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D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Ich bin in.

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D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Mike and Doug
991 (or 987, per wordcounter.net) words.

The spores hovered in the red sunset. Douglas and Michael wandered wearily.

“Do you think they’ll come back?”, asked Michael.

“For us? poo poo, no, not here in greenmansville, space Texas, no”, said Douglas.

“Funny you should mention Texas – Admiral Schreck is from there.”

“Hrgh. Don’t ever mention the bastard again. Thanks to him we’re stuck –”

A xenomycoid shaped like a vuvuzela farted its golden contents all around them.

“– gah, stuck here in the land of the fartin’ flora. ‘Herp derp, look at me, wanna kill all I see’”, Douglas skittered left and right, clownlike.

Michael fumbled with his bag; he couldn’t get it closed. He said, “to be honest, though, breaching the Minor-Major line was p –”

“...pretty disregardful of such overlooked and obscure things such as your common grunt/Vespa pilot/RE30 Cluster-Bomber cabin boy’s rights? Such as, my dear Michael, the right not to get disintegrated and pissed away in a plasma river for the greater good’s sake or whatever it is they say now in those Co-League pep talks? Why, Michael dear boy, that’s excellent reasoning; you surprise me every day.”

“Love you too, man”, Michael sighed. “Listen, did we pass through here before? Look.”

Just a little beyond their reach, a translucid pink ball hung in the air. Its exposed innards could be seen around a plaque that jutted from its skin. The plaque said –

“Gleb glub. Great”, said Douglas. “Back to a wonderful night’s sleep in Alien Teepee Motel. I can’t wait to hear that thing go AYIIEEEHREHEARH again from dusk ‘til dawn. Strange, though. Was Dr. Farts here floating merrily amidst us yesterday?”

“Yeah, no; first time it’s here... Two days ago there was only the plaque. Hmm, well, can’t be of any harm, I think. Too tired to care, anyhow. Shall we?”, proposed Michael. Douglas agreed.

They entered the alien village. It was small; all the strange residences were built around a well. The well was no more than a hole in the ground lacquered with a dried-up, waxy substance. The circumventing huts were built with the same material, and they had no more than one entrance.

Douglas and Michael camped in a hut. It didn’t matter which one of them; they were all alike. They spread their blankets on the sandy ground. Michael emptied his bag of its contents; Douglas worked up their WattsUp!? solar to a faint luminescence.

Sniiiff”, Douglas sniffed. “Shiiit. Goddamn. Look at the air. All thick with that yellow poo poo. gently caress”.

Douglas looked farther up and went pale. Michael turned around to see.

It was black, around the size of a watermelon, and dodecapedic with flaccid black fingers. It wiggled.

Squeak.

***

“What?”, Michael asked.

Douglas only gasped.

“What did you see?”

“I... gently caress... I... you saw nothing?”

“Um, no. Care to tell me just what had you making GBS threads yourself three minutes ago?”

“gently caress. gently caress. Michael. Just what happened yesterday?”

“After you ate that black crap? Nothing. We did the same stuff we’ve been doing for the past three months. Nothing.”

“You... did eat a little bit of the stuff too, right?”

“Yeah. I mean, if that plateful you gobbled up didn’t cause a million color-shifting tadpoles to come out of your ears (like that time with poor Xerxakis...) and rear end too, I figured it’d be alright to take a bite.”

“gently caress. Then I don’t know just what the... I don’t know, Michael, I guess I’m just seeing things”, Douglas scooped a yellow booger nervously. “It might be the hunger. I wanna eat.”

They ate the tasteless, blocky food they stole from the cruiser three months ago. It tasted flatly as it always did, though a little dusty.

Michael said, “I wish we had lingered on the cruiser a little longer. Or gone somewhere with a better menu.”

Douglas replied, “we’ll find more stuff tomorrow. I hate this assy planet, but at least it doesn’t seem hell-bent on killing us. Good night, Michael.”

Good night.

***

omanomanoman Mike WAKE UP

“What?!”

they’re comin’ for us I knew it. gently caress I think they have Zorpians with them. this is not good. gently caress GET DOWN

FFFSSH made the hut’s wall as the laser coming through the door scorched it.

here Mike I have just the stuff. that black bastard told me we should eat it. THUD THUD, outside. here, eat!!!

“Mffhh”, protested Michael as the black mold entered his mouth.

we’re going home. someplace like it, the black thing said.

“Ffhhhfh”.

The walls exploded and from the sky a black-limbed thing big as a Vespa fighter exploded and its fragments landed on the village and became black humanoid things whose skin was like resin, and whose eyes and mouth were cavities with apparently nothing. The villagers went about their business. “Howdy, pardners”, drawled one of them to both of them on the ground. The sky went green, then blue, then red, then green again. Repeatedly.

doug. doug. can you hear me?

Dreamed I was an eskimo. Don’t you eat the yellow snow.

yes mike.

i love you man. all those times. even if we didn’t –

yes, mike. even if we didn’t and just stayed there –

yes, even if we faded. I wanna be with you.

Veteran’s day poppy doesn’t get me high; it only makes me cry.

oh, mike... you’re a faggy bastard but I gotta admit it could never be as good with anyone else on that crap – cleaning the halls, licking the goddamn jocks’ boots. remember the blue comet? how we reeked of ammonia and we were bros. just lookin’ at it. nothing could get to us.

yes doug. one way or another, us.

us.

“Pard', gents, looks like you been on the road awhile, can I get ya’ll anything?”

FFSSH.

***

The red sun cast a shadow over the black-clad officer – under the shadow, they both stared at the sun with fixed eyes. They were close together and drool gathered at their mouths.

“Goddamnit it”, said the officer.

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N. fucked around with this message at 04:41 on May 5, 2014

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In I go, not to confuse,
to ole thunderdo', wherein I'm a goose,
whose quacks say hello and hope not to misuse
language and meaning plus some good booze

(yes, I share with my fellow domers some good booze)

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

A present for Bertha
1223 words.

Saturday afternoon, São Paulo zoo.

He took a swig off the flask he had in his jacket pocket; the caipirinha tasted ever so sweetly.

“Do you remember back then, when that sunbeam used to shine just between those two branches up there? And we sat in this bench and that precise ray of light would fall and light our hands…”, he said while clasping her hand.

She smiled shyly and put her head to his shoulder.

“And then children would laugh at old Bertha doing the Water Hose Surprise on unaware bypassers… such a magnificent proboscis, she had… and then we’d throw one of these”, he went ungh as he bent down to pick something on the ground, “seeds at that peanut guy’s head while he wasn’t looking. Just like this –”

He gave the seed a fumbling throw and it plinked off the steel fence ahead.

“Oh, I remember”, she giggled a little and cuddled closer to him. “Those poor peanut-believing idiots… I kinda miss them.” She then sighed, “Poor Bertha.”

His face went glum for a moment. Then it brightened up a little. He looked at her bag and then at her face, and his smile grew.

“Oh, no”, she said, “no, João, no way. You’re not carrying that silly plan of yours any further.”

He kept smiling, thinking of the couple of expensive Sauvignons and the lengthy, though brick-squat leatherbound copy of the book he had put in her bag. Its title read Flor da Minha Paixão and it was very much an 1100-page postmodernist Jorge Amado update. It had a lot of sex scenes. He had tied the book with string and left a loose tip with which he could swing the fine piece of literature around.

***

Friday night, home.

João sat at the kitchen table. He read the news. It went like this:

quote:

SÃO PAULO – Zoológico de São Paulo’s oldest resident, Bertha the elephant, is under veterinarian care at the installation’s own hospital section. The 63-year old female pachyderm – or “cow”, as interviewee Dr. Putsz points out – was relocated this Friday after a complication with ongoing respiratory problems. Interviewed vets blame nearby car traffic from adjacent highways and urban centers. “Put yourself in her place – you’re a five-ton being whose respiratory system alone could outweigh a person”, says Dr. Putsz. “You used to live in a forest and now you have to breathe kilos of toxic stuff daily”. When asked about Bertha’s fate, he adds, “Considering her age and the pollution, I’m afraid the poor elephant isn’t

“Bullshit”, João said.

“What is it, honey?”

“It’s those zoo bastards again”, he laid the newspaper on the table, “I’ve seen it before. No room left in the fields or cages and there are new animals coming in, so they have to make room. So some innocent beast gets the short end of the stick and a big injection with it too. And they never tell it straight – it’s always something else they point the finger at.”

“Oh, no... Which ones are they putting to sleep this time?”

“It’s Bertha, Emília. She’s a tough old mother. I’m not buying this smoke-breathing bullshit.”

Cristo… out of all…”

“Yeah. And this is why I stopped reading the news… merda, after this, I’m going out. Catch some air, maybe get something. You want anything from the store?”

“No… watch out, though… don’t do anything stupid. I know you, João.”

In the car, he asked himself why her, the elephant he knew – truly knew, he thought – had received such a fate. He concluded it didn’t matter; he was angry. The news made his breath shorter and it made the town stink a lot more than it did normally. João knew Bertha since he was merely a son with his dad, and even after some good years were past he’d take his own son Felipe to shake the trunk and be Surprised. But Felipe was in another time, and with another woman. Soon the elephant would be gone too, leaving João only the ever-tightening city.

Before they got to her, though, he’d give her the party of her life. He bought the wine and returned home.

“Honey, wanna go to the zoo tomorrow? For old times’ sake. Maybe it’ll lift me up.”

***

Later that Saturday.

He felt the bag for its contents, finished the last of the caipirinha, and then took a deep breath. After making sure no one saw him, he opened the unmarked gray door. He’d seen the white-smocked people enter it many years ago, after a particularly gruesome quarrel between two chimps over a female. He passed a corridor with locked doors and entered the only open room. Immediately after entering, a man in white shouted:

“Hey! This ain’t no visiting zone. Just what on Earth –“

“You Putsch?”

“No! He ain’t here today! Who the hell are you?”

“Well, I'm... visiting. I have a gift for Bertha.” He reached for the string-tied leatherbound Flor da Minha Paixão and struggled a little dislodging it from the bottom of the bag. “Wait a little… minute… there”, he fished it out successfully. “Uh, ahem this gift, however, is for you.” He started centrifuging the book, holding the string-end. “That is, if you don’t let me see her.”

“What? You gotta be kidding me.”

João crept closer and cornered the white man, and though he had little leeway he tried to escape. João swung the book just as the white man made his dash, and it hit him square in the cheek. He fell to the ground, João hitting him some more for good measure.

“Okay, alright, you win, argh! stop!”, the veterinarian said.

“Good. Tell me where Bertha is.”

“In the back! In the back!”

“Show me. Get up! Go on.”

João followed the vet, still whirling his book. The back room had a big resting pad, where the old elephant laid on its side, slowly breathing. It had its eyes closed.

“Oh… drat”, João looked sadly at Bertha. He stood a while observing, then said to the trembling vet, “Give me your keys. And go.”

The white man gave him the keys and scuttled away. João went back to the previous room and locked it. He returned to Bertha and knelt by her side, caressing her cracked grey skin. She did not open her eyes, only kept her slow breathing, which now, João noticed, also had a ragged quality to it.

“No, poor girl, what did they do to you…”

He put the book on the ground and took one of the Sauvignon bottles from the bag, along with a corkscrew. He uncorked it and said, “drat, drat those bastards… What can I do now… Guess I’m gonna have to carry on for both of us. Here’s to you… saúde.” He took a big gulp of the wine.

He unlocked the other room and returned to the elephant. He huddled himself against big Bertha, brushing his hand along her dry skin, tasting the wine, watching time pass. A couple of days later he had a dream. He rode on her back through the streets and she used her trunk to down her bottle just as he did with his hands, and she trumpeted to the wide spaces – their moment was pure and untamed, and they were loving every minute of it.

---

Used the following gifts: elephants (from the judge), good booze (mine own), the phrase "was pure and untamed, and they were loving every minute of it" (from a pal).

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Tyrannosaurus posted:

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N. - A present for Bertha

You either wrote a lovely story with a lot of issues or did a pretty decent Portuguese/English translation. Você fala português? Or am I reading too much into this? I’ll give you a more in depth critique once I know one way or the other.

It's actually a lovely story, I apologize. I wrote it in English and did not mean anything overly special by choosing São Paulo as a setting (although it is a megalopolis with plenty of traffic and pollution issues). Now I'm curious as to the translation angle, though; could you elaborate a little further on it? (Sim, português é a minha língua materna.) Thanks.

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N. fucked around with this message at 05:08 on May 14, 2014

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Alright. In like I've never been. Which means, uh, followed by a picture of mining procedures?

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

sebmojo posted:

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=1666

:siren:Flash Rule: a man of wealth and taste:siren:

I didn't quite ask for a flash rule, but alright! I'll take it, anyhow. Hope I can guess his name, eh, eh.

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Fumblemouse posted:

One of the perks of judgement, to make up for the wearying task of trudging through acres of barely considered drivelprose, is delivering Flash Rules like lightning upon the unprotected scalps of the unworthy, whether you want one or not.

Keep your head low, friend.

Yes. My insolence shames me and thus I bow, and in penance beg for another flash rule to be granted upon me, cumulatively with the previous one.

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER


+ http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=1666
+ Flash Rule: a man of wealth and taste

***

Report on the Peri-Tharsian operation
1321 words.

…we shared a Brofists are Not Our Thing But This Will Do look, and sighed together. It was all we could do – it exhausted us to no end, shooting and chasing the crazed PLAB down those terrible, unending basalt tunnels… Oh, yes, I forgot - PLAB stands for Precision Laser-Drilling AutoBot… No, I don’t think the bot could be in any way salvaged – as I said, it tumbled down the cliff… the peri-Tharsian volcanic underground tends to have some pretty huge holes, I tell ya… and anyhow, when I get to the end of this, trust me, bot expenses are gonna be the least of your worries.

So we – Mining Supervisor Matthew O’Nym, who was my hunting partner that evening, and of course I – returned to the Settlement to report the chase and its preceding quasi-murder by mining laser. Matty didn’t have enough clearance, so I went into the High Offices alone. ...do I have any further information on the incident? No, I have as big a clue as you do – PLAB tried to mine someone’s head off all of a sudden – and anyhow, my reporting ended up being more of a questioning, really… So, after a few minutes in the elevator I entered Trismegistus Stan’s gilded halls and humbly sat on the most comfortable chair my back ever experienced. Jesus, that man was slick. Didn’t he break protocol, what with the octaphonic equipment playing free jazz among the Mayan pillars he kept around in his office, plus the 300-year old brandy he always sipped every time I was there, I mean he must have had tons of that stuff somewhe – okay, fine, fine. I’ll be short. I told him the news and very silently asked just what on Earth had happened.

Tri-Stan’s answer, like the man himself, was this warm glow of friendliness surrounding a strange nucleus whose contents you never knew. Oh, luv, it worries me to no end… He did his Dramatic Worry Expression. Not the first case of Bot Fevah these weeks, no… Not as rare as you might think, saw a lot loike it in me asteroiding days. But this is more than barmy – gonna need a little change of plans, hmm… Don't worry though, I’ll keep an eye on it. Do have a little on me and tryta get some zeds lata, awkay? He then poured me a snifter of That Brandy. Unbelievable. And no, I didn’t get some zeds afterwards, even if I possibly wanted it.

‘Cause the moment I left the Hi-O building Matty the Supervisor came running to me saying some other horrible crap had happened. In all my years as a Junior Secretary, I had seen a lot of horrible crap. Of course – not so many homicidal bot-related and not so many on such a quick succession, but nonetheless, I was kinda ready. Kinda.

The sight, I didn’t go insta-bonkers at it. Weirdass glyphs, sleek and sinister figures doing untellable acts… drawn in blood along the shed’s walls. Standard wacko procedure, could be synth blood for all I knew… But then I learned of the miner’s fate. Someone shoved him in the crushers, and then he was milled and had whatever remaining red nothing of him discarded as mere gangue by the magnetic separators… that, people, screwed me up pretty good. And to add the cherry atop the poo poo cake, there was little blood on the remains. That’s right. A loving exsanguination had just taken place. That’s not something a goddamn PLAB can do. They don’t even have the AI for that.

No, I have no idea who slash what did it. By then I didn’t care to investigate, anyway. Just wanted to get out. So, we called up a meeting. Matty got his guys and some other guys… not a lot, though – there were quite a few rifts among Settlement’s Supervisors… and I told them Tri-Stan’s very calming insight on the then current events. That was enough to convince them to lay low – given our Brave Leader’s known history, nobody was foolish enough to believe he’d actually do something this time, other than to call an official investigation, blah blah… Plus, for all the rioting and striking we could possibly do, there were the security bots… Those things are scary. I’ve read the efficiency reports. Nobody wanted to die just to maybe tickle Trismegistus a little, so we decided to at least try to stick together during the operations the coming days. Thought I could do a little of the bureaucratic magic and slowly move us out to a more remote excavation site, from which we could one happy day skedaddle to the docks, then to hell with Mars…

But we managed zilch. Tri-Stan kept us at the old site. The crazy bot site. And in a Dunno Whether to Cry or Laugh measure, he actually added more personnel to it. And it grew day by the day, bots growing shakier, even the miners who weren’t all that well-informed just feeling something as they Swiss-cheesed their way into oblivion… One day Tri-Stan seemed very happy. It was I think the third week within this new policy of his, and nearly all of Settlement’s people and equipment were being used at the site… suffice to say mining accidents and muffled screams in the distance weren’t infrequent. We had received this vid-memo with the Man Himself announcing an upcoming visit the next morning. And there he was the following day, sharp as pencil, a very well-oiled one… he watched from his sec-bot escort as Matty’s boys prepped the concentrated nitrate-mix charges, in just another routine procedure… and BLAM, another cave was opened.

We all kept close as guys from other groups went in, lasered around a little, directed the PLABs to some of the bigger boulders… One, two, five minutes, nothing unusual…

It came silently. Some of the miners stopped their work abruptly, turned around and reached for their closest comrades… Some of these comrades were thrown off by the change, but reacted slowly – it could be just a joke, after all… a little yell here, a little laugh there… then the screaming started… and then it grew louder… some of ours also succumbed, as we clung in a panicked cluster, trying to keep distance from anything that wasn’t us… I’ll never forget the sight – the ore glowing, smiling Trismegistus holding a piece upwards, yes this finally his voice said, men and women naked around him, unclothing him, drawing blood and, and – lava flowing in little streams from the hole, illuminating that, that… Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, the side of it that’s just… wrong… on the females… cauterizing, mutilation... metal, flesh… lust… laugh, cry, laugh…

I… I... We made a run for it… yes… I’m afraid we had to use our equipment for… lethal purposes. The more we ran, the more our group seemed to dwindle… They got Matty and a couple more men and they joined in their howling… then there was only me and Johnson. As we were about to enter the tunnels toward Settlement, Johnson turned back and gave the site one last look… That look followed him through the desert streets of Settlement, breaking the silence as he mumbled; it followed him as we made our way to the docks, inside the craft as we took off… And as you may have seen, it still follows him.

Yes, I understand the consequences of my actions. Hold me back, imprison me if you have to, do your examinations, whatever. Just hear this word I’ll say right now – distance. I want out. …what, do I have a sample of the mineral? Are you… really? How can you even ask that? Listen – listen – no, you stay quiet – don’t you ever do psych profiles? Where’s the profit in giving the controls to a madman? What do you mean “his skills were an asset to the corp”? Are you all fuckin – hey! Hey –

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I'll show ya the horse

(a love story)

153 grams o' gravey

Eh? Eh? Wot ya yapping on about? Preetey horsies chewing dandelions by the bloomeh filds? Wot? Where ya think ahshouldget the bob for it? Wiv Farmer Ricky by the barn, sucking his little pricky? Izzat you do all day, Farmer Ricky? Barely ‘nuff for the chickens, got no money for a pretty poney, ya tart… now pass me the gravey. And the butta pie… (butta pie? the butta wouldn’t melt so I put it in the pie) …haaannd it all ova! ova! ah sweearr I’m gonnaargh! argh! argh! argh! haaaaand it all ova, now ya… ya… O! O, I see! teehee, teeehee, eh? Woy, I’m gonna… ha! Now ya stay! Now, just a little on the tittey… O no ya didn’t… ah! ah! ooh, girley, right on, right on, here it comes… ah, yes, yes, put it there, oo… now I’ll show ya the horse… neheheheheigh! neheheheigh! come hear, ya nawty little fuckbird…

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I-i-i-in.

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER



1415 words

The Elaboration

---

The Muse looks in the mirror. The brushing leaves around her are finished, and so are the faeries and the looming Globe overhead. Is it a Sun, a Moon, why is it so big and bright while the wood is so dark? I cannot answer. I can only paint. Right now, the Muse’s reflection is only a countour. I must paint. My brush dips and darkens and… what is this in the sky, by the Globe? A dark, smaller sphere. Descending from it is a long, flowing, formless… Shadow. It cannot be. It glides effortlessly among the thorny branches, and it goes ever so fast… so forward… to the Muse. No. I paint to keep this away. I must paint and I approach the brush in haste but – my eyes are caught. The faeries move. And they skitter and jeer around Her:

You loving bitch! You worthless good for nothing!

– and I stroke with the brush but – no. Too fast. Too far. Trembled the last second, no, can’t be…

The Muse lies stained, tainted under the writhing… I can’t look. Mustn’t. I turn my eyes to the Globe. Its light enters me, whitening… filling my head, pushing from the inside, pushing out… heart going fast, too fast as colors faint and the shapes I see dissolve… The Globe… Sun, Moon? it feels like Both… but can’t turn away… can’t look. mustn’t look. can’t –

look


*


HHHHHhhh.

Pant, pant.

What… how… I… lids flapping… head turning, scanning around… where are the lights? What happened? I must get up… At least I can still feel the cold floor. Yes, I can raise myself to a crouch… now, to straighten my legs just a little more, I can do it…

…legs fold. I grab something. But it is nothing. My back hits the floor, then my head… I clutch myself as the pain sets in. With half-closed eyes, I look to the darkness. It tells me nothing. I stare and stare but no. Not a hinting grain ahead. A cold burning inside grows and grasps. I sob.

Time passes until I’m dried of self-pity. I give my legs a fearful, slow try… they sway somewhat, but I can stand. Manage to support myself against something. With one hand, I feel my closed eyes, looking for a wrongness… but they are there, unharmed. Maybe this is just temporary… Perhaps in a couple of hours, I’ll…

No. One despaired heartbeat tells me not. I stumble in the dark, fumbling for unseen shapes… I feel one. Then another. Familiar shapes lead me in a chain until I feel the slickness, the curvature of my telephone. It brings me some respite, then some… shame. To ask for help… How many times have I asked for help, and none came? I keep my own problems away myself. My hands, though, are all alone now… The tight burning climbs to the back of my throat. I… lift the handset and dial blindly. Heart is pounding. Someone must answer sometime.


*


Thanks to him, I lie in this presumably very white hospital bed. He answered to my suffocated, stuttering, stupid little plea for help. Occasionally, fate is merciful and the helpful stranger doesn’t have a knife readied behind his back. Still, to hand myself so helplessly to anyone…

Sigh. I feel like trash. I’ve cried enough. Thrashed about some, insulted them – the male and female voices – after they explained what had happened; stress led to panic which led to a detachment of the retinae… Detachment. Why? In what way was I stressed? I was painting to keep the… bad away, then what? I don’t know…

Enough. Must rest. Just a little relieving, now…

I dream.


*


The child is in his room upstairs, staring at the ceiling, paralyzed by terror. The mother is downstairs. The child fears his father’s return. He could come by at any second. Cold and hot inside the child.

Moments. Silence, tension.

The father announces himself with a slurred call. A warm, good-old-times call. The mother complains loudly; why does it have to be like this every weekend. Oh, I can’t take this anymore! The father tries to be silent, smooth; sshh it’s gonna be okay. I’m okay. c’mere my little princess; but the mother slaps him, no!. A tense void of sound. Only the child’s heartbeats.

Gustav! Help!

The child diligently heeds his mother’s call; she is the last sacred thing these days. Everything blurs, quickly downstairs.

Help!

The child is behind the mother. At her, the father points a big kitchen knife.

This’s b’tween me and your stupid whore of a mother. Gebback to bed, y’ little poo poo!

The child hurries to the kitchen, whose entrance is thankfully beyond the father’s reach, and also grabs a knife. He returns and is now behind his father, pointing his knife to him.

Too late. The father closes in the mother.

Sharp screaming is dulled quickly as the child’s pupils widen and he turns back, runs and exits the house...

To the woods nearby. Cold, uncaring, scratching woods, yes…

But there the child can hide. And wait for whatever strange noises to go away.


*


It has been months. Each week, Dr. Vogel tries hard. Today, in the psychiatric ward, her beautiful voice says: you have to try. And keep trying, Gustav. Running from it is a time-tested way of actually making it worse.

And I reply, but how. I can’t sing. My fingers do not dance with the piano in the occupational room, they trip upon themselves. I don’t care for people. I don’t care for hearing words – I avoid words. Words only worsen it – they give my fetid thoughts additional timbres, the disgusting movement of lips… and then I’m left with the sounds, the bad sounds looping all night in my head…

So how, Doctor, how?

She says I still need to find a comfortable medium for elaboration. This tires me. I’m tired of searching. I return to the hospital’s dull days.


*


And dull weeks. These last few, I’ve decided to give up. Really just lie in bed, and accept the fate given to me, without questioning. It’s painful, but eventually the body just nods along.

Until it doesn’t. And the dreams worsen, and every waking hour burns coldly, shameful… And then there isn’t anything else to do but to call someone. To return to the program. To regard it sarcastically, to protect yourself.

This very moment I am undergoing occupational therapy again. I am by the table. Oh, joy, today I’m given… clay. Yes, the therapeutic effects of clay are very well documented. I make a clay pigeon. Hooray. A clay tree with a little branch for my little friend to perch on. I can’t see any of it. My skin is given the warmth and beauty of cold, dead clay.

I amputate another clump of what I suppose is a block when it hits.

Tree.

Pigeon.

Forms. Outlines.

In the dark chamber of the mind, I can birth them.

And my hands follow – somewhat crudely, of course, but decently enough…

I ask for a chisel. They give me a screwdriver. That’s not a problem. I make the four – five, actually, to be honest – limbed shape of a man, tighten the smaller parts with my fingers, carve, depress, and smooth with the screwdriver… My skin feels the details. They are satisfactory. I ask to someone beside me – does this look good to you? He looks good, yes.

Good. I tear him in two, laughing, and throw the pieces to the other side of the table.


*


It takes me a while to convince them that I am not going crazy, in light of my latest behavior. I am genuinely in connection with this form of expression, however colorless it may be. I haven’t felt like this in a while. Painting wasn’t bringing me this either. I still don’t remember how exactly I lost my sight, but I remember the struggle to push the bad feelings away.

I’m no longer struggling. Now, I return to my diorama. The Muse handles her mirror, whose reflection I painstakingly engraved… Beautiful. The faeries are propped on the trees, and they look quite lively. My huge Globe is a smooth setting sun I glued halfway through the edge of the table. I have given it a smaller Moon for companionship; it is carefully pocked and rugged. I must decide where to put it today. Along with the Shadow I hold in my hand.

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In, ready to improve.

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Not gonna make it this time. Toxxing myself next time I'm in. (Echoing TB's praise - this was a really good prompt.)

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In, or my name's not Botched Wonder Showzen Reference. Also :toxx:ing for my previous failure.

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

The beautiful phantoms
897 words

*

A boy lived in a village surrounded by thunders, and they fell night and day. Fencing the village, were row after row of thick pointed poles two hundred feet tall, who, though far away from the huts and its inhabitants, still provoked much unrest with their ceaseless roar.

When the boy was of eight, he was taken to the shaman’s hut, where sat on a bench and waited patiently. He was ready to be fully rid of the thunders’ torment. He watched the shaman mortar a mix of herbs and cream into a ceramic bowl. The shaman thrust with such force that the boy heard a phantom.

Clop, the phantom made through the thick wax that covered the boy’s ears. It was dull and tasteless, but it did awaken the boy’s hunger for the faint beauties he had once heard in rare days, despite the wax.

He remembered how his mother used to change his wax, and even though she did it swiftly, the few moments were tasteful enough. He remembered, in a scarcely thundered day, the phantom the stonemason made when hitting metal on rock. He remembered the pain his mother gave when he tried plucking the wax.

The boy snapped back as the shaman finished mashing, and left the bowl and mortar on a table in front of the boy. He went to the back of the hut and brought out a wide leaf.

He laid the leaf on the table, and the boy noticed that tiny white maggots squirmed on it. The shaman lipped soundlessly to the boy:

You ready. Eight, yes, good age for infection. Lasts some, hurts some, but necessary. You strong as your mother, no problem.

The shaman then brought out a little tube, and filled it with clumps of the herbal mix, then a maggot, then another clump, and so on. He lipped please be calm and approached the boy, who did but stare at the table and breath widely, though slowly. The boy heard his own heartbeats.

The shaman’s nail went in the ear, and slowly scooped the wax out. The boy’s joy fought his own dread as the phantoms grew less dimmer, though accompanied by a dull hum. The boy’s heart went faster.
The shaman put the tube to his mouth and was ready to blow into the boy’s ear.

The boy’s shoulder jerked upward and the some of the pasty mix spurted on his face. The shaman aspirated the rest in a nervous reflex.

He choked as the boy ran and exited his hut. Outside, the boy’s mother was awaiting, but he kept running. As she saw him, her heart beat fast too and she had to scream, despite not needing her voice for years.

The boy heard and glanced back. The scream was an unusually complex sound, and the different articulations and tones it had, all in a single instant, amazed him.

His sight then fell on the expressions the other villagers made and he fled again, clawing at the remaining wax in his other ear. He ignored the growing rumbling of feet behind him and jumped over a fence, towards the outskirts and the forest.


*


The boy sat on a fallen trunk, watching the waterdrops fall from up in the canopy to the little lake’s surface. He had never heard it like that, so much of the water’s wetness faithfully translated in the air.

He thought of his mother. Oh, if she could taste them too. He wondered if it was fair to leave her worrying, but he pictured the squirming maggots and the flies leaving his ears and then the blankness.
Lightning struck the pole-line on the edge of the forest.

The unbound thunder surprised him. The thunders made phantoms day and night, so often they did not seem interesting, but now the boy thought himself mistaken.
He needed to get closer, however. The sound wasn’t at its right point yet.

He thought, I’m sorry, mother. Maybe I’ll be ready tomorrow, or maybe someday… I just need to taste them for a while.

He got up and walked; the way to the pole-line was wet and he enjoyed the clapping of mud sucking at his feet.


*


He remembered what the people in the village had said about the poles. Nobody really knew where they came from – some said they were there even before the village was settled, others thought the gods made them sprout overnight. But mostly everybody – especially the elders – agreed that they were ultimately to their benefit, for they kept the tyrants from the outside away and made living relatively peaceful.

He looked to the poles and the scorched earth around them, and waited.

Crraaaacckkk, bright and awesome. It tasted crisp and sounded as white as it looked, the huge waves entering his ears first whip-sharp then slow and thick.

They struck again. And again. So beautiful.

To his further amazement, the more he heard, the more he could distinguish another layer among the waves of the thunder. It had more patterns, more variations of rhythm and tone. It had sounds of unexpected familiarity among nature’s white beast. Some were aggressive, others sounded like a smile and others sounded like a frown and tears. They reminded him of his mother’s scream, and they went down, ever downward into the earth.

He understood why they’d want to take everybody’s hearing away.

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In.

*

Mr. G is a former high school biology teacher in his early thirties who was forced into desperate measures (gov't cut funding, salaries got worse, society got worse). He now lives in a dingy two-room apartment growing transgenic marijuana (Shady Employer of Your Choice supplied him with a stolen gene gun, plus eventual maintenance). Said marijuana has a lot of THC (20% in the unprocessed plant), though it's flipsided by potential side-effects such as nearly fatal, minutes-long convulsive laughter episodes, or a 'lude-like laxing of bodily functions that's quite impossibilitating. Effects vary among users. Mr. G is a frail, very attentive, very nervous man, especially in the vicinity of Shady Employer's enforcers or other related crooks. He's paranoid of Shady Employer's activies and what they might mean to his own future.

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N. fucked around with this message at 18:57 on Jul 1, 2014

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Looking for someone who's gonna handle/lose the case to gangsters in a bad neighbourhood, or, alternately, by catapulting/hang-gliding/droning it into the sky. Seriously. Find me at IRC if you plan on ending your story kinda like this.

EDIT: Not looking anymore.

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N. fucked around with this message at 02:06 on Jul 3, 2014

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Takeovers
(999 words)

Mr. G is in the back of the Sedan, suitcase in his lap. Phillip Clarion drives.

G didn’t have the suitcase until half an hour ago. It fell from the sky, on the terrace above his top-floor, two-room apartment. It ripped all his external power cables, cutting off the light and ruining his work. Without any lights, the 20 high-THC transgenic C. sativa plants in the other room would soon perish.

He took it downstairs, to his living room – it was bundled in bubble wrap, with an internal layer of foam. Clearly meant for someone to have it. Was it for him?, G wondered.

An answer a little East of “Yes” soon knocked on the apartment’s door, as G was opening the package with big kitchen scissors by flashlight.

– H-hello? – G asked.

– Mr. Grospeczyk – a soft voice answered from the other side.

The voice was Phillip Clarion’s. He said in the pitch dark:

– You’re being called. She needs you. Gather your stuff, let’s go.

– And, – he continued – don’t forget the case.

He, Phillip, is one of Her enforcers. The human embodiment of a flea – small, seemingly harmless, full of surprises.

She is their Employer – G never met her, although he feels grateful that She, or her middlemen, rather, took him away from his old decadent job and gave him a better-paying one, though not without risks.

Now, though, he isn’t so sure of his own gratitude, as Phillip drives them to the derelict industrial sector on the edge of town.


*


They arrive in front of a big three-floored office building with unlit windows.

G exits the car, suitcase in hand. Phillip carries nothing, but wears a thick leather jacket. G raps on the door. A few seconds pass. A female voice behind the door says:

– Flash.

G breathes deeply and replies:

– A-adenosine t-tri-phosphate.

It opens; they’re greeted by a young woman in a white smock.

– Oh, hello! Come in quickly.

She looks at the suitcase. She appears relieved.

– Good, good, that should help us with our complication.

She guides them through the building: they quickly pass through a compact receptionist’s area, to a wide hall scattered with desks. A handful more laboratory assistants wander around, checking computers here and there. Armed guards stand still at regular intervals. There are side-offices to the right. The hall ends in a back exit, and stairs.

Phillip fishes a cheap cellphone from his pocket and busies himself with it.

– Here – the woman says – is where we’re setting our operation. Just before getting to the matter-of-fact, I’d just like to tell you, Mr. Grospeczyk, that you have done some prime work.

– T-thanks.

– Oh, I’m the one to thank you! Our Employer has tasked us with quite an unusual request. As you might know, She has a lot of rivals. Most of them know their place, but every once in a while someone makes a move. Last week, a particularly daring bunch - Los Orsos, they call themselves - robbed one of our supply wagons. It was set to replenish the dockside dealers. They took everything, including some of your product, and killed everyone there.

– So – she continues –, ever since, we’ve been brewing up a little gift for those daring Orsos. To show them She is not to be hosed with. Grigori! Bring us specimen Carlos.

Grigori, a big burly guard, opens the closed door of an office, and takes an irresponsive, doped up Hispanic man in a hospital gown by his arm.

– Carlos is the more responsive one of the ten Orsos we keep here. We’ll be delivering them to the main Orso compound, where, at the sound of a word, they’ll turn into merciless and indiscriminate killers. And it’s all thanks to you – your drug is so potent it induces them into an easily conditionable status. There’s just this problem: a small portion of our captives react differently; they enter a state of hysteria that makes them quite difficult to indoctrinate. We heard, however, of the peculiar attaché you now hold, which contents might help solve –

Tap tap, on the front door. At this, she stops, with a worried look on her face. A guard walks to the entrance and says “Thunder?”.

They hear a loud bang, and soon the hall is swarming with cholo-looking gangsters. The guards point their weapons to them, and vice versa.

– Don’t loving move! This is Orso territory now, bitches! – a gangster says.

Nobody shoots.

G stands still, trembling with the suitcase. Phillip has a handgun pointed, and the phone is still in his hands.

Phillip glances at the phone’s screen. He then says, calm but loud.

Virgil.

And Carlos snaps into alarm and strangles Grigori from his back. Grigori, in reflex, fires at an Orso, an Orso fires into a guard, a white-smocked man is shot, another runs for his life, and soon Phillip is firing too. He yells, to G:

– Come! Hurry!

G skitters to him, crouching among tables with exploding computers, people in a blur around him killing or dying.

– This way! – Phillip urges G toward the back exit, returning fire as they both run for it.

The back door leads to an alley.


*


The alley is longer than it looks. Bullets whiz by. They’ve been running for a while, Phillip occasionally firing back. Only a few more feet until it splits into a fork, still no end to the alley, though –

– gently caress! The loving car - how are we going back to it?! – G rasps.

– We’re not! The case, hand it to me, now!

– What? – it takes G by surprise; his steps falter – the hell should it matter now-agh!

The unseen bullet enters his leg, invited by a moment of hesitation. G drops the case forward as he stumbles.

Phillip lowers his stance for a moment as he runs and pick it up, like a bird of prey swooping in.

– Phil? Phil! F-loving help me you bastard! – Phillip heard, while turning at the fork.

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In.

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D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N.
Dec 31, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Throwing in la serviette for this weekend & toxxing myself and such next time.

D.O.G.O.G.B.Y.N. fucked around with this message at 01:25 on Jul 19, 2014

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