FYI I'm back in a new body b/c I did a dumb thing in a gibbis
|# ¿ Jan 8, 2014 02:11|
|# ¿ Jan 24, 2022 14:34|
Oh BTW guys I totes dug up some dirt on our fave judge FANKY!
Turns out that in her roller derby days she went by the moniker of Miss Andry
|# ¿ Jan 8, 2014 04:46|
He awoke again, another million-year blink. He would have screamed, if he still had a voice. Everything was cold and black and endless. His name? Where was he?
He breathed in. Numbers, letters, charts and graphs slid by. If he focused they’d stop, they’d become the totality of being. The data went forever, a fractal coastline of facts and measures. A six digit string stood out, with it came a word: Starcharts.
He imagined the word echoing through a working, living ship. Another short string stood out, behind this one trailed the tag Deep Memory. A gentle force nudged him, spoke without speaking “Insufficient Power, Access Impossible.”
Something was wrong, though. There was no sense to the data, nothing tying it together. The computer brought up the only memory it could. Something clicked. He saw himself before a nebula of information, a spider’s web edging on four dimensional.
The clock sped by as he pieced the galaxy of data back together. The dying star’s light made work slow, decades slipped by between heartbeats. He found the fault, eventually: a register had failed, lost the cornerstone. The computer didn’t know the order of things anymore.
The star grew dim before going dark entirely. The ship’s cells were weak now. The galaxy started to fade. Facts disappeared one by one. He clung to the most important one: He was alone, at the far end of a spiral arm.
Everything lit up at once. The star was exploding. The ship shot out on a wave of energy, breaking free of orbit and leaving the solar system. Memories came flooding back as the Over Voltage alarms sounded and the ship collapsed its solar panels.
Deep Memories loaded, but skipped like a well used record.
Somewhere on Earth he was hugging a girl. A smile that was a thousand smiles and a face that could be anyone’s. He was leaving, a ship stood gleaming behind him. Feelings, half remembered but still more real than dark and cold. She was crying.
“I’ll be back soon,” he remembered saying.
Somewhere in space and he was dying. Someone was standing over him, talking loudly, panicked.
“He’s losing too much blood, get the engineer. We can figure out how to navigate later, we need his grey matter in the database now. ”
|# ¿ Jan 12, 2014 15:13|
Everyone's sick of this cyberBUNK bullshit, Martello. I'll brawl you for judgedom, 500 words due thursday night.
|# ¿ Jan 14, 2014 01:07|
How will they know what their prompt is, weirdo? Will it change if you win?
that's the idea!!! if I have to read another fukken cyberJUNK story i will srsly barf in my own mouth
and then eat it
|# ¿ Jan 14, 2014 02:31|
cyberpunk is the bitcoins of literature
|# ¿ Jan 14, 2014 02:48|
ReptileChillock fucked around with this message at 15:45 on Jan 14, 2014
|# ¿ Jan 14, 2014 12:46|
|# ¿ Jan 14, 2014 21:00|
A Grand Mystery 999 turds
A knock at the conservatory door and Eleanor almost dropped the derringer. She slid the pistol into her purse, took a deep breath and lifted the oaken cask from under the still.
Mr. Chiu’s men were waiting, silently. Their faces were blank, but she could never read an Oriental anyway. She handed over the cask, the taller one smiled.
“Many thanks from Mr. Chiu, he wishes to see you at the parlour tonight,” he said, lifting the cask into a shipping crate.
“Mr. Chiu can count on it,” she said.
Her father beckoned for her no sooner than the door had shut. She hurried off to his study.
“Eleanor, child, we worry about you. You’ve hardly left the conservatory in a month! A woman of breeding should not be so involved in botany, and these new friends of yours have people talking.
“It’s this dreadful cold, father. Really brings a girl’s spirits down. I don’t care what people say, Mr. Chiu and his fine restaurant enjoy my tomatoes and you can be sure they pay quite the out-of-season premium. You’ll be happy to know I shall be going out tonight with Arthur.”
Her father groaned.
"Honest to goodness, sir, that’s what ‘appened,” Willy said. He was sweating and shivering, he’d never been questioned before. His filthy sweater hardly kept him warm.
“Explain again what exactly happened that night,” Investigator Serpinski asked, taking a long drag from a cheroot.
The tobacco stirred Willy’s memories of the night at The Bell Hotel. He was suddenly thirsty.
“Me’n Eddie was jus’ horsin’ around. Now, mind you we was drunk, but it was all in good fun. I punched ‘im in the gut, real quick, jus’ for larks, I swear, Officer. That’s when somebody shot ‘im.”
“How many times did you hit him, exactly?”
“Once or twice, sir, I was blind drunk. I swear I didn’t kill ‘im,” Willy said.
“Do you remember what your brother was wearing that night?” Serpinksi asked.
“Just a brown suit, sir. Had some patches on, so I think he moved here to leave ‘em hard times out East,” Willy said.
“What’d your brother do for a livin’?”
Eleanor locked the gardener’s shed behind her. The still was dribbling away, another carboy almost full. There was enough rot gut whiskey to keep Mr. Chiu off her back for a while, anyway.
She cut the day’s obituaries from the paper and circled the most suspect ones. She pinned the strip to the wall, next to the railway cargo manifests. There was a pattern: unmarked shipments from the East coast, another handful of dead men. The pieces were fitting together like gears in a watch. Mr. Chiu’s criminal empire was about to collapse, and her gambling debts would be erased.
“Eddie always told me he was in sales, selling catalogue stuff to farmers,” Willy said.
“Willy, your brother was a whiskey runner. You haven’t had anything to do with the Chinese, have you?” Serpinski asked.
“N..no,” Willy was shell shocked. “Are you sure about Eddie?” he stammered.
“Positive. Say, Willy, for someone who says he doesn’t deal with the Chinese, you smell an awful lot like you spend time in Mr. Chiu’s restaurant.”
“No! No sir! The room Mr. Chiu rents me is right above the kitchen, honest to goodness. I ain’t afford to do laundry in weeks is why I smell like this! Honest!”
Eleanor knocked twice at the hotel’s back door. Someone opened a peephole.
“It’s Elle, with a friend!” She said, pulling Arthur closer. She didn’t have to look at him to know he’d be wearing that self-satisfied smile that drove her up the wall.
“Ah, Ms. Ashworth! Right this way!” The door opened up and the clatter of a Fan-Tan parlour filled the alley. She was led to her usual seat, drinks already waiting. Arthur looked around wild-eyed, everyone else seemed mesmerized by the games.
“I’ll have my usual game, usual stakes, and teach Mr. Penner here how to play Pai-Gow. He’s really quite keen at cards,” she said to the server, one of Mr. Chiu’s countless nephews.
“But first, I’ve got to go speak with Mr. Chin,” she smiled and rose, taking her purse.
She walked over to the far end of the room. Men stood at either side of painted blinds, looking straight ahead. She pictured Mr. Chin sitting at a table behind the painted dragons. She breathed in, the smell was unmistakeable.
The same one the night that man, Eddie, was shot outside the hotel. The same night she’d lost her inheritance twice over at the tables. She saw the tussle, the assassin running past with a sweater pulled over his head. A smell she couldn’t place until weeks after, when she’d gone to fetch her mother’s dresses at the Chiu Laundromat.
Spices, sesame oil, bamboo, rice and liquor. A smell so unmistakeable it could have only come from Mr. Chiu’s kitchen. She’d spent weeks piecing things together, trying to figure out the extent of his business dealings. She’d be a hero for bringing him in – she could always make up a story – he had, in any case, killed Eddie.
She nodded at the men, they bowed slightly. She stepped behind the blind and sat down across from Mr. Chiu. Vitality still shone through his weathered face. She smiled as if to speak but drew the pistol from her purse instead. Three short cracks and she let it clatter to the floor.
She stood and announced, “You’re all under arrest” before the screaming started.
I’m sorry to tell you this, Willy, but your brother’s death was an accident. I’m sorry I had to shake you down, but you were a witness. Y’see, when your brother came over, he’d been wearing a .44 under his shoulder. Except he didn’t quite get the holster right, caught a strap on the trigger. Our doctor figures that when you hit him it was enough to set the gun off.
|# ¿ Jan 19, 2014 14:32|
My story fukken rocked, you rear end-turds
|# ¿ Jan 20, 2014 23:27|
I wanna be a bald-rear end combat-tent too!!
|# ¿ Jan 20, 2014 23:34|
totes doin' the PAULI EFFECT
in honour of pauly D, coolest guy on earf:
|# ¿ Jan 21, 2014 04:08|
|# ¿ Jan 25, 2014 23:05|
Miss Robinson 900 turds
Alistair Pauli, Man of Action and Taste, stumbled over the threshold after the door tore free of its hinges. I squinted in the Hawaiian sun.
“Do you mind? I asked from the wing of the Miss Robinson, Alistair’s Catalina.
“Not at all! Take your time. One can’t expect much when all the real mechanics are off fighting the war,” he said, leaning on his cane. The gilded ball broke off and sent him tumbling.
Now, I worked on all sorts’a planes back home, but I’d never seen anything like this ol’ girl. She died serving her country, but Pauli needed her resurrected. poo poo hard work, but Pa said “Never look a gift whore in the mouth.”
Pauli cleared his throat “Will it be much longer? I’ve got a case full of maps I need you to study before we embark.”
“Almost ready, yeah. I ain’t teachin’ no halfwit to fly, if that’s what you’re gettin’ at though,” I said, temper getting the best of me.
“Ms. Ashworth, don’t be absurd! Of course not! I simply need you to pilot the craft!” he said.
“That was not part of the deal! I fix the plane, I get paid.”
“Well, the deal has changed and if you want your money you’ll have to fly,” he said.
“I’ll triple it and still come out ahead, now come read these maps,” he said.
The briefcase came apart in his hands, one half tearing a button from his shirt. Maps clattered to the ground, soaking up droplets of gear oil. Pauli bent to retrieve them, splitting his pants. His face reddened, he thrust the maps at me and left the hangar in a huff.
They didn’t tell me much. Sure, I got the approach vectors and wind speeds, weather and landing patterns, but no idea where we were going. He’d circled a tract of forest off the coast of Brazil, penned in the words Fordlandia.
I fired up the tractor and pulled the plane into the shallows. I stood back and admired my work. An uneven rattle shattered my slipstream daydream and I turned to find Pauli driving an old truck down the beach. The rear tires blew out a few hundred feet away from the plane. We loaded the ol’ girl up anyhow, and I got into the pilot’s seat.
I held a finger over the ignition switch.
“You gotta tell me what we’re doin’,” I said.
“An expedition to find abandoned oil wells just outside of Henry Ford’s rubber plantations,” he said, fidgeting.
“Nuh uh, not this time. I ain’t as thick as you’d like. We didn’t just load a half ton of photography gear and rifles to look for some fuckin’ oil wells.
“Fine. I’m searching for a tribe, Homo Martelloensis, the Geographic Society is offering an honorary membership for first contact.”
“Why all the guns, then? And how we gettin’ home?”
“They’re violent cannibals. Quite the queer specimens – entirely homosexual,” he said, before adding “and Fordlandia has a fully stocked airfield.”
“If they’re homosexual, how do they – ”
“That’s what I intend to learn.”
Now, me and Miss Robinson’s friendship must’a done something to fix Pauli’s luck. The engines gave out just as we were settling to land, so I slid the Catalina up to the dock on momentum alone.
Fordlandia was somethin’ else. It was like someone flew an entire suburb over and dropped it into the middle of a jungle. Everything was in good shape, but the feel of the place was wrong. I left Pauli alone with his gear and I went lookin’ for fuel. Pauli was right about the airfield, and I rolled a drum over.
“Don’t bother with that, we’ve got to get the gear unloaded,” he said. A strap gave way in his luggage, something shattered.
I ignored him, I had the upper hand. After the tanks were full I dragged the rest of the gear to the church where we’d be staying. It’d been a while and the sun was setting.
“We’ve got to make at least an exploratory pass!” Pauli said.
“You can go, I’ll hold out here and join you tomorrow,” I said, smashing the floor with a poker and shoving the boards into the fireplace. I lit the fire and sat down on a dusty pew.
Pauli stood stock still for a moment, head cocked. “Do you hear that? It sounds like someone’s drumming!”
He’d never had tinnitus before, I reckoned. “You’re probably hearin’ the prop wash. It’ll clear up on its own.”
I awoke to the sounds of frenzied drumming and breaking glass. I grabbed a flashbulb from a camera case and lit up the church. Naked, engorged tribesman screamed as the light exploded around them. I found a machete and held it in front of me.
I set off the flash bulb again, the freeze-frame white light showing brown hands tearing at Pauli’s coat. Thick fingers covered his mouth, his pants were off. A dagger shone in the darkness. I heard the click of a jammed revolver.
I got up, sprinting for the door, firing the flashbulbs like a machine gun. The men parted like the Red Sea. I cut the Catalina’s mooring lines and dropped the machete into the ocean, already in the pilot’s seat. Behind me unearthly cries of pain shot through the night, carried on a rhythmic thumping chant: Mar-Tell-Oh! Mar-Tell-Oh!
ReptileChillock fucked around with this message at 01:37 on Jan 26, 2014
|# ¿ Jan 26, 2014 01:22|
This cracked me up irl
|# ¿ Jan 27, 2014 23:55|
I volunteer to judge.
|# ¿ Jan 27, 2014 23:56|
Only because you don't have kids yet.
|# ¿ Jan 28, 2014 01:35|
I read that, I was basically asking if someone wanted to flash-rule my choice of decade first. Signing in with the 1420s then.
Your story shall be written from the third person. The crux of the story shall occur at a time different than that at which the story is told. A flashback would be the most hamfisted way of doing this, if you need an example.
|# ¿ Jan 28, 2014 13:08|
I'm in with the 2000s, and a .
I'm going to click the random link on wikipedia, and you will have to incorporate that into your story.
edit: what luck! Daryoush Ayyoubi must somehow be written into your story!
ReptileChillock fucked around with this message at 00:05 on Jan 29, 2014
|# ¿ Jan 29, 2014 00:03|
CHECK THE PREVIOUS POST
|# ¿ Jan 29, 2014 00:06|
just make sure seadoof sits like across from me or something when we judge b/c he smells
|# ¿ Feb 1, 2014 20:57|
I liked it.
Shut the gently caress up, Donny, You're out of your element!
|# ¿ Feb 3, 2014 02:59|
Kind of Honorable Runner up mention goes to:
|# ¿ Feb 4, 2014 03:17|
Crabrock: boring preachy self reflection. Technically impressive, reads very well. A few passing items are the only things that tie us into the 90s. You failed to capture the zeitgeist of the times.
Djinn: A good story. I like bicycles and this delivered in droves. I got really confused reading this because I thought for sure there’d be a plot twist. It’s well written but the plot is a straight A -> B trajectory and everything ends up back at square one. It’s period correct, which I suspect shall not be a trend this week. The characters experience absolutely no growth, and there seems to be a piece 'missing' from the story. We never get the full picture of what exactly went on behind the scenes, and it's a little maddening.
Leper Colon: A full five percent of your story is simply “Daryoush’s eyes ached”. You used a fraction of the wordcount to deliver a thoroughly unsatisfying piece of pseudo sports fic. No action happens, there’s no way to know when this story happens. Soccer’s been around for a while, bro. Better hope someone fucks up harder than this. You didn’t bother to really research the game you were describing.
Quidnose: A good story! ...if everyone wrote stupid bar bullshit stories. To be fair, though, if you're absolutely going to write about a man in a bar, this is probably how to do it. This wasn’t tragedy so much as pathos. Well evoked. The only issue I have is there are no clues as to the time. This could have happened anywhere from 1930 up to 1970. You could have saved a bit of the description of things like wood grain and added some tie-ins to the 40’s. Wouldn’t have taken much!
Baudolino: Oh man! This was exciting. You managed to portray an oft-forgotten time in aviation history with surprising competency! Your character was a scout so of course he’d know where the troops were coming from. Nice way to hide an info dump. One issue, the one that knocked this story out of the competition, was the action getting unclear at the end. Also, the enemy seems comically evil.
Biggest issue: How does one lean upward? I don’t understand what Hans did in the end. Did he turn and shoot straight back as he was levelling off his descent? Did he shoot upwards and back, his plane cutting in a deeper arc than John's?
Mercedes: Top of the heap in Judas vs. Jesus storytelling. I would like to see the entire New Testament rewritten as a Dragon Ball Z ep
Whalley: Takes too long to get going, doesn't really explain the dinosaur thing. I kind of feel it doesn’t need to, though. What did need explaining, however, was all the talk of "bloody Sunders". You can write action pretty well, I suggest you do it instead of going on and on about cowboys riding towards a place. At least it managed to portray a sense of time.
Little Mac: Neato black history piece. Hits the prompt well. I still don’t know these folks are so opposed to vacuums though. Seems like you needed a Deus Ex Machina for your story and penned yourself something so bizarre it brings us into an alternate reality. Unless this is supposed to be some sort of American Gothic bullshit.
Really pie in the sky sci fi, but it’s nice to see something other than grimdark cyberfuture. I guess the guy built some atmosphere generating towers? The sense of scale is really messed up, but it's not exactly a detriment. The concept doesn't stand up well on its own. If the 3140s are different than what you protrayed I will resurrect myself and time travel back to this week to give you a loss.
Entenzahn: oh man, you did it! You got some totally unreasonable flash prompts and you wrote a thing. The constant break up and shifting in time totally fucks with the story, the last 1/3rd I have no idea what is happening. Someone is getting stabbed or not stabbed or something. The historical accuracy is dubious, but who cares. No one remembers the old times anyway. You at least managed to firmly plant your story in a time and place, which is more than some of these chucklefucks can say.
Paladinus: What the gently caress is this dog poo poo garbage? You missed the prompt by trying some sort of clever trick and dropped the ball anyway with tense changes and a story that sucked major bag.
Jagermonster: This isn’t a story, it’s a glimpse into some sort of dystopia. Neat political ideas, boring premise and I’m not even going to touch your possible opinions on the world as a whole.
Monkeyboydc: This could be set in any god damned time. It was coherent as a story but it missed the prompt entirely.
Noah: Hit the prompt, but spoon fed me the story. I don’t understand the character’s motivation. He works by hand and has no vested interest in the industrial revolution. There’s nothing there except for psychopathy as far as killing his sister goes.
Lake Jucas: competent, well paced, hits the prompt. The story stuck with me, but for the wrong reasons. I'm not totally 100% sure what happens at the end, and this is really more a vignette than anything else. Who the gently caress are these people and why do I care?
Nikaer: I don’t get it, who the f is Eddie? Why are they arguing? What happened?
Jonked: I don't get it but I feel like I'd be a bigot if I spoke out against this thing.
Opposing farce: a man talks about robots, possibly has a robot arm. The end. Hot drat, call the presses we got ourselves the next Bladerunner!!
Kaishai: The 80s were magic.
if I missed anyone, tough poo poo and write a more memorable story
ReptileChillock fucked around with this message at 03:44 on Feb 4, 2014
|# ¿ Feb 4, 2014 03:36|
Le Tour de Franzia 758 words
“Swear to God dude, swear to fuckin’ god!”
“It’s not that we don’t believe you, bro, it’s that no one loving cares,” said Jeff, his burliness about to overcome his Gold’s Gym wifebeater.
“I can get the drunkest. Hands down. Literally. You guys just fuckin’ watch. I’ll be at Becca’s goldsprint thing tonight, and I bet you a tub of brotein I’ll be drunker than you. I won’t even take a shot, bro.”
Jeff’s massive Neanderthal brow furrowed, or maybe it didn’t. It was hard to say, really. Either way, I could see the fierce glare of alcoholism and competition in his eyes.
I showed up with a box of wine in a custom backpack, a patented drip system already working its magic. A certain warmth and numbness was reaching my extremities.
Jeff was there, taking nips off a bottle of Captain Morgan. Baby games. His liver was still doing all the heavy lifting. I chuckled. He raised his arms and bellowed “THIS DUMBASS”, pointing at me, “This dumbass thinks he can out drink me!”
The room erupted into good hearted laughter, cans of Pabst were crushed against foreheads. Confidence flowed into me from somewhere down below.
“I’ll outdrink and out race you!”
“BECCA! THE GOLDSPRINTS!” Jeff roared, shotgunning a beer and blowing foam out of his nostrils.
“Alright, alright, calm down. Go smoke a bowl or something, jeezus.” She flicked a switch and a projector whirred to life. Empty tourney brackets filled the wall behind the goldsprint bikes.
My muscles tensed when I saw the two ancient Bianchis welded into trainers, custom blood alcohol monitors stuck to the handlebars. Sobriety meant immediate disqualification.
I hopped onto the bike, the wine contraption causing me some discomfort. The room wavered for a moment, a mighty burp escaped me.
“You ain’t even had a drink yet!” Jeff said, climbing onto his bike. Becca stood poised at a laptop, air horn held high. My palms sweaty, I exhaled into the breathalyser. The crowd was silent. I turned, quickly: Jeff was 0.05 ahead of me. The horn sounded, my legs exploded with movement.
An eternity passed, I saw nothing but the casting marks on the Bianchi stem. The horn sounded again, I heard Jeff throw up. My legs were numb now, someone helped me off the bike, someone else raised my hand above me.
“We have a winner!”
The night went on, the colours grew vivid and the faces blurry. Someone helped me on and off the bikes, others asked me why I wasn’t drinking. The box of wine grew lighter, my leads grew larger, my blood alcohol shot sky-high.
“Man, what’s your trick?” Becca asked, somehow far away. “I haven’t seen you drink at all but your BAC’s through the roof. I wanna know how to beat the system man, you gotta tell me,” she asked, her hand on the small of my back.
My voice was suddenly far away.
“Fine, a secret’s a secret, I get it. Livestrong and all that bullshit, right?”
“Someone call the loving ambulance!” Becca screamed, “He’s having a heart attack!”
“You really think so?” Jeff said, laying my body out into the recovery position, “I mean, he’s still breathing and his pulse is alright, you don’t think it’s the booze?”
“He hasn’t drank all night!” Becca said.
“What about the breathalyser?” Jeff asked.
Silence filled the room. Jeff reached for the straps of my custom wine-pack, gently taking it off my shoulders. “She’s almost empty,” he said, holding the box up and shaking it.
“What’s this?” Becca tugged at the surgical tubing coming out of the box, “don’t tell me he’s got a wine IV…” Gently, she tugged at the tubing. There was an audible ‘pop’ as the patented drip system pulled free of my rectum.
“Are you loving serious?” Becca and Jeff seemed to say in unison. Lights and sirens broke the awkward silence that followed, EMTs burst through the door, one held a medical grade breathalyser to my face. He turned the device off then on, then tried again.
“I think this thing’s broken,” he said.
“No, no I don’t think it is,” said Becca, holding my wine apparatus aloft.
The EMT nodded gravely, “A buttchugger…are you aware your friend’s blood is a full two percent alcohol? He very well may be the drunkest man, ever.”
As if on cue, as though trying to dull the moment of my triumph, one final indignity befell me before I shoved off this mortal coil: I poo poo my pants.
|# ¿ Mar 30, 2014 17:15|
okay you turds, i'll judge this one. It's all like, spring time here so the theme is sort of like this
It's all warmin' up outside and the beasts n poo poo all are wakin' up, got me thinkin' about cyclical occurences n poo poo. I want 2000 words by next Friday (may 2nd) about The Beasts Within and redemption. How you choose to accomplish that is up to your weak babby brains
|# ¿ Apr 24, 2014 23:33|
i'm in too, dangit
|# ¿ Apr 25, 2014 01:48|
life kicked me in the dick, I'm out with a toxx clause on the next time I enter
|# ¿ Apr 27, 2014 03:12|
Alright babby bitches, this three way brawl is OVER. THis is THE DEADLINE if you haven't submitted yet gently caress you, if you have you better pucker ur buttholes
|# ¿ May 3, 2014 03:31|
who gives a gently caress about time limits, y'all are in no penalties. It's really not like it mattered, though, because DJINN is the winner.
Djinn, your use of layout and colour wasn't irritating and actually added to the story. It was a tight piece of prose fiction, making best use of the word limit.
WLOTM - the transition through time really tanked this piece. It started off strong, but the transition from childhood to adulthood was too abrupt and the details were too vague. I'm not entirely sure about whatever falling outs the characters had or who was doing what and why. The story is too cohesive to need visual cues, and doesn't really take advantage of them. You could have done more with less.
Curlingiron - A solid poem though far too vague on details, the design choice is questionable also. It's not a layout that would have ever made it to print, you might have been better served with a simpler white/black contrast but that's neither here nor there. My biggest gripe is the minimalism of this piece with regards to the word count. The poem was not nearly visceral or metaphorical or transcendental enough to eschew like 9/10ths of the allotted words. I remain unimpressed.
|# ¿ May 3, 2014 19:54|
|# ¿ May 14, 2014 03:24|
|# ¿ Jan 24, 2022 14:34|
Okay babby bitches, here's my story. It is not unlike a lasagna of fondled turds. Enjoy.
Ramshackle Estates 1200 +/- 15% words
The sound of broken glass still rang in his ears as he kicked the lawyer’s bedroom door open. Tobias pressed his flashlight, acid sizzled inside the casing and spewed white hot light. The man was fumbling with a kerosene lantern. Tobias cocked his suppressed pistol just as the lawyer’s match caught.
“Light it,” Tobias said, gesturing with his gun towards the lantern. His flashlight hissed and dimmed, it was spent. He tossed it aside.
“You’re going to change this contract. You’re going to make it read like my father never sold his land," he said.
“B-but-I don’t even,” the man stuttered before regaining his composure. “Who are you? I’m calling the constabulary at once,” but Tobias’ free hand was already around the man’s neck.
“Now, you are going to change this contract and make it read that the farm stays ours,” Tobias said, handing the man a pen.
“Wha-but, do you even know what this is? This is a notarized document from the Magistrate himself! You’re going to need signatures! My, what is this? It’s dated, too. This is a fool’s errand, this has to be at the Capitol in three days! If you leave now, boy, I’ll only charge you for attempted robbery,” the lawyer said.
Tobias pressed the pistol against the man’s temple.
“I…you can’t expect me to drat well forge signatures, do you? I can’t-“
“Fine. Fine. I need time, let me fetch my coat and follow me to the study.”
Tobias waited, switching the pistol off between hands when he grew weary. The lawyer marked words on a contract, practiced signatures on foolscap in a manic frenzy, filled and re-filled the tea pot until his hands were trembling. Finally, he produced a contract.
“Those letters better say what I mean them to, or we shall meet once again,” Tobias said, stuffing the letter into a tattered case.
“We’re both dead men,” the lawyer said, weary blue eyes looking out from a pale face.
Tobias hadn’t slept. He found himself sitting on a bench near the docks, pretending to read the previous day’s paper. The thrum of airship propellers and the sound of mooring horns drew pictures in his head. Boyhood dreams of flight, the feeling of fear and elation the first time an airship had passed over the farm, but in his daydreams it was the magistrate calling him to supper.
A man caught his gaze. He walked with the gait that only the gentry could produce, a sort of lazy goose step both supported and subdued by the sheer magnitude of wealth one could possess. Tobias rose, slowly, and followed the man at a distance.
A queue had already formed by the ticket stalls, well-dressed and hungover men waiting to buy an escape, a trip home. Tobias studied his mark – poorly shaven, hints of lipstick in the two day stubble. His coat, once fitted, now hung a little too tightly around the gut. He smelled of cheap hops masked by good cologne.
The man produced a cheque, handed it to the attendant.
“Will that be for today’s flight, sir?” The attendant asked. The man shook his head, “tomorrow.”
Tobias knew where he’d be waiting.
He sat at the bar, buying just enough drinks and paying just enough attention to keep one of the girls interested. He studied the patrons, he watched the doors like a hawk.
“Are you waiting for someone?” She asked, with a faded French accent and heavy lines across her face.
“Not really, I mean, sort of, well, I’ve never been to the city before and people here are so different,”
She nodded, feigning understanding, “En France,” she began, when he spotted him, his mark. And at once, one of the girls was upon him all embraces and French kisses. The pair headed up the stairs to the hotel.
“Listen, I have to meet a friend, I’ll see you again” Tobias said, leaving a handul of coins on the bar.
He climbed the fire escape and waited, hands trembling against cold steel. He breathed deep. A door slammed, he heard laughter, someone turned on a light.
He used his pistol’s suppressor to smash the window and leapt in, barely thinking as his pistol hissed twice. The girl fell clutching her throat, his mark fell to his knees with a hole in the side of his head. Tobias rifled through his pockets, finding the ticket and a book of cheques. He tore these from the man’s coat, knocking free a bottle of cologne.
Working quickly, he dragged the body to the window and cleaned his fingerprints from the gun using the cologne before smashing the bottle and putting the gun in the man’s hand. A jealous murder-suicide.
The airship roared to life and the city disappeared into grey-blue smoke. Soon, the smoke gave way to open water, more than he’d ever seen before. Tobias lit a cheroot and straightened his tie. His new clothes drove him mad. Someone rapped at the door, it slid open before he had a chance to react.
“Sorry to startle you, sir, but formalities are just that,” the airman said, gesturing for Tobias’ papers.
“Ah yes, welcome aboard Mr.” the man paused “Bartlett? My, I’ll let the captain know at once!” The airman said, looking over the top of his spectacles. His smile had faded.
“Oh, it’s quite alright,” Tobias said.
“No, I insist,” the man said closing the door. A lock clicked into place.
Tobias pulled on the handle, but it wouldn't budge. He braced himself against the door and popped it free of its hinges, flimsy sheetwood cracking as bolts tore free. He ran down the length of the gondola, other passengers began to open their doors, curious as to the commotion.
He pushed aside an airman and ran into a control room. Somewhere an alarm chime sounded. Above him was a hatch labelled “Technician access only”.
The air was colder here, wind tearing through the belly of the beast. Electricity crackled and machines hissed as he climbed a ladder. He looked down and almost fainted, the hatch was impossibly far away now. Armed men were falling into formation. Tobias pulled himself onto a catwalk that extended the full length of the ship. He took off running.
The ship narrowed, his breath was getting short. He could hear footsteps behind him.
“He’s cleared the ballasts! Open fire!” someone yelled and shots rang out, tearing through the airship’s skin and letting golden-pink sunlight through in beams.
The catwalk ended at a single door, Tobias kicked it in and fell into a tiny room. Radio hissed and crackled, he struggled to breath. He was at the terminal nacelle, the Landing Radio operator’s nest at the airship’s upper fin. Thick fog enveloped them, condensation built up on the plate glass.
“Just who are you?” Someone asked, cocking a revolver.
Tobias dove, the man fired but the shot went wide. Glass exploded from the nacelle and then Tobias was free.
The ocean opened up before him like in a childhood dream, and he was flying.
|# ¿ May 18, 2014 14:42|