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thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


Ok, first time, let me know if I do anything wrong. Bummed I missed last week, was a good theme.

Missed Connection

Because I love stories about reading. And I often read at central.

Red Kindle at Central station - m4w (Sydney/ central station)

quote:

I was reading a red kindle... you walked up and spoke to me... I was so overcome by your stunning looks I stammered and faltered in conversation... I let you go without finding out you number... I'd love to continue / see you again.... subject me the book genre we talked about ( so I know its you )... I'll be impressed if you remember the book i was reading! I still wait same station same time to find you again !

Promised I would use the latest cute animal gif from another forum I frequent.

http://uyac.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=4594&page=222



Is that all I have to do? And write the story by the end of the weekend, of course.

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thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


thehomemaster posted:

Missed Connection

Red Kindle at Central station - m4w (Sydney/ central station)I was reading a red kindle... you walked up and spoke to me... I was so overcome by your stunning looks I stammered and faltered in conversation... I let you go without finding out you number... I'd love to continue / see you again.... subject me the book genre we talked about ( so I know its you )... I'll be impressed if you remember the book i was reading! I still wait same station same time to find you again !


Same Time, Same Place (719 words or so)

I cross my legs one way, then back again when it doesn't sit right. My neck swivels, the red lipstick coming off as I lick my lips on repeat. I imagine a damp smell emanating from the book in my hands as the perspiration builds.

Same time, same place. Same thing every week. He has to return. That first time he was going home (a late worker, committed) and I just know he'll have to show up eventually. There are so many people here it's no wonder I haven't stumbled into him yet. Serendipity demands patience. That's what it was the first time, serendipitous. It was like wandering in a second-hand bookstore and stumbling across exactly the title you wanted after pulling out another that jumped at you. It was my Kindle, I'm sure of it. The colour caught his eye.

I swipe at my red coat to get rid of the lint. The tension is unbearable, my heart racing as it does every week. Same time, same place. A train pulls up and disgorges another round of dull-eyed civilians. Groups chit-chatting, friends heading into the city. Couples holding hands. I let out a noise that I hope sounds like a romantic sigh.

It's been 72 minutes since I sat down. The drunks and bums will come out soon. I give one last look down the platform.

And there he is. I choke on my own breath as I inhale and the book falls from my grip. It's him. Same time, same place. Or close enough.

Will he recognise me? I stand, trip over the heel of my crimson platforms, and make my way toward him.

'H-hello,' I say.

He turns to me, blank.

'Hi.'

'I don't know if ... 'member, remember me, but we talked a-a little while ago, right here on this platform. I was reading the red K-Kindle.'

For a moment he remains blank, but I can see the cogs click and clunk and a smile spreads over that canvas. That beautiful canvas, stunning in so many ways. It's exactly like I recollect.

'Oh yeah, I remember. I didn't recognise you!'

My heart judders. I have to play this just right; I have to make this different.

'Yes, well ... well I was just heading out. For the night, see, and I saw you and I recalled our con-conversation.' I flick my hair, exposing my neck. I can just see myself doing it: sensual and seductive, sexy even.
'Yeah, we were talking about science fiction weren't we?'

The blood pumps. He does remember.

'Yeah, t-that's right!' Play it cool. I've been thinking about every scenario that could unfold and I'm certain I'm as prepared for any possible outcome as I could be.

'Do you remember the b-book I was reading?' I ask, hoping my eyes give off that come-hither look people are always writing about.

'Hmm, it was cyberpunk I think. I remember because cyberpunk isn't real science fiction.'

My hands drop, and my smile fades a notch. I suppose couples can't agree on everything.

'Was it William Gibson? No, Neal Stephenson. Snow Crash, wasn't it?'

'Yes, that's right!' I say, throwing my body forward.

He smirks and a silence falls over us. A train pulls up, the wind whooshing past. People mill around, edging toward the unopened doors in anticipation, even as their mirrors surge to push against them.
Time for the climax. I hold out the book.

'H-here. I actually went out and bought the physical thing – crazy I know – and, well, I reckon you should have it. M-Maybe even change your mind.' I wink.

His hands are in the pockets of his coat, and he looks down at the offering. Back to me. He draws a hand out.

'Thanks,' he says, taking the book from my hand.

A beepbeepbeep sounds beside us.

'Hey, look, that's my train, I gotta run, but thanks for the book,' he says to me, turning away and toward the train half way through the sentence. Then he's through the closing doors, his coat following him like a happy dog's tail.

The train rolls out and I can't see him in the carriage. Lost amongst the horde again. I wave anyway
.
Hopefully he'll call me, find my number on the imprint page. And if not?

Same time, same place.

thehomemaster fucked around with this message at Oct 11, 2014 around 21:30

thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


Can't think of a good 11th hour scenario, but count me in for the brawl!

thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


Not sure if I can reply here, but thanks for the crits. Except that if you can't see the gif reference I don't know what to tell you.

thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


I don't think I will be able to write a brawl entry. I have a really neat idea but have literally had no time and have no time between now and the end date.

Please forgive me (I know you won't).

thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


I'm in.

thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


Flow (810 Words)

A cold wind blew against Lysa as she rested against the tree trunk. It should not have been so cold. The girl shivered despite the furs. Summer was a long time coming these days.
Around her tents stood blowing in the dawn wind, people moving amongst them eating, cleaning and generally trying to keep warm. They had not been prepared when they arrived and were frozen in place, helpless sheep without a shepherd. But Lysa knew what had to be one.

With a final glance at the dry riverbed below her, a mere trickle running down the middle, she turned her back on the campsite and slipped away as morning came.

***

Water. It all came down to water. Six days march back to her village where the Reservoir was running dry. This wasn’t such a surprise, but the Flow Festival was meant to be taking place right now. This was Lysa’s first year of attendance at the sacred site, a source of celebration amongst her family, but no water had come down from the mountain. Lysa planned to find out why.

Summer meant water, and but no water meant no summer. It also meant hunger and thirst as crops would be ignored, and then the villagers. This lesson had been instilled in all children of the village from an early age. There were strict rules to follow, and a very definite order in how to handle impending water shortages. If Lysa could find the water and bring it down the river, she could save her family and friends, everyone in fact. She was sure of it.

The girl trudged through long grass sopped in dew. Her clothes were wet and cold on her skin. There was so much water around her, but no way to gather it. She bent over, took out her knife and cut away a tuft of grass. Bringing it to her lips she sucked the moisture from them. Mildly satisfied she tossed the blades into the sky where the wind caught them and carried them away. She watched them go, scattering as they went. Wind: as unpredictable as water is sure. Until now, Lysa mused.
***
The grass eventually gave way to icy rocks and gravel. It was nearing night and Lysa could barely see as a heavy mist rolled in. Thoughts of the warm fires and company back at the camp tortured Lysa’s thoughts as she trudged onwards, but she knew that if she found the water, if she convinced it come down the river again, the happiness would be warmer still.

Her feet finally came to a stop. She needed warmth of her own. In the dwindling dusk Lysa pulled her robes around her, crawled deep into her sleeping pack and pushed herself under a shelf of rock. Silence surrounded her, the mist suffocating all.

***

Lysa woke to rumbling, the ground shaking up through her. She leapt up, smacking her head on the rock above. She yelped and fell to the ground. Opening her eyes she yelped again as the Sun pierced into her sleep-deprived mind. And the rumbling did not stop.

Rubbing her head Lysa got to her feet, a throb pounding in her head and vibrations coming up through her soles. She could see now.

She was a dugout part of land, the soil sandy and strewn with logs and other plant life. Rocks littered the field. And either side of Lysa there was a cliff – or as she quickly realised, the banks of the river. The rumbling grew louder still, and Lysa looked north. Summer had come.

A wall of water presented itself to Lysa, churning the mud before it. Without thinking the girl looked for the nearest log. She spied one and leapt, precisely as the wave reached her.

Her hands grasped the wood and pulled it tight even as the air was knocked from her by the cascade. And then she was rolling, flailing, floating, sinking. She was pulled, pushed, dumped and thrown by the water. Still she held on to the wood. Lysa would feel her face break free and she would breathe before plunging again.

Eventually the chaos subsided. Lysa hauled herself firmly on top of her life support and passed out.

***

She woke to a prodding. Slowly Lysa opened her eyes. There was a man in front of her. A man she knew. He saw he move and grinned.

“She’s alive! Pull us in!”

Then Lysa was tugged along with the man toward the shore. The water was calmer here, sedate even. That was why the Flow Festival was held here, she remembered. She looked up into the sky and felt the sun’s heat beating down on her. She could hear birds in the trees, the gurgling of the water on the banks. Summer had come at last. She would never forget this.

thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


To be honest both those points are abundantly clear with even a cursory glance over the thread. That said I still prefaced my first entry, but as writers we always want to frame everything so our fragile egos aren't torn asunder.

I say don't add it to the OP.

Show, don't tell.

thehomemaster fucked around with this message at Nov 11, 2014 around 01:20

thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


Well this was embarrassing.

thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


Ah, mediocre again, just as I like it.

To answer below: no I didn't re-read it once. Shameful.

thehomemaster fucked around with this message at Nov 11, 2014 around 05:59

thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


I'm in like Flynn.

thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


64 new posts and no crits. Just drama.














I can deal.

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thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


Time to Fly - 650 words

It had been a week since the news had officially announced the end of the world. One week of terror and rioting and religious outpouring. But the death of the human race was inevitable. It was almost all over.
Chris had been driving since he’d heard the news, listening to the radio as he crossed each state line. Almost daily someone new was telling him of the apocalypse. Every morning he bought a newspaper just to read the headlines.

Fires raging across Europe as EU fights the blight.
Are the plants hitting back?
Weed killer: Your new best friend.

What else did he have to know besides headlines? He chuckled at the use of fire. Fear was a terrible defence mechanism because it blinded logic. When you’re running out of oxygen at the rate of 7 billion people a day – and then some – why would you willingly burn more? He hadn’t stopped shaking his head to himself that day. We deserve this, he had thought. Not for our evil actions, but our ignorant ones.

The concerns of the world didn’t worry him though. All that mattered was this drive. The world may be ending but that was just the impetus he needed. It was disappointing that this is what it took, but better late than never had always been his motto. Almost a week after he’d made the decision, he pulled into the driveway of his destination.

***

‘I love you.’

Chris sat opposite Dave, his best friend in school and college, on the latter man’s leather couch. The words had come out of him quickly. Chris had decided from the beginning that he would not waste time.
Dave looked back, his finger spinning his wedding ring round and round.

‘You can’t love me.’

‘Of course I can, and I’ve been able to since high school.’ Chris smiled at Dave, hoping he would relax. Dave’s wife was puttering around upstairs. The car in the garage had its doors open, every space crammed with stuff.

‘It’s not fair, you can’t disappear for years then, just because the world is ending, suddenly proclaim some deep love. Why didn’t you do this before when we could sort through it?’

He meant ignore it as quickly as possible, sweep it under the rug. Dave was married, successful. And definitely not gay.

‘Look, I just had to let you know, for my sake. It doesn’t matter now anyway; we’re all going to die soon.’

‘Don’t say that, Chris, they’ll figure something out.’

Chris stood.

‘Who the gently caress is “they”? There is no “they” or “them”. This world is literally crumbling, Mother Nature is literally putting us to sleep. Now, I’ve given you my piece and I never expected you to be positive about it, but at least you know. Goodbye, Dave, and good luck with ending it. I might recommend not suffocating.’

With that Chris walked out the front door.

***

Chris hit the road again to his next destination. He passed queues one way, got stuck in traffic the other. No one knew where they were going, because there was nowhere to go. He just hoped the people he passed were at peace.

Peace. There could be no peace until humanity left, and the plants knew that. Christ, imagine eating, planting, cultivating and smelling creatures that could turn off your life support at will. Nothing in the headlines or on the radio told of why this had happened, how it could be reversed, just how best to kill the creeping vines and malevolent trees. We don’t negotiate with shrubberies, thought Chris.

It wouldn’t matter soon, not to Chris. First a visit to his parents, who he knew would still be at their family home, who he knew would die holding each other’s hand. And then his final stop, the Grand Canyon. If he was going to go he might as well try to fly.

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