample?”

Desmond smiled. His friends laughed at his jokes. Carmen’s slap knocked him out of his car. Rico’s hand was at his gun. Franco flinched.

“Ey, ey, easy there boyo.” Desmond waved him down. “Just some physical love, man. You know I can dig it.”

“Someone should love you more often,” Carmen told him. Desmond’s face darkened.

“You say something, lady?”

“You heard her the first time.” Franco snapped a rubber band around his journal. “There is nothing more to say. She is only swatting a fly.”

A single nod of Desmond’s head would’ve been enough. Rico never missed. The police would never know. Therein was the problem. His pride required more.

There would be a fight. Everyone knew the rules, the place. Of course it would only be a fight in name. If Franco drew blood, Rico drew his pistol.

Someone rang a bell. Desmond’s fist snapped out. In three hits he bloodied Franco's nose. In seven he broke a rib. Desmond leapt about, jabbing, thrusting. Franco stood still, his expression unchanging.

When Franco turned seventeen, he had had the opportunity to meet with the Bear. The man sat unmasked, sharp dressed, surrounded by women. He still had his beard, unkempt, and stained in alcohol. He kissed the woman to his right and whispered something in her ear. She humored him with a smile. Her eyes betrayed discomfort.

Two minutes passed before the Bear took notice of Franco. Franco knew this. He had counted every second.

“Ey, ey. Heard you wanted to meet?”

“I'm afraid you're mistaken. I was expecting for someone else.”

Desmond hit Franco harder and harder. Franco was bleeding, weary, but still he did not fall. Desmond’s eyes burned, teeth grit. He kicked Franco’s legs. Franco stood tall.

“gently caress it. Rico. Shoot this piece of poo poo.”

Rico obliged him. The shot echoed in the rain.

Franco crumpled to the ground. Desmond kicked him again for good measure. He laughed. His friends laughed. The rest watched in silence.

“Alright, let’s blow this scene.” He snapped his fingers. Rico tossed him his jacket and his shoes. The crowd granted them a wide berth.

Savoy stood over Franco’s body, his arms huddled around his own meager frame. He crouched and checked for a pulse. His fingers lingered. He sighed.

A man stepped out from the crowd, old and decrepit. He unfastened his cloak. He placed it over Franco. Others followed suit. They followed his example. They lifted Franco up and carried him on their shoulders.

“What am I supposed to say if you die, huh? What then, genius?”

Franco said nothing. Shirtless, barefoot, covered in scars. Without turning around, at last, he responded.

“Tell them if I am reborn, I want to be a bear.”

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


INTERPROMPT

Suddenly he was a horse. 300 words.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


You know what must be done.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


sebmojo posted:

Who will pick up this glove.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


So this turned out to be a thing. All Expenses Paid (653 words)

"Oh God, this is it, isn't it? He's carrying us off to his nest, no doubt to satiate the hunger of his ravenous young."

"I have no young."

"Careful Caiman! He's also a persuasive public speaker!"

For the thirteen time in twenty minutes, seventeen years since the downfall of Western civilization as he’d known it, Ottway checked his grandfather's watch. The watch was old and scratched and broken. It hadn't measured one second of one day since that fateful morning the world had been consumed in smoke and fire, the glory of America reduced to an ashtray some 3,000 miles in diameter. Not that any of that mattered to Ottway. Holding the watch soothed his nerves. Always had. Then he dropped it, watched it disappear into the endless, arid expanse beneath his dangling feet, and remembered he was several hundred feet in the air, held in grip of an uncommonly handsome angel. He bit his lip.

Caiman, for his part, hung in there with his usual stoicism. He turned the page of his book, a crumpled paperback he'd salvaged from the ruins of a respected airport. Caiman had come to own five hundred such books across the years, each cataloged and kept in one of half-a-dozen different steamer trunks according to genre, thickness, and whether or not they included intimate romantic interludes interspersed with brief episodes of gruesome violence. The cover, author's forward, and entire first chapter to the edition he held in his hands had been lost, torn out, though he found he didn’t mind. The romance had been adequate. The violence was painfully by the numbers.

The book concerned the future. It was a science-fiction novel. He turned another page.

“This is it. This is the end. We’re all going to die,” said Ottway.

“Some peace and quiet then,” said Caiman.

Everyone dies eventually,” said the angel. Ottway found little comfort in his words.

It had been a simple enough job. Bring down an angel. No problem. The skies were full of them these days. Who’d miss one or two? Prior to their arrival, Ottway had even considered himself something of an expert on the subject. He still considered himself an expert on the subject, though he’d needed time to alter his definitions. In his head, they had always been small, child-like beings with short, curly hair and rosy cheeks. They played harps, and only occasionally electric jazz. They wore modest tunics. They lived in the clouds.

He’d been right about the clouds, at least. The angel took them higher. In the distance lay a city, brilliant in the light. Ottway pulled his sunglasses down over his eyes. Caiman turned another page.

Who wanted an angel dead and for what reason had been a mystery. They’d been rich though, and really, that was what counted in this dark and dismal century. Ottway speculated their aim was the revitalization of the pillow stuffing industry. Caiman didn’t care as long as they got paid. They’d been given a jeep with a full tank, ten days, and an anti-material sniper rifle. Caiman drove the jeep. Ottway turned out to be a terrible shot when he was scared out of his mind.

The angel had appeared before them bathed in sunlight, long flowing hair and a fifty-foot wingspan. He had the body of an Olympian. He wore a loincloth cut from someone’s drapes that really brought out his eyes.

Come with me,” he had said.

“…Sure,” said Caiman.

Ottway had been too confounded to speak.

The city loomed ever closer. Its streets and towers glistened, but Ottway saw no people.

“It’s must be a mirage. An empty sound stage. The moon landing.”

“Looks more like a suburb.” Caiman turned another page.

Ottway struggled in the angel’s grip. Loosening himself, he hung from his fingertips.

If you drop now, you’ll die for sure.

“I’d rather trust a sure thing,” said Ottway. The angel let him fall.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


You don't write a cowboy story and not submit it at high noon exactly.

sebmojo posted:

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY BRAWL
Silent Joe (600 words)

That man...he was almost certainly an idiot. Yes. Without question. He was definitely an idiot. Such was the appraisal of the sharp-eyed girl.

The sound of a kettle whistle cut through the silence. The idiot sat cross-legged. He poured himself tea.

"Care for a spot? A sip of civilization's good for the soul, you know. Out here, it's easy to forget what it means to be human."

The idiot sat in the middle of the street in dusty hat and poncho. The sharp-eyed girl regarded him with a certain colorlessness. The red sash about her waist danced in the wind. His smile, yes. It was his smile she disliked. The smile of a man without worry or care. The smile of a man untroubled by circumstance.

The smile of a man worth $12,000. The smile of the man whose face adorned the poster in her pocket. Silent Joe.

"My name is Emile. I am here to kill you."

Silent Joe raised the tin cup to his lips. He hesitated, his expression grave, his eyes a natural squint. He returned the kettle to the fire.

“So you don’t want a drink then?”

Emile blinked.

“…Well, okay, maybe just a little.”

“I see, I see.” Silent Joe took a long drink. “Unfortunately, this is the last of it.”

“WHAT. Then why were you offering?”

“Conversation.” His smile returned. “Conversation is good for the soul as well. I truly believe that. Maybe if you talked about things a bit more you’d feel like killing people a bit less.”

How had such a man lived long enough to acquire such a price on his head in the first place?

“Most people aren’t worth $12,000.”

“Oh? Is that what it is now?” He punctuated his question with a second drink. “Amazing. I could use that kind of money.”

Emile snapped her fingers, a spring-loaded sleeve gun pressed into her hand. It was a tiny creation, large enough for a single bullet. She only needed one. She pulled the trigger.

The sound of the gunshot was accompanied by a ricochet. The bullet, too, had been small. So was the tin cup Silent Joe spun with lightning speed. Somewhere off in the distance an eagle fell to Earth.

Emile blinked.

“Oof, quite the shot there.” Silent Joe dusted himself off as he rose to his feet. There it was. That smile again. That smile that irritated Emile like no other.

Again the kettle whistled. From her sash, she pulled two matching pairs of silver scissors. She lunged at Silent Joe.

Silent Joe dodged the first swipe and ducked the second. His right leg swept the ground. His foot caught the handle of the kettle and kicked it up into the air. A second kick sent it flying towards Emile. Snip, snip. The scissors danced in her hands. The kettle split in half, full of steam and boiling water. Emile winced. She snapped back her hand, scalded, only to lead into an attack with the other. Snip, snip. The scissor blades opened and closed. Silent Joe countered with the old tin cup. The scissors pierced through the bottom and were stuck. Again he lashed out with his foot. Emile tripped and fell and tumbled to the ground. When she looked up, it was into Silent Joe’s gun. Click, click. That smile again. No bullets.

“You’re lucky I don’t kill amateurs.” He holstered the gun and turned to leave.

“You talk a lot for a guy called Silent Joe,” she called after him.

Silent Joe stood still.

“…That’s what they call me?”

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

You're going to do the thing that guaranteed I was never allowed to judge again
Disregard judge ordinance because following instructions is too hard?

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

gently caress your flash rule. I tried to use it but I didn't like it, and I roll my own way.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Gau posted:

You're mine, bitch.

Cache Cab posted:

Who will judge this battle of titans? (and give us a prompt)
Cash Grab

Sometimes you lay everything on the line for a good cause only to get burnt. Sometimes taking the high road means getting dragged through the gutters. It's not always easy to do the right thing, and right now I feel like reading something that reflects that.

Cache Cab and Gau, the two of you have seven days and a thousand words to write about someone who wins a moral victory at the expense of a material one. I want stories about someone who does the unambiguously right thing and suffers for it. I want stories about the right thing being the hardest thing, but our heroes do it anyway 'cause that's the stuff they're made of.

Additionally, your stories may not feature any kind of cosmic, karmic, social, or otherwise thematic comeuppance directed towards the forces aligned against your protagonists. Ken Levine lied to you. Sometimes the bad guy wins. Sometimes they get away with everything. This isn't about who wins and who loses, it's about how you play the game. And with a thousand words to play with, you'd better believe I want a complete narrative arc; real characters with meat on their bones. No caricatures. No clown shoes. That goes for the good guys as well as the bad.

Bad Seafood fucked around with this message at Jun 16, 2014 around 23:30

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Oh god I'm sorry, did I accidentally post in Lady Willikin's knitting circle by mistake? I thought this was the Thunderdome, where we rocked out and didn't give a gently caress. Stop getting so hung up on the rules, and judge each story on its own merits.
If you're looking for a good spot to unzip your fly so we can all see what you've got, I recommend a urinal.

If you're looking to actually challenge yourself and improve, welcome to Thunderdome.

Bathroom's just around the corner.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

C'mon Seafood, fight me.
Make my day.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

INTERPROMPT


Go out and find a 6-foot black man called Xavier, then have sex with him. Afterwards, write a 100 word story describing the experience that in no way, shape or form refers to

1) Xavier
2) Sex or sexuality
3) the concept of self
Oh Yes (30 words)

Yes?

...Yesss?

...Oh, oh, yes. Yes.

Yes?

YES!

Yes, yes, yes!

Yesssss!

...Oh?

...Y-yes?

...Yes.

Oh, oh yes, yes.

Oh, OH.

OH YES, YES.

YESSSS.

...

What, that's it?

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Mercedes posted:

What song am I getting?
This one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0359hSerDeE

But rest assured, young Mercedes, you are not alone in the belly of the beast.

CommissarMega posted:

Oho, I'm in once more! And since I have nothing else to lose, I will give a flash rule to the judges: I want the most infuriatingly anime song/music video you lot can unleash upon me
Commissar Mega, your wish is my command.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80l6tvxTpTI

Let's positive thinking.

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