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leekster
Jun 20, 2013


Only fools rush in.

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leekster
Jun 20, 2013


Against the Tide - 647

The water was churning, big breakers folding in on themselves, dark eddies tormenting the pier, opening up to swallow whatever foolish mariner who was tempting the fates that day. A dark gray tempest had consumed the sky, scaring away all with any sort of pride. The man bent heavy on his cane, his broken mind no longer being able to understand gravity. With a heavy sigh he hobbled over to the dock, feet dragging lackadaisically, his cane threatening to punch it's way through the rotted wood. Struggling, he made it to the boat, never calling it his own. He wasn't foolish enough to think he could own anything, not after all was taken from him. The man gazed at the boat, in awe of it's pitted hull, the cracked gunwales that held the water away: but just barely so, the old chipped blades of the oars, the only instrument of power he had left. The man felt a tear well up, his broken body tensing, wanting to fall. He gathered himself and climbed into the boat.

Weightless n the water, suspended from his fears: he found himself. His prison glared at him, that world grounded in gravity, where man could fall time and time again. A smile crept upon his lips. With the power that only a man freed knows he took his first stroke. Shoosh. The roll of the wheels in the track, the sound of his anger dissipating. Stroke, chuh. The click of the oarlock as it prepares for his power, a power that's limited by the chains of physics. Stroke, frush. The sound of the blade slicing through the water, a dark torpedo propelling him forward, releasing him from his prison. Stroke, hah. The sound the man makes as he laughs at his oppressor, a damning laugh that haunts Newton and all his followers.

He felt the rise of that old familiar feeling... He hated it... He welcomed it...

There was a mission now, to chase down the missing parts of him; the ethereal being of his memories, the kindness that used to fill his heart and his dead, blue eyes, but more important than all of those: his need for love to conquer his soul that was black and bitter from the hate. A hate that burnt through him like a wildfire, leaving all his joy and happiness burnt, tormented into wicked creatures that plagued him. Stroke. He pulled himself closer to his prize, driven by a reckless need to find himself. Stroke. The boat jumped forward, powered by a primordial desire burning deep in his chest. Aching, he pushed on. Stroke. A tendril of memory can be felt, a fuzzy memory of a boy with ice blue eyes flooded his mind.

He stopped.

Sitting there, he feels the gravity, it crushing him, stopping him from being able to breathe. A sinister wave comes and crashes over him, throwing him into the sea. Like an apple falling onto a man's head. Weighted, he starts to sink. He knows his broken mind could never overcome gravity. A searing light consumes his eyes. He screams and tries to push away from his dark angel, his past. It fills him, lifts him. He was there. Eyes like glaciers pleading with him, No they said. Hair like a horse, brown and fine, clumped at its points. Lips furrowed in a slight frown, impatient with the world and its stagnant pace. Lips that told a story, a sad story nonetheless. He remembered. The gravity overtook him, lifting him. He fought endlessly wanting to go down to his grave. He saw his boat. Broken and splintered by the waves, pieces of it starting to sag in the water. Wanting to be consumed. Out of the water he rose, forever endlessly towards the inky abyss above. The great light pulsating, filling the sky with a midnight twinkle.

Shining on forever

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


I'm in. Even the losers party sometimes.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


As penance I'll do crits for the next two people to ask for one.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


God Over Djinn posted:

I'll take a crit from whoever wants to do one. I'm seeing loads of people have offered so just whoever happens to do it first; I'll do one for you in return.

I'll crit you. Give me to the end of the day.

Edit: Don't worry about giving me a crit. This story was a non sequitur mess and it isn't worth the effort to try and fix.

leekster fucked around with this message at Apr 16, 2014 around 08:51

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


Jeza posted:

Meaningful words
I meant the prior week's story. I didn't edit anything out. That was an addition to my post. Sorry for the confusion. Thank you though for the advice.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


God Over Djinn posted:

crit for
An Orange Like a Tiny Sun, a Million Lies Like Falling Stars (934 words)

It is forbidden to curse the King while standing on one’s head, reads the notice pasted to the door of the Youth Palace. Every day the blind madwoman stands on her head at the gates and curses the King. Today she is gone.

This is okay. Intrigues me but isn't too much.

My students saw a meteor last night. They want to know why the star was flying. “It flew because the King willed that it be so,” I say. “May praise be upon his head.” “Amen,” they say. The tile in the classroom is the color of the baking soda I brushed with this morning. We no longer have toothpaste.

A little jarring to go straight to this. Maybe a sentence or two of transition.

My mother said it was a sin to lie to children. I tell myself that lies are only words. Yet when I die they will cut me open and find only ashes.

Ashes and oranges are the big symbols here. I'm missing what they mean and why they're important.

On days when I have oranges I sneak one to the madwoman.

“Say something,” I whisper. Her hair is matted with ash.

She blinks milky eyes and says, “The King is a fool.”

On my way home I will see the orange peel in the gutter and remember how it once was to curse the King.

A nice subtle way to give some info on the character.

When one speaks to women they nod and look at the ground. The only women who do not are the madwoman and my mother. Where my mother is now it is cold all year. Where the madwoman is, I do not know. Her empty place at the gate is a hole in my throat.

The cold all year seems a bit melodramatic.

When the sun shines I hold my mother’s letters up to the window, hoping to see through the censor bars. Because she said that it was cold I sent her coat to her. It came back to me unworn.

The madwoman was taken away because my students started standing on their heads in the playground and cursing the King. The guards saw this and took her away. I have given oranges to the madwoman since summer. I am guilty.

His crimes have no significance if I don't know what laws he's broken.

The children want to know where she has gone. “Perhaps she has been taken somewhere warmer,” I say, “by the grace of the King.”

“Amen.”

As grey snow begins to fall I spin, immured in my room, frantic. My mother’s coat hangs behind the door.

I will go to the Office of Grievances. I will hide the madwoman in my garret. I will hide her in the circle of my arms. We must protect those who tell the truth. My mother once spoke the truth. I have not written to my mother for years.

These past two paragraphs seem rushed. Another transition would help.

Yet I do none of these things, but sit alone, eating an orange as the grey snow falls. My heart is a clenched fist. In the morning I bundle the rest of the oranges into my mother’s coat. This at least I can do.

You keep going on about the oranges but they still have no meaning.

At the Youth Palace the madwoman sits upright outside the gates.

Her face is unswollen, pristine. There is a smear of ash across the bridge of her nose. I do not know if they have beaten her. Around us the buildings stand like crooked fingers.

These past two are good. They have rhythm. Not too quick or too slow.

“It’s me,” I whisper. “The teacher. Speak to me.”

I place an orange in the palm of her hand and wrap the coat around her shoulders. She is smaller than my mother. Her curse will be a valve to let the pressure out. We will continue our small and private dissent, she and I.

Again with the oranges. Also don't placate the reader by giving them the message. They can do some work too.

“Blessings be upon the King,” the madwoman says, “for willing that these oranges grow.”

I stare. She peels the orange with her thumbnail.

Again with the oranges

“What have they done to you?” I say. The guards are already marching in the playground.

“They have done nothing,” she says.

“Please,” I say. “Have they not beaten you? Why do you speak this way?”

“They have not beaten me. Blessings be upon the head of the King,” she says, “for willing that this kind man come and give me oranges.”

Good dialogue between the two here. It's curt and isn't rushed.

I want to tear my mother’s coat from the madwoman’s back. My heart is a locked room. I snatch the orange from her hand and throw it into the gutter. It sits in the dirt like a tiny sun.

“You speak as wildly as the wind,” I say through clenched teeth. “First you cursed the King and now you bless him.”

“If it is not permitted to curse the King while standing on one’s head,” she says, “I will bless him while sitting upright. The words of a fool, after all, signify nothing.”

Be careful with being too obvious.

I leave her sitting in the snow in my mother’s coat.

My students are waiting for me in the foyer. Their shirts are antiseptic white. Last night they saw a woman raped and beaten in the streets by the guards. They want to know why she did not call out for help.

Antiseptic seems like an anachronism for your time period.

Which is not to say that they asked.

My mother told me that the Lord looks after fools.

“It happened because the King willed that it be so,” I say. “As with my mother. As with your own mothers. As with you. All because the King willed that it be so. May blessings be upon his head.”

The guards are looking at me. I am speaking more loudly than I should.

When I stop, nobody says “Amen.” Yet seeing eyes meet mine.

My mother told me that it was a sin to lie to children. My mother told me that the Lord looks after fools. If I am a fool, may I live to be a hundred. If I am sane they will drag me from my bed tonight. Yet when they cut me open they will find an orange where my heart belongs.

Overall it was a decent story. The setting was developed well, I could imagine a lot of it and you hardly spoke about it. The character was alright, a little two dimensional. The biggest issues were your pushing of the oranges as important but you never show why and placating your audience.

Thank you very much for the crit.

Edit: I was on mobile and my thumbs hurt by the end so I'll bold my words next time. I just wanted to finish your crit today like I said I would.

leekster fucked around with this message at Apr 17, 2014 around 04:20

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


I don't know if this is the proper thread to ask this, but I was curious how other fighters in the Dome went about the workload.

I was thinking this would be my schedule for writing these from now on.

Monday- Outlining
Tuesday- First draft
Wednesday- Spend time away from the work/Crit others.
Thursday- First edit/Second draft
Friday- Second edit
Saturday- Third draft
Sunday- Final edit and post.

Or postpone everything until Sunday again and lose. Either work.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


sebmojo posted:

It isnt.


Oh sorry I'll move this to the fiction advice thread then.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


Murky Waters - 780

The entire family gathered on the lawn for the final part of the wake. The sun had started to set and the low rumble of the plane could be heard in the distance. Walter squinted hard against the sky, he hoped to be first to see his Uncle Roger in the sky.

Lemonade dear? His Aunt Maria asked.

No thank you maam, Walter said and turned back towards the sun.

Starving yourself isnt going to bring them back Walt, she said and turned away.

Maria acted the perfect hostess that entire weekend. It was her house on Pebble Lake after all, something she took quite a bit of pride in. Only ten minutes from Lake Michigan. A flash of her temper was seen when Walter asked, why not just live there instead?

When it came time to spread the ashes no one could decide on what to do. Walters dad Mike had wanted to just throw the ashes in a lake, grandpa had been a sailor and he thought it would be make sense for him to return. Mikes younger brother Henry fought Mike on every decision they had to make about their father.

Itll just look like muddy water, Henry said.

Henry thought they should have Roger fly over the wake and throw the ashes out, mix them with glitter so theyd sparkle in the day. For a year and a half they disagreed until they finally settled on having a plane fly over a lake.

Costs to do this at Lake Michigan were too high so Henry, Mike, and Roger went to their Aunt Maria to ask her if they could use her home for the memorial. Maria was ecstatic that they would come ask her for this. She only had one condition. Her husband need to be scattered across the sky as well.

Im not mixing my dads ashes with that pervert, Henry angrily spat.

Mike and Roger wanted to agree with their brother, but they kept up their appearance and asked her if she could think of anything else they could do. Maria went off on a long tirade about how this family had always conspired against her; that her husband was guilty before he was even convicted in their eyes.

Maybe he should have kept out of those high schools th-, Henry was cut off by a porcelain mug that smashed into his nose. A piece of shrapnel cut his nostril, the loose skin waved back and forth like a flag as he screamed.

The plane was visible now. Mike yelled to have the music turned down and most everyone stood up from their plates to watch the descent. Henry gave Walter a squeeze as he passed by. The pink line that ran up his nose was hard to see from its deep red color. Walter had botched the reading of his grandpas eulogy earlier in the weekend and Henry had been very cross with him.This was his apology.

Suppose that just goes to show you no amount of private school and tutors can teach you respect.

The plane was in front of them of now. It slowed to a crawl and Roger opened the door. Cameras at the ready they waited for the sky to shine. Everyone murmured when the plane broke off. What had happened to the ashes?

Henry walked over to Mike and the two started to shout in hushed tones. Walter just watched the plane ready for its landing. With the pontoons slightly raised, Roger set the plane down on lake and taxied over to the dock. The sound overtook any conversation that had been going on. The plane went quiet when it finally docked.

Roger stepped out of the plane. From head to toe he was covered in ash and glitter.He pulled the goggles on top of his head and looked up at everyone. He started to laugh. With each shake ash would sift down from him. No one quite knew what to do. Maria had fled into the house because she needed to gag. Henry and Mike just stared at their brother. Everyone else was frozen. They waited for one of them to make a move.

Roger turned and jumped off the dock. Walter started after him. His feet soared a top the lawn, the dock clanged and clattered under him. The water ahead of him shone and sparkled. He dove in.

When he went up for air Walter saw Mike and Henry racing to the end of the dock, they pushed and laughed. The rest of the family looked on in disgust as the four of them played chicken in the ashes of two dead men.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


I'm in, also offering two critiques for the first two to claim them.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


Seb could you expound a little bit? I'm not asking for anything more than a sentence or two.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


Mercedes posted:

Sorry I'm late.

Son of Man
Word Count: 283

Jermaine reached deep inside the woman and snatched the baby out. There was no time to do things the proper way. The womanly way. His family and friends waited for his successor. He severed the umbilical cord with his teeth and then wiped the amniotic fluid from his chin.

He walked the length of his mansion, headed toward the balcony which overlooked his backyard. A pretty woman - a sweet little thing ran to him and offered him a glass of water. He took her gift and he drank; deep and fast. She suddenly found herself six months pregnant. Her eyes brimmed with tears and then she fainted.

Jermaine got sick of walking. The solid platinum floors kept on getting scratched by his solid diamond Jordans, so he levitated the rest of the way.

At the balcony, Jermaine lifted the baby up to his face. He beamed at the baby and immediately the baby grew a beard and dreadlocks. Jermaine jammed his foot on the balcony edge and with a victorious pose, he held the baby high above his head. The babys penis hung down by its knees like a true black man.

Jermaine wept. His tears dripped off his face. As they sped toward the ground, they exploded into shimmering flames and flew away as phoenixes.

Down below, the crowd waited for Jermaine to speak. And he did, his voice boomed across the garden. Two and a half women fainted. HIS NAME SHALL BE BLACK JESUS WILLIAMS!

The crowd rejoiced and they danced and they sang songs.

Jermaine nodded as the sweet smell of marijuana wafted passed his nose. His name shall be Black Jesus Williams.

So I am confused on which prompt this is responding to. I'll disregard that and just interpret on its own. If you're going for a blaxplotiation meets science fiction this is a step in the right direction. The jokes fall kind of flat in some places. The baby growing dreadlocks and its penis being very large has been tread over a bunch already, and you didn't write it in a new way to make it funny. The part about the platinum and diamonds gave me a chuckle, reminded me of that movie that had people overdosing on bling. If you were to improve this story I would focus on honing each joke to be punchy. Blaxplotation space opera would be pretty cool though.

Edit: Seb thank you for the detailed crit.

leekster fucked around with this message at Apr 25, 2014 around 19:57

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


Reconstruction - 1060 words

Joey woke up to the endless song of the Cicada. Despite his mother's promises that he would get used to the sound, Joey couldn't escape the noise no matter how far he pushed himself on his bikes. To the east Sunny Aces Trailer Park extended to the horizon, and to the west the swamp had him pinned against the rotting mobile homes. Joey heard his mother moving in the kitchen. Not that Joey was particularly good at hearing, it was just the walls were plywood with wall paper haphazardly plastered across. They hadn't even been saved the grace of a triple wide. Instead he found himself in a home that could fit into the back of his school bus and still have room for an expansion. With one leg in his pants he stumbled out the door. His mother crowded the kitchen, elbows knocking around everything on the cabinets. A bowl of cereal and a glass of orange juice were on the table.

"Hey Mom," Joey slurred, still drowsy from his interrupted sleep.

"Did I wake you? i'm so sorry Joe. Still trying to find my way around the kitchen," his mom sheepishly grinned over her shoulder at him.

Right. Two cabinets and a stove are a lot to maneuver around. Joey thought to himself, biting back the need to say something.

Joey swirled his cereal around his bowl. The off brand kind, with the sad looking pirate on the front promising a bounty of marshmallows.

"What are your plans for today Joe? Going to go see if those guys the way over want to do something?" she hiked her head when she said this.

"I may bike over there. I was thinking of just staying in today," Joey swirled his cereal around, keeping an eye out for the bounty.

"Okay Joe. I need you to go put something in the post for me though okay?" His mother worded the last part tentatively.

"Could I see if they had some of the cereal I liked at the store?"

"Of course Joe," his mother dug around in her pockets for money. She produced four crumpled ones and kissed Joey on the head. "Thanks Joe. I'm just going to be busy with interviews all day or I'd do it myself."

"It's no big problem mom," and he pushed away grabbing his back pack. "I'll see ya later."

"Be safe and don't forget the letter on the coffee table!"

With a nod of acknowledgment he grabbed the letter and left.

Joey wrestled his bike upright and with a hard kick he was off. The post office was at the far end of the trailer park, nestled among other original buildings that the locals called "Oldtown". "Oldtown" homes were usually a triple wide or two double wides fused together. Joe pedaled past the leased Mazdas and hand me down Lincolns. Joey never understood why everyone in Sunny Aces was so fixated on having a car they wouldn't be ashamed of. Even his mother borrowed heavily to keep her Jeep. Work was her excuse at the time, though she had been unemployed for three months already.

In front of the post office two black cars chased each other around and around. There were plenty of the older kids Joe saw slink into the foreclosed trailers hanging around, passing bottles of whatever half grain hooch they could lift off their parents. Joe tried to loop around the back of the store but a group of them gave cut him off.

The big one with a cleft lip picked Joe off the bike and set him against the wall of the post office. The other two boxed him in so he couldn't escape.

"Nice bike," said the weasel faced kid with a greased ponytail. "Reminds me of the one I used to ride around here."

"My mom got it for me, said it would make getting around here fun."

Two of them snickered, with the one with the cleft lip joining in a little later than them.

"Only way to get around here is with this," the teen pulled out a small baggie of white powder. "Trust me kid, this will take you farther than that poo poo pile ever will." He kicked the wheel with a heavy grunt.

Joe tried to run, but he was tripped. The letter flew out of pocket.

"Where you going little man? Got an important delivery? You the new mailman?" He picked up the letter and read the back. "Oh you're doing your momma's work? You don't have her doing her own thing?"

"She asked me to deliver it," Joe said as he worked his way up to his knees.

"Hmm. Maybe I oughta come over and give you a man of the house. Let your mom remember what it's like to have a man around."

They laughed again. Joe rose to his feet and kicked the kid square in the crotch. He felt a faint pop as it connected. Ponytail's knees buckled, his voice lost in deluge of pain. He curled up as tears ran down his face. Joe was feeling particularly happy and ran to get on his bike and flee but the big man grabbed him and put him on the ground.

Each punch came slow and heavy. A greasy fist would slam his head into the gravel, letting the tiny rocks cut into him. The cleft lip puckered with each hit. Joe was convinced the next would take his head off each time, but he kept on taking the punishment. Though the weight was lifted from him. The boy with the cleft lip was thrown across the lot. A tall, burly man with mustache that was too thin on one side and too thick on the other stood over him.

"Next time I catch the three of you round here I'll give you all matching lip piercings," and he pointed at the ugly one. They scattered into different directions. The leader walked slowly and both legs dragged behind him.

"That your letter son?"

Joe nodded and rose to his feet.

"Let's go get it mailed and you cleaned up," The man put a hand on Joe's shoulder and walked him to the office. "Your mother will be proud you know, stepping up to the scum of the park like that. Seems recently they've been growing out of control."

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


I'm in.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


GlassLotus posted:

Turtlicious asked me to post this for him as he has been probated or something or other until a later date and is unable to make posts. So this is his entry. He said he PM'd someone about this problem.

Title: The Spider, the Tiger, and The Lions
Words: 1196

A knife flew through the room in a graceful spin, smashing into a wooden wall as a woman screamed. The blade wobbled and tapped the maiden on the cheek as strands of hair fell on her shoulder. The room exploded into cheers and coins flew onto the stage. People went wild as mugs of mead were slammed against dining tables with a clatter. The smell of suckling pig filled the room, and the King and Queen of Lorensia sat at the far end. Colorful jesters flitted across the room, some with instruments in tow, some flipping through the air on trapeze, and some juggling, all in concert with each other. Bright banners hung over the tables. The Golden Lion of Lorensia hung for the bride, while the Silver Tiger of Sojomen hung for the groom.

This is a lot of fluffy description that accomplishes nothing but letting us know you've been to a renaissance fair. Trim the fat and focus on telling a story.

Bright turquoise, and of airy fabric, Morgan's dress was beaded with tiny white stones and adorned with chains of gold. The straps of the dress crossed at the small of her back, making the dress form fitting at her middle but allowing it to flow around her shoulders and hips. She sat like a noble woman, eyeing her new husband lovingly.

Cut out all this description or find a way to make it more active. Also sat like a noble woman is redundant.

The groom was at ease suited in a loose button-up tunic, with denim pants tucked into leather boots. If it were not for his position next to the queen, the realm would have assumed he was a commoner. He yawned slightly, absent-mindedly played with his food, and smiled at his wife. He glanced lazi-

You can't cut off parts of the story that aren't dialogue that way. Use a transition.

"Boring." The thief Ragnar said, forgetting his manners. He turned to his compatriots and whispered quietly, "Let's just ice this guy and get out of here. This place gives me the creeps."

"Ragnar, why don't you yell it a little louder? I don't think the towns guard quite heard you, fool." Pendra grabbed staff tightly, her knuckles turning white as they twisted on the gnarled wood.

Ragnar giggled quietly to himself, "You are by far the worst thief I've ever met." He merely smiled smugly and dropped a purse on the table, "Says the woman who is three Dragons poorer."

"He can't do that, can he do that?" she whined turning to a man with red hair, a massive build and an even larger axe. "Tell him he can't do that, Bael."

"While he is allowed to, I will strongly recommend that he doesn't," Bael retorted, giving Ragnar a menacing stare. Ragnar put his hands up and handed over a few coins made of platinum, "Here are your Dragons, m'lady."

"You are such an rear end," Pendra said.

Ragnar lowered his voice to a whisper. "Besides I'm not sure what we're waiting for, with Pendra's magic we could do this in a minute. Isnt that why we brought her along?"

Pendra growled, getting annoyed with Ragnar's cavalier attitude and his overwhelming stupidity. "No, not every mage is a walking powder keg about to blow the next town to kingdom come! Im here to provide extra firepower if, and only if, it comes to that."

Ragnar turned beet red. "I am not stupid!"

This dialogue gets a whole lot of nothing across. While you are trying to characterize these people without exposition, they come across rather written. They aren't natural. Even if you are trying to write a satire piece you still need to improve these characters.

Pendra rounded on him. "I didn't say you were! Besides, you are our sneak, why don't you go do something... I don't know, sneaky!" She spat the last word out with as much venom as she could muster.

The sneaky bit just pissed me off. It wasn't cute, just poorly written. We already understand he is a thief and an rear end in a top hat, belaboring the point seems a little condescending.

Ragnar made an obscene hand gesture and left the table. He placed his hand on a gem on his neck and soon melted into nothingness, an intangible mirage like water spots in the desert. Pendra followed him with her trained gaze, and Bael nursed his mug of mead.

"He really is an rear end," she huffed under his breath to Bael.

"Aye, he is, but Munk said he was capable. Besides, he came cheap."

"I wonder why," she replied with an eye roll. "What is he doing..?" She muttered quietly, trying her best to keep him within sight.

"Probably living up to his name. In fact, it might be best if we headed for the door." Bael muttered, painfully aware of the guards around him. He tried to stand but a gauntlet-covered hand pushed him back in his seat, "Hello Pendra. Hi Bael," a familiar voice said.

"poo poo... Pendrick."

"That's riiiiiiight," Pendrick replied.

Pendra stopped looking at the Spider and grasped her staff tightly, muttering quick words under her lips. Bael tried to keep Pendrick's attention.

"You're a member of the Guard now, Pendrick? I didn't know they were letting smugglers join."

I heard about your job here and I thought I'd make a visit." Pendrick said.

"What job?"

Pendrick clicked his tongue, "You do know regicide is punishable by death?"

Bael started to panic, the wheels turning in his head, poo poo, they know! "Is that how you got your rank, then? Tipped off the king for a cushy position?"

"That's right." Pendrick snapped his fingers, and called over two more guards, "Besides, I had to pay you back for my hand."

"Hang your hand! You got a new one!" Bael said with a groan.

This is a short story. You are bringing in a character that the characters are acting like they know but the audience has no clue as to who he is or why he matters. Either cut down on the amount of characters or make better use of the characters you have.

"I liked my hand. It was soft, manicured, and well taken care of."

"Well, touch yourself enough with this one, and I'm sure it'll soften up."

"We'll see about that." Pendrick grabbed Bael by the arm and started to pick him up.

Pendra grabbed a butter knife and, with a complicated hand gesture, turned it into a shining whip. "The hell we will!" Pendra flicked her wrist and the blade of light sliced through Pendricks armor, separating both his arms at the shoulder, and cauterizing the wounds with massive heat.

Pendrick let out an ear-shattering scream that seemed to shake the rafters. The watch started to move in on the aggressors as the commoners panicked and tried to run away. The guards were pushed out of windows and doors, and trampled under foot. Bael grabbed Pendra by her cloak and pulled her up onto one of the tables.

A man got both of his arms cut off and I'm bored. Add a little more action to this action scene. Don't get caught up in fluffy description if you decide to do that though.

"Ragnar, leaving." Bael yelled into the ether, but no-one returned his cry.

"Ragnar!?" Bael yelled, one of the guards stiffened and whispered to the king, "Ragnar the Spider is here. We must leave quickly."

Ragnar jumped forward and struck down the first guard, his short dagger sliding cleanly in between the man's armor and finding purchase in his shoulder blade. His illusion dissipated as he rounded on the king, who unsheathed the dead man's sword. The queen fled, grabbing the prince and princess.

Ragnar grabbed the knife sticking out of the target the woman was on and tossed it, hitting the queen squarely in the back. At the same time, the king brought his blade down on Ragnar's body, cutting his stomach wide open. His entrails spilled on the dais. Ragnar muttered to himself, "Bael better get me to a cleric..." and he closed his eyes.

Pendra blasted a hole open in the side of the keep, and Bael jumped through it.

So, that makes it midnight, I've got to open up the shop early tomorrow guys, we'll just wrap it up here.

"What?!"

Yeah, sorry about that. Ragnar write up a new sheet in case no-one revives you, Pendra take 1300 XP for the guards you killed, and Bael take 1300 XP for the excellent roleplay.

"So do they escape?!"

Well... find out next week, just show up at the same time! Also, Jake, if you're going to keep being a dick to everyone, don't bother showing up.

So after reading this and understanding this was a game I feel the need to reiterate. Make your characters something that the reader will care about. I have no stake in Ragnar or Pendra. They're boring and flat and I don't care what happens to them.

The twist was handled pretty sloppy. Look to this week's winner for a similar idea that was handled way better.

If you take anything away from this you should stop making your stories so passive and bogged down by description. Instead make them more active.

I'm doing two crits for the contagion week. First come, first serve.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


I'll fight Gamingo if no other brother/sister in blood wants to canonize this punk

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


That was joking. I was just reading through the LP forum and thought you'd laugh at it. Wasn't trying to collude or muddy the water.

And of course I want you to get angry at my writing. I won't improve any other way.

Edit: The reason I PMed it to you is because I didn't want to clot the thread with anymore Gamingo talk. People were tired of it before it happened.

leekster fucked around with this message at May 4, 2014 around 05:31

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


Last Ride - 836

Cecil fell hard to the ground. The cold linoleum didnt give an inch as he collided. He cursed. The nurses wouldnt give him his nerve medicine because they were afraid it made his dementia worse. He never did understand the hypocrisy of medicine. The slow plod of footsteps was heard from the hall.

Not again Cecil, Rose said as she entered his room. How many times do I have to pick you back up before you learn that youre not well yet sweetie?

Cecil had something clever to say. He always did. But this time he could only grit his teeth to keep from screaming as Rose scooped him up in her arms. There was a grinding in his right leg, bone on bone circling around the joint. He had felt this pain before. It had been a long time ago. He was the new challenger at the Tulsa rodeo. The time to beat was eight seconds. The gate flung open and he was off. The leather bit into his hand as the bull bucked and ran. He looked up to the crowd and flashed a smile. The bull lurched underneath him. He wasnt ready fro the sudden shift and was thrown to the dirt. His leg rotated in the socket like a spinning top, and the top of his foot came to rest on his head. The painted face of the rodeo clown was the last thing he saw before he passed out, he kept saying. Cecil what hurts? Cecil what hurts?

Cecil what hurts? Rose said as she laid him in the bed. His right hand rose feebly and he gingerly tapped his hip. Rose began to work her hands over the afflicted area. A flicker of fear came across her face as she felt his hip. She rose up and gave him a hurried smile.

Cecil Ill be back in a minute okay sweetie? She rushed out the room.

The pain clouded his eyes and he drifted to sleep. An inescapable heat followed him in his dreams. He focused on his dream. He loaded the trailer to leave for the next city. His boots shone in the Midwest sun. The truck idled as he lit a cigarette for the road. San Antonio was the next stop. If he finished big there he might finally get out of the indie circuits. Thoughts of better belt buckles and a truck that ran halfway decent filled his mind when the passenger door was opened.

You coming home? Sue asked him, lighting her own cigarette.

Cant. Gotta go to San Antonio, he had a hard time looking her in the eye when he said this.

Hmm.

Its gonna be a big show down there. Couple thousand people. Promoters too.

Just like Tulsa right?

Just like Tulsa, he clenched the steering wheel and looked at her. She was pregnant again.

Is it mine?

She is yours yes.

He reached across her to open the glovebox. He rifled through a brown billfold. He licked his thumb and produced four hundred dollars.

Here. This should set you right until Im back.

Sue took the money without counting it. She glared at Cecil.

Its not your money I want.

I know that.

Then come home.

I cant.

Well when youre done playing cowboy you can limp on home and meet your children.

She left him smoking in the car.

Cecil your family is here to see you, Rose said and ducked out of the room.

There they were circled around him. Hed seen enough death to recognize vultures.They waited for him to say something, their faces slack with disbelief that he was finally going to die.

So this is it? Cecil said.

Yep. Sue said.

Cecil laughed and slunk in his bed.

Havent seen a crowd like this since San Antonio, those Texans are always hungry for blood.

His kids just stared at him blankly. Waiting for him to say something.

Youre here for a show arent you?Cecil asked. With that he propped himself up on one elbow rotating to bring his legs over the side of the bed.

One second.

His right leg hung swung lazily as it drew closer to the floor. His kids looked to Sue to do something. She just waved her hand and watched Cecil.

Three seconds.

His breathing came sharp and quick. He wasnt able to breathe enough air in to make the burning in his chest go away.

Five seconds.

He was standing now. His usually stooped shoulders were held back. He teetered from foot to foot. His daughter went to get the nurse.

Seven seconds.

He took a step towards the door.He used his lame leg to step, dragging his good leg behind him to try and keep some semblance of balance. One hand went above his head and the other went low to keep him steady.

Nine seconds.

Cecil fell headfirst into the floor. He laughed on his way down. A feeble yee haw scraped out of his throat.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


Tyrannosaurus posted:

Savages
482 words

The leading cause of death among young adults is reality television. The producers were legally obligated to inform me of this.

Of course, I didnt think about it when I signed the waiver. I didnt think about it when I was dodging spinning blades. Or when I was leaping over crevasses. And I certainly didnt think about it when I was eating horse hearts and drinking blood smoothies.

This intro isn't too bad. Gets the reader interested. Introduces your idea fairly well too.

But there was plenty of time to think in a glass coffin slowly filling up with scorpions. I glanced to my right because Robbie had stopped making noise. Robbie had this bug phobia and had freaked out when the scorpions touched his toes. Judging by the stillness of his eyes and the grotesque bloating of his tongue, Robbie was super dead now.


Whatever. loving nerd.

That part about Robbie works well. You undercut the signifigance of his death by making a joke about it. Ties in well with the the reality TV vibe.

I could hear Kaylyn crying quietly to my left. She had magnificent fake breasts and I stopped looking at Robbie to stare at those instead. I had gotten some extra screen time when she was running the obstacle course.

Now Kaylyn, the sexy sideline reporter had said, Shes a rockwall instructor from Colorado so we know shes good with heights. But what do you think of her chances here?

Not being scared is good, I had said, But I think she may be a lil top heavy, ynaw mean?

Hyuck hyuck hyuck. Classic reality television. Scorpions crawled up my stomach and I stared at her breasts.

This past line suffers a bit. You are already making fun of reality television enough that the reader doesn't need you to come out and say it.

What are we doing here? Kaylyn asked herself, crying.

Were here cause were sick, I said silently.

Again don't spoon feed what you're trying to say to the reader. You do a fine enough job withouth just expressly saying it.

You see, theres a sickness in our hearts. Not just mine and Kaylyns and Robbies. Our whole generation suffers from a festering sore in our souls. We live in a time where we can precisely quantify just how important we are. We can see how many friends we have. How popular our words are. How often we are repeated.

Emulated.

And so this affliction spawned and spread. This overwhelming need to have more. To be more. We spend more time staring at screens than faces. Even when were physically together we dont connect. I dont know if we even can connect anymore.

This part bogs the entire story down. Instead of a satarical story about reality television it reads like you yelling off your soapbox about how much you hate reality television.

I stared at Kaylyns face.

She was panicking. Probably close to hyperventilating. If she couldnt keep still, if she started wriggling and writhing and pissed of the scorpions, shed be dead. She met my eyes and I could see she needed a real, human connection.

Itll be okay, I whispered.

She stifled a sob and shook her head. I could feel scorpions on my neck.

Kaylyn, itll be okay, I whispered again, Itll be alright.

Really? she said.

Yes, I said, As long as you keep your legs closed. You dont want em crawling up into your cooch.

She squeezed her thighs together and half-crushed killers dug their stingers into her flesh. I smiled and closed my eyes and scorpions crawled across my face.

You end it well. You get back to what was working with the story. The irony of reality TV making people/society fake

The start and end of the story work, but the middle really is something to work through.

RunningIntoWalls posted:

Nausea - 1,024 words

Barry Willis carefully loaded the body on the stretcher. It was wheeled passed the police tape and into the back of the ambulance. Every other city block, he glanced at the body thru the rear view mirror. Traffic parted from their lights and sirens as they barreled to the hospital.

Alright I'm interested in this. Sure it could be a little more interesting but it works.

Was it just me or was the place we picked this guy up giving off bad mojo, asked Barry?

That depends. Do you want me to agree with you or not, said Alex?

Smart-rear end. Im just saying, I got a feeling that we just stumbled on to something that goes way down deep. We landed in it and now we got to lie low for a while, said Barry.

So we do not know what this place is as the reader, and it's distracting for the narrator to know this and the reader to not. It keeps the focus away from the story you are trying to tell and puts it on the story you aren't.

How about you take a break once we get to the hospital, said Alex. Maybe get some air.

Youre right. Just got to take things easy. Deeps breaths, said Barry. Speaking of that, is he still breathing?

Yep. But still just shallow breaths. Not moving much, said Alex.

The rest of the trip had the ambulance filled with an uneasy silence.

The ambulance was parked, the doors were opened, and Barry and Alex rushed the body into the Emergency Room. The doctors and nurses quickly affixed bags and tubes to the patient while they wrote on clipboards. Barry and Alex, now that their patient was transferred, walked outside to unwind before the next call came in.

Barry, why dont you sit down and relax. I know that that curb or the bumper isnt the most comfortable of seats, but you have to take these breaks every now and then. Youre making me nervous just pacing back and forth, said Alex.

This reads very unnatural. A friend or co-worker wouldn't say this much to calm someone down.

Sorry Alex, but I just get the feeling I made a mistake. Something in my head is crawling around and Im trying to grab at it. You noticed how he had no hair on him? He didnt have eyebrows or eyelashes. He looked like he just wasted away sitting on his couch, said Barry.

So a guy has alopecia. What of it, said Alex?

Whats alopecia? It sounds familiar, said Barry.

Baldness. In the case of our friend that we just brought in, its called alopecia universalis. Its not very common, but it does happen, said Alex. Feel a little bit better?


Not really. Its seems we run into rare conditions every day in this city said Barry.

So I don't know how I feel about this. Later in your story you say they aren't supposed to diagnose or treat, so how does Alex know about this condition? I think the problem is the dialogue. A big detractor from the story is the dialogue reads very stiff and clunky. Read it to yourself like a play. You should find a flow that seems more fitting then.

The work day continued on much like a stoplight. Stop at one place, go to another, and slow down in between places so everything is in place. With it finally being over, Barry took Alexs advice and breathed deeply when he was home. He felt like he was in a filter, everything felt unnaturally smooth. He has afraid to eat as his stomach might throw a temper tantrum. There was something he wanted to do but knew it would make things worse. He wanted to look up alopecia. The stars grew dimmer as Barry clicked each new link the web gave to him and brought him to each disease the body could contract. When he looked outside and saw that sun was beating back the nights darkness, he sighed and made a pot of coffee. Today was going to be a long day.

You're giving a lot of description for something the reader doesn't know about? Why does this odd case bother him so much? You do explain later down but you're giving descriptions to things the reader doesn't know and it is distracting.

Barry and Alex were sitting outside the emergency room near their ambulance. Barry was on his third cup of coffee in the morning and still made a request that Alex do most of the driving for the day.

Everything okay Barry? You seem out of it today, said Alex.

Im not sure, said Barry, with dark circles prominently displayed under his eyes. I feel I know more about what makes people tick, but Im sure that makes feel any better.

Sounds like a rough night. Before you go home for the night, how about we stop somewhere to get a snack, said Alex? Looks like you got something more to say.

Okay, said Barry.

This. Read this aloud to yourself and tell me if this would ever pass as small talk between two friends.

Today was much like the last one. Barrys mood improved when he was on his feet. It took his mind off of what he found last night. His stomach was still trying to stage a revolt, but it never managed an offensive that amounted to anything more than a burp. After the shift ended, the caffeine wore off. Barry needed sleep. The headaches were a nuisance. Alex drove to nearby bar. Food was ordered and despite his stomach surrendering in exchange for some food, he only nibbled at a burger.
Did you do take some deep breaths when you got home last night, asked Alex?

Yeah, Alex said. But my curiosity got the better of me and I looked up alopecia on the web. Then I started to click on other things. Some of them I half remember, pictures of ingrown nails, hairs, and much worse. Others, I cant recall.

Now why did you do that, asked Alex, head in hands.

I just wanted to know. I thought that I could learn something new so if we ever encounter it, I might be able to help, said Barry.

You finally tell us why Barry is so nervous. Though you don't tell us if this has been a persistent problem or if this is something that just came out of the blue.

You do help. You transport the patients to the hospital quickly. You dont need to diagnose someone at a scene beyond needing oxygen if they are having trouble breathing or using a defibrillator when they flat line, said Alex. You weren't picked to be an ambulance driver to conduct surgery out in the field. You were picked because you are calm under pressure as well as make decisions quickly. In my personal diagnosis, I think that you are suffering from a new acquired illness.

Barry perked up with a worried look in his eye. What is it, he said?

Doubt. You are suffering for doubt, an endemic condition in human society. It is marked by feelings of hopelessness in the face of new situations, failure, and the unknown said Alex. The only cure for doubt is the vow to keep learning, because its better to know something than nothing.

Barry sat in his seat, absorbing what his partner just said. He took a bite of his burger, his stomach finally placated with food. He took a deep breath.That makes me feel better.

No. No. No. Go ahead and wipe my rear end for me too. You can't write a story full of holes that doesn't make sense and then try and tie it all up at the end with a paragraph explaining what it was about. Write the story better so that comes across without you having to say it.

The story was very unnatural and choppy. Dialogue is something you need to really focus on improving. Instead of using those really long winded sentences, cut back and do more with less. Another piece that distracts from the story is how you go on about things you haven't properly introduced.

I will be doing three crits for this week too. First come, first serve.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


I'm in.

A hardboiled private detective.

Also I'm repeating the fact I'm offering three crits.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


I'm in.

Also Muffin I'm up in Leadville for my job right now, I don't have access to my story. Can I get until I get back home today? I'll post anyways, I just had to work a triple shift because the rain had closed the yard down for a couple days.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


Gone Fishin' - 949

Clark tied the knot over again. This time he threaded it through the hook and the sinker, instead of just the hook. A stupid mistake that a first time fisher would make.

Well this is my first time.

He hid the guide he watched in between his legs so his son would not see that he needed help.

You fished on the weekends as a kid Dad? Sam asked.

Yeah. Papa would drive me out first thing in the morning.

Did it take this long to get ready?

Not all the time.

Clark hoped he tied the knot right and looked up to his son.

You ready?

Yeah!

Clark pulled his son into him and handed him the rod. He was going through what the website said on how to cast well in his mind.

Okay. So hold it out to the side. Now when you bring it forward flick your wrist! Clark said.

Sam readied his arm and waited for his dads go ahead. Clark nodded and Sams arm whipped forwards. The bright green lure soared skyward. Clark was just as happy as Sam to see it succeed. Clark knew something was wrong when it didnt come down. The lure spun through the air and landed on the shore.

poo poo

Dad!

Oh sorry bud, Clark pulled Sams cap down over his eyes.

Dad.

What?

You havent fished in a long time have you?

Not like this.

What do you mean?

Nothing. Let me get the rod ready.

Did you fish with spears? Like a caveman!

No, Clark said with a laugh.

Clark turned his focus back to the rod. He was not able to focus because his thoughts of his first time fishing kept getting in the way of things. His mother had bought him a special outfit for it too. Waders, a pair of shaded glasses, and a wide brim hat complete with lures and rope around the edge.

His father told him about the lake they were going to. How clear and blue it was, and that they were going to catch too many fish. Picking out a lure from the tackle box was an honor. He was stumped on which to pick, until he chose one that was made to look like a minnow. The fish would think it is their friend he thought.

The day came when Papa woke Clark up to go. He rushed through getting dressed and ran to the car. His dad let him sit next to him today too. The beige truck set off for the country. Clark hardly looked out the window at the sights as they passed. All his effort watched the lure sway and bob in the backseat. Dreams of the giant fish hed catch filled his head.

Why are we stopping? Clark asked.

Gotta stop to get bait.

Oh. Can I help?

Nah. Ill be out in a minute.

The car door slammed and Clark watched his dad walk into the building. He turned around in his seat and looked at the minnow. The glass eye stared back at him. Clark wondered why fish liked the lure so much. Was it the smell? The taste? The longer he looked at it the more he wanted to know why.

He crawled back into the car to get a closer look. He tapped the minnow and watched it swing back and forth. Clark grabbed it and felt a prick. He screamed and let go. Blood dripped from the shallow scratch on his hand.

The sight of blood made Clark scramble to get out of the car. He kicked and clawed at the door. Panic set in when he thought he was locked in.

Dad! Dad! He wailed.

The latch for the door was finally knocked loose and he bolted out the door. He ran headfirst into his dad.

Dad! The lure bit me!

Let me see, And Papa brought up his hand to inspect the damage. Ouch. Ive got something to make it feel better though okay?

Papa brought out some ointment and a band aid. Softly he applied the ointment to the cut and stretched the band aid taut across.

Better?

Clark shook his head yes meekly.

Ready to go fishing?

No I want to go home.

Alright bud, Papa said and shook his head. Lets go home.

When they got home his mother ran out to greet them

Did you catch any- She looked at Clarks hand. What is that?

Clark was about to tell her that he grabbed a hook when Papa cut in.

Clark had a big one hooked. The rod was snapping back and forth. I thought the boat was going to tip for sure.

Okay, what about his hand?

Im getting to that, hold on. So the boat was about to roll over and Clark was still going at this fish. The boat lurched back out of nowhere and this great shadow went above us. Papa paused for a moment. The biggest fish I have ever seen jumped over head. It was as big as the boat I think.

His hand. She didnt have time for the story.

He cut it against the side of the boat when the line broke. It pushed him hard into the side. The cut is real small.

His mother rushed him inside. Clark looked back to his father and saw him give Clark a thumbs up as he got the rods out of the car.

They never went fishing again.

Dad! Sam yelled.

What?

Im cold. What is taking so long?

Oh nothing. Just trying to think of how to tie this knot.

Sam looked away.

Fishing is stupid dad.

Youre right son. Fishing is stupid.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


Yeah my earlier post when I asked for an extension was an in for the loser royale also.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


Vacancy-718

Greetings from Green Valley! The card read. Big block letters hung over a quiet town. The coal mine was in the background.

Clive had no doubt the kidnapper sent this. Green Valley had been demolished when the mine went under. Everything that could be sold for scrap was taken. And what wasnt taken was burnt to the ground by angry miners.

The postcard had been slipped under his door just hours after taking the case from the parents. The police werent interested at all. As far as they were concerned it was just some seventeen year old girl who ran away from home. Valedictorians dont run away during finals week.

The entrance to the cave hung agape, a hungry mouth that drank in all the rain would give it.

Clive killed the engine and put on his gloves.

Clive popped the glovebox to grab his piece, but all he came up with was an expired registration paper and speed loaders for his .38. The two hundred mile drive through the mountains of Virginia had made him forget. Forget he had to forfeit his gun to the police after their last run in.

He didnt have time to think about his gun. A light pierced his eyes. When he rubbed the stars from them it was gone. The bastard must be showing off now Clive thought.

Flashlight in hand he went off towards the entrance.

---

Rainwater followed the depression that the minecart tracks had left. Two small torrents that raced down into nothing. The rain had been heavy the past month. Flood season was in full swing and mudslide warnings were posted. Clive crept forward and ignored the rain. His flashlight swept back and forth across the cave. Every other tunnel he came across was caved in. Clive heard a splash up ahead. The flashlight was raised to see further into the cave. The light played over a hole in front him. An old elevator shaft. Clive knelt down to look further into the hole. The light didnt carry all the way down to the bottom. He felt the breeze of air behind him before he heard the squealing tires. Clive was thrown against the back wall. His attacker had smashed into his chest. A couple wet pops echoed in the tunnel. Clive gasped for air. His arms clawed at the sides of the shaft as he fell.

---

A light blinded Clive as he came to. It burnt into his eyes and scalded the back of his skull. He traced his hand along the back of his head. Blood, dirt, hair, and skin were all tangled into a big knot. Even the slightest touch had sent a stabbing pain straight through his thoughts.

The light blinked out and left Clive in the solitude of the chamber. It was only then he focused on his breathing. The floor of the cavern was covered in a couple inches of water. The entrance to the shaft was above him by about ten feet or so.

Clive looked around for his attacker. No shadows loomed at him from the dark. Though the water sounded different. He went over to where the water was spilling in from the shaft. He reached his hand out until he felt something cold and wet. He ran his hand along the pitted metal, desperate to figure out what it was. Part of the object moved when he touched it. A minecart. Someone had pushed a minecart at him. If his chest didnt feel like it was burst open he would have laughed.

Water splashed on him as he moved over the minecart. Clive wasnt going to be climbing out of here. He looked around for another tunnel and couldnt find one. The light flickered back on for a moment and Clive thought it was his attacker again. He spun around and charged the shadow. The light was knocked away by his foot and Clive turned around to spot the attacker.

The flashlight stopped spinning and illuminated his would be attacker.

A faded blue stuffed elephant. Whose right ear was replaced with crude stitching. Word for word for what the parents said was her only missing personal effect.

Clive propped himself up against the wall and listened to the sound of the rain as it poured in.



Elements: Elephant, private detective, coal mining, missing person.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


I'm in.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Yo first round of loserbrawlers you've got like 4 hours what's keepin' ya.

Muffin you gave us until the 15th. We have another day.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


Loser Brawl. American Folklore Detective Story
Dead Air - 985

The task force crowded around the radio. In a minute the transmission would play again. The technician motioned for everyone to be quiet. A faint humming replaced the white noise. Detective Sergio leaned in closer to try and decipher what it was. A slow and distorted Yankee Doodle. Instead of the upbeat pace of the original each note stretched into an eerie distortion. They let that play on. When it finished a womans voice came on the radio.

Class. Todays numbers are The robotic voice corrupted near the end.

7 23 9 14 11 52 89. The voice said again.

The assorted law enforcement agents in the room looked at each other. Confused more than anything.

Is that it? Sergio asked?

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

So how do we know theyre related? Sergio said.

Detective. A rouge broadcast fills every channel on the net, public and private. And after that we find bodies. Im not one for coincidence. Filkins said, the condescension wasnt lost on Sergio.

Do the numbers mean anything? Said a lanky FBI agent.

As far as we can tell, no. Filkins said. Weve got nothing but seven bodies and that transmission to go off of.

Ill go try and find where its broadcasting from. Mountains, tall buildings, water towers. See if we can find where this crackpot is. Sergio said as he pulled his jacket on.

We already checked Zebs Hill. My gut would tell me it is on base somewhere but the MPs wont let us near it. We could have a warrant in a couple of days since the police found the bodies off base. Until then the MPs arent cooperating with us. Filkins said and pointed to the map where the base is.
You think they are trying to cover something up? Sergio walked over to the map.

Their asses maybe. Think of how bad it looks for the Army if some psycho killed seven soldiers in a week and theyve done nothing to stop it. Filkins turned around and lifted a hand towards a shelf. Be sure to grab a radio, cell service has been spot-

What? Sergio asked.

The cell tower. Lets go! Filkins grabbed Sergio by the collar and drug him towards the door, for a fat police chief he could move.

They piled into the black Crown Vic and sped towards the hill. Filkins gripped the steering wheel as though he were choking it. He barked orders to his men to set up blockades around the tower. The car slid into the dirt lot near the tower and they both poured out. They rushed to the tower. Right away Sergio saw where someone spliced the cables and rerouted them to a black box.

There. Sergio pointed to the box.

Filkins reached down and ripped the box out.

What are you doing! You could fry the box that way! Sergio grabbed the man by the shoulders.

Im killing the signal detective! Who knows what else it could be broadcasting! Filkins was getting red in the face.

Filkins threw Sergio to the ground. And pulled his pistol.

Freeze! Filkins voice went ice cold.

A soldier in his BDUs stood there with an M16 at his side. His eyes were glassy and he looked past Filkins. Sergio drew his gun and went to his feet.

Soldier! Drop the weapon! Filkins screamed.

His mouth had a weird twitch. It was like he was trying to tell them something. Sergio took a step towards the man and reached his hand out to grab the gun.

Easy. Let me just take this, He grabbed the M16 and kicked it back to Filkins. Sergio felt a pop in his finger and the soldier threw him on his back again. The soldier held the gun to his head and lowered himself to speak to him

7 23 9 14 11 52- A shot rang out. The soldiers head whipped back and a red mist sprung from it. The body fell a top Sergio.

Get him off me! Sergio pushed against the man to no avail. Filkins rolled the corpse over with a foot and offered a hand to Sergio.

Thanks, Sergio wiped the dust off himself.

Filkins nodded and holstered his weapon. Do you think he was the killer?

I dont know. Seemed like he was brain dead to me. Sergio leaned against the fence.

A black humvee slammed to a stop in front of the tower. Four MPs got out and trained their rifles on Filkins and Sergio. Filkins lowered his hand to turn his radio to send.

Freeze! Drop your weapons! The MP who had been driving yelled.

gently caress you this our crime scene. Filkins waved them away.

Well one of you just killed a soldier on our land. Forget about that chief? The MP smirked and motioned his men to grab Sergio and Filkins.

This is on base? Sergio whispered.

Part of some land deal back in WWII. This was only the place they could build a tower. poo poo Filkins said. Who knows where theyll take us.

Ive got an idea. Sergio said. Then he yelled. 7 23 9 14 11 52 89!

All four MPs froze in their place. Rifles went to their sides, their eyes glassed over, and their mouths started to twitch.

Filkins. What the hell is going on here? Sergio said.

I dont know. But we have somewhere to start. Filkins said.

Before they left Sergio took out his knife and slashed the humvees tires. If they snapped out of their day dreaming he wanted a head start. Filkins and Sergio had a long night in front of them and needed all the help they could get to try and stay ahead of the big green machine.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


I'm in.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


The Prodigy-775 words


Vitor wrapped his head again. The ringside doctor had thrown gauze and ointment on him and shoved him out the back. He headed to the office to collect that nights pay. No one had told him what hed earn if he won. Anything would be a step up from the forty dollars and a half gone six pack he was given last time. Tonight was a big fight against a rising star. Vitor had stopped those hopeful of escaping Los Grano Doro. Tonights victim didnt take it well. He screamed at Vitor, screamed at the crowd, and ran away before the ref could even raise Vitors hand.

Vitor cinched the wrap around his head and knocked on the office window.

You lose to the kid? Harold asked Vitor, stubby fingers pushed up thick lenses.

You think Id expect you to pay me if I lost? Vitor said.

Yeah well I was kinda counting on you losing. See if the kid won he was going to the pros. I didnt think you had it in you. Harold said with a halfhearted chuckle.

Well I won, Vitor started to lean over the desk.

Well I dont have anything to give you Vitor, Harold said. With each syllable he backed his chair up a little bit. I can promise you double pay on your next fight.

Bullshit. Give me the contract with the pro circuit, Vitor growled.

You know theyre not taking your sorry rear end back Vit. Youre washed up.

Vitor gripped the desk and breathed out.

What do you have on you?

What youre shaking me down now? A glint of fear passed Harolds eyes.

You could call it that. Id call it you finally paying in full all the times you cheated me out of my pay. Vitor relaxed. Harold would cave. He had to. Give me the money that was bet against me.

Vitor, come on. I need that to keep running the ring.

Harold give me the money.

Fine let me go get it. Harold croaked and ran back into the office.

Moments later Harold came out with a black attache case. Too costly for Harold to have gotten by legal means.

Whod you steal that from?

Oh youre funny Vitor. Youre taking the most money Ive earned in months and now youre calling me a thief. Youre a prick Vitor, you know that? Harold feigned hurt at the accusation.

Sure. Just hand it over.

Vitor grabbed the suitcase and pressed through the exit. It wasnt until he was halfway through the parking lot that he had no idea what was in the case.

loving Harold. Vitor grumbled and doubled back.

loving Harold what? A voice called to him. The kid stepped from the shadows. Eyes blacked, nose broken in two, and face stained red from blood.

Fat bastard cheated me again. Vitor went to walk past him but he pushed Vitor back.

Yeah. Looks like he robbed you for every penny. The kid pointed to the case.

Heh. Youre right. Could probably pawn this for me than hes got anyways, Vitor didnt want to fight again. The kid had the talent he just lacked the smarts to go to the next level.

How much you think is in there? How much you get for beating me? He started pacing back and forth.

Look kid I dont know. He just handed it to me. I doubt the stingy bastard put anything in here. Vitor started to backpedal away from him.

You know what I would we bringing home? A chance to fight in the pros. You think whatever in there is worth more than that? The kid started pressing towards him.

I dont know. List- He was interrupted by a wild hook coming from the kids right. He raised his hand to block the shot and the punch hit the briefcase. A loud explosion of snaps and the kid recoiled.

Walk away. Youll have another chance. Dont be stupid. Vitor tried to walk away again but the kid came at him.

Look at you. You never had another chance. You washed up here! Is that whats in there? A contract for you? The kid threw another looping hook and Vitor side stepped him. Vitor switched the case to his right hand and wound up like a discus thrower. With a violent twist he sent the case on an upwards arc to the kids head. Flesh tore and his skull cracked. He fell to the ground and cried. The reflection of the street light caught in his blood.

Keep the loving thing. Vitor threw the case onto the kid and walked out into the night.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


I'm in.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


Loser's Bracket-80 words

Commisar no one cares which one of us winds up carried home on their shattered prose. We're losers. We're here to battle, a pox on the teams who feign their care. We aren't the prized wordslingers who patrons come to this thread to praise. We're the jesters with toy swords fighting a pretend war.

Hear me Commisar. Let us battle today. Let us give them something to marvel at. Losertar rattling I will rise. Give me an opponent worth fighting.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


My story is at home and I'm at work. May I request an eight hour extension to get home and post?

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


crabrock posted:

use google docs; it's a lifesaver.

It better be posted when I wake up in the morning.

Thank you.

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leekster
Jun 20, 2013


I'm in. Virtue please.

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