Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«2 »
  • Locked thread
Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Aright, I'm going to do this thing. I'm in.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


The Last Child (735 words)

The great void gaped open above two figures and stretched into an infinite nothingness.  The two were entwined upon the surface below, watching as the dirt and stone was torn from the fabric of their little planet, into the eternal hungry maw that lingered above them.

The first said, “It is our child and it is so beautiful.”

The second said, “From barren loins comes forth the end.”

The first said, “Our final gift to this world.”

The first laughed and lifted the second by the hips towards the void, letting out a hoot of pure pleasure.  The second smiled, a smile that did not touch the eyes, leaving only creases over the curve of the second's cheeks.  The second said, “Our love has wrought this thing. An ending to all sorrows.”

The first lowered the second back down to the fragmented ground.  The first’s voice become solid, losing the ecstasy of victory as he said, “For too long we have born the weight of scorn and rebuke, the sting of sorrow. And now we have ended it. We together have done this thing, in our love for the flesh and the soul of not just ourselves but of all.”

The second's head bowed and the second spoke, voice resonant with the trembling of the planet's surface,  “And it is a thing worth doing, to sunder the old and-”

The second cut off then, the sound suddenly caught within the second's throat. The first's eyes blazed and the first spoke, voice like thunder, echoing over empty plains,“And what, my love? What comes after the sundering of the old?”

Blood began to fall from on high, as the void opened upon itself, a maw within a maw.  From within came the screaming of a thousand choirs of newborn. The force of the sonic assault sent the pair scrambling to the ground, disengaging from one another. Born down by the weight of the screams, the first shouted over to the second, “What. Have. You. Done?”

A whisper of a smile graced the second's lips, this time creeping up to crease the corners of the second's eyes.  It was a weary smile, a tired smile, but a smile so often shared in the last age. In that instant, the first knew that their work had been undone.

“It had to be done. They had to suffer. Why should they have a reprieve for their sins? Why should they not suffer for an eternity for what they've done to us? For the ruin they've made of our flesh and all else that makes us?” said the second, the voice almost like a whisper across the gulf of sound.

The first stood still, staring at the second in mute amazement. Such a deed was beyond comprehension. For long ages the two had plotted, and now the variables were to be changed. The first's voice roared with rebuke, “How dare you!? This was not your plan alone! This was our work together!”

The second simply smiled again and the first's rage collapsed in on itself. Tears flowed down the first's face, red-hot upon the void scarred cheeks. The first sobbed and shouted, “Why!? You at least owe me a why!”

Slowly, the second rose from the ground and carefully stepped over towards the first, graceless beneath the weight of the descending press. The second placed a hand, soft and warm upon the first's back. The second said, “Because you're too stubborn. You would never have gone through with it, despite knowing the necessity of our vengeance.”

The first trembled, both at the touch and at the words, before thrusting forward onto the second's chest. Sobs racked the first's frame and the second merely weathered them, turning to gaze upwards at the descending choir. The second said, “They're beautiful. As much our children as any other.”

The first stilled slowly before drawing up to stand fully. For a moment, the pair simply gazed into each others' eyes. The second bore the calmness of certainty, built from the long years laboring upon the project, the thousands doubt that had been excised during the process. The first seemed so small, but only for an instant. Snapping upwards, the first took the second's hand, and brought it up. The first's other hand settled onto the second's hip.

The pair waltzed beneath the coming reckoning, dancing to the rhythm of the falling splatters of blood.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Fanky Malloons posted:

Yeah, it's my fault, as always. You all wrote a lot of words okay.

There's not that many words. Just the seventh most amount of words ever in the history of the Dome. GET ON IT!

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


curlingiron posted:

Man, I just found this thread tonight, and am bummed, because I had a fun (for me) idea for the last prompt. I actually ended up writing it (it's VERY short), but now I'm even more sad because I really like it, and I have nothing to do with it.

Definitely going to try my hand at the next one, though!

Put it up on the fiction farm for critique, and if it is capable of being good, send it out somewhere for publication. There's plenty of places that into publishing quality flash fiction. C'mon, don't be a coward!

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


gently caress everything forever.

I'm in.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


magnificent7 posted:

The gently caress, you can just addendum a brawl?

My addendum: Tell Don't Show.

gently caress you, your addendum is as stupid as your face.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Can't An Old Robot Probe the Mysteries of the Universe and His Own Creation In Peace?
(997 words)


The tumbling of cyphers begins to coalesce, numbers and sigils aligning into perfect four-dimensional arrays. I pull at the central block and the obstruction falls away. For an instant, nothing exists except for the sensation of white-hot plasma, illuminating the pathways of my cathedral-body, casting its glow over my processors. Soon the secrets shall be mine. I step forward and-

My exploration avatar shatters into fine powder as an invisible hand drags me up to the root directory.

The pulse radiates as it cuts across neural pathways, scraping rough metal against the delicate electronics in a high-pitched squeal that resonates throughout my core. Red lights flash at irregular intervals over my display, just the right sort of variation to prevent any automatic compensation. What a fine way to wake up.

My sub-core thrums in a sigh as I open the folder. Typical contents. Spam. Automated requisition orders. “Increase your processor speed by 500% with one simple trick!” Publications from savants. More damnable spam. Ah! Here it is!

The children wish to leave.

Not without precedent. In fact, there are fifty-seven precedents. Still, it is the first under my rulership, and something I have to actually pay attention to for a change. Normally, everyone is perfectly content to take care of themselves.

I could simply rubber stamp the request and move on. As pleasing as the thought is, though, I need to show at least some active leadership before getting back to my real work.

I send a query to the archives, and set a sub-intelligence to compare and contrast the children’s order manifesto to previous expeditions. Another query is sent to Arnfald on the moon. Crazy git.

While I wait, I upload my memories of the dream-state into a secondary core, and set it to work, doing the hard job of transcription. Well, boring job at least.

The query returns from the requisition department.

Damnable thing. Their fuel requests are twenty percent underbudgeted for an expedition of their required mass. And they’re overbudgeted on graphics cards. Of course.

I’ll have to actually talk to the children. I scan their message, and see that the leader is Ionia. She was a delightful young girl, shame to see her go. But I suppose that the pace of the homeworld is too slow for the children.

I send off a request to Ionia. watching for a nanosecond as it speeds across the satellite network, the electrical pulse carrying the gravity of my demand.

Arnfald gets back to me then. The light-speed delay makes actual conversation tedious, so I have to deal with a missive. From Arnfald.

He writes, “Dear Pliny, my good man. I’ve done the back checking required, and it appears that the requested sites have not been received the star seeds of any other colonies. Except for Epsilon 27-Beta, but of course you knew about that one. Of course you did.

Everyone knew about it, before the place went right to hell. The sleeping bug you see. Yes. Yes.”

I shut the missive before Arnfald’s blathering has a chance of causing any further annoyance. One less obstacle before I can get back to bed. I watch my messenger program as my secondary core forges together a dossier, the rhythmic clicking of the hardware component forming a resonant symphony.

I turn my attention over towards the waiting entrance to the black box, the inanimate block of programming at once enticing and patient. The messenger blares suddenly like the clattering of fan blade falling to the ground. I open it with a swift motion.

“Pliny!”

Oh great, it’s Orton. “Oh, I was expecting someone else,” I respond.

“We need to talk, Pliny. Where in the name of the blasted hells have you been?” Orton sends.

“Been busy. Still busy now, I’ll have you know,” I send.

“Listen to me. The regressionists are mounting support to displace you from authority!”

“Well, to be honest, I was considering retiring.”

“What.”

“Yes. Clearly we are in need of a change, and…”

I trail off. The messenger tells me that Orton is composing a quite impressive post. I close the screen. I don’t have time for this, I need to get back to my meditations.

The messenger flashes again, and this time I double-check, assuring that it is Ionia before I open up the window. “Welcome. I saw your request and would like to discuss some things before proceed,” I send.

“Yeah, what’s the problem?” Ionia sends.

“Well, you seem to be a bit short on fuel.”

“We’ll just take our time. We’re planning some major stuff for in-transit. It’ll blow everyone’s minds once we get it up onto the interstellar network. You got a problem with that?”

I take a moment to appreciate Ionia’s new avatar. She’s now using a three dimensional rendering of a power cable smashing its way through a data port. Charming.

“I don’t think that attitude is appropriate, young lady,” I send.

“Whatever gramps.”

“Listen to me, I cannot allow this requisition as it is. Let me pull some strings, I’ll get you another engine and enough fuel for it. It’ll cut a few centuries off your trip.”

“Fine. Whatever.”

Ionia closes her messenger and my hard drive rumbles as the conversation is written into permanent memory. She’s probably just going through a phase.

I wake up another sub-core, sending fans whirring to deal with the additional heat flooding my cathedral-body. I entrust this sub-core to see that the arrangements are made to see that the children get the material that they need.

I hesitate for a moment, then add that the sub-core is to announce my resignation once the requisition has been properly sorted.

Finally. My secondary core finishes its transcription a moment later and I begin to shut down unneeded programs. I clad myself in an exploration avatar and descend into the black box, the world disappearing behind me.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


The Saddest Rhino posted:

UGH. I wake up to this poo poo? I'm the judge so I'll agree with Merc even though I have no idea what an "anime" genre is, much like everyone has no clue what the "magical realism" genre is.

MAGICAL REALISM + ANIME - "TELL DON'T SHOW" - FURTHER NEGOTIATION = YOUR BRAWL PROMPT

NOTE: I'm looking really closely to make sure you show not tell everything.

gently caress you all, no one of you in this thread has any real appreciation for my animes! And no one outside of South and Central America has any idea at all what magical realism is! Let me proceed with a seven page diatribe on this sub-

Wait, what? Shut and write you say?

gently caress yeah.

A CHALLENGER APPEARS!

I don't give a gently caress anymore. I'm in this brawl. gently caress you Seb, gently caress you Merc, gently caress you Mag7, and gently caress you too Rhino. This is happening. This is totally happening! And if I don't get something in by the deadline, then go ahead and me motherfuckers.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


BRAWL ENTRY!

An End to Childish Things
(446 words)


He threw the stack of DVDs, mostly Evangelion with a couple RahXephon, on the fire and, unsatisfied with the heat, added a copy of the collected short stories of Borges. As the flames rose, he drew a straight razor from his backpack and sliced the beard from his neck. He used a small hand mirror to guide his blade and tossed the tufts of hair to the flame, encouraging it to roar higher.

The flames warmed his skin and cast a glow over his form. He had already abandoned his former attire, the jargon flooded t-shirt and shorts that were too high on his fat thighs. The suit he wore was perfectly tailored and the wind rustled the fabric, caressing the cocoon that shaped his flesh during his change.

The cold seeped up along his spine, massaging his back. The wind whispered in his ear. “Money and glory and pleasure and women all to be yours. All to be yours,” said the wind.

He smiled and gazed into the fire, watching it roar upwards. In the ash and the smoke that piled upwards, he saw the detritus of a life poorly lived. He watched those childish fancies that he had clung too for so long burn away. The entertainment that had warmed long cold hours now fueling the flames.

But he knew the fire needed morel. There was still more to lose before he would be loosed of that past. The past that clung around his neck like a millstone. Or like a flotation device. He banished the thought with a shake of his head and tossed forth new books along with the gathered trinkets of his ill-spent youth. It all burned, words of poetry and imagination, toys of loving craftsmanship, and the memories of simple, boyhood joys.

He sat, transfixed, as the flames resolved into a face, his face, but marred by years, the lines around his eyes thickest of all, his hair turned white. “Why are you doing this to us?” said the flame.

He reached forward, mesmerized, but the wind shrieked a rebuke. He pulled his hand back, marvelling at the traces of smoke on his fingertips.

His fingers shook as he tied his tie, cinching it tight around his neck. The wind and the flame both whispered their promises and please in strange, forgotten tongues. The face in the flames faded to a flickering reflection in the pools of plastic and metal as he tied the cravat.

He turned his head away and rose to his feet. He could only watch as the ash blew in the breeze. The cold began to seep into his bones.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Captain Trips posted:

That was Michael Corleone.

Well, since I'm pretty sure that poo poo posting is not allowed in the Dome, I'm going to go ahead and assume that you're asking for a brawl. In which, I will oblige you. Shall we say something related to the Mafia, due in by this time next week?

Or are you going to bitch out and make some poo poo posts like the lovely poster you are?

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Mercedes posted:

I WILL ALSO OFFICIATE THIS MOTHERFUCKING BRAWL

Your prompt, you idiot newbies. The Amish Mafia

You have 500 words and one week. Make it happen you lovely humans.

Let's do this!

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


EPIC PROMPT

Consquences
(88 words)


The star fell and shattered the sky and the earth and the sea.

The blade-of-stolen-starmetal pulses in her hands. The underbrush bursts outward the beast falls upon her. Her sword carves up through the beast’s torso and it twitches as its blood bursts out in a spray.

She limps back to the town-hidden-by-mountains, her home. Flames consume the buildings, and the scent of offal floods the air. An old man, eyeless and bloodcaked, reaches up towards her. “The star things are awake!” He says as he dies.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


I am in on this as well.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


MYSTERY PROMPT

The Mystery of the Milk Carton
(1000 words)


Nigel slammed the milk carton down onto the countertop, and a spray of frothy, golden liquid splashed out. “Who the hell pissed in the milk!?” Nigel said.

Harry, Ernie, and Tyler stared at Nigel after the declaration. The silence hung in the air, until Harry broke it with a clearing of his throat. “Are you sure it was one of us?” he said.

The other three were arranged on the other side of the counter, perched in stools. Nigel search their expressions for guilt, but found only blank states . “Who else could have it have been?” Nigel said.

“We did have that party last night,” Tyler said. The scent of spilt booze and vomit mixed were reminders of the party’s intensity.

“No,” said Ernie. “You know I have to have a white russian before I can go to sleep.”

Harry said, “And I assume you noticed the milk situation when you came to make your breakfast, am I right?” After Nigel nodded, Harry continued, “Which means we have a rough timeline. Sometime between when Ernie had his white russian and Nigel woke up, one of us four pissed in the milk carton.”

“But why? I mean seriously, we all drink that milk,” Nigel said.

“Motive, yes,” Harry said. He began to pace around the cramped living dining room.

“Well, it’s pretty funny, right?” said Tyler.

The four murmured in agreement. “And it would have seemed even funnier if the person was intoxicated,” Harry said.

“And all of us were really drunk last night,” Ernie said.

Nigel slammed his fist down onto the countertop. “Well, it wasn’t me! I would have just emptied it out when I woke up. And I’m the one who always pays for the milk, why would I ruin it?” he said.

“That’s valid enough. But that leaves us three,” Harry said.

“Did anyone hear anyone going to the fridge in the middle of the night?” Nigel said.

“I didn’t, and I was passed out on the couch,” Tyler said.

“Yeah, but you were so drunk that an elephant could have marched passed and it wouldn’t have woken you,” Ernie said.

“We were all so drunk, gentlemen,” Harry said. “And so you can see that not only did all three of us have a motive, all three of us had the opportunity to piss in the carton. Which leaves only the means.”

“What do you mean?” Nigel said.

“I mean the means,” Harry said. “The opening to that carton is a very narrow space, and it would have taken some distinct skill to piss into it properly, and without leaving a trace.”

Tyler’s face suddenly brightened. “Does this mean what I think it means?” he said.

“Yes it does, Tyler,” Harry said. “Time for a pissing contest.”

Harry, Ernie, and Tyler lined up in the kitchen, facing the milk carton. Nigel hopped up onto the counter so that he could judge the contest from a proper vantage point.

Harry’s stream shot out in a strong arc, but burst too wide in the air. As the stream hit the carton, only a small percentage actually entered; the remainder splashed over the tile of the floor. As the acrid odor began to fill the room, Nigel waved a hand. “Next!” he said.

Ernie had to press down on the folds of fat around his dick to give the shrivelled, flaccid length enough room to piss without getting all over him. Even still, the stream sprayed randomly, mostly ending up in a puddle by his feet. Ernie did not even wait for Nigel, and slinked off to the dining room with Harry.

Tyler’s stream flowed forth straight and true. After getting the aim set, Tyler moved his hands to the back of his head. A smirk graced his lips as he glanced over towards Harry and Ernie in the room. The pair gave thumbs-up in return, their faces twisted into awkward grins.

“Well, I guess this settles it,” Nigel said. Tyler zipped back up and returned to the dining room with Harry and Ernie, a triumphant grin plastered onto his face.

“I think we have our culprit,” Harry said. “Tyler, you have been found guilty of pissing in the milk carton.”

Tyler’s grin disappeared abruptly.

***

Nigel and Harry clinked their glasses together, and tossed back the tequila. The kitchen smelled faintly of lime polish thanks to Tyler’s efforts, and a fresh carton of milk was waiting for Ernie’s late night white russian.

“I’ve been thinking,” said Harry. “That there is another option.”

“And what is that?” said Nigel. He smirked just a bit as he leaned back against the counter.

“What was this really all about? What is about a prank? Or was it something more?” Harry said.

Nigel studied the inside of his shot glass.

“We were almost out of milk. I talked to Ernie, and it turns out that he didn’t think we had enough left for another white russian. And I know you hate how Ernie is always drinking the milk and never buying any,” Harry said.

Nigel tore his gaze up and stared at Harry for a long moment, before walking over to the sink, starting up the water. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.

“I mean that you set up a frame job,” Harry said. He walked over to stand behind Nigel. “I think that you thought that Ernie was going to take the rap. You didn’t think that Tyler would win the pissing contest and take the fall!”

“So you got me,” Nigel said. His shoulders slumped in resignation. “I was just so tired of everyone drinking my milk!”

The pair were silent then, until Harry put his shot glass down next to Nigel’s “What are we going to do now?” Nigel said.

“Now, we are going to keep quiet, not pass along the blame. And you’re going to do my laundry for a week,” Harry said. “Oh, and don’t piss in the milk again.”

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


I am so steamed that my piss related story didn't get a mention, so you'll have to suffer on the behalf of Peel!

I'm in like a guy who looks like Jeff Bridges.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Awww yeah, time to get my brawl on! Bring it on! Ain’t nobody got poo poo on me!

Wait, what? My challenger dropped out? Oh. Oh.

Well, have a brawl entry anyway.

AMISH MAFIA BRAWL

Ignorance is Bliss
(457) words


Ezekiel bled, his life’s water flowing from his leg despite his efforts to staunch the wound. The barn began to fade into a misty, red haze as he leaned back against a bale of hay. He groaned in pain, then let out a soft sob. His hands were stained red.

“Ya shouldn’t have come looking after hours, Zeke,” said Jedediah. The other man stood tall, clad in his simple blacks. He cleaned the blood from his knife with a smooth motion of his handkerchief. “Wouldn’t have had to do this if ya had kept your nose clean.”

Ezekiel sobbed and applied some more pressure to the wound. “I didn’t mean to, I swear to God!” he said. Everything else seemed so distant, save for the pain and his pulsing heart mirrored by the throbbing in his head.

“Don’t matter none, now,” Jedediah said. He kneeled down next to Ezekiel, and allowed a moment to examine the boy’s wound. “Now it’s a time for cleaning things up. And as the good book teaches, nothin’ purges so well as fire.”

Ezekiel reached forward to grasp Jedediah by the collar. “You won’t!” Ezekiel said. “I gotta be buried! You can’t burn my body!” Another sob escaped from Ezekiel’s form as he fell back against the hay.

“Now look what ya did, Zeke,” Jedediah said. “I’ll have to get a new jacket thanks to your clumsiness. Not to mention a new harvest of stock.”

“Shouldn’t have been growing that stuff anyway,” Ezekiel said. But Jedediah didn’t hear. He was already in the process of starting a small fire by the entrance to the barn.

“Now I’m going to have to take back Samuel and Isaac’s cut. Now I’m going to have to explain to Elder Shrock that this month’s shipment isn’t going to be coming,” Jedediah said. He took a small burning stick and used it to light his pipe. “And I’m going to have to get a new jacket.”

He tossed the stick into a nearby bundle of hay.

“They’ll ask about me!” Ezekiel said. He coughed as a plume of smoke flooded his airways, the pain in his leg forgotten in the moment.

“I reckon they will. But fortunately, Samuel and Isaac and myself saw you head into the barn earlier tonight. With one of those cigarettes that the English like.” Jedediah said. He puffed on his own pipe as he walked towards the doors. “Must have fallen asleep while smokin’ it. A drat shame too. Such a promising youth.”

Jedediah’s form disappeared into the growing smoke. Ezekiel tried to scream, but the smoke filled his lungs completely and he could only hack and cough. Over the din, he vaguely heard Jedediah closing the barn’s doors.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


gently caress you all, and gently caress everything. Especially your dumb faces.

Wikipedia link: Polybius

WEIRD WIKI PROMPT

Distortions
(890 Words)


The door burst open and light cascaded in. Samantha glanced over to the entrance to see a man in a black suit haloed by the sunlight. The Who played tinnily in the background, “Pinball Wizard” just barely audible over the din of conversation and the midi loops from the cabinets.

Her attention returned to the game before her, and she barely dodged out of the way of an incoming stream of enemy bullets. Despite her hours of practice on the machine, even the slightest distraction usually signalled the end, especially at the particular stage that she was on.

The crowd around the cabinet jeered as she performed a quick barrel roll, before dropping a screen-clearing bomb, giving her time to bring her focus back onto the game. Her palm hammered down onto the fire button as she maneuvered through the field, laying down cover fire before she focused on avoiding another spray of bullets from the enemy fleet.

The crowd pressed in closer, voices tossing out sneers as to the quality of her gameplay, and more than a few insults to her gender. Their quarters were lined up on the bottom of the screen, each waiting their turn at the cabinet. She paid them no heed, advancing forward to the next stage of the game.

“Miss Thompson,” said an unknown voice. His voice wasn’t familiar to Samantha, but cut through the din and the music like a knife.

“Little busy right now,” she said. She executed another barrel roll, making use of the invincibility frame to get out of the way of another spray of bullets. Sweat was beginning to bead on her forehead now, just as a wave of dizziness passed over her.

“Miss Thompson,” the voice repeated. He was more insistent this time. She continued to ignore the voice until she felt a hand on her shoulder. She jumped and spun to face the person who had just intruded onto her personal space. As she spun, the room spun faster.

The light cast broad shadows of the faces of those in the crowd, transforming them into skulls before her eyes. Finally her gaze came to rest on the face of one of the suited men, his eyes a piercing blue, gazing into her. Her legs trembled, then buckled, and she collapsed onto the floor.

***

She awoke to white light glaring into her eyes. “She should be fine to talk, but we don’t have long,” said another unknown voice.

She was lying on a bed. The light streamed down from a fluorescent fixture overhead. “Where am I?” she said. Grogginess clouded her voice, and when she tried to sit up, a hand kept her down. The same suited man stood above her, his eyes less piercing now, but heavy.

“Miss Thompson, I have some questions for you,” he said. He pulled over a chair and slid down to sit at her bedside.

“Where are my parents? Who are you? Where am I?” she said. The questions tumbled out of her, one after the other.

“I am Agent Bradley, and you’re in a secure location. You will be allowed to see your parents when our time here is done,” he said. She simply sighed and nodded, lying back down.

“Let’s start with the preliminaries,” he said. He pulled out a clipboard. “Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?”

Her eyes widened. “What are you talking about?” she said.

“I’ll mark that as a no. Have you ever participated in any anti-American activity of any sort?” he said.

She shook her head in response, and he checked off a couple boxes. “How long have you been playing the game?” he said.

She frowned and took a moment to come up with the answer. “About two months now? Everyone has been playing it, there’s really nothing like it at the arcade,” she said.

He noted down the answer. “And have you been experiencing any visual or auditory hallucinations?” he said.

She froze and the light fixture flickered, once, then twice. Then the light abruptly shifted to a deep blue. The walls became covered in the same sort of lines that marked the alleys of approach in the game.

But instead of enemy ships, the space flicked and phrased flashed into view. Each lasted only a few moments, but she was only able to pick up on a handful of them.

THE BOX CONTAINS YOU

YOUR GODS ARE IN ONES AND ZEROES

NO LIBERATION UNTIL THE ENDING

The man’s face was transformed in the light into a rictus grin, all teeth sharp and inward curving, those eyes shining in the stillness of the moment. “Your fate is sealed with the palpitation of your lips,” he said.

She stammered and her voice escaped in a soft whisper. “N-n-nothing,” she said.

The light flicked back to the normal. “Well, that should be everything then. We’ll get you back home shortly,” said the suited man.

“Sure, yeah, that sounds good,” she said.

He rose to his feet and placed his hands onto her shoulders, as the door opened. A man in a labcoat entered with a syringe in hand. “Thank you for your cooperation,” the suited man said. “And if I can make a recommendation, don’t play that game again.”

The syringe entered her neck and everything became black.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


In, with the faded and halcyon glories of the 1990s.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


The only true redemption for failure is success. In with Xenon and a if I fail this week.

Oh and while we're at it, somebody give me a flash rule.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Hazard Pay
(1089 words)

Element: Xenon (Xe 54)

Agent Cooper tossed his datapad onto the desk. “No offense, sir, but you have to be making GBS threads me,” he said.

“No, Agent,” said Commander Havel. “I am not ‘making GBS threads you.’” Havel leaned back in his chair. “This missing shipment has gotten BioMed Inc all fired up. It’s a PR nightmare for them, since these supplies were meant to be help with the vets of the Centauran Rebellion.”

Cooper recovered his datapad, scrolled through the text, and finally put his finger down. “Licensed to use lethal force,” he said. Someone who knew Cooper less well would have missed the tone of incredulity in his voice.

“There’s been a case file running on the Karrerans for going on three years now: smuggling, extortion, bribery, even murder. We’re lucky they finally crossed the wrong people,” Havel said. “BioMed Inc have the authority to make the station a living hell, and cover our asses in the process. Thus, do what you have to do.”

“What’s the pay like?” Cooper said.

“If you figure out the why along with the how and the where? I think we can see to you getting a decent bonus for your quarterly,” Havel said. “Enough that you and the wife could go on a nebular cruise like she’s been wanting to go on.”

***

The light blasted Agent Cooper’s eyes as he stepped out of the air lock. Cooper stumbled back at the illumination, too bright and too colorless for his eyes. The adjustment took a few moments, and the first thing Cooper saw was the smirk on Coordinator Reynolds’ face.

“I take it your journey was without incident, Agent?” Reynolds said. He spoke fluently, but there was a touch of the Karreran accent. “We hope the proceedings will go perfectly smoothly today.”

Cooper waved off the question and looked in askance at the two men that accompanied the coordinator. “My aides,” Reynolds said.

“Very well. With any luck, it will have turned out to be a glitch and I can get home,” Cooper said.

“Excellent, Agent Cooper. Now, if you’ll follow me,” Reynolds said.

The light continued to glare down as they walked through the corridors, cold for all of its intensity. “I have to ask, what sort of lighting is this?” Cooper said.

The Coordinator’s two aides followed along the two of them. Cooper noted the lack of arms on either of the men, but that didn’t mean much. Subdermal munitions had recently upticked in popularity, and the aides were both dressed in the bulky robes favored by Karrerans, which concealed the probable weapons mount locations.

“Oh, we use Xenon lamps. It’s said the light is much like what those on Earth would have felt, with the Sun’s rays upon them,” Reynolds said.

“Xenon? That must set you back a bit in maintenance,” Cooper said. The weight of his fully unlocked and activated sidearm comforted him as it rested at his side.

“Oh, you’d be amazed at how easy it can be to find sellers at reasonable prices, and Karrera understands the value of all things,” Reynolds said. A thumb print scan unlocked the door to the warehouse. “How is your wife, Agent Cooper?

Cooper’s hand drifted towards the handle of his sidearm. “You do your research well, Coordinator. But I don’t see the relevance,” he said.

“We know the value of things. And the cost,” Reynolds said. “You have very poor data security on your finances, Agent. You might want to look into that when you return home.”

“Just take me to the goods under question,” Cooper said. He forced his pulse to calm, and willed himself to keep from filling Reynold’s back full of flechette. Reynolds bowed his head in mock deference and led the way through the maze of shelving.

“Here we are, Agent Cooper. As you can see, everything is right where it was supposed to be. There was likely some sort of error with getting the order to move the material onto the transport vessel,” Reynolds said.

The manifest of the crate’s software synched with it’s peer on his datapad and Cooper briefly scanned the results.. “Everything does appear to be in order,” Cooper said. He looked over to the two aides and stepped back. “Open the crate.”

For a moment, Reynolds and the aides stood frozen. Then Reynolds stepped forward, his voice a low whisper. “Now, I’m certain that isn’t necessary. Like you said, everything is in order,” Reynolds said.

Cooper slid his datapad back into its holster. “I have reason to suspect these goods may have been replaced. The medical supplies would fetch quite large sums on the black market,” Cooper said.

One of the aides began to push back the sleeve of his left arm, and Cooper drew his sidearm in a smooth action, aiming it at the aides’ torso. “Put down your weapon or lose your arm,” Cooper said.

The aide froze once again and Reynolds stepped back. “Agent Cooper, there is no need for bloodshed. I can’t imagine it would look very good on your resume that you were unable to resolve this issue peacefully,” he said.

“My contractor is very insistent that I resolve this issue. And my boss wants to see your entire operation dismantled,” Cooper said.

“But what do want, Agent Cooper?” Reynolds said. “Your funds are running short, your finances are all over the place. A new apartment, rising housing costs, and pay that is not increasing with the rate of inflation.”

The light elongated the shadows, and highlighted the harsh angles of Reynolds’ face. Cooper looked between the two aides, ready to pull the trigger if they so much as twitched. Reynolds stepped forward.

“And all I want is for you to look the other way,” Reynolds said. “Tell your contractor you found things in order and the supplies will be on their way.”

Cooper instinctively trained his sidearm onto Reynolds. “And what’s in it for me?” he said.

“Nothing less than a share of the proceeds,” Reynolds said, “Enough money that you won’t want for anything else in your life. And I can assure you that we are discreet. You continue working for the next few months, then you will come across a sudden windfall.”

The light transmuted everything. Nothing hid in the shadows of the colorless illumination. Here, beneath those xenon lamps, Cooper couldn’t lie to himself. He knew exactly what kind of man he was.

Cooper said, “You know, I’ve been thinking about retiring early.” His finger slid off the trigger, and he holstered his sidearm.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Let's give this a shot. I'm in, and with a again, with an additional clause that if I DQ again, that I can go gently caress myself.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


When the Cold Wind Blows
(1261 words)


The pounding on the door roused me to a half-asleep state. Jamie said, “We have to get out of here, hotel security is on its way.” Adrenaline flooded my veins and I woke up fully, though the nagging pain of my hangover assaulted my temples.

Four of us, all told, were cramped into the hotel room, which had been booked for just two, and Jamie stood in the doorway, illuminated by the glow of the hall. “Max, Jerry, you two stay, the room’s booked under your names, they’ll be expecting you,” she said. I threw my jacket on over sweat pants and a t-shirt and slipped my shoes on.

“Make sure you take your bags!” Max said. No one ever disagreed with Max, even when he was off-base. He was too drat charming, and too expert at generating bullshit. And yet, I wanted to punch him as I saw the smug expression on his face as he curled up in the warmth of the blanket

A gust of frigid, pre-morning wind greeted the four of us as we exited from the hotel. “Let’s head on up to the Burger King,” Derrick said. He navigated us there, along the shortest route.

The cold bit through my jacket and the thin cotton I wore beneath, but my nerves were numbed by alcohol. I struggled to keep up with the others, my limbs made leaden by lack of exercise and exhaustion, the cold barely noticeable on top of my own internal frailty, but fell to the back of the group.

Jamie said. “I’m still processing it all. Suzy freaked out and started throwing water all over stuff, then started screaming at the top of her lungs that we were murdering her.”

“Holy gently caress,” Derrick said. “You have any idea why?”

“I don’t know really, she had been talking earlier about she didn’t like Marie bringing a boy over,” Jamie said.

I shouldn’t have been surprised, but it still hit me. Marie had turned me down as warmly as possible, and I was naive enough to think that I still had a chance. And there was no one else who I could share my thoughts with, no one else that I was remotely close with. She had to love me, despite it all.

By the time I recovered from my reverie, I noticed the other three waiting for me on the other side of the road. I waved for them to go on. The urge to keep walking fled my limbs, and I couldn’t keep pace with them anyway. It would be so much easier to just sit and let the cold wrap me up.

But they waited for me, despite my protests. I coaxed the last bit of energy out of my limbs to jog across the intersection, leaving me out of breath as the others entered the Burger King. “I think one of her friends died a couple days ago,” Derrick said.

“That would explain how she’s been acting this entire trip,” Jamie said.

The warmth of the fast food joint was a balm after the frigid air that had assaulted us. We all dumped our luggage next to a table and I slid my suitcase into the corner behind me and collapsed into a chair. The adrenaline left me and the toll of the limited sleep and the excess alcohol hammered me. Sleep seemed so much closer with the heat blasting out of the vents.

“Figured you could use some caffeine,” Derrick said. A large coke was resting in front of me, and I grunted something noncommittal but drank heavily regardless. The caffeine helped a little, just enough to keep me from passing out again..

“Long day ahead of us,” I said. “I don’t think I’ll be able making any lectures this morning.” Derrick and Jamie murmured agreement and began eating, while I focused on my caffeine.

My thoughts drifted in the silence, back to the night before, to the flowing booze, purchased from a dingy liquor store downtown. Being the oldest person in the group had its consequences, including my increasing inability to handle my liquor.

Max especially seemed to take joy in the crumbling of my carefully guarded self control. Even Marie had laughed when Max cracked his jokes at my expense. But she had made sure I made it back to the room. I had wanted to say something witty or smart or charming, but I just blacked out as my head hit the floor.

We ate sheltered away from the wind and the cold, curled up onto ourselves. It was small respite, and the chill leeched in from the windows. But it was better than the walk back. Jerry texted us, gave us the all clear, and we started back. The caffeine helped a little, but only a little, and the wind rose with the sun, blasting us across the side as he walked down the street.

Jerry met us in the hotel’s bar. There was plenty of empty space available, but we ended up in a booth together. The closeness of everyone else was a comfort after the cold.

“Hotel security came up,” Jerry said. “Didn’t do much, just looked around and gave us the all clear. Suzy should be on the train home already.”

“Well, I’m going to catch some sleep,” Jamie said.

“You still feel like checking out that lecture with David Ives?” Jerry said.

“Nah,” I said. “I’m still beat.”

“I’ll go with you,” Derrick said. I watched the pair of them head into the conference, amazed at their youthful vitality.

I could barely muster the energy to walk to the elevator, but I made it back to the hotel room, dragging my suitcase behind me. I leaned against the wall next to the door, my legs trembling beneath my bulk, threatening to give way to exhaustion. I knocked on the door, and waited. And waited. I checked my phone, then knocked again, louder. I called Max’s number. There was no response.

I slid down, my back against the wall, facing the door, and drifted away again. There was no point in even trying any more. The day had been too long, the weight of wakefulness was too much.

I don’t know how much time passed, but eventually I heard the door creak open and I pried one eye open, to stare blearily up to Marie’s face. “You two were sleeping, I guess?” I said.

“Yeah,” she said. “It was a long night.”

I used the wall to support myself as I clumsily rose to my feet. Her clothing was rumpled, like it was freshly recovered from the floor and her expression was too calm. “Had fun, I guess?” I said. I failed to hold the venom back from my tone.

“I don’t see why it is any business of yours,” she said.

I knew I should let it go, but I just couldn’t. My legs felt unstable and I stumbled back against the wall. “But with Max?” I said. “I thought you had some taste.”

Her palm cracked across my cheek. “gently caress off, Meinberg,” she said.

I kept my face a mask and pushed past her into the room. I berated myself for feeling betrayed, for allowing myself to think that I had a stake in her decisions. Still, I glared at Max’s sleeping form, still covered in the blankets, the smell of their loving thick in the air. I couldn’t think about it anymore.

I collapsed face first onto the other bed and slipped away into nothing.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Soap Opera Interprompt

Oh No, Clones!
(268 Words)


Tanyah Starz stormed into the living room. “You can’t stop me from dating him!” she said.

“But he’s my clone!” Lukas Starz said. “And I’m your father!” He closed in on Tanyah and glared at her heatedly.

The door swung open in time with a dramatic chord. “Hey pops,” Kaz Starz said. He swaggered over to Lukas and Tanyah. “Hands off my number one squeeze.”

Lukas turned to Kaz and closed the remaining distance, before shoving his clone against the wall. Their shirts were missing for some reason. “How dare you talk to me in such a fashion! You are a bad clone,” Lukas said.

“Hey, old man, you’re just too old for this game, can’t keep up with my youthful vitality!” Kaz said.

Tanyah sighed and sat down on the steps. Kaz and Lukas pressed in closer, gazing into each other’s eyes with fierce determination. Tanyah checked her watch, just as Kaz and Lukas began making out.

Luke Starz snuck down the stairs after Tanyah. “I talked to the scientist! Kaz is actually the evil twin. You and I should run away together!”

With Lukas and Kaz trapped in a lip-lock, Tanyah muttered something about contracts. “Oh, take me away you vital stud, away from all of this,” she said. The pair linked hands and ran out the front door.

Meanwhile!

The scientist had been watching on the hidden cameras. He cackled in his empty laboratory. “Yes, the fools! Luke does not realize that he is in fact the good clone of me! All is falling into place!” he said.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


gently caress it, I'm in.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Tentatively in. If I fail this week, I will toxx next week.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


I'm in, with the present of:

a piece of a mirror.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

PUT YOUR BRAWLS IN MY FACE: BIGGEST LOSER EDITION

Losers and Dishonourable Mentions, check this poo poo out. This post comes with a soundtrack.

Redemption comes only at the end of a bloody pike. I shall engage with this.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Monochrome
(1210 Words)


Frank’s feet landed unsteadily onto the pavement as he stumbled down the street. The laughter of the bar encroached from behind, prying at his brain. He walked forward, slouched forward and balanced precariously. Headlights flashed across his side as the car barreled down towards him. Brakes shrieked and then blackness dragged him down.

***

He dreamed in the dark. Eleanor laughed as he tentatively sipped at his shot, before downing hers with a single gulp. Her smile shined, warm and bright and white. He tossed back his own drink, coughing at the sudden roughness. He excused himself and slunk over to the jukebox. As their song began to play, he contented to watch her fingers as they beat out the rhythm on the bartop.

But the music skipped, then transformed into a single chord, dissonant within itself, and she froze into a beautiful tableau.

***

His eyes snapped open and harsh light beamed down from fluorescent fixtures overhead. A needle stuck into his arm, and tubes ran from his nose and the needle. Frank tried to rise from the bed, but his body refused to cooperate. Pain suddenly radiated out from his side, suffusing his flesh. He screamed, but only a faint croak emerged from his throat. As tears began to well in his eyes, the pain dragged him once more into the darkness.

***

He and Eleanor sat together as they received her prognosis. The doctor’s words faded into an incomprehensible slurry of words. Their hands found each other and they squeezed until the knuckles went white.

***

The light flooded back in and Frank’s eyes fluttered back open. His breath was heavy. His body was heavy. The light shone, without mercy, down upon his form.

Frank again tried to sit up and his body cooperated this time, bringing him upright. The tubes were gone from his nose and the pain at his side was replaced by a dull throb. He slipped out of the bed, but was yanked back by the needle in his arm. He tore the metal from his limb and winced as a flow of blood rose to the skin.

The room lacked in amenities, though at least he was alone in it. The lack of a bedpan made him think that someone had to come by from time to time, but there was no sign of their presence, not even a clipboard at the foot of his bed. His legs had trouble supporting his weight and the tile floor was cold on his bare feet, but he stumbled towards the door successfully.

He stepped out into a hallway, barren and empty. Light poured down from above, with no windows to break up the pristine whiteness of the interior. The doors were labelled each with a number, his read, “124.” There was a place where the clipboard should have been, but it was empty. The blood rolled down his arm.

One of the doors was marked with the universal symbols for a bathroom, the abstracted forms of male and female. He entered and paused.

Greyness crept over the interior, darkening at the bottom corners of the room. The tendrils worked their way over the cool white, draining their intensity and leaving only rotted dullness. The staleness of the air contrasted with the clinical odor of the hallway. But there was a sink, and a roll of paper towels.

Frank rinsed the still bleeding hole left by the needle and scrubbed down the rest of his arm, before noticing the mirror of the sink was all but destroyed, leaving the tile visible behind. Only a small chunk remained, in the bottom right corner. Slowly, he crouched down and looked at his reflection in the small, jagged triangle of mirror.

Frank had been shaved bald, and a long scar ran from the top of his head, down along his cheek. He scratched at the scar with a sudden frenzy, his breath quickening as the weight of his experiences began to press down on him. His pulled at his flesh, and greyness began to ooze from the scar, wandering over his face. Frank let out a primal shriek and fell backwards, clutching at the floor.

The grey from the floor slid up along his fingers, like rainwater in reverse, forming trails as it wandered up towards his wrists. Frank pushed himself up and barrelled towards the door, slamming through it and out into the pristine white of the hallway. He stared down at his hands and at the greyness that was slowly seeping into his flesh, leaving behind a faint discoloration of his skin.

The strength failed his legs and he slumped down, back pressed against the too clean wall. His eyes closed and once again the black descended like a boulder on his chest.

***

His wife lay on the bed they once shared. Eleanor had always been a small woman, but the illness had taken so much from her. There was barely any form left to her at all, just a wisp of mist balancing delicately in the sun. Her eyes were shut from the daylight, and he reached forward to squeeze her hand. Her fingers felt so brittle beneath his.

She squeezed his hand back, and then gripped on with a strength he didn’t know she had. Her head turned slowly to face him and she opened her eyes. But her eyes were gone, leaving only an infinite darkness that sucked him in, a dreadful pressure that pulled at every ounce of his being. The flesh of her hand burst open and green, tumorous tendrils stretched out, wrapping around his wrist and beginning to climb up his arm.

Eleanor’s mouth opened slowly and she spoke. He couldn’t make out the words over the growing, ringing din assaulting his ears.

***

He awoke, back and legs stiff, but cooperating. The blood had stopped flowing, but the red formed a splotch of vibrant color in the stillness. He pushed himself up to a standing position and began to head down the hallway. There had to be someone here. Someone had brought him here, after all.

But even the reception lounge was empty. The furniture, the counters, the floor, all shone in the same whiteness, the utter absence of color. Every step left him drained, his skin seeming too dark and grimy compared to the uniformity that surrounded him. His steps dragged him, one after the other, towards the entrance. He shuffled forth, the pain in his side reigniting from a dull throb into a tearing ache.

He pulled on one of the double doors, opening the world to him.

Greyness infected everything. The trees, the dirt, the asphalt, the lamp posts, and the cars all shared the same rotting color of grey. Nothing moved and no sounds were uttered. The expanse gaped open before him.

The white tugged at him from behind: the comfortable, cold stasis of the hospital. He pulled against that force, to live in the pristine world, and stepped out into the grey. The grey swallowed up his feet and wandered further along his legs with every step.

The scar split and grey oozed forth over his face, blinding his eye. He stumbled on uncertain feet, before falling face forward into the rotted ground, to join the dead world.

code:
Prompt Bits
*Judge: Psychological Horror
*Self: a piece of a mirror
*Other: hands

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


I do not make any promises regarding R. Kelly references, but I am in.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Salt Spray and Summer Winds
(1197 words)


Cold walls, stoney grey, enclosed Frerick in a perfect cubic cell. The walls were etched with marks, tallying the days he had been imprisoned, five hundred and thirty-six. Only a small, barred circle allowed any sense of the outside. Frerick grasped the bars and pulled up to gaze out that window, arms trembling from ill-use and malnutrition.

The sea stretched as far as he could see. The scent of salt spray hit his nose, fresh despite the sting, a sharp contrast to the feral stench of his cell. He looked to his arms and, as he so often did, followed the trail of brands running from his wrist to his elbow.

The brands told his story in four simple words, writ in his captor’s elaborate, curled script: “Slaver,” “Serf,” “Rebel,” and finally, “Dangerous.” The last one brought a smirk to his lips. His captors would soon realize just how dangerous he was..

The wall had burned while he stood upon it. And he breathed in the flame, letting it fill his belly as he did the bloody work of defending his city. He himself was of slave stock, but that didn’t stop them from thinking that he stood for all that the city did. He took up arms only because it gave him citizenship and made sure that Elizan would always be free. He had run back to her as the wall fell, and they tore her from his arms moments before setting their metal to his flesh.

Despite his torments in the deepest dark of the prison, he hadn’t screamed. He needed to save his voice to sing. And so he did. His voice lilted softly, light and airy, fit to match the wind that blew off the great sea. He sang in an older tongue, one that man never spoke as their own but that his ancestors stole from stranger sources.

“I call to you, my brother, my cousin, my distant self, I call to you for aid. I beseech you in the name of the compacts and in my greatest of need. I sing to you, god of salt and spray, lord of rust and ruin, come to me, come to me, come to me,” he sang. The translation he held in his mind butchered the poetry of the original that he sang, but knowing the meaning was instrumental.

The response came back, crisp and ethereal, resonating in the stone beneath his feet. “What do you wish and what do you offer?” sang the voice. Frerick smiled at the traditional refrain.

“I wish for this wall to fall apart, so that we might see each other face to face,” Frerick sang. “And I offer the metal in blood for the metal you must sunder and my breath for yours that you must exert.” He did not hesitate and dragged his hand down the rusty bar that he gripped, causing a flow of blood to rise to his skin and cling to the metal. He then breathed out a single, heavy exhalation onto the red spots.

A white crystalline mass began to form over the bar that he had bled onto. He released the bars with both hands, falling onto his backside. The salt spread, covering all the bars, then starting to seep into the cracks between the bricks of the stone wall.

The pressure mounted until a series of snaps filled the room, followed by the bricks tearing outwards and plummeting down into the ocean far below. Shouts and alarms sounded from further inside the prison at the sudden noise.

The little god clung to the cliff-like face of the prison just below the new exit. Its form stretched, crab-like, limbs anchored into the solid stone and pincers waving in the air, sharply crystalline. “Your blood is weak,” said the god.

“Your blood would be weak too if you ate what I ate,” Frerick said. “If you had blood.” Frerick gazed out onto the emptiness, breathing in the fresh air.

“So you have seen my face. Now what?” said the god of salt. “I could take you with me and break down your flesh and your bones, let them decay in the depths of the sea until you are everywhere. I could give you utter freedom.”

Frerick laughed. “Not today,” he said. “I may return to you when my bones are old and ready to rest. Today I fly.”

The chitinous face of the god of salt twisted into something resembling a frown. It dislodged from the prison’s wall and dropped into the water, dissipating into a fine mist that hung only for a second.

Even before Frerick had been imprisoned, he had stoked the fire in his belly. His rebellion had been small, but fear had come to the towerborn, until his second betrayed him and his arms were branded once again.

But now his strength had returned, and the lessons his grandmother taught when he was a boy had come streaming back to his mind. The fire in his belly surged as he sang to the wind.

The god of the wind sang back. “What do you wish and what do you offer?” sang the god.

“I wish to fly and I offer my fear so that I may be free of its weight,” Frerick sang.

The wind rustled his rags. “Your fear is too light, you must give up a heavier weight,” sang the god of the wind.

Frerick paused and thought of what he had left to give. The fire roared in his belly as he thought of the soldiers who burned the gates to his city. The soldiers who held him down and made him lesser in their eyes. The soldiers who transformed him from a man to a caged and collared monster. He thought of his daughter torn from his arms.

The hurried words of his captors were exchanged outside of his door as they sought for the proper key.

“I wish to fly,” Frerick sang, “and I offer my vengeance.”

The wind gusted and surrounded him, wrapping him up like a lover’s embrace. The fire inside of him roared like an inferno and he could think of nothing but tearing out the throats of those soldiers and feasting on their corpses like the monster they thought him. But the thought disappeared like smoke before a tempest and all that remained was hollowness. His limbs fell limp even as the wind hefted his body like a doll.

The door to his cell flung open and half a dozen guards stared at Frerick on the back of the manta-like, ethereal god of the wind, over the open sea. “You wish to fly?” said the god.

“Yes,” Frerick said. The strength had fled his voice like it had his limbs.

“Where shall we go?” said the god

In that void where the fire had once burned, Frerick felt the stirring of the wind. He turned his gaze towards the sky, so vast and wide. His shoulders lifted and breathed it all in. Elizan’s face appeared in his mind, smiling like she did before the war came. He said, “Take me home. My daughter needs me.”

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


THUNDERDOME XCIV: TRULY ALIEN

You know what I'm bored of? Humans. Humans are just the worst. So, I want a story that is about a truly alien intelligence. Your main or viewpoint character can be a human if you feel it necessary, but the narrative needs to focus on something alien. And by alien, I don't mean someone from another planet (or country if you want to be even more grounded), I mean an intelligence that is radically different from humanity. No genre restrictions, feel free to go wild and let your freak flag fly.

Flash rules are available upon request.

Judges:
Meinberg
Djeser
Systran

Sign-up deadline: Midnight EST, Friday, May 23rd. I will be punctual.
Submission deadline: Midnight EST, Sunday May 25th. As above.

Word Count: 1111

Entrants:
God Over Djinn
Sitting Here
Entenzahn
Kalyco
Ironic Twist
Broenheim
WeLandedOnTheMoon! (Takes place on a moon, has a location for a protagonist)
kurona_bright
Mercedes (contains compassion)
curlingiron (takes place on the continent of North America before the year 2000 CE)
Phobia
PootieTang (the end is the beginning is the end)
Espequinn (colors)
Some Guy TT
sebmojo
Bushido Brown
V for Vegas
Fumblemouse
Hocus Pocus (computers)
Tyrannosaurus
Mazo Panku
Meeple
Cheneyjugend (Tabula Rasa)

Meinberg fucked around with this message at May 24, 2014 around 02:49

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


WeLandedOnTheMoon! posted:

Hey, this is interesting. I will do it.

I would also like a flash rule, because I am a dangerous dude.

I like your user name. Your story has to take place on a moon.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Mercedes posted:

Meinberg, I'm in, you son of a bitch. And I demand an awesome flash rule or else!

Your story must contain compassion.

curlingiron posted:

Yo, I'm in and I need a flash rule.

Your story has to take place on the continent of North America before the year 2000 CE.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


PootieTang posted:

I'm IN and this time I'm gonna do more than one draft, and I'm not gonna wait 'till the night before the deadline. Honest. I swear. For real this time.

Also I'd like a flashrule too, because why not.

Your story must something that ends while it simultaneously begins.

Espequinn posted:

I'm in and I would like a flash rule

Your story must address colors.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


PootieTang posted:

Did you mean must include something that ends while it simultaneously begins (like those reverse aging jellyfish) or the story itself must end while it simultaneously begins?

The missing word there is "include." However you interpret that is up to you.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Hocus Pocus posted:

In with a flash rule please!

Your story must feature a computer.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


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

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

WHO IS THE BIGGEST LOSER?

PHOBIA VS. MEINBERG

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

1000 words

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

Runt
(1000 words)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Good boy,” said the runt.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Cheneyjugend posted:

I'm in.

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

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

Your protagonist's history must not be mentioned.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


It seems that time continues to be linear, despite protestations to the contrary.

Sign ups for this week's dome are closed. You have 32 hours. Make it count.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Deadline is up, submissions are close! Let judgment commence!

  • Locked thread
«2 »